Barrick Gold’s Australian super pit stake sale draws interest from Kinross, Zijin — Financial Post – Top Stories

Barrick Gold Corp.’s stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit mine has drawn interest from Kinross Gold Corp. and Zijin Mining Group Co. in a sale that could fetch as much as US$1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. Australian producers Newcrest Mining Ltd., Northern Star Resources Ltd. and Evolution Mining Ltd. are also reviewing data…

via Barrick Gold’s Australian super pit stake sale draws interest from Kinross, Zijin — Financial Post – Top Stories

Is this a “study” in contrasts or what! As “they” say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, I say, this photo is surely speaking volumes. I have a question for you, the reader. What thought or thoughts first popped into your mind upon seeing the above photo? Let’s not try to get philosophical, I mean your “gut” reaction. Mine was one of contrasts. There are really two “photos” one might say, did someone use PhotoShop software to enhance this photo? Of, course, not. (At least I don’t think so.) The photo in one sense seems like the yin and yang symbol of the Chinese culture, representing opposite forces. There is the huge gaping hole of the humanly engineered-mine and the huge human civilization existing right along side it.

The mine represents “forces of an economy.” By that I mean in this case a “scarce” resource (gold) being used to support jobs, a capitalistic enterprise i.e., a mining company, and creating a “local” economy for the region where the mine is located. But it is still a gaping hole in the earth, a wound in the earth’s surface. I am discovering that I am writing not only about “human” economics but environmental economics as well. Here’s a quote from the article:

The Barrick asset, known as the Super Pit, is 3.5 kilometers long and ranks as Australia’s largest open-pit gold mine, its website shows. It’s located in Kalgoorlie, a city in Western Australia where the metal has been produced continuously since a late 19th-century gold rush.

I recently wrote another blog article motivated by another striking photo:
Saskatchewan water.

We are living in the “age of shock.” In order to get people’s attention, many times abrupt, jarring tactics are used by the media, or others to gain attention to an event, a product, a person, you name it.

So do we just get more numb in order to counter-act the shock? Have you seen any “yin and yang” contrasts? It creates food for thought and perhaps hopefully civil conversation.

All I Can Say is WOW!

All I can say is WOW! Wow, wow, wow, wow!

Is this the penultimate “Week that was?” There are (3) three reasons that I say that:

1. The Chicago Tribune (Trib), a historical very Republication newspaper (it dates back to 1847), did endorse a Democrat for President in 2012, Barack Obama; and to my amazement, has this time endorsed the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson!!! I opened the Trib to its editorial page and there it is. I’m including a photo of the editorial page. garyjohnson-1

For disclaimers: I have no political intention with this photo. It’s just a photo of the endorsement of Gary Johnson, it just was such a surprise. Hillary Clinton being a “hometown” candidate and all, did not sway the Editorial Board nor did Donald Trump being the Republican candidate abet, a somewhat reluctant choice of the Republication party. I am not working for any political candidate, I’m not a politician, I’m not being paid to post these remarks. In fact, my blog tries to focus on economic issues but the Presidential election results will drive economic “issues” for (4) years perhaps even more. On to Reason #2:

2. The Congress of the United States over-rode a veto by the President of the United States regarding a Bill that allows U.S. citizens to sue the perpetrators of the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001in New York, Washington, D.C. and plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Here’s a link to information about the bill.

I actually started writing this blog article early this morning (Oct 2) and was going to title it: “Is this any way to run a country?” Here, following is what I wrote early and I mean (2AM or so) this morning:

Or, how about this title for my blog article, “Is Lame Duck voting, a Brexit Redux? We have an election in November which will “fire” some in Congress and replace them with new Senators and U.S. House of Representatives. Thus any legislators voting upon on legislative Bills between the November 11 election and swearing in of newly elected Congressional representatives are called “lame ducks.”

So Congress finally over-rode a Presidential veto. This Presidential veto was meant to prevent potential diplomatic, security, safety, strategic global endangerment of US citizens abroad, around the world. The “vetoed” bill was purportedly not read adequately by Congressional members before their voting action. There are now Congressmen/women who regret their vote for the veto.

Here’s some links on the situation as it unfolds:
The Bill
The Veto
The vote to overturn the Veto
The consequences, who knows, but there already is a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia.

Is this retaliation or “get even” vote against President Obama because of his executive orders? Is this the ultimate touché` of a Republication Congress against a Democratic President? How self-destructive do we need to get before we completely destroy our Country? Or, to say it another way, when will our legislators discover the “art” of compromise again? Do you remember the video game “Pac Man”? I never played it but basically it was “eat or “get eaten.” When everyone or thing is “eaten” the game ends.

We are worried about the Russians or North Korea having nuclear weapons they might launch. We are worried about China becoming a world power! We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot!

So was the overturn of President Obama’s veto a retaliation, a sensible vote, gross negligence of Congress without due diligence, political blunder, political correctness, lack of diplomatic oversight…I’m running out of reasons or perhaps excuses.

Is it greed that drives the reparation movement regarding 9/11 tragedy? Unanticipated consequences brought about the Mid-East crises, unanticipated consequence brought about the housing crash of 2008-09, lack of due diligence and greed caused the dot.com crash in 2001.

And, finally Number 3:

3. Another stopgap “funding” bill so US government won’t “shut down”
Stopgap money bill
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/Deal-Reached-to-Help-Flint-Keep-US-Government-Open-395096431.html

How many times has the U.S. government been shut down? Answer: Too many times, it never should have happened even once!
The sequester bill was passed into law in year 2011, why it happened and the aftermath of consequences, because it did “work.” Here are some links to reference about the sequester bill:

Sequester

Frequently asked questions about the Sequester
https://democrats-budget.house.gov/committee-report/frequently-asked-questions-about-sequestration-under-budget-control-act-2011

Unlike computers, there is no UNDO button in Congress; well there is… more legislation, political wrangling, amendments, whatever. But the damage done perhaps can’t be rectified and again more reparation contemplated.

We have “tent cities”, drinking water that is poison, demonstrations like “Occupy Wall Street” which resulted from the housing crisis of 2008-09, discriminations that may or may not ever be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. A national crumbling infrastructure that at times literally collapsed as the bridge in Minnesota. http://www.startribune.com/new-35w-bridge-already-is-aging/268746561/

I don’t even know how to end this blog, I usually come up with something witty or positive to say. Perhaps I should refer to a comedy motion picture called “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Here’s a movie “trailer” on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sla845GW9YM
I mean is it not a comedy of errors” at this point? Let’s stop pointing fingers and get to work. I’ll give you a “spoiler” alert about the motion picture, the money gets found but there is “no reward.”

Well, “that’s all folks”, to quote Bugs Bunny. And, tomorrow’s another day, here’s the Tomorrow song from “Annie”, the theater play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PzL8aL6jtI

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Breakthrough
Clumsy

Frontline’s Documentary: The Choice 2016

First a disclaimer: I am NOT a political worker for either candidate, I am NOT an employee of Frontline, the documentary company, I am NOT a politician of any political party. I am NOT an employee of PBS.org or any other journalistic entity. I AM a private American citizen and a voter in the next Presidential election. I hope the above clears up any questions about my “status” concerning this particular posting.

Now to the post: I have just viewed the Frontline documentary called “The Choice 2016.” Here’s a link to it online: The Choice 2016.
Whether you are a “Trump” supporter or a “Clinton” supporter, its worth your time to get some background on the two Presidential candidates. The documentary covers several decades of the lives of the two candidates.

If you are “on the fence”, perhaps watching the documentary will change your vote, if you are a “Trump” or “Clinton” voter the documentary may help you solidify your voting decision. Whatever the reason, U.S. citizens need to vote.

P.S. You might not even need the popcorn!

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Careful

Recap of Financial Week: September 9, 2016

Well, I guess it’s time for a “recap” of the “week that was.” I have previously recapped the following financial “points in time” for my and my readers’ edification. Enjoy the “looking glass” view if you wish:
Recap of September, 2015 U.S. stock market
Market recap for week of January 8, 2016

Or, continue to the next paragraph for this week’s catalytic effects on the financial markets. Here’s my candidates “naughty actors” that contributed to the downward drop or behavior of the “DOW” (Dow Jones Industrial Average)

• The Hanjin container ships marooned at sea drama Hanjin. Also see my blog item: Ghost Ship
• Fear of a Fed interest rate increase Federal Reserve Rate Increase?
• “Bad” behavior of Wells Fargo Bank Banks behaving Badly
• North Korea “flexing” their military muscles North Korea
• End of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s financial conference at Jackson Hole Federal Reserve at Jackson Hole. Here’s another blog item I wrote regarding the conference Woodstock for Economists.

and, just for a “light” bit of humor:
• It was only a 4-day work week in the U.S.

