Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Latest From Prof. Fekete

  • The Supply of Oxen at the IMF
    Some years ago I penned a paper with the title “The Supply of Oxen at the Fed”. I am indebted to Alan Greenspan for a great line in one of his speeches, entitled The History of Money, from where I borrowed my title. He wrote: “If fiat money falters, we may have to go back to oxen as our medium of exchange. In that event, I trust, the Federal Reserve will have an adequate inventory of oxen.” My article was designed to reassure Mr. Greenspan that the supply of oxen at the Fed was very secure indeed, in no small measure due to his stewardship.
  • Has Barrick Been Barricked by the U.S.?
    According to an announcement dated September 8, 2009, Barrick is going to throw into the dustbin its long-standing hedge policy, and pay for buying back its hedge-book by diluting the value of its common stocks through issuing more than 81 million new shares, or about 10 percent of the outstanding. The so-called hedges of Barrick have been thoroughly discredited and will soon be history. So-called, because the long-term forward sales contracts in question that the parvenu gold miner has invented and flaunted are not proper hedges and never have been. They are a fraud. They are naked short positions pretending to be balanced by gold ore reserves in the moon (or on this earth which, for hedging purposes, is practically the same thing). Part of the newsworthy story, of course, is the fact that the hedge book of Barrick has been increasingly under water for some nine years now, threatening the unfriendly giant with drowning.