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Friday, May 26, 2017

Apologies btw


Apologies btw for not posting more recently.

The US equity market is doing very little, the US economy isn't generating much consequential news, and gold seems to be unable to drag GDX with it.

Meanwhile, I've been reading ahead for next year's classes. I'm very interested in taking transportation geography after reading the textbooks this summer, and I also want to get ahead of the curve in econometrics.

I've also been reading Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band, and have these thoughts:

1) It's never a good idea to write a book right after your marriage breaks up.

2) She talks a lot more about art and stuff than she does Sonic Youth.

3) Apparently Michael Gira is a cunt, well colour me surprised!

4) Goddamn it those chapters are short.

Generally, despite me liking Sonic Youth more than Everything but the Girl, I vastly preferred Tracey Thorn's autobiography and would recommend it over Kim Gordon's book. Girls to the Front was also a better bio on girls in bands.


Friday video: The Cure?


A Cure video from their third album ffs:



Thursday, May 25, 2017

The conservatives are firing up the bullshit machine again


Two days before the Conservative Party leadership election, the Conservative insiders have set it up so that the new leader can hit the ground running:

Fraser Institute - Prime Ministers and government spending: a retrospective (pdf).

You don't have to click through. The point is that the Fraser Institute is calling Justin the spendiest PM in the history of PMs.

Specifically, they say he's spending more than any other PM outside of wartime or a recession.

The puppet press of the Reform party picked the story authors' press release up:

Financial Post - Justin's the spendiest PM ever! Quote:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began to increase per person spending immediately after his election in October 2015. The Harper Conservatives originally planned for per person spending to reach $7,342 in 2015 but the Trudeau Liberals cranked up spending to $7,557. Put differently, the Trudeau Liberals increased per person spending in 2015 by almost three-per-cent more than the previous Harper government had planned.

Spending was further increased in 2016 and the federal government plans to spend $8,337 in the current fiscal year (2017–18). This is only $38 shy of the all-time-high level of per person spending recorded in 2009–10 by the Harper Conservative government ($8,375). The peak spending under the Harper government, however, was done during a significant global recession.

Conversely, the near-peak spending planned by the Trudeau government is done without any recession or large-scale military conflict, which are the two main characteristics of almost every other previous spike in federal spending.
Which is a lie, since Canada's qoq GDP was negative in Q1 & Q2 2015 (that's 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth right before Trudeau was elected, which is a recession), plus borderline in Q4 2015, and negative again in Q2 2016.

You might remember there were these little things called an oil price collapse and the Fort McMurray fire. You might also remember Trudeau explicitly arguing for stimulus spending to counteract these two negative shocks to the economy.

The Fraser Institute doesn't remember any of that.

No, actually, they do, but mentioning any of that doesn't provide the next Conservative leader with a talking point.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to let you know ahead of time that the new Conservative Party leader will be hitting the ground running, accusing Trudeau of "wwharrr spending more money than any PM before him!"
Which should be okay, since he gets to finance his spending at 1.458%.

But Conservatives don't know anything about finance. Even the study authors, one of whom supposedly has an MBA (from Windsor even!).

This may be a few years old, sorry


Siri finds out that Steve Jobs died:



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Is this why Sandstorm Gold is dropping?


So Sandstorm's lost a third of its value since the story got out that it was buying Mariana.

Let's see if I understand this.

Mariana owns 30% of the Hot Maden project in Turkey, and Sandstorm is putting many eggs into one basket by taking Mariana's 30% in a buyout and then trying to convert that into a stream.

OK, so number one, if Sandstorm only wants a stream and not mine ownership, then I'd think they should have worked out the stream ahead of time. Otherwise, they're counting on their Maden partner's good nature to seal this deal after buyout. Otherwise, they'll be building a mine, which they don't have any expertise at, as the Colossus affair demonstrated. They're giving up stream negotiating power by buying into this project.

But hey, maybe their partners are good guys? Well, let's see what Google tells me.

Apparently, their partners are Lidya Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.?

They're a subsidiary of Çalık Holding A.S.?

Çalık Holding's CEO from 2007 to 2013 was Erdoğan's son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, now Turkey's Minister for Energy and Natural Resources? Apparently Wikileaks asserts they published a bunch of his private emails, alleging that he was helping smuggle Islamic State oil into Turkey? But Turks can't read about this because Erdoğan has banned the media from reporting any of it, which isn't hard since he and Albayrak have bought much of the media anyway, via Çalık? And by the way, Berat's brother is still on the Board at Çalık?

As a junior mining investor, at this point I give up. I don't bother trying to corroborate or disprove any of this stuff. I don't care whether the Islamic State stuff is true or the other allegations about Albayrak are true: I only care that Mariana's majority partner was once run by the son-in-law of the president of a third-world country aligned with Russia. Given typical third-world political economy, that alone is enough to give this deal the cooties.

I liked this movie better the first time I saw it, when it was called Simandou.

And so Sandstorm is buying 30% of a mining project in Turkey, thinking that these partners, i.e. possibly the family of president Erdoğan, are going to happily cut them a fair streaming deal. And that they'll actually get paid for the life of the deal.

I don't own Sandstorm now, and I guarantee you I won't after reading this.

Nolan, if you wise up and cancel this offer, which you should if you love your company and its future, then please send me $50,000 for my consulting contribution. It's money well earned, it'll save you millions personally, and your shareholders even more if you're into that sort of thing. You can get in touch with me thru Daniela Cambone.

It's funny that just two weeks ago a guy who should know something about third world governments and mining was calling Sandstorm cheap at $3.40 and the Mariana deal a good one.