Sunday, August 14, 2016

CoinWeek August 17-23, 2009

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

What’s New on CoinLink ……..

ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd announced Heritage Auction Galleries will be the official auctioneer for the two 2010 American Numismatic Association shows, the Boston World’s Fair of Money® and the Fort Worth National Money Show™.

On July 30, Stack’s held its Treasures from the S.S. New York sale in Beverly Hills, California, where we sold over $6.5 million worth of U.S., Ancient, and World coins, U.S. and World paper money, and items recovered from the wreck of the S.S. New York.

The United States Mint will open sales for rolls of James K. Polk Presidential $1 Coins on August 20, 2009.

A Newly Found 1792 Washington Pattern Cent to be Offered for Sale by Heritage as part of their Long Beach Auction next month. The prior provenance is unknown, but it is from an old-time numismatic holding and has been off the market for decades, and is a new specimen to the current numismatic generation.

The Perth Mint has unveiled it’s 2010 Australian Bullion Coin Program. These pure gold and silver coins are actives sought after by both investors and collectors.

Wayne Sayles discusses a recent article by Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE), an advocacy group for archaeologists and Nationalists. But, did they tell the whole story? Well, not according to Sayles.

Bowers and Merena Auctions conducted the official American Numismatic Association Auction last week at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Teletrade Certified Coin & Currency Auctions, served as the official online auctioneer for the show Together they realized a total in excess of $15 million.

The incredible Quartermaster Collection, containing many of Australia’s most valuable and highest quality gold coins, was sold on 4th of June 2009. Featuring many of Australia’s rarest coins, the 344 lot auction realized $10,269,084 Australian Dollars ( or $8.397 Million US ).

Paul Montgomery is the new President of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) for the 2009 – 2011 term. His selection was made by the newly-elected PNG Board of Directors at a meeting in Los Angeles on August 3, 2009.

Bowers and Merena Auctions returns to Baltimore, Md., for the Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo scheduled for November 10-14, 2009. The auction will feature the collection of U.S. and world coins assembled by one of America’s most renowned numismatic collectors, Dr. Alfred R. Globus.

Continuing with News across the web, we have a new posting of – Coin News Daily – providing short excerpts and links to other news across the web that we have found, and which you may find of interest. We also provide Daily Updates on Precious Metals in The Bullion Report, with Charts, Video Headlines and News.

You can access ALL the News Here

CoinWeek – August 10-16, 2009

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

What’s New on CoinLink ……..

Legend Numismatics presents their take on the 2009 Los Angeles ANA Coin Show in Legend’s Market Report

Bowers and Merena Auctions returns to Baltimore, Md., for the Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo scheduled for November 10-14, 2009. The auction will feature the collection of U.S. and world coins assembled by one of America’s most renowned numismatic collectors, Dr. Alfred R. Globus.

The ANA Coin Shows Are Not What They Used To Be – A Commentary by Laura Sperber on the location of this years World’s fair on Money

Veteran dealers John N. Rowe III of Dallas, Texas and Harlan White of San Diego, California each received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) during an awards ceremony in Los Angeles

The United States Mint announced it is working with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to develop a traveling numismatic exhibition.

Starting September 1, 2009, NGC will begin encapsulating coins with detrimental surface conditions using details grades and descriptions of their impairments.

The Kern-Carter 1880 Coiled Hair Stella, a gorgeous example of the timeless design of George Morgan, realized $546,250 at Heritage Auction Galleries’ July 31-Aug.2 Los Angeles U.S. Coin Auction, leading the almost $25 million event.

For five days starting on August 5th, coin collectors will gather in LA for Largest Coin Show of the Year, The American Numismatic Association’s annual World’s Fair of Money

Doug Winter reviews the The Pre-ANA Show and the Heritage Los Angeles Platinum Night Sale

United States Mint will begin accepting orders for two-roll sets of one-cent coins bearing the third new reverse design in the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coin Program at noon Eastern Time (ET) on August 13, 2009.

In a stunning rebuke to the US Mint and the Treasury Department, U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis ruled that the government improperly seized 10 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles. The case which has been in litigation since, revolves around one of the most fabled coins in all of US Numismatics.

Tim Shuck has added a new coin profiles in the US Type Coins Coin Guide Section of Coinlink as follows:

  • Platinum Eagle Bullion, 1997-Present

Continuing with News across the web, we have a new posting of – – providing short excerpts and links to other news across the web that we have found, and which you may find of interest. We also provide Daily Updates on Precious Metals in The Bullion Report, with Charts, Video Headlines and News.

You can access ALL the News Here

Ron Paul: Fed’s autonomy is coming to an end

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Fed’s Interesting Week

By U.S. Rep. Ron Paul

It has been an interesting week indeed for the Federal Reserve.

First it was announced that President Obama intends to reappoint Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term in January, signaling a vote of confidence in him.

Bernanke seems to be popular with the administration and with Wall Street, and with good reason. His lending policies have left big banks flush with newly created cash that covers up old mistakes and allows for new ones. By buying up mountains of Treasury debt he has also enabled spending to soar to ridiculous levels that should startle any responsible economist, and scare any American concerned about the value of the dollar.

However, these highly sensitive decisions about our money are not made by economists — they are made by politicians. Bernanke, like most of his predecessors, is the politician’s best friend. But there is no reason to believe that any other central planner would behave any differently, considering the immense political pressure on the Fed.

Fed policies have been as bad for the economy as they are good for politicians and bankers, as the recently released numbers on the debt and deficit demonstrate. For the first time since World War II the annual budget deficit is projected to be over 11 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. It is also projected that by 2019 the national debt will be 68 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Our path, if unchanged, is completely untenable.

The administration claims that it inherited a dire situation from the last administration, which is absolutely true. But that hasn’t stopped them from accepting all the policies and premises that got us here, and accelerating those policies to rapidly make a bad situation much worse.

The bailouts started with the last administration. They have gotten bigger with this one.

The last administration gave us expanded government involvement in healthcare with a new prescription drug benefit. This administration gave us a renewal and expansion of SCHIP, and now the current healthcare takeover attempts. We can afford none of this, but shady monetary policy allows Washington to continue along its merry way, aggravating all our economic problems.

Not everyone in government finds it acceptable that the Fed wields so much power and privilege in secrecy.

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Germany’s MMNews interviews GATA Chairman Murphy

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

3:55p ET Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Lars Schall of the German financial news Internet site MMNews has just posted a comprehensive interview with GATA Chairman Bill Murphy. It’s in English, it’s headlined “Gold Manipulation: They Are About to Hit the Wall,” and you can find it here:…

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History Lesson: September Is Best Month for Gold

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Frank Holmes submits:

We’re heading into September tomorrow, so it’s a good time to revisit the historic seasonality of gold and gold stocks.

Over the past four decades, September has been the best time for gold in terms of its month-over-month price appreciation. You can see this on the chart below — in a typical year, the price of gold in September rises 2.5 percent above its August price.

The gold price has risen in 16 of the 20 Septembers since 1989, by far the best success ratio of any month of the year.

What accounts for this predictable trend?

September kicks off several of the planet’s most potent gold-demand drivers:

  • The post-monsoon wedding season in India, and Diwali, one of that country’s most important festivals;
  • Restocking by jewelry makers in advance of the Christmas shopping season in the United States;
  • The holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim world, whose end in late September is marked by a period of celebration and gift-giving;
  • And in China, the week-long National Day celebration starting October 1 and the run-up to the Chinese New Year in early 2010.

This could be a challenging September in India, the world’s largest gold consumer. The economic slowdown and gold prices near record highs drove jewelry demand down 31 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2008.

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Gold Bullion Or Gold Coins

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Novice investors should be enlightened that effective precious metals investing means thorough evaluation of his or her own, specific, individual financial needs and expectations. Once those long-term and short-term needs are objectively identified, then investors can investigate various choices, like choosing gold bullion or gold coins.

A minimal amount of research will uncover that gold coins are actually a form of bullion, along with bullion bars. Bullion has no numismatic value, so bullion prices are normally just above the current gold spot price, which is the cost of one Troy ounce of pure gold. Bullion bars are a bit more affordable than bullion coins though, due to their more simplistic minting. Bullion coins are exponentially more affordable than rare coins, and although they have no numismatic value (which generally appreciates over time), they still have long-term benefits, as U.S. government approved IRA contributions. So when investors consider a question like gold bullion or gold coins, they might be better served to consider how to diversify between gold bullion and gold coins.

The U.S. government approves 24-Karat bullion bars with reputable names like Engelhard, PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse, and Johnson Matthey. 22-Karat, American Eagle bullion coins are the only acceptable 22-Karat coins for gold-backed IRA’s, along with the following 24-Karat coins;


Investors with questions about choosing gold bullion or gold coins, are encouraged to contact one of our friendly specialists, who offer world-class consultation on bullion bars and coins, as well as institutional discounts on both types of bullion.

Danny Burns

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Gold Rush Bars to Go on Display

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Numismatic NewsTwo huge California Gold Rush era assayers’ ingots, recovered from the fabled SS Central America and with a combined weight of more than 100 pounds of gold, will be on display at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo Sept. 10-12 at the Long Beach, Calif., Convention Center."The display will feature a Kellogg & Humbert gold bar that weighs 662.28 ounces and a Justh &

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3 Bank Failures on August 28 – 2009 Total Reaches 84

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The FDIC took over the following failed banks over the weekend of August 28, 2009, bringing the year’s total to 84.

Affinity Bank, Ventura, CA
Mainstreet Bank, Forest Lake, MN
Bradford Bank, Baltimore, MD

Number of Failures broken down by month:

January – 6
February – 10
March – 5
April – 8
May – 7
June – 9
July – 24
August – 15

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60 Minutes: FINANCIAL WMDs — The Bet That Blew Up Wall Street

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Steve Kroft On Credit Default Swaps And Their Central Role In The Unfolding Economic Crisis

Anyone with more than a casual interest in why their 401(k) has tanked
over the past year knows that it’s because of the global credit crisis.
It was triggered by the collapse of the housing market in the United
States and magnified worldwide by the sale of complicated investments
that Warren Buffett once labeled financial weapons of mass destruction.

They are called credit derivatives or credit default swaps.

As correspondent Steve Kroft first reported last fall, they
are essentially side bets on the performance of the U.S. mortgage
markets and some of the biggest financial institutions in the world – a
form of legalized gambling that allows you to wager on financial
outcomes without ever having to actually buy the stocks and bonds and

It would have been illegal during most of the 20th century under
the gaming laws, but in 2000, Congress gave Wall Street an exemption
and it has turned out to be a very bad idea.

While Congress and the rest of the country scratched their heads
trying to figure out how we got into this mess, 60 Minutes decided to
go to Frank Partnoy, a law professor at the University of San Diego,
who has written a couple of books on the subject.

Ask to explain what a derivative is, Partnoy says, “A derivative is
a financial instrument whose value is based on something else. It’s
basically a side bet.”

Think of it for a moment as a football game. Every week, the New
York Giants take the field with hopes of getting back to the Super
Bowl. If they do, they will get more money and glory for the team and
its owners. They have a direct investment in the game. But the people
in the stands may also have a financial stake in the ouctome, in the
form of a bet with a friend or a bookie.

“We could call that a derivative. It’s a side bet. We don’t own the
teams. But we have a bet based on the outcome. And a lot of derivatives
are bets based on the outcome of games of a sort. Not football games,
but games in the markets,” Partnoy explains.

Partnoy says the bet was whether interest rates were going to go up
or down. “And the new bet that arose over the last several years is a
bet based on whether people will default on their mortgages.”

And that was the bet that blew up Wall Street. The TNT was the
collapse of the housing market and the failure of complicated mortgage
securities that the big investment houses created and sold around the

But the rocket fuel was the trillions of dollars in side bets on
those mortgage securities, called “credit default swaps.” They were
essentially private insurance contracts that paid off if the investment
went bad, but you didn’t have to actually own the investment to collect
on the insurance.

When 60 Minutes last spoke with Eric Dinallo, he was insurance
superintendent for the state of New York. He says credit default swaps
were totally unregulated and the big banks and investment houses that
sold them didn’t have to set aside any money to cover potential losses
and pay off their bets.

“As the market began to seize up and as the market for the
underlying obligations began to perform poorly, everybody wanted to get
paid, had a right to get paid on those credit default swaps. And there
was no ‘there’ there. There was no money behind the commitments. And
people came up short. And so that’s to a large extent what happened to
Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and the holding company of AIG,” he

In other words, three of the nation’s largest financial
institutions had made more bad bets than they could afford to pay off.
Bear Stearns was sold to J.P. Morgan for pennies on the dollar, Lehman
Brothers was allowed to go belly up, and AIG, considered too big to let
fail, is on life support thanks to a $180 billion investment by U.S.

“It’s legalized gambling. It was illegal gambling. And we made it
legal gambling…with absolutely no regulatory controls. Zero, as far as
I can tell,” Dinallo says.

“I mean it sounds a little like a bookie operation,” Kroft comments.

“Yes, and it used to be illegal. It was very illegal 100 years ago,” Dinallo says
In the early part of the 20th century, the streets of New York and
other large cities were lined with gaming establishments called “bucket
shops,” where people could place wagers on whether the price of stocks
would go up or down without actually buying them. This unfettered
speculation contributed to the panic and stock market crash of 1907,
and state laws all over the country were enacted to ban them.

“Big headlines, huge type. This is the front page of the New York
Times,” Dinallo explains, holding up a headline that reads “No bucket
shops for new law to hit.”

“So they’d already closed up ’cause the law was coming. Here’s a
picture of one of them. And they were like parlors. See,” Dinallo says.
“Betting parlors. It was a felony. Well, it was a felony when a law
came into effect because it had brought down the market in 1907. And
they said, ‘We’re not gonna let this happen again.’ And then 100 years
later in 2000, we rolled them all back.”

The vehicle for doing this was an obscure but critical piece of
federal legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of
2000. And the bill was a big favorite of the financial industry it
would eventually help destroy.

It not only removed derivatives and credit default swaps from the
purview of federal oversight, on page 262 of the legislation, Congress
pre-empted the states from enforcing existing gambling and bucket shop
laws against Wall Street.

“It makes it sound like they knew it was illegal,” Kroft remarks.

“I would agree,” Dinallo says. “They did know it was illegal. Or at least prosecutable.”

In retrospect, giving Wall Street immunity from state gambling laws
and legalizing activity that had been banned for most of the 20th
century should have given lawmakers pause, but on the last day and the
last vote of the lame duck 106th Congress, Wall Street got what it
wanted when the Senate passed the bill unanimously.

“There was an awful lot of, ‘Trust us. Leave it alone. We can do it
better than government,’ without any realistic understanding of the
dangers involved,” says Harvey Goldschmid, a Columbia University law
professor and a former commissioner and general counsel of the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

He says the bill was passed at the height of Wall Street and
Washington’s love affair with deregulation, an infatuation that was
endorsed by President Clinton at the White House and encouraged by
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

“That was the wildest and silliest period in many ways. Now, again,
that’s with hindsight because the argument at the time was these are
grownups. They’re institutions with a great deal of money. Government
will only get in the way. Fears it will be taken overseas. Leave it
alone. But it was a wrong-headed argument. And turned out to be, of
course, extraordinarily unwise,” Goldschmid says.Asked what role Greenspan played in all of this, Professor Goldschmid
says, “Well, he made clear in his public speeches and book that a
Libertarian drive was part of the way he looked at the world. He’s a
very talented man. But that didn’t take us where we had to be.”

“Alan was the most powerful man in Washington in a real sense.
Certainly a rival to the president and had enormous influence on
Capitol Hill,” Goldschmid says.

“And he was at the height of his power,” Kroft adds.

Within eight years, unregulated derivatives and swaps helped
produce the largest financial services economy the United States has
ever had. Estimates of the market for credit default swaps grew from
$100 billion to more than $50 trillion, and you could bet on anything
from the solvency of communities to the fate of General Motors.

It also produced a huge transfer of private wealth to Wall Street
traders and investment bankers, who collected billions of dollars in
bonuses. A lot of the money was made financing what seemed to be a
never-ending housing boom, selling mortgage securities they thought
were safe and credit default swaps that would never have to be paid

“The credit default swaps was the key of what went wrong and what’s created these enormous losses,” Goldschmid says.

“Is it your impression that people at the big Wall Street
investment houses knew what was going on and knew the kind of risks
that they were exposed to?” Kroft asks.

“No. My impression is to the contrary, that even at senior levels
they only vaguely understood the risks. They only vaguely followed what
was going on,” Goldschmid says. “And when it tumbled, there was some
genuine surprise not only at the board level where there wasn’t enough
oversight but at senior management level.”

They didn’t know what was going on in part because credit default
swaps were totally unregulated. No one knew how many there were or who
owned them. There was no central exchange or clearing house to keep
track of all the bets and to hold the money to make sure they got paid
off. Eventually, savvy investors figured out that the cheapest, most
effective way to bet against the entire housing market was to buy
credit defaults swaps, in effect taking out inexpensive insurance
policies that would pay off big when other people’s mortgage
investments failed

“I know people personally who have taken away more than $1 billion from
having been on the right side of these transactions,” says Jim Grant,
publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and one of the country’s
foremost experts on credit markets.

“If you can and you could lay down cents on the dollar to place a
bet on the solvency of Wall Street, for example, as some did, when Wall
Street became evidently insolvent, that cents on the dollar bet went up
30, 40, and 50 fold. Not everyone who did that wants to get his name in
the paper. But there are some spectacularly rich people who came out of
this,” Grant says.

“Who got richer,” Kroft remarks.

“Who got richer, who became, you know, fantastically richer,” Grant says.

A lot of them were hedge fund managers. John Paulson’s Credit
Opportunities Fund returned almost 600 percent last year, with Paulson
pocketing a reported $3.7 billion.

Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, said he plans
to make hundreds of millions. Both declined 60 Minutes’ request for an

Congress seemed shocked and outraged by the consequences of its
decision eight years ago to effectively deregulate swaps and
derivatives. Various members of the House and Senate have hauled in the
usual suspects to accept or share the blame.

“Were you wrong?” Rep. Henry Waxman asked former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan.

“Credit default swaps, I think, have some serious problems with them,” Greenspan replied.

It appears to be the first step in a long process of restoring at
least some of the regulations and safeguards that might have prevented,
or at least mitigated this disaster after the damage has already been

Where do we go from here?

“We need the most dramatic rethinking of the regulatory scheme for
financial markets since the New Deal. If anything has demonstrated that
imperative, it’s the economy right now and the tragic circumstances
we’re in,” Goldschmid says.

Asked how much danger he thinks is still out there, Goldschmid
says, “We don’t know. Part of the problem of the lack of transparency
in these markets has been we don’t really know.”

To view the story, click on the following link:

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Implats, Union to meet on Tuesday

August 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The deadlocked parties will meet to try and hammer out an agreement after workers said they were prepared to stay away for weeks

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