Gold

The iron ore industry never ceases to evolve. Whereas just last week we reported the [potential] death of the quarterly iron ore contract, major US iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources has made the plunge to diversify its iron ore holdings by investing in IOCG holdings in Latin America. IOCG refers to iron oxide, copper and gold. Okay you say, what’s the big deal? The big deal involves a new direction for the primarily iron ore mining firm by looking at “multi-product mines and using the by-product credits of the copper and gold to make the mining of iron oxide economical. In an interesting article in Resource Investor, the author suggests Cliffs has officially moved to the Starbucks model meaning the company will begin to leverage its expertise in mining iron ore to other products. (The analogy relates to Starbuck’s as primarily a coffee house but with a slew of other ancillary revenue streams on top of the core product think pastries, CD’s, mugs etc)

Cliffs has announced several interesting investments in recent days from the IOCG investments in both Mariana Resources and this one in Mexico with Riverside Resources to a majority position in Spider Resources. Spider Resources has several major diamond deposits but also has a significant chromite deposit with PGE (platinum group elements) as well as a VMS (volcanic massive sulphide) deposit thought to contain copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold as well was a range of by-products including tin, cadmium, antimony and bismuth.

These moves are bold steps for a mining company that essentially supplies iron ore pellets to the US integrated steel community (according to the Cliffs website, nearly 100% of current capacity is sold via long term contracts). The company also supplies some coking and metallurgical coal and has primarily supplied these materials since the founding of the company back in the 1840’s. Given the recent volatility in the global iron ore market along with supply constraints within various raw materials markets (e.g. chrome, antimony etc) we aren’t surprised Cliffs has decided to leverage its metallurgical expertise to expand its mining capabilities across products.

As with any “grow-the-wallet-strategy if you can call it that, the moves are not without risk. However, Cliffs Natural Resources probably more than many mining companies has deep expertise and the strategy could indeed prove to be a very interesting one.

–Lisa Reisman

For the vast majority of metals buyers, the analysis of chartists or technical analysts are so much black magic, unfathomable and therefore largely ignored. For many (although not all) professional investors though the technical analysts charts provide an important supplementary source of advice, for a few they are the sole basis of investment decisions. Empirical evidence as to the accuracy of chart predictions is difficult to come by. Wikipedia assuming you set store by its statements says that of 95 modern studies, 56 concluded that technical analysis had positive results. The technique has been around for hundreds of years, starting at least in 17th century Dutch trading markets, if not before. The basic premise is that investors collectively repeat the behavior of the investors that preceded them. As such price curves follow predictable shapes based on the sum total of many individual investor choices.

Whether technical analysis actually works however remains a matter of controversy. Warren Buffett famously said, “I realized technical analysis didn’t work when I turned the charts upside down and didn’t get a different answer” and “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

OK flippancy aside while the ability of charts to predict the future can be debated, it does seems they can be good at identifying trends and a lot of investors over the years have made a lot of money by following the simple mantra a trend is your friend. In addition if enough decision makers follow chart trends and make similar decisions based on those charts the results will not surprisingly become self-fulfilling. So we thought a recent analysts summary published (with all the usual caveats) by Reuters was worthy of a review to see what the charts are suggesting for H2, 2010.

First, copper is heading towards US$4,818 per metric ton according to the analysis. Providing prices in the short term do not breach $6,885 on the upside (in which case the curve shape change and hence the prediction) the analysis is suggesting copper is on a bearish trend and is heading below $5,000 over the next six months.

Looking purely at the technical trends, aluminum is expected to fall to US$1,556 per metric ton over the next six months. The rally from last year’s low of $1,275 is viewed as nothing more than a rebound within a long term bearish trend and the metal could test this level again.

There are several wave theories. Some practioners of technical analysis hold to one or two, other hold to different theories, most consider nearly all of them and look for correlation between the different results. According to pattern theory and wave theory, gold is expected to peak at US$1,300 per ounce before starting a bearish downward trend. When gold breaks below $1,180 it is expected to establish a long term downward trend driving the price down to $680 over the next six months.

Last, oil is seen dropping below US$57 per barrel over the next six months with the possibility of a fall to $42 under certain circumstances.

Whether these predictions come to pass will be very interesting to see – we would be staggered if they did but never say never. Although in not quite six months time, MetalMiner will again write in late December to report on how accurate the technical analysis has proved to be. Let’s hope for anyone sitting on significant resting orders or long positions the chartists have got it wrong!

–Stuart Burns

The DC-based advocacy group Enough! Project is calling on consumers to raise awareness around the fact that their beloved electronics contain the “3Ts (tin, tungsten, and tantalum) as well as gold, all rare earth minerals that are illegally mined in the Congo, where profits go to “armed groups…that regularly commit conscious-shocking atrocities as they jockey to control the region’s most valuable mines. A worthy cause? Of course. One only has to watch videos such as this to realize how heartbreaking and dire the situation is. But the Enough! Project’s public face and actions are quite different from what their actual research report promotes, and our question is: what’s the real message here?

When I first read Nicholas Kristof’s article in the New York Times entitled “Death By Gadget, I have to admit that I was skeptical. While I in absolutely no way wish to diminish the horrendous situation in the Congo surrounding the mining and exportation of conflict minerals, I do feel that some members of our society have a tendency to jump onto a bandwagon or latch onto a cause for the sake of having an opinion rather than actually caring about or fully researching the issue in question. Taking this into consideration, look at this video [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEEDvgcXPyw,[/youtube]

where this side of Enough! Project is prevalent. Forgive the stereotype, but this video to me represents a bunch of “hippie-dippie kids who are working their first job out of college in DC and acting as conduits for a garbled message — largely blowing hot air to a crowd that vaguely listens, but isn’t dissuaded into boycotting Apple products, which is the apparently the call to action by the protesters. These kids seem to have no real knowledge or insight about the corporations on the other side, how deeply their supply chains would be affected by a flat-out boycott, and how exceedingly difficult it would be to re-source their entire metals base. In their favor, they do mention the fact that companies such as Apple and Intel do simply tell us, their consumers, that they trust the word of their suppliers in saying that these metals are conflict free, but provide no physical proof. And proof is what is being called for.

Curious for more information, I went to Enough!’s site to read up on what their actual mission is, found the report “A Comprehensive Approach to Congo’s Conflict Minerals and…it’s completely comprehensive. It provides a thorough and succinct history of the problem, including past efforts that have failed or are still (albeit weakly) in process. It emphasizes a necessary unity among “government, businessmen, and civil society, saying that we must “work together to forge the political will to legitimize Congo’s mineral wealth.

Specifically important, however, is that they do call out the difficulty that comes with mitigating this problem. The action they call for in terms of transparency in the supply chain is as follows: “The ability of end users to trace and audit the supply chains for the metal components in their electronics products is a critical step to channeling international demand away from armed groups toward legitimate sources, and they quip that “there is no silver bullet solution to Congo’s conflict minerals and “the reform of Congolese institutions is a long-term goal. Most importantly, the report says, “consumers and activists need to demand independently verifiable supply chain audits to ensure that products are indeed conflict free. This should not be a boycott of Congolese minerals, but rather more stringent requirements for purchasing of minerals so that consumers can be credibly assured that armed forces groups are not benefiting from illicit activity or the subjugation of local populations. And that seems fair.

So where does this leave us, the consumer? Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of a report like this is the number of offshoot methods of support it receives. From a spoof of the Mac/PC commercials [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ycih_jMObQ&feature=player_embedded[/youtube](surprise! They BOTH contain conflict minerals!)   to the more extreme “The Scary Truth About Your iPhone the issue is definitely making the rounds. Yet like a game of telephone, each new advocacy group that picks up on this reporting distorts the message more and more, until we’re left with a “cause that comes across as more trendy than valid. I suppose here at MetalMiner we believe that in terms of both conflict minerals and advocacy issues alike, to get the message right, and to really take a stand against a problem, you have to gather all of the facts trace it back to the source. The Enough! Project has the right idea and even provides a clear path to a good solution…now they just need the right advocates.

— Sheena Moore



Apple’s sleekly designed and well-made products have become more than a brand — these days, they’ve become a lifestyle. Politically, Apple leans toward the progressive, making public statements against Proposition 8 and promoting environmental stewardship. For the first time ever, Apple products are outselling those of Microsoft, and sparsely decorated Apple stores are constantly packed with consumers testing the latest wares. Apple computers have finally branched out of the “creative and into the mainstream. We run a Mac office here at MetalMiner, in fact.

