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Mark Anthony
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Mark Anthony, is an IT professional and who had a scientific research background before joining the information revolution. Visit his blog: Stockology (
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  • Warnings to Precious Metal ETF Investors - Buyer Beware!

    The whole point of investing in precious metals is that they are physical assets and they have no counter party risks. Paper assets have counter party risks, physical metals have no such counter party risk.

    So what's the point of buying precious metal ETFs such as GLD, SLV, CEF,which are supposed to be backed up by physical metals. But you are not in physical control of the metals, and you just have to trust the sponsors of these ETFs.

    Counter party risk, any one? DIND DING DING DING!

    The London based ETF Securities Silver Fund regularly publish a list of serial numbers of the silver bars they hold in custody:

    The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) also publish a weekly updated list of serial numbers of silver bars held in their custody:

    Check out page 1698-1722 of the SLV silver bars list. They have got some silver bars from China. The brand is Great Wall. The supposedly unique serial numbers are from No. 1001 - No. 1460. With many duplications.

    The ETFS's silver bars list also contains silver bars of the same Great Wall brand. The serial numbers are also the sameNo. 1001 - No. 1360.

    Ah oh! Hmmmmm...?

    I want to draw no conclusion and say not one more word here!

    Full Disclosure: The author is heavily invested in palladium mining stocks SWC and PAL, hold shipping stocks EXM, EGLE, TBSI, DRYS, GNK, significant positions in UNG, a natural gas ETF. I have no position in GLD, SLV or CEF.


    Jul 14 2:01 AM | Link | 32 Comments
  • The April Retail Sales Figure Was Rigged By The Virus

    I wonder what the market's big fuzz was all about regarding the 0.4% drop in April retail sales?

    People have short memories. Just a few weeks ago a small bug causes such panic that it seems the world is coming to an end. And today people have totally forgotten about that small bug, and the panic it caused. It was initially called the Swine Flu Virus, and later renamed to H1N1 virus before it was quickly forgotten. I commented on it that the market over-reacted to the panic:

    And today, the market UNDER-REACTED to the swine flu. I would assume, during the panicing last weekend of April, 2009, not knowing exactly how bad the swine flu pandemic could be, many consumers, including myself, choose to stay at home instead of go out shopping. That must be responsible for a big chunk of the 0.4% drop of April retail sales.

    Taking out the flu virus factor, US April retail sales could well have been an increase of 0.4% increase, not decrease. The market simply does not have a good memory about events just two short weeks ago.


    May 14 2:14 AM | Link | Comment!
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