The Room – 05/01/2009
Dear Reader,

I am writing you in some haste this morning, fueled both by what may be an overdose of espresso and a general lack of sleep due to fulfilling my responsibilities as the managing editor of The Casey Report, the final copy deadline for which is inconveniently today.

In the interest of not being discovered face down on my desk, a spilled cup of coffee dripping onto the floor, I'm going to take a few shortcuts in preparing this week’s edition of The Room. Namely, relying on other members of the Casey team, as well as our impressive ranks of correspondents, to fill in some holes. I think you'll be happy with the result.

First, however, a quick word or two is in order about the Chrysler bankruptcy. In last week's edition of this somewhat manic missive, I opined that Chrysler’s bankruptcy was now both inevitable and imminent. Further, I wrote about the proceedings, which have the U.S. Treasury deeply involved in structuring the bankruptcy...

    …if the Treasury reorders the normal priority in which stakeholders in Chrysler are paid, say, to favor the union members that were so helpful in getting Mr. Obama elected, or to otherwise try to manipulate the process for some political end – cloaked, no doubt, in the mantle of "It's for the good of the nation" -- that will further confirm that we are on a very steep and slippery slope.

    I fear the worst, because if the Treasury did not have such intentions, why would they be involved in "preparing Chrysler for bankruptcy" in the first place?

We didn't have to wait long before bankruptcy to be declared or for the government to reveal the nature of its back-office dealings regarding the unions. To quote the New York Times

    In the devastating slump that has forced two of Detroit’s automakers to the brink of bankruptcy, the United Automobile Workers union stands to become one of the industry’s few winners.

    According to restructuring plans proposed this week, the union will have more than half the stock in Chrysler and a third of General Motors, meaning it will have tremendous influence, with the government, in determining the future of the companies.

    The United Automobile Workers union said Wednesday that its members ratified a cost-cutting deal with Chrysler by a 4-to-1 margin.

    “Our members have responded by accepting an agreement that is painful for our active and retired workers, but which helps preserve U.S. manufacturing jobs and gives Chrysler a chance to survive,” Ron Gettelfinger, the union’s president, said in a statement.

    The prospect of a big ownership stake for the U.A.W. in G.M. has angered holders of billions of dollars in bonds, who stand to get only a fraction of the restructured company. As for Chrysler, the banks, hedge funds and others that lent it money have been promised only cash, not stock.

    “We believe the offer to be a blatant disregard of fairness for the bondholders who have funded this company and amounts to using taxpayer money to show political favoritism of one creditor over another,” a group of G.M. bondholders said in a statement this week.

Isn't it remarkable how very predictable the government can be? Now, anyone want to venture a guess why the unions made out so well in the deal? It's like shooting ducks in a barrel. Again, from the New York Times...

    The U.A.W. has derived its leverage in part from the support of a Democratic president and Congress. But it also results from a long-term strategy to build support in Washington that stretches back more than 60 years.

    … In the last 20 years, the U.A.W. has donated more than $25.4 million to federal candidates, 99 percent of it to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org, a site that tracks campaign contributions.

    The union ranks No. 16 on the group’s list of top 100 political donors, known as “heavy hitters.” The U.A.W. was well ahead of G.M., which gave $10 million in that period, ranking it 73rd. Chrysler and Ford Motor did not make the list.

So, after throwing billions of dollars of your money into these failing car companies, the government has essentially turned around and handed ownership over to unions. Ownership, it might be added, that was lifted out of the pockets of investors. I have little sympathy for any investor stupid enough to have kept their money in these poorly run, constantly unprofitable businesses – and I'm sure many of those investments were made out of some conviction that the U.S. government would step in with an open wallet and make everybody good. Yet, fair is fair and, as discussed last week, there are well-defined procedures in place for liquidating and distributing assets of bankrupt companies. The government simply shuffling the cards around to suit its political aims and rewarding its lobbyist friends at the expense of investors sets a very dark precedent.

Wouldn’t you think that, at a minimum, officialdom would at least thank the investors for their unwilling contribution to the nation's organized worker brigades? Hardly. Quoting Bloomberg...

    The objections from the group of lenders [to the terms forced upon them] also drew criticism from Michigan lawmakers, including Democratic Representatives John Dingell and Sander Levin.

    “The rogue hedge funds that refused to agree to a fair offer to exchange debt for cash from the U.S. Treasury, firms I label as the ‘vultures,’ will now be dealt with accordingly in court,” Dingell said.

    “It is outrageous that a handful of hedge funds and other creditors have refused to join all the other stakeholders in participating in the restructuring necessary to pave the way for a Chrysler-Fiat alliance,” said Levin.

Don't you love that "will now be dealt with accordingly in court" threat?

Dorothy, we’re no longer in Kansas... or, as far as I can recognize, the United States.

Hey, look what just popped in -- some "airplane notes" from my globetrotting partner and chairman of the circus, Doug Casey.

    [Editor’s Note: Last night, Casey Research CEO Olivier Garret got the call to appear on CNN’s Lou Dobbs show as a commentator on the Chrysler bankruptcy. You can watch his appearance here. Gee, before he becomes a big media star, maybe I can stockpile some of his autographs.]



The Day the Earth Stood Still

By Doug Casey

A few thoughts occurred to me on the flight from Buenos Aires last week. I was admittedly in a bad mood thanks to the detailed interrogation one is subjected to on flights to the U.S. (and only on flights to the U.S.). In most airports in the world, security is more stringent than it used to be, but (unlike the U.S.) you can still arrive less than an hour before take-off with no problem. Only on flights to the U.S. (and Israel) are you interrogated.

Maria, our BA concierge, noticed my mood and commented that they were only doing their job. I responded that was also true of the guy who was only driving the train to Auschwitz. Notwithstanding that universal observation, there’s no doubt that flying to and within the U.S. is the bottom of the aviation barrel. Many people I know now avoid it at all cost. Even to change planes, because the U.S. is one of the very few places in the world that requires clearing customs and immigration even if you’re just connecting.

On board, Business and First were only ¾ full, Economy about ½ full. Last year the flight would have been full; it was often impossible to even get a seat on any popular route. It wasn’t Swine Flu fears, because this was several days before that hysteria hit. Clearly the Greater Depression is starting to have an effect.

I flew United, a bad habit I’ve gotten into after about 2 million miles with them. The plane was a 767, but kitted out with seats that only reclined to 45 degrees, and a crappy entertainment system. Both were relics from the ‘80s and completely unacceptable on an overnight flight. Coming from Argentina, of all places, they didn’t even offer beef on the menu -- only chicken or pasta. The cost cutting was egregious on all fronts. Oddly, the napkin sported an eyehole, allowing you to attach it to a button on your shirt. That’s a nice feature on a plane, where a bib is advisable for dining. I remark on it because United eliminated their napkin eyeholes a few years ago, in some accountant’s idea of saving a few thousand dollars a year -- even though it was a big signal to their best customers that the company was in a tailspin. Now they’ve gone back to the nice little eyelets, just as the whole enterprise is about to crash and burn. Perhaps the U.S. government will bail them out as well? Otherwise, they’re almost surely going down for the count this time.

My somber mood was reinforced by watching “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a remake of the ‘50s classic, this time starring Keanu Reeves. My friend Robert Prechter of Elliot Wave, the only person in this business who may actually be more bearish than I am, would say (I’m sure) that the movie is another indicator of today’s social mood. And the markets don’t cause social mood; social mood generates the markets. This movie was a long way from the buoyant and optimistic theme of ET that we saw at the beginning of the Long Boom nearly three decades ago. The theme of this one is that humans are about to be destroyed, and are pretty much getting what they deserve. I rather liked the depiction of the U.S. SecDef as a woman who’s something of a cross between Madeleine Halfbright and Hillary Clinton. She does her best to push the aliens towards destroying the planet, because that’s part of her job description.

I don’t know if Klaatu and Gort, the movie’s alien protagonists, are on their way, but I know I’m going to be cashing in all of my numerous Frequent Flyer miles on United over the next year, while the company can still get the credit it needs to buy gas.

    [Editor’s Note: One of the more enjoyable tasks I have as a managing editor of The Casey Report, the flagship publication of our organization, is reviewing Doug's always unique economic, investment, and social commentary and analysis.

    This month's contribution is a thought-provoking analysis of how and why the nation-state as an institution will soon join tribes and kingdoms on history's trash heap. The edition also features groundbreaking new research from our own Bud Conrad on the topic of interest rates and whether the "green shoots" now being enthusiastically reported by government and Wall Street are doomed to wither. And, we have a new recommendation on the best commodity ETF for your portfolio, and why today is a very good day to begin adding it to your portfolio.

    That and much more -- make that much, much more -- all in the May edition. As a subscriber, you’ll receive the edition on Tuesday, May 4 (unless I end up spending all day working on The Room).

