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Made in Argentina

Diego, two seconds after putting Inter ahead this afternoon

Milito rules today. Two goals, a 2-0 win for Inter, Champion's League wrapped up, end of story. Here's footage of the first goal, a striker's classic (and fwiw the second goal, his 50th of the season, is even better as a showcase of how clinical he is).

For sure Mourinho will harvest the plaudits, but without a magnificent goalscorer no manager wins. And you guys think the Albiceleste will only be about Messi in South Africa? Think again.

Colombia's President Election: Final surveys and opinion polls before the vote

Today May 22nd marks the end of publication of any opinion poll or survey into next week's presidential election vote, so naturally the main opinion pollsters were keen to get out their final surveys before the blackout deadline. Here are the results of the four big pollsters in Colombia:

The first round has the two frontrunners Santos and Mockus looking like this:
The four polling groups are Gallup Colombia (a fair reputation), CNC (there's a suspicion of Uribe bias in this company's numbers, but let's see how their numbers compare to reality first), University of Medellín (a company that tends to mix in more data from rural areas than others) and Datexco (also a fair reputation).

The main takeaway from these numbers is that, as we and everyone else has predicted for weeks, it's very unlikely that any single candidate gets 50% +1 vote in round one. This means we're going to see a runoff between Santos and Mockus (bar some very big upset) and so here's what voter intention looks like in round two:

It's gonna be close, people. So now we have a nice comparative of the pollster companies, it only remains to see how the vote turns out and then we can gauge their accuracy. The data for the charts was collected from this report.

A room with a view (part 4)

This week's room with a view comes from reader 'JS', showing us the view from the swimming pool deck of his house at Los Pulpos, near Lima, Peru.

There are worse scapes in the world to wake up to, gotta be said.


The Friday OT: Iggy Pop; Lust for Life (Trainspotting version)

The greatest of books turned in a great movie, a great song, a great combo. Choose life. Choose Iggy.

Here's the opening rant from the book/film. I adore.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f___ng big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of f___ng fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f___ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing you last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f___ed-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
And Renton at the end of the movie wraps it all up:
So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers, all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person, but that's going to change, I'm going to change. This is the last of this sort of thing. I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm going to be just like you: the job, the family, the f___ing big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three-piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing the gutters, getting by, looking ahead, to the day you die.

Trading Post (rallymonkey edition)

Green on screen. A pleasant change.

Bellhaven (BHV.v) up 14.0% at $0.245 on good volumes. The news keeps getting churned out of this Panama/Colombia play on a structural/managerial level. It remains to see if it has a dog that'll hunt in the projects it holds and that'll get resolved in the weeks to come.

U.S. Silver (USA.v) down a penny at $0.19. Subscribers know what my idea of an entry price is on this stock.

Medoro Resources (MRS.v) down 4.8% at $0.60. Expect Franky G to send his trained monkey out to rally his flock on this one again soon. That and the requisit Can of Corn pump-o are de rigueur.

Antares Minerals (ANM.v) up 3.2% at $2.23 and bringing a little relief to this author's port. (the only stock mentioned today that this author currently holds) ANM has reacted well to the copper rebound, as have a few others (,, etc). However.....

...Apoquindo (AQM.v) down 10% at $0.72 is having a rougher time of it today (though the bid is now stuck at 74). Yes Virginia, size does matter.

Chariot Resources ( Last minute nerves?

On May 31th, just ten days from now, the Special Meeting of Chariot Resources ( shareholders takes place to approve the sale of the company to China Sci-Tech. The price of the sale is $0.67 per share and under normal circumstances of a buyout, the arbitrage between the open market price of the company to be taken over and the sale price closes as the big day approaches. Indeed, in recent weeks stock has traded at a solid 65c, with 66c shown on occasion, too.

So why, all of a sudden, is CHD trading weak?

The current 63c provides a decent 6.35% arbitrage upside (pre-commish, of course) to the nominal 67c sale price to China Sci-Tech. It's kinda strange to see it go weak this late in the day, isn't it? What's that old one about brides and altars they use in the bizworld again.....?

The real, eyewitness effects of an oil spill

Further to yesterday's post on the BP Deepwater Horizon post and the cover-up in process, a link was sent to me by somebody with close ties to the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The place to go is the link that's covered by the following blurb:

Reliving the tragedy of the Exxon Valdez
For those living on Kodiak Island, Alaska, watching the news these days brings back nightmares of 21 years ago, when the massive Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit rock, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into the sea. Fisherman Dave Kubiak joins us from Kodiak Island to talk about how the Exxon Valdez spill affected his life and his community.

You then click through and listen to 9 minutes and thirty seconds of real experience in these things. It's genuine, simple and moving to listen to an honest man who went through the experience of the oil and the subsequent company-led excuses and lies....another example of plus ça change. Mustlisten material and thanks due to A. Reader for sending it in. Here's the link again, to make sure you go listen.

Doe Run Peru laughs in the face of the government of Peru

The latest chapter of a long running disaster.

Any self-respecting country
would have long expropiated and nationalized Doe Run Peru (DRP), kicked out the liars, thieves and environmental masters of disaster headed up by US Billionaire Ira Rennert and got the plant cleaned up, opened again and running to world safety standards. But not Peru. The lilly-livered US kowtow merchants of the Twobreakfasts government have just let themselves be pushed around with threats of international court actions and watched as DRP have laughed in the faces of "final demands" that are swiftly followed by "final final demands" then "honestly, this is the real final demand and we're not joking" etc etc ad infinitum that comes from the hand-tied mining ministry.

Another chapter happened this week, when the shamelessness of DRP showed through as the company demanded four concessions from the government, after which it would consider opening its smelting complex again. Those included yet another delay to the über-necessary enviro clean up plan (natch), but one of the demands was even better than that. We'll hand over to the (translated) words of mining and energy minister Pedro Sanchez, found in the official MEM press release:

"What the company is looking for with this request is that the main shareholder and companies related are protected against any judicial demand concerning envionmental responsibility, this because in the United States it is facing several lawsuits claiming damage of children's health in La Oroya due to levels of lead in their blood.

"In other words, it is asking that the government of Peru protects it against any legal action, because it is also asking that these lawsuits in US courts are passed to Peru (courts)."

According to the Energy Ministry press release, debate on just this single point took up nearly all the of two hours programmed for the meeting between DRP and the government.

Otto sez that with presidential elections and a changing of the guard coming up in just a year's time, DRP is now playing with fire. The expropriation of DRP at La Oroya could easily become an election issue and one that's backed by multiple candidates and not just the most reactionary ofthe bunch. This author for one would love watching Ira get a taste of the medicine he so richly deserves, FTA with the US or not.

Otto stockpick smackdown watch

Fortuna Silver ( opens at $1.93 this morning.

A fundamental fail.

UPDATE: Thanks for the mails, people, but it doesn't change the fact that I called $2 as the line in the sand and said it wouldn't drop below. It did drop below. I fail, period.

Chart of the day is...

...copper, hourly candles.

Gotta start thinking at some point that $3/lb is a key price here....


A key mining chart at an important support

We've featured Peru's IGBVL "General" index on several occasions both here and in the subscriber Weekly because of the heavy weighting it holds towards mining and mining service companies. Here's what it looks like today:

The optimistic amongst you can look at right now as a place to find a rebound. The pessimists will see real pain in the pipeline as the IGBVL breaks down through 14,000 and drops real lows. Take yer pick, chartlovers.

Trading Post (the search for solace edition)

Vena Resources ( down 3.6% at $0.265 and again goes 'splat!' on low volumes as a single small seller bails at any silly price. The risk comes with the reward, and one of the main risks is holding illiquid stoks when the tide goes out. We aim for fundamental value over time and this stock has it in spades, no matter the recent pullback. Holding through (while grimacing).

Blue Sky Uranium (BSK.v) up 3.8% at $0.415 and one of the few spots of green on the screen today. A base price reached here? Only time will tell.

Antares Minerals (ANM.v) down 10.3% at $2.10 and seriously, this one is an ouch. Seems like just days ago it was trading over $3. The solace found here is that while we're still showing a healthy profit, the extra special timing of the Casey Dumbasses have their call extremely underwater. Any port in a storm.

Nadagold (NG) down 5.1% at U$6.86. This will only get funnier as the Ponzi structure holding up this joke is further revealed.

Petaquilla Minerals ( down 9.3% at $0.39. Well, this is just outright funny. Here's how the extra special influence of head honcho and convicted narcotrafficker Richard Fifer works around this stock:

Really, the dude should have stuck to drugrunning.

BP Deepwater Horizon: Important

A post at The Oil Drum and linked here is, quite literally, explosive stuff. As the poster notes;

"Anyone that is still a BP apologist after these damning pieces of evidence have been brought forth is not worthy to hold a job in this industry & should seek employment at a bologna sandwich factory, because you have deceived yourself beyond the point of being helped. BP executives, engineers, drilling supervisors on site & in their chain of command that had any thing to do with anyone of these actions should be brought up on charges of negligent homicide & multiple counts of negligent destruction to private, state, & federal property & have to answer for these indefensible decisions."

The people at The Oil Drum aren't a bunch of mouthy knownothings; au contraire, the posters and commenters there are well-known in the industry as highly experienced and knowledgeable professionals, as witnessed by the story broke by Reuters this morning that used the information in the post and string to start its investigation. You need to read this.

UPDATE: Why is this story enormous? Check out this link that runs on from the original above. It seems that Schlumberger (SLB) were acutely aware of the clear and present dangers at Deepwater Horizon, told BP all about it and BP ignored the advice given to them by the world's top oil services company. Here's an extensive excerpt from the post that explains what happens when SLB people went to visit the rig, literally hours before the explosion:

"BP contracted Schlumberger (SLB) to run the Cement Bond Log (CBL) test that was the final test on the plug that was skipped. The people testifying have been very coy about mentioning this, and you’ll see why.

SLB is an extremely highly regarded (and incredibly expensive) service company. They place a high standard on safety and train their workers to shut down unsafe operations.

SLB gets out to the Deepwater Horizon to run the CBL, and they find the well still kicking heavily, which it should not be that late in the operation. SLB orders the “company man” (BP’s man on the scene that runs the operation) to dump kill fluid down the well and shut-in the well. The company man refuses. SLB in the very next sentence asks for a helo to take all SLB personel back to shore. The company man says there are no more helo’s scheduled for the rest of the week (translation: you’re here to do a job, now do it). SLB gets on the horn to shore, calls SLB’s corporate HQ, and gets a helo flown out there at SLB’s expense and takes all SLB personel to shore.

6 hours later, the platform explodes."

Reuters has now picked up on this story and run with it too, bringing real journalistic gravitas to the breaking news here. Here's a part of the Reuters note:

Schlumberger says its crew left Horizon day of fire

Wed May 19, 2010 8:56pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N), the world's largest oilfield services company, said on Wednesday it had a crew on the Deepwater Horizon that departed only hours before the explosion and fire that engulfed the rig.

The company, which had not previously revealed its work on the Horizon, said in an emailed statement that continues here

Socratic wisdom of the day

A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed

After the post yesterday that quoted Jeremy Grantham, I received a mail from a regular reader who is let's just say "an industry professional", as we're not into blowing covers round here. Here's the whole mail re-printed; well worth sharing this chunk of wisdom on a day such as today:

Otto, I liked your note on Grantham, which reminds me of a quote I keep from Socrates on fiat money:

- I note that your bronze coin has an inscription that ensures your king will pay its face value, says Socrates.

- That is correct, answers the merchant.

- And with what will he pay? asks Socrates.

- He is the King, for God’s sake! And besides you are a wise man, responds the phoenician.

