Golden fears part I

Tue, 2009/02/24 - 3:56pm | Your editor

I received the following message from SH, a British reader based in Europe. (You can tell because he misspelled my name.) I am publishing it because it is of general interest. It is a worry about SPDR Streetrackers Gold or NYSE-GLD.

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Golden fears part II

Tue, 2009/02/24 - 3:41pm | Your editor

Vivian replied to our British reader in a Mediterranean country:

     State Street Bank (STT) of Boston holds the physical gold in trust at HSBC Bank in London for the SPDR Gold ETF, GLD. London is also where other gold ETFs hold their physical gold. STT via GLD now owns as much physical gold as all but the 5 largest central banks. 

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Gypsy technology

Mon, 2009/02/23 - 4:32pm | Your editor


      I’m wearing my red fright wig and a draped scarf over it as I peer into the dregs of Chinese tea in my cup. I am trying to forecast the Dow Jones Industrial Average with gypsy technology.


     Is that squiggly bit of tea debris a 6 or a 9? Are there four bits of tea in the cup or five? I am not a good enough gypsy to tell.


     That is the summary of my attempt, at reader suggestion, to predict where the Dow Jones will be in 6 months or a year. The simple answer: I don’t know. Anyone who says they can forecast when to get back into the stock market is probably off on some Caribbean Island benefitting from your credulity.

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Scots in Edinburgh and London

Fri, 2009/02/20 - 6:40pm | Your editor

     It is 200 years since the birth of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, and today’s blog is about Scots. Specifically, it is about Royal Bank of Scotland, now a nationalized bank in Britain, Alisdair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequeur (British Treasury), and Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister. Scots in Edinburgh and Scots in London.


     Starting two decades ago, British banks began using the U.S. to enhance their capital ratios. Under rules set by the Bank for International Settlements, the issuance of non-cumulative preferred stock could raise banks’ capital against which they did business. Non-cumulative means that if a payment is missed it will not be made up for.


     Aimed at retail investors, the new preferred shares came out at $25 so people could buy in round lots with modest amounts of money.

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Investing Now

Thu, 2009/02/19 - 4:40pm | Your editor

     We had a water outage in my building (where both my office and my home are located) so today’s blog is late.

     The price of gold is testing quadruple digits and the peak reached a year ago. There is a lot of cheering among the gold bug brigade and every time it fails to pop over the border you can hear murmurs about conspiracies by central banks. Read more »

Shi and Mitsubishi

Wed, 2009/02/18 - 7:05pm | Your editor

     Many readers received this morning from our former publisher Rightside Advisors Inc. a promotion for a newsletter by Mr. Scott Fraser called the Natural Contrarian Press. Mr. Fraser is the subject of a “cease and desist” order by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Fraser’s advertisements and magalogs not only are unrealistic and unfounded but they are banned by the SEC because of previous misleading material he sent out.

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Day of Reckoning

Tue, 2009/02/17 - 6:02pm | Your editor

      There was no joy in mudville as we went back to work after a 3-day weekend. Results from reporting companies was pretty grim. And the market is testing its Nov. 2008 lows.


     *Regional trade finance bank Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones SA (BLX) does not expect the U.S. economic stimulus to help its Latin American business. "In general, 50% of the trade of Latin America is directly related to the U.S.," Bladex CEO Jaime Rivera to a conference call with analysts. He added: "Demand in the U.S. is down and is still falling. Most companies believe that process will continue." 

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No President's Day in Canada

Mon, 2009/02/16 - 1:52pm | Your editor

     Your editor is working on free-lance assignments on this supposed holiday. I am doing free-lance writing, not in competition with Global Investing, of course, because the transfer process from the former publisher, Rigthside Advisors, is proving to be very slow. Until we have your subscription records from Rightside Advisors or a successor entity, we cannot bill you for our newsletter. And I have no revenues. Read more »


Fri, 2009/02/13 - 2:07pm | Your editor

     After my GoGranny note of yesterday I was accused of hating the 21st century. Untrue. I was an earlier user of computer-to-computer data exchange, using the telephone lines between London (where my editors were) and Paris (where I lived) more than 25 years ago. It was slow but faster than going to the main post office to send a fax or dictating to stenographers or typing a telex.

    But the present day Internet (not yet invented then) is full of time wasting, spam barrages and spamblocker irritants, identity spoofs and identity theft tricks, emails full of insults and indiscretions people wish they had not sent you about a minute after they did, attempts to part you from your money or your bank account details, and niggling procedures made more irritating by supposedly 'fun' music.

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Thu, 2009/02/12 - 4:35pm | Your editor

    I almost did not do a blog today, harassed as I was by the registration process at where our domain names are housed. To change the address and email address I had to send them documentation like tax papers and a driver's license by fax.


     Then it turned out a federal tax form was not accepted; they require a state tax form. And a driver's license in color will not be readable so they require a password page. And yur password has to be only numbers not alphanumeric.


     Finding out these requirements required phoning the help line and listening to ghastly rap ye-ye music about GoDaddy while this GoGranny was on hold. Agh. So taking a clue from what Gertrude Stein wrote in her Radcliffe blue book for her exam with Prof. William James, I was going to write: “Dear Prof. James, I do not feel like writing an essay (blog) today." For this she got an A.

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