    Not yet a subscriber? No better time than now to give The Casey Report a test run, which you can do by clicking here now.]


Watch What You Wish For

This week, the clearly adept politician Sen. Arlen Specter jumped off the Republican’s burning ship in the hopes of retaining his privileges in the Senate dining room. That, plus the certain swearing-in of jokester Al Franken as the senator of Minnesota, will give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, which is to say complete control over the government.

Some commentators have called Mr. Specter's ship jumping the greatest gift that President Obama could have received on his 100-day anniversary. However, my conclusion from previous instances when one party so dominates is that the Democrats have more to fear than to gain from an unstoppable majority. And that would be even more so the case today.

Simply, with total control also comes total blame for pretty much everything that goes wrong going forward. Sure, they'll be able to continue (correctly) blaming the Bush administration and, by extension, the Republicans for much of the mess we are now in -- but that artifice will only work for so long, as the vigorous “solutions" implemented by the Democrats begin to blow up in their face. Now, please don't misunderstand -- I am not saying that were the Republicans in control, they would do a better job. Rather, the best one can hope for in democracy is a rock-solid deadlock, one such as the country enjoyed during President Clinton's waning years -- when the Republicans had the president and Congress so tied up in the Affair Lewinsky that the government all but ground to a halt. In hindsight, those were dramatically pretty years from an economic perspective.

In any event, given that the Democrats are energetically readying themselves to get hoist with their own petards, I suspect that their majority won't last long -- and maybe only until the congressional elections next year.

But between now and then, almost every liberal's dream may be realized -- if only temporarily. As for the damage to the country if preposterous propositions such as taxing American industries hundreds of billions of dollars for their carbon output gets passed, that will be felt considerably longer.


We’re All About to Die!!!!

In last week's edition, I wrote an article titled "Panic Number 10," in which I discussed how, over the course of my life, I’ve witnessed approximately ten distinct media-encouraged panics. While it was the imminent destruction of the world due to global warming that served as the context for my musings, hardly was the virtual ink dry when Panic Number 11 flared up in the form of swine flu.

While I'll have more to say on the topic in a moment, taking one of the aforementioned shortcuts, I'll share some of the raw research that the ridiculously hard-working Shannara Johnson threw together at my request.

Here’s Shannara …

    There are still a lot of unknowns.

    For example, no one knows what the mortality rate is. This week, Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Cordova talked about a death rate of 6 or 7%... he thought he was alleviating fears but, as AP says, “In reality, that would mean a monstrous killer virus – and no experts are close to saying that.”

    In the U.S., there have been 91 cases and 1 death so far, as of 4/29/09 (up-to-date figures in the table here: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/?s_cid=swineFlu_outbreak_001).

    Mexico to date has had 26 cases and 7 deaths. This is according to the official numbers from the WHO, even though an AP article from 4/29 claims that “In Mexico, the virus is suspected of killing more than 150 people and sickening more than 2,400.”

    There’s also a really cool Google Map of the U.S. and Mexico with the current spread of swine flu cases, updated continuously.

    Seven other countries have had lab-confirmed cases with no deaths: Austria – 1, Canada – 13, Germany – 3, Israel – 2, New Zealand – 3, Spain – 4, UK – 5 (all WHO numbers).

    As to who is most in danger: actually, this strain of flu seems to target the young and healthy (age group 10-52) whereas the elderly seem to be doing just fine. Some media compare it to the Spanish flu in 1918, which worked the same way.

    According to the LA Times, “Ralph Tripp, an influenza expert at the University of Georgia, said that his early analysis of the virus' protein-making instructions suggested that people exposed to the 1957 flu pandemic -- which killed up to 2 million people worldwide -- may have some immunity to the new strain. That could explain why older people have been spared in Mexico, where the swine flu has been most deadly.”

    In answer to your question, how many Mexicans die from the flu every year -- I couldn’t find numbers for Mexico, but according to a Dallas News article, just in Texas, more than 3,000 people a year die of Type A influenza. In the entire U.S., 36,000 die from the flu every year, according to the CDC.

    You should also watch this Ron Paul video on swine flu, where he basically says the same thing: keep a cool head and don’t buy into the scaremongering.

    Finally, here’s a video that Bud Conrad found talking about swine flu… from 1976!

    Shannara

David again. While the media seem to have gotten way ahead of themselves in projecting the end of the world due to this particular virus, there is certainly a possibility that it could morph into something more dangerous -- and maybe even catastrophic. While I’m sure no expert on the subject, my constant reading has given me a couple of thoughts that may be of some use.

