Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 4:00 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.


This was published on the McClathy website. Their motto is ‘Truth to Power’. They tell it like it is and I found this article on the Yahoo news today.

CIGA Marty

New intelligence report says Pakistan is ‘on the edge’
By Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – A growing al Qaida -backed insurgency, combined with the Pakistani army’s reluctance to launch an all-out crackdown, political infighting and energy and food shortages are plunging America’s key ally in the war on terror deeper into turmoil and violence, says a soon-to-be completed U.S. intelligence assessment.

A U.S. official who participated in drafting the top secret National Intelligence Estimate said it portrays the situation in Pakistan as “very bad.” Another official called the draft “very bleak,” and said it describesPakistan as being “on the edge.”

The first official summarized the estimate’s conclusions about the state of Pakistan as: “no money, no energy, no government.”


Dear Jim,

Here are a few SFR (single family residence) statistics from a mortgage banker friend of mine. This information is focused on California, but you can probably get the general US message.

  • Foreclosures made up 47% of all CA SFR sales in August 08, up from 9% in August 07
  • Median CA SFR price was $350,000 in 8/08 down 40% from $590,000 in 8/07
  • 2008 SFR unit sales are on pace for 490,000 units, up from 313,000 in 2007
  • Current unsold inventory sits at 6.7 months VS 10.6 months in 8/07
  • New SFR permits are down 53% so far this year
  • Single family construction loans are now 12.5% delinquent, and condos 16.5%

Respectfully yours,
Monty Guild

Dear Jim,

I have had many people ask me about how ETF’s work. They often ask detailed questions about what happens to their ETF in scenario A, or scenario B. The answer is that all ETF’s work differently, and how they work is laid out in the legal language in the individual prospectus for each ETF.

Therefore, if JSMineset readers are interested in investing in ETF’s, they should read the prospectus closely and think about the implications of the legal structure. If they do not understand the consequences of the legal structure, they should hire a good securities lawyer to read and analyze the documents for them. We are not lawyers, and we do not want to get into the business of dispensing free legal advice to people. In our opinion, if you buy an ETF instrument you should know what you are buying.

Respectfully yours,
Monty Guild


Did you know that Trichet is a mining engineer by training, and presumably has some knowledge of gold?

Could we be heading back to a gold standard or a reasonable facsimile in the near future?

Even Trichet is getting in the act.

It will not be long now, Jim. It is all happening as you said it would. I will profit from this, but I’m pretty sad about it.

David Duval

Trichet Calls for Return to the `Discipline’ of Bretton Woods
By John Fraher and Gabi Thesing

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) — European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said officials reshaping the world’s financial system should try to return to the “discipline” that governed markets in the decades after World War II.

“Perhaps what we need is to go back to the first Bretton Woods, to go back to discipline,” Trichet said after giving a speech at the Economic Club of New York yesterday. “It’s absolutely clear that financial markets need discipline: macroeconomic discipline, monetary discipline, market discipline.’


Dear David,

I have written many notes on the Federal Reserve Gold Certificate Ratio, modernized and revitalized, which will serve to meet the needs of discipline in a floating system. It is going to happen but not yet.