Still More About Silver’s Imminent Price Explosion

Email This Post Print This Post

You may have noticed that the spot price of silver jumped another 20 cents yesterday. Take a few minutes to read these two interesting analyses that recently ran at Gold-Eagle.comhttp://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_05/stein012706.html and, http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_05/murphy012806.html

In the latter article, it is noted that the silver 60 date lease rates just went into an upright spike. This is a clear sign that alarm bells have sounded at the COMEX and they are
trying desperately to suppress the galloping spot and futures silver prices. (Some futures contracts are presently pushing $12 an ounce!) But unless the COMEX does a repeat of its 1979-1980 shenanigans and changes the margin requirements for the futures market, then they won’t be successful at holding down the spot price of silver. I suspect that a total desperation move like that won’t happen until Kodak and the other big industrial users start to whine. You can expect that to happen once silver crosses the $40 mark. But by then it won’t matter. Even if they slap a 100% margin requirement on silver futures contracts (like they did a quarter century ago, to stop the Hunt Brothers , it will be too late. Why? Because by then, the Generally Dumb Public (GDP) will have finally woken from their slumber and will be swarming to their local coin shops to plunk down some of their spare cash to get some 1 ounce silver rounds or pre-1964 junk silver.  At that stage, “junk” silver will probably be selling at 20+ times face value.

I predict that this market is going to completely get away from the COMEX and Wall Street manipulators. Today (January 31st) they will probably do their best to push the metals prices down temporarily.  After all, they wouldn’t want to cast a bad light on either the President’s State of the Union address or upon Ben Bernanke’s first few days at his new central bank job. They’ll sell enough to keep the price down for a few days or perhaps even for a few weeks, but inevitably it will be like trying to stop a a rising tide. The mainstream media will probably refer to this as “Bernanke’s first management crisis.” Given the fanciful underpinnings of the U.S. Dollar (which has a REAL value that approaches ZERO), this will doubtless be the first of several Volker-esque crises for “Helicopter Ben.”

The futures markets for gold and silver are getting frantic. I suspect that there will be a massive short squeeze in the near future. The run up in prices may take all but us die-hard silver bears by surprise. Mark my words: Silver could double in price and then double again, all within the span of a month, once the perma-shorts realize that something has changed fundamentally and they have to cover their short positions, fast. As I’ve mentioned before, the silver market is very thin compared that of gold, and hence tends to be more volatile. After a short term correction, look for some volatile moves upward in the near future!

Today’s Daily Reckoning had some extensive quotes from Dr. Kurt Richebächer. Here is just a brief snippet:
“You know what amazes me most is that Americans have come to believe that consequences no longer exist. They think they can do whatever they want for as long as they want…and nothing will ever go wrong.” This is probably the first generation of Americans to believe that savings don’t matter. It is also the first generation to believe that America
doesn’t really need to make anything; it can buy what it needs from abroad. But where will it get the money? “That’s the thing,” Dr. Richebächer went on. “They think the bubble
economy will never end, but bubbles always end. This one will end, too. And there will be consequences, and not very pleasant ones. This is not
something the Fed can manage…”

The Gold-Eagle pundits summarized Dr. Richebächer’s conclusion thusly: “According to Dr. Richebächer, our nation’s “recovery” is largely a matter of the short-term transference of money from people’s home equity, secured and unsecured loans and credit cards into consumer-level retail purchases – into the hands of financial institutions or the risky realm of
speculative investment.”

If you have the time, read Dr. Richebächer’s full report: “Your Choice: The Truth – Or The Consequences” See: http://www1.youreletters.com/t/332871/7796936/783705/0/

Letter Re: Questions on Petromax Lanterns (and Clones Thereof)

Email This Post Print This Post

Hi Jim,
When TSHTF it is nice to have a lantern that can use almost any flammable liquid for fuel, including used motor oil. Also, one can mix the present fuel with whatever else is available to fill the lantern and continue to use it.This German designed lantern has been around since the [early[ 1900s. It is now in its fifth generation and the fifth generation is the only Petromax lantern to be tested and listed as a truly multi-fuel lantern. Please note, all previous generations are not truly multi-fuel lantern although that claim is advertised. Caveat emptor! There are many places to purchase a Petromax lantern on the Internet, survival, hardware and other stores. One has to be careful since some do not have the thick glass globes that can withstand rain drops without shattering and some have cheap parts that wear out quickly. There are many impostor such as the cheap Chinese spin offs selling far below the price of the fifth generation Petromax. Some of us, if not most, have been down this road before: purchasing a cheaper copy cat item only to find out we got taken to the cleaners.