First, with North America heading into summer and meteorological conditions that are not favorable to the flu, the places to watch are those now entering winter -- for example, New Zealand, where there have already been cases reported. If things start to go seriously off the tracks there, and by that I mean a virulent spreading of the disease coupled with a significant mortality rate, then you can start getting concerned.

Second, if this were truly a pandemic, you would start to see pyramiding death totals, which hasn’t been the case in Mexico. In fact, as Shannara points out, while the media have rushed out a number of 150 dead, the World Health Organization has so far only confirmed about 20 deaths. But regardless of whose number is more accurate, the important thing is that the number is not ratcheting up quickly. If you start to see a progression such as 150 dead this week, 500 dead the next, 1,000 dead the week after that -- that's when you want to start pulling the kids from school and enjoying the pleasures of telecommuting to work. And maybe picking up a few fashionable flu respirators.

Until then, be skeptical and don't buy into this latest attempt by the media to get you all ramped up, or by the government to take upon itself yet more powers, all in the name of providing "security" to the otherwise helpless population.

Speaking of the notion of security, this week Shannara also sent across the following quote from Helen Keller that clearly demonstrates that while that lady may have been deaf and mute, timid and fearful she was not…


    “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
    Helen Keller, The Open Door (1957)


Since we're on the topic, I couldn't let this week go by without mentioning a couple of almost humorous blunders by our trusted officials this week.

The first was the stunningly stupid flyover of New York City by Air Force One, accompanied tightly by a number of fighter jets, for the purpose of taking a photograph that clearly could have been created using Photoshop. Someone who knew how to properly turn a phrase commented that the military director of the White House, who is apparently behind the stunt, was guilty of "felony stupidity." In the event you haven’t yet seen the YouTube footage showing panicked residents of New York reacting in terror to the flyover, here it is.

The second item was Vice President Biden’s helpful suggestion that people avoid flying commercial airlines, due to the swine flu. That ranks right up there with Obama's finger waving at companies that hold meetings in Las Vegas.


A Word from Mother England

Subscriber and UK correspondent Richard Guthrie sent along some quick notes on the state of things in the UK that I thought you’d find informative. Here’s his update…

    Folks,
    We’ve all read the headlines, but the underlying picture of our government finances is truly horrific...

    A number of commentators within the general media, including George Soros himself, have voiced the possibility of the UK having to go to the IMF, albeit such a threat has largely been considered an outside chance. However, with closer inspection of last week's budget forecasts and analyzing the projections as a % of GDP, I’d suggest that what was once considered an outside chance is more likely now a certainty.

    Piecing together data from the National Statistics Office, I prepared the graph below showing the historic annual gilt issuance since 2001, together with the projected annual sales that were motioned last week in Alistair Darling’s budget.





    Prior to the current financial crisis, the government’s spending patterns were already somewhat overweighted, with our annual gilt issuance growing from a marginal £13.7 Bln in the year 01/02 to £62.5 Bln in the year 06/07. But then, following a minor dip in the years 07/08, the credit crisis arrived and our deficit has quite literally exploded. The projections for the next three years show an expectation of increased public borrowing of well over four times the pre-crisis levels. Studied over the last 10 years, our annual issuance of gilts is projected to grow by a magnitude of 18 times (1,800%)!?!

    What makes this even more alarming is that these forecasts are based on the government’s own somewhat rosy and already highly criticized figures. It is therefore not unreasonable to suggest that the actual economic picture is likely to be significantly worse!

    If the first chart doesn’t raise your back hairs in fright, then perhaps this second one will. It shows the annual issuance of gilts as a percentage of annual GDP.





    Already fluctuating at an embarrassingly high level of between 4-5% during the good years, the annual gilt issuance is projected to grow to almost 20% of annual GDP within the next three years...

    This is banana republic territory and then some. What do you think the currency markets would have done to Poland and the Ukraine two years ago if they'd produced spending projections of half this size?!?

    Our only defense and comfort seems to stem from the knowledge that the majority of our other Western peers are expanding their own borrowing requirements to similar levels. In fact, Goldman Sachs has recently predicted that the U.S. will need to raise over $3 trillion this year in bond sales, which is well over 20% of its GDP (assuming a GDP of some $14 trillion).

    The world has quite literally gone mad. Where is the money going to come from to buy all this debt?!? To expect bond yields to remain at 50-year lows in the face of such extreme fiscal chaos is, quite frankly, a delinquent’s pipe dream.

    I suppose I must be thankful that at least we're ahead of the pack. Perhaps we'll get to the IMF queue before the funds run dry. It quite clearly became apparent months ago that we won't be able to find enough buyers for our magnanimous debt sales, and so no surprise that we turned to the Zimbabwean book of economics and opted to engage in a little quantitative easing in an attempt to hold down interest rates. Alas, the policy of manufacturing your own money to purchase your own debt is as flawed and finite as one of Madoff's creative company structures, so expect that pond to run dry in the not-too-distant future.

    But we’re by no means the only ones. The U.S. has already started its own quantitative easing program, as I believe has Japan and now more recently Canada and Sweden. Those under the euro belt, alas, are, I understand, restricted by their constitution in such paper-creating conduct, much to the frustration of many of its members. But mark my words, as I write, the Brussels Top Table are most likely seeking a similar medium to assist their brother states.

    In fact, judging from the behaviour of almost the entire global leadership, there is now an aggressive pursuit of major devaluation of almost every nation's currency. The steerage being provided by central banks and governments has now gotten so irresponsible, a private sector equivalent would likely see the CEO and his whole board behind bars for a prolonged period of time. I truly fear that a generation’s worth of savings could quite easily go up in smoke, all arguably for the sake of bailing out an elite banking minority.

    Anyone still ignoring the signals of this global fiscal mayhem deserves much of the punishment that’s now sprinting down the pipe. The signs are as obvious as a rumble of thunder that a major drenching is on the way for anyone without a rain coat!

    Insurance comes in agricultural land and precious metals. The parabolic rise of gold and silver is almost upon us.

    Rich (live from “The Scarborough Bullion Desk”)

    P.S. It should be noted that the annual gilt issuance is not quite the same as the budget deficit. Although I'd argue it's likely a better reflection of deep-hole economics. The government can always tinker somewhat with a budget, doctoring the balance sheet and choosing to select what counts as capital expenditure against annual expense, etc. The annual gilt issuance is a cold, hard-fact capital requirement that the government has to raise, pushing the country's liabilities deeper into the red. An explosive increase for a single year might be forgiven in exceptional circumstances, but the trouble surely comes when the expectations are for grotesque annual issuances for multiple years to come.


Technology YOU Love!

I am now running far behind, but did want to share with all of you some of the thoughts you sent in, in response to my article last week on technologies I love.

    "Text Aloud" (http://nextup.com), which coupled with AT&T Natural Voices (these have to be purchased separately on the same site) turns any ordinary website and even extraordinary ones like CaseyResarch.com into my listening delight.

    Text Aloud works as a standalone program where you pull a .doc or a .pdf in and have it read out loud as well as to an audio file for later consumption.

    The best part of it is that it inserts itself as an Internet Explorer or Fire Fox plug-in and you can have any article read out loud to you while you are doing other tasks as long as it does not involve reading or writing something else, for obvious reasons.

    You might say it's lazy; I counter extremely efficient. I usually have The Casey Report, Big Gold, The Room read twice top to bottom within hours of posting.

    I so liked Doug's "Street Fighting Man," I must have heard it a dozen times. It's such a powerful piece to read, but when you listen to it, it's a whole different story.
    Vin R.


    ***


    I work for Microsoft, I use 3 different machines daily. A big powerful machine at work, a laptop for commuting and meetings, etc., and a home desktop machine for work and music, entertainment feeds.

    On these multiple machines, I have always been annoyed or irritated that my browser favorites all differ. I will save a site in a bookmark and not know which machine it was on. I always wanted that info to sync across all my browsers and machines.

    Eureka, leave it to private enterprise to solve the problem. X-marks saves all your bookmarks online and syncs them to your browsers on each machine by installing a little add-on in the browsers. Check it out. It really helps me when I could be trading on any of these machines and need fast access to online accounts, data, research, etc., that I need as tools, and tools I need without delay.

    It is freeware. http://www.xmarks.com/

    Jeff S.


    ***



    Glad to see you have started to use voice recog software. I have been using the Dragon products since version 1 and have always found it to be a great time saver and carpal tunnel avoidance device.

    I am writing to share a couple of “tips” you may want to pass along to your readers.

    1. The Standard Version is a waste of money, in my experience. The Preferred Version is the minimum I would recommend to anyone, and the cost difference is minimal.

    2. The quality of the headset and the sound card on your computer will dramatically affect performance. An older machine will choke on the PGM.

    3. The PGM is a memory hog, so I would suggest anyone who uses it has at least 2 Gb of RAM. I have stopped using it on my 3-year-old laptop even though I have 2 Gb of RAM. As with so much of the software, it has become bloatware.

    Bill W.

(David here – for the record, I have the standard version of Dragon Speaking v. 10, and I find it to be near flawless. That said, if I were to buy it again, I would go with one of the versions that allow you to dictate into a handheld unit, then upload it into your computer later on.)

    I use a technique for communicating with others that involves encrypted PDF files. I give them a 16-digit password. As such, it is 128-byte encryption. Handy for things like contracts, personal communications, and things you don't want others to read.

    I use PDF reDirect Pro. It encrypts a word file, makes it a PDF file, and you attach it to your email. The recipient needs to hear from you via some other method (phone, in person, etc.) what the password is. They put that in and the file opens. Works like a charm.

    Charles S.


    ***


    K7 offers free fax-receiving services, which are sent to your email in pdf form. It takes less than a minute to sign up and then they give you your own number. I have no idea how they are able to give you your own number for free, but they do. The only "catch" is, if the number isn't used for 30 days, you lose it. No big deal, though, you can just go back and sign up for another one. It's great for receiving faxes if you're overseas. Oh yeah, you can also use it to receive voice messages at the same time. Those get emailed to you as well. Pretty cool. www.k7.net

    Randall R.


    ***



    My brother uses this digital pen system. I saw it and was very impressed:

    http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/06/05/1545236-review-finally-a-useful-digital-pen

    Joel O.

David again. Before finishing up this week, and on this topic, I would like to mention something that a very smart friend of mine brought to my attention. Namely that there is a true revolution going on in terms of applications being developed for iPhones, Blackberry Storms, and similar advanced telephones/PDAs.

For instance, he pointed out that for something like $19.95, a golfer can now buy a GPS application that shows you where you are in any golf course, distance to the hole and other statistics for which you would previously have to have paid $200 plus to get in a standalone, handheld unit. Likewise, on my telephone, I now have a standard GPS unit. It costs almost nothing. As I write, I am listening to Pandora – mentioned last week – streaming live out of my Blackberry Storm and amplified through a set of portable speakers.

This is a topic, as well as both an opportunity and a risk, that requires a great deal more thought. How, for example, are companies like Garmin going to survive? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the winners and losers as these applications gain traction. As always, drop me a note at David@CaseyResearch.com.



Miscellany

  • Follow the money. This week, the Milken Institute released its annual Capital Access Index, an annual ranking of entrepreneurial access to capital around the world. Guess which country was the most entrepreneur-friendly last year? If you guessed Canada, which is where the majority of the junior resource stocks followed in our International Speculator letter are located, you guessed right.

    While the paper tiger companies are still having trouble getting financing, well-run companies with solid projects are finding the money they need, and on reasonable terms. Even though the junior resource companies may have to wait a bit longer to realize their full potential, it's hard to see how you could get hurt over the medium to longer term by investing some percentage of the speculative corner of your portfolio in companies with proven million-ounce-plus gold deposits, lots of cash, competent management, and which are selling for pennies on the dollar. For more, click here.

  • Need a job? One of our subscribers and regular correspondents dropped me a note wondering if I knew a senior level oil executive interested in a high six-figure job working for a major Russian oil gas company. If that sounds like something you're qualified for, drop me a note at David@CaseyResearch.com.

  • Heroin, not love. In discussing last week's musical selection, "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I thought aloud that the lyrics were about amorous activities under said bridge. It turns out, some of you corrected me, that what was really going on under the bridge was that the lead singer of the band was learning the dangerous joys of heroin addiction.

    Love, heroin – pretty close if you ask me. As for this week, another old favorite, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, has risen to the surface, one that has a certain application to the viewpoint of many these days, mainly that society owes them something. Regardless, it certainly qualifies as a dramatic song – powerful even – and therefore makes the playlist.

And that, dear readers, is all I have time for this week -- in fact, it was more than I have time for, but as always, I enjoy writing to you and so I tend to go on.

A quick look at the screens shows me that stock markets are largely flat, gold has pushed back down towards $885. So, a relatively quiet day as we head into a weekend that I'm looking forward to more than usual.

Until next week, thanks for reading and thanks for being a subscriber to a Casey Research publication. (And an extra thanks to all of you who contributed to this week’s edition!).




David Galland
Managing Director
Casey Research, LLC.




Posted 05-01-2009 6:41 PM by David Galland