September 30, 2002 All-site meeting washeld in theamphitheater. This quarterly forum consists of business andcommunity related reports and discussions. [Photo & text: T] In the Business partof the meeting, activity reports were presented by area managers andcoordinators, followed by Q&A’s. The community part was concerned withresident’s topics. [Photo & text: T] Justin Dehnert[second from the left], a member of CommunityCouncil moderated the meeting. [Photo & text: T]
The ongoing political dispute between Qatar and those who boycotted it – principally Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE – resulted in a concerted campaign to boycott Qatar commercially as well. One of the casualties was Qatar-headquartered beIN and its premium sports services, for which it had paid huge sums of money for exclusive MENA-wide broadcasting rights. The boycott left a huge vacuum for sports broadcast in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE. Although the UAE relented somewhat by allowing IPTV opcos Etisalat and Du to resell beIN packages, the campaign against beIN was sustained in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.The first serious indicator as to what would fill this vacuum was the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A streaming service by the name of “BeoutQ” – on the back of social media fanfare in Saudi Arabia – appeared, providing access to premium beIN channels for a nominal fee. In a last-ditch attempt to keep viewers distracted from BeoutQ, the Qatari company was forced to change its FIFA World Cup 2018 distribution strategy and air matches for free to viewers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.In the interim, BeoutQ became available on set-top boxes. Since then, these boxes have flooded Saudi Arabia and, by extension, neighbouring markets. What was a case of online piracy has become a sophisticated effort to undermine the pay-TV industry in the region. Virtually every major sporting body and organisation with content broadcast by beIN has come out in protest against BeoutQ’s unauthorised distribution. Legal measures have been taken at the WTO to tackle BeoutQ, with beIN initiating a US$1 billion lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, who it claims are the institutional backers of BeoutQ.MENA’s pay TV forecasts have been revised downwards to reflect the impact BeoutQ is expected to have. BeoutQ is a relatively cheap service at around $100 per year for a full roster of beIN’s premium sports channels. As a result, growth there is set to contract in premium sports services over the coming years – except in 2022 when regional interest is likely to be heightened by Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup (see Figure 1, right).It isn’t only sports rights that are being affected. KIPCO, the majority shareholder in Kuwaiti-headquartered OSN (MENA’s pay-TV incumbent for entertainment), is set on selling its stake in the company following poor performance. It blames this disappointing performance on – among other things – piracy from BeoutQ, which now also carries entertainment channels, traditionally the regional mainstay of OSN.This case of regional piracy is now threatening to morph into a global issue, raising the stakes substantially, as BeoutQ-enabled boxes are finding their way to Europe and America. Both NBC Universal and Eleven Sports (a streaming service that last year won a swathe of sporting rights across European markets, including top-flight soccer) have complained because their broadcasts are being distributed by BeoutQ. Prominent broadcasting organisations like Sky and the BBC have lined up to condemn the outfit.Ovum believes the following will occur as a result of the BeoutQ piracy phenomenon:BeIN is sustaining existential pressure on its business, with heavy subscriber losses in its key markets of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, at a time when pay TV is under pressure from streaming platforms and cheaper alternatives. As a result, it is possible that beIN will restructure its businesses and reorient its strategy for future growth.BeoutQ jeopardises investments by content licensees, which will impact valuations in future rights deals. Content investment across the region is likely to be constrained as a result.Rights will no longer be sold en bloc to the Arab MENA region. In any fragmentation of rights packaging across the region, Saudi players like STC and other pay-TV distributors will bid for the separate packages on a national basis when beIN’s rights to individual sports events expire. Until then legal battles and counterclaims are likely to characterise MENA’s pay-TV landscape.BeoutQ’s model has not only normalised piracy, it is a tool in the political campaign against Qatar. Ironically, this attitude to piracy might come back to bite future Saudi/Egyptian rights owners of sports events.In conjunction with anti-piracy and security vendors, Western broadcasters and major global sporting brands will intensify their efforts to curb the impact of BeoutQ on their services, and there will be further collaboration by them to counter this threat.Ismail Patel is senior analyst, media and entertainment at Ovum.Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us. read more
By David Galland, Casey ResearchFor some time now – years actually – I have pondered the nature of liberty. Or more specifically, what liberty actually means to me. And to be extra clear, I am not talking about the meaning in abstract or philosophical terms, but tangibly – in much the same way I might answer if asked what my wife means to me.The trigger for this entirely personal discourse comes from reading various articles and viewing various YouTube videos and speeches from self-styled champions of liberty (COL). There is even an entire conference, Mark Skousen’s FreedomFest, dedicated to the topic.Invariably, these well-meaning COL rail against “The Man” (something I do myself), accentuating their public angst by sharing stories of being molested by the TSA or otherwise inconvenienced by minions of the state. It is my contention that most of these individuals, and certainly the majority of “freedom-loving” Americans, don’t actually understand the meaning of liberty, but rather give the matter little more than lip service.And again, I don’t mean liberty in an abstract way – like, say, “world peace” – but tangibly.Now, before going on, tripping emotional wires as I do, I feel the need to quickly establish my bona fides on the topic. I start with the simple fact that with age, and 58 years old counts, comes perspective. In addition, unlike most of today’s COL, I have actually been jailed for rioting against authority – at the naïve age of 14, as the result of actively participating in the toe-to-toe anti-war confrontations during the Oakland Induction Center Riots of the late 1960s.In addition, as over-the-top as it now sounds, along with my now-departed friend and colleague of many years, Jim Blanchard, I spent many months assisting the RENAMO-led freedom fighters raise awareness in their fight against Mozambique’s vicious dictatorship. The adventure ultimately ended up with us in a very tight spot under house arrest in neighboring Malawi, followed by a high-speed car chase with the Malawian secret police in hot pursuit.I have been directly involved with prominent members of the freedom movement in the US as part and parcel of my business career since a very young age, including running the 1980 Libertarian Presidential Nominating Convention in Los Angeles at the request of my friend Ed Crane, the founder of the Cato Institute. Furthermore, I have been friends, business associates, or acquaintances with too many well-known COL to recount here, starting with my business partner of many years Doug Casey, but also Harry Browne, Milton Friedman, and even Ayn Rand (I arranged for and hosted her at her last public appearance before she died).And finally, I would mention my involvement in helping to create La Estancia de Cafayate in a remote wine-growing region of Argentina, without question the largest and most successful community of largely libertarian-minded individuals on the planet.All of which is to say that I’m not arriving to this discussion fresh off the back of a turnip truck.So, what does liberty mean to me?In the simplest and purest terms, it means being free to come and go as I please.Of course it would be my strong preference to come and go without the charade and indignity of transportation security instituted by most nations these days (ironically, the “Land of the Free” being the worst of the lot). But, unlike some prominent COL, I don’t make the mistake of conflating transiting airports with protesting against the inanity of transport security.That’s because if I wanted to mount a protest against TSA, I would do it in an organized fashion. Say, by arranging for a large and loud demonstration at whatever passes for TSA’s headquarters, making sure that the media was there to provide coverage. I certainly wouldn’t do it ad hoc without media present, on a day when I actually needed to travel from point A to point B.After all, like trees falling in remote woods, if a protest happens and there’s no media to record it, was there a protest?The polar opposite to being free to come and go as one pleases, the essential tenet to my personal definition of liberty, is to be trapped in a jail cell. Been there, done that – and very much have no interest in doing it again.Thus, I avoid engaging in activities where one of the possible outcomes is being arrested and jailed. For example, making angry displays when a TSA minion asks me to take off my shoes.Now, I realize that the degradation of principles and justice in countries such as the US means that pretty much everyone breaks a law or three every day, but miscarriages of justice resulting in an innocent person being sentenced to jail (or gunned down) are statistically very rare. Yes, they happen – but so does getting struck by lightning. Thus, when I talk about acting in a fashion unlikely to lead to being locked up in a cage, I’m talking about playing simple odds.And no, I don’t need to be a cowering sheep to keep the odds of my being jailed near zero. Rather, I just need to take note of the laws of whatever land my feet are currently planted on and avoid tripping over the big stuff.In the US, for example, walking around with a bag of pot in your pocket could lead to jail time. In Uruguay or Amsterdam or dozens of other countries, it’s legal. So, when in the US – again, ironically still called “the Land of the Free” – I can manage without the pot. (Actually, I’ve done without pot for many decades; I’m just using this as an illustration.)Failing to pay the legally proscribed amount of taxes is another easy way to end up in jail. As a US citizen, there’s no denying I’m trapped in a tax regime I find abhorrent and counterproductive to the building of capital. That’s a big disadvantage compared to many countries.But am I willing to trade my liberty for the money I might be able to hide from the IRS? Hardly. That would be the equivalent of choosing the latter when confronted by a gun-wielding thug demanding my money or my life.Does this mean I’m powerless against the institutionalized theft of taxation? Not at all.It just means I have to work harder to uncover legal ways to minimize the tax bite, starting by hiring good counsel. And let’s not forget, for the citizens of most countries, minimizing the tax burden is as simple as getting on a plane, as – unlike the Land of the Free – they don’t tax non-resident citizens on worldwide income.As for US citizens, if the issue is important enough to you, there are specific steps you can take to legally avoid the taxes altogether, by replacing the passport you carry in your pocket. It’s not particularly quick or easy, but if paying less (no?) taxes is that important to you, then there are clear paths to accomplishing just that objective without risking the loss of your liberty.I’m not making these comments cavalierly, but rather to point out hard facts about the world we live in.So, freedom to come and go is the core principle of my personal liberty. What else?Well, part of that freedom has to do with personal finances. Namely, you can have all the liberty in the world, but if you don’t have the money necessary to actually travel, you probably aren’t going to get very far… at least not in a fashion you might enjoy.While there are countries such as North Korea where the government makes accumulating any wealth almost impossible (unless you are part of the dictator’s inner circle), in most of the world, this aspect of life – call it “financial freedom” – has far more to do with a person’s willingness to work hard than anything else.That said, I readily acknowledge that governments everywhere are a constant weight on the entrepreneur’s back. Yet, simply looking at the facts as they are, I personally know dozens of people, here in the US – and in places like Argentina, where the government makes doing business an order of magnitude more difficult – who, through their own creativity and exertions, are fabulously successful.As something of a tangent, while generalizations are rarely useful, in my direct experience many individuals who paint themselves as libertarians have trouble coming up with the proverbial two nickels to rub together. Doug Casey and I have discussed this on more than one occasion, and I don’t think either of us has a good answer. If pressed to it, I would hypothesize that it has to do with a latent inability to work as part of a team, something libertarians tend not to be very good at but which is often required to launch a successful career. In support of that hypothesis, look no further than the reality that the Libertarian party has never been able to mount an effective national political campaign.Back to the point, despite the government’s meddling, financial freedom is imminently attainable for individuals who focus on their work and who put in steady efforts at increasing their personal knowledge (including learning how to handle your money, once you have some). Of course, succeeding may not be easy… it rarely is, though it can be.While I’m sure there are additional nuances to my personal definition of liberty that I could mention, the big point is that as long as I am free to come and go as I please and have the capability to build the wealth I need to do so, then I have pretty much all the liberty I need to enjoy my limited lifetime on this planet. After all, with those two conditions in place, if one place becomes too unfree for my taste, I can move on.“Wait a second!” some of you may find yourselves thinking indignantly.What about the wholesale trampling of the US Constitution in recent decades? What about the militarization of the domestic police force here in the US? What about the loss of freedom in the Land of the Free?I might respond with a sad shake of the head and by mouthing words such as “tragic,” or “damn shame,” or even “it’s outrageous, criminal even.” And there’s no question it’s all of those things and more. The idea of America in its youth was amazing, especially considering the era in which it was birthed. But that idea has been so diluted at this point to be almost meaningless… here in the United States.And therein lies the importance of being able to travel freely. You see, unlike many, I refuse to define myself by the artificial borders that were determined solely by an accident of birth. Why should I?Do I relate to the idea of America? Of course; what thinking person wouldn’t? But during these philosophical Dark Ages for freedom in the United States, what practical purpose does clinging onto that idea serve?To use an overused comparison, what practical purpose would it have served for the head of a Jewish family during Hitler’s Germany to stand on a street corner handing out anti-Nazi pamphlets? The obvious answer is “none.” It would have just resulted in the ultimate loss of liberty – his death and likely that of everyone he loved.Personally, I look at the Americans and I see a people who have been very effectively brainwashed, or who simply have given in to the entirely human tendency to shuffle unquestioningly onto the path of least resistance and let themselves go.I see a people who, on a wholesale basis, have consciously or unconsciously decided to trade the idea of America for the false security of a totalitarian state.While there are voices in the woods, such as Ron Paul, that warn of the consequences, I’m trying to focus today on hard realities. And the hard reality is that if you were to assemble all 300 million US citizens in an auditorium to listen to well-presented arguments for less vs. more government and then ask for a show of hands, the vast majority would raise their hands in favor of the current system that has the state deeply involved in pretty much every aspect of the economy and society at large.Skeptical? Then ask yourself what percentage of the audience would raise their hands in favor if asked the following:“How many of you want Social Security to remain intact?”“How many think the government should subsidize health care?”“How many think the rich should pay more taxes?”Or ask your questions in the negative, and watch how few hands stick in the air.“How many of you think the Food and Drug Administration should be abolished?”“How many of you think recreational drugs, including cocaine and heroin, should be legalized?”“How many of you think the Department of Education should be shuttered?”“How many of you think that the tax credit for mortgages should be canceled?”At the end of the exercise, the level of support for the very same tangled body of state-controlled handouts, regulations and central economic planning now choking the last gasps of life out of the body politic would be obvious and overwhelming.The practical point I am trying to make here is that the COL are fighting against a very entrenched and increasingly dangerous public mindset. Some like to hearken back to the days of the revolution when prominent men in the community risked it all to overthrow the British. I would contend that the situation today is totally different. Then it was a foreign enemy daily adding salt to the open wound of what was essentially an occupation by marching troops around and passing highly unpopular and often arbitrarily punitive laws. Today the enemy (of true freedom) is within. In fact, the nation is overrun by them… they dominate in most every community, in most businesses and even in most families.And your fellow citizens don’t want what the COL are selling. Sure, there are a fair number – for instance, members of the Tea Party – who might be sympathetic on a largely abstract level, but drill down into the specifics by asking questions such as those above and you’ll quickly find just how far off the grid you are.So what’s the point?Face the facts – free no more. Contrary to popular delusions, the United States is no longer the Land of the Free – either in terms of its judicial system or its market structure.Rather, it is the land of the paranoid, the state-dependent, supporters of Guantanamo and permawar… with the highest incarceration rates in the world, militarized police and… and… and…That said, it’s also the land of the convenient shopping, relatively inexpensive food and housing and trains that run on time. Provided you pay attention not to trip over the big legal no-nos, you can enjoy a very high standard of living (though, in fairness, that’s true of most of the world).If, on the other hand, you don’t think you can stay out of trouble here or in any country whose government is becoming a danger to residents, then go somewhere else. Or, to quote my friend and partner Doug Casey, “Stop thinking like a serf.”Define what it is you want from your life. And I am speaking about this life, not some promised afterlife. Do you really want to put yourself on the front line of a battle that the vast majority of the populace wouldn’t support you in?If the answer is “yes,” that you are willing to lose your liberty – the ability to travel freely – in support of the cause, then I can only wish you well. I hope at the end of your life, which in the US could come quicker than you’d like, you’ll have found satisfaction and purpose in the struggle. Just be sure you are clear on your objectives and are willing to accept the consequences.Of course, I’ll continue to support the champions of liberty here in the US, even though I think they are tilting against windmills for the most part. And I will almost certainly find occasion to speak against the totalitarian tide myself, albeit in terms sufficiently tame to avoid leading to a loss of my liberty.Far more important, as it relates to my personal liberty, I’ll continue the process of diversifying my life between political jurisdictions so that if and when things in my native country become unbearably oppressive – and therefore an active risk to my ability to freely go about my business – I can bid it goodbye.Call me a coward, but in my view it’s far better to switch than to fight, especially when the vast majority of my fellow citizens wouldn’t know the true meaning of freedom if you served it to them on a silver plate.Get David’s candid political and economic commentary every Friday, free of charge, in your inbox, by signing up to receive Casey Daily Dispatch. Throughout the week, you’ll also learn all about today’s most promising investment sectors – metals and mining, energy, technology – as well as hear from Doug Casey and prominent financial experts on the current state of US politics and the economy. read more
In This Issue.* Cyprus was the market mover * Regional manufacturing on the rise * Euro takes a shot * Singapore inflationAnd, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!The dollar regained some ground…Good day…and welcome to Tuesday morning. We spent most of the day here in the Midwest digging ourselves from the weekend’s blanket of snow. We officially saw just over a foot of snow, which is a ton for the St. Louis area, but the overall conditions could be been a lot worse. The road crews were prepared and the temps were very cooperative, so all in all, it was more of an inconvenience than a catastrophe. I think we can draw the same comparison to the agreement with Cyprus.As I had mentioned yesterday, the small island nation did manage to qualify for its bailout package, but not without certain conditions. Uninsured depositors and senior bondholders could/would face losses with the new banking structure. The initial market response was a lot more tame than I would have guessed as the euro was actually sitting on a small gain early yesterday morning. Market sentiment turned on a dime mid-morning and sent the euro down well over a full cent in a matter of minutes. I was looking at the bailout terms and didn’t see any changes that would cause such a stir, but it didn’t take long for the culprit to float toward the surface.It looks as though comments from Cypriot and European officials were enough to turn the tide. The remark that really threw the markets for a loop initially had suggested the Cyprus bank restructuring plan should be seen as a template for the rest of the eurozone and solving future banking problems. The official went on the say that imposing losses on depositors and bondholders must be a part of the bailout toolkit. The markets interpreted this as becoming the way all future dealings would be handled, so angst began to build rapidly. He later offered some clarification by saying Cyprus is a specific case with exceptional challenges and that adjustment programs are tailor made. In other words, he retracted his use of the word template.Unfortunately, the damage was already done at that point, so his clarifying remarks went in one ear and out the other. We also had another official say that leaving the euro must be considered, but the Cypriot president offered reassurances that the nation will remain in the euro. In any instance, the ECB is needed to keep the system liquid for those banks who have remained solvent. As of this morning, banks in Cyprus have not re-opened and there is no time table as to when that might take place. Analysts are already calling for GDP numbers to take a significant hit this year and into next year as a result of the bailout terms.Moody’s was also critical of the decision as they said the policy makers’ recent decisions will raise the risk of deposit outflows, capital flight, increased bank and sovereign funding costs, and broader financial market dislocation throughout the euro area in the future. I’m sure the Russians weren’t too pleased with the outcome either. Remember, they have an estimated $31 billion on deposit in Cypriot banks so losses on uninsured amounts will probably come to a significant figure. I don’t see much changing the euro selling bias in the near term unless we see the ECB come out and make serious references to the do anything it takes mantra.In the end, these are all knee jerk reactions and time will go a long way in the healing process. The fact that an endorsement of losses was made regarding the measures marks a change, but tough times will facilitate tough decisions. But this action is the first time that senior bondholders in a euro region bank will take losses, which will happen with the wind down of Cyprus Popular Bank. The fragile state of confidence took a major blow and its going to be interesting to see how the ECB will react.I think I’ve given more than enough attention to the whole Cyprus scenario, but that was pretty much all there was to talk about. We didn’t have any significant data reports to speak of globally, so investors didn’t have anything else to occupy their time. Here in the US, we only had the Chicago and Dallas area manufacturing reports to study yesterday. Both reports showed improvements from their last readings, but the Dallas region showed quite a pickup in March as it rose to 7.4 from 2.2. A rise in shipments and new orders were the biggest contributors to the rise.Texas manufacturers now have a more positive outlook than in recent months, but they have still expressed continued concerns about the remaining question marks surrounding policy, such as the sequester, as well as the state of the overall economy. According to the Chicago Fed, economic activity picked up in February and the current indications would point toward that trend continuing into March. As we look at what’s on tap for today, we’ll get some substantial reports to review. Right out of the gate this morning, it’s the February durable goods number.The headline number is expected to have a much better showing than the January result. The experts are calling for an increase of 3.9%, but it will be interesting to see what kind of impact the sequester is going to have on durable goods since government spending is one of the components. This report is very volatile to begin with, but I’m sure more emphasis is going to be placed on the ex aircraft and non-defense figure. I generally like to look at the components of durable goods, so that works for me. We also get a January housing price index that is expected to yield another modest gain.March consumer confidence is set for release right around the mid morning break time and is expected to show a fairly sizable fall. Since housing has dominated the economic data headlines, all eyes will be focused on the February new home sales number. Lastly, we get another regional manufacturing report, only this time in the Richmond area. So, there’s going to be plenty of data to sift through today.I feel like I’ve already covered the currency market by talking about Cyprus, but let’s take a look anyway. As I said in the beginning, the dollar actually began the day in the red, but it didn’t take long at all to turn in the other direction. I’m sure as you gathered, the euro was the worst performing currency as it fell just over 1% and dropped well into the 1.28 handle as the day progressed. Of the major currencies, the losses were mostly confined to the euro and the other European currencies. Except for the euro equivalents of the Danish krone and Swiss franc, the currencies of Norway and Sweden got sucked up into the selling pressures.The sell Europe theme proved too great for both currencies to escape and was no fault of their own. We didn’t see any major economic data that would have justified their nearly 0.50% fall, so traders just sold everything. A Swiss policy maker reiterated the fact that the SNB’s currency cap vis a vis the euro is essential since there is no threat of inflation at all. I think they just wanted to throw that out there just in case traders were wondering given the events in Cyprus. The Brazilian real finished in negative territory but only by a fraction of a percent. It also marked the third day that it traded weaker than 2 per dollar as speculation mounts that the central bank won’t act to strengthen the currency since economic growth forecasts had been lowered. The government seems to be comfortable with inflation at the moment, so they don’t have an incentive to encourage a stronger currency. It appears the Brazilian government is most comfortable with an exchange rate not too far away from 2 in either direction.If we switch gears to those currencies with a gain yesterday, the Singapore dollar took the top prize. We usually don’t see that too often but its 0.35% gain was the most in over two weeks as February inflation rose more than forecast to an eight month high of 4.9%. Singapore uses its exchange rate instead of interest rates to deal with inflation and monetary policy, so higher inflation would point toward the government being comfortable with more currency appreciation.The Japanese yen ended the day in positive territory as fallout from safe haven buying pushed it up nearly 0.25%. The Australian dollar and Canadian dollar both finished with marginal gains, so it wasn’t a total rout in the currency market. We also saw the Mexican peso hit an 18 month high as January economic growth surprised on the upside. The positive report was enough to stave off selling pressures from risk aversion resulting from the Cyprus deal.The precious metals saw volatility for yet another day as silver actually finished the day higher while gold closed above $1,600 but with a $3 loss on the day. As it stands currently, gold is clinging to a slight gain for March and if that holds, it would be the first monthly gain since September. These numbers can change in a heartbeat, but investors have increased their bullish bets by 63% to 70,193 net long contracts, which is the biggest jump since September 2008. Hopefully this marks a change of fate for gold.As I came in this morning, the bleeding has stopped for the euro as its up slightly this morning after an ECB member said they will do everything it can within the terms of its mandate to preserve the euro. It didn’t take long for that card to be placed on the table, but it did the job in terms of calming some fears. We also saw another member say the reorganization for the Cyprus banking system will not serve as a model for other countries in the euro area. A day later and after some of the dust settled, the dollar is marginally weaker this morning, but focus has now shifted toward the US economic data this morning.Then there was this.I saw an interview by Reuters with Olivier Blanchard, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist, who said that expanding the authority of major central banks could make them too powerful. “If you think now of central banks as having this much larger set of responsibilities and this much larger set of tools, then the issue of central bank independence becomes much more difficult,” Blanchard said. “Do you actually want to give an independent central bank the right to choose loan-to-value ratios without any supervision from the political process? Isn’t this going to lead to a democratic deficit in a way where a central bank becomes too powerful?”To recap.News about the Cyprus bailout agreement dominated all of the financial markets. What began as a muted reaction soon turned in the wrong direction as the euro dropped over 1% and was trading well into the 1.28 handle. Certain account holders and senior bondholders will be faced with losses, which is a departure from how previous bailouts were handled, so investors speculate as to whether this will become the new protocol. Their regional manufacturing reports showed more progress and we’ll see a fair amount of data today. The Singapore dollar was the best performing currency as inflation increased more than expected.Currencies today 3/26/13. American Style: A$ $1.0475, kiwi .8353, C$ $.9801, euro 1.2874, sterling 1.5181, Swiss $1.0545. European Style: rand 9.2489, krone 5.8205, SEK 6.4971, forint 236.62, zloty 3.2411, koruna 20.0153, RUB 30.8633, yen 94.30, sing 1.2411, HKD 7.7595, INR 54.3750, China 6.2715, pesos 12.3336, BRL 2.0128, Dollar Index 82.84, Oil $95.30, 10-year 1.93%, Silver $28.80, Gold $1,598.75, and Platinum $1,570.25.That’s it for today.It turned out to be a very busy day on the trade desk yesterday, so I still have a few things that carried over to finish up before I focus on stuff for today. The local news was making light of the fact that we’re going to have a white Easter since we’ll still have some snow on the ground this weekend. I guess it makes it a little easier to spot those colorful eggs but it might also raise some questions about the bunny’s footprints in the snow. For me, it doesn’t get any better than Reese’s peanut butter eggs. I can eat them by the handful, so it takes a good deal of will power on my part. On that note, that’s it for today. Until tomorrow, Have a Great Day!Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more
In This Issue. * Currencies inch higher day by day. * Bullard talks of QE benefits. * Chinese mixed data is still good. * Fed bulks up on cornering bond market. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! China Hoards More Gold Than We’re Told. Good Day! And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! We were supposed to have more snow on the ground this morning, but that didn’t materialize. Brother, it’s cold out though! Much colder than the norm for this time of year. As long time readers are well aware of, I’m no fan of cold weather, and am always repeating the Jimmy Buffett lyrics that I’ve gotta go where it’s warm! This past week, there haven’t been a whole lot of choices here in the U.S. as to where to go where it was warm, so we’ll all in this together, eh? Yesterday was an awfully long day for me, and for the dollar apparently! The dollar, as I mentioned yesterday morning, looked fatigued all day, as the currencies, even the likes of dollars from Australia and Canada found some terra firma. The trading ranges aren’t getting out of whack or anything, these moves are small, but that’s how large moves begin. With slow moves that seem to take for-ever for them to add up to anything significant, but then a couple months down the road, we look back and see that the small moves have added up to something worth talking about a cocktail parties. The Tapering Question remains a roadblock to currency gains getting moving with any authority. The Fed Heads’ FOMC Meeting doesn’t take place until next week 12/18, but yesterday we had a Fed Head talking about Tapering, so let’s see what he had to say, and maybe we can get a glimpse of what will be the end result of next week’s meeting. Well, Fed Head, and St. Louis Fed President, James Bullard, spoke yesterday here in St. Louis. I remember two years ago when I heard him speak, and then they opened the floor up to questions, and there was me, not able to talk out loud from the Radiation I was receiving on my jaw. Man I was loaded for bear, and had to sit there, with the gel in my mouth in hopes of soothing it! Any way. Fed Head Bullard was trying to be very emphatic with his choice of words yesterday, saying that The “improvement in the Labor Market since bond buying began is “most powerful part” of case for Tapering.” Ahem, again this time I would be front and center to ask him a question about that statement, had I been there, so I’ll ask it in the Pfennig, and hopefully someone at the NSA will forward it to him! (just having some fun, no need to get all uptight!) Ahem. Hello? Am I on? Hello? Yes, hello, long time listener, first time caller. I want to know what proof he has that Quantitative Easing has had anything to do with the hiring that’s gone on, or, could it just be a case of a coinquidink? That the nascent hiring would have happened with or without QE? And then a follow up question, please. If QE is responsible for the hiring as you propose, then what could happen when you take away the punch bowl? Thank you, I’ll hang up and listen to your answers. Well, I came out of my office yesterday, where I was hunkered down working on stuff, to look at the currencies and Gold, after Bullard spoke, thinking that for sure, the markets would panic at his comments and send the weak rallies circling the bowl. But, that was not to be! In fact, the currencies and Gold actually looked healthier after he spoke. So. maybe, just maybe, because you never know, but maybe the markets have come to realization, after having it beaten into their thick skulls, that new Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, is cut from the same cloth as her predecessors, Greenspan and Bernanke, and therefore she’s not one to upset the markets’ applecart, especially a couple of weeks before Christmas! Or maybe, the markets were asking the same questions I asked above, about how could he make a statement like that without facts? I think Fed Head Bullard is a smart cookie folks. but maybe he stepped in the dookie here. OK. Let’s go to something else. Well, that was yesterday, and this morning, the dollar is still looking fatigued. The euro continues to move toward its pre-rate cut in November levels. I had a reader of the blog send me a link to a story about why the euro is so strong. The writer had 2 of the three points down, but missed one, and I pointed it out in my response on the blog. Haven’t seen the blog? You can find it at: www.dailypfennig.com… Here’s my response from yesterday. “thanks for the note and link to the story on the euro. I agree, and think the writer missed a very important reason for the euro’s rise this year.The ECB has a shrinking balance sheet, after competing with the Fed for largest balance sheet, the ECB’s balance sheet is now shrinking, while the Fed’s continues to expand, now nearing $4 Trillion.” The soon to be major player in the currency markets, the Chinese renminbi, saw another move in the right direction last night. There are a couple of things going on in China that need to be discussed. First is the mixed bag of economic data results that printed last night. Chinese Industrial Production didn’t meet the expectations for November, but same month Retail Sales unexpectedly beat the estimates. Now, let’s not get out the Chicken Little acts just yet, Industrial Production failed to meet the estimates, but it still printed with a 10% gain from a year earlier! (the consensus called for 10.1%) So, in my opinion, things continue to look up for the recovering Chinese economy. In addition, Chinese vehicle sales were up 16% last month VS a year earlier. The middle class in China continues to spend and that’s just what the Chinese leaders want to see. More domestic demand. The other thing going on in China is the Central Economic Work Conference, which is the group that sets the Economic and Reform Agenda for 2014. We could see some real fireworks come out of this meeting, with it all being good for the renminbi / yuan. I read a report yesterday that Singapore and Hong Kong had joined forces instead of competing to deliver Chinese investment products. This is HUGE folks. Yes, it flew under the radar screens of the markets, but just like the first currency swap agreement 5 years ago did, I found it, and believe it is and will become a very important cog in China’s quest to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. The Swedish krona is having a rough day, and not participating in the currency mini-rally VS the dollar. The krona was sold after a report showed that Swedish Industrial Production fell -1.7% in October and Orders fell -2.5% month on month. This is a real rogue report, as the majority of the economic data prints have painted a different picture in Sweden of economic strength, that’s worthy of a rate hike. Recall that a week or two ago, I told you that Sweden’s Central Bank, the Riksbank, was contemplating one more rate cut, before they began their rate hike cycle in 2014. And data like this today, fuels the Riksbank’s wishes. The Riksbank meets next week, and the call on rates could be very close. But today, the markets believe it will be for that one final rate cut, which is why the krona is at odds with the other currencies today. I say, “if you have to cut one more time, go ahead and get it over with, so we can then set our sights on the next move which should be a rate hike in 2014”! I’m sure the Riksbank will take what I have to say as the gospel, and work accordingly! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The Allman Brothers great song, Whipping Post is playing, and I have to tell you yesterday, that’s exactly how I felt.. Sometimes I feel, like I’ve been tied to the Whipping Post, Good Lord I feel like I’m dying. Sometimes I feel, Sometimes I feel. But then there’s the next day, and I’m full of sunshine and colorful kites! You’ve gotta love days like that! The Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney, was out speaking to whomever would listen to him yesterday and decided to throw a bone to the markets, by saying that “We need to provide a lot of stimulus, but that stimulus can create risks”. I always thought that Mark Carney was an OK Central Bank when he was at the Bank of Canada (BOC), until that is, he kept interest rates steady even though he kept teasing the markets by saying that the need to withdraw stimulus is near. And now I see he’s a two-handed economist. you know. “on one hand we need to provide a lot of stimulus, and on the other hand we know it can create risks” The pound sterling has been the best performing G-10 currency VS the dollar the past 6 months, gaining 5.60% VS the green/peachback. Soon we’ll begin to hear the exporters in England crying about the pound’s strength, and Carney will have to choose to do something about the currency strength or listen to the crying. He’ll probably choose to do something about the currency, so be careful here. Do you know what G-10 currencies are the worst performers of the past 6 months? While I hate to have to list these, as there are some of the ones here that I always list as currencies I think people should look to own. of course I do my opinions on fundamentals, and sometimes fundamentals get lost in the shuffle.. But Norway, Australia, & Canada are three of the four worst performers the past 6 months.. I don’t think I have to tell you that Japanese yen is the 4th member of this club of shame. 6 months is a small sample folks. So don’t get all upset here. The Indian rupee continues its attempt to get back to a positive gain this year, but its running out of time, as there are only 3 weeks left in the trading year. But given where this currency was 6 months ago, the recovery has been quite impressive. Here’s what’s going on that is fueling the rupee’s recovery. 1. The economic reforms that the new RBI Gov. has implemented, and 2. The political party that is perceived to be more “business friendly” is winning most of the seats in the regional elections. Think back to August, it’s not that long ago, and the darkness that engulfed the rupee. I did an interview with Bloomberg’s Pimm Fox on India, and I told him that the new economic reforms needed to get implemented and in place and we would see things improve in India. I do believe he was quite skeptic of that thought at the time. Gold saw a positive day yesterday, and is up $6 this morning. If the shiny metal can hold on to its gains today, it would mark a 3-day rally. But beware, the gains in a 3-day rally can be wiped out in a NY Minute, by the price manipulators. Other than that, I found something in Ed Steer’s letter this morning that’s interesting regarding Gold, and China. here’s Ed. “The news that China imported about 130 tonnes of Gold through Hong Kong came out about two weeks ago from an inside source and is now old news. But now that the numbers have been “officially” released here’s Nick Laird’s chart of the situation as of Oct. 31. Note that the Cumulative Imports from this one official source is now double what China has stated they have in reserves. Without a doubt they have more they haven’t told us about, and probably much, much more.” Chuck again. Yes, I don’t have the chart he talks about, but imagine if you will, the line that looks like a moon shot representing the Gold imports in China. The reason I believe this is important, and this won’t be anything new to long time readers, but I have to say it anyway. The reason this is important, is that I truly believe that China wants to back their currency with Gold, maybe not 100%, but some backing of Gold, which would make their currency the most attractive currency in the world, which would go a long way of achieving their goal of gaining a wide distribution of the renminbi. And don’t forget, that China also produces Gold that they keep. Now, James Rickards, believes a different scenario for all this Gold hoarding by China. He believes that the financial system collapses, and that the countries with the biggest amount of Gold come to the table, they get to call the shots on the new financial system for the world. And China being China, will come to the table with more Gold than anyone could ever imagine, thus surprising the likes of the U.S., Japan, Germany and U.K. Either one of these scenarios will play out good for Gold. The U.S. Data Cupboard is pretty empty today, but will get back on the docket tomorrow with Retail Sales for November, which I talked about yesterday. The BHI indicates that it will be a strong report, as the Christmas shopping season is going good at our house! Before I head to the Big Finish today, I have something that just really got me going to yell at the walls this morning. Well, according to zerohedge.com the Fed now owns 1/3rd of the entire U.S. bond market. Let me repeat that for those that just skipped over it. Your Central Bank, not that you had any say in who you wanted as a Central Bank, or as in my case I would have vote for no central bank, but your Central Bank now has bought over .3% of all Ten Year Equivalents, from the private sector every week! By this time in 2014, the Fed will own about ½ of the entire bond market! YIKES! That’s your cue that interest rates will remain near zero for some time to come folks, for if interest rates rose as they probably should, and will eventually, then the losses on those bonds would be HUGE! For What It’s Worth. This was sent to me by a dear reader, and then I saw it on Ed Steer’s letter this morning, so I thought, it must be good! It originally appeared in the NY Post and is an article written by John Crudele.. Let’s listen in. “The most curious thing of all about the November jobs report released on Friday was the huge drop in the unemployment rate – and the fact that the Labor Department chose not to disclose that the data going into that figure are under investigation for falsification. On Nov. 19, I broke the news in my column that the Census Bureau, which collects data that goes into the jobless rate on behalf of Labor, had caught one of its enumerators fabricating interviews in 2010. The culprit said back then (and to me during an interview) that he was told to do so by Census supervisors who were in the position to instruct others to make similar fabrications. In fact, a source who I haven’t named but who is familiar with the Census data accumulation process has told me that falsifications have been occurring on a regular basis. The Labor Dept. did put in a note about the survey week change in its Nov. report. But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.” Chuck Again. OK. This John Crudele sounds like someone that would fit in nicely in a discussion on the Butler patio! That’s all I’ll say about all this. To recap. The currencies are inching along with small gains VS the dollar which is the way that Chuck believes, large moves begin. St. Louis Fed Head, James Bullard spoke yesterday on Tapering’s benefits. and Chuck has some questions for him. China saw mixed data, but Chuck believes it’s all good. And Sweden saw a weak data print overnight, which comes at a bad time, given the Riksbank will meet next week. And China has more Gold than they are telling us they have, are you surprised? Currencies today 12/10/13. American Style: A$ .9120, kiwi .8305, C$ .9405, euro 1.3750, sterling 1.6440, Swiss $1.1245, . European Style: rand 10.2970, krone 6.1225, SEK 6.5480, forint 218.70, zloty 3.0415, koruna 19.9455, RUB 32.68, yen 103.00, sing 1.25, HKD 7.7530, INR 61.02, China 6.1114, pesos 12.82, BRL 2.3080, Dollar Index 80.07, Oil $98.57, 10-year 2.82%, Silver $20.06, Platinum $1,390.25, Palladium $740.28, and Gold.. $1,248.47 That’s it for today. Chicago’s Make Me Smile is playing, and that’s a song that gets me drumming on the desk, and singing along, but now Mike is here, so I have to sing to myself. My beautiful bride got the lights on the tree (what Everett calls the Trismas Tree) last night, now the kids will start to decorate it. I told you it’s a big one, and I’m not kidding! I’m still seeing red from the Bowl selections. Someone said that they choose based on how the school’s fans will travel. Hey! Hold it somewhere warm and people from ice-cold Missouri will flock there! Just take a look at spring training each spring! Those aren’t locals filling the stands, they’re people from ice-cold parts of the country! Should be a shorter day for me today, looking forward to that! And with that thought, I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more
What’s likely to pay off the most in 2014? That’s the question Kitco News has been asking notable investors, including legendary contrarian speculator Doug Casey. Discover how Doug would allocate $10,000 in the markets for 2014, and compare it to how other experts have answered the question for this highly interesting interview series. With increasing political interference in the financial sphere and ramped-up money printing worldwide, all investors have become speculators today… whether they want to be or not. That’s why it’s even more important today than ever to recognize that trend, and to “make the trend your friend,” as Doug is fond of saying. Get started on that course today… with the next best thing to having Doug Casey at your side. read more
In This Issue. * Currencies rally on weak labor report. * Gold also adds to value on weak data. * Jobs data is confusing. * Lacker admits to an asset price bubble! And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Jobs Data Disappoints! Good Day! And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, this morning seems to be an extension of Friday’s activity once the Jobs Jamboree’s dust had settled. The dollar is softer than a sigh, and believe it or don’t, the 10-year Treasury is rallying alongside yen! Strange bedfellows I would say, but they go way back in the old “flight to safety” trading, although I always questioned why either one of these investments would be considered “safe”. It’s another touch and go today for me, I almost dropped coming into work like a bad habit this morning, but. Here I am! Besides I just couldn’t do that to Mike. Especially since I’ll be gone the next two weeks after this Friday. There’s a trip to the Orlando Money Show thrown into that time away, so, not to worry, I’m not going away for good. not yet, any way! HA! Charlie Daniels is playing the South’s Gonna Do It Again, on the IPod, and that got me moving a bit, so let’s get to the rest of the letter! Well. How about that Jobs Jamboree on Friday? In case you haven’t seen any of the numbers, payrolls rose only 74,000 in December. And you know what was even more telling of the slowdown in the economy than that nascent rise in jobs created? The Avg. Workweek fell by .2% to 34.4 hours worked each week by U.S. workers. I’m not sure I can color this any differently other than to say the economy optimism that the Fed Heads have is unwarranted at best! Now when I saw the Unemployment Rate drop on the screens, I stood up and said to everyone, “Just watch, the media is going to focus on the Unemployment Rate drop and not the small number of jobs added.” And that’s just what they proceeded to do all day long. Yes, all day long they talked about how the Unemployment Rate had dropped t o 6.7%… Ahem. This is going to continue to show a drop in the Unemployment Rate, folks, as it’s more of a reflection of those giving up looking for work. Well, as I’ve explained to you for years now, once the unemployment benefits end, the person is dropped from the “unemployment calculations”. So, the drop in the Unemployment Rate was more a reflection on the large numbers of unemployed dropping off the books. Now, Rex Nutting at MarketWatch says people aren’t becoming discouraged about finding a job. Well, that may be. I know years ago when I was unemployed, I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t find a job. until months later and I had no job! And then there was this too about the Jobs Jamboree. The Labor Participation Rate fell to 62.8% from 63%… That brings it back to a 35-year low. So, better put away all those banners and balloons, confetti and champagne, it appears that the economic boom for the U.S. is not ready for prime time. And talk about a damaging report to the dollar! YIKES! The dollar was put on the chopping block no sooner than the Jobs numbers appeared, and remained there all day, through the overnight sessions last night. Here’s the skinny on why that happened. The markets saw in the jobs data, what I’ve been saying all along, that the economy isn’t strong enough to drop the stimulus, and so their (the markets) thoughts changed from tapering to holding bond buying steady. And that’s not good for the dollar, as we have all come to learn since the first announcement of debt monetization, aka Quantitative Easing, aka bond buying, aka crack cocaine for the economy, was made in March of 2009. That’s right, we’re heading toward the 5-year anniversary of Fed Meddling. It’s like the economy is married to Quantitative Easing, so we need to make sure we buy them some silverware, for that’s the traditional gift for 5 years of wedded bliss. Oh, and just to point something out to everyone that thinks there’s no inflation. 