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She''ll prophesy your death. (She won''t say when.)
3a EST Thursday, November 25, 1999
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Since this is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United
States and news and comment about the gold market are
likely to be slow for a few days, maybe you won't mind
my posting some observations of my own for a change.
But first let me correct an error in my last post to you,
the essay by Anthony Hilton, which I misattributed to
the London Daily Telegraph. The essay was published
in the London Evening Standard. (Thanks to the friend
who pointed this out!)
As I was saying....
Wednesday was a great day for gold stocks here -- well,
SOME gold stocks anyway.
The XAU, the index of major North American gold miners,
was up 3.44 percent, but the performance of gold stocks
varied widely and interestingly.
Barrick Gold (ABX), the great hedger all us gold
fanatics love to hate, underperformed the XAU, rising
only 2.7 percent, which, I think, is unusual. Barrick
is a big component in that index.
The overhedged disasters in the gold business, Ashanti
(ASL) and Cambior (CBJ), actually CRASHED Wednesday,
the former going down 10 percent, the latter down 11.
It looks like that what's left of their hedge books
continues to set off explosions as the price of gold
drifts over $300 again.
Wednesday's stars, running way ahead of the XAU, were
the crowd's favorites, the big unhedged miners -- Gold
Fields (GOLD) up 8.5 percent, Battle Mountain (BMG) up
9 percent, Newmont (NEM) up 7, Homestake (HM) up 5 --
and the junior, Golden Star (GSR), up 13 percent, and
the big African mining property holder, Randgold
(RANGY), up 11.
Someone else gold fanatics love to hate, the daily
Internet analyst of the gold market, Steve Kaplan of
www.goldminingoutlook.com, says gold stock action like
Wednesday's is a signal that gold is headed for a fall.
Kaplan doesn't like it when the unhedged companies get
so far ahead of the hedged ones. And he has been
predicting a setback for gold before the next leg up.
Kaplan aggravates gold fanatics so much now because he
strikes them as a traitor of sorts, a longtime
predictor of gold's revival who lately has been
disparaging the hopes of a renewal of gold's rally in
late September. They especially hate him for having
called the top of that rally virtually to the hour and
having sold his gold shares then at a nice profit while
gold's long-suffering adherents hung on and rode their
shares back down substantially.
For having been so right in this as a short-term
trader, Kaplan sometimes gets treated as if he's a
Communist, a spy for Goldman Sachs, or a Bilderberger.
That Kaplan called the top of the September gold rally
is right there in black and white. It was as
sensational a call as the calls of GATA's own Bill
Murphy and John Hathaway of the Tocqueville Fund, who
called the September rally a week in advance. Anyone
who followed the advice of all three of those guys has
just made a lot of money.
But as good as he is, Kaplan doesn't have magic powers,
for good or evil. In fact, if the gold fanatics would
just READ him, they'd see that he's WRONG in black and
white every day, far more often than he's right, if
each day is a measure.
For Kaplan's most beloved premise seems to be that the
majority of investors must always be wrong.
Of course one hasn't been able to be an advocate of
gold without being largely a contrarian, but the
evidence of our own eyes and (sadly) our portfolios is
contrary to Kaplan's premise.
The majority of investors has been against gold for
years, and the majority is still (on balance) right.
Anyone who has been in general equities for the last 15
years or so is doing far better than anyone who has
been in gold during that time.
Every day Kaplan's commentary uses a musical song title
to mock the inflated indexes of the major U.S.
exchanges, and yet every day those indexes manage to
hang up there seemingly unsupported in what Kaplan
considers the stratosphere.
And every day Kaplan encourages people to short his
favorite piece of quot;Internet garbage,quot; EBAY, and not
cover until it crashes through 100. In this respect
Kaplan is as much a fanatic as the gold fanatics HE
mocks. For EBAY is still way up there too, soaring
another 12 points to 179 on Wednesday. Anyone following
Kaplan's advice on EBAY has been getting a lot of
No, Kaplan is not a spy for Goldman Sachs or a traitor
to gold or one of the manipulators. He writes what he
thinks and unfortunately too many gold people can't
bear to hear anything contrary to their hopes and
politics, when, of course, for our own sakes we should
be constantly testing our views against the views and
evidence of the people who disagree with us. Kaplan
puts his pants on one leg at a time, and, like everyone
else, gets things wrong sometimes -- perhaps MORE often
than others, since he bravely makes more predictions
than most, predictions every day.
So Kaplan doesn't deserve the abuse. He gets it, I'm
afraid, because some gold people probably would
begrudge the proverbial stopped clock its being right
twice a day, if one of those times it was right against
Gold people should relax and take what value they can
from Kaplan. Even when his predictions are wrong, his
daily commentary, containing a report on the precious
metals and general equities market, is a valuable
service. So many of us rely on him and shouldn't be
Gold's enemies are the financial interests that have
been colluding against it. They help make the market;
Kaplan just reports what he sees there as best he
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.