About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Real Betis coach Rubi urges calm: We’ll move forwardby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Betis coach Rubi has urged calm after defeat to Real Sociedad.While admitting he was worried, Rubi dismissed talk of relegation.“Everything worries me, I don’t want to see Betis where it is now, I don’t want to see Betis suffering but I am convinced that we will finish in a good position and we will pass 50 points,” he said. “You can remind me when the season is over.”Rubi added: “My personal situation does not worry me, I am convinced that we will move forward.”
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says that vulnerable states in the Caribbean and Latin America must commence “serious plans” for the implementation of disaster risk management policies. The move, he said, is critical in confronting the effects of climate change, and predications for more powerful and intense hurricanes. Dr. Guy was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 7th Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management on Tuesday (December 4) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St. James. The five-day day conference, organised by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), seeks to come up with measures to build the resilience of small island developing states to the effects of climate change. Dr. Guy stated that locally, the Government has committed to strengthening the capacity of communities, establishing a Ministry with responsibility for climate change; a Climate Change Advisory Board; and a Climate Change Department. He noted that the issue is also factored in all aspects of development planning. “Jamaica has also received a grant of $850 million (US$10 million) from the Adaptation Fund Board, for the establishment of a Climate Change Adaptation Programme. This programme is intended to introduce measures to protect livelihood and food security in communities that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The project will also focus on improving land and water management for the agriculture sector, strengthen coastal protection and build institutional and local capacities for climate change adaptation in selected areas,” Dr. Guy informed. He commended CDEMA for “the work that it is doing in putting small island developing states in a state of preparedness for the disasters that threaten our very existence”. He urged that, as stakeholders seek to find avenues to build disaster resilience over the course of the conference, “we will not be limited by our smallness of size, but to be visionary and monumental in our projected outcomes.” “We must establish the context in the face of the challenges that we face, because it is facing these challenges squarely that we will be able to determine the best measures to move us forward as successful nations … there are few options to reduce the occurrence and intensity of most natural hazards. As such, greater emphasis needs to be placed on hazard risk management activities and programmes for reducing existing and future vulnerability to damage and loss,” Dr. Guy stated.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Kyklades Maritime Greek owner Kyklades Maritime has reportedly placed an order for two very large crude carriers with South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).The 319,000 dwt ships are slated for delivery in 2019 and 2020, data from VesselsValue shows. The price details of the order were not disclosed.Kyklades Maritime is a return customer to HHI as it already has two VLCCs of the same size on order at the yard, slated for delivery next year.The Greek owner also has five 115,000 dwt Aframax tankers under construction at South Korean Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. The first two ships from the batch, priced at USD 44 million each, are set to join the Greek owner’s fleet in 2018 with the remaining three following suit in 2019.In addition, this year is reserved for the delivery of two Suezmax tankers to the company from Japanese shipbuilder Japan Marine United (JMU).World Maritime News Staff
New Delhi: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who arrived in Patna on Tuesday for the first time after being declared BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Patna Sahib, was shown black flags by supporters of another BJP leader in Patna. Prasad, a resident of the Bihar capital whose late father was a state minister and leader of the Jansangh, was shown black flags by the supporters of RK Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member, who was hopeful of a ticket for the seat which is currently held by dissident MP Shatrughan Sinha. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The sloganeering and protest by Sinha’s supporters led to a clash with BJP workers who had gathered at the airport to welcome the Lok Sabha poll debutant. Reports said that the clash erupted as Prasad landed at airport and Sinha’s supporters started raising slogans against him. Slogans of “Ravi Shankar Prasad- Go back, go back” welcomed the Union Minister as he exited the airport in Bihar capital. The protester, holding black flags also chanted “RK Sinha-Zindabad, zindabad (RK Sinha-Long live, long live). “Ye hawa hawai neta hain inke pass karyakarta nahi hain. Ek galat aadmi ko ticket diya gaya hai jo kabhi janata ke beech nahi raha. (He – Ravi Shankar Prasad – is a leader without any base. He doesn’t have workers. The ticket has been given to a wrong person who has never lived among people),” a protester said. The Union minister drove away while telling the posse of mediapersons who stood waiting at the airport, “I thank my party for considering me for this great responsibility. I will be giving my best shot. The BJPs commitment to nationalism and good governance will help Narendra Modi return to power.”
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.
CAIRO – Controversial Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s host television channel suspended his programme on Friday, a week after he returned from a four-month break and fired barbs at the country’s military.Youssef, known as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” after modelling his Al-Bernameg (The Programme) on the US comedian’s popular satirical news programme, had already run afoul of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by themilitary in July.On Friday, the CBC channel that airs Youssef’s show pulled the plug. “The channel has decided to suspend Al-Bernameg. The CBC board confirmed that today’s episode indicated that the producers and presenter insisted on violating the editorial policy of the channel,” the network said in a statement read out by a presenter.It did not elaborate on how the editorial policy had been violated, but said the show would remain suspended “until the technical and commercial problems are solved.”In last week’s episode — the first since Morsi’s ouster — Youssef did not spare the military, provoking fury from some spectators.He mocked the media coverage of the overthrow, particularly exaggerated claims about the number of demonstrators who took to the streets on June 30 — to call for the Islamist government’s resignation.The ex-heart surgeon even mocked the country’s new military-installed interim government, in which Adly Mansour is president but army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely seen as calling the shots.Sisi is leading the popularity charts in Egypt since the ouster of Morsi, with the general’s posters displayed across the country.
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has completed his move to Turkish side Besiktas on a two-year loan deal.Karius has not played a competitive game for the Reds since committing two errors in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May.The German, 25, has made 49 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club from Mainz in 2016. He was equally named on the bench in Liverpool’s game against West Ham.“Everybody at LFC wishes Loris the best of luck during his loan spell,” said a statement on Liverpool’s website.Jurgen Klopp opted to keep Simon Mignolet as the second choice goalkeeper considering his vast Premier League experience.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.The Merseysiders continued their winning start in the Premier League with a narrow 1-0 win over Brighton. The solitary strike from Mo Salah was enough to send the Reds to the top after Man City drew at Wolves.Karius will play in the Europa League if his new side seals a spot in the group stages.Besiktas contested the first leg of their Europa League play-off against Partizan on Thursday and continue their league schedule at home to Antalyaspor on Sunday evening.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, December 8, 2017 – Providenciales – The Kiwanis Club of the Turks and Caicos will on Sunday hold its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in down town Providenciales. The event featuring yuletide performances from the various schools and visit from Santa and a trailer load of Christmas gifts, gets started at 5pm.#MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
Of the four key votes; Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona votes yes, as did democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski voted ‘no’ during a dramatic procedural vote held on the senate floor on advancing Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a final vote. U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan voted ‘Yes’. Kavanaugh will get a final floor vote after enough senators Friday voted to advance his nomination. The final vote was 51 to 49. The final confirmation vote will likely be held on Saturday.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are recent articles about Wilmington — published online between October 7, 2018 to October 14, 2018 — that residents should consider reading:Wilmington Town CrierRehab facility sparks debate again by Lizzie McDermottChalifour named new community liaison officer by Cassia BurnsGrand opening of Memory Loss Cafe on Wednesday, Oct. 17 by Sheryl WalshWilmington man arrested for assault by Cassia BurnsJoe Schneider gears up for Nov. 6 election by Lizzy HillWilmington Town Crier sports stories can be read HERE.Wilmington AdvocateNoneWilmington PatchNoneLowell SunBan on plastic: It’s in the bag by Kori TuittWilmington assistant town manager leaving for N. Andover by Kori TuittLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”
6 NurPhoto It’s a chilly winter night in Munich, Germany. I’m alone in an empty hostel dorm, basking in the warmth of the heater and the hostel’s surprising hygiene, trying to watch Mad Men on my MacBook.I say “trying” because this is proving to be a peculiarly difficult task. Watching 50-minute episodes of Mad Men is taking anywhere between one and a half to two hours because I keep getting distracted.I’ll just check Facebook. Maybe someone from home has messaged me. I should take a look at Twitter — oh, I forgot, Twitter is awful. You know what, I’m going to Instagram-stalk the hippie I met in Serbia. Ah, that’s right, I forgot to reply to that Facebook message from the other day. Some variation of these thoughts creeps into my brain every few minutes, glacializing my Mad Men progress. How will Don Draper’s story end? I suspect I’ll never know. Tags 5:14 This was four months ago. I left Australia last August for a solo backpacking trip through Europe. Yeah, meeting people and seeing the world is cool, but I also wanted to use this trip to catch up on random shows, books and movies I could never get around to in my real life. I figured I’d have almost unlimited time, so it would be easy. It turns out that unlimited time means little when paired with a limited attention span.Personal discontent about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use is so common it’s almost redundant. If you tell someone you’re quitting Instagram or trying to use Facebook less, the odds are high that said person will reply with “Oh, wow, I really need to do that too.”Some of this is empty posturing, like the pageantry of saying you want to eat fewer carbs even though you already know there’s no quitting your 11 p.m. cheese toastie habit. (Me. I’m talking about me now.) But the widespread understanding that social media use is a waste of time is telling.Oh, Don. Whatever will become of you? AMC Like everyone else on the planet, I often complain that there aren’t enough hours in a day. There are so many books to read, games to play and TV shows to Netflix, but how can I be expected to do that amid the daily grind of work, commuting, attempting to exercise, keeping up with family and friends, and, y’know, sleep.To this end, I used to think of social media as a waste of precious time. An hour spent on Facebook and Instagram is an hour I could have spent reading, mirin’ Don Draper, learning a language or otherwise being productive. But that’s not quite accurate.When I jetted to Europe, I was jetting away from all my responsibilities — and was shocked by how little difference this made. Because, for me at least, the problem isn’t 15-minute blocks of time lost to social media. It’s the 10-second gaps that social media fill that make it impossible to concentrate on anything for a sustained period of time, protracting even simple tasks.The trouble is when the cheeky Instagram check-in goes from filling the 10-second wait for the green man at traffic lights to the 5-second lull in a TV show. Then, minutes later, you realize nothing makes sense because you actually haven’t been paying attention. It also obviously bleeds into work. If a page is loading, I would find myself opening a Twitter tab even though the original page would have loaded in literally a second. Given studies have shown it can take over 20 minutes to get your mind back to the task at hand once distracted, this can be a productivity disaster. Maybe even a bigger problem than not being able to enjoy the latest quality television productions from AMC.Click for more Boom With a View. I’d noted how poor my attention span was earlier in the trip, but Mad Men was my attentive nadir. Something had to change. Growing up, my parents told me watching TV would ruin my attention span. Now I can’t even concentrate on TV long enough for it to ruin my attention span. I deactivated my Twitter account the next day, with Instagram following soon after. (Now, four months later, Twitter has been reactivated but used much less frequently.) Facebook’s app has been deleted off my phone, and is a laptop-only activity.After the social media purge, I didn’t miss lying in bed and scrolling through Instagram. I did, however, yearn for these apps in situations where there’s no option to do anything else. Time spent waiting in line for coffee or on the 5-minute bus to the train station aren’t substantial enough for me to be doing anything productive, for instance, so scrolling Twitter isn’t so dangerous. (Except it is because, as mentioned, Twitter is awful.)People freaked out last Wednesday when Facebook and Instagram were down. The outage led many users to Twitter, a real oven-to-the-frying-pan situation. Some users went into panic mode. I call it a good start. If you struggled during the outage, look at it as a challenge. You already went 12 hours without Facebook and Instagram, see if you can make it longer. See how you feel after seven days. And for the record, I still have six seasons of Mad Men to go. Comments Share your voice Facebook Instagram Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: What’s your relationship… Mobile Culture Boom With a View Now playing: Watch this:
(PhysOrg.com) — Sharks are capable of continually growing new teeth. As the teeth age, they fall out and new ones move forward similar to that of a tooth conveyor belt. Humans, and most mammals, on the other hand are only given two sets of teeth and must make them last. However, researchers have found there are exceptions to this rule and a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the silvery mole rat is one of the exceptions. It was first noted by Stuart Landry back in 1957 that these moles had more molars than the average rodent, but it was never investigated further. That is until Helder Gomes Rodrigues from the University of Lyon began this current study.For this study, Rodrigues looked at the skeletal remains of some 55 mole rats and discovered that the molars at the back of these rodent’s jaws seem to move forward. As they move forward, they erupt upward and are worn down through normal wear and tear. By the time a molar reaches the front molar row, they have been completely eroded and seem to be absorbed back into the jawbone.The only other mammals with this similar ability to make more teeth are three different manatee species and a pygmy-rock wallaby. However, the mole rat seems to be the only one that has the set-up where the teeth move forward and upward. The other mammals have molars that sprout up, move to the front and fall out, similar to human baby teeth.While it is believed that the manatee and wallaby have evolved to replace teeth due to the hard elements in their diet, the mole rat feeds on soft tubers and plants. Rodrigues believes that an explanation for this evolution to replacing molars in the mole rat may have something to do with digging rather than eating. While they primarily dig with their front incisors, they grind things with their molars and swallow abrasive dust. However this is still just a theory and the real reason behind this evolution of multiple molars still remains a mystery. Citation: Mole rat dental structure similar to a shark (2011, October 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-mole-rat-dental-similar-shark.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Continuous dental replacement in a hyper-chisel tooth digging rodent, PNAS, Published online before print October 10, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1109615108AbstractContrary to their reptilian ancestors, which had numerous dental generations, mammals are known to usually develop only two generations of teeth. However, a few mammal species have acquired the ability to continuously replace their dentition by the constant addition of supernumerary teeth moving secondarily toward the front of the jaw. The resulting treadmill-like replacement is thus horizontal, and differs completely from the vertical dental succession of other mammals and their extinct relatives. Despite the developmental implications and prospects regarding the origin of supernumerary teeth, this striking innovation remains poorly documented. Here we report another case of continuous dental replacement in an African rodent, Heliophobius argenteocinereus, which combines this dental system with the progressive eruption of high-crowned teeth. The escalator-like mechanism of Heliophobius constitutes an original adaptation to hyper-chisel tooth digging involving high dental wear. Comparisons between Heliophobius and the few mammals that convergently acquired continuous dental replacement reveal that shared inherited traits, including dental mesial drift, delayed eruption, and supernumerary molars, comprise essential prerequisites to setting up this dental mechanism. Interestingly, these dental traits are present to a lesser extent in humans but are absent in mouse, the usual biological model. Consequently, Heliophobius represents a suitable model to investigate the molecular processes leading to the development of supernumerary teeth in mammals, and the accurate description of these processes could be a significant advance for further applications in humans, such as the regeneration of dental tissues. X-ray synchrotron microtomographic 3D rendering of the upper dentition of a young specimen of Heliophobius. Image: PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1109615108 Mice teeth explain the troubles with human wisdom teeth 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.
