Salam semua, kali ini saya bawakan temubual antara Leonard Melman dan The Gold Report, temubual ini saya bawakan dalam bahasa asal iaitu bahasa inggeris. Leonard Melman adalah seorang yang arif dan pakar dalam dunia pelaburan logam berharga serta seorang ahli falsafah ekonomi. Dalam temu bual inidengan The Gold Report, ahli alsafahekonomi inimenceritakan permasalahanmengenai hala tujuekonomi global. Walau bagaimanapun, terdapatbeberapa tandayang bagus untukpelaburjunior yang peka, mari kita teruskan kepada temubual tersebut.
The Gold Report: Leonard, what are the most pressing issues facing investors today?
Let's start with the fiscal cliff. If America falls into this abyss,
the combination of tax increases and spending reductions will slow down
economic growth. Interestingly, political leaders inEurope are calling
for increasing taxes and decreasing spending in order to solve their
problems. I find it amusing that the solution to economic problems being
proposed by leaders on the European side of the Atlantic is thought to
be the problem on the American side of the Atlantic. TGR: How do you account for the disconnect?
It is due to a philosophical inconsistency and a lack of economic
understanding on the part of the world's political leaders, most of whom
are not well qualified as economic thinkers, nor as philosophers for
that matter. TGR: How important is a philosophical stance to making a cogent economic analysis?
Adhering to a strong underlying philosophy can guide leaders through
difficult times. Unfortunately, demands by the public for more and more
government services are making politicians even more reluctant to come
down on the side of austerity, particularly in America. The results are
uncontrollable deficits and a massive national debt. The statutory debt
limit of the US government is $16.394 trillion. The national debt of the
US as of mid-December was $16.337 trillion. Therefore, a mere $52
billion remained before the ever-rising debt reaches the statutory
limit. TGR: What will happen if no measures are taken to change the debt limit?
Leonard Melman: According to law, portions of the government must cease operations once
the limit is reached. Nobody wants to see that happen, least of all
politicians. So I believe they will likely agree to increase the debt
limit by another couple trillion Dollars. TGR: What will happen if the two-party system fails to agree on tax and spending cuts? How will the market respond?
The market operates in two different directions. The precious metals
market historically has regarded instability as a plus. The financial
markets have historically regarded instability or uncertainty as a
minus. If the parties fail to resolve either the fiscal cliff or the
debt limit problem, I believe the financial markets will react
negatively, but the precious metals markets will most probably react
TGR: Then why has the price of gold bullion during the last year been so out of sync with the deflated price of junior Gold Mining stocks?
In late 2007 and early 2008, the price of gold hovered near $800/ounce
(oz). It's over $1,700/oz now—more than double the earlier price—and yet
the three most popular mining share indexes, the Philadelphia Gold and
Silver Index (XAU), the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI) and the Market
Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), are all below their late 2007 and early 2008 levels. That is rather astonishing.
reason is that the nature of mining—especially for the juniors—has
undergone dramatic changes in recent years, none of which are positive.
Increasing energy, transportation, geological and licensing costs make
it now more expensive to mine for metals, but the most pressing problem
is that the time that it takes to put a newly discovered mine into
operation has increased at a rapid rate.
I've been in this
business for four decades. In the late 1970s, a mine could anticipate
rapid progress from the time of discovery. A junior simply raised money,
put the money into the ground, proved up the asset, got construction
financing and went into production. Now a series of lengthy bureaucratic
processes are making it difficult for mining companies to raise new
funds in the financial markets because that causes share dilution.
dilution tends to knock down share price, which makes it difficult to
arrange the next round of financing, which then makes it even more
difficult to advance exploration and development and a most difficult
spiral ensues that makes it very difficult for miners to generate
revenue from production. TGR: Are environmental regulations the only cause of slowing timelines for new mine development?
There are other obstacles. In Canada, the courts have literally given
many aboriginal tribes the ability to interfere in the progress of a
mining venture. Companies are required to "consult" with them at various
stages of progress. Consultation is expensive, it's time consuming, and
it can be interrupted by legal procedures at almost any time. TGR: Do you see any changes in the near term?
Leonard Melman: The
near term remains very difficult. In the long term, I'm fairly
optimistic, because the world needs metals to survive, plain and simple.
You can't cook food, you can't drive anywhere, you can't process
energy, you can't run computers, you can't have medical instruments and
you can't do almost anything that we do in modern life without metals.
When genuine metal shortages begin to develop, we will see pressure
build for a revision in these policies.
TGR: Are there any North American gold juniors that can weather these difficulties?
There are some. They understand the value of obtaining properties with a
high likelihood of success. The old adage is that if you want to
develop a new mine, acquire property in the vicinity of an old mine. TGR: What about investing in bullion as opposed to investing in gold stocks?
As noted earlier, during the last four years, investing directly in
gold bullion would have provided a 112% gain. Investments in a variety
of mining shares would have, on balance, stood still. But in the past,
the opposite dynamic has applied. Looking forward, if the world monetary
situation keeps declining, there could be a truly powerful gold bull
market in front of us. That also applies to silver, platinum, palladium
and some of the base metals.
It is necessary for investors to
clearly define their specific goals. If the general motive for investing
in gold and silver is safety and preservation of purchasing power in
case currencies break down, as they have done before, then one wants
physical possession of the metals. But for trading gains, shares can be
advantageous. Aside from shares, if a player desires to get in and out
of the gold market quickly, exchange-traded funds work well. It depends
on the investor's objective. TGR: What about silver?
I like silver more than gold as a trading vehicle, because when
precious metals are rising, silver tends to rise at twice the rate of
gold. Of course, when the prices fall, silver falls farther; but if one
anticipates a bull market in metals, then silver has real advantages. TGR: Cash flow may be one of the most important things for investors to keep in mind.
Cash flow improves the likelihood of a firm advancing its project by
increasing production or discovering new resources without encountering
potentially ruinous share dilution. TGR: The
share price of many specialty—or "rare earth"—metal mining corporations
has disappointed investors during the past year. What will it take to
reverse that trend?
Leonard Melman: The world of
rare earth elements is incredibly complex and potholed with variables.
There are an enormous number of elements and each has its own attributes
and its own uses. It takes full-time study to get a grip on how to
identify demand, and how that demand can be met, given the network of
variables. The rare earth miners definitely need to make a better effort
to educate the public about the nature of their business.
there is the same problem, as with all metals, of having to spend money
without being on a clear path toward production. Some of the critical
metals juniors went up very sharply a few years ago, after the China
announced they were suddenly limiting exports. Although the US military
establishment requires a stream of rare earth elements and other markets
for rare earths are growing, many juniors have made little progress
toward achieving production. The reputation of several of these
companies has been hurt. The industry must more clearly identify to
investors the positive attributes of rare earth elements and step up the
pace toward production. TGR: Returning to the
start of our conversation, how do your political and ideological
preferences affect how you identify opportunities in the markets that
Leonard Melman: I am a deep believer
in limited government. There should be simple and easy to understand
regulations only where they're absolutely necessary. The current
government interferences are a profound negative and worsening. If we
can somehow turn the long-standing trend toward excessive regulations
around, then profit opportunities within the mining industry should
I'm normally an optimist, but I have serious
concerns about the world's financial stability going forward. Europe in
many places is a basket case. Japan is facing enormous problems,
particularly demographic problems. Nobody knows for sure what China is
doing. America is facing colossal budgetary problems. There's a mess out
there and it's hard to see a really clear path to valid solutions to
the litany of ongoing serious problems.
It's not that I'm a
pessimist. I love life, I love nature and hiking in the woods and
mountains, but when it comes to discussing economic matters, I do try to
be a realist and look reality straight in the face. Frankly, there have
been pleasanter times. TGR: Thank you, Leonard.
Banyak input dan info yang anda boleh dapat dari temubual ini. Dari temubual ini juga anda akan memahami bertapa pentingnye pelaburan emas fizikal dalam masa kemelesetan ekonomi sekarang. Saya juga turut "highlight" beberapa isi penting didalam temubual ini untuk mempermudahkan anda. Harap ia boleh memberi manfaat kepada anda semua.