Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Au and Ag in Fairbanks, AK!

I pass along a short anecdote about a small part of our trip to Alaska.  This little story is really about the LAST thing we did before we left by plane back to the "Lower 48".

We were in downtown Fairbanks, an unimpressive place.  Not much to see.  But, my wife and daughter wanted to go see the Ice Museum (where they have a resident sculptor who makes works out of ice) there downtown.  I do not care for that kind of thing so I just wandered around, looking for coffee (and maybe a Wall Street Journal?  Ha ha ha!).  I saw a shop: Alaska Rare Coins.  OK...  Armed with my coffee I wandered in, and spoke to the proprietor, there was no one else there.  After a couple of minutes with the rather laconic guy, a local walked in. He wanted to buy 1000 oz of silver.  Generic.  This was the day AFTER gold cratered from its intra-day high of over $1900 to just below $1800.  (a BTFD kind of guy I guess!)   Whether coins or bars I do not know.  The proprietor then made a call to his main supplier for price and delivery info.  The deal was done and the local fellow walked out.  They clearly knew each other.

I was kind of stunned.

I then asked the guy running the store whether PHYSICAL NON-NUMISMATIC precious metals were selling stronger lately.  He said yes, very much so, lots of sales.  I then asked him if people there wanted US Eagles (like me) or generic (cheaper).  He said virtually ALL of his customers wanted generic, as they could get a little bit more bang for the buck.  I then told him that I too bought gold (mostly) and had some silver.  He did not say anything.  (I have learned to be OK with pauses in conversations)  I only had some $350 or so in cash left on this last day of our trip so was not able to do what I normally would do when wanting to buy gold.  Since gold was down more than $100 off its high, I asked him if he took credit cards or even debit cards.  He said no.  I then asked him if he had any fractional Gold Eagles (1/10th oz size).  He said yes.  So, I bought one.

So, let's review the score:

Alaska Local:   bought approx. $40,000 of silver
Robert Mix:     bought approx. $180 (cost: $198) of gold (high premium for 1/10th oz Eagles)

But, hey, I was on vacation!

Closing in on $120,000 of Debt / Taxpayer. Gold.

^---  Scary number just above!  I think I will keep this widget.  How many of us could pay the $120,000?  If .gov would let me make a One Time Payment and relieve me of further taxation (at least Income Tax), I would take it...  THAT will never happen.

Gold seems to be hanging in rather well, up again today even when the US$ was up as well.  See T. Ferguson's site for news on what moved gold today.


FOFOA has a new article up at his blog.  There is about a new entrant in the buy gold and have it stored for you (allocated) business that appears to have a better business model than the current companies in that space.  FOFOA solicits comments!  My comment is that I prefer my gold right here next to me.

But, this new company is of interest because it is a little closer to being a better custodian of your gold.  But, you still have to trust them.  Check it out for yourselves!


The Perfect Alaska Song?

As our daughter is not able to send us any pictures of our trip to Alaska right now (moving), I pass along to you all this very nice song found at the end of a video on a guy who went to Alaska to befriend and protect the grizzly bears.  Uhh, he was ultimately killed by a grizzly...

The song is kind of a lament about modernization...  If I had to guess, based on the lyrics, I would say this would be from perhaps the 1920s or so.  Kind of an old Western-style song, highly recommended.  The artist singing this is Don Edwards.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Genuine Alaska Jokes

I almost hesitated to post these, but...  If you don't like them, it's YOUR FAULT for reading them.  These were told to us by genuine Alaskans during our vacation there.

Q:  What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?

A:  A-Flat Minor!


Q:  What do grizzly bears call bicyclists in Alaska?

A:  Meals on Wheels!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Review of This Week's Barron's

I am just back from vacation and would like to try something new to see if this is worthwhile and of interest to you.  I will write on gold soon, but want to try this first.

A little over half the weekends I go and buy Barron's, the financial newspaper/magazine put out by Dow Jones.  Sometimes it is interesting sometimes not. I must disclose RIGHT NOW that Barron's is a BIG paper full of information, articles and data.  So, my comments will be limited to what I see as important or of interest to me.  I WELCOME your comments and emails to improve my weekly reviews if this experiment goes well.


The Cover Story is "Best and Worst Run States", and all 50 states are ranked.  Very seductive cover, when I see something like that, I buy...  The two WORST states are California (A- "rating") and Illinois (A+).  No surprises there.  12 states got AAA "ratings", the only surprise for me was Florida.  Apparently Florida's governor is going to be real tough on spending.

The criteria used in evaluating the states (a kind of combination of fiscal health, ability to backstop municipalities, etc.) include unemployment rate, federal spending as % of state GDP, Medicaid as % of GDP (important in states with big cities and with big underclasses), funding of state pensions, etc.  It is not very well explained how the various criteria combine to get their ratings.

I was a little surprised to see Alaska, North Dakota and Texas rated AA+, I would have guessed those three would have been AAA.


There were a SLEW of articles both on Bernanke and Buffett.  Bernanke blaming deficit spending and that he cannot do much, which may be sort of true.  It has been my feeling that it is government spending that is the slightly greater problem rather than Bankster misdeeds.

Even the various articles marveled at the way Warren Buffett got such a  sweet deal re Bank of America.

Both of these matters are well covered at Zero Hedge.


There is a gold article as well, by Gene Epstein.  Epstein quotes Steve Briese (a publisher of commodity information) as saying the near vertical rise of gold (or anything else) ALWAYS ends with prices going down and staying down for a long time.  This would be a short term thing he says, and the price of gold could go down to $1250 (!).  He says that "weak hands" hold the long bets in paper gold.  Briese then goes on to say that investors should sell now and re-buy after the price goes down.

Epstein then writes that an earlier Barron's article made a very positive case for gold in October 2010, and that scenario of course came true.

Almost all of you know MY view: buy physical gold for "insurance against monetary mismanagement" and for the very real possibility of FOFOA like numbers ($55,000).  If Briese is right about gold going to $1250 (hey, it could), then if you have any money left: buy, buy, buy.  Despite his pretty bearish view, note that he did NOT predict a very low price for gold.  IMHO gold will likely NEVER see a lower price than the "India Put" ($1040, when they bought 100 tonnes a year and a half or so ago).


One of Barron's most beloved writers is the fairly bearish and cranky Alan Abelson, whose column is usually very near the first pages.  This week he writes about Ben and Warren...  I like reading Abelson.


Leslie Norton, a writer there, reviews a book: Red Capitalism (C. E. Walter and F. Howie), which is about how weak China's banks are. "China's Banks: Worse Than You Think".

Apparently China's banks ARE pretty bad, worse than here.  DON'T store your gold in China...


Thomas Donlan writes the big editorial each week at the end of the main section of the paper.  He is SPOT ON re the very dangerous lending at subsidized rates (both in Europe and here).  Apparently the European Central Bank has started buying up Italian and Spanish debt (news to me, hey I was on vacation!).  He does not see any good way out for Europe.

He also speculates that "QE3 is underway without acknowledgement."


Finally, I always look at an obscure statistic that I gleaned from the Mogambo Guru (who I hope returns to write again soon): the Federal Reserve Data Bank (Market Laboratory - Indicators) located on the 5th last page of the Market Week section of Barron's (where all the little numbers are).

The number I always look at is the Total, which this week is 2.902847 trillion dollars, down a tiny bit from last week.  The week to week figures usually do not matter much, but compare that to the year ago change: up $549 billion or some 20%.  No real surprise, but I look every week...


I look forward to receiving comments on my Barron's review.  It is idiosyncratic (but has to be because the paper is stuffed with financial information), but the above pieces caught my attention this weekend.


We were in Canada and Alaska for over two weeks.  If my daughter sends along her photos, maybe I will write up the trip.

Alaska was really something, I see why "CC" likes it there, except it RAINS a lot in his part of the state.  I must mention that I picked up more "Chi" (see my article on Tai Chi if interested) doing Tai Chi next to Denali National Park, than anywhere else I have ever done it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Big Day Today!

With the Dow down 632 points and gold up about $50 I think we see a HUGE DISTRUST of our .gov to do anything right.

I heard NOTHING reassuring from the president today, it looks to me like he wants RAISE taxes.

Even if the PPT (or anyone else) comes in with piles of money buy the S&P futures to "save" the markets, it will ultimately fail, as it always has.

Gold is still cheap at $1700.  Do not let price pullbacks dissuade you or bother you.  These are part of the deal.  "It is all about the ounces" <--- from the philosophical king of my clan of the PM tribe.  Do not wait to BTFD.  Just buy.

And when your life's end is at hand, you will have the best physical gift for your child/ren.   Have faith in gold.  And more in God.


I am going OFF the grid after about 10:00 pm ET tonight, and it will be for a while.  Nothing is wrong, and I will tell you why after I am back up.

So, until I re-surface, any of your emails will be unanswered...  Please save yourselves the aggravation of non-responses by not sending me anything!

Best to you all, and thanks for coming by!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Downgraded! Let's See What Happens Next!

^---- Well one thing happening is that gold creeps close to $1700.  Maybe by the time you read this, we will have crossed over.  While this MAY be good for me, it is NOT a good indicator that our country's trajectory is in the right direction...

Your congenial host can only presume that gold will go up, up and away until our country gets its act together re spending.  Each of you is capable of checking current financial info as I am (and most of you will read this after markets have moved for hours) so I will not try to update you re specific markets.

The MSM (CNBS) is saying, yeah, we all saw this coming, blah, blah, blah.  What they are NOT saying is what we have to do (for real anyway) to bring our country back: cut spending.  We all know it.  Maybe taxes do have to go up, but the real problem is SPENDING!

This whole thing feels so Lehman-esque, so September 2008, but with the kicker of bad sovereign debt (Europe, we can "just" inflate ours away...).   I hope that I am wrong.  I really hope that things work out OK for us, but they may not.

History shows that sometimes "SJGR", maybe we are there.  I'll see you on the other side friends.

Fish Stories...

A lot of my readers are from the testostorone-fueled world of Zero Hedge, where traders are manly and call each other bitchez!  This article is for you guys!

It has been a tradition in my family to go to Costa Rica once in awhile on sport-fishing expeditions.  The Pacific Coast of C.R. offers some of the best deep sea sport-fishing around.  The main target fish are sailfish, marlins, dorados, rooster-fish and tuna.  So, I will share some pictures and anecdotes from one our trips there.  Email me if you ever want serious details if you ever want to go yourselves (my brother plans these trips and has the contact info).

On this trip there were 9 of us, our groups are typically between 6 and 19 (!).  Sorry, no ladies!

The below photo is my Peruvian brother-in-law Oscar (closer to camera) about to land a sailfish.  Sailfish and marlins, under Costa Rican law, have to be let back into the sea, "catch and release".

The picture below is ME reeling one in.  YES, my wife is always telling me to eat more...

The below is my brother with his catch of the day!

The below picture, taken by my friend, shows (l - r) my wife's brother Oscar, me and her father Eleodoro, who was 86 years old when the picture was taken (he is now 90).  Careful observers might note bearing brand logos on a couple of those T-shirts.

And the "piece de resistance" is Eleodoro himself with the dorado (aka "dolphin fish or "mahi-mahi") he brought in. That fish fed all 9 of us that night in town at our favorite restaurant there, with enough meat to be prepared three different ways.

It might be useful to note that Eleodoro NEVER smiles for camera pictures.  Only two such photos exist...

Bring that fish in Eleo!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

First Indicator?

IIRC, Fox News Channel (Neal Cavuto) said the Saudi stock market was down 5% in today's (Sat.) trading.

Friday, August 5, 2011

S&P Downgrade

I plan to have LOTS of popcorn (and adult beverages) close by Sunday evening when the markets open in Asia due to the S&P downgrade of our debt to AA+, a two step downgrade.

ZH has a LOT of comments on their main thread about this.  There does NOT seem to be a consensus on what will happen Sunday / Monday.

At 24hgold.com I saw only an 8% or so premium in the widget (at bottom of their home page) of eBay price for AGEs vs. the spot price.  This will be one indicator of how much Americans are worried about this (or not).

APMEX might be another, if they sell out or sell BIG this weekend.

Anyone who buys gold at a coin shop on Saturday, please share your experience here!  I bought mine this afternoon before the S&P downgrade.

I will be at the ATM each day for the next couple of days, taking out the max...


Please comment or email me with other indicators that we can see in advance of Sunday evening trading...


And I will post such indicators ASAP...

Today at the Coin Shop

Today I went and bought a little bit of gold.  At the coin shop, there was a lady behind me, middle aged.  She had a gold coin in a pendant on a gold chain.  She told me that she was there to sell it.  She asked me what it might be worth (a gold 1971 Rand, a coin I am not familiar with).  I asked her if could examine it, it seemed to weigh about 1/5th of an oz. So, I told her maybe she could get $300, but that the coin shop guy was the expert, not me.
She then dropped the bomb: margin call...
I wished her good luck.
There is real pain out there due to the meltdown this week.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Evil Empire Strikes Back!

^---  Take a look above!  They do not even try to hide the manipulation anymore.  They own the MSM...

My understanding is that one of the exchanges raised margins on gold trading, but if you want more reliable information at this stage, I would go to tfmetalsreport.com as Mr. Ferguson is MUCH better connected than I am with short term moves, trading, and the clear manipulation going on.

This changes NOTHING re buying and holding gold.

Debt Ceiling Agreement?  Just more spending, debt, lies and taxes.

BTFD.  BTFS.  Buy.Gold.Now.

As I write, the DOW is down 400...


www.zerohedge.com crashed for awhile today.  I was with my only friend who follows these kinds of events.  We thought it was also the Evil Empire at work.  Turns out it was very heavy traffic (the most since the Flash Crash) that BLEW UP one of their overseas servers...

Update on Zero Hedge (2:45 PM ET):

About 80% of the time I try to get on ZH, I cannot get through.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Great Day For Gold -- Bad Day For America

As I write, gold sits around $1654 per ounce, making a massive $40 intraday rally today.  I will allow www.tfmetalsreport.com to provide detailed information, as I do not have it.

But, with Korea picking up 25 tonnes yesterday and the huge move up today leads me to think that the Gold Train is picking up steam and that physical gold may be harder to come by even as its price goes up.  Some of the analysts most of us follow predict we will see $100 up days on occasion.  I believe that will indeed be the case.

Gold is still cheap.  Never let it go...  Unless you give it away...      ;)


Without doubt part of gold's rise (again I would refer to TF's great site) has to be the

The Really Bad Debt Deal

made by our political leaders in Washington.  They will NOT cut spending.  And spending IS the problem.  We all know that.  Right after the Senate voted for the Deal, why Obama and Harry Reid both then came out and gloatingly said they need to raise our taxes!

Even the ratings agencies have taken notice of our corrupt and weak politicians.  Our leaders are NOT  LISTENING to us.

Scores today:

Team Gold: +$40
Team USA: -$2,000,000,000,000

A train wreck lies ahead.  Please prepare accordingly.