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Here's a link to the most bizarre thing I've ever seen on the interwebnetpipes. If you want to know more about the guy and the story behind this large dose of Kafka, here's the necessary wiki page.

one in, three to go

Luis Suarez scored both today and the 2nd was a pearl

Congrats to Uruguay for making the last eight. We know that at least one other South American team will join them (as Chile plays Brazil Monday that's one guaranteed spot for the continent), so let's see if Argentina (vs Mexico tomorrow) and Paraguay (vs Japan Tuesday) can fill other spaces.

UPDATE: Downtown Montevideo this afternoon. You kind of get the feeling that it mattered to the Charrúas, dontcha?

Child poverty in Latin America

If you haven't read Structurally Maladjusted's excellent post on childhood poverty in Latin America, then do so. The argument is solid, the charts are easy on the eye and wholly clarifiying, the statistical database is verifiable and of the best quality.

The link is right here. It's an excellent job of work and what the interwebnetpipes are all about, so go read.

A room with a view (part 9)

This week's shot comes from Shanghai, China and reader 'BR'.

Here's the note that came with the photo:
"(This is) the chill out area outside my building. Not exactly a room with a view, but thought this would intrigue you. India's not the only place with smoking babies! Look at the smile on this face."


The Friday OT: Alabama 3; Mao Tse Tung Says

One of the best live performances ever witnessed by a camera and then stuck on yootoob.

This is mindblowingly good, really. Who else could combine Chairman Mao, the reverend Jim Jones, acid house, Country&Western, a freaked out Bodhran player and the charisma to send a crowd totally apeshit? MUST. SEE. VIDEO.

Daaarling thanks and air-kisses to 10%.

In Gold We Trust

Gold Porn!

Earlier this week A. Person kindly sent over a 71 page report published by The Ernst Group (bigboy money house in Austria) in June 2010 called "In Gold We Trust". To give you an idea of the yummy goldbug content on offer, here are the bullet points from the front page:

  • Gold outsparkling other assets for the 9th consecutive year
  • The bark is repaired, but the wood stays rotten
  • Soft metal, hard money: the REMONETISATION has started
  • Why gold is no bubble
  • The creation of money from the perspective of the Austrian School of Economics
  • Risk/return profile of gold investments remains very favorable
  • Gold mining shares on attractive levels
  • Central banks have adjusted their attitude towards gold
  • Next phase of the bull market: Parabolic phase ahead?
  • Next target price at USD 1,600
  • At the end of the parabolic trend phase we expect at least USD 2,300/ounce

Yes indeed, this is serious gold love-in material and, snark aside, it really does do a good job in putting forward the gold bull rationale with decent arguments and statistical structure. You too can download your 1.67Mb copy by clicking this link right here. Goldbugs will lap up every word, but the more normally-adjusted will also benefit greatly from reading this report too. Enjoy.

Chile versus Spain

Apart from a few snarkybits and quick references, this humble corner of cyberspace hasn't been too heavy on The World Cup so far. This has been deliberate, as there are a squillion different places to go if you want to be bored by some dumbass pontificating on the importance of it all.

But today we make an exception to preview a match coming up in five hours and forty-five minutes from now. Spain meet Chile in the last set of group matches and the basic story, assuming Switzerland beat Honduras....not a dead cert but let's just assume, is that Spain needs to win to go through at the expense of Chile, while Chile needs a win or a draw to send Spain home (one of the pre-tournament favourites). Both sides play attractive, quick, attacking football and won friends and plaudits in their qualifying games. Spain are the current European champions and really have a wonderful crop of players right now. Meanwhile, Chile have improved in leaps and bounds under the management of Marcelo Bielsa, who is for many people the best manager out there today.

Bottom line: The match today has the makings of an all-time classic. Now for sure footy fans will know very well that games rarely live up to this kind of billing....but all the gotta watch this one because it might, just might be as good as that. And when it's played at its maximum expression there's no more beautiful game in the world than Association Football.

Update: It wasn't a classic, but at least Chile get through thanks to Honduras. It was also the first time this tournament that a South American team lost a match. So Portugal vs Spain and Brazil vs Chile in the last 16 round. This World Cup is now hotting up.

Chart of the day is..., daily candle.

Seriously, what do you look for in a bullish chart? You might be averse to gold, you may love the stuff, it may even leave you cold....but jeesh, even a charting dumbass such as myself can strip out the emotional factors, look at that above and say "100% total no brainer".

That's yer last warnin', laddies and lassies.


Junior Mining Corporate Re-Naming Pronunciation Question of the Day

This humble scribe hears that the merger of Linear Gold ( and Apollo Gold ( is now voted through and the new company is with us. Here's the NR:
Press Release Source: Apollo Gold Corporation On Thursday June 24, 2010, 6:51 pm EDT

DENVER & HALIFAX, Nova Scotia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apollo Gold Corporation (TSX: APG - News) (NYSE Amex: AGT) (“Apollo”) and Linear Gold Corp. (TSX: LRR - News) (“Linear”) report that their shareholders overwhelmingly approved the business combination (“the Merger”) of the two companies to form Brigus Gold Corp. (“Brigus Gold”) at their respective meetings of shareholders earlier today continues here

So, it only remains to be seen how this new name "Brigus" is pronounced. Does it
a) rhyme with "Bribe Us"? (and why that little phrase sprung to mind is totally beyond me)

b) rhyme with "Biggus"? (as in the famous Monty Python scene)

Inquiring minds, etc.....

Friday AM: This from reader 'MP':

I believe it is pronounced /br-gəs/ ; as in bogus...

Trading Post (Arrivederci edition)

Capella Resources (KPS.v) down 7.1% at $0.13. I note today that this was actually picked out by The Can of Corn for its 2010 watchlist at the beginning of the year. Now 70% down from Jan 1st, it clearly would have paid The Dumbass Zeds to have done a bit more DD on the stock and to have found out just how scammy it really is. IKN knew.

Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob) down 5.8% at $0.73 and word getting out about the sneaky backdoor financing, it seems. This stock is worth much less.

Great Panther Silver ( down 2.8% at $0.80. So how's that breakout going, greenhorns? IKN's best advice for those who still think this stock is the world's next shiny happy tenbagger is:

Learn how to read a freakin' balance sheet one time, willyaz?

Seriously folks. there are so many self-proclaimed junior mining experts out there who clearly have absolutely no understanding whatesoever about the basics of financial reporting, it's scary. The same people that insisted an über-dog-with-fleas like ECU Silver ( was a company on a strong financial footing in early 2009 now swear blind that GPR is some sort of financial example for us all, when anyone who actually knows what to look for can see the direct opposite is true. We know that Bill Murphy is a shamefaced bullshitter, but want we want to know know is whether Mexico Mike is ever going to apologize to the poor saps that he's been leading up the garden path all this time.

A Death in Sion

What happens when oil companies move into the Amazon jungle.

The above video is not recommended viewing for any gringo in denial.

Seventy-five years ago today

El Zorzal Criollo died on the 24th June 1935 in a plane collision at Medellín airport, Colombia.

¡Gardel Presente!

Good news for BP investors

BP (BP) longs might have seen their stock price cut in half in 2010, but it could have been worse: They could have been long Gammon Gold (GRS) ( instead.

After all, they might look the same but at least the BP longs picked up that 82c quarterly dividend in Feb. C'mon guys, join in the chorus!

Coca production: go read Hemispheric Brief

Here's how today's daily digest at Hemispheric Brief starts:

The annual reports on coca cultivation and cocaine production from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are atop the agenda this morning. Just the Facts has a great breakdown on all the new data, writing that the headline of this year’s reports is “Peru's significant increase and Colombia's decrease in coca cultivation in 2009.” In fact, Peru is on its way to becoming the world’s top producer of coca (retaking that distinction from Colombia) according to the UNODC – a charge Peruvian President Alan García vehemently rejected Wednesday. [García did, however, maintain that his country has been the victim of “the Plan Colombia effect” – a reference to the idea that a decline in coca production in neighboring Colombia has done little more than push the crop across the border.]

JFS does a neat job of summing up the issues and provides all the links you want, too. For all your coca leaf requirements, this humble corner of cyberspace thoroughly recommends Hemispheric Brief today.

Chart of the day is...

.....the gold/silver ratio (GSR), three year period.

Is this the new normal? Once upon a very long time ago (three years back), people expected the GSR to fluctuate around 50X and 55X. Nowadays 60X gets trading pencils sharpened and the day to day fluctuations that seem to revolve around 65X are taken as par for the course.

Personally I do think it's the new normal and the change has been in gold, not silver. Perhaps it's becoming normal (at last) to consider gold as part of an investment portfolio, or even a trading portfolio thanks to GLD, the enormously successful ETF. Perhaps it's also becoming normal to question the things that were never questioned before, thanks to the continued ZIRPing from the moneymeisters as well as other influences.

Just a couple of general, musing reflections on this Thursday morning. Hope you have a good day.


Constitution Mining (CMIN.ob) is diluting your ass again, suckaz

Here's the link to the latest SEC filing from this scamjob, which notifies us that the company wants to raise $8.125m via a dilutive share+option financing deal. There's no public announcement of the pricings of the deal yet, but I'm going to hazard a guess at 65c a unit because the minimum investment for any poor sap that gets suckered into this madness is $6,500 (they've managed to find nine takers so far for a total of a touch over $300k). That 65c number might be wrong though, so best check.

Meanwhile, not a word in public from CMIN.ob that this financing has been open since Monday, a typical scamsters trick to leave people in the dark for as long as possible.

What some believe about copper

I read today that:

"Copper is increasingly being looked upon by some as a key part of a diversified portfolio that will hold its value as a hard asset rather than plunging as the economy contracts."
In other news:
  • Some look upon Rapture & Tribulation as a sound basis for investment philosophy.
  • A strange island race believes it has a chance in The World Cup after beating by one goal to zero a country that 90% of its population couldn't find on a map.
  • Wikipedia reports that since its reformation last year, The Flat Earth Society now has 60 members.

So would those currently championing the long-debunked balderdash about copper being some sort of asset class please, just once and for all.....

Lithium One (LI.v): Another one to cross off your list forever

1) It's Lithium
2) It's Argentina
3) It's desperate
4) It's run by stupid people
Numbers three and four in the above list are explained by today's press release, as Lithium One (LI.v) has just retained the world's scammiest bullshit merchant as its pumpo Commander in Chief. These people think this will add value? Stupid, stupid, stupid. I'd rather hold Osama Bin Laden's penis than this stock. NR please!

VANCOUVER, CANADA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - Lithium One Inc. (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:LI - News), is pleased to announce that it has engaged the services of Mr. Peter Grandich (the "Consultant") to assist with the Company's public and investor relations and communications programs. Mr. Grandich specializes in the development and management of customized public relations and marketing programs to public and private companies in North America. He is a long-standing member of yada yada continues here

First, gather a big army.....

According to this report on The Cervantes Institute's recent "Spanish Language Day", Spanish is now the second most spoken mother tongue in the world. Here's the league table:
1) Mandarin Chinese: 1213 million speakers
2) Spanish: 416.58 million speakers

3) English: 328 million speakers
The report goes on to note that away from the Spanish speaking countries of the world, there are now 24 countries where people grow up speaking Spanish as a mother tongue. This group accounts for 40.52 million people, with 36.305 million of those living in The USA. It's also estimated that by the year 2030, 7.5% of the world's population will be native speakers of Spanish.

So how's that ageing population and baby boomer thing going on up there, guys?

Volveré y seré millones

B2Gold ( Cormark sez $3.40 target

On the back of the drilling results announced by B2Gold ( at its Jabali (if you're interested, that's Spanish for 'Wild Boar') project on Monday (see here), Cormark's Richard Gray along with co-author Graeme Jennings is today making a very agressive buy call on the stock, aiming for a $3.40 share price and a 107.3% upside to last night's close.

