UK broadcaster Channel 4 has launched Dynamic TV

first_imgUK broadcaster Channel 4 has launched Dynamic TV, a data-driven video-on-demand advertising initiative that enables different ads to be served to viewers.The ad system will use first-party data from Channel 4’s more than 18 million registered viewers, delivering bespoke ads based on location, weather, time of day, date and demographics.These ads can be delivered across big screen devices like smart TVs for the first time, as well as on mobile and desktop VOD platforms.Dynamic TV was developed with Channel 4’s video technology partner, Innovid. Launch advertising partners are Boots and Suzuki.“Dynamic TV is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ad products we’ve been able to launch at Channel 4,” said David Amodio, digital and creative leader, 4Sales.“We’ve seen an increased demand from clients and agency partners for big screen inventory and the fact that we’re now able to deliver data informed creative across these platforms adds a layer of relevance that’s previously been restricted to desktop and mobile platforms.Innovid co-founder and CTO, Tal Chalozin, said: “We’re thrilled to power this new Dynamic TV offering with Channel 4. Advertisers can now personalise TV ads bringing more relevancy to viewers.“Being able to find a local store, car dealership or receive more targeted ads provides increased value to the viewer and is a much better experience than traditional commercial breaks. In the US, we’re seeing much higher performance on these types of ads across all screens and are excited to bring this opportunity to the UK market.”last_img read more

In This Issue… Dudley agrees with Yellen on rat

first_imgIn This Issue… * Dudley agrees with Yellen on rates… * Which sends Gold higher! * Chinese GDP weakens to 8.1%… * Buying Gold on the dips… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Rates To Remain Near Zero Through 2014 … Good day… And a Happy Friday to one and all! It’s Opening Day here in St. Louis as baseball comes back to the town that loves its Cardinals and baseball. The people of the city will be dressed in red today, the ballpark will be a sea of red, and the excitement for the day begins… But, we could be in trouble weather wise… It’s already rained in some parts of the city and is expected to rain all day and night here… UGH! The Cardinals are the reigning World Series Champions, and should have opened their season at home… But no… they played a week on the road to start the season… If they had opened at home, last week was sunny and 80 all week… OK… Sorry… I guess if the game gets rained out, we can all go see the Opening of the 3 Stooges Movie! HA! Sorry… but guys my age all grew up watching the 3 Stooges, and laughing until it hurt… In my old writing style… I would be associating some Gov’t leaders with the 3 Stooges right now, but since I don’t do that any longer, I should just move along, for these are not the droids I’m looking for… Well… the currencies and metals added to their gains yesterday as the day went along. The euro traded briefly at 1.32, and the Aussie dollar (A$) trade through $1.04… There was more Fed Heads speaking, and Fed Head Dudley agreed with Fed Head Yellen who had said the previous day that keeping interest rates near zero through 2014 was needed… Dudley said, “I haven’t seen any set of information that should suggest to me we should change that view.” So, that got the ball rolling with Gold, for as I’ve explained many times in the past 4 years since interest rates around the world headed to zero… Gold competes with deposit rates… So, if there are no deposit rates, Gold is the chief beneficiary… And now knowing that 2 Fed Heads agree with Fed President, Big Ben Bernanke, that rates need to remain near zero through 2014, really got the ball rolling for Gold, and as I left the office, with my tail dragging, and totally exhausted, Gold was up $17 on the day… But… all the euphoria in the risk assets got some cold water thrown on them by the latest GDP data from China overnight… China’s 1st QTR GDP grew at the slowest pace in 11 quarters, but was still a robust +8.1%… If you keep with what I told you years ago, that you should believe 1/2 of what the Chinese report, then that puts 1st QTR GDP at +4%, which is still far greater than most countries around the world… So, the moderation of the Chinese economy continues… But that really takes a bite out of the Commodity Countries’ currencies… Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, all felt the bite of slower Chinese economic growth. I think this slower GDP report might spur that reserve requirement reduction we were looking for last weekend, even with inflation bumping higher last month. A move to reduce reserve requirements would be like a rate cut, and even though in the old days, that was viewed as debasing a currency, these days, the markets reward countries that promote growth… And the global growth countries would be jumping up and clicking their heels together! I’ve spent a couple of days this week talking about Singapore and the Sing dollar (S$) well, as I explained the other day, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) met last night, and I was quite pleased with their decision… The MAS decided to maintain its currency’s appreciation and increase the slope of its trading band… Apparently the MAS is very concerned about rising inflation in Singapore, and as I’ve explained in the past the MAS uses the S$ to combat inflation… They do this by adjusting the trade-weighted band of currencies by changing the slope, width and center of the band. A flatter slope allows slower appreciation or even depreciation over time, but… that’s not what the MAS has decided it will do going forward… The will increase the slope, which means they will allow additional currency appreciation! Heading over the North Pole from China, we land in Canada… and the Canadian dollar /loonie finally got back to parity to the U.S. dollar yesterday, as the price of Oil rebounded from a dip this week. The price of Oil rebounded to $103, and I’ve told you many times that a higher Oil Price is needed to move the loonie higher, as the Bank of Canada (BOC) refuses to hike rates. You know… I like the Canadian dollar / loonie for a number of reasons, but what I don’t like is the BOC sitting and watching a housing bubble and doing nothing… Finance Minister, Flaherty, said that he “prefers to allow the Housing Market to correct itself” Vancouver and Toronto are the locations of the biggest housing problems… But to sit there, and do nothing is not prudent in my opinion… Speaking of Oil… I read a report last night that made a lot of sense to me… the researcher pointed toward the growth in U.S. M3 Money Supply as a strong reason for the elevated Oil prices… in the report they showed that M3 had grown more than 150% since 1998, while global Oil reserves grew 33%… Which means more dollars in circulation chasing a certain amount of Oil reserves, and you get inflated Oil prices… But remember… the price of getting Oil out of the ground continues to rise too… And, don’t forget what I told you a month or so ago, about how the Saudi’s need to keep the price of Oil high, to keep the money flowing, and prevent riots like those seen all over the Middle East last year. And don’t forget that there’s a strong correlation between Oil prices and the U.S. dollar, that began around 2004, and is now at a 82% historic average… years ago, there was no such correlation, but as time has gone on, and investors learn that they can hedge against dollar weakness with commodities like Oil… the correlation has come about… Buying Gold is another investment that hedges against dollar weakness… but it’s also a commodity… it’s a currency… it’s an uncertainty hedge… No… it’s Super Man! Just having some fun… I know a lot of people think that Gold’s shiny days are over… But, I’m not one of them! And apparently long time acquaintance, Frank Holmes, the CEO of U.S. Global Investors, isn’t one of them either… Frank was interviewed for and he said that, “buying the dips in Gold has been the right move for a decade.” If you’re interested in reading what else Frank had to say about why buying Gold on the dips continues to be the right move, you can click here:. OK… The pressure on the euro and the ECB coming from Spain continues to be strong… The return of the Spanish Flu? I read a report that called the problems in Spain the return of the Spanish Flu… I’m not sure that associating a debt problem with a pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people is a good thing… In fact, I’m sure it isn’t! Well.. as I said earlier this week, the European Central Bank (ECB) is becoming the Fed of Europe… and with that title, the ECB will look to buy Spanish debt, and not continue the 3-year loans they’ve been making… We’ll have to wait-n-see what the markets think of that. But judging from the performance of the euro this morning, It looks like the markets don’t really care, as the euro is up from where it was when I came in and turned on the screens this morning. There’s a story out this morning that says that Japan’s top Pension Fund is going to begin to invest in emerging markets stocks as early as this quarter. The Pension Fund oversees $1.3 Trillion, will begin to focus on markets including Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan and South Africa… This is good news for these countries and their stock markets, and vis-à-vis each respective currency… for… the currency of each country has to be bought to buy stock in that country! Speaking of South Korea… things are brighter there this morning, after the North Korea rocket launch failed… There was another earthquake, this time hitting in Mexico… That’s two earthquakes this week around the world… The data cupboard told us yesterday that the Trade Deficit for February narrowed to $46 Billion from $52.5 Billion… remember that February has fewer days, before you go out and buy something that was imported to make up for the difference! HA! PPI (wholesale inflation) showed a .3% increase month-on-month, and an annualized figure of 2.8%… The Initial Jobless Claims gained 13,000 last week, moving to 380,000 from 367,000… Today, we’ll see the stupid CPI (Consumer Inflation) … And the U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence report… Then There Was This… I meant to talk about this yesterday, but, completely forgot, until I heard it mentioned again in a TV interview that I saw. (Thanks JMR Doug!) Here’s what I’m talking about… There are reports out that say the Big Banks are once again beginning to give loans to bad credit people… OMG! More Sub Prime? Have we not learned anything? I shake my head in disgust here folks, because… This will all end up in the crying pool… I’m not someone that doesn’t believe in giving people a chance, but at the same time, I’m someone that believes in the once bitten twice shy, babe… More Sub Prime… again, it’s an election year… right? To recap… Dudley agrees with Yellen that rates will remain near zero through 2014… That pushes Gold higher on the day. Oil rebounds to $103. Chinese GDP weakens to 8.1%, thus proving that the moderation is in, not the collapse that many economist called for. Sub Prime 2? When do we ever learn? And Frank Holmes tells us about buying Gold on the dips! Currencies today 4/13/12… American Style: A$ $1.0405, kiwi .83, C$ $1.0065, euro 1.3165, sterling 1.5935, Swiss $1.0955, … European Style: rand 7.8755, krone 5.7770, SEK 6.7515, forint 225, zloty 3.1730, koruna 18.7760, RUB 29.46, yen 81, sing 1.2455, HKD 7.7610, INR 51.33, China 6.3025, pesos 13.07, BRL 1.8260, Dollar Index 79.45, Oil $103, 10-year 2.01%, Silver $32.37, and Gold… $1,675.05… and getting back to our old Friday practice of taking a peek