5 years ago, the price of gas was $1.75 a gallon. Happy Anniversary baby, got you on my mind. Betcha you had lost track of how long the Fed has been monetizing the debt, eh? So, anyway, that’s what has the dollar on the hot seat. The euro, A$, kiwi, and a host of other currencies all took liberties with the dollar, as well as Gold, which added $10 on the news that only 74,000 jobs were created. I have to wonder just what the heck is going on with these labor surveys, don’t you? I mean the ADP report just two days earlier said that the economy added 238,000 jobs, and they supposedly use the same methodology that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) use. Now, one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl. And one swallow doesn’t make a summer, so one bad employment report doesn’t mean we’ve slipped backwards. What it does point out is the economy is uneven in its recovery, which is the same thing as saying the Fed is overly optimistic about the economy. Treasuries rallied on the labor data, as the threat to continued tapering weakened. The 10-year lost 11 Basis points to 2.85%, That’s a HUGE rally folks! I can think back to the days when all the bond trading centered around the 30-year. You never saw days like that back then. But there it was right before us last Friday. the 10-year yield falling from 2.96% to 2.85%… And remember when the yield falls on a bond, the price of the bond goes up! And that’s a rally! I looked up to the Bloomberg this morning, as saw a headline to a story that read, “Euro Set To Decline as U.S. Economy Advances”. You know, before people write stuff like this, they should do a little research. Just because the U.S. economy is doing better than the Eurozone economy is not a recipe for dollar strength VS euro. The best year the euro has had in the last 11 was 2003, and the Eurozone had a nascent recovery going on, while the U.S. economy was plugging along just fine. The thing to think about here when stuff like that happens is that when the U.S. economy is doing well, personal consumption is going strong. Spending, spending, and more spending, running up the Trade Deficit, and the personal credit, which as we now know, is bad medicine. OK. The Aussie dollar (A$) is back to trading above 90-cents this morning. The had some second tier data last night from Home Loan and Job Ads, which were both bang on with forecast and recent prints. The Big Kahuna report for the A$ this week comes Thursday (Wed night for us) in their Employment Report and Leading Indicators. I think traders have pushed the currency appreciation envelope for the A$ ahead of its time. In other words, watch out for a sharp pull-back should the data this week disappoint. The Canadian dollar / loonie, got taken to the woodshed on Friday, even with most of the other currencies rallying VS the U.S. dollar. The problem for the loonie came in the form of a rotten jobs report. Canadian employment dropped 45,900 in December, after adding 21,600 in November. Their Unemployment Rate rose to 7.2% from 6.9%… This report was clearly disappointing, folks, as the recent monthly reports were pretty much in line with what was expected, but December’s report strayed from that trend. As I said the other day, it appears to me that the traders want to take the loonie to 1.10 or 91-cents in dollar terms. It’s .9155 this morning, so they’re almost there.. The New Zealand dollar / kiwi is ratcheting higher and higher in value, and soon it will be nearing the level where it has previously touched right before the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) Gov. Bollard goes bonkers on the currency and gets it jawboned back down in value. Now, we all know, that is unless you skipped this part the 100 times I’ve talked about it before, that the RBNZ will be hiking rates in 2014, maybe even as soon as this month, but most likely by March. Bollard can’t have kiwi soaring in value before he hikes rates, for that could send the currency to the moon, so I fully expect some jawboning coming from Bollard very soon. But that’s OK, you can use his attempt to weaken the currency ahead of the rate hike, as an opportunity to buy at a cheaper level! The Chinese renminbi was allowed to appreciate to a 20-year high VS the dollar overnight. Here’s a thought on why I think continued strength in the renminbi / yuan should be viewed. In the past, the Chinese have used a combination of buying dollars and Treasuries to keep a lid on the renminbi / yuan. But do you really think the Chinese are interested in buying Treasuries with the Fed backing of their bond buying? I don’t think so. I see where Norway is going to enter into the bond issuance arena with $650 million or (4 Billion krone) of their 10-year Norwegian Gov’t Bond. The krone hasn’t really been a good performer the past year, and that will make selling the bonds a challenge, but one that should be easily overcome given the Fundamentals of Norway, their AAA rating, and the cheapest cost of credit derivatives on default, are two items that should easily outweigh the weaker krone. My colleague and friend, Jack Stapleton stopped by my office on Friday, and said, “WOW! That was a great story you had in the Pfennig this morning, about how the Norwegian public pension fund now has 1 million krone for each person, when are the markets going to wake up and smell the coffee that Norway’s fundamentals are the best?” I said, welcome to my world, Jack! This is the stuff that makes people like me lose their hair, but one day, Alice. To the Moon! Before I head to the Big Finish today. I wanted to say a thing or two about Bitcoin. I know you all have been wanting me to come out with my thoughts on Bitcoin. All I’ll say right now, is that it appears that Bitcoin is now being used as it was intended to be, as a payment currency, and store of wealth, not as it was being used as a commodity that goes up and down in price. The Big Boss, Frank Trotter, tells me the payment system is top notch, and that gives me optimism, but. there’s the regulation that could come that scares the bejeebers out of me, and now there are more of these digital currencies coming out. That’s going to become confusing folks. Be careful. For What It’s Worth. Remember when the “maestro” (Alan Greenspan) became known as “Bubbles Greenspan”? That was a huge letdown for the “maestro”. And from that point on, the Fed Heads were determined to not mention the word “bubble” ever again. Even new Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, said a month ago that she saw no asset / stock market bubble. And that really got the stock market participants all lathered up. For if she saw no bubble, that meant she wouldn’t be looking to pop it! Well, over at zerohedge.com they had a story on Fed Head Lacker, who slipped up last week, and said that, “he was reluctant for the Fed to prick asset-price bubbles” Well looky there! A Fed Head admitted that there was a stock market bubble. Here’s what they had to say about it over at zerohedge.com, “Well there it is. There are asset bubbles? But Lacker – who has been anti-QE to some extent – knows that if the Fed moves to actually do anything about it (other than jawbone), it’s all over. Perhaps as more realize the transition from a Bernanke Put to a Yellen Collar has occurred, there will be no need to jawbone any longer. But jawbone on they will as open-mouth operations try to persuade investors that strong forward guidance is just as effective as printing 100s of billions of USDs.” Chuck again. I knew in my heart of hearts that the Fed Heads all knew what was going on in the stock market, and what was fueling it, they just couldn’t admit it because if they did, they would have to accept the blame. I still say that the “unwinding” of all the stimulus is going to be interesting folks. and I don’t mean in a good way! To recap. The Jobs Jamboree was very disappointing last week, and confusing on top of that, as it was quite different than the ADP report that printed two days earlier. The Unemployment Rate is a joke, don’t pay attention to that data behind the curtain! The dollar got sold on the labor data, and is still getting sold this morning. Even yen is rallying alongside Treasuries! Currencies today 1/13/14. American Style: A$ .9055, kiwi .8360, C$ .9155, euro 1.3670, sterling 1.6425, Swiss $1.1075, . European Style: rand 10.7145, krone 6.1165, SEK 6.4890, forint 218.60, zloty 3.0405, koruna 20.0205, RUB 33.12, yen 103.45, sing 1.2645, HKD 7.7545, INR 61.51, China 6.0950, pesos 13.01, BRL 2.3460, Dollar Index 80.60, Oil $92.07, 10-year 2.85%, Silver $20.09, Platinum $1,438.13, Palladium $739.63, and Gold. $1,247.32 That’s it for today. Well, yesterday was my oldest son, Andrew’s Birthday. 32 years ago, we had 9 inches of snow fall while he was being born, and I had to navigate my way home late that night. Happy Birthday Andrew! What a busy week sports-wise! The Blues played two games (won one, lost one) the basketball teams at Mizzou and St. Louis U both won, and then we had the 4 NFL playoff games. You can bet that I didn’t leave my recliner much! Went with a good friend to my old childhood neighborhood on Saturday morning for breakfast. It’s pretty strange going back to South St. Louis, it used to feel so friendly when I was a young man, and now it feels cold, aloof, and scary at times. I showed my friend the house I grew up in, it sure looked sad. Well, I made it through the morning so far. so I guess I’m good to go! It should be a busy week, so finish your coffee and go have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more
America’s “Shadow President”—and how he’s getting rich(er) [not who you might think] Billionaire Peter Thiel has been spotted in Trump’s “NY White House” and has even been called the “Shadow President” for the influence he wields. He is a heavy backer of a new type of currency that’s already making some people very rich. This has been an opportunity for the average guy to generate “small fortunes,” writes The Economist. $24,955,415,087 have left traditional currencies and gone into this new type of currency. We’ve spoken with dozens of insiders about this phenomenon… including the world’s top investor in this space and members of the “Fed.” Click here for the full story. Recommended Link — Justin: I totally agree, Doug. I’ve also noticed that these people don’t really want equality for all. They want equality for some. It’s incredibly hypocritical. Doug: It’s actually all about envy. Envy is a vice—it’s different from jealousy, another vice. Jealousy is a vice that says, “You have something, I want it, I’ll take it away from you.” Envy is even worse. It says, “You have something that I want, I can’t get it, so I’ll destroy it, so you can’t have it either.” These people aren’t just misguided. They’re mentally ill. They’re actually evil. But they’re not just taken seriously, they’re treated with respect. And they’re endemic to society at this point. This is cause for great pessimism. Justin: It’s certainly not the only reason to be pessimistic, either. But that’s it for today. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Doug: You’re welcome. Justin’s note: Doug and his team just released a new video presentation that explains a unique way to get paid every month on autopilot. Thanks to a brand-new initiative started by the US government, you can potentially earn an extra $10,000 to $40,000 over the next three years. If you’re interested, you can watch it right here. But it’s actually gone beyond that. It’s become fashionable now to hate white males in particular. They say that women, blacks, Muslims—pick a group, any group except for white males—are all discriminated against. I would say, in the first place, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination in itself. Discrimination can be rational. Discrimination can be intelligent. It’s often necessary. It’s a matter of what you’re basing your discrimination on. You have to discriminate between things that will help you and things that will hurt you. And that can include other groups or even other people. It’s a genetic trait to be more favorably inclined towards people like yourself. Tribes usually identify themselves as “the people”, and everybody else is “other”, a potential enemy. It makes sense to recognize facts of reality. Different ethnic and religious groups have different beliefs, customs, and ethics. Until you can get to know them as individuals it makes sense to generalize. Recommended Link Forget the stock market – here’s where the big winners are Less than 1% of investors have probably heard of this tiny market. But over 100 of these investments returned triple digits in 2016. They’ve delivered historical gains over 413%, 930%, and even a rare 1,927%. You won’t find these plays on the New York Stock Exchange. But you can get in on the action from your home computer in a matter of minutes, and we guarantee that you’ll have the chance to make 1,000% total gains. Get more details here. Justin’s note: It was the worst article I’ve ever read. The piece was titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” In it, the author argued why white men should no longer be allowed to vote. As soon as I finished reading the article, I sent it to Casey Research founder Doug Casey. He