25/4/03 update - emailed to subscribers April 24, 2003

It was reported in the Herald Tribune here last week, that the original military plan for Iraq had planned for civilian rule in 30 days. Always interesting how we seem to plan in numbers like that. Of course one needs to be careful on such assessments; like the guy who bought a red porsche cause no one else had one, then he saw only red porches allover the roads. Still, interesting number.

And about numbers, no doubt about those 90, 180 degree turns in markets - SPI, Oct 10, Jan 7, April 17. Degree dates dead on. July 2 to 7 watch closely, I believe it will be a high. Possibly the high for the year, though i will trade it as the numbers come up. Some say the markets are random. It's just not possible for me to believe that any more.

Reported here that the only building in Baghdad that has not been looted, since it is being used by the US military as their new HQ, is the, wait for it, Iraqi ministry for oil building. True. It's not really about the oil is it ? Well perhaps not entirely about the oil; The other buildings left standing were the Iraqi treasury and the banks. Why?

My thoughts - the US will need the records contained there in, to work out how much Iraq owes to other banks. Can't have them not pay their debts can we... Apparently strictly avoiding bombing the bank buildings was agreed to by the US military after substantial lobbying from the World bank and US treasury. Aside from established religions, banks are a pretty big vested interest.

Speaking of banks, hardly surprising the locals make attempts to loot them; first place I'd go if I were a criminal, wouldn't you? And speaking of which - banks and criminals that is, the new interim Iraqi leader, appointed by the US to start things up again has plenty of experience in this area; and you can bet this new interim leader, Ahmad Chalabi, won't be taking holidays in nearby Jordan, having been convicted of bank fraud in that country and given 22 years in jail with hard labour - still to serve. Could you call that bank looting? A rose by any other name... If you're gonna loot the bank, and get away with it, powerful friends help. (Will be interesting to see who he appoints as Iraqi OPEC representative.) Chalabi is a banker, has not lived in Iraq for over 40 years, and is leader of the Iraqi National Congress in exile. The INC is being actively backed and supported by the US dept of defense. You can bet there's been some soul selling going on there.

All war is deception. It has come out now that several of the US drones either shot down or landed in the war zone were in the air only to be shot at and in the process identify Iraqi air defenses so they in turn could be shot at later by real aircraft; the drones having well and truly been completely stripped of any important or classified equipment beforehand. Stock markets work the same way in my view - too many buyers or sellers - often brokers- with interests inimical to yours. (In 1998 the US firm of Spear Leads - subsequently bought by Goldman Sachs - was heavily fined for intentionally delaying reports of some trades so as to secure a competitive advantage, protect its interests and maximize its profits or minimize its losses. Pierpont of April 11 speaks of this very thing - frontrunning. You are reading Pierpont aren't you.

2nd Iraqi rebuilding contract goes to Bechtel. Good to see the rebuilding, but I always look to see the vested interests and connections behind it. Bechtel tried to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to Jordan in 1983. Donald Rumsfeld, then Ronnie Raygun's Middle East peace envoy, met privately with Saddam to try to get it built. As reported by the IHT from old security archives, Saddam wanted assurances that Israel would not attack the pipeline once built, Bechtel tried to secure such an assurance from Israel. The pipeline was never built. Internal US memos revealed that some of the proceeds of the pipeline were earmarked for the then governing Labor party in Isreal. Bet that pleased Saddam no end. Murky isn't it. The CEO of Bechtel was last year appointed by Bush to serve on the Presidents export council. Directors of Bechtel include George Schultz and a past executive Casper Weinberger.

All this will help Bush's re-election, which is now in the planning, as preparations proceed to spend up to $200 trillion, if necessary, to do so. So the funds go from Treasury, to fat reconstruction profits, to political donations from (non related) parties. What a round robin. Excuse the cynicism. You can bet Bush's re-election theme will be homeland security, especially if the US economy does not improve much, which is likely till June 2004. Watch closely. What odds for a link between days of bad economic news and 'sudden' terrorist alerts at home. Let's see what develops.

All based on keeping a nation of patriots in fear.

The President today delivered a speech campaigning for the tax cuts, said in part; "In order to improve the economy, we have to increase demand. To increase demand, we have to let workers keep more of what they earn." Well a simple message for the masses, and true initially. But I hope your studies of George, and Harrison, are coming along so that you are able to see that the first claim upon wealth is the rent. So in this instance higher real wages will eventually feed thru to higher affordability for houses, increased bank credit for such lending, drives land prices higher. (A little simplistic, but you can be 101% certain the tax cuts will raise land price to bubble status this decade.) And the cycle continues. Bank shares will be a great short at the peak of the next cycle. Increasing your knowledge now, helps one take advantage of things later. The past land price cycle WILL repeat.

To trading matters:
As we count degrees off the gold high, liked I asked you, here's what happened at 60 deg. See attached.

gold off high.gif

Watch the Gann dates off previous email. Markets turn on these dates, for whatever reason I have no idea, but it works.

There have been some great share runs this month, breaks of accumulation. EMS, PMP, BLB, PSA. (VNA maybe - tell me someone didn't know about that one.) Watch EMS for that inevitable retracement. Catch the new highs via equitiesinfo.com.au

Employment agencies, building companies, property developers and some related banking shares figure high in such companies going into new highs; signs of the economy developing speed once more. The market here is indicating improved earnings for these sectors next two to three years.

A note for the commodity sugar, the stock MSF breaking into new highs - first time in years - telling us something.

Click here to see the file...

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