Read the report and the way it calls Jabali "the real deal" by downloading it from this link. DYODD, cos I'm long on this stock too (but the personal initial target is much lower).

The England team line-up for today

23 minutes: Well blow me down, they actually scored one. Good goal, too.

UPDATE 2: here's a bit of Brit footy/market trivia:


For Canadian mineheads

Jorge Ganoza, head honcho of Fortuna Silver (, gets to play teevee personality today on BNN at 11:30am. Here's the blurb, sent by kind reader JC as part of his headsup:

11:30 AM – Commodities with Andrew Bell

Silver Stocks: Jay Taylor, editor,
Fortuna Silver Mines: Jorge Ganoza, president and CEO, Fortuna Silver Mines

Betcha he whusses out and doesn't say out loud what he knows about San José and the way the Pre-Feas does no justice to the project. Freakin' lawyers....

UPDATE: Here's the link to the clip.

Charts of the day are....

.....the British Pound (GBP), weekly and daily views.

Here's the weekly:
And here's the daily:

What if there were a major world currency that wasn't part of an area dragged down by PIIGs and could be used as a decent yardstick against the US dollar? What if that currency's controlling government had just announced a whole batch of austerity measures and raised taxes on its population, squeezing every last drop out of a supine race too obsessed about a crap sports team to make much of a fuss? Can you think of a currency that might fit the bill?


La Cabala

diego's good luck charm

There is, apparently, 6,661 miles (10,720 km) between Ushuaia Argentina and Tijuana Mexico.

Peru Big Man Number One!


Thanks to a headsup from reader JR, we're pleased to report that Peru is now the tops in one of the world's most popular South American products. Here's AFP on the story:

Peru is top coca producer: UN

BOGOTA (Colombia) - PERU has displaced Colombia to became the world's leading producer of coca leaf, the source plant for cocaine, a UN report said on Tuesday.

Fully 45.4 per cent of coca in the world comes from Peru, while 39.3 per cent is grown in Colombia and 15.3 per cent in Bolivia, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

'Peru has surpassed Colombia as the world's leading coca leaf producer,' Aldo Lale, the UNODC representative in Bogota, said at a press conference.

Peru produced 119,000 metric tonnes of coca leaf in 2009, while Colombia produced 103,000 tonnes during the same period, Mr Lale said. -- AFP

Trading Post (will be offline for 90 minutes very soon edition)

There's a match on, y'see.

Gammon Gold (GRS) ( down 2.4% at U$6.03. So tell me, is today's 52 week low a good or a bad sign? (and welcome to idiot longs from Germany today, tuning in to the CotD earlier). Wir lieben Schafe.

Pediment Gold ( down 3.1% at $1.24 on nothing volumes. Thoughts haven't changed on this since IKN59, subbers.

Focus Ventures (FCV.v) up 4.8% at $0.33 and even though volumes are low and not much of a signal, these last couple of weeks strongly suggest that FCV is putting in a bottom. Worse ultra-spec punt plays out there at these prices.

Dorato Resources (DRI.v) UNCH at $0.80 on precisely zero shares traded today. I wonder if the dumbass longs heard about the "get out" warning given to Dorato in the Cenepa region that came from the indigenous group last week? Oh....did mgmt forget to tell you about that one, too? What a surprise....

Explor Resources (EXS.v) up 6.1% at $0.52. The most fun about discovering a bullshit newsletter dumbass's latest pump job is following it once recognized for what it is. Check out this five day chart of the stock, for example. Would it come as much surprise to you to hear that the latest "super secret" update sent out to sheepsville by Greg McCoach came on Monday morning?
And by the way, I've had even more juice about McCoach since this reader's mailbag update, too. Seems like our pal Greg hardly knows one end of a mine from another. But hey....since when have you needed to actually know about a subject to pass yourself off as an expert? This is the interwebnetpipes age, GetWithDaProgram! Qualifications are so passé (as Casey Research knows only too well).

