Dear rss free blog,

we will report on China and gold because that is where the headlines
are. But we will also report on Portugal and Japan where they are
not. And we have a huge money-saving deal for subscribers in
Thailand. You mistakenly may have been sent the full newsletter today which was not intended for you. Here is the pre-subscriber version with my apologies.

will allow some foreign companies to list in Shanghai and we already
figured that banks active in China will grab slots in the market,
among them Asia hands like
Standard &

according to what CLSA’s Jonathan Slone told
others planning to apply include
another stock in our stable mentioned for paid subscribers below. Plus a new China pick.

is down maybe because the dollar is up, but also maybe because
Barrick Gold,
which last week announced that it had unwound about $2.9 bn in
forward gold sales, has stopped buying back the gold. Mining
companies for years financed exploration and investment by selling
their output forward, which has capped the gold price. But once they
have unwound their forward hedges, the market can set its own prices.

means future gold price increases may still be triggered by other
mining companies buying back their hedges.
the African miner, still has significant forward sales on its books.
But more and more, the price of gold will depend on real demand out
there in the market, from industrial, ornament, and inflation or
political protection purchases.

Industrial depends
on the world economic recovery, since it is mainly electronic
products that use gold. Ornament is a matter of custom but also of
price. Big bangle buyers in India and the Middle East are said to be
scarce now. As for inflation-protection, it will not be a draw for
gold unless there are signs of prices rising, currently absent.

And while there are
plenty of problem spots in the world, not many gold buyers are
turning up from Zimbabwe or Argentina, Venezuela or Darfur, Chechnya
or Iran. It is partly cultural and mainly because they have more
immediate needs.

is 25 years since the Revolução dos Cravos, when the Portuguese
military overthrew the Salazar succession regime, but shades of
fascism remain. Portuguese intellectuals are in shock over the ban on
Gonçalo Amaral’s book already published by Guerra e Paz Editores. A
court has ruled that no information about its contents may be given
to anyone within or outside Portugal.

Amaral’s book, Maddie, a Verdade de Mentira (Maddie,
the Truth of the Lies) is about the disappearance of Mad
McCann, aged 3, two years ago from a cottage in the Praia da Luz
resort in the Algarve, in southern Portugal, where she had been left
alone with her younger twin siblings when her parents, two British
doctors, went to dinner at the resort restaurant.

The Portuguese
police initially suspected the parents of more than merely neglecting
to hire a babysitter, but nothing was proven. I know nothing about
the contents of the book, but I do know that the McCanns (of Rothely,
Leicester) have mounted an international search for their little
blond daughter.

(The military made a
left-wing democratic revolution in Peru decades before this occurred
in Portugal, which was a somewhat Latin American place in the 1980s
despite being in Europe.)

Tomorrow there will be a shorter blog as I am poll-watching in the NY Democratic primary for Leslie Crocker Snyder, a college classmate running for District Attorney. Four years ago I coined the slogan: vote for the Crocker not for the Cacker. This won Leslie the enmity of retiring DA Henry Morgenthau jr. who is backing her opponent, Cyrus Vance jr., who moved here from Seattle to make the race.

Better poll-watching in NYC than in Afghanistan.

More for our paid
subscribers follows including a new stock pick from Chris Loew from
Japan and an idea from Mark Hake in Phoenix AZ.