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Last week was frustrating as I tried to get back to San Francisco from Vancouver via Air Canada, an airline which never tells its passengers "we know you have a choice". On Tuesday my evening flight was cancelled due to a lengthy system wide outage of its reservation system, apparently the second time this year. My Wednesday 4:20 pm rebooked flight was taxiing toward the takeoff runaway when something went wrong. We spent 2 hours on the tarmac while Air Canada tried to figure out the nature of the problem. Then we deplaned. They got us another plane which we boarded at 8:30 pm, but by then SFO had started to have wind and fog issues which forces it to limit the number of runaways available for takeoff and landing. SFO's "air traffic control" solution is to delay Air Canada flights out of Vancouver because this 2 hour "international" flight has its gate in the international terminal. I can't blame SFO for sticking it to Air Canada because Air Canada pilots have twice tried to land their planes on top of fully fueled overseas jets waiting for takeoff. So we spent an hour waiting on the Vancouver tarmac. I finally got home Thursday morning at 1 AM. I would not complain if this were an isolated event. My January MIF flight at 10 AM was cancelled and the rebooked flight finally got me to my hotel at 8 PM wasting a day of planned meetings. I have experienced many Air Canada delays on the YVR-SFO leg, though never a problem with flights to Toronto or Montreal. The lesson learned, when there is a choice in flights between SFO-YVR, avoid Air Canada, even if it means sitting in the cramped seats of United. Despite this huge waste of time I did get the MIF May 2019 Conference Center updated with links to all the videos for the presentations and interviews.
Although the mood was pretty gloomy at MIF May 2019, last week was interesting because I developed a gut feel that lots of things will soon start going right for the junior resource sector. Rare Earth Mania 2.0 is starting to look like an inevitable consequence of the standoff between China and the United States. But what really caught my attention was Trump's proposal to inflict an escalating tariff on Mexico if it does not somehow stop illegal migration to the United States, the accomplishment of which is not measurable. The irrationality of this demand suggests an out of control president enabled by a spineless Congress who will tank the global economy and quite possibly unleash civil strife within the United States as consumers begin to suffer curtailment of their purchasing power. The movement in the gold market suggests that the rest of the world is starting to question its stance that all of this is just a bizarre reality show whose season will soon enough come to an end, allowing normality to return. The gut feel that I experienced last week was a sense that this attitude has gone through an inflection. This could be the beginning of an extended gold rally that brings audiences back to the junior resource sector. The graphic above shows what the equivalent gold price upside is today compared to 1980 if we use the value of the above ground gold stock relative to global GDP as a measure.