Posted at 2:38 PM (CST) by & filed under Guild Investment.

Dear CIGAs,

I just watched Martin Feldstein on TV. He is head of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a highly respected economist. He is worried about the politicians ignoring inflation.

He says the US economy will bottom at best in early 2010. Like many rational non political economists, he is concerned about inflation as a result of a change in the makeup of the US political structure. I concur with him completely. We will be lucky to have an economy bottoming at the end of 2009. It may not bottom until mid 2010 or later. Much depends upon when and how much liquidity returns to the banking system.

In my opinion, the only highly visible market for appreciation at this time is foreign currencies and gold. World stock markets are getting a rally which we have expected and which may continue for a time, but the only visible long term bull market is in gold and foreign currencies.

Respectfully yours,

Monty Guild
www.GuildInvestment.com

Posted at 4:44 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

What a disaster has befallen on the financial industry thanks to OTC Derivatives manufacturers, 158 year old Lehman and 95 year old Merrill. We are yet to witness the final chapter of this horror story which is the death of the US dollar with America’s permanent fall from grace.

Thank you to the army of geeks who still do not know what all the fuss is about, to management that counted their bonuses but knew nothing about derivatives and regulators that were not at home.

Merrill 95-Year Run Ends as Bank of America Buys Firm
By Zachary R. Mider

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) — Merrill Lynch & Co.’s 95-year run as an independent company is coming to an end as Bank of America Corp. completed its acquisition of the broker for about $33 billion in stock.

Bank of America, the biggest U.S. home lender, closed the purchase today, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said in a PRNewswire statement. Scana Corp., South Carolina’s biggest utility owner, will replace New York-based Merrill Lynch in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Merrill Lynch was founded by Charles E. Merrill in January 1914 and evolved into the world’s biggest brokerage, with an army of 17,000 financial advisers. After more than $50 billion of losses and writedowns tied to the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market, Merrill agreed in September to a sale, escaping the fate of bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Bank of America, led by Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis, 61, plans to cut 30,000 to 35,000 positions from the combined companies in the next three years because of the merger and a weak U.S. economy. Merrill CEO John Thain, 53, will remain as president of investment banking, trading and brokerage.

Bank of America rose 84 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $14.08 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, valuing Merrill shares at $12.10 in the stock-for-stock exchange. That’s 88 percent less than their high of $97.53 in January 2007.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

There is something so obviously wrong with all this, yet the public remains quiet.

Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate
Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:50pm EST
By Robert MacMillan – Analysis

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.

Nicastro represents Connecticut’s 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.

That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.

Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. "The media is a vitally important part of America," he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.

To some experts, that sounds like a bailout, a word that resurfaced this year after the U.S. government agreed to give hundreds of billions of dollars to the automobile and financial sectors.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Who dun it?

Pakistani Militants Admit Role in Siege, Official Says
By RICHARD A. OPPEL JR. and SALMAN MASOOD
Published: December 31, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani authorities have obtained confessions from members of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba that they were involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November that killed more than 160 people, a Pakistani official said.

The confessions are sure to put pressure on Pakistan’s leaders; senior Pakistani officials have repeatedly complained in recent weeks that India had not provided them evidence of Pakistani complicity.

American and British officials — and Indian investigators — have said for weeks that their intelligence clearly points to the involvement of Lashkar in the Mumbai attacks. That evidence has been deeply uncomfortable for Pakistan, whose premier spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, helped create, finance and train Lashkar in the 1980s to fight a proxy war against Indian forces in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

But now, after weeks of stonewalling, it also seems clear that Pakistan may use its investigation to make the case that the Mumbai attackers were not part of a conspiracy carried out with the spy agency, known as the ISI, but that the militants were operating on their own and outside the control of government agents.

The most talkative of the senior Lashkar leaders being interrogated is said to be Zarrar Shah, the Pakistani official said. American intelligence officials say they believe that Mr. Shah, the group’s communications chief, has served as a conduit between Lashkar and the ISI. His close ties to the agency and his admission of involvement in the attacks are sure to be unsettling for the government and its spy agency.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Happy New Year Pakistan. Obama plans a massive troop increase?

Afghanistan and Pakistan take center stage in 2009
Under Obama, the US may send 20,000 more troops and encourage talks with the Taliban in an effort to reclaim the upper hand in Afghanistan.
By Anand Gopal | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the January 2, 2009 edition

Kabul, Afghanistan – At times in 2008 Afghanistan eclipsed Iraq in levels of violence, and international attention is returning to the country for the first time since 2001. With the Obama administration planning a massive troop increase, Afghanistan and Pakistan look to be at the center of the administration’s foreign policy for 2009.

What is at stake?

In 2008, violence reached record levels across the country – there were 50 percent more insurgent attacks in the first seven months of 2008 than in the same period in 2007, according to Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR), a Kabul-based aid organization. Insurgents are "conservatively estimated to be active in over 35 percent of the country," says Nic Lee of the Afghan NGO Safety Office, a Kabul-based nongovernmental organization. The Taliban and its allied movements effectively control large parts to the Pashtun-dominated south and east, including many districts close to Kabul. Nearly as many international troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year as in Iraq, despite the fact that almost twice as many soldiers are deployed in Iraq.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

There is no moral will to face the problem and revamp the system therefore there is no possible chance of avoiding hyper-dollar-inflation. Simply NO chance!

Treasury Opens Door to Aid for Broad Array of Firms, Industries
By Rebecca Christie

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury threw the door open to taxpayer financing for a widening array of companies and industries by drafting broad guidelines on aid to the auto industry.

The Treasury’s guidelines, published yesterday, would let officials provide funds to any company they deem important to making or financing cars. That leaves room for the government to provide money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program beyond loans already committed to General Motors Corp., GMAC LLC and Chrysler LLC.

“There are going to be other industries that are going to have just as good a case,” as the auto companies, former St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We don’t know what those other industries are going to be. Where does this process stop?”

Shares of auto suppliers including American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and Lear Corp. jumped yesterday after Treasury announced the guidelines. The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association has been lobbying for the use of federal funds as a backstop in case parts makers can’t collect money the auto manufacturers owe them.

Analysts have speculated that companies such as GM’s bankrupt former parts unit Delphi Corp., might be eligible for assistance. The Treasury guidelines may encourage more guessing on what companies and industries are next, said Vincent Reinhart, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

More…

Posted at 4:40 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Dear Jim,

It seems Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, and Pakistan and now Belarus have all gotten loans from the IMF. What happens when there is no money left at the IMF?

Best,
Ciga Big Tatanka

IMF agrees $2.5bn for Belarus
Belarus has secured an emergency loan of $2.5bn (£1.74bn) from the International Monetary Fund.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 8:48AM GMT 01 Jan 2009

It becomes the sixth country after Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, and Pakistan to need a rescue since the crisis began.

The ex-Soviet state – still run by strongman Alexander Lukashenko – has suffered a run on its foreign reserves as the economic downturn engulfs Eastern Europe. The country’s key exports are potash fertilizer and oil products, both hit hard by the commodity crash.

The IMF’s chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said the tough terms of the bail-out include "strict public-sector wage restraint" and cuts in state spending. Russia has pledged a further $2bn.#

More…

Dear CIGA BT,

The answer is quite simple. The US Fed will buy the 6 or more worthless loans and print more US dollar paper to re-paper the papered out IMF.

The Fed is the largest hedge fund in town and is loaded to the gills with worthless paper. Who knows, the Fed then issues bonds and buys more crap. The dollar has already gone wacko in tune with the Fed’s whacked out inventory, turning the dollar into a spinning wheat fly in the fall season that goes 9000 rpm in a blurred circle and dies, totally worn out by making its central bank a toxic land fill.

Even a nit-wit has to see where all this is going.

There is now no way out of the web of messes our masters have woven.

Happy (?) New Year,
Jim

Posted at 5:54 PM (CST) by & filed under Guild Investment.

Dear CIGAs,

2008 IS BEHIND US…MANY ARE THANKFUL

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

OUR OUTLOOK FOR 2009

A) The U.S. dollar will decline in 2009.  This is a lynchpin for several investments.

B) Precious metals and grain commodities have bottomed.  These are priced in dollars…as the dollar declines their prices will rise. 

The above predictions are strongly held views.  The next prediction depends upon events that are still unfolding, therefore we are waiting to establish the timing for this prediction.

C) Many stock markets will bottom in 2009, due to the fact that they have become very cheap.  We will watch them and gauge their attractiveness based upon a number of fundamental and technical variables.  We believe that when the bottoms do occur, they will be followed by rallies, which will carry many markets much higher.  We do not believe that the time has arrived for most markets, but some markets may soon be ready for purchase.  We plan to keep our readers updated on our views about the proper time to buy.

A) WHY THE U.S. DOLLAR WILL DECLINE IN 2009

We have been pointing out in our recent letters that a huge increase in the supply of U.S. bonds is necessary to finance the U.S. budget deficits, the bail out of world banking system, and president elect Obama’s plan to create jobs for three million people within two years.  If the dollar weakens as we predict, foreign currency bonds denominated in strong currencies will be good investments.

Argument 1: THE U.S. NEEDS TO ATTRACT BUYERS FOR THEIR BONDS.

To attract buyers for the huge supply of bonds, the U.S. will have to either cut the value of the dollar, or raise the interest rates the bonds pay.  Because the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department’s plan to bailout the banking system relies on low interest rates, rates will stay low.  Thus, the U.S. dollar will again be under pressure.

Argument 2: THE CHINESE ARE SENDING A STRONG SIGNAL …THEY BELIEVE THAT THE U.S. DOLLAR WILL DECLINE.

Recently, we have been hearing general disbelief in the future value of the U.S. dollar from China, the holder of the largest amount of U.S. bonds (and the expected buyer for most of the new bonds to be sold).  In recent weeks, several key Chinese officials have made negative comments about the U.S. dollar.  The first official comments were that China will not make new investments in U.S. banks, because they wanted to spend the money on growth within China.  A second senior official said that the U.S. should not get complacent, and continue to believe that dollar would stay high just because it had been rising for a few months.  The third comment was made this past week in Hong Kong’s largest newspaper, the South China Morning Post.  It was made by Chinese Central Bank governor Zhou Ziaochuan.  He said, "The U.S. dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later…and the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in the U.S.-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlement."

This is typical Chinese behavior.  They repeat the message in different media through different senior officials.  China obviously believes that the recent rally in the U.S. dollar will not continue, probably because they will be buying less U.S. dollar debt.  I believe all investors should face the fact that China, who has been the largest buyer of U.S. debt, will be buying less of it in the future.  If they do buy U.S. debt, they will want a cheaper dollar before making any commitment.  This adds strength to our view that the U.S. dollar will fall in 2009.

Argument 3. RESTARTING THE ECONOMY IN THE U.S. WILL STRESS THE U.S. BUDGET FURTHER

A suggestion for President elect Obama:
If you want your program of revitalization to have quicker effects…employ tax cuts.  Cuts in withholding taxes will immediately stimulate economic growth.  Of course, tax cuts will mean more bonds will have to be floated to cover budget deficits, but many new bonds are being floated anyway.  In our opinion, tax cuts will work better.  Business will recover more quickly, and people will get more productive jobs. 

Although infrastructure projects would fill a national need, they have historically been slow to effect economic growth.  Much of Japan’s "lost decade" of stagnant economic growth (which really lasted over 13 years), has been blamed on placing too much dependence on infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy.  By our estimation, it will take at least three years to employ three million people with steady paychecks.  It will probably take one year just to identify and begin implementing the truly good projects, and to avoid the useless projects proposed by local officials.  It could take two additional years to plan and ramp up employment for those projects that are approved.  Every state, county, and city will have their own pet projects.  Each must be vetted to avoid pork barrel projects such as building golf courses, and local swimming pools, instead of roads, schools, energy infrastructure, and information superhighways.

