In the balmy (barmy?) days before the global financial crisis in 2008, Germany was regarded as the Promised Land for Vancouver stock promoters. They had never seen anything like it… so many sheep to be fleeced and none of them up to date on the guiles and wiles of Vancouver’s best and brightest.
It was a happy hunting ground. Even better the various German exchanges went out of the way to make their lists open to all and sundry. Stocks that you couldn’t even find a ticker for in Canada, trading on some third sub-tier of Yellowknife Adventurers Exchange could get itself a listing in Berlin or Stuttgart by merely existing.
This not only gave an extra ticker to fill up embarrassing white spaces, between photos of the moose pasture, on the company website but also gave one status when one strutted the floor of the Munich Gold Show touting one’s vermiculite, granola or alfafa deposit. I have met executives who still sigh for the days when their registers frequently had 40% of the holders located on the Continent.
Sadly all good things had to come to the end and the severe fleecing the German sheep received at the hands of the promoters left their hides red raw and it was a long time in healing. Germany faded from view and most German-speaking investors forswore any involvement or interest in Canada besides the hockey scores at the Olympics.
Part of the problem for the mainstream German investor in mining stocks is the paucity of quality mining analysis and information in the language. There is clearly a space for a site such as Investorintel catering to the German market, which after all is 100 million-strong between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Back in the bad old days, bulletin boards in Canada were somewhat baffling to a non-English speaker with code words, jargon and nods and winks alluding to some of the less than salubrious activities of managements. For the Canadian corporates, the nasty things that Germans may have said, post-deal, on the German-language bulletin boards were unintelligible to the average geo/CEO of a TSX-V junior.
If Churchill could say that the English and the Americans were two people divided by a common language then what to make of the mutual lack of comprehension between Canadian juniors and German investors. It’s time to put both parties on the same (web)page… just in different languages.
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