replied: “Fascinating. At first, it seemed like a comedy piece. But it’s clear she’s serious.” A few days later, Doug and I chatted about the article. Below is a transcript of our conversation. We hope you enjoy it. (The Huffington Post has since pulled the original article down claiming that the author “cannot be traced and appears not to exist.” Luckily, we were able to track down the original article. You can read it here.) Justin: Doug what did you think of that Huffington Post article I sent you? Doug: I read the article when it was still up, and it was absolutely incredible. That’s not just a figure of speech. I mean it beggared belief. I urge everyone reading this to hit the link. These people don’t seem to realize that they’re actually parodies of themselves. I mean, they’re always talking about racism and xenophobia and sexism and ageism and the like. They don’t look at people as individuals, they look at people as members of classes. That’s why it’s called “identity politics”—you don’t identify as an individual, but as a member of a group or a class. And, of course, their philosophical background is cultural Marxism. Because, you know, one of the central points of Marxism is that people are all members of classes. — But it goes deeper than that with this insane article. What these people really hate is Western Civilization and everything it represents. The question is: Why do these people think it’s virtuous to discriminate against white males? White males are largely responsible for Western Civilization. Which is shorthand for things like individualism, free markets, free thought, science, literature, industry, and about everything that’s allowed mankind to rise out of the muck and look to conquer the planets. That’s what this article really hates. So, it’s fascinating not so much that somebody wrote an article as stupid as that. But that a large outlet like Huffington would actually publish it. It’s a sign of how degraded things are. I’d say the author suffers from a serious psychological aberration. The editor who posted it is clearly a graduate of some PC US university, probably a major in Gender Studies. It’s too bad that they took it down because it should be put on display, as a warning. Unless they repost it in The Onion. read more
News and Trends Dan Bova By now, you have surely seen the Oscar night Best Picture mess up witnessed live by over 32 million people. To quickly recap, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway anointed La La Land winner, and then a few seconds later, a guy wearing headphones ran out on stage, yoinked the statues out of everyone’s hands mid-acceptance speech and gave them to the rightful winners, the producers of Moonlight. Whoops!And by now, you’ve surely learned that the cause of the envelope switcheroo was not Bonnie and Clyde, but rather two employees of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who dropped the ball on handing out the correct winning card. While they kept their day jobs, they’ve been tagged with a lifetime ban from working Oscar night, and according to TMZ, have required bodyguards to stave off death threats posted on social media.Related: Watch Incredible Oscars Ending ‘Best Picture’ Mess UpDeath threats? Come on people, a bit much, isn’t it? Sure, they made a mistake and with mistakes come consequences, but who among us hasn’t gotten an A+ in F-ing up at least once in our lives? A few years back, I had a “wrong envelope” moment, and unlike the envelope hand-er out-ers, my screw up could have come with a hefty dentist bill, or worse. Let me explain.I wrote about this previously but thought the story was worth repeating. Our son Henry was in 3rd grade, and in the middle of the afternoon on a seemingly mundane day, my wife Lisa got a call from the school principal. “Henry is okay,” she assured Lisa (which is never really all that assuring), “but we had an incident.” She went on to explain this “incident” occurred at lunch and they were “investigating.” While Henry was eating his snack bag of grated mozzarella cheese (yes, a bag of grated mozzarella cheese as a snack is weird, but that’s not the weird part) he found a couple of tiny metal screws mixed in with his munchies. The principal explained that they were questioning the students to find out what awful person would have done such a thing.Related: Biggest Social Media Fails of 2017Lisa called me, told me the story, and like some movie where the hero cop has all these flashbacks and realizes that he actually murdered all of those people, my brain instantly snapped everything together. The night before, I took the air conditioner out of our dining room window, put the screws in a baggie and left the baggie on the counter. That morning, Lisa was cleaning and—missing the fact that it had screws in it—put the seemingly empty baggie back in the baggie box. Minutes later, while making Henry’s lunch, I took the very same baggie out if the box, also missing the fact that it had screws in it, filled it with shredded cheese and sent him off to school. So in summation, I was the awful person who would put screws in a child’s lunch. Imagine how fun it was explaining all of that to the principal on a follow-up call…The good news is that the kids in the interrogation room were released, my son didn’t actually swallow any hardware, and, shockingly, we were somehow still allowed to have parental rights to our children.So all that is to say, mistakes happen despite our best efforts. So keep your heads up, people who were banned from the Oscars. It might not seem possible now, but one day this will all be forgotten. And look at the bright side, think of all the money you’ll save on dresses and tux rentals next year!Related: 5 Reasons Your Employees Shouldn’t Fear Making Mistakes Editorial Director Apply Now » Add to Queue We’ve all had a “wrong envelope” moment. Here’s mine. –shares Entrepreneur Staff 4 min read Next Article In Defense of Royally Screwing Up 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. March 2, 2017 Image credit: Kevin Winter | Getty Images read more
How Humans Relate to Social Media –shares Graham Young Guest Writer 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Social Media Too many people are disconnecting from reality. Apply Now » Image credit: wundervisuals | Getty Images Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Simon Sinek, in his now famous interview — along with many others — have discussed the dopamine distraction that is linked with technology. One big contributor to this is the fact that our brain is stimulated by novelty. Every time we learn something new, dopamine — the feel good neurotransmitter — is released. This means every time we see a new post, notification or email, we’re learning new information which gives us a small kick of dopamine.On top of that, one study reported that talking about oneself on social media is intrinsically rewarding and activates a pleasure sensation in the brain usually associated with food, money and sex. To make matters worse, dopamine also gets released when we accomplish small tasks. So, every email we send or message we respond to is giving us a shot of some more feel good chemicals.When you look at it this way, social media sounds pretty damn exciting. And to an extent, none of this is inherently bad for us. As Sinek says, “there is nothing wrong with social media, it’s the imbalance.”Related: Why Digital Detox is a Good Idea For EntrepreneursAn unreal reality.The challenge is that this sucks us into an unreal reality. It’s no one’s fault that we all enjoy sharing positive things about ourselves on social media rather than negative things. The difficulty comes into play when we are only exposed to all the amazing things people are doing. “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel,” says Steven Furtick, founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church. Comparing perfection.Our brain is naturally wired to protect us, so it is constantly on the lookout for any threats in our environment. One way it does this is by comparing us to that of everyone else — to see where we measure up in the world. If that person has a better job, relationship or life than you, it can create instant internal reflection and make you question what you are not doing right or what you need to do more of.The human brain also learns from repetition, the words you say to yourself and how those words make you feel. So if you are going on social media and subconsciously comparing yourself to this unreal reality of perfection, it’s going to potentially make you feel less of yourself. And when you repeat this many times each day, you’re ultimately training this lower way of thinking and feeling into your mind. Real connection.One Harvard study, that spanned over 75 years, focused on what makes people happy, and the result was one simple thing. The strength of the relationships in their lives. “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives,” writes Liz Mineo, Harvard staff writer.What is concerning is that other studies are finding that loneliness is on the rise today, especially among young people. How is it that more people today feel lonelier than ever before, yet we are supposedly more “connected” at the same time? With all the messages and notifications we receive, it may feel like we’re connecting and interacting with so many people; but to what level? Is it actually establishing close relationships or just surface ones?The real question should be, how many social media interactions, likes, comments and messages equate to the connection we get from being in the presence of one person? Because often times, when you eventually do physically meet or hang out with people you’ve been connecting with online, you find out they aren’t as perfect as you once thought. They do have flaws, insecurities and challenges, and you realize that they’re like everyone else. You also realize you’re not alone in whatever you may be going through in your life or business. Related: Why Everyone and Everything on Social Media Is FakeUsing the online world for good.Every single one of us craves the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves. Being part of a group — or “tribe” back in our caveman days — gives us that inherent need and sense of belonging, which makes sense considering tribal culture was necessary for survival back then.In Galya Westler’s TEDx talk, she shares how her brother Roy suffered from brain cancer and was in need of $10,000 a month to pay for a new treatment. They didn’t know what to do, so they created an online campaign. It unexpectedly raised more than $350K in one month. Often these campaigns explode because you have a group of people that share the same interest and are brought together for a good cause; with many of them having a previous face-to-face connection with the person they are raising money for.Westler was then inspired to connect this concept to help solve the issue of loneliness and the data privacy issues we experience online. Her approach was done through her company, PlazusTribes, by building a blockchain tool for large groups (tribes) that share a similar interest. As people naturally chat within their tribes, they earn rewards and have the power to control how the data they share with one another is disclosed to advertisers, enabling them to collectively monetize their data themselves.How can we combat the challenges of social media?Understanding what is going on inside our brain while we use social media and being aware of this need to belong is an important component. We can’t control what we don’t understand.It’s also critical, especially as an entrepreneur, to not become isolated in your work and disconnected from people around you.As people age and their interests change, they often grow in different directions than some of their old friends. Don’t let this be an excuse to isolate yourself. Make it a priority to find your tribe, whether it be an online Facebook group with similar interests or friends you see on a regular basis in person.We also must understand the importance of real world, in person connection and be reminded that what we see online is not reality. We can’t get down when we catch ourselves comparing our life to that of everyone else. The only way to do this is by being in the presence of someone — to see them for who they truly are and see what they are going through in their business versus what we see online.However, the other challenge about getting older and busier is the difficulty to stay in touch with people. How many times do you bump into someone and wish you were making more of an effort to see that person?Related: How These 5 Strategies Help Me Make — and Keep — Connections That Grow My BusinessThere is one simple, powerful way to combat this and build a brand new habit. Pull out a sheet of paper and write out the most important people in your life. You might title one area “family,” another “close friends” and another “influential business contacts.” Then simply keep this on your desk, review it each week and choose a few people to reach out to and make plans with. Not only will you build stronger relationships, you will feel more in control of your life. In an online world where many people are feeling lonelier than ever, one cure is authentic, aligned and consistent connection. Keynote Speaker November 27, 2018 7 min read read more
“As the largest and most robust mobile measurement platform on the globe we are excited to integrate the AppsFlyer platform with Digital Turbine’s SingleTap Installs solution,” said Ben Roodman, Director of Partnerships at AppsFlyer. “We have already seen early success with a number of our application partners and are excited to expand SingleTap across many more apps.”“Improving the customer experience and more accurate attribution have always been the key values of Branch’s platform,” said Eric Stein, EVP and GM of Partnerships at Branch. “Our app partners can now receive even more value through frictionless app installs powered by Digital Turbine’s SingleTap solution, driving their users from an ad directly to the right page of their app without going through the standard download process. Simply put, the power of SingleTap combined with the power of Branch is driving the world’s best app experiences.”Marketing Technology News: Tetra TV Launches Transparent Advertising Network for Connected TV“We are extremely excited to work with AppsFlyer, Branch, Kochava, and Singular to deliver a better and simplified end-user experience. SingleTap delivers improved conversions for advertisers and creates new revenue streams for our Operator and OEM partners,” said Bill Stone, CEO of Digital Turbine. “Our vision to expand Single-Tap capabilities for any application a consumer wants to download, on any Android device, anywhere on the planet, is being accelerated through these strategic partnerships.”Marketing Technology News: PushSend Launches All-in-One Marketing Platform That Brings Enterprise Capabilities to SMBs Digital Turbine Partners with Leading Attribution and Analytics Companies PRNewswireMay 3, 2019, 4:40 pmMay 3, 2019 Partnerships Cover 85% of Top Global Mobile Applications to Accelerate Scaling SingleTap CapabilitiesDigital Turbine, Inc., the #1 mobile platform connecting operators and OEMs with mobile advertisers, announced it is partnering with leading attribution and analytics companies to accelerate the expansion of SingleTap capabilities by leveraging the scale of existing integrations with application providers. Partners including AppsFlyer, Branch, Kochava, and Singular represent approximately 85% of the top global applications market.Digital Turbine’s SingleTap solution streamlines the app install process by enabling app delivery from any mobile ad in just one tap. SingleTap is currently enabled on more than 150M Android devices globally, including nearly 50% of all Android smartphones in the US SingleTap to date is delivering up to 200% lift in click-to-install conversion rates for advertisers and application providers.Marketing Technology News: Spot.IM Raises $25 Million in Series D Funding Android smartphonesAppsFlyerBill StoneDigital TurbineMarketing TechnologyNewsSingleTap Previous ArticleSocial Market Analytics Partners with RCM-X for Sentiment-Driven Advanced Algo TradingNext ArticleCustomer Experience Management Leader Medallia names Gavin Selkirk as Vice President of APAC read more
Podcast Ad Market Forecasted to Surpass $1 Billion By 2021In 2018, marketers spent $479 million to advertise on podcasts in the US, an uptick of 53 percent from $314 million in 2017, according to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study. The report, conducted by IAB and PwC US, forecasts that US podcast marketplace revenues will double by 2021, surging to over $1 billion. Self-reported revenues by leading podcast companies show a similar trajectory, reaching $345 million, a rise of 34 percent over $257 million in 2017.“Podcast storytelling is deeply engaging and provides marketers with a brand safe environment that enhances the appeal to advertisers. IAB has been a strong supporter of the podcast marketplace, and we look forward to spotlighting the medium’s latest at this fall’s IAB Podcast Upfront.”Direct-to-consumer Retailers and Financial Services spent more on podcast advertising than other industry categories. Overall, five business categories represented nearly three-quarters of all advertising revenue captured:Direct-to-Consumer Retailers (22%)Financial Services (21%)Business-to-Business (14%)Arts and Entertainment (10%)Telecommunications (7%)Marketing Technology News: Credorax Launches Smart 3D Secure Solution in Partnership With NetceteraHost-read ads continued to be the preferred ad type, constituting nearly two-thirds of all podcast advertising. Direct response campaigns were still the most popular ad type, but are decreasing in popularity, as brand awareness and branded content ad types rose in use. Cost-per-thousand was by far the most dominant pricing method.“Today’s technology has created an audio-first environment where audio is the preferred interaction—and consumers have put podcasts front-and-center,” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB. “Podcast storytelling is deeply engaging and provides marketers with a brand safe environment that enhances the appeal to advertisers. IAB has been a strong supporter of the podcast marketplace, and we look forward to spotlighting the medium’s latest at this fall’s IAB Podcast Upfront.”Marketing Technology News: Etsy Names Ryan Scott Chief Marketing Officer“The steady climb in revenues for the podcast ad market underscores the value of the platform’s flexibility and reach,” said David Silverman, a Partner at PwC US. “Consumers are listening to podcasts wherever and whenever—from their morning workout to their evening commute—making it appealing to brands that want to reach today’s audiences.”ABC Radio, Adswizz, AudioBoom, Authentic, ESPN, Gimlet, iHeartMedia, Market Enginuity, National Public Media, Megaphone LLC, Podcast One, Inc., PMM, Inc., Rawvoice, Stitcher, WarnerMedia, Westwood One, and Wondery sponsored the IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study.Marketing Technology News: Credorax Launches Smart 3D Secure Solution in Partnership With Netcetera US Podcast Ad Revenues Hit Historic $479 Million in 2018, an Increase of 53% over Prior Year, According to IAB & PwC Research PRNewswireJune 4, 2019, 2:40 pmJune 4, 2019 Arts and Entertainmentbusiness-to-businessIABMarketing TechnologyNewsPodcast Advertising RevenuePWC Previous ArticleBox Maintains Aggressive Revenue Growth in Q1; Reveals Loyal Customers Continue to Drive SalesNext ArticleE2open Announces Acquisition of Averetek read more
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019The English National Health Service (NHS) reduced post-operative deaths by 37.2% following the introduction of globally recognized surgical guidelines – paving the way for life-saving action in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a new study reveals.Researchers at the University of Birmingham have confirmed that the NHS achieved the reduction between 1998 and 2014, coinciding with the introduction of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist in 2008.Investigation of data showed a consistent downward trend over the 16-year period, with the greatest reductions achieved in oesophagogastric (68.8%) and breast (69.3%) surgery.The researchers published their analysis on the reduction of postoperative mortality rates (POMR) in a research letter to British Journal of Surgery. Their findings echo the results of similar research into NHS Scotland for the period 2000 to 2014, which found that the WHO Checklist was a key driver in POMR by 39%.Mr Aneel Bhangu, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham: He added that the checklist was essential part of improving perioperative safety, although variable reductions in deaths across specialties suggested that procedure specific initiatives have made a major contribution to reducing overall POMR.Researchers at the University’s NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery replicated the analysis of NHS Scotland performance using publicly available inpatient POMR data. They discovered a 37.2% relative reduction (1.21 to 0.76%) in overall inpatient POMR.The study followed the Unit’s research, published earlier this year in The Lancet, which discovered the figure of 4.2 million deaths every year within 30 days after surgery.There is also a significant unmet need for surgery in LMICs and researchers believe that if operations were provided for all patients who need them the number of global post-operative deaths would increase to 6.1 million.Around 4.8 billion people worldwide lack timely access to safe and affordable surgery and it is estimated that there is an annual unmet need for 143 million procedures in LMICs.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemPorvair Sciences develops new fluid collection vent for surgical suction cannisters ‘Reducing surgical mortality in Scotland by use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist’ – G. Ramsay, A. B. Haynes, S. R. Lipsitz, I. Solsky, J. Leitch, A. A. Gawande and M. Kumar. Source:University of BirminghamJournal reference:Ramsay, G. et al. (2019) Reducing surgical mortality in Scotland by use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. British Journal of Surgery. doi.org/10.1002/bjs.11151 For more information or interviews, please contact: Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy Notes for editors Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165. The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR commissions applied health research to benefit the poorest people in low- and middle-income countries, using Official Development Assistance funding. NIHR funder the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery built capacity and sustainable surgical research infrastructures in partner LMICs. The Unit working closely together with its UK and LMIC partners to deliver research studies and disseminate the findings. For the current 2019 fiscal year, the World Bank defines low-income economies as those with a GNI per capita, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method, of $995 or less in 2017; lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $996 and $3,895; upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $3,896 and $12,055; high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,056 or more. Around the world 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days after surgery – with half of these deaths occurring in LMICs. Identification of strategies to reduce postoperative mortality is now a global research priority.It is encouraging that despite having among the lowest baseline rates globally, both Scotland and England have achieved a greater than one-third reduction in overall POMR. Replicating these gains internationally could avoid thousands of postoperative deaths, with the greatest potential gains in LMICs.” The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR: read more
The study titled, “Intravascular innate immune cells reprogrammed via intravenous nanoparticles to promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury,” was published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. PLG multichannel bridge and hemi-sectional SCI model. Lonnie Shea, the Steven A. Goldstein Collegiate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, the William and Valerie Hall Chair of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering, lead author of the study said in a statement, “In this work, we demonstrate that instead of overcoming an immune response, we can co-opt the immune response to work for us to promote the therapeutic response.”The researchers explain that when there is trauma of any nature, there is an overdrive of the immune system that crowd around the injured area to remove the debris and dead cells. This allows for the remaining tissues to heal and start the process of regeneration and repair. When the injury occurs in the central nervous system or the brain and spinal cord, there is a movement of the immune cells which are usually not allowed within the CNS normally due to the blood-brain-barrier.The injury to the spinal cord breaks the barrier and allows the immune cells inside. This leads to a hyperactive immune activity which leads to inflammation and causes more damage to the nerve tissues of the spinal cord that are unaccustomed to such activity. The first to be damaged are the sheaths around the nerves that help them pass the signals. This leads to scar development that is further detrimental to the process of regeneration and repair, explain the researchers.As a result all the functions below the level of injury are lost. This could be muscle weakness, loss of sensation or paralysis. There are 12,000 people presenting to spinal cord injuries annually in the United States, write the researchers.