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Friday, November 22, 2013

Interview noticed by Junior Gold Miner Seeker


I never follow Jay Taylor, so I would have missed this otherwise:

Junior Gold Miner Seeker - Cook, Coffin & Kaiser in discussion.

I'll listen to it later. Like I said, I never follow Jay Taylor, but at least he has the sense to interview the only three analysts who seem to have a clue about what they're doing.


Friday videos - Chvrches again


Love electronic music like this.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

When someone searches for "Mila Kunis lingerie", are they looking for investment advice?


So someone searched my blog today for "Mila Kunis lingerie". They were probably looking for investment advice, since Mila Kunis went long the market when all the goldbugs and doubters were calling for imminent hyperinflationary armageddon.

Mila has since made a fortune and the idiot goldbugs and doomers are slowly bleeding the remaining few pennies from their investment accounts.

So, here you go:

Egotastic - Mila Kunis birthday hotness gallery.

You'll find pictures like this:

Much, much sexier than Peter Schiff. Also wealthier and a better investor.

Unfortunately, now that she's 30, she's officially too old for me. But at least I can still read her articles for investment advice.

As for the doubters, let's remind ourselves what they were saying just this March:

WSJ - five reasons Mila Kunis shouldn't be buying now.

Zev Capital - Mila Kunis is a hilarious contrary indicator.

In fact, there were at least a few hundred asshats on twitter and the blogosphere who said it was a top.

How's that top indicator working out now, assholes? Turns out Mila Kunis is smarter than your entire holy fucking blogosphere, eh? And sexier and wealthier and more famous.


US banks breaking out


Banks:


These dudes sell mortgages.



These dudes play the spread.

I guess this move assumes that the US tapers in December? Boy, they're going to be disappointed.


Ritholtz would like to know what technical analysts think of this chart


Ritholtz - Merrill's secular road map, wherein we are provided with this chart:


If there are any technical analysts still reading this blog, maybe you can explain that chart? It does indeed look like a breakout after a long consolidation, and does indeed seem to target 2300 or so.

That certainly looks like the start of a secular bull market to me.

I mean, TA isn't wrong, is it?


Message to the BCSC, OSC and friends


PS Dave - private placements to non-accredited investors.

The Vancouver Criminal Mobsters' Association must be very happy that they're now going to be able to dump their worthless paper into the lap of some soon-to-be-divorced-and-bankrupt amateur-investor dentist from Trois Rivieres.

I assume this initiative is being pursued because the institutions have given up on Venture placements, the major Inwentash-level players are stuck under a mountain of illiquid junk, and the smaller accrediteds are all bankrupt or have left for greener pastures like broad market index ETFs.

Because the paper you're printing is shit, guys.

You've got a massive oversupply problem: instead of simply printing paper to pay for those 5% of explorecos who are serious at their work and might, in the aggregate, still be able to turn a profit for investors, you're also printing stacks of extra paper for the 95% of the Venture that is run by lifestyle clowns and hucksters.

In fact, the principle of compound interest suggests that the huckster proportion of paper will multiply over time til it becomes almost all the paper on the market, since it's so much more dilutive.

The best you can expect from this extension of private placements is to stave off the utter collapse of the venture market for another year or two. Because eventually every hayseed who buys into this crap will get zeroed out too, just like the instos and accrediteds, and then you'll have eliminated yet another dumping ground for your massive oversupply.

If the BCSC and OSC had simply done their jobs over the past five years, instead of belatedly getting around to addressing problems in just the past few months, then maybe there'd still be a market for this worthless shit paper.

Unless you first fix the underlying problem of total lack of demand due to rampant nearly-universal fraud, this initiative will not be in the best interest of the capital markets, investors, or the funding of legitimate enterprise generally.


Some Thursday reading


Some stuff:

Bespoke - jobless claims better than expected. But in the topsy-turvy world of the US market, this news made stocks go up.

Mainly Macro - is "zero" the new normal? I first stumbled across this discussion on the Krugman blog. The suggestion is that zero-bound interest rates might be a new secular phenomenon. I find this an amazingly interesting idea. It's probably a result of there now being more wealth than yielding instruments able to absorb it, so wealth's competition for rents drives yields down below inflation. Dunno, I have to read more about it.

Mineweb - Cliff's throws in the towel on the ring of fire. And it burns, burns, burns - the ring of fire. I guess you can't make money mining chromite in the middle of the fucking muskeg, eh? But that's not what we were told 3 years ago, was it?

Mineweb - two reasons Whitey is staying out of gold. The "inflation" concern is utter bullshit, as I've said before. As for the other reason, "opportunity cost": that's one good reason for gold to have collapsed when the S&P 500 broke out to a new high. But secular bulls don't typically see 30% gains every year, so if gold starts acting like a proper supply-constrained commodity and starts going up on fundamentals, I'm sure Whitey will look at buying it again - this time as a commodity, not as some magical "inflation hedge".

FT Alphaville - the precariat need a basic income. Why not just call it the "exploited underclass" or the "army of surplus labour"? Why make up some silly new word? Anyway, at least people have started talking about "universal basic income". Personally, I feel that the state has to offer some new bribes to keep the masses content, since they've been taking so much of our freedom away for the past couple decades; the implicit government-citizenry social contract has been getting more and more lopsided. I hope universal basic income takes hold.

GDXJ, GLD, and the relation betwixt the twain: why the carnage must continue


Three charts:


GLD still vomits, but hasn't hit a lower low yet. I dunno if there's enough weak-handed Wall Street Whitey gold left to puke this down, but then again Indian demand is being artificially constricted this time.




And yet GDXJ is hitting a lower low.

I guess when you look at all the GDXJ constituents, there are still enough of them (PVG? CSI? GCM? whoever, I'm not looking it up) puking their guts out that the overall index must continue collapsing, eh?

Now let's divide one by the other:


So this is GDXJ divided by GLD, and because it looks like GDXJ's chart, with a break of critical support and momentum heading into a lower low, I guess that means GDXJ generally provides positive day-to-day leverage to gold in the direction gold is moving.

But there's a negative bias to the chart, which means the long-term trend of GDXJ is still downward. So I guess people are still puking GDXJ more strongly than GLD, not accumulating; and that means the carnage must continue.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Augusta Resources' Rosemont mine gets the hatchet job from the EPA, or so the environmentalists would have you think (UPDATED)


(Update at the bottom)

IKN - Augusta Resources

Where he quotes this:

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dealt a dramatic and potentially devastating blow to Augusta Resource Corporation's proposal to build the Rosemont mine, a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains just south of Tucson.

In a Nov. 7 letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA recommended that the proposed Rosemont copper mine should not receive a permit that would allow the company to dump potentially toxic mine wastes into area waterways.

After completing a comprehensive and detailed analysis, EPA concluded that Rosemont's proposals to mitigate the mine's severe and permanent damage to area water supplies are "scientifically flawed" and "grossly inadequate," and advised the Corps of Engineers that the project "should not be permitted as proposed."

The EPA's recommendation to deny Rosemont's permit application is a potentially devastating blow to the mining project because EPA has veto authority over the permit, which would be issued by the Corps of Engineers only if the proposed mine meets Clean Water Act standards. The permit is required before construction could begin on the mile-wide, half-mile deep open-pit mine.

Now, having done the tiniest bit of PR in my life, some questions immediately sprung into my head when I wrote this:

1. Um, this language doesn't sound like the type of NR that Augusta would put out, does it?
2. So, who put out the NR?

So I followed the link and saw this at the bottom:

For more information go to: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org.
The full EPA letter and analysis can be downloaded at: www.scenicsantaritas.org/20131107_EPA_Letter.pdf.

Ha ha! I remember Scenic Santa Ritas! This NR was obviously meant to be a kill-shot from the environmentalist organization who opposes the Rosemont mine.

You can tell, because further on in their NR you get this:

EPA's recommendation to deny the Clean Water Act permits comes at an inopportune time for Augusta Resource, Rosemont Copper's parent company. Its stock is hovering at a 52-week low and the company reported less than $750,000 in cash reserves as of Sept. 30, according to regulatory filings released last week.

Augusta's cash crisis raises serious questions as to whether Augusta will have the financial capacity to secure technical expertise to address EPA's latest criticisms of the crucial Clean Water Act permit.

Man! Either these Scenic Santa Ritas people are some hardcore commie pinkos bent on destroying all capitalism, or AZC has pissed them off royally in the past and now SSR really wants to put the boots in.

I.e. this ain't just a victory drum-circle: they've put out this NR purposefully to cave AZC's stock price.

Anyway, at least they provide a link to a pdf scan of the actual EPA letter, so you can read it yourself.

