Take These Facts With A Pinch Of Salt (Water)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Mind you if you do take these facts with a pinch of salt water you’ll be richer than you were.

Not by much though, but every little helps these days.

But enough of this.

Enjoy the facts.

.

facts 04

.

1 liter of saltwater contains

13 billionths of a gram of gold

gold dust

.

.

The US military has a secret,

nearly silent type of Velcro, which

reduces the ripping noise by over 95%.

BZ0069-11CM-USMC-Force-Recon-Swift-Silent-Deadly-Velcro-Patch-USMC-Velcro-Patch-Skull-Wings

.

.

The oldest recipe for beer is 4,000 years old.

It was first made by the Sumerians

Sumerian beer

.

.

The United States has by far the

most expensive college tuition

out of any developed nation

college_debt

.

.

Spain has two enclaves (territories) in Africa.

They are Melilla and Ceuta.

Spanish enclaves in Africa

.

.

With over 10,000 beaches you could visit

a new beach every single day in Australia

for the next 30 years

kangaroo-on-the-beach-lucky-bay-esperance-western-australia

.

.

There are 200 corpses of

deceased climbers on Mount Everest.

They serve as waypoints for climbers

deceased climbers on Mount Everest

.

.

There were actually two Boston Tea Parties

with the one you know about being

on December 16, 1773.

The Bostonians repeated it, however,

several months later on March 7, 1774

boston-tea-party-painting-currier

.

.

Wellington, New Zealand, is the

southern most capital city on Earth

new_zealand_map

.

.

The first documented use of toilet paper

dates back to 6th century China.

toilet paper

.

.

The English Dennis the Menace

and the American Dennis the Menace

were thought up by completely independent authors

and published on the same day – March 12, 1951.

UK and US Dennis the Menaces

.

.

In October of 1998 Terrence Dickson of Pennsylvania

was trying to exit the house he was robbing.

He managed to get stuck in the garage

and for 8 days he lived off of Pepsi and dog food.

He then successfully sued for over half a million dollars.

stuck under garage door

.

================================

.

Fasab’s Fascinating Festive Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Hi, and welcome to fasab’s fascinating festive facts.

Everything on my blog this week is in Christmas mode including these tidbits of information that you may be able to work into the conversation if you are at a party or two this week.

Enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas.

.

festive facts

.

The traditional three colors of Christmas

are green, red, and gold.

Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth;

red symbolizes the blood of Christ,

and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

traditional three colors of Christmas

.

.

The first printed reference to a

Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.

Christmas_Tree

.

.

Apparently seven out of ten British dogs

get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

dogs get Christmas gifts

.

.

A lot of people don’t like it,

but the abbreviation of ‘Xmas’ for

Christmas is not irreligious.

The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi,

which is identical to our X.

Xmas was originally an ecclesiastical abbreviation

that was used in tables and charts.

Xmas for Christmas

.

.

Electric Christmas lights

were first used in 1854.

edison-ad-christmas-lights1

.

.

Some people who were born on December 25

feel hard done by because they have to

make do with one present instead of two

and share their big day celebrations with everybody else.

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island,

recognized the problem. When he died on December 4, 1894,

he willed his November 13 birthday to a friend

who disliked her own Christmas birthday

Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island

.

.

Franklin Pierce was the first president to

decorate an official White House Christmas tree.

white-house-christmas-tree

.

.

Silent Night was written in 1818,

by Austrian priest Joseph Mohr.

He was told the day before Christmas

that the church organ was broken

and would not be repaired in time for Christmas Eve.

.

.

Artificial Christmas trees

have outsold real ones since 1991.

Artificial Christmas tree

.

.

In the British armed forces it is traditional

that officers wait on the other ranks

and serve them their Christmas dinner.

This dates back to a custom from the Middle Ages.

British armed forces Christmas dinner

.

.

Long before mistletoe became a saucy ‘kiss encourager’,

it was considered to have magic powers.

It was said to have the ability to heal

wounds and increase fertility.

Celts hung mistletoe in their homes

in order to bring themselves good luck

and ward off evil spirits.

mistletoe

.

.

Each year there are approximately 20,000

“rent-a-Santas” across the United States.

“Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training

on how to maintain a jolly attitude

under pressure from the public.

They also receive practical advice,

such as not accepting money from parents

while children are looking and

avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

rent-a-Santa

.

.

In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,

your age is measured not in years

but in how many Christmases you’ve lived through;

you’re not 20, you’re twenti krismas.

Rather less charmingly,

the Japanese expression to describe

single women over 25 years old is

kurisumasu keiki – left-over Christmas cake.

Port_Moresby__Papua_New_Guinea

.

.

Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names,

such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid.

However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas,

so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh

are likely not male, but female –  or castrati.  

(I wonder if that is the origin of hanging balls

on a Christmas tree comes from?)

Santa’s reindeer

.

.

The popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells”

was actually written for Thanksgiving.

The song was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont,

and was originally called “One Horse Open Sleigh”.

.

.

=======================================

.

 

Middle Of The Month, Start Of The Week – Call It What You Like – It’s A Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Middle of the month, start of the week – call it what you like….

It’s a quiz!

A few difficult ones this week and one of two easy as well.

And if you get stuck the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

.

quiz 09

.

Q.  1:  What is the sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel? (And don’t forget the double zero!)

.

.

Q.  2:  What is the only borough of New York City that is not an island (or part of an island)?

.

.

Q.  3:  From famous movies like ‘Goldfinger’ it is well known that the United States government keeps its supply of gold at Fort Knox, but where does it keep its supply of silver?

.

.

Q.  4:  What does the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stand for?

.

.

Q.  5:  Which state of the United States of America is bordered by more states than any other?

.

.

Q.  6:  What is the white part of your fingernail is called?

.

.

Q.  7:  What is the oldest still active Parliament in the world?

.

.

Q.  8:  On a standard traffic light, what color is on the bottom?

.

.

Q.  9:  In the epic movie ‘Gone With The Wind’, what is the name of the genteel family that owns the ‘Twelve Oaks’ plantation?

.

.

Q. 10:  What is the name of the highest waterfall  in the world and in which country can it be found. (A point for each correct answer.)

.

.

Q. 11:  In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?

.

.

Q. 12:  What is the only European capital city not situated on a river?

.

.

Q. 13:  Which Disney movie released in 1942 was about a little fawn?

.

.

Q. 14:  With a recorded temperature of about 134 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 57 degrees Celsius what part of the United States holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’?  (A point for the name of the place and the state in which it is located.)

.

.

Q. 15:  Without looking at your phone, what two numbers on the dial don’t have letters by them?

.

.

Q. 16:  Which 2007 movie, the third in a series, was the most expensive Hollywood film ever made? (A bonus point if you know the approximate cost.)

.

.

Q. 17:  Which country in the world generates the most electricity from hydroelectric power? (A point for the name of the country and a bonus point for the approximate percentage of electricity generated in this way.)

.

.

Q. 18:  In what 1999 movie did Sean Connery star alongside Mrs Douglas?

.

.

Q. 19:  How many holes does a Chinese checkerboard have?

            a)  64           b)  81            c)  121            d)  144

.

.

Q. 20:  About whom did Roberta Flack write the well known song “Killing Me Softly”?

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

ANSWERS

.

Q.  1:  What is the sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel? (And don’t forget the double zero!)

A.  1:  The sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666 and of course the double zero makes no difference at all to the total.

.

.

Q.  2:  What is the only borough of New York City that is not an island (or part of an island)?

A.  2:  The only borough of New York City that isn’t an island (or part of an island) is the Bronx.

.

.

Q.  3:  From famous movies like ‘Goldfinger’ it is well known that the United States government keeps its supply of gold at Fort Knox, but where does it keep its supply of silver?

A.  3:  The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY.

.

.

Q.  4:  What does the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stand for?

A.  4:  The ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stands for ‘Day’, in other words, “Day-Day”

.