B) PRECIOUS METALS AND GRAINS HAVE BOTTOMED IN PRICE

PRECIOUS METALS-Precious metals provide some security in periods of war, economic hardship, and financial folly.  Currently, all three are part of the landscape. 
· War:  Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, maybe Iran, and…India?
· Economic Hardship:  Currently, we are experiencing the worst economy since the Great Depression in the developed world.
· Financial Folly:  Here are a few candidates; the banking system collapse, the mortgage loan scandals, the mortgage derivatives crisis…we could go on and on.

In addition, the U.S. dollar will weaken, which raises the price of gold in U.S. dollar terms even if the gold remains constant in price against other currencies.  Gold acts as a currency.

GRAINS-The world’s growing population needs to eat, and grain stockpiles are low.  Expected global grain production will be moderate this year, and grain stockpiles will be even lower in a few months.  Grains are also priced in U.S. dollars and will benefit as the dollar falls in buying power.

C) STOCKS ARE GETTING CHEAPER ALL OVER THE GLOBE

The long bear market that global stocks have been experiencing, have made them much cheaper and more attractive for long term investment.  Based solely on current valuation, many are good values.  However, the backdrop of a weak world banking system, and a severe global economic slowdown makes judging value and timing purchases more difficult.

We must be sure that companies and countries have adequate capital and access to liquidity to continue to finance their ongoing activities.  The managements of the companies must be capable of operating in a challenging environment, and their products or services must have visible and enduring markets.  Fundamental economic variables, technical, and psychological variables will also enter into the valuation/timing question.  Some opportunities will be identified; we will wait patiently and review the evidence frequently.

In our opinion, 2009 could be regarded by history as a wonderful time to buy, certainly the psychology of fear today is the same psychology found at all major market bottoms.  We plan to continue our active portfolio management style; looking for and evaluating opportunities, investing when we find acceptable reward/risk, and managing the portfolios’ exposure.

Guild Investment Management is a service business.  We encourage our readers to contact us if you have questions about your investment portfolio, we will be happy to perform a portfolio evaluation for you at no cost.

Thanks for listening.

Monty Guild and Tony Danaher
www.GuildInvestment.com

Posted at 4:15 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Marty’s thought for 2009

"Doing more than is expected is what makes the difference between the exhilaration of achievement, and the acceptance of mediocrity."

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The "M" word has no place in the CIGA dictionary.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Compliments of CIGA Ken:

Busted and Bloated Paradigms and New Paradigms to come, thoughts from Ciga Ken Drees with certs in hand

Busted
The stock market is where you need to be for the long term.
Just use an Index Fund.
Housing always goes up.
Get as much house as you can afford.
Just put that on the Home Equity Loan.
Big gas hog vehicles.
McMansions.
Flip this house.

Bloated and Soon to Bust
Just toss it out, it’s cheaper to buy a new one.
Just get a divorce.
I can’t move back in with Mom and Dad.
I can’t move in with my kids and burden them.
I thought money markets were safe.
You can always trust cash.
At least I can use my credit card if things get bad.
Gold, what’s that?
Don’t worry, Washington will fix it.
Driving habits, eg., people driving to and from work with no riders.
High Paid athletes.
Pro Sports.
The Pro Sports revenue model itself.
Obesity everywhere.
Food TV.
I eat what I want, when I want.
If you don’t like it, just toss it.
Undecided majors in college.
College affordability/high priced schools.
Just charge it.
My job is safe.
Our country can fight a war anywhere, anytime.
Just Bail em out.
Retail Consumerism.
Vacations.

