There are, I know, politicians and pundits who blame the financial crisis on a "lack of regulation." Frankly, anybody who says that has failed the IQ test, or perhaps the ethics test. For all practical purposes, the American banking system is a branch of the federal government. It has been for decades.
Without government guarantees, backed by taxpayers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not have attracted the level of stock investor trust they did. The subprime mortgage and housing bubble wouldn't have been funded. Nor would politicians have had the leverage to pressure banks into offering bad loans. Perhaps most importantly, financial institutions would have had no reason to lavish huge campaign contributions and cushy make-work jobs on the political classes.
The banking crisis, however, is not my primary concern right now. It's happened, despite numerous warnings for years from rational economists and commentators. And it will pass. It is a structural problem, and restructuring is happening even now.
The so-called bailout will delay the emergence of new institutions, but it won't stop it. Alternative institutions are rising that will avoid many of the past mistakes. Some are likely to be offshore. Even Vladimir Putin is talking about metal-backed currencies. It is ironic evidence that others are learning the lessons our political class has forgotten.
My concern at the moment is the federal budget and ongoing deficits. This new expansion of government spending and debt is not some one-time event that markets can repair. According to the Congressional Budget Office, current annual deficits have quadrupled. Independent CBO economists forecast that they will level out in a decade to about triple pre-stimulus levels.
Frankly, I failed to predict the magnitude of these budget increases coming. I expected increases and never believed candidate Obama when he promised to cut net spending. Neither, however, did I imagine he would increase it as much as he has.
It is inevitable, however, that this level of spending will be reduced. It will happen for a variety of reasons. For one, such levels will slow the economic growth Americans are used to. It will stifle productivity and reduce income tax revenues. As it always has before, this will send the political pendulum swinging away from big government.
Incidentally, claims that the spending increases are either a "bailout" or a "stimulus" are bilge. No one has ever seriously tried to explain how spending that does not take place currently can appreciably stimulate the economy in the short run. Still, less than 24% of the stimulus will occur this year. That other 76% stimulates nothing but advocates of government spending.
So today, I want to take the time to deal in some depth with the effects all this will have on breakthrough technologies. I realize, incidentally, that some of my comments may be interpreted as partisan. They shouldn't be. I was a critic of President Bush's spending record as well, though it pales compared with current levels. And for the record, I don't think I've ever registered with either major party, even when I was working with a candidate in the last presidential campaign. He was a Republican, but he understands Federalist principles that would have limited the power of the GOP.
I would gladly vote for the sort of tax-cutting Democrat my father was. Ours was a loyalist Democratic household and my parents revered John F. Kennedy - one of America's great tax cutters. His across-the-board tax cuts were greater proportionately than those passed during the Bush administration. They were enormously successful in promoting spending and economic growth. Give me a Kennedy over a Nixon any day.
Nevertheless, I am prepared for e-mail from those who mistake my criticism of destructively high taxes for partisanship. It's not. Honestly. Economics is called the "dismal science" for a reason. And it often falls to rational economists to play the role of parent, explaining that we just can't afford all those cool toys people want right now.
The term "dismal science," by the way, was coined by a Victorian historian describing the work of Thomas Malthus. Malthus set the standard for doom and gloomers. An Anglican minister and a terrible economist, he predicted the imminent destruction of civilization, if not humanity itself, in the late 1700s. Despite our survival and amazing progress since then, others make similar predictions to this day.
I am, in fact, optimistic about the long run. The economy will not only recover. It will continue to grow exponentially when it does. That doesn't, however, mean that we don't face serious challenges in the short to medium run. This, however, is a unique time historically, with unprecedented opportunities for patient farsighted stock investors. Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton have both said that you should never let a good crisis be wasted. Though my means of exploiting the crisis are quite different than theirs, I agree with the general sentiment.
There will, however, be delays in technology development. Because so many of the emerging breakthrough technologies today are related to health and longevity, I take those delays personally. While the economy will recover, there are people who will miss out on lifesaving therapies because new technologies are not being funded. This irritates me.
Nevertheless, we need to look at the situation clear-eyed and figure out how to profit from it. And in the process, we may help move some of these revolutionary new technologies forward. There is another Chinese proverb about crises creating opportunity, and this is no exception.
Now, to business.
The most onerous impact of excessive federal spending is the absorption of capital. When finite capital is appropriated through taxation and federal debt creation, this necessarily reduces the level of funding available for research and development.
This simple math is ignored by those who believe it's a good thing to tax the rich, the people who direct most stock investment capital into emerging technologies. Historically, overall economic well-being is best accomplished through the promotion of new technologies and businesses. Kennedy made that point with his famous statement that "rising tides lift all boats." Right now, the deficit is lowering the tide. Until this sapping of our R&D lifeblood is rectified, transformational technologies will face challenges.
Typically, we know, investors abandon unproven sectors for traditional stability when things get scary. This includes even venture capitalists. New data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters verify that this is the case.
In the first quarter this year, US venture capital investments fell 61%. In the same quarter a year ago, venture investments were $7.74 billion. This year, the total was barely $3 billion. This is the lowest level in 12 years. Acquisitions of venture-backed companies fell by nearly half from last year. There were no venture-backed IPOs. None.
The one notable bright spot in this picture is health care services. Venture capital stock investment there is actually up somewhat. As I wrote on several occasions while we were waiting for the train wreck, health care is countercyclical. When times gets tough, the last thing consumers cut back on is medical services.
This is one reason that my Breakthrough Technology Alert portfolio is so heavily weighted with medical biotech today. It's not the only reason, however. It is simply true that a huge percentage of the biggest and most profitable technologies on the near horizon are medical. Significantly longer healthy life, i.e. "time," is the product they will deliver.
Economists talk about the "backward-bending demand curve." It refers to the fact that we max out on stuff. Eventually, if we get enough of something, we value additional units less. Demand for life, however, is unlike any other good or service. It is, in effect, infinite.
The red letter/number combination you see at the top of this page is a "PIN number" you can use.
The $750 you see highlighted in yellow is roughly the amount you can collect instantly by punching it in.
Both the "PIN #" and the $ amount change every few days…
But these are "live" and active right now.
If you were to punch in the code above, $750 (maybe slightly more, maybe less – the price can change fast) would appear in your brokerage account immediately.
This is no joke.
Over the last several months, I've shared similar "PIN numbers" with a small group of folks before this one… and not a single one has failed to work.
I know for a fact the "PIN Codes" I share with my subscribers worked too, because people who have followed my recommendations have e-mailed me to say the cash showed up already.
Some asked: "Are you sure this is legal?"
Yes – it's perfectly legal. Professional traders and fund managers collect millions using this technique every day. Why shouldn't you?
Others keep writing to tell me they just got another chunk of cash in their account. "Really, Lee, how long can this keep up?" a few have asked.
Here's my answer:
There will always be opportunities to collect this kind of cash. I know, because I've been doing it for years. In fact, back when I was a floor trader and market maker, I would use this little "glitch" in the market to pay my $8,000-per-month exchange seat rent. That said, I've never seen these "virtual ATM PINs" paying as much cash as they're paying today – so keep watching your e-mail for more!
I love calling these codes "virtual ATM PIN numbers" because that's exactly what they feel like to me.
Only rather than going to your bank's ATM machine, you punch these PIN numbers into your computer…
And instead of a few twenty dollar bills coming out, the money you get – hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars – shows up in your trading account, typically in a matter of seconds.
In all, Ken has collected over $29,500 in cash so far this year. Plus he collected another $11,000 when he started using this little "virtual ATM" strategy as the market was crumbling late last year.
People who use this strategy aren't buying top stocks for 2010, options, bonds, treasury notes or any "investment" at all.
They're not selling a product or getting involved in any Internet-based business. There's no effort or special knowledge involved. You don't have to "convince" anyone to send you the cash…
You don't need any special software package or start-up kit either… just an active, adequately funded brokerage account.
Once you get the "PIN Code" from me, simply enter it in the appropriate spot and your money (in today's case, roughly $750) should show up in a brokerage account within seconds.
All in all it takes about 55 seconds to execute – from the time you log onto a brokerage account to when the cash appears in your account.
Nobody Just "Gives Away" Cash… Or Do They?
Now I know what you might be thinking: "Lee, it can't be that easy. Nobody just 'gives away' cash."
Amazingly, they do.
No "one" person in particular, mind you.
The money you get from punching in these PIN numbers comes from a big pool of people – everyone from ordinary investors to big institutional traders.
And they're happy to pay out the cash because they're looking to make money on the deal too. (More on that later…)
The big difference is: The folks who are paying you may or may not get their money back…
But you keep the money regardless. In fact SEC regulations require:
Once you type in your PIN and collect your cash – the money you get is yours to keep forever.
No matter what…
For instance, you can go to your computer right now, as I write you today, type in "PIN # GEW-749" and you can have roughly $690 show up in your account.
Enter MQFS-79 and have roughly $1,320 a few seconds after punching it in…
Or punch in DOWR-49 and get $550 instantly…
Money that's yours to keep forever.
The bank will never call you up and say "Sorry, the market moved against you today. You need to pay that money back to us."
I'm not trying to be cute or clever here.
And I know this concept of getting cash instantly just for punching in a few letters may seem hard to believe.
But I'm sharing with you a very real way to pad a trading account with cash – cash you get right away and never have to pay back.
I guarantee it.
In fact, if you don't have an opportunity to collect at least $750 in cash over the next 30 days of using this incredible little "virtual ATM strategy" – I'll send you $750 myself.
That's how sure I am!
More on that in a moment…
But first, let me introduce myself – and tell you a little about how I discovered this amazing little "ATM strategy" – and how I've used it over the years to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash for myself and the people I've shared it with.
My name is Lee Lowell.
A lot of people know me from my best selling book, Get Rich With Options: Four Winning Strategies Straight from the Exchange Floor, which has quickly become the "guide of choice" for regular and professional investors alike when it comes to exploiting the enormous moneymaking potential of options.
But I'm not a professional author…
I'm a professional trader.
That's how I make my living – and it's always been that way, ever since I broke into the business as an options clerk in my early 20s.
In other words, I'm not one of those guys who earns a living telling people what to do with their money. Nor do I make my money from commissions trading other people's cash.
The bulk of my income comes from the results of my own trading efforts using my own market strategies… and those I've learned through the years from some of the country's best traders.
So when I place a trade, it better be profitable… or else.
And one thing I've learned in my 17 years as a floor trader, market maker and professional trader is: Never put yourself at the mercy of the market.
Which is why I love this "ATM strategy" and why I use it extensively in my own trading accounts.
In fact, of the dozens of great options strategies I've mastered over the years, this is by far my favorite – simply because you get the money up front (no waiting for the market to move in your favor) and there's virtually no risk at all.
Why such little risk?
Because when you use this strategy, you get paid instantly by those vast numbers of traders who do put themselves at the mercy of the market each and every day by buying options… people looking for that "big score" which more times than not never comes.
And I promise you, once you see the fundamental logic behind this very simple, very safe strategy, you may never see the need to "buy" another investment in the traditional way ever again.
Why would you after all… when it's possible to enter a simple code like the one I'm telling you about today and collect cash within a few minutes?
Then another $600 or so tomorrow… followed by $1,150 the week after… or maybe $900 the week after that.
My point is, you can use this strategy – and this strategy alone – to generate a steady stream in cash income… without buying a single best stock, bond, option or anything.
And you can start today… beginning with $750 using the code I've recently issued.
Here's the best part.
It's Money You NEVER Give Back
Like many folks who use this strategy, you may be able to collect more than the $750 I'm quoting. That's because, for simplicity purposes, I'm basing these numbers on you punching in the code and asking to get paid on 10 units…
Imagine punching in a simple code and having $3,750 show up in your trading account – money that's yours to keep forever!
Money you NEVER have to give back.
And you can keep growing the amount of money you collect as the months go on. In fact, as you'll see in a short moment, it's not unreasonable for an average investor to use this strategy to generate over $200,000 a year in pure, "spendable" cash.
Use the money to pay down any debts, put it towards your retirement (yes, you can use this strategy in your IRA account!), pay for exotic vacations, even a second home or a brand new car.
It's incredible how quickly the money you get adds up – especially when you're collecting the cash in a matter of seconds… and you never have to give it back.
It really is like getting an extra paycheck – for essentially doing nothing!
Now I know you might be saying to yourself at this point: "Okay, so you send me this special 'code'… I punch it in… collect all this cash instantly… and never have to give it back.
What's the catch? How does this thing work?"
Not New, Risky or Untested…
Let me be clear. This is not a strategy the average investor is likely to have ever heard about. Ask the typical investor on the street if he's ever heard of getting cash from the market just for punching in a simple code and he's apt to tell you you're nuts.
Understand also that this isn't something I've just stumbled upon or discovered recently.
It's not new, risky or untested. Professional investors use it every day. (Warren Buffett happens to be one of them).
I've been using this strategy for nearly two decades… since my days as a floor trader when I had to cough up $8,000 each and every month in "rent," just for the privilege of trading from the pit.
While I pride myself on my trading skills (as I've told you, I've made a very nice living over the years strictly on my trading prowess), buying and selling any kind of equity can be a risky business.
A stock can move against you.
A government report can drag down an entire trading sector in a single day.
A bad earnings report from one company can drag down the share prices of every best stock in that industry.
News of a bone-headed management decision can wipe out profits in an afternoon.
But my "ATM strategy" has always been there for me…
When I needed to pay off my monthly floor charges, I'd spend a few hours scouring the markets for a code that paid out the most cash… punch it in… and presto, the money would show up in my trading account within an instant.
And while this Instant Money Strategy can easily be used in any market, it thrives in a market like the one we're in now... a market that's substantially off recent highs… and where volatility and uncertainty rule the day.
Right now, the broad market is about 30% off its 52-week highs.
The volatility index – or "VIX" – is more than double its recent lows (and more than triple its 5-year lows).
And given the "big picture" state of the economy, the near-term future of the market is as muddled and uncertain as it's ever been.
It all sets up perfectly for the "ATM strategy" I've been telling you about today.
Since 2007 in fact, use of this "ATM strategy" spiked over 40%. Why?
Because as the markets faltered, high level investors knew stock market profits would be few and far between. So they took advantage of the enormous volatility and used this strategy to generate a nice income for themselves, while they waited for some level of sanity to return to the market.
And even though the markets have come off recent lows, great "ATM strategy" opportunities still exist right now.
Just Some of the Cash Being Paid Now…
In fact, I'm looking down a list of "PIN Codes" now – situations that in the past have typically paid out very good lump sums of instant money to people like us who know how to access it – and a lot of cash is being paid out.
Now I don't want to give you the wrong idea.
Finding these codes isn't easy. There a lot of factors to consider… a ton of data to sift through before I can turn up a single "Code" that can pay you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in an instant.
But when you know where to look – and when you're active in the markets like I am each and every day – these codes have a habit of popping up all over the place.
Today's code, for instance, came while I was looking to execute a trade on natural gas' trend higher. In my research, I came across a code that was offering an easy cash payout.
So I simply shot out an e-mail to folks who've signed on to get my "Instant Money" codes and – presto! Those folks had an opportunity to add cold hard cash – hundreds, even thousands – to their trading accounts… in less than a minute's time.
And it's still paying out cash as I write you today… cash you can have deposited in your brokerage account instantly as well.
Fact is, folks who've been getting my Instant Money Trader alerts regularly have had an opportunity to add hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively to their accounts since I began issuing my instant money "PIN Codes" last November.
There's no telling how much these codes will dole out on any given day.
Some pay out a couple hundred dollars… while others let you collect $1,200 or more. It just depends on how much those "risk takers" are willing to pay you at any given time!
There is no shortage of opportunities to collect this money either.
That's why I'm so confident you'll have an opportunity to collect at least $750 over the next 30 days using this system that I'll pay you $750 if you don't.
So How Does it Work?
So what exactly is this "Instant Money" strategy, and how can you use it to collect thousands of dollars a year?
In a nutshell it's a very specific and specialized kind of options transaction… though it's not the kind of options transaction most investors are familiar with.
Don't worry. You never have to buy an option (or anything) to get your payout.
No money ever needs to leave your account in order to collect and keep your Instant Money payouts.
You'll never have to gamble on any high-risk, shoot-for-the-moon investments.
In fact, with this strategy it's the exact opposite. The people paying you are the ones taking the big risks. They're, in effect, buying high-risk options in the hopes that a particular investment will move in their direction within a certain period of time… and you're the one selling it to them!
Any smart investor knows, trying to predict which way a stock is going to move is hard enough… but try to nail the timing as well? Without a whole lot of luck… it's virtually impossible. And it's why, historically, 80% of the people who buy options lose money.
But with the "Instant Money" strategy, we're not the buyers… we're the sellers. Which puts anyone who's selling clearly on the winning side of the equation.
Not only that, using my proven probability indicators culled from my 17 years in the trading trenches, I make sure we're always in a situation where we're collecting the most Instant Cash, with the very least amount of downside risk. (And as you'll discover once you begin using this strategy, even the downside risk associated with these trades can turn out to be even more profitable than the instant cash you get executing them!)