Not only is this a multi-fuel lantern, it can be easily adapted to be a multitasking tool to light, heat (50 square feet area) and cook at the same time by purchasing the accessories. It takes only a minute to convert it. One does have to have the lantern operating in order to cook. If light discipline is not an issue this is a great setup for saving fuel. I have two of these setups with extra globes, mantels, bicycle EZ-PUMP adapters, EZ-COOK adapter and rebuild kits in my survival supplies. BTW, the rebuild kits and instructional video were free when I purchased the lantern. I researched for about two months before deciding to purchase mine. As a general rule, if time permits I call a prospective place of business to see if they are knowledgeable of the item(s) I am interested in, if they keep a current inventory of spare parts, and gauge their professionalism. That is the reason I chose to purchase from Britelyt Multi fuel Products http://www.britelyt.com/. They also sell methanol lanterns. Methanol can be used inside with less worry of carbon monoxide and it stores indefinitely. If you have never used one of these lanterns, then the video is a must. They sell a multi-fuel stove weighing 4 pounds that runs 5-6 hours on 1 quart of fuel, producing 8K-to-10K BTUs.  – Find1

Letter Re: Storing Retort Packaged Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized Milk

Email This Post Print This Post

Howdy Jim,
For those with sufficient storage space, an item worth considering is the UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk products.

In one-quart containers at around $1.40, they are available in whole milk and the 2% variety. The manufacturers give a shelf life of 6 to 10 months and the product requires no refrigeration until opened.

UHT dairy products have been on the shelves in Europe for more than 20 years. They were previously unavailable to the U.S. consumer because the government felt their availability would “disrupt the milk support program.” Sure beats powdered milk! – Dutch in Wyoming

JWR Replies:  For a short term supply (up to six months), UHT Retort -packaged milk makes a lot of sense. For longer term, you should store nitrogen-packed canned powdered nonfat milk from a competent and reliable vendor such as Ready Made Resources or Walton Feed. I have found that the nonfat variety stores the best because it is the butterfat in whole milk that goes rancid, significantly shortening the shelf life. (BTW, the powdered milk sold at grocery stores that comes in foil-lined boxes goes rancid far too quickly–at times it is borderline rancid even when bought in a brand new package!) The Memsahib has been drinking retort packaged rice milk for about five years now. Rice and soy “milks” store even longer than cow milk. Like any other storage food, be sure to store retort package “bricks” in the coolest (but not ever below freezing) part of your house, and away from vermin. (It is amazing what rats will chew on.) Never stack individual retort bricks horizontally more than five bricks high, or vertically more than seven bricks high, or in cardboard cases (of vertical bricks) more than five cases high.

Letter from The Army Aviator Re: Follow-Up Letter From “Shooter” Re: The Draw Technique, or “Shooter’s Five Steps to Keeping Ten Fingers”

Email This Post Print This Post

Jim:
Shooter wrote: “as Instructor Greg told me last night, armed citizens will probably draw their weapons more times than they will shoot them in a potential lethal force encounter.” I’ve been carrying for over 40 years now and have always gone by the rule if you show your weapon to your opponent, it’s as you are firing it. To do otherwise is “brandishing” and giving away your advantage. I also carry a $20 wrapped around a matchbook with a rubber band. [This is the "throwaway" concept popularized by self defense writer Massad Ayoob.] Several years ago, in Aurora, Colorado, I was sort of accosted by a Hispanic group. Having identified the leader, I threw him the $20 and suggested that he “Go buy the boys some drinks on me.” They left. That was a lot cheaper than explaining why I killed the three of them. They never knew how close they came and it was none of their business. Just my two cents worth. Regards, – The Army Aviator

Letter Re: The Best All-Around Dog Breed for a Retreat?

Email This Post Print This Post

Note from JWR: The following letter is a reply to the excellent series of informative letters on various dog breeds that ran in December of 2005. Refer to the SurvivalBlog Archives for those letters.

