Calgary Investment Conference includes GATA chairman among many speakers

Section:

4:36p ET Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Today's column by Thom Calandra, editor of
CBS.MarketWatch.com, about upcoming gold
conferences shows how GATA's message -- that
the gold market and other markets are being
manipulated -- is winning wide acceptance in
the financial world.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

GOLD SHOWS DESIGNED TO WOO MAIN STREET

By Thom Calandra, Editor
CBS.MarketWatch.com
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?
column=Thom+Calandra's+StockWatch&dist=nwtwatch&siteid=mktw

The late 1990s rush into technology stocks sparked
record-high attendance at investment conferences.

The tech boom also rewarded big, albeit fleeting,
profits to those who showed to listen to frantic,
sometimes addled presentations of top executives
like WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers and Gemstar's
Henry Yuen.

The heirs-apparent in a new age of hard assets and
old-line companies are those gatherings devoted to
precious metals and alternative investment strategies.
Organizers say they expect standing-room-only turnouts
for a number of gold-related conferences this autumn.

The theme of these gatherings, which are populated by
a loyal band of mining executives, newsletter writers, and
natural resources analysts, is us vs. them. "We no longer
live in a world where investments can be made in sound
securities," says James Sinclair, chair and chief executive
of small Tan Range Exploration Co. (TNX), which trades in
Canada. "We live in a world that has transformed
everything financial into a grand casino, which we are all
gone crazy enough to consider normal."

Sinclair and others who will be speaking at the New York
Institutional Gold Conference (http://www.iiconf.com/) in
September are of the belief that there is a wide gap between
the currency of corporate America (them) and the currency
of the precious metals markets (us). "As long as stock
markets move hundreds of points in an hour up, down,
and sideways, the ordinary person should keep their
hard earned money in cash -- in a mayonnaise jar
preferably," says Sinclair, who has worked as a miner
a metals trader or a mining executive for 43 years.

"Folks are disappointed with the system and don't know
what to do about it," says Bob Chapman, editor of The
International Forecaster newsletter and a frequent
speaker at metals conferences.

The New York Institutional Gold Conference, one of the
first of the autumn season, is designed for ordinary
folks looking for insight into the dusty world of metals
miners. The surge in respect for gold comes amid a
2002 performance that has the precious metal's spot
price up 14 percent -- better than stocks, most bonds,
and interest-bearing cash accounts.

Main Street folks, to be sure, are getting burned by
gold mining stocks, just as they have with tech stocks.
The bullion group's 100 percent-plus equity gains this
year eroded in June, leaving many individuals with a
loss. Gold mining executives, meanwhile, took this rare
opportunity to unload some of their companies' soaring
shares, risking shareholder heat.

Still, individuals, having suffered some $7 trillion of lost
stock-market wealth since January 2000, are searching
for an antidote to the conventional brokerage advice of
buying-and-holding America's largest companies.

"Gold remains far off the radar screens of most investors,"
says Bob Bishop, editor of one of the oldest dedicated
mining newsletters, Gold Mining Stock Report. "Higher
prices and developments that will make it easier to own
gold will raise gold's profile and also help to raise the
price."

Bishop and others point to efforts by the World Gold
Council's new leadership, which includes Gold Fields
(GFI) non-executive chairman Chris Thompson. "The
World Gold Council is in some disarray, but if anyone
can turn it around, Chris Thompson is the right person
for the job."

Thompson, the embattled World Gold Council's
chairman, and the trade group's new chief executive,
former California Public Employees Retirement System
head James Burton, are developing a security that -- if
it clears numerous regulatory and market-making
hurdles -- could act as a real-time proxy for gold.

Whether a new, exchange-traded instrument for trading
physical gold at spot prices will woo ordinary investors
is a subject of some debate. "I doubt it would fly very far
on the broader retail basis because the small crowd of
gold bugs that might trade it tend to view derivatives as
the product of the devil," says Ian McAvity, director and
a co-founder of a closed-end fund that acts as a proxy
for gold and silver, Central Fund of Canada (CEF).

McAvity, another popular figure at gold conferences,
acknowledges an exchange-traded fund that represents
gold could compete with Central Fund. "With 20 years
under our belt in Central Fund, I've seen a wide range of
ideas come and go, and look forward to seeing what the
competition designs and how they sell it," he says.

There is no denying such a gold security, following on the
heels of exchange-traded bond funds and popular index
funds such as the S&P 500's SPY(SPY) Spyder Trust,
would turn heads. Gold aficionados long have complained
how difficult it is to buy physical gold in the United States,
without resorting to leveraged futures contracts or shifty
gold dealers.

"A major problem for many U.S. investors seeking
alternatives is that many of the less reputable coin
dealers use cheap offers on small lots of Gold Eagles
as a loss-leader to get the customer on their books, and
very shortly afterwards start churning up to ever more
exotic numismatics," says McAvity, who lives in Toronto.

Churning, of course, is a practice common in all financial
markets, including the market for gold mining shares big
and small. "Gold and silver and particularly the shares
have been very volatile, and that has scared buyers off,"
says International Forecaster's Chapman. "Less than 1
percent of Americans own gold and silver coins and
bullion, and that is very bullish. That leaves 99 percent
as possible buyers."

Adrian Day, another longtime gold investor and
president of Global Strategic Management in Maryland,
says American investors are puzzled by gold's gyrations
this summer. The metal has actually lost ground during the
horrific summer season for the U.S. stock market. On
Tuesday morning, spot gold's price was $312.50 an
ounce, up $1.50.

"More and more investors seem to be buying into the
arguments that the markets are managed," says Day,
reflecting growing reports that New York City banks are
using derivatives to deflate gold prices. "Whereas two
years ago, this was very much a fringe argument, it is now
more widely acknowledged as a valid possibility."

Mary Anne and Pamela Aden, sisters and editors of the
Costa Rica-based The Aden Forecast, are confident the
gold sector will outpace other investments this year. With
that performance will come greater respect for the metal.

"Since gold has been down to dull for most of the past 20
years while stocks were all the rage, most investors don't
know much about it," the sisters told me in a joint e-mail.
"But they have seen gold and gold mutual funds
outperform all other investments this year. If this continues,
it'll attract more attention."

Sinclair, the grizzled head of Tan Range, says Joe Q.
Public will sit up and take notice when gold prices make
their next move higher. "I would tell Joe Public that if he
sees gold close above $330 and then above $354, he
should do everything to set his financial houses in order,"
Sinclair says. "It means there are serious problems on
the horizon well beyond the decline in the stock market
and gas costing more. Volatility in the equity markets
means 'stay away.'"

The New York gold show, free to Joe Q. Public, will bring
together Sinclair, the Aden Sisters, Bishop, Day, McAvity,
and scores of newsletter editors, mining executives, and
gold mutual fund managers. These include John
Hathaway of Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX), John C.
Doody of Gold Stock Analyst, and Rick Rule of Global
Resource Investments. The keynote speaker will be
James Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer.