Monday, November 23, 2009
Mangan was right ab out gold: the metal is becoming more precious. Central Banks are hoarding gold and pushing its price to new heights. Gold production is falling and they are mining ores with a few ppm content of Au. Gold has no exclusive uses, but to serve as ultimate store of value. Everybody is very doubtful regarding the dollar, but no speculator has the resources to speculate against it. The Chinese and the Japanese could try it, but will not. Pity I did not buy gold shares when Mangan said, now it may be too late.
Here in Israel we are having a residential real estate bubble. A four room apartment in Tel Aviv is being sold at one million dollars, and even in Kever Benjamin a similar apt. costs 600,000 dollars. The government is selling public lands at an accelerated tempo, but the permitting takes an average of ten years. So the permitting system is being reformed, eliminating one level (the provincial planning committees) leaving two levels alone. The main time consuming monsters are the "green" members of the committees, demanding total and absolute demonstration of "safety", which of course is impossible. The large military basis in Beer Sheba was paralyzed for three years till the absolute safety of breathing the air was scientifically "proved". The green project killers nest in the provincial committee level, but they may now move to the local committees, where the arguments are even more bitter and personal. Local government tends to be corrupt in Israel, so the REform may increase corruption. Not once I heard contractors and developers saying that they would be ready to pay bribes, only to shorten the permitting process. I always told them not even to try. A false move and they are in jail. Here in Israel everyone is sure in his heart that the other fellow is making millions, so they are always ready to harm the bastard. They would do it for free, but the government has in place a nice monetary reward system too. I commented about the reform with a few colleges and an Arab engineer from Kfar Kassem (with a wide face like Ghengis Khan) resumed the situation: the old woodheads will still sign the drawings, so it will be exactly the same.