Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Eureka is not Saginaw, Michigan
It is 5:54 AM. Let the ole Colonel pour you a cup and let's take a stroll down Memory Lane. For us old timers in the West "Saginaw, Michigan" meant only two things; a song by Lefty Frizzell by that name and a tough-as-nails transmission for General Motors products. Lefty hailed from Corsicana, Texas but later moved to Bakersfield, California, and became a major influence on that young buck country star, Merle Haggard.
His song "Saginaw, Michigan" (1964) is a about a local boy who falls in love with a Saginaw girl. Her wealthy father blocks the romance given the boy's humble fisherman background. Not discouraged, the young lad heads out to Alaska's gold fields to find a fortune and raise his social standing. His Klondyke claim doesn't pan out but he convinces the father otherwise. Wild with gold fever, the father heads for Alaska and the boy gets the girl. That's my kind of buckaroo, pardner!
Now he's up there in Alaska digging in the cold, cold ground.
The greedy fool is a looking for the gold I never found.
It serves him right and no-one here is missing him.
Least of all the newly-weds of Saginaw, Michigan.
Oh, what about that transmission? It got the shaft too when the aluminum case 4-speed "Muncie" appeared on the scene about the same time as the song. Although the Saginaw-four was still produced, the Muncie was the ticket for Corvettes, Camaros and other hot cars of that era. A friend of mine used to carry a spare Muncie in his trunk; they were good as cash if you ran short of funds.
"Where you going with all this ancient history, Colonel?"
Hang on young'uns, we're almost there. You see that feller in Saginaw with the cute bride probably wishes he was back in gold country these days. I'm going to guess that things never got better in Saginaw with their old iron box four-speed. Nowadays we know that the decline of the U.S automotive industry has brought Michigan to number one in unemployment at a whopping 15.3%. Before we feel too bad for them, remember that Nevada is number two with 13.3% compared to a national figure rapidly closing on double digits.
It is sad when anyone loses a job but I'm going to guess that things are better up here in the north counties than down in Las Vegas. A Eureka woman who I greatly admire told me several months ago, "Eureka got through the Depression just fine, we'll get through this thing too!"
So here's my point. As bad as things may be or become, Eureka is well positioned to weather recessions and be first in line for economic recovery. As the Report has mentioned many times, gold is a safe haven during hard times and this County still has plenty of it. In a resource stretched world, strategic materials are ever more important too. We've got one of the world's largest deposits of molybdenum in Mt. Hope and Friday we learned the Gibellini vanadium exploration in the southeast corner of the County may have found new value in the light of tomorrow's electric cars and energy storage devices (A Big Step into the Future for Eureka County?). So take heart Eurekans, mining together with robust farming and ranching activities makes our County not a bad place to be.
Excuse me, a couple of old folks just pulled up to the shop in a 1964 Pontiac Catalina. Say, she's pretty good looking. Not the car, pardner, the old gal that just stepped out, "Excuse me sir, can you tell me where we can find some gas?"
"The Chevron, you must have passed it coming into town on the left. Where you from?"
"My husband and I drove all the way from Saginaw, Michigan."
"Welcome to Eureka, hon. I hope you stay awhile, you've come to the best little town on earth."
Enough story tellin', let's walk the walk:
4-WD is OFF - the VIX or "fear index" is flirting with 25 lately, rocky markets may be ahead. We'll keep'er in 2-WD for now (what's this?)
Yellow light is ON for possible adverse regulation/legislation (mercury emissions)
Otherwise, all lights are green on the Eureka Outlook Dashboard (upper right, what's this?)
Oil is up $0.18 in early trading to $78.86 (December contract); Gold is down $1.8 to $1041.0 (December contract, most active); Silver is down $0.085 to $17.010 (December contract); Copper is up $.0110 to $3.0220 (December contract); Molybdenum is steady at $11.75.
The DOW is up 56.91 points to 9924.87; the S&P 500, down 7.33 points to 1069.09. The miners are mixed:
Barrick (ABX) $36.55 up 0.97%
Newmont (NEM) $43.44 up 0.23%
General Moly (Eureka Moly, LLC) (GMO) $2.41 down 2.03%
Freeport McMoran (FCX) $78.86 down 0.91% (a bellwether mining stock spanning gold, copper & molybdenum)
Steel stocks are down, (a "tell" for General Moly):
Nucor (NUE) $41.57 down 3.95% - domestic steel manufacturing
ArcelorMittal (MT) $36.48 down 2.51% - global steel producer
POSCO (PKX) $112.94 down 1.93% - South Korean integrated steel producer
The Eureka Miner's Grubstake Portfolio is is down 0.83% to $1,203,688.72 (what is this?).