Friday, July 29, 2011
Silver in Your Bandages and Copper in Your Pillow
The value of industrial commodities to human health is well documented. Silver is used in medical settings where its anti-microbial benefits prevent illness from spreading. It can be found in creams, catheters, and even bed sheets. Copper, the metal which leads to most silver production, is found in anti-wrinkle creams, and even new pillows meant to curb signs of aging while you sleep.
As the health benefits of industrial benefits become more mainstream, the use of both silver and copper in every day products will trend linearly. Already, several companies have created new products which play on the benefits of industrial metals. New socks contain trace amounts of copper, which has proven to be excellent at reducing odors and relieving sufferers of athlete’s foot.
In medical settings, silver is growing in usefulness in bandages. According to the Wall Street Journal, Argentum Medical LLC created a new product which is proven to kill MRSA. Its anti-bacterial properties are, of course, powered by silver. The bandages are naturally more expensive - $.75 vs. $.07 for regular bandages - but the advantages are numerous. Most importantly, MRSA is expensive to treat, but bandages which cost only 75 cents are not expensive in the least.
Niche products aren’t just for the active or hospitalized; a new company promises that their silver-infused mattresses can kill dust mites, reduce allergens, and improve your quality of sleep.
The Emerging Trends
Whether or not new copper and silver products will catch on with consumers and find a special place in every home remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: a small increase in demand for silver does result in exponential price growth.
Additionally, there is no real way to make worthwhile the time it takes to recycle silver used in textiles for socks, mattresses, and bandages. Once used, the silver will be left to rest in a landfill, not in a recycling facility. Each ounce of silver consumed for disposable purposes is one less that can be purchased by producers or investors, and one more checkbox ticked for higher silver prices.
Each product is in its infancy, and there are plenty of technologies that present higher consumption potential, and thus better growth opportunities for silver. However, few industrial applications allow for the raw destruction of silver. Most silver used today can be recycled, and much of it is. New applications for silver only temporarily take each gram of the metal off the market. But textiles, medical treatments, and creams are the perfect drain on silver, even if each makes up a minute percentage of total consumption.
Seeing as each product is confined to a niche market with thick profit margins and low total silver costs, each silver-infused product is just as profitable at $40 silver as it would be at $100 silver. If technology has proven anything, it is that it has become far more costly to the world’s limited resources. Silver, being one of the most demanded products in technology sectors, still has a long way to run.
Dr. Jeffrey Lewis
China dives deeper into resource race
From: AlJazeeraEnglish | Jul 26, 2011
Oh the irony
For years, it was the US and developed nations who closely watched as Latin American economies struggled with their debt crises, and in many cases lectured them on what they should do about it.
But now it is the other way around, as this region is enjoying years of economic prosperity.
Economists in Argentina say a potential US default could spark a domino effect in the Americas and they think governments in Latin American countries should be ready.
Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo reports from the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires.
The Carnival continues
Keiser Report: Ghettofication of America
This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, look at gold's standing ovation for the Obama-Boehner debt ceiling theater. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Stefan Molyneux about the Fed audit and the debt ceiling.