InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto exterior InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto’s chef (chief) concierge James Ridenour and executive chef Nick Reade have been named top of their respective fields in this year’s Australian Hotels Association’s Victorian awards – and to celebrate, they have collaborated to create a new accommodation package.Awarded Front Office Services Employee of the Year and Food and Beverage Services Employee of the Year respectively, James and Nick have combined their local and culinary knowledge and expertise to produce the hotel’s new Through the Lens experience.Inviting guests to take a closer look at Melbourne, the package includes a luxury overnight stay at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto in a Club InterContinental guest room, access to the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge, breakfast for two, evening canapés and drinks, and a visit to a local photographer’s studio, from $450* per room per night.Available only to Club guests, the Club InterContinental lounge offers complimentary daily buffet breakfast, all-day refreshments, afternoon tea and extensive twilight drinks and canapés, including chefs’ tasting plates of fresh local produce sourced by Nick and his culinary team, from as near as InterContinental Melbourne’s own rooftop garden.To enhance the local experience, the package includes a visit to the Flinders Lane studios of renowned Melbourne photographer, Matt Irwin. At James’ suggestion, guests can get a glimpse into the city’s local arts scene and explore the surrounding laneway precinct, before touring the gallery and taking home their own Matt Irwin signed canvas print.Matt Irwin’s Flinders Lane studio is open 12:00noon-6:00pm Monday to Friday and 11:00am-5:00pm Saturdays (closed on Sundays) and tours need to be completed during opening hours. *Rates are per room, per night and available until September 30, 2011. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. Source = InterContinental Melbourne
*Flight prices correct on date of publication.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 3. Geneva from £147Check pricesA short two hour flight and you could be partying on the slopes or on the shore of Lake Geneva this New Year’s Eve. Rémy Pagani, Geneva’s mayor, invites you to celebrate in the Swiss city with live music, international DJs and lots of street food fare; proof that Geneva’s Plainpalais definitely has party! 2. Barcelona from £150Check pricesJoin the crowds on the streets of Catalonia’s capital in Barcelona, Spain, for New Year’s celebrations to remember. Catch a train to the Montjuïc fountains and secure a spot to watch the fireworks and light show at midnight. The highlight of the evening will be a performance featuring a 15 metre high sculpture representing the Millennium Spirit. For hotels in Barcelona check out Skyscanner.Read more: 10 best things to do in Barcelona – a local’s guidehttp://www.youtube.com/embed/TznG6clH1eY?rel=0 Related10 New Year’s Eve parties in Europe for under £250No sleep ‘til 2015! Spend 24hrs celebrating 2015 and spend less than £250 in these European cities.10 New Year’s Eve parties in Europe for under £250No sleep ‘til 2015! Spend 24hrs celebrating 2015 and spend less than £250 in these European cities.Alternative New Year’s Eve 2016: unusual places to party in the UKDo your New Year’s Eve parties usually end with more of a fizzle than a bang? Leave Jools and your sofa behind and see 2017 in in style. Here are nine alternative New Year’s Eve events happening around the UK this December 31st for you to choose from: 5. Paris from £167Check pricesThe city of love is the perfect place for those who love to party. Kick off proceedings with some early evening ice skating at the open air rink outside the Hôtel de Ville. Come midnight, make sure you’ve secured a good spot in Champ de Mars park in front of the Eiffel Tower to quaff champagne and watch the spectacular light show. http://www.youtube.com/embed/UkvKZ8LhfDA?rel=06. Budapest from £164Check pricesHead to Budapest for the hottest New Year’s Eve festival in Hungary, Instant, featuring 26 rooms, seven bars and seven stages. Fly to this ancient city and enjoy an evening of live music in some of Budapest’s famous ‘ruin pubs’ retro drinking dens filled with mis-matched furniture, unusual artwork and fairy lights. Read more: Top 10 things to see and do in Budapest 7. Amsterdam from £186Check pricesIt may be one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but Amsterdam this New Year’s Eve is a steal at less than £200 for flights, a train in to the city and entrance to Awakenings, the country’s largest techno event. Held at the Gashouder, a gas storage tank built in 1902, Awakenings is hosted this year by Carl Cox, British DJ and rave veteran. Don’t expect to be in bed before the bells with this one!http://www.youtube.com/embed/JCx06G5ENU8?rel=0 10. Rome from £246Check pricesRock up in Rome for a New Year’s Eve to remember! You’ll be feeling the love after a night of celebrations at Amore Festival, an electronic music event held at the Nuova Fiera Di Roma. If you’re not feeling too bright the morning after the night before, don’t forget that Rome is the perfect place to pick up that hangover pizza cure. 9. Madrid from £245Check pricesCheck out the Spanish capital for a whole host of different parties and New Year’s celebrations. From DJ sessions at the famous Fabrik nightclub, to more music at megaclub Teatro Kapital, there’s tons of opportunity to shake your tail feather in Madrid.Read more: 10 best things to do in Madrid – a local’s guide 4. Berlin from £158Check pricesHead to this hipster hangout for one of the coolest NYE parties in Europe. Expect to find almost a million people milling around between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, enjoying the festival of food and fireworks in Berlin. Best thing about it? Admission is free so you won’t have to blow all your budget in one night!Read more: 10 best free things to do in Berlin 8. Prague from £198Check pricesParty the night away and still keep control over those purse strings with a budget break in Prague. The Duplex Club is the place to be, a rooftop bar and restaurant in the middle of Wenceslas Square boasting great views over the city skyline. Food is served until 10pm, but get your dancing shoes on after that when it turns in to nightclub. Looking for an unforgettable way to welcome in the New Year? Have the party of a lifetime in one of these 10 European cities.Jet off, dance ‘til dawn and return ready to take on the January blues, without breaking the bank. All prices* include return flights departing on New Year’s Eve and returning on January 1st, transfer from the airport to the city centre and entry to the biggest New Year’s Eve event in town. From Paris to Prague, check out these epic party places for the best way to say hello to 2015:1. Dublin from £107Check pricesYou don’t have to go too far to have a New Year’s Eve with a difference. Jet off on the 31st, take a bus to the city centre and wile away the hours until 2015 at Dublin’s Countdown Concert. Make sure you check out the city’s Temple Bar area for a pint of the black stuff (Guinness) in a traditional Irish pub.
February 10, 2019In late January Michael Gosney, former board member and long time contributor to the Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti, gave a talk at the Berkely Sierra Club Dinner. The subject of the talk was a project called Califia, which has its origins in the early 2000s when “the San Francisco-based Green Century Institute on sustainable communities explored the development of Califia, a model arcology in Northern California. The idea was (and still is) to learn from Arcosanti and related projects, and tap into the substantial cultural and business resources of the Bay Area to create something truly extraordinary: a model community that the rest of the world can participate in, learn from and build upon.”Michael Gosney served on the Board of Arcosanti in the 90s where he co-produced the Paradox Conference series with Paolo Soleri, and co-founded the Green Century Institute on sustainable communities in San Francisco. Michael is a longtime technology pioneer, environmental thought leader and online and on-the-ground community builder. He has authored 17 books, and has worked with both festival culture (Burning Man, Earthdance International) and intentional communities (Arcosanti, Auroville, Damanhur). You can watch the presentation blow, or click through to read the related blog post on radish.org
(Click on image to enlarge) I wouldn’t want to be short any of the precious metals at this point in history as we wait for the Fed and JPMorgan et al to make their next move. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the high ticks in platinum and palladium all came at the same moment as gold and silver’s high. This was obviously price management across the board in all precious metals…and only the willfully blind would think otherwise. The dollar index closed on Thursday at 82.78…and spent all of Friday chopping broadly lower…and the index closed on Friday afternoon at 82.47…down 31 basis points from Thursday. The dollar index low came about 10:50 a.m. in New York, just minutes before the high ticks in all four precious metals. The big axe fell at 11:30 a.m…and was not related to anything that the currencies were doing at the time. Not surprisingly, the silver shares got hit pretty hard as well…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 4.54%. The gold stocks opened in the black, but got sold into the red immediately…and were down about a half percent right up until the 11:30 a.m. New York price execution in all four precious metals. The low tick for the gold stocks came right at 12:15 p.m. EDT of course…and then they traded sideways for the remainder of the trading session. (Click on image to enlarge) Here’s the long-term Silver 7 chart to give the you bigger long-term picture. Tosca Mining Corporation’s goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company’s primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011. Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca’s 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide. The 2011 program encountered numerous thick Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest.” Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. Please visit our website to learn more about the company ad request information. The status quo is not an option the central banks can allow to continue for long. The gold price rallied a bit during the early going in Far East trading, but got sold down starting around 9:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. From that high tick of the day, around $1,487 spot, it got sold down a bit over twenty-five bucks, hitting its London low early in the morning BST. Then starting around 11:00 a.m. BST, gold began to rally once more…and that rally gathered a bit more steam once New York began to trade. But just minutes before the London close [11:00 a.m. in New York] a not-for-profit high frequency trader appeared…and by 12:15 p.m. EDT had gold down to its low tick of the day, which was $1,447.30 spot. The New York high was $1,484.10 spot. The gold price rallied back in fits and starts from there…closing the Friday trading day at $1,462.90 spot…down $5.30 from Thursday’s close. Gross volume was a grotesque 265,000 contracts, mostly of the HFT variety. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own so you can see the not-for-profit seller’s action close up and personal. The NY spot gold chart looks similar. (Click on image to enlarge) Here’s your “cute quota” for today… I’ve got the usual number of stories for you today…and quite a few of them are gold/silver related…and I hope you can find the time over what’s left of your weekend to run through them all. Gold has worked down from Alexander’s time. When something holds good for two thousand years, I do not believe it can be so because of prejudice or mistaken theory. – Bernard M. Baruch Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is a piece that I first heard live when Gary Brooker et al played it with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra back in 1992 when I was on the board of directors. After Whiter Shade of Pale and Conquistador…this is their most popular composition. This performance was with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledrborg Castle in Denmark in August of 2006. I note that Geoff Whitehorn is still playing lead guitar…Mark Brzezicki is still playing the drums…and Gary has still got the pipes. This version, in my opinion, is the best I’ve heard. The recording is stunning…and the link is here. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is a J.S. Bach chestnut that I never tire of listening to. It’s the Concerto in D minor for two violins, strings and continuo, BWV 1043. The link to the first and second movements are here…and the third movement, here. Doing the honours is the St. Petersburg Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, with soloists Lyubov Stekolshchikova and Elina Drukh. The tempo is a touch faster than I’m used to. Well, JPMorgan et al are still at it…not only from a price perspective, but also the shares. As I commented in Thursday’s column…why the big rise in share prices on zero price movement in either gold or silver on Wednesday? Well, it’s a good bet that ‘da boyz’ were buying so they could sell them into the next rally…and that came on Thursday…and then they sold the rest on Friday. John Embry has always been of the opinion that the shares as well as the metal prices themselves, were managed…and their price action over the last three days certainly reeks of that. I’d dearly love to know what’s going on behind the scenes, but in the face of unprecedented world-wide demand in the physical precious metal itself, I’m sure that they are having their issues at the moment. There’s no doubt in my mind that they were caught totally flat-footed by the world’s reaction to their little ‘Comex Caper’…and are back at the drawing board figuring out how to extricate themselves from this self-inflicted wound without exacerbating the situation. And as I and others have already stated, this bifurcated market cannot last for too long, as the current over-the-top physical demand will have the bullion banks for lunch at some point. The only thing that will kill this retail demand stone cold dead is a sudden [on a weekend, perhaps] upward revaluation in price that puts gold out of reach of all but the richest. That goes for silver as well…and silver will become the new gold for the masses. A price high enough to accomplish that will undoubtedly turn a lot of precious metal buyers into precious metal sellers virtually overnight. The only other option is ‘death by a thousand cuts’…where precious metal prices are allowed to rise ‘normally’…whatever that means these days…and the buying frenzy on Planet Earth will begin anew. If you read some of the above-posted stories out of India, that psychology is already starting to take hold since the bottom was put in on Tuesday morning last week in early Hong Kong trading. But one thing is for sure…the status quo is not an option the central banks can allow to continue for long. Before heading out the door, Nick Laird must know that I’m a creature of habit with my Saturday column, because his “Total PMs Pool” chart…updated with Friday’s data…was in my in-box before I even thought about it. Here it is posted below…and as you can see, the U.S. dollar ‘value’ has done a face plant, but the total ounces under management has barely moved. (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 562 gold and 2 lonely silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase was the big short/issuer with 558 contracts…and one of their partners in crime in the precious metal price management scheme, Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, was the long/stopper of 555 of those contracts. This should just about wrap up deliveries for April in both metals. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The inventories of GLD took another hit yesterday. This time an authorized participant withdrew 232,107 troy ounces and, for the second day in a row an authorized participant added silver to SLV…820,985 troy ounces to be exact. I’m starting to wonder about these never-ending withdrawals from GLD…as it’s my opinion that we’re long past the investors dumping-their-holdings story…and I’m looking around for another explanation. The short interest report for the first half of April for both GLD and SLV was posted on the shortsqueeze.com Internet site either late Thursday night or last night. It showed that, during the period mentioned, the short interest in SLV blew out by 27.11 percent…and GLD by an eye-watering 48.47 percent. I was quite taken aback at first glance, but with sober second thought it occurred to me that if I was ‘da boyz’…both SLV and GLD would be one of the vehicles that I would use to make obscene profits and acquire more metal at bargain-basement prices. I’m prepared to bet serious coin that these obscene short positions have already been closed out…and that fact will be reflected in the next short interest report coming up in about two weeks time. Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List updated his about.ag/SLV/ website on Thursday with the in/out activity of SLV as of the close of trading on Wednesday. This is what he had to say…”Analysis of the 24 April 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list. No bars were added or removed. 269 bars had accounting changes (e.g. from 0.9990 fine to 0.9999 fine). All bars with changes were in Brinks London, which is likely currently being audited. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was over-allocated 483.4 oz.” The link to his website is here. The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday. They sold 5,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes and, for the third day in a row…zero silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 208,500 ounces of gold eagles…36,000 ounces of one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 3,232,000 silver eagles. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving 312,978 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 790,669 troy ounces out the door. The link to that activity is here. In gold on Thursday, the Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 153,748 troy ounces…and shipped a smallish 1,300 troy ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that activity is here. I was happy to see that everything appeared to be back to normal with this week’s Commitment of Traders Report. Whether the data from last week’s COT Report was reported in error or tampered with, is still not known, but the result was that the data in yesterday’s report has partially masked what happened in the prior week’s report. But, having said that, this latest report is still pretty impressive…and is still one for the record books in many categories. In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by a very chunky 26.7 million ounces…and now stands at 85.8 million ounces…not a record low…but pretty close. The Big 4 [JPM, Scotiabank, HSBC USA….plus one other short holder of no consequence] were short 193.1 million ounces of silver…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders were short an additional 50.9 million ounces of silver. As far as concentration goes, the ‘Big 4’ are short 36.0% of the entire Comex futures market on a ‘net’ basis…a big drop from two weeks ago. The ‘5 through 8’ are short an additional 9.3 percentage points of the Comex futures market in silver on a net basis. Ted Butler is busy with his son’s wedding, so I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to him yesterday, so I’m not sure where JPMorgan’s short position stands at the moment. There are 37 short-side traders in the Commercial category of the COT Report in silver…and 4 of them are short 36 percent of the entire Comex futures market in that metal. I’d guess that JPMorgan holds at least half of that amount on its own. The other stand-out features in the silver COT Report was the fact that the net long position in the Non-Commercial category has shrunk down to 15,000 contracts…and the net long position of the small traders in the Nonreportable category has virtually disappeared…and currently stands at 2,163 contracts! I don’t remember ever seeing a number that low and, if the truth be known, I never thought it possible. In gold, the Commercial net short position imploded by 3.75 million troy ounces…and now sits at 10.44 million ounces. The Big 4 are short 8.63 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 4.94 million ounces. These are monstrous changes…and I’m guessing that one would have to go back at least five years to see a number this low. On a ‘net’ basis [once the market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out] the Big 4 are short 24.7 percent of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 14.2 percentage points of the Comex futures market. In the Non-Commercial category, the net long position declined to just over 104,000 contracts. Their net long position…10.4 million ounces…is exactly equal to the Commercial net short position of 10.4 million ounces…and that’s because the Nonreportable position [the small traders] is a vanishingly small 133 contracts…basically zero! Unheard of! I’m sure that there was a lot more going on ‘under the hood’ in both metals…and I look forward to reading what silver analyst Ted Butler has to say about it in his weekend commentary…when he can find the time to write it, that is. In case you’re interested, the link to yesterday’s legacy COT Report is here…and the Disaggregated COT Report is here. Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days to Cover Short Positions” chart updated with yesterday’s data. Sponsor Advertisement In silver, the only real difference between it and gold was the fact that the London low came about 12:30 p.m. BST…thirty minutes after the noon London silver fix. The New York high in silver was also minutes before the London close…and the high-frequency trader delivered the coup de grâce at 11:30 a.m. EDT. From that point, the silver chart looks pretty much the same as the gold chart, with the New York low [$23.57 spot] coming at 12:15 p.m. EDT right on the button. The Far East high tick was around $24.85 spot…and intraday move of almost $1.30. Silver closed at $24.04 spot…down 36 cents from Thursday. Volume, net of the May delivery month roll-overs, was a hair under 17,000 contracts…mostly vapour and fumes.
In This Issue. * Bias to buy dollars returns. * A breakdown for the ECB meeting. * A$ sees rate speculation turn. * Chinese manufacturing is cooking with gas! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Second Quarter Consumption Takes A Hit! Good Day! . And a Marvelous Monday to you! I’m totally whacked out this morning at home, so this will be short-n-sweet, as I attempt to write without problems. No worries, I’ll be fine. Just not so much right now! Kathy left for a few days yesterday, leaving just Chuck and Alex at home, and that meant that I had to go to the store to buy the “essentials” for a boys ½-week. Alex is still recovering from mono and strep, so he was actually at home to eat dinner with me last night! Now, that’s amazing! Another thing that looks to be amazing is the news that came from China over the weekend. The news? Well, the news in itself isn’t that amazing, but the fact that all the Chinese naysayers have to crawl back into their walls and await the next time they are able to scurry about, and play Chicken Little is amazing to me! Anyway, the news was that the Chinese Gov’t’s version of their Manufacturing Index (PMI) printed at 50.8, which was the fastest pace in 5 months! This is a good sign for China’s economy, in that, not only does the world see it isn’t collapsing as the Chicken Little’s have pronounced it would, but also it shows the Chinese Gov’t that their decision to step up the stimulus measures is working. Remember, at first, the Chinese were going to not use stimulus measures and see what happens, but then they got an itchy trigger finger, and decided to implement some small measures, but when the economy showed fatigue, they decided to step up the pace of the stimulus measures including faster spending and increased railway investment. I would look for the next thing to be a cut in the reserve requirements for banks. Last Friday, I told you that I thought from the looks of things, that the Chinese Gov’t was going to increase the stimulus measures, and now that is confirmed. See? Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn! But remember, China doing things like this is different from a country that doesn’t have the money to spend, and digging their debt hole even deeper. I still don’t like that they had to resort to stimulus measures, as I’m a purist on the Central Bank and Gov’t economy intervention. I don’t like it! It shouldn’t happen, and so on. But the fact that the Chinese are in a position fiscally, to do it, makes more sense to me. I doesn’t mean I have to like it! So, The global growth countries and their currencies saw a pop from the news overnight, but as I turn on the laptop this morning, the bias to buy dollars has taken over. The Dollar Index is up big this morning, and the euro is barely holding to the 1.36 figure. The price of Oil jumped on the Chinese data, but then so did the dollar, which makes just a bit of sense, in that Oil contracts are still priced in dollars. That is Oil contracts that aren’t a part of currency swap agreements between countries, that are becoming the norm in the world, folks. Speaking of the euro.. A trader friend of ours at Morgan Stanley sent me a note the other day, and their research team had put together a chart/ table, of the policy instruments available to the ECB, and the potential impact, and effect on the euro. The table pretty much plays out the way I’ve explained to you how I felt things would go for the euro. For those of you who missed class that day, I said that as long as the ECB kept the stimulus to negative deposit rates, the hit on the euro would be minimal, and maybe even positive, as this has already been priced in. So, Morgan Stanley believes that if the ECB does just cut the deposit rate and not mention euro strength, the euro could rise to 1.37. But any of the other stimulus measures would send the euro to the woodshed. And a large bond buying program would knock the stuffing out of the euro all the way to 1.28. So. as you can see, even the large firms with their large research divisions, come up with the same stuff that I do, on my own! One of the headline stories on the Bloomberg this morning is that the British pound sterling / pound saw its rally end, as Mortgage Applications (Apps) fell to a nine-month low in the U.K. and thus reducing the calls for a rate hike in the U.K. I’ve told you again and again about the U.K. and that the debt there is not going away, and neither is the game that Bank of England (BOE) Gov. Mark Carney is playing with the markets regarding giving them hints of a rate hike, but never pulling the dust covers off the rate hike machine. I refer to this as Carney’s bag of promises. So, in the end, be careful with pounds, they are most likely going to disappoint in the end. The best performing currency so far this year, the Brazilian real, has seen its rally get sidetracked, which is surprising, in a way, to me. The surprising part is that this is just two weeks ahead of the World Cup, and all that tourism, and converting to reals to spend. the not so surprising part is that this is the Brazilian real. Real is the name, volatility is its game! Which is why I always tell you, be just what you is, not what you is not.! No wait, no time for Mr. Wizard, here, I’m talking serious stuff, Chuck, can’t you just be serious for a whole letter, for once? Nah. what fun would that be? But I do always tell you that reals should only be purchased as a speculative investment for your investment portfolio, then when volatility hits it like this morning, you won’t panic! The Aussie dollar (A$) is kicking ’round the cobblestones this morning. I think that the A$ has a tough row to hoe ahead of it, as the interest rates speculators have now switched horses in the middle of the stream. As recent as April 10th, these speculators had an 88% chance of a rate hike priced into their futures. But just last week, that trade got turned around, and now the speculators are betting that interest rates don’t move for at least another 12 months. The A$ will have to fight through news like this, and I’m not sure it can, right now at least. But, one thing I’ll say about the A$, is that it is resilient, and just when you think the A$ is about to raise the white flag, it turns things around in its favor.. I told the currency guys that I met with last week that I still believe that New Zealand has two more rate hikes coming this year. And to not panic about the recent softness in the New Zealand dollar / kiwi. All it was doing was providing some cheaper buying opportunities! Want a toe tapping, head bobbing song to listen to? Download the Kinks song: Sunny Afternoon. A great summertime song! Ok, that public service announcement was brought to you by me! Hey! I’m beginning to come back to life here, but after spending most of the night awake, I’ll have to head back to bed once the letter is out! Gold has fallen to a 4-month low, folks. As I’ve said for some time now, “it’s all about stocks”. I also remind people that, “that’s OK, now, but the stock euphoria didn’t work out so good for investors the last time, now did it?” That’s all I’m saying there. Gold has become the ugly duckling to investors, but we all know the story of what happens to the Ugly Duckling, now don’t we? The U.S. Data Cupboard will have the May ISM (manufacturing index) for us today, which should play in concert with the stronger manufacturing indexes in the Eurozone, and China. If it doesn’t, we’ve got a story. If it does, then the “the U.S. economy is strong, bugs” will come out of the wallboards once again, and stir the pot for the bias to buy dollars this morning. But I wonder what led the dollar bugs to stir the pot this morning given the rot on the economy’s vine that was evident by last week’s GPD and Personal Spending data. Well, you can mark down a soft start for Consumption in the 2nd QTR. And I checked with a local meteorologist and they confirmed that while things were still unusually chilly in April, we didn’t have severe winter weather shutting down most of the country. So. what am I talking about? Well the Personal Spending data for April. It printed a negative -.1%… , and Real Consumer spending fell -.3%, the first drop since December of last year. So, we have the 2nd QTR starting out in the red on consumption. I don’t make these things up folks. The first QTR was an absolute washout, and now the 2nd QTR is starting out in the red. UGH! But then, I think I was the one who has kept telling you ever since the “recession allegedly ended”, back in 2009! Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I had a reporter call me on Friday morning. Which actually surprised the heck out of me, because no one calls me any longer. don’t ask me why. Well, I actually know why, but won’t get into that here. But the reporter was interested in the bond yields, and I told him that if we’re just talking bond activity and not back room deals that may or may not be going on at the Fed, that the bond markets were telling us that they are not buying the strong economy talk. It’s that simple. they don’t believe it, and therefore yields will fall. Which on a sidebar is fine with me, given that it gives us a better starting point for our MarketSafe Treasury CD, which by the way, the funding period ends on 6/11. Just a friendly reminder! For What It’s Worth. found this on Moneynews.com, as I tried to remain calm yesterday. I just don’t know what else the Fed needs for proof that their tapering is taking a HUGE bite out of the economy. But then, they always seem to be playing catch up. “For those hoping that housing will lead a robust recovery, Freddie Mac is not exactly offering a beacon of hope – the mortgage giant estimates many of the nation’s housing markets are stalling. Freddie Mac said its research shows only 10 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia could be considered to have “stable” housing markets. The top five are North Dakota, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Louisiana – four energy-producing states plus the cradle of government spending. Only four of the top 50 metro areas were ranked stable by Freddie Mac – San Antonio; New Orleans; Austin, Texas; and Houston. “Less than half of the housing markets MiMi covers are showing an improving trend, whereas at this same time last year more than 90 percent of these same markets were headed in the right direction,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.” Chuck again. This all reminds me of 2004 & 2005. Yes, back then I tried to warn people about the housing bubble, and no one would listen to me. Shoot my own kids didn’t listen to me! I remember being at a Jacksonville Jaguars game, and the mortgage guys were having fun listening to my spiel on why I believed there was a housing bubble. a couple of years later, they weren’t having so much fun. This current scenario reminds me of that time. I’m just saying. To recap. Chuck is under the weather, so this was short-n-sweet this morning. The currencies & metals are under the weather too, as the bias to buy dollars is being cast over the markets this morning. The Big ECB meeting will take place this week, where ECB president, Draghi, will announce was kind of stimulus he’s going to implement. Gold is down again, as the “buy stocks” theme hangs over Gold like the Sword of Damocles Currencies today 6/2/14. American Style: A$ .9050, kiwi .8464, C$ .9205, euro 1.3605, sterling 1.6750, Swiss $1.1150, . European Style: rand 10.5940, krone 5.9970, SEK 6.6855, forint 222.35, zloty 3.0405, koruna 20.1940, RUB 34.88, yen 102.05, sing 1.2560, HKD 7.7540, INR 59.15, China 6.1695, pesos 12.86, BRL 2.2415, Dollar Index 80.53, Oil $102.91, 10-year 2.49%, Silver $18.81, Platinum $1,440.43, Palladium $832.90, and Gold. $1,247.00 That’s it for today. Whew! What a tough weekend for my beloved Cardinals! OUCH! The S.F. Giants, with the best record in the National League, schooled my Cardinals winning 3 of 4. Well, I watched a bit of the Hawks/ Kings Game 7 last night, but didn’t see the end, which had the Kings going to the finals VS the Rangers. If I were a betting man, I would pick the Kings.. But it will be a battle of two of the best goalies in hockey. and why are they still playing hockey in June? I hear you asking. good question! The NBA finals will be the Heat VS the Spurs. I have a friend in Jacksonville that’s from Texas, and he’s a HUGE Spurs fan. I think he’ll be disappointed in about a week. We had Braden Charles’ Birthday party here on Saturday. It looked like a daycare with all the little toddlers and babies! They were all so cute! Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels are singing about Jenny taking a ride on the IPod right now. That’s a real seat bopping song! OK. time to go back to bed. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Kul Chandra Gautam was born in a rural village with no electricity or running water, no doctors and schools. The nearest town with a market was a five-day walk away.He left home at age 7 to study — and study he did. He was one of the first people in the world to learn English from a Peace Corps volunteer, and his outstanding grades eventually won him a full scholarship to Dartmouth.But getting there wasn’t easy.For two years, Gautam petitioned the Nepali government for a passport so he could attend the U.S. university. But back in the 1960s, passports were given only to people of privilege — not poor villagers. His passport request went all the way up to the king, only to be denied.It was then Gautam vowed to do something special with his life.”That moment came because of the injustice of not being able to get a passport,” he said on a visit to NPR headquarters last month to talk about his life and his new memoir, Global Citizen from Gulmi: My Journey from the Hills of Nepal to the Halls of United Nations.Gautam, now 69, speaks with contagious energy, his eyes gleaming. (He exuberantly corrects the Western way of counting one’s age. He’s actually 70, he says, because in Nepal your first birthday is on the day you are born: “That seems logical to us!”)The discrimination Gautam faced as a young man only made him fight harder. The second time he applied for a passport, a mid-level government official who had also risen from a rural village sympathized with his plight and approved his application.Gautam was going to America.”From that point on, I felt — ah! I have managed to do something impossible,” he says early in the interview. His cup of tea, forgotten, cools before him as he recalls the pain and then joy of his challenges. “Even when the king rejects you, that’s not the end of the road.”For Gautam, the road would extend all the way to a top leadership position with the United Nations.In 1971, he graduated from Dartmouth, where he studied international relations, after just three years. Next, he received his master’s degree in economic development and modernization from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School in 1973.After that, he ascended the ranks of the United Nations, beginning as a program officer for UNICEF and climbing to the position of assistant secretary general of the U.N. from 2000 to 2008.A grandfather’s wishWhen Gautam was born, his grandfather, who had long yearned for male heirs, was elated.”He said, ‘I want this boy to be someone special,’ ” Gautam recalls. ” ‘An educated pundit.’ “His grandfather and his father taught him all they knew, scratching letters of their Nepali dialect into the dirt with a stick. The boy quickly absorbed their knowledge. When he was 7 years old he moved to a village across the river to learn from a local teacher — the first in a series of moves farther and farther from home in the pursuit of education.In 1962, Gautam was a seventh-grader in a town called Tansen, one of the first outposts for volunteers with a new organization, the Peace Corps. Gautam knew only a few English words then — not enough to string together a sentence — but he excelled under the volunteers’ tutelage.His education didn’t stop when school did; Gautam would tag along with his teachers after class. They taught him how to play chess and Scrabble; soon enough, he began beating them.One volunteer told him if he kept up his education, he might one day study in America.There are times when the right encouragement, the right promise, echoes in your head and lodges in your heart. Even now, half a century later, Gautam’s face still lights up at the promise of that dream.The idea of studying in the United States stayed with him. More specifically, Gautam decided, he wanted to attend Dartmouth — the alma mater of a volunteer who had lent him books.In the final year of high school, Gautam enlisted the help of his old Peace Corps teachers and took college entrance exams.”Apparently, surprisingly, I did very well,” he says with characteristic humility. He still calls himself “a little village boy” and says that his village was, “by Nepali standards, not very remote” — a mere five-day walk to the nearest small city.At one point, he mentions in passing that he was one of the most accomplished students in all of Nepal. He was recounting his explanation to a low-level government employee why he should be granted the passport.”Obviously, he was suspicious, you know, ‘How did he get this scholarship? This is abnormal.’ And I explained everything, you know, I have a very good record in school, I’m at the top of the whole country in the final school-leaving exams.””But qualification is not the main criteria” for getting a passport, he says, shrugging nonchalantly. “There’s one possible criteria: It is who you are related to.”Yet this poor Nepali villager not only gained entrance to one of the most prestigious schools in the United States — he was offered a full scholarship.Gautam believes organizations like the Peace Corps, which was instrumental to his own education, are important for improving the lives of people like him around the world.”The Peace Corps is a unique instrument that I think is perhaps underestimated in this country and elsewhere,” he says. “They are in many ways the true ambassadors of the U.S.””He has such a great voice for his country,” says Glenn Blumhorst, president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association. This year, Gautam was honored with the organization’s Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award.”He has the ability to connect with a village elder or a small child in his village, somebody who’s from very humble background, to diplomats and heads of state,” Blumhorst says. “That’s really impressive.”Hard work, good luckWhen he tells his story, Gautam is sure to emphasize his good luck along with his hard work and determination. But he also clearly has a faculty for winning people over.When he speaks of the government official who eventually helped him get a passport, he tugs on his ear just like the official did five decades ago — an impromptu sign for “Listen, here’s the way we have to do this,” a code between two villagers of how they’d work within the system to conquer it.At UNICEF, where he eventually became deputy executive director, Gautam was part of the push to vaccinate 80 percent of the world’s children by 1990 — an enormously ambitious and ultimately successful campaign.In addition to vaccines, UNICEF encouraged health workers to monitor children’s growth and introduced oral rehydration therapy to combat diarrhea and dehydration — a major killer of children.To encourage breastfeeding in places where unclean water caused many infections, like Brazil, Gautam enlisted the mother of soccer superstar Pelé.”Of course, he is the best football player in the world,” Pelé’s mother said, patting the shoulder of her son in an image that was plastered on billboards around the country. “I breastfed him!”All of these improvements have had a massive impact. But to reach the remaining children in need, Gautam says, global health and development workers must take a multi-pronged approach.”You do whatever you can do. It’s not one versus the other,” he says. “We vaccinate people, we also work on poverty reduction, we also work on girls’ education, we work on multiple fronts.”That last issue — girls’ education — is particularly important to Gautam.”Of the investments you can make in development,” he says, “probably the most important, and the most transformative, is in girls’ education.”It’s important not just because it changes each girl’s life, Gautam explains, but also because those changes ripple throughout the whole family and into the community. Education helps halt the cycle of poverty that often traps generations of families.”Ultimately, the best vaccine is reducing poverty and providing education,” he says.Gautam retired from the U.N. in 2008. He now serves as chair of the board of RESULTS, a nonprofit focused on eradicating poverty. He is optimistic about the progress the world has made battling preventable diseases and improving the well-being of millions around the globe. But, he points out, newer — and more complicated — problems arise as old ones are solved.For instance, when he was growing up, his village had no school. About 95 percent of men and 100 percent of women were illiterate. It was rare for a woman to receive any education, he says.Today, there are five primary schools in his village alone. And more girls than boys attend the public schools in his village, Gautam says.But for this longtime activist, access alone isn’t enough. “You see this new form of inequality coming — a subtle discrimination,” he says. More girls may attend public schools, but more boys attend higher-quality private schools, he believes. The girls have equal access to education, but not to equal quality, he says.”If the biggest challenge in development of the 20th century was access to basic services, the biggest challenge of this century is equity,” he says. “How do we make sure that everybody has access, [and] that access is equitable?”Melody Schreiber (@m_scribe on Twitter) is a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 11 2019Patients with left-sided heart failure who get implanted devices to improve the pumping of their hearts may be more likely to develop heart failure on the opposite side of their hearts if they are pre-treated with off-label selective vasodilator drugs, according to new research published in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.Between 10% and 40% of patients who undergo left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation for left-sided heart failure develop right-sided heart failure — a complication that spells worse outcomes. To head off the complication, physicians sometimes prescribe preemptive treatment with off-label selective vasodilator drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i). PDE5i drugs are currently approved for use to avoid right heart failure in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension due to causes other than heart disease, which is a different patient group from the ones followed in this study.PDE5i drugs dilate the pulmonary artery — the large vessel that carries blood away from the heart’s right side and into the lungs. A handful of small studies have shown a possible benefit to this off-label approach in some patients but affirmative data from large-scale studies have been lacking and the current study hopes to help close this gap.An LVAD is a mechanical heart pump. It’s placed inside a person’s chest, where it helps the heart pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Unlike an artificial heart transplant, LVADs do not replace the heart. LVADs help the heart do its job.The findings of the new study — the largest analysis to date to assess the utility of this approach — call the preemptive treatment with PDE5i drugs into question. Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesThe results are based on analysis of 11,544 U.S. LVAD recipients who underwent implantation between 2012 and 2017. Of all device recipients, 1,199 (10%) received pre-implantation treatment with PDE5i drugs which target the pulmonary artery to reduce the pressure in the heart’s right ventricle. Overall, 24% of all patients who got LVAD implants developed right-sided heart failure, but the group that got pre-implantation drugs did so at higher rates. To minimize the possible effects of other factors that could bias the outcomes, the researchers matched 1,177patients treated with PDE5i drugs to group of 1,177 patients who did not receive such preventive therapy but were otherwise similar to the pre-treated group in terms of disease severity, age and the presence of other diseases that could affect outcome and health status.Compared with those who did not get drug therapy, the group that received vasodilator drugs before LVAD implantation were 31% more likely to develop right-sided heart failure (29% for those treated, compared with 24% among those who did not receive pre-treatment). Additionally, the relative risk of bleeding within a week of LVAD surgery was 46% higher in patients receiving PDE5i therapy (12% of patients receiving therapy versus 8% of those not receiving this therapy), the analysis showed.Source: American Heart AssociationJournal reference:Gulati, G. et al. (2019) Preimplant Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitor Use Is Associated With Higher Rates of Severe Early Right Heart Failure After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation. Circulation: Heart Failure. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.118.005537. We found no benefit of this therapy in patients receiving LVAD devices, including patients with pulmonary vascular disease or right ventricular dysfunction — the very patients who might be expected to benefit most. Our findings should give pause to clinicians considering this therapy, and we would caution against routine use of these therapies prior to LVAD surgery.”Michael Kiernan, M.D., M.S., Study Senior Investigator, Cardiologist, Tufts Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston
Hydrogen fuel stations are still are rare sight across Germany Stuttgart-based Bosch and Powercell Sweden AB—formerly a subsidiary of carmaker Volvo—aim to bring the fuel cells to market “in 2022 at the latest”.Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles could prove winners compared with their battery-driven cousins for some applications.They offer a longer range and can be refuelled about as quickly as a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.At the same time, hydrogen cars boast some of the advantages of battery-electric, including powerful acceleration, silent operation and no emissions at the point of use except water vapour.But a number of technological hurdles remain to be cleared before mass deployment.Large amounts of electricity are required to produce hydrogen, and there is a very limited network of fuelling stations.Just sixty refuelling points are available across Germany.Bosch did not reveal the financial terms of its deal with Powercell Sweden, but the two firms will work together to develop the so-called “stack”—components at the heart of the cell where the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen takes place to produce electricity.The group last year decided not to compete with existing Asian industry leaders in producing electric batteries for cars, seeing the rivals’ technological advantage as too great to catch up.By doing so, it turned away from supplying German carmakers like mammoth Volkswagen as they gear up to offer dozens of electric vehicles over the coming decade.Manufacturers have taken the plunge on electric power faced with looming tougher emissions rules in the European Union, loaded with hefty financial penalties if they are breached.European carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets “can only be reached by electrifying more and more of the powertrain. The fuel cell can play a decisive role here,” Bosch said.At first, “the best opportunities for broad adoption of fuel-cell technology are in the commercial-vehicle market,” the firm added, although it expects broader use in passenger cars should follow.By 2030, Bosch estimates that 20 percent of all electric vehicles worldwide will be powered by fuel cells. In a first, electric cars outsell traditional ones in Norway Citation: Germany’s Bosch powers up hydrogen cells for cars (2019, April 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-germany-bosch-powers-hydrogen-cells.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP The world’s biggest auto parts maker Bosch said Monday it would work with a Swedish firm to develop key components for hydrogen fuel cells designed to power cars, after backing off building electric batteries.