Tag: 上海419论坛

OEA Grant to Address Defense Industry Cuts in Midwestern States

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR An $8 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) awarded last week to the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy will be used to help dozens of communities and companies across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana address the loss of jobs in the defense industry stemming from cutbacks in DOD spending.“When communities are faced with the type of sudden and severe economic dislocation that can result from a defense plant closure or a mass layoff, it is necessary, but often difficult to create an effective community response,” Lawrence Molnar, an associate director at the institute and the project’s principal investigator, said in a news release. “Our community-based scope of work combines assistance from both the public and private sectors in communities and regions experiencing or anticipating adverse impacts of defense downsizing.”The university — in partnership with Purdue University and Ohio State University — already has designed and begun to implement strategic programs tailored to more than 40 companies and seven communities through the school’s Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program. The new funding will allow that effort to increase collaborations with regional defense industry research institutions.The $8 million grant, awarded through OEA’s defense industry adjustment program, will support a two-year project that will target 72 communities and companies across the three states. The goal is to generate diversification plans for those communities and companies so they are more resilient and can attract new business, while retaining and growing existing enterprises.The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program assesses many factors for each participating company and community, including their financial health and market placement. The program then works with each participant to implement diversification plans, which are jointly funded by all parties.The University of Michigan currently is working with Battle Creek and Sterling Heights and is in the process of evaluating a number of other municipalities — Ypsilanti Township, Saginaw, Lansing, Cadillac and Grand Haven — to determine the impact from defense jobs losses and community interest, reported the Detroit Free Press.Michigan, Ohio and Indiana have lost more than 6,800 defense supply-chain positions in recent years as DOD has drawn down from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stringent budget caps have been imposed across the federal government.last_img read more

Hamilton Spends 100 Weeks On The Charts

first_img Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 15, 2017 – 1:50 am ‘Hamilton’ wins Best Musical Theater Album GRAMMY-winning musical becomes sixth best-selling Broadway album of all timeRenée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 31, 2017 – 10:38 am Since opening on Broadway in 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” has notched some impressive feats, from winning a GRAMMY to taking home 11 Tony Awards. Now, the original Broadway soundtrack is taking this musical to new heights. Twitter “Hamilton” Spends 100 Weeks On The Charts “Hamilton” Moves Up In Broadway World hamilton-spends-100-weeks-charts News Email Billboard announced that the Hamilton: An American Musical soundtrack, currently at No. 24 on the Billboard 200, has reached 100 consecutive weeks on the chart. With 1.285 million units in total album sales, “Hamilton” has also edged out the soundtrack from 1996’s “Rent” in album sales. This means the popular historical sing-along is now the sixth best-selling original musical cast album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.The current highest-grossing original soundtrack of all time is the London recording of “The Phantom Of The Opera” with nearly 5 million copies sold. Next in line is “Wicked” (2.7 million), followed by “Mama Mia!” (1.72 million), “Les Miserables” (1.66 million) and “Jersey Boys” (1.44 million).With its Los Angeles touring run in full swing, no doubt there’s an opportunity for “Hamilton” to gain more fans and reach even higher chart heights.”Hamilton” Pulls Into Los Angeles, Brings #EduHam To Teenslast_img read more

Taylor Swift doles out sage social media advice in essay for Elle

first_img Share your voice Music Online Comment Tags Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour lives forever and ever on Netflix How Taylor Swift flipped online fandom on its head for the better Some days social media is a laugh-a-minute whirlwind punctuated by puppy gifs, travel inspo and meme exchanges with your best online friends. Some days it is hell.It’s something global superstar Taylor Swift knows all too well.In an essay on turning 30 for the latest edition of Elle magazine, Swift opens up about how she copes with the massive amount of noise directed at her through social media platforms, and specifically how she deals with negative comments and trolls. Taylor Swift 1 It’s unlikely that any regular human being gets anything like the influx of notifications or comments that celebrities deal with. But as Swift explains, minimizing this is more than just about keeping the constant pinging to a minimum.”Social media can be great, but it can also inundate your brain with images of what you aren’t, how you’re failing, or who is in a cooler locale than you at any given moment,” she said in the essay.”One thing I do to lessen this weird insecurity laser beam is to turn off comments. Yes, I keep comments off on my posts. That way, I’m showing my friends and fans updates on my life, but I’m training my brain to not need the validation of someone telling me I look.”The question of how much of our ego and self-worth is tied up in validation from social media is relatable no matter how many, or how few followers, you might have. Whether you turn off comments and notifications or delete apps altogether for a while, everyone has their own way of getting a handle on those negative feelings — Swift included. “I think it’s healthy for your self-esteem to need less internet praise to appease it, especially when three comments down you could unwittingly see someone telling you that you look like a weasel that got hit by a truck and stitched back together by a drunk taxidermist. An actual comment I received once,” she said.For Swift, a successful woman, abuse and negativity are sad and still unavoidable side effects of putting herself out there. Keeping comments turned off is one way to block out “anyone who might feel the need to tell me to ‘go die in a hole ho’ while I’m having my coffee at nine in the morning,” she said.Swift is in the top 10 most-followed people across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. But for the reasons she herself has stated, it’s rare to see her engage with people directly through any of these services. Instead she tends to hang out on Tumblr, where she follows many of her fans. She often likes and sometimes comments on or reblogs their posts.But there have been times when Swift has disappeared from the internet altogether. In her essay, she described what it feels like when it feels like the internet turns completely against you.”A few years ago, someone started an online hate campaign by calling me a snake on the internet,” she said. “The fact that so many people jumped on board with it led me to feeling lower than I’ve ever felt in my life, but I can’t tell you how hard I had to keep from laughing every time my 63-foot inflatable cobra named Karyn appeared onstage in front of 60,000 screaming fans.”Unlike the other measures suggested by Swift, this might not be a practical solution for everyone dealing with internet bullying. But the point is to take a stand and make a statement in a way that allows you to laugh rather than feel bad about yourself.”It’s the Stadium Tour equivalent of responding to a troll’s hateful Instagram comment with ‘lol,'” she said. Related storieslast_img read more

17 shot dead in Papua New Guinea prison breakout

first_imgMap of Papua New Guinea locating the Buimo jail, where at least 17 people were killed after a mass breakout, reports said Monday. AFPSeventeen prisoners have been shot dead after a mass breakout at a jail in Papua New Guinea, police said Monday, with 57 still on the run.Inmates from the Buimo jail in the Pacific nation’s second largest city of Lae made a dash for freedom after breaking out of their compound on Friday, with prison warders opening fire.The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary said in a statement 17 were killed, three were caught and 57 were still at large.”These are undesirable people and will be a threat to the community,” Lae police metropolitan commander Chief Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr said of the escapees, warning the public to be vigilant.”The majority of those who escaped were arrested for serious crimes and were in custody awaiting trial.”A good number were arrested by police last year for mainly armed robberies, car thefts, break and enter and stealing.”Police shot dead 12 inmates during a jailbreak at the same prison last year. In 2015 more than 50 prisoners escaped from the same facility.Jails in PNG are often overcrowded and conditions are poor.Wagambie said locals in Lae should brace for a spate of crime.”We experienced an upsurge of criminal activities when Buimo jail reported a mass breakout last year,” he said, urging family members and associates of the escapees not to harbour them.”I am warning them that they will be caught. They must do what is good for them and surrender.”Crime and lawlessness is rampant in PNG, a sprawling nation where many still live traditional and subsistence lives in remote areas.last_img read more

Trump To Nominate Former Texas Comptroller Combs For Interior Department Job

first_imgLaura Skelding for The Texas TribuneFormer Texas Comptroller Susan Combs on November 16, 2016. Combs has started a project to help women called HERdacity and written a book, Texas Tenacity: A Call for Women to Direct Their Destiny. The project is an online community aimed at empowering women and the book will be released in early 2017.President Donald Trump announced Monday he will nominate former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Trump is tapping Combs to be an assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management and budget, according to the White House. The department is responsible for the management of federal land.Combs, who has also served as agriculture commissioner and a state representative, was once considered a candidate to be Trump’s agriculture secretary. She met with his transition team multiple times, but the job ultimately went to former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. Combs was not a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign. She supported two of his primary rivals: former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.Combs’ nomination was applauded by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who said Texans “have long benefited from the leadership and tireless work ethic of Susan Combs.”“Always a fierce advocate for rural Texans, Susan will be a tremendous asset to the Department, and I look forward to supporting her nomination,” Cornyn said in a statement. Sharelast_img read more

Damaged Oaks May Lead to Carter Vs Dixon For the 41st

first_imgBy Stephen Janis, Special to the AFROTechnically the 41st district Senate seat is still occupied by long time legislator Nathaniel Oaks. However, the pending corruption charges against him have fueled speculation that two high profile candidates may vie for it next June when the democratic primaries are held for state office seekers:  Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and ex-State Delegate Jill Carter.Two formidable Baltimore politicians, former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and former 41st District Del. Jill Carter may be eyeing the 41st District State Senate seat currently held by embattled Sen. Nathaniel Oaks. (Courtesy Photos)The potential matchup would pit two of the city’s best known and most formidable politicians in a battle for the 41st district senate seat, and offer a rematch between a former mayor who resigned from office and the top vote getter in that district.“They might smell blood in the water,” said Delegate Curt Anderson (D-43).  “Depending on what happens with the charges.”Oaks was appointed to the seat after Lisa Gladden resigned in 2016 due to health reasons.   But six months after joining the senate he was indicted on nine counts of bribery and fraud charges for allegedly accepting payments in exchange for helping FBI informants to procure a federal housing contract.His trial is scheduled to begin in May.Both Carter and Dixon have name recognition and decades of experience in public office.  But in the 41st, Carter would hold the advantage some say due to her commanding vote tallies in previous elections.“Jill certainly has won by a wide margin in the district, “Anderson said.Still, neither candidate has formally announced their intention to run. Dixon told the AFRO she is still in the process of weighing her options.“I’m between 50 percent to 75 percent,” she said. “I’m waiting to meet with some key constituents to get their input before I decide.”Former Delegate Carter who currently heads the city’s Civil Rights and Wage enforcement office says she is considering running but has also not decided.“At this point I am not saying I will run, I am being asked forcefully by many people to run,” Carter said.But the lack of clarity on who will be on ballot next year didn’t stop either candidate from criticizing their prospective opponent.“Why didn’t she go for the seat when it was open,” Dixon said, referring to the process during which Oaks was selected by the Democratic Central Committee.“I think the 41st district has been neglected and I can use my skills and experience to change that.”But Carter was more blunt, noting Dixon’s prosecution for corruption while she was mayor and subsequent resignation shortly after her conviction in 2010.“Time for her to give it up.  She had a long career in politics and it ended badly.  It’s over and that’s that,” Carter said.Since he was charged Oaks has maintained his innocence and has given no indications that he will step down, perhaps making the electoral machinations even more dicey.“Technically his trial could be postponed,” Anderson noted.Oaks did not return a request for comment,The potential battle in the 41st comes amid a flurry of challenges to sitting state senators that are making the upcoming campaign season unusually active.   State Delegate Cory McCray (D-45), has announced a run for the 45th district seat held by Nathaniel McFadden.  Similarly, Delegate Antonio Hayes (D-40), recently threw his hat into the ring in the 40th to unseat Senator Barbara Robinson.State Delegate Mary Washington (D-43) has filed to challenge Senator Joan Carter- Conway, who has held the 43rd district senate seat for nearly 20 years.  She says the upstart campaigns are a response to constituents who want more engaged representatives.“I think what a lot of us understand is there is a grassroots push to be more engaged,” she said.  “The electorate is not accepting the top down approach anymore.”last_img read more

Aspirin helps in fight against TB

first_imgAspirin can prevent the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium from hijacking immune cells and allow the body to control infection better, say researchers who found that the common pain killer could treat the top infectious killer worldwide that claims around 4,400 lives a day. Researchers from the Centenary Institute in Sydney found that the TB bacterium hijacks platelets from the body’s blood clotting system to weaken immune systems. “Our study provides more crucial evidence that widely available aspirin could be used to treat patients with severe TB infection and save lives,” said lead author Elinor Hortle, research officer at Centenary. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUsing the zebrafish model of TB, the team used fluorescent microscopy to observe the build-up of clots and activation of platelets around sites of infection. They found that the platelets were being tricked by the infection into getting in the way of the body’s immune system. Treating the infections with anti-platelet drugs, including the widely available aspirin could prevent hijacking and allow the body to control infection better, according to the paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. “This is the first time that platelets have been found to worsen TB in an animal model. It opens up the possibility that anti-platelet drugs could be used to help the immune system fight off drug resistant TB,” Hortle said. According to the World Health Organization, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. In 2017, 10 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.6 million died from the disease.last_img read more

LAX has just given us smart bathrooms and we should all be

first_img Travelweek Group LAX has just given us smart bathrooms and we should all be grateful Tweet LOS ANGELES — Starting today, passengers at LAX will be doing their business in far more intelligent quarters.Los Angeles International Airport has partnered with tech companies Infax and Tooshlights to transform a bathroom in Terminal 4 into a ‘smart restroom’. Available to American Airlines, American Eagle and Qantas fliers, the updated lavatory combines cutting edge technology to make it a little less gross and a lot more efficient.As part of the pilot program, 20 restroom stalls will feature a lights system similar to those found in parking garages; each unit consists of a smart latch and indicator light that turns green when it’s available, and red when it’s occupied. There are also blue indicator lights for ambulatory stalls.Credit: ToshlightsYou know what this means – no more having to duck your head under stalls to check for feet, a major plus in our book!In addition, Travel+Leisure reports that a digital tracking system keeps count of the number of people who go in and out of the restroom, as well as the amount of time in between cleanings. After a set number of uses, janitors are then notified to clean the facility.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?“We’re incredibly excited to try out this new technology, which should help improve our guest experience and allow us to better monitor and service our restrooms,” said Barbara Yamamoto, Chief Experience Officer at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “The desire for clean and available restrooms is consistently in the top ranks of what guests want at an airport, and this will help us provide a higher level of service to the travelling public and allow us to better meet our strategic goal of delivering facilities and guest experiences that are exceptional.”If the pilot program is successful (and we don’t see why it wouldn’t be because, yay for clean bathrooms!), LAX hopes to expand the program throughout Terminal 4. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Wednesday, April 4, 2018 Tags: Airports, Californialast_img read more

In This Issue… The dollar was king for another

first_imgIn This Issue… * The dollar was king for another day * South African sales disappoint * Norway reduces rates * Gold and silver took another hit And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Fed spillover effect… Good day…and welcome to another Thursday. We saw another summer like day here in the Midwest that lends itself to throwing the winter coat toward the back of the closet and forgetting about it until next winter. While it’s still way too early to take such drastic action, investors have seemingly thrown the debt problems and other fundamental concerns about the US economy to the back of the closet, hidden under that shirt you got as a birthday gift years ago that was never returned. Saying goodbye to my winter attire isn’t the wisest decision, but it’s definitely tempting. It appears the markets were looking for any type of excuse to jump on the US bandwagon and see how far it would take them. We didn’t see any remnants of the choppy trading pattern from Tuesday, so it was an all out rout by the dollar from the time we fired up the currency screens in the morning until we left for the evening. Did we have any reports that would have sent the dollar into orbit yesterday? No, not really. The party that began yesterday after the Fed meeting was still going full force and was still celebrating their upbeat outlook. I’m always up for a good party, but when you see that guy who over-indulged on punch running around with a lampshade on his head, you know it won’t be long before things start to wind down. When that guy comes out of the woodwork is anyone’s guess, but it’s usually just a matter of time. I think the same can be said with this dollar strength. The markets have such a short term memory these days that going from one extreme to the other isn’t outside the norm and investors have no problem bailing mid stream. It’s just something to keep in the back or your mind while dealing with this market volatility. We only saw a handful of economic reports yesterday, which included weekly mortgage applications, the import price index, and the 4th quarter current account balance. The mortgage app figures are considered secondary and very volatile, but nonetheless, it did fall 2.4%. I don’t know if you’ve paid much attention to the bond yields, but they have really shot up recently so that doesn’t spell good news for those looking to refinance or buy a home. Bond yields have been all over the place as well, with the 10 year sitting on a four month high, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them turn on a dime. I’m sure the Fed isn’t exactly thrilled to see them jump over 27% since the end of January. Finally, we had the 4th quarter current account deficit grow to $124.1 billion and marked the biggest shortfall in three years. The balance for 2011 widened to $473.4 billion, or 3.1% of GDP, and came in much higher than the estimated $115 billion figure. If we do see the type of increased expansion that investors have been hanging their hat on over the past few days, then I would expect to see this number continue to rise. We have a full day in the data department today as there are a couple of regional manufacturing reports, wholesale inflation, and the TIC flows from January. I don’t think the market will pay much attention to those, but the only wild card that I can see would be the weekly jobs numbers. If we see a better than expected result, investors may feel vindicated on their rosier outlook and continue to party on with the dollar. I haven’t seen much that would indicate a sharp rise, but if the report disappoints, we could see things settle down a bit. Speaking of jobs, Chuck sent this tidbit while he was sitting in the airport yesterday morning. “I saw this in today’s post…Talk about the book cookers coming clean! The BLS originally said that St Louis had created 2,500 jobs in 2011… And the civic leaders were gushing, slapping each other on the back for the “job well done” Well… A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…The BLS now has revised the numbers to show that St. Louis actually lost 3,900 jobs instead!!!! Ok I’ve heard of revisions but by this wide of a percentage margin? Oh… And this was reported on the back pages of the paper, hidden away in a corner hoping that no one would see it! But I did!” Thanks again for the info, Chuck. Seeing a report like that is so frustrating. Investors use this type of information to make important decisions not only in real time but also in regard to the future, so it’s no wonder we see market volatility on the rise. Anyway, let’s move on the currency market before my blood pressure begins to rise. While the dollar rose against every single major currency, except for the Indian rupee, a good portion of them took a sizable fall. The worst of the worst, which included both the Norwegian krone and South African rand, got caught with a stiff right jab as they were sitting on 2%+ losses for most of the day. The general optimism surrounding the US economy set the wheels in motion, but economic reports released in each country sent them over the edge and battling for last place throughout the day. Beginning with South Africa, retail sales growth rose at the slowest pace in six months as it fell to 3.9% in January from the previous reading of 8.7%. The rise in January inflation to a two year high was blamed for a majority of the slowdown as rising food, fuel, and utility prices kept a lid on consumer spending. This goes along with what I was talking about yesterday regarding fuel prices in the US and potentially impacting future retail sales figures if consumers are forced to pay more at the pump. The domestic retail industry has played a major role in the economy over the past year so it’s much larger than expected fall led some investors to believe a rate cut might be needed at some point. Interest rates have remained near record lows since November 2010, when they cut to the current 5.5%, but any rate cuts would send investors packing as the interest rate differential has been the primary motivation to own rand. The $40 drop in gold prices didn’t help out either, but there was also speculation the South African central bank has been in the market buying dollars at an increased rate. The Norwegian krone fell to a 5 week low against the dollar and fell by the most in six months against the euro as Norges Bank, their central bank, unexpectedly cut interest rates by .25% to 1.5%. The krone was already in the hole to start the day as economists were just expecting to see a downward revision to their rate forecast, but the decision to actually move took many by surprise. The currency fell nearly 1.5% in a couple of hours and ended the day with over a 2% loss. Coupled with the .5% cut in December and continued government concern of a strong currency, the market took this cut to heart. Policy makers are in a tough spot. The higher krone has been spurred by the economy’s relatively solid fundamentals. If it wasn’t an escape from the eurozone to a neighboring AAA rated country, it was economic resilience underpinned by the oil industry attracting investors from all over the world. We have recently seen improvement in both manufacturing and consumer confidence reports, so it’s not like a poorly performing economy justified the cut. In fact, the already low internal interest rate environment has given rise to the housing and domestic credit markets, so this move will just feed the fire. The Norwegian government has long been critical of its disproportionate currency appreciation compared to the euro as most of their trade is with the eurozone. The stronger krone has kept inflation in the background, so the central bank would rather give manufacturers some breathing room by cutting rates and lessening the appeal to investors seeking yield than worry about the impact of easy money. It’s a delicate balancing act as the krone was trading at a nine year high versus the euro, but I have confidence policy makers have the ability to remain on the tight rope without falling. Well, it wasn’t a pretty picture on the currency screens as I was on my way home last night. The only currency that went against the grain, interestingly enough, was the Indian rupee. From what I could find, it looked as though investors were pleased with the lower than expected report of manufacturing inflation. This report fueled speculation the central bank would have some scope to cut interest rates in order to help bolster economic growth. Also, real returns for foreign investors were being eaten up by the higher inflation so thoughts of higher capital inflows were on the table. The reasons for rate cuts were obviously different, but the market reaction to the cut in Norway certainly wasn’t positive. Both gold and silver took another hit as speculation for QE3 hopped in the back seat after the Fed meeting. Gold fell another 1.5% to $1645 and silver was trying to hold onto the $32 handle when all was said and done. Even though both metals have seen a reduction in buying, silver is still up 15% so far this year and gold has seen a rise of about 5%. If the Fed doesn’t end up taking additional measures, the damage has already been done as far as the previous influx of capital into the market in the form of QE1 and QE2. The same rationale was being applied to the market perceptions of most currencies, in that, if the Fed doesn’t pump more dollars into circulation then a systemic reason for a weak dollar has been removed. I think most rational investors can look past this as being a motivation for buying the dollar. The fundamentals that have applied constant pressure on the dollar over the past several years are still present, if not worse, so looking long term paints a different picture than what has been portrayed this week. As I came in this morning, the dollar buying frenzy has finally subsided as the only currency in negative territory is the pound sterling. The currency is only sitting on a fractional loss at the moment, but Fitch ratings was at it again by changing Britain’s outlook to negative from stable and threatening its AAA status. They went on to say the decision reflects the very limited fiscal space to absorb further economic shocks in light of such elevated debt levels and a potentially weaker than currently forecast economic recovery. Then there was this…Goldman Sachs shares plummeted 3.4% on Wednesday, cutting its market value by $2.15 billion, after The New York Times published an article by a Goldman executive criticizing the firm’s treatment of its clients and a “decline in the firm’s moral fiber.” London-based executive Greg Smith said he was resigning after 12 years with the firm. To recap…It was another day in the sun for the US dollar as a spillover effect from Tuesday’s Fed meeting was in full force. The question then becomes how long with this last. There wasn’t much data yesterday, of which the current account deficit widened, but we’ll see our fair share today. The South African rand and Norwegian krone both fell by over 2%, but all of the currencies ended the day in negative territory except for the rupee. Diminished thoughts of QE3 spurred a selloff in metals as well. Currencies today. American Style: A$ $1.0489, kiwi .8136, C$ $1.0066, euro 1.3046, sterling 1.5661, Swiss $1.0773, . European Style: rand 7.6612, krone 5.8007, SEK 6.8290, forint 223.73, zloty 3.1759, koruna 18.8555, RUB 29.49, yen 83.43, sing 1.2653, HKD 7.7626, INR 50.4350, China 6.3290, pesos 12.6874, BRL 1.8044, Dollar Index 80.41, Oil $105.48, 10-year 2.30%, Silver $32.31, and Gold. $1,646.88 That’s it for today…I happened to look down at the calendar and noticed the end of the first quarter is nearly upon us. Didn’t we just celebrate New Year’s? I’m still amazed how time flies when you’re having fun. I strained a tendon or something in my left elbow and forearm a few months ago, which is slowly getting better, so I’m hoping to get back into the gym next week. I saw a headline on the ticker that companies stand to lose $175 million in lost productivity today and tomorrow as March Madness kicks into full throttle. I’m running a little behind today, so I’ll cut this short and catch up with you tomorrow. Until then, Have a Great Day. Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Pelangio Exploration Inc PXTSXV PGXPFOTC an

first_imgPelangio Exploration Inc. (PX:TSX-V; PGXPF:OTC) announced the results of seven diamond drill holes totaling 1,574 metres from its ongoing drilling program at the Pokukrom East zone on the Manfo Property in Ghana.  Highlights of the results included:·        1.19 g/t gold over 113 metres, including 9.05 g/t gold over 7 metres; ·        2.60 g/t gold over 64 metres, including 11.94 g/t gold over 10 metres; and ·        16.72 g/t gold over 4 metres.The results continued to confirm a higher grade, shallow north plunging core of Pokukrom East zone with an open plunge of 600 metres from near surface in previously reported hole SPDD-088 (7.01 g/t gold over 19 metres) to 210 metres depth in the holes reported this week.  Warren Bates, Senior Vice President Exploration, commented: “These are our best holes on the Manfo Property to date. These holes represent the north-plunging core of higher grade mineralization at Pokukrom East, now demonstrating an open plunge length of 600 metres.” Please visit our website to learn more about the project and request additional information. We are much closer to a bottom than a top…but I’m always on the lookout for “in your ear”.It was a reasonably quiet trading day in gold on Monday…but there was some structure to the trading action.  After gaining about five bucks or so in early Far East trading on Monday, gold then tracked sideways right up until shortly after 3:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.Then gold dipped to its low of the day, which occurred a bit over an hour later at around 8:30 a.m. GMT in London.  From that low, gold climbed slowly higher, reaching its high tick about ten minutes after the 1:30 p.m. Comex close in New York…and from there it traded more or less sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time electronic close.The gold price closed at $1,685.00 spot…up $8.10 from Friday’s close.  Net volume was pretty light at around 109,000 contracts.Monday’s silver chart was a virtually carbon copy of Monday’s gold chart, with the only difference worth mentioning was the fact that silver’s high tick [$31.35 spot] came at 2:30 p.m. in electronic trading in New York…and from there it got sold off a bit before trading almost ruler-flat into the close.Silver closed at $31.18 spot…up 27 cents from Friday.  Net volume was pretty light as well…around 31,500 contracts.The dollar index opened at 80.55 in Tokyo on their Monday morning..and then sank a few basis points up until 3:30 p.m. in Honk Kong trading.  Then in less than an hour, the index jumped just about 30 basis points to about 80.78…and from there traded sideways until early afternoon in New York, when it sagged a bit…closing at 80.71.There was no co-relation between the gold and silver price activity and the dollar index movements that I could tell.Not surprisingly, the gold stocks opened in positive territory…but that happy state of affairs didn’t last long…and shortly before noon in New York, the share prices sank into negative territory and then stayed there for the rest of the day.  The HUI finished down 0.67%.  I wouldn’t read much into that action, but neither can I explain it based on Monday’s price activity in gold.The same can be said for the silver shares…and they got it in the neck far worse than the gold shares.  I have no explanation for that, either.  Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment index closed down a chunky 1.66%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was another exercise in watching grass grow, as only 1 gold and 13 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow within the Comex-approved depositories.No surprisingly, considering the price action on Friday, an authorized participant withdrew 125,969 troy ounces of gold from GLD on Monday.  What was a surprise was that an authorized participant added 871,421 troy ounces of silver to SLV.The U.S. Mint had a decent sales report yesterday.  They sold only 2,500 ounces of gold eagles…but a very chunky 800,000 silver eagles.  That makes 1 million silver eagles sold already this month.  As I keep pounding away about…I do hope you’re getting your share.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported that 40,108 troy ounces of silver were received…and 342,029 troy ounces of same were shipped out the door.  The link to that activity is here.My initial look at the Commitment of Traders Report in this column in my Saturday column [which has now been replaced by this commentary] was about as wrong as I could possibly get.  I don’t know where my head was at when I was looking at it, as in reality there was improvement in the Commercial category in both gold and silver.  My apologies for this error.In silver, the Commercial net short position improved by 1,767 contacts…as the Commercials went long 1,153 contracts and also decreased their short position by an additional 614 contracts.  The Commercial net short position is now down to 53,732 contracts, or 268 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ are short 243.5 million ounces…which represents 44.0 percent of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ largest traders are short an additional 8.8 percentage points.  So the ‘Big 8’ are short 52.8% of the entire futures market on a net basis…but it’s actually slightly higher than that once all the extra spread trades that only show up in the Disaggregated COT Report, are subtracted.In addition, the ‘Big 4’ are short 91 percent of the Commercial net short position in silver.In gold, the Commercial net short position improved by 9,901 contracts…and is now down to 222,764 contracts, or 22.28 million ounces.  The ‘Big 4’ are short 14.64 million ounces…and this represents 34.4% of the entire futures market in gold on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 12.7 percentage points…so that takes the ‘Big 8’ short position up to 47.1 percent of the entire futures market on a net basis.In addition, the ‘Big 4’ are short 65.7 percent of the Commercial net short position in gold…not nearly as big a percentage as in silver, but still huge nonetheless.Needless to say, there has been a vast improvement in the net short position in both gold and silver since the Tuesday cut-off…especially after Friday’s shenanigans.  But, as Ted Butler pointed out in his Saturday column, there is still much more potential selling left by the technical funds, as they still hold significant long positions compared to the July lows.  But can they or will they sell out this time?  Who knows…but if they do, it will take lower prices to do it.This sell off that began during the first week of October, is not shaping up like the ‘normal’ engineered price decline that preceded it…at least not from a COT perspective, especially silver.The above was courtesy of Washington state reader S.A…as is the chart below showing the gold price, it’s 65-week moving average…and the presidential election cycle.  Let us all join hands and pray that the pattern repeats itself…starting immediately!This next chart is courtesy of reader ‘David in California’…and requires no further embellishment from me.(Click on image to enlarge)Considering it’s my Tuesday column…I don’t have that many stories for you today.If you harbour any ambitions to “change” the system, you are likely to break down into rueful laughter if you think it through. If you are an American, you can go to the polls [today] and “choose” between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is pretty clear that the US financial and political establishment don’t much care which one you “choose”. Their mutual abhorrence of any political principle is as obvious as it is predictable. Their “platforms” are identical. Their “plans” for the nation they aspire to rule are the same. That is why they are the candidates. It truly doesn’t matter who you vote for, and you know it. – Bill Buckler, Gold This Week, 03 November 2012It was pretty quiet yesterday…both in price action and volume…but I was somewhat mystified by the poor performance of the shares in both silver and gold…and don’t know quite know what to make of it.With today being election day in the U.S.A….I’m uncertain as to what price action we will see during the Tuesday trading day.  Whatever is allowed, will show up in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as today at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close, is the cut-off for both it and November’s Bank Participation Report.As I mentioned in my Saturday column, I never heard back from anyone at Scotiabank’s head office in Toronto…so I must assume that they are the “non-U.S.” bank that was “outed” in the CFTC’s October Bank Participation Report.Here, once again, is all the e-mal correspondence between myself and the bank.  I sent the letter to Mr. Rick Waugh, the CEO…but it was answered by Dave Shearim.  I urge you to e-mail either one, or both of them…and ask them the same question in your own words…are they, or aren’t they…yes, or no. Please be polite!22 October 2012 Scotiabank 44 King Street West Toronto, Ontario M5H 1H1Attention: Mr. Rick Waugh, CEODear Mr. Waugh,I’m a keen observer of the financial scene, both here in Canada and abroad…but my main area of expertise is in the precious metal markets.  I write a daily blog on this subject for Casey Research out of Stowe, Vermont…and here is the link to my webpage.Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission…the CFTC.  The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you’ll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise…including me.The comment states… “The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity’s self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity’s most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes” [Emphasis is mine. – Ed]Looking through the list of market-making members of the LBMA…my first thought was that the bank most likely to fit that description would be The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.  So I called Andy Montano at your head office about a week ago.  We had a pleasant chat…and he said that he knew nothing about it.  I asked him who might know…and he had no suggestion.So I thought I would write directly to you, sir.All I need to know is if the “non-U.S. bank” that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above…and on its Bank Participation Report home page…is The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.Thank you for your attention in this matter…and I remain,Yours truly,Edward Steer, EditorEd Steer’s Gold & Silver DailyOn Tuesday I received this reply…and as you can tell right away, the ‘non-answer’ avoided my question entirely…Dear Mr. Steer, Thank you for your email of October 22nd addressed to Rick Waugh, President & CEO of Scotiabank. I have been asked to review your inquiry and provide a response to you on behalf of the Scotiabank Group. We have determined from our review, the Scotiabank Group is not involved in the research or publication of the Commitment of Traders Report and as a result we are unable to comment on the data provided in the report. We respectfully recommend you consider making direct contact with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFTC) as we understand they are the source of the report and would be better positioned to respond to you with answers to any inquiries you may have about the report. Once again, thank you for writing, giving us an opportunity to review and respond to your inquiry. Sincerely, Dave Shearim Senior Manager – Office of the President Scotiabank – Executive Offices e-mail: mail.president@scotiabank.com Telephone: (416) 933-1700 or (877) 700-0043 Fax: (416) 933-1777 or (877) 700-0045Of course I had to reply…and here it is…Hello Dave,This reply I received from you is a ‘non answer’…and avoids the question entirely.Nowhere in my original e-mail did I remotely suggest that Scotiabank Group was involved in the production of any data from the CFTC reports mentioned.The Form 40 referred to by the CFTC, would have to have been filled out by a very senior member of the Scotiabank Group…either within the bank itself, or within the Scotia Mocatta division.Here are the pertinent contents of my previous e-mail to Mr. Waugh once again…“Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission…the CFTC.  The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.“If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you’ll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise…including me.“The comment states… “The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity’s self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity’s most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes” [Emphasis is mine. – Ed]“Looking through the list of market-making members of the LBMA…my first thought was that the bank most likely to fit that description would be The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.  So I called Andy Montano at your head office about a week ago.  We had a pleasant chat…and he said that he knew nothing about it.  I asked him who might know…and he had no suggestion.“So I thought I would write directly to you, sir.“All I need to know is if the “non-U.S. bank” that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above…and on its Bank Participation Report home page…is The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.“A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.So, Dave, I’ll ask the question one more time, which is it…yes, or no?Sincerely,EdAnd that’s where the matter sits, as I’ve heard nothing since.Neither silver or gold did much of anything during the Far East trading session on their Tuesday.  Silver was under slight selling pressure, but is now back in the plus column by around 13 cents…and gold is up five bucks, as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time.  The dollar index is flat…and volumes are already decent in silver, but light in gold.As I said a handful of paragraphs ago, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what the price action will be like in New York today, so nothing will surprise me when I switch on my computer later this morning.But, having said that, here’s a paragraph from Ted Butler’s Weekly Commentary to his paying subscribers on the weekend…“The second standout [in Friday’s COT Report] was the relative small number of silver contracts [through Tuesday’s cut-off date] that were sold by the technical funds and bought by the commercials. At the cut-off, only 4,100 net contracts had been liquidated from Oct 2nd. The question lately was if the tech funds would hold tight (for the first time ever) and not sell into declining prices since they hadn’t rushed to sell when key moving averages were first violated. Or was it more a case of they hadn’t sold yet, but would? Based upon Friday’s high volume, it would appear that the tech funds are capitulating on lower prices. The good news is that the tech funds may have sold 10,000 net contracts on Friday, greatly reducing the number of contracts that they will ultimately sell. The bad news is there are many more contracts that potentially still could be sold by the technical funds and purchased by JPMorgan and the raptors. Should that turn out to be the case, it will only be accomplished with lower prices.” – Silver analyst Ted Butler…03 November 2012So keep his comments top-of-mind until the current situation resolves itself.  And as I said on Saturday, we are much closer to a bottom than a top…but I’m always on the lookout for “in your ear”.See you tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisementlast_img read more

Todays article comes to us from world traveler a

first_img[Today’s article comes to us from world traveler and quintessential “international man” Dr. Jack Wheeler.] Edinburgh-of-the-Seven-Seas, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to the most isolated community on the planet, on the world’s remotest inhabited island. Named after the Portuguese captain who discovered it in 1506, Tristão da Cunha, it is 1,736 miles from Africa, and 2,466 miles from South America. The nearest inhabited land is the island of St. Helena 1,343 miles to the north, itself so remote that the Brits exiled Napoleon there. It’s not simply that Tristan is far away from anywhere else, it’s amazingly difficult to get here. You have to arrive by ship as there’s no airport – and there are no regular passenger ships, just the occasional fishing boat and an annual relief/supply ship from Cape Town. And when one does get here, it is rarely able to land as the weather doesn’t allow it. We are the first passenger ship to land here since March of 2012. Why bother? Why brave often incredibly rough and dangerous seas for days or even weeks to come here on the off-chance that you can go ashore? Just to be able to tell your friends back home you set foot on the world’s remotest inhabited island? Maybe for some. For me, it was the opportunity to meet perhaps the most extraordinarily unique people on earth. I came hoping to find a freedom paradise (more accurately, a conservative-libertarian paradise) – and I found it. But before you start packing your bags, be advised:  there is, of course, a catch. There is only one settlement on the island, named after the original Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Alfred, Consort to Queen Victoria, who visited here on a world tour of the British Empire in 1867. Every Tristanian (tris-tay-nee-un), 262 at current count, lives in Edinburgh-of-the-Seven-Seas – although they usually just call it The Settlement. Among those 262, there are only seven family names: Glass, Green, Hagen, Swain, Rogers, Lavarello, and Repetto. There are never any first or second cousin marriages, and for 200 years the Tristan gene pool has been continually refreshed from shipwrecked sailors to marriage to outsiders. The population hasn’t gone more than 10% above or below 260 for a over a century. No one had ever lived on the island when da Cunha (coon-yah) found it in 1506, and for 300 years, no one paid much attention to the tiny, 38 square mile volcanic speck with no natural harbor and little habitable land, until 1816 when a Scottish corporal named William Glass and his wife from Cape Town, decided to live there, and attracted others, such as a sailor named Thomas Swain, and women from St. Helena for sailors like him. The community grew, waxed and waned, prospered and suffered, learning to become intensely self-reliant. They raised cattle and sheep, fished in the sea, grew vegetables and potatoes, and fended for themselves, dependent upon no one by necessity. They lived simply. Every family had its own small home, made of large blocks of an easily-carved volcanic rock called tufa, with a heavily thatched roof. There was only one main room, with a fireplace that provided heat and where food was cooked, and a small bedroom. The bed’s mattress was stuffed with penguin feathers, and lamps at night were lit with seal oil. Yet they saw that their children were well educated. They learned of world events and read books by Plutarch, Plato, and Shakespeare acquired from passing sailing ships. They saw their children learned Christian values at one of the two churches in the Settlement: St. Mary’s Anglican Church, or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. There’s no history of religious feuds or fanaticism on Tristan. After World War II, “red gold” was discovered. With the help of South African businessmen, the Tristan Development Corporation was formed in 1949 to exploit the uncountable numbers of easily-caught rock lobsters in Tristan’s waters. In addition, beautifully designed Tristan postage stamps became prized by stamp collectors and were sold world-wide. The economy boomed, living and housing conditions improved – yet Tristanians managed to adapt to modernization without losing their traditional values and culture. Then disaster struck. Tristan is an active volcano above a hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with the main cone (Queen Mary’s Peak) almost 7,000 feet high. In August of 1961, a vent suddenly opened up right next to The Settlement, out of which molten lava began flowing towards the sea. When it looked like the lava might envelop and destroy the community, the British government ordered the entire population evacuated to England. For most Tristanians, it was the first time they’d been off their island (save for fishing trips to the small nearby uninhabited satellite islands of Nightingale and Inaccessible), their first exposure to modern Western life and all its temptations. They hated it. When scientists reported, after an expedition to the now-deserted island in 1962, that the lava flow had missed The Settlement by not much more than the length of a football field, that the eruption had terminated, and that repatriation of the islanders was an option, the Tristanians celebrated. They were given the choice to stay in England and be subsidized wards of the British Welfare State, or return to Tristan and fend for themselves again. All but five voted to return – which they did in 1963. The kids brought back rock n’ roll and the Twist with them, but for the most part, the plethora of lunacies comprising the Sixties passed Tristan by. Everyone went back to work, although with the rock lobster and postage stamp businesses going better than ever, that work was more profitable. The Settlement soon had a movie theatre, a pub, a community swimming pool; everyone had a modern kitchen, video recorders, and family car – even though there are less than four miles of road on the island. Today there’s an Internet cafe, and many kids have a Facebook page or even their own websites. The island maintains its own well-done website, www.tristandc.com. Now we come to the interesting part. If exposure to and immersion in the culture of Western degradation has spoiled and ruined the culture of Tristan, it is indiscernible. To this day, in almost 200 years of history since Tristan’s founding in 1816, not one Tristanian has ever murdered another. Murder is unknown, it has never happened on Tristan. Rape is unknown. There has never been a single case of rape in anyone’s memory or on record. Divorce is unknown. Marriage is for life. No one can recall any couple ever getting divorced (save for marriage to an outsider who couldn’t handle life on Tristan and left the island). Pre-marital sex is abundant, but once a girl gets pregnant, she marries the father and that’s that. Abortion is unknown. Aborting a baby is indescribably horrific to a Tristanian. Crime is unknown. There is no theft. Everyone keeps his home unlocked. There are no fights in the pub, no drunken brawls. There is a peacefulness and serenity to life on Tristan that has to be experienced to be believed. And there is no socialism. Tristan’s economy and society is based on private property. People have their own sheep, their own cows for milk, their own cattle for beef, their own cultivated patches for potatoes and vegetables. Fishermen are paid according to the amount of lobsters they personally haul in. For the most part, Tristanians govern themselves. There is a resident British Administrator, as Tristan is a British Overseas Territory, appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Yet, with the exception of rare emergency circumstances such as the decision to evacuate the island in 1961, he can only act with the approval of the Island Council, composed of islanders elected by the community. In fact, Tristanians pay little attention to the “Hadmin,” as they call the Administrator, who manages to spend much of his time in London. They look instead to their own elected leader and head of the Council, called the Chief Islander, for guidance. Currently, he is Ian Lavarello, and I was fortunate to have dinner with him. His home is like everyone else’s. He goes fishing, manages his potato patch, and works like everyone else. “Tristanians learned long ago,” he told me, “to be a cooperative people, to resolve our disputes peacefully and with goodwill. We are all family on this island, and we use problems to bring us together, not divide us. I don’t think you’ll find a more agreeable people anywhere than Tristanians. They make it easy for me to find solutions to situations that we all can agree on.” Tristan has one policeman – Conrad Glass, a direct descendant of founder William Glass. Over a Castle Lager at the world’s remotest pub, the Albatross Bar, I asked him what a policeman does in a place where there’s no crime. “My job is to help people,” he explained.  “Ian (Lavarello) helps with community-wide issues. I talk to people about their individual disagreements. And I help them be careful. “There’s a place on the road to the Patches (an area of tiny walled fields two miles from the Settlement in which everyone grows their potatoes and vegetables) where some people drive fast and there’s been a couple of accidents. I’ll park my police car behind this curve – you Yanks would call this a ‘speed trap,’ I believe – so when someone is speeding and they see me, they quickly slow down. We smile and wave at each other, although sometimes I have to shake my finger at them.” Conrad asked me why I had come here. “People who live in the remotest community on earth, and have been determined to do so for two centuries,” I answered, “have to be uniquely interesting. I came here to meet them, and try to understand something about them.” He smiled. “The most important thing to understand about Tristanians is what they value most in life is freedom. We have a freedom here in Tristan like nowhere else. That’s why we found England suffocating, rules everywhere, someone always telling you what you can and cannot do.  We couldn’t wait to get back here where we are free and we live by our own rules. “On Tristan, no one tells you what to do. No one tells you when to get up, when to milk your cows or go fishing or help your neighbor fix his house damaged in a storm. But… if you don’t do these things, your cow will die, you won’t have fish to eat, your neighbor won’t help you when you need to fix your house. We’ve learned that when you’re free, when no one forces you to help others, everyone ends up helping everyone else – and cheerfully. There’s no obligation – we just are happier together that way.” A young fellow, George Swain, joined us. He had gone to high school in Cape Town and then received training in wildlife conservation. Now, at age 20, he had returned to the island to work for Tristan’s Conservation and Fisheries Office. I asked him if most young people left the island to study or work elsewhere today, and how many ever came back. “Most all of us leave at some time,” he said.  “We want to learn something of the world. After a few years or even several, just about everybody returns to live. We miss Tristan’s freedom.” So – ready to kiss all the fascist craziness in the world goodbye and live in peace and freedom on Tristan da Cunha? That’s the catch: you can’t. The world’s remotest, most isolated community on the planet wants to keep it that way. You can visit here between ships, arriving on one and departing on another – although there are no hotels or restaurants, so you’d have to arrange a homestay – but you can’t live here. Tristan is for Tristanians. There is only one way to become a Tristanian – and that’s to marry one. You could visit here in hopes of meeting and marrying a local gal if you’re a guy or vice versa (and just to be clear: any mention of “same-sex” marriage is considered a stupidly tasteless joke here). Or you could by chance or tracking them down, bump into a young Tristanian studying or working abroad, marry him or her, and move to Tristan. Once you establish a home in the Settlement, have children and start to raise a family, you can become a Tristanian – that’s the only way. The bottom line is that Tristanians are self-contained. They are cheerful, friendly, approachable, nice and easy to talk to. But they don’t need us. Outsiders from other countries and cultures have their values and lifestyles, and that’s fine – live and let live. But they don’t need them. Tristanians have a freedom and shared humanity that is unique in this world. There is a calmness in their souls, what I would call a gravitas of serenity, that I have never witnessed elsewhere in all the places on earth I have been. You and I cannot be a part of it – but it is enough to know that it exists. At least there is one place on our planet this free, this peaceful, this happy together. It is not ironic that this place is a tiny village on a tiny island in a vast stormy sea farther away from other people than anywhere else. The latter has to be part of the cause of the former. No matter. We know now that such peace and freedom isn’t a fantasy ideal but something human beings are actually capable of. It has been such a privilege to be here and meet these wonderful people. The short weather window that allowed us to be here has closed. A major storm is approaching and we must board the Zodiac motorized inflatable rafts in the tiny harbor – so tiny a couple of Zodiacs or motorized rowboats is all it has room for – to get back to the ship anchored offshore. I must finish one last Castle Lager here in the Albatross Bar where I’m writing this and say goodbye to my Tristanian friends. For the rest of my life, I’ll treasure having been here and having met them. There is such a place as Tristan da Cunha. It’s real, and that should mean a lot to all of us. [Editor’s Note: Once called “Indiana Jones of the Right” by The Washington Post, Dr. Jack Wheeler is the founder of To The Point, a website that serves as “The Oasis for Rational Conservatives”. Learn more at www.tothepointnews.com.] Freedom Paradise Found by Dr. Jack Wheelerlast_img read more