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellAssessing antimicrobial properties of silver and copper nanoparticlesMultifunctional nanoparticles could revolutionize treatments for complex bone diseasesTo reduce the inflammatory responses of the immune cells at the site of the injury, earlier the treatment would be injections of steroids like methylprednisolone. This may help stop the inflammation but has its own share of problems and risks including bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, formation of blood clots and sepsis or infections.To overcome this, the researchers have now developed these nanoparticles that can stop the movement of the immune cells into the injury site and redirect them elsewhere to protect the injury site. This can help the spinal cord to heal and regenerate, the team writes.These nanoparticles are just that – nanoparticles with no drugs attached on them. They actually act as decoys to appear like cell debris from the injury. They have a negative charge on them in addition that allows the immune cells to bind to them. The bound immune cells are thus cleared from the site of injury.The researchers explain that the “nonpharmaceutical” nature of the nanoparticles make them theoretically free of any side effects. There rogue immune cells are thus cleared off and some that reach the site help in regeneration process write the researchers.The team wrote that they used, “poly(lactide-coglycolide) nanoparticles.” They explain that these nanoparticles were “internalized by circulating monocytes and neutrophils.” After these the immune cells were reprogrammed on the basis of their physicochemical properties but “not by an active pharmaceutical ingredient.” They explain that this binding “altered biodistribution, gene expression, and function,” of the cells. In their experiments they noted that there was a four-fold reduction in the “overall accumulation of innate immune cells at the injury.”In addition there were other responses such as reduction in “proinflammatory factor” formation, increase in the “anaitinflammatory factors” at the site and stimulation of genes that promote healing and regeneration. After the injection of the nanoparticles, there was regeneration of the myelin sheath around the axons of the neurons by about 40 percent, the team wrote. This resulted in improvement movement and function in the experimental animals.According to co-author Jonghyuck Park, “Hopefully, this technology could lead to new therapeutic strategies not only for patients with spinal cord injury but for those with various inflammatory diseases.” Shea explained that this technology could be used in various other immunological conditions as well. He added, “The immune system underlies autoimmune disease, cancer, trauma, regeneration—nearly every major disease. Tools that can target immune cells and reprogram them to a desired response have numerous opportunities for treating or managing disease.” Opportunities could be explored in West Nile virus and multiple sclerosis induced trauma, the team speculates.The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Source:https://news.umich.edu/an-epipen-for-spinal-cord-injuries/Journal reference:Jonghyuck Park, Yining Zhang, Eiji Saito, Steve J. Gurczynski, Bethany B. Moore, Brian J. Cummings, Aileen J. Anderson, Lonnie D. Shea, ‘Intravascular innate immune cells reprogrammed via intravenous nanoparticles to promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jul 2019, 201820276; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820276116, https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1820276116 Magnetic resonance imaging of human show fracture and compress spine. Image Credit: SORANAT7 / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 11 2019Researchers from the University of Michigan used nanopaticles injection to prevent the immune cells of the body from impairing the healing of injured brain and spinal cord. They call this an “EpiPen” or emergency rescue drug for the brain and spinal cord when they suffer trauma. read more
New approach can help authorities respond more quickly to airborne radiological threats More information: Ryan O’Mara et al, Dose Deposition Profiles in Untreated Brick Material, Health Physics (2018). DOI: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000843 Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a technique that can determine whether bricks – the common building material – have ever been near a radiological source, and identify the specific type of source, such as high enriched uranium or plutonium. The technique is possible when there are no chemical residues left behind, and has security and nuclear nonproliferation applications. Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on this work, previously used simulations to demonstrate the concept that building materials could be used to characterize nuclear material – even after it was no longer there.But the NC State team has now validated that the technique works for characterizing transuranic radioactive materials, and fine-tuned the technique so that it can be done in days instead of weeks.”The technique laid out in our paper can take brick samples the size of a thimble and use them to identify whether a radiological source was plutonium, uranium, and so on, even if the source has been removed,” says Ryan O’Mara, a Ph.D. student at NC State and first author of the paper.”That has clear nonproliferation applications. For example, if a facility says that it has not been making high-enriched uranium – the kind used in weapons – you could take a sample from the building itself and determine whether there had been high-enriched uranium on site.”Researchers envision a variety of future applications as well.The researchers think the technique may also be used to determine whether nuclear facilities are shipping out as many spent “low burnup” fuel rods as they say they are. This is significant because some facilities have secretly diverted a percentage of their low burnup fuel rods for use as feedstock that can be used to create weapons-grade plutonium.”We’re submitting proposals to support that work, as well as work that could help us better assess public exposure in the event of a radiological incident – which would have real value in the context of emergency response,” Hayes says. “And we are already working to demonstrate that we can use the technique as a three-dimensional ‘gamma camera,’ giving us the ability to capture the dimensions of the source or sources.” Provided by North Carolina State University Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Common bricks can be used to detect past presence of uranium, plutonium (2018, March 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-common-bricks-presence-uranium-plutonium.html read more
US tariffs threat a headache for foreign automakers Explore further © 2018 AFP At the end of the Group of Seven summit, Trump renewed his threat to impose tariffs on cars imported into the United States by manufacturers accused of unfairly taking market share from American carmakers.But this decision—part of Trump’s “America First” efforts to redress trade imbalances—may be counterproductive because not only do most of the targeted manufacturers have factories in the US, but American carmakers are among the largest importers of vehicles from Canada and Mexico.The move would also come at a time when China—the world’s largest car market—is moving in the opposite direction, lowering taxes on imported vehicles from 25 to 15 percent.”The Honda Accord is not a threat to our national security,” tweeted Jeb Hensarling, the Republican head of the House Finance Committee.”However, taxing it with trade tariffs is a threat to the economic security of millions of hardworking American families,” he wrote.The Trade Partnership Worldwide consultancy estimates that additional taxes of 25 percent would create 92,000 industrial jobs in the US but would result in the destruction of 250,000 jobs in the larger economy.About one million jobs are currently tied to the auto industry, up from 660,000 in 2010, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.More imports than exportsTrump’s statement about the imbalance between imported and exported vehicles in the United States is supported by statistics.In 2017, the United States imported 8.27 million vehicles valued at $192 billion and exported 1.98 million at a value of $57 billion, according to the Commerce Department.But in general, the US imports less-expensive cars and exports high-end vehicles. For example, more than 70 percent of the 371,316 vehicles produced by BMW’s South Carolina plant were destined for export.”European automakers not only export vehicles into the US, but many of them also have a major manufacturing footprint there, thereby creating hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs,” the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said.”A large part of their US production is exported to third countries, including the European Union,” it said.”In America, Toyota has 10 plants, 136,000 employees and 1,500 dealers that contribute to their local economies. Tariffs on auto imports could hurt American jobs & raise consumer costs,” the Japanese manufacturer said.NAFTA-related move?Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan notes that Detroit’s “Big Three” (GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler) could also be affected by tariffs because the cars they import represent around 14.5 percent of all cars sold in the US last year.Prior to being sold in the US, these cars are mainly produced in Canada and Mexico, the other two members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which account for half of imports (4.27 million) and of exports (1.07 million). They are trailed by Japan (21 percent of imports), Germany (11 percent) and South Korea (eight percent).”We don’t compete regionally; we sell regionally but we compete globally,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president at Ford. “The ramifications, unintended or intended, of changes to policies and practices, could be significant.”The threat of tariffs on cars imported from Canada could also be a stick meant to force Ottawa’s hand in the renegotiation of NAFTA, some experts say.”We believe much of this investigation (of the need for tariffs) is squarely focused on developing a final NAFTA agreement,” said Ed Mills, an analyst at Raymond James.”Country-of-origin rules, especially for automobiles, has been a key sticking point in the talks.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. US President Donald Trump’s threat to tax imported cars in the name of national security risks weakening domestic manufacturers, but could accelerate the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Citation: US tariffs on car imports are a double-edged sword (2018, June 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-tariffs-car-imports-double-edged-sword.html Threatened US tariffs on imported vehicles pose a risk to domestic as well as foreign manufacturers read more
Barring fundamentalists, Muslims want construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya: Ram Vilas VedantiRam Janmabhoomi Nyas member Ram Vilas Vedanti on Friday claimed barring fundamentalists, the Muslim community supports the idea of construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.advertisement Next Press Trust of India LucknowJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:05 IST Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas member Ram Vilas Vedanti (Image Credit: ANI)Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas member Ram Vilas Vedanti on Friday claimed barring fundamentalists, the Muslim community supports the idea of construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.”Eighty per cent Muslims, barring the fundamentalists, want that the temple be constructed at the place where Ram Lalla is installed in Ayodhya,” he told media here.”Lucknow,”The chairman of the Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi has also agreed that Ram temple be built in Ayodhya whereas the mosque can be constructed at any other Shia-majority place in he said.His comments come in the wake of the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking a report on the “progress of mediation” in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya and said a day-to-day hearing may commence from July 25 if the court decides to conclude those proceedings.Ram Vilas Vedanti, described as working president of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, also said there was “nothing in the name of (Mughal ruler) Babur” in Ayodhya and that everything in the city was “in the name of Lord Ram”.”There is not even a locality, lane or ward named after Babar in Ayodhya,” he said.”Muslims need to come forward and say that Hindus should construct their temple in Ayodhya for peace, communal amity and brotherhood,” he said, adding the Sunni Waqf Board should withdraw the case.To a question, Ram Vilas Vedanti, a former BJP MP, said it was most unfortunate that in a country where Hindus constitute “90 per cent” of the population, people are fighting a case in court for the construction of Ram temple.He said no power can build a mosque where Ram Lalla is installed, adding his statement could be either taken as a ‘threat’ or ‘suggestion’.On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished.ALSO READ | Ayodhya land title case: SC asks mediation panel to submit report by July 18ALSO WATCH | War over Jai Shri Ram escalates in Bengal, Kumaraswamy seeks floor test, says he govt has numbers; moreFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow Ram Vilas VedantiFollow AyodhyaFollow Ram templeFollow MuslimsFollow Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Karyashala read more
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according to Reforma newspaper. however, including Formula E. read more
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but he couldn’t pay for it, which is in charge of his case. read more
in a large number of Sichuan joined the project, Sichuan Liao ribs has always been recognized brand names. Many investors are asked to open Sichuan restaurant really can make money? Xiao Bian think investment in Sichuan must be able to store. So how about this brand? Look at the following small series for you to do specific introduction.
"Liao ribs" is a famous Sichuan brand! Since 1982 formally established and registered trademarks, after 31 years of sustained and stable operation, has developed into a large private food enterprises in the province. As a result of the growth of the company under the jurisdiction of the Liao ribs: Sichuan Liao ribs Food Management Co., Ltd., Sichuan Liao ribs Food Co., Ltd., Chengdu Liao ribs seasoning Food Co., Ltd. three institutions. read more