James:
I would like to mention the cur breeds as dogs that could be useful in a retreat situation. The Blackmouth cur, mountain cur, catahoula, and blue lacy would all make good choices. These were the original homestead dogs, used by the pioneers to work livestock, hunt and trail game, and to protect the family from Indians, bandits, and wild animals. These breeds are still common in many parts of the rural south and are used by many people to hunt wild hogs and work cows. They range in size from 30-50 pounds (blue lacy and mountain cur) to 60-100 pounds (blackmouth). Because they haven’t been used in show breeding programs these dogs are relatively free from most health problems, although the catahoula is becoming popular and starting to develop problems in some strains. If I didn’t have a dog and was looking to get one for a retreat I’d ask around feed stores and sale barns and find somebody who’s dog had puppies. You could get an idea of it’s parents demeanor and what it was used for. Don’t restrict yourself to purebreds, I have a heeler/border collie mix that can blood trail, work cows or goats, bay hogs, and is willing to fight anything that walks if it threatens my family or any child. He also stays alert and as long as he’s around nothing can sneak up on me. Thank you so much for your website, I am fairly young and have learned a LOT from it about topics I had never even considered until recently. I just got Patriots in the mail yesterday and this is the first time I’ve put it down, between that and reading [the shareware novel] “Lights Out” I have really changed my mindset a lot in the last few weeks. Keep up the good work. – K.I.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Email This Post Print This Post

Reader M.W. recommends: http://www.trackertrail.com/survival/fire/cokeandchocolatebar/index.html

  o o o

A reader wrote to mention that in a controlled, independently reviewed study published in the Journal of Trauma, a comparison of Traumadex and Quickclot in a porcine model (severed femoral artery) showed that Quickclot was much more effective.

  o o o

Several long term storage food sellers report that storage food sales have been brisk–even to the point that there are now shortages of some varieties of freeze-dried foods. A lot of customers are citing concerns about the Asian Avian Flu, especially after the segment about how to prepare for a flu pandemic ran on Oprah last week. Even the U.S. Government is now recommending storing food for “several weeks” instead of the “three day supply” mantra that they have been chanting for decades. Think this though:  If and when the A.A. flu jumps species lines into an easily transmissible form, suddenly EVERYONE is going to want storage foods so that they can hunker down in self-quarantine. Consider that if just five percent of American families increased their food storage larder by one or two weeks, it would devastate the supply chain for long term storage foods.  Quit just “considering it”, folks!  Stock up. Please take a look at the web sites for our advertisers that sell storage foods.  They have a wide selection and some great prices. By patronizing any of these vendors, you will help support SurvivalBlog:
Survival Enterprises
Freeze Dry Guy
JRH Enterprises
Ready Made Resources
Safe Castle
Safe Solutions

 

  o o o

There is a new blog at http://NoNAIS.org to educate people about the upcoming USDA’s National Animal Identification System regulations that will harm small farmers, homesteaders and pet owners as well as raising the prices of food for consumers.

Letter Re: David in Israel on Fire Suppression and Fire Fighting

Email This Post Print This Post

Greetings JWR,
A few words about the article that David sent you on fire suppression: While I admit my wildland fire fighting experience is limited, as a member of private forest industry we do a lot for fire prevention. My associations with fire run deep. David recommended talking to state and Federal forest entities…look up your local private industry forester. Often these people are happy to give advice and know contacts of people with the equipment and knowledge to do the work at reasonable rates.
First, do not wait to make a clearing around your house…make one around your property. Two of the best fire breaks are roads and clear cuts. The ideal situation is a backhoe or Cat[erpillar tractor] line around your property with no trees (ideally) within 1-1.5 tree lengths of the fire line. As David mentioned, properly thinned forests are key as well. Crowns should have air around them, such that crowns are not touching. Spacing should be increased the drier your property is–dependent on rainfall and aspect (i.e. slope: south, north, etc. facing). It’s wise to research what species are fire resistant in your area and select for them [to remain] when thinning. Fire that is on the ground is fire that can be controlled. So keep the ladder fuels (i.e. smaller trees that lead up to bigger trees) thinned out. Multi-story management is alright as long as spacings are still observed and crowns do not touch crowns.
Roads or skid trails (taken down to bare mineral soil ) in key defensible locations like along ridge lines can be used to your advantage. Remember that roots burn as well, so hack all those bad boys off and clear the trail. During a worst case scenario, a couple people could run along a ridge line and with chain saws dump the trees into the fire side away from the skid trail. This is not necessarily advisable while the fire is at your door step but if there is one burning in your general direction it may be necessary. Fire lines around your property can be easily maintained with a back pack sprayer and Round Up [herbicide]. This also comes in handy since under burns have to be reburned every couple years, depending on vegetation types. Good and well-maintained fire lines keep your fire off your neighbors land as well as their fire off yours. Heavy woody debris or brush can accumulate over periods of 4-5 years before having to be burned. Grass needs burning more frequently. Personal observations of excess vegetation will be required.
Fire can also be fought with fire. While burning your own property, play around in small areas with black lining ( or burning fuel in front of the fire so that it cannot go further ) and learn what works best…i e. heat is drawn to heat et cetera. I burn my grass field every spring as soon as the grass will hold a flame and try something different every time I can, just to learn and see what will work best.
It might be handy to invest in a diesel drip torch ["dribbler."] I’ve found that this is the best tool for managing under burns–it is easy to use… walk along [with the tip held out to the side of your path] and drip. It does all the work. Forestry suppliers will carry this item.

Regarding Boots: I spend A LOT of money on boots as they are vital to my livelihood. “Whites” are no longer “the best” in my experience and opinion. “Nicks” (located in Spokane, Washington) is a smaller company started by an ex-Whites employee who wanted to make boots the way “Whites” used to make boots. A new pair starts at about $375.00. As long as the uppers stay sound you can have them rebuilt for about one hundred seventy-five bucks, usually a 3-4 month wait for them, so order early. Vibram soles for fire, but for everyday woods stomping I like calked (“corked”) boots, unless, of course, there is a lot of rock in an area. Expect to rebuild them every 1-2 years with HEAVY use. On any boot designed like the “Whites: Smoke Jumper” the spot that I’ve found will wear and crack first, is the instep by the arch support–design makes it difficult to grease this area and keep it supple. I recommend Obernaufs…it is good for greasing your boots. I like to bake it in- then I take a bees wax ring (the ones used for toilets) and smear that over the top and bake ‘em little more. Be careful, however, the wax is a drying agent (I have cracked leather using pure wax.) Be sure and use your grease first, before applying the wax. Laces are also a problem— Leather with the heavy wet dry action, tend break a lot. Most of the fiber ones seem to fray and are pricey as well. I have started using parachute cord as a cheap alternative…seems to work great. Thanks much – E.B. of N. Idaho

Letter Re: Questions on Petromax Lanterns (and Clones Thereof)

Email This Post Print This Post

Mr. Rawles:
I was researching lanterns a couple of months ago and came across information that it is possibly hazardous to use gasoline in Petromax type lanterns.
http://lampguild.org/QandApage/archives/Q0002790.htm
http://lampguild.org/QandApage/archives/Q0001491.htm
http://lampguild.org/QandApage/archives/Q0002492.htm
http://lampguild.org/QandApage/archives/Q0002487.htm
I also found that Coleman makes a “kerosene only” pressure lantern http://www.coleman.com/coleman/ColemanCom/subcategory.asp?CategoryID=1025 and two British companies make kerosene pressure lanterns Tilley http://www.tilleylamp.co.uk/ and Vapalux http://www.bairstowbrothers.co.uk/vapalux/index.htm. The Vapalux lamps carried in the USA by Garret Wade http://www.garrettwade.com. Best Wishes, -  C.H.

Follow-Up Letter From “Shooter” Re: The Draw Technique, or “Shooter’s Five Steps to Keeping Ten Fingers”

Email This Post Print This Post

Jim,
I should probably put a disclaimer at the top of my next article. Let me say that “B.B.” is right. We should all be aware of our local laws and regulations with regards to use of lethal force. That being said, as Instructor Greg told me last night, armed citizens will probably draw their weapons more times than they will shoot them in a potential lethal force encounter. It is my hope and goal in writing these articles for the Survivalblog readership that we all operate under the same fundamental techniques. Not that I want to re-invent the wheel, but, rather, create a better one with tips and techniques learned from accredited instructors. Just remember that I am providing tips, tools, and techniques to make you a better and stronger warrior in TEOTWAWKI times.
Another trick we learned in class to help remember we live in a 360 degree world is to count how many fingers that someone standing behind you is holding up. Everyone in the class practices this while on the firing line. By shouting out the number of fingers, you verbally confirm that you have scanned the threat area behind you.
B.B. reminds us all that keeping the finger in register and off the trigger is a good habit to have. He’s absolutely right! You want to keep that finger as high in register as possible so when they play the cheapest and grainiest convenience store surveillance footage, your intentions are perfectly clear to the jury. I can’t stress the three rules enough:
1) Keep your finger off the trigger.
2) Keep your #$%& finger off the trigger.
3) Keep your #$%& finger off the &$%# trigger.*  
*unless sights are confirmed and it is safe to shoot.
Best Regards, – Shooter

