Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nickel Arbitrage

According to coinflation.com, two types of coin, in general circulation today, have intrinsic value in excess of their face value.

Previous to 1982, Lincoln Cents were made of 95% copper and 5% zinc. In 1982, this was changed to the current mix of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. Accordingly, older pre-1982 pennies have a copper/zinc 'melt value' of about 3 cents, whereas the newer post-1982 pennies are worth only about 0.6 cents.

While it may be tempting to pick through large quantities of pennies, looking for the older dates, to hoard for the anticipated upcoming economic collapse, there is an easier, more convenient coin worth saving:

The Jefferson Nickel, since 1946 (and before), is made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The combined melt-values of these two metals have, for some time now, exceeded the 5-cent face value of this common coin.

At the time of this writing, the market value of the 3.75 grams of copper in each Jefferson Nickel is about 3.5 cents, whereas the value of the 1.25 grams of nickel in each is about 3 cents. At current, the intrinsic value of the Jefferson Nickel is over 6.5 cents, a figure that will only increase as the dollar continues its downward trend into hyperinflation.

What makes the Jefferson Nickel especially convenient for hoarding is that they are still being minted, and are available for purchase, at a ~25% discount from their metal value, at banks around the country. Unlike the pre-1982 Lincoln Cents, there is no need to spend the time checking dates and sorting them out: You only need visit your local bank and ask the teller, 'nickels please!'

Each $2 roll of nickels contains 40 coins, which combined are worth over $2.60, solely in their copper and nickel contents. This simple arbitrage is in play right now.

After 1964, the US Mint discontinued the use of silver in most commonly circulated coins, because of a then-similar deviation in the value of the dollar. Today, a quarter from 1964 (or before) has a metal value of over five dollars. If the value of the US dollar continues to drop, as inflation has always caused (ever since the gold standard was abolished), these Jefferson Nickels will continue to increase in value, and the US Mint will likely change their metal composition, in a similar fashion to what was done to quarters and dimes after 1964.

Because Jefferson Nickels have a face value of 5 cents and an intrinsic value of (currently) over 6.5 cents, they are an excellent store of wealth, hedging against either a drop in the value of the dollar, or a drop in the values of copper and nickel, two heavily utilized metals in industry. -- In the event of hyperinflation, or other economic crisis, these coins can be bartered with, as they are made of physical metals that have actual worth. In the event of a crash of the metals market, these coins are genuine US currency, and are commonly recognized and accepted by everyone. Physical ownership of Jefferson Nickels hedges you against either extreme, doing so with little effort and little risk of loss.


I think that acquiring Jefferson Nickels is a smart move right now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On Closing My PayPal Account

Ok, so PayPal decided that the American freedoms of press and speech were not as important to them as maintaining a positive relationship with the sinister U.S. Government. Uncle Sam was not very happy with WikiLeaks' exposé of massive corruption and dirty lies, and decided to call upon the powers-that-be to inflict some good old-fashioned censorship.

Many honest-working Americans, such as myself, recognized the incredible achievements that WikiLeaks was making in the fight for truth and government transparency, and wanted to help out. Americans, being of the most charitable nationality in the world, felt compelled to donate some of their savings to this noble cause.

Because of the security complications and fees involved with international point-of-sale or wire-transfer transactions, and for other various reasons, the US-based funds-transfer service PayPal was a popular choice for facilitating donations to the WikiLeaks non-profit organization. However, PayPal soon suspended the account of the WikiLeaks donation coordinator Wau Holland.

It later became known that PayPal did this due to pressure from various U.S. Government officials. Instead of honoring the wishes of their 'valued' account holders, PayPal chose to win brownie points from the very spooks WikiLeaks was exposing... Instead of championing free press and speech, PayPal sided with those in favor of lies and censorship. Shame, shame, shame...

One of my life principles is to always try to solve problems. I believe that every decision someone makes is either being a part of the problem or being a part of the solution. Now knowing that this PayPal company does not care at all about the efforts of organizations such as WikiLeaks, in solving the tragic problems of unnecessary wars, illegal torture, and other common government frauds, I can not, in good conscience, continue to utilize their services: To continue to do so would be to show, by my affiliation to PayPal, that I agree with their policy of truth suppression.

I have no real choice but to close my PayPal account, and distance myself from this cowardly organization.

During the account-closure process, PayPal requested feedback as to why I was leaving them. I tried to best describe my concerns, being concise but prudent.


My account-closure comment was:
I do not wish to do business with a company that is an enemy of the freedoms of press and speech.

WikiLeaks has made incredible achievements in the fight for truth and government transparency, and PayPal's choice to participate in the censorship of this non-profit journalistic organization, by inhibiting individuals from donating to a cause they believe in, is both unethical and unamerican.

Should PayPal reconsider this issue, and publicly acknowledge their bad decision, I will consider re-establishing my account.

While I certainly did not sugar-coat my concerns, I made it clear that I had not given up on them completely. While I am indeed boycotting PayPal, I do understand that people make mistakes, and I am willing to forgive those that show repentance. Should PayPal admit their mistakes, and once again allow their account holders to send money to whomever they wish, I would likely join them once again. Their services are, after all, rather useful and convenient.

However, as PayPal is still standing by their decision to distance themselves from WikiLeaks, I am standing by my decision to distance myself from PayPal. If more people would stand up for what they believe in, perhaps companies like PayPal would think twice before dictating what you can and can not spend your money on.

Bye for now...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The IBM Lives Again

Ok, so I managed to smash 1,300 pounds of computers onto a heap in the middle of my office floor. While some may point fingers to my choice of stacking 61 desktop computers on a home-made table, I think we all can stop kidding ourselves and just admit that Microsoft Windows was the problem.

To prove this point, I located the worst casualty. This poor IBM NetVista was already under the table before the avalanche.

This machine was in sad shape:


My expert opinion was to immediately remove the Windows XP License stickers, and see if it would POST.


After the offending labels were located and properly removed, the machine returned to its working state.


This test just goes to show, even though the IBM is one tough machine, it is not beyond the power of Microsoft Windows to render it completely useless. Windows XP crashed 61 of my computers, but the second the XP sticker was removed, this big-blue-baby sprung back to life.

Long Live IBM!

IBM Computer Crash

I had a few computers (61) on a home-made feeble wooden table. Each had been meticulously cleaned, tested, and had all the “Property-of” stickers from the previous owner removed with a Terrorists' Choice™ brand box-cutter.

I had briefly debated removing also the Windows XP License stickers, but decided against it, as the odds of Microsoft ever again producing any usable OS was nearing 1000:1 against.

Every person I knew cautioned be against keeping the XP Licenses. They all, and I mean all of them, warned and warned and warned me that XP was unstable, and that the computers would crash.

I didn't listen.

Around 2am on October 14, 2009, I booted one of the machines, and, as Windows XP was considering loading, they all came crashing down.

What a mess.

I am absolutely convinced that this would not have happened had I been using Linux on these machines.