The Safest Income Strategy on Earth
Like I've been telling you, I consider my "Instant Money" strategy the safest income generating strategy on earth.
Why? Because it's the only strategy that pays you first – without you having to buy anything or pay out any cash whatsoever.
And all you have to do, to begin profiting right away, is agree to follow the recommendation, execute the trade and the money is deposited into your account immediately.
Call me crazy or biased, but I think every serious person who wants an opportunity to bolster his or her portfolio by tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars should be using this strategy.
And I'm not the only one.
Barron's: This strategy is "Now Especially Relevant"
Just this past June 8th, Barron's reported that this ATM cash strategy is "now especially relevant as many investors are afraid to miss out on another best stock for 2010 rally even while they fret that inflation, U.S. dollar devaluation, rising bond yields and confusing economic data could crush stock prices."
Kenneth Trester, one of the foremost authorities on options, says "the profit potentials (using this strategy) are greater than in any other segment of the options market… and can generate from 50% to a 100% return annually… consistently over a longer period of time."
I know several private fund managers who quietly use this strategy as a way of earning substantial returns for their well-heeled and institutional clientele in this unpredictable market.
Pulitzer Prize winning financial writer and investor James B. Stewart recently wrote in Smart Money that the Instant Money technique "is a good way to raise cash right now". He recently took advantage of some "Instant Cash" situations involving J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley and says…
"The cash is now in my account, and it's more than enough to pay for all my Christmas shopping."
Heck, even Warren Buffet – the world's greatest and most famous investor – has quietly been using this strategy the past few years to add millions to his Berkshire Hathaway portfolios.
Yes despite some very high profile investment experts who use this "Instant Money" strategy, it's still pretty much unknown to most investors.
And that's just fine with us…
Because there's no question that the best (and most lucrative) investment strategies are the ones that are the least widely known.
Experienced traders know: Once everyone knows about a great opportunity, it's no longer a great opportunity…
Use it to Add $1.1 Million to Your Account
But more importantly, it's the fastest (and most risk-adverse) way I know of to add upwards of a million dollars to your net worth in a very short period of time.
Here's what I mean…
The way this strategy works (and why its use is limited to only serious wealth builders) is, the more cash and/or assets you have in your brokerage account, the more "instant cash" you're entitled to collect.
So if you have $10,000 in assets in your trading account, you're likely able to collect $1,000 a month using this strategy.
If you have $25,000, then you'll likely be able to collect upwards of $2,500 to $3,000.
If you have $50,000 to $100,000 in assets, then there's no reason why you can't use my "Instant Money" strategy to add up to $10,000 a month.
But remember, even if you're starting small, you're adding cash every month. So if you're starting with $25,000 worth of cash or assets in your brokerage account – and you add $2,500 every month – within a year your brokerage account asset base could double or more, which means a year from now, you could collect twice as much in instant cash each and every month.
Let me show you how fast the money can add up…
The chart below shows you how you can use this strategy to turn $25,000 into over a million – simply by punching in the codes I send you time after time:
In other words, as you "ladder up" the amount of instant cash you're entitled to month after month, you could use this amazing strategy to amass a $1.12 million nest egg within five short years – an average of $219,600 per year!
You could do this without buying a single stock, option, bond or anything – AND without taking huge, unnecessary risks.
You simply collect the cash the market's paying you instantly… then wait for the next "PIN Code" to arrive from me in your computer's e-mail inbox.
It's really that simple!
But – Is "Instant Money" Really For You?
And I'm sorry if this sounds a little abrupt…
I'd love you to try trading this strategy, simply because 1) it's so easy to do… 2) it's the perfect time to do it… 3) and I get a huge thrill when I hear about investors who've been beaten around by the markets lately and are having a ton of fun investing again… and making money too.
But frankly, if you decide this isn't for you, I'm fine with it.
In fact, if you only have a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to trade – and you're looking to turn that into your retirement money in just a few months, then this strategy isn't for you.
If you have some decent capital and you understand the power of growing your money safely and systematically month by month…
If you're willing to "borrow" the very strategy professional investors use when they want to bolster their trading accounts by millions of dollars with instant cash…
Then I suggest you sign up to get my regular "Instant Money" e-mails.
As Easy As Punching in a Code
Profiting from this strategy isn't rocket science.
When I come across a situation where you can get instant money – just by punching in a simple code – I'll send it to you via instant e-mail and tell you exactly what to do.
(If you hurry, you can still grab the one that's still active today: UNY85 – which should still be good for around $750. I'll send you all the details the instant you sign up.)
Then you can expect one or two more codes a month, ranging from $400 to $1,200, depending on what I uncover.
And don't forget, depending on the size of your trading account, you could choose to collect more than the amounts I'm quoting here… and grow your Instant Money nest egg even faster.
And if you're still not clear on how the strategy works, don't worry. Even though I'll tell you precisely what to do in every e-mail, all new subscribers to my Instant Money Trader get my freshly written detailed primer on precisely how this powerful strategy works.
Again, you don't have to study it or master it to profit from this strategy. But I do recommend you take some time to read it. At the very least you'll have some rare insight into a trading strategy that to this day remains one of the most closely guarded secrets among professional traders… and you'll have specific and profitable knowledge very few ordinary investors will ever have.
What's more, I'm going to make your decision to sign up for my Instant Money Trader alerts very easy for you.
Through this special offer, the cost is just $750 for a full year's subscription.
That includes everything you need: The primer and the regular Instant Money Trader alerts – alerts that could give you an opportunity to collect more than $10,000 over the coming year. (Remember, since November, when I started issuing my "PIN Codes," Instant Money Trader subscribers have had an opportunity to collect over $7,800… and the year is not even close to being over yet!)
But here's what makes this opportunity unlike any you've seen: I don't want you to pay for your subscription…
I want the market to pay it for you.
So here's what I'm proposing to you today:
No Risk To You Whatsoever: Either The Market Pays… or We Do
Sign up for my Instant Money Trader today at the $750 price.
Then… If you don't see from me an opportunity to collect at least $750 in instant cash over the next 30 days, simply let us know and you can choose to cancel your Instant Money Trader subscription… get your $750 subscription fee back… and continue getting my alerts for an entire year.
In other words, there's no risk to you whatsoever.
Either the market pays for your subscription via "Instant Money" trades over the next 30 days… or we do.
And even if you do add instant cash to your account over the next 30 days, but decide the Instant Money Trader simply isn't your cup of tea, just let us know before the month is up and we'll return your subscription fee and offer your subscription spot up to someone else – no hard feelings.
It's as simple as that. Either you get instant cash and you're happy… or you don't pay a cent.
So to recap once more, here's what you get when you sign up:
In other words, everything you need to begin profiting from this exciting strategy from the get-go…
But there is one thing…
Given the extraordinary "no-risk-to-you" nature of this offer – and the fact there's no telling how long the "PIN Code" I have for you will continue to pay out cash – I need to hear from you right away.
But more crucial than that is the instant cash you stand to collect over the coming weeks by starting right away. Remember, every single one of the "PIN Codes" I've issued through this advisory service has paid out instant cash – anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
In all my 17 years of profiting from this strategy, I've never seen a better time to use it than right now. Rarely has the market been so willing to pay you so much instant cash for doing practically nothing.
That's why I'm so eager for you to try it – and why I'm willing to pay you if you don't have the chance to collect at least the cost of your subscription over the next 30 days.
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We're all gonna die.
- Country Joe & the Fish, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag"
Both the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times describe the former Secretary of Defense as the "architect" of the Vietnam War. This is news to us and libelous to real architects; as near as we could tell, the war went on without plans or blueprints, clapped together by jackleg meddlers. Then, the whole thing fell down in a heap.
But we do not disrespect the dead here at The Daily Reckoning. Instead, we cut them open in order to figure out what was wrong with them. Look for the autopsy report later in the week...until then, Robert S. McNamara, RIP.
For today, let us return to the markets.
Yesterday, the Dow rose 43 points. Oil sank to $64. Gold traded at $924. The dollar remained about where it was, at $1.39 per euro. And the 10-year note yielded almost exactly 3.5%.
Economists are guessing about how high unemployment will go in the United States. One estimate in RealEconomics has it peaking out at 14%. Another, from PIMCO, worries that it might just climb over 10% and stay there for a long time.
Naturally, the calls for more stimulus spending are becoming louder. People are wondering how come Washington bails out Wall Street but not California.
Wouldn't that stimulate the economy? The Golden State is issuing IOUs to paper over the holes in its budget. Wall Street has announced that it has found a way to make a buck on California's troubles; it will trade the IOUs just like bonds. But major creditors - fearing the paper could decline in value - may not take it...forcing California into a more immediate crisis.
This will make people wonder something else: how come creditors take US IOUs, but not California's? The feds' deficit is 70 times greater than California's. Yet, lend money to the federal government for 10 years and you get just 3.5%.
Meanwhile, in the business sector, Bloomberg continues its reports on the progress of the depression: "Earnings Drop Worldwide," says the headline.
In the United States, dividends are going down faster than at any time in the last 50 years. Businesses are earning less and paying less in dividends because shoppers have stopped buying.
Maybe it's just mid-summer. But despite the darkening clouds, there's an air of eternity...like the stillness before a thunder storm...as if time were stuck in a drop of amber...and lightning would never strike.
"The worst is behind us," says a report from the British Chamber of Commerce. Of course, those words could have come from any one of dozens of sources. Economists believe it. Businessmen. Investors. The recovery may be "long" and "fragile." Maybe "L" shaped...rather than the V we were hoping for.
However, Capital & Crisis' Chris Mayer tells us, the crisis is far from over. "We talk incessantly about bailing out the banks, bailing out Wall Street, when the real question is: who is going to bail out the taxpayers?" Well, it won't be Washington...so most likely, you'll have to fend for yourself.
Now, should come the part where the rebuilding begins...and yet, there is no rebuilding. Instead, the economic model that has existed more or less intact since the end of WWII is being dismantled.
Yes, dear reader, we have entered a period of creative destruction. Between the Napoleonic Wars and WWI was a period of growth and stability. There were disruptions - even grave disruptions, such as the War Between the States in the United States and the Franco-Prussian War in Europe. There were various uprisings, communes and Risorgimientos. But the 'powers that be' were solid. So was their money. The pound, the dollar, and the franc were all backed by gold. European powers ruled the earth. Britain ruled the waves. And gold ruled commerce and banking.
It all came to a disastrous end in 1914. Soon, almost every government in Europe was bankrupt. The royal families of Europe - the Hohenzollerns, the Hapsburgs, the Ottomans, and the Romanovs - all were swept away by war and revolution. And then came the Genoa agreement of 1922 that allowed central bankers to hold pounds or dollars, instead of gold, as reserves. It was a small step for man...but a big step on the road to ruin. Thereafter came a number of other steps leading up to Richard Nixon's giant step in August 1971, removing the last trace of gold from the world's official financial system.
The Archduke Ferdinand was shot in Sarajevo in June 1914. The summer that followed was uneasy but, for a while, calm. No one was quite sure what would happen next. As the warm days went by, it began to look as though nothing would happen at all. People had lived through a century of relative peace and prosperity. Smart people believed that something fundamental had changed. It was a new era, they thought. Globalization was making them all rich. And new technological innovations - the internal combustion engine, automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances - promised a better, easier life for everyone. This better life was based on capital...savings put to work in factories, buildings, machines and transportation systems. Wars no longer made sense, since they destroyed this vital capital. Everyone clearly benefited from the new system of globalized trade; no one stood to gain anything worthwhile from war. One popular book of the time argued that war had become obsolete...unthinkable in this new modern world.
Alas...here we are.
Now, for the top stocks market news from The 5 Min. Forecast:
"We've found a raging bull market despite the current recession: Congressional travel expenses," writes Ian Mathias in today's issue of The 5.
"Lawmaker spending on overseas vaca...sorry, diplomatic excursions has nearly tripled since 2001. See for yourself:
"According to a study from The Wall Street Journal, hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas last year at a record taxpayer cost of $13 million. And that doesn't include off-budget costs like spending in war zones or borrowing government planes to jet set abroad.
"Some of last year's most diplomatically vital trips include: Five representatives checked out the Galapagos Islands to 'learn about global warming.' Six senators attended the Paris Air Show. Eight lawmakers enjoyed a delightful eight-day Italian excursion. And perhaps taking the cake, the House Homeland Security Committee's jaunt to Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Panama... pertaining to the defense of US borders, we must assume.
"While the official numbers aren't out yet, the WSJ claims expenses this year appear just as outrageous. There are over 20 government employees whose sole job function is to plan congressional outings."
Wanna make sure you get The 5 - in its entirety - sent to your inbox, every Monday through Friday? You can...by becoming a subscriber to one of Agora Financial's paid publications, such as Outstanding Investments. In the latest report, you'll learn about one investment that our intrepid correspondent, Byron King, says is actually better than gold. And given gold's performance so far this year, that's saying something. Get the full report here.
And back to Bill, with more thoughts:
Despite the comforting arguments in July 1914, the guns opened up in August and didn't stop until four years later. Even then, the destruction was not over. The next three decades were spent settling scores and sorting out the debris; the Bolshevik coup in Russia...Mao's victory in China...taking the Germans and Japanese down a notch...hyperinflation in Germany...depression in America - taken together, these developments created a new world order.
The United States of America emerged triumphant. The US has dominated the planet's military affairs ever since; the dollar has dominated its financial affairs.
But now this giant seems vulnerable. It still has the world's strongest military, but depends on it rivals for financing. Britain depended on financing from America in WWII. But America's elite were anglophiles...gladly sharing power with the British Empire in the interwar period, and then stepping into its boots after WWII. The handover of imperial power was smooth. Diplomats still speak of the 'special relationship' between the United States and Britain.
Today's rivals are different. They speak different languages. They have different political systems...and different cultures. They are not European powers. Led by China, they are responsible for a larger and larger share of the world's output. And they already are responsible for a large share of the world's savings - with the biggest piles of cash in the world. Until now, they have recycled those savings back into the United States. It was as if you bought a new automobile and then the manufacturer gave you back your money so you could buy another one. This arrangement seemed to serve everyone fairly well for a long, long time. Americans got to enjoy a standard of living that not even they could afford. Emerging markets got to emerge much faster than they would have otherwise. Factories went up in Asia; debts went up in America stocks market.
But that economic model is finished. Broken. It's over. Kaput. American consumers are not going to go further into debt so that Chinese factory workers can add to their savings. Instead, savings rates are soaring in the United States. And the Chinese are facing riots (described as "ethic riots" in the paper...they have left 156 dead in a remote Chinese province...How much effect did the financial downturn have on this civil insurrection? We don't know...)
Like the great powers in the summer of '14, no one has an interest in upsetting the economic model of the last 50 years or disturbing the political stability of post-Cold War period. Besides, the rising powers - again, led by China - are "trapped," say analysts. They are thought to have "no choice" but to back the United States and its dollar.
"China - with 80 different car makers to bail out... tens of thousands of huge socialist-era factories... and 100s of millions of workers to support - has a big problem," The Richebacher Letter's Rob Parenteau tells us.
"Much bigger than they're letting on."
"But when you are trapped, you spend all your time trying to figure out how to get free," said an analyst we met with yesterday. "Sooner or later, they'll find a way. Then, watch out."
What am I missing? Why do the majority of folks blindly accept the shenanigans of the federal government? Why is it advisable to bail out the failures and penalize the productive? Isn't there a moral hazard lurking somewhere in this mix?
In a recent editorial, Peter Schiff reminded me of what my late friend Harry Browne, the former Libertarian Party candidate for president, used to say: "The government is great at breaking your leg, handing you a crutch, and then saying, 'You see, without me, you couldn't walk.'" That maxim is clearly illustrated by the financial industry regulatory reforms proposed recently by the Obama administration. ("Would you like a broken arm, or would you prefer a broken leg?")
Every economic problem we face can be directly traced back to the federal government and the interfering laws that it continually passes. Remember the Resolution Trust Corp. back in the 1980s? It became "necessary" to bail out the savings and loan industry because so many of the S&Ls gambled wildly with their depositors' money. Sound familiar? How could the S&Ls of the 1980s and the too-big-to-fail banks of the '00s make such horrible business decisions? Were/Are the management teams just stupid or are they also incompetent?
Consider this: We've had a record number of bank failures just this year. As of June 19, 2009, the FDIC has closed 40 banks at a net cost of over $11.5 billion. Are you worried? Why not? Oh, your account is insured. By whom? So when the management of the bank that controls your deposits makes stupid business decisions, you don't care? The FDIC will bail out your account. Not only that, the "insured" amount was increased from a "mere" $100,000 per account to $250,000 this year (this extra coverage expires at the end of 2013 and reverts back to the $100,000 figure in 2014 as currently scheduled). Do you see a slight problem here?
Just for giggles, suppose there were no FDIC and your deposits at any bank or S&L were simply not insured. Would you then perhaps have a slightly different outlook as to the safety of your money? Would you perhaps behave somewhat differently when selecting a bank in which to deposit your funds? Why? Do you now see that the FDIC is a federal government-sponsored insurance scheme to protect you from greedy and stupid bankers? Or do you perhaps see that the FDIC actually facilitates excessive risk-taking on the part of the bankers, since they have nothing to loose? Do you suppose there might be a slight moral hazard hiding somewhere in this mix? If the bank did not have the FDIC insuring your deposit and that same bank had to compete in the open, free market for your deposit account, would you suppose that the bank management might behave in a slightly more conservative manner? Wouldn't you behave in a slightly more conservative manner when selecting a bank?
Now consider the actions of the too-big-to-fail companies, be they banks, insurance companies, Freddie and Fannie, or even automobile manufacturing companies. What's to restrain the management of those companies? If they mess up, the government will protect them. And as we've all observed, the very folks that made the stupid and reckless business decisions will still get their multimillion-dollar bonuses. Would you be willing to make a wild guess that maybe there is a slight moral hazard hiding somewhere in this scheme?
What about the business management that continues to make prudent decisions and continues to operate profitably? What is their incentive? How are they rewarded? The same federal government that bails out the too-big-to-fail companies totally ignores the hardworking, successful managements of the smaller businesses. Actually, it's even worse than that. The companies and individuals that are successful now get penalized, because their tax dollars are used to bail out the unsuccessful. They get to subsidize the failures. Isn't that a wonderful reward for doing a good job?
So I again ask what am I missing? Am I the only person (or only one of the very few) concerned? When I/we comment about these obvious inequities, does anyone pay attention? Does anyone question the wisdom of the federal government's decisions? Based on the feedback I've received from the congressmen and -women who claim to "represent" me, they certainly don't care. Aside from the folks who attended the various Tea Parties on April 15, the rest of the folks don't seem to care. What am I missing?
One of the factors that caused me to write this white paper is the incredible discussion of so-called "green shoots" from our eminent Fed head "Helicopter" Ben Bernanke and the observation of the recovery light at the end of the tunnel that now seem to be so visible to the mainstream media. As Ronald Reagan used to say, the media know a great deal that just isn't true.
There has been a tremendous recent effort to create "transparency" in and from government. Using that as a diversionary tactic, the public's attention is now away from the facts. While perception is important and can mask facts for a period of time, it cannot avoid ultimate economic laws of nature. In this case, the public's attention is being diverted from the undeniable facts that we are nowhere near the bottom of this economic downturn. Banks are still hiding toxic waste in their off-balance sheet accounts. These virtually worthless assets are not just going to disappear with no one noticing. Sooner or later, these near-worthless assets must be accounted for. The so-called bank stress tests were a joke. The intent was just to give the public the perception that the worst is over.
It isn't. We have at least one more major leg-down in our economic future. And I believe that leg will take us to a Dow of 5,000 and perhaps as low as 3,000. Yes, the Dow may continue upward to 10,000 from its current level of 8,500, but then it will head down once again. All we have to do is look at Japan 1989-present and our own economy from 1929-1932. Oh, yes, it can happen again! Absolutely nothing has been done to prevent a repeat of this history. In fact, what has already been done by the federal government interference with our markets almost assuredly guarantees that it will happen once again.
What is it that will happen? A depression. Why? Because too many government interferences have occurred over the decades since the last depression. Perhaps it might be helpful to first define the difference between a recession and a depression ― at least by my definitions of the terms.
Business cycles frequently become what are referred to as overheated economic cycles. (Note that every one of these so-called overheated situations is a direct result of government monetary interference with what otherwise would be free market behavior.) So a so-called cooling-off period of adjustment then takes place to correct the malinvestments that were made during these periods of irrational exuberance (thanks, Alan). These adjustments happen rather quickly, and then the recession is finished. You've heard it called the "V" recession because we tend to enter quickly but then we tend to also recover quickly. Today, the mainstream is talking of a "W" recovery, meaning a double in-and-out recession. But recessions usually take place rather quickly and are then finished. In a depression, structural changes to the economy actually occur and then it takes years to readjust. Can you say Japan? The new version of the resulting economy is a major change from the prior economy. Old bubbles are never reinflated, but new bubbles are ultimately formed. Note that our federal government is trying to reinflate the last bubble, meaning a return to a consumer-led economy. It simply won't happen. We'll waste a tremendous amount of taxpayer money and it will all be for naught.
Ultimately, a new bubble will be created. In the past decade, we've enjoyed the Greenspan dot-com bubble followed by the real estate bubble. Now we are starting to form what I see as a bond bubble. In the process, everything in the path of this "recovery" is being socialized: banks, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, even automobile companies. Yet to come will probably include national health care. If you think private health care is expensive, wait until you see how much "free" health care costs. But this is what I mean by "structural" changes. It's new territory for most of the participants.
What do you think will be the end result: inflation or deflation? I think we're in for both deflation and inflation ― in that order. Short-term deflation, but longer-term inflation. So I'd invest to protect myself against inflation. That means precious metals, energy, and commodities such as foods and water. Period. For the foreseeable future. Speculations would be in the area of biotech, nanotech, and stem-cell-tech.
I also hope that my comments are just being realistic ― not doom and gloom. I admit my emotional reactions may be affecting my opinions. I hope not. But I'd rather be overprepared than underprepared or unprepared.
Considering that the value of our dollar is being actively destroyed by our government, how will you protect yourself and your family from further destruction of the dollar? Are you aware that the dollar is now worth 4% of what it was worth when the Federal Reserve was created with the charter mandate to provide a stable dollar? What did I just say? Are you happy with 4 cents of purchasing power left for your hard-earned 100-cent dollar? Don't take my word for it ― it's on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Web site. My recommendation includes making investments in areas that are not dollar denominated. As such, you can expect to benefit from a currency hedge as well as from the performance of the investment itself. Today, all currencies are fiat, so this becomes a relatively moot consideration ― see my next comment below.
Still another area to consider is foreign exchange. Consider Swiss francs and Chinese renminbi (yuan) for starters. Also consider the Brazilian real, due to the country's incredible discovery of offshore oil. The real would be a speculation, while the franc and yuan are slam-dunks. Norway's kroner is also a consideration, due to the country's oil economy. I'd stay away from the Canadian loonie simply because Canada's economy is so closely tied to the US'.
I believe we are in a depression, not just a recession. By that, I mean we're in for major structural changes, not just a clearing of some malinvestments that got out of hand in recent years. The Dow could go as high as 10,000 before the next drop, but there will be another drop. As I said, I expect the Dow to go as low at 5,000 and possibly 3,000. I know how that sounds, but that is what the markets are telling me. While we will then recover, it will be a long, drawn-out recovery. Years, not months. This is not the muddle-through recession that so many expect. I'm guessing we'll remain in this morass for at least five years, if we're lucky. We could go the way of Japan, which hasn't recovered yet after two decades! The more Washington interferes with the markets, the more severe the problems then become and the longer the recovery period. As Bill Bonner is fond of saying, we'll see "a corrective force equal and opposite to the deception and delusion that preceded it." And of course, we could just be headed into outright and total socialism, so all this attempted planning could just be for naught.
But back to my original question: What am I missing? What do you know that I seem to be overlooking? Why am I not in agreement with all the mainstream economists and government officials such as "Helicopter" Ben Bernanke and Timothy tax cheat-in-charge-of-the-IRS Geithner? Why is it OK for the U.S. government to "fire" all the profitable Chrysler dealerships because they donated to the Republicans while keeping the unprofitable Chrysler dealerships because they supported the Democrats? Why is it OK to medically insure the 47 million uninsured at the expense of the folks that actually pay the premiums? Why is it OK to bail out AIG because it insured Goldman Sachs? Why is it OK to "gift" a major ownership of General Motors to the UAW simply because the union supported the Obama election campaign? Why is it OK to stiff the Chrysler and GM bondholders who, by USA contract law, have first right to the assets of the corporations in case of a bankruptcy? Why is it OK to simply ignore and override centuries-old corporate law? Why is it OK to issue presidential edicts that circumvent corporate and civil law? Why? What am I missing? Why?
There is much, much more to be said on this topic. However, what I've already written is probably more than enough for the moment. By the way, were I a registered broker or financial adviser, the securities rules and regulations would prohibit me from telling you the above. So don't be too hard on your current financial adviser. The government would suspend his/her license for telling you the truth.
At several points in the past 30 years, things were so bad that gold sellers were like the proverbial Maytag repairman. They led lives of quiet desperation about which no one cared. Because like the late Rodney Dangerfield, gold got no respect.
Heck, between 1999-2002, the British government sold a large amount of its national gold, nearly 395 tonnes (metric tons), for about $275 per ounce. The Bank of England used the proceeds to purchase (ahem) "high- yielding" assets, like bonds. I suppose it seemed like a good idea to somebody. But really. In hindsight, how dumb was that? The British used to fight wars for gold (remember the Boer War, anyone?) Now they're selling gold to buy bonds? They used to hang people for lesser crimes.