Chess news

Today, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov find themselves in Peru to give a free chess exhibition to locals in order to promote the game in the country. And btw, Peru has a couple of young champions in the sister/brother double act of Deysi and Jorge Cori, who won their respective sub 16 and sub 14 groups in the world youth championships last year, so there is a base to work from already.

Then tomorrow The K+K chess roadshow is off to Bolivia, where the Russkies are due to play an exhibition match against none other than the President of Bolivia, Dr. Evo Morales. By all accounts, Evo is a fairly tidy club standard player too, having been a chess player since a young kid. And always good for a quote, evo sez:
"It's incredible that the great sporting scientist Anatoly Karpov wants to play a game with me. I hope he doesn't beat me in seconds or minutes, I'll put up a fight."

Oh, all this goodwill and upstanding promotion of chess in South America might just have something to do with Karpov's candidacy for the Presidency of chess world body FIDE and the way that he's been canvassing for the Peru and Bolivian association votes in this year's election. But hey....all good clean fun.

Congratulations to the French football team.....

...for actually managing to score a goal before going home. And thanks for the off-field guffaws, too. We'll miss yaz!*

Meanwhile, real congrats in order for two LatAm teams, Uruguay and Mexico. Aztecas, your prize for getting out the group is almost certainly Argentina in the last16 round so...errr....good luck with that one.


Ecuador to bury the hatchet with Colombia

Diplo circles are doing their work in South America right now, with the consensus being that as long as he's invited over to the show, President Studly Muffin of Ecuador will attend the investiture of Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and who cares if the dude has an arrest warrant in his name in Quito anyway? Here's the moneyline from this article (translated):

"The Ecuador Minister of Internal and External Security, Miguel Carvajal, said that if President Rafael Correa is invited to the handover (of power in Colombia) in a formal manner he would not pass up the invitation."

So the dainty diplo-twostep is "yeah I'll come if you ask nicely" and it's now up to Colombia to invite. Bet yer ass the invite is in the post in the next few days, RSVP.

Pipes of peace served. The end.

Mexfiles must read

This links to a great one from RG at The Mexfiles which starts like this:
Subversion 101:

It’s no secret that U.S. government tries to clandestinely infiltrate Mexican political affairs. But I didn’t realize that they advertised on Craig’s List … and that they can’t spell:

Wanna find out what shady right wing pressure groups are doing in the world's best continent? Click through here and get the freshly squeezed juice. Excellent post.

Chart of the day is.....

....Gammon Gold ( (GRS) five day price:

Well I'm sure that the bagholding longs left paralyzed by this dog really appreciated your token "rally dem troops" purchase on Friday, Mr Marion.

Jun 18/10 Jun 18/10 Marion, Rene Luis Joseph Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 3,600 $6.960
Jun 18/10 Jun 18/10 Marion, Rene Luis Joseph Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 2,900 $6.950
Jun 18/10 Jun 18/10 Marion, Rene Luis Joseph Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 2,400 $6.940
Jun 18/10 Jun 18/10 Marion, Rene Luis Joseph Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 1,100 $6.930

So now your 10% underwater yourself on that trade, will you please.......

.....and stop farting around with the markets? I'm sure the idiot longs left in this stock would much prefer that you did and do some work that'd raise the PPS for a change? Mind you, from all evidence so far it's likely you're incapable of doing something basic as that.


South America in The World Cup: The story so far

Games Played: 10
Games Won: 8
Games Drawn: 2
Games Lost: 0

Also, note that the only two games drawn were played against previous world champions (uruguay vs france and paraguay vs italy)

(brazil w2, argentina w2, chile w2, paraguay w1 d1, uruguay w1 d1)

Peru's economic miracle, yeah right

Peru's widely documented economic growth miracle is a house of cards, based on exports of two products that the world currently pays a premium for and liable to a sudden stop due to the narrow exports base the country relies upon. That's clear if you check out country exports for April 2010, a pretty typical month of sales from the country.

