Friday, April 20, 2012
Here's 2 to get you started, each from a different uploader.
Great fun TV show. Watch them all. Especially the ones with Jeremy Clarkson.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I'm in the process of doing up my capital gains calcs for last year, see, and I'm stunned at how good the miners were back then.
I made a fortune simply penny-flipping. Ah, Fronteer Gold, how I miss you - $4 win on the buyout, bought the day before. Fortuna? Five fucking figures, and I never was a buy-and-hold like Otto. Somehow I knew exactly when to buy and when to sell.
Shit, even Guyana Goldfields made me money last year. I'd watch it in a leisurely manner, wait til it was $2-$3 or so below the previous high, then start pennyflipping it as it went back up.
Now, I lost a few big piles (cough Regulus cough), and did cut losses on a few shitty pennycrappers.
But see? That's the thing. Last year I'd cut losses. Not all the time, but most of the time. And there's nothing wrong with that when you have 90% winning trades.
This year? Ouch. The miners only have one direction, and it's down. There is no place safe to go anymore, no easy slam-dunk win - now even BTO and RIO have dropped below their short-term EMAs. There is nothing left worth buying. Yamana looks bad. SVL's downtrended. SSL's rolled over. FVI has yeah sure gotta be worth more than $4, but I wouldn't put my money there right now. GUY collapsed, obviously.
DNT dead SUE dead MAG rolled over LYD dead AMM dead.
I'm waiting for BCM to puke below $3 now.
I really wonder if there's any such thing as a GDXJ advance/decline issues % indicator? Because geez, it looks like there's not one stock uptrending now.
It really looks like every one has been smashed down and stomped into the floor.
As in the situation is utterly hopeless.
That's why I'll be excited if there truly is going to be a >10% collapse in the S&P/QQQ over the next month. Maybe with a liquidity crisis thrown in, a Euro collapse, a commodities crash due to a China hard landing.
Something that could drive the miners even lower than this.
Because, man! This mining thing? This is beyond a Greek tragedy. This is where you've found a mangled corpse in the bushes at the side of a deserted country road and it's so far beyond gruesome that it no longer registers, your emotional response just turns off, and you decide you'd like poking through it to examine how the human digestive system is put together.
Ortega backs nationalization in Argentina
Um... sorry, would this be a good day, or a bad day?
Silver demand to rise 3-5 pc in 2012: Gold Field Mineral Services
Here's some excerpts:
"In order for us to see prices to be sustained above the $30 an ounce level, we have to see a decent level of investment interest. Investors have to be willing to buy the surplus for the price to be maintained or move higher," Klapwijk told Reuters ahead of the release of the World Silver Survey.
Translation: where's Sprott when you need him?
"What we have seen year to date is reduced appetite from investors, which have led to silver prices not really repeating the performance that we saw last year," he said.
Translation: where's Sprott when you need him?
Klapwijk said silver's price could push toward $40 in the second half of 2012, but he did not expect it to rise to a record near $50. It traded at around $31.60 an ounce on Wednesday.
Remind me. Is China supposed to be a leading indicator of something-or-other?
Funny enough, when you strip out the bloated Chinese state-run, state-funded, state-fraudulent industries of the FXI and instead look at the small high-tech enterprises of the CQQQ, things look different.
Then again, half of the CQQQ is building components for I-phones.
I remain convinced that Chinese people would rather not live in the dark and poop in a hole in the ground.
There were also some rather negative economic data from the US, which is usually construed as meaning "toldja so, we get QE3 after all!".
You're not safe til you pass S&P 1422, but for the time being (next few days) things look okay, don't they?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Frank Holmes says gold miners don't suck, thus by simple induction he must truly be an utter fucking moron
Numerous global investors have been pounding the table for gold stocks, including Dr. Marc Faber who said “gold shares have become extremely oversold and could rebound in the next few days” in his April market commentary and Global Portfolio Strategist Don Coxe, who reiterated that gold equities are undervalued compared to the precious metal on his weekly conference call last Friday.
Oh shit... so does that mean we still need Coxe and Faber to throw in the towel re: gold miners, before we can see a proper bottom? I mean, maybe their readers are the suckers who are buying right now!
I'm still worried, y'see, that them thar technical anal ysts who I read have called for various Doomsday numbers - $HUI 300 or so, and GDX $42 or something. And... um... we aren't there yet.
And they've proven to me that the chart is the chart, and they're smart and I should just shut up and listen to them. So despite their own newfound foolish bullishness, I'm waiting for another shoe to drop, for this week's bear flag to break down like the last 2 did.
Now, a good Euro crisis can get us down to those doomsday numbers. One big splooge of risk-off, a final dry-retch after a night of unpleasant drinking, to splatter the remaining held miner shares into a nice rococo pattern on the floor.
So that's why I'm going to be interested in what happens with Spain's 10Y auction on Thursday.
I guess, if Spain and Italy are both edging towards the precipice, and if France elects some nice Socialists, then maybe Germany gets isolated and Eurozone sends out for overnight delivery of 100,000 HP printer cartridges, so they can just print their way out of their debt problems. Which would be gold-positive insofar as some American idiots would start screaming "inflation! therefore gold bullion!" all over again.
I mean, maybe what the goldbug crowd needs is a severe inflation infatuation to become apparent among the world's governments, so that they can say "aha! we were right! now let's buy all the shitty explorecos we can!"
Fuck, I dunno... tell you the truth, I have no idea what'll move this market. A return of buyout fever, maybe?
Thomson Reuters GFMS: Copper May Struggle To Post Sustained Gains In Short Term (Kitco)
However, the marginal (90th percentile) cost of production remained significantly below—by approximately one-half-- of the 2011 annual average copper price of $8,811 per ton. Nevertheless, with operating costs continuing to rise significantly above inflation rates and increasing capital costs, Thomson Reuters GFMS said that the gap between market price and the incentive price for new projects appears to be narrowing. The consultancy said that limited supplies, particularly at the concentrate stage, remain in place, with global concentrate production broadly unchanged in 2011.
“Although refined copper output increased by around 3% last year, almost half of this was accounted for by secondary production, highlighting the ongoing challenges facing the primary sector,” Saraf said.
The Copper Survey addresses investment activity and said the move from a net short position in the Comex managed-money category at the end of 2011 to a net long currently was concurrent with a recovery in prices from the October lows. Thomson Reuters GFMS looks for investors’ macro sentiment to remain a dominant driver of short-term price movements.
“The fact is that, in spite of weak macroeconomic and fundamental signals during the early part of this year, the copper price has so far remained well-supported above $8,000/ton” commented Saraf. “This suggests that rather than reacting to these relatively negative data points, many market participants are pre-empting policy responses to these conditions through continued monetary easing, not only for the mature economies of the eurozone and the United States, but also more significantly for prospective copper consumption in China. This is why, in the absence of a major financial downturn, we remain sanguine about copper’s medium-term prospects.”
The general understanding seems to be that it will be an unmitigated disaster, 10Y yield will skyrocket, they'll fail at bid to cover, and this will then be taken as an illustration of Spain's impossible debt situation (which is entirely the result of backstopping failed banks), which will then lead to a Spain default, and blah de blah except 100x worse than Greece.
So, if you think the market is a bit "wonder where we're going" today, that's why.
Then again, I find it strange that bad earnings from INTC and IBM result in the ho-hum day we've seen so far, especially given the Spain Doom backdrop.
Meh... we'll see what happens tomorrow. FWIW, I've grabbed a bit of stocks at lower prices than I sold them at before, but have otherwise stuck with cash.
OK, then today we've got the opposite. Either the Kitco site is malfunctioning, or silver lease rates have just exploded to the upside.
I'm thinking it could be a webpage malfunction right now, since it's showing an explosion upwards in all but the 1-month. The only guy commenting on it right now is some blogger who I've never seen before, from (I'm guessing) Holland, and he's just looking at the same Kitco chart that I am.
So maybe it's nothing.
Better keep an eye on it.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I've been doing last year's Capital Gains forms and came across CRG. Went and looked it up, and lo and behold it's down to 60 cents.
I even found a "bottom feeder" article on teh intarwebz about it. Says they have $13M market cap and $28M cash.
Interesting, eh? Is this one of those "companies trading for less than bank" that is supposed to signify the stupid part of the market bottom?
But wait! Apparently, $16M of that "cash" is actually shares in purveyors of moosepasture like RYG and SBB. Also, HRT and TML.
Seems CRG's collapse has pretty much mirrored the post-2010 collapse in these other miners (SBB's chart not shown, it's just as bad as the others, you've seen it here before).
So does that instead mean that CRG's discount to book actually indicates that SBB and RYG will, in the eyes of the market, continue to collapse in price? CRG has 37 cents in real "cash", y'know.
Seems to me if you're some looney newsletter writer who still believes Sabina is worth $10 a share, then you should load up on CRG shares for the leverage to SBB. No?
UPDATE: It gets curiouser and curiouser. 14 cents per share of CRG is their shares of RYG... now, RYG is basically Shawn Ryan, his wife, a log cabin, and a whole lot of Call of the Wild vistas. Oh... and $48M cash. (Hard to spend $48M when you're a guy in a log cabin with a spade and a bucket!) So you can actually value CRG's share of RYG at a further 12 cents per share in cash.
Plus, Sabina has $100M - though they're spending it this year - and that's another 5 cents per share for CRG.
We're now up to 54 cents, and it's trading at 60.
HRT and TML are cash-poor.
So... this company's share price is pretty much backed by 90% cash (just a lot of other people's cash that's going to be spent this year), plus a pile of shares in companies who you might think are worthless... but will Sabina, say, ever bounce back? And one of the other companies CRG has shares in has a property in Dryden, so I don't see a problem with building a mine there (so long as the grade is economical).
First it was Korelin's readers throwing in the towel. Now, someone who should be expected to have more discipline at investing than them is also seriously considering pulling the plug.
Check out these quotes:
"It’s about 25 years since I first started speculating (gambling) in the junior resource market, and I can’t recall a stronger sense of dislike, disgust and hopelessness (maybe some Canucks fans feel close to this) in this sector than I am seeing and feeling now."
"While I didn’t need a metal detector at the door, I just had many readers at a local seminar and from them sensed a high level of frustration and a wanting to throw in the towel."
"I’ve had discussions with many different players in the junior sector of late and they’re all either sitting on their hands, in a state of disbelief, and/or feeling life as they knew it has ended."
"(my own personal portfolio of juniors is down seven figures in the last couple of months)"
So if you thought the old Korelin listeners post was a great indicator of a bottom (as it turned out to... erm... not be, don't fucking blame me, it was you who read it that way, I was just reporting the news), then what do you make of Grandich himself wondering if the end is nigh?
So go read the post. Yes, you too Otto. He makes a few other good points.
China’s copper demand will likely grow more than 8 percent annually in the next five years as the country uses more of the metal to develop its power infrastructure, Andrew Harding, the head of Rio Tinto Group’s copper division, said in an interview in Santiago today.
CESCO-Anglo sees TC/RCs falling, real China copper demand
SANTIAGO, April 17 (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American sees copper refining and treatment charges falling further, and has noted real demand from top consumer China rather than just stockpiling, the company's copper chief executive John MacKenzie said on Tuesday.
"I would expect a deficit to start to grow, a shortage of concentrate on the market and that would tend to ... drive TC/RCs downwards," MacKenzie told Reuters on the sidelines of the CRU Copper Conference in Santiago.
"I think on the other side what one also sees are rising operation costs in Chinese smelters that's also going to start bringing a floor to TC/RCs going forward," he said.
China copper demand to grow under 7 percent: Xstrata
(Reuters) - Chinese copper demand will grow a little under 7 percent this year and more positive signs of U.S. demand will help offset the impact of lingering European economic woes, the head of Xstrata's (XTA.L) copper unit Charlie
"We see an underlying strength in (copper) demand growth in China,"
Um. You think Xstrata, Rio and Anglo would know what they're talking about. I mean, for their own good.
Then again, maybe they're just talking book?
Anyway, here's a nice long writeup by Rick Rule on why he likes the miners right now.
He's got some interesting points:
#1, those who decry fiat currency should really decry fiat equities - the way that gold companies print shares like there's no tomorrow. Zing! Take that bitchez!
#2 - remember "supply and demand"? Well, any demand for miner equities gets sopped up by this overprinting - so you get a supply glut, of miner equities, and prices collapse. Zing, bitchez! ECON 101!
#3 - he's actually read up on India. In fact, despite his few little forays into "fiat Weimar Zimbabwe", probably cos he's writing for Casey, he otherwise generally agrees with everything I've already been telling you the past few months.
Aw, heck, it's on Stockhouse, a site founded by the famous anarchist Jeff Berwick, so I'm sure they'd be happy if I reposted it. Especially since they repost other people's stuff all the time. So here you go:
After a reasonably long period of sustained and occasionally dramatic escalations, commodity markets in general, and precious metals markets in particular, have declined. This is normal and healthy behavior, even if it is uncomfortable for some market participants. Readers with a long memory will remember the 1970s gold bull market, where the gold price advanced from $35 to $850 per ounce – though in 1975, in the middle of that epic bull market, the gold price declined by 50%. While a 50% decline is a near-religious event for many market participants, particularly those on margin, it is instructive to note that at the bottom of the retrenchment the gold price was up threefold from its $35 low, and that gold went on to increase eightfold in price after the bull market resumed. It is thus important to recognize that cyclical retrenchments are a normal and healthy feature of a secular gold bull market.
Readers should consider whether the reasons for the gold market are intact. Has gold's decline made it more likely that sovereign debts can be serviced or that unfunded obligations can be met? Does it mean that insolvent banks are now healthy? Does it mean that creating trillions of un-backed dollars and euros and renminbi will have no consequences? Of course not. We are simply uncomfortable with volatility.
Gold's current weakness
Let's examine some factors that may have contributed to gold's current weakness and think about the probabilities of those factors contributing to further weakening in the gold price.
For the past 10 or 12 years, the gold price has been in a steady state of advance. In the near term, some participants probably took some profits, and high prices also probably contributed to demand destruction in industrial fabrication and jewelry demand. A softening of the gold price is likely to reverse the effects of price-induced conservation and substitution, even while investment demand, measured by gold funds and the ETF industry, continues to be strong.
Equity and debt markets appear to be stabilizing as a consequence of quantitative easing in Europe, the U.S., and China, and the apparent easing of concerns in Greece. This flood of liquidity has forced interest rates down as well as bond and deposit yields, pushing savers into longer durations and riskier instruments – including equities – and lowering servicing costs for debtors, which in turn has lowered perceptions of default risk. The markets appear more confident, and hence gold's attractiveness as insurance is fading. Some of us believe that the root word of confidence is "con," just as I believe the correct phrase for quantitative easing is "counterfeiting." It would appear that in excess of $4 trillion of new currency units have been introduced into the system, with no concurrent increase in underlying wealth in the form of goods or services. This does not make me find gold less attractive relative to fiat currencies or sovereign debt. How about you?
Physical demand in India and Vietnam has been constrained by excise and import taxes on gold in the case of India, and increased regulation in Vietnam. The constraints on physical demand in India has had an important impact on overall gold demand, and has become a hot political issue in India. Gold merchants were on strike concerning the excise tax, further constraining demand. It is worthy to note that South Asian societies have a deep-seated, cultural attraction to gold, and that the fairly recent removal of the taxes they just reinstated was a consequence of widespread smuggling and informal trading in gold. I suspect that central government interference in the Indian gold market will be ineffective and ultimately inconsequential.
Small, commodity-oriented institutions such as hedge funds have experienced strong outflows of equity capital and constrained access to debt financing, which has caused them to engage in forced liquidation of precious metals holdings. This is true, and in my opinion will continue. I believe, however, that if black swan style events destabilize other markets, the gold ETF industry and gold trusts like Sprott Physical Gold will easily absorb the remaining institutional bullion hoards. Further, Sprott has firsthand knowledge of the strong interest among sovereign wealth funds in increasing their bullion holdings.
Since late 2010, gold equities have underperformed the commodity, and this underperformance has continued, and perhaps increased, as the gold price has declined. These twin trends are uncomfortable to participants in the gold equities markets. Let's examine some of the factors that may have contributed to the underperformance of gold equities relative to gold, and the probable consequence of current market conditions.
It is important to remember that for much of the last decade gold equities outpaced gains in the metals. In fact, the escalations in gold equities pricing became so acute that Canadian analysts were describing companies selling at premiums to their net asset value as "undervalued," because their premium to net asset value (i.e., what they are worth) was less than the industry standard. Always remember, markets work! This prior overvaluation was an important cause of the sector's subsequent undervaluation. The expectations built into gold equities valuations, even relative to gold, were simply unsustainable. In particular, the valuations accorded the junior gold sector were best described as "a bubble in search of a pin." The pin was found. History has shown that markets cure periods of overvaluation; and I suspect that they will also solve this period of undervaluation, relative to bullion, as well.
The emergence of bullion-linked equity instruments like the Sprott Physical Gold Trust and the various Gold ETFs allowed securities investors a new, low-cost, convenient way to participate in the gold markets. These developments at once spurred demand for bullion to back these equity-like instruments and constrained demand for gold equities as investors switched from traditional gold equities to bullion-like equities. I believe this phenomenon was particularly evident as a consequence of the relative overvaluation of gold equities described in the preceding paragraph. Given that the relative attractiveness of bullion-like equities to traditional gold equities was greatest when the gold equities were overpriced relative to bullion, I suspect this attractiveness will lessen now that gold equities are more attractive relative to bullion.
Gold equities were punished, both absolutely and relative to bullion, by their relative corporate underperformance. Many analysts, myself prominently among them, were dismayed at the gold mining industry's abysmal corporate performance during the last decade. The industry's operating cash generation in the face of a gold price escalation from $260 per ounce to over $1,200 per ounce was inexplicably poor. The companies' continued equity issuances in the face of these increases in the gold price meant that existing holders were continually diluted, even as their earnings expectations were always disappointed. Investor fatigue – in fact, investor disgust – was the natural and healthy response to this performance.
Now, even though equities prices continue to decline, corporate performance is increasing, and increasing dramatically. A cursory look at producers' income statements tells a dramatic story: earnings and cash generation, on a per share basis, are rising in dramatic fashion. Capital expenditures are increasingly funded with internally generated cash rather than equity issuances or debt. In fact, even in the face of the gold equities decline, many gold producers are generating cash so fast that even after funding hefty capital budgets, they are able to return cash to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and increased dividends.
The junior gold industry magnified these problems; and the market's response has been proportionately dramatic. It is critical for gold stock speculators to remember that the junior market, in aggregate, is always overvalued. If we were to merge every gold junior in the world into one entity (let's call it Junior Goldco), that company would lose (profits and corporate acquisitions less industry expenditures) somewhere between two billion and eight billion dollars per year. What should we pay for this enterprise – what is the correct price-loss ratio? Should the industry be priced at five times losses? Ten times losses? Higher?
The performance of individual junior issuers often attracts unwitting capital to the entire sector, and that phenomenon never ends well. Many gold bugs decry government-sponsored inflation, the profligate issuance of un-backed fiat specie (quantitative easing), but ignore the fact that the private sector (in this case the TSX Venture Exchange) is better than the government at everything, including counterfeiting. Many speculators hoped that the junior markets would respond the way they did in the late 1970s where a genuine shortage of equity led to amazing share price escalations, but they ignore the fact that the regulatory and industry infrastructure now exists to print away any amount of speculative demand for the sector. Beginning in 2009, the junior industry drowned investor demand in newly-issued equities at unsustainable prices. Speculators bought this paper without apparent regard to price or quality.
How do we address this problem? It is already being addressed by price. The price declines in the TSX Venture have been spectacular, and investors who've lost 50% on their portfolios are unlikely to welcome the opportunity buy newly-issued loss opportunities. Just as the unwary speculators previously bought issues without regard to quality or price, they are now selling them without regard to quality or price. Remember that it is the incredible performance of a small number of individual issues that attracts capital to the whole sector, and we see several very promising juniors marked down like so many of the Vancouver frauds. When irrationally exuberant expectations give way to irrationally negative expectations, opportunity is born, and a correction is at hand.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Comex-monitored silver stockpiles hit record highs - oops! Silver sucks now, guys.
PRECIOUS-Gold falls as worries over Spain intensify - No! Not my precious!! Yeah... I'm not worried about gold falling if Spain collapses into a pool of goo. The rich in Spain will need some way to ship their wealth out of the country, especially with the new rules requiring (heh!) Spaniards to disclose their foreign bank acounts to the State.
Gold glitters for mining students - yup! The miners are hiring. $64K starting salary for a metallurgy engineer... doesn't sound that great, considering you're an engineer, and you're not going to get to work in Toronto, or Woodstock, or even Timmins, but probably at some craphole in a war-torn failed state like Eritrea or Mali. But at least they're hiring now. "In fact, mining CEOs often cite the labor crunch as their No. 1 cost pressure." Dumb shits... what were you thinking a couple years ago when gold was at $1200? Why weren't you hiring back then?
Euro Drops Against Major Peers Before Spain Debt Auctions - that's the doom you're waiting for, remember. A few debt auctions happen this week. Those will have effects. In one way or another.
Recession hit Italy exports more gold to Switzerland - that's already been on ZeroHedge. Yeah, one thing we saw with the Greek collapse last year was a lot of money all of a sudden being converted to gold as it crossed the border.
If I recall correctly, the good play during last year's Euro Doom was FSG - the Factorshares double long gold double short S&P 500. I wonder if it'll be the same this year? No way in hell I'm going near something that leveraged, but it would be nice to watch its action.
Other than that, QQQ down 1%. IEF and UUP are up, so there's flight to safety going on; but while JNK seems to have topped, it's not collapsing yet, nor is SLV really, so we're not yet seeing an actual liquidity suck. Not just this moment.
Copper is down slightly, SLX and KOL are backing down - so there's fear of industrial slowdown, I guess. COW (US) and JJG are down, so... what, people are going to eat less food? Or is that just a function of speculative premium getting wrung out of foodstuffs? SGG and JO are also down.
Spanish yields hit 6.00% earlier this morning. As of this moment, 6.02%. Italian yields similarly are slightly up.
I read a blogger (dunno who - probably over on the right, over there) who suggests that over the past few days, the S&P and the Q have seen heavy insto distribution, selling into strength. So if you want to short the broad market, maybe now's a good time? I'm staying the hell out of that, because while we might see volatility for the next bit, we may also see policy reactions that keep trying to kick the market back up. I'll stay on the sidelines.
But generally, it seems people are trying to back out of the market right now. Maybe this can accelerate and start looking really horrible soon - after hope for short-term rebounds disappears and people begin to take any old price to get out?
Oh and by the way - $HUI and GDXJ are both back below their EMA(8)s. So, like I said, last week was yet another fakeout.
SLW is down hard, for some reason. FSM/FVI is also getting puked.