The Room – 02/27/2009
February 27, 2009

Dear Readers,

This morning, as I was looking over dispatches from correspondents around the world – from Ed in Alberta… Sadia in the UK… Baldy in Indonesia… the “General” in Portugal… and Nitin in Katmandu – I began to appreciate what it must have been like to be on the news desk during World War II.

I am trying not to be overly pessimistic, but there’s no denying the mass of bad news coming to us from all fronts: the forces of collectivism are using the cover of the crisis they largely created, aided and abetted by capitalism’s quislings, to roll over the individual.

Even so, contained within the dire reportage is also some very good news for you personally, and I’ll touch on that as well in today’s missive.


The Bad News

As fully anticipated, with its first budget plan, the Obama administration has fired a salvo into the side of the productive classes. (For those of you who are not U.S. citizens, feel free to use Team Obama as a proxy for what is likely to occur where you reside.)

Yes, we expected the $1.75 trillion budget deficit, which will, by the time all is said and done, come in a lot closer to the $2.5 trillion number anticipated some months ago by our own Bud Conrad.

Yes, we expected the government to begin raising taxes, which they are proposing to do with vigor – starting with an increase of $1.4 trillion on the people who earn in excess of $250,000 a year. “Right on!” shouts the mob, on the way out the door to burn Porsches.

For no other purpose than to keep the record straight, it’s worth noting that thanks to the government’s steady dose of inflation, $250,000 today will only buy you 77% of what it would have in 1998… and 56% of what it would have in 1988.

A decade from now, given the inflation rate we expect, the dollar’s purchasing power will erode by another 50%, and probably a lot more than that. In fact, at the current rate of money creation, by the time the dust settles, $250,000 might be the annual wage commanded by burger flippers.

But, hey, look at the bright side, at that point everyone will be rich!

The further details of Obama’s budget plan are a hodgepodge of this and that, some of which we even agree with (like cutting business subsidies). On the whole, however, the overarching mandate appears to be to thrust the hand of government, like some motion picture kung fu villain, deep into the heart of American enterprise.

And government’s expansion is far from over. Even as I write, the news continues to pour in…

  • Citigroup to get another $25 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury.

  • Treasury officials work on bailout plan for auto parts manufacturers.

  • President Obama exploring automatic workplace pensions and an expansion of unemployment insurance.

  • AIG, now a government lap puppy, takes another big loss, and is again looking to its master for another handout.

  • Speaking of lap puppies, Fannie Mae, has lost another $25 billion and is looking for $15 billion more from the Treasury. The value of this zombie institution’s net assets is now a negative $105 billion, and eroding. Great investment of your tax dollars, eh?

  • Then there’s the new administration’s cap-and-trade green tax… a stunning new initiative that will bring many U.S. businesses to their knees. (You can read more about it here.)


There is more, so much more, including a $638 billion reserve fund for healthcare reform in the president’s budget that loudly broadcasts that, “Yes, we’re going there.” There being nationalized health care.

But you already read too much and don’t need me to rehash things as they are.

I will, however, comment on the way things will be, because in that, at least, we can find some good news.

 

The Good News

My fellow citizens of planet Earth, it is now abundantly clear that the trend toward socialism in all its many disguises is about to, once again, shift into high gear.

We’ve been here before, encouraged by the words of Karl Marx, a distinctly unsuccessful individual (to read his life story is to read of almost unending misery, poverty, and discontent) but a decidedly successful phrase-coiner, knocking the world off its axis with his “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

While no one with any real sense of history, not to mention economics, can take any overt joy at the prospect of the dark clouds of collectivism looming high in the sky above us, there is, if you pay close attention, a very big opportunity in all of this.

Namely, we are now presented with a relatively rare chance to see with some clarity into the future.

Imagine if eight years from now you could step into a time machine and zip right back to this very moment. How much money do you think you could make?

Well, just because the chattering masses have the blinders on as they march forward to their collective penury doesn’t mean we need to join them. And, if we are even a little bit careful, we won’t.

So, what is it about the future we can now see? Some broad strokes…

  • Currency depreciation.

  • More taxes.

  • Rising interest rates.

  • A price capitulation in real estate, with a collapse in commercial.

  • Exchange controls (now that Team Obama is raising your taxes, you don’t really think they’re going to let you pick up your wealth and leave, do you? The window for global diversification will soon be closing.)

  • The return of mega-labor unions.

  • Trade wars, shooting wars, and other forms of heightened geopolitical tension.

(This is a topic we are discussing at greater length, backed up with specific recommendations, in the March edition of The Casey Report, which will be released on or around March 3. Among its many highlights, Doug Casey is just putting the finishing touches on his article titled “Street Fighting Man” about the prospects for social unrest.)

Provided you keep your personal wealth profile low (there was a reason Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, drove a beat-up pick-up truck), your financial powder dry, and, maybe most important of all, retain your sense of humor, the opportunities in the unfolding crisis will be abundant

We’ll do what we can to help you spot those opportunities in our various services. If you are unsure which of our services is right for you, don’t hesitate to try them all… we offer very generous trial subscriptions, most of which come with a full money-back guarantee if you don’t find the service a good match. We have no interest in trying to rope you into a service that isn’t exactly right for you, so don’t feel bad at all if you try a service and later cancel for a full refund. We’re just happy to have the opportunity to share our research with you.

You can learn about all our services, of course, at CaseyResearch.com.

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Whatever you do, don’t be complacent about what’s coming.

We are long past the point where doing nothing is an option. Review your personal finances, cut out unnecessary expenses, talk to your accountant about tax planning, and, if you’re a U.S. citizen, consider moving at least some of your wealth out of the country while you still can (but please, don’t try to hide it… that’s a fool’s errand). If you own gold, only you and your spouse, if you have one, should be aware of it.

Ask yourself, “If I just dropped in from eight years in the future, what measures would I take?”

Now, take them.


A Musical Interlude

This week, I have been listening – repeatedly, according to certain innocent bystanders -- to the following tracks.

For the rock & rollers among you, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking from the Rolling Stones kicks off with one of my personal favorite guitar riffs. Listen to it here.

And for pretty much anyone, an odd but really well-done duet by James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti singing “It’s a Man’s World,” which was sent along by subscriber David B. in response to last week’s call for dramatic music. Now, I don’t know if this song is as sexist as its title makes it seem (I haven’t listened closely to the words), but watching James Brown doing his natural best to match vocal talents with Pavarotti is, alone, worth the price of admission. Which, in this case, is just a click on the link here.

Have some dramatic music you want to share? Shoot it my way at David@caseyresearch.com.

 

A Golden Opportunity

While it’s still a long shot, one possible outcome of the deluge of paper money about to hit the global economy may be that governments will be forced by simple math back to a gold standard: when you dump trillions of freshly created paper into the market, inflation must soar.

And because governments produce nothing, the servicing of all their many debts and new spending programs gives rise to the real risk that the inflation could devolve into a Zimbabwe-like downward spiral. At that point, the intelligentsia, uncomfortable at the sight of glowering pensioners growing tired of living on dog food, may be forced back to a sound money system.

For the most part the citizenry has no memory of a gold standard, and even less understanding of same. We expect that to change. And, in fact, an early straw in the wind showed up this week in the form of a YouTube video sent along by subscriber Peter F.

You really must watch this, given that it is an excerpt from a major cable news personality, Glenn Beck, who manages to wax intelligently on matters involving the gold standard. There may be hope after all.

Watch it by clicking here.

Meanwhile, rather than wait for government to act on gold convertibility for their currencies, individuals the world over are doing their own conversions by trading their paper currencies for the hard stuff in record amounts.

    Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Refinery Ltd., the world’s largest gold refinery, increased coin output to the highest in about 23 years as demand for South African Krugerrands rose.

    The Johannesburg refinery last month doubled weekly production to 20,000 ounces of blank coins for minting by the State’s SA Mint as Kruger coins, Johan Botha, head of precious metals sales, said by phone from the city today.

Many of you have written to us expressing concern about the potential for direct action by the U.S. government against gold, – now that it’s returning to its dominant role as a sound money – including an outright ban or confiscation. We don’t see any signs of that yet, but we’re vigilant.


Damn Foreigners

The rising power of the mob in virtually all of the world’s democracies invariably leads to geopolitical tensions.

That’s because the ruling elites know they need to pander to the blunt-force voting blocs if they are to retain their elevated status. And there are few issues more unifying to the mob than the sight of filthy foreigners taking advantage at the expense of the locals. Whether it’s the damn illegal wetbacks who dare to cut our lawns or wash our restaurant dishes on the cheap, or the crafty Chinamen willing to work for pennies a day to feed their families – thereby taking food out of the very mouths of good union folks here in the U.S.A. – fanning the flames of nationalism is as easy as drawing breath for any politician worthy of the label.

And so we’ll be seeing a lot more of that, too, as politicians on both sides of the spectrum revert to script in redirecting the blame for what is now unfolding, and what is yet to come, to anywhere other than where it belongs.

This is a dangerous game.

For starters, the U.S. is now deeply, deeply in debt to the rest of the world. While the Chinese have, so far, been tolerant, their recent demands for some form of guarantee before they buy any more U.S. agency debt is a clear signal that their patience with the U.S. government’s prolificacy is not without limits.

Some of you might protest that the Chinese and other foreign trading partners, looking for a commercial advantage by keeping our currency high, encouraged the U.S. government to spend, spend, spend by engaging in a policy well described as lend, lend, lend. And you are right. But since when does anyone have to take a loan, just because it’s offered?

At any point during the decades-long run-up in federal government spending, the reigning morons in the Washington swamp could have “just said no.”

Instead, they said “yes,” embarking on foreign adventures… spending trillions on building and then largely ruining the world’s biggest military apparatus… offering financial backing to liar loans… launching the mutant health care scheme that goes by the name of Medicare… and… and… agreeing to whatever other thick, fat-laden slice of pork the politicians thought the lazy-minded voteriat would find agreeable.

We don’t need to look overseas for people to blame. The culprits are still knocking around the halls of power, just wearing new ties (with cute little donkeys on them instead of elephants), their blubbery lips retrained to spout off about the need for new subsidies to promote this or that green energy project “for our children” (conveniently forgetting that their cousin Bob happens to be a big shareholder in said project).

Sorry about that. Got a little carried away, listening once again to Can’t Hear Me Knocking at high volume.

I need to move on, because I have to get back to editing The Casey Report, and because I just got invited to make an appearance this afternoon on Fox Business.

But before I go, I want to bring this down to a more human level by sharing the contents of an email I received this morning from Baldy in Indonesia.

    David,

    Had lunch with a good mate today. He's a kiwi (New Zealander) with a business that employs 50 people here in Indonesia.

    His brother is getting married in your neck of the woods, Washington DC, and Robbie had planned to take 3 weeks off to see the US of A with his new Indonesian wife and baby. "No way," said Uncle Sam, without even checking or reviewing the submitted visa application documents of his Indonesian wife.

    So what could have been a much-needed USD 10K income for US businesses will now become a 3-day quick in-and-out for Robbie only. A strange xenophobia floats over the US of A.

    When I went to the US in 2000, the hands-on inspection up the tail pipe was enough for me. I can live without it – the reason why you'll never see me at a Casey "gathering of the tribe" in the US.

    Cheers, Baldy

I guess we’ll find out just how splendid isolation really is…


Look for the Union Label

By Donald Grove, Casey Research Washington Correspondent

After last week’s edition of this exercise in fulminating, subscriber Buster H., sent along the following note:

I am surprised you have not mentioned the major stealth labor union executive order signed (without any media coverage) by Obama on Feb. 6. Read the text here.

After reading the referenced document, I shot off a note to Donald Grove, our tireless Washington correspondent, asking him to turn over a few stones to get to the bottom of the story. Here’s his report…


Unions played a big role in putting Obama in the White House. His campaign website assured his labor backers that he would “fight for passage of the [so-called] Employee Free Choice Act” (which would eliminate secret ballots and leave workers who don’t want a union vulnerable to harassment), “ban the permanent replacement of striking workers, increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation to ensure it rises every year,” and “increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs.” Once safely ensconced as the nation’s chief executive, it was time for Obama to remember those who put him there.

On January 30, with inauguration festivities still a fresh memory, Obama signed three union-friendly executive orders reversing a series of Bush administration executive orders dictating how federal contractors are to deal with union workers.

Obama said, “We cannot have a strong middle class without strong labor unions. We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests. I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution.”

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who attended the signing ceremony, said “The executive orders are the first step in a long road to restore balance between workers and corporations. As the weeks and months continue, we thank God that we have a president, vice president, and Congress who are determined to fix our economy so that it works for everyone.”

On February 6, the president tossed labor another bone. While this fourth labor-friendly executive order does not require executive-branch agencies to use project labor agreements on construction projects, “it is the policy of the Federal Government to encourage executive agencies to consider requiring the use of project labor agreements in connection with large-scale construction projects in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement.” Unions love these agreements, which were prohibited by the Bush administration.

Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, had a different take, however. He said, “President Obama’s executive order will drive up the cost of government at a time when we should be doing everything possible to save taxpayer dollars. federal contracts should go to the businesses that can offer taxpayers the best value – not just the unions who supported the Democrats’ campaigns last year. Quietly signing executive orders to pay back campaign backers undermines Obama’s promise to change Washington. It is a disappointment for Americans hoping for more transparency and less politics-as-usual in Washington.”

According to two of America’s largest construction industry trade groups, the president’s orders would limit the number of workers hired on new federal jobs to build roads, bridges, and buildings – the very projects touted as creating millions of new jobs as part of the stimulus package. Jerry Gorski, national chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors, said that 84% of the country's construction workers are not in labor unions. “If the purpose of these projects is to get Americans back to work, why would we pick an approach that would allow only a small percentage of the construction workforce to participate?” Brian Turmail, speaking for the Associated General Contractors, said Obama’s executive order “takes the contractor out of the process of negotiating with their employees and puts the government in that role.”

Here are the orders for those who wish to scrutinize.

2009-01-30 Notification of Employee Rights under Federal Labor Laws
2009-01-30 Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers under Service Contracts
2009-01-30 Economy in Government Contracting
2009-02-06 Project Labor Agreements

A couple have not yet appeared on the White House Briefing Room at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office.

I’m sure many of you will recall this inspirational jingle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNTpOnZqeUo

Thank God it’s Friday!

Regards, Don


State Sovereignty – Saying “No” to the Feds

By Shannara Johnson

David again. There have been a number of articles recently about the possible break-up of the Eurozone. Before those of us in the U.S. get too smug, we might want to wonder if something akin to that could happen here. “Never!” I can hear some of you exclaiming, and you are probably right. But we are very much heading into unchartered waters, with a serious power grab on the federal level that leaves the states with much of the costs associated with complying with the spate of new regulations.

Shannara Johnson, a senior researcher and editor here at Casey Research who touches almost everything you read from us – quite amazingly so – found the time to dig in on something of a revolt now brewing in capitals around these 50 states. Her report follows…


Drowned out by the fiscal calamities of recent months, there is a new “movement” in the United States; one that has, incredibly, received little attention from the mainstream media. Not so united anymore, an increasing number of states have been introducing resolutions to declare sovereignty.

Now, to clarify this, a declaration of sovereignty is not the same as secession. Rather, it is the assertion of states’ rights – rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and have been, in the view of many state governments, eroded or usurped by the bigwigs in Washington, DC.

In the words of Arizona state Rep. Judy Burges, “We are telling the federal government that we are a sovereign state and want to be treated as such. We are not a branch of the federal government.”

The states are pointing to the 9th and 10th Amendments, which affirm, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” and “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Even though it’s not secession, it is definitely a warning shot. The resolutions demand that the Obama administration “cease and desist” from unrestrained government expansion; they also imply that federal laws and regulations that violate the 10th Amendment can be nullified by the states.

So far, ten states have recently drafted or are about to draft bills to declare sovereignty: Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Washington, and Texas. And according to analysts, up to 20 more states may follow suit this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

The complaints mainly revolve around federal legislation imposed on the states without their consent; pet peeves include gun control laws, martial law provisions, freedom of religion and speech, and out-of-control federal spending.

“Live Free or Die” state New Hampshire’s resolution is one of the harshest:

    That any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America. Acts which would cause such a nullification include, but are not limited to:

    I. Establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the States comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that State.

    II. Requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

    III. Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.

    IV. Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.

    V. Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.

    VI. Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition; and

    That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government;

NH Representative Dan Itse told FOX News’ Glenn Beck, “It’s a line in the sand to tell the federal government that they are no longer allowed to transgress the Constitution, and if they do, then they’re nullifying the Constitution.”

So far, so good. Here at Casey Research, ever the small-government advocates, we might be inclined to applaud the gutsiness of the states’ lawmakers. However, as Beck pointed out in his interview with Itse, some things just don’t add up.

For example, despite tough words and fingering the revolvers strapped to their hips, many governments of the very same states that are declaring sovereignty do not seem to mind holding their hands out for their share of the stimulus money the Obama administration is dangling in front of them. They just don’t like to be told by the feds how to spend it.

The Washington Times reported that Republican governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina “aggressively opposed the stimulus plan. However, in a Thursday morning interview on CBS’ ‘The Early Show,’ Mr. Sanford said his state would accept money from the stimulus bill. Opposing the plan ‘doesn’t preclude taking the money,’ said Mr. Sanford.”

Pragmatism or hypocrisy? Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute chooses the latter, noting that about a third of average total state spending comes from the federal government. Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation, agrees: “To a large degree, states are scapegoating their budget problems on Washington. It’s tough to be sympathetic for states and local governments when they go $467 billion in federal grants last year.”


