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David Stafford
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Student of markets, enjoys following their course.
My book:
Around the World in Several Pieces
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  • Post Halloween Harbingers.

    With the stock market's correlation-causation relationships getting trickier by the month, and general global "crises" and "scares" leaving the average market participant and perhaps individual in general a little jaded or numb these days, there are perhaps some interesting predictions none-the less floating around the investment-related news space these days.

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    Though it may ultimately be "much ado about nothing" one of these interesting predictions which I've interestingly enough seen appear coming from a variety of different perspectives if one will, in regards to forecasting of future events, has to do with none other than those items which are often unfortunately lost in large bodies of water during boating accidents, namely precious metals.

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    Yes, believe it or not, it seems as though an interesting prediction for the coming month or two is associated with the sort of events or spirit associated with the opening of the new precious metals exchanges in China for example. With the mainland Chinese's new precious metals exchanges(link), various individuals and organizations have proclaimed that with more direct transactions, and hence presumably greater "price discovery" that there will hence be interesting price changes in the value of those soft and shiny metallic friends of ours.

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    Perhaps however, especially since the financial crisis, and the vast number of "vested interests" proclaiming similar news, one may want to take such news with a grain of that gold of yore, salt. None the less, this seems to be a theme which I've observed in a variety of different news sources and from a variety of different forecasting methodologies per se. However, at the same time, hearing an oft repeated refrain from two different bands at the same time, an accurate prediction may not make, so perhaps we'll all just have to see on this one per se.

    __________The ancient Malian salt-king Mansa Musa(image source)

    http://msmonterossosfacebookpage.wikispaces.com/file/view/mansamsa.jpg/147528455/544x395/mansamsa.jpg

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    None the less, it seems these days, that the precious metals haven't necessarily been living up to their un-correlated pretenses, just today for example, silver and gold perhaps took a similar semi-shellacking relative to the rest of the markets in general. All the same, perhaps these predictions will be true for once, or perhaps these predictions will, as all predictions, just have to be proven true of false by the patient gait of every investor's potential friend, namely ye olde Saturn, or father time.

    _____(image source)

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    At the moment, silver is once again trading in the potential not-too- expensive-gift price range of about 17.00 dollars per ounce, down from the meteorically elevated 50.00 of not so long ago, however, perhaps we will all just have to see if these precious metals truly become more preciouse price-wise in the coming months per se.

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    Perhaps such an event would make for an interesting Halloween expectation for both kids and adults, however, perhaps this will quite simply provide anyone that has a hankering for the preciouse metals, another thing to be thankful for come Thanksgiving, or perhaps it will just be another silver-lined news story under the bridge per se, joining the other torrents of precious metals related suggestions, and forecasts, one may hear of on a regular basis.

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    However the precious metals prices' change, I hope everyone has a happy Halloween one way or another. Whether one is tricking(asking for candy) or treating, I hope its a fun time, and a decent family experience if applicable, and thank you again for reading.

    ________(image source)

    Oct 27 7:45 PM | Link | Comment!
  • A New Page In The Continuing Trials Concerning The Post-Ukraine Saga World.

    As the international dissension involving the Ukraine is perhaps placed somewhat in the rear-view mirror, from the latest news reports it seems as though the Russian gestalt is moving forward per se. Its moving in perhaps some traditional and "expected" directions and in some new directions it seems as well.

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    In so far as new directions per se, perhaps most intriguingly Russia seems to(even though still entrenched in Eastern Ukraine per se) be warming to cultural inclusivity related issues in regards to questions concerning I guess what one could call sexual rights. Since court cases in general in Russia are rarely free from upper level political decision making processes(particularly cases involving national/social issues), it is perhaps interesting to note that a gay-rights activist was recently rewarded a sort of compensation for a parade which he was organizing which was canceled. This is perhaps a different socio-political tone to that which was made a global issue per se in the lead up to the last winter Olympics, and perhaps this signals that even though Russia is still very interested in the Ukraine, that it is not being so forceful per se in so far as internal social discussions are concerned.(source)

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    However, to quote one of the most vague cliches of all time perhaps, "the more things change, the more things stay the same" for, all the whilst, the Russian elite if one will, are playing their famous not so subtle game of centralizing national energy assets via threatening the elites who own them with prison, as was made famous in the former Yukos case so very long ago(relatively speaking). For one may wonder why, amidst all the closing of ranks per se amongst the Russian elites, a particular owner of a massive sort of multi-faceted firm, named "Systema" was targeted by the more powerful elites, namely, most likely the Kremlin. Well, as it turns out Systema includes large energy related asset holdings. Hence, not so surprisingly perhaps once these were sort of forfeited by the Mr. Yevtushenkov in question, he was hence promptly released from prison. Hence, one may observe the old centralization of energy assets whenever there is local economic instability play unfolding.(Oligarch stripped of energy assets)(Same Oligarch subsequently freed(within a matter of days))

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    Apart from Yevtushenkov's brief stint/negotiations "up the river" if one will, the rest of the elites seem to be doing something perhapsnot altogether surprising, but somewhat rare perhaps, given the dynamic balance amongst Russia's elites, namely they seem to be forming a sort of unified block per se. For, more specifically, Russian elites, are now pushing for those other elites presumably who have been subject to asset confiscation abroad(see yachts, vacation houses, frozen accounts etc.) to now be reimbursed by the state for their losses, if one will. This is perhaps a sort of interesting state of affairs, as it is far more common perhaps to hear of the fabricated news stories, and scandals which the elites there will more often use against one another etc., and hence its perhaps somewhat interesting to see the Russian elites forming a unified front per se in such a manner. None the less, presumably they've all lost some assets, perhaps, in said mass foreign asset seizure debacle and hence, perhaps now they all have a sort of shared grievance. Its perhaps sort of interesting and not so common behavior.(source)

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    It may perhaps also be worthy of note, that amidst this sort of re-centralization of power(energy assets), and closing of ranks amongst the local elites, there also seems to be enough energy behind this group-think phase to also include the purging of some old thorns in the side of the sort of local elites if one will. Namely, amidst all this elite solidarity, perhaps as a sort of toast to togetherness if one will, the majority has presumably decided to "ostracize" or expel one of their less "popular" members namely, a respected economist, who was critical of the Kremlin's "economic policies", yet who presumably was a little too critical for this particular consolidation phase in the local elite milieu in Russia during these not so rosy times.(source)

    _______

    Hence, now that things are getting sort of rocky economically and hence socially speaking, in that land of the frozen north, it seems that economic issues and centralization of control of energy resources are once again taking center stage in the elite conversation if one will in Russia. Social issues which were once an avenue of elite influence dissemination are now being relinquished to natural social forces per se, perhaps as evidenced by the aforementioned court case involving restitution for the canceled parade, and hence perhaps we're seeing the more traditional if one will, Russian elite mindset re-surfacing, namely one whereby their assets are backed by the state, which in turn controls the countries energy assets, and which further doesn't allow for any dissent on this centralization of energy assets issue, nor for economic policy critiquing. Hence, though Russia may be facing some daunting economic realities in the short-to-mid-term, perhaps this isn't a new "place" per se for the Russian elites, and hence perhaps they are simply reverting to a play-book from more desperate times, in response to this sort of new-found local economic malaise per se.

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    Hence perhaps the Russian elites are returning to tried and true methods of maintaining their wealth and power in the midst of economic tribulations and scarcity per se. Though the specific methods may be somewhat indirect, and unique, perhaps this is all a sort of familiar act from the always sort of mysterious, yet simultaneously repetitive(in this case), Russian-elite-masquerade if one will.

    (source)

    Oct 08 1:25 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Developments In The Ukrainian "Discussion"(Semi-Humorous)

    Though recent news has been riddled with stories of the EU and Russia wearily trading one sanction for another, with farmers in particular(those of Greece and Spain for ex.) falling into tough times, some signs of hope are yet emitted from this otherwise black-hole of a conflict per se.

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    Though Ronald McDonald has surely been feeling the heat as of recent with location after location(in Russia) being closed for "sanitary reasons", even the iconic, one located along Pushkin Square(source). There seems to yet be a few rays of hope emanating from this otherwise troubled region in these newly turbulent times.

    (click to enlarge)

    January 31, 1990; the opening of the first McDonalds in Russia;

    source

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    Though "the oligarchs" may be missing a few decimal places worth of capital in their newly frozen bank accounts, though Russians are dropping their capital(real estate) in London(still up for debate)(source) and New York(source) and moving it to real estate back in Russia(source) there are still a few green shoots of hope amidst all the uncertainly and skullduggery that has surely been perpetrated by both sides in this seemingly endless battle of blame allotment.

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    Namely, though food prices for Russian people are acutely reacting to food scarcity per se induced by food import bans by increasing(source), not everyone's food is becoming more costly, at least according to anecdotal evidence from the video linked below;

    Prairie dog too husky to depart burrow.

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    Apart from the healthy prairie dogs of Eastern Europe/Russia, it seems as though some past picks from the blog are also doing alright amidst the chaos and tumult of these strange sort of pseudo-thorough sanction wars; namely the Austrian bank Raiffeisen, has projected that, sanctions or not, their large Eastern European and Russian business lines per se, will presumably be doing fine(source). Perhaps this is surprising given news stories such as those pertaining to suffering foreign banks per se in Russia at the moment(example), but none the less, it seems Raiffeisen is in the clear at least for the moment.

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    Thanks again for reading, I hope everyone's investments are doing great, and accumulating in heft like the prairie-dog or squirrel in the linked video per se. Thanks again for reading.

    Tags: RAIFY
    Aug 27 8:44 PM | Link | Comment!
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