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For some reason...

...Sarah Palin today decided to delete a whole bunch of messages from her twitter account. However, in the 21st century world of interwebnetpipes the screengrabs of her thoughts are still available, such as this one:

Y'know, when a politician's first reaction to a horrific and tragic incident, one that she will doubtless say had absolutely nothing to do with her soon enough, is to scramble around erasing her own words and images, there's something really and deeply fucked up going on.

Before going I'd like to make something clear. Apart from one person, I don't care who you guys up there have for President any longer. Black, white, rich, poor, man, woman, Rep, Dem, the degrees of difference between them all on the things that really matter are minimal (though you'd hardly notice it from where you're looking, it's much easier from afar). If you want Romney, Clinton, Bloomberg, another Bush or anyone else from your limited spectrum of politics next time, that's ok by me and you won't hear me moaning. But not Palin. She's not only a limited intellect but a liar, a vindicative petty-minded snake-oil salesperson, belligerent and dangerous not only to you but to the rest of us. I hope that's clear enough.

Bullseye, Sarah

Taken from Sarah Palin's site (because it wouldn't surprise us if this image disappears soon UPDATE: surprise surprise, the site was pulled by Palin&Co just minutes after your author visited...fortunately the images below now seem to be splashed across about a squillion web pages). The lower crosswires of the three in Arizona is aimed directly at Gabrielle Giffords.

Here's another pictorial special, just to underline Sarah Palin's wishes:

Don't worry, it's probably all part of God's plan.

UPDATE: Here's one of those quotes that float back at times like these. On March 25th 2010, Gabrielle Giffords said the following: "Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action."

No further comment.

UPDATE 2: Holy crap, the incitement of the AZ Tea Party was this blatant. From Andrew Sullivan:

 UPDATE 3: Looks like the guy arrested for the shooting has a youtube site. And he's a whacko.

Mickey Fulp does CNBC

Mmmm....talking all sexy about metals, too.

Nice one, Fulp, a significant step on your path to richly deserved total world domination. If the pop-up above doesn't work for you, the interview is available on this link too.

Supatcha Resources (SAEI.OB): Why avoiding the OTC market for junior miners and why reading David Baines are both good ideas

Ace Canadian white-collar crime reporter David Baines of The Vancouver Sun is nothing less than obligatory reading for any investor interested in junior miners; Not only does he sniff out dozens of scumbags and their operations per year, but he also provides ongoing salutory reminders of  the number of scams and rip-offs just waiting for you out there, especially in the horrid US OTC Wild West show (an exchange that makes even the somewhat grimy TSXV look squeaky clean by comparison).

Baines' recent series on an OTC scam is an excellent example, that of Supatcha Resources (SAEI.OB). Here's the price chart of the stock....
...which makes you go "hmmmm" immediately, but when you start reading the background and what Baines has unearthed in part one of his report on SAEI.ob dated Jan 5th and then part two of the report on SAEI.ob dated Jan 6th, the scam, its players (topped off by well known Canadian scumbag Mario Aiello) and the way the sheep were led to the slaughter by promo bullshit is crystal clear. So three cheers for David Baines and a loud boo-hiss-boo to the BCSC, the ASC, the OSC and the RCMP for letting these scams continue in their own backyards.


The Friday OT: Gerry Rafferty; Baker Street

After this week's sad news, it was the only choice.

It's not just the famed sax chorus, it's not just the lyrics, it's Rafferty's voice and the delivery. You don't need to be told quality is quality, you just know it.

"And what is well and what is badly-need we ask Lysias, or any other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose writer, to teach us this?"
Phaedrus, Plato

QEPD Gerry.

UPDATE: A good friend of your humble scribe's (and proud of his Irish blood), reader 'M' sends this in. For what it's worth, I agree:

From the BBC link: "Gerald Rafferty was born in Paisley on 16 April 1947, the son of a Scottish mother and an Irish father, who taught his young son to holler out Irish rebel songs."

I shudder to think of all the fine music that may not have been created had the Irish and their stout oaks not presented an irresistible temptation to our eastern neighbors...a terrible yin and yang, but I can tell we're finally wearing you down...(that's a textual representation of a friendly and impish wink). We are grateful for you teaching us to speak English and have ever endeavored to return the favor by improving it ever since.

Tiocfaidh Ár Lá

The great thing about working for Casey Research.... that you're never ever wrong. Take for example the latest call on the self-fulfilling Casey prophecy, Bayfield Ventures (BYV.v), the pumpjob we've noted previously as the object of Marin Katusa's finder's fee commission wet dreams and rip-offs.

At the moment, Casey Louis 'Lobito' James' recommendation on the stock (this humble scribe is reliably informed) is that you should buy a "first tranche" (whatever that means, as they've already exhorted you to buy tranches at much higher prices) at 80c and a "second tranche" at 65c if it drops that low. So by noting the current price of 78c...

 ..... we are forced to conclude that:
1) If you buy today and the stock moves back to 80c, Lobito is right.
2) If you buy today and the stock stays below 80c, it's still a great buying opp for BYV and Lobito is right.
3) If you buy today and the stock drops, you get to buy again at 65c and Lobito is right

All the above is also true for those Casey subscribers who read Lobito's pearls of wisdom earlier in the week and snapped up those bargain shares at 82c and 85c. You see, Casey subbers, the fact that your investment has lost money is a mere illusion because we've already proven that your investment advisor is never wrong.

And what happens if BYV drops to under 65c, we hear you ask? Well we're not sure yet but chances are that Lobito will be able to slap an extra layer of superduper buying double tranche with chocolate sauce reco on your tushes....and he'll be right, of course.

UPDATE: Interesting comment left below by  "Casey Subber #19392118" (which presumably means something to them, as they're bound to have an index system):
I admit that I'm a fairly long-time Casey subber and the quality of their picks and confidence in their picks have fallen substantially over the past couple years. They stopped recommending any stocks for about a year because their "Spidey senses" felt a big correction was on its way and now that the market has gone up a ton they do this three tranche buying model. Hmm, guys, let's see. So, it is a good buy now for 1/3rd of my money but just in case the stock goes down you're telling me to buy more at that price. Oh, then if there is a "market meltdown" I should buy more at that point. What if I buy 1/3rd now and the price goes up? Oh wait, I know what happens. You post a double recommendation that says Take Profits/Buy First tranche for new subscribers. Again, what a ridiculous recommendation. Sounds like the foundation of a pyramid scheme.

I know Casey Research follows this blog so why don't you focus a bit more on finding good stocks with good fundamentals and a little less on your marketing. The only reason I still subscribe is I am locked in at your old rates and the subscription costs me next to nothing. I would never consider the new price of $1000 per year. Hah! What a joke.

So, Doug, David, Louis, Marin et al -- grow a set, get off the fernce and make a solid call like you used to.

Posted by Casey Subber #19392118 to IKN at 1:45 PM

Nice piece on copper and base metals by Andy Home of Reuters

On this link is the Reuters Metals Insider for today, January 7th. On pages two and three of the PDF is an op-ed on copper and BMs by Andy Home. It's not bearish, it's not bullish, it's a balanced view of what's happening today, smart commentary from a guy that follows the sector very closely and well worth reading all of it, but as a taster here's the concluding paragraph:
"'s not the most benign macro environment to start the New Year with.

"And if Dr Copper isn't signalling that, it's maybe because the thundering investment herd has stamped all over his glasses. Money must find a return and holding cash in most of the developed world is a non-option. A fund manager who is not in the risk asset game will return to investors no more than the loose change in his pocket.
That remains the true driver of this commodities bulldozer. Each commodity has its own narrative and that narrative will determine which fares best (more on which in Part 2 of this column). But the rising tide of quantitative easing is lifting all, strong and weak alike. Just remember that the problem with being in a crowded room is that you don't realise just how crowded it is until you try and get out."

DYODD, dudettes and dudes.

Supply and demand, Chilean copper edition

Want to see what rising commodities prices can do for your emerging market economy? Look no further than Chile and its copper exports to the world. Today Chile's Central Bank released the final scores for the country's commercial balance in 2010 and the copper export component came to a cool U$39.29Bn (yeah, billion with a B), a new record by quite some way. By way of context, copper provided 56.4% of everything Chile exported in 2010 in dollar terms.

To ram it home, if we check out the figures in chart form and also add in the tonnages of copper shipped out of Chile every year, we really get to see how lucky Chile has been in the last ten years. The Y axis numerical scale in this chart is the same for both datasets, but note that the volumes are in millions of tonnes (that fluctuate between 4.6m and 5.6m metric tonnes of copper exported every year) and the prices are in billions of dollars.

So for example, between 2002 and 2010 Chile has added less than one million metric tonnes to its copper exports volume, but thanks to world prices has added thirty-three billion dollars to its copper exports value. But of course, Chile's economic expansion is wholly due to its local politicians and has nothing to do with the wider world of economics...according to the Chilean politicos, at least.

Chart of the day is....

...the Peru IGBVL General stock market index. 

The Lima bizbods had the champagne on ice and were waiting for the moment to pop the corks and declare an All Time High for the index this week.....

....but then the metals correction came, the ATH failed by a few points, the champagne had to stay on ice (for a while at least) and a bunch of Limeños Pitucos got a dose of reality. The reality is that what happens in Peru is much less to do with local smarts and much more to do with riding the luck thrown their way by the commods bull. 
But, as they say, you're better born lucky than rich


That Porter Stansberry is a fraudulent bullshit merchant of the highest order....

...has long been understood by those with half a brain, but it's been a great couple of days to see his get-rich-quick scheming (simply meaning that he gets rich on the cash of the naive) taken apart systematically over at Green Laser Reviews. Today saw part two of a three part series (we're promised part three tomorrow Jan 7th) and the methodical way in which the fraud runner Stansberry has been 'lazed' so far is an object lesson in what the bullshit copywriter and stock shyster does in order to part fools from their money. These next two links are highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to know more about how market shysters like Stansberry run their schemes.

So, dear kind and honourable IKN lector, kick back, pull up a chair, click through on those two links and get yourself much wiser about the games Porter et al want to play on you. Great reading material and I can't wait for Part Three, out tomorrow (and will link).

UPDATE: Part three of three now out and available right here.

Being a contrarian and that....

...this humble scribe just can't help of thinking nasty thoughts about the near-term future of gold when checking out the report and video done yesterday by Bertha Coombs of CNBC as she makes her (clearly maiden) visit to a gold mine operation, specifically Anglogold's Cripple Creek. It gets even worse when reading that (IKN highlights)...
"...Crews literally blast the gold out of the rock, then trucks that stand two stories carry the stones to a crusher."

That sure be some real special dynamite your talking 'bout there, Bertha. Gold finished lower today. Just sayin'.

h/t MR

Drug trafficking news

This just in from Spain:

The Guardia Civil (Spanish police force) at Barcelona's El Prat airport has detained two pilots of an Argentine private medical transport plane that was carrying a 900kg cache of  cocaine, according to information received by the EFE news agency."
The normal English language newswires and media channels are due to report on this story as soon as they've worked out a way of mentioning the name "Hugo Chávez" in their copy. Cheeky little malbecs served, the end.

Ross Beaty should have stuck with operating in Latin America

 Who got more stage appeal? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen

After all, this neck of the woods has a long history of doffing the cap to the North and not asking too many questions about Environmental or Health & Safety practices of North American companies. But he had to go and try his luck in a place like Iceland, didn't he? Here come two excerpts from this report yesterday, the big Karaoke starts at 3pm this afternoon. Happy Twelfth Night (or Threttándinn), Ross!

Björk Starts Karaoke Marathon for Iceland’s Nature
"A karaoke marathon and song festival dedicated to Iceland’s nature as part of Björk’s campaign to win back the country’s natural resources will begin in the Nordic House in Reykjavík at 3 pm tomorrow, Threttándinn, which is the official Last Day of Christmas.

"Björk said in the interview that Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir had declared that if 15 percent of voters (approximately 35,000 people) sign a petition revoking Canadian Magma Energy’s ( acquisition agreement of Icelandic energy company HS Orka, it cannot be ignored by the authorities.
"More than 20,000 people have signed the petition already and Björk is certain that the remaining signatures will be gathered during the karaoke marathon. The petition demands: "Icelandic natural resources shall be owned and governed by the public."
“For 100 years good people protected our natural resources and public interest. In the outvasion period the sale of natural resources and irresponsible access to them began. Now it is time to stop that unfortunate development,” the press release declares."

On copper ETFs, Emperors and new clothes

At last! Somebody in the metals trading world with a bit of clout has spoken up and pointed to the abject stupidity of the new commodities ETFs being led up by copper. Our source is this Reuters note, our voice is Jeffrey Currie of Goldman Sachs and the argument is simplicity itself:

OXFORD, England, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) backed by physical commodities other than gold are an "utterly crazy idea", Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS - news) analyst Jeffrey Currie said on Wednesday.
"The key to why it works in gold but won't work in beef or soybeans is that gold is very easy to store," he said at the Oxford Farming Conference.
ETFs backed by physical gold have attracted investment of up to $8.1 billion. UK-based ETF Securities last month listed products backed by copper, nickel and tin on the London Stock Exchange and plans to launch aluminium, zinc and lead this quarter.
Those products have so far attracted only a small fraction of the level of investment in gold ETFs.
Currie said the gold required to back the $8.1 billion investment would roughly fill the stage at the Oxford Farming Conference while an aluminium ETF with a similar investment would need enough metal to fill London's Wembley Stadium. CONTINUES HERE

IKN sez: The sooner this trend of treating commodities as assets is over, the better for all of us. The gold ETF (GLD) is a smart enough idea (because gold is an asset, not a commodity). I accept the silver ETF (SLV) at a pinch because of the metal's split personality. But a copper ETF? What's the idea here, use the London bonded warehouses as a permanent store for the ETFs physical copper? Well for one thing that might explain the recent inventory bounce (note 'might', it's just a thought and there are other influences at play) but you think that storage comes for free?

Currie's argument is sound and correct but there's something even more basic to note. Beef, soybeans, copper, tin and all other commodities are not a store of value. For sure you can trade them or sell them or hoard them if you like, but they're all means to an end, not the end themselves. An asset has to be something other people want for what it is (a dollar bill, a house, an ounce of gold) and copper is only wanted by other people for what it might become later (a coil, a tube, a wire). That's not an asset and has no right to get some cockamamey ETF set up around it.

LatAm's highest murder rates

Via Tim's great blog, your humble scribe gets to read this report from El Salvador's Contrapunto that crunches the numbers and shows us which LatAm countries are the most dangerous murder-wise. Here's the chart generated from the stats.......
...and here's your author's transalation of the Contrapunto article:

San Salvador: Latin American nations Honduras and El Salvador have the most murderous in the world, according to calculations made by Contraputno and based on  murders rates, the best true measure of the magnitude of the phenomenon. The murder rate indicates how many murders occur for every 100,000 inhabitants.

As things stand, at the end of 2010 Honduras had a murder rate of approximately 72.8 for every 100,000 inhabitants, while El Salvador had a murder rate of 71.

Erroneous data that an international news agency diffuses tries to put Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico as the most violent countries in Latin America and the world, however their murder rates are lower than those of Honduras and El Salvador.
In fact, although in Venezuela there were 17,600 homicides (in 2010), its murder rate is 67.6 for every 100,000 inhabitants, as its populatioon is 26 million. In Colombia the mruder rate is 35.7 and in Mexico the murder rate is 14.5 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

By contrasting the figures with nations at war, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, it is notable that their murder rates are lower than the Latin American countries mentioned. In Afghanistan the approximate murder rate was 14 and in Iraq, 18.

The world average murder rate is 8 per 100,000 inhabitants. Rates higher than 10 are considered epidemics by the World Health Organization (WHO).

OT: Congratulations, Australia

IKN would just like to take a minute out and send a special message for those who know about these things. Congratulations Australia on winning the toss at the SGC. Fine effort, mates.

Chart of the day is....

...the gold/silver ratio.

Nuff said.

UPDATE: If you like technicals and chat on gold, check out Cam Hui's post today, linked here and entitled "Time for gold bulls to panic?". Cam's a smart dude.


Death by exhaustion

A life less ordinary: Ramón and Katiuska

Today's slice of LatAm Wonderful comes from Ecuador and is translated from this report. Enjoy.

Man Said To Have Had 96 Children with 49 Women Dies In Ecuador

Ramón Moreira died of a stroke aged 72. According to family members, his funeral was attended by at least 52 of the 96 children that, during his life, he said that he had procreated with at least 49 women.

In La Chorrea, a small fishing village in the coastal tourist province of Manabí in (western Ecuador), lived "Don Ramón Gonzalo" who attracted the attention of locals and foreigners alike due to his almost unique history.

He was proud to live up to the Manabian male's reputation of "brave, macho and machetero (machete-wielding)" for having seduced at least 150 women. "I was dangerous. A good fish head's soup, plenty of shellfish, the sea breeze and I was ready to go," he told this reporter during a recent interview. He said that his first two children were born in Medellín more than 53 years ago and since then assured that another 48 women had had children by him. "I was born with the gift of seducing women, it's not my fault", he said, with an expression of mischief and nostalgia.

In his time he was a seaman, truck driver, contrabandist of fuel and oil, salesman, fisherman and in his final years the owner of a small hotel and beach restaurant along with his partner of the last 26 years, Katiuska Argote. With her he had seven children: Priscila, María Katiuska, David, Daniel, Dante, Estefanía and Evelyn. "This old man only gave me respite during the 40 day post-natal period and the next day he was trying for a new baby," said his partner, who also had to put up with him having children with other women at the same time. She remembered that her third child David was born on March 8th and 10 o'clock at night and five hours later, in the same town, another woman gave birth to Frank who was also a child by "Don Ramón". "He was very attractive an gallant and never lied to me. When I met him I was 20 years old and I fell in love with him to such an extent that I eloped with him. He never lied to me, he said that he had 50 children and I didn't believe him, but it was true and afterward he kept on having children with me and with other women," said Katiuska.

Don Ramón, despite his poor health having suffered from ulcers, a stroke and a heart attack, remembered the names of many of his women. "I had ten Marianas in my life" he commented while trying to list the names of the women who had given birth to Gonzalo and Hernán Moreira Díaz who lived in Colombia, to Gerardo and his brother 'El Chiringo' who were clothing salesmen in Panam, to Onías who lived in Italy and to another 10 Gonzalos in his native Manabí.

Katiuska, partner of Ramón Moreira, had the dream of reuniting all his children. In 2005 she managed to get the names of at least 50 of them and said she had reunited 42 of them at their house. "They were all married and on doing the count, Ramón's grandchildren may have already been 200," she said.

An album of yellowed photos was treasured by Ramón, who showed them off proudly between tears and regret for not having known all the children he said he'd brought to the planet. "I have no regrets, these things are destiny and I never wanted to hurt anyone. Everything I did was with love", he said nostalgically.

On Gold (from IKN87)

The following is the first and last sections from a long piece written about the state of the gold (and therefore metals in general) market in IKN87, out last Sunday. It's where your author is at regarding the markets right now.

For the first time in six months, I’m not so sure about gold
The note that follows is today’s main subject. It’s also long, rambling, potentially boring and a departure from the usual Weekly fare (so any new subscribers out there who get a heavy heart from today’s edition, fear not because the issues from November or December are more typical of what you can expect in the future). This note exists by way of response to feedback from the short-term market doubts raised in IKN86 last week and the way we’re not in any rush to add back exposure to equities after selling positions in (REDACTED)

We begin. Back in IKN60 dated June 27th we made a nice clear policy statement about the price of gold which was...

I think it’s going up from here.

...and then in IKN74 we reiterated the sentiment by saying

Yes, I still think gold is going up from here.

As it happens this called has turned out rather well, as gold has done more than well in the last half year, not to mention its half-sibling silver that decided to stay with its Dr. Jekyll persona and perform magnificently. And then copper and the base metals...all in all the second half of 2010 was quite a ride for us metals longs.

However, for the first time since IKN60 I’m now looking at the immediate future of the metals market and can’t help but think we may be due a correction (that’s in red because I wanted to make a point, ok?). Or we may not. The point here is that I don’t really have a good idea on the immediate future of gold the metal and there’s new found doubt about the market direction in January/February 2011. This is a different position, a change of stance from the last six months and although (try as I might) I can’t reach a conclusion and make a pro-active investment call on it all, the change from a clearly bullish “be long stay strong we’re going up” stances to this present undecided, “mu” type of attitude needs to be duly noted. To add background, let’s look at both the bullish and bearish positions and pick holes in them.

Blog back. From there we went into a long mid-section of rationales, examination of the bullish and bearish positions and mentioning this-or-that stock we cover, so here at the blog we'll cut to the end of the article. Here's how it concludes:
There are three positions that can be held by any investor on any potential trade at any time: Buy, hold or sell. Long, neutral, short. Like, unsure, dislike. Bull, coward, bear. For six months your author has been bullish gold, bullish those things that gold pulls with it (silver, copper all friends) and has had a full quota of cash devoted to stocks to prove. Today’s change isn’t the reactionary opposite to being bullish and we’re not worried or screaming or liquidating wholesale. All that’s happening is a step or three are getting taken backwards and a call of, “I’m more neutral, I’m not in a hurry to be long again, I’m good about holding thru on this-or-that, I’m unsure about what’s in the pipeline....I’m a goddam lilly-livered, yellowstreaked coward.”

In this binary, black and white, polemic driven world of “you’re either with us or against us”, the call of “I’m not sure” tends to be denegrated and even mocked, but your author contends that it’s a valid course of action (and that the market is run by fools for fools). There’s nothing wrong with being a fool in the market either (my stars I know because I’m one of them); all I want to do is to avoid being the greater one.


Gary has been nailing the market recently

Biiwii Gary has always been good at this wild'n'whacky market game, but recently he's been near telepathic (and I have no idea how he does it just by staring at his squiggly lines). Those who regularly check out his blog will have a fair idea about his recent accuracy, but those of us who get his subscription weekly really know how spookily well he's been nailing this market down.

BiiWii cannot be recommended highly enough and not only that, but the dude has top music taste, too.


OMG! We're all gonna die gold crashing enormous dump death windowledge jump disaster meltdown waterfall angst margindeath Weimar fiat revenge corrupt Fed blindsheep can't happen bubbleburst allover yieldcurve carsales CHINA rapture Mayan2012 printingpress helicopters OH MY GOOOOOD!!!!

Oh, wait a moment:

Nice news out of Vena Resources ( this morning

Here's the link, here's the headline

Vena Discovers 115 Metre Extension at Azulcocha Polymetallic Mine in Peru Including an 11.65 Metre Drill Intersect Containing 25.2% Zinc and 3% Lead

That's decent rock by anyone's standards (I make it U$640/tonne at today's spot), the other holes offer good numbers too (see the release) and I'm pretty sure there's more to come from the current drill program....spideysenses and all that. So you can like VEM for its U if you like, I'll stick with Azulcocha as the main reason to be long here, as always. The chart looks like a breakout to me, too:
So c'mon, swing out dudette and join in the chorus:

DYODD, cos I'm long this one (and winning already).

News roundup (we wash the intimate areas with a wire brush and bleach)

Chile's Peso (CLP) continues its weakening this morning after the whopping great big U$12Bn CenBank forex attack announced yesterday. Now at U$1 = CLP494, it might have a bit more to run too by looking at the five year chart (above). Chilean wine/grape/apple/etc exporters happy.

In other Chile news, country FinMin Larrain pitches 2010 growth at 5.1% and 2011 growth forecast at 6.1%.

A chunky political scandal breaks in Peru. How much does it cost in bribes to become a Vice-President of Peru? 700,000 soles (U$250,000) apparently, as that's the amount Carmen Acuña agreed to pay the campaign of frontrunning candidate Luis Castañeda for the post, according to the phone conversation secretly recorded then published yesterday in local media. A big big selection of Spanish language reports on the scandal and the fallout at Google here, an EngLang background to the case from Reuters here (btw, reuters calls the 500,000 soles donation but misses out on the 200,000 soles "campaign expenses" Carmen also said she'd pay). This one is likely to dent Castañeda's polling numbers, as the dude already has the smell of corruption around him from the Communicore case. Banana Republic is as Banana Republic does, no matter what sort of growth miracle BS you want to dress it up in.

The C.A.P. funeral soap opera is frankly embarrassing and a window into the small-mindedness of all concerned. It's getting so bizarre that Miami New Times, an anti-Chávez Dade rag, starts this piece on the saga thusly: "​We have taken our fair share of shots at Hugo Chavez over the years. But in the tug-of-war over the remains of former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez, Chavez has somehow come across as a veritable voice of reason."

Chart of the day is....

...Uranium U308, two year timescale:


Kaption Kompetition: The Winner

On Sunday evening we asked you to put a caption to this photo....

...taken at the weekend during Dilma Rousseff's inauguration as President of Brazil (yay Dilma!). Thanks to all those who took time to provide, with the good and the great replies often mentioning soft hands, strange references to gases and/or Citgo, the name Voldemort came up more than once and there were also several fruity comments based around "taking revenge on Bill" that I'll leave to your own imagination.

But THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE so winnah winnah chikkin dinnah goes to Paul Escobar for this, a most wonderfully excellent offering:

The genius known as Paul asked that his U$18 prize be donated here. Yes it can and a darned good place for it, too. So it's doubled.

South America's most impressive market move today.....

...isn't a stock, it isn't a bond, it's the Chilean Peso (CLP). Here's the three month chart for the CLP up to and including yesterday:

And here's what it's done this morning, weakening by an impressive 4.8% since yesterday,

And here's why, courtesy of Bloomie:
Chile’s peso fell the most since October 2008 after the central bank said it plans to buy $12 billion in the foreign-exchange market starting tomorrow in an unprecedented bid to weaken the currency.
The peso fell 4 percent to 485.05 per U.S. dollar as of 8:41 a.m. in Santiago (6:41 a.m. New York time) from 465.75 per dollar at yesterday’s close. It gained 8.4 percent in 2010, the best-performing currency in Latin America. Central bank President Jose De Gregorio unveiled a plan yesterday to buy $50 million a day from Jan. 5 until Feb. 9.
Chile joins other emerging nations in a battle that even De Gregorio has signaled risks being more expensive than it is helpful as the Federal Reserve pumps $600 billion into the U.S. economy while keeping its benchmark interest rate near zero. Chile’s peso has gained 17 percent against the U.S. dollar since the end of June, second only to CONTINUES HERE

Gotta love the free market, weon.

A Flash update...

...was sent to subscribers a few minutes ago (at just after 11am est).

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 33

And so it came to pass that Mercer Gold (MRGP.ob) is the lucky recipient of 2011's first Ottotrans™.

This is what they wrote:
DENVER, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercer Gold Corporation ("Mercer Gold" or the "Company") (OTCQB: MRGP; AN4 -Frankfurt) has received confirmation of positive results of both gold and silver values from Hole MGDH-02 from the Guayabales Gold Project in the Marmato District in Caldas Department, Colombia.
Hole MGDH-02, drilled to a depth of 300.5 meters from the same pad as MGDH-01/01A at an angle of -60 degrees intercepted 4 meters of 2.00 grams per tonne gold and 33.5 grams per tonne silver within a broad area of anomalous values in the Encanto Zone. Similarly, the predicted parallel zone to the Encanto mineralization was also encountered.
Gold and silver values are now available for both zones and are shown in the table below.
Hole MGDH-02

Length (m)
Est. True Width (m)
Grams/tonne Au
Grams/tonne Ag



James Stonehouse, Mercer's Country Manager states, "These results show the continuity of the structural environment we are looking for. The anomalous areas are about the same width or slightly greater, so I suspect we will find more strongly mineralized areas in this structure as we move forward."
Mercer has recently completed hole MGDH-03, its third drill hole on the Guayabales Project and expects results shortly.  Drilling has resumed after a break for the holiday season in December and will investigate other possible targets at Guayabales, while continuing to further define the Encanto Zone.
Rahim Jivraj, Mercer's President and CEO states, "It's encouraging to see the results of this hole since it was drilled with the same orientation, but with a different angle from the same drill pad as MGDG-01/01A. It starts to substantiate the depth of the zone. I look forward to the results from our third hole and other proposed holes. We are especially interested in those along the Guayabales southern border and adjacent to the Marmato / Echandia trends."
The Company is also pleased to report that it has amended the exploration expenditure commitments under the Mineral Assets Option Agreement. The amended terms contemplate $750,000 to be spent in 2010, $5,750,000 in 2011, and $5,000,000 in 2012 respectively.