Now, I have peripheral experience in enviro approvals (watching co-workers, basically), but I have no experience in enviro approvals specifically for mining. It seems, from reading this, to be the sort of game where you don't even know where the goalposts are unless you're an experienced mining consultant who has done enviro work before, in this case specifically with the Army Corps of Engineers and the San Francisco office of the EPA, again specifically concerning impact mitigation.

So without that requisite experience I really have no way of providing any intelligent comment on this EPA kibosh. It does seem funny that a 7000 acre (11 sq. mi) half-mile-deep open pit copper mine can get the chop because of 18 miles of streams. Then again, like I said, I've never gone through this process.

And I'm not interested in reading about it tonight.

You'd think AZC would have hired a competent environmental consultant to do all the work and write the report, no? And, being told by the competent consultant that approval requires X amount of mitigation at approximately $Y hundred million dollars, they'd have said "sure, whatever it takes", right?

Oh well. No clue what happened.

I just found the NR funny. Be scared, junior miners: more NGOs are going to start playing this negative NR game in the future, I think.



UPDATE: Ok, now I just saw this:

Yahoo Finacne - Augusta comments on the bullshit NR from the commie pinko environmentalists.

Where Gil Clausen says:

"The SSSR press release today was not only inaccurate but another attempt to harm our company. This group has historically mischaracterized the level of impact that letters between agencies have and obviously do not understand the permitting or the evaluation process. SSSR totally misrepresents the contents of the letter and the EPA's comments actually said that they were looking forward to working with the Army Corps on mitigation and risk based assessments. For example, nowhere in the EPA's letter did they discuss discharges as 'toxic mine wastes'. The SSSR is fabricating information and attributing that information to EPA in an effort to scare our shareholders and disrupt markets."

And then the NR says, emphasis mine:

The Company states the EPA has been working diligently with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other Federal Agencies to finalize the work required to complete the permitting process. The EPA letter refers to old plans and issues which were the basis of discussion and not decision. The ACOE will make their decisions based on facts, rules and regulations as they continue to maintain good dialog with the EPA.

The final EIS has integrated five years of science based technical studies and analysis and is due out next week, and the printed version of the draft Record of Decision (ROD) from the USFS is expected to be issued mid-December after the documents are printed. When these two printed documents are released, the EPA will be able to work with other agencies and with Rosemont to finalize mitigation planning and to assure compliance with all regulations and permit conditions regarding the 404 Permit issued under the Clean Water Act.

Additionally the references to scientific flaws are from a letter written almost a year ago and acknowledged that the assessment methods were what was prescribed by the ACOE and references a mitigation plan that is out of date and not currently in use. The EPA does not determine appropriate mitigations, this is the ACOE's responsibility.

Rosemont has developed a comprehensive environmental, social and cultural mitigation program with detailed monitoring and reporting protocols to address the concerns and requirements of numerous agency and permit requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act 404 processes.

This mitigation program addresses, and goes well beyond, the EPA's comments on the approximately 65 acres of direct and indirect impacts to dry washes and waters of the US that are under review by the Army Corp of Engineers for the 404 jurisdictional mitigation.

Rosemont will continue working with all of the regulatory agencies as the thorough permit review process comes to conclusion in early 2014.

And Gil finalizes,

"Rosemont has been working closely with the Federal Agencies for the past five years to ensure the appropriate mitigations are developed to address impacts. Throughout that time, the SSSR has consistently and purposely misrepresented the company's intentions, the facts and the NEPA process. They have deliberately worked to undermine the obligations and work of the Agencies involved."

Wow.

#1, what a silly schoolyard spat.

#2, if Clausen is correct, then he should have already spoken to a lawyer to get a case started against SSSR. I mean, if the NR really was a lie, and it's now affected AZC materially, then someone's on the hook for a few hundred million in damages, no?

#3, anyone want to go long this at the open tomorrow?


SMBC has a funny cartoon today


From SMBC:




The news at noon


Some stuff meant to educate you:


Calculated Risk - Ben Bernanke gives you one last chance to listen to to what he's saying. A link to the speech where he explains what he was doing. Seriously, if you've been using the words "money printing" over the past two years, this is your last chance to learn something and dig your head out of your ass.


Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - bank breakout approaching? Well, if people expect a December taper, then expect Nasdaq and banks to go up, right? But then when there is no taper, I guess we can expect them to go back down?


Reuters - gold mine output set to reach record, disappointing bulls. One the one hand, Cookie warned us about high-grading months ago. On the other hand, he says he has no clue where the hell all the Chinese gold mining is being done.


Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - bitcoin users Venn diagram. Here, let me show it to you:


Inca Kola News has a suggestion for a way to pass the time


Since the junior mining scene sucks so damn bad right now, why not buy a can of cream that you can smear onto someone's breasts?



Someone else's, your own, don't ask don't tell.

Because we all need bigger breasts, don't we?


Some miner charts


Well, gold and silver are both well monkey-hammered today, so let's look at some charts, eh?


There's GLD below its horizontal support of $122.50 or so, -2SD, downward trend, everyone hates it. Indian wedding season is winding up, the harvests are in and the gold is bought, China apparently isn't supportive of gold according to the media, ETFs are selling again, blah blah blah.



GDX hasn't lost horizontal support yet.



GDXJ has definitely printed a lower low to October, and next comes the June low. Not good.

Now a couple miners.


Yamana doesn't suck, but their stock is fighting real hard to keep above $9 on declining volume. Not good.



BTO isn't really a major, but it's about as good as one, and it's also desperately flirting with the idea of falling through support. $2.20 is also critical support on the weekly chart.

I guess you could buy miners right now with the assumption that the support line holds. Or that you can use the long-term support as your stop-loss point.

Then again, you could also decide to hammer finishing nails through your testicles until you pass out from pain.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some evening reading


Here's more stuff:

Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - advancing volume explodes. Positive for the market.

Macro Man - is that really a reason to be bearish? A large number of goldbug Zerohedge arguments for an imminent market crash are demolished in this article.

Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - the greater fool rotation. Those of you still loyal to your hard-money goldbug newsletter writer should ask him whether you should go into bitcoin:





The funniest ever animated GIF: Bjork and P. Diddy


This is so hilarious.





Liz Ann Sonders from Schwab on Nightly Business Report


Here's Liz Ann Sonders on NBR 3 or 4 weeks ago.



And anything she said 4 weeks ago still applies today, because it's not as if the market is rapidly changing from day to day; only people's crack-fueled emotions are.

I like her bit about "muscle memory", btw: it explains how a secular bull market can start without much public participation.

Everyone's still scared of the last two crashes, and so they keep surfing to retard sites like ZeroHedge (and Max Keiser: people take that KGB-funded clown seriously?) looking for confirmation of their worst fears.

And they see the opinions of financial illiterates calling for doom, and so they stay out of the market, waiting for the next crash and "great reset", saying "I'm not going to invest in the US economy while they still practice fractional reserve banking! I'm going to wait for all debt to be wiped out and the dollar to go back on the gold standard before I join this market!"


Bit of a rant there.


Some morning reading


Just a few news items to keep you busy while you watch the S&P crash on a stupid opinion from Carl Icahn, ZeroHedge's newest hero.

By the way, I found it interesting that SLV and GLD were acting in correlation with $VIX this morning. Almost as if Wall Street Whitey is eyeing a move back into PMs as a fucking economic collapse play?

Anyway, here's the news:


Liz Ann Sonders - dismiss bubble talk for now. With this article, Liz Ann Sonders becomes my new fave. A quote of the intro:
One of my themes over the past few years is that the bull market that began in 2009 is of the "secular," not "cyclical" variety. There are an increasing number of adherents to that perspective and it could help to explain, ironically, why there is also an elevated fear that this bull market is coming to a close. I say ironically because it's precisely the increased optimism that has brought on fears of a bull market finale. I, too, consistently observe sentiment as a gauge for market behavior, but the growing cries that we've reached sentiment or valuation extreme worthy of past tops, or a bubble at its bursting point, seems a bit premature; even with the Dow hitting 16,000 and the S&P 500 hitting 1800 as I write this today.

It's instructive to observe past market tops and put them on the opposite side of today's mirror. What you won't find is a reflection. Our friends at Strategas Research Partners recently put together a brief table highlighting the factors typically in place at major market tops; all of which had kicked in at both the 2000 and 2007 tops. Of the nine factors listed, there is only one flashing red today: rising real interest rates.
Read the whole thing because she's a true analyst, and has now stolen my heart from that uncaring vixen Erica Rannestad at CPM.


