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Gold & Precious Metals

Michael Campbell: Very Interesting Read. Big Concept

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Posted by John Mauldin via Michael Campbell

on Friday, 11 May 2012 03:47

A Leaderless World

I recently had a chance to speak at a conference where Dr. Ian Bremmer spoke after me. I was very impressed with his thought process and asked him to give me an outline of his speech to share with you for this week's Outside the Box. It's a shorter version of his powerhouse book, Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World. I highly recommend it.

And what, you're asking, is a "G-Zero world"? In a word, it's a leaderless world. A world in which, as Bremmer says, "Not so long ago, America, Western Europe and Japan were the world's powerhouses. Today, they're struggling to recover their dynamism…. But nor are rising powers like China, India, Brazil, Turkey, the Gulf Arabs and others ready to take up the slack…. If not the West, the rest, or the institutions where they come together, who will lead? The answer is, no one."

And that means the world's big problems won't get addressed as effectively as they should, as long as the leadership vacuum persists. Talk about Muddling Through!

This book by Bremmer is going to make a difference, and I'm not the only one who thinks so–

"Ian Bremmer combines shrewd analysis with colorful storytelling to reveal the risks and opportunities in a world without leadership. This is a fascinating and important book." –FAREED ZAKARIA

"Every Nation for Itself is a provocative and important book about what comes next. Ian Bremmer has again turned conventional wisdom on its head." –NOURIEL ROUBINI

Tonight I am in Chicago, where I spoke at the CFA conference this morning. It went well. I will try to get a link for you later. It hasn't been all work, either. David Rosenberg, Barry Ritholtz, and I all had dinner gigs, but we met up at the bar and just hung out for about three hours. Got to love O'Doul's NA beer. Not quite the same as a good chardonnay but healthier for me.

I will hit the send button as I have to get up for a breakfast meeting with Sam Zell. We have never met and I am looking forward to it. He is quite the legend. I will give you an update on the conference next weekend. The reviews are coming in quite strong. It was interesting to see the European elections after the analysis we were given. There is so much that seems up in the air. You can almost feel the changes coming. I feel like the kid in the back of the car on a long road trip: "Are we there yet?"

Your holding out for a world that works analyst,

John Mauldin, Editor
Outside the Box
JohnMauldin@2000wave.com">JohnMauldin@2000wave.com



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Gold & Precious Metals

John Hathaway Calls a Market Bottom

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Posted by Louis James interviews John Hathaway

on Thursday, 10 May 2012 08:49

Dear Readers,

We're continuing with our series of video conversations, as we believe they will be most useful to you while they are fresh. But fear not: if Doug has a "guru moment" or experiences an urgent need to comment on something in the news, we'll step in with his thoughts. Meanwhile, John Hathaway's comments are particularly relevant and reassuring, given the fluctuation we're seeing in gold this week.

Thanks for reading/viewing, and more soon,

Sincerely,

Louis James

Senior Metals Investment Strategist
Casey Research

[John Hathaway revealed more valuable insights about the precious-metals market at the Casey Research Recovery Realty Check Summit. Joining him were Doug Casey, James Rickards, John Mauldin, and 27 other financial experts. You can hear all of their presentations – which include timely stock picks and asset-protection strategies – on the Summit Audio Collection.]

Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator

Louis James: Ladies and gentleman, thanks for tuning in. We're at the Casey Research Recovery Reality Check Summit. We're talking with John Hathaway, one of the more successful fund investors – institutional investors – in our precious metals field near and dear to my heart. John, can you give us a quick version of what you talked about here, for those who didn't make it to the conference?

John Hathaway: Sure, yes. I think we're at the end of a correction that resulted from the peak last summer. It was overcooked, kind of hyperventilated hysteria over the debt-ceiling talks, the rating downgrade of the US sovereign debt, and I think basically the stocks and the metal had been working off that boiled down to what we now have is a simmer. I think we are at a position where there's not a lot of downside, and I would not be surprised by revisiting the previous highs of $1,900 and maybe even new highs over $2,000 this year.

What will do that is basically – so much of the narrative has been quantitative easing. When Bernanke announced on the 29th of February that they were done with quantitative easing (and if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you, but for the time being let's assume that there won't be any), I was very impressed that gold did not go to a new low. It printed somewhere below $1,600 at the end of the year, made a couple-of-day swoon, but it didn't go to a new low. And then when the Fed minutes came out it also did not go to a new low, it kind of reiterated what Bernanke said. So the narrative may be changing. I'm not ruling out quantitative easing as a possibility, but there are things out there that gold might be looking at that the CNBC mentality hasn't figured out.

Remember that gold rose for many years before we even heard of quantitative easing; it was in a steady uptrend. So what could those things be? What would take gold – what would be the new headlines that might take gold to higher highs? To me, the biggest thing is that the Federal Reserve has purchased something like 61% of all new Treasury debt in the last year; and if they aren't going to continue that, then what's going to happen to rates?

Louis: Right.

To Read More or Watch the Video CLICK HERE

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Gold & Precious Metals

Observations On The Graphite Market - Where to From Here?

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Posted by Chris Berry

on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 08:33

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”- Sir Winston Churchill - November 1942

I have studied the evolution of the graphite market for the past 15 months. It is fair to say that Sir Winston Churchill’s words are as true in 2012 as they were 70 years ago. We have just returned from a world tour of speaking engagements in Germany, Canada, and the US. Graphite was the topic du jour. There is a great deal of “graphite curiosity” around the world, about how to take advantage of its exploding interest. This desire for education has been responsible for the near-parabolic rise in the share prices of junior mining companies now exploring for graphite.

We have constructed a proprietary market capitalization-weighted index of junior mining companies involved in graphite exploration. The chart speaks for itself:

1

Source: Bloomberg

We are strongly of the opinion that while Discovery Investors can still profit from the interest in graphite, the initial move, “Phase I,” is over. We caution selectivity as the order of the day in the graphite space. The chart above seems to confirm our belief. Graphite topped out in early April 2012.

By Phase I, we refer to the initial phase of the lifecycle of most junior mining companies where the interest, a function of the “mystery” surrounding a new mineral or metal, serves as a powerful force to bid share prices higher. This occurs till these “mysteries” are understood. As a project moves from the exploration to the development phase, the share price often “goes sideways” as early investors take profits and sit on the sideline as a company evolves towards a production decision.

What Got Us Here?

The lifecycle of a junior miner exploring for graphite is no different. It has been interesting to watch this market develop. It seems to have developed incredibly quickly relative to some of graphite’s young cousins like rare earth elements. We believe there are still profits to be had here as the macro themes which brought graphite to the fore initially are very much intact.

To Read More CLICK HERE



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Gold & Precious Metals

It's This Bad Because It's a Bottom: Eric Coffin

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Posted by Brian Sylvester of The Gold Report

on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 12:12

Eric Coffin Eric Coffin, editor and publisher of the Hard Rock Analyst newsletter, has never heard so much negativity from investors. "Everybody thinks the world is coming to an end," he tells The Gold Report. As a contrarian, all the doom and gloom tells him the market is about to pull out of its tailspin. In this exclusive interview, Coffin talks about the hard-hit juniors in the Yukon and why it's an area play he still believes in.

Companies Mentioned: ATAC Resources Ltd. - Bear Creek Mining Corp. - Columbus Gold Corp. - Ethos Gold Corp. - Kaminak Gold Corp. - Majescor Resources Inc. - Precipitate Gold Corp. - Prosperity Goldfields Corp. - Riverstone Resources Inc. - Silver Range Resources Ltd. - Smash Minerals Corp. - Strategic Metals Ltd.

The Gold Report: Eric, the gold bears recently outnumbered the gold bulls in Bloomberg's weekly Gold Bull/Gold Bear Sentiment Survey for the fourth time in a year. Are you a bull or a bear?

Eric Coffin: I think the gold price is going to end the year higher, so I guess that makes me bullish, but I think of myself as agnostic.

There needs to be a return of calm to Europe for the gold price to move much higher. The currency pair trade between the euro and the dollar is going to be a big determinant to the gold price. There's been more noise about the EU providing stimulus funds to offset all the government budget cuts in Europe. All of those countries have to deal with their debt loads. But it's not realistic to think that they can cut their deficit and 3% off their gross domestic product year after year and realistically get any net growth.