Kolkata: The Election Commission has allotted 552 companies of Central Forces to conduct the fourth phase of elections in eight constituencies of Bengal on April 29. Berhampore, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman, Bardhaman East, Durgapur-Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum will go to polls on the day.According to an official at the CEO’s office, EC is trying to cover 97 percent polling stations during the fourth phase. The move has been taken up to ensure free and fair elections. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe remaining booths will be manned by the state armed forces. The Commission has already identified the sensitive booths in all the eight constituencies and also the areas where trouble could break out. Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that altogether 324 companies of Central Forces were deployed during the third phase of elections on Tuesday, covering over 92 percent of the polling stations across the five constituencies that went to poll. The deployment of Central Forces had been the highest in Murshidabad and Jangipur with 177 companies, while 94 companies were deployed in Malda North and Malda South. Around 44 companies were pressed into action in Balurghat.
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
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Tags: Promotions, Travel Agent Day Share Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Tour operators including Transat, Air Canada Vacations, Goway and more are showing their appreciation for their retail partners with prizes and incentives in celebration of Travel Agent Day.With Transat, three travel agents will win a seven-night all inclusive vacation to one of these Karisma resorts: Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma; El Dorado Royale; and El Dorado Seaside Suites. In addition, agents will earn $30 Bonbon rewards on South, Europe and cruise packages. Three agents will earn $150 Bonbon rewards on all their bookings. For more information, consult Get Connected.Air Canada Vacations is giving away 10,000 ACV&ME points to three agents and five $250 gift cards. “Our trade partners are vital to our business, growth and success,” said George Platanitis, Vice President, Sales & Partnerships, Air Canada Vacations. “We value our partnerships and focus on celebrating and honouring agents throughout the year.”Agents can sign up for the ACV&ME loyalty program at aircanadavacations.com/agents to be automatically entered in the draw. The winners will be announced on May 31.Club Med has launched a special contest to thank its travel partners for their involvement, expertise and loyalty. From May 3 – 17 using the Club Med Check app agents are invited to test and improve their knowledge of the brand and face off against colleagues and fellow travel agents through mini-games for the chance to win a Club Med getaway. The agent who gets the highest aggregate score will win a seven-night stay for two at Club Med.“The launch of this application is a great opportunity to give life to our new signature ‘Club Med, Amazing You’, specifically to our travel partners” said Jacinda Lowry, National Sales Director, Club Med. “We want to thank them and reward their knowledge of Club Med with this contest, available through an innovative and intuitive program. We are going to amaze you!”Agents can download Club Med Check app available through the Apple Store and Google Play. Agents enter their email address and create a password, then enter the code: AGAN and start the game.Club Med also says agents can subscribe to its travel agent-dedicated website, clubmedagents.ca, as well as the Club Med Agents’ Facebook page: facebook/clubmed.english for contest details.Goway is sending coffee cards to all agents who book and deposit a Goway package May 3 -5. All agents who book in this period will also go into the draw to win a ‘Spa Day.’ One winner will be chosen.In a world of online this and “there’s an app for that”, today’s client is often lost in options, some of which are highly questionable, says Goway. That’s where the value of a travel agent lives. “Travel agents are integral to our business,” says company founder Bruce Hodge. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. At Goway, we work with agents from all over North America from small home-based agencies to large consortia. The most successful agents we have seen are those who take the time to learn what their clients are really looking for, never stop learning themselves, and are truly passionate about what they do but sometimes their efforts go unrecognized.”Porter Airlines has launched a month-long contest in honour of Travel Agent Day on May 3, to recognize travel agents for their commitment to passengers and to Porter. “Travel agents represent our brand and support our passengers throughout the travel experience. They are an essential part of our success,” says Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTTravel agents can register their Porter and Porter Escapes bookings on flyporter.com/agent from May 3 – 31 for the chance to win prizes including one of three weekly prizes of 25,000 VIPorter loyalty points, and one of two grand prizes of a weekend getaway for two to New York or Toronto (includes Porter flights for two, hotel stay and more). Weekly winners will be randomly selected on May 10, 17 and 24. Grand prize winners will be randomly selected on June 8. Travel agents must have a valid IATA or TICO number registered with Porter Airlines or Porter Escapes.In addition to the contest, Porter is providing travel agents, along with a companion, 30% off their next Porter flight. Book May 3 – 24 for travel completed by June 28.Totalstay has a two-fold incentive for agents. All agents who make a totalstay booking May 3 – 10 will have their names entered into a draw to win a 1-night hotel stay in the Canadian destination of their choice. Also during this time, agents who find one of 150 maple leaves hidden on the totalstay.com website have a chance to win a Canadian-themed gift basket in a prize draw. Totalstay has some 165,000 hotels and 10,000 destinations. Agents can log into their account at totalstay.com to check availability and to book online, or speak to email@example.com for more information.Now in its sixth year, Travel Agent Day has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Colleen Lorenzen’s office in Saskatoon. As the agent credited with coming up with the idea in the first place, Lorenzen, Operations Manager at Uniglobe Carefree Travel, says that Travel Agent Day was actually inspired by another group of professionals – secretaries.“One day our sales rep from Staples came in and was giving everyone a carnation for Secretary Day, and I thought if secretaries can have a day then so can we,” she says. “As a manager, we are always looking for ways to thank our staff for the great work that they do.”Before it was widely recognized as ‘Travel Agent Day’ in 2011, Lorenzen – who at the time sat on the board for the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) – acknowledged the hard work of her agents each year on the first Wednesday in March by bringing in lunch, flowers and the like. Word of Lorenzen’s efforts spread to other CITC members, who all asked if they could do the same thing in their own offices. And the rest, as they say, is history.“Because I didn’t have a budget to get the word out, I started a Facebook page,” says Lorenzen, “and then at our Uniglobe Conference, I started to talk about it to suppliers and emailed them to let them know about TAD. Some of our suppliers took to the idea right away while others came onboard each year.”Today, Lorenzen’s Facebook page has close to 3,000 likes and features a steady stream of relevant industry tips and stories, exclusive agent offers, and humourous memes and videos. Open to anyone, facebook.com/TravelAgentDay is used to “promote the value of travel agents,” says Lorenzen, who also encourages agencies to post pictures of how their offices are celebrating TAD.“I think that some people don’t really know what it is that we do and it’s our job to let them know what we can do for them and why they should use us,” she adds. “Our suppliers are great and they continue to support us as they know that we’re on the frontlines selling their products.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”In fact, many of them take TAD beyond just one day, launching agent-exclusive offers throughout the month and, in some cases, throughout the year. TravelBrands has launched a nine-month campaign that includes a monthly draw for 100,000 Loyalty points and a grand prize of one million points. Air Canada Vacations is also celebrating agents with double the ACV&ME loyalty points on Canada and Europe bookings for the entire month of May, while The Travel Corporation will be treating some of its top agents to a celebration event on May 3.Anytime the travel industry takes notice of its frontline agents is a good thing, says Marco Pozzobon, Director, Marking, Communications and Partnerships at the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), especially since the Internet and OTAs are still taking a significant chunk of market share. But he says that consumers are now returning to agents, whose role in the industry remains as relevant as ever.“There may have been a brief period in recent history when most consumers believed travel agents were no longer needed. But we’ve seen that attitude starting to change,” he says. Even more, adds Pozzobon, the fact that we are living in the age of information makes travel agents more relevant than ever. “They’re able to cut through the clutter of the Internet, qualify the customer and propose customized itineraries while guaranteeing the best return on the investment.”The Internet will never go away, but there is a way for agents to co-exist with it and carve out their own niche, says Joe Gyuro of Kelowna, a former agent, general manager and co-owner of Mission Park Travel. He envisions a “new world order” where a compromise can be reached so that agents still have a role in the marketplace. “Maybe no longer doing simple transactions, point to point,” he notes, “but evolving into true professionals who can handle complex arrangements.”Gyuro says that as fewer agents will be needed, their expertise will have to be of a higher standard. This involves recognizing where they are the strongest and doing their best to gain that market share.“This could be complex international travel, adventure travel, special experiences travel, group travel or special needs travel. They must make contacts with similar parties around the world and use those contacts to make their travel arrangements unique and memorable. That will lead to repeat business and world of mouth acclaim,” he adds.The travel industry will continue to change, as Gyuro has seen throughout his illustrious 40-year career. “However, as the public sees how complex their arrangements can be, there will always be a segment who sees the value in guidance. There will always be a core group who would rather have an expert do what needs to be done than do it themselves.”And as long as there are travel agents there will always be Travel Agent Day, if Lorenzen has her way. She hopes to see TAD evolve to the point where it becomes part of the yearly calendar (“like Mother’s Day”), which would be the ultimate acknowledgement of a profession that many still believe is becoming obsolete.“The job is much harder than it used to be as we need to know more and stay on top of things that are happening around the world,” she says. “But travel agents will always adapt and continue to get better in this fast moving industry.” “Travel agents are integral to our business”: Deals and more to celebrate Travel Agent Day
Related posts:Top US sponsors of FIFA urge football body to enact reforms Football: Day of FIFA reckoning for Blatter, Platini Platini deal was ‘gentleman’s agreement’ – FIFA’s Blatter Platini withdraws bid for FIFA presidency LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday backed a 90-day FIFA ban against Michel Platini, in a new blow to the Frenchman’s hopes of entering the FIFA’s presidential race.The decision means Platini will not be allowed to attend Saturday’s draw for the 2016 European Championship in his native France which he helped to organize as UEFA president.Platini, also a FIFA vice president, had been the favorite to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president until he was named in a Swiss criminal investigation in September.FIFA suspended Platini and Blatter in October while an investigation was held into a two million Swiss franc ($2 million) payment from FIFA.In its appeal to CAS, Platini’s lawyers insisted the football legend had done nothing wrong and was being unfairly blocked from campaigning for FIFA’s presidency. But the three CAS judges unanimously decided that no irreparable damage had been caused.The judges urged FIFA to quickly reach a final decision and also said there should be no extension to the suspension.Blatter and Platini now face hearings before FIFA’s ethics watchdog court on December 17 and 18 to answer for the payment made for work as an advisor. According to Platini’s lawyers, FIFA’s ethics investigators recommended Platini should be banned for life. Blatter also faces further punishment.FIFA’s verdict could be given as early as December 21.The provisional suspension of Blatter and Platini ends on January 5.SidelinedThe UEFA executive committee, which met in Paris on Friday, said it “took note of the CAS decision relating to the provisional suspension of its president Michel Platini and requests a swift disciplinary process by the relevant FIFA bodies on the merits of the case.“The UEFA executive committee once again supported Michel Platini’s right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name.”Platini’s camp voiced optimism after the ruling. “Michel Platini knows he will ultimately be exonerated,” his lawyer Thibaud d’Ales told AFP.He said that given the emergence of new evidence — a 1998 UEFA document indicating that UEFA knew Platini had been made an advisor to Blatter — FIFA’s judges would not be able to issue a ruling before January 5.FIFA opened an investigation after Swiss prosecutors questioned a million Swiss franc payment Platini received from FIFA in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.Blatter and Platini acknowledge there was no contract for the fee, but insist that their “oral contract” is valid under Swiss law. Each insists there was no wrongdoing.Platini’s lawyers are particularly relying on the 1998 document. Switzerland’s attorney general confirmed Friday that it had taken possession of the UEFA document and other material.With the possibility of a lifetime suspension pending, a victory on Thursday would not have marked the end of Platini’s problems. But it would have been a symbolic win for the man who seemed on track to become the most powerful figure in the world’s most popular sport.It also would have left him free to take part in Saturday’s Euro 2016 draw in Paris. Organizers said Platini was not even in Paris on Friday.Blatter’s replacement will be decided by a vote of FIFA’s 209-member associations on February 26.Blatter’s 17-year tenure as FIFA’s president culminated with a major corruption scandal, which has seen 39 people within world football charged with corruption by the U.S. justice department.The Swiss national on Friday told Japan’s Nikkei business daily that he would be back in office in time for the February congress, but the impending verdict from FIFA’s ethics court could rule that out.In the meantime, the five confirmed presidential candidates continue to make their case to FIFA voters.They include France’s Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, South African business tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, Asia’s football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Gianni Infantino, Platini’s deputy at UEFA.Op-Ed: Soccer needs new guardians, not Old Guard Facebook Comments
“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
One Month Ago Silver34.6928.9240.25 The #1 Reason Inflation Will WinJeff Clark: I was struck at our summit by how many speakers have come to the same basic conclusions we have – that there’s really no way out of the US debt hole. That has a lot of implications, but first, in your view, how bad is it?Terry Coxon: It isn’t so bad that you should think of it as the end of the world, but there is a lot of trouble stored up, and I think “no way out” describes the situation accurately. Most of our economic trouble has been built up by government actions to solve past problems, and what they’ve done is to buy time and provide painkillers, but in doing so they’ve made the problems even worse.Jeff: Why, specifically, is there no way out?Terry: Let’s start with the Federal Reserve and the money supply. In response to the collapse of the housing bubble and most financial markets in 2008-2009, the Federal Reserve began printing like crazy. The monetary base more than doubled, and the M1 money supply at this point has risen a little over 60%. The reason we haven’t seen rapid price inflation is that people are still squirreling away dollars because they’re still very worried about the prospects for the economy. But that’ not the end of the story. The Federal Reserve will keep printing – as everyone knows by now, Mr. Bernanke has pledged allegiance to the printing press and assured the markets that the printing isn’t over and won’t be over until the economy revives.Sooner or later, the Federal Reserve will have created so much cash that many people – maybe most people – will be glutted with