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About Pistis

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  1. Not an STR fund, but a reasonable amount of investments that *may* be used to buy a house at the right time. Here's a rough breakdown: 30% in a balanced risk/return mix of fixed-income funds 30% in energy/metals/soft-commodity funds 10% in local/foreign currency savings (about a third in GBP solely for liquidity, i've recently exited EUR which I believe is now on a short-medium term downtrend) 7.5% in physical precious metals 7.5% in energy/base&precious metal stocks About half my position has been invested since 2003 and the rest invested after the March 2009 bottom so i'm happy with the returns so far.
  2. Hey, what's a few more zeroes between friends Thanks for spotting my terrible maths there, sorry if I got anyone overly excited!
  3. China Increases Gold Reserves 76% to Fifth-Largest Following the recent aggressive gold purchases by central banks in Russia, Iran, India, South America and many other countries, you have this Bloomberg report saying that China has increased its gold holdings to 1,054 tons and is now the 5th largest holder of gold behind the US, Germany, France, Italy & the IMF. The reason they give is because of their concern that "the dollar will weaken, eroding the value of China’s holdings of Treasuries as the U.S. borrows unprecedented amounts to spend its way out of recession." The UK is obviously pursuing the same policy as the US and probably on a larger scale, on a per capita basis. China is the biggest overseas owner of U.S. government debt at $744 billion and they have the world's largest foreign exchange reserves at $1.95 trillion. Doing the sums, 1054 tons of gold converts to 37,178,756 ounces giving a value of $33.8 trillion at today's price of $910/ounce. That's a 17:1 ratio of gold holdings to fiat currency holdings or to put it another way, China holds 94% of its total national savings in gold. So much for the conventional mainstream consensus that gold is a barbarous relic, a poor investment option and should be no more than 10-15% of an investment portfolio because it is a zero-interest-generating gamble. Surely this no longer applies since holding fiat currency has clearly now become the ultimate investment gamble: it can be created in limitless quantities with little or no work and while it may return some derisory interest in today's low interest rate environment, what's the use if monetary inflation destroys the real value of your holdings. It seems ignorant & short-sighted at best when people pooh-pooh gold as a serious investment option -- they neglect the fact that gold is real money and that is why these central banks are still holding on to it and aggressively increasing their holdings. These are the same people who have been watching gold make nine consecutive years of positive gains while bad-mouthing it on the sidelines. Each time it goes down as it did recently to a low of ~$860, they're quick to announce the end of the bull run in gold as if a bull market only ever goes up in a straight line without important and necessary corrections along the way. Now that its bounced right back up to $910, I expect it to take out it's previous high of $1,033 before we see another higher low. And then rinse and repeat until the inflationary effects of this unprecedented borrowing and quantitative easing takes hold at which point the price of gold will indeed go straight up until the madness stops.
  4. Bloomberg: ‘Manchurian Candidate’ Starts War on Business If you had the perfect "Manchurian Candidate", groomed to destroy the US economy once elected president, what policies would he pursue? : 1) Destroy private enterprise by spooking investors and entrepreneurs and destroying market confidence with a dithering Treasury secretary who repeatedly promises a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually has one. 2) Significantly increase taxes on businesses thereby discouraging innovation. 3) More devastatingly, prohibit US multinationals from deferring US taxes on income they earn abroad leading to the extinction of the US corporation. 4) If any businesses survive 1-3, then enact a cap-and-trade program that will impose massive carbon-permit expenses on them, ensuring said extinction. 5) Initiate entitlement programs that are difficult to change once enacted and require massive tax increases 6) Attack intellectual propery and destroy the pharmaceutical industry by forcing them to set US drug prices equal to the lowest price that foreign governments negotiate with them 7) Establish the first step towards a free universal healthcare program by setting aside $634 billion to establish a health-reform reserve fund -- a money-sucking bottomless-pit of government inefficiency. Obama is doing all seven!
