The investment appeal of precious metals was waning early this week, as a strong dollar kept formerly high-flying gold and silver down. Even industrial/precious metals palladium and platinum were losing ground. Now? The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 200 points yesterday and precious metals could be back in fashion.
Bao-Wu is a Merger, Not a New Dubstep Beat
China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel (commonly known as Baosteel) and underperforming Wuhan Iron & Steel Co. are being forced into a bit of an arranged marriage by Beijing. Baosteel doesn’t even want WISCO and its debt-ridden balance sheet, but the government wants to consolidate the companies and keep as many jobs as possible while overseeing the slowest cuts to overproduction in the history of time.
Don’t Drown in a VAT!
No post got more comments this week than my semi-rant against the idea of a value-added tax for U.S.-based companies. The Reshoring Initiative is a big supporter of the idea of a VAT, provided corporate taxes are lowered to make the tax burden relatively neutral. We here at MetalMiner wonder how such a tax would even be collected with many duties and taxes already going unenforced today. One thing is for sure, though…
Solar Panels Can’t Directly Create a Lot of Jobs
While Hillary Clinton touted “half a billion more solar panels” as the way to create jobs in the presidential debate this week, we threw cold water on that idea, because demand for them is relatively stagnant, companies are already consolidating installation and — without a major advance in storage technology — mass solar would still need a backup for when the sun doesn’t shine, probably from fossil fuel natural gas. We emailed Hillary our explanation, but we heard it got deleted.