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Amazing, beautiful, must-see

I've seen some impressive acts hit the screens in recent times, but this video from Ukraine's version of the talent show series is just incredible. The best. Words fail me.

You have to watch this, and watch it with the sound turned on, too. After two minutes you think "wow, what a talent" but then it just gets better and better. At the end she writes "you are always near (to us)".

Brent Cook on BNN Market Call, September 25th

Essential viewing for mineheads. Sixty minutes of Brent Cook on BNN last night. Excellent insight and solid advice all the way through. Link through right here.


The Friday OT: Jacques Brel; La ville S'endormait

I can resist no longer.

How does anyone call "the best song ever"? It's impossible, it depends on shifting moods, tastes, times. There are so many superlative tracks of music in the world and so many more to discover, but all the same, under the classic "put a gun to my head" situation your humble servant chooses this one. No singer has ever touched me as deeply as Brel does. This is my favourite Brel song. End of story.

Zero Currency 5

Sept 25

the unbearable lightness of........


Posting will be light during the sunlight hours today as family fun beckons chez Otto. I beg your leave and will be back with snark after dark.

Con permiso....

Chart of the day is.........

....LME inventories of copper...just for a change, eh?

Here's the five year chart for context.

It comes with this quote from Reuters this morning:
"We're bound to recover at some point but for the next six to 12 months anything can happen. Demand isn't great and there is excess material out there," said an LME-based trader.

Translation: "WTFDIK? But hey, buy anyway..what could possibly go wrong, suckaz?


Is Peru providing logistical support for the Honduras coupmongers?

Screenshot from the video below that clearly shows the tear gas
being used by Honduras police to put down pro-Zelaya
protestors is from Peru's National Police Force

It was something that your humble servant (and commenters to IKN) first noted yesterday when mentioned in Al Giordano's incisive article on the latest developments in Honduras.
"We can also see in that video the revelation that the tear gas canisters shot by the National Police yesterday were stamped as property of the government of Perú..."
Today it's been a subject that's made it to headlines in Peruvian media and questions being asked by respected members of congress in Peru's parliament.

Is Peru helping the illegal government of Micheletti? Is Peru providing vital logistical support to Honduras police and armed forces to help them repress the pro-Zelaya protestors? The evidence is pretty clear on one score; those tear-gas canisters used by Honduras police officers on Wednesday are clearly marked "Policía Nacional Del Perú" (no translation needed, I trust).

You'll see them on this video at minute 1:40 (about 2/3rds of the way through). It couldn't be printed any more clearly. The man in the shot says (translated), "This is the type of bomb the police use to repress us. The USA sent them to the Peruvian police and the Peruvian police sent (them) to Honduras. How can this be? What explanation can be given for this?".

Peruvian daily La Primera quotes opposition member of congress Fredy Otárola this way:
It's "very serious" that tear gas canisters carrying the inscription "Policía Nacional Del Perú" are being used by Honduran police because it is evidence that the government of president Alan García is supporting the coupmonger government of Roberto Micheletti."
The director of Peru's National Coordinator of Human Rights, Ronald Gamarra:
"...demanded that the minister of the interior, Octavio Salazar, explained how the tear gas got to Honduras."
Opposition parliamentarian Yonhy Lescano (ottonote: one of a rare breed of honest politicos in Peru) said that he would ask minister Salazar explain the situation to parliament (ottonote: a formal situation in Peru that is used when a situation is suitably serious) and to ask him to clarify whether Peru's government is supplying the illegal Honduras government.

Even the ruling APRA party is a seat of dissent, with APRA congress member Edgar Nuñez saying
" is very serious that the police has sent tear gas to Honduras."
Peru needs to make a clear statement right now. It has taken a weak line of support for Zelaya, but all the same Peru's official position is to support the Oscar Arias plan that reinstates Zelaya to power. It also voted not to recognize the Micheletti coup government with all other UNASUR members. Is Peru sneakily helping Micheletti behind everyone's back? We need to be told.

UPDATE: A few minutes ago and via press release, Peru's national police force stated that it hadn't sold, donated of given in any way any tear gas canisters to Honduras and it was all some administrative error blamed on a company in Honduras.


In fact the only people that have to worry are those who dare to report this piece of news, because at the end of the press release the PNP stated (translation):
"The right to begin legal actions in order the preserve the image of the country and of the police is reserved."
I'm having one of those ScoobyDoo we-wudda-gotten-away-with-it-too-if-it-weren't-for-you-pesky-kids-and-that-dawg moments again. Funny how they spring up so often these days....

Sulfur-laden, simultaneous translation red-in-da-bed pinko indoctrination alert

Hugo Chávez does Larry King tonight, that's 9pm EST in earth hours.

Betcha Larry pronunces Hugo's last name better than that dumbass Oliver Stone.

Borev got the juice.

Trading Post (sub grand edition)

How dare gold go can only ever go up, remember? :-)

Troy Resources ( down a penny at $2.31 and in the last couple of sessions has retraced from its recent $2.45 52wk high.

ATW Gold (ATW.v) down a penny at $0.37. I'm still trying to work out whether Ernesto is a biz genius or a naive mineplayer. Maybe both.

ECU Silver ( down 5.3% at $0.54. Oh c'mon, laugh along with me, can't yaz? :-)

Ecometals (EC.v) UNCH at $0.425. I'm still chuckling about the 67c trading yesterday. I thus baptise this stock "The New Crystallex".

Vena Resources ( up 2.7% at $0.375. Still sub 40c and that's not good. This has been a quiet stock recently, in both newsflow and volume terms. But hey, look at the decent volumes never know, newsflow might just follow. DYODD.

Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) down 4% at $1.43 and the kind of day that's leaves itself open to adding this or entering for a swift trade. Utterly likeable stock that seems to have found a new $1.40 to $1.55 range. How long will that last? No idea, dude.

reader's polltime!

What with one thing and another, the amount of mail containing abuse and threats received by your humble servant has seen an upspike in recent days. Now let's make it clear that I'm not talking about you people that write to disagree, not even if you come over on the snide side. Nah, what we're talking about are threats like the one received from one of the German whores yesterday who wanted to know my address so that he could "send the summons" (he must have had too many Carlsberg Astras, methinks). It seems his view on Trevali differs from my own!

So I thought we'd have a reader's poll on this one. What do you think I should do with the abusive stuff received? Here are the choices, pick your fave.

  • 1) Send them my home address and invite them round so they can meet my dog. Personally the wife should scare them more but somehow visitors always seem nervous of him and his mouth. It must be something to do with his size :-).
  • 2) Publish all hatemail received on the blog. Also publish the e-mail addresses as they will then get picked up by the spambots roaming the web and start sending them adverts for penis enlargement kits.
  • 3) Ignore them. This option is the boring one but might save the most time.
  • 4) Join the German language Wallstreetonline message board and spend all day explaining to the poor saps that read these paid pumpers just how false the "special inside information" really is. The same could be done for the ECU Silver message bullboards, as just one other example (of many).
  • Other suggestions?

All opinions gratefully received. Mojitos served. The end.

Julio Alberto Poch

Julio Alberto Poch, then and now

A pilot running a regular, scheduled flight between Amsterdam and Valencia, Julio Alberto Poch was arrested by Interpol yesterday as his plane sat on the tarmac in Spain. This because he was one of the pilots that used to run the so-called "death flights" during the Argentina Dirty War of the 1970s and 1980's and has charges against his name that include the responsibility for the deaths of 1,000 people.

Lillie over at the excellent Memory in Latin America site is on the case with this post that gives details and plenty of links for further perusal. She also put up another post from which I'm going to sample, just to give you an idea of the things Poch did 30 years ago. Congrats to the Spanish authorities for their sharp work and may Poch rot in jail. Here's the extract from Lillie's post that tells how a death flight worked:

They [the prisoners] were informed that they were going to be transferred to the south and would be given a vaccination for that reason. They were given a vaccination - I mean a dose of something to knock them out, a sedative. It made them drowsy.[...] Then they were put on a truck, a green truck with a canopy. We went to the military airport [...] Then the subversives were carried out like zombies and loaded onto the airplane. (21-22)

In their unconscious state, the prisoners were stripped, and when the commander of the airplane gave the order, which happened according to where the plane was, the hatch was opened and they were thrown out, naked, one by one. That's the story. A gruesome story, but true, and no one can deny it.

Plenty of mining newsflow... the very recent past. Here are some of the more interesting PRs from companies in LatAm or closely followed.

Lara Exploration (LRA.v) is taking over Maxy's (MXD.v) in an all share deal. Lara has always been a pretty astute project generation company in the region. Maxy's has Peru and China assets and has never convinced me. Perhaps time to look at its assets again,as if they're good enough for the sharp eyes at LRA they can't be bad.

Fronteer (FRG) and Teck , 40/60 owners of the assets in question, are really close to selling the two Turkish projects they've had up for sale to Alamos Gold ( I'll be talking about the financial effect of this deal to FRG in IKN22, out Sunday. Suffice to say here that we like FRg a lot and that view has just been reinforced.

Focus Ventures (FCV.v) has made it out of shell status and gets quoted on the TSXV for the first time this morning. It has cash, it has an interesting asset, it has the RDU.v behind it. No reco here, just DYODD.

Yamiri Gold (YGI.v) is raising capital. This was recently cleaned of its assets and dubious Argentine management team and put into the hands of those slickers at Endeavour Financial ('know, Gordon Keep, his short pal and their friends. One that might surprise next year.

Minera Andes ( Nearly forgot this one. Those slackers at San José have taken an impromptu vacation again. I'll be on this case in IKN22 as well. Humph.

Chart of the day is.....

.....sugar, because of the news out of Brazil and the rising (though still uncertain) chance of a rally back to highs.

The solid forecast hits the world at 11am EST. Check out this Bloomie report as I was particularly impressed with a Brazilian national saying "raining cats and dogs"...just hope it wasn't found in translation.

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s Center South, the world’s biggest sugar-producing region, may make less of the sweetener than previously forecast amid the heaviest rains in more than two decades, grower Maurilio Biagi Filho said.

Industry association Unica will probably cut its sugar forecast for the region today from an April estimate of 31.2 million metric tons this year, Biagi, the world’s second-biggest cane grower, said yesterday by telephone from Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. Unica is set to release a new estimate at 11 a.m. New York time.

Rains in the Center South, which produces more than 80 percent of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol, have hindered harvesting and reduced sugar cane’s level of sucrose, the substance used to make the sweetener and fuel. Sao Paulo, the biggest-producing state, received 180 millimeters (7.1 inches) of rain this month through yesterday, the most since 1983, Biagi said.

“It has been raining cats and dogs here for almost three months in a row,” Biagi said. “Sugar output will definitely be revised down.”



Lenin Moreno, Ecuador's Vice President, hospitalized for blood loss in Lima, Peru

A strange story just hitting the airwaves. Lenin Moreno, Ecuador's Veep and number two politico behind Correa, was hospitalized in Lima, Peru today due to blood loss. Details of how the blood was lost are not known as yet, but apparently it started while he was at his hotel in Lima this morning. Moreno has been confined to a wheelchair since 1998 after being shot during an attempted robbery.

He was admitted as an emergency case but right now is out of danger, according to the sketchy reports at least. He is still under observation in the Lima Armed Forces hospital.

Honduras: Al Giordano nails it

I'm shamelessly stealing the cool Latuff cartoon that accompanies Al Giordano's piece on Honduras, Brazil, what Lula said today at the UN and lots of et ceteras. But to read the most excellent analysis you have to click this link and go over to his website. Well worth your trouble. Go go go.

Trading Post (buy 'em small, buy 'em all edition)

Who needs analysis anyway? Just buy a bunch of pennystocks and watch them all fly.

ATAC Resources (ATC.v) up 29.8% at $0.74 on a good step-out drill result from up there in Yukon.

Dia Bras (DIB.v) up 20% at $0.18. We very likey.

Radius Gold (RDU.v) up 2.4% at $0.21 on news that it's optioning out one of its landholdings, an Oaxaca (South Mexico) silver property, to fellow Ridgway stock FVI.v (up 1.3% at $1.55). RDU.v slowly building a good looking book of assets.

Ecometals (EC.v) up 27.5% at $0.51. I can't stop laughing, esp when I think about the idiot who bought t 67c today. Going back under 40c soon. Stocks for children or Las Vegas addicts...or the children of Las Vegas addicts. See below for why.

Crown Point Ventures (CWV.v) up 7.4% at $0.58 and going well on low volumes. Toldya 'bout this one enough times, now 40% up and holding thru for the speculative bigshot.

Gleichen Resources (GRL.v) up 9.8% at $1.23. You go girl!

The beating heart of Peru's economic miracle revealed by The Wall Street Journal

Here's how Peru's top three export products for 2009 look like stacking up.

That cocaine number comes from this report in the WSJ with this as the moneyline...

"...the estimated $20 billion annually that Peruvian cocaine fetches abroad."

..that is also making the headlines in Peru today.

No wonder the Sanchez-Paredes family votes APRA, eh?

Ecometals (EC.v) bullshits the market again

Here's a link to the latest from the BS merchants at Ecometals (EC.v) that hit the wires a couple of minutes ago, going by the snappy title of "Ecometals announces final EMP approval prior to drilling at at its Rio Zarza gold project in Ecuador".