Needless to say, the hype around the release of iPhone 4 was huge. So huge, in fact, that it crashed sole carrier AT&T’s website on the day pre-orders were allowed. Boasting a new stainless steel casing that doubles as an antenna, video capabilities that I’ve read rival the Flip camera, and a new Retina display that makes it probably the best-resolution smart phone on the market, what’s not to want? We here at MetalMiner even wrote a piece touting the   “Elegant Design: Steel-Bound iPhone 4

The phone is great on the outside — but what about when we dig into Apple’s supply chain to examine the insides? At a recent opening of a new Apple Store in DC, The Enough Project, a campaign of the Center for American Progress staged a protest, calling on Apple to “commit to providing conflict-free minerals in their products, according to this article. After all, take into consideration that “in every iPhone & and just about every other cell phone for that matter”comes four minerals essential to manufacturing process of many consumer electronics devices: tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold.

In other words, some of these metals are abundant in places like Rwanda and the Congo, where the profits from the mining (to the tune of $180 million) “indirectly fund groups like the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, members of which committed the mass genocide in 1994. We wrote about a similar problem for Intel who also sources these minerals See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here back in May.

The Enough Project “is calling for three concrete steps that electronics companies should take. Besides tracing their minerals from extraction to use, companies should also audit the mining and trade practices and ultimately certify that the minerals they use are conflict free. Implementing those steps would cost less than a penny per device sold, according to a spokesperson.

And the US Government has responded with “The Conflict Minerals Trade Act, a bill that “requires importers of potential conflict goods to certify whether or not their imports contain conflict minerals and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will report to Congress and the public which companies are importing goods containing conflict minerals and “requires industry to use outside auditors to determine whether refiners are indeed conflict-free.

Excellent — problem identified, regulations created, problem mitigated! But is it that simple? A person in line for the Apple Store’s grand opening suggested simply that “[Apple] could get the same components, but in a different way. In considering problems such as these, one must really take into consideration the complexity of managing a global supply chain. When we truly break down the steps it takes to get raw materials from the mine and into your iPhone, the process becomes quite complicated. Therefore, if we fully ban the use of conflict metals, where can Apple find alternate sources of these “same components to keep up with our consumer demand for the Apple products we know and love? Answers may be forthcoming, but until then, I have to be somewhat cynical and say that the people camping on the sidewalk for their new iPhone 4 probably just want their iPhone 4, no matter what’s inside.

— Sheena Moore

The Sunday New York Times published a story covering a major US finding of minerals and metal reserves in Afghanistan. (We’ll take credit for reporting on these findings almost one year ago you can read that post here). MetalMiner has in fact published numerous stories about these mineral findings in Afghanistan including a piece highlighting the fact that US military personnel (via American tax-dollars) will help pay for security for Chinese mining companies to come into Afghanistan to help develop a large copper mine at Aynak, near Kabul.

The “new news about this story, if we can call it that, involves the release of information around other metals in addition to the known reserves of iron and copper. These metals include cobalt, gold and perhaps an enormous lithium deposit (said to be bigger than that of Bolivia’s, currently the largest source of lithium in the world today). The article even mentions niobium and other rare earths. The other “newsworthy aspect of the NY Times story involves the enthusiasm of key US military personnel including General David Petraeus who said, “There is stunning potential here¦There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.

Undoubtedly, we’d probably all agree that we’d like to see Afghanistan move its economy away from its primary source of revenue (opium traffic), stabilize its government and turn itself back to a country without the Taliban. But call me a cynic I think the enthusiasm for these findings is grossly overdone. If we (America) as a country won’t deal with Bolivia for its lithium, how in the world do we expect to help create the physical infrastructure (roads, rails, etc) the political infrastructure if a central structure is even possible in Afghanistan (e.g. security, a rule of law, quasi-non-corrupt leaders) and religious infrastructure (e.g. the removal of the Taliban) required to help Afghanistan transform its “drug resistant (pun intended) ways to take advantage of these finds?

We can’t and it’s simply wishful (I’d even argue stupid) thinking to think that we can. But the best part of the Times article is of course, tied to the environment. According to Paul Brinkley, undersecretary of defense and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits, “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible? Mr. Brinkley said,  “No one knows how this will work.

Now there is a laugh if I ever heard one! I love hearing about the Ëœenvironmentally sustainable green mining argument’ when women are treated as half citizens, when 7-year old children are tried and hung as spies, and where GDP per capital equates to purchasing power parity of $800/year! We can’t even get junior mining operations up and running in the US where we have the ability to implement and run “sustainable mines.

Folks, is “green” somehow a priority here in the morass that is Afghanistan?

No, the only thing I’m sure about is that America will help others such as the Chinese exploit Afghanistan’s natural resources. The Russians walked from Afghanistan in 1989 and they knew about these deposits back then! What in the world makes us think that this mineral discovery will ever result in a transformation of this inter-tribal warfare plagued nation?

–Lisa Reisman

Every week or two I receive a “random inbound email from someone who happens to be passing through Chicago and would like to set up a meeting. Since many of these emails involve software or services outside our core business, I tend to ignore most of them. But when I had the opportunity to meet up with Will Rhind of ETF Securities, I knew I’d learn something. For those of you not familiar with ETF Securities, they offered the first physically backed precious metal ETFs including gold, silver, platinum and palladium for the US market. Yawn some of you are saying “Lisa, we don’t buy precious metals who cares. Well, that statement may apply to most of you but we’d argue gaining an understanding of how these commodity ETFs work and how they can (or can’t as the case may be) impact industrial metals markets applies to any sourcing organization and in some cases, to any company for that matter. Here is why¦.

First, Will mentioned that many corporations have parked their cash so to speak in commodity ETF’s as a means of hedging global financial risk. Though I argued companies probably have less fear of that today then say 12 months ago, I’m sure Will is correct in that Treasury departments in major corporations have begun to reconsider their own risk mitigation strategies. That may include diversification for which commodity ETF’s offers a means of doing just that.

Second, for better or worse, the rise of physically backed ETF’s has impacted prices. Though Will quickly pointed out that many folks ignore the fact that a bigger and faster growing bar and coin market exists, nevertheless, ETF Securities’ four US precious metals products have received inflows of over $1.3b. By investing in the underlying metals (the metals are stored in Switzerland) price direction has come from the “long positions taken by investors. We recently covered the rising palladium market. But Will also suggested that prices for palladium may also be high because the Russians don’t have as much stock as some previously suspected (logic being that if they did have stocks, now would be a good time to offload them given rising price levels). So to some extent, the increase in palladium prices may very well indicate the supply situation looks less rosy than previously thought.

But the points I found most interesting in my discussion with Will involved the differences in perception between the US and European markets for these products. Only in the US has Will encountered a number of conspiracy theories typically centered around the notion that the gold (and other metals) held by these funds either a) doesn’t exist or b) isn’t authentic. No doubt this stereotype stems from the Great Depression when Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 essentially ordering US citizens to hand over their gold to the Federal Reserve for $20.67/oz (failure to do so would result in a fine, up to ten years in prison or both) When I mentioned our coverage of tungsten filled gold bars, Will laughed saying, “So you are the source of all the phone calls we receive on that subject! But ETFs remain subject to US bank regulation and could not operate in the US if the underlying commodities didn’t correspond to the financial product offered.

For now, the base metal ETFs can be classified as “synthetic in other words, they either mirror what happens on the futures exchanges or comprise a mix of producers whose stocks comprise the ETF basket. These do not impact prices.

What plans does ETF Securities have for the future? Will mentioned several times the company has over 180 commodity products currently offered abroad and they seek to create that one-stop-shop for the US market. What does this tell us about metal ETF’s? We take it as a signal that these financial products both synethetic and otherwise remain in a growth cycle.

–Lisa Reisman

For once our favorite doomsayer Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor of the Telegraph Newspaper is not quoting his own research in an article but that of Deutsche Bank and RBS owners of Sempra Commodities. The article quotes Michael Lewis, commodities chief at Deutsche Bank as saying, “We believe overheating risks in China are escalating, heading into the second quarter, we believe China will become the main source of event risk for commodity markets, specifically industrial metals.”

The bank believes Beijing is likely to slash growth in spending on infrastructure from 120% last year to just 7% this year. Deutsche expects China’s central bank to cut loan quotas by almost a quarter to 7.5 trillion Yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year, raise rates, and tighten reserve rules to choke inflation, while local authorities take their own measures to curb the property boom. As lead, zinc, copper, and nickel are all highly leveraged to China’s building cycle, consumption will be hit dramatically if investment is cut back as expected.

RBS is in broad agreement saying China has been the main engine of metals price increases sucking in up to 40% of the world’s consumption but more controversially it claims much of the buying was speculative and large inventory position risk still exists that have not been eaten into in spite of the high levels of industrial activity.

RBS is expecting prices to fall back over Q2 and Q3, not collapse but retrench as final consumption fails to continue its heady growth of H2 2009. The bank also warned that a surge of pent-up supply from mines is “waiting in the wings to make its grand entrance” just at the wrong moment as the global recovery goes through a patch of turbulence.

Here Mr. Evans-Pritchard comes back to a point he has made many times before but which other commentators rarely focus on and that’s money supply. An expanding money supply is a sign of growth and a contracting money supply is the reverse, certainly a contracting money supply is a severe restriction to growth. As Wikipedia puts it – there is strong empirical evidence of a direct relation between long-term price inflation and money-supply growth. According to his article, the M3 money supply has been contracting since mid-2009 in both the US and the Eurozone. It has been slowing in other areas such as Saudi Arabia, where the M3 growth rate has fallen for five months. A contracting money supply could indicate a double dip or at the least stalling growth this year.

Back to the banks. RBS is most bearish on gold, forecasting a 17% drop to $925 an ounce later this year. The metal will lose its ‘anti-dollar’ appeal as the dollar grinds higher and the Fed tightens, but shoot to fresh records above $1,300 by 2013. The bank sees parallels with the commodity rally of 1982, which faltered after nine months as the US economy tipped into a double-dip recession. Raw material prices then relapsed for another couple of years. “We expect the path ahead to be strewn with many risks associated with unwinding strategies, rising rates and taxes, and the debt burden,” it said. Deutsche Bank agrees seeing plenty of risks ahead not least a Greek default that spreads contagion, a larger bond market crisis in big industrial states, and regulatory overkill on banks. But the greatest looming danger is a Sino-American showdown over the Yuan-US Dollar exchange rate peg. As the article concludes, “Political rigidities appear to be building both within China to resist change, and within China’s trading partners -prominently the US to try to force change. This is a toxic mix.”

–Stuart Burns

Today, you may have noticed a few site changes. Back in January, we warned you that we might make a few. The biggest change involves MetalMiner moving into the world of ecommerce by providing metal market perspectives for the complete range of industrial metals products. You can find more information about those reports through the link here:

Price Forecasts New!

When we launched this blog site just over two years ago, we didn’t exactly have a clear direction as to what this site would become. But you have surprised us! And the world of analytics is one that fascinates me personally as it has given us an opportunity to fine tune the nature of the content we provide. You all have told us loud and clear that market changes, global economic trends and price direction are all things that are very important to you. So the price perspectives series really is just a natural extension of synthesizing all that we write on these virtual pages.

Now since we know most of you are in the sourcing/purchasing/procurement functions within your companies, we have tried to position the offering at price points that everyone can take advantage of and we hope that you will agree.

But now we thought we’d share with you a few tidbits about the reports so that our regular loyal readers will have some more insight as to what drove us to develop these reports and how we have structured them. First and foremost, we have structured them knowing you will probably not want to sit down and read a 100-page report aimed in the rearview mirror telling you all about last year. Instead, these reports (price perspectives as we have named them) examine just the basics nothing more and nothing less. Each report ranges in length from 7 13 pages. Wherever possible we have attempted to include MetalMiner IndX(SM) data, production cost models (you will find those in the aluminum and steel reports) as well as key road signs to watch as you coordinate this year’s purchases, and later in the year, your 2011 budgets.

Each report comes either as a single or as part of a yearly subscription in which you would receive one report per quarter. And of course, we offer volume discounts! Unfortunately, we will not launch with a few reports, namely tin, gold/silver, ferro alloys and aerospace metals. We will endeavor to get those reports completed inside of February.

And as always, please drop us a line with your feedback. We get a lot of great ideas from you!

–Lisa Reisman

It would seem China can’t get enough of gold. The authorities were overtly encouraging the population to buy gold from the middle of last year, many said as an attempt to sop up excess consumer liquidity although we suspect if they really wanted to do that they would be pushing the banks to offer high savings rates and withdrawing the stimulus measures designed to encourage spending. China has been a significant market for jewelry use and with a rising sense of affluence that has continued to grow.

Coming on top of the above, the central bank recently revealed it had been buying gold as a long term policy. It has already amassed over 1000 tons, largely by buying refined domestic gold rather than large quantities of open market gold that would have moved the market. Some analysts see China behind the apparent support level for gold of around $1000/ounce although various technical support points also exist at $1019 and $1020 that could equally be to blame.

The one area that China has not been overtly involved in is the rapidly growing ETF market appearing to prefer physical holdings to paper holdings well that is now about to change. China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation has taken a $155m stake in SPDR Gold Trust, appropriately the largest gold ETF. The 1,45m shares represents only 0.4% of SPDR’s assets and is a small investment in terms of CIC’s approximate £300bn net worth but it is interesting that the Chinese have taken this step at all. Some have suggested China is seeking to diversify from dollar holdings the excuse given to every purchase of commodities or assets other than treasury bills. If so $155m is a drop in the ocean so we suspect if there is any foundation to this theory then it is part of a longer term experiment to develop familiarity with the ETF market. As a hedge against dollar weakness, gold is a tried and trusted market but for a country holding China’s level of reserves of $2.4bn at the end of December 2009. China can’t buy enough of anything to hedge against that size of risk. Even buying 10% of reserve levels would move prices of any commodity so dramatically that China would gain a hedge but pay twice for the privilege. No the reality is that as a world power with massive reserves, China must explore all investment options. Cash and treasuries leave the country horribly exposed to the fortunes of US economic policy.

–Stuart Burns

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It seems all you have to do is make a couple of billion and the world hangs on your every word. Well maybe more than a couple and it helps if you have been proved right over many years. But the adage certainly holds true for George Soros, said by the Telegraph to be arguably the most successful hedge fund manager in history. Mr. Soros is one of the great and good at Davos this week, and as usual he makes a lunch time speech to his guests that is fervently followed by most of the financial community.

His topic of conversation this year was appropriately bubbles and how, rather than avoid them, he actively seeks out bubbles to jump on board. Of course he dressed it up more prosaically, suggesting that although the world knows him as a hedge fund manager and philanthropist his real profession is philosopher according to Jacob Weisberg writing in slate.com. The trick of piling into a bubble is when to get out and that rather than steer clear of them the investor should strive to understand them and use them as a money making opportunity.

Apparently, Mr. Soros was suitably reticent as to what new bubbles he was looking at but his observation that gold is the ultimate bubble has been widely reported. Huge amounts of money have flowed into gold over the last 18 months originally as a safe haven when the world was falling apart and more recently as a perceived hedge against dollar weakness and the potential for inflation. Soros is clearly of the opinion governments should be more worried about a double dip than inflation. Rather than worry about inflation taking off this year he suggests governments should maintain lax lending rules to allow the economy to recover; a premature tightening of credit and budgets when banks still have massive levels of refinancing and the probability of increased reserve requirements under new Basle rules could set off another round of failures and contraction. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF said something similar this week when addressing a different group at Davos warning that banks have a massive round of refinancing in 2011-13 and should not be taxed too heavily now but should be given the chance to rebuild their balance sheets in preparation for what could be likened to the other side of the hurricane. So far the Fed is indicating the low interest rates will continue but the fragility of the recovery is clear from the reaction on equity and commodity markets to President Obama’s speech on what he intends for banks and the Chinese tightening of reserve requirements, all the markets have come off and in most cases quiet significantly.

No doubt Mr. Soros is as actively watched as Alan Greenspan once was by those trying to second guess his next move; they were nearly always unsuccessful with Mr. Greenspan and will likely be equally behind the curve with Mr. Soros. If the wily investor has shown one thing over the years it is that he is not going to share his gift for investment decisions with the world until after the event.

–Stuart Burns

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