And this is what it means
DENVER, Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercer Gold Corporation ("Mercer Gold" or the "Company") (OTCQB: MRGP; AN4 -Frankfurt) has received a whole heap of crappy gold and silver values from Hole MGDH-02 from the Guayabales Gold Project in the Marmato District in Caldas Department, Colombia but is determined to slap a kilo of lipstick on this pig and try to pass off the pisspoor results as something positive and encouraging.

To that end, we publish the mediocre grades but immediately launch into a whole bunch of geological babble to try and pull the wool over the eyes of those stupid enough to have believed us in the first place and who have already bought into our spiel. We understand the power of suggestion and affirmation because that's exactly how this type of scam manages to survive more than a few weeks. 
The company is also pleased to report that we managed to re-negotiate optioning terms with the local owners of our property. This is because we didn't spend enough money on the property in 2010 due to the fact that we have no cash to spend. We're now obliged to spend $5.75m in 2011 which means that either we're going to dilute your asses to kingdom come or that we're going to lapse on the terms of the deal at the end of 2011 and lose the whole shebang.

DYODD, dude.

Chart of the day is...., monthly.

A nice little practical demonstration of the difference between PPI and CPI.


Peru 2011 country risks, according to Reuters

Here's a good note out of Reuters today that sums up the three main risk issues facing Peru in 2011.
1) The Presidential Elections (Toledo featured as frontrunner...toldyaso)
2) Social Conflicts (with mining front and centre)
3) Drug Trafficking (the one nobody ever seems to talk about...i wonder why?)

Anyway, it's a good snappy report and worth your time. Go read.

IKN recommends: Peru Fail

A superduper new link on the list over at the right of the page, Peru Fail takes after Failblog but is:
1) Strictly concerned with fail photos/texts/videos situations etc from Peru
2) In Spanish
3) Funny (unlike failblog, which has lost its charm)
 If you know your Cholosubculture you'll love it from the first minute. If you want to learn more about the real Peru (not the fake one presented for foreigners) it can't be recommended highly enough. So go see Peru Fail cos we heart Peru Fail. Here's an example:

Here's another (local knowledge needed for this one)

And wonderfully, this one labelled "Fridge transport" that needs no explanation

Before you ask, yes it really is like this.

Chart of the day is....

...soya, monthly.

There's no rain in Argentina, with the local agro guys now calling it a "limit situation" (for corn, too) and plenty of hopes pinned on bad weather that's due to drop water in the right place on Wednesday.

Telling you, if this were oil within 20% of its crazy 2008 peak you'd be hearing about it all over the place.


Kaption Kompetition Time!

It's back, it's irresistible, it's stolen from Bina's post. Here's the photo and it's up to you, dear kind wise and comely IKN reader, to decide what any (or all) of the subjects snapped thusly were saying or thinking.

So get yer thinking caps on and send your answers to...

otto.rock1 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

... (or leave it in the comments section below) and this kompetition's winning entry will receive..... errrr....EIGHTEEN DOLLARS BY PAYPAL! (and now that I've said it out loud I really mean it and won't back down). You have until Wednesday morning to get your entries in. Goody lucky!

The IKN Weekly, out now

IKN87 has just been sent to subscribers. Here's the covering mail that went with it.

Good Sunday evening.

The mistake wasn't the champagne on New Year's Eve. The mistake was deciding that rum and coke was a great thing to drink after the wife and I had celebrated 12 midnight and finished the champagne. As a result, my normal Saturday morning writing time disappeared under a hangover and as a consequence of that, this week's edition needed more Sunday and was sent at 8:30pm local time, perhaps five hours later than normal.

Please find attached IKN87. All feedback welcomed.

Best, O

Chile gets another wobble

The USGS is reporting a 7.1 mag (maybe 7.2) earthquake in the Bio Bio region of Chile this afternoon, some 600km South of the capital, Santiago. That's a nice, chunky magnitude number and a decent sized quake by anyone's standards, so here are three thoughts:

1) Initial reports are that the quake has caused little material damage (though electricity cut-offs are widespread) and officials say there's little cause for alarm.
2) If you've ever been in a 7-or-above quake you'd be alarmed as hell, I personally guarantee that one. When a rumble is 7+ and not at depth, officials can stick their soothing words where the sun doesn't shine.
3) We're nowhere near a full moon, setty. Next one is January 19th. Nice video though.