When you read the headline it looks like Ecometals actually has permission to drill, doesn't it? But read on and you see that:
Ecometals Limited is pleased to announce receipt of the final approval resolution for its Environmental Management Plan and also the renewal of its Environmental Bond. This approval is the last major step ahead of consent to commence our drilling at Rio Zarza. There will now follow, in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and the local communities within our area of influence, a Community Relations diffusion process to present and explain the project. We understand one of the major mining companies in the area completed this process earlier this month and is now waiting final permit approval from the Ministry of Mines. Since we are both dealing with the same communities, we are hopeful of a successful outcome. A contract has now been negotiated with drill contractors and site preparations and logistics have been finalised.

Now, what I suggest you do is read it while moving your lips, or maybe even read it out loud to the dog or the cat or something. They're pleased to announce they have the final major thing they need BEFORE they get the approval of the final REALLY major thing they need! ROFL! And now they have to go through weeks and weeks, maybe months of talks with locals before they may or may not get the chance to drill! Or in other words:


This is the same company that said it'll be all done and dusted by the end of August, remember? Of course the share price took off like a rocket on this "news" thanks to the brainless momo runners that still believe these serial BS merchants. We'll now see the the same pump and dump as we saw last time and then the shorn sheep will blame people like me for telling them the truth.

As a total utter non-sequitur that has nothing to do with anything else in this post, why on earth did this little poker ditty just spring to mind?

If you sit at a poker table and can't see who the patsy* is in the first 15 minutes, it's you.


*Did i write pasty? Oh lordy, a five year old girl knows better than that

Gleichen Resources (GRL.v): So far so good

Gleichen Resources (GRL.v) has run up to $1.15 in the last couple of days and is now doing serious lumps of volume this morning.

Subscribers the The IKN Weekly got the dope about this stock and why it needed to be followed closely on Friday 7th August, after the bell on the evening before the big upmove, in a Flash Update. Since then we've kept an eye on the stock with short comments in The IKN Weekly. So far so good and the sell price we have mapped out is still further upstream.


The sad, continuing story of Doe Run Peru

It's difficult to explain just how much of a snafu the Twobreakfasts government has made of Doe Run Peru (DRP) but the latest chapter, written last night, should come as no surprise. Basically there are three actors in this play:

  • Ira Rennert, billionaire owner of Genco who are in turn the owners of DRP. He's a piece of crap but at least he's a predictable piece of crap; he dosn't care about anything but the money.
  • The workforce of DRP. They just want their jobs back.
  • The government of Peru that has tried to be play at governance and authority and has been laughed off the stage. The result has been death, mayhem and inertia.

Twobreakfasts&Co has tried to play the strongman card about the environmental regulations that DRP has to comply with by the end of October.

"You must comply with the October 2009 deadline", says Twobreakfasts.

Ira says, "screw you, we want 32 extra months".

This extension comes on the back of a previous extension that he totally ignored, so there's no reason to believe he'll clean up DRP this time, either. So the government decides to "be flexible" (read KY Jelly) and give DRP 20 months to do its cleanup program.

"Screw you", says Ira. "I said 32 months, you bunch of wimps."

So continues the impasse. Meanwhile, Ira rallies his troops on site and tells them to strike again to demand that the government caves in and gives DRP the 32 month extension. This they do (out of fear for losing jobs and desire to get back to earning a salary). The main road is blocked, the police move in and last night yet another police officer dies on the scene when hit by rocks pushed on to their position by the strikers.

Rule of law? Rule of $$$$$. The senseless, toothless, wet blanket government of Peru still has no idea what it's up against. In the Wild West of neoliberal Peru, Ira's money talks and Twobreakfasts' bullshit walks. There is no national pride, because if there was Ira Rennert would have been kicked out of the country and his assets seized months ago. The cowards that run Peru bow and scrape before the altar of investment grade at all costs.

Chart of the day is.......

....natgas, weekly candles.

Not a commod I follow much, but out of the corner of my eye this year I've noted chartists and fuelheads saying "natgas is breaking out!" and "natgas can't stay this low much longer!" and "natgas gotta rally with oil soon!"

No it doesn't.

When you sit natgas on the same page as the WTI crude chart and use the same timescale.... kinda makes you think that if there weren't so many free long-term storage systems for the blackstuff in this world (a.k.a. supertankers) things would be slightly different.

I don't really have any solid conclusion to make from today's charts, just a musing on the shape and the power of speculative money and how it can shift the supply/demand curve this way and that. Even for the world champion major commods such as oil.


ATW Gold (ATW.v): A strange coincidence

Luke Norman: Nice tie, no job

On August 27th, Luke Norman, director of ATW Gold, sold half a million shares on the open market at 54c. The counterparty was Ernesto Echavarria, a man who had earlier bought eleven million shares in a private placement at the near-same price (53c).

On September 11th, ATW.v released bad news and the stock dropped. It now stands at 38c, or 29.6% lower than when Norman sold his shares.

On September 17th, Norman late-filed his trade.

On September 18th, this humble corner of cyberspace reported on Norman and his smelly deal in this post entitled "Once a Canaccord broker, always a Canaccord broker".

On September 22nd (i.e. today), Luke Norman resigned his post at ATW Gold. Here's the snip from tonight's PR:
Further, the Company reports that Luke Norman has resigned as Director and VP of Corporate Development of ATW Gold Corp. We thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Strange coincidence that, isn't it?

By popular demand (see comments section) your humble author has been requested to demand the opinion of our friend the owl over the latest developments at ATW Gold. Our friend the owl says

ECU Silver ( All you need to know

It's 30% down on the year. versus peers, 2009 to date
(click to enlarge)

So if you're still long this PoS, why not ask the person who reco'd it to you for a decent explanation.

Just another quiet day in paradise

President Zelaya in the Brazilian embassy, photo taken this morning. Outside, 150 arrests and an army/police cordon around the embassy. Photo and report here (Spanish language).

Trading Post (happy miners edition)

Lydian Intl ( up 9.4% at 70c. Not on my beaten path but you should really check out the interview given by the honcho and Mickey Fulp on the radio yesterday. Find the link here (the Sep't 21st one). Without beating round the bush, if Fulp likes it you should be listening.

Pediment Gold ( down a penny at 92c. Subscribers to The IKN Weekly received a Flash update about this stock this morning (when it was trading 89c). We also went into some detail about recent developments and the backstory in IKN21. Galland, you're soooooooooo wrong about this one. I own and I added today.

Plexmar (PLE.v) down 4.4% at $0.11. Why isn't this company enjoying the sector rebound? That's easy; what you reap is what you sow, suckaz.

Troy Resources ( up 4.3% at $2.43. DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL! As day follows night, this share price is going higher. LT hold, LT no-brain winner. Don't ask me about tomorrow's PPS, ask me about September 2010.

Trevali (4TI.f) down 7.3% at €0.445. ROFL! the BS pumpers in Germany tried to rally this PoS after yesterday's trading post, but again it sinks today. Crap like this and the people who promote it should be avoided like the plague. It never ceases to amaze me how people kinda object to being robbed in the street but find it perfectly acceptable to hand money to thieves populating bullboards who promise extra special inside information. Sie gehören ins Gefängnis.

Honduras update: The hypocrisy shows through

Isn't it amazing that the pieces of shit who illegally threw out President Zelaya to "protect the constitution" have suddenly become so desperate to cling on to power that they suspend the very same constitution?

This from top English language site Honduras Coup 2009, first paragraph:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No More Constitution

The Micheletti regime, about 4 am this morning, violently dislodged the protesters outside the Brazilian embassy with tear gas, pepper spray and water canons. Radio Globo reports THEY SUSPENDED THE CONSTITUTION and declared a state of emergency. Among the rights suspended are the right of free circulation and assembly.

Continues here

UPDATE: Quotha has been doing some great updating work on the fast-breaking story. Find the site here.

Peru Mining, Taxes, Tomás Cenzano and the APRA Party's Contribution to Society

Remember back in March when the Winchumayo gold mine in the Ituata district of Puno, Peru suffered a landslide and multiple deaths ensued? Well, we wrote about it at IKN in this post right here if memory isn't serving so well.

So today this story is hitting the wires in Peru, all about how the government SUNAT tax office is launching a big campaign to get back taxes paid by those that have dragged their feet at the moment of paying their dues to society. Chief among debtors is a mining company called "Media Naranja" that owes the state a cool two hundred and twenty-three million, eight hundred and seventy-nine thousand, four hundred and fifty-four Nuevos Soles...and 40 cents. To give context, at today's exchange rate that's U$76.93m in greenbacks. A lot of cash.

So what's the connection between paragraph one and paragraph two? Well, Winchumayo is owned by three entities who then rent out its operation to the hundreds (even thousands) of artisanal miners who work the seams and get the gold. The typical system in the Andean Amazon basin region where Winchumayo is located is to get the miners to work five days for the owners, then on the 6th day anything they produce they keep (other areas use different ratios of days). Here are the three owners:
  • APRA Congressman Alfredo Tomás Cenzano Sierralta (33%)
  • The mayor of the Ituata district, Roger Saya Tapara (34%)
  • Foreign private mining company Oro Vega S.A.C. (with offices in Lima) (33%)

In other words, a private miner and two politicians have been making their millions via the ethically dubious, clearly dangerous and almost totally unregulated world of the South American artisanal miner. But the interesting one is Alfredo Tomás Cenzano Sierralta, and for two reasons:

  • Members of Congress are prohibited from being involved in this sort of business under the Peru parliament's ethical standards and, more importantly, it contravenes Peru's mining law. Thus Cenzano is violating the rules of Congress and the law of his land to make himself rich, not just getting rich on the backs of the artisan miners paid their pittances under extremely dangerous and unhealthy work conditions.
  • Alfredo Tomás Cenzano Sierralta is the 45% owner of 'Media Naranja', the mining company mentioned above that owes the taxman nearly U$77m. Media Naranja is exactly the same kind of set up as Winchumayo, as it owns and mines gold concessions in the Andean amazon basin via the same abusive labour agreements with artisanal miners, the same bad practices, the same get-rich-at-all-costs attitude of the owners. Same, same , same.

And that's how the APRA party works in Peru, folks. You often see me mention the stinking corruption of the APRA party, but it's not so often that an open-and-shut case of its disgusting modus operandi comes to light. An APRA congressman abusing workforce and environment to get rich on unregulated gold production that doesn't pay his taxes to multimillion dollar levels.

Alfredo Tomás Cenzano Sierralta (for it is he)

These are the people running Peru in 2009. No wonder people think it's investor-friendly.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.

Honduras: Freddy Cuevas, AP whore

I knew they'd spin it, but the following Disassociated Press newswire report on Zeyala's return to Honduras is one of many lamentable efforts being vomited to the English-speaking world this morning. Just consider the title and first paragraph....
Zelaya's daring return reignites Honduras crisis

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The daring return of deposed President Manuel Zelayas creates a sharp challenge to interim leaders who overthrew him — and for the upcoming election they had hoped would resolve the crisis begun with their coup (continues here) in the world of so-called journalist Freddy Cuevas of AP the Honduras crisis was all over and had been "reignited", Zelaya was "deposed" where in fact every single sovereign state in the world still recognizes him as the current President of Honduras and the people that ran the illegal coup were an "interim government" thus lending them respectability. Do I laugh or do I cry?

One day, I hope you have the chance to drink fresh milk on an estancia in the pampa region of Argentina. You'll then be able to compare it to the hormone-laden pasteurized, homogenized and plastic-package product you drink where you live.

One day, your eyes may be opened to the true taste of a banana by plucking a ripe one from a tree in Ecuador or Colombia or wherever. Until then you'll have to make do with the fruits picked green and still ripening in containers as they pass through the Panama canal.

Freddy Cuevas supplies yet another fake product to the world and its consumers again think they're getting a true taste of Latin America.

Chart of the day is....

...the US Dollar index..

....because it's the centre of everything today. The hikes in gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver, nickel...hell, even alu is up over a point this morning, it's all directly related to the dollardrop.

The above is the 15 minute candle showsing what's happening right here right now, but if we pan out and look at the hourly candle.... seems clear that 76 is the line in the sand. The USD bounced slightly North of 76 this morning with a re-test likely.

Looking further afield, thoughts on that 76 number are confirmed....
...and any breakdown would see the next resistance level at 72.

All the above should be considered by technical analysts. Personally i think it's all total bunk and a pseudoscience created by people who think they can get rich quick by following squiggly lines or become experts in a field without ever having to do serious study or hard work, but WTFDIK?

UPDATE: LOL! I knew I'd get him :-). Click through to find one of the exceptions to the rule.


President Zelaya is back in Honduras...

...and right now he's in the Brazilian Embassy (symbolic choice, Mel? You bet). He took two days to get to the capital and has the support of the international community for his move. We're sure to find out what that means later on.

There are a squillion other blogs and newswires following the story and thus I'm not going to bother, so your bestest best idea is to hightail it over to Borev and catch his livebloggerations on the whole thing, cos he gives out the good links too.

UPDATE: The Field, Al Giordano's blog, is the place to read as things unfold. Right now the coupmongers have ordered a curfew that people are ignoring and the dictators have cut electricity to the neighbourhood of the Brazil Embassy. This story is breaking fast.

Trading Post (Teutonic edition)

Trevali Resources (4TI.f) down 14.6% at €0.41. However much Henk's whores on German online bullboards try to pump this POS they fail miserably. It's the financials, stupid. Read them for a change, not the pumpjobs.

Dorato Resource (DRI.v)(DO5.f) up a penny at $0.53, another Epic Fail that German BS merchants said was TheNextBigThing™ not so long ago. Have you forgotten about that one too?

ECU Silver ( (EC1.f) down 5.1% at C$0.56. Hey boys, you still want to emit those 10m options at 58c? Well the good news is that you can do it legally now! LOL! Just three months to go before the great GATA half price giveaway begins.