Odds ‘n Sods:

Email This Post Print This Post

The folks at “Big Secrets” have updated their web page on alternative shelter. See: http://www.bigsecrets.cc/shelter.htm  Most of these techniques will not meet building codes, but should suffice “When the Schumer Hits the Fan.” (WTSHTF) and you have precious few alternatives to house refugees in a hurry.

 

  o o o

For some interesting commentary on precious metals, including some substantive details about those rumors we’ve been hearing about another gold confiscation, see:
http://www.conspiracypenpal.com/columns/paper.htm  Note: I have not yet had the opportunity to listen to any of the MP3 files, so I cannot vouch for Mr. Steele’s background or his views on other topics.

 

  o o o

 

The folks at PolySteel (http://www.polysteel.com) just sent me a nifty CD-ROM with a video–only about 10 minutes long–about their Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs).  They send copies of this CD-ROM free to anyone that is considering building with ICFs. BTW, there are at least eight different competing brands of ICFs these days, so you should shop around before you buy.

  o o o

SurvivalBlog reader “False Muzzle” tells me that Morocco is perhaps the world’s the best bargain for someone who wants to retire overseas. I’m not sure how Morocco would rate in terms of self-sufficiency or friendliness toward ferengi in the event of TEOTWAWKI, but it is certainly getting popular with French retirees. Would you believe the equivalent of USD $37.50 per month for a multi-bedroom apartment, or $100 per month to rent a three bedroom house?  Or how about $2-to-$3 a day for a maid, and $1 a day to have someone do your shopping and run errands for you?  Just some “Food for Thought and Grounds for Further Research.” (FFTAGFFR)  False Muzzle also mentioned an interesting web site for would-be expatriates: http://www.expatfocus.com  BTW, one of my favorite sites that is along the same lines is: http://www.escapeartist.com

 

  o o o

 

A reader alerted me to an interesting site on survival topics: http://thesurvivalist.tripod.com/index.html

David in Israel Replies to Letters Re: On Suture, Staples, and Glue for Wound Closure

Email This Post Print This Post

The letters stating that only trained people should suture wounds are absolutely correct, you must be trained and it definitely falls into the category of a “skilled intervention.”
Clearly, I did not stress this enough.

A good way to get an basic level (non-skilled) orientation to using medical skills is ride along with fire and EMS, Hospitals may allow observers in the ER and other wards if you can find a good reason. A good way to form a relationship with health care providers in this situation is to do research for writing a book. After the releases are signed you will (with due respect for privacy) possibly even be allowed to photograph stages of treatment along with taking notes for yourself. Hospitals have a secondary purpose it is continual training of the doctors, nurses, techs, and staff so expect a many good teachers. Many fields of work from engineering to forestry are happy to allow on site interviews and research if you know how to ask and approach in a professional manner. These interview notes sessions must be taken for what they really are skin deep looks at these vital highly skilled interventions and hopefully a motivation to put in the effort to obtain proper certification verifying to the world (and yourself) that you are qualified in the skills you claim to posses as well as protection under many state good Samaritan acts.

JWR Adds: I concur that SurvivalBlog readers should get as much medical training as possible. The time may come when you folks reading this have a major trauma patient laying before you (for example a gun shot wound, knife wound, or a farm tractor accident) and no doctor available to help you for hours or days. Two of the most crucial skills are learning how to stop bleeding and how to treat for shock. OBTW, I highly recommend a new product designed to stop bleeding called Traumadex. It comes with an instructional DVD that is amazing. (The DVD shows Traumadex being applied to induced wounds on pigs–even stopping bleeding from a femoral artery!) Traumadex is now available from Ready Made Resources  and just a few other vendors.