- Well then, I shall buy those good quality papyrus you bring from Byblos, I need them for my writings. Can I pay you with your bronze coin?

- No your lordship, with gold, I am also a wise man, said the merchant.

Just goes to show that plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Peru's poverty miracle

It's a miracle of statistical bullshit, people.

This week, the liars at Peru's INEI official stats office announced to the dropjaw astonishment of every sentient being following these things that Peru's poverty level dropped by 1.4% in 2009 to stand at 34.8% of the population. Now these INEI people have been shown over time to be pretty barefaced and shameless in the way they manipulate statistics, but this one really takes the biscuit and is worse than anything that even Argentina's INDEC could have cooked up.

Put in bullet points, we are supposed to swallow without thinking that 290,000 people rose above the poverty line in one year when in that same year:

  • Nominal GDP dropped like a stone from 9% to 1%, the biggest economic deceleration in the Americas and with that still highly debatable 1% growth propped up only by metals export prices that affected a minimum of people directly.
  • GDP per capita dropped by 0.3%. Seriously, the country's economy dropped by 0.3% per head, but the INEI wants us to believe 1.4% less poor out there? Beginning to smell the male bovine manure?
  • Foreign Direct Investment in Peru dropped by 30% in 2009, showing inflows dried up (as you'd expect due to the 2008/2009 crisis).
  • Exports dropped by 14%, as even though all important metals prices couldn't hide the economic slack in other sectors (Peru's labour intensive textile sector was particularly hard hit).

And all this 1.4% poverty drop comes from a Stats office that refuses to publish its methodology in a transparent way, thus denying any third party the chance of checking its results.

The reaction
By way of reaction, local economics experts had their own comments to make. Respected expert on Peruvian socioeconomic affairs Armando Mendoza said, "If we take as our starting point the consensus amongst economists that to reduce the poverty levels a growth rate of 4% must be achieved, it strange to determine how they end up with this result. The INEO should have previously presented the methodology used." Meanwhile, ex-head of the INEI and fervent Twobreakfasts critic Farid Matuk, a man who knows the office backwards and has repeatedly accused the current government of massaging its macro figures, said, "The reference pool of the population between 1997 to 2007 included 20% of the poor that were suddenly exluded in an arbitrary manner in 2008, and they have modified the pool once again in 2009. That arbitrary change in 2008 facilitated the unreal reduction in poverty in that year." Put into real English, the INEI has been making shit up for years.

Matuk then went on to point out the irony of a country that on the one hand, uses new and secret changes to its methodology to bring down its poverty level in monetary terms from 44% to under 35% in just four years, but meanwhile another statistical set published by the same INEI office that has kept its original method and database is that of alimentary poverty (quite literally the number of people that don't get enough calories to eat according to world-recognized standards) has seen a rise from 30% to 32% in the same period of time. Hey, at this rate it won't be long before there are people who are officially not poor but officially hungry.

The INEI is run by liars and scoundrels, but this won't stop the latest batch of BS from passing out of the Goebbelesque offices of government propaganda and into the world of the accepted. You can bet your hide that all sorts of international bodies will be citing this 34.8% rubbish as part of their elogy-laden speeches and papers about Peru. It's nonsense and the Twobreakfasts government's contempt for the wellbeing of its own people has never been writ more large this this week.

Viva investment grade. Viva, viva, viva.

Chart of the day is.....

.......lead (Pb) spot price, yearly chart.

With Pb at $0.775 this morning, it's had to get back to where it once belonged in May and June 2009. And that forced prose gives me a chance to double up on yesterday's video with this little gem, their last ever live performance together (don't worry, this isn't going to become a regular feature).


J P Morgan does a World Cup Quant

My thanks to reader 'DC' for the headsup on this link where JP Morgan has applied a Quantative Analysis to the 2010 World Cup (that starts in less than a month, folks). Go check it out for yourself, or here's the thing embedded.

