lundi 21 janvier 2013

The year of Water Snake : will 2013 be over suddenly the year of Platinum ?

by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph. D

Very soon, on next February 9th, 2013, we will enter the new Chinese year. And it will be the one of the Water Snake.
It means that 2013 cannot be a mediocre year, as this wild and instinctive animal is certainly not.
Normally such a year is considered as good, or even unusually good depending on collective, or more personal data. Thus, it implies to have good stars of course in connection with the house of Snake. Then, it can bring  happiness, money, a new successful career or the reawakening of an old one. Globally, it influences a lot war or peace negociations, and even stock exchange sudden variations, but also the marriage fluctuations or conclusions.
It has a very strong effect on theater or cinema, because of the snake's fascination.
At last, food - a lot of food - is always involved as snakes are quite good eaters. They need it for their passionate way of living, and to use their ability for predicting earthquakes or other natural powerful events.
To summarize, with the Water Snake, most people have to get ready for the unexpected, with a huge flow of money involved !

Will the unexpected happen then with the International Monetary System ?
We ask this question because of the public proposal made last year by some Democrat representatives to President Obama, in order to finish off the Debt crisis and the US "fiscal cliff". In spite of the last minute agreement between Democrats and Republicans for the three months starting 2013 roughly, the problem remains effectively unsolved.
So let's study this unique proposal to create several Platinum coins (3, but the principle is more important than the exact number), of an enormous value : 1000 billion dollars each !
This new money or treasure would be physically deposed in the Federal Reserve of America, and its total amount credited to the US Treasure by a line on computer.
Through "financial magick", the first in matter of proficiency, the abyssal American debt could be drastically diminished or even totally erased, according to the flexible and adjustable number of coins. In fact, it's not more difficult to make 15 coins at once, than only 3. And the country would be able to breathe again, by instantly regaining its full power and capaciy of action.

Technically, it's not impossible at all to create "new money" this way. It has a bit something to do with what would have done one character of Walt Disney, Scrooge McDuck ("Uncle Picsou" for the French readers of  "Mickey"). So it may look as strange and funny as a Hollywood cartoon.
Apart from that, America could do it far more easily than any country of the European Union, considered as a Nation State.
But this would have inevitably enormous consequences on the International Monetary System, and not only on Platinum mines and all the metals called Platinoids. It would create a new standard or stallion, Platinum with associated Platinoids.
All this would also involve the Space exploitation, as a lot of asteroids passing by Earth contain usually huge quantities of  Platinum and Platinoids (Palladium, Rhodium, Iridium, Osmium and Ruthenium).

The name of Platinum is coming from the Spanish word "Platina" (small silver) : it is clearly deriving from "Plata" (silver) in Spanish, when it was discovered in the beginning of XVIth century by the Conquistadors in what has become Colombia (ex- "New Granada").
Even, it took about two centuries for Platinum to be totally recognized as a precious metal - like Gold and Silver -, nowadays this status is fully established. It values presently far more than Silver (31.89 $/ounce on January 18th, 2013 in New York), even the market is not presently favourable because of the paradoxically dropping demand. As a matter of fact Platinum was worth 1 665 $/ounce on the same day, to be compared also to Gold (1 684 $/ounce).
Now, the main producers of Platinum in the world are South Africa, Russia, Canada, the USA and Zimbabwe. So, this list shows clearly that making Platinum a new Stallion would automatically lift up  the status of the preceding countries. Russia notably would gain enormously out of it.

As the USA are just number four for Platinum production, it's easy to understand why they hesitate about the "Platinum solution" for the US economy, as proposed by some Democrats.
They are careful with what could provoke a huge change in the world economics and its not wholly known consequences. Of course, the above classment is a bit altered by the fact the biggest Platinum company of South Africa, "Amplats", is Anglo-American in reality as said in the name (Anglo-American Platinum). But South African Platinum and Platinoids mines may be mainly owned also by Chinese investors (like Jinchuan since 2007), as the huge Wesizwe project near Rustenburg - West of Pretoria. The owner is more important than the country of extraction.
At the moment, Amplats is not doing well, due to a recent minors' strike for wages increase and the falling demand in Platinum on the present world market : 14 000 jobs are planned to be cut. So a reawakening of demand, could revive such a company and stimulate the whole industrial sector.

To go further, America is thinking to exploit the enormous quantities of Platinum and Platinoids usually observed on asteroids passing by Earth. Nevertheless, it might not be ready yet, in spite of the recently created company called "Planetary Resources". But it seems promising as 1500 asteroids are in the Earth orbit. The capture of some of those asteroids to push them near the Moon is studied technically. The aim, once we avoided them striking Earth, is to facilitate Platinum and Platinoids extraction mainly.
Thus, the most risky part is not being struck on our planet by those celestial and destructive objects.
Anyway, on that point, Russia again or now equalilly China, which will explore the Moon this year, could become strong competitors for America. But a spatial and industrial cooperation which could also involve some other developped countries is entirely possible, as the needed investments will be enormous.

The financial world is one of the most creative you can imagine : everything has to be reshaped, so then paradoxically the order of things won't change !
Since the Sumerian time and the Ubaidic beginnings, the basis of what is now called "capitalism" remain comparable, even people don't usually realize.

This unique world has got something to do with the theater of life and its divertive effects.
In theater, there is a special effect known under its German denomination, "Verfremdungseffekt" or "distanciation effect". It means that to escape from the hypnotic effect of the story, you need to be able to keep a critical attitude.

This year a drastic reorientation of economics and finance may occur, without people knowing what to do. Yet, unexpected opportunities will definitely arise.
Anyhow at the moment, we have no other choice than trying to discover what is rare, inalterable and ductible in life, like Platinum. Next February 15th, the asteroid "2012-DA-14" will most likely avoid Granada (Spain) on Earth again, and it wouldn't go away into the deep space. So why not trying to capture our new tiny satellite, if our technology allows it ? !

mercredi 2 janvier 2013

A Vanuatuan comedy : Gumshow, the ex-cannibal, and Ramana, the vegetarian babysitter arrive in Paris !

by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph.D

As indicated in the title, this is a comedy we are writing for cinema, TV, or theater. So just take it as an amusing fiction !
Two cousins are coming to Paris for just a while, Gumshow and Marana.
Gumshow likes to define himself as an ex-cannibal by respect for the great-grandfather who died from typhoid fever, after his last "walking meal" coming from a Western boat. Marana is a babysitter...a vegetarian one : she is always insisting on that point to reassure tourists.
Usually, near Port-Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, she is keeping an eye on Australian tourists' children, to allow their parents participating for fun the traditional "cannibal tour" of this volcanic archipelago.
As a matter of fact, till not so far, this ex-French-British condominium (1906-1980) was still practising cannibal customs with newcomers. Imposed political change and Christian morals, ...but also an autochton will of prevention from deadly Western diseases had almost reason of those ancestral habits. Nevertheless, some cannibals are said to remain on Malekula island.
Anyhow, nowadays a photographic tour seems to have replaced those dreadful customs in this newly independant country (1980), for thrilled tourists from Australia.

Gumshow and Ramana took the plane in Port-Vila for Paris, via Australia. They are looking for adventure and discovery amongst the so-called "civilized people".
They reserved an hotel near "Gare de Lyon", because the name make them think about a lion.
They are smiling at people with delicacy, when they arrive in  this Parisian station.

- Ramana is just singing their favorite song :
"Iku oo, iku oo, iku oo !", which means roughly "I caught a fish, I caught a fish, I caught a fish", with the ancestral meaning of prey in Bichlamar.

- Gumshow, smiling at her, is answering :
"Da kwa we oyye, da kwa we oyye, da kwa we oyye !" Me, I caught several !

In the street, they ask a man for the direction of the hotel.
- Amused by seeing their funny bones in the nose, he is answering :
 "it's just in front of you, on the other side of the street !"

Ramana who has no lipstick, is noticing the man is staring at her small bony earrings.

- Ramana to the man :
"Thank you very much for helping us. You are quite a nice man, even 'succulent' to speak French !"

- The man, a bit surprised :
"You're welcome !"

- Gumshow, asking him, in the same wave, something else :
"My cousin Ramana is a babysitter and she would like to put an ad.
Do you know where she can do that ?"

- The man :
"Oh, that's quite easy.  Just follow me a few steps away to my near bakery."

All of them are entering the bakery.
- The man who is actually the boss is saluting Marie, the cashier :
 "Bonjour, Marie !"

- Gumshow and Ramana, are repeating the same thing :
"Bonjour, Marie !"

- Marie :
"Bonjour, Messieurs-Dame !"

- The baker turning to Ramana :
"Please give me your ad ! I'll stick it on this window. I have got a lot of mothers amongst my clients. But, be careful their children are sometimes awful, like little monsters !"

- Gumshow to the baker :
"Don't worry, Ramana knows how to handle them !"

- The baker :
"Really !"

- Ramana to the baker :
"Yes ! Just let me add something on my paper then."

- The baker is reading, while almost laughing :
"You wrote below your phone number : 'Ramana, babysitter for little monsters. After two hours with me, your child or children will be like nice lambs onto you !' And all that for just 30 Euros !'"

- Ramana and Gumshow together :
"Exactly ! Thank you for all, sir. Have a nice day !"

And both of them get out in the street, heading happily to their hotel.....

                                                                                                  (to be followed)