Letter Re: Questions on Petromax Lanterns (and Clones Thereof)

Email This Post Print This Post

Greetings Mr. Rawles,
I may be able to offer a bit of information on the Petromax lantern to the readers. I purchased one prior to Y2K. I have used mine off and on during power outages over the years. One thing to remember about the Petromax is that their startup procedure is a bit different than Coleman lanterns. So any new owner must read the instruction manuals from cover to cover, and make sure anyone who would be charged with operating the lantern be fully aware of the startup procedure. A bit of a funny story was when we were hit by a power outage a couple years ago. I retrieved a flashlight just to see where I had packed back the Petromax in the bug out equipment. After unpacking the Petromax I proceeded to fill and start up the Petromax, and since it had be a long while since I fired it up I thought that I remembered the procedures. I always startup any liquid filled pressure lantern or liquid portable appliance outside of the house, just in case. Well, I did not remember the procedure as I thought I had, and I had created a very good flame-thrower! Not too good! My wife was standing at the door saying something to the effect, “Boy, you are going to burn the hair off your face!” WHOOSH! She was right, no eyebrows and one slightly damaged moustache! So to anyone who wants to use one of these re-read the directions if you think that you have any doubts about startup procedures. I mention this bit of comedy because if I had not followed my own procedure of starting liquid fuel lanterns outside, and making sure they were performing as they should before entering in the house or garage; the results could have been catastrophic. These are great lanterns, but as with all things safety first, and read directions or re-read them if it has been awhile since you have operated any equipment.
My personal opinion is that any group needs to have at least on of the 500 CP lanterns. I purchased it not only for general lighting but I saw a situation where you would need very bright white light in special circumstances such as repairing equipment at night and most importantly for medical, i.e. surgical procedures. With the hanging options, and reflector for the Petromax you have a perfect OR
, or medical treatment light when there is no electricity. The large lantern when hung higher will allow lighting of a large area. As a table or room light the 500 CP is extremely bright. But the Petromax people, being forward thinking, have provided a solution. They have a frosted chimney to cut down on the harshness of the mantle’s light. That is next on the ‘to buy’ list. See:
http://www.britelyt.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BPP&Product_Code=500F
At one time they had an amber chimney to keep bugs away for when the lantern is used outside, but I have not seen this chimney on their site. If you want to include this additional chimney you may need to ask if they still offer them.
One extra item that I purchased was the Easy Pump Valve. This valve allows you to attach a hand bicycle pump or a CO2 cartridge to pressurize the lantern. Using the standard hand pump can really do a job on your thumb, especially for older people like me. But this resolves that problem quite nicely.
http://www.britelyt.com/pump1.htm
For the 150 Lantern there is an Isopropyl Alcohol Conversion Kit, see: http://www.britelyt.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BPP&Product_Code=ISPA-150CP
There is also a kit for the 500CP and 350 CP lantern to burn Isopropyl Alcohol more efficiently. http://www.britelyt.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BPP&Product_Code=ALC-3350
I will not part with my Petromax, and plan on purchasing one of the smaller variants. To my knowledge this is the safest pressure multi-fuel lantern on the market for indoor use (excepting propane lanterns). There may be others out there I am not aware of. If there is, someone chime in and let everyone know. These are built to pass on to the next generation and can be rebuilt from ground up if needed during a time of disaster, providing you have spare parts. Purchasing the parts most susceptible to wear out or break at time of initial purchase is the way to go. I hope this helps, and remember, read all instructions on firing these puppies up. OBTW, here is Tech Link to Petromax Lanterns for those who have lost the instructions or for new people who want to read up before plunking down the bucks: http://www.britelyt.com/technical.htm – The Rabid One

Letter RE: The Silver ETF and Uranium

Email This Post Print This Post

Jim,
I am a professional financial planner and portfolio manager and I share your feeling that the price of silver is going up. However, I do not believe that the Silver Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) will be approved in the near future. The problem is that there is not enough physical silver readily available to be able to fund it at any reasonable level. In other words, approval of the ETF would be way too disruptive to the market at the current time and I think the regulators realize this. I got the impression from reading your post today that the ETF is a done deal, but I give this a maybe 10% chance of happening in 2006. I do predict that silver is headed into the $12-$15 range in the next 12 to 18 months (I just saw a report that [silver] futures contracts are being sold at $12 [per troy ounce] now.) Perhaps by then the short sellers will have been weeded out of the market and new production will step in to fill the void.

On a side note, check out the price on uranium – the spot price is up almost 500% in the last four years and is in a screaming up trend. Obviously you can’t buy a 100 ounce bar and stick in your safe, but you can buy the shares of a couple of the major producers and leverage the gains. I’m a firm believer that future power generation will have to be nuclear – there is no other viable, economic choice. – D.S.