What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Leach, 35, is a 12-year league veteran who has held downthelong-snapping job with the Cardinals since 2009. Leachwillreceive a new three-year deal. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ 0 Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation The Arizona Cardinals continued to re-sign more of theirownfree agents, according to Darren Urban ofAZCardinals.com.Cardsbring back long snapper Mike Leach (3-year contract) andLB/special teamer Reggie Walker (2-year contract).— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) March 26,2012 Top Stories Walker, a reserve linebacker who was an undrafted freeagentout of Kansas State in 2009, played in all 16 games lastseason,primarily as a special teams member. Walker registered 16special teams tackles. He’ll receive a 2-year contract. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
21Jul Rep. Runestad’s bills require citizenship for scholarships, housing Categories: News,Runestad News Bill package limits benefits for illegal residentsState Rep. Jim Runestad recently introduced legislation that prevents illegal residents in Michigan from eligibility for scholarships involving state funds and housing assistance through a state agency.Runestad, of White Lake, said only legal United States citizens should be eligible to receive financial aid through the Michigan Promise Grant. His other bill limits housing aid and loans through the Michigan State Housing Development Agency (MSHDA) to legal American citizens.“To hand out taxpayer-funded benefits to people who are not American citizens is simply a travesty, and we should take action now to prevent it from occurring,” Runestad said. “Hard-working people who are citizens deserve a hand up when they need housing or giving their children a chance to obtain a college education through state-funded scholarship grants. Those opportunities should not be afforded to people illegally living in the United States.”The bills were referred to the House Appropriations Committee.“I welcome people who go through proper channels to gain citizenship to their adopted home, and commend them for making good decisions,” Runestad said. “But people who fail to gain citizenship or are living in America on expired visas should not be entitled to state-funded benefits.”#####The bills are House Bills 4829-4834
Legislation renames portion of U.S.23 in Presque Isle CountyState Rep. Triston Cole today voted with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to rename a portion of highway in Presque Isle County to honor former state Rep. Peter A. Pettalia.Highway U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway will be named as the Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway. Pettalia lost his life on Sept. 12, 2016, in a motorcycle accident in northern Montmorency County.“Peter A. Pettalia had an immense impact on northern Michigan and showed great leadership throughout the community,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “He will not be forgotten, and renaming this highway for him is a fitting tribute.”Pettalia represented the 106th House District and previously served as Presque Isle Township supervisor for 16 years and a volunteer firefighter for the East Grand Lake Fire Department for 15 years.Senate Bill 622 moves to the full House for consideration.### 29May Rep. Cole supports plan honoring former state Rep. Peter A. Pettalia Categories: Cole News
House approves long-overdue bipartisan no-fault solutionState Rep. Brad Slagh today joined colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan to deliver significant rate relief for drivers across the state.The House voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates by giving drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, stopping price gouging on medical services for car accident victims, and combating fraudulent claims to help lower costs. The plan will head to the governor for her expected signature.The bipartisan solution is designed to end Michigan’s long run as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation.“Our plan makes car insurance more affordable for everyone in Michigan while providing necessary coverage,” said Slagh, of Zeeland Township. “I’m proud to vote yes today.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating drivers buy unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance, with no corresponding cap to what medical providers may charge an accident victims. The bipartisan reform plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options. Categories: News,Slagh News 24May Slagh’s vote would guarantee auto insurance savings for Michigan drivers
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares May 28, 2014; Strategy & Business BlogsThe old clichés come to mind when reading this review of Jeremy Rifkin’s new book: “Be careful of what you wish for,” and “We were victims of our own success.”Is it possible that the Industrial Revolution, the roots of which go back 250 years, has finally accomplished what it set out to do—free humans from the drudgery of working to survive? And, if it has, now what? Rifkin’s controversial prognostications are legendary and emerge in a new book.Rifkin’s new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), gets the once-over from Theodore Kinni, book editor at strategy+business. He calls it “the futurist’s most comprehensive inquiry into business and work yet, and it is built on a thesis that we’ve heard before: capitalism is tottering and will not last out this century, a victim of ‘the dramatic success of the very operating assumptions that govern it.’”In the book, Rifkin writes that capitalism’s downfall is inevitable because of its ceaseless quest for productivity and the growing power of digital technology. These two factors drive down the cost of production to near zero, which squeezes profits to an intolerably low level. This includes the cost of human labor, and Rifkin explains that digitization is replacing jobs, resulting in a situation that economists once assumed could not happen: productivity rises, but employment falls.So how do people survive without jobs? In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Rifkin is optimistic. He tells Kinni that the nonprofit sector has grown even faster than he had envisioned, pointing out that between 2000 and 2010, nonprofit revenues in the U.S. grew by 41 percent, more than double the growth in GDP:“The nonprofit community is also the fastest-growing employment sector, outstripping both the government and private sectors in many countries…and in many of the most advanced industrial countries—including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada—employment in this sector now exceeds 10 percent of the workforce, and its trajectory has been rising year over year since 1995. The nonprofit community is the fastest-growing employment sector in many countries.”Then Rifkin points to the creation of social enterprises, 35 percent of them nonprofits, which has recently increased dramatically thanks to a new generation of entrepreneurs. He points to “several hundred thousand social enterprises in the United States that employ over 10 million people and that have revenues of $500 billion per year. These enterprises represented approximately 3.