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Skyhigh or Skyfall?

Skyfall, the 2012 James Bond blockbuster hit the $1 billion milestone recently making it the highest grossing 007 movie of all time. The ten top-grossing James Bond films are below (click on images for a closer view).


Clearly the headline jumps out at you that is Skyfall is top of the list, therefore it must be the most popular movie to date in the series. Of course, that would perhaps be more accurately measured by how many people actually went to see the screening? Even that idea is at fault as shouldn’t it be measured by the actual percentage of the population who viewed it? I believe that prize goes to Gone With the Wind, which apparently is also the highest grossing movie in inflation-adjusted terms as well.


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Hiding Behind Big Numbers

Hiding behind the big numbers.  One million seconds is 11 days.  One billion seconds is 32 years.  One trillion seconds is 32,000 years.
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All quiet on the margin front

On Thursday May 24th, the CME Group, the world’s largest commodities exchange, cut margins for trading gold, crude oil, RBOB gasoline and lean hog contracts, effective after the close of business on Tuesday , May 29th.

Initial margin on trading 100-ounce gold futures is to be lowered by 10% to $9,113 per contract from $10,125, the second cut this year. Margins for trading gold have dropped by 21% this year, including a cut in February. The drop of $1,012 per contract in gold margins when it is attributed to the total open interest positions is equivalent to nearly $1 billion less in margin escrow.

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Has the UK sold off the family silver?

Getting a day out of the office nowadays that doesn’t involve a 6.30 flight to Zurich is a rare occurrence, but last week I had the chance to enjoy a Christmas present from my wife. A day’s off-road driving experience in a Land Rover defender in the wilds of Bedfordshire. As I marvelled at the vehicle’s ability to effortlessly traverse a 45 degree muddy terrain, I was informed by our instructor that the basic Land Rover still bore resemblance to the original 1948 model, and was probably the most instantly recognised vehicle all over the world.

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Gold and Silver mining: A Post-Mortem

Since its peak in December 2010 the Market Vectors Junior Mining Index is down nearly 50%. The GDXJ ETF which replicates this index is comprised of an average of 85 small capitalised mining explorers, mine developers and producers. The smaller capitalised mining stocks have fared worse with many having collapsed 80% in the last year. In this time gold has risen by 20%. Even the major mining companies (GDX) are down over 30% since Sept 2011.

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