Daily Dispatches

South Korea considers moving reserves into foreign stocks

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By Song Jung-a and Florian Gimbel
Financial Times, London
via Yahoo News
Friday, February 9, 2007

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ft/20070209/bs_ft/fto020820071921434000

South Korea's central bank said yesterday it was considering investing part of the nation's huge international reserves in overseas stocks, and especially the blue chips of advanced countries, in an effort to gain higher returns.

Subprime mortgage bond risk surges, credit-swap index suggests

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By Jody Shenn and Shannon D. Harrington
Bloomberg News Service
Thurdsay, February 8, 2007

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=avxemW08upao&refer=h...

NEW YORK -- The perceived risk of owning low-rated subprime mortgage bonds surged today after the two largest U.S. lenders reported growing problems stemming from the loans, an index of credit-default swaps suggests.

An index used to create swaps based on 20 BBB- rated bonds sold in the second half of 2006 and consisting of home loans to the riskiest borrowers fell 2.3 percent to about 88.5 today, the lowest since it was created Jan. 18, according to Deutsche Bank AG. The so-called ABX index was down 10 percent before today.

Clive Maund replies: You hurt my feelings

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4:13p ET Thursday, February 8, 2007

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold market analyst Clive Maund has responded to Tuesday's GATA dispatch (www.gata.org/node/4789) criticizing his grudging acknowledgement of and hearty indifference to manipulation of the gold market.

Maund calls that criticism a "personal attack" and declines to answer any of it. But he does quote approvingly another analyst who writes that "markets being managed is nothing strange or evil."

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Spending spree over as Americans walk tightrope without safety net

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By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/02/07/cnusec...

Americans are drawing down their personal savings at the fastest rate since the depths of the Great Depression, suggesting that U.S. household finances may be more fragile than they look.

The savings rate fell to minus 1pc in 2006 and has now been negative for 21 consecutive months, according to Commerce Department data. Such a rate was last seen in 1933, when a quarter of the American workforce was unemployed and whole families were kept alive by charitable soup kitchens.

S. African Reserve Bank adds 700,000 gold ounces to reserves in January

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By Evan Pickworth
I-Net Bridge, South Africa
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

http://corporate.hosted.inet.co.za/news/story/2204630

The South African Reserve Bank's holdings of gold reserves increased markedly in January to 4.684 million ounces from 3.990 million ounces in December 2006, and according to a leading economist, this could be due to the bank's taking the opportunity to build up reserves when it is "hard to argue against a long-term bullish view on gold."

Central banks are becoming gold buyers, Blanchard & Co. says

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Company Press Release

By Neal R. Ryan
Vice President and Director of Economic Research
Blanchard and Co. Inc., New Orleans
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

www.blanchardonline.com

According to recently updated IMF reserves statistics, some central banks have begun purchasing significant quantities of gold over the past few months, in stark contrast to the most recent figures available to the market, says Donald W. Doyle, Chairman and CEO of Blanchard and Co. Inc.

Miners march in Bolivian capital to protest tax increase

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By Dan Keane
Associated Press
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070206/bolivia_miners_protests.html?.v=1

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- More than 20,000 miners from across Bolivia marched into La Paz on Tuesday, tossing bits of dynamite that sent booming explosions echoing through the streets in a protest of President Evo Morales' plans for a steep hike in mining taxes.

The hard-hatted miners whistled and chanted as they filed through the center of the capital city in the protest against the tax proposal, which they say would unfairly burden hundreds of small independent miners' cooperatives.

Commodity supplies in doubt as developing countries can't settle mining law

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Indonesian Mining Stalls

Disputes Over Control
Halt Development Steps,
Pressure Commodities

By Tom Wright and Patrick Barta
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia has some of the world's largest reserves of gold, coal, nickel, and other valuable commodities, many of which have seen their prices soar in recent years. Yet mining companies haven't broken ground on a single large new mine here since Asia's 1997-98 financial crisis.

Clive Maund: Gold is probably manipulated but I don't care

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5:20p ET Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold market and technical analyst Clive Maund's new commentary asks the musical question: "Gold price manipulation -- Does it matter?" He concludes that the answer is no more important than whether the chewing gum loses its flavor on the bedpost overnight.

But Maund's commentary itself is important for signifying that manipulation of the gold market is increasingly accepted as a given by analysts, if only grudgingly, since, of course, manipulation makes a mockery of analysis and analysts alike. Indeed, technical analysis of a manipulated market is worthless if it takes no account of the manipulation. That is, despite their conscientiousness, people like Maund have been largely wasting their time.

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