Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, July 22, 2010

GOLDEN AGE

Money is an illusion: As a conservative, I read New Times for the investigative articles, like "Gold Rush," that expose scam artists for the damage they inflict on unsuspecting consumers (Ray Stern, July 8).

When you and your fellow writers follow the truth in a story, without regard for political perspective, you do this community a great service.

I lived here in the early 1980s, and remember the collapse of North American Coin and Currency Ltd. and the collateral damage that hit many people. It does not surprise me that the two bottom-feeder principals have resurfaced.

As I listened to all the "buy gold" commercials over the past year, I truly smelled a rat, and your article confirmed it. That two convicted felons could weasel their way back to riches leaving a swath of empty wallets behind tells you all you need to know about that industry.

As to the rest of the article concerning the unstable economy and monetary system, let me say this: Money is an illusion, and gold is a metal you can't eat. The illusion that is money worked great as long as people could relate some fictional "value" to the green paper they were holding. We are conditioned for our hearts to go pitter-patter when we hold a $100 bill. That is beginning to crumble because the fiscal sociopaths of both parties have spent beyond sanity. They had the power to destroy the system, so we shouldn't be surprised when it finally takes place.

As for me, I have a small I-told-you-so coming, in that I wrote a novel more than 20 years ago called A Distant Crossing. It was premised on a monetary meltdown, and many thousands have read it. The thought behind it was what happens after all the "smart guys" finally screw up?

Fiction is fast becoming reality.
Tom Stitt, Scottsdale

Monetary collapse is coming: Great story on the gold mania afflicting our country. With all the spending in Washington, we'd be fools not to worry about a monetary collapse.

I wish I'd had the foresight to buy gold when the price was lower. Now I fear the top may have been reached. Guess I'll have to just wait for the crash, which I pray never comes.

I still can't believe that all the gold ever mined through history would be just a cube measuring 66 feet on all sides. No wonder the stuff is so valuable!
Ron Lester, Phoenix

Orange inmate suits for these clowns: How very appropriate for these two good Republican, racist, opportunistic felons to print their stupid hater shit on orange T-shirts.

Orange is, of course, the official color for all prison-inmate clothes and accessories provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections. I can only wonder whether these two jerks saw the irony in their color decision.

They have both worn plenty of orange. They both, however, seem to be solid-gold assholes.
Steve Tracy, Phoenix

Please go after these scam artists: Thank you, Ray Stern, for this story. More people need to learn about this serious problem.

After talking to a fast-talking gold salesman from L.A. who told a scary story of bank failures, depression, and riots in the streets over the value of the dollar, and saying gold coins were the way to protect himself, my 86-year-old father took $240,000 of retirement money and wired it to this asshole, who not only didn't send it all to him in gold, but sold him silver coins at an average 45 percent premium over street prices. So, out of the gate, my parents were $108,000 in the tank.

Not only that, but Dad was told the value of the coins was based on gold content when it wasn't. If the shyster salesman really had his best interests in mind, he would have sold him a series of coins that made sense to coin collectors, but he didn't. He sent several (as in more than four) of the same coin of the same year. It made no sense.

This is criminal. This is wrong. And I'd like to see our attorney general candidates go after these scam artists as much as identity-theft crooks. These are lowlifes who are stealing the nest eggs and savings of the elderly who can't afford to lose it. There is a special place in hell for these people, and the more who learn about the scams, the better.
Todd Landfried, address unavailable

Best way to buy gold is eBay: While the U.S. Mint doesn't currently sell any non-proof gold coins, until demand soared in late 2008, it sold non-proof "burnished" varieties for a relatively small market over spot.

Some creative folks even used the Mint as a way to speculate in gold and platinum at no cost. The mint was slow to raise prices and offered a 30-day return policy. You could purchase large amounts of gold or platinum at a small markup to spot, and if the price rose further, take delivery and sell it. If it didn't rise enough, you could simply send it back.

But the best way to buy gold has been eBay, using various cash-back methods, including one funded by Microsoft's Bing search engine. You can purchase gold coins for substantially under spot and immediately resell them on delivery to local gold dealers. Unfortunately, the Bing cash-back program ends at the end of July.
Name withheld

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