Last March 2008, gold sold for over $1,000 per ounce. Then the price retreated 30% as oil rocketed from about $100 to $147 per barrel. But even though gold fell back in price, it was still selling, on average, for almost three times what the Brits took in less than a decade ago. You didn't do that with bonds. So the lesson is that we have to keep our eyes open about cycles and trends, even with something like gold.
Just in the past six months, almost every nonprecious metal asset class has been headed down. The stock markets have been tanking. Prices for everything from aluminum to zircon are way down. Oil has been bottom- fishing. The world is sliding downhill into deep recession. It's a long litany of bad news out there. Except for precious metals, which have held their own.
Lately, precious metals have been in a stealth rally. It was not front- page news, until last week when gold touched the $1,000 mark again. But the operating gold miners in the OI portfolio, hit lows in October 2008. And they've all been rising in the markets ever since.
What's going on? It's a worldwide trend. Investors have been flocking to gold and silver. There's a money migration going on. And I mean BIG money is migrating. It's like those herds of zebras or wildebeests or gazelles in Africa. When they migrate, the earth shakes and the ground is just a moving kaleidoscope of hides and footprints. The dust clouds blow high into the sky.
Yes, the world economy might be in a recession. People across the world are worried about their job and security for their family. But other people with big bucks are scooping up gold and silver. Those buyers are looking for investment safety.
Moneyed investors don't trust the world's governments or paper currencies. So they are going with gold and silver. The mines and mints are having trouble keeping up with demand. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are buying huge volumes of gold and silver. (And they ought to be buying more. At the margins, at least, it appears that even the ETFs are holding "paper" gold rights, as opposed to the real McCoy metal.)
Let's look at silver. In January 2006, the total silver held in ETFs was about 40 million ounces. By January of this year, 2009, the total silver in ETFs exceeds 280 million ounces. That's an increase by a factor of seven in just three years.
The story with gold is just as dramatic. Who ever heard of a gold ETF until just a few years ago? But by the end of 2008, gold holdings of ETFs reached a record level of 1,090 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Thus, ETF holdings now exceed those of Switzerland and many other large and important nations. (Check the listing below.) In the fourth quarter of 2008, investors purchased ETF gold interests representing 96 tonnes of gold. (Far more than the total gold reserves of Australia.) This followed the purchase of an unprecedented 145 tonnes (more than the reserves of Saudi Arabia) in the previous quarter, according to the WGC. These are astonishing levels of demand, where there was almost none just a few years ago.
Much of the gold in the vaults of the worlds' central banks has accumulated over many decades. Much of the U.S. government gold reserve, for example, dates from the national gold confiscation of 1933 under President Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt had a compliant Congress to do his bidding. Eventually, even the Supreme Court backed him up. So what's that old expression? "It CAN happen here."
Many other countries of the world are currently buying gold, fresh from the mine. Today, China is the world's largest gold-producing nation, and its central bank is buying and building reserves. Russia, too, has a tradition of holding gold and today is acquiring gold from its own mine output and via purchases on international markets. Or look at tiny Qatar, a small nation in the middle of the Persian Gulf. Qatar had only 8 tonnes of gold about three years ago. Now it has 12 tonnes, an increase of 50% in a very short time. What do the Chinese, the Russians or the Qataris know? They know that they want gold. They can buy it. They will hold it. And they are hoarding it.
I've mentioned on many occasions that I like holding precious metals. I like holding metals as an investment and I just like the feel of the stuff. At the "elementary" level (yep, that's a pun), you can hold physical metals. If you've never felt the coolness and heft of a shiny gold $50 Eagle or a Canadian Maple Leaf in your hand - let alone a fine old specimen of a $20 coin from the days of old in the U.S. - you've missed something. Really, the only thing better than holding an Eagle or Maple Leaf is holding an entire roll of 20 of them.
When I was in South Africa last year, I visited a refining operation and actually picked up a gold brick. It was almost right out of the melting pot. The brick was still warm, and the darn thing weighed about 75 pounds. That's what I call "useful weight gain." Too bad I couldn't bring it home with me. But the armed guards at the refinery might have objected.
I've never made a formal OI recommendation for buying a particular kind of gold or silver coin, or ingots from this mint or that or any such thing. Those kinds of gold purchases are too hard to track in a newsletter like this. So I've recommended gold and silver miners and their shares. But over the past couple of years, I hope you've had the chance to acquire some real metal for your portfolio. Agora Financial has been banging the golden drum for at least 10 years. If you have never bought any gold, it's still not too late. I think that the recent visit to $1,000 is just the beginning of another great wave of gold buying. I won't be surprised to see $3,000 gold.
Coins and ingots are the kinds of things you keep in your bank safe deposit box or in a well-hidden home safe. Some people keep them in their "second" home safe. Why a second safe? Well, the first safe is the one with a few hundred bucks of cash and some good-looking costume jewelry in it. You would open the first safe if a robber broke into your house and held a gun to your head. (Sorry, I'm not kidding. We live in a tough world.)
And for as much as I urge you to own some gold or ingots, you should never talk about it. OK, you might tell a few family members or maybe a trusted friend or two. But the fact that you have a stash of real gold is too valuable to broadcast or advertise. As I said above, "It CAN happen here." It already has happened here. It might happen again, if things get too rough out there.
That's how long it took a barren stretch of land from Montana through North Dakota, known as the "Bakken," to catapult from a forgotten region...to America's hope for energy independence.
The incredible story behind the largest oil find in US history has plastered itself across every major financial outlet. It's been featured everywhere from CNBC and Fox News to The Wall Street Journal.
Every one of them is getting excited for the same reason we are...there's a massive deposit right under the frozen soil -- so large -- it could meet America's oil demand for the next four decades.
But here's what they don't tell you...
Thanks to certain technological advancements (and three very special companies), these reserves just created a new generation of wealth for savvy American investors.
With the rapid return coming from this unique group of companies, the media's already dubbed early investors the "Montana Millionaires."
It's easy to see why. In just the past 11 days -- since the story started to take-off -- each of these outfits gained an average of 21.3%.
And they're just getting started. As you'll see in just a minute, by the time all this is said and done, Montana Millionaires could collect as much as 1,000% in profits.
Below, I've attached my full report, detailing the entire situation and exactly how you can join the Montana Millionaires... before it's too late.
The best part is - you don't have to be a Montana resident to take part.
As I write this, oil is closing at roughly $113 a barrel.
But imagine being able to extract it... for just $16.
The price of gas you'd pay at the pump would--quite literally--drop in half.
Well, in Richland County, Montana - about 470 miles outside the state capitol of Helena - America's greatest wealth boom is fast - and secretly - underway.
To get right to the point...
It's the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable... at $107 a barrel, Montana is looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
"When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea." says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial analyst.
"This sizeable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years," reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
It's a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the "Bakken." And it stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada.
For years, U.S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the "Big Oil" companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels.
And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!
That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight.
To America, this discovery couldn't have come at a better time. You see, when all the wells are finally drilled and pumping, we won't have to import any foreign oil from the Middle East. Not a single drop!
For investors like you and me, it offers a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance to profit on ever-rising demand for oil. And we can do it by getting in on the groundfloor of the next great oil boom...
Even the US Government has confirmed the Bakken as a huge oil formation. The government's own Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued this press release:
"...with new drilling and completion technology taken into account, the resource base for the entire formation is potentially much larger. A study provides estimates ranging up to 503 billion barrels of potential resources in place."
Oil in the Bakken isn't gritty, dirty and expensive like the Alberta oil sands.
We're talking light, sweet crude oil - the least expensive and easiest to refine oil out there.
And here's the kicker...
Montana lawmakers recently passed a bill that creates an 18-month tax holiday for oil wells drilled and completed in this area.
This legislation has caused a massive increase in exploration and has blown the top off this hidden ocean of oil.
Since this bill was passed, a small group of investors have been taking advantage of this untapped resource and are making thousands of dollars each month.
The good news is that you don't have to drive up to Montana to get your piece of the pie.
In fact, I have uncovered three companies that are drilling in the Bakken right now and are seeing returns and revenues second to none...
"It's a good, old fashioned oil boom," says Dr. Paul Polzin, a University of Montana economist.
One company has been there since the beginning of the Bakken boom... and is already selling its oil to the market. And the best part about it - this company is sharing its Bakken profits with everyday investors.
You see, for the past seven years, this company has distributed its net profits in the form of MONTHLY cash payments. They have sent their shareholders profit-sharing checks for 84 months in a row... and the check amounts are on the rise.
Straight from the company's annual report:
That's how huge and insanely profitable the Bakken play is becoming.
The other 2 Bakken companies I've uncovered are true "wildcatter" plays... with the potential to return investors 100-to-1 on their money. They currently trade for $7 and $5 a share, respectively.
Amazingly, this monumental oil discovery - and these 3 companies - have remained a secret.
Before I explain this opportunity in more detail, let me be perfectly clear - I have never come across a more ideal profit scenario.
In this letter, I'm going to tell you everything that I've learned about the Bakken discovery, why it is still a secret, who's involved, and - more importantly - how to profit from it. Especially before the rest of the investment community finds out.
Mark my words, an opportunity like this only comes around once every so often and I can GUARANTEE that this will not remain a secret for much longer.
In fact, some of the local media are beginning to report on it...
"People in the region 'are just starting to see the potential' in this new oil play" - Grand Forks Herald, Nov. 4, 2007
"The huge potential of the Bakken play has industry and government officials gushing with superlatives." -CanWest News Service, Dec. 10, 2007
"Montanan residents with oil royalties have, literally, been made millionaires." -Missoulian.com, Dec. 2, 2007
As we all know - the people who make the most money are the people who get in first.
And for the shareholders of oil companies that make huge, new discoveries, the potential payoff is mind-blowing.
There are several companies that have seen similar situations to the Bakken - of course on a far smaller scale - and have rallied hundreds of percent in just a few months. If these companies can see their stock prices increase by 300%, 400% or even 500% with oil discoveries of 1 or 2 billion barrels... just imagine what a discovery of up to 500 billion barrel of oil would do to a stock's price!
Here are a few examples...
Bankers Petroleum is a company based in the Patos-Marinz Oil Field in Albania. Upon discovery of its 1.96 billion barrels (1/250th of the potential of the Bakken Basin) the company's stock price increased 468% in just 7 months!
Let me fill you in on the details...
It was a true "rags to riches" story.
Then there's Petrominerals, a company whose primary drilling area is in the Llanos Basin in Colombia, South America. When uncovering a 1 billion barrel potential (1/500th of the potential of the Bakken Basin), this best stock jumped 775% in just 10 months!
Lastly, there's the example of BPZ Resources, a Peruvian company that has concentrated on two main oil fields: The Corvina and Albacora Formations. Recently, it was reported that the Corvina Field holds reserves of 60 million barrels and that the Albacora field hold reserve of roughly 500 million barrels (1/1000th of the Bakken Basin Potential) and the stock price rocketed 449% in just 8 months!
As you can see from the charts above - the potential is huge when a company makes a new discovery. And with the Bakken being exponentially larger than any oil field listed above, there is no telling how high the stock prices of the companies that I have outlined below will go - 400%... 700%... 2000%... maybe much, much higher.
Keep reading and you will soon find out the secret way to become a Montana Millionaire and get in on the ground floor of this unprecedented oil discovery called the Bakken Basin...
How a starving geologist found the largest oil field in modern day history
A few years ago, a Billings petroleum geologist by the name of Dick Findley was working out of his basement - searching for oil in an area that had been barren for over 20 years. Things were rough and he was struggling to get by.
He even flirted with the idea of getting a second job as a restaurant cook. On a diet of nothing but Ramen noodles and hard-boiled eggs - how could you blame the guy?
But one thing kept Dick going - an unprecedented suspicion that this area, known as the Bakken Basin, contained more oil than Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran combined.
The Bakken Basin, located in Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan - was at one point coined "one of the largest disappointments in the oil industry."
During this period, technology lacked the efficiency to make drilling worthwhile. And when oil hit all time lows in the late 90's - the Bakken Basin was basically abandoned.
But Findley kept digging around.
And through sheer luck, he and his partner stumbled upon a porous layer of dolomite, 9000 feet below the ground of a ranch just outside Sidney, Montana.
This stumble turned out to be the largest on-shore oil discovery in decades.
Little did he know, but Findley discovered enough oil to fuel the U.S. for 41 years.
And the oil field he found - and the technology that he helped develop to extract the oil - has recently made millionaires out of ordinary Montanans...
"It was a light bulb kind of thought - When I discovered that the oil was in the middle shale and it continued for 50 miles, I called my partner and I said, 'I think you'd better sit down...we found a giant oil field," says Findley of his initial discovery.
Findley soon took his discovery to energy giant Haliburton, which backed him financially and provided the support to help him develop the necessary drilling technology to efficiently take advantage of this huge oil discovery...
The Technology That Makes It All Possible
It's true that the oil industry has known about the Bakken Basin for over 20 years - but the problem always was that no one knew how to get at the oil. The technology just wasn't there. Until now...
But even today, the exact science behind getting the Bakken oil is still somewhat of a secret.
I mean, think about it for a minute...
Imagine you found a massive, but trapped gold mine in your neighborhood. Now imagine you created a technology to mine it - a technology unique to this specific gold mine.
Would you tell anyone how to do it? Would you reveal your secret?
No, of course not. You would want to make as much money as possible, before everybody else found out about it.
Well that's exactly what's going on with the Bakken Basin.
"It's too early in the play to be sharing information," says Bill Walker, a Denver-based geologist with Headington Co.
Bill says his company has recently developed the technology to drill the Bakken down effectively - and it's one of the company's closest guarded secrets.
Even though the technology I'm talking about is rather well known, actually using it successfully is the big secret.
The technology is called Horizontal Directional Drilling or H.D.D., and only a few companies have mastered the process.
How Does Horizontal Directional Drilling Work?
Getting oil out of the Bakken is not a matter of poking a hole in the ground until you hit a soft spot full of oil - which is the old vertical drilling technique.
The Bakken is woven with rocks, and that rock-layer is wide but very thin. Thin enough that vertical drilling is horribly unsuccessful.
It was Findley's idea to drill a well sideways - a technique called "horizontal directional drilling," in which wildcatters drill down to the oil and then kick out their well thousands of feet to the left or right.
Sort of like an underground sprinkler. Here is what it looks like:
But horizontal drilling alone isn't enough to get the oil out of the ground.
Findley had to work with Haliburton engineers to figure out a way to both drill sideways and fracture the rock to release the oil.
Both horizontal drilling and fracturing had been done before, but never together. This was Findley's revolutionary idea.
These combined technologies made drilling the Bakken Basin possible and extremely profitable.
In fact, the technique is so efficient that companies - like the ones I will tell you about below - are extracting oil from the Bakken at an amazing cost of just $16 a barrel!
And with oil now over a $100 a barrel - the companies below are making a killing - and you can too if you get in quickly enough...
The Best Way to Get in on the Groundfloor of One of the Largest American Oil Booms in History
I've spent the past 6 months researching every possible way of making money with this monumental oil discovery.
I've found a total of THREE ways.
Each opportunity has a unique advantage. And whether you're an income investor or a best stock investor, there is a way for you to get in on the Bakken boom, before the herd does...
Montana Millionaire Opportunity #1
The first opportunity is an explosive growth stock that was recently upgraded to the AMEX exchange in February 2007.
Since being upgraded this stock has gone from $3 to $10 - that is a 233% gain in just over one year.
And that is just the beginning...
The main catalyst for company's stock price spike is an increase in its acerage position in the Bakken Basin to 50,000 gross / 16,000 net acres. This additional acquisition increases its total Bakken position to about 105,000 gross / 52,000 net acres. That's huge.
They are gobbling up land in this precious region with fervor second to none.
In the past 12 months, insiders of the company have purchased more than 120,000 shares. They know that the Bakken play is going to be a fortune-maker.
With a deep foothold in the Bakken and the expansion of wells throughout the region - there is no telling how high this stock could go. Companies in similar situations have seen their stock rise to over $200 a share. Right now you can buy it for $7 a share.
But let me be very clear: we are talking about the potential of several thousand percent gains. This company trades at a market cap of just $196 million. So it's very small. When this company starts pumping oil out of the Bakken, its market cap could balloon to $2 billion! Right now the company stock is under the radar. But now that the U.S. Geological Survey has officially launched its Bakken report, this company could jump as much as 400% in just couple of days...
By combining experienced management, low overhead and aggressive acreage acquisition, this company is one of the nation's fastest growing small-cap gas and oil exploration and production companies.
"We are excited to announce the expansion of our [Bakken] acreage position," said the Chief Executive Officer. "Our position in this productive resource play is well situated among acreage held by leading Bakken exploration companies. Assuming full development of our [Bakken] leasehold on 640-acre drilling units, [our] acreage would result in approximately twenty-five net wells."
With the newly acquired acreage, this company is poised for profit over the next couple months, which means higher stock price and more cash in your pocket...
