The Bull 'n Bear on the Mojave and 'Paper Gold'
I don't usually write about things that are not related to finance, but I spent last weekend in the Mojave desert. The trailhead for our hike is accesible by a road off I-40 that is roughly midway between Barstow and Needles. 8-9 mile hike to the camp ground, which was at an elevation of 5,600 feet (we were the only ones there.) The trip only confirmed my opinion that American Southwest is the most beautiful region in the United States. I don't think I've ever seen as many stars as I did on Saturday night (Las Vegas did produce a glow from far away.)
I also learned that there is such a thing as desert tortoises -- I had always assumed that tortoises can only be found next to the sea (or at the very least, near a body of water.) According to the rangers, these tortoises spend 90% of the day under ground.
With regard to financial markets news, the FT's Lex column (which has some of the best writer-analysts at this august publication) published a good piece on gold yesterday. Not surprisingly, they believe that gold is a bubble; however, the main point of the piece is to warn that, due to the development of gold ETFs, the crash -- when it comes -- will be particularly painful. The article is behind a paywall, but it is well worth reading the first paragraph to innoculate onself against some of the conspiracy theories that are going around: The following news flash will only be controversial to a small, eccentric but vocal slice of the gold investing world: the bullion that backs wildly popular gold exchange-traded funds is real. Ditto for what governments claim to hold. There is no vast conspiracy. What is more, the leading gold ETFs are well designed and have proved resilient even in volatile times.
Enjoy your day!