at the U.S. Debt Clock… click here… That’s it for today… A Big Congratulations to our little Christine and hubby Matt, on the birth of a baby boy yesterday… That’s 3 boys now for Christine & Matt… 2 more and they’ll have a basketball team! I meant to wish our Blues good luck on the start of the Playoffs yesterday and forgot… The Blues forgot how they beat the Sharks 4 times this year, and lost the first game… We’ve been disappointed for over 40 years, but I was hoping this was going to be “the year”… It’s best of 7, so they can come back… I made it through today’s letter without mentioning it’s Friday the 13th! Until now that is… Be careful out there today! So… Opening Day in St. Louis! If you’ve never been here for this, you should… Since 2007, I get chills every time the players come in, the Clydesdales go around the stadium, and look around at the sea of red… and with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, before I really begin to get sappy! I hope you have a Fantastico Friday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more

Heres another two photos I took on Sunday  Its

first_imgHere’s another two photos I took on Sunday.  It’s our old friend, the double-crested cormorant.  It’s the same bird sitting in the same spot that I presented in this column about a month ago—and that I photographed in early summer as well, so I would think that it’s a non-breeding adult.  Since I already had all the photos of this fellow I could ever want, I thought it would fun to see how close I could get.  The first photo is from about 8 meters at bird-eye level, which is point blank range for a 400mm telephoto lens for an object this size, so I didn’t have to crop it much.  Here he/she is, standing on one leg, pretending to sleep, but with at least one eye wide open.  The second photo was taken from a bit further away and from a slightly elevated position on some stairs as I left.  I spent half an hour at that spot—and it didn’t move an inch. Are we done to the downside?  Beats the hell out of me.  JPMorgan et al along with their HFT buddies can do anything they want.  But there are limits to how low these prices can be driven—and as Ted Butler said in his Saturday column—and again on the phone yesterday—if we’re not there already, we aren’t far off.  I’m sure he’ll have more to say about this to his paying subscribers in his mid-week commentary later today.And as I write this paragraph, the London open is less than 15 minutes away—and prices did absolute nothing in Far East trading on their Wednesday.  Of course silver had it’s obligatory down spike at the 6 p.m. open in New York on Tuesday evening—and it’s still down as of this writing.  Net gold volume is around 15,000 contracts—and silver’ net volume is 4,500 contracts.  The dollar index is basically unchanged.As I said in The Wrap yesterday, I was kind of hoping that JPMorgan et al would get this over with on Tuesday, as I would like all the data in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as yesterday at the close of Comex trading was the cut-off for that report.  And whether it was the bottom or not, there’s an excellent chance that all of it should be reported in a timely manner.And as I send this off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metals are being guided lower—and are below yesterday’s closing prices in New York—and palladium is once again at a new low for this move down.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if ‘da boyz’ had the other three precious metals at new lows before the trading day is done in New York today.  Gold’s net volume is now 25,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is up to 6,500 contracts net.  The dollar index is still up a tiny amount.Based on what I see here, nothing will surprise me from a price perspective when I check out the Kitco charts after I fire up my computer later this morning.And before heading out the door, I’d like to point out that the Casey OnePass has been opened for a very brief period of time.  You have until this Friday to sign up to save $1,749 on the full subscription package.As you know, with the Casey OnePass, you get ALL of Casey’s newsletters (no CIA or CEC alert services) at a significant saving of $1,749 per year.  But more importantly, we’ve got some good opportunities across all sectors—and what better way to keep track of them, then to sign up for a service that includes them all?You can find out all you need to know by clicking here—and it costs nothing to have a look.I’m off to bed.  See you here tomorrow. There are limits to how low these prices can be drivenIt was a very quiet day on Tuesday with not much happening during Far East and London trading session.  That all changed starting at 11:40 a.m. EDT when the HFT boyz showed up with their algorithms—and it appeared that a new low for this move down was set at, or very close to, the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  From there it rallied a few bucks before rallying anew starting around 3:15 p.m.  A thoughtful non-for-profit seller put a pin in that rally balloon a few minutes after 4 p.m.—and  the price didn’t do much after that.The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,258.90 and $1,248.10 in the December contract.Gold finished the Tuesday trading session in New York at $1,255.80 spot, up 30 cents from Monday’s close.  Net volume was around 113,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart on its own so you can see the finer details of the Comex and electronic markets in New York yesterday.Brad Robertson sent us the 5-minute gold tick chart—and you can see the associated volume that went with the price action.  Remember to add 2 hours for EDT.After the obligatory down tick at the open on Monday night in New York, the silver price made quite a few attempts to break above its Monday closing price in New York, but didn’t quite make it.  Once Comex trading began however, there was some price pressure—and ‘da boyz’ printed a new silver low as well for this move down shortly after 12 o’clock noon in New York.  After that, it traded almost the same as gold, including the nifty rally that began at 3:15 p.m. EDT—which also got cut off a the knees minutes after 4 p.m. by a willing seller.The low and high ticks were reported as $18.89 and $19.155 in the December contract.Silver finished the Monday trading session at $19.055 spot, up 3.5 cents from Monday.  Net volume was 30,500 contracts.And here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart.Platinum and palladium weren’t spared by the HFT algorithm yesterday, either.  Platinum, which is now hugely oversold, was closed down 12 bucks, but well off its low tick.Palladium really got it in the neck yesterday starting at the London p.m. gold fix—and by 12:15 p.m. EDT, most of the damage had been done—and ‘da boyz’ closed it down by 24 bucks.  It was a dollar or so lower than that on the day as well.The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 80.30.  From there it chopped to its 84.56 high, which occurred at precisely 9:00 a.m. BST in London on their Tuesday morning.  Then it drifted unsteadily lower, closing at 84.17, which was down 13 basis points on the day—and 39 points off its high tick.The gold stocks rallied slightly into positive territory at the open—and then slowly began to sink back into the red, hitting their lows just before the 3:15 p.m. EDT rally began in both gold and silver.  They popped back into positive territory in no time—and the HUI closed up 1.48%.The silver equities followed a similar path, except their time in positive territory didn’t last long—and they got sold down much harder than the gold shares.  They were down by almost 3 percent at their 3:15 p.m. EDT low—and the subsequent rally in Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index cut the loss to only 0.86%.The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 227 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.  In silver, the two largest short/issuers were ABN Amro and R.J. O’Brien with 138 and 77 contracts respectively.  There were 11 different long/stoppers. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here—and it’s certainly worth a quick look.The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session shows that there are still 24 gold contracts left open in the September delivery month, which is unchanged from Monday’s report.  But the number of silver contracts left open in September rose by 90 yesterday, so there are now 977 contracts left to deliver in September—from which you can subtract the 227 contracts mentioned in the prior paragraph.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 9:40 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  But when I was editing today’s efforts at 3:55 a.m. EDT, I was shocked to see that there was another addition to SLV.  This time it was 1,438,770 troy ounces.  Was this deposited to cover an existing JPMorgan short position?  Since the beginning of the month, 3.12 million ounces of silver have been added to SLV—and 9.7 million troy ounces were added in August—and since August 1, silver prices have been engineered lower to the tune of almost two bucks.  During the same time period, GLD has shed about 320,000 troy ounces.We should get the new short positions for both GLD and SLV this evening sometime—and that will be up until the end of August.  The 3.12 million ounces added so far this month, won’t show up in‘s numbers until almost the end of September.There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint.  The sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—200,000 silver eagles—and 100 platinum eagles.Once again there was big movement at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, nothing was reported received, but 56,748 troy ounces were shipped out, with most of it coming out of Scotiabank’s vault.  The link to that activity is here.In silver, there was 601,494 troy ounces received—and 1,222,262 troy ounces shipped out the door.  All the activity was at the CNT Depository—and Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that action is here.Happily, I don’t have all that many stories for you today—and that suits me just fine.  You as well, I would assume.Let me take another shot at trying to highlight why this COMEX physical turnover, unique to silver among all commodities, has captured my attention. There are six COMEX-approved silver warehouses—four in the vicinity of New York City and two not that far away in Delaware and Massachusetts. There is not a lot of silver mining or smelting occurring in this narrow area of the Northeastern US, although this is clearly a hub for distribution and transportation. This year some 900,000 oz of silver on average have moved into or out from these six warehouses on a daily basis.Converting world annual silver mine production to the same five day work week as COMEX inventories are reported (800 million oz divided by 250 days), the daily world mine production of silver comes to 3.2 million oz each business day. The daily average movement of silver into and out from the COMEX silver warehouses at 900,000 oz is equal to 28% of total world daily mine production, even though the world mines and refines silver in areas far from the narrow area where the COMEX silver warehouses are located. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 06 September 2014[And as an aside to what Ted say above, it’s a very good bet that just about every good delivery bar that’s been received or shipped out of these six Comex-approved depositories during the last three years or so, has some pretty awesome ‘frequent flyer’ points attached to them. – Ed]I don’t have much to add to my prior comments about any of the four precious metals, as JPMorgan et al took all four of them to new lows yesterday in these ongoing engineered price declines.Here are the 6-month charts for all four metals.last_img read more

