AC Milan enquire about Fulham midfielder Johansenby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan are interested in signing Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen.The 27-year-old was a key member of the team that won promotion under Slavisa Jokanovic last season.But the Norway skipper has only managed to start 4 Premier League games this term.The likes of Jean Michael Seri and Calum Chambers are ahead of him in the pecking order.Per Sky in Italy, Milan are looking to sign him this winter on a cut price deal – or on a free in the summer. TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
LookToTheStars.org recently talked to UNICEF ambassador Priyanka Chopra about Miss America, family time and self-confidence.As Miss World 2000, how did you feel when Americans jeered at South-Asian Nina Davuluri for being an “Arab terrorist,” when she was crowned Miss America?It’s awful. It’s beyond horrific for me—she was raised and brought up in America. She is an American.I understand where some people could be coming from — Nina is not that quintessential White American girl. But, that’s not what America is anymore. It’s so many different cultures. So many different people.I think it is victory for Nina, and so many other people, and so many other ethnicities, who are raised and brought up in America: to see a little part of themselves on stage.It’s great the achievement Nina has had, and I wish her so much success.How important is dinnertime with the family?I never get time — I try and make as much time with the family as I can.Dinnertime is very, very important. It roots you. It grounds you. It gives you a feeling that you know there is someone you can fall back on.Tell me about your self-initiated It’s cool to repeat [clothes] campaign on Twitter.Everybody’s flawed in some way or another. Nobody can be perfect. And everybody will have an opinion about you differently.First and foremost, you need to accept the fact that you are flawed. And that’s what makes your beautiful.It’s cool to be yourself. Be whatever you want to be. The important thing about how to do that is to not care about what people think — it’s the hardest thing to do.We live in a society where every one will judge you. And every one has an opinion about you. But, accept yourself — it took me years to be able to do that. I had peer pressure.Accept who you are. It takes experience. It takes acceptance.It shouldn’t make you hardened — “I don’t care what people say.” I mean, it’s important to care. (You live in a society where no man is an island.) But, it shouldn’t change what you are intrinsically.If you could tell all the youth of the world one thing, what would it be?Own it.There are so many people telling you what’s cool and what’s not. There are so many people telling you what’s right, and if you speak like this, if wear this, if you like this, if you listen to this type of music, you’re cooler.But, we need to reach a point where we sit back — by ourselves — and say, “You know what? So, what if people don’t like blah-blah-blah musician? I do!” And it’s fine.Our choices should not define what we are, or what we are capable of being. We need to start saying that: “It’s my choice for now. I can change it tomorrow. It’s cool to be me.”People just need to stop being embarrassed about whoever, whatever they are.LookToTheStars.org thanks Priyanka for taking the time to talk to us.Copyright ©2013Look to the Stars
The changing composition of growth, toward investment and exports and away from credit-driven sectors, will likely be more pronounced in B.C.The province’s role as a trade gateway and the contributions of the large transportation and logistics industry will continue to underpin its success. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The British Columbia Business Council is expecting growth of the provincial economy with the LNG Canada project.The Business Council said, “The recent announcement that LNG Canada is proceeding with its $40 billion LNG investment in Kitimat has prompted us to revise our provincial forecast up to 2.5% for 2019”.The Business Council says B.C. is projected to grow in the range of 2.3% to 2.5% over 2018 and 2019, near the top of the provincial growth rankings.
Seoul: South Korea will this week celebrate the first anniversary of a landmark summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — but Pyongyang may not take part, Seoul said Monday. The pair held their first meeting on April 27 last year in the Demilitarised Zone dividing the peninsula amid a rapid diplomatic thaw, paving the way for a historic summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June. But one year later, little progress has been made on North Korea’s denuclearisation, with Pyongyang and Washington deadlocked since a second summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi in February broke down without a deal. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMoon, who brokered the first meeting between the two mercurial leaders, has tried to salvage the diplomacy although the North has remained largely unresponsive. Since Hanoi, the North has not attended any of the eight regular weekly meetings of the heads of their joint liaison office in Kaesong, and has not taken part in other joint projects, such as excavations in the DMZ. Seoul will hold a ceremony on Saturday at Panmunjom — where Moon and Kim exchanged warm smiles and brotherly hugs — the unification ministry said, but Pyongyang’s attendance remained unclear. “When we notify the North (about the event), we will provide additional details,” ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min told reporters. Moon and Kim met three times last year — including a second impromptu encounter after Trump threatened to cancel the Singapore summit just weeks before it was due. But exchanges between Seoul and Pyongyang have significantly decreased since the failure to reach agreement in Hanoi.
New Delhi: A JNU student allegedly committed suicide Friday by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in a study room of the university, police said. They said they were informed about the incident around 11.30 am. The MA 2nd year student of the prestigious university was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead, a senior police officer said. Police and crime team are at the spot and further details are awaited.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) runs the ball in the first half in the game against Illinois on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 52-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State shouldn’t have needed a 30-point loss to a team that just lost at home to Purdue to know it needed to run the ball more.The Buckeyes have two of the best running backs in the Big Ten, and for some reason it took an embarrassing loss at Iowa for head coach Urban Meyer to figure out that J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber should touch the ball 30-plus times combined each game.It wasn’t surprising the Buckeyes went back to the ground game after being trounced against an inferior opponent, but Weber’s play has been surprising, and it’s what makes Ohio State’s offense even more dangerous moving forward.“If you can get the running game going, put a guy on a guy and execute pretty highly,” center Billy Price said, “then our running backs are lights-out speed, get out in open space, then good things happen.”Weber started the scoring against Michigan State with a 47-yard touchdown run, then topped that with an 82-yarder. The thought was: Maybe Weber is finally healthy and this is a running back that can hit long runs for scores.He scored twice Saturday in a 52-14 drubbing of Illinois. One was another long touchdown run of more than 40 yards.That thought of “Is this a new Mike Weber?” has additional supporting evidence, which would give Ohio State two legitimate homerun threats at running back.So why wasn’t he running like this before?“Weber is just 100 percent healthy,” Meyer said. “We were bragging about him all summer and then had the tough injury. But he’s doing very well.”Meyer said last week that Weber’s hamstring injury was severe enough to consider surgery. So maybe he truly is finally healthy and that’s what is making the difference in his game and perceived improved quickness since the Iowa game.No one has really been able to figure out Ohio State’s colossal conundrum against the Hawkeyes.“What just happened,” has been a repeating question for three weeks. Meyer raised it after a fourth-quarter comeback against Penn State. Fans and media asked it following a complete collapse against Iowa the week after, then it came up again in an annihilation of Michigan State the week after that.Still, no one really has a good answer for the Iowa game, especially after the blowout of a ranked Michigan State. Maybe fans can just chalk it up as an unexplainable letdown and hope that Ohio State team doesn’t show up again because this Ohio State team that clobbered Michigan State and kicked the snot out of a terrible Illinois team is pretty good — maybe playoff good.Weber is a major part of that.“If we get the running game going, everything else opens up,” Price said.Meyer and the offensive coaching staff have talked all year about the possibility of playing both Weber and Dobbins in a formation. That’s now possible. And what a better week to do that than against Michigan.Weber is averaging 13.5 yards per carry the past two games and has gained more than 100 yards in each. The offensive line has been making its case as one of the best units in the country, but the running backs are doing their job, like they have been all year.Weber’s production in the past two games is unequivocal to the first nine games, and it’s a welcomed addition.Meyer and the coaching staff somehow didn’t see the writing on the wall that the running game was always the team’s identity. But that gaffe by the staff might not matter because Ohio State is in the playoff picture, and if Weber’s performances the past two games are an indicator of a new Weber, he can make this offense College-Football-Playoff good.
Fred has thanked former Arsenal midfielder and agent Gilberto Silva for his role in helping him decide to join Manchester UnitedThe Brazil international turned down offers from Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and some clubs in China to sign for the Red Devils this summer.Fred was officially confirmed as a United player on a five-year deal in June after the club agreed to pay Shakhtar Donetsk £47m.And the 25-year-old has thanked his agent, Gilberto, for helping pave the way to Old Trafford.Gilberto played for Arsenal for five years and was a key member of the famous “Invincibles” squad that went the entire 2003/04 season unbeaten.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“Gilberto was a top midfielder who played for Arsenal,” Fred told the club website.“But he has a lot of respect for Manchester United, who are obviously a big club here in England.“He praised the club a lot and, after he was granted the opportunity to speak to Jose Mourinho and other senior figures at United, we made the decision together for me to come here. We decided it would be a good move for me.“Gilberto is a top guy and his advice means a lot to me. He played in the same position as I do and he won the Premier League, so I look to him for inspiration, I listen to what he has to say and I take on board what he tells me.”Fred will now be hoping to make his third start for United in Monday’s Premier League game against Tottenham.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes that Lionel Messi is one of the best players to watch in footballThe Spaniard, who led the Red Devils to a best-ever finish of third at the World Cup in Russia, revealed his admiration for Messi during for the futsal Champions League in Belgium.“Whatever is said about Leo Messi, there’s nothing new,” Martinez told the club website. “He is a player you can really enjoy,”“When he is out on the field, and he’s at a level like the one he showed in England, that’s something everyone can appreciate.”Messi has continued his fine performances for Barcelona this season with 11 goals and five assists in 11 games across all competitions.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Manager Ernesto Valverde is determined to ensure that the Catalans do better in the Champions League this time around following their shock quarter-final exit at the hands of AS Roma last season.And things have got off to a strong start for Barcelona with convincing wins over PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham in their opening two games of Group B.“Barça, as well as other teams, are candidates to win it all. There aren’t too many teams around the world that are built to win it. They hope to compete for everything, and that doesn’t change with one good or a bad match,” said Martinez.“Every year the Champions League competition gets more and more difficult. It’s very difficult to find a team to win three years in a row, but this year it’s pretty balanced, and I think we will see one of the best competitions we’ve seen in recent years.”
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Governor happy with promise to speed up work permit process Related Items:immigration board, new policy, work permit Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 10 Aug 2015 – Cabinet last week agreed to change the way work permits for expatriate workers can be issued when these individuals are switching employment. Once the policy change is formalized it will mean more scrutiny for foreign workers who want to swap jobs. The press release from the Governor’s office reveals that it was agreed to amend the policy which prohibited the grant of work permits to persons changing employers. It will call for work permits in these cases to at first satisfy the Immigration Board; and it will have to be proven to the Board that the situation is an exceptional circumstance as the applicant meets certain other criteria which will reportedly be developed by the Minister. With the modification, the worker from abroad will have to have a formal release from the previous employer as a condition of consideration. All worker sectors will be impacted by this coming change as the policy extends to public, statutory bodies and private companies. Work Permit process needs to speed up, Cabinet hears from UK Consultant Work Permit Rules To Be Adhered To
Ahead of the crucial Champions League match against Liverpool, PSG may have lost both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé due to injuries.It’s a sad day for football, as PSG got the terrible news that they may lose Neymar and Kylian Mbappé ahead of the crucial Champions League match vs Liverpool due to injuries they suffered while playing for their National Teams.This comes as a huge blow for the French giants, given that these two players are their top players without question.The first one to go down is Neymar Junior, the Brazilian forward was barely starting his friendly match between Brazil and Cameroon when he felt discomfort on his groin right after he took a long-range shot from outside the box.Neymar quickly stopped running and took his hand directly to the affected muscle area, it didn’t take him more than a minute to ask the bench for a substitute as he knew that the injury was serious.Neymar is one of PSG’s biggest leaders this season, but he is the absolute boss for Brazil and suffering a loss like this could be really unfortunate for the Canarinha.The medical staff will have to make the proper tests in order to determine the extent of his injury.Neymar se lesionó en el amistoso de Brasil contra Camerún, a solo 5 minutos de arrancado el partido. pic.twitter.com/YlpTkOoiDh— FM88 Radioactiva (@fm88radioactiva) November 20, 2018Cut to Stade de France where Les Bleus face the Uruguay National Team, a match that had absolutely no importance for the squad’s future but the manager still decided to play his best possible line-up.As it was expected due to the people’s demands, Kylian Mbappé was obviously going to be a starring player for this match and he immediately made his proper impact with the already familiar flashy style of play.The problem was that this youngster had no idea of the unfortunate moment he was about to live, it was during a ball dispute with the Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campaña.Mbappé went to the challenge and took the worst part, as he fell on top of his right shoulder and suffered an injury that seems quite serious.The young player decided to keep playing for a few minutes so he could test the extent of the injury, but it didn’t take him long to realize that the knock appears to be quite serious as he decided to finally leave the pitch early during the first half.¿Kylian Mbappé? No, Martín Campaña😎Opinion: Neymar will earn respect back from the PSG fans Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After completing his incredible return to Parc des Princes, we predict that Neymar will earn the respect back from PSG supporters.The situation between Neymar…Tremendo lo del arquero de #Independiente.📹 @DIRECTVSports#SiempreRojo pic.twitter.com/YL1HGb9OCI— SIEMPRE ROJO 🎙📻🇦🇹 (@siemprerojo_ok) November 20, 2018Both PSG stars are still pending on further tests to see if they will be available for the next couple of matches, manager Thomas Tuchel must be fuming right now because he knows that the next week will be crucial for the club’s future in the Champions League.Paris Saint-Germain will have a massive game at Parc des Princes, where they will play against Liverpool FC and they were expecting to have both of their biggest stars fully fit for the commitment.Out of the two injuries, the one that tends to be more serious is the muscular problem that Neymar had on his groin.However, Mbappé’s shoulder knock could also turn out to be complicated because it could also be a clavicle injury just by judging at the faces of pain that the young player was making when the whole event went down.Any test that should be made for both players will happen between today and tomorrow, we won’t have any definitive prognoses until the test results are made public but we wish that both are nothing but a scare and they can keep delighting us with their amazing skills.Kylian Mbappe goes off injured for France. He follows Neymar in picking up a knock.It’s not been a good night for PSG…France vs Uruguay: https://t.co/cKipvTWrOr pic.twitter.com/cpM5zk9tl3— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) November 20, 2018Which of both injuries do you think is more serious, Neymar’s or Mbappé’s? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uAs we continue the Spring Membership Drive, we’ll be joined by Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun discussing his story about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms being brought into Baltimore to help combat skyrocketing gun violence and homicides. Also the NWA Sports Report crew will discuss race in sports, in the wake of Baltimore Orioles all-star centerfielder Adam Jones, claiming he was called, “nigger,” several times by Boston Red Sox fans during last night’s game and it isn’t the first time Jones has been the target of racial slurs. Call and make your pledge of support…410.319.8888!These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.
The colours and sounds of Africa came alive here last week through the mesmerising music of Peki Emelia Nothembia Mkhwebane, known as the African queen of Ndebele music.The Ndebele musical tradition derives from the culture of the ethnic Zulu people of South Africa.Makhwebane enthralled a near-full house at the FICCI auditorium Saturday evening on the final day of the Days of South Africa in India festival, organised jointly by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and South Africa’s Department of Art and Culture. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To repeated cries of encore, Mkhwenabe and her band gave a spectacular performance combining music and song with an energetic, spellbinding dance. She led the performance with her high pitched, soulful voice and electric guitar while the dancers entranced with their traditional costumes, coloured in vivid hues with intricate bead and metalwork.With songs like Angekhe Angijhiye (Jesus is great, will always be with me) and Igama (I have worked for my name), all sung in Ndebele with backup vocals, the performance was a vivid demonstration of how South African music is a dialogue with various forms and their hybridisation. ‘My music takes from both rural and urban traditions,’ Mkhwebane, who composes her songs, said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Music is a vital part of everyday life in Africa. It is always there in religious ceremonies, festivals, and social rituals. Everyone plays an active part in the musical life of the community,’ she said.For someone who has taken Ndebele culture to the world, Mkhwebane’s life mirrors the history of multicultural South Africa. Orphaned at the age of five, and unable to have a formal education, she learnt to play the reed flute from her grandmother and the guitar from her uncle.Mkhwebane has travelled extensively abroad, performing in the United States, Europe and Australia. She has many awards to her credit. These include the Tourism Ambassador for South Africa, the South African Music Award and more.
If you belong to the millennials’ club —those born after
Thursday, December 22, 2016 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Share More engagement with trade will help boost Caribbean visits from Canada in 2017: CTO Hugh Riley — Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism OrganizationBRIDGETOWN — Calling 2016 “an impressive, yet challenging year” for Caribbean tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Secretary General Hugh Riley says strong inbound visitor figures from Europe and the U.S. helped offset a tough year from the Canadian market.Riley said the Caribbean is poised to meet its 30 million arrivals target set two years ago at its State of the Tourism Industry Conference. “Yet, amidst the year’s impressive achievements, the Canadian market was a concern,” said Riley. Traditionally a robust achiever, even during the tough global economic meltdown, Canada delivered declining numbers this year, sparked by the weakening of the Canadian dollar.“We are moving to reverse that slide, combining our efforts with those of our CTO member-countries and our industry partners,” said Riley. The CTO is looking to hire a Business Development Representative in the first quarter of 2017 “to substantially enhance the Caribbean’s engagement in Canada’s most productive areas”, identify and develop business in non-traditional areas and work closely with our members’ representatives for maximum impact, he said.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”New travel agent training and certification, increased use of targeted social media, enhanced deployment of the CTO’s data analysis tools, and more focused engagement with the Caribbean diaspora are all components of the 2017 strategy for Canada, Riley added.While air arrivals to the Caribbean were up, key performance metrics for the region’s hotel industry recorded declined through the first half of 2016, based on data compiled by Smith Travel Research Inc. The slumps were influenced by a rise in room stock and a fall in demand for traditional hotel rooms, attributed in part to ‘the sharing economy’, e.g. Airbnb.Mother Nature challenged the Caribbean as well, with some member countries affected in varying degrees by hurricanes. “Yet despite the adversities occasioned by these events, our resilience and fortitude as a region stood out and even the worst affected were back open for business in quick time, proving that tourism is an effective way to re-energize an economy following a natural or other disaster,” said Riley.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe onset of the Zika virus also presented a challenge and the CTO continues to work with its partners, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to address concerns raised by our suppliers and potential visitors.The CTO also continues to monitor the possible impact of the Brexit vote as the UK moves to end and its membership in the European Union.The CTO’s declaration of 2016 as ‘The Year of Romance’ in the Caribbean was a success story, with member-countries and industry partners organizing events or participating in roadshows specializing in romance, said Riley. “Our 30 Days of Caribbean Romance social media marathon reached 10.5 million people in June, while millions more were reached through the innovative Periscope Marathon and Tweet Chat featuring romantic places of the Caribbean, and our Five Romantic Facts about each member-country during Caribbean Tourism Month in November.”What’s the theme for 2017? Riley announced that next year will be the ‘Year of Adventure’ in the Caribbean. Tags: Caribbean, Caribbean Tourism Organization
Online video platform Dailymotion is today exclusively launching a scripted series about a music student who discovers dark government secrets hidden within songs.Three-parter The Dark Prophet comes from Evette Vargas and stars Henry Rollins, Josh Meyers and Chase Felin among others and is billed as ‘The Matrix meets 24’.Dailymotion has partnered with online filmmaker distribution network Renderyard to launch the show across all territories it operates in.Dark Prophet follows a gifted student who finds messages from a covert government agency plotting a world war hidden with the binary code of songs. After bring framed for his girlfriend’s murder, he has to go underground to prove his innocence and stop the agency.Production comes from Digital Reign Productions and Dream Hunters Studios. Writer Vargas executives produces alongside Shannon McIntosh, Carlos Arriaga, Ricardo Reyes and Ariella Levitan.“Dailymotion is designed to make it easy for leading and emerging filmmakers to realise their ambitions by reaching our global audience of 120 million viewers,” said Dailymotion’s VP, international content Marc Eychenne.“We have worked hard to develop and deliver the high quality technology platform that both does justice to the work of young artists and provides agreat viewing experience for our users. We are happy to be bringing more work from upcoming artists to our viewers through this exclusive partnership.”
“Loophole” lets you tap Big Oil’s cash stash…Big Oil made out like bandits when gas prices hit $4.How about using this little-known “loophole” to get some of that cash back?And not just a tiny stock dividend either — this can pay you up to three times the income most stocks or bonds pay. Even though this move has nothing to do with the stock market.Watch this video below for details. It was apparent, at least to me, that not-for-profit sellers were about in both the metals and their respective shares again yesterday.The gold price was up about twelve bucks or so just a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. in London yesterday morning…and that was the high tick of the day. From there, the price swooned five dollars or so before almost regaining its old high shortly before 1:00 p.m. GMT…about twenty-five minutes before the Comex opened at 8:20 a.m. in New York.From that secondary high, the gold price got sold off about a percent, with the low of the day [$1,714.90 spot] coming at 9:45 a.m. Eastern time. The subsequent rally ran into a not-for-profit seller at precisely 11:00 a.m…and from that point, the gold price got sold off about five bucks into the close of electronic trading at 5:15 p.m.The gold price closed at $1,721.90 spot…down 20 cents from Friday. Net volume was very light at 94,000 contracts, give or take a thousand or so.In fits and starts between the Sunday night open…and its high of the day a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. in London…the silver price rose about 45 cents. But, once again, the moment that it broke through the $34 spot price level, a not-for-profit seller showed up and sold it down about two bits.The price more or less stayed at that level until precisely 1:00 p.m. in London [twenty minutes before the Comex opened]…and then selling began anew, with the low of the day coming at 10:15 a.m. in New York.And, like gold, the subsequent rally in silver ran into a not-for-profit seller at precisely 11:00 a.m. Eastern as well. The subsequent rally ended shortly after the Comex closed for the day…and silver traded sideways for the rest of the Monday trading session.Silver closed the Monday trading day at $33.72 spot…up the magnificent sum of 13 cents. Net volume was a rather small 25,000 contracts.The dollar index gapped down about thirty basis points right at the open on Sunday night in New York…recovered most of that within an hour…and then rolled over…hitting its low of the day [78.62] at 8:45 a.m. in London [3:45 a.m. Eastern]…which happened about ten minutes before the high tick of the day in both metals.From that low, the dollar index steadily gained back about 40 basis points of its loses by the close of trading late in the New York afternoon…and the index closed a few basis points above the 79.00 mark…and is still heading higher as of this writing, which is 11:04 p.m. Eastern.The dollar index finished unchanged from its Friday afternoon close in New York.A cursory glance at the Kitco gold chart above shows that the gold price was rather reluctant to head south as the dollar headed north…and the last two sell offs of the day [7 and 11 a.m. Eastern time] look like the handiwork of not-for-profit sellers, as every time they stopped selling, the price rose. Ditto for silver…and platinum.The gold stocks gapped up at the open, but one or more not-for-profit sellers used the opportunity to beat the stocks into the red by 10:15 a.m. Eastern…and the moment that the subsequent rally made back into positive territory, there was someone waiting to sell it off once again.It’s as plain as day that the gold stocks would have finished in the black if it wasn’t for this indiscriminate selling. Sprott Asset Management’s John Embry and I [plus many others] are in full agreement on this one…that ‘da boyz’ are not only dicking with metal prices themselves, they are managing share prices as well.The HUI closed down 0.47% yesterday.The silver shares were a mixed bag yesterday…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index actually close up 0.04%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 10 gold contracts…but a rather large 127 silver contracts…were posted for delivery tomorrow. In silver it was, as usual, Jefferies as the short/issuer…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan as the big long/stoppers…receiving 108 of those issued contracts. UBS stopped 14 contracts.We’re about half way through February…and 585 silver contracts have already been delivered so far this month. This goes along with the 1,600 of so that were delivered in January. These are amazing amounts for these two months which, as I’ve said before, are not normal delivery months for silver.Both Ted Butler and myself would love to be flies on the wall over at Jefferies these days, as they’ve been the short/issuer on just about every one of these 2,200+ contracts delivered since the beginning of the year. That’s 11 million ounces dear reader…over five days of world silver production in total…and that ain’t chopped liver.The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday…but over at SLV, authorized participants withdrew 1,360,461 troy ounces of silver.There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 1,500 ounces of gold eagles…500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 25,000 silver eagles. The month-to-date totals aren’t worth mentioning…and the mint isn’t even close to selling a million silver eagles yet this month.Friday was pretty slow over at the Comex-approved depositories, as they didn’t receive a bar of silver…and only shipped 46,522 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to this little bit of activity, is here.On Friday I forgot to check the short interest in silver over at the shortsqueeze.com website. I normally check it every day, but with the Commitment of Traders Report…and the Bank Participation Report to write about in Saturday’s column as well, it just never crossed my mind. However, silver analyst Ted Butler didn’t forget…and this is what he had to say about what he saw…“The first big development this week is one that caught me by surprise, although perhaps I shouldn’t have been completely surprised. I’m speaking of the new report on the short position in shares of SLV, as of the close of business January 31st. Where I was girding for an increase in the short SLV position (since we climbed nearly $4 in price for the two week reporting period), instead there was a very big decline in the short position of more than 35%. The short position in SLV declined by 9.4 million shares (ounces), from 26.6 million to under 17.2 million shares. This is the biggest two-week reduction in the SLV short position in my memory…and the first I can recall when silver prices were advancing. The decline in the SLV short position brought it down almost 50% from the high-water mark of over 36 million shares in the spring of 2011. Here’s the link to SLV’s short position over at shortsqueeze.com.”“I admit to doing a double-take when I first glanced at the numbers. As I previously reported, towards the end of December, I received a very threatening letter from lawyers representing BlackRock, the sponsor of the SLV, demanding that I cease defaming their client on the shorting SLV issue. By coincidence, on the same day I received the letter, I got a call from a fellow subscriber and friend (who is a European money manager) and when I told him about the letter, he told me that it probably meant that BlackRock was taking this very seriously and would move to get the SLV short position reduced, despite the threatening tone of the letter to me. I told my friend that I thought (and hoped) that he was correct and we would see if we were correct in future short reports as they were released.”“I can’t help but feel that the most plausible explanation for the dramatic reduction in the SLV short position (especially on rising prices) is as my European friend predicted, namely, that BlackRock came to realize that the shorting of SLV was fraudulent and manipulative and they were working to eliminate it. Of course, I don’t want to be overly optimistic…and if we witness future big increases in the short position of SLV, that would indicate [that] we were back to the old fraud and manipulation in the shorting of those shares. But let’s take it one day at a time and reserve judgment on whether we go back to the bad old ways of short selling in SLV.”Before heading into the stories I have for you today, here’s the chart of the U.S. M3 money supply updated as of Friday’s close. It’s a pretty sick looking puppy…and if this continues for any length of time, we’ll see the Fed begin QE3 pretty quick, as deflation is not on their play list. I thank Nick Laird for sending it to me.(Click on image to enlarge)Being a typical Tuesday column, I have a lot of stories for you today. I hope you have time to skim them all.Life isn’t about finding yourself…it’s about creating yourself. – Author UnknownIt was apparent, at least to me, that not-for-profit sellers were about in both the metals and their respective shares again yesterday, as both gold and silver…and the shares…would have had a much better time of it they hadn’t made an appearance. There was nothing free market about Monday’s price action.But since volumes were pretty light, it wasn’t difficult to shove the metal prices around…and as I noted further up, silver was not allowed to closed about $34 spot again.In about ten days we have option expiry for the March contract…and I’m wondering whether or not JPMorgan et al will take the opportunity to lean on the metals as we head into that date. We’ll find out soon enough I would think.Overnight, both metals declined as the dollar continued to rise…and the moment that London opened for business, both metals got sold off a bit more. As of 5:04 a.m. Eastern time, gold is down a few dollars and silver is down about 30 cents. The dollar index is up just a bit over 25 basis points…and appears to have topped out about an hour before London began trading. Volume in both metals is starting to get up there…and it’s obvious that the ‘inflate, or die’ news from the Bank of Japan had no impact on the gold price, at least not for moment. Jim Rickards is right…currency wars it is…and it’s only a matter of time before the precious metal prices begin to reflect that.That’s it for today. I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement
In This Issue.* Gold & Commodities plunge even further. * Currencies join in with stocks and commodities. * RBA talks about low inflation. * U.S. data cupboard returns.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Will The Healing Last?Good day. And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! What a horrific scene in Boston at the Boston Marathon Finish Line yesterday. On Patriot’s Day in Boston, someone or some group planted bombs near the finish line and set them off yesterday as thousands of participants attempted to finish and spectators watched. Here’s what I know at this point: The White House says the explosion will be handled as an act of terror. Three people have lost their lives and over 100 are injured with at least 8 in a critical condition. So far, no group has come forward to take responsibility for the attack.So, it’s with sadness that I begin today’s letter. I have to think that we as a country have been pretty lucky that we don’t experience this type of stuff like they do in the U.K. So, let’s keep the people in Boston in our thoughts, and move on to the markets.Well. Yesterday, I told you about how Gold was down $80 in the morning. Then as the morning went along, it seemed some healing was happening and Gold began to bounce, but that bounce had little to the ounce and soon Gold was back on the slippery slope as I left the office for the day. The Gold to stocks trade, didn’t carry through as even U.S. stocks got taken to the woodshed yesterday, It was all about buying Treasuries, as the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.67% (remember for bonds yield and price move in opposite directions, so as the yield falls, the price goes up)There are more thoughts out on the street about why Gold is falling like a rock from the sky, but I think I’ll stick with my theory that the “boys” on Wall Street are behind all this, and probably with the blessings, wink and nod from the Gov’t. they saw an opening to drive the price down, and they did. And will continue to do so, until they feel that Elvis has left the building. (masses have panicked and sold). That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!Long time readers know that I have quoted my friend, Bill Bonner, many times over the years, and so in this time of crazy theories about what’s going on, I turn to Bill to see what he thinks. By the way, one of the theories out there, plays well with my conspiracy tendencies. It goes like this. The Big Boys in concert with the U.S. Gov’t are driving the price of Gold lower, so that the U.S. can buy it cheaper, and therefore have the Gold to deliver to Germany. Hey. I’ve heard of crazier things that turned out to be fact! OK.. any way. here’s a snippet of what Bill Bonner had to say about the Gold selling that the NY Times reported on yesterday.NY Times- “So Wall Street is growing increasingly bearish on gold, and investment that banks and others had deftly marketed to the masses only a few years ago.”Bill Bonner’s response – “Ha-ha. Do you remember Wall Street deftly marketing gold to the masses a few years ago? Show us the ads! Give us the broker’s phone logs! Prove it! The fact is, the masses never got anywhere near gold. Not even close. Most people have never seen a gold coin.. Which is why we’re nowhere near a top. Wall Street never marketed gold deftly.. or any other way. Not even in its usual greedy, heavy-handed fashion. And the masses never bought it. Just the opposite. Yes, dear reader, we hope Goldman and SocGen are right. We’d like to see gold crash down around $1,300… or lower. First, because this would mark a real correction in the bull market. It’s been going on for 12 years without a serious correction. Not a healthy situation. We’d like to get the correction out of the way… shaking out the Johnnies-come-lately and the two-bit speculators. Then, the final stage in the bull market could begin.”I usually get the ship righted after reading Bill’s thoughts. Any way.This selling has been a paper event. Yes, an ETF liquidation, and that’s what leads me to believe that when the paper selling is over, the physical demand which has remained strong all during the 20% drop in Gold’s price since reaching a high of $1,921 a couple of years ago, will take over, and a slow grinding recovery will take place. When will that happen? I don’t know. Better asked of the “boys” who are doing the paper selling.OK. So, yesterday, the