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2012.”Finally, Rifkin talks about the Internet of Things (IoT):“What makes the social commons more relevant today than at any other time in its long history is that we are now erecting a high-tech global technology platform—the IoT—whose defining characteristics could support and nurture it.”Rifkin tells Kinni that the IoT facilitates collaboration and synergies, making it an ideal technological framework for advancing the social economy: It optimizes lateral peer production, universal access, and inclusion, and its purpose is to encourage a sharing culture. He believes that the IoT will “bring the social commons out of the shadows, giving it a high-tech platform to become the dominant economic paradigm of the 21st century.”Rifkin’s views are encouraging and inspiring as the world climbs out of the Great Recession, but he leaves out an important piece: the role of public policy. Political leaders and governments must provide a hospitable environment for nonprofit social entrepreneurialism to flourish, and that requires the political will to challenge entrenched power and financial elites, change current economic systems, and adopt new ones.That means making a more fundamental—and very difficult—choice, based on the reality that the new world economic order Rifkin envisions requires an evolution into a different economic system, one that redistributes resources, and therefore income, and which limits the ability of a few fortunate individuals to accumulate vast amounts of wealth and economic control. Does society have the intestinal fortitude to make that choice?If we don’t go that route, we are likely to continue in the direction we see today: growing income inequality, where a small educated and elite sector of society continues to consolidate control and reap great benefits and wealth while the rest of us continue to stagnate, and even lose ground, as we confront the shrinking pie. Talk about a permanent underclass will mean much more than just the very poor.—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 23, 2014; MIT Technology ReviewThe implementation of electronic health records (EHR) in hospitals across the U.S. has been accompanied by unauthorized access to patient records. Data security firm Websense reports a 600 percent increase in web-based attacks on hospitals in the past ten months. Websense believes that attacks on hospitals will increase in 2015 as more hospitals use EHR more widely and as more patient information is available online.NPQ has reported on the funding problems facing nonprofit hospitals. Electronic health record implementation is a key component of the Affordable Care Act because it is believed to be a long-term cost-saving measure for insurers (including government programs like Medicaid and Medicare) that will also allow providers to more closely and completely track patient wellness information. The same features of EHR designed to make online systems easier to use and connect with each other can be taken advantage of by hackers to infiltrate a hospital or clinic’s database and steal patient health, financial, and identification information (such as a Social Security number). Cash-strapped hospitals implementing EHR systems may not have the funds to dedicate to comprehensive security testing, and may implement EHR with a view toward satisfying doctors’ and nurses’ needs and simply accept the potential increased risk of data theft.The MIT Technology Review article notes that today’s hackers aren’t just interested in getting access to credit card numbers and bank accounts. The unsettling reason is that there are too many credit card numbers for sale already. Combined with other public data and information hacked from other sites, the comprehensive health records let data thieves compile a person’s individual profile, which can be worth hundreds of dollars on its own. Such profiles can be also used to impersonate someone’s identity online in any number of ways.Security testing will inevitably clash with usability testing as electronic health records systems are implemented. While it’s easy to prefer usability to security, especially when it appears to save time and money, what happens when a hospital’s data breach becomes known to the community? The cost to its reputation and patient affinity may be far greater than the money saved by not adequately securing their online systems.—Michael WylandShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Finnish telco Elisa is using technology from OTT platform provider Tvinci to power its on-demand service EpicTV.EpicTV will use Tvinci’s OTT 2.0 platform to enable its pan-European subscriber base to watch sports programming and movies in HD quality via iPads.The free EpicTV iPad app gives consumers access to 600 movies based on adventure sports. Users can download content onto their devices to watch offline. “In an age where convenience is valued so highly and where consumers are averse to relying on traditional programming schedules, our latest deployment with Elisa has answered their immediate need not only for a new OTT video delivery method to iPad, but also a brand new TV experience,” said Ido Wiesenberg, Tvinci’s co-founder and vice-president business development.
Polish cable operator Netia is launching a new HD package featuring channels from pay TV broadcaster Canal Plus.From December 6, the Premium Plus HD package will feature 11 channels, including Kino Plus HD, Planete Plus HD and Canal Plus Sport HD. It will be available to all digital TV customers on a 24-month contract for PLN36 (€8.70) per month.
Greece’s public broadcaster ERT is to cointinue broadcasting during a restructure process after a Greek court ordered its services to be put back on air.The ruling followed prime minister Antonis Samaras’ decision to shut down the broadcaster overnight to save money a week ago, a move that led to widespread protests at home and abroad, and led to ERT staff continuing to broadcast a signal in defiance of the government.The Council of State, the country’s top administrative court, accepted that a “new” lower-cost broadcaster must be set up but said that ERT must be reopened in the meantime in line with demands from Samaras’ coalition partners.The fractious coalition partners all claimed victory from the ruling, with Samaras’ New Democracy party reitirating that ERT would be shut down while leftwing parties said that the court had confirmed that the government did not have the right to close down the broadcaster.The European Broadcasting Union welcomed the decision.“This is a positive turn because it means public service media will return to Greece. We welcome the news that ERT will reopen, and we offer our support to build a new, successful, independent and sustainable public broadcaster that will contribute to pluralism and diversity in Greek society,” said EBU president Jean Paul Philippot.The EBU had earlier condemned the Greek government’s threat of legal action against satellite operators that continued to transmit ERT’s signal over Europe and Asia.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is due to launch its OTT offering WWE Network in the UK next month, and announced plans to introduce a simplified price plan for the video service.Announcing its third quarter earnings, WWE said it continues to develop the international platform for WWE Network and plans to make the US version of WWE Network available in the UK on an over-the-top basis from next month.The firm said beginning November 1, it will also introduce a new price plan, allowing customers to subscribe for US$9.99 (€7.92) per month and cancel at anytime. Previously viewers were required to sign up for an initial six-month period.In the quarter, WWE said that WWE Network added 31,000 subscribers, representing a 4% increase from June 30. Through September 30, WWE Network said it attracted roughly 971,000 unique subscribers, with 75% of these active as of that date.“During the quarter, we delivered stronger financial performance than anticipated and surpassed our guidance while making significant progress on the execution of our WWE Network strategy,” said WWE chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon.“To capitalise on the substantial opportunity created by WWE Network, it’s time to remove all the barriers to those that want WWE. We are excited to introduce a new simplified price plan at $9.99 per month, and like Netflix with no commitment/cancel anytime. This reflects our belief in the broad appeal of WWE Network content.”WWE launched WWE Network in the US earlier this year, and in August said it was rolling it out to 170 territories including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and the Nordics. The UK launch was originally slated for October this year.For the quarter, the company reported a net loss of US$5.9 million, compared to net income of US$2.4 million the third quarter last year. Revenues increased 6% to US$120.2 million from the prior year due to growth in North America.
