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Saturday, April 13, 2013

MUGA Day#19: Tokyo and Jindaiji

First, two issues, gold and North Korea:

1.  Gold:  Today, gold sank $59 to $1509/ounce, reaching July 2011 levels.  Mind you, from 1999 to 2011, gold zoomed up 650%.  What happened?  Paul Krugman thinks its partially politics, and he blames the conservatives.  But he does this all time on everything.  Goldman Sachs predicted a drop to $1390 in a year.  It was only a couple of weeks ago that 37% of Americans felt gold was the best investment.  True to Klugman's point of view, 43% of Republicans and 32% of Democrats agree.  The metastability of gold is not new.  After the second energy crisis in 1979, gold in 1980 jumped to $850/ounce, which would have a value today of somewhere from $2,000 to $4500, depending of what parameters you use.  Here is a dated, but informative graph:


2.  North Korea and Kim Jong Un:  Okay, I leave tomorrow for Seoul, and, after some waffling, decided to go.  The key date is Monday, 15April2013, the 101st birthday of Kim Il-Sung, founder of North Korea and grandfather of Kim Jong Un.


Annually, at this time of the year, in reaction to South Korean-American defense exercises, made all the more tense with two B-2 bombers, and that birthday date, something happens.  This time, nuclear is being threatened.  Andrei Lankov had a useful analysis, which you should read.


Today, I visited Jindaiji, my favorite Sakura park, where there is a statue that looks like Pearl.  This botanical garden has 100,000 trees and a large greenhouse with tropical plants.  Next door is the Jindaiji Temple, the second oldest in Japan.  Here is a series of photos, beginning with my lunch under a wisteria next to Pearl's statue:


To my surprise, there were several cherry blossom tress still in full bloom.  I also noticed that these fish are already flying for Boys' Day in Japan, May 5, which is also Cinco de Mayo.:


For anyone keeping up with my meal choices, for dinner tonight, I bought a Burger King Whopper and enhanced it with foie gras, Castello blue cheese and other leftover vegetables:


The beer was borrowed from the Executive Club and the Whopper was the best I've ever had.  Of all the ironies, I was looking down on Robuchon's.

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