Shipwrecked by OMEX
A while back I highlighted the company Odyssey Marine Exploration (OMEX). I took a small position in the company at that time. I was looking at their TV show "Treasure Quest" to be the perfect catalyst for a move up if/when they found another great site similar to the Black Swan project. We are now past the half way point of the series.
I have been disappointed with the company thus far. While I feel they are the best in the business at what they do, the material presented in their series has been mostly of historical value. I have yet to see any real possibilities for a major recovery site. They also just released their 10-k and I found nothing in it that was impressive. So far this one has been a dud.
I will continue to hold my position in OMEX, as I still admire the company and have some hopes for a big find. At this point I would say the odds are against that happening in 2009. As I wrote when I covered this stock before, it is like a lottery ticket. At this point color me unimpressed.
Full Disclosure: I own OMEX stock
Number Six With a Bullet
Gold ETF's continue their assault on gold tonnage and today it was reported that the largest fund, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) took over the number 6 spot in the world for gold holdings, displacing Switzerland’s central bank:
Biggest Gold ETF at Record, Surpassing Swiss Holdings
March 13 (Bloomberg) -- SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, expanded to a record, overtaking Switzerland’s central bank holdings as the world’s sixth-largest stockpile.
The fund now holds 1,041.53 metric tons, equal to more than five months of global mine production, data on the company’s Web site show. Switzerland’s gold reserves stood at 1,040.2 tons in December, according to the producer-funded World Gold Council.
Exchange-traded products linked to commodities attracted a record $8.7 billion in February, Barclays Capital said in a report yesterday. Gold and energy led $14.3 billion of inflows in the first two months of the year, the bank said.
“What’s been interesting is throughout the past year, when there’s a fall in prices, we’ve still seen people putting more into the ETFs,” Moore at RBS said. “As more of these gold ETFs are launched,” holdings “are likely to increase. They’re now part of supply and demand.”
The Obama administration soon will push Congress for legislation that allows the International Monetary Fund to “mobilize” its stockpile of gold to boost its funds, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said March 11.
Those are impressive numbers.
My take home point is that while gold is practically every trader and banks favorite short right now, the buyers of these funds are not playing games. The steady addition of bullion in increasing and decreasing markets has been impressive. This gold in not "in play" in my opinion subject to price swings and technical factors. I would advise the IMF to sell a bunch of their gold and depress the price so that the bullion can be purchased by the ETF's. Hey, it worked out so well for England!
And another thing to consider: if the GLD and others end up controlling enough gold the world central banks will no doubt try to do something about it. That is going to be an interesting day guaranteed.
Full Disclosure: No position in GLD or any gold ETF; I own gold mining stocks
No Idea What This Means
A little while back I had written that foreclosure numbers would show declines as the myriad of moratoriums and other programs kept proceedings from getting started until April. I had expected the "decrease" to be highly touted by the press. So what is this?:
Foreclosure Surge in Feb. is “Surprising,” RealtyTrac Says
Foreclosures nationwide surged 6 percent from January levels, and were up 30 percent from year-ago, according to data released Thursday morning by RealtyTrac, which provides nationwide listings of properties in foreclosure and owned by banks.
The company’s data showed that foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 290,631 U.S. properties during the month, compared to 274,399 one month earlier.
The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
I have no idea other than people want to leave the homes and do not want to participate in any plans to make them debt slaves forever. Good for them.
China's Treasury Stash
Today the Chinese finance Premier Wen Jiabao said he was "worried" about his country's US debt holdings. Welcome to the party pal! Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism had a great article covering this, and details that the US may have never defaulted on it's debt, but we sure have renegotiated terms! I will not excerpt because you really should read the whole thing.
This exercise by China got me thinking about a post I had written a while ago. I dug it up and you can see it here, under the header "Revenge of the Communists".
In summary of China's options regarding their treasury stash:
Option1: Nuclear Option
China stops buying US debt causing a run on the dollar, and a major meltdown in US markets. A new smarter communism has crushed the US economy and exacts revenge for the loss in the 1980's.
Option2: Trading Time
Faced with the above mentioned nuclear option, the US signs a treaty of non aggression with China, and Taiwan is left to its own devices under a Chinese invasion. The US will sell out Taiwan in the face of such a catastrophe.
I am still of the same opinion.
Friday Night Entertainment
Sorry, no puzzle tonight as I am a bit pressed for time. I know you are all very sad there will be no strings of annoying letters trying to tell you something! If you really need a molecular biology fix, then check out the tale of restriction enzymes. These are my "tools" to splice and dice DNA into whatever forms I need.
Here is a perfect example of the biological phenomenon of "advantageous mimicry":
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
the day I feared would happen has finally happened. I got a request for Beatles music! And now I must reveal my unabashed hatred for all things Beatles.
I hate their music. It stinks. What's more galling is the gushing and awe given to that band by musicians and music writers alike. I remember an early interview given by Ozzy Osbourne in which he credited the Beatles with forming Black Sabbath's sound. COME ON! Sabbath plays entirely different chords, speed changes and had bluesy undertones. I call baloney. But all artists must say the Beatles were the greatest like it is some inalienable rule of nature. Safe to say no Beatles tonight. Pour forth the hate comments!
P.S. John Lennon had the only talent in the band! HA!
Now on to the tunes, if anyone is still reading.
For some real genius of rock I go with the old standby. On the Ozzy/Randy album Tribute (oh no not again GYSC!!!) they play a live show of the Sabbath classic Children of the Grave. When in the hands of the great Randy Rhoads this song gets new life as the very movement of the song takes a new shape through his great guitar work. Pay particular attention to the 3:10 time mark on as the solo almost feels alive with energy:
REO Speedwagon is always a good listen. Here is a live version of "Take it on the Run:
Another old one, remember Styx and "Mr. Roboto"?:
I had this on over a year ago, but I was thinking of it tonight. Please enjoy the very pretty "Libera Me" from the soundtrack of Interview with the Vampire:
Last one for the night. Found a rough and raw live performance of Metallica playing "Enter Sandman":
Have a good night.