Black Swans Coming

As of Saturday, August 6, Apmex, the world's largest trader in precious metals, suspended the checkout counter until 7 pm EST Sunday, waiting for Asian markets to open.  The implication was that the new prices would be more than a smidge different than Friday's closing.  Turns out that was true: gold has increased by roughly $50 per ounce as of this writing. Large financial changes none of us control seem to be coalescing worldwide.  Unique occurrences damaging markets are colloquially called "Black Swans" by finance hipsters -- unanticipated events causing large drops in value. But Black Swans are not always unanticipated, even if the markets prefer to ignore data and not build foreseeable disruptions into pricing.  The more savvy investors think about them quite a bit, relying on publicly available information like this (graph created by Lee Adler):   Mr. Adler concludes, from published federal data showing how 1.5% of Americans are falling into poverty...(Read Full Post)