I have read and heard on the news recently that the months of September and October are “tricky” or perhaps a better word is “dangerous” months for the “markets.” Well, who am I to argue with that, the 1929 stock market crash happened in October of 1929, the 1987 crash happened in August, 1987 (close enough to September for me). (Incidentally, I was watching a financial TV program the day of the “’87” crash, and yes, I can remember where I was and who was with me at that time.) I lost a couple of “bucks” in the Dot Com crash in 2001. Next came the housing bubble in 2009, seems to me that I starting hearing about “housing” credit problems in the summer of 2008 but anyway, I do know that there was no snow on the ground when the dominoes started to fall.

So, that’s my list of reasons for the U.S. stock market “readjusting” itself today and closing down around 2% or so.

Introducing the Party of “Neither”

What a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Here’s the link: Neither for President. Evidently the WSJ does not endorse any candidates, “If ‘neither’ could make it onto the November ballot, maybe we’d reconsider our longstanding editorial policy of not endorsing candidates.”

“An unprecedented plurality of 35% responded neither, which means neither meets the 15% threshold to make it into the presidential debates. Can neither get a podium on stage?”

In my blog posting dated August 12, 2016, and titled “Show me the Money”, I offer the reader links to the four Presidential candidates’ websites and their political platforms. I also include a couple of links in my blog that refer to the 15% survey “results” requirement for inclusion in the Presidential debates.

What an interesting dilemma is posited by the WSJ! I mean, what if no Presidential candidate met the 15% “inclusion” criteria? Of course the criteria would be changed. Gee, maybe citizens should be “registered” survey responders in order to participate in the “national surveys.” Or, what if, and I know that this is really silly, but…what if only ONE candidate met the 15% requirement! They would be “onstage” debating against him or herself!

For those who can remember “Alfred E. Neuman,” should I quote him by saying “What, me worry!”
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Shiver

“Show me the money!”

Author update, 8/15/2016: Here’s an update on the rules being enforced in order to choose the Presidential debate candidates. This update is courtesy of CNN.com: CNN debate update

After the Labor Day holiday, the Presidential debates will begin. There are three (3) presidential debates scheduled on September 26, October 9, and October 19, 2016. There is one vice-presidential debates scheduled for October 4, 2016.

Just as I created a blog entry to links for the multiple Republication and Democrat candidates’ economic platforms while seeking their party’s nomination, this time I’m focusing on the winners of those contests, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton (Democratic nominee)
Official website: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/om-an-economy-that-works-for-everyone/
Factcheck.org analysis of Hillary Clinton’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/clintons-economic-speech/

Donald Trump (Republication nominee)
Official website: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/economic-vision
Factcheck.org analysis of Donald Trump’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/trumps-economic-speech/

Although the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, will probably not be participating in the Presidential debates, I’m including his Party’s web site: https://www.lp.org/platform

The Green Party also has a candidate, Jill Stein, planning to run for President. Here’s the link to their website: http://www.gp.org/

The criteria for inclusion in the Presidential debates is that each candidate must command at least 15% in five (5) mainstream polls. Here’s some information on that:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-gary-johnson-libertarian-debate-edit-20160805-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-welch-debates-johnson-stein-20160810-snap-story.html

In some of my blog posts, I make reference to a motion picture, or perhaps a TV or radio show, the film that comes to mind, relative to this posting, is the movie, Jerry McGuire. To me, one of the great lines in the movie is “show me the money”, which was uttered by Cuba Gooding Jr. Here’s a trailer clip from the movie that contains that scene: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi878683161?ref_=ttvi_vi_imdb_1

The “economic” themes in the candidate’s platforms include tax treatment, infrastructure investment, military readiness, treatment of immigrants (legal or ortherwise), to name some of them. Each candidate has his or her way of “showing the money” or perhaps “stowing” the money through various taxation techniques.

