Thursday, June 30, 2016

The first 50 rolls

During the commodity boom several years ago, I purchased $1000 worth of nickels as a hard asset hedge. At that time, each nickel contained about 9.5 cents worth of metal, based on the price of nickel and copper. Since that time, the price of all metals has plunged and each nickel now contains less than 3 cents worth of metal.

I reasoned at the time that I had little downside risk since the metal was actual currency and could be returned to the bank at the cost of inflation and whatever transportation costs were involved. Metal prices have been low for a long time so I decided to start returning some. Instead of simply turning in the rolls I had received from the bank, I decided to look through each roll for rare dates. The only dates I planned to save were 1950, a relatively low mintage year, particularly the 1950-D, and any war nickels with silver content. I know this was not a productive use of my time, but as a numismatist, it was kind of fun. I have now returned $100 of nickels to the bank and found several anomalies. Out of what was supposed to be 2000 nickels, I found:

1 penny
1 Mexican 5 centavos piece
1 Canadian nickel
2 dimes

A net loss of 1 penny. There were a lot of old coins in the rolls, as far back as 1939, but the only rare date I kept was a single 1943 war nickel. I'll post another update if anything interesting turns up.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pound Strengthens, Yen Weakens as U.K. Seen Remaining in EU

That was the headline on Bloomberg less than 24 hours ago.

The following headline was "Brexit Infects Global Markets as Unprecedented Moves Accumulate". What the status quo pushers fail to appreciate is that things aren't rosy like they've been saying for many years. The unfixed financial system and persistent heavy handed central bank interventions haven't improved the real economy. It has only accelerated wealth upward. It was not good optics for Obama to threaten the British people by telling them they would have to go the back of the line if they left the EU. Score this one for rugged individualism against global bureaucratic control.

I haven't believed the lies for a long time so whatever the so called "markets" do tomorrow won't hurt me. In fact, my treasury bonds and gold are surging. Does this mean the entrenched politicians will face reality? Hardly, the Potemkin village economy will probably continue to be pushed until it literally falls over.