Granita & Brioche - is the Fed behind the curve? I have no idea who runs this blog, but they sometimes reprint valuable papers from e.g. Goldman Sachs, so you should follow it. This particular post (from Deutsche Bank? I dunno) shows how the Fed funds rate is lagging typical Fed tightening signals; what the article fails to mention is that this recovery has been a lot slower than any previous recovery since the 1930s, so obviously the Fed is going to stay behind the curve! I mean shit - Bernanke's explained the situation, so DB must be fucking deaf and blind or something.

I only show you this article so you know what the doomsayer goldbugs are going to be writing about in the next two weeks: because the data shown suggests the doomer argument that "OMG hyperinflation is coming!!!". And if it's one thing you can expect from a doomer newsletter writer, it's the cynical manipulation of data, with no regard for depth of analysis, in order to drive you out of the market and into bullshit like Hussman funds or gold.


FT beyond brics - China's reform plan, the summary. Short, to the point, simplified. A lot of the stuff (like officials' GDP appraisal reforms) needs major fleshing out before you can even have an opinion of it - just like a ten-year-plan policy paper should be.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Cookie Monster on hard rock


Kitco - Brent Cook on cores and assays.

An educational article from Cookie, on what rock looks like when drilled and all the (politely speaking) data input deficiencies that can compound to negatively impact a resource estimate, a mine plan, and ultimately pretty much everything.

My opinion?

It seems to me, after reading this article, that investors who rely on news releases are at a bit of a disadvantage. After all, it's rare enough to even see a drill NR that provides elevation, azimuth and dip for each hole; what are the chances that any junior is ever going to provide any information about friability, core recovery percentages, constituent rock composition percentages, or nuggetiness?

So I guess from now on we should all leave the drill plays to geologists who can fly cross-country to accept an invitation to visually inspect cores.

If there's not enough jet-setting geologists out there to soak up all the Venture exchange's paper, then perhaps core reports need to provide significantly more data.

Stick that in your pipe, reader from the Ontario Securities Commission!

Here's how you can tell the goldbugs are now into Bitcoins


Zerohedge - $75,000 in bitcoins being offered for Bernanke's assassination.

Now, who out there has any reason to want Ben Bernanke dead?

Goldbugs. Crazy neo-Nazi right-wing libertarian Ron Paul-loving goldbugs. Nobody else has any reason to wish Bernanke any harm whatsoever.

That's how you can tell that Bitcoin is a goldbug phenomenon.

Let's hope the Secret Service shuts the whole thing down and puts a few hundred Teabaggers in jail. Or the morgue. I'm not picky.



Some Monday reading


Just another manic Monday. I wish it was Sunday, cos that's my fun day. Or something.

I see gold is getting romanced in the bum by a chainsaw-wielding silverback gorilla this morning.

Now, the news, three articles only, all on China:

Sinocism - here's Bill Bishop's take on the Plenum:
The Party released the “decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms” on Friday, several days earlier than expected. A version leaked online early Friday, sending markets and pundits into a tizzy (as the Thursday Sinocism suggested might happen) because the the full document turned out to outline far more aggressive reforms than many expected (yours truly excepted) after the Tuesday communique.

The Decision is impressive and shows that the leadership is both aware of and committed to deep reforms. Friday’s exuberance however may be a bit overdone as the truly hard part is not the drafting but the implementation of changes that will affect interests throughout society. But at least Xi has clearly articulated resolve and vision for reform. That is huge progress, especially after the last few years. China still faces significant economic and social challenges, but lack of political will no longer appears to be one of them.

Center for Strategic and International Studies - China announces sweeping reform agenda at plenum. Some interpretation of the situation. Also:
Q1: Why was the initial press read of the plenum so far off?

A1: The miscue essentially reflects a poor understanding of the basic mechanics of CCP procedure and practice. As a general rule, plenums are not heavy on specifics. They usually set broad guidelines that, depending on the plenum’s particular focus, are then translated into more defined policy outcomes at a series of closed-door end-of-the-year meetings tasked with designing implementation. The media criticisms were based on the lack of detail contained in the plenum’s official communique, but the function of the communique is to describe in lofty terms the plenum’s achievements, not to provide explicit recommendations. Instead, the plenum’s “decision” or resolution, which trails the communique by several days when made public, usually contains more granular directives. This document often is kept secret, but, given this plenum's significance as the Xi administration’s first major policy conclave, the leadership clearly wanted to make a statement.

NY Times - success of Chinese leader's ambitious economic plan may rest on rural regions. No kidding!