dollars, and buying anything will look good compared to holding on to more dollars. At that point, the urge to buy – whether it’s capital goods or consumer goods or commodities – will revive the economy, and the recession will come to an end. That will reduce the level of caution people feel to something near normal. The result will be that all of the excess money that has been created since 2008 will come pouring out. For a little while it will look like happy days are here again – the economy will seem to be booming. But then the excess cash will set off hair-curling price inflation. And that’s just the monetary side of the problem.Now look at the budget side of the federal government. They have been operating on the old Keynesian formula of deficit spending to revive a stagnant economy. What Lord Keynes perhaps never considered was that even if that prescription worked – and there is precious little evidence that it does work – there is a limiting factor over the long run. That limiting factor is the ability of the government to service debt that gets larger and larger. The US balance sheet is already at the gateway to the danger zone. When accumulated debt exceeds annual gross domestic product (think of it as annual income for the whole country), that’s where governments start to get into trouble in the capital markets.Now the budget situation – or the debt-financing situation for the US Treasury – has been made exceptionally easy by the exceptionally low interest rates that have been engineered by the exceptionally rapid growth in the money supply. When the economy starts to revive, interest rates will go up, and then the cost to the US Treasury of rolling over its now $16 trillion in debt will become a noticeable element in the overall budget. That pushes the government closer to a debt spiral, where the rise in interest rates makes it more expensive to service debt, which means the debt accumulates even faster. At that point, doubts about the ability of the government to service the debt over the long run forces another kick up in the government’s borrowing costs. It becomes a nasty and vicious feedback cycle that is similar to what is going on now in Greece and Spain. This is a predicament the US government is just whistling about. They’ve closed their eyes to the risk.So between the built up inflationary pressure that will come roaring out when the economy revives and the constantly growing US government debt, there is no solution to the economy’s problems that is politically acceptable.Jeff: Some economists think we’ll eventually grow our way out of this. We’re still the superpower of the world and still generate a lot of GDP, so can’t growth eventually pay back all this debt?Terry: In principle, such a thing is possible, but it would require political measures that are impossible. They would have to throw out most regulation of the economy, sell off an empire of unneeded real estate, stop using soldiers, ships, and planes as pieces in a “big boys’ really big chess set,” and starting saying “no” to the many people – both rich and poor – who now live off the government.Jeff: Why aren’t more economists expressing concern or even outrage over the predicament we’re in? It seems so obvious.Terry: If you studied economics when you went to school, the economics department probably was within a short walk of the science building, where they studied physics and chemistry. That leaves people with the false impression that economics is a hard science like physics or chemistry, where there are clear, proven principles anyone can test and everyone can agree on. In fact, economics today is about where medicine was in the 17th century, when people were debating whether the blood circulates through the body or just sits there. That was the level of knowledge by the best minds of the day, and it is the level of understanding by economists today. So you shouldn’t be surprised that most economists are sure that most other economists are wrong.Jeff: So what happens – high inflation? There are some strong deflationary signals in the economy right now.Terry: Even if there are episodes of deflation, they will just inspire even faster money printing. In the contest between inflation and deflation, inflation always gets another turn until it wins.Jeff: Good point. Is inflation imminent? The CPI is still pretty low.Terry: Well, it’s never going to be imminent in the sense that today it’s not happening and next week it is happening. It’s more like a river rising. And when you see the economy start to revive, the rate of price inflation will start rising noticeably in a year or year and a half.Jeff: This has obvious investment implications.Terry: Yes. You and your family should think about how to protect yourselves, and the formula sorts out to something very simple. One, you need some gold in your financial life, and two, you don’t need any bonds in your financial life.Jeff: Yes. Anything else?Terry: Well, those are the most obvious – gold yes, bonds no. You should also keep a good holding of cash in your investment portfolio, because there probably will be one or more replays of what we saw in 2008 and 2009. And when that happens, you will be glad you have cash because you can take advantage of the bargains.Conventional stocks are a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, the equity market welcomed the restarting of the printing press. On the other hand, the equity markets, as they go up, are diverging from economic reality. So I suggest thinking of a portfolio of conventional stocks as a machine that sits in your office and churns out ten-dollar bills, but eventually is going to blow up. If you want to take the risk that you’ll know when to get out, well, at the end of the day, if you’re right and you get out in time, you will be glad that you invested in conventional stocks. If you are thinking about a portfolio that you can just put away and forget