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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 14, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am EDT

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tonight on "nightline," gaga for gold. the price of gold hits a sky-high new record today as everyone it seems from the biggest bankers to the smallest savers peoples in. but is all that glitters gold? should you invest? or is this the next bubble? the longest shift. 40 days in, life at the chile yan mine collapse has begun to resemble a high stakes reality
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sh show. "nightline" has the inside story. plus, upset. the tea party sends shock waves through the political establishment tonight and sents the stage for one raucous election. we're live with the latest. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," september 14th, 2010. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. and we'll begin with gold. long before the conquistadors made trips into the amazon, gold worked an almost unholy power over the minds and imaginations of men. well, in 2010, the sure suit of gold may be less epic in scale, but mrepty of evidence that passion has not abated. a prime indicator? today, the price of gold hit an all-time high of over $1,270 an ounce.
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that's up $1,000 from just ten years ago. call it the great gold rush of 2010. the price of gold hit record highs today, more than $1,270 per ounce, and plenty of predictions it will go even higher, maybe much, before it stops rising. >> so much anticipation building. >> reporter: you can't eat it. it doesn't pay dividends of interest or rent to you, but gold is still the stuff that fires the fevered dreams of investors all over the world. especially right now. >> let's talk what has been working. gold. >> gold futures rising to a record high. >> i can get cash for this gold medallion. >> reporter: why is the price of gold so high right now? >> demand. global demand. and they want a better currency. i view gold as a currency just as dollars or euros or yen. >> reporter: paul rodski is a partner of asset management in new york. he says given the deep
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uncertainty of the economy, and the concerns many have that what the government is doing is not working, buying gold makes sense. the scenario you describe is apocalyptic. >> i don't think so. >> reporter: the end of paper currency? >> well, you know, that's only been around for 39 years. and that's what most people don't realize. >> reporter: the past few years, certainly, have been a good time to get into gold. ten years ago, gold was selling for about $270 an ounce. in 2007, just as the subprime mortgage crisis hit, it was under $700 for an ounce. more than $500 below where it closed today. all that action for a lump of earth. >> gold is no special qualities to it. it has no intrinsic value at all. just like dollars or euros or yen have no intrinsic value to them. but for 5,000 or 6,000 years, mankind has come back to it, not
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because it is special, but because it is scare. >> reporter: and pretty. >> perhaps. i like shiny things. >> reporter: beauty, scarcity, slidty. gold has always been a refuge for investors in anxious times, and so, these are boom times for gold dealers. at this gold trading company, business is brisk. people come to buy and sell gold. sometimes a lot. >> about $700,000. when i got started, i never thought gold was going to be this much. i was hoping it would get above $700 an ounce. >> reporter: he's been in business 22 years. he's never seen a market like this one. >> all of a sudden, people are looking into different investments. people are scared of the stock market, people are scared of the low interest rates they're receiving. so, therefore, a portion of that money is definitely going into the hard assets which is gold, silver and platinum. >> reporter: people are scared.
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all over the world, you see this rush to buy gold. they sell it at harrod's department store in london. and incredibly, there's a gold to go machine dispensing bars in the lobby of a hotel in abu dhabi. that's a little crazy, and maybe -- maybe -- it's a sign that gold, like dot comes and real estate before it, has become a bubble, and it could burst. >> i have no idea what's driving it, but a wild and somewhat misguided hysterical fear. >> reporter: ben stein, the actor, writer and economicers chemical tail or the is wary of the frenzy for gold right now. think people are counting on it to be a sure thing. they're in for a severe disappointment. >> reporter: stein's got some history on his side. look at this chart, the history of gold. for 140 years. gold prices spiked during hard times. the depression, the recession of the early 1980s, and then they fall back sharply as the economy recovers. today's gold enthusiasts are
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betting, in a sense, that this time, things won't turn around quickly. that we're headed toward an even bigger economic calamity. christopher, you like gold? >> yes. >> reporter: why? >> because gold has an intrinsic value that's lasted for thousands of years. >> reporter: christopher is ready for the worst. we strolled with him down 47th street in manhattan, the street lined with gold traders. so, after work, sometime during the day, you might come over and buy, what? coins, you buy little bars, what -- >> yeah, i would typically buy a gold coin, perhaps. typically one ounce coins is what i deal with. >> reporter: he's got pretty much all of his investment income in gold, which he buys in coins, and stores himself. because he's gotten into the point where he does not trust banks. what do you say to people who might hear your story and say, that's a guy who is going out and buying gold and he's stashing it away out of the bank
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system and he's probably storing guns somewhere and he's kind of a paranoid about life? what do you say toe that? >> you know, if you want to put your trust in what people are doing, in this administration, if you're confident when the federal reserve doubles the monetary base in september of 2008. if you think that's going to have a positive effect on the economy -- you're free to do whatever you want. i think, for me, personally, for my family, this is the smart choice. >> i would say, if there's real inflation, i would be concerned and i'd be buying gold, too, but there is no sign on the horizon of hyper inflation. our currency is not a weak currency. it's a very strong currency. it has rallied tremendously. >> reporter: as for the notion that this economic downturn is different -- >> maybe this time will be different. but those are the most dangerous words in speculation. when there is a mania to buy a commodity without a good reason, it often ends in tears. >> reporter: still, right now,
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gold keeps going up and up, driven by a sense that the world is out of whack, and gold can somehow keep us safe, until, as history shows, the price plummets again. >> the way i look at it right now, it's an emotionally driven market right now and going to continue until the funds and the people change their minds. >> reporter: if you can guess that moment, you'll be, well, golden. and only time will tell, if it's all just a flash in the pan right now. the gold market. but when we come back, what does gold come from? well, once source is that chile yan mine where 33 miners are trapped. we've got the fascinating latest on their ordeal. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, expresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped.
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their ordeal has now lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, yet each new day for the 33 chilean miners trapped thousands of feet under ground seems to bring another chapter of melodrama. they communicate with their families with a six-inch lifeline which brought today the news of a birth of one of the miner's child. jeffrey kofman has our report. >> reporter: elizabeth was almost eight months pregnant when the mine collapsed, trapping her husband and 32 others. that was 40 days ago. "i've been trying to remain calm," she said last week. from deep in the mine, a few days ago, her husband sent her a message. "she should stay at home," he said, "because she's pregnant, and very soon, our daughter will
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be born. just relax," he added. and today, that daughter was born, video recorded. they were going to call the baby carolina. instead, they are calling hers per ran seay. spanish for hope. this is not a reality show. it is real life. but it has all the ingredients of reality tv that no one would dare dream up. a harrowing drama, 33 men trapped in the collapse of a copper mine for 40 days. a enduring starvation, stifling heat and humidity. after 17 anxious days, they were found alive, having formed their own tribal culture. an ending yet to be written. the best guess says they might get out in another two months. a heaping dose of melodrama.
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the appearance of an unknown mistress. family feuds. a marriage proposal. that baby, born today. all set against the backdrop of an epic rescue effort, nothing this deep, this complex, has ever been tried before. the setting? the 121-year-old san jose copper mine, deep in the desert of northern chile. 2300 feet below the surface, the 33 men wait and wonder when they will see daylight and their families again. the miners had not waited to be told what to do. they divided themselves into three groups. the 105, the ramp and the refuge, named after the parts of the mine they are sleeping in. they don't compete. they just rotate responsibilities. and a cast of leaders has emerged. luis, shift foreman, has maintained his role as leader. mario, the oldest miner, assists psychologists on the surface. and then, johnny. he had a few months of medical
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training. under these circumstances, that's enough to make him the group medic, inoculating everyone and doing medical assessments. but he's got answering to do when he gets out. both his wife and his mistress turned up at the mine gates the day of the collapse. while the men organize themselves under ground, a different order established on the surface outside the mine gates, where families have been holding vigil for 40 days. they call this camp hope. that is christina, holding vigil for the man she lives with, but isn't married to. he is claudio, the man you see here talking to their daughter. "i love you," says the girl. a few months ago, she declined his offer of emergency. but all that changed. after he was found alive, she sent him a note. she accepted the proposal. he said, "okay, my love. when i get out, we're going to
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get married." one of the real challenges in sustaining the men is their only connection to the surface is a shaft just six inches ago. and so, all their supplies are being sent in a tube like this, that's six feet long. they call them palomas, spanish for pigeon, as in carrier pige n pigeon. everything has to fit in a hole like this, four inches across. one of their first requests was for a television to watch their beloved soccer games. how do you fit a tv into a hole this small? well, take a look. this is the tv that was sent to them. we got it on the internet for a couple hundred bucks, and this is how they're watching the game that is their passion. we call the game soccer. they call it football. but anyone would call this ingenius. to make this happen, chilean exnee
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engineers used a different tube to allow electricity. down here, we're fighting, too, just like the soccer players, says one of the miners. we're fighting to get out of this 2300-foot hole. thank you all for your support. the support is constant. 24 hours a day, those palomas carrying food and supplies are loaded on the surface and dropped to the men half a mile below. it takes ten minutes to go down, ten minutes to unload. the men lost 20 pounds while they waited to be rescued. they've been rehydrated and retourishe now, they are being sent warm meals daily. getting them out is provening to be more difficult than finding them. there are three drills on sight working on three different rescue shafts. but it is slow going. it may take two months to reach them. when rescuers do reach them, the men have been told they must
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have waists to bigger than 35 inches. getting them all out will take four days. for weeks, the miners had only their head lamps. now, they've got lights. nasa scientists who came here to advise the chileans told them to regulate day and night sickles, and that is what is being done. otherwise, there could be chaos. with the new cabling, the families and miners are able to converse in a private video conferen conference. for now, these conversations are limited to five money outs, once a week. on the advice of psychologists, this kind of contact is being limited. instead, the families are writing letters each day. in the harsh climate of the decemb desert here, there is a strange sense of joy surrounding the mine. the route here is carpeted in purple flowers. this, in what is said to be the driest place on earth.
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and, on the hillside above the mine, we found two little girls arranging some of those flowers around one of the 33 chilean flags fluttering in the wind. the words on the flag say, "we are waiting for you, mario gomez." he is her uncle. i'm jeffrey kofman for "nightline" at the san jose copper mine, chile. >> what a fascinating story. hope above and below. thanks to jeffrey kofman for that report. up next, we're going to turn to the world of music, where you may not be able to hurry love, but you may be able to do anything else, at least, if you're phil collins. 66% of new products have some kind of intelligence built in... refrigerators order groceries from the store. washing machines run when energy prices are lowest...
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america needs clean energy, and america needs jobs. wind power can deliver on both - but only if the senate encourages investment by passing a strong renewable electricity standard.
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with a strong res, we can keep 85,000 wind power workers on the job, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, too. jobs that america could really use right now. for american jobs, tell your senators to pass a renewable electricity standard today. >> >> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> he led one of the biggest bands to come out of england in the 1970s while building a hu hugely successful solo career afterwards. he has seven grammys, an academy
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award and two golden globes, and that old band, genesis, well, that's in the rock and roll hall of fame. for tonight's play list, phil collins dishes on his own favorite tracks. ♪ i can feel it coming in the air tonight ♪ ♪ oh lord ♪ but i been waiting for this moment ♪ ♪ for all my life ♪ oh lord >> oh, geez! >> i thought it was fantastic the movie. i heard about it long before i saw it. and then when he punched the guy at the end, i thought that was very funny. ♪ whenever i'm with him ♪ something inside >> most people don't put kind of me and motown or me and soul music together. where as that's the real -- that's the thing i started off listening to. probably "heat wave" to me is one song that just -- you know,
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captures what motown is, straight from the very beginning. i used to just buy anything that was on the label, because you could trust the labels, you know? you wouldn't be buying something that was going to interest you or find good. ♪ i won't be long yeah ♪ yeah ♪ yeah ♪ i won't be long yeah ♪ yeah ♪ yeah >> the first music for me, of course, was the beatles, you know? i was kind of 13, meet the beatles over here was probably my first, you know, album i went stupid over. but "it won't be long" was the opening track. when the needle went on the record, you would hear -- i used to play air guitar to that in the mirror, pretending i was john lennon or paul. fantastic period to grow up in, you know? ♪ i'll still be by your side >> i came across most of the tongs from the group called the action. i've got a favorite single of
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theirs is "i'll keep holding on." they were probably the biggest influence on my musical life because they turn med onto such music and did their own versions, which kind of led me into doing my interpretations of these songs ♪ i can't make you love me ♪ if you don't >> i came across one song by bonnie raitt by complete accident. i was going through the tv channels and came across this piano, which caught my ear and bonnie came in singing "i can't make you love me" and it was -- i was, you know, pinned to the spot while the song was on. certain songs that, if i'm -- kind of feeling a bit down, i'll play a song that makes me feel worse, which i think most people do that. i think most people don't play a happy song to make them feel
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happier. they play a few sad songs to sort of compound the misery. ♪ bright smile ♪ she is wind some >> i have a big professional crush on idina. when i heard her sing "i'm not that girl," it's such a pure voice. i hope her to be the future of broadway, because her voice, when i first saw the show with her in it, her voice was like a pop singer, but doing a broadway song. ♪ i can't recall a time ♪ when i wanted to reach out to a friend ♪ >> the beatle, bonnie raitt, the action. have to check them out. phil collins. we'll be right back with the striking results of tonight's primaries, but first, here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next. >> jimmy: thanks, terry.
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tonight, kathy griffin, joanna garcia and new music from the killers brandon flowers. "jimmy kimmel live" is next.
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