Of the U$2.5464Bn in exports registered in April, no less than 52% (U$1.323Bn) came from sales of copper and gold. Then comes the third major metal zinc, all the other metals (lead, silver, iron ore, tin, molybdenum etc), some 8% from hydrocarbons and then all the everything else from a list that runs to fishery, all agriculture, textiles, wood&paper, non-metallic minerals, chemicals, metal mechanicals and a list of individual items as long as your arm pale into insignificance against the all powerful non-value aggregating primary materials Cu and Au. That's your idea of a miracle, is it? It's luck, no more and no less. The right products at the right time.

Sources are Peru's central bank (here) and peru's mining ministry (here).

Codelco's costs (an excerpt from IKN59, out yesterday)

As well as a lot of stockfollowing we also do macro-regional stuff as regards mining in The IKN Weekly, so here are 341 words selected from the 11,347 sent to subscribers yesterday. The section was about costs at Codelco and what they might mean for the industry as a whole. Enjoy.

Codelco’s costs evolution provide a backbone to copper pricing

More Codelco, but for different reasons. A stats-packed article in Chile’s La Tercera this week (19) highlighted the rise in costs for copper production. Adding a bit of searching at the Codelco website (20) to the La Tercera note, the chart below came into being and shows that in the period 2007 to the estimates for 2012, the cost of producing one Lb of cathode at the company will have doubled in six years if Codelco estimates prove to be accurate.

Now for sure you can point to Codelco as perhaps not the most efficient major miner in the world (for example, it’s not overly surprising that the payroll of this State run company is inordinately large compared to roughly equivalent megaminers such as VALE or BHP), but the big size and the relative stability over time of Codelco production and fixed assets does give us a pretty useful benchmark for the whole industry.

The most obvious first reflection that comes from that chart is that the era of sub-$2 copper is now confined to history, assuming we don’t suffer a major and prolonged deflationary period (something that’s extremely unlikely). When marginal costs rise to this kind of level it makes no sense at all to expect copper to return to low levels for any great period, as good old fahsioned supply and demand dynamics will soon crimp supply if prices drop.

This small section of today’s Weekly isn’t saying that copper couldn’t possibly drop below $2/lb. Of course it could, as if the market applies enough pressure a spike to such low prices is possible (though unlikely). What we are saying here is that there’s very solid fundamental reasons to assume long term prices of above $2 and little reason to expect a sub $2/lb price for much more than the shortest period possible. If the world’s biggest copper player expects costs to have doubled in the six years to 2012, consider that a very strong backbone for longer-term pricings going forward.

Chart of the day is...

....zinc, 30 day spot price.

Quite a nice little Chinese currency-led rebound this morning, seeing Zn back over 80c. Still a modest sort of price, but not as bad as the very low 70s recently seen that would wipe out profits for most dedicated base metals miners.

Want a place to trade the move, world citizen? Then try Volcan (VOLCABC1) on the Lima exchange.

¡Feliz Machaq Mara!

The 5,518th Machaq Mara, "the return of the sun" (or if you prefer, the Andean New Year) is with us. Best wishes for a great year to one and all.


Today's freebie

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Colombia: Santos Wins

Hot off the presses, the latest bulletin from the official election people in Colombia is with just over 31% of the votes counted:
Juan Manuel Santos: 2,272,878 votes (69.18%)

Antanas Mockus: 898,908 votes (27.36%)
That's all she wrote, folks. You can follow the progression yourself from here on in, but really there's no doubt at all who is the next President of Colombia.

Ok, ok, one update. The above was bulletin 6, this is bulletin 17. With 98.36% of the pre-count now in the score is:
Juan Manuel Santos: 8,889,187 votes (69.00%)

Antanas Mockus: 3,552,353 votes (27.57%)
Notably voter turnout was very low at less than 44%...everybody watching Brazil whup Ivory Coast, methinks. Anyway, toldya that's all she wrote earlier, didn't I. Congratulations therefore to Juan Manuel Santos and I hope he turns out to be a better Prez than this humble scribe anticipates. And make it up with Ecuador and Venezuela one time, willyaz?

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN59 has just been sent to subscribers and I'm now going to take the dog out for a long walk.