Being an informed voter is more important than ever. Casting one’s vote is more important than ever. Making “the right” choice for our country is more important than ever. I hope that everyone who is a legal and registered voter, does vote. Unfortunately, the issue of being “registered” is rearing its ugly head again. We just can’t seem to “get it right!” Well, that’s a topic for another blog item.
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Confused

FYI: What is the Electoral College? How does it work?

It’s time to write an FYI on how the Electoral College works (or doesn’t depending upon one’s opinion of it!). Here’s a link straight from the horse’s mouth or perhaps eagle’s beak is more appropriate. It’s to the U.S. National Archives and the Electoral College process is part of the U.S. Constitution: electoral college.

For the “gamers” who read my blog, here’s a “fun” website that allows you to play around with the Electoral College map and try to predict the Presidential winner: in the Trump v. Clinton game, whose your winner?

The following link is to a white paper written by William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director, FEC, Office of Election Administration. It is a 20-page paper which explains the historical beginning as well as controversy of the Electoral College since its inception: Federal Election Commission.

Here is one newspaper’s “take” on the impact, leverage, power, and effect of the Electoral College voting: Washington Post: If no one else stops Trump, the Electoral College still can, it in the Constitution.

Why does this matter so much… well other than this is the most powerful “job” in the world at this time, I guess it does matter to the World as well as the United States citizenry! In the George W. Bush vs. Al Gore Presidential election, the Presidential election was decided by the Supreme Court. How did this happen? Here’s a link to some history on the Bush/Gore election: Bush v. Gore.

We, the citizens, have had our “fill” of hanging chads, non-functioning voting machines, “ghost voters”, polling places not open on-time, stuffed ballot boxes, absentee ballots not counted, I think everyone can contribute to the litany of voter fraud, possible or blant, that I’ve started to enumerate about here. Since we will be hearing more and more about the “Electoral College”, we should learn a little more about it.

This is one “learning curve” we all should travel if only to understand how the results will get us a new President.

P.S. Here’s another website: United States House of Representatives, Electoral College Facts U.S. House of Representatives
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Tree

Are the “Boomers” causing a Business Bust?

I guess the “Boomers*” are now being blamed for the short-sightedness and “short-term” instead of “long-term” planning that Corporate America should have been doing all along. Here’s an article in the Chicago Tribune® written by Rex Huppke: As boomers leave workforce, transfer of knowledge is key. Basically as the Baby Boomers are retiring their “job-related” knowledge retires with them!

*Post WWII babies born between 1946 and 1964)

Here’s a very short story of mine about the value of “tacit knowledge” as it was named by Prof. Dorothy Leonard in Mr. Huppke’s above article:

We needed a plumber (ha, who doesn’t need a good plumber) and thus called one to our home. During his visit with us, the plumber commented how difficult it was to find new help for his business. He said that the men (in this case) came with the requisite “book” knowledge but did not have the “trouble-shooting” knowledge needed in order to “problem-solve” plumbing issues. Unfortunately, that “tacit knowledge” only comes with years of working the “plumber’s trade” and being presented with hundreds of flooding basements, leaky faucets, over-flowing toilets, plugged drains, and the milieu of plumbing problems that only a really handy husband, friend, or expert plumbing can solve.

Of course, apprenticeships and trade schools were common here in the States during the 40s, 50s, and 60s. During high school, there were courses called “shop” meaning those courses that introduced teenaged students to blue-collar-type skills such as carpentry or auto repair. Here’s an article from Forbes.com (a business magazine) written in 2012 that talks about California eliminating “shop classes”: The Death of Shop Class and America’s High Skilled Workforce.

Call these “unintended” consequences of “off-shoring”, H1-B visa permits, trade agreements, cost-cutting measures for financial/economic reasons… call it or point a physical or virtual finger at whatever one’s wishes to blame but… we “are” economically where we “are.” First, blue-collar jobs were “lost” in the US to lower-paying jobs in companies in other countries, then white-collar jobs started vanishing in the US, funny thing about some of those jobs, the “jobs” still might remain in the US but the guy or gal in the cubicle next to you was hired by a contractor agency who was not domiciled in the US and the co-worker might be working here with one of those H1-B work visas.

Now we can get into “lack” of skilled workers to fill the positions, etc.; but just like China’s One Child Policy has really come to slap them in the face, US citizens have been smacked in the face for several decades due to short-sighted policies, lack of proper training policies, or lack of long-range planning (to name a couple of reasons).

I have written a six-part blog series on the subject of jobs. Here are the links for your edification, enjoyment, amusement, or gain in “tacit knowledge”.

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Expert

Woodstock for Economists August 2016

The world’s economists, major money managers, global bankers, “monied” individuals and other significant personages, will descend upon Jackson Hole, Wyoming, U.S.A., in a week or two. In an homage to the Federal Reserve Bank, I’m including my postings over the last year regarding monetary problems, issues, events, and “goings-on.”

And, if you think the discussions will be boring, well, some of the economic news reads like a soap opera from the ’60s or ’70s, heck pick your own decade!

Federal Reserve Bank and related issues during years 2015-2016
Federal Reserve Year 2016 Jackson Hole Meetings

Archive 2016
Eye crosser #15: Negative Interest Rates
Fed Policy in Year 2016
Market Recap for Week of January 8, 2016
Brexit for Breakfast on June 24, 2016
Sketch of U.S. Economy in 2016
Going “Long” the “Big Short”
Banks and Banking in Year 2016
Debt-Deficit Conundrum
Upside-down Economics
Currency Wars

Great Recession Archive
Some of my earlier postings reference the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Even though the “recession” has been deemed “over” by some but not everyone, the repercussions of the mammoth recession are still with us and being felt by countries, as well as major banks. Anyway, for those who are interested the following is an archive of Great Recession events:

Great Recession Retrospective Redux
Update: Putting a Face to the LIBOR scandal

Since we all can’t be there to enjoy and hobnob with the best (and I do mean it sincerely) and brightest economists and money managers at least we can ruminate (in absentia) over some of the topics that they will discuss, dissect, and disseminate between each other and among themselves.

Bon appétit!
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Surface

Casting a shadow on solar

Now here’s an interesting article written by Frank Eltman: Solar project can’t save the forest for the trees. Let’s take a look at the “economics” of the article since I claim to write my blog about economic issues (well, most of the time).

Summary
• Cut greenhouse gases
• Replace defunct nuclear power plant
• Fight global warming
BUT
Demolish 350 acres of woodlands

• Cut 15,000 trees
• Cut 134 acres of trees
• Commitment of responsible use of the land
BUT
Provide 72 megawatts of solar power for 13,000+ homes

A definition of the word “economics” is provided by Investopedia.com:
Economics. Basically economics is the management of “scarce” resources. So although I usually write about banks and the “Fed*”, I guess it’s OK to write about trees. (*Federal Reserve Bank)

I love trees, I love to hear the rustle of the leaves through the trees when the wind blows. I love to sit under a big ‘ole tree, close my eyes and just feel the breeze rustling the leaves of the trees. And, how can one forget Autumn! Well… I mean running (as a kid) through the dried, fallen leaves making that great rustling sound… not the raking of them!

We need power to drive our world economies. We need the sun to light up our lives, grow our crops and feed our people. We need trees to anchor the earth beneath our feet, filter the sun and shade our lives. So it’s “forests” vs. “farms.” It’s interesting that solar installations are referred to as “farms.” “Wind” farms are referred to in the same way. Wind farms are quite a sight to see. I remember seeing one in California, like trees in a forest, the windmills stand lined up to catch prevailing winds, drive turbines and generate much needed electricity. The thing about solar farms is that, of course, they use solar panels to catch the rays of the sun. Unlike wind turbines, they require probably much more land acreage to install a cost-effective energy generating system. Ah, there’s an economic money term “cost-effective.”

In our yin and yang struggle to safeguard the environment we also seem to manage to threaten it. There is mention in the above news article of using the multiplicity of roof-tops and shopping mall parking lots for installing solar panels. I just thought about the difference between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, two inventor geniuses who harnessed electricity and devised two different approaches to the delivery of electrical energy to the masses at the beginning of the 20th Century. Of course Westinghouse won out because he promoted “alternating” current (AC) vs. Edison who championed “direct” current (DC), the two different delivery methods for electrical power at the time.

So here we are at the beginning of the 21st Century! I guess we need an Edison, Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla or two to help us sort out the current dilemma we have. How do we harness solar power and wind power for economic good as well as environmental good without destroying one or the other in the process???

Anybody got any good ideas?
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