I think this is an interesting story, and we need to talk about it on Feral Jundi.  I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I do think it is important to at least discuss some of this stuff that is on everyone’s mind.  I also think it is relevant to the security contracting industry in a number of ways.  The reason being is that security is directly related to the economy. If the client can’t afford you, then you are a luxury that they will go without or pay peanuts to get something substandard.  The question I have is how will this impact the contracts currently in play overseas? Will they cut back to save a dime in a war zone?  Kind of dangerous, and we’ll see.

    The other factor that is interesting is that we will probably see an uptick in veterans that were trying to get jobs in the civilian industry, that now are wanting to get back into the combat arms trade because of the economy.  They will either try to get private contracts, or re-enlist back into the military.     

    One area that should increase as a result of this stuff are contracts dealing with guarding gold assets or being involved with gold mining expeditions in places such as Africa or South America.  As the value of gold increases, the demand for the yellow stuff will drive up the price and industry will seek it out.  Crime will go up too, as will the danger of handling and transporting of gold.

     We might see more work in places that the companies viewed as too risky to operate in the past, but now make sense because of the potential profits.  You see the same thing with oil or diamonds.    

     Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have some gold in your financial portfolio.  Holding mining stocks, or actually buying gold is a great way to hedge against the dollar.  As you can see, there are a lot of folks out there with the same idea.  Could we see a world wide push to get back on a gold standard, instead of messing around with the various fiat systems? Who knows, but it will be interesting to watch.  If this bail out plan does not work, and the economy collapses, we could see the price of gold sky rocket and the dollar just become more worthless.  Interesting times. 

     Now if you are going to buy gold coins, the ones that I have heard are the best are the Eagle Coins that the US Mint produces.  Even the smaller Eagles would be a good idea, just so you can sell at smaller amounts.  But really, there are all sorts of options with gold coin and bullion. 

     You can even get into gold prospecting, with a small investment in either a metal detector or gold pan/sluice box.  It’s actually kind of fun, but can be a lot of work.  In the US, places like Nevada and Arizona are pretty good for metal detectors.  Internationally, I have heard Australia is pretty thick with the yellow stuff.  In war zones, Iraq is more of an old coin type of place, but Afghanistan is pretty thick with gems and gold.  And then there is Africa, which has always been thick with wars and mineral wealth.  Lots of options out there to help you get through this deal and good luck. –Head Jundi 


The Gold American Buffalo coin. 

September 26, 2008

US Mint suspends sale of 24 – karat gold coins



Filed at 3:38 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Mint is temporarily halting sales of its popular American Buffalo 24-karat gold coins because it can’t keep up with soaring demand as investors seek the safety of gold amid economic turbulence.

Mint spokesman Michael White said Friday that the sales were being suspended because demand for the coins, which were first introduced in 2006, has exceeded supply and the Mint’s inventory of the coins has been depleted.

The Mint had to temporarily suspend sales of its American Eagle one-ounce gold coins on Aug. 15 and then later that month announced sales of the American Eagle coins would resume under an allocation program to designated dealers.

White said the Mint expected to soon start distributing available Buffalo gold coins through a similar allocation program.

Through Thursday, the day the Mint suspended sales of the American Buffalo, the Mint had sold 164,000 of the coins this year, up 54 percent from the same period a year ago.

”People are scared. Gold has become a safe haven,” said Michael Maroney, a vice president of sales at gold dealer Monex Precious Metals in Newport Beach, Calif.

Maroney said that demand for the one-ounce American Eagle coins was ”through the roof.” He said Monex still had American Buffalos available Friday because the company had recently stocked up on them.

With the financial crisis gripping markets in recent weeks, investors have rushed to safe havens such as gold and Treasury securities. Demand for three-month Treasury bills last week pushed their yields down sharply to levels not seen in decades.

Investment advisers, however, caution that the volatility often seen in gold prices could make investments in this area more of a risky decision if gold prices suddenly begin to fall sharply.

As the financial crisis unfolded in the past few weeks, American Gold Exchange Inc. saw demand for coins go up about 50 percent, according to Bill Musgrave, a vice president of the Austin, Texas-based gold dealer.

The Mint introduced the American Buffalo gold coin, the country’s first 24-karat gold coin, in 2006. Congress authorized production of the coin in an effort to capture a portion of the global market for pure gold coins, competing with such coins as the Canadian Maple Leaf.

Associated Press business writer Candice Choi contributed to this report.


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