about, then conventional stocks should not be part of it.Jeff: Bernanke said the $40 billion of bond-buying every month is open ended, implying it could last awhile. Any sense for how long it goes on before the economy revives?Terry: Open-ended is an extraordinary thing to announce. The fact isn’t surprising, but I am surprised they would ‘fess up to it.The picture I have is someone sitting next to a pile of damp firewood, lighting matches and just throwing them on. Eventually those matches are going to dry out the firewood, and then you will get a big blaze; and that’s what the Federal Reserve is doing to the economy right now. The difficulty is that if you’re in charge of printing all the new dollars, you won’t know that you’ve printed enough until you’ve printed way too much.Jeff: That implies gold and silver prices have a long way to go yet.Terry: Yes, I certainly believe so.Jeff: What kind of price levels do you expect?Terry: The only reasonable thing that I can say is, a lot higher. The reason that it doesn’t do much good to put a number on it is that we don’t know how long rapid rates of inflation will run.Jeff: What about gold stocks? If you’re lukewarm on the stock market, can gold stocks still do well?Terry: The basic answer is, if you want to own stocks right now, don’t own red stocks, don’t own blue stocks, own gold stocks.Jeff: Silver is considered a monetary metal, too, but is there a scenario under which gold does well but silver does poorly?Terry: Yes: runaway inflation and a very sick economy that is not consuming a lot of silver. That could leave silver behind, but it would have to be a very ugly economic situation.Jeff: But wouldn’t the Fed just print more money and make silver as attractive as gold?Terry: Not necessarily. The demand for gold is financial demand, period. Silver is a different story altogether. It is partly financial demand and partly industrial consumption.Jeff: What odds do you give for something like that happening?Terry: I don’t expect that to happen. If it happens at all, it’s years away.Jeff: So the bottom line to all this is, make sure you own enough gold.Terry: That’s exactly right.Gold and Silver HEADLINESMining Investment to Grow Ever More Complex and Costly, Industry Leaders Fear (Mineweb)Baker & McKenzie surveyed more than 300 senior mining industry leaders across six mining jurisdictions – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, and South Africa. The key themes in the study were the complexity of the legal and regulatory environment, political stability, resource nationalism, access to infrastructure, and skilled labor. A common thought expressed by the majority of the respondents across these jurisdictions is that “investing in mining is becoming more difficult and less certain,” and they believe that mining sector investment will continue to be more complicated.This research confirms what other mining industry surveys report. Resource nationalism, named the #1 threat for mining, is expected by the majority of respondents (78%) to increase over the next 20 years. That’s why it is so important to understand investor friendliness of any given jurisdiction. And navigating the political landscapes is exactly what we do in International Speculator and BIG GOLD.Silver ETF Holdings Nearing Record Levels (Silver Institute)The Silver Institute reports that silver ETF holdings have totaled more than 608 million ounces with a value of US$20.5 billion through September 15. Investors have added more than 32 million ounces to their silver ETF accounts so far this year. Investor demand was one of the most important factors cited in silver’s recent price rise.“Investors and analysts are bullish on expectations that additional central banks will do more to attempt to stimulate economies in order to increase consumption and spur employment, leading to even greater investor attention on the 4,000 year allure of silver as a safe haven and a store of value,” said Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute.We agree that investor interest for silver will drive the price higher. TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)12,383.6012,116.9211,955.01 Gold1,784.501,639.501,793.00 Copper3.773.463.75 Oil91.8796.6885.92 Silver Stocks (SIL)25.2620.5626.29 TSX Venture1,345.721,239.321,703.78 One Year Ago Rock & Stock StatsLast Dear Reader,Economist Terry Coxon and BIG GOLD Editor Jeff Clark had some interesting discussions during the recent Casey Research Summit on Navigating the Politicized Economy. They noticed a near-consensus among the speakers that there’s no way out for the over-indebted US government – or the Eurozone for that matter – which has consequences for all participants in the global economy. Below, you can read why Terry (and others) are convinced there’s no way out, why he’s convinced the problem will end in inflation, and what the investment implications are for gold and silver.How do we profit from that? Even as you receive today’s Daily Dispatch, Jeff and I will be flying down to Mexico to look at a silver mine one of our companies recently acquired. Due diligence: pick right and sit tight. That’s how we do it – and you can too.If you want to learn more about the Casey Research process or pick our brains in some other way, please consider joining Doug Casey, our Chief Energy Investment Strategist Marin Katusa, and myself next month in New Orleans. We’ll all be speaking at the New Orleans 2012 Investment Conference, which will be held October 24-27. You won’t want to miss Doug’s debate against James Carville and Charles Krauthammer – it’s sure to be a memorable event. The markets are getting really interesting, so you’ll be sure to learn a lot.Sincerely,Louis JamesSenior Metals Investment StrategistCasey Research Gold Producers (GDX)54.8146.3864.28 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)25.4621.4635.10
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.