TSX Toronto Stock Exchange 1477935

first_img TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 14,779.35 14,594.03 13,932.97 Gold (SGE) 1,297.41 1,183.74 1,250.25 Silver Stocks (SIL) 10.40 8.52 12.54 Dear Reader, Never forgetting that our reason for owning gold is prudence, not speculation (that’s what the stocks are for), we often try to illustrate the point with real-world stories. This week we have a highly instructive update from our friend, a feisty gold dealer in Moscow who’s just lived through a massive economic upheaval. I encourage you to give it a read, but don’t discount it as a “Russian thing” that could never happen here, wherever “here” may be for you. We’ve seen the same behavior throughout history and across the world. Word to the wise. First, however, I want to alert you to a terrific new investment opportunity our colleagues at BIG TECH have uncovered in the coming revolution in lighting. Yes, the humble light bulb has been with us for a long time—too long, in fact. It’s time for lighting to enter the 21st century, and the Casey technology team has zeroed in on the best way to profit. What I like most about our tech investment publications—aside from the fact that they have delivered excellent returns for us while gold was taking its overlong breather—is that a “better mousetrap” can make investors money even in economic hard times. Perhaps especially in economic hard times. And I’m sorry to say, I do expect global economic conditions to continue deteriorating. Even if I’m wrong, however, a better mousetrap should still make tons of money for investors. That makes solid tech speculations great pair trades for our gold stock speculations—it’s even possible we could win on both. Give it some thought, and see if the opportunity our tech team has uncovered looks right for you. Sincerely, Unemployment benefits. Here’s a headline for you: “Level of Unemployment in Moscow Will Rise to 0.5% by 2017.” And this is from 0.35% (25,100 people) who are officially unemployed here today. There are about 13 million residents in Moscow, and the real rate of unemployment or underemployment is way higher than that. The highest level of benefits here is about $78 per month, and that’s really for former top managers. You can count on benefits for about three months, and they will literally hound you with seminars, job fairs, and check-ins. Just to put this number in perspective… the cheapest apartment here costs $50,000 to $60,000, and it would be just a hole in the wall. As a result, Russians simply don’t register with the unemployment office; they try get along on their own. The majority of Russians have a savings-oriented mentality, so gold would fit rather snugly into their financial frame of reference. It’s time for Russians, Americans, and everyone else to wake up, face up to the dangers of statist debauchery, and prepare ourselves for the hard times to come! A couple days later I overhead this conversation at an electronics retailer: “Honey, I still have some rubles left on me—let’s get a third flatscreen TV.” Now here we are in the middle of January, and 1 USD goes for 65 rubles. Have any lessons been learned? Have Russians turned into hard money enthusiasts? Unfortunately, US dollars and euros (and even flatscreen TVs) are still seen as better hedges against chaos than gold. What about all those articles about the Russian central bank buying gold? Actually, very few Russians are meaningfully aware of these purchases. It hasn’t influenced people’s financial decisions yet… although it should—the Bank of Russia bought 171 tonnes of gold last year, more than any other central bank in the world. Meanwhile, as I write, a Russian language website is teeming with ads offering to sell those appliances bought for 40,000 rubles in December just for 32,000 rubles! Does this mean there won’t be a gold bull market in Russia? I think it would be a mistake to draw that conclusion, and here’s why… First, there was an upsurge in gold and silver sales at the end of 2014. Some local sources said coin sales grew by 50%, some by 100%. Our sales volume also definitely picked up in December compared to last fall, but April 2013 was much more active in terms of volume and interest. Keep in mind that all of this is from a very low base. The most promising sign is that regional bulk buyers reappeared after a long absence—these guys come in with cash and buy 50, 100, or 150 ounces of gold at a time. They are mostly provincial businessmen looking to “deep freeze” their savings for the long term, always taking the newest and cheapest one-ounce gold coins. The concept of precious metals ownership is slowly seeping into psychological makeup of Russian businesspeople. A major financial event or a sudden spike in the USD gold price will serve as the real catalyst for a gold stampede. The loss of trust in Western currencies for economic or political reasons may stir Russians to action, too. Second, gold ownership is just one wholesome habit in what I call “personal fiscal hygiene.” Russia in many ways runs far ahead of the developed world in terms of debt prudence and anti-welfare mentality. Here are just two examples in support of this: Mortgage debt. Russians also buy real estate on credit, but the size of the market is miniscule. There is about $51 billion in residential mortgage debt outstanding in a country of 144 million people, of which only 3.5% is in currencies other than the ruble. This is pocket change compared to the US—yet you should hear all the anti-debt rhetoric in the local media. Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research An elderly woman at the supermarket cashier, in response to the rumors about a possible freeze of bank accounts, said, “They will take away our money like they did in the early ‘90s?” I replied, “Why not try gold and silver for the long term?” She testily snapped, “What are we gonna do with them—eat ‘em for dinner?” Rock & Stock Stats Last Oil 45.59 57.12 97.32 Gold 1,294.28 1,177.22 1,264.33 Moscow Update: Gold During the Crisis Editor’s Note: Dmitriy Balkovskiy is a Russian coin dealer in Moscow we’ve interviewed before. Since the ruble’s crash, he’s witnessed some interesting developments in his country, so we asked him for an update. By Dmitriy Balkovskiy I would like to expand on Jeff Clark’s piece “Gold Was Up 73% Last Year” with some real-life stories from inside Russia. First, a small correction… Jeff describes an investor sitting in a Moscow café and reading about gold’s phenomenal rise in rubles in a Russian newspaper. In reality, gold-related info in a Russian newspaper would be buried on page 17 and very difficult to locate. “Serious” gentlemen deal in stocks or real estate; gold coins and bars are for the naïve. In this respect, Russia is no different from the USA, and even worse. Now to my episodes… Our small office is located about 200 meters from the Kremlin’s entrance, right across the street from it. So sometimes we get visitors from within those walls. In the early afternoon of December 16, a Ukrainian construction worker came in wishing to buy a one-ounce Austrian Philharmonic. He had just finished several months of work at the Kremlin reconstruction site and wanted to get rid of his rubles and take home a hard asset. (Note: December 16, 2014 has already been named the Russian Black Tuesday. On that day, the ruble fell from 58 to 72 per USD in several hours.) Now this guy must have been burnt a few times in his life, because he wanted to check the coin for authenticity in every possible way. When he first entered the door, the coin sold for about 86,000 rubles. It took us about 30 minutes to complete the checking procedure to his satisfaction—but when we looked at the price again it had soared above 100,000 rubles. Unfortunately all he had in his pocket was 90,000 rubles. The coin had literally slipped from his grasp. He told me he had long wanted to buy a thick gold chain, and so we suggested a jewelry store nearby. “Prices do not change there as often,” we told him. Off he went with a sigh. That same day I went to a nearby branch of Sberbank (the biggest banking chain in Russia), which was full of people, probably 100 customers. They looked grim and determined to withdraw rubles and buy dollars and euros ASAP. I addressed bank tellers I know there: “So our dear countrymen are vacuuming hard currency at historical highs again?!?” Girls giggled in response. It is both painful and funny to see Russians repeating the same mistake again and again. TSX Venture 678.18 677.45 983.39 One Month Ago Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 27.62 21.84 37.10 Silver 18.30 15.73 20.01 A discouraged friend told me, “I’ve got to buy euros to pay my rent (rents are often fixed in euros in Moscow), but any exchange office I go, they have run out of euro cash.” Gold Producers (GDX) 21.74 17.30 23.72 One Year Ago Copper 2.50 2.90 3.29last_img read more

Pregnant women and extremely obese people at high risk of flu complications

Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Pregnant women and the extremely obese are among those at high risk for complications from the flu – including death – and should be tested and begin antiviral treatment promptly if they are sick enough to be hospitalized with flu symptoms, according to updated guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Outpatients who have been diagnosed with the flu and are at high risk for complications should also be provided antiviral treatment as soon as possible, note the seasonal influenza guidelines, which are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The guidelines recommend using newer and highly accurate molecular tests that deliver results in 15-60 minutes instead of rapid-influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs), which produce quick results but can be falsely negative in at least 30 percent of outpatients with influenza. While antiviral treatment is recommended within two days after the start of flu symptoms in people who aren’t at high risk for complications, the guidelines note they should be prescribed to those at high risk even if they have been sick for more than two days.People who are extremely obese have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Others in the high-risk category include: young children (especially those younger than 2 years old); women who have recently given birth; those with a weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, cancer, who have had an organ transplant or who are on chronic steroids); people younger than 19 years old who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; those with chronic medical conditions including asthma, neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders (such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and stroke), heart or lung disease, kidney, liver or metabolic disorders; and nursing home residents; American Indians and native Alaskans.”Influenza can be serious, especially for the sizable group of people at high risk,” said Timothy M. Uyeki, MD, MPH, MPP, co-chair of the guidelines committee and chief medical officer of the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza, but it is not 100 percent effective. Those at high risk need to be encouraged to seek medical care right away if they develop influenza symptoms during influenza season.”Related StoriesLow humidity could be flu virus’ best friend$3.1 million NIH funding awarded to develop universal flu vaccineAustralian doctors are overprescribing flu antivirals, study revealsTypical flu signs and symptoms include fever, cough, muscle aches, chills, runny nose and sore throat. Other symptoms can