Dynasty ( UNCH at $3.98, DMM got down as far as $3.79 this morning on the gold selloff, but something...something is making it swim against the tide.

Ecometals (EC.v) down 9.6% at $0.375. What part of "no permit" do you not understand?

Getting Defensive

And thus the world shivers and trembles in the face of Venezuela arms deals, with some dudette called Clinton saying:
"We have expressed concerned about the number of Venezuelan arms purchases. They outpace all other countries in South America and certainly raise questions as to whether there is going to be an arms race in the region."
Sorry? What was that? Let's see what our friend the owl says about that "outpace all other countries in South America" thing, shall we?

Yeah, thought he'd say that. Here's a chart that shows the really real numbers, not the BS taint that the USA pretends is reality.

But that's not really the whole story. Brazil is a big place and has 198m people on board (according to the CIA Factbook at least), so what we really need is some context. Here's the same grouping of countries, but this time the chart shows spend per capita on defence.
Hmmmmmm...gonna tell Hillary about Chile and Colombia? But to make it fair, defence isn't just about defending people, it's also about defending your territory. Here's how South American defence spending per square kilometre of country racks up:

And Venezuela is the problem? Yeah yeah yeah.....

Argentina and the Paris Club debt: Is it that time of year already?

New hitting the wires late last week to early this week is that Argentina has done a deal to pay back its Paris Club debt over a five year period. Details are sketchy and it's not officially announced as yet, but it sure makes for beast-feeding material among the Latam newswires.

Si why am I laughing my little ottosocks off bout all this? Well, it might be something to do with this post written by your humble correspondent on October 16th 2008 (yeah really, one year ago) saying that the then imminent Paris Club debt payment would be subject to delay after delay and would go on indefinitely. Here's the whole thing pasted below, and I see no reason why this new plan can be trusted, either.

In Argentina they have a slang verb; "bicicletear". It literally means "to bicycle" but on the it street means to put off paying someone for the longest amount of time possible, an art perfected by generations of Argentines that is now being put to good use by the Klishtina government. In fact, October 2008 could mark the start of the biggest bicycle in recorded history.

It's all about the defaulted debt, and even though I really don't like to say 'I told you so' on this can I put this? Hmmmmmm...yeah....


When the debt swap at a significant haircut was annoucned by Klishtina in New York (oh how convenient...all those tough questions that didn't need answering on her US jaunt) I was already pretty incredulous about it. Then suddenly on October 8th your vigilant Otto posted on a press conference in which the gov't said (via Interior Minister Randazzo):


"... the gov't was reconsidering the Paris Club payback, and the operation may be indefinitely delayed due to "unpredictable" nature of the financial crisis. In the words of Randazzo (translation Otto):

"At the moment it's something we are analyzing. We have made a commitment and commitment are to be fulfilled. In any case, we are negotiating with the Paris Club to determine exactly what is the debt and how it is to be paid."

If you're not aware, "negotiating" in LatAm politikspeak means "drag this sucker out as long as possible".


You thinkthe Paris Club debt and the default swap are different stories? Think again. Cut to today, and the report in Critica headlined "The Opening of the Debt Swap Has No Date (Timing)".

At today's presser, Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa was the talking head. This is one of the classic delaying tactics already showing its head; keep changing the mouthpiece, then come time later they have the "I didn't say that! Who said that? That can't be true! Hmmm, I'll have to consult with my colleague on this, it seems..." stalling tactic to fall back on. But anyway, Massa today started by saying the same thing as Randazzo, namely that Argentina would meet with its obligations on all matters of debt (ah how nice). But then he said;
  • Argentina would "start the process working for when Argentina believes it to be convenient."
  • The operation would be complex because the debt "is being held by a lot more hands" than before (he said that twice, in fact).
  • But this one is my favourite; "We're not stupid. We'll look at the situation and we're going to choose the timing that most suits the country. We have to be alert, with sights set on production, employment and industrial activity."
This has all the makings of one very large bicycle, people. Massa said the payment process would start before Christmas. Otto says 'seeing is believing'. So for those holding the defaulted bonds and thinking they're in for a quick payout, here's my translation of all the things Massa said today in just four words: DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH.

copper headline of the day

Comes from Reuters this morning:

And while we're at it, here's the gold headline of the day (and you gotta love that exclamation mark):

And thus concludes the cheap-shots-at-idiots post of the day

Chart of the day is...

..Peru's import and export figures per month, January 2008 to August 2009.

The latest imports figure came out over the weekend (exports for August not available yet) and the number was 31.4% down from August of 2008. Also, there are are two more hevy impex months (Sep and Oct 2008) to burn through before Peru gets YoY numbers that it can improve upon.