.

Q.  5:  Which state of the United States of America is bordered by more states than any other?

A.  5:  Tennessee is bordered by more states than any other, by eight states, which are Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

.

.

Q.  6:  What is the white part of your fingernail is called?

A.  6:  The white part of your fingernail is called the ‘lunula’.

.

.

Q.  7:  What is the oldest still active Parliament in the world?

A.  7:  The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still active parliament in the world. It was established in 930.

.

.

Q.  8:  On a standard traffic light, what color is on the bottom?

A.  8:  Green.

.

.

Q.  9:  In the epic movie ‘Gone With The Wind’, what is the name of the genteel family that owns the ‘Twelve Oaks’ plantation?

A.  9:  They are the Wilkes family, Leslie Howard starring as ‘Ashley Wilkes’.

.

.

Q. 10:  What is the name of the highest waterfall  in the world and in which country can it be found. (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 10:  The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela. It is so high that water will sometimes evaporate before hitting the ground.

.

.

Q. 11:  In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?

A. 11:  In her right hand.

.

.

Q. 12:  What is the only European capital city not situated on a river?

A. 12:  The Spanish capital Madrid is the only European capital city not situated on a river.

.

.

Q. 13:  Which Disney movie released in 1942 was about a little fawn?

A. 13:  Bambi.

.

.

Q. 14:  With a recorded temperature of about 134 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 57 degrees Celsius what part of the United States holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’?  (A point for the name of the place and the state in which it is located.)

A. 14:  Death Valley in California holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’.

.

.

Q. 15:  Without looking at your phone, what two numbers on the dial don’t have letters by them?

A. 15:  1 and 0. (Did you look?)

.

.

Q. 16:  Which 2007 movie, the third in a series, was the most expensive Hollywood film ever made? (A bonus point if you know the approximate cost.)

A. 16:  Costing an estimated $300 million, it was ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean, At The World’s End’.

.

.

Q. 17:  Which country in the world generates the most electricity from hydroelectric power? (A point for the name of the country and a bonus point for the approximate percentage of electricity generated in this way.)

A. 17:  Norway gets 98-99% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, more than any other country.

.

.

Q. 18:  In what 1999 movie did Sean Connery star alongside Mrs Douglas?

A. 18:  The movie was ‘Entrapment’, Mrs Douglas is better known as Catherina Zeta-Jones.

.

.

Q. 19:  How many holes does a Chinese checkerboard have?

            a)  64           b)  81            c)  121            d)  144

A. 19:  Answer c), a Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes.

.

.

Q. 20:  About whom did Roberta Flack write the well known song “Killing Me Softly”?

A. 20:  Roberta Flack wrote “Killing Me Softly” about singer Don McLean.

.

.

==================================

.

Fasab’s Feast Of Festive Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

You probably thought by now that you knew all there was to know about Christmas.

But there might be a few things in here that may be new to you.

Enjoy.

.

.

Each year more than 3 billion

Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

Christmas Cards

.

.

The actual date of the birth of Jesus is not known

and for hundreds of years was not celebrated by Christians.

The decision to use December 25 was made in 350AD by pope Julius I

and was chosen because it was the same date used in pagan festivals

such as Saturnalia (December 17-December 23),

the Kalends (January 1 -5, the precursor to the Twelve Days of Christmas),

and Deus Sol Invictus or Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun (December 25).

Christmas-a-Pagan-Ritual .

.

According to the Guinness world records,

the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir

that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

tall Christmas tree .

.

The word ‘Mistletoe’ actually means “little dung twig”

because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

Pagans, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains

green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die.

They even thought it had the power to cure infertility

and nervous diseases and to ward off evil.

Even today a hanging sprig is a fertility or virility symbol

and kissing under the Mistletoe at Christmas or even standing under it

is a signal that the person is sexually available – so be very careful!

Mistletoe_Kiss_by_bittenhard .

.