Commodities and Commodity Currencies were the assets on the chopping blocks, the rest of the currencies held their own. Well, the selling of the Commodities and Commodity Currencies became too much to bear, and eventually the selling spilled over to the rest of the currencies. The thing I found to be surprising though was the selloff in U.S. stocks yesterday. That was not something I expected during this sell Gold and risk assets timetable.But that was yesterday. But it’s not the end of the world, just a slight change of plans. This morning, I’m seeing some healing once again, with Gold up $35, the euro back to 1.31, and the Aussie dollar (A$) up 1/2-cent. Yesterday, I said something about the A$ that I was shocked that thousands of readers didn’t throw right back in my face. I said that the A$ was down $1. YIKES! That should have been 1-cent! Thanks for not spanking me with that faux-pas!The A$ move higher is curious, given the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting minutes that printed last night, in which the RBA talked about how the lower inflation gives them room to cut rates, and then made a statement about how the A$ had remained “high”. The markets like to get all lathered up over these meeting minutes that Central Banks print a month after the meeting took place. I find that laughable, but then, it’s the markets, it’s not as if these guys are rocket scientists! But that’s the norm in the markets, Shoot Rudy, they do the same thing with backwards looking data!It’s been some time since I talked about the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. And that’s probably a good thing! But this morning in Germany, the Chancellor told a crowd something that I think she should be commended for. Let’s listen in. “We know that there will have to be victims from this austerity in many countries. But, I believe that in the long term we’ll have to have a growth strategy without always having to pile on debt. The piling up of debt is often made into a type of obligation to serve the principle of growth. All of that is false. It’s not sustainable in the long term.”I think that Ms Merkel had U.S. Treasury Sec Lew in mind with those comments, as it was just last week that Mr. Lew, told the Eurozone Finance Chiefs that they needed to shift toward generating economic expansion like the U.S. has done through monetary measures. You know, we have no idea where all these monetary measures are going to take us, but I would pin my colors to the mast that calls for mass problems, and not the mast that says we’ll be just fine from all these stimulus measures.The Petrol Currencies that include: Norway, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and even the U.K. not only had to deal with the selling in the Commodity Currencies, but also the selling and the subsequent drop in price of Oil. The WTI Oil price which is the one I quote in the currency roundup each day is below $90 (at $88) and the Brent Oil price has fallen below $100. Still a long way from the $40 oil I was promised 2 years ago.Another thing weighing on the markets is the renewed war rhetoric from N. Korea. News of N. Korea’s warning to S. Korea that a “strike will start without any notice” is not doing the risk asset any favors this morning. But, a recovery in the risk assets, like I told you about above is going on, so maybe the markets are beginning to think of N. Korea’s warnings like the boy who cried wolf. probably not a good idea, but it is what it is.And for those of you keeping score at home, the Chinese have added another country to their roster of countries that they trade with and exchange each other’s currencies, leaving out U.S. dollars from the terms of trade. This time it’s France. OK, the agreement hasn’t actually been signed yet, but like the other countries that were added to China’s roster, once the verbal announcement has been made, the actually signing is just a formality. France is actually getting a leg up on the competition by doing this. You see, Paris would love to be the offshore renminbi / yuan trading hub in Europe, beating out London. So, getting into bed with the Chinese now, might serve them better when the time comes.As I told you yesterday, the U.S. Data Cupboard has some items to yield to us today. Two of my faves. Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, Housing Starts, and Building Permits will all print their results for March today. We’ll also see the stupid CPI reports and you can bet your sweet bippie that some Gov’t official will make certain to point out that inflation in the U.S. is still not a problem. I do expect to see some more rot on the vine exposed, in the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization reports. And once again, I’ll do my best Alfred E. Newman, and say, recovery? What recovery?Then There Was This. Caroline Baum, a columnist for Bloomberg News, has always been a fave read of mine. Yesterday, she submitted this article on Japan, and the U.S. Treasury. It’s a good read, so here’s a snippet.“With a new president and central bank governor in place, Japan has finally decided to get serious. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a “monetary regime change” including a 2 percent inflation target. On April 4, following its regular meeting, the Bank of Japan made its “quantitative and qualitative monetary easing” official.The BOJ will double the monetary base by purchasing about 7.5 trillion yen of Japanese government bonds per month. It plans to extend the average maturity of its portfolio from three to seven years. And it will continue such actions until it achieves its inflation target.In other words, the BOJ is doing exactly what the Federal Reserve is doing.And for this it gets a warning from the U.S. Treasury “to refrain from competitive devaluation and targeting its exchange rate for competitive purposes”?Chuck again. yes. this a case of the kettle calling the pot black. I just don’t see how the U.S. can do the “do as we say, not as we do” thing, and then beat on Japan for doing what they said to do.To recap. The selling continued all through the day yesterday in Gold and then the other currencies joined in. But that was yesterday, and today, we’re seeing some healing in the price of Gold and the currencies. The gold selloff has been an ETF, paper event, folks. not physical gold. I keep saying that.Currencies today 4/16/13. American Style: A$ $1.0374, kiwi .8490, C$ .9790, euro 1.3120, sterling 1.5310, Swiss $1.0790, . European Style: rand 9.1335, krone 5.7335, SEK 6.3875, forint 224.85, zloty 3.1365, koruna 19.7105, RUB 31.34, yen 97.85, sing 1.2355, HKD 7.7620, INR 54.14, China 6.2408, pesos 12.17, BRL 2.005, Dollar Index 82.15, Oil $88.22, 10-year 1.71%, Silver $23.52, and Gold $1,386.39That’s it for today. With all the news stations going 24/7 on the Bombing in Boston last night, I was taken back, in my mind, to 2001. The strange chills returned with each news update. At least I was able to watch my Cardinals and get my mind off that stuff for a couple of hours. I made my presentation on our business yesterday, I guess it went OK, nobody threw darts at me! I have one more day of “stuff” to do and write in my office today, and then back out to the trade desk! So, did you get your taxes filed? I actually came out about even this year, which is always a good thing for me, but somehow, I paid a higher tax rate than the President. I’ll stop there, before I say something that gets me in trouble! I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday , and keep those folks in Boston in your thoughts.Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
Everything has this Alice in Wonderland feel to it After a little bump up at the 6 p.m. open on Thursday evening in New York, the gold price chopped sideways in Far East trading on their Friday morning before developing a negative bias starting around 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. There was a bit of rally once the a.m. London gold fix was in at 10:30 GMT—and from there it traded flat until JPMorgan’s HFT boyz and their algorithms showed up at the 8:30 a.m. EST job numbers report. The low tick appeared to come about ten minutes after the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close—and the price edged unevenly higher for the remainder of the electronic trading session. The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as 1,200.00 and $1,162.90 in the April contract. Gold finished the Friday session in New York at $1,168.70 spot, down $29.30 from Thursday’s close. Net volume was pretty big at 185,000 contracts. And as big as the volume was, I was expecting somewhat more than that. The silver equities followed a similar pattern, with their lows coming at 13:40 p.m. EST as well. From there they recovered a little into the close. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 6.09 percent. In silver, ‘3 or less’ U.S. banks hold 3,865 COMEX contracts on the long side—and 17,364 contracts on the short side, for a net short COMEX position of 13,499 contracts. [This compares to the 18,968 contracts these ‘3 or less’ banks held net short in February’s BPR.] JPMorgan currently holds both long AND short contracts in silver, but it’s a 100 percent certainty that they are net short a minimum of 15,000 contracts, which is more than the March net short position on its own. The other two U.S. banks that could be on the long side would be HSBC USA and Citigroup. Also in silver, ’12 or more’ non-U.S. banks are net short 22,734 COMEX futures contracts, an improvement from the 28,753 COMEX futures contracts they were short in February’s BPR. And in silver, as in gold, it’s my opinion that Canada’s Scotiabank is net short about 80 percent of this amount all by themselves. As I’ve been saying for many months, it’s also my opinion that Scotiabank is now the big silver short on the COMEX, but with JPMorgan not far behind. Between them I’d guess they’re short more than 30,000 but less than 35,000 COMEX contracts. Here’s the BPR chart for silver. Note in Chart #4 the blow-out in the non-U.S. bank short position [blue bars] in October of 2012 when Scotiabank was brought in from the cold. Also note August 2008 when JPMorgan took over the silver short position in Bear Stearns—the red bars. It’s very noticeable in Chart #4—and really stands out like the proverbial sore thumb in chart #5. As you can tell from the RSI traces, we’re already oversold in gold—and fast approaching it in silver and platinum. Can we go lower from here? I suppose, but as I said further up—and Ted mentioned in the quote of the day—once the Managed Money traders decide that they’re full up on the short side, the bottom will be in. And as I said, once that occurs, JPMorgan et al can “huff and puff” all they want, but it won’t matter, as the law of diminishing returns comes into play rather quickly—and they know it. So we wait some more. As far as I can see in all directions, it’s wall-to-wall ugly out there—and I see no way that the current economic, financial and monetary situation is going to resolve itself quietly. Everything has this “Alice in Wonderland” feel to it at the moment—and there’s some sort of Potemkin village down every rabbit hole I look—dead ends in all directions. How long the world can continue to muddle along in this state remains to be seen, but whatever end awaits us, it won’t be pretty. And when this situation does resolve itself, it would be a reasonable assumption that the precious metals will be sporting new prices—and the price management scheme in the COMEX futures market will be relegated to the dustbin of history. China and Russia, either individually or collectively, are certainly in a position to end it any time they wish—and as I’ve said on numerous occasions, they may do so if it’s in their best interests. And the moment that they, along with the other “hewers of wood—and drawers of water” on Planet Earth decide to rise up against the current Western establishment—and put their markers down on this 21st century form of enslavement, there will certainly be a New World Order, but it won’t be the one that the current powers-that-be have in mind. See you on Tuesday. The price action in silver was the same, but different. The price began to ‘drift’ lower starting shortly before lunch in Hong Kong—and got smacked below the $16 spot mark at 9 a.m. sharp in London trading. I would guess that a decent sized short position was put on at that point. From there it rallied into the jobs report—and although the HFT boyz huffed and puffed, the low tick of around $15.75 spot, which came minutes after 12 o’clock noon EST, was the best they could do. From there it rallied rather impressively into the close—and well off its low. The high and low ticks were recorded as $16.235 and $15.745 in the May contract. Silver finished the Friday session at $15.925 spot, down 27.5 cents from Thursday’s close. Net volume was only 40,300 contracts. A lot, yes, but like gold, I was sort of expecting more than this, so maybe this was all that JPMorgan et al could entice the technical funds traders in the Manged Money category into going short. I’ll have more on this in The Wrap. The palladium chart looked similar, except the $810 low tick came shortly after 9:00 a.m. in New York—and it recovered a decent amount shortly after that, before chopping sideways into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading. Palladium finished the Friday session at $816 spot, down only 7 dollars. The platinum price was manhandled by the HFT boyz almost exactly the same as gold. So much so in fact, that their respective daily charts are virtually interchangeable. Platinum was closed down $19 on the day to $1,157 spot. The second and third photo are ones I cropped for maximum visual impact, as there was too much sky—and there was a fence in the foreground of photo #2 that I couldn’t get rid of any other way, but you can see a bit of it in photo #3. These were taken as a left-to-right 2-photo collage from the top of the mesa where the Sedona airport is situated—and overlooks part of the town. It’s an absolutely spectacular setting—and I’d never seen anything like it before—and I’ve been around. Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart. It goes all the way back to the close of COMEX trading on Thursday. The Friday session starts at the 16:00 mark, as this chart is done for Mountain Standard Time, so you have to add 2 hours for EST. Note the huge volume spikes when the HFT traders spun their algorithms. The ‘click to enlarge’ feature really helps here. I thank Brad Robertson for sending this. In palladium, ‘3 or less’ U.S. banks are net short 8,285 COMEX futures contracts. They’ve held this size of short position almost continuously for the past five months running. They are net short a bit more than 25 percent of the entire futures market in this metal. Also in palladium, ’12 or more’ non-U.S. banks are net short 3,085 COMEX futures contracts, that’s an increase from the 2,370 contracts they were net short in February’s BPR. These non-U.S. banks are net short 12 percent of the COMEX futures market between them. And unless they’re acting in collusion, their short positions are immaterial. Here’s the BPR chart for palladium updated with the March report’s data. Just look at the long positions vs. the short positions held by the U.S. banks in Chart #5. You couldn’t make this stuff up! You should note that the U.S. banks were almost nowhere to be seen in the COMEX futures market in this metal until the middle of 2007—and they became the predominant and controlling factor by the end of Q1 of 2013, where they remain today. I would bet that JPMorgan holds the vast majority of the U.S. banks’ short position—and maybe all of it. Palladium as well. And how about silver? Along with yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report came the companion Bank Participation Report [BPR] for the month of March. And as I said in yesterday’s missive—“This is data extracted directly from the COT Report, which shows the COMEX futures contracts, both long and short, that are held by the U.S. and non-U.S. banks as of Tuesday’s cut-off.“ In gold, ‘3 or less’ U.S. banks are net short 38,437 COMEX gold contracts, or 3.84 million troy ounces. That’s an improvement from the 5.67 million troy ounces that they were short in February’s BPR. Also in gold, ’22 or more’ non-U.S. banks were net short 51,151 COMEX futures contracts in gold, or 5.15 million troy ounces, which is down from the 7.63 million ounces they were short in February’s BPR. And I’m still of the opinion based on CFTC data from October 2012, that Canada’s Scotiabank holds about one third of the non-U.S. bank short position all by itself. Here’s Nick’s chart of the Bank Participation Report for gold going back to 2000. Charts #4 and #5 are the key ones here. Note the blow-out in the short positions of the non-U.S. banks [the blue bars in chart #4] when Scotiabank was outed in October of 2012. Along with a couple of Wall Street investment houses, these are “da boyz’—the sellers of last resort—and you can call them what you like. Until they decide, or are instructed to stand back, the prices of all four precious metals are going nowhere—supply and demand fundamentals be damned! As Jim Rickards so correctly put it, the price management scheme is now so obvious, they should be embarrassed about it. I have a very decent number of stories for you today—and I hope you have enough time left in your weekend to read the ones that interest you the most. I’m still of a mind that there may be 40,000 long contracts of non-technical funds in the managed money category not likely to be liquidated on lower prices. So it’s hard for me to see where all the selling will come from that would enable the big commercial shorts to buy back significant numbers of short contracts. After all, the commercials can’t buy COMEX silver (or gold) contracts from the ether; there must be a contract sold for every contract bought. Nothing would make me happier than to see the big silver commercial shorts run out of room to rig prices lower because of a lack of technical fund selling capacity, but I also know how crooked these commercial shorts are—and must consider that if they are stuck, they are likely to resort to extreme measures rather than go down without a fight (to lower prices). A wild card here is that if JPMorgan is as heavily long physical silver as I imagine, they could always survive and prosper on higher silver prices despite holding a big short position. If your physical long position is much larger than your paper short position, that means you are net long and not afraid of higher prices. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 28 February 2015 Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ is from about 50 years ago. I remember it well, as it was from 1966—my last year in high school. Anyone of my vintage should know it—and the group—instantly. The link is here. And while I’m at it, here’s another one of their hits, this one from 1967. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is one I’ve wanted to feature for ages, but could never find a recording on youtube.com that I liked—and I still haven’t, so the one here will have to do. It’s the incomparable Dutch violinist Janine Jansen playing the fiddle in Ralph Vaughan Williams classical composition “The Lark Ascending“. I heard it on CBC-FM yesterday—and figured the time was right. The link is here. Well, it turned out as I feared—and it’s a given that the technical funds in the Managed Money category pitched the rest of their long positions and went massively short in both gold and silver yesterday, especially in gold. That’s the only reason that prices went down yesterday. We’ll have to wait until next Friday’s COT Report to see the numbers. I’m guessing that “da boyz” will show up at the open on Sunday evening to press their advantage further, but it appears that we’re at, or close to another major bottom. The next two trading days should tell us a lot. If you’re looking to “place your bets”—I would guess that the time is at hand. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals. In platinum ‘3 or less’ U.S. banks are net short 5,226 COMEX futures contracts—and that’s down from the 7,522 contracts they were net short in the February BPR. Also in platinum, ’17 or more’ non-U.S. banks are net short 8,469 COMEX contracts, down from the 9,782 they were collectively short in the February BPR. It’s a given that only one or two of these non-U.S. banks hold a material short position in this metal, at least compared to the gross and obscene short positions held by the ‘3 or less’ [more likely ‘2 or less’] U.S. bullion banks. That means that the short positions of the remaining 15 banks are not material, unless they’re all trading together on cue—and it’s impossible to know that. Here’s the BPR chart for platinum—and please note that the banks were never a factor in platinum until mid 2009. Now look at them. If you want to know why the platinum price isn’t going anywhere, despite the supply/demand fundamentals, look at the total long positions the banks have vs. their collective short positions. Palladium too! That tells you all you need to know. The banks are net short 20 percent of the entire COMEX futures market in platinum. As bad as the shares performed yesterday—and for the entire week, you have to wonder who was buying everything that was being sold. For the week, the HUI declined by 13.29 percent—and the silver stocks by 11.76 percent. Ouch! I thank Nick Laird for providing that data last night. Gold gave up all its gains for 2015 as well. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 17 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday. Once again it was JPMorgan stopping 11 of those contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest for March fell by 5 contracts—and is now down to 148 contracts outstanding. Silver’s March o.i. also declined by 5 contracts—and it stands at 951 contracts remaining, minus the 17 posted above. One has to wonder how many of these remaining contracts are owned by JPMorgan. So far they’ve stood for delivery on more than 50 percent of the March silver contracts that have been issued. I have more to say about this in my comments on the COT Report—and the companion Bank Participation Report further down. Ted will certainly be revisiting this issue in his weekly review today as well. There was another very decent withdrawal from GLD yesterday, this time an authorized participant removed 143,981 troy ounces. And as of 6:51 p.m. EST yesterday, there were no reported changes in SLV. It will be very interesting to see what withdrawals are forthcoming from these two ETFs next week. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. Month-to-date the mint has sold 6,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 587,000 silver eagles. That puts the silver/gold sales ratio at 73 to 1. There was a lot of in/out gold movement at the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday, as 171,852 troy ounces were reported received—and 49,890 troy ounces were shipped out the door. The link to that activity is here. It was a bit quieter in silver, as 482,282 troy ounces were shipped in—and 111,735 ounces were shipped out. The ‘in’ action was at Scotiabank—and the ‘out’ movement was at Brink’s, Inc. The link to that action is here. Both Ted and I were hoping for a little bit of improvement in yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report, but we were both shocked to see huge improvements in both gold and silver—but there was absolutely nothing in the price action during the reporting week to justify the numbers that were in the report. The only two reasons I can think of why this COT Report is this far out from what the price movements indicated it should be, is because the a correction was made because of prior reporting errors, or data was either accidentally or deliberately withheld. But the numbers are what they are. In silver, for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, the Commercial net short position declined by a chunky 2,435 contracts, or 12.2 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position is now down to 198.5 million troy ounces. Because JPMorgan now has a long position of unknown size in silver to go along with their short-side corner, it was tough for Ted to nail down exactly what JPMorgan is net short, but I’m guessing between between 75 and 82.5 million troy ounces based on Ted’s thoughts yesterday—which are certainly open for revision in his commentary to his paying subscribers this afternoon. Ted said that the Big 4 traders decreased their short position by 1,500 contracts—and the ‘5 through 8’ large traders decreased their short position by the same amount. The rest of the Commercial traders, Ted’s raptors, sold 600 long contracts. But it was under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report where the real surprise was, as the technical funds in the Managed Money category decreased their long position, plus added to their short position to the tune of 8,503 contracts in total! That’s a huge 1-week swing—and moves like that would normally affect prices far more substantially than what was shown in the reporting week. That’s why this week’s COT Report in silver was such a surprise. As much as the silver COT Report was a surprise, there was an even bigger surprise in gold. There, the Commercial net short position declined by a very chunky 12,307 contracts, or 1.23 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position is now down to 12.34 million troy ounces. Ted said that the Big 4 traders covered 3,200 contracts of their short position—and the ‘5 through 8’ didn’t do much, covering about 100 contracts. The small commercial traders, the raptors, added 8,900 contracts to their already burgeoning long position. Under the hood in the Managed Money category, the technical funds sold 9,316 long contracts—and added 7,212 short contracts, for a 1-week swing of 16,528 contracts, or 1.65 million ounces. Once again, activity such as this should have had a far bigger impact on prices than what occurred. Since the cut-off at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, “da boyz” have been taking small slices off the silver and gold salami every day since, culminating in the meat cleaver attack on Friday. Without doubt, next week’s COT Report will show huge improvements in the Commercial net short positions once again, especially in gold. The only unknown, as Ted and I were discussing, is just how willing the technical funds in the Managed Money category are prepared to go short on these ongoing engineered price declines. They certainly did in gold yesterday, but with the blunted price action in silver, that may show that these traders don’t have any more long positions to sell—and aren’t prepared to short the silver market any further. If that’s the case, then the bottom is basically in for silver. “Da boyz” can, like I said earlier, “huff and puff” all they want, but if the technical funds don’t have any longs left to sell—and aren’t prepared to go short any further than they already have, JPMorgan et al are stuck with the short positions they have—with no palatable way out. I’ll be more than interested in what Ted Butler has to say about all this as well. Here’s Nick Laird’s now famous “Days of World Production to Cover COMEX Short Positions” of the 4 and 8 largest traders in all physical commodities on the COMEX. I note that the short positions of the Big 8 traders in silver has dropped from 156 days down to 141 days of world silver production. How’s that for a short-side market corner? This is a head and shoulders shot of a Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat. I didn’t take it. Here’s the 1-year U.S. dollar index chart, so you can see the flight to “quality” for yourself. Doug Noland’s commentary this week is headlined “King Dollar Tipping Point“—and it’s further down in the Critical Reads section. The gold stocks gapped down big at the open—and continued lower until gold’s low tick, which came at 1:40 p.m. EST. They rallied a bit from there, but some thoughtful soul/day trader bailed in the last few minutes before the close, taking the stocks back to almost their low ticks of the day. The HUI got crushed to the tune of 7.47 percent. The dollar index finished the Thursday trading session at 96.35—and began to develop a slight positive bias about the same time that the precious metals began to develop a negative bias. The rally gathered more steam shortly after London opened—and of course the index went vertical on the job numbers—and most of the gains were in by the London p.m. gold fix. The 96.73 high came during the New York lunch hour—and it didn’t do much after that. The dollar index finished that day at 97.72—which was up 137 basis points from Thursday’s close. How to Cash In on the Jackpot When Gold Recovers The smart money is circling the mining sector, with $8 billion cash in hand—and gold producers are starting to acquire undervalued assets. Is it a sign that the next gold bull market is underway? Maybe. But one thing’s for sure: beaten-down companies with ounces in the ground and great management teams have only one way to go: up. Free online event GOING VERTICAL. Click here to learn more and register. These three shots are the last from the Sedona area. This first is just a general shot on one of the many walks around the area—and you don’t have to go far to find a photo op in this place. I must admit that this much red ochre colour in all directions was something I never quite got used to, although it made for spectacular photos. Green grass seems to be easier both on the eyes—and the soul. Don’t forget the ‘click to enlarge’ feature.
A few months ago, I wrote a check for $12,000 but couldn’t figure out exactly why.The payment was to secure a place for my mother at Sligo Creek Center, in Takoma Park, Md. It’s a nursing home and rehab center owned by Genesis Healthcare.My mother was about to be discharged from Holy Cross Hospital, in nearby Silver Spring, after a fall. Medicare wouldn’t pay for her rehabilitation care.So before the Sligo Creek Center would let her through the door, I had to prepay for a month — $12,000 — or nearly $400 a night.Now, my mother had paid into Medicare her entire working life, and since she retired, the Social Security Administration has automatically deducted $130 for her basic Medicare premium from her $1,650 monthly check. On top of that, she pays about $300 a month for a prescription drug plan and supplemental “Medigap” insurance.But because of dueling rules and laws that have been well-known to Medicare officials and members of Congress for years, none of that covered my elderly mother when she needed care.This is a story of how money, outdated laws and federal budget rules can interfere with patient care and leave elderly patients vulnerable.The fallI found my mother lying on the floor of her apartment one evening in early January. I had stopped by because she didn’t return my calls. It was Wednesday, and she had fallen sometime in the previous 24 hours.She was awake, but confused. Her lips were chapped, her skin was too pink, and her thick white curls were a mess on her head. I needed help getting her up and into bed. When my husband and I couldn’t do it, we called the local fire department.There were no obvious injuries and she was speaking coherently, so I spent the night with her and tried to care for her the next day, thinking she just needed rest and food. But it soon became clear she needed medical help.She couldn’t walk, couldn’t even move her left leg. Her confusion was getting worse. Her doctor recommended I take her to the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.An ER doctor there examined her, saw that she couldn’t move her leg, couldn’t really even hold her body upright and had trouble with her memory. He said he would admit her to the hospital’s observation unit to figure out what was going on. He mentioned she might need rehab care to get up and walking again.The word observation triggered an alarm deep in my brain. I had read that patients on observation status sometimes weren’t eligible for rehab care, and I told the doctor that I was concerned.He said he and the hospital “do all they can to be sure their patients’ care is covered.” I was reassured.My mother spent four nights at Holy Cross. She was on IV antibiotics for an infection. She got nine X-rays, two MRIs, scans of her carotid arteries and lungs, and a CT scan. Hospital staffers drew blood no less than six times because they were concerned she might have had a mild heart attack or stroke that had caused her to fall.Administrative mazeOn the day they decided to release her, a social worker named Jay called to say the doctors were recommending she go to an inpatient rehab center — and then he said Medicare wouldn’t pay for it.My mother was caught in an administrative wonderland where she slept at a hospital for four nights, but the paperwork said she was an inpatient only one of those nights. Medicare’s rules, dating back to the 1960s, require people to spend three nights in a hospital before the federal program will pay for inpatient rehabilitative care.It would cost upward of $12,000 a month, Jay told me.I sped to the hospital in a rage. I demanded to know why they were releasing her when she still couldn’t walk. Further, I wanted to know, why were they calling her an “outpatient” when she was sleeping in their bed, under their blankets, wearing their hospital gown and being cared for by their staff.Here were some of the things a parade of social workers and nurses told me that day.The doctor couldn’t admit her as an inpatient because she didn’t have a qualifying diagnosis.Her status was changed from observation to inpatient on the third day because Medicare requires that.They could not change her status to inpatient for the entire stay because they didn’t want to be audited.She couldn’t go to acute rehabilitation, which Medicare pays for, because there was no evidence she had had a stroke or heart attack.They didn’t say much about her medical care. It was all about the rules.For the record, my mother has no money. She lives on Social Security. She has no car, no house, no savings. My siblings and I help pay her bills.And now they were saying she had to leave the hospital. But she obviously couldn’t go home.Holy Cross kept her one more night — at no charge — while we figured out where she could go. They said she could apply for Medicaid, and a social worker handed me a 17-page application. I picked a handful of rehab centers from a list, after a quick search of reviews on my iPhone. One was full, one rejected her because she was listed as “Medicaid pending,” and finally, Genesis Healthcare said they would take her — on the condition that I come by with a $12,000 check that day.So I did.Rules, rules, rulesSo now I was out $12,000 — borrowed from a home equity line of credit — and I wanted to know why.And here’s what I learned.Medicare, in its zillions of pages of guidelines and regulations, has two competing rules. The first says patients must spend three nights as a hospital inpatient to qualify for inpatient rehabilitation or skilled nursing care once they’re discharged. The second encourages hospitals to keep patients on observation status or risk being audited.The reason? Medicare pays more for short inpatient stays than short outpatient stays. But once a patient has been at the hospital for a number of days, that calculus flips, and outpatients end up costing more. So in its effort to control costs, Medicare forces hospitals to justify their decisions about inpatient and outpatient status.”It was always kind of assumed that when you go to the hospital, people know what hospital care is,” says Judy Stein, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy. “Hospital admission is when you’re admitted to the hospital.”Her group is leading a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services, seeking to give patients the right to appeal their status as observation patients.Stein says the use of observation status has grown dramatically in the past decade, in part because Medicare has become far more aggressive in going after hospitals the agency said were inappropriately — and expensively — admitting patients who didn’t need hospital care.A study in the journal Health Affairs found that the number of Medicare patients who spent three or more days in a hospital under observation rose 88 percent from 2007 to 2009. That increase came just after Congress authorized Medicare to use contractors to audit hospitals for overcharges. But the trend in observation care has continued.A report by the HHS inspector general found that in fiscal year 2014, more than 633,000 Medicare beneficiaries spent three or more days in the hospital but were considered outpatients, an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. A separate report found that in 2012, about 24,000 patients went to skilled nursing homes or rehab centers and had to pay their own way.New UnitHoly Cross built a dedicated observation unit around 2011, according to Yancy Phillips, the hospital’s chief quality officer, who spoke to me at length about the use of observation status.That was where my mother spent those four nights. She had her own room, with glass doors that were covered by a curtain. The nurses station was right outside her door. It looks like a cross between a traditional patient floor and the emergency room. Doctors came around at least once a day.Phillips says that Holy Cross has no financial motive to classify patients like my mother one way or another because Maryland law requires the same payment for the same services. It’s the only state with such rules.But the hospital still has to follow Medicare’s rules when it comes to inpatient and observation care.”There’s really no financial advantage to us except if we get the status wrong,” he said. “Medicare has come back to us and said, ‘No, no, no, this should not have been an inpatient.’ “When that happens, Medicare pays nothing at all.To avoid losing money, Holy Cross, like many other hospitals, uses “decision support” software — in this case a package called InterQual, sold by McKesson — that guides doctors or case managers in making the call on whether a person should be admitted or kept on “observation.”The programs are designed to ensure that hospitals don’t get dinged by Medicare for overcharging or providing inappropriate services.Phillips says doctors use their own judgment about whether a patient should be admitted. But he also acknowledges that InterQual is embedded in the electronic health record software used at Holy Cross. It was likely this program that concluded that my mother didn’t meet Medicare’s criteria for inpatient care.The thing about all this is that this problem is well-known to everybody involved.But lawmakers and Medicare haven’t taken action to fix it.A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., have proposed bills multiple times that would simply require Medicare to count all the time patients spend in a hospital toward its requirements for nursing care.The House version attracted 162 co-sponsors from both parties, but neither bill has gotten a hearing on Capitol Hill or been close to a vote.Jonathan Blum, the former Medicare director at CMS, suggests another fix: Get rid of the three-night requirement altogether.”It’s really an artifact,” he said. “It was put in place as a budgetary control and it was designed when the average length of a hospital stay was seven, eight or nine days.”Everyone I talked with agrees that the root of the problem is money. There has been no formal analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, but most people believe that eliminating the three-night requirement would end up costing the government more money.”These are insurance rules. They’re policies. They can be changed,” says Phillips of Holy Cross Hospital. “But it would have enormous financial implications for the country. And we may have an appetite for tax cuts, but I don’t see that we have an appetite for something that would increase Medicare costs.”It’s not clear that it would cost more, however. Two pilot programs from the late 1970s showed mixed results from eliminating the three-night rule, with Medicare costs rising in Massachusetts, but falling in Oregon, according to an article in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.That article concluded, however, that the rule may be preventing patients from getting appropriate care.And that would have been the case with my mother, who couldn’t have written a $12,000 check to secure a rehab bed for herself.Two weeks into her therapy at the Sligo Center, my mother fell again. This time, she broke her hip and needed hip replacement surgery. Because she didn’t stay the whole month getting rehab care, I got a refund of about $6,000.Under Medicare’s rules, that surgery meant she was automatically eligible for post-surgical rehab care. So after she was released from the hospital, she went to a new center — no deposit required. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
RACING MOVERS2.10 NottinghamKing Of Paris 15/2 > 11/42.20 NewburyUltimate Avenue 11/4 > 7/43.35 NewcastleAwesome Quality 3/1 > 6/45.40 CatterickZamoyski 7/1 > 7/2FOOTBALL PRICESChampionship19:45 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD4/5 Brighton & Hove Albion 4/1 Nottingham Forest 5/2 DRAWSATURDAYPremier League12:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD100/30 Hull City 20/21 Leicester City 12/5 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Friday 12 August