include headache and chest pain.The guidelines note antiviral treatment should be started immediately in people at high risk of flu complications who are being admitted to the hospital with suspected influenza, without waiting for the results of molecular influenza testing. Influenza testing is important because physicians are more likely to treat patients with antiviral medications if they have a definitive diagnosis, further reducing the likelihood of prescribing antibiotics inappropriately, especially in outpatients.If people at high risk become seriously ill with influenza, health care providers should turn to infectious diseases (ID) doctors to provide expertise, the guidelines note.”High-risk individuals who are hospitalized with flu complications are at an increased risk for serious bacterial infections and infectious diseases physicians’ expertise is critical to ensuring they receive the best care,” said Andrew T. Pavia, MD, FIDSA co-chair of the guidelines committee and chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. “ID doctors also can provide guidance when a patient who has the flu is not responding to antiviral treatment or is getting worse.”The previous guidelines were published just before the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the fourth pandemic in the past 100 years. Other pandemics occurred in 1918 (killing an estimated 675,000 people in the United States), 1957 and 1968. A pandemic is a worldwide outbreak of a new influenza A virus that is very different than seasonal influenza A viruses circulating in people. Once it begins circulating, the pandemic virus becomes a seasonal flu virus in subsequent years. Last season the flu was responsible for an estimated 49 million illnesses in the United States, including 960,000 hospitalizations and 79,000 deaths.”We are always concerned about preparing for the next pandemic, but we also are focused on preventing and controlling seasonal influenza,” said Dr. Uyeki. “While pandemics aren’t predictable, we know that every year we’re going to have seasonal influenza and we need to improve how we prevent and control it through influenza vaccination, better diagnosis and early antiviral treatment of patients.” read more

Children with birth defects have elevated cancer risk study reveals

first_imgWhile cancer risk in children with certain chromosomal defects like Down syndrome is well established, much less is known for children with birth defects where there is no known genetic cause, sometimes called non-chromosomal defects. Non-chromosomal defects, as a group, affect more children, but one of the primary challenges of understanding risk among these children is that limited sample sizes make studying specific defects, like spina bifida, more difficult.”Dr. Philip Lupo, associate professor of pediatrics – hematology oncology and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 26 2019Childhood cancer is a rare occurrence in the overall population but may be somewhat more frequent in children born with birth defects. To better understand the link between cancer risk and birth defects, a collaborative team of scientists led by Baylor College of Medicine has assembled the largest study to date to evaluate cancer risk in children with birth defects. The study appears in JAMA Oncology. The research team gathered data from birth, birth defect and cancer registries across Texas, Arkansas, Michigan and North Carolina to generate a birth cohort of more than 10 million children born between 1992 and 2013. The investigators looked at diagnoses of cancer until 18 years of age to determine differences in cancer risk between those with and without birth defects.Researchers found that, compared to children without any birth defect, children with chromosomal defects were almost 12 times more likely to develop cancer, while children with non-chromosomal defects were 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer. Additionally, children with more than one non-chromosomal defect had a corresponding increase in cancer risk.”Our two key objectives in this study were to identify children who are at an increased risk for cancer, because subsets of these children may one day benefit from screening and better clinical management, and to uncover clues as to why cancer occurs more frequently in this population,” said Dr. Jeremy Schraw, postdoctoral associate in the Section of Epidemiology and Population Sciences at Baylor. “These findings solidify our understanding of cancer risk in these children and show that we need additional research in this area.”Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeCancer types that were more frequent in children with non-chromosomal defects included hepatoblastoma and neuroblastoma.While these findings identify specific, strong associations between birth defects and cancer, Schraw said that it is important to remember that both birth defects and cancer are still rare occurrences.”This study is important in that it is the largest and most informative of its kind. The large sample size allowed us to evaluate cancer risk in children with both chromosomal versus non-chromosomal defects and revealed links between specific cancers and specific birth defects. These data can also help us to study and understand differences in outcomes down the road for children with cancer,” said Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics – oncology and molecular and human genetics and co-director of the Pediatric Cancer Program in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.”In the future, we hope to identify the specific genes behind these associations and systematically research what happens from the time of birth to the time of cancer onset to also understand if environmental factors may be contributing to cancer development,” Lupo said. “This study provides new understanding about biology and the mechanisms that may lead to these complex outcomes in this population.” Source:Baylor College of MedicineJournal reference:Lupo, P.J. et al. (2019) Association Between Birth Defects and Cancer Risk Among Children and Adolescents in a Population-Based Assessment of 10 Million Live Births. JAMA Oncology. read more

Vietnam goes from trade war winner to Trump target

first_imgVietnam goes from trade war winner to Trump target. Nation 08 Jul 2019 US not being clear of its priority targets in trade war with China For manufacturers like IREX, Trump’s recent action means they can’t sit back either.”Our sales department is looking for new markets, so if the U.S. increases Vietnam tariffs it won’t impact IREX’s business much,” said Trang, the company’s COO.- Bloomberg {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Related News Markets 27 Jun 2019 Trade-war winner Vietnam is now a target for Trump’s tariffs HANOI: Americans are buying solar panels from Vietnam like never before, but local manufacturer IREX Energy JSC isn’t celebrating.After U.S. President Donald Trump slapped higher tariffs on China, production in neighbouring Vietnam went into overdrive. Chinese manufacturers, who face a 55% U.S. tariff on their goods, relocated some production to Vietnam, while local businesses saw a jump in orders. In June alone, U.S. imports of solar cells from Vietnam surged 656% from a year ago.That trade boom in everything from Ikea furniture to Nike Inc. shoes is now prompting more scrutiny from the US and making businesses like IREX concerned.”We are worried that the US may raise tariffs on our solar panels,” Pham Thi Thu Trang, the company’s chief operating officer, said from Ho Chi Minh City. “Though the U.S market is huge, it is a complicated market when it comes to its politics.”Communist Party-led Vietnam has steadily opened up to foreign investors over the years to become a manufacturing hub in the region, with household names like Samsung Electronics Co., Intel Corp. and Nestle SA setting up factories there. It’s that trade openness, as well as its low-cost labor and proximity to China, that’s helped Vietnam successfully navigate growing global protectionism as companies seek out refuges from the trade war.It’s very quickly climbed the ranks to become a significant U.S. trade partner. Vietnam’s annual trade surplus with the U.S. has exceeded $20 billion since 2014 and reached $40 billion last year, the highest in records going back to 1990, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. For the first five months of the year, the surplus is already 43% higher than a year ago at $21.6 billion.The Trump administration is now pressuring the nation of 97 million people to slash its trade surplus, threatening one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.Trouble began in May, when the U.S. Treasury added Vietnam to a watchlist of countries being monitored for possible currency manipulation. Then, in response to U.S. pressure, Vietnam announced a crackdown on Chinese exporters rerouting products through the Southeast Asian nation with fake Made-in-Vietnam labels to bypass Trump’s tariffs.Trump described Vietnam last month as “almost the single-worst abuser of everybody” when asked if he wanted to impose tariffs on the nation. And just last week, the U.S. slapped duties of more than 400% on steel imports from Vietnam which originated in South Korea and Taiwan.Vietnam officials have been left reeling. The government says it’s committed to buying more U.S. goods, from Boeing Co. jets to energy products to help narrow its trade surplus with the world’s largest economy. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week told officials to monitor U.S. reactions to the nation’s monetary policy more closely.”They are very nervous and confused. They don’t know what Trump’s next move will be,” said Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii.Vietnam has not been adept at responding to charges against its trading practices in Washington, where a cadre of lawyers are needed to quickly engage the government, said Nestor Scherbey, a licensed U.S. customs broker and consultant based in Ho Chi Minh City. “It’s like being charged in court and not showing up.”Cheap LabourCapital Economics Ltd. estimates that if Trump levied a 25% tariff on imports from Vietnam as he did with Chinese goods, Hanoi would see a 25% drop in export revenue, equivalent to more than 1% of the nation’s gross domestic product. That would erase the estimated 0.5 percentage-point gain it has had over the past year as a beneficiary of the trade war.Even before the trade tensions, Vietnam was benefiting from businesses looking for low-cost alternatives to China as wages there grew. That trend will likely continue, which should help to sustain Vietnam’s economic trajectory, according to Adam McCarty, chief economist with Mekong Economics in Hanoi.”It’s not going to stop the underlying economic motivation to move basic factory work from China to Vietnam,” he said. “China is getting too expensive.”Vietnam’s leaders have also long worked to buffer the country from trade shocks by hedging its reliance on any single market, including the U.S., the nation’s largest export destination. Vietnam has inked more than a dozen free trade agreements such as the just-signed deal with the European Union that will eliminate 99% of customs duties, and the revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership, which eventually provides duty-free access to markets such as Canada and Japan for many products.”Vietnam’s foreign policy for decades has been the opposite of what Groucho Marx said: he’d never want to join a club that would have him,” McCarty said. “The Vietnamese approach is to join every trade and investment club they possibly can.” Nation 10 Jul 2019 Malaysia has potential to profit from US-China trade war, says Azmin Tags / Keywords: Economylast_img read more