JP Morgan - Quantitative Guide to World Cup 2010

Baja Mining (; A cute piece of late-filed insider selling from Robert Mouat

We'd already noted some significant inside selling over at Baja Mining ( about a month ago when insiders Kendra Low, Ross Glanvilleand Graham Thody were all seen dumping at the same moment, raising a whiff of a suspicion of a hint of a smell around the BAJ shop. But none of these compares to ex-CFO of BAJ and Nassau Bahamas resident, Robert Mouat:

Baja Mining Corp. (BAJ)

As of May 18th, 2010
Filing Date Transaction Date Insider Name Ownership Type Securities Nature of transaction # or value acquired or disposed of Unit Price
May 18/10 May 06/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -35,000 $0.780
May 18/10 May 04/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.800
May 18/10 Apr 29/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -35,000 $0.840
May 18/10 Apr 27/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.860
May 18/10 Apr 22/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -35,000 $0.870
May 18/10 Apr 20/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.800
May 18/10 Apr 15/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -35,000 $0.800
May 18/10 Apr 14/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.810
May 18/10 Apr 08/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -35,000 $0.800
May 18/10 Apr 06/10 Mouat, Robert Lawrence Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Disposition in the public market -40,000 $0.810

And there are plenty more line items not shown on Cad Insider, as well. In fact, not only has Mouat been disposing of large lumps of stock at 20%+ prices than today but he's also only just gotten round to filing dozens of the way-late filed that date as far back as January, FerCryinOutLoud! In total, the dude quietly and rulebreakingly got rid of 555,000 shares of BAJ and finally bothered to tell the world yesterday. Just shows you what executives think of their shareholders, dunnit?

Peru's pension funds return on investment

Let's see how the 4.5m or so Peruvians who contribute to private pension funds (known as "AFP") have been getting on.

This chart shows the YoY investment return since January 2005. We see the strong returns into 2008 and then the big fat defaltionary drop. Since then the rebound. It is of course important to know at what point on the cycle an individual pension holder joined the bandwagon as about a million people have been added to the list since 2005, but someone who added $1000 on January 1st 2005 would have seen a pre-commish profit of 74.4% in the entire period, which isn't bad going at all. But as the commish charged by the funds is around 3.5% per annum, it also means the managers have become very big, very fat and very rich. Hey, nobody said capitalism was fair, did they?

Jeremy Grantham on gold

Jeremy is watching you

Prompted by Can of Corn's Morning Coffee today, your author went searching for recent market comments made by Jeremy Grantham, head honcho of GMO in Boston and the insto investor's insto investor. And sure enough, on Monday at the big CFA conference he said this about gold:
"I hate gold. It does not pay a dividend, it has no value, and you can’t work out what it should or shouldn’t be worth. It is the last refuge of the desperate. I was so sick of it going up that I thought I’d kill it. I bought some last Friday."

I liked that a lot. He also had plenty more to say about potential investments, as this link will detail. Worth a read to pick the brains of one of the market's smartest people.

Ernesto is still out there batting

hi ernie!

Mining's NewBestMexicanFriend, Ernesto Echavarria, is still out there batting hard it seems. He's had mixed results so far, having been royally creamed by the scammers at ATW Gold (ATW.v) and having no luck with Rye Patch Gold (RPM.v) either, but on the other hand hitting a good win so far in Copper Fox (CUU.v) and also making decent coin on Pediment (

So today we note that Ernesto is upping his stake in Animas Resources (ANI.v), buying in for the second time (at least) into this explorer doing Mexico and taking up over half the latest 35c placement: Here's the paste from the page:

BULLETIN TYPE: Private Placement-Non-Brokered
BULLETIN DATE: May 18, 2010
TSX Venture Tier 2 Company

TSX Venture Exchange has accepted for filing documentation with respect to
a Non-Brokered Private Placement announced April 7, 2010:

Number of Shares: 4,000,000 shares

Purchase Price: $0.35 per share

Warrants: 2,000,000 share purchase warrants to purchase

Warrant Exercise Price: $0.55 for a one year period for an 18-month

Number of Placees: 22 placees

Insider/Pro Group Participation:

Insider equals Y/
Name ProGroup equals P/ No. of Shares

Gary Bogdanovich P 100,000
Ernesto Echavarria Y 2,294,500
Brenda Howard P 100,000
Pacific Opportunity
Capital Ltd. (Mark T.
Brown & Family) Y 300,000

Pursuant to Corporate Finance Policy 4.1, Section 1.11(d), the Company
must issue a news release announcing the closing of the private placement and
setting out the expiry dates of the hold period(s). The Company must also
issue a news release if the private placement does not close promptly. Note
that in certain circumstances the Exchange may later extend the expiry date of
the warrants, if they are less than the maximum permitted term.

ANI is a company that this humble author has always watched from the sidelines, as the company personnel have a good reputation for honesty and straight-shooting while the projects themselves haven't really lived up to the billing so far. Anyway, Otto sez that Señor Echavarria is in better company here than the ex-Can of Corn scumballs that screwed him in Australia. DYODD.

Chart of the day is...

...crude oil futures, weekly candle.

I'm still trying to work out whether I should be as concerned as Ecuador's FinMin about this downmove. On balance it's not that worrying (and in a longer term points to better profits for PM producers).

Meanwhile Dr. Copper revisits "the twos". So much for my daytripper theory (and mark up one point to the Garydude (UPDATE, who rubs it in with style :-)) but it does give me the excuse to embed one of the best opening riffs in rock music.


Import control news from the unserious country

Yes, it exists. Be very afraid

Clarin today has a report on how Argentine Commerce Secretary and Kirchner stalwart Guillermo Moreno has been clamping down on imported goods since April in order to defend national production against foreign goods making their way in (and seriously pissing off foreign countries, some of whom are making their views clear to Klishtina in Spain this week). The report talks about the green and red highlighter pens used by Moreno to decide whether this-or-that product is allowed into the country, how companies as big as Kraft have had to beg for up to a fortnight to get consignments of chocolates into the country and how products such as tinned peaches, olives, cheeses and all types of pastas are given an automatic red light.

However, one specific import doesn't have a problem. Scotch whisky get in because according to Moreno (quoted anecdotally), "Whisky can come in, but only because (the whiskies) produced here are disgusting."

For what it's worth, personal experience says he's right about the Argentine whiskies. This still makes Moreno a dumbass, but at least he's a dumbass with a palate.

H/t los tres chiflados

Trading Post (under pressure edition)

Blue Sky Uranium (BSK.v) down 32.8% at $0.43 on the drill results news this morning. Subscribers received a Flash update on this stock around 9am this morning. Just to let them guys know, here we are just past midday and I've acted as stated.

Copper Mountain ( up 7.3% at $2.37 on decent volumes as copper holds that $3 line. has turned into quite the little leading indicator for Cu juniors least in my personal opinion. I don't own it but I do follow it.

Rochester Resources (RCT.v) down a penny at 15c on low volumes. I just thought I'd mention this one to prove to one person out there that I really have been looking at today :-). No position here, either.

Cardero Resources (CDY) down 4.1% at U$1.16. This one has cried wolf too many times to be taken seriously. From the people that brought you Dorato Resources, folks :-).

A postcard from Dr. Copper

click to enlarge

UPDATE: Received from regular reader 'MP':

Dear Dr. Copper,

I'm glad you had a pleasant day trip and, more importantly, that you are now back safely. May I suggest that in the future, given your age, sky jumping is not recommended as a method of transportation.


Concerned Long Investor
UPDATE 2: Here's one from mastercharter Gary BiiWii:

Dear Dr. Copper:

I hope you enjoyed your little 'trip'. If so, you will be pleased to know that your daily chart is not looking good.

In the event you find your vital signs flat-lining sometime soon dear doctor, do not panic; your colleagues over in the financial world will seek to resuscitate you pronto.

You die, they die. They will do what it takes to pull you through. Meanwhile, enjoy the trip to 2.40


Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob) reported last night. It was funny. But this time, instead of keeping the joke private, let's have a look at just a few of the numbers printed by this scam so far and give my constant ranting some factual evidence. By the way, what follows (and the recent set of charts on that other flea-ridden dog are a quick selection of the type of analysis we typically run over at The IKN Weekly on stocks, except that:
1) The analyses are far more complete in The IKN Weekly
2) We tend to look at stocks that are possible investments and not the joke end of the mining sector

So with the preamble out the way, here are a few numbers. Assets look like this:
In other words, this company pretends it has a book of fixed assets worth money (a joke in itself, as they'll never be exploited) but has nothing in the way of true worth in cash, cash equivalents etc.

Debt is already rising:
I thought about adding in the estimates for 2q10 now that the $7m convertible is signed and the Seabridge deal is about to close (apparently on May 20th, but there's a certain smell about that too). But if I did the $11m or so estimated debt would probably scare the bejeesus out of you, so let's just keep to the reported numbers.

Here's working capital:

These people are running a big game of Stone Soup, no more and no less. They've never had money to develop their already scammy projects and are bound to dilute soon and by a lot in order to raise a bit of cash to so their thing. According to the quarterly they need about $3.5m to get through the year. This implies that, along with this working cap deficit, they'll be trying to raise at least $5m via share sales very soon (the qtrly rules out a debt deal and makes it clear dilution is on the way) and knowing these BSsers for what they are, they'll try to raise more.

This brings us neatly to the shares out evolution.
We're already up to 78.95m at end 1q10, that number is already up to over 86m today thanks to payments on the debt deals and you can bet your sweet bippy it's going higher once the latest round of dilution is over. But even at the 1q10 shares number, this values CMIN at over $57m, a joke in itself. If you think that a company with $68,000 in cash, a silly pick-a-number made-up fixed assets value of $20m a constant working capital deficit and rising debt is worth 2.5X BV, then I'll leave our friend the owl to comment on your analytical prowess:

Otto's sez: Avoid OTC mining stocks, but if one really does appeal to you and you then invest in it without looking at its regulatory filings you deserve to lose your money through sheer stupidity. DYODD, dude.

the euro and the dollar, charting the recent action

Not usual IKN fare, but it gets a space today by way of a request.

This visual shows the bounce when the Big Fat Greek Bailout was announced, the subsequent selloff vs the greenback and then the recent climb. The rebound is modest so far, but according to this 90 min candle chart it does seem to have legs.

Chart of the day is..., dailies.

I know it might be difficult to believe, but there will be people worried sick about this $30 drop in gold.


News roundup (we rootle the dusty corners of old wardrobes where others fear to rootle)

The Mex Files gives us background on Mexico's big headline right now, the apparent kidnapping of PAN party bigwig Diego Fernández de Cevallos. You get to find out the shadiness behind the consternation chez RG, which is always good.

Marcelo Ballve eats tongue. It's a good call and adds flavour (geddit?) to his current assignment. Good post.

At Structurally Maladjusted, Gringo Juan takes a good look at the latest UN Human Opportunities Index report. If you don't know what that is, in the words of the scribe "'s a development-minded nerd's wet dream. The HOI is essentially a measure of access to basic services, including education, housing, water and electricity, taking into account how equitably or fairly these are distributed...". Wonk that I am, I loved this post; full of words and numbers and insight. Go read.

El Duderino resurfaces! which is good news for all those wanting real news from Bolivia. Abiding gives us an inside track on the music scene there, which is good.

ECU Silver ( ScamWatch

Oftentimes, it's not what a company does that marks it out as a scamjob but what it doesn't do. Take for example ECU Silver (, the longtime scam that's pumped by the GATA mob and Mexico "honestly we'll all be rich soon" Mike to dumb sheep that are regularly shorn by their meisters.

On Friday evening released its quarterly results that, as we saw Saturday, were the usual financial trainwreck we've learned to giggle and snort at. But instead of doing the common decent thing and announcing to the world that the 1q10 financials were published (what any normal, unashamed company would do) it ran a bullshit news release about some cherrypicked assay result on one of its awfully skinny underground veins. Jeesh, what bare-faced cheek this company has! It treats its shareholders like crap, refuses to be open and honest with them, skins them blind with high costs, salaries, stock options and management fees but never manages to return a profit. Here's the Saturday post pasted out again for fun:

ECU Silver ( Another classic quarter from the GATA-pumped scamsters
Let's just do the charts and be done.

Here's the assets breakdown.

Debt next, and look at the current column moving up as those payment deadlines start coming closer.

Working capital a cool negative $9.2m!!!

Shares outstanding balloon again, now at 307.3m (this doesn't even count the near 51m warrants priced avg 92c and then the 15m or so options)

And yes....of course...for all the fanfare and lah lah about better production numbers we have to suffer from these jokers non-stop, it's yet another net loss, this time $1.852m
And let's note that it would have been worse but for the $802k forex gain booked by the company. But the thing is with net losses at is that it never stops the scumbags running the show from doling out more stock based compensations to themselves. This quarter saw another $266,000 sent to the ECU great and good via that channel. Oh, and then there are the forward sales on as-yet undelivered metal. These guys are so hand-to-mouth it's cringeworthy and the countdown to next dilutive financing is now reaching its climax.

Panama and Canada (from IKN54)

IKN54 out yesterday had 12,170 words (and some of them were correctly spelled, too). Here as a sample are 290 of them that talked about last week's Free Trade Agreement signed between Panama and Canada and the possible trade that miners will be doing there soon.

Panama’s Free Trade Agreement with Canada

Last week a ceremony that went largely unnoticed by the wider business community took place when host nation Canada and the visiting Panamanian delegation signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to open up business channels between the two nations (10). The FTA is not yet active law, as it requires approval by the parliaments of both countries before it is enacted. But assuming this happens, tax and levies on trade between Canada and Panama will be reduced by 90% in most cases, including that of mining and mine equipment. After the signing ceremony at a meeting put on by the Canadian business community, Panama’s Minister of Commerce said (translated quote) that the arrival “...of Canadian investment in Panama will grow in an explosive manner” because “....(Panama) has also decided to develop a serious mining policy and Canada is the world’s miner.” He went on to say, “I believe that Canada will also benefit from the enormous amount of public sector investment we have, and with this FTA will have investment advantages. We are talking about $13.6Bn without taking into account the canal expansion program.”

The ministers present said that they expected their respective parliaments to ratify the FTA before the end of the year. Members of the Canadian delegation also noted that in difference to the FTA negotiated between Canada and Colombia that hasn’t managed to be ratified in Canada’s parliament due to human rights issues in Colombia, Panama has a relatively clean record and this will not be an issue to hold up passage. So yet again, the world business community surprises us by noting that unlawfully killing people can in fact cause problems to national governments..there’s hope left in capitalism after all :-).

Brazil: Dilma leads

For the first time since campaigning began for this (end of) year's Presidential election in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, the candidate from Lula's PT party, sees herself in the lead.

The poll out this weekend compiled by Brazilian pollster Vox Populi sees her at 38% with main rival José Serra on 35% and then Marina Silva of the Green Party on 10%.

Chart of the day is...

....copper, monthly candles.

Copper bounced off the $3 line in Asian trading while this slice of the world was sleeping last night. Now we'll find out just how deflacionista New York is feeling. All good clean fun.


The IKN Weekly, out now


IKN54 has just been sent to subscribers. Inside there's a NOBS fundamental analysis report on U.S. Silver (USA.v), there's stuff on companies we already cover, there's the usual mix bunch on political events in LatAm as regards mining, there's an update type thingy on Dynasty Metals ( and there are other stocks mentioned too of course.

No more posts today.

Twelve minutes of Taleb

This is very good.

You're very likely to learn things here, too.