The other side of that equation is that the U.S. has slowed down. That'll help the gold price because a lot of goldbugs are riding on there being another round of quantitative easing. I'm not sure it's going to happen. But as long as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke keeps saying it might happen, that's good enough.

TGR: Stagnant gold prices are translating to equities. Canaccord reports that "sector weakness in the gold equities over the last six years has typically ended with 'V'-shaped corrections to the upside." Do you believe that's what will happen this time?

EC: I sure hope so because I'm on the buy side, not the sell side. I'm going to feel pretty dumb if it doesn't happen. We're still in a bull market for gold. In a secular bull market, generally speaking, coming out of a dip tends to be an impressive move.

TGR: Many Yukon junior mining companies are starting their 2012 exploration programs after completing off-season financing on buyers' terms. What types of companies are getting financing?

To Read More CLICK HERE

ecoffiin rev



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Gold & Precious Metals

Buy the Bear

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Posted by Louis James

on Monday, 07 May 2012 12:13

Dear Readers,

Your metals team has just returned from the Casey Research Recovery Reality Check conference in Weston, Florida. I think the quality of the speakers was perhaps the best ever. There were clever tales and insights aplenty, but I'll cut to the chase for investors in the metals and mining sector: The correction we've been experiencing was discussed at length, and while no one is sure when it will bottom, legendary investors in our sector are buying now.

Some say my calls to buy the best of the best mining stocks in the midst of a continuing share-price decline evoke a fear akin to what one feels trying to catch a falling safe. It may help to know that investors today are buying alongside Rick Rule of Sprott Global, John Hathaway of the Tocqueville Fund, and Doug Casey, of course – among other legendary resource investors.

I interviewed Rick in Florida, as you may have seen in last week's Conversations with Casey. We both have a sense that the meltdown in our sector may well get worse before things get better. The "sell in May" conventional wisdom could collide with an already bearish sentiment and truly rustle the whole resource-sector herd to the share-price slaughterhouse.

We Should Be So Lucky

I've said that before: we should be so lucky as to get another 2008-style buying opportunity – and that's what we'd have if the market melts down from this low point.

I've also said "buy low and sell high" so often, it's starting to sound like I'm stuttering. It sounds easy, but it's not – if it were, everyone would do it, and there'd be no profit in it. Contrarianism 101: You have to buy when others are panicking and there's blood in the streets. That means you have to master the fear and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Email from some unhappy readers whose recent share purchases are down have made me wonder if they thought we were joking or merely being rhetorical about this. The whole idea behind the tranche buying system we advocate is to take advantage of downward volatility, and the objective of placing stink bids is to capture "stupid" prices. I meant exactly what I said: we offered guidance on lower prices because we believed a major correction was a distinct probability. Well, here it is.

I see the buying opportunities shaping up with fear and excitement. My fear is not that our speculations won't work out: rather, it's that – as happened in 2008 – too few investors will have the courage to follow through on their contrarian ideals. The excitement, of course, is that we face truly spectacular contrarian opportunities.

"When Will the Pain Stop?"

A friend, reader, and fellow speculator who attended our conference asked me half-jokingly when the market would bottom. He knows I don't have a crystal ball, but the way he phrased it was interesting: "When will the pain stop?" It was delivered with a smile that showed he understood the long-term trend we're betting on remains solid; when you believe in a better future but suffer pain in the present, you don't want your life to end – you want the pain to stop.

I said I saw the slaughterhouse potential mentioned above, and that I was hoping for a chance at phenomenally stupid prices on great companies. However, any number of factors could reverse the market's current fear-dominant sentiment back to being greed-dominant again. Scary news on the geopolitical front – just one potential black swan among many – could send gold shooting north in short order. With many gold companies severely undervalued, that could bring greed back to the forefront with a vengeance.

I also interviewed John Hathaway (coming soon to an inbox near you), who said he thinks we're close to the bottom now. Gold stocks are already undervalued and he's buying.

To Read More CLICK HERE

goldbullbear



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