On the plus side, there is clearlt a slow, gradual increase in the monthly numbers for 2009. This is as much to do with the typical 12 month business cycle as anything else, but it must be a positive that the last four months have shown continued improvement.

The bottom line is that Peru has been through a hard landing, though you'd never believe it the way the idiots that ran them over the cliff are lauded by the idiots that encouraged them. But life goes on and the world has decided it wants copper and gold in 2009. Peru got lucky.


Elena Rodriguez

Elena (for it is she)

On the night of Wednesday September 16th, the TV journalist Elena Rodriguez was attacked by three armed men, beaten, pistol whipped and left in the streets of Quito, Ecuador. A stencilled death threat was left on the windscreen of her car that make it clear the attack was politically motivated and said she wouldn't be so lucky next time. Her injuries were not life-threatening but the pistol-whip knocked her cold and drew blood and the punches left her bruised all over and confined to bed on medical orders for 72 hours.

The story is featured in dozens of reports in Spanish language press, but as far as my Google skills carry me I cannot find a single English-language report of this cowardly attack on a journalist. I'd wager that you find it strange that the story of full-on violence against a journalist isn't making the normal shock-horror headlines, as the slightest aggression towards reporters is enough to make them close ranks, never mind a 3-on-1 whackattack like the one Elena went through.

The reason? Elena Rodriguez works for Telesur, the leftwing pro-Chávez network. Therefore she's ignored by the biased press that fills your head with one-sided crap about LatAm. On the other hand, ruffle Andres Oppenheimer's hair*, blow a kiss to Simon Romero in Cuzco or dare to mention that Moris Beracha is a wealthy man in polite company and you get the freakin' human rights police investigating the case.

Mojitos served. The end

*what's left of it

The Stiglitz Report on the measurement of economic performance and social progress

Last week we had quotes from Joseph Stiglitz as regards his new report that asks the world to move away from measuring country progress via the bludgeon of the GDP number.

This week we have the report. Yep, click right here for your English language version of the report, snappily entitled "Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress" (those econodudes make it all sound so sexy, don't they?). As for the recommendations of the report here they are, all twelve of them in title form. To understand the reasoning behind the lines, read that report. My thanks to UL for passing the report along.

Recommendation 1: When evaluating material well-being, look at income and consumption rather than production.

Recommendation 2: Emphasise the household perspective.

Recommendation 3: Consider income and consumption jointly with wealth.

Recommendation 4: Give more prominence to the distribution of income, consumption and wealth.

Recommendation 5: Broaden income measures to non-market activities.

Recommendation 6: Quality of life depends on people’s objective conditions and capabilities. Steps should be taken to improve measures of people’s health, education, personal activities and environmental conditions. In particular, substantial effort should be devoted to developing and implementing robust, reliable measures of social connections, political voice, and insecurity that can be shown to predict life satisfaction.

Recommendation 7: Quality-of-life indicators in all the dimensions covered should assess inequalities in a comprehensive way.

Recommendation 8: Surveys should be designed to assess the links between various quality-of-life domains for each person, and this information should be used when designing policies in various fields.

Recommendation 9: Statistical offices should provide the information needed to aggregate across quality-of-life dimensions, allowing the construction of different indexes.

Recommendation 10: Measures of both objective and subjective well-being provide key information about people’s quality of life. Statistical offices should incorporate questions to capture people’s life evaluations, hedonic experiences and priorities in their own survey.

Recommendation 11: Sustainability assessment requires a well-identified dashboard of indicators. The distinctive feature of the components of this dashboard should be that they are interpretable as variations of some underlying “stocks”. A monetary index of sustainability has its place in such a dashboard but, under the current state of the art, it should remain essentially focused on economic aspects of sustainability.

Recommendation 12: The environmental aspects of sustainability deserve a separate followup based on a well-chosen set of physical indicators. In particular there is a need for a clear indicator of our proximity to dangerous levels of environmental damage (such as associated with climate change or the depletion of fishing stocks).

The IKN Weekly, out now

Subscribers, IKN21 should be with you by now. In it you'll find an analysis of Riverside Resources (RRI.v), a biog of a new kid in the world of mining and what he's been up to, an overview of where Peru's mining industry is going, updates on our favoured stocks, the usual smattering of annoying typos and a bunch of stuff I can't remember now.

cocaine: the peru/bolivia route

An excellent report in Bolivia's La Prensa today that goes into great detail about the routes of narcotraficking between Peru, Bolivia and the rest of the continent. It's in Spanish and it's long but it's well worth readin. Once done you'll know a lot more about the subject.