NEW Paradigms to come
Understanding money and economic basics.
You cannot trust Wall Street (well underway)
Political scrutiny from the people.
I talk with my congressman at least once a month.
Taking an interest and getting involved in Government.
Caring about your Government.
Anger/frustration about the state of the nation.
The dollar is not worth very much.
Gold is where you want to be or should have been.
Prices are going up all the time (underway)
Shortages of food, gasoline, etc.
Spend the dollar quick before the price of that item goes even higher.
I never eat fast food.
Eating out is a luxury.
Wasting food is a no-no.
Making homemade bread.
Frugal is in.
Bling is out.
Owning a home is not smart.
Renting is the way to go.
No, we don’t have cable TV.
Small Local newspapers make a comeback.
Who can afford college?
I am lucky and blessed to be employed.
Going to church/temple is good to do for many reasons.
Gardening. (well underway)
Saving money in a safe medium.
3 meals a day, snacks anytime — those were the good old days.
Save the money first, then buy it.
We cannot afford to keep troops all over the globe.
It’s hard to get a credit card.
Yes, I know my neighbors, don’t you know yours?
Able to make basic plumbing and electrical repairs.
Going to the library.
Mechanical knowledge is very handy.
At least baseball is cheap again.

Posted at 3:59 PM (CST) by & filed under Trader Dan Norcini.

Dear CIGAs,

Gold closed out the year here in the US on an impressive note recouping nearly all of its intraday losses as trading neared the 11:00 AM hour. From that point on, it moved steadily higher. It should be noted that volume was so low you could have swung the turret of an Abrams tank around the trading floor and not hit a soul. Granted, that is a bit of an exaggeration but much of the usual crowd was not even on the floor today and were probably not even looking at the screens.

With the Dollar stronger and crude oil tending to the downside, it was pretty much a given that selling pressure was going to show up – that plus the fact that a particular well known newsletter writer decided to buy gold yesterday – alas for the bulls, that is generally good for a sell off as it occurs with predictable regularity. Dip buyers, who were watching the price action near the 10 day moving average, saw it hold and then moved in driving prices up nearly $30.00 off that level! The intraday recovery shows that buyers are in control of the gold pit for now.  It did not hurt matters any that crude oil began moving higher pushing well off its session lows.

Looking back over the past year gold performed remarkably well. With the exception of the bonds, it was one of the few if only markets that showed a gain. So much for the dire predictions of the gold bears including one warning about the feds knocking it all the way down to $400 based on some cockeyed entrails reading of Federal Reserve data. Such seem to forget or are unaware of gold’s role as a currency. When the de-leveraging trade and dollar repatriation that occurred as a result of that began to subside, the Dollar immediately ran out of steam and with that downward pressure on gold subsided. While gold can move independently of the US Dollar, it is still a given that the two are inseparably tied to one another in an inverse fashion.

By the way, on the continuous gold chart it closed out 2007 at $838.00 and ended 2008 at $883.60.  Once again another up year for ol’ yeller. The mining shares did not fare as well – the HIU closed last year (2007) at 409.37. As I write this it is trading near the 302 level. The XAU closed 2007 at 173.32. It is near 124 right now.

On the delivery front – we began the delivery process for the thinly traded January contract. While not as impressive as how December started off, (it should not be expected to be) a respectable 1,138 deliveries were assigned. The Bank of Nova Scotia was the big seller with 1,067 while J P Morgan Futures was the big buyer taking 1,072.

Open interest nudged back above the 300,000 level yesterday which is a good sign of returning speculative interest. Keep in mind that unless enough of these paper buyers will actually stand for delivery and take the gold out of the warehouse, the bullion banks will continue to plague the Comex market.

Technically gold is consolidating its last leg up while it waits for a full contingent of traders to return on Monday of next week. Resistance near the $880 level gave way right before the pit session closed with the next level of resistance above that near $888-$890. The breach of $880 was no mean feat. Support surfaced at today’s low near $860. Below that is $850 and then $838 – $835. Downsloping trendline resistance on the monthly chart comes in near the $910 level which gold will have to best in order to convince sideline sitters that a trending move to the upside is going to occur. If this month’s performance is any clue to gold’s price action as the calendar changes to 2009, it should start off on a solid footing with the technicals favoring the bulls especially with it being able to muster a close above $880.

I think it safe to say that those of us who have been trading 2008 will not forget this one. Memorable is an understatement. I do not ever recall seeing price swings and volatility of such extreme magnitude in my entire trading career. More than a few hedge funds are now history and they will not be back to plague the markets as they have done for so long. Some of the players involved in that industry seem to more closely resemble the famous Hydra of Greek mythology. Cut off one of its heads and two of them grow from the wound so it would not be unexpected to see them surface running another fund under a different name.

Bonds actually got whacked pretty good today. It is hard to say whether it is just longs booking gains for 2008 or a definitive top has formed. It is generally not a safe bet to make too many assumptions based on price action in these thinly-traded holiday markets. I watched the pork belly pit hit limit up today on a measly 10 lot buy order so take that as a bit of a caveat when looking at price action today.

I hope all our readers have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2009.

Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold with commentary from Trader Dan NorciniDecember3108Gold1230pmCDT.jpg

Posted at 3:43 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

image001 - 20081231_100810

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

A hint for the market "Wise Guys."

We are so very close to the geopolitical event that will not be faded into the marketplace.

Definition: To "Fade" is to trade counter-trend.

1. Israel makes a miscalculation.
2. Pakistan goes nuclear.
3. Both of the above are 5th column operations, not in control of those in control.

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

In a generic sense, and under no circumstances referring to the company below:

Is it paper gold, OTC derivatives written on gold by Lehman, Bear, UBS, or Gold as in the stuff that is heavy, shiny and .9995 pure or better?

Have you read the prospectus? If not, please do.

Only the Shadow knows!

Biggest Gold ETF Holds Its Weight
‘Positive Sign That Demand Is Firm’
By ALLEN SYKORA

Holdings in the world’s largest gold exchange-traded fund are at a record level as 2008 winds down, providing some healthy optimism for the market in coming months.

Metal held by SPDR Gold Shares (trading symbol GLD) climbed to 705.90 metric tons on July 11, before backing down to 614.35 in mid-September amid a liquidation selloff throughout the commodities complex. Since then, holdings are on the rise again.

The SPDR Web site shows the holdings at a record 775.33 metric tons each business day since Dec. 17. This represents an increase of 23.5% from 627.88 metric tons at the end of 2007.

Holdings in the world’s main silver ETF, iShares Silver Trust (SLV), are near their all-time high. They stand at 6,792.99 metric tons, not far below the peak of 6,901.41 in late September.

Rising ETF holdings are generally described as supportive for a commodity such as gold or silver, because it generates actual physical demand, analysts say.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Hamas is a side show compared to Pakistan. A fresh offensive against the militants? Who are you kidding?

India to Pakistan: Shut down terror camps
Tue, 30 Dec 2008 18:41:17 GMT

India calls on Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructures on its soil and take an immediate action against those behind the Mumbai siege.

Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday demanded Pakistan to dismantle about 30 terrorist camps situated on the Line of Control in divided Kashmir.

Mukherjee also rejected Islamabad’s claim that New Delhi had mobilized its army and air force in the aftermath of November’s attacks, saying Indian forces had only conducted a routine annual winter exercise.

The minister also emphasized that India and Pakistan will exchange information and take confidence-building measures over the two neighbors’ nuclear capability on January 1.

Mukherjee insisted that India would continue to put pressure on Pakistan through diplomacy.

More…

Pakistan kills 3 in Afghan supply route operation
By RIAZ KHAN Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press
Dec. 31, 2008, 8:56AM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Pakistani troops killed three militants in an operation to secure the major supply route to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.

The route through the famed Khyber Pass remained closed for a second day because of the operation but will hopefully reopen soon, said Fazal Mahmood, a local official.

The U.S. military has praised the campaign and said the temporary closure of the road was not a problem.

Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan rely on the winding, mountainous road for delivery of up to 75 percent of their fuel, food and other goods, which arrive in Pakistan via the port city of Karachi.

Militants have staged repeated attacks on supply convoys heading along the pass across Pakistan’s western border to Afghanistan, where fighting is escalating seven years after a U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Beanno works. Happy New Year. Maybe I should say good night, and stop posting?

Russia-Ukraine gas talks ‘fail’

Talks to resolve a gas supply row between Ukraine and Russia have failed, the chief executive of Russian gas giant Gazprom has said.

Alexei Miller said gas supplies to Ukraine would be cut on Thursday but that Russia would do its best to guarantee supplies to Europe.

Russian PM Vladimir Putin earlier claimed that Ukraine would block supplies to Europe if no deal was done.

Ukraine denies owing money to Gazprom, and says it has guaranteed gas transit.

Russia said they would "fully, 100%" cut Ukraine’s supply from 0700 GMT.

There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The revenge of the blue collar backbone of nations.

Power to the people.

Vote NO to unbridled greed and white collar CRIME.

Buy ONE Gold coin, and take it home!

Investors dumping dollars, going for gold
12/31/2008
by Max Marbut

British poet George Gordon Noel Byron included that line in “Don Juan” early in the 17th century. That same sentiment is ringing true today for investors all over the world. As currency markets become unstable and projections head for the cellar, gold — one of the oldest measurements of wealth — is heading up in all forms.

The devaluation of the U.S. dollar has had a significant impact on the demand for, and therefore the price of, gold. A common way to invest in gold is to buy solid gold coins, which are struck by the U.S. Mint (part ot the U.S. Treasury Department) in West Point, N.Y. The Mint manufactures a variety of platinum, gold and silver coins in various denominations and weights up to the one-ounce American Eagle coins.

Each coin weighs 34.1 grams, with 32 grams (or 1 Troy ounce) of pure gold and an alloy metal which allows the metal to be durable enough to manufacture the coin.

The demand for the coins reached such a point in 2008 that those who sell gold coins were notified in November by the Mint that with the exception of the American Eagle Gold One-ounce and American Eagle Silver One-ounce bullion coins, all 2008-dated bullion coins have been depleted. Introduction of some new 2009 coins has also been pushed back.

The Mint can’t currently get enough of the “blanks” which are used to “strike” the coins, said U.S. Mint spokesperson Michael White. He described the 2008 demand for precious metal coins as “unprecedented.” In fact, after years of decreasing demand for the coins, demand tripled in 2008 compared to 2007 (see chart).

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

White collar crime is not the only cancer that GOLD fights.

Gold Nanoparticles Don’t Just Look Pretty, They Fight Cancer
Jason Mick (Blog) December 31, 2008 1:20 PM

Gold has fast become one of the most promising materials for building devices on a nanoscale level thanks to a number of favorable properties.  Among the applications of gold nanodevices is the use of gold particles to deliver drugs.  Gold nanoparticles range from small nanoclusters up to larger, more complex nanostructures.

MIT researchers used the latter to create one of the first examples of atwo-drug delivery system.

Frequently, medical problems such as AIDS or cancer are best combated by a mix of drugs; however, drugs typically have different intervals they have to be taken on.  Thus, merely injecting a mix of nanoparticles coated in or containing drugs would not be sufficient.  A more complex delivery system was needed.

The MIT researchers decided to make use of an important property of gold nanoparticles.  Gold nanoparticles, based on their size and shape melt when exposed to certain wavelengths of infrared light.  In the case of drug-carrying hollow gold nanoparticles, the melting process can release drugs at specific locations in the body.

To implement a two drug delivery, researchers used two types of large hollow nanoparticles — longer ones, which they nicknamed "nanobones", and shorter ones, which they nicknamed "nanocapsules".

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