Tax Revolt – Part I

Friend and mining stock guru Rick Rule sent the following along this week…

Actual “Letter to the Editor” from the February 5th edition of the Wichita Falls, Texas Times Record News...

Dear IRS,

I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to pay taxes owed April 15, but all is not lost.

I have paid these taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog license tax, federal income tax, unemployment tax, gasoline tax, hunting license tax, fishing license tax, waterfowl stamp tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, liquor tax, luxury tax, Medicare tax, city, school and county property tax, real estate tax, Social Security tax, road usage tax, toll road tax, state and city sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, state franchise tax, state unemployment tax, telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal state and local surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone state and local tax, utility tax, vehicle license registration tax, capital gains tax, lease severance tax, oil and gas assessment tax, Colorado property tax, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and New Mexico sales tax, and many more that I can't recall, but I have run out of space and money anyway.

When you do not receive my check April 15, just know that it is an honest mistake. Please treat me the same way you treated Congressmen Charles Rangel, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and ex-Congressman Tom Daschle and, of course, your boss Timothy Geithner. No penalties and no interest.

Ed Barnett
Wichita Falls

P.S. I will make at least a partial payment as soon as I get my stimulus check.






Tax Revolt – Part II

Thanks to subscriber and periodic correspondent Jerry C. for sending this along…

Tax the table at which he's fed.

Tax his tractor, tax his mule,

Teach him taxes are the rule.

Tax his work, tax his pay,

He works for peanuts anyway.

Tax his cow, tax his goat,

Tax his pants, tax his coat.

Tax his ties, tax his shirt,

Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco, tax his drink,

Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his cigars, tax his beers,

If he cries, tax his tears.

Tax his car, tax his gas,

Find other ways to tax his ass.

Tax all he has, then let him know,

You won't be done till he has no dough.

When he screams, then tax him some more.

Tax him till he's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin, tax his grave, tax the sod in which he's laid.

Put these words upon his tomb,

“Taxes drove me to my doom...”

When he's gone, do not relax,

It’s time to apply the inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax, Building Permit Tax, CDL License Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Excise Tax, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax, Gross Receipts Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges/IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax, Sales Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Taxes, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax.

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell P-O-L-I-T-I-C-I-A-N-S?

David again. If you are not yet tired of this week’s bashing of government, read the following opinion piece titled “America’s biggest problem is big government” by Dr. Gary Wolfram of Hillsdale College. It’s worth a read. Click here.

 

Miscellany

  • Toronto Phyle. On March 3rd at 7:30 p.m., the Toronto Phyle will be hosting three members of the Casey Research team, all of whom are in town for the annual Prospectors and Developers conference. If you are going to be in the area and want to connect with other Casey subscribers as well as Jeff Clark, editor of BIG GOLD, Doug Hornig of the Daily Resource, and Louis James, our senior researcher and editor of the CIA and International Speculator, drop us a note at phyles@caseyresearch.com and we’ll get you the details.

  • In Other Phyle News… Oren in Israel… John in Boise, ID… Michael in the Quartzsite/Parker, AZ, Blythe, CA area… plus other individuals in Edmonton, Alberta… Kingston, NY, and Wichita, KS, are willing to host subscriber get-togethers. Drop us a note at the email address just above, and we’ll get you connected.

And that, dear readers is that for this week. As I look at the screens, I see that the stock market, after having opened up sharply lower, is now down just a little… while gold is trading at $940, well off from its latest run-up near the $1,000 mark. That’s okay. This is not a sprint we are in but the early days of a grueling trek to what’s next. Gold will be a critical part of our financial travel kit and, at times along the way, a pretty good trading sardine, too. For instance, if it gets knocked back into the mid-$800s.

Stay the course.

Before signing off, I would like to give a special thanks to all of our many correspondents. Over the years, we have built a large and robust international network that now serves as an early-warning system for our team. You collectively make our task of scanning the world for what is important far easier… and individually, you make my job all that more agreeable.

For those of you who will be making it to Vegas, let’s grab a beer together. And for those who won’t, a toast in your general direction.

On the topic of Vegas, or more specifically, our upcoming Crisis & Opportunity Summit, we never did quite get around to sending out a big promotion, but the conference is all but sold out at this point. We can take a few more registrations, but just a few. By this time next week, it will be a complete sell-out. So, if you’re still interested, and you should be, the time to act is now. More info here.

Until next week, thank you for reading and for being a subscriber to one or more Casey services.


Sincerely,



David Galland
Managing Director
Casey Research, LLC.




Posted 02-27-2009 2:07 PM by David Galland