The Biggest Of Big Pictures

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I have had a request from Mrs Macleod to write down in simple terms what on earth is going on in the world, and why is it that I think gold is so important in this context. She-who-must-be-obeyed does not fully share my interest in the subject. An explanation of the big picture is also likely to be useful to many of my readers and their spouses, who do not share an enduring interest in geopolitics either.

That is the purpose of this article. It can be bewildering when a casual observer tries to follow global events, something made more difficult by editorial policies at news outlets, and the commentary from most analysts, who are, frankly, ill-informed. Accordingly, this article addresses the topic that dominates our future. The most important players in the great game of geopolitics are America and China. But before launching into an update, I shall lay down the disciplines required for an informed analysis.

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Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers

By David McWilliams – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

– Every era, every century, every generation has its massive technological disruption
– Taxi drivers being “disrupted” by technology of Uber
– History shows how “middle men” frequently made redundant
– Skill set of many professionals today can be replicated by machines and technology
– Technology may make lawyers, accountants, architects and doctors redundant
– We risk “cannabalising ourselves” with internet and emerging technologies

Jean-Luc Picard “assimilated” by the Borg in Star Trek

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China’s Security Of Supply

By Rick Mills – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Consider:

  • There is a slowing of production and dwindling of reserves at many of the world’s largest mines.
  • All the oz’s or pounds are never recovered from a mine – they simply becomes too expensive to recover.
  • The pace of new elephant-sized discoveries has decreased in the mining industry.
  • Discoveries are smaller and in less accessible regions.
  • Mineralogy & metallurgy is more complicated making extraction of metals from the mined ore increasingly more complex and expensive.
  • Mining is cyclical which makes mining companies reluctant to spend on exploration and development.
  • A looming skills shortage
  • There is no substitute for many metals except other metals – plastic piping is one exception.
  • Metal markets are small so speculation is a larger factor.
  • There hasn’t been a new technology shift in mining for decades – heap leach and open pit mining come to mind but they are both decades old innovation.
  • Country risk – resource extraction companies, because the number of discoveries was falling and existing deposits were being quickly depleted, have had to diversify away from the traditional geo-politically safe producing countries. The move out of these “safe haven” countries has exposed investors to a lot of additional risk.
  • Lack of recognition for population growth, growing middle class w/disposable incomes and urbanization as on-going demand growth factors.
  • Climate change.

Increasingly we will see falling average grades being mined, mines becoming deeper, more remote and come with increased political risk.

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Big Bubble In Little China!

OK pardon the play on a 1986 Kurt Russell action adventure flick entitled “Big Trouble in Little China”. China isn’t little but the bubble is potentially big. Apparently, the Chinese stock market has boomed to a value of $6.5 trillion in the past year. That still leaves the Chinese stock market well short of the NYSE whose value in February 2015 was $16.6 trillion. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSEC) is up 58% thus far in 2015 and a 152% since the low of 2014. To put that in some perspective the SSEC was up in 2007 129% to the top in October and had run 293% from the low of 2006.  The current market is still about 20% below the highs of 2007.

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