Sony is rebranding Sony Entertainment Network’s Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited services to PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music and incorporating them into PlayStation Network.PS Video will continue to offer over 200,000 movies and TV shows across PlayStation platforms, Sony devices and PCs, in 11 countries and regions, while the new PS Music service will offer music in partnership with Spotify from this spring in 41 markets around the world.With the move, Sony said that PlayStation Network will now be its premium entertainment service brand which encompasses games, TV, video and music services.The PlayStation Network now consist of: digital game and video storefront PlayStation Store; membership service PlayStation Plus, which offers exclusive content and multiplayer gaming options; video on demand and transactional service PlayStation Video; music service, PlayStation Music; streaming game service PS Now; and cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue.Sony first announced PS Vue in November 2014, with a beta preview of the service now live in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia for select PS4 and PS3 owners. The TV offering will launch commercially during the first quarter of 2015.
Liberty Global-owned Dutch cable operator Ziggo has launched its Replay TV catch-up service on the Horizon Go app for smartphones and tablets.Ziggo customers can now restart programmes or watch already-broadcast shows for up to seven days at home or on the go via the Horizon Go app.According to the operator about 80% of programmes on its service are available via the Replay TV service, including content from public broadcaster NPO and commercial broadcasters RTL and SBS, witih content from about 60 channels available in total. HD content is available via Replay TV from up to 32 channels including NPO, RTL and SBS, with other content available in standard definition.Overall, about 100 channels are available in linear mode on Horizon Go, including 42 in HD, and the app is used by about half a million customers in the Netherlands.Following the merger of Ziggo with UPC Netherlands, Liberty Global’s Horizon Go app has replaced the former Ziggo TV app.
Spanish mobile operator MásMóvil, the country’s fourth-largest telco, is planning to launch a TV service in partnership with Huawei, according to Spanish press.According to financial daily El Español, citing two unnamed sources, the operator plans to launch an ‘open’ TV platform that will make third-party services such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon available via a hybrid Android-based set-top that will also give access to the country’s digital-terrestrial TV channels.According to El Español, MásMóvil will also look to incorporate content from Sky. The UK-based pay TV giant has reportedly been planning to launch a version of its Now TV OTT TV service in the Spanish market for around €10 a month as part of a wider plan to launch OTT TV services in markets across Europe.According to to El Español, the Android box to be deployed by MásMóvil will also give access to seven-day catch-up and cloud recording.The paper says that the operator has also been in talks with Mediapro to include BeIN Sports, which airs coverage of Champions League football and a number of Spanish La Liga football matches, and potentially other football content. However, rival operators are likely to take a close interest in any agreements that would give MásMóvil an advantage in terms of the price it pays for premium sports content.MásMóvil CEO Meinrad Spenger has previously expressed an ambition to offer TV as part of the service provider’s offering. The operator is the country’s number four in terms of subscribers, but is not as profitable as rival players and is likely to come under further pressure as Movistar and Vodafone seek to break into the low-cost mobile business via their Tuenti and Lowi services respectively.MásMóvil, which expanded to its current size through acquiring low-cost mobile player Yoigo from under the nose of Zegona Communications, the UK-based owner of regional cable operator Telecable, may also come under further pressure from the combination of Basque Country cable operator Euskaltel and Telecable and their expansion into other parts of Spain and into the mobile business.
Adapted set-top boxes that let users illegally stream premium content risk undermining recent progress in copyright infringement, according to a UK government report.The UK Intellectual Property Office-commissioned study said that streaming giants such as Netflix and Spotify are keeping infringement levels stable, and the number of consumers accessing exclusively free content is at an all-time low.However, it identified devices like fully loaded Kodi boxes, which allow users to stream live sports and Hollywood movies for free, as a threat and published a call for views. The government response is due to be published later this summer.“Thirteen per cent of online infringers are using streaming boxes that can be easily adapted to stream illicit content,” according to the Online Copyright Infringement (OCI) Tracker.The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimates that 15% of UK internet users, some 7 million people, either stream or download material that infringes copyright.A report commissioned by the IPO and PRS for Music also revealed that 15% of internet users have been involved in ‘stream-ripping’ music from the web.“It’s great that legal streaming sites continue to be a hugely popular choice for consumers. The success and popularity of these platforms show the importance of evolution and innovation in the entertainment industry,” said Ros Lynch, copyright and IP enforcement director at the IPO.“Ironically it is innovation that also benefits those looking to undermine IP rights and benefit financially from copyright infringement. There has never been more choice or flexibility for consumers of TV and music, however illicit streaming devices and stream-ripping are threatening this progress.“Content creators deserve to be paid for their work – it is not a grey area. This government takes IP infringement extremely seriously and we are working with our industry partners and law enforcement to tackle this emerging threat.”A YouGov study from earlier this year claimed that nearly 5 million UK adults, some 10% of the population, now use pirate TV streaming services or apps – such as illegal Kodi boxes, chipped Amazon Fire TV Sticks, and illegal streaming apps on smartphones and tablets.
Cllr Colly KellyPARENTS in Derry have been urged to be vigilant after a local 10-year-old girl was contacted by a man via an online app.Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said he had been contacted by a concerned parent in Derry, asking him to raise awareness around an app on iPads and iPhones called ‘Live Me,’ understood to be a children’s app.He said: “She has told me a man on this app asked her daughter, who is just 10 years old, to take down her pants. “All that has great advantages, but with those technological advances come inherent dangers, particularly to young children and vulnerable people.“It is vital that children are informed about internet safety, and they must be equipped with the contact details of sources of help.”PARENTS URGED TO BE VIGILANT OVER ONLINE APP AFTER MAN CONTACTS GIRL was last modified: November 12th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: Cllr Colly KellyipadLIVE ME APPPARENTS URGED TO BE VIGILANT OVER ONLINE APP AFTER MAN CONTACTS GIRLPSNISinn Fein “It’s a very shocking experience for any parent to discover plus the trauma this has caused for the child.“It’s very brave for this mother to come forward and ask me to alert parents about this and raise awareness about what has gone on here. I have also been in touch with the PSNI and reported the matter.”Cllr Kelly added: “The world has become a very small place indeed and, every day, global connections are made, just at the push of a button.“This, combined with the rise of smartphones, means that almost any information can be discovered online at any time. ShareTweet
ShareTweet “Brooke Park has undergone a major transformation and recently the extensive work which has gone into the project has been recognised with a second Green Flag award. “I can think of no better location for a community event, and I hope families will come along today and enjoy some great activities and support a fantastic cause.“Foyle Search and Rescue are providing an invaluable service for the local community and this is an opportunity for us to acknowledge that work with a huge showing of support.“I’m really looking forward to meeting and greeting you all so please stop for a picture and say hello.” Activities today will be based in and around the Café Area and children’s playpark with a whole host of things to enjoy, with Bouncy Castles, a Rodeo Bull and a special carousel.Children can also enjoy face painting and balloon modelling as well as complimentary hot chocolate.In keeping with Council’s aims to create a zero waste Council area, on the day Conservation Volunteers will also be bringing along the Green Bus and organising a number of fun activities to raise awareness about protecting and enhancing the environment. Parks Manager Emma Barron said it was a great opportunity for people to find out how they can make a difference.“The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are the leading practical conservation charity,” she explained. “The charity is based at the Horticultural Training Centre at Brooke Park and the group run a wide range of programmes to involve people in the environment. “These include practical projects to improve the environment, training in horticulture and other skills to help the long-term unemployed gain employment, food growing projects and a Green Gym to help improve people’s health through environmental activity.“At the Brooke Park Family Fun Day, TCV will be providing a range of environmental activities for children, including badge making, building bird boxes, environmental art and planting seeds and plants to take home. “TCV’s Green Machine lorry will be parked near the Oval Pond and the environmental acuities will take place in this area.”Mayor’s family fun day takeover at Brooke Park today was last modified: September 22nd, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: Brooke ParkConservation VolunteersDerry and Strabane Councilfoyle search and rescueMayor John BoyleMayor’s family fun day takeover at Brooke Park today BROOKE Park is the place to be today, Saturday, September 22, as the Mayor invites local children along for some family fun with a whole host of activities and animation on the menu.The event is taking place today from 2 pm – 5 pm, with all donations in aid of the Mayor’s chosen charity, Foyle Search and Rescue.Mayor John Boyle, said he was delighted to be hosting the event in the beautiful grounds of the recently regenerated park.
SDLP Ballyarnett candidate Rory FarrellSDLP Ballyarnett election candidate Rory Farrell has said “nearly 40% of DLA claimants lose money when moved to PIP”. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) when Welfare Reform was introduced to Northern Ireland. ShareTweet Government statistics show that nearly 8,000 DLA claimants across Derry City & Strabane District Council were reassessed under PIP rules since 2016, and that 38% of people received a reduced award or no award at all. The controversial PIP medical assessments are carried out by private firm Capita.Mr Farrell said: “Welfare cuts are here and the sick and disabled are paying the price. “The latest figures for Derry City and Strabane District Council show that 20% of DLA claimants applied for PIP but their claims were rejected as they didn’t score enough points. ballyarnettCAPITANearly 40% lose out at Capita PIP assessments – FarrellPIPRory FarrellSDLP “A further 18% qualified for PIP, but at a lower rate than DLA. “That’s over 3,000 people living in our council area that are victims of welfare cuts. “That’s over 3,000 local people that have been disadvantaged by the decision of Sinn Fein, the DUP and Alliance to endorse Tory austerity.“Thankfully, many people have successfully challenged these decisions. “The medical assessments conducted by Capita often lead to inaccurate awards and these are regularly overturned at appeal tribunals. This is further evidence that the current process is unfair and needs to change.”The SDLP candidate added: “People with illnesses and disabilities are being let down by the PIP and many are being forced into a lengthy appeal process. “The entire system, including Capita’s role in it, needs serious attention to ensure people get the financial support they need and deserve.”Nearly 40% lose out at Capita PIP assessments – Farrell was last modified: March 7th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags:
Home Sports News Marshall Marshall Rolls to Win Over Old Dominion Matt Digby Matt Digby is the Sports Director at WOAY-TV. He joined the station in January 2015 – right in the middle of Big Atlantic Classic Week. Read More Google+ Pinterest Tumblr Twitter Linkedin Facebook Previous PostHighlights: Concord vs. West Virginia State WOAY – When Old Dominion visited Marshall in 2015, the Thundering Herd came within several minutes of a shutout in Huntington.In 2017, the Monarchs scored first on a Nick Rice field goal, but Marshall took the momentum shortly thereafter, going on to win 35-3 on Saturday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.Chase Litton threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns – two of them to Tyre Brady – while Tyler King rushed for 82 yards and a score. The Herd special teams also scored, as Chris Jackson recovered a fumbled kickoff return and took it back for another touchdown.Marshall (5-1, 2-0 Conference USA) will have a quick turnaround as they head to Middle Tennessee on Friday evening. Mail Next Post”Love Shouldn’t Hurt”: Helping to Spread Awareness on Domestic Violence MarshallSportsSports News Marshall Rolls to Win Over Old Dominion By Matt DigbyOct 15, 2017, 00:09 am 809 0
As Bill Buckler said in his quote above…it’s getting more blatant by the month…and so it is.The gold price was comatose through all of Far East trading…and then for an hour or so after the London open. The smallish rally going into the London silver fix at noon local time, got sold off going into the Comex open in New York.Twenty minutes after the open, gold rallied strongly, but got stopped in its tracks by the time it had rallied a bit over ten bucks. The high of the day at that point was $1,687.40 spot. Then it got sold down in the usual manner…with the New York low [$1,665.80 spot] coming around 11:15 a.m. Eastern time…and well below the Comex opening price. From that low, gold recovered a bit until 1:00 p.m…and then traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,673.20 spot…down $1.20 on the day. Volume was very impressive…around 153,000 contracts…so it was obvious that “da boyz” used a fair amount of shorting to get the price to behave again yesterday.Silver’s price action in Far East trading was pretty quiet…and the low price tick [just under $31.60 spot] appeared to occur at the 8:00 a.m. GMT London open. Then it rallied until the London silver fix was in…and that was its high of the day…somewhere over $32.10 spot. Then, like gold, the price got sold down into the Comex open…and the subsequent rally ran into the same not-for-profit sellers that gold did. However, silver’s New York low…$31.54 spot…came at 10:45 a.m. Eastern time…and the subsequent rally followed the same price path as gold for the rest of the New York session.Silver finished the day at $31.82 spot…up 6 cents. Net volume was nothing special…around 34,500 contracts.Obviously both gold and silver would have finished materially higher if JPMorgan et al hadn’t shown up. Both platinum and palladium outperformed both gold and silver yesterday.The dollar index began trading on Tuesday morning at 79.56…and although it rallied as high as 79.78 around 3:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, it chopped lower for the rest of the day, closing at 79.54…virtually unchanged from the open. Once again, the precious metal price action was totally unrelated to what the currencies were doing.The gold stocks opened in positive territory, but couldn’t hang onto those gains after gold ran into the not-for-profit seller that took gold from it’s high tick to its low tick [a $22 range] in just over two hours. The stocks hit their nadir at 12:45 p.m. Eastern…and then rallied a bit, before trading sideways into the close. The HUI finished down at tiny 0.16%.Most of the silver stocks I track finished in slightly positive territory…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up a smallish 0.09%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 11 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.There were no reported change in GLD yesterday…but there was a small withdrawal…139,049 troy ounces…of silver from SLV. This was probably a fee payment of some kind.Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank, they reported that their gold ETF declined by 13,914 troy ounces…and their silver ETF rose by 47,905 troy ounces…as of the close of business on February 4th.The U.S. Mint had their first sales report for February. They didn’t sell any gold eagles or 1-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…but they did sell 675,500 silver eagles.Monday was a very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories. They reported receiving 1,850,118 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 703,895 troy ounces of the stuff out the door. This activity is worth checking out…and the link is here.As the headline to today’s column stated, there were record inflows into China through Hong Kong in December…and for all of 2012. Normally Nick Laird would have the charts of this all done by now, but the website that contains all the data he needs has been down all of Wednesday on that side of Planet Earth, so he can’t get at it. Hopefully I’ll have those charts for you in this space tomorrow.I have somewhat fewer stories today than I did in yesterday’s column…and I’ll leave the final edit up to you.The blatant manipulation of paper to “control” the price of the physical metal is ongoing and getting more blatant by the month. The more debt that the central banks monetise, the more vital it is that there are no distractions in this process. It is crucial to keep everybody INSIDE the paper money and sovereign debt system. It is equally crucial, therefore, to discourage any temptation to venture outside it. – Bill Buckler…Gold This Week…02 February 2013Another day…and another obvious intervention in the gold and silver markets. As Bill Buckler said in his quote above…it’s getting more blatant by the month…and so it is. It’s hard to believe that not everyone sees it…or will acknowledge it even if they do. The forces of Mordor must be delighted that the precious metals world is still full of such Benedict Arnold-types…especially the miners…who will never lift a finger to help their stockholders.At the moment, we appear to be in a ‘holding pattern’…but holding for what? If you’re a TA person, the chart screams of an imminent break out…but in a managed market it’s hard to take TA seriously. And as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions over the years, JPMorgan Chase et al can paint any chart pattern they want…and this might be what they’re painting now. How it ultimately resolves itself is still unknown…but we’re all hoping for up…and up big. Time will tell.Here’s the 3-year gold chart…and as you can tell, this ‘consolidation pattern’ is getting very long in the tooth.(Click on image to enlarge)Yesterday, at the close of Comex trading, was the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and the February Bank Participation Report. Just eye-balling the price action during the reporting week, I’d guess that there won’t be a lot of change in this week’s COT Report in either metal. But, after last week’s big surprise in silver, I’ll refrain from carving that prediction in stone.In Wednesday trading in the Far East, not much of anything happened price wise…and that’s still the case now that London has been open for about forty-five minutes as I write this paragraph. Volumes are light…and I would guess that most of it is of the high-frequency trading variety. The dollar index began to rally in early afternoon trading in Hong Kong…and appeared to hit its zenith just a few minutes after the London open…a pattern very similar to yesterday’s dollar index action at that time of day.And as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:10 a.m. Eastern time, there’s still not much happening in early London trading. Volumes are still light…and both gold and silver are down a bit. I’d guess that has something to do with what the dollar index is doing, as it’s up about 25 basis points at the moment.But, as is almost always the case, the real price shenanigans start when the Comex opens at 8:20 a.m. Eastern…or once the noon silver fix is in, in London…which is 7:00 a.m. in New York. I’d guess that today’s trading action will follow a similar pattern.That’s all I have for today…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.
There’s an old story about a trucker driving north on the Montreal highway in Vermont. Seeing an average of three gas stations per mile, he concludes that there must be plenty of gas all the way to the North Pole. Urban legend doesn’t say what became of him (or why he thought he could drive to the North Pole), but I’m guessing he ended up stranded on a desolate stretch of highway somewhere in northern Manitoba. Our trucker’s mistake is an admittedly extreme example of what statisticians call extrapolation error, which occurs when you wrongly assume that current conditions will continue into the future. It happens in investment markets all the time, only instead of a frigid night alone in a truck, the markets will punish your bad judgment with a deluge of red ink in your brokerage account. As today’s guest author David Hunter will explain, extrapolation is all the rage right now—as it often is when markets are hot. He says that those who assume the stock market will rise in 2014 just because it rose in each of the five years prior are suffering from an acute case of Extrapolation Fever—a wealth-threatening disease whose symptoms include over-confidence, loss of judgment, and ultimately, a lighter wallet. As some background, David Hunter has been in the investment business for 36 years, working his way up to Chief Investment Officer of a billion dollar money management firm. Today, he’s Chief Investment Strategist of KCCI, where he uses cycle analysis to predict where major investment markets are headed for readers of his newsletter The Contrarian Value Investor. As the name of his newsletter implies, David is a contrarian to the core. You’ll read his take on precious metals, stocks, bonds, and much more in his 2014 forecast below. Be warned: you won’t agree with everything you’re about to read. But David’s analysis is sound and well-reasoned, so take heed nonetheless. The US dollar will be another beneficiary of the “flight to safety” trade. I know that a lot of investors are concerned about the long-term prospects for the dollar, given the lack of fiscal discipline in our government and the seemingly reckless expansion of QE in this cycle. There is also talk that the dollar could lose its reserve-currency status or at least see it greatly diminished. While that may happen, it is not going to happen anytime soon. World investors will still flock to the dollar in a crisis. I am forecasting the dollar index to rise by 20-25% in 2014. I think we may see the dollar and the euro trade at parity at some point later this year. I am also near-term bearish on the commodity currencies, such as the Australian and Canadian dollars. I expect their economies to be hit particularly hard, as commodities take it on the chin during the bust. The Japanese yen has declined by over 25% versus the dollar in the past 15 months. There is undoubtedly more downside ahead, but I am not sure I would want to be short the yen here, given the nearly universal view that it will continue to trade lower. There are far too many traders short the yen right now for me to be comfortable with that trade. It wouldn’t take much to trigger a short-covering rally here. I don’t think I want to be either long or short the yen right now. I continue to be a bear on precious metals and commodities. I turned bearish on gold in September of 2012, when it hit $1,800 and have had a target of $1,000 ever since. This is still my target, although I believe it could spike as low as $800 in a washout trade before reversing. I believe gold is likely to put in a major bottom in the first half of this year, but right now there are still far too many people trying to call a bottom every time we get an uptick. We need to see more capitulation and more panic selling before any kind of major bottom can be called. By the time we get to a true bottom, I expect to see some of the so-called gold bugs and many of the inflationists throw in the towel. We’re getting closer, but I think that bottom is still months away. I continue to expect silver to track gold. My downside target for silver remains at $13. Copper, on the other hand, is not nearly as far along in its downtrend. I think copper prices could drop in half this year. China is still overproducing, and demand for copper is likely to be hit hard in the upcoming global contraction. I see a lot of analysts promoting the copper producers, particularly Freeport McMoran, suggesting these stocks offer great value here. I would just caution that a sharp drop in copper prices would cause earnings to disappear. Under this scenario, the dividend would likely be cut or eliminated. From both a technical and fundamental perspective, I can see these stocks falling 50-70% from here. Energy is another area where prices could come under severe pressure in 2014. I am looking for WTI crude to fall below $50 and natural gas to decline to $2. We may be on the verge of the first global deflationary cycle in some 80 years. That is not likely to be an environment where commodities thrive. I would caution investors against evaluating commodity stocks here using normalized earnings. The environment these producers will be operating in will be far from normal. Weak earnings and questions about future demand will take a toll on these stocks. Conclusion It is not often that we see such unanimity on Wall Street. As the market has marched higher, more and more investors have joined the ranks of the bulls. As a 40-year observer of the markets, I have seen the same thing happen at each market top. Essentially, the momentum of the tape begets more momentum and causes perception to change from glass half-empty to glass half-full. Lots of fundamental rationale is provided to explain a bullish viewpoint, but more often than not, it is the momentum of the market that is driving the crowd’s bullishness at or near a top. What I have also observed over the years is that the sentiment can quickly shift into glass half-empty if and when momentum shifts decidedly to the downside. In other words, momentum works both ways. Shifts from bullish to bearish can lead to dramatic declines when coming off a major top. I think this might be even more the case this time around. More than ever before, we have investors all watching for the same technicals on their computers in an effort to spot a reversal. This means that more than ever before, we will likely have investors all acting on those signals at essentially the same time, creating a stampede for the exits. This long market run, without so much as a 10% correction, has conditioned investors to make every effort to stay fully invested until there are clear signs of a momentum break. My guess is that we will see a high-volume reversal once the market definitively crosses under the 200-day moving average. For the S&P, the 200-day moving average is around 1,695. Until the market breaks that level, weakness will be bought. However, once that line is penetrated in a decisive manner, we are likely to see the sell-off accelerate. The setup is such that a reversal this time around could be faster and steeper than what we witnessed in 2008. Investors hoping to have their cake and eat it too by staying fully invested until the momentum reverses are likely to learn an age-old lesson: the market rarely accommodates. Extrapolation fever is alive and well on Wall Street, and most pundits are forecasting another positive year, fueled by accelerating economic growth and another good year of corporate profit growth. This contrarian obviously disagrees. I think 2014 may well turn out worse than 2008-‘09 from both an economic and market perspective, with corporate profits cut in half. If that proves to be the case, 2014 will go down as the worst year in the post WWII era. My targets remain 500 on the S&P and 5,000 on the Dow. This is certainly an outlier forecast, one that most investors will consider highly unlikely. I have been here before. At every major cycle top, my forecasts have been received skeptically and viewed as outliers. It is the nature of investor psychology. As much of a bullish consensus as there is regarding equities, there is an even larger bearish consensus regarding long-duration Treasuries. When an asset is as hated as the long bond is today, it is usually a good time to go against the crowd and buy. In my opinion, we are looking at one of the great relative value trades in history. If we get the global deflationary contraction that I am forecasting, we could see as much as a 10,000 basis-point spread between equity returns and the 30-year Treasury bond, in favor of the bond. Ironically, investors are about as bearish of the long bond as they have ever been. I remain near-term bearish of gold and continue to expect it to trade below $1,000 in upcoming months. However, gold is still in a secular bull market and will likely undergo a major reversal to the upside later this year. Overall, 2014 is likely to be a year of many major reversals, some for the better and some for the worse. Danger and opportunity are two sides of the same coin the editors at Casey Research are very familiar with. To protect yourself from the first and seize as much as possible of the second, diversification is key. Right now, you can get the ultimate diversification—by receiving all eight of our monthly newsletters for one low price—with our limited-time Casey OnePass offer. Click here for the details. The point to all this history is that at cycle tops, investors get caught up in the momentum and develop a rationale to explain why that momentum will continue despite historically full valuations. It is interesting that this time around there does not seem to be one dominant sector. Rather it is the market in general, along with various unrelated groups. Among the popular groups in potentially unsustainable uptrends are social media, biotechnology, private equity, REITs, consumer staples, and health care. Other groups could probably be listed as well. The theme this time around is not as clearly defined as we saw in the other five cycles. I think that is because this cycle is very different from previous cycles. We have had a subpar recovery driven by unprecedented levels of QE and historically low interest rates. This cycle, investors flocked to areas that could provide growth that was not dependent on a robust economy, as well as to stocks that could provide superior income. Another defining characteristic of this cycle is the substantial flows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs). When the market does begin a major reversal, ETFs will undoubtedly accelerate the decline, as the funds are forced to unload stock positions to meet liquidations. This cycle differs from all of the other cycles in the post WWII era. Not only have we experienced subpar growth, the economy is very close to deflation. I think these differences are causing many analysts to misjudge the risks and timing of a cycle turn. I keep hearing analysts say interest rates are still so historically low that despite the sharp rise last year, rates are not at levels that will hurt the economy. In previous cycles, that would likely have proven true. However, in this subpar recovery, where inflation is almost nonexistent, the 150 basis-point rise in rates last summer may be enough to put the economy in reverse. It certainly has already had a significant impact on mortgage refinancing and housing. In addition, general merchandise sales are slowing. On the other hand, autos sales are being propped up by the same kind of loose financing that led to the credit crisis five short years ago. Some lessons are never learned, I guess. Personal disposable income has gone negative for the first time since 2008. I expect overall retail sales will soon follow. Some economists are forecasting a pickup in capital expenditures, but with end demand slowing, there is little chance that we’ll see that. Exports can also be expected to weaken given the problems in the emerging markets as well as China and Europe. The consensus may believe the economy is gaining strength, but more likely, we are about to see economic weakness. Recession, not normalized growth, will be the story of 2014, and that’s certainly not on most investors’ radar screens. A US recession would be bad enough, but add in the potential for some major global problems and there is the real possibility of a downturn that is worse than the credit crisis of 2008-‘09. I recognize that many analysts are making the case that Europe is on the mend and will see recovery this year. Of course that is possible, but I think it is more likely that global weakness triggers a sharp reversal there, accompanied by a banking crisis and an involuntary liquidation cycle. The ECB has done little more than move debt around. The banks are loaded with risky sovereign debt, particularly the banks in Spain and Italy. It is difficult to understand why we are not yet seeing the Italian and Spanish sovereign debt spreads widen, given the state of their finances. Perhaps it is because the banks there have loaded up on that debt, as has Japan. The ECB shovels out the money, and the banks load up on their own country debt. Despite the current relative calm, no one should doubt that Europe is a house of cards. China is another accident waiting to happen. I know most investors assume China will successfully manage its transition from an export-based manufacturing economy to one that relies more on domestic consumption, and do so without growth slipping below seven percent. I think that is unlikely, particularly given the huge credit imbalances that are plaguing the country. In the past five years, credit there has grown from $9 trillion to $24 trillion. The Chinese credit bubble is far bigger than was the 2008 bubble here in the US. If it bursts this year, as I think is quite possible, it will send China’s economy, as well as the global economy, into a tailspin. There have been a few signs of late, indicating that China is finding it difficult to contain the problem. Whenever the authorities have attempted to rein in the shadow banking credit, they have been forced to quickly reverse themselves. More and more non-accruing loans are piling up on bank balance sheets. The Chinese authorities have a very difficult balancing act which they are trying to execute. The odds are very much stacked against them pulling it off successfully. The emerging-market economies are also coming under pressure and facing some significant capital outflows. These countries, as well as Japan, are accidents waiting to happen. We may not know precisely what the catalyst will be or when a crisis will be triggered, but we do know that the risks of a global deflationary bust are quite high, and contrary to current consensus opinion, I think those risks are rising, not falling. Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report 2014 Outlook By David A. Hunter, CFA Investors entered the new year in a very positive frame of mind. The consensus view on the Street is for another good year for the equity markets, albeit not as strong as what we witnessed in 2013. Most forecasts have the US markets up somewhere between high single digits and low double digits. The current conventional view is that the economy is finally reaching escape velocity and moving into a more normalized phase. The expectation of many investors is that this stronger economic growth will fuel better top- and bottom-line growth and propel the equity markets to ever-higher levels. The belief is that with this improved growth, the markets can move higher, even if interest rates move gradually higher and even if the Fed continues to taper. Generally, investors believe that the bull market is nowhere near a top, given that valuations are not stretched, at least by some measures, and that inflation and interest rates are still historically low. Over and over, one hears that a correction could come at any time, but that such a correction would be healthy and would not likely exceed five to ten percent. “Buy the dip” remains a common theme, but now we are hearing more and more pundits advise that investors buy now and not wait for a dip. The justification for buying now, rather than waiting for a pullback, is that prices could move even higher before any pullback were to occur. It is very clear that the Street is now as bullish as it has been in many years. In fact, the Investors Intelligence Survey is indicating a level of bullishness that is typically seen at tops. In the history of the Survey, the recorded level of bearishness has never been lower than it is today. This is just one of many reasons why this contrarian believes a major top is near at hand, with a historically significant bear market to follow. Between 1973 and today, we have had five cycle tops: 1973, 1980, 1991, 2000, and 2007. Each of those cycles was driven by a different sector that went parabolic in the later stages of the cycle, indicating that the end of the cycle was drawing near. In 1973, it was the so-called “nifty 50,” a group of 50 stocks that represented the dominant companies of that time. Valuations were driven up to irrational levels as the pension fund managers bought into the idea that these companies were so dominant that their returns would remain superior to the rest of the market for years to come. They became known as “one decision” stocks because portfolio managers considered them buy and hold stocks. These stocks got bid up to unheard-of valuations. The problem was that institutional portfolios became so concentrated in these stocks that when the economy and fundamentals turned negative, the stocks came under severe selling pressure as everyone headed for the exits at once. In 1980, it was the energy and other commodity stocks that captured the fancy of Wall Street. Inflation was soaring, propelled by oil and commodity prices that were rising to levels never seen before. As a result, investors piled into these stocks, and they went straight up. The assumption was that commodity price inflation was going to allow these companies to produce above average returns for many years. Then recession came, and the stocks plunged. In 1991, the big-name consumer growth stocks went parabolic. They had appreciated many-fold during the disinflation of the ‘80s, as their steady growth rates were capitalized at ever lower rates. At the height of their popularity, their valuations relative to capital goods stocks were at 60-year highs, a clear sign of excess. The ‘90s were all about technology and capital goods stocks rising from that 60-year relative low and ultimately ending in a speculative valuation bubble unlike any that had preceded it. As everyone is well aware, a tech bust soon followed. After that came the credit bubble that drove financials and other credit-related stocks to unsustainable levels, only to see these same stocks collapse when the bubble burst. As bullish as Wall Street is toward equities, they are even more bearish of long-duration Treasury securities. Rarely do we see the kind of unanimity of opinion that we have now regarding the direction of interest rates. It is a foregone conclusion in most investors’ minds that the 30-year bull market in bonds has ended, and that interest rates are going up from here. The fact that the Fed has begun to taper, along with the current consensus view that the economy is accelerating, has solidified in investors’ minds that the path of least resistance for rates is up. The forecasts vary as to how sharply rates will rise from here, but most forecasters are projecting 10-year rates to rise to 3% this year, with some analysts suggesting they might rise to 4% or higher. Throughout my career, my most successful calls have come when virtually nobody agrees with me, and that is certainly the situation now regarding interest rates. I continue to forecast rates falling to new lows. I think 10-year rates could fall below 1% and 30-year rates to as low as 1%. For many, perhaps most investors, this forecast will be seen as highly improbable, if not outlandish, but let me assure you, there is logic behind this forecast. If my prediction of a sharp global deflationary contraction proves accurate, we will see US Treasuries bid up aggressively in a “flight to safety” trade. If we are experiencing a financial crisis equal to or greater than the 2008 crisis, something akin to “2008 on steroids,” investors everywhere will be seeking shelter from the storm. Treasuries are still viewed by most as the safest security in the world. If we do see the economy go into steep decline, there is no doubt the Fed will ramp up QE to even higher levels. In fact, I believe we are likely to see QE expand by $10-$15 trillion in the next two years, as panicked policymakers do all they can to prevent a global economic and financial collapse. With the Fed buying trillions of Treasury securities at the same time that investors are also looking to buy, it is easy to see how rates could fall to 1%. Some might find it hard to believe that anyone would consider investing for 30 years at 1%, but remember we are likely to be looking at deflation of 3% or more. Thus, even at 1%, these bonds would be yielding at least 4% in real terms, and this at a time when most assets are delivering sharply negative returns. I am not nearly as sanguine about the rest of the bond market. In a bust, spreads will widen dramatically. I would focus on the highest quality bonds and fight the urge to trade down the risk curve to pick up yield. I would stay far away from the high-yield area, as there is great potential for this market to implode were a bust to occur. I also think there is a lot of potential trouble ahead in the municipal market. If we see a sharp reversal in the residential real estate market, it is likely to have a major impact on municipalities, which rely so heavily on property taxes to fund their operations.