Montana Millionaire Opportunity #2
The second Montana Millionaire opportunity is an aggressive income play. This company has been involved in the Bakken for years and has significant acerage in the region.
This company is a high-yielding equity investment in the oil and natural gas business. They have built a balanced and diversified portfolio of producing properties across the United States with a focus on large resource plays, like the Bakken.
They have a strict discipline of paying a significant portion of their cash flow to investors each month. And with a payout ratio of 190% and a dividend yield over 11%, it's hard to argue otherwise.
But here's the rub...
This company is also a significant growth opportunity. Compared to the industry this company is trading at a heavy discount.
They have a forward P/E ratio of 14 compared to an industry average of 18.3 and a price to sales ratio of 5.76 compared to 11.04 for the industry.
Based on conservative valuation models, we believe this stock has the potential to double in the next 12 to 24 months.
That's on top of the cash payments it pays out every single month.
Montana Millionaire Opportunity #3
The third opportunity to take advantage of the next great American oil boom is through an independent exploration, development and production company that utilizes a revolutionary 3-D seismic imaging technology to systematically explore and develop domestic oil and gas reserve.
The use of this 3-D seismic technology reduces drilling risk and compounds their ability to grow reserves and production volumes.
Just recently this company announced three monumental Bakken discoveries and a plan for a significant acquisition of acreage in the Bakken Basin to the tune of 67,500 acres - bringing the company's total Bakken acreage to 219,000.
And their oil revenues have been booming. Take a look:
As a result, their profits are expected to grow at a huge rate.
According to ratings company Morningstar, the company's EPS growth is expected to grow a whopping 172% from its 2007 earnings.
Take a look:
This company, like the first one, is a huge growth play. It is currently trading at a huge discount with a price to sales ratio of 2.35 compared to an industry average of 11.04.
As the true potential of the Bakken is revealed by the U.S. Geological Survey - this company is sure to trade at a fair valuation - which comes to a 477% gain.
Not to mention that over the last 7 months there have been nothing but purchases with insiders...
This company is setting up for major success and the insiders know it - this best stock to buy is going nowhere but up over the next couple years...
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get in at the beginning of an oil boom - for next to nothing...
Now listen closely, I've put together an exclusive report that details the 3 companies currently in the Bakken ready to get America off of Mideast oil.
I call the report The Bakken Billions: The Next Big Oil Rush.
Below I will show you how to obtain your free report and become a Montana Millionaire yourself.
Let Me Introduce Myself and My Research Team...
My name is Brian Hicks. I'm the president of the investment research company Angel Publishing. I've spent my entire investment career uncovering the market's best moneymaking trends and developing friendships and contacts with some of the brightest financial minds around the world.
I literally travel the world looking for the best investment opportunities.
I've taken research trips to remote, historic oil boomtowns like Desdemona, Texas, the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Kiev, Ukraine. We've been to the heart of the oil sands industry, Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. And I've taken helicopter flights over the Barnett Shale, to see first-hand the natural gas boom.
My investment insights and ideas have landed me frequent spots on financial shows like CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, CNN and Fox Business.
Recently, I co-authored a book with Chris Nelder, an energy expert who has designed and built dozens of solar energy projects. This is a guy who understands the energy market inside and out . . . from energy's worst problems to its brightest solutions.
Together, we wrote Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the 21st Century.
And that's why I'm writing to you today. The energy crisis in the 21st Century is, without a doubt, one of those investments where you can achieve a lifetime of wealth. . . a sector that could make you a legendary fortune.
When you sign up for The $20 Trillion Report, you'll immediately get access to The Bakken Billions: The Next Big Oil Rush.
But that's not all you'll get . . .
I have 4 more money-making reports to give you.
Here's what I suggest...
Test-drive The $20 Trillion Report
There's a super-easy, no-risk way to receive everything I've mentioned in this letter, including...
Energy Investment Report #1: The Bakken Billions: The Next Big Oil Rush.
The Bakken Basin is home to an estimated 503 billion barrels of oil.
Right now, 3 companies are there producing oil. All 3 have the potential to be huge moneymakers for investors.
Energy Investment Report #2: Canada's First Underground Refinery: How to get Access to 31.63 Barrels of Oil Resource for just $47.
With oil trading over $100, every 100 shares you buy gives you access to $316,300 of oil resource.
So far, investors who own this stock have earned over 225% in 2007 alone!
Energy Investment Report #3: The Mother Lode Up North (over 20 companies in the region)
We'll tell you about an ETF dedicated to the Canadian oil sands which provides stellar growth in addition to paying a nice, steady dividend.
This is our favorite fund for the future. We consider it a no-brainer, as Canada has become America's #1 oil lifeline. The Canadian oil sands are also one of the few places in the world that'll experience significant production growth.
Energy Investment Report #4: Our Favorite Oil Stock Under $5.
I'll reveal our favorite oil stock under $5 a share . . . a stock we think has the potential to hit $26 in the next three years. It's a Texas oil and gas company that's doing something unique - reviving old oil fields and squeezing out what's been left behind. For instance, did you know that for every barrel of oil that was pumped out of the ground in America, two barrels were left behind?
Well, this company is going after it using EOR, enhance oil recovery.
Energy Investment Report #5: The Energy Trade of 2008.
It's a stock in which one American billionaire recently bought 395,000 shares. The company is an "alternative energy" company . . . and this billionaire bought those shares for $13.95 apiece on the open market. Not exactly chump change.
He made this same move last summer, but with a different top stocks for 2010. And it rallied 100%.
That's why we're calling this "The Energy Trade of 2008." It currently trades for around $13 . . . but we think it'll reach $30 in the next couple of months.
And lastly, you'll receive my book, Profit from the Peak, absolutely free of charge.
Profit from the Peak is a roadmap that shows you how to profit from the rise of oil prices. And I'll give you a copy absolutely free.
Just click on the link at the end of this email and let my team know that you'd like to begin your membership in The $20 Trillion Report.
You'll have plenty of time to examine my research and my investment philosophy. If you decide The $20 Trillion Report is not for you, simply let me know within the first 30 days by phone or mail and we'll completely reimburse you for the entire subscription fee of $99.
You can even keep my book, Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century.
And in a minute, you'll get access to it all.
Before I give you the specifics, let me quickly tell you about one of the investment ideas I'm extremely excited about right now . . .
The Energy Trade of 2008
Thanks to my connections and contacts in the global energy industry, I have uncovered a little-known way you can earn more profits from the energy bull market...
I'm calling it "The Energy Trade of 2008."
Simply put, some of America's richest investors are placing huge bets on energy, and especially "alternative" energy.
There's an alternative energy stock that currently trades for around $13 a share. Its market cap is $524 million... and it does $114 million in annual revenue. So as you can see, it's a real company with real revenues.
But more importantly, a billionaire recently bought 395,000 shares of it. He bought those shares for $13.95 apiece on the open market. So he must think - or even know - that the stock is going a lot higher.
He bought another energy stock last summer and it rallied 100%.
We think the stock he's buying now is an easy double in 2008. And you can get your hands on it immediately when you become a member of The $20 Trillion Report.
How to Get $20 Trillion for Just $99
The $20 Trillion Report costs only $99 for an entire year of research and reports.
Let me ask you a simple question: Is it worth paying $8 and change a month to learn about the best energy investment opportunities you'll hear about nowhere else?
We absolutely believe it is. If we didn't believe in the research my team and I are doing, we wouldn't spend weeks traveling to the Barnett Shale, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Kiev, Ukraine, Wyoming and Montana.
I'd like you to have the opportunity to try The $20 Trillion Report without feeling obligated to pay a single penny.
When you sign up for a trial subscription to The $20 Trillion Report today, you will receive:
Monthly Issues of The $20 Trillion Report. You'll receive every copy by email quickly and efficiently.
Hotline Updates. In addition to the monthly issues, we'll also send you a weekly hotline update.
Research Report #1: The Bakken Billions: The Next Big Oil Rush.
Research Report #2: Canada's First Underground Refinery: How To Get Access to 31.63 Barrels of Oil Resource for just $47.
Research Report #3: The Mother Lode Up North (over 20 companies in the region).
Research Report #4: Our Favorite Oil Stock Under $5. This company is doing something unique - it's bringing old oil wells back to life.
Research Report #5: The Energy Trade of 2008.
Take the next couple of weeks to have a close look at my work.
If you don't agree The $20 Trillion Report delivers the safest and most lucrative energy investment ideas and recommendations you've ever received, please contact my staff within the first 30 days by phone or regular mail and we will see that you receive full reimbursement for the money you've paid. The longer you wait to get started with these investments, the less money you will have in 2008 and beyond.