Over the holidays a dear friend asked for help—th

first_imgOver the holidays, a dear friend asked for help—the sort of help you might need too. She’s retired, lives alone, and has a modest nest egg. But the thought of losing any of her life savings terrifies her. Let’s call my friend “Sally.” Sally doesn’t trust stockbrokers or any commission-based investment advisors. I was flattered to learn that she reads all of our material; but considering how often we lambaste low-interest cash accounts, I was surprised when she confided that all her money is in a cash account, earning 0.01% interest. Sally understands that at that rate, she’ll likely outlive her nest egg. She knows she needs to do something but is understandably afraid and feeling vulnerable. Now, I know she wasn’t just flattering me when she said she reads all of our material. She played it right back to me… The stock market is near an all-time high. The government, not solid business fundamentals, is propping up the stock market. It’s on thin ice. Junk bonds have a higher rate of default than top-quality bonds and are currently paying some of the lowest interest rates in several decades. Preserving capital and earning decent yields are both essential to making a lifetime portfolio last, well, a lifetime. CDs are risky because they tie up your money and might lose against inflation. These are real fears. Sally understands the risks of investing; however, she underestimates consequence of doing nothing. Several subscribers have expressed similar concerns. So, to answer Sally and company we’re sharing a conversation between analysts Andrey Dashkov, Chris Wood, and me.Dennis Miller: Andrey, I’ll start with you because I know you’re something of a financial advisor to your mother. What would you say if she asked these questions? Where would you tell her to start?Andrey Dashkov: Dennis, yes, my mother does indeed turn to me for financial advice. Let me start by giving you a little context. She still lives in Belarus, where I was born. I will not get into great detail about the country’s crumbling economy, but as we speak, the Belarusian National Bank has hiked its interest rates (called refinancing rates) by 5 percentage points, from 20% to 25%. You can get 50% annually on a bank deposit denominated in rubles; consumer credit rates go upward of 70%. You heard me right. I never stop admiring people who can navigate an environment like this. Granted, some go the obvious route and spend their money as fast as they can, while others try to save. But despite the attractive deposit rates, few are willing to trust the banking system. Most of the people just buy foreign currency in cash, really. Almost every new year, rumors about another devaluation start popping up, and people line up at ATMs to withdraw US dollars and euros. At the beginning of this year, the ruble was devalued by 7% in an instant. So Belarusians are natural risk avoiders and natural hedgers. Earning interest is less of a concern; preserving buying power and liquidity is what matters. Most people just buy US dollars and euros, hoping that if one of the two depreciates, the other will move up. Compared to the local currency, they feel more comfortable. Back to your friend, though. Since her main concerns are liquidity and stability, I would recommend she try one of the six Stable Income funds in the Money Forever portfolio. She isn’t mentally prepared to take on risk, so she needs to start slowly and build confidence. As you know, these funds function as cash alternatives. One in particular—a fund we’ve held since November 2012—comes to mind. While it pays a low rate of return, it’s still 80 times more than she’s currently earning. It’s a step in the right direction. Diversification is important, though, so I’d also recommend that she add other vehicles to her portfolio. Her well-being shouldn’t depend on any single position. This idea is easy to understand; my mother totally gets it. Many people of her generation have acted as amateur currency hedgers for the better part of the last decade. I’d start by taking easy steps, allocating some of your friend’s cash into our cash-like investments. While they aren’t as safe as cash or top-quality bonds, the additional returns would have an immediate, positive impact on her savings with minimal default risk. It’s as simple as this. If she earned 4% interest and had a 1% default, her net gain would be 3%—300 times what she’s earning now. When she’s ready, I’d encourage her to buy some stocks, too.Dennis: Chris, where would you suggest she start?Chris Wood: Dennis, you aren’t the only one who gets these types of questions. Once your friends and family learn what you do for a living, it’s natural that they start asking these questions. Much like your friend, they know they should “do something.” They just don’t know how to go about it. I tread carefully here because advising a friend in his or her 30s is much different than advising family elders. But back to your friend—I think Andrey is spot-on. Her primary goal should be preserving capital, but she really does need to go into the market to have any chance of keeping up with inflation, actually growing her nest egg in real terms, and generating enough income to continue to live a long and happy life. A good way to start is to dip your toes into safe, cash-like instruments that provide a better yield than a cash account at a brokerage. Then branch out into dividend-paying stocks that also provide the opportunity for robust capital appreciation (diversified geographically and across sectors, of course). Finally, add in some higher-yield income vehicles, like floating-rate funds, preferred stocks, and even high-quality venture-debt BDCs. This three-tiered approach should provide the capital appreciation and income necessary for her nest egg to live as long as she does, and it should do that as safely as possible. Speaking of safety, as she adds to her positions, she should limit each investment to a small portion (say 2-5%) of her entire portfolio. Other things like rebalancing on a regular basis, using limit orders so she doesn’t buy an investment at a price above what she’s comfortable with, and setting trailing stops to prevent catastrophic losses and lock in gains are important too.Dennis: One of my fears with friends is giving good advice that later goes stale. A decade ago I showed a friend how to set up a CD ladder. He recently mentioned that the process works well but complained about the low interest rates. The advice was good at the time, but it’s not something I’d recommend in today’s market. While I also recall suggesting he work closely with a licensed financial professional, he seems to have forgotten that part. How do you update friends and family? Chris, do you want to go first on this one?Chris: Sure. Unfortunately, there’s no “set it and forget it” way to deal with markets à la the Ronco Rotisserie. Probably the most important thing to communicate to friends and relatives who ask for advice is that it will take some work on their part. Vigilance is paramount. Even if you’re working with a financial professional, it’s important to know what’s going on, because the decisions you’re making now will affect the rest of your life. Obviously, there are cost/benefit tradeoffs in terms how much time you have to dedicate to such things. But in general, the more self-directed you are, the better the outcome. That’s basically the whole reason our organization exists, by the way: to help self-directed investors with unbiased research and analysis.Dennis: Andrey, do you have anything you want to add to Chris’ remarks?Andrey: Sure. As Chris says, it’s important to stay informed about what’s going on around you, both in the economy and on the stock market. The caveat, though, is that there is just too much information around, and most of it is useless. So when people ask me how to become better informed, I recommend consuming less information, not more; however, you have to be selective. Pick a couple of weekly magazines that cover the economy and business from different angles, and you’ll do two things: first, you’ll dramatically reduce the amount of information you need to consume per week; and second, what you read will often be better researched and more comprehensive than the bite-sized, out-of-context crap scattered around the Internet in the form of news and blog posts written with speed in mind, not comprehension. Also, treat all TV as entertainment. So that’s step one. Step two is finding reliable investment advice. Granted, there are excellent people in the business, but they’re often slow to adapt to the changing environment. They keep selling you “100 minus your age,” “60/40,” or other schemes, even though they won’t produce the results you need.Dennis: Okay guys, we’ve talked about putting your toes in the water with the safer, cash-like investments. How do you deal with concerns about the stock market? When we put together the bulletproof income portfolio, we started by asking, “What’s the smallest amount we can put in the market and still safely make enough yield to ensure the money lasts?” With the S&P 500 at all-time highs, the prices of companies like Apple are soaring. It’s pretty hard to say, “Buy high and hope to sell higher.” What are your thoughts in this regard? Andrey?Andrey: I don’t think about the stock market in terms of aggregates; in a sense, I don’t care how expensive the S&P 500 is. What I do care about is helping our subscribers enjoy the opportunities the market brings—and minimizing the risks. The first risk is in following the crowd. Most retail investors tend to hold the same 20-30 stocks in their portfolio: companies they know—or think they know about. This means brands like Apple, Chrysler, Coke, Ford, and now possibly Facebook, since it’s so pervasive. This approach is a losing proposition for two reasons. First, buying what everybody else does is irrational investing. Crowds buying (and then selling) stocks en masse creates volatility and hurts returns. Second, brands are not companies: if you like your Apple computer (or your Ford car or your Diet Coke), it doesn’t mean Apple or Ford or Coke are good investments. Investors should look at companies with as little emotion as possible. I read once that if you’re excited about any of your investments, you’re doing it wrong. Staying objective and disciplined is the way to go. In short, the market does what it wishes while we cut our own path. I think the Money Forever way, with our emphasis on risk management, income, and individual opportunities, is the right one. There are still opportunities out there for great appreciation and returns. It’s a matter of finding them ahead of—and while mostly ignoring—the emotional crowd. When the crowd starts buying is when we start looking to lock in profits. In 2014, we did this in several ways: tightening up stop losses; selling off part of our position; and in the case of HES, selling it all for a nice 78% gain.Dennis: Chris, anything to add?Chris: No, I think Andrey summed that up very nicely.Dennis: Guys, thank you both for chiming in here. To distill it down, there are three basic steps my friend and those in similar predicaments should take: stop doing nothing; start small; and, start now.On the Lighter Side Jo and I are making our way across the country, moving from Florida to Arizona just in time for Chicago Cubs’ spring training. While some friends are surprised by our eagerness to uproot our lives, I say it’s never too late to begin a new adventure with your bride. Until next week…last_img read more

Justins note As regular Dispatch readers know e

first_imgJustin’s note: As regular Dispatch readers know, every Friday we feature no-filtered insights from Doug Casey. You see, Doug isn’t just a world-class speculator. He’s a rare, independent thinker and a walking encyclopedia. Best of all, he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. It’s no surprise that these interviews have been a favorite among our readers.Today, Doug and I talk about why the “politically correct” or “PC” movement is destroying America…Justin Spittler: Doug, I want to ask you about political correctness. Obviously, PC culture’s nothing new, but it kind of seems like it’s spreading like cancer these days. Terms like “gender inclusivity,” “cultural appropriation,” and “white privilege” are everywhere.A good example is last year’s announcement by the University of Minnesota… saying it was dropping the names “Homecoming King and Queen” in favor of “Royals.” It did this in the name of “gender inclusivity.”Is PC culture getting totally out of hand, or am I going crazy?Doug Casey: Parts of the culture are borderline insane. There’ve been news items regarding this on scores of different colleges and universities across the US. What you mentioned at the University of Minnesota was just part of a greater movement. Although I’ve got to say that I find the use of “Royals” objectionable. I dislike the idea of a hereditary aristocracy—kings and queens and royals. They’re basically just successful, silk-clad gangsters. Why the royal family in Britain is looked up to is a mystery to me. They, like all royals in the world, historically are just descendants of successful thugs.But that’s not the point that the PC people are making. They don’t want to see people identified by their birth sex. They would rather that people “identify” as whatever gender—and I understand there are supposed to be about 40—you feel you belong to. You can say you are whoever you think you are. And oddly enough, I’m somewhat sympathetic to that. I think you should be able to call yourself what you want, do what you want, say what you want, this is all fine. And let people judge you by how you identify yourself. Say that you’re a hermaphrodite dinosaur who was born on Mars, if you want. I don’t care; it’s your problem. But these PC types want to legislate that people have to treat the psychologically aberrated as if they were normal. They want laws and punishments governing what you can and can’t do and say and even feel. They want to force you to respect, and pay for, the fantasies of a minority. And change—overturn actually—the whole social culture of the country. It’s a very disturbing trend. It’s likely to end in violence. I believe I first heard the term “political correctness” used on a Saturday Night Live show back in about 1980. And I thought it was just a joke—like most of the things on SNL. But it turned out to be a real thing, and it’s been building momentum, for at least the last two generations. Where is it going to end? I’m not sure, but it’s just one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself. People that go along with this stuff aren’t just crazy. They’re actually evil. They’re the same types who rallied around Robespierre during the French revolution, Lenin during the Russian Revolution, Hitler in ‘30s Germany, and Mao in China. It’s a certain personality type.The fact that the average American still puts up with this kind of nonsense and treats it with respect is a bad sign. PC values are continually inculcated into kids that go off to college—which, incidentally, is another idiotic mistake that most people make for both economic and philosophical reasons. It’s a real cause for pessimism.Justin: I agree 100%, Doug. But here’s something our average reader might not realize.The PC “movement” is actually happening across the world.For example, Cardiff Metropolitan University in the U.K. banned words like “mankind,” “homosexual,” “housewife,” “manmade,” and “sportsmanship” in an effort to “promote fairness and equality through raising awareness about potentially discriminatory vocabulary.”Here are some of the University’s approved alternatives…Instead of “manpower,” students and faculty should say “human resources.”Instead of “mankind,” “humanity.”Instead of “sportsmanship,” “fairness.”Instead of “polio victim,” “polio survivor.”So here we have another university trying to legislate what people can and cannot say in the name of fairness and equality.But I really don’t see how this accomplishes anything. Would you agree?Doug: Completely. The words you use control the way you think. These people don’t have good intentions, they have bad intentions. Destructive intentions. They’re opposed to all the things that, starting with Ancient Greece, made Western Civilization unique, and better than any other on Earth. They’re opposed to the concepts of individualism, personal freedom, capitalism, economic liberty, free thought, and the like. And it starts with controlling the words you use. George Orwell pointed that out in 1984 where he created “Newspeak,” which was a new version of the English language that used all kinds of different new words in order to change the way people think. And to make it impossible for them to think clearly, because the words were purposely misdefined, often to the opposite of the meanings that they actually have. So, sure, this is part of the continuing corruption of Western civilization itself.And you’re right, it’s not just in American universities. It’s in universities everywhere, because the culture of universities everywhere has been controlled by this whole class of progressives, social justice warriors, cultural Marxists, socialists—they go under a number of names. I don’t know what’s going to be done about it, quite frankly, because the average person doesn’t have A) the backbone and B) the philosophical knowledge to counter these people. So there’s great cause for pessimism, watching this happen and accelerate. It’s not slowing down, it’s accelerating everywhere.For instance, some years ago I sat on the Board of Trustees of two different universities. The other trustees weren’t academics, but normal, successful middle-class people. And they were completely snowed by these crazy trends. They were of good will, but they’d been brainwashed by their own educations, and the culture around them, into thinking that although perhaps the SJWs and such were going “too far,” they didn’t actively oppose them. I’m afraid the intellectual and psychological battle has been lost. Click to read more Good News for Retirees in Spending BillA jaw-dropping $100 million will be paid out every hour of every day – for the next year. Recommended Link Justin: Exactly, it seems people across the world are waging a war on their own freedom of speech. Meanwhile, you have the government waging a war on people’s privacy…Facebook and internet service providers are hawking private browsing data, Google is listening in on our conversations, the CIA is hacking people’s smartphones…As disturbing as this all is, I can’t say I’m surprised. Are you?Doug: No, I wasn’t at all surprised by it. But people’s reaction to these horrible things is that, “Well, the CIA should be reined in a bit, they should be brought under control.” But this is the wrong reaction. The CIA—along with the NSA, the DEA, and a bunch of others—should be abolished, because the CIA has become an actual Praetorian guard. It’s become a government within a government. They have their own armed forces, they have their own sources of income. You can go rogue within the CIA, and if you’re powerful enough or clever enough you can basically do what you want because you’re an armed government agent that’s a member of a very powerful group.These people are completely out of control. And they have a powerful propaganda machine that works around the clock to convince ignorant and paranoid Boobus americanus that they’re actually good guys, working for his interests against the rest of the world.The CIA should be abolished because it’s dysfunctional, but also because it serves no useful purpose. It’s never ever predicted, through its so-called “intelligence gathering,” anything of value—ever. The Korean War, the rise of Castro, the fall of the Shah, the rise of Islam, the fact that the Soviet Union was just an empty shell—you know, they thought the Soviet Union was actually competing with the US from an economic point of view. They’re always absolutely wrong on everything. It defies the odds of pure chance. They’re not just useless, but extremely dangerous. All the coups and revolutions they’ve plotted were disasters.Can you abolish them? Can you get rid of them at this point? No, they’re far too powerful. And anybody that tries is either going to be killed and/or discredited by their black propaganda. At this point the situation’s completely out of control, and we just have to see where it ends. As an individual American, you should try to insulate yourself from these people. Because they’re not going away; they’re going to become even more powerful.Justin: How can the average American do that? Should they flee to another country? Delete their Facebook? Is this something people can even escape?Doug: It’s now a very small world, so it’s very hard to escape. But you just mentioned something to consider. I spend two-thirds of the year in South America, and travel a lot. Believe it or not, I don’t personally have a cell phone, because I don’t like to feel tethered to an electronic device. Societies down here aren’t nearly as electronically oriented as they are in the US. Though my internet connection in Cafayate, Argentina is much better than the one I have in Aspen. So, yes, that’s one thing. It’s easier to be out of sight and out of mind of the bad guys if you’re out of the US, which is the epicenter of all of this. I think that’s important. And being physically absent and trying to limit your use of electronic devices and be careful when you do use them. That’s about all you can do at this point.Or you can be a good little lamb, and never think out of the box. To mix metaphors, you can act like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, believing you have nothing to hide, because you’re one of the herd who never does anything wrong. Too few people have read Harvey Silverglate’s book where he points out how the average American often commits about three felonies a day.But that book is surely inaccurate. It’s 10 years old. Now it’s probably like five felonies a day.Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.Doug: My pleasure, Justin.Justin’s note: This October, you’re invited to meet Doug, along with all of our Casey gurus—including Nick Giambruno, E.B. Tucker, Dave Forest, and Marco Wutzer—at the first-ever Legacy Investment Summit in Bermuda. You’ll also have the chance to hear from some of the brightest minds in our business, including Bill Bonner and Teeka Tiwari… and special guests John Stossel and Glenn Beck.This is unlike anything we’ve done before. And we’d like to give you $1,000 in bonuses just for attending. Click here to learn more.P.S. Doug just gave a fantastic interview with Sprott Media and shared his thoughts on bitcoin, gold, and much more. Click here to hear why Doug says bitcoin is better than the US dollar… but not better than gold.Reader MailbagToday, a reader responds to Doug’s recent interview on China’s exploitation of Africa…Writing from Europe… I wish to thank Mr. Doug Casey and his team for their excellent articles. Your most recent musings about Africa and the Chinese expansion there were pretty much spot on. China will be a major factor in Africa for the foreseeable future. This process will be accelerated by the declining American influence, while Europe is falling apart. China is preparing for dominance of this continent, especially the central and southern parts, and more indirectly the Northern African countries.– HendrickAs always, you can send any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch right here.In Case You Missed It…Until now, 99% of the largest hedge funds and banks wouldn’t touch pot. That’s about to change… The “Trillion Dollar Mainstream Marijuana Takeover” begins as soon as November 6.And well-positioned investors could see gains of 7,500%… 9,329%… even 12,547% if these companies get taken over. Click here to learn more about this rare opportunity. Discover the full story here — Recommended Link — Is “$7 Internet” Coming to Your State This Year?America’s “most hated” cable companies are mad as hell. A brand-new internet technology with the code name “Halo-Fi” promises to be faster than cable, yet, by my estimates, over 7 times cheaper, which could save you an easy $19,494. Everything shifts on September 22, so there’s no time to lose.last_img read more

Recommended Link

first_imgRecommended Link Recommended Link LEAKED: Trump’s Plan Will Blow You Away And click here to see how this could impact your retirement — Justin’s note: My friend E.B. Tucker is many things: a gold industry expert, speculator, world traveler, big-picture thinker, former money manager, trend spotter, and successful real estate investor who still profits off the 2008 housing crisis.He’s also the editor of Strategic Investor and our brand-new letter Strategic Trader, which pinpoints the world’s most explosive securities… with the least amount of risk.But one thing E.B.’s not is a worrier. He doesn’t lose any sleep over volatile market conditions because he has a strategy to bullet-proof his portfolio… and he sticks to it.This strategy can help you, too… no matter what happens in the markets. Read on to see how it works… By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic TraderI spend 0% of my time worrying about – or preparing for – a crash. Here’s why.I run a “barbell strategy” with my personal assets.Picture a metal bar with weights on it.On one side, I have real assets. These are physical gold, unleveraged property (if you owe on it you don’t own it), and cash value on whole life insurance. These assets are incredibly boring, but they represent real wealth. I think it’s also fair to include some stalwart stocks on this end of the barbell. I also own world-class, dividend-paying stocks. These blue-chip stocks are so boring, I don’t even look up the quotes – they’re not about making huge gains… they’re just equity in big, stable firms.The other side of the barbell is much more exciting and carries more risk. I’m in tons of private placements. I must have done six to eight recently… I have a massive position in a Canadian-listed gold royalty firm where I’m on the board and chair of the executive committee. The takeaway here is I have a lot of very high-risk investments that are paying big for me right now. Even though this is great news for American Patriots like you… Nobody was supposed to see this… But Steve Bannon’s secret whiteboard has just leaked… thanks to this image posted on social media. Check out the message in the back…center_img But these two ends of the barbell must be balanced to avoid catastrophe. When I have ABC mining stock shoot up 300% after I do a placement, I sell half of it, or more. I take that money and split it between the ends of the barbell. I want to keep the real asset side balanced, then keep taking risk with the other side.Real assets are real wealth. That’s why in December 2017, I advised my readers that if they had excessive crypto profits to sell at least the cost basis and buy real assets with it. When the tokens return to their actual value, $0, you’ll have the real assets. In some cases, this could be $50-$100 million for young guys. They should consider buying a massive apartment complex with cash… this can always generate income through rent. As people age they learn real assets are more important than speculative fliers.There are always speculations out there – real assets are much harder to get control of.Over time, you’d be surprised how good this strategy feels. If the stock market takes a 20% dive overnight, I don’t care. I probably won’t buy more… I’d sit back and see what happens in the ensuing weeks, then make a buying decision when everyone is panicking.Keep in mind that in 2009 I liquidated my retirement accounts (modest funds here as I was 29 years old) and bought single-family rental homes in Ybor City, Tampa. I paid $10,000 for one home that had a mortgage on it for $165,000 the year prior. I paid $25,000 for a seven-bedroom home that had a $250,000 mortgage default judgment on it. My point here is… people were panicking and nobody was buying – that’s a market bottom.If I didn’t have some cash then, I would have just been a guy who watched the real estate rot until someone started buying it a year or two later.The third piece of my barbell strategy is the bar. That’s me… My job is to determine what will generate new capital. I have to decide where to put new weight on the bar.I have an office in Tampa shared with two of my friends. They worked at logistics company DHL years ago and came up with an idea related to cross-border shipping fulfillment. They took $20,000 in savings and started a company… seven years later selling it to FedEx for $45 million. FREE REPLAY: The Stock Market Escape Summit with Doug Casey and E.B. TuckerFor a limited time we’re replaying our biggest event of the year. E.B. Tucker and Doug Casey reveal an explosive type of security you’ve probably never heard of. It’s not a stock, option, or crypto… it’s a completely different way to potentially make 1,000%-plus gains in 2019. — Watch the replay here for free The funny thing is, these guys have no clue what to do with money. Worse yet, they’re resistant to any guidance.To be clear, I do not offer guidance to anyone, ever. If people ask, I tell them what I think, which usually makes them uncomfortable. That’s a sign I’m right.One terrible trade my suitemates can’t get enough of is shorting the S&P 500. Their logic is they’ll get a huge payday soon and be able to roll that payday into index funds for the next upcycle.In the meantime, I’m running my barbell strategy producing returns laughably higher than theirs.With so much money, you’d think they’d have a plan, but they don’t. They’re blown around from idea to idea, trying to outsmart the market… Over time, this ends in tears.So, in closing, I’d encourage you to consider my barbell management strategy.Knowing you’ll still be wealthy no matter what the market does will help you sleep soundly in 2019.Regards,E.B. Tucker Editor, Strategic TraderP.S. Right now, I believe it’s a great time to speculate if you have a proper plan.This is exactly the kind of market where “premium shares” thrive. Most average investors have never heard of them. Think of them as a way to capture future gains in a stock (as far out as a decade) without having to fork over a high price for shares.What I find is people who don’t think it’s a good time to speculate just aren’t doing it correctly. A great speculation gives you the chance to turn a small stake into something meaningful. In the case of premium shares, time is on your side. I explain exactly how they work – and how they can hand you gains 10 times bigger than options – here.Reader MailbagDo you spend any time preparing your portfolio for a crash? How do you do it? Let us know at feedback@caseyresearch.com.last_img read more

A healthcare regulator has decided that a notoriou

first_imgA healthcare regulator has decided that a notorious benefits assessor will not face any disciplinary action over allegations of dishonesty, even though his former employer admitted that he lied in an assessment report.Paramedic Alan Barham still faces being struck off for comments he made to an undercover reporter while working for the government contractor Capita, which were aired in a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last April.But the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is investigating Barham’s actions, has decided that separate allegations that he lied in a report he wrote after assessing a disabled woman’s eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) will not be dealt with by a disciplinary hearing.The conclusions reached by the council will add to concerns that regulators are failing to act when they receive complaints from disabled people that healthcare professionals have written dishonest reports after carrying out face-to-face PIP assessments.Following a two-month investigation, Disability News Service (DNS) has collected scores of cases of disabled people who claim that PIP assessors like Barham lied repeatedly in reports produced for the Department for Work and Pensions.Undercover footage from the Dispatches programme (pictured) showed Barham admitting that he sometimes completed his PIP assessment reports before even meeting the claimants.He also told an undercover reporter that he could usually “completely dismiss” what he was told by PIP claimants, and made offensive comments about an overweight claimant who was unable to carry out her own personal care.After watching the programme, two disabled people who had been assessed by Barham lodged complaints about his behaviour, based both on the documentary and on reports that he had written following face-to-face assessments of their entitlement to PIP.An HCPC investigating committee has now concluded that the comments Barham made in the documentary are serious enough for him to be found guilty of “misconduct and/or lack of competence” if a disciplinary panel finds them proven.But the committee has also decided that allegations about the two PIP assessments carried out by Barham – which were not part of the documentary – are not serious enough to merit findings of misconduct and/or lack of competence, even though Capita has already concluded that Barham lied in one of the assessment reports.The committee concluded that the allegations concerning lying and other failings in assessments “could be considered to fall short of the expected standards of a Paramedic” but “do not, in the Panel’s view, constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence”.David Nicholls, from Northampton, the husband of one of the PIP claimants, has told DNS of his anger and frustration at the way HCPC has dealt with the case.DNS has seen Capita’s response to his complaint about the assessment report Barham wrote following an assessment of his wife, Jacqueline, in March last year, a month before the Dispatches documentary was screened.As a result of the assessment, she was found ineligible for PIP.It was only after the documentary was aired and DWP agreed to allow her to be reassessed that she was granted the enhanced rate for both the daily living and mobility components of PIP.In the response to the Nicholls complaint about Barham, a Capita senior complaint handler wrote: “You stated that you disagree with the content of your assessment report and that you believe [Barham] had made inaccurate assumptions and had lied in his report…“Based on the outcome of my investigation, I uphold this element of your complaint.”In his report, Barham repeatedly stated that what he was told by Jacqueline Nicholls was not backed up by the tests he carried out during the assessment.But David Nicholls said Barham had ignored the impact of his wife’s brain injury on both her physical and mental functioning, including her seizures, her confusion when asked too many questions, the lack of feeling in parts of her body, her memory problems, and her tendency to get lost when on her own.Barham reported instead that she could plan and follow routes, understand complex written information without any help, and make her own budgeting decisions.Nicholls said: “He has misled people with the findings in his report in the worst possible way.“His assessment gave no consideration to brain injury at all. Jacquie could not take it in.”He said that the effect of dishonest assessors like Barham on disabled people was “devastating”.He said he was “very upset” by the HCPC decision, which he said showed that it was “letting down any person who feels they have been badly treated or assessed.“It sends out the message that no matter what your assessor does or says, they will get away with it. They will be protected and never seen to be at fault.”An HCPC spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that complaints against Alan Barham are currently being investigated through our fitness to practice process and an allegation pertaining to these matters has been referred to the conduct and competence committee.“However, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation and our duty of confidentiality to all parties involved it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.“Once the matter is listed for final hearing the full details of the public allegation will be published on our website four weeks prior to the hearing date.”She later added: “I can confirm to you that [the Dispatches claims] are the only allegations going forward to the final hearing, they are now the only two allegations in the public domain.  “Essentially, this means [the allegations concerning the two PIP assessments] will not be further considered.“However as this is a private document stemming from an independent panel decision we cannot provide any further comment on the reasoning behind this.”DNS has approached Barham for a comment, but he had not replied by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

An activist is seeking election onto Labours ruli

first_imgAn activist is seeking election onto Labour’s ruling national body as part of a campaign to improve the representation of disabled people throughout the party.Sarah Taylor is one of two disabled members of the new Project 125 campaign who are seeking election to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which oversees the party’s policy-making process.She said it was “ludicrous” that there were no disabled members of the NEC and its equality committee.Project 125 is seeking to improve the participation and representation of disabled people at all levels of the party, and aims to persuade Labour to select 125 disabled parliamentary candidates to fight the next general election.They say that because 20 per cent of the population are disabled people, the party should select 125 disabled candidates, roughly 20 per cent of Westminster seats. At present, the campaign says, just 0.8 per cent of Labour MPs identify as disabled people.Project 125 is linked to the separate Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL) campaign, which is pushing the party to implement the Equality Act 2010 in how it treats disabled party members.Taylor (pictured) and fellow Project 125 campaigner Nicola Morrison secured enough support from local Labour constituency parties (CLPs) – Taylor was nominated by 11 local parties and Morrison by seven – to stand as candidates in the NEC election among party members.The election is being held because members agreed at the party’s annual conference in Brighton in September to add three more constituency representatives to the NEC, which currently has 40 members.But the conference also saw calls from DEAL members and others for the party to end years of “blatant discrimination” against its own disabled members, while there were also complaints about “inexcusable” access failings at the conference.Taylor, a former nurse, from Norwich, told Disability News Service (DNS) that Labour was “the party of equality” and its aim was to help disabled people “have a more equal life” and address discrimination.But she said: “I don’t know how we can do that if we haven’t got disabled party members throughout the party.”She said her message to party members deciding who to vote onto the NEC was: “It’s our party, let us in.“Let us be part of it, let us represent ourselves and let us work with all of the Labour party members to actually pursue greater equality for all Labour party members.“We are the party of equality, we are better than all the other parties on that already, but we could be better still.”And she warned that if there were no disabled people on the NEC, the party could not say – as shadow chancellor John McDonnell has promised – that disabled people and their organisations will “go into government just as much as we do”, and that they will “determine” and “implement” the next Labour government’s disability policies.Taylor said: “The fact that 18 CLPs have nominated us between us really does show that the message is getting out there.”But Project 125 is not just about ensuring disabled people are represented in positions within the party, and selected as candidates, she said, but also about ensuring they can participate at the grassroots level.She said it was “the most empowering thing in the world” when her local party makes the reasonable adjustments necessary for her to meet voters on the doorstep.Because of her health condition, she has to carry an emergency injection with her at all times, cannot be left on her own, and needs to take regular breaks.She said: “It’s great, and I feel really good and I feel valued [when those adjustments are made], but when it’s not done well and you’re left stranded on your own, which is quite dangerous, it’s very demoralising.”On occasions, she has been told the local party cannot accommodate her and that she should make phone calls instead, which she said makes her feel “quite worthless”.Taylor said she does not believe discrimination in the party is “widespread”, although “there are cases where people in the party do feel they have been discriminated against because of their disability and that is something we have to take seriously as well”.Many of the problems can be solved by better policies, education and training within the party, she believes.In her pitch to party members, she says: “Despite often having great skills, Labour Party members with disabilities are not equally represented when it comes to positions within the party both locally and nationally and are often excluded and undervalued.”Taylor told DNS that she does not believe she will find it hard to secure votes on a platform that is criticising the party about its attitude to disability.She said Labour was going through a period of “positive change” and the leadership was “encouraging people to become more involved and represent themselves and be part of that positive change.”Voting for the election closes at noon on 12 January 2018.last_img read more

JayZ Gets Into the Pot Game

first_imgCelebrity Endorsement Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Image credit: Brian Ach | Getty Images Next Article 1 min read –shares Download Our iOS App Shawn Carter, better known as the rapper Jay-Z, will be “chief brand strategist” for California cannabis company Caliva, working to boost the benefits of the legalization of cannabis in communities that were hit hardest by the War on Drugs.Related: 23 Celebrities in the CannabizHigh Times first reported Tuesday that Jay-Z has agreed to a multi-year partnership with the company and will focus on increasing opportunities resulting from legalization for “citizens returning from incarceration.” The rapper released a 2016 film that called the War on Drugs an “epic fail.”“With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor,” Jay-Z told High Times. “We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”Caliva and Jay-Z will work on issues surrounding job training and workforce development in communities heavily hit by drug incarcerations. The legendary rapper/entrepreneur got 99 problems but a bud ain’t one. Free Green Entrepreneur App This story originally appeared on Benzinga Dave Royse Jay-Z Gets Into the Pot Game Add to Queue July 10, 2019last_img read more

Its Official Netflix Raises Prices by 1 a Month

first_img Guest Writer Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Next Article 1 min read Add to Queue Netflix Laura Entis –sharescenter_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. We knew it was coming. But as of today, it’s official. Netflix is hiking up its prices for new subscribers, charging them $8.99 instead of $7.99 a month.For those of you already binging on the service, fret not: as rumored, Netflix will exempt current subscriptions from the price hike for another two years.This is the first price increase for the Los Gatos, Calif-based company in three years. Last time around was pretty disastrous. Netflix increased its prices 60 percent overnight, pissing off 800,000 customers so much that they dropped the service.Netflix has clearly learned its lesson – when it comes to price increases, subtle is a good approach. Drastic? Not so much. This time, the price hike was announced in advance, it’s a pretty modest jump and existing customers won’t pay the new price for another two more years.Related: Learning From Past Mistakes, Netflix Takes New Approach to Price Hikes It’s Official: Netflix Raises Prices by $1 a Month May 9, 2014 Register Now »last_img read more

Uber to Let Londoners Book Journeys Weeks in Advance

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Uber to Let Londoners Book Journeys Weeks in Advance This story originally appeared on Reuters Uber Next Article Image credit: Neil Hall via Reuters Register Now » Add to Queuecenter_img Ride service Uber, which enables users to instantly hail a taxi ride using their smartphone, will allow customers to book trips days or weeks in advance in London, the first European city to get the option.Uber began offering scheduled rides in June in Seattle, targeted particularly at business customers.Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based app avoided having a mandatory waiting time of five minutes imposed upon it and other private hire car firms in London as part of proposals by transport bosses to regulate the sector.Advance booking will be introduced from Thursday and available within two weeks to all two million Uber users in London, who will be able to book journeys from 15 minutes to 30 days before they travel.”Many of our riders, especially business customers, have asked us to introduce this feature and we’re really excited to bring it to Londoners,” the firm’s London General Manager Tom Elvidge said.Rapidly expanding tech start-ups such as Uber have faced opposition from some unions and longer-established competitors around the world, including in London where drivers of traditional black cabs have held a series of protests.Allowing advance bookings would allow Uber, whose investors include GV, formerly known as Google Ventures and Goldman Sachs, to further compete with established cab firms and some other apps.Uber recently launched legal action in London against new rules such as written English tests for its drivers in one of the latest battles between regulators and the app.(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Giles Elgood) –shares August 25, 2016 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Reuters last_img read more

SiriusXM Introduces New Streaming Subscription Package Makes It Easier Than Ever To

first_imgSiriusXM Introduces New Streaming Subscription Package; Makes It Easier Than Ever To Subscribe and Listen Without a Car PRNewswireApril 23, 2019, 4:02 pmApril 23, 2019 Apple TVaudio entertainmentHoward VideoMarketing TechnologyMatt EpsteinNewsSiriusXM Previous Article10 Tips for a More Successful Price Optimization ProjectNext ArticleBSI Reports Top Supply Chain Themes for 2019 New Essential Subscription Package, Available Now, Is Built Especially for People Who Want to Listen on a Mobile Phone, Tablet, Desktop, and on Connected Devices in the Home Including Devices with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Sonos Speakers, Xbox, Sony Playstation and Moreessential Subscribers Get Channels from SiriusXM’s Unrivaled Lineup of Music, Comedy, News, Sports, and Entertainment – for $8 per MonthApproximately two-thirds* of people in the US (ages 12+) stream their audio entertainment, and to meet that growing universe of listeners, SiriusXM is expanding its subscription choices and introducing the new, low cost, “Essential” streaming-only package.SiriusXM is the premier provider of audio entertainment for people in their cars. For those who don’t have a car, or don’t use one very much, this new package makes it easier and more affordable than ever to enjoy the advantages of SiriusXM, with no car required. The Essential package features more than 300 channels and is priced at $1 for the first three months, then $8 per month thereafter.Listeners who subscribe to the Essential package will have several options for listening to SiriusXM, including on their smartphones and tablets via the SiriusXM app, via the SiriusXM.com web player, and on connected devices in the home including devices with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, smart TVs, Sonos speakers, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, and more.Marketing Technology News: Broadvoice Names Marisa Freeden as Vice President of Brand and Experience“The strength of SiriusXM’s programming is evident in the tens of millions of people who subscribe and listen in their cars year after year. We’ve now created the Essential subscription as an appealing option for the many people, particularly younger consumers, who don’t have a car or don’t spend a lot of time in their car,” said Matt Epstein, Vice President of Marketing, SiriusXM Outside the Car. “On SiriusXM, listeners will find more innovative formats and expertly-curated commercial-free music channels, live performances, plus a very deep lineup of news, entertainment, comedy and sports talk. The Essential package offers an attractive bundle of content at a competitively low price among streaming services.  Also, and this is extremely important, our streaming subscribers get access to all of this content in the kind of user-friendly, ‘lean back’ way that makes it easier to find the music or shows that they like best.”Subscribers to the Essential package will get SiriusXM’s full lineup of music programming, featuring 200+ channels of expertly curated, commercial-free music channels from virtually every genre. This includes artist-branded music channels like Diplo’s Revolution, The Garth Channel and Emimen’s Shade 45, concept-based channels like the popular Pop Rocks, Coffee House and Yacht Rock Radio channels, and the new Pandora NOW channel, which showcases the most listened to and fastest-trending new music on Pandora. The Essential package also features more than 100 recently added SiriusXM Xtra channels that promise more music and the ability to skip through songs to find just the right one to match the mood or activity.Marketing Technology News: Clear Software and Automation Anywhere Announce Strategic PartnershipWith the Essential package listeners will also get access to several sports talk channels, including Mad Dog Sports Radio, Barstool Radio, Fantasy Sports Radio and others, plus a wide-ranging array of entertainment, news and comedy programming choices.Howard Stern’s two full-time audio channels and Howard Video, as well as NBA, NHL, and NCAA channels, are available as part of the Premier streaming package.Marketing Technology News: Welcome to the Eventbrite App Marketplace and Our New Partners: Constant Contact, Gift Up!, Lennd, and Prismlast_img read more