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Financial Times lets someone say something good about gold

Section: Daily Dispatches

How the heck did THIS get in the paper?

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Gold Can Still Outshine Mere Cash

By Masa Serdarevic
Financial Times, London
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Watching the price of gold dive in recent weeks as the eurozone crisis worsened and economic indicators turned particularly gloomy has led some to question the yellow metal's status as a haven asset.

Investors may disagree on what its price should be or what portion, if any, of a balanced portfolio it should make up, but on one issue there is consensus -- gold is all about fear.

With central bankers making good use of their printing presses over the past three years, many investors are increasingly concerned about uncontrollable inflation eating into their cash piles. "Governments do not really understand the long-term effects of printing so much money," says Dylan Grice, a global strategist at Societe Generale Cross Research Alternative View. "Inflation will be OK if central banks can remove the excess emergency money at just the right time and in the right quantities. I just worry that they are massively overconfident in their ability to do this."

Gold, on the other hand, was created billions of years ago when stars collided in outer space. There is no more where it came from. "Gold may be a mere lump of dense, useless shiny metal, but it's one which crackpot central bankers can't print," Mr Grice notes.

"Fiat currency is a store of value to the extent that people have faith in politicians and central banks. The problem is that trust has been eroded. Central banks are under tremendous pressure to print," says Tim Price, director of investment at PFP Wealth Management.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface.

"The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

This was evident recently when the Swiss National Bank announced it was prepared to buy unlimited amounts of foreign exchange to stop the Swiss franc appreciating further or, in other words, to print unlimited amounts of the franc and debase its currency. With the Swiss having resisted printing money during the crisis, while competitors expanded their monetary bases with abandon, investors have been selling their own currency for the stronger franc.

But Switzerland ended up with an overvalued currency, which was harming its economy and action had to be taken. The bank's move will boost gold, argues Mr Grice, as it "merely narrow[s] the universe of honest destinations for flight capital with which gold has historically competed."

Those who are not worried about this type of inflation are petrified of deflation. But even in such a scenario, gold is still a better bet than any currency, according to the gold bugs.

If consumer prices were to fall by some 4 or 5 per cent, stock markets could plummet and the global banking system would be placed under great stain.

The price of gold could also fall, but probably not nearly as much, thereby preserving wealth and purchasing power.

Yet others argue that a better strategy in a deflationary scenario is to invest in fast-growing industries. "People are very persuaded by crash and doom scenarios, and gold offers a cure for it. But there are other, more positive solutions. Invest in electric cars, recycling, renewable energy -- these sectors are growing, and they hold massive potential," says Chris Eibl, co-founder and head of trading of Tiberius Asset Management.

The recent sharp fall in the price of gold -- prompted by declining fears of a surge in inflation in the US and of a collapse in the US dollar -- took many analysts by surprise, yet it has done little to alter the fundamentals behind gold's appeal versus cash today.

Gold may be disliked by some for paying no income, but with the Federal Reserve promising interest rates of close to zero per cent for the foreseeable future, cash deposits are earning no interest either.

"With bank deposits, you're also fully exposed to the creditworthiness of the bank. It seems unfair especially as in real terms you’re actually losing some 5 per cent per year due to inflation," says Mr Price.

His portfolio is almost 30 per cent in "real assets," mostly gold and silver bullion vehicles. But it is not enough, he says, and he is building up the positions. "Fiat money is being printed faster than we can try to protect its value. We're trapped in an Alice of Wonderland situation, where we're running just to stay still."

While no one knows exactly how a Greek default would affect the euro and the other currencies, or quite what would have happened if the US Congress had failed to agree on a debt ceiling deal, the price of the yellow metal works in a different way. "Above all, its value does not depend on the creditworthiness of any government or financial institution, and that may yet prove very significant in the weeks and months ahead," notes Julian Jessop, chief global economist at Capital Economics, a research group.

Unlike the value of sterling or the dollar, the gold price is not limited by economic and policy considerations. Should Greece default or the eurozone break up, the dollar is expected to be the currency that benefits most given its status as the world’s reserve currency, but even it would be seriously undermined by fears that the US economy would suffer from the fall-out. The ensuing scramble for gold would be likely to boost its price significantly.

An example from the 1930s is often cited by gold bugs as an illustration of gold's superiority to fiat money. In the midst of the Great Depression, an increasingly desperate president Franklin D. Roosevelt took advantage of a wartime statute that had not been repealed to outlaw "the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States." The possession of monetary gold by individuals or companies became illegal, with some minor exceptions. Those who owned gold had the choice of exchanging it for $20.67 per troy ounce at the Federal Reserve or face a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 10 years in prison.

The order had limited effect as most people could simply hide or take their gold abroad. But to some investors it is a telling example of the arbitrary measures governments can take in a crisis. And it is clear, they argue, that an investor would want to hold gold over cash in such a situation. Gold will retain value even if the entire monetary system collapses. Who knows which currencies will still be around?

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Prophecy Platinum Drills 120.9 Meters
Grading 1.26 g/t PGM+Au at Yukon Wellgreen Project

Company Press Release
Monday, September 26, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) has announced the drill results received from its 2011 drilling Wellgreen platinum group elements, nickel, and copper project in the Yukon Territory.

Borehole WS11-188 encountered 457 meters of mineralization grading 0.47% nickel equivalent (including 0.72 grams per ton platinum, paladium, and gold) from surface to the footwall contact. Within this larger swath of mineralization, the hole encountered a high-grade section of 17.8 meters of 3.14 grams per ton platinum, palladium, and gold, 1.03% nickel, and 0.74% copper (1.77% nickel equivalent).

The hole was drilled completely outside of current resource boundaries, between the East Zone resource and the West Zone resource that was reported in the company's press release no July 14, 2011.

The high-grade intercept located between the two resources not only demonstrates that the East and West Zone resource form a single, geologically contiguous body but also indicates that the higher-grade material in the East Zone continues to the west and at depth at Wellgreen.

For drill result tables and maps, please see the company's full press release here: