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The New Gold Rush

BHP Billiton will tomorrow announce that it estimates the reserves of gold at its Australian Olympic Dam mine are more than 50% bigger than previously thought, raising speculation that it is sitting on the largest gold mine in the world. Situated 330 miles north of Adelaide, South Australia, Olympic Dam contains deposits of several minerals and is already the home to the world's largest uranium mine.
BHP shares hit record levels with feverish expectations that a recent drilling programme had vastly exceeded expectations. BHP has grown in value on the back of the China-fuelled commodity boom. Its stock market value has reached $200 billion (£99 billion), compared with $30 billion five years ago. Yesterday the share price rose 81p to £17.37.

The price of gold neared a 28-year peak yesterday as investors continued to buy into the commodity as a hedge against a falling dollar and the potential for a serious economic downturn in the US. The precious metal hit $736.05 per troy ounce at on…

Capitalism Shares- Or Does it ?

The proportion of shares owned by small shareholders is down to an all time low of 13 % , reported the Independent.

There are as many as 10 million private investors, and BT, for example, retains about half of the people who bought its shares in 1984, but few have a holding in more than one company. Those who own share portfolios with a value of, say, £50,000 to £100,000 is put at no more than 100,000, or 200,000 people.

Half of the UK stock market was controlled by individuals in 1963, that proportion has fallen steadily to this all-time low. The 12.8 per cent headline figure would be even lower were it not for the privatisations and demutualisations of the 1980s.

It is certainly not the Peoples Capitalism , that the apologists of the free market had hoped for .

Wall St Wealth

Normally, Socialist Courier exposes the wealth of our local Scottish capitalists but on this occasion the Independent has revealed just how financially rewarding it is to be an American stock-market speculator and parasite .

Chief executive of Morgan Stanley bank , John Mack , took home $41.4m (£21m) last year but Trader Monthly , the journal of investment hedge fund managers , showed that even he would not have made their Top 100 List . The average take home pay of the 100 on the list was $241million and the total earnings for the list was $24.1billion.It is not a list of net worth and does not take into account stocks, options or anything other than cash made in the year .

T. BOONE PICKENS , oil trader , $1bn-$1.5bn

JOHN ARNOLD $1.5bn-$2bn , Mr Arnold's fund ended the year with a 317 per cent profit on its estimated $1bn of assets. About half of the fund is believed to be Mr Arnold's own money, cash he made at Enron

JAMES SIMONS , $1.5bn-$2bn , controls $24bn in assets and char…