But Leicester’s rise is especially remarkable in the modern Premier League era. A deluge of money into the league has led to increasing inequality and stratification among teams with cash to burn and those without, which makes a rise of this sort into a billion-dollar-Powerball, Donald Trump-is-the-GOP-nominee-level outlier. Even still, Leicester’s wage bill this season was relatively low. The club spent only 48.2 million pounds on wages, fourth-least in the Premier League. Manchester United has spent more money on new players in the last two years than Leicester has spent in the 132 years it’s existed.Leicester’s title is being trumpeted as “the most unlikely feat in sport history.” Unlikely? Absolutely. Leicester’s rise has been exceptional, no question, and all the more impressive in a climate where dollars, like heat, tend to rise to the top of the table. But unprecedented? No. English football, with its meritocratic system of promotion and relegation, at least makes Cinderella runs like Leicester’s possible — but there hadn’t been a ball in quite some time. Champions tend to come from the top of the previous year’s table. Until this season, every team that has won the title in the Premier League era (which began with the 1992-93 season) finished no worse than third in the Premier League the year before. Of the 70 top-tier league championships since World War II, only six were won by teams that did not finish in the top half of the division the year before. Three times, teams promoted from the second tier went on to win the top tier the next season (Tottenham in 1951, Ipswich in 1962 and Nottingham Forest in 1978). And three winners had finished in the bottom half the year before — Arsenal were 12th in 1969-70 and 13th in 1946-47, and Manchester City finished 15th in 1966-67.Last year, Leicester finished 14th out of 20. They averaged just 1.08 points per game (a win is three, a draw one, a loss zero) and were in last place as late as April. Coming into this season, there was no indication of a turnaround, and most predicted that Leicester would be relegated — demoted to the second tier of the English system.Team manager Nigel Pearson had just been fired, and the club had lost its best midfielder, Esteban Cambiasso. The likable Claudio Ranieri took charge, but he had never won a league title before, and his most recent job was a disastrous spell in charge of the Greek national team, overseeing the squad’s embarrassing losses to the Faroe Islands. Leicester had no marquee stars. The Leicester team was a blend of aging players who had spent most of their careers in the lower leagues and overseas players from lower-level foreign leagues. Famously, its leading scorer and this year’s Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Jamie Vardy, was playing non-league football just four years ago.Even family members of current Leicester players claimed greater success than the whole team. Peter Schmeichel, the father of Leicester goalie Kasper Schmeichel, had more Premier League hardware (five titles) than the entire squad combined (31-year-old Robert Huth and 43-year-old backup goalie Mark Schwarzer both won with Chelsea in minor playing roles).But something magical happened. Leicester started winning, and kept winning. This season, Leicester has been averaging 2.14 points per game. It’s the single biggest year-over-year increase for a league champ since World War II.3Three teams — Spurs in 1951, Ipswich Town in 1962 and Nottingham Forest in 1978 — won the league after being promoted from the lower tier the year before. Points in this analysis are calculated with a win worth three points and a draw one point, the system introduced in the 1981-82 season.But this amazing change in fortune really began years earlier, in the 2008-09 season, when Leicester were dwelling in the lower, far less glamorous third tier of the English football pyramid, known as League One.Since World War II, only one team — Ipswich Town, the 1962 top-flight champs — has had such a long climb over seven years to win the league title. And no team aside from Ipswich then and Leicester now has climbed two tiers so quickly before winning the title.In the chart below are the seven-year histories leading up to every top-flight English football championship since World War II. Only eight times from 1950 through 1980, and only twice from 1981 through 1995, had a team risen from a lower tier in the seven years before to claim the title. It’s been a good nine months for Leicester City Football Club. So good that on Monday the team overcame 5,000-to-1 preseason odds to clinch the Premier League title — its first. Forbes reports that the title is worth more than $100 million to the club, and it’s been nothing short of magic for the club’s fans in that otherwise “unglamorous city” in the Midlands of England.For a long time, it’s been received wisdom that no team outside of a “Big Four” — Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in its current iteration — has any real hope of a league title. The very few exceptions only helped bolster the rule. In the mid-1990s, Blackburn Rovers, bankrolled by local steel magnate Jack Walker, were promoted from the second tier and then took the title in 1995. Since then, only two other teams outside that quartet — Newcastle United and Liverpool — have managed to finish as high as runners-up in the 20-team field.1This year’s runner-up hasn’t been determined.And upsetting the logjam at the top of the league table is only getting harder. In recent years, only five or six teams have tended to find themselves in the Premier League’s top four at season’s end. Here’s the rolling number of unique top-four teams seen in the preceding five years:2The charts, and many of the figures, in this story are based on a historical soccer data set compiled by one of this article’s authors (James), which can be found here.
Kaho ShibuyaPR HandoutKaho Shibuya, 28, has been a journalist, English and Japanese teacher, professional cosplayer, author and mainstream television host. Kaho wanted to do things her own way and forge her own path. She decided to follow her passion rather than opting for a mundane life pursuing careers that she wasn’t fond of.After graduating from University, she began her career in journalism as a writer and reporter for the newspaper, Tokyo Sports, providing coverage of local baseball games. Visiting baseball fields every day and waiting for hours on end to interview players eventually became tiresome. She decided that she would rather make headlines herself, than write ones about other people.Kaho’s journey from journalist to renowned talk show host was a gradual progression. She has a widely popular YouTube channel, while being the centre of attention at numerous anime conventions in Japan and the USA. Her popularity led to several television appearances including God Tongue and Jikkuri Kiitaro, both hugely popular shows on Japanese national television.Kaho Shibuya has also been featured on Fuji TV many times as a special guest and on the cable channel AbemaTV. Today, she hosts her own show on Skyperfect TV, a subscription cable channel in Japan, where her outgoing and bubbly personality has won the hearts of thousands of fans. Hosting her own talk show has been one of the greatest moments in her entire career.Kaho Shibuya was briefly involved in the Japanese adult movie industry. She had a prolific career and won several awards and accolades which included, winning Best Actress for AV Open 2018 for R18.com and was also chosen as Actress of the Month multiple times. Kaho garnered a large and diverse fan base across the globe.Kaho Shibuya decided to retire from the industry and focus on doing things that truly mattered to her. “I was curious and wanted to try different things. My journey has been a colourful one, and now I’m free to do things that matter the most to me”, she explained.Kaho Shibuya is currently writing a memoir about her life and involvement in the adult movie industry, which she hopes will eventually be published in Japanese and English. When it comes to Kaho, there’s more to her than meets the eye. She gained numerous qualifications in childcare as well as teaching English and Japanese to non-native speakers.Her discipline and ability to multitask is evident as she managed to pursue teaching while keeping up with her hectic shooting schedules. Kaho Shibuya is currently focusing on her cosplaying career, professional voice acting and most importantly, her own talk show.Kaho continues to follow her dreams, while her infectious personality has made her a lovable icon in Japan and the rest of the world. Her talk show has helped her get one step closer to delving into mainstream media, while she continues to enjoy the limelight. Kaho added, “Hosting my own talk show is one of the greatest joys. I’m a people’s person and this is what I do best. I’m glad people are loving it as much as I am.”
Russian broadcaster CTC Media has appointed former Goldman Sachs managing director Lorenzo Grabau as member and co-chairman of CTC’s board, effective of the close of its annual general meeting (AGM) on April 30. Grabau, who is also non-executive member of the board of Modern Times Group (MTG), CTC’s largest shareholder, will replace Hans-Holger Albrecht, who resigns as of the end of the AGM.Albrecht, formerly the chief executive of MTG, will focus on his current role as president and CEO of Millicom International Cellular. MTG Russia and Telcrest Investments – another major shareholder in CTC- agreed Grabau’s appointment.At the same time, CTC said it was nominating Dmitry Lebedev and Werner Klatter for re-election to its board at the AGM. MTG Russia has also designated MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann be elected as director. Mathias Hermansson will not stand for re-election to the board.
Italy’s antitrust regulator has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the division of Serie A football rights between Sky and Mediaset for the 2015-18 seasons, according to local reports.Sky and Mediaset are suspected of colluding to carve up the rights, freezing out rivals including Discovery-owned Eurosport.Last year Mediaset at the last minute secured DTT rights to the matches of leading teams in the face of what it saw as a threat to allocate both major packages on offer to Sky. Serie A clubs agreed to allocate package A, with exclusive satellite rights to the matches of the eight leading teams to Sky, while package B, with DTT rights, went to Mediaset along with a package covering the matches of the 12 remaining teams.In a statement, Mediaset said that the deal had been approved by regulator AgCom at the time. It said that no alternative broadcaster had submitted a bid above the price threshold for each package at the time, and that therefore such players could not have been discriminated against. It also argued that the sale of both major packages to a single player – such as Sky – would have been against the rules governing the central sale of rights.
In This Issue.* Plethora of data push dollar lower… * German unemployment show a surprise improvement… * Pound continues to get sold… * Canadian dollar moves back above parity…And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!US data push the dollar lower…Good day. And welcome to February. I can’t believe January is already over, it really flew by didn’t it? The St. Louis University basketball team pulled off what many would call a big upset yesterday by beating #9 Butler last night, and they won in impressive fashion! Congrats to the B-ball Billikens!! We had a busy day on the trading desk yesterday with the markets reacting to what was a plethora of data releases here in the US. And today we will have just as much data released which should lead to another volatile day. The last day of January started off with data showing the Personal Income and Spending of US consumers increased in December. The surprise number was on the income side where the data showed a 2.6% jump after an adjusted increase of 1% in November. These are some very strong numbers on the income side and were thought mainly to be due to questions regarding the fiscal cliff at year end. It seems many companies paid dividends and employee bonuses earlier than usual in order to avoid the jump in tax rates which everyone knew would be happening as we turned the calendar over. According to a story I read in Bloomberg, the Commerce department estimated about $26.4 billion of the increase in incomes was attributable to early dividend payments and another $15 billion reflected bonuses on other types of irregular pay. So the jump in income wasn’t really increases, it was simply a timing difference so the income numbers during the first quarter will undoubtedly show the flip side of these increases during last quarter.And in addition to the early bonuses, the payroll tax will be more of a drag on consumer’s disposable income this quarter. And even after the large surge in incomes during the last month of 2012, Personal spending actually showed a smaller increase than expected. Spending was up .2% in December after a .4% increase in the previous month. Other data showed prices remained flat in December as the PCE numbers were flat on a MOM basis. This data was followed up with the weekly jobs numbers which showed a slight increase in the number of jobless claims last week. The data showed 368k more workers applied for first time employment benefits compared to last weeks 330k. Continuing claims increased to 3197k compared to an adjusted figure of 3175k last week. The pace of recovery in the US labor market certainly isn’t increasing, and we will get even more jