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cbs7

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Everything posted by cbs7

  1. Looks like change is underway in Cuba http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7449776.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7364791.stm
  2. It's been a while since I first brought up my concern, and I took steps to sell my GLD, SLV, GBS.L, SLVR.L and reallocate them into what I consider safer bullion equivalents. For me Goldmoney is likely the safest of all, however I like to maintain some diversification so I found some Swiss ETFs run by ZKB Bank which I feel are safer (am I naive to think this?) and have used these to maintain a little more liquidity with a smaller fraction of my precious metals. If anyone is interested the ETFs are below, and demoniated in Swiss Francs: ZGLD ZKB GOLD ETF ZSIL ZKB SILVER ETF ZPLA ZKB PLATINUM ETF ZPAL ZKB PALLADIUM ETF I can also get some easy platinum and palladium exposure with these which I feel is useful. Something interesting about Central Fund of Canada was that it seems to be trading at a premium to net asset value lately which I don't really understand given that the underlying assets are simply gold and silver bullion. Although I think CEF is a safe investment I actually sold my holidngs here too as I felt the premium was unjustified - am I missing something about CEF?
  3. Hi Saberu, interesting, I simply assumed these shared ownership schemes would die out along with the subprime mortgage during the credit crunch. Do you think these will really survive? I have a feeling that the government will pull the plug on these once they (eventually) understand that the market will the do the job of making housing affordable by collapsing prices. If they do survive and actually take off as a way of the government doing everything possible to prop up nominal house prices then I agree we will really get some huge inflation.
  4. Cuba is fascinating and perhaps the model of how a society functions where the price of petrol is simply way out of reach of the ordinary citizens. However I think many in the West view it through rose-tinted spectacles. They have a romantic image of it and its revolutionaries such as Che Guevara, but to me it would be horrendous place to live. I live a simple but comfortable western lifestyle and I realise there are some areas where things will change as we move through Peak Oil, but the conidtions in Cuba for ordinary people are just too low that I would want to see them come to pass in the developed world. I live in hope that we will be able to overcome the challenges of Peak Oil and restructure, just hopefully not too late... When I visited Cuba in 2006 the price of almost anything was way too expensive for ordinary people who didn't receive any outside money from family members abroad. People could hardly afford even soap or toilet paper. In 2006 a doctor earned about 35 USD equivalent a month, a teacher about 25 USD per month, and petrol was about 1 dollar per litre. The roads were delapidated and empty apart from trucks run by the government which picked up people who hitch from the side of the road and there were very very few private cars (presumably owned by the relatively wealthy) I like Cuba and the people, but I think most are desparate for change. I speak Spanish so could converse with them directly. There were a good number who thought that the socialist government was still the way forward, but I have my doubts. I asked some people who did say there was good free health care, some others said that yes it was free, but medicines weren't avialable and the hospitals were in disrepair. I'm sure that the constant interference from the US government has made the matter worse over the years and strengthened Castro's grip, but I do think it will change over time and hopefully for the better. I've heard that Raul Castro has liberalised things a little which sound promising, though the US unfortunately continues with its extreme policy of demonising the leadership which tends to prevent any constructive dialogue between the 2 neighbours.
  5. I've been to Cuba and outside the tourist zones it's a pretty miserable place. There is hardly any food available beyond the absolute basics though nobody starves in Cuba as everyone receives a (very) basic monthly ration. Food has to be sold at very low fixed prices determined by the government and meat and cheese are generally sold on the black market by the side of the road. The roads are shot to pieces and although many people have some lovely old cars most people simply can't afford to drive them. Something interesting though is that there is a genuine sense of solidairity among farmers there. One day we stopped and chatted to a group of tobacco farmers who were helping each other to rebuild a tobacco curing barn which had blown down, and it seemed they would always help each other whenever it was needed. Many in the West have a romantic idea of how wonderful Cuba is, but it has a huge number of problems, many of course created or worsened by the US blockade but the poltical system has a lot of faults too. Thinking about it I wonder if it's an example of where the West could end up in worst-case post-peak oil scenario... I hope not
  6. I personally think the car is a wonderful invention that has given people enormous flexibility when they are travelling in places / at times when public transport is unfeasible. I agree we need a lot better public transport, but my guess is it is impossible for the whole world to move to a location with good public transport. Also surely businesses and other people need the ability to move goods around e.g. via vans as and when required? When oil hits $300 or higher, will they be able to afford to? My feeling is that as the price moves higher there will be inevitable demand destruction or if not that then shortages, but the push to develop better electric cars will strengthen further. I don't really know much about electric car technology (I should find out) but especially for the US wouldn't it be a better solution than the wholesale destruction of the suburbs and the wealth and development they represent? Of course the technology may not be developed in time or work, so it is probably a good idea to be reducing car usage where possible.
  7. cbs7

    NS&I - best rate for savings?

    There are better rates out there, but you need to consider the rosk of the bank defaulting and how much of your cash (or when) you will get back. For my core investments (allocated to a future property purchase) I am weighted now heavily towards gold and silver, and about 25% in NSI index linked savings. NSI have a slightly better just out in the last few days with a rate of RPI+0.7% http://www.nsandi.com/products/ilsc/rates.jsp Although I know the government heavily manipulates the inflation figures, I figure the RPI is somewhat less manipulated and in any case reflects a certain amount of inflation, so I am somewhat hedging my precious metals in the case of a severe deflation.
  8. I expect gold to rise sharply if interest rates go up, as if rates are going up it will mean there is a very big problem with inflation again. I don't have a chart to hand, but didn't gold go up all the way with interest rates in the 70s?
  9. I found some good EW analysis on gold recently by Alf Field. I've not read all his past articles, but he correctly predicted the first leg up in gold back in 2001 and seems to be in tune with the market. I can't comfortably follow other Elliot Wave analysts who have been calling tops in gold all the way up the bull market. Anyway according to Alf Field's most recent article he thinks we are in corrective Wave 2 of Major Wave 3 which started at $560 and he projects a minimum target of around $1600 , more likely higher http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_08/field032408.html He thinks we will soon experience wave 3 of Wave 3 which in Elliot Wave could be one of the strongest and most violent. Perhaps this is what will kick start the juniors? I'm also guessing it could coincide with major new concerns about counterparty risk between the banks or perhaps the revelation of credit card subprime now that the pros have offloaded Visa into public hands... There is also a good summary of Alf's work on gold so far at http://www.cycle-of-time.net/gold.htm
  10. There is a new article out from AF http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_08/field050108.html I think he has a good point, the main alternative being that the correction we are in still has longer to run. EW seems to be very difficult for pinpointing the exact end of a correction until after the event. I personally feel Precter's views on gold are likely to be wrong. He has on the one hand constantly called a top in gold all the way up the bull market. At the same time he likes to demonstrate how he was right all along about the Dow Jones being in a bear market since 2000 by measuring it in Gold. Although I think Prechter has a lot of interesting stuff to say I find this sort of approach to gold intellectually dishonest, as he is trying to be bearish and bullish at the same time. I don't think it is good to pay too much attention to someone who has been consistently wrong on a market - my feeling is that it suggests he doesn't have a good handle on the market. He also has major fault for a technical analyst which is that he rarely seems to admit being wrong or flexible enough to change his opinion when his analysis has turned out wrong. If anything when trading or investing an analyst must remain humble and accept that the market will do whatever it wants regardless of grand predictions.
  11. cbs7

    Bonds - the last great Bubble

    Not sure how relevant this is, but it struck me today looking at a long term chart of 30-Year US Treasury Yields the huge multi-year bullish divergence in the MACD versus the falling yield Of course the bullish divergence has been there since 1999, but it seems to be carving out a long-term bottom and seems to be coiling for a sharp move.
  12. cbs7

    Interest Rates in the UK

    I agree pretty much with you Saberu, my only doubt is that if we get hyperinflation, surely that will send variable interest rates sky high, so I don't know with the level debt in the UK how long that hyperinflation could last. Maybe inflation won't go hyper, just very high relative to our debt. BTW, does anyone know if there are any price histories for yields on UK Gilts out there. I'm looking for something equivalent to the US 10 or 30 year Treasury yield but can't seem to find it anywhere
  13. It is true there is no practical difference what currency is used for pricing, however the fact that oil, precious metals and other commodities are priced in US dollars is probably because the USD was (and just about still is) the only world reserve currency and the USA, the world's strongest economy. This means people still place a good deal of faith in the USD versus other fiat currencies. IMO worldwide pricing oil in say euros or some other currency would be a huge blow to the USD and sends a big signal that the USD is no longer considered the world's reserve currency.
  14. The noise on oil coming from the public is almost overwhelming now and to me oil seems to be struggling a little to make new highs despite massively bullish news (e.g. refinery strikes, sabre rattling with Iran, difficulties with the new Brazilian oil fields). Is it time to sell oil and buy gold? I still think oil will be much higher in the long term, but is there room for a short term trade here to book profits in oil and swicth into gold and silver which appear to be grinding out a bottom? I haven't really done this type of trading of switching between areas that I'm bullish on long term. Wondering if anyone out there has been successful doing something like this? I need to look at it a little further - I've seen the Gold-Oil charts which look favourable for Gold, but it's more of a gut feeling at the moment. Don't know if I am brave enough to sell out of my energy positions completely...
  15. Some good long-term charts for Gold and Silver here http://www.safehaven.com/article-10057.htm They also show how hugely undervalued the junior miners are
  16. They sound like great value Saberu. Have you had any issues with them?
  17. Hi Bubb I thought I had posted on this thread a few days but I can't see the post. I use Hostgator to run a few different websites, but the bandwith usage of my ones will be minimal compared to GEI. For me they are cheap at $9.95/month and I can run unlimited numbers of domains off the single subscription and I can probably pass you a referral link which will give you the first month free. You would need to check out the costs for the bandwith usage you use, but they seem ok to me. There is also One which I have seen which I think is even cheaper though I have no experience with them
  18. one hell of an article from Clive Maund here on oil! http://www.safehaven.com/article-10087.htm Long-and-short of it if you don't have time to read it is the USi s slowly taking over the oil producing world and will consolidate itself further as the world's superpower and the US broad stockmarket is on the verge of an almighty bull market.... Not sure I believe it, but it's an entertaining read!
  19. I hope the system does survive Bubb and the powers that be see it is in their interest to maintain a free market that is properly regulated to help eliminate the worst excesses and fraud that has been going on for the last 20 years. Your proposals look very sensible - I think you could get some highly paid consultancy at the banks for this kind of thing! Do you think the banks can afford to cover their losses on the OTC derivatives? The LTV proposals for mortgage lending also look good - the "danger" being that in markets such as the UK where there is a long way to fall, something like this would be accused of triggering sharp falls, although I suspect many banks will be looking to go towards 75% LTV in any case in a falling market.
  20. Hi Bubb Your notes are an excellent summary of Soros' conference call which I found a little hard to follow due to the sound quality. One think I find a little confusing is that Soros criticises "market fundamentalism" for many of our problems, but in many ways I see the western financial systems as hugely manipulated or perhaps better said to be skewed to favour certain outcomes such as asset and credit inflation. It is because we are so dependent on debt that something like the credit crunch is so feared now. Better regulation does not mean the end of the free market, but as you say it requires difficult skills and would be probably unpopular (among the investment community). Think back to the housing boom, when those who pointed out that mortgage fraud was going on were ridiculed. Stronger regulation is probably needed to make sure we do retain a free market, but is there really any political will out there for this? In the long run if we still get taxpayer bail outs of financial institutions, then what incentive is there for commercial banks to support better regulation when it will restrict the bonuses they can earn during the boom times?
  21. Hi Bubb, it should be an interesting thread. I'm a little wary of the stuff I tend to come across on the internet about the ownership of central banks as a lot of claims don't seem to be verifiable by reference to a reliable source. For example on the ownership of the Fed, it isn't completely clear, as although it is a private corporation it doesn't just distribute its profits in full to its shareholders. The act which established the Fed seems to allow a 6% dividend to be paid but all other earnings appear to accrue to the US government (taken from http://landru.i-link-2.net/monques/FR1.html) Another article here seems to agree with this view http://www.usagold.com/federalreserve.html Ed Steer from GATA writing on Financial Sense in 2004 argues think the Fed is more like a US banking cartel rather than a private corporation owned and directed from outside the US http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editoria.../2004/1014.html I'm not sure if where the 32.35% and 20.51% figures for JP Morgan and Citibank are derived from, but even if they are technically true that doesn't necessarily give them majority voting rights, because all member banks of the regional banks have one voting right. Although things like the Zeitgeist movie are entertaining and it's nice to think that you can link up all the dots about how major world events are being directed by shadowy unseen forces, I doubt if many of the claims they make are always true. For example in one video, there is a claim that George Bush after 911 is supposed to have made the following statement "An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland" which are the exact same words in Hitler's speech when he announced the formation of the Gestapo. When I saw this I thought wow, that is really interesting. I do think Bush is a warmongerer and done much to erode personal freedom in America, but to take Hitler's words and use them himself, I thought was really something. But when I dug around a bit more, there doesn't appear to be any documentary evidence of Bush saying these words, the only examples were strewn all over conspiracy websites on the internet. I'll have a listen to Soros - he always has interesting comments to make.
  22. Hi Bubb I run some small websites off www.hostgator.com, but the websites are tiny and will have nothing like the usage of GEI I imagine. One benefit is that if you have multiple domains, you can host them all off the same account with no extra cost. Otherwise www.one.com is also very cheap, although I have no experience of using them.
  23. cbs7

    US Depression in 2010?

    A while back when the credit crunch really kicked in, Mish was certainly advocating treasuries, his argument being that a 3-5% return is still better than a negative return. Treasuries are ultimately backed by the government so would be far less likely to be defaulted than cash in a private bank. I think he still favours bonds somewhat.
  24. lardoon, I don't know what your experience is trading, but the danger with futures are that you will be leveraged and the silver market is exceptionally volatile. If you have an ETF that you have paid for you can't get shaken out by the violent swings as you won't be getting forced margin call sale. If you are nimble enough (I'm not) I imagine you could make (or lose) a fortune. The futures market might possibly disconnect with the spot price if physical delivery became a problem (some commentators have suggested this), and it is difficult to find a broker who will agree to physical settlement. Does anyone know any resources for researching Swiss banks? Obviously a lot of the larger players like UBS seem to have been trying to boost their profits getting involved in derivatives, but there must be some conservatively run Swiss banks out there? It is possible that windfall taxes could be imposed on miners - see the windfall taxes imposed recently on North Sea oil companies.
  25. My guess is simply to make a bit more cash - not necessarily to manipulate the gold and silver market, though it is a possibility - just simply to boost the fund managers' Xmas bonuses
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