  5. If you mean my handle, then yes to the Greek; no to some other handle on this or some other messageboard.
  6. Rise in the gold price due to the end-of-tax-year in Japan -- that's a new one for me so you'll have to provide more detail. Must be the reason why it's been rising for eight consecutive years since 2001 until now.
  7. Is my analysis wrong? If so, explain...
  8. For the country, the solution is for the government to preserve the purchasing power of the British pound by stopping the bank bailouts, allow badly run banks to fail and return to sensible monetary policy and more reasonable interest rates. Banking services are still needed but not on the current scale therefore taking this route - while drastic and painful in the short-term - will allow bad loans and bad managers to be rid off quickly, allow more competent companies take over the incompetent ones while saving as many jobs as possible and will have the result of making the recession a quick, short-term affair. Credit will return to the markets quicker and businesses (especially small and medium-sized ones) will get access to loans faster allowing current jobs to be saved, business investment to re-start and new jobs to be created. Continuing on the present route of taxpayer-funded bank bailouts and Quantitative Easing will result in further devaluation of the British pound, greater job losses as the incompetent, badly-run companies eventually fail after billions of pounds of bailouts and the possibility of a hyper-inflationary depression followed by a long period of stagnation. But since we know the government is already taking and will continue to take the latter route, the solution for the individual is try and maintain a source of income, to reduce living costs, and to preserve the purchasing power of any cash they hold by converting into hard assets and commodities that will retain value through the recession. Gold above all asset classes has traditionally been seen as the classic hedge against inflation because unlike other assets it has been used as money for many centuries until as recently as 1971 when Nixon delinked it from the dollar. It also performs well in a deflation environment as it's 5.6% gain in 2008 showed (despite the credit crunch and massive deleveraging which destroyed value in almost every other asset class) and it has already been performing spectacularly in 2009 with a +10% gain so far against USD and even higher against other major currencies. For anyone who thinks the current price of gold is at bubble levels and it's too late to buy into gold, the behaviour of the markets, the Quantitative Easing which is only just starting and the various taxpayer-funded stimulus packages suggest otherwise -- this is just a continuation of what will be a multi-decade bull run in hard assets and commodities and especially in gold which has seen eight years of consecutive gains since 2001. Current prices of the physical metal are still cheap and prices of good gold/silver miners are even cheaper.
  9. An excellent article with facts and figures covering every conceivable topic and showing things are only going to get worse for UK plc. I've extracted some of the main points below, there's much more detail in the article -- it makes for sobering reading! On GDP: 1.5% fall in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2008 alone equating to 6% annualized loss or a $72 billion loss in national income Compare this to the government's grossly underestimated forecast of a 2% fall in GDP for the whole of 2009 British GDP has already collapsed by 30% in real terms if you take the sterling's collapse against major global currencies into consideration, i.e 2007 GDP of $2.7 trillion has now fallen to $1.8 trillion On deflation: $1 trillion committed so far torwards bank bailouts Set against estimated 30% contraction of the UK credit market or £1.2 trillion + £25o billion deflation of housing market + $400 billion deflation of stock portfolios equal to a total credit deflation so far of $1.85 trillion On past history: UK economy (i.e. GDP) contracted by 10% during the 1930's great depression Unlike the USA, we did not have a boom during the 1920's -- it was a period of depression (1918-1925) and then stagnation so our Great Depression in fact lasted for 20 years (1918 to 1937) On government: Labour government has purposely allowed the devaluation and hence the destruction of the purchasing power of the British pound in order to save 1-2% in the officially published GDP figures (i.e. in nominal terms) However, this is a price of 30% devaluation for a net benefit of 1-2% increase in GDP which will still not prevent a deep recession from occurring This is the madness of Quantitative Easing which sacrifices long-term growth for short-term benefit. Britain trending torwards hyper-inflation On manufacturing: 30% devaluation of British Pound was supposed to help manufacturing, however fall in global trade and demand has scuppered this effort Manufacturing sector is tiny compared to the financial sector and any attempted rescue of the former cannot offset the depression in the latter Crash in oil prices has hit UK North Sea oil and depressed our foreign exchange earnings On interest rates: BoE rates now at 1% on the way to a Zero Interest Rate Policy following US policy While base rate is at 1%, 3-month LIBOR stands at 2.14% and the real economic interest rate is at 3.54% adding to the banks reluctance to lend and instead, hoarding government bailout to fund their balance sheets and the continuing credit deflation On banks: £10 billion HBOS loss coming after it's merger with Lloyds TSB shattering Lloyds TSB's balance sheet and ensuring the prospect of further bailout in addition to the £18 billion already stumped up by the taxpayers. 50% crash in Lloyds TSB's share price values the bank at $10 billion which in turn values the £18 billion taxpayer injection at just £4 billion, a 78% loss in a matter of months The idea of taxpayers making a profit on bank bailouts is an illusion! And 2009 is going to be a worse year because Lloyd TSB's loan book of $1 trillion cannot be defended against by £10 billion of shareholder equity -- a mere loss of 1% of the outstanding loan book equates to more than remaining shareholder equity. Systemic nationalization of most retail banks is on the cards and that of Lloyds TSB is inevitable as it is considered to big too fail. Shareholder equity will be wiped out and taxpayer money injections set to continue. Britain is trending torwards hyper-inflation On money supply and inflation: A key driver of the 1930s Great Depression is that US money supply fell by 25%, hence its deflationary aspect The current ongoing deflation will be avoided at ANY COST in order to avoid a deflationary depression UK money supply (M4) has risen to 16.6% suggesting much higher forward inflation Real monetary deflation in the UK approaching -15% Government solution will be Quantitative Easing, aka printing money, therefore a period of rapid monetary inflation still ahead of us Deflation of 2009 will eventually turn to inflation On employment: Official unemployment figure has hit 1.97 million, however real unemployment is nearly 6 million higher at 7.86 million due to heavy manipulation and under-reporting of unemployment figures On Gordon Brown: Gordon Brown Bankrupting Britain to Win the Next Election as UK liabilities by 2012 will exceed £3.5 trillion from £1.5 trillion at the end of 2007 This does not include $5 trillion of additional liabilities should the government be forced to nationalise virtually the whole banking sector
  10. I wouldn't say so, even though gold has had eight consecutive years of +ve gains. It came through the massive deleveraging of 2008 by posting a +6% gain against the dollar and a spectacular +45% gain against the British pound; ending 2008 as on one of the very, very few asset class to finish in positive territory. The bank bailouts and quantitative easing policies of the central banks are not over yet and the effects of the massive increase in borrowing and money printing we are now seeing are going to be inflationary. Never mind the deflation talk, we will begin to feel the effects of inflation towards the middle of this year and anyone with any sense holding onto cash will want to preserve purchasing power -- the recessionary stock markets (apart from a limited number of sectors) won't cut it and the already declining yields of the money markets won't cut it either. Gold has only just had it's first major sell off (down to $680 in Oct'2008) in eight years and it's already settling back at the $900 range at a period of apparent deflation and a strengthening dollar -- this confirms the solidity of the bullish trend in gold; there are shortages of the physical metal everywhere with massive premiums if you want immediate delivery (e.g buying on Ebay); institutional fund managers including those who have never bought gold before are diversifying a significant percentage of their holdings into gold; western central banks are no longer leasing out their gold reserves and asian, middle-eastern and south-american central banks are all building up their gold reserves. And we haven't even got to the point of massive media attention and the general public jumping on the bandwagon. If you look at the typical asset-bubble chart, I'd say we are only just getting to the end of the "Awareness Phase". According to Peter Schiff, a general guide to indicate when gold has reached a peak is when it is at a 1:1 ratio versus the Dow -- that ratio currently stands at 9.2 (8270/900), so a looooong way to go yet!
  11. I think the former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt was broadly correct in his assessment of what the "new world order" is all about: You have a move towards closer and close economic and political union through the EU, African Union, and moves for a North American Union and Asia-Pacific Union. And we already know what shape these unions will take - similar to the EU, they will erode the national sovereignity of the individual nations, concentrate power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats who do not represent the interests of the people, and provide a token democratically elected parliament which has little or no teeth to do much in the way of legislating meaningful change. You had Britain, the US and the coalition of the "new world order" willing doing all it took including telling porkies to oust Saddam and occupy Iraq for it's oil; now you have them threatening Iran - another oil-rich nation; they already control Saudi Arabia and Nigeria by proxy; you have them occupying Afghanistan in order to control the potential oil pipeline corridors through there; you have them supporting Georgia and Ukraine in a provocation of Russia, add to that the encircling of Russia with missile-defence sites all with the intent of superseding Russia to become the number one player in the oil-rich Caspian Sea. And if you produce oil and you don't bow down to their will, you become enemy number one: just ask Venezuela, Russia, Iran & Sudan. Wouldn't it be just regrettable if the pound were to continue to fall in value until it reached a crisis point where joining the Euro looked immensely attractive. And as Jim Rogers has said, the same thing could happen to the euro itself and to the dollar at which point a global currency will look like the only viable option. In the meantime, taxpayers are going to be bailing out private banks, car manufacturers and other financial institutions while ordinary citizens get every penny of any debts they owe extracted from them. That's already happening, you have the Patriot Acts & various anti-terror laws that have stripped centuries-old rights to privacy & Habeas Corpus, plus all sorts of draconian police-state measures which are more likely to be used & have indeed been used on innocent citizens rather than on any real terrorists. There's no doubt a new world order is being built; but it's not going to be democratic or represent the interests of the people. At every turn it is going to use crises like the current financial one to advance its goals while suppressing the will of the people.
  12. There's that phrase again, "new world/global order", a favourite of Gordon Brown's judging by the number of times he uses it in his speeches including this latest one: -- Gordon Brown And he's added a new phrase, "birth-pangs". Where has that been mentioned before in the same sentence with "new world order"?: -- Nicholas Murray Butler, 1915 -- Richard A. Falk, writing in his article, "Toward a New World Order: Modest Methods and Drastic Visions" So many politicians seem keen on building this "new world order": -- Henry Kissinger, 1975 speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations -- President George Bush, in a 1991 speech to Congress -- Current US Vice-president Joseph Biden, in his 1992 Wall Street Journal titled "How I Learned to Love the New World Order" They especially seem keen on using periods of crises to advance their goals of a "new world order": -- President George Bush, during an 1990 election fundraiser -- President George Bush again, in a 1990 televised address to a joint session of Congress -- David Rockefeller, 1994 These are just a few quotes out of a long list, so i'd like to know: If they are so desperate to build this new world order; is it conceivable that they can engineer the very crises that allows them to provide solutions which advance their "new world order" goals?
  13. Exactly right! Even if you believe the propaganda about gold (i.e. doesn't pay interest, doesn't have a place in today's sophisticated financial world, e.t.c), the fact is that gold is money, it doesn't have counterparty risk, it is limited in supply, and it has been used directly as money or convertible to fiat for 2000+ years until as recently as 1971. So having a percentage of one's assets in gold is a no-brainer; even central banks are no longer leasing out their gold reserves and China, Russia, South American and most Arab countries are building up their percentage of gold reserves. Why anyone would want to trust this 39-year ponzi-scheme experiment of fiat currency backed by nothing and can consequently be printed to infinity is beyond me?
  14. Gold just touched $900.23, that's a gain of ~6% today alone and it's bucking the usual trend by rising in tandem with the dollar. It's also gaining in value against every major currency and spectacularly against the falling pound. I reckon we'll be hitting the March 2008 high of $1000 again before the end of this month. Mainstream economists and talking heads keep bashing gold as a realistic investment/wealth-preservation option; meanwhile it was probably the only asset class to finish in positive territory in 2008 (i.e. +6% in USD & +45% in GBP) just as it has done for the past eight consecutive years since 2001. And it's already looking like the asset class to be in for 2009. With all the money printing going on, it may be on course for another eight years of gains.
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