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12/31/08

Three wishes

This continent is generous to its population on New Year's Eve, as one of the traditions is to grant three wishes to whoever wants them (must be wished after nightfall on the 31st) . Here are mine for 2009:

1) Good health for my family.
2) More people with Spanish as a second language.
3) An end to racism.

If it were me......

........in a hostile bidding war to take over a company, and the stock of the company I wanted to buy out was fairly tightly held but still at an ostensible discount to the price I was offering, I'd probably run the stock up some, buying small bits wherever posisble, then let the stock dump from a short-term high to rattle holders into either selling to me or submitting to my bid.


Just thinking out loud during the last hour of the trading year. Move along now, nothing to see here.

DYODD, dude.

Ecuador bonds update

Another bad haircut

According to an interview El Universo published today with Diego Borja, Studmuffin's Minister of Public Economy, Ecuador is looking for a 70% haircut on the bonds buyback scheme. In other words, mark 30c to the dollar in your notebook. Here's Reuters reporting the story in Spanish. As for the "if the bonds are supposedly illegal why pay a bean for them?" line of thinking, Borja lays down the official mental gymnastics by saying,

"...the buyback is a pragmatic solution in which the government recognizes that there are holders who are not guilty in this situation and will be affected."

In other words, the debt is illegal but it might not be fair to pay nothing to the poor innocent bystanders that get caught in the crossfire of our crusade for justice an the nasty horrid kapitalist pigdogs (err...that's us gringos) so we'll pay a bit to everyone, even the pigdogs.

Or in other other words, Ecuador is about to be eaten for breakfast by Elliott Assoc and friends. If the whole line of reasoning for default is that the debt is "illegal" but then they offer to pay, that offer immediately dilutes their own defence. Meanwhile they have the money to pay 100% of the bonds face value and a straightforward court action is likely to go the defaultees favour.

These people are toast. They just don't know it yet.

Trading Post (twelve grapes edition*)


Anyone want to explain to me why base metals are rallying hard today? I don't have a clue as to why, but it's welcome enough. Right now we have the dollar, oil, copper&co (esp nickel) and gold all rallying together. If it's just window dressing I'll still take it.

There are plenty of beneficiaries from this base metals move, but one that's caught my eye is Capstone (CS.to), up 8.75% at $0.87. According to company literature, today's copper spot is around the point that CS.to has its cash cost.

Malaga (MLG.to) putting in an end-of-year spurt. It was at 8c early yesterday, now at 15c on low volumes. I'm still watching this one...I think it's better than the average microdot and its cash costs will tumble between now and the 1q09 report.

There be people sniffing round Vena (VEM.to) according to the Ottoscope. Only bits and pieces of volume but it's up from that $0.12 baseline level and I've had more than one conversation about it since xmas. A TA pal sez the chart "looks good"; I don't have a clue as to what that might mean, but he said it alright. DYODD, and it's a site sponsor so keep that in mind.

Jaguar Mining (JAG) has made it to U$5. The last time I said it was good value it stood at $3.1...not so long ago, either. Yeah I know I sold it too early (at a profit, but too early..me patsy too sometimes), but it doesn't change the call. I have this one mentally pencilled in as a takeover target. Kinross or Yanama, perhaps.

Dynasty (DMM.to) UNCH on low volumes. I'm watching to see if da boyz try plunging it again. If it goes under $2.50 I'm adding. I own. I'm very comfortable holding this stock. I love rock'n'roll. Put another dime in the jukebox baby.

My other recent long position is Cosan (CZZ) and it seems to be marking a line in the sand at $3.50. Fine by me. I'm 20% to the right side and under no pressure.

Happy new year everybody. Thanks for coming over to read the blog (that goes for the ever-increasing numbers of RSS and e-mail readers, too). It's been a fun way to spend 2008 and I hope you keep coming back in 2009.

*A tradition that started in Spain (I think) and is popular down this way is to eat 12 grapes, one on each stroke of the 12 bells at midnight tonight

I don't think you want to be long anything Venezuela at the bell today

Just my opinion.

Tomorrow January 1st, Raul Castro is heading up the big act to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. So be it. Also Chávez will be there to speechify, but the street rumbling is that El Hugo going to use either this speech or a speech right afterwards in Venezuela to mark out gov't policy for the year ahead.

Anyone who can remember back to early January 2007 and the speech he made to Venezuela's parliament just after winning the Prez election will know what kind of effect a Hugo policy-mapping speech can have on your back pocket (were you long CANTV/Vzla bonds/GRZ/etc etc that day? I hope not). So consider this a headsup. As usual I'm sitting with cash on the sidelines waiting for the market to toss me a bone. One might come my way by Monday morning. Woof woof.

The 2009 prediction game, LatAm country edition


It's the time of year, give or take a few days, that the idiots who were so wrong with their previous year's predictions shamefacedly go for the new round of crystal ball gazing for the year that cometh. The complete hash that these self-important, overpaid cretins made of 2008 isn't putting them off either, so there's a whole batch of soothsaying for 2009 going on right now.

As IKN's contribution to this zero-sum game, your humble correspondent has decided to avoid completely the stockpicking game ( I mean, I'm the fool who thought copper wouldn't drop under $3) but have a bash at predictions for the countries I follow most closely down here. No Mexico or Brazil as you'll get better commentary from RG at MexFiles and GPB at Market Memorandum on the "big two". Here you just get the little underdog guys....suits me better. So here we go!

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Argentina
Argentina version 2009 will be dominated by the October legislative (not presidential) elections, with half the lower house ("chamber of deputies") seats and a third of senate seats up for grabs. Otto expects the normal noise from outside opposition forces (Eliza Carrio the shrillest voice, Macri an interesting sideshow), but the real action will be inside the Peronist (PJ) party. The Peronist party is a very tough animal to sum up in just a couple of sentences (a friend based his doctoral thesis on the thing and used to spend hours running through his dissertation with me as a sounding board....believe me, it's complicated), but for our purposes 2009 promises a full-scale showdown between the Kirchner wing of the PJ and the "traditional" PJ line under the watchful eye of eminence gris Eduardo Duhalde.

This may not be the Prez election year, but what happens in October will set the scene for the next three years minimum (and likely longer). On the economy front, Argentina won't default its bonds but will see itself in recession. However expect the gov't INDEC stats office to cook the books and tell the world that the country is still growing....they might pitch for 5% or so. It's BS, but hey...who cares, right?

Bolivia
Evo will get his constitutional amendment on January 25th. He'll win the late year election, too. The medialuna racist opposition will continue to bitch and gripe, especially about the way they lose large swathes of land to their quasi-slaves who suddenly become unslaves. The pragmatic and effective Bolivian cocaine fighting campaign will continue without the "help" of the DEA and ATPDEA will be restored by Obama. Evo will continue to talk the socialist talk and be slagged by the English language media. In other words, it's going to be a very quiet year in Bolivia compared to 2008 and so much the better. As for the economy, expect the same prudent attitude as we've seen in the last three years and expect public works to take up the slack caused by the global recession.

Chile
Election year! Bachelet is enjoying an Indian summer of popularity that can only help my pick for the next Prez, José Insulza. This guy is my idea of a great centre-left politico; hard as nails and smart with numbers. I hope he gets the job and I think he will.

On the economy front, Otto sees Chile going through a meagre 2009 but its social fund will help things tick over. Whatever happens, expect the same countercycle economic policies from Chile in 2009, 2010, 2011 and beyond. It ain't broke, so why fix it?

Colombia
Colombia's going to have a hard time economically speaking. Its international currency reserves are low (in per capita terms) bonds are exposed to the winds of the world and Uribe needs to pray at the altar of coal, crude, natgas and coffee futures for a bit of respite.

The FARC looks more and more like toast (thank the stars) but is very unlikely to go gently. Expect more trouble, more rumblings, more extrajudicial killings by extreme lefties and extreme righties. Finally, "America's Friend" will get no love from Obama on the FTA front. Whether that's good or bad is another story.

Ecuador
Ecuador is in big economic trouble. When the bonds charade hits the NY courts and goes against Studmuffin there may well be hell to pay. As for timing, expect the opposition (both Ecuadorian and overseas) to crank the serious pressure just before the April elections. The country is in flux and it's tough to call anything more than a few weeks out.

On the mining front, the law will go through soon (at long last) which will let us rabid kapitalist pigdogs make coin on DMM.to. Otto's got other ideas about stocks to play on this....those thoughts for another day.

Paraguay

Possibly the world's best president-in-the-making, Lugo will continue to be wonderful. However the world will continue ignoring Paraguay and the population will continue giving 100% of its collective attention to its soccer team and they won't care much about politics or the economy, either. The main international headlines are likely to revolve around the Itaipu dam's electricity output and how much Paraguay wants Brazil to pay for its portion.

Peru
Peru is in for a very hard time. On the one hand you have economic reality staring at you in the face, with trade and BoP deficits a close certainty. On the other you have one of the most irresponsible, unpopular and corrupt governments on the continent that refuses to face reality and promises the world to its population. Expect greater social unrest and hardline reprisal actions from this shamefaced mob. Otto also predicts that PM Yehude Simon will see the error of his ways and resign his post before he loses all political capital. PPK will step up and soothe the neolibs as part of his President election campaign foreplay. Sendero will continue to be a pain in the ass of humanity and the cocaine trade isn't going away, either. The rich will try to get richer and the poor will undoubtedly get poorer.

My only hope is that S&P or Fitch face reality, stop playing politics, take the country's investment grade away and wipe that disgusting, patronizing grin off the face of the continent's most uncaring and arrogant president (and there's plenty of competition for that honour).

Uruguay
The Presidential election is in October and as things stand current Prez Tabaré Vasquez can't run. But if the constitutional amendment he's after gets through (probably via referendum if it happens at all) he'll get his re-election. If not, his 'Broad Front' party may find itself split apart and on the losing side. Delicate times right now. Tabaré has done an excellent job during his term
and runs close to historically high approval ratings for a Charrua President in his last year of mandate. Otto's prediction is that he gets his re-election. Economy-wise, Uruguay will feel the world downturn but will get through better than most.

Venezuela
The deval prophets of doom have called the same call every year since 2004. This time I think it's going to happen, but not until at least mid-year. Otto predicts that Hugo&Co will devalue the Bolivar Fuerte currency (the Strong Bolivar...expect a swathe of jokes about that name when it happens) to maybe the 3.0 level versus the dollar. The timing is right for 2009, as a deval into a deflated world economy lessens the inflationary impact that the country will feel.

On the political front, it's a tough call but Otto sez that Hugo will get his constitutional amendment in Feb/March and will be allowed to run in the next elections. Apart from these two calls, the whole caboodle depends on the price of crude. That hasn't changed in Venezuela for at least 35 years and it won't change in the next 35, no matter what flavour of politics is in charge.

Chart of the day is.........

........the Dow (DJIA) versus GLD (the gold ETF used as proxy to gold), 2008 chart.

This is what I mean about "preservation of capital". This is why I don't mind when people giggle when I tell them there's gold in that thar long term portfolio. This is what I've been talking about on this blog since it started in March.

Gold doesn't make you rich; it stops you from becoming poor. That's all one can truly wish for in a bear market. Up 5% in a year like this year? Yep, I'll take that happily. Dreams of untold wealth from investing in gold as spun by the goldbug mob? Those people give gold investors a bad name.

UPDATE: As if done to order, here's a smart person talking sense about gold. Cam Hui's post about how a return to the gold standard is a bad idea is packed with common sense and solid argument. Easily digested, too. Well worth reading.

12/30/08

Dynasty and the games redux



I'm not going to list all the trades at the end of day the same way as in the previous post, but if you look for yourself you'll see how can'o'corn (the famous 33) beat down the DMM.to price at the bell this afternoon. When it comes to this kind of crap, there's no better price artist than the jokers at 33 (they're always crawling over this blog for ideas too..... probably cos they just can't bring themselves to hire someone who can speak Spanish).


As a regular reader (who prefer to remain anonymous I'm sure, as he's probably long half the DMM float in his private a/c) wrote to me after the bell;


"I'm getting nervous. I'm selling everything tomorrow at the open! Ha, ha, ha..."


Did you take him literally? If so, that bridge of mine is still for sale. Here's that everso everso retail friendly action in chart form.

Colombian unemployment is up

Acccording to its DANE stats office today, Colombian urban unemployment hit 10.4% in November, up from 8.9% in the same month of 2007. The underlying national unemployment figure is 10.8%, up from the 9.4% of November 2007.

All this on the back of the 3.1% GDP growth in 3q08, which was half the expected number and is clearly slowing towards recession. It'll be interesting to watch the people's reaction to Uribe going forward, as alongside his well publicized fight against the FARC, his economic management has been the other pillar to his enduring success. 'It's the economy, stupid' is just as valid on this side of the Darien Gap.

I know why the caged bird sings

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Rusoro Mining Ltd., a Russian-funded company buying gold deposits in Venezuela, expects tostart production of the precious metal at its Increible-6 minein the second quarter after securing government approval. The company will revise its production forecast for nextyear after Venezuela´s government approved technical andenvironmental studies for the mine, Chief Executive OfficerAndre Agapov said today in a phone interview.
Venezuela´s Official Gazette announced the mine´s approval on Dec. 23. “It’s fantastic news,” Agapov said of the decision. “Itchanges our projections for 2009,” he said, without providing further information on the Vancouver-based company´s forecasts.
Rusoro is the government’s preferred partner to also setup a joint venture to exploit Las Cristinas, which hasVenezuela’s biggest known gold deposit, Agapov said Nov. 14.The company already operates the Choco10 mine in Venezuela andhas a “lot of common ground´´ with the government, he said.
The company is attempting to take over Gold Reserve Inc.,which has rights to exploit the Brisas gold mine in the LatinAmerican nation. The company wants to create a joint venturewith Venezuela to develop the mine, Agapov said.
Rusoro rose 6 cents, or 9.7 percent, to 68 Canadian centstoday in Toronto. It has fallen 58 percent this year.
“We’re trying to be very proactive,” Agapov said of the offer for Gold Reserve. “It looked like we were the only interested party, and we took advantage of it. If 2009 is a similar story, we’ll be even more proactive.”

Dynasty Metals (DMM.to) and the games people play


Here's the action in DMM.to right now. Interesting stuff that shows how "the houses" (aka the Canadian brokerages) will try to scam weak hands out of their positions.

11:19:20 T 3.05 -0.30 1,000 19 Desjardins 19 Desjardins K
11:18:56 T 3.00 -0.35 200 2 RBC 7 TD Sec K
11:18:56 T 3.00 -0.35 100 19 Desjardins 7 TD Sec K
11:09:15 T 3.01 -0.34 100 1 Anonymous 1 Anonymous K
11:08:59 T 3.01 -0.34 300 1 Anonymous 1 Anonymous K
11:08:59 T 3.01 -0.34 100 19 Desjardins 1 Anonymous K
11:07:21 T 3.10 -0.25 50 79 CIBC 19 Desjardins E
11:05:16 T 3.10 -0.25 200 79 CIBC 1 Anonymous K
11:05:16 T 3.10 -0.25 100 79 CIBC 19 Desjardins K
11:00:51 T 3.10 -0.25 100 7 TD Sec 1 Anonymous K
11:00:51 T 3.10 -0.25 100 7 TD Sec 19 Desjardins K
11:00:34 T 2.85 -0.50 1,000 19 Desjardins 85 Scotia K
10:54:25 T 2.78 -0.57 200 1 Anonymous 1 Anonymous K
10:54:25 T 2.98 -0.37 1,500 1 Anonymous 1 Anonymous K
10:54:25 T 3.00 -0.35 1,000 1 Anonymous 1 Anonymous K
10:54:25 T 3.25 -0.10 200 2 RBC 19 Desjardins K
10:54:25 T 3.25 -0.10 2,000 9 BMO Nesbitt 19 Desjardins K
10:54:25 T 3.25 -0.10 300 9 BMO Nesbitt 19 Desjardins K
10:54:22 T 3.26 -0.09 1,000 7 TD Sec 19 Desjardins K
10:51:20 T 3.30 -0.05 1,000 19 Desjardins 15 UBS K
10:51:20 T 3.30 -0.05 500 7 TD Sec 15 UBS K
10:42:06 T 3.37 +0.02 1,000 88 E-TRADE 79 CIBC K

Right now we have the bid at $3.00 and the ask at $3.09. What does all this mean? Well, first check out the three trades that plunged DMM.to down from $3.25 to $2.78 (i've highlighted them in red). A total of 2,700 shares was enough to wipe the stock down 47c. You'll also note that the previous four trades when Desjardins sold into the bid came with exactly the same time stamp as the three "anonymous" trades that dumped the stock. If you think this is pure coincidence I have a nice bridge you might be interested in purchasing. Since then the stock got bought in, but it's still 10% cheaper than yesterday's prices and there are people getting nervous and wanting to bail at $3.05 thanks to this move.

I love it when the big boys start wanting in! Sure they'll use tricks and scamettes to shake shares out from the weaker hands, the kind of investor who says "well...it's moved from $1.30 to $3, I still got myself a win" and hands over their shares in true patsy style. But I love it when this stuff starts happening because a) I can top at lower prices if I feel the need and b) it means they want the stock in their portfolios. That can only be good for the wiser and steadier hands among us.

So let da boyz play their little games. This time is Desjardins trying to fake the field, but next time it might be another house. They haven't managed to shake much fruit out (just 3,350 shares traded since the dump move) so expect them to put DMM.to on the rollercoaster a few more times....get people nervy and that. Me? I'm holding. Very very holding.

Trading Post (early edition)


Fortuna Silver (FVI.v) showing strength today, up 9% at $0.71. The cream will rise eventually.

Troy Resources (TRY.to) up a couple of notches at $0.90. Don't pay too much if you want in (and I'm not just saying that because I'm not bot in myself yet). The best method is to watch the overnight price in Australia (TRY.ax) and then do the necessary forex calaculation. The last time I looked, one loonie was worth A$1.2, so the person who paid $1.00 got scalped by the crooks-in-suits at the TSX. Be long this thing but don't chase the price, either. DYODD.

Gold Reserve (GRZ) up 4% at $0.77. GRZ has followed RML.v up as the RusskyGold has shot forward on some strange share buying action (Me, cynical? Nah....). Anyway, the 3-for-1 deal RML.v offering puts a current theoretical price tag on GRZ of U$1.65. Then factor in the presumed dilution in RML.v after the deal goes through (if it goes thru) and it seems there is still potential upside in GRZ from here. I'm still saying "avoid" on the whole deal, but I'm happy at least for one person I know in NYC who's made good from the GRZ relief rally. Fortune favours the brave, sir.

Apex Silver (SIL) down 37% at $0.81. Message to one person (that's advice for everyone); don't even look at it. Avoid avoid avoid. Thinking this is an investment is the same as thinking slot machines are an asset class.

Candente (DNT.to) at $0.17, Chariot (CHD.to) at $0.10, Los Andes Copper (LA.v) at $0.05. The more I think abut the Corriente (CTQ.to) exclusive takeover takedown takeaway deal and then reflect on how cheap other large regional copper juniors are right now (e.g. the three above), the more I think that CTQ.to is not the place to be right now. Either that or the three stocks above are raging buys right now. Either way, it's hardly a seller's market in copper juniors, no matter how closely held CTQ.to stock is or how patient its management may be. The bottom line is that imho $3.80 for CTQ.to is just too high for these market conditions. DYODD

Peru loves financial crises, official


News from the "four legs good, two legs better" whacky world of Peruvian economics. FinMin Luis Miguel Valdivieso (that's him above.......err.........probably) now says that a world economic crisis is good for Peru. In his words (via OttoTrans):

"This crisis has helped us to achieve a more ordered growth."


You cannot make this shit up, really. Who is this joker trying to fool? Seriously, he either trying to impress the great unwashed masses who don't give a damn about his high falutin' economics things or he's trying to convince the chattering class who won't buy this crap in a million years.

What's the point in spouting crap like this? If you consider the alternative, is it possible that the gov't would say "Oh, we don't like all this growth. Wouldn't it be great to have a world crisis to help us out here?" if there were no crisis and Peru kept on whacking out GDP growth figures of 8% and 9% per annum (that help its population 0%, but who's countin' huh?).

Luismi goes on to explain that of the U$35Bn in investments planned for between now and 2011, the gov't expects U$30Bn to go ahead as scheduled. ROFL!!!! I laugh because I checked, and what I found is that U$15Bn of those proposed investments are base metals projects....y'know, copper and iron ore and their friends. I can sit here and confidently predict that previously fast-tracked projects will be deferred and be subjected to "further studies" until the cows come home. There is no way under the good Lord's heaven that Las Bambas (and all the satellite projects around it), Galeno, the Antamina expansion, the iron ore pies-in-sky proposed by Van Alphen and his band of serial pumpers and any and all of the other projects move ahead. The only one that will happen is Toromocho because the unfortunate Chinese involved fully committed just before the bottom fell out of copper. So let's call abut $3Bn of that 15 as in the realms of reality. The rest is in politicoeconomic cloud cuckoo land.


If you ever needed proof that an IMF lackey like Valdivieso is a outright liar that leads whole countries down the garden path on the behest of his controllers, today's the day.

12/29/08

Troy Resources: be long now


I've been told I have to insist. Some reader who's into marketing for a living says that it's all very well putting the wares up for sale once, but I need to "get in your faces" as he puts it. Me, I'm not sure it's good to start boring you guys too much with the same post, but let's see if it gets a couple more sales. I'm up to nine sold and I have a mental target of selling 15 copies of this report to make it worthwhile.

But I also really want you in this stock (booyah!!) as I truly believe it's a top investment right now and still wildly cheap. And once I make you some real decent money with a real decent, well thought out reco or two you might start believing me a bit more. Anyway, here goes with the reprint; you now have to read it through and then buy your copy...only ten bucks, after all.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Since opening the NOBS bespoke analysis service I've written around 20 reports for private clients that have contacted me through this blog. Each time I've only put fingers to keyboard when someone has ordered an analysis about a specific company. As a plan to make this blog pay its way the NOBS idea has been quietly successful without setting the world on fire.

This time it's different. I've identified an exciting gold mining company, Troy Resources (TRY.to) (TRY.ax), that in my opinion has all the ingredients of a winning investment right here and right now. So in a break from the norm I've written a brand new report on the company for sale to the general public (that means you, dear reader) which details the reasons why I believe this stock to be such a good investment. The report will show you the following:
  • The structure of the company.
  • Its flagship property
  • The financial outlook we can expect from Troy Resources
  • Its management profile
  • We also put a 12-month price target on the stock that may sound like a big number to you, but I believe this stock to be such a bargain that I'm in fact aiming low and using conservative figures for my calculations.
Also, as always the NOBS report explains the risks involved with the stock and looks into any negativity surrounding the company. However, be clear that the job of this report is to make you very interested in buying TRY.to/TRY.ax. This is a very exciting stock and in my opinion just as mouthwatering as the recent successful recommendation of Dynasty Metals (DMM.to) that quickly turned into a triple. I'd really like to see you guys long on TRY for your sake and not mine, and when it comes to miners in LatAm I do know what I'm talking about. Honest.

This report written on TRY.to is on sale as of today, with the price set at a just U$10 payable by PayPal. All you need to do is send ten United States Dollars to my PayPal account, which is....

otto.rock1 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

.....and once I have your e-mail address I'll send you the report (and if you need help in working out how to use PayPal, just drop me a line at the same address above and I can help. It's already happened a couple of times. The system does take credit cards, BTW).

Now for the necessary disclosure that shows I'm being as fair as possible about this report. Although already sorely tempted to buy this stock I've decided to wait at least 72 hours after I send out any purchased reports before buying TRY myself. In other words, you guys get to be long before I do and that's guaranteed. Secondly, I have received no other form of payment or sponsorship to write this report. In other words, this is just me and you. Lastly, I have received no proposal of any sort from Troy Resources (or anywhere else for that matter) to write this report. In other words, this is my independent reco and nobody's got the inside track on me.

Now for a final bit of shameless promotion. This unsolicited testimonial below is part of a mail I received last week about the report written on Gold Resource Corp. (GORO.ob), another recomendation that has moved from U$2.90 to its recent U$3.47 price (that's 19.6% in two weeks...not shabby). Report buyer 'BF' said the following:

I read your GORO report - fabulous. I must say if I were writing reports, that would a model for me to aspire to...concise and focussing right in on the pros and cons...it really helped me to have had some info about the company before reading, so that I had some greater appreciation for your commentary. Definitely, ten American dollars well spent...

So thanks for that, BF. Hopefully by now you're interested enough in this offer to send what amounts to not much more than the commission you pay on a trade to find out just how good an investment I believe Troy Resources to be right now. For U$10 you'll be getting the same kind of timely information you could have picked up about DMM.to when it stood at $1.22 to $1.30. This Troy Resources report is an investment you won't want to miss because it will make you money many times over the original investment. That's me talking, the dude who knows his numbers, his region and his miners. Order your copy today.

It may be a bit early...........

A visibly spaced-out Antero tells the story of Itsy-Bitsy Spider with just one hand, as the other is
busy holding a marijuana joint disguised as a Cuban fatboy


.....to hand out the weekly 'No Shit Sherlock' award, but as this quote is basically unbeatable we'll just get it over with today.

Ántero Flores-Aráoz is one of those cigar-smoking Peruvian career politicos from the "good families" who is currently in place as Peru's Defence Minister. He was called upon to comment on yesterday's skirmish between Sendero Luminoso narcoterrorists and Peruvian soliders in the VRAE coca growing region of central Peru. The incident left one Peruvian soldier dead on the ground and others injured as Sendero managed to spray an airborne helicopter. All signs also point to some of the Sendero insurgents also being injured. Anyway, on with the quote. Flores-Aráoz said,

"There is always a risk of deaths or injuries during combats."

Thank you for that, dumbass. Real insightful bunch of ministers over there in Peru, no?

Trading Post (frothy edition)


So, let's get this straight. A country bombs the crap out of a piece of land next to it that might or might not be another country, gold goes up and goldstocks rally hard into a bear market. Now is it just me, or do you guys think there might be a short-term top to disappoint the goldbugs and get them muttering strange things about illuminati coming soon?


Gold Resource Corp (GORO.ob) up 8% at U$3.75. If I owned this thing I'd be sorely tempted to sell a few here. I know that when a gold stock gets fashionable it can run hard and fast, but the way I see its fundamentals I'd call it as 'getting ahead of itself' right now. In my worldview if an OB stock offers you a tasty profit, you take it.

Cosan (CZZ) now up 16% at $3.48 and has dropped back somewhat from the early morning peak registed in an earlier post. Hey, I'll take a 16% gain with a big smile on my face any day, no worries. The plan is to hold this position for three months minimum, so right now I'm happy to be on the right side of the trade, no more. Plenty of time to watch the story unfold yet.

Troy Resources (TRY.to) up 23% at $0.90. Thanks to the six people (so far) that have ordered the report. FWIW, if today's Canada trading equalled last night's Australia price, TRY.to should be at around $0.80. On the other hand, it's been so erratic recently and the bid/ask spread is wide apart, so anything could happen (and probably will). The reports will be with you very shortly, people, but I'm looking to sell at least 10 copies to make it worth my while. Any more takers?

Exeter Resources (XRC.v) up 23% at $2.23. Is it time I reviewed my bearish outlook about XRC? I know that the Chile project is hateful and trying to make itself to be something that it isn't (namely commercially viable). I know that the Mendoza project is a rabid dog with fleas thanks to the local politics. But the recent drill results from the southern Argentina Cerro Moro project were nothing short of excellent and must be the reason for the recent pick up in share price. I took long, hard stares at the drill returns and there was no way round the fact that the truth machine is flashing green lights here. What's more it seems there is plenty of blue sky room to come from the vein system. Just a pity that the company chairman is such a dick and insists on running the hype machine. XRC.v is now on my "must swallow pride and look again properly" list.

And while we're on the subject of exploding US cocaine propaganda.....

...Venezuela today announced it has seized 54 metric tonnes of drugs in 2008, 65% of which was cocaine. It has also arrested 9,007 people for drug-running (up from 4,150 in 2007) including 14 drugs bosses. Amongst those 14 are four Colombians that were immediately extradited to the USA because.......ready?......roll on the drums...they weren't even on a list of wanted people in Colombia.

Not bad for a country that doesn't even grow the stuff on its own territory. But we don't need no stinkin' facts, right? Especially good considering the USA seems to want everybody to beleive that Venezuela is the reason why its own population stuffs all this crap up its noses.

Funny old world, innit?

Those lazy cocaine trafficking Bolivians deserve to lose their trade deals


When the USA rescinded Bolivia's inclusion in its ATPDEA trade deals tied to the control of narcotrafficking in the region, it tried to make out that it was because Bolivia hadn't done enough to stop the drugs trade inside its borders. It was total BS of course, as the US was really pissed about how Dr. Morales threw out their ambassador before he had time to finish the coup plans, but...hey...splitting hairs, right?

Anyway, back to the official reasoning. In the announcement, White House voice Dana Perino said that if Bolivia "improves its performance" the USA could re-establish its ATPDEA benefits program.

This is what Bolivia's anti-narco police force FELCN (Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotráfico) has done this year:
  • Confiscated 28 metric tonnes of Cocaine and Cocaine paste. This is around 28% the volume of the estimated 100MT of cocaine produced in the country and compares with the 32MT seized in Peru, a country with two and a half times Bolivia's production volume.
  • Carried out 10,340 anti narco operations. Do the math, that's 28 ops per day.
  • Destroyed seven crystallization factories.
  • Destroyed four recycling factories.
  • Destroyed 4,744 factories making cocaine paste.
  • Destroyed 7,248 coca leaf maceration centres.
  • Arrested 3,413 people, comprising of 3,180 Bolivians and 233 foreign nationals.
The USA sez: Must try harder, little brown people.

Sweet

Oh how they laughed when I said I'd bought Cosan (CZZ) at U$2.84 on the 19th December 2008. How they giggled, guffawed and snickered. DYODD, I said, cos I've done mine.

CZZ now U$3.76, up 25% on the day. Otto 32% up in ten days and not selling yet. Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Now buy my report on Troy Resources and make yourself some money using my local knowledge.

Chart of the day is............

...Silver futures, monthly candles since the year 2000.

Those waiting for silver to bubble up missed the move. Long term the chart looks healthy, but on the other hand it also looks like the NASDAQ 1994 to 2003. Be realistic.

12/28/08

Troy Resources: A new NOBS company analysis on general release

Since opening the NOBS bespoke analysis service I've written around 20 reports for private clients that have contacted me through this blog. Each time I've only put fingers to keyboard when someone has ordered an analysis about a specific company. As a plan to make this blog pay its way the NOBS idea has been quietly successful without setting the world on fire.

This time it's different. I've identified an exciting gold mining company, Troy Resources (TRY.to) (TRY.ax), that in my opinion has all the ingredients of a winning investment right here and right now. So in a break from the norm I've written a brand new report on the company for sale to the general public (that means you, dear reader) which details the reasons why I believe this stock to be such a good investment. The report will show you the following:
  • The structure of the company.
  • Its flagship property
  • The financial outlook we can expect from Troy Resources
  • Its management profile
  • We also put a 12-month price target on the stock that may sound like a big number to you, but I believe this stock to be such a bargain that I'm in fact aiming low and using conservative figures for my calculations.
Also, as always the NOBS report explains the risks involved with the stock and looks into any negativity surrounding the company. However, be clear that the job of this report is to make you very interested in buying TRY.to/TRY.ax. This is a very exciting stock and in my opinion just as mouthwatering as the recent successful recommendation of Dynasty Metals (DMM.to) that quickly turned into a triple. I'd really like to see you guys long on TRY for your sake and not mine, and when it comes to miners in LatAm I do know what I'm talking about. Honest.

This report written on TRY.to is on sale as of today, with the price set at a just U$10 payable by PayPal. All you need to do is send ten United States Dollars to my PayPal account, which is....

otto.rock1 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

.....and once I have your e-mail address I'll send you the report (and if you need help in working out how to use PayPal, just drop me a line at the same address above and I can help. It's already happened a couple of times. The system does take credit cards, BTW).

Now for the necessary disclosure that shows I'm being as fair as possible about this report. Although already sorely tempted to buy this stock I've decided to wait at least 72 hours after I send out any purchased reports before buying TRY myself. In other words, you guys get to be long before I do and that's guaranteed. Secondly, I have received no other form of payment or sponsorship to write this report. In other words, this is just me and you. Lastly, I have received no proposal of any sort from Troy Resources (or anywhere else for that matter) to write this report. In other words, this is my independent reco and nobody's got the inside track on me.

Now for a final bit of shameless promotion. This unsolicited testimonial below is part of a mail I received last week about the report written on Gold Resource Corp. (GORO.ob), another recomendation that has moved from U$2.90 to its recent U$3.47 price (that's 19.6% in two weeks...not shabby). Report buyer 'BF' said the following:

I read your GORO report - fabulous. I must say if I were writing reports, that would a model for me to aspire to...concise and focussing right in on the pros and cons...it really helped me to have had some info about the company before reading, so that I had some greater appreciation for your commentary. Definitely, ten American dollars well spent...

So thanks for that, BF. Hopefully by now you're interested enough in this offer to send what amounts to not much more than the commission you pay on a trade to find out just how good an investment I believe Troy Resources to be right now. For U$10 you'll be getting the same kind of timely information you could have picked up about DMM.to when it stood at $1.22 to $1.30. This Troy Resources report is an investment you won't want to miss because it will make you money many times over the original investment. That's me talking, the dude who knows his numbers, his region and his miners. Order your copy today.


UPDATE:
After three days I've sold 22 copies of the report (and received plenty of positive feedback, too). Also, it may be a coincidence but the stock has moved significantly, too. Thanks for supporting the site.

Peru set to lose U$4Bn in exports in 2009...just in copper

Peru not dependent on mining any longer? Don't be stupid

Some basic numbers: This year Peru expects to finish with exports of U$32Bn, 19.2Bn of which being metals exports. The big two metals are copper and gold which together account for over 70% of all metals exports by dollar value (precisely 70.7% in the first ten months of 2008, copper U$6.85Bn and gold U$4.67Bn from a total of 16.27Bn).

However, in that 2008 period copper averaged U$3.14/lb. Hey, guess what? Copper's going to be cheaper next year. This table shows how 100,000 metric tonnes copper exports per month will turn into dollars at various spot prices. In fact, although it fluctuates by a couple of thousand tonnes per month Peru averages 99KMT right now so we're pretty close to the real numbers.

Peru Copper Export Revenues
Cu $/lb Est. Annual Value (U$M)
1.20 3168
1.40 3696
1.60 4224
1.80 4752
2.00 5280
2.20 5808
2.40 6336
2.60 6864
2.80 7392
3.00 7920
3.20 8448
3.40 8976
est. Month exports 100,000MT Cu

As we can see, if 2008 finishes by averaging $3.00/lb and 2009 finishes by averaging $1.40 or $1.60/lb (quite likely considering today's spot price and '09 predictions from this-and-that industry body or spokesperson), the difference for Peru will be somewhere around four billion US dollars in lost exports revenues. And when you consider that this is just copper, and other heavily hit metals exported by Peru include siver, zinc, lead, iron, molybdenum, tin etc the picture isn't very pretty. Even the more promising gold will have to average around U$870/oz in 2009 to beat out 2008's country revenue total (assuming export volumes remain the same).

So, that's U$4Bn disappeared from the trade balance for 2009. Here's the monthly trade breakdown for Peru in 2008.........

..........and in the first 10 months of this year Peru has managed to put in a surplus of U$2.8Bn. Yeah, you got it; just the copper loss is going to screw the trade balance in 2009. Just copper.

So forget about the fishmeal dispatches that will drop, the asparagus exports that Costco and WalMart will trim, the grapes that Japan won't order this year, the job losses, the greatly reduced royalty payments and all that jazz. Just remember that over 50% of Peru's corporate tax is paid by miners. So the next time some idiot tells you that Peru is not going to be affected by the world economic downturn, send them the link to this post. And then tell 'em to STFU.

Tourist attractions, Colombian style

In the town of Piedecuesta in northeastern Colombia, a local waxworks exhibition has been packing them in over the festive season with the dead body of Raul Reyes, the FARC leader bombed to death in the now infamous cross-border attack in Ecuador on March 1st 2008. The body is under glass and is said to be a faithful reproduction of the images of Reyes as shown by the Colombian army to TV and press cameras after the attack. You get the beard, the T-shirt covered in blood and the underwear (as he didn't have time to get his khakis on before dying). No word on the laptops, though.

Also on display are other figures modelled by the same local artist, Luis Augusto Martínez Ramírez. The eclectic collection includes Álvaro Uribe, Hugo Chávez, Ingrid Betancourt, Adolf Hitler, FARC leader Manuel Marulanda, paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño, Pablo Escobar, Simon Bolivar, Princess Diana, Che Guevara, President Kennedy, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and three images of Pope John Paul II. Here are a few more images from the museum's collection:

Simon Bolivar


Álvaro Uribe(!)

This is too bizarre for words

For the grande finale, here's Telam news agency on the "personal touch" that Martínez has brought to his sculptures (translation Otto):

"Another of the interesting aspects of the exhibition is that the figures of Martínez, who is a dentist, move and smile, showing off teeth that the author elaborated by taking advantage of his professional knowledge."

Even in the mondo bizarro that is South America, Colombia beats 'em all hands down. Applause for dentist, wax artist and museum owner, Luis Augusto Martínez Ramírez (below):

The sign translates as :
"Augusmar wax museum presents personalities from history, politicians, artists, monsters, guerrillas, child phenomena, victims of crimes and much more".

What Colossus Mineral (CSI.to) forgets to mention about Serra Pelada

Colossus Mineral Inc (CSI.to) is the albatross-laden junior gold miner exploring the Serra Pelada gold mining zone in central Brazil. For decades Serra Pelada has been mined by 'garimpeiro' artisan miners, with a TV documentary on the intensive mining in the 1980's and 1990's available at the company website.

This video is NOT that documentary. Instead, it's a May 2008 report about the violence and infighting between the local miners still on site and tells the story of the death of one of the main union (or maybe just 'gang' would be more apt) leaders.



Here's the link to the page from which i enbedded the video.

I was sent this by a smart investor who knows the area well.. I'd heard about the existence of this video previously but had never got around to digging it out. I'm glad I've finally seen it, as recently I mentioned that it might be time to do some DD on this company. In the exchange that followed, my correspondent hit the nail on the head when he said that the rivalry and rancour left over from the documented confrontation will surface again. It's not a case of "if", it's a case of "when". His scenario of "who wants to write the PR about a JV partner being assassinated on a site visit?" may sound dramatic at first, but it's well within the realms of possibility.

What is telling is the roaring silence out of CSI.to about the obvious bad blood and poor social situation at Serra Pelada right now. On the Christman eggnog circuit, company reps were talking about how they'd found common ground with locals and how all was fine "down there". Being fine with one gang is all well and good, but that just means they've taken sides with the mob that has the upper hand...for the moment.

Political risk in LatAm isn't just confined to Presidents, administrations and governmental politics. Watch the video.

Argentina: Keynes shrugged


There are few countries like Argentina that can take an idea straight out of the Keynesian playbook to reactivate consumer spending and industrial activity and then at the last minute screw it up all by themselves. The cheap fridge scheme cooked up by the government (and reported by IKN just before xmas in this post) has been successful so far, but due to lack of planning (what?...improvisation in Argentina? ...hoodathunkit?) the country has run out of units to sell. Therefore the local white goods stores (knowing a good thing when they see one) are now selling Brazilian made units to their clientele.

Errrr.....this wasn't really the plan, was it? I mean, unless they're worried about all those import companies and truckers from Brazil suddenly being pinkslipped. The whole idea of a roots-up economic stimulus has fallen by the wayside in the rush to sell sell sell. Heaven forbid the idea of actually bumping up production capacity in Argentine factories...far too récherché.

It now remains to be seen how they'll make a balls-up of the new car stimulus plan. I suggest you go long Brazilian autoparts makers right now.

12/27/08

Oh...I wonder where that might be?

Chávez today:

"Next year, we are going to duplicate gold production. We are taking back some concessions that were given out by previous governments and are still valid for some rich guys that take the gold away, exploiting the miners."

He's making a big speech on Thursday January 1st to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. It's gonna be a doozie, methinks.

Ecuador: Rafa sez; "Pssst! Wanna sell me your bonds.....cheap like?"

Highlight of Radio MUFN today was the part when President Studmuffin said to his nation, "We are going to make a proposal at the beginning of January to buy back the debt, but obviously at values substantially cheaper than the nominal value." He backed up that statement later when saying that the proposal won't be based around the face value of the bonds but a price that compares to the price currently paid by the market.

"The debt" referred to is, of course, the Global 2012 and 2015 bonds that were defaulted due to non-payment of interest in December. The 2030 bonds have an interest payment coming up in February and it's to be seen whether they are part of the defaulted basket. The likelihood is yes; the 2012s an 2015s currently trade at 22.5c on the dollar and the 2030s are marked at 23.25c, so the 30s are assumed defaulted by those that trade them.

Studmuffin's plan seems pretty simple, in fact. The $3.8Bn of bonds out there get bought back by the state for U$1Bn or so, and with U$5.2Bn tucked away in international currency reserves the country has the means to pay the massive haircut in cash. So why do I think he's in for a rude awakening? As Correa himself admits, many of the bonds are in the hands of the "international speculators" who are surely going to take the matter to court to try to get the bonds prepaid at full face value. As long as the vulture funds have a sufficient block of bonds and their holders on their side, the plan to take Ecuador to the NY courts will surely move forward. And if their case prospers and if Ecuador has to pay up that will slurp away the lion's share of those international reserves that would probably be compounded by net withdrawals from the country's banking system. From there, one holds one's breath and just hopes Ecuador can get through the shitstorm. And that's just one manifestation of the nasty scenario that awaits Ecuador.

As registered on this blog, I didn't think Correa would go down the defaulting path. That was my mistake but it was based on the fact that if Ecuador did default it would be putting itself in great financial danger. Correa's brinkmanship style might have worked up to now with oil companies, telephone companies etc, but bond holders have a lot of law on their side on this issue. It feels strange to be siding with the vulture funds on this one, but side with them I must; Correa has basically decimated the market price for Ecuador's sovereign debt and then said "look, that's the market price, we're willing to pay that to buy back the debt," which is every bit as dirty a tactic as the vulture funds snapping up the cheap debt and then aiming for legal recourse. Why Studmuffin is trying to convince his public that defaulted bonds holders will just lie down and take this is beyond me. Also, the offer to pay a haircut on the bonds kinda goes against his whole "the debt is illegal" argument. If it's illegal, then cancel it unilaterally and pay 0% of it, right? How can he say that Ecuador is willing to pay 25% or 30% on the dollar? Does that mean the debt is only 3/4 illegal or something?

The point here is that Correa might well have a point about the usury nature of these Global bonds but unless there's some deeper strategy that this analyst (and the wider financial community) hasn't seen, he's being very naive about it all and is likely to get his ass handed to him on a plate by the NYC courtroom that will decide this matter.

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Bad news for the Bolivian white supremists: They're losing their Uncle Tom


Savina Cuellar is the Prefect of Chuquisaca Department in Bolivia, the region that includes the historical (and still official) capital city, Sucre. Cuellar is also famous for being the indigenous member of the opposition half moon alliance that tried and failed to topple the legitimate democratic government of Evo Morales this year. A more classic Uncle Tom figure is hard to imagine, as up until now she has shamelessly hitched her political wagon on the power block that includes white supremist shits such as Ruben Costas of Santa Cruz dep't, a man who calls indigenous politicos such as Morales "monkeys" and Leopoldo Fernandez of Pando, now in jail accused of being the mastermind behind the Sept 11th massacre. Up to now the token indigenous member of their fascist uprising has been a useful figure, giving them some semblance of legitimacy amongst the people they otherwise use as quasi-slave labour on their vast landholdings.

However, it seems as though Cuellar is finally getting a dose of shame about the company she keeps. Up to now she has been clearly advocating the "NO" vote in next month's contitutional referendum. Just last month she signed a joint declaration with other rebel prefects that called on people to vote against the new constitution on January 25th, even though said document gives autonomy to Bolivia's departments....exactly what the usurpers have been ostensibly demanding (the reality was "no indios in power", but let's not worry about that too much). But yesterday, Cuellar showed that she was breaking away from her masters by saying, "Every person must vote according to their own conscience. I have not instructed anyone to vote "NO"."

This obvious lie is welcome, of course, but the backtracking must have a reason. Perhaps she's finally got the dose of guilt that would have come sooner or later. Perhaps it's realpolitik to appease angry constituents that have accused her of selling out on many occasions. Perhaps she just realizes the blatantly obvious; the "YES" vote is a sure-fire win on Jan 25th and she doesn't want to be painted as on the losing side. Perhaps perhaps perhaps. But whatever it is, she has just opened up an almighty crack within the racist alliance already in its death throes.

12/26/08

The throat of fire and thoughts of longer time

The red arrow marks the spot

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano is rumbling. Over the last 24 hours seismologists that monitor the volcano with a Quechua name meaning "throat of fire" have noted dozens of small seismic movements consistent with magma upflow. A 4km high cloud of gases and dust has formed above the crater.

The volcano is one of the most active in the Andes and woke up from an 80 year slumber in 1999. This photo taken in 2007 shows what it's capable of at the moment.

About 5km away lies the town of Baños and its 25,000 people will be alert to the possibility of (yet another) evacuation. As Quitos is just 87km North of the volcano, finding a friendly roof shouldn't be too hard. On the other hand, if the volcano gets too busy and the wind blows the wrong way, who's going to look after the population in the capital?

Hey ho, all part of the fun of living on top of a rapidly rising mountain feature (in geological timescales, at least). It certainly reminds me of my favourite quote from the magnificent book "The Earth, An Intimate History" by Richard Fortey. The quote that follows is not some sort of evangelizing about global warming, by the way. Taken in the context of geological time the whole issue becomes vastly more philosophical. In the words of Fortey;

"Mankind is no more than a parasitic tick gorging himself on temporary plenty while the seas are low and the climate comparatively clement. but the present arrangement of land and sea will change, and with it our brief supremacy."

News from "investment grade" Peru (part 193)

Read this report written by an Australian volunteer in Peru. Every so often this kind of first-hand diary-report kind of article gets written by people visiting and working in Peru but this one is better than most.

Anyone who has visited the more remote parts of the Andes Cordillera will know that Courtney Trenwith is the real deal. Her report may be a bit overstuffed with pathos for some tastes, but she's far closer to the truth than the cretins unreservedly praising Peru by looking at its economic numbers from a hotel conference room in Miraflores.

Viva investment grade. Viva viva viva.

"It took Chavez to show how incompetent the Venezuelan elite was."

Sebastian Edwards is one of those intellectual types who thinks he knows about Latin America. The difference between him and 99% of those who would mouth off about the region is that he really does know what he's talking about.

That quote in the title line comes from this L.A Times interview. As a snapshot overview of what's going on down here's it's pretty darned good, gotta say. It passes the Otto mental acid test of good analysis, that being when Otto considers his lefty friends and righty friends and notes that both sets of political dogma will be pissed about what Edwards says at some point.

So go read the note. Recommended as concise, accurate, no BS, with particularly sharp observations about Brazil.

News roundup


Ecuador announces that it has confiscated 30.886 metric tonnes (MT) of drugs in 2008, including 27MT of high quality cocaine. Not bad for a country that produces virtually no cocaine at all and is used as a trafficking route from Colombia and Peru.

Glencore Bolivia announces 700 job losses at its zinc/lead/silver mine in Potosí. Locals are protesting the announcement with protests in the town square. Here's bloomberg on the news, but the Bloomie report doesn't mention the job cuts come just after locals rejected an emergency plan put together by Glencore that would have forced workers to accept a 12 hour working day for 14 consecutive days. It's evolution, baby..........

In Peru, the local Amazon development pressure group Aidesep has threatened to throw Dorato Resources (DRI.v) out of the area it is trying to turn into a gold mine on the Peru/Ecuador border. The Peru mining ministry came out with some BS about Dorato not being there and the cmaps being operated by Minera Afrodita, but forgot to mentin that Afrodita is optioned to be sold to Dorato with the operation due closed in 2009. Anyway, Aidesep says that if the company doesn't leave on its own according, it a 5,000 locals will turn up at their camp and persuade them it'd be best to abadon the area.

In Argentina, the Econometrica monthly review is out for the month of December. Here's the link to this most useful PDF that keeps Spanish speakers nicely informed on economic issues. Recommended reading, and free.

In Peru, Prime Minister Yehude Simon complains that businesses should have dropped their retail prices due to cheaper supplies, citing the example of chicken selling at S/8 per kilo (U$2.58). He accuses businesses of not playing fair. Meanwhile, Bolivia's government sets a price limit of Bs./12 per kilo (U$1.70) for chicken and doesn't allow the "free market" room to rip off its population.

Chart of the day is............

.....soybean meal, January 09 futures, six month chart.

Everso everso quietly, soybean meal (and its other soyfriends, of course) have put together a very interesting end of year rally. We're now at a point where the mumbo-jumboists will point to resistances lines, overboughtness on RSI and Stochs, etc. Meanwhile normal people will look at the chart, think about dollar weakness, lack of fertilizers used in the first half of the growing season (phosphate and urea prices have dropped considerably in the last few weeks) and the non-record numbers expected by Argentina and Brazil (to name but two) this year.

You'd do well to watch the bean from here; maybe those enormous Chinese apartment blocks are empty, but the people who were about to move in still need to eat food wherever they're hanging. The last time I looked the world's population was still growing and the thought of that bubble bursting does not promote thoughts of peace on earth and goodwill to all.

12/25/08

For the record

I got socks.

Merry day to all.

12/24/08

Trading Post (not a creature was stirring edition)


Tis quiet out there. Not so quiet in here, though. Currently listening to Let It Die by the Foo Fighters (at 11), as close to the definitive rock song as I've heard in the last couple of years.

On these kinds of days the person that cares enough can look for an anomaly or two in the market and scalp a couple of percentage points once the market kicks back into gear in a day or two. In the case of today the idea would be to buy or sell a position and reverse Monday. Frankly I don't care enough to do it myself, but in times past it was one of the ways used to make a bit of coin when living in Argentina. On days when the local market was open and the USA closed, the floor brokers would try and pump a local dog-stock that would normally be held back by foreign money transactions. Not quite the same scenario today, but there are enough parallels to remind me of the heady days in Buenos Aires. Memories, eh?

So check out how GRZ is up 18% on low volume. The idea would be to sell a few shares here, then repurchase at $0.50 on Monday or Tuesday.

The example on the opposite side of the trade is DMM.to. On the quietest volume day of the month it's decided to buck its recent strong uptrend. If you think this is coincidence I recommend you never trade the stock market ever again. Down 21c at $3.39 right now, the idea would be to buy a few shares and then sell them for the quick'n'happy flip when the market returned to normal, presumably at $3.60.

Just two examples of the trade available and they get chosen because they're two stocks front'n'centre on my radar at the moment. Pick your own example, as it's likely to be just as good.

Merry Christmas

This is what I'd really like for Christmas this year, but I'll settle for a pair of socks.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas if that's what they call it where you live. Have yourself an equally happy holiday if it goes under a different name. Whatever and however, have a good one.

Click here for the IncaKolaNews super-duper corporate greetings card from here to you.