Shoeshine Boys & Dockhands, Market Tops and Gold & Silver

Only those very brave and ostracized souls that owned gold and silver were able to survive and, in some cases, prosper…

by Michael Ballanger via Streetwise Reports

There is a great story surrounding the late Joe Kennedy, father of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, and a Wall Street robber baron of the highest order. A dedicated market player in the 1920s, as rumor (or myth) would have us believe, one fine morning in late September 1929, he was having his shoes shined, reading the Wall Street Journal when the young shoe shine boy, noticing the paper Joe was reading, proceeded to offer a “stock tip” on a particular issue that has already advanced 4000% in the past year. The “tip” turned out to be a corporate event that Joe had heard about and investigated six months prior and in the end, of little (or no) value.

That marked the day that Joe Kennedy liquidated his entire portfolio and began to short the U.S. markets because, as he so Boston-ly put it “When the shoe shine boys are handing out stock tips, you just know it’s time to leave the pah-dee (“party” in Boston-ese).”

Recently (as in two weeks ago), I was at our marina in Honey Harbour stacking boxes and coolers and clothes bags in anticipation of the arrival of the dockhand who loads the golf cart and transports all our “stuff” to the truck. Upon his arrival, this very hard-working and very sharp young college student (“Decklin”) fires up his usually quite amicable personality and asks me if I am sticking around or heading home for the week to which I respond that the upcoming week is going to be “insane.” After he inquires “why?” I try to sluff it off by throwing a few slangy market phrases at him—as in “I have a big cross to do in my favourite silver deal”—but instead of a non-plussed look of total bewilderment, I get a “Oh, yeah? WHICH silver deal?” Here is a kid in working attire wearing a Crocodile Dundee hat, Kodiak boots and a pair of Aviator sunglasses whipping out his iPhone and proceeds to search out the name I mentioned. After he departs with our “stuff,” I assume that his Ritalin has worn off and he will be distracted away from my sexagenarian slip-up and I go about preparing the boat for lock-up.

Fifteen minutes later, there is a “Knock, knock, knock” on the hull and there here is—the dockhand from hell—and I know I am in serious trouble because now he wants to take advantage of this “stock tip” I accidentally provided and I am panicking because the last thing I need is to find my “stuff” floating in Georgian Bay because some “silver deal” went south instead of north and that Decklin gambled his 2020 tuition on that tip. Nevertheless, I had no choice but to help him find the quote symbol, off he went. I (incorrectly) assumed that he would simply watch it and learn but I was sadly mistaken.

The following week, after parking the Ram in the upper lot, I turn around and there he is with a big smile on his face and looks me square in the eyes and proceeds to thank me for making him (and his father, too)(!) “A couple of grand” on the trade. I mumbled something like “My pleasure” (it really wasn’t) and then prayed he wouldn’t ask me for my next “hot tip.” I was mercifully thankful that I dodged a bullet and avoided having to retrieve my laptop from the bottom of Georgian Bay because the tuition money got flushed down the “Latrine of Stock Market Mania.”

There is a narrative out there that suggests that an entire generation of unemployed workers, locked at home from the pandemic absurdity, have turned to stock market speculation as a means to supplement (more like replace) the reduced (more like non-existent) incomes that have been vanquished thanks to the brilliant foresight and unadulterated acuity of our political leaders. Now that Sweden has proven just how sublimely stupid our government seers were in a) locking down the population and b) enforcing masks), I applaud the resourcefulness of those that are striving to fend for themselves and eke out a living. However, what worries me is that there is now an entire generation of novice investors that are chasing stocks to unheard-of valuations while insider selling is at record levels.

Is the marina dockhand story the 2020 version of the 1929 Joe Kennedy shoeshine boy? Only time will tell. There is no mistake that young people are far more educated as to the stock markets and financial matters in general than they were in September 1929 but in principle, there is little difference and the blame has to fall at the feet of the central bankers and the banco-politico minions that do their bidding. Pre-2020, U.S. national debt stood at around US$25 trillion; today, depending on your source, that obscene number has swollen to between US$35 and US$45 trillion and it is continuing to balloon out. With each dollar of newly created debt now creating progressively less impact on GDP, there comes a point in time where the perpetrators are faced with a staggering stagflation of sub-par growth and rising living costs. The 1970s era is the closest parallel to where we are today and as I have perpetually harangued for what seems like decades, it was not a very fun time to be raising families or managing retirement and only those very brave and ostracised souls that owned gold and silver were able to survive and, in some cases, prosper.

Now, do you feel like getting angry? You will all recall when I first used the famous Winston Churchill quote to describe my feelings about government responses to the COVID-19 epidemic that was so wonderfully and cynically accurate “Never let a good crisis go to waste!” Well, here is a YouTube link to a recent study of the last six months around the world related to mortality rates and the pandemic. (COVID Study) I was one of the few people that called BS on the actions of the Fed during the late 2019 REPO insanity and then I echoed my skepticism shortly after the outbreak arrived in March. “Why don’t we try to let our immune systems do what they were designed for?” I opined a few weeks ago and now we have empirical evidence that Sweden is sporting numbers with no masks or lockdowns that are no different than the U.K. or the North America, where masks, social distancing and social gatherings have been legislated into a freedom-numbing cacophony of government over-action and stupidity.

Also, I urge all of you to spend the time to listen to Grant Williams’s recent interview with the gentleman known as “TC” (@TeslaCharts”) who recently published a 2-part interview with Karl Hansen, the whistleblower that is suing Tesla and working with both the SEC and the FBI on the Tesla (and Elon Musk) investigation. The link is here Tesla Whistleblower. Once you start delving into the dark, malodorous pit of corporate malfeasance and securities fraud, the name “Musk” leaps off the page and considering that General Motors sells more electric cars than Tesla and is valued at a little over 13% of Tesla’s market cap, you get the impression that this (Tesla) is a cliff dive waiting to happen.

The actual interview with Karl Hansen is long and somewhat repetitive at times but one thing that stands out is that Elon Musk cares not about the environment nor the product nor the lives of the drivers that are dying from faulty guidance systems; Elon Musk cares only about the price of his stock. Back in the day, when mining operators would call me to discuss business, I always noticed when the topic of conversations was anchored around either cash flow or operations or CAPEX or exploration potential but where the promoter was focused purely on the stock price or the marketing programs supporting the stock price, I almost invariably went out and either sold my position or lost his contact info. Operators that focus solely on the stock price are almost guaranteed to experience catastrophic failure but in the case of Tesla, it seems that Musk enjoys an umbrella of immunity from SEC enforcement actions because if all you do is take the Tweet where Musk talks about a takeover bid coming just as his stock was about to break support back in 2018 (“Am considering taking Tesla private @ $420. Funding Secured.”) (that turned out to be an outright lie), you have a classic case of a member of “The Club” being excluded from prosecution after blatantly manipulating his stock.

So, if my subscribers ask the question “How does this affect my precious metals holdings?” the answer is “It doesn’t.” But the significance lies in the level of corruption that permeates every facet of society these day, be it the trillions of counterfeit dollars manufactured and handed to the banking elite since last August in the name of “crisis,” be it a “liquidity crisis” spurring REPO turgidity or the “health crisis” spurring unprecedented money printing and national currency debasement. Before you all start pointing the fingers solely at Jay Powell, recalibrate your pinkie to target Canada and its European and Asian brethren at the same time. In the barnyard, you will find pigs of all colors and sizes but when the dinner bell starts to clang, they are all soon found grunting and snorting away at the same taxpayer-funded trough.

The gold and silver markets are biding time until the current consolidation runs its course but I am convinced that it will be resolved to the upside with US$2,350 gold and US$36 silver and US$50 GDX and US$85 GDXJ as 2020 year-end targets.

The big news was Getchell Gold Corp.’s announcement that drilling at Fondaway Canyon in Nevada has commenced and that it plans a systematic approach designed to confirm and augment the 1,069,000 ounce resource while getting important clues to further validate the model that resulted from the massive amount of data assessed and compartmentalized for the first time ever. It is a pretty exciting story especially for a gold developer trading at under US$30 per ounce of in-the-ground resource.