Although Santa Claus may have been based on a fourth-century bishop from Patara,

in the modern-day country of Turkey, St. Nikolas of Myra,

the modern day Santa Claus that we know first appeared as a recognizable entity

was in a newspaper ad for toys and “gift books” in the mid 19th century.

Originally Santa wore Green colored robes, green signifying the coming spring,

but another ad, this time from the Coco Cola company,

used their own color scheme of red and white which has become the accepted color today.

Green Santa .

.

It is only in very recent times that Christmas has become a “family” holiday.

Even in the late 1800’s December 25 was not a legal holiday in New England,

so stores were open, business were open, and children were expected to attend school.

Christmas was originally celebrated as an adult form of “trick or treat,”

with the “treat” consisting of an alcoholic beverage and

the threatened “trick” consisting of bodily harm or destruction of property.

drunk_christmas

.

.

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was originally a threat.

The ever-popular song was originally sung, loudly and repeatedly,

by crowds of rowdy, lower-class servants demanding booze from their masters… or else. 

(I.e. “We won’t go until we get some!”)

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

.

.

Victorian intellectuals invented the tradition of the Christmas tree

as part of a social movement to consciously reform Christmas

away from its tradition of raucous drinking.

Free-Wallpaper-Christmas-Tree

.

.

Many people mistakenly believe that the character ‘Scrooge’

from Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’,

celebrates Christmas at the home of his clerk Bob Cratchit.

However, in Victorian times this would not have been socially acceptable so,

whilst the reformed ‘Scrooge’ does send the Cratchits a turkey,

he celebrates instead with his middle-class nephew.

scrooge with nephew

.

.

All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

It’s not 78 as some people say,

it’s an accumulative song with each verse building on the last.

The first verse has 1 gift, the second verse has 2 + 1 gifts.

The third verse has 3 + 2 etc.

12 days gifts

.

.

The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold.

Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth;

red symbolizes the blood of Christ,

and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

Christmas colors red green and gold

.

.

The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 51 m 35 cm (168 ft 5.65 in) in length

and 21 m 63 cm (70 ft 11.57 in) in width (heel to toe)

and was produced by the volunteer emergency services organization

Pubblica Assistenza Carrara e Sezioni (Italy) in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy, on 5 January 2011.

largest christmas stocking

.

.

Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.

Christmas Tree

.

.

People in many European countries believed that spirits,

both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas.

These spirits eventually evolved into Santa’s elves.

santa's elves

.

.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States.

rent-a-santa

.

.

Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve.

Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes

the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.

misa_de_gallo__copy

.

.

The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner.

The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.”

jane-burton-golden-retriever-puppy-with-christmas-crackers-wearing-paper-hat

.

.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations

because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus.

In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

spider's web in Christmas tree

.

.

In the United States Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday until June 26, 1870.

Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836

and Oklahoma was the last state the declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

happy holidays

.

.

Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday,

the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681

with a penalty of five shillings for each offense.

Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas

as enemies of the Christian religion.

Likewise Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of England

banned Christmas celebrations.

puritan christmas

.

.

Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.

Retail sales

.

.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs,

who called the plant Cuetlaxochitl (“flower which wilts”).

For the Aztecs, the plant’s brilliant red color symbolized purity,

and they often used it medicinally to reduce fever.

Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous, but holly berries are.

poinsettia-flower

.

.

In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the United States.

first christmas postage stamp

.

.

Santa Claus, or St Nicholas, is the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint.

He is, for example, the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating,

butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City.

Artists have portrayed him more often than any other saint except Mary.

pawnbroker-symbol

.

.

There are two competing claims as to which president was

the first to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

Some scholars say President Franklin Pierce did in 1856;

others say President Benjamin Harrison brought in the first tree in 1889.

What isn’t disputed is the fact that President Coolidge started

the White House lighting ceremony in 1923.

White House Christmas lights

.

.

President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist,

banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.

He needn’t have worried though, these days there are in excess of

400 million trees with tens of millions of Christmas trees planted each year.

Christmas tree farm in Iowa.

.

.

It is estimated that the single “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin

is the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.

.

.

===================================

.

Did You Know? Here Are The Facts – Let’s Face It Folks, Your Whole Childhood Was A Lie!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Yes indeed, here are the facts. Another random selection for your enjoyment.

I hope you find them interesting, maybe even educational.  

And, of course, you’ll find out a little later why your whole childhood was a lie.

.

did you know2

.

The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf

are one in sixty-seven million, 1:67,000,000.

Did You Know hole in one

.

.

Another word for hiccups is ‘singultus’.

Did You Know hiccups

.

.

Airports that are at higher altitudes require

a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

Did You Know lukla-airport

.

.

The only poisonous birds in the world are the three species of Pitohui.

The Hooded Pitohui from Papua New Guinea is the most deadly out of the three

Did You Know Hooded Pitohui poisoness bird

.

.

In 1955, only 330 Volkswagen Beetle’s were sold

at a price of $1800 each in the United States.

Did You Know 1955_volkswagen_beetle

.

.

The Chihuahua was named after

the Mexican state where they were discovered

Did You Know Chihuahua

.

.

There are more than 640 muscles in the human body

(and as you get older they all start to hurt!)

Did You Know Chihuahua

.

.

The odds of having quadruplets are 1 in 729,000

(for men the odds are much higher!)

Did You Know Popeye Quadruplets

.

.

The destruction of the Berlin Wall began when private citizens

started to demolish entire sections of the Wall without interference

from government officials on November 9, 1989

Did You Know berlin_wall

.

.

France is known as the perfume capital of the world

Did You Know France perfume

.

.

Since its introduction in February 1935,

more than two hundred million Monopoly board games

have been sold worldwide

Did You Know Obama-Monopoly

.

.

It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL

with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.

Did You Know NFL-football

.

.

When former Texas Governor James Hogg was on his deathbed

he made a special request that a pecan tree

be planted at the head of his grave instead of a tombstone.

The governor passed away on March 2, 1906,

which is Texas Independence Day.

The pecan tree is now the state tree of Texas

Did You Know Jim_hogg

.

.

In 1477, the first diamond engagement ring was given to

Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximillian of Austria

Did You Know 1st diamond engagement ring

.

.

The smallest frog is the “Brazilian baby frog”,

which is smaller than a dime

Did You Know brazilian_gold_frog

.

.

India used to be the richest country in the world

until the British invasion in the early 17th Century

Did You Know Golden_Temple_India

.

.

Marie Curie, the Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered radium,

died of radiation poisoning

Did You Know Marie_Curie_c1920

.

.

The iron disulfide (Pyrite) is considered “fool’s gold”

because it looks very similar to gold.

Did You Know fools_gold

.

.

In 1759, St. James’s Gate Brewery (where they brew Guinness)

was leased for to Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years for 45 pounds per year.

Did You Know St James Gate Guinness Brewery entrance

.

.

A Roadrunner’s top speed is 20 mph

while coyotes can reach speeds of up to 43 mph

– so let’s face it folks, your whole childhood was a lie!

.

.

=======================================

.

 

The Sunday Sermon

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Can’t let the month end without another Sunday Sermon.

This time a little bit of an update on the political and financial scene as I see it.

So far the Obama administration is doing great! (That was a little sarcasm in case anyone didn’t get it.)

Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.

obama-milking-us-economy-dry_cow_

Meanwhile the economic crisis continues. Not that you’d notice. The sham recovery has meant that stocks have been on an upward trend, bonds have been doing well, and confidence is high.

And all because….

….well all because the Fed continues to print money and pour it into these markets.

bernanke printing money cartoon

Or at least it has been.

Then Bernanke made a statement a few days ago to “clarify” the government’s position.

Oh dear me!

He said that the government would… he thought… he hoped anyway…. assuming nothing unforeseen happened…. at least nothing major that they didn’t see coming… that they would ease off their money printing and bond buying… or at least they might… soon or maybe later… but sometime at least… well, it was being discussed…

Needless to say with that dithering statement confidence immediately melted away from the market and the DOW headed down by more than 500 points. In fact investors and brokers seemed to be selling everything, not just stocks and bonds but gold and other commodities too. Not quite panic but definite unease was clear to be seen.

The only reason it didn’t all collapse is that while the underlying message is clear, the Fed’s delay in implementing their tap turn off gives investors a little more time to make a little more money  –  they hope.

The problem with that is knowing when to sell. And that is the trick that has eluded investors from individuals to hedge fund managers since the markets began.

What Obama and Bernanke want is crystal clear. They see the folly in printing money and buying bonds at near $100 billion a month and they know they have to stop it eventually otherwise an even bigger financial catastrophe will result.

Their problem is they want to stop it without causing a massive market correction.

bernanke economic growth

And that, as Samuel Goldwin used to say, can be summed up in two words – im possible!

It will be interesting and perhaps a bit painful to watch what happens next.

.

=================================

.

Friday Wasn’t Quite Black, But It Did Lose A Bit Of Its Shine

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

Gold Eagle Rev

You couldn’t exactly call yesterday “Black Friday” the way financial pundits like to do, but that traditional “safe haven”, gold, certainly lost a lot of its shine.

In fact the price of gold went into freefall, plunging the best part of $100 an ounce in a massive selling spree and ending up below the magic $1500 mark for the first time in a while.

I don’t think anyone is sure yet just what triggered the almost panic sell off on the Comex, but my gut feeling is that, once started, the computer generated trading gizmos used by the big hedge funds etc., kicked in big time and made matters go from bad to worse.

These automatic trading monsters trigger sales when a pre-chosen stop loss figure is reached, one stop loss sell off triggers the next and so on until there is a massive market plunge, as happened yesterday. The same could just as easily happen on the stock market.   

What most ordinary folks don’t realize is that the majority of traders in the financial markets are idiots. They just hang around looking at their screens and then follow whatever they see happening. It’s the herd mentality syndrome. When the big boys start to sell then the little boys follow suit and the whole thing goes from bad to worse, often without anyone really knowing who started it or why it is happening.

That seems to have been the case yesterday as there were no catastrophic economic indicators, like major inflation fears, currency collapses, etc., to trigger a significant movement one way or the other.

Whatever caused it, it is a warning to investors to be cautious. It could be a blip or the harbinger of turbulent times ahead.

Although there are many doom-and-gloom merchants with their “the end is nigh” web sites urging their followers to dump paper money, fiat currencies they call them, and stock up on gold, the truth is that gold has not been a good investment in recent months and years.

By definition the very worst a good investment should do is hold its value in line with inflation – if it doesn’t you are losing value.

For almost two years now gold has been steadily falling in value. Anyone who bought, for example, in August or September 2011 has seen their investment fall significantly in value – down by more than twenty percent in fact. You put $10,000 in, you get less than $7,900 out, and the dealers take their cut both ways.

So will the bear market for gold continue or was Friday just a glitch? Well, if you could answer that one for certain you would be able to make a lot of money.

My feeling, for what it’s worth is that the price will probably fall further. Maybe not so dramatically as yesterday, but it could easily trickle downwards to the $1200 region.

That assumes no dramatic sell offs by bankrupt governments and banks, because that is definitely a last resort measure that they would be most reluctant to take. If or when it does happen it means BIG financial trouble for everyone.

So will gold ever be a good investment again?

Warren Buffet never thought so, but it could be. Possibly a very good investment. But probably not a long term hold. Many western economies are just hanging together at the moment. The amount of debt and insolvency has to mean that at some stage the normal investment vehicles like currencies, stocks, bonds etc., will start to suffer and people will turn back to “safe havens” like gold.

IF you buy at the right time, and remember that you need to get rid of it and fast when the cycle turns again, you could do very well. But I wouldn’t jump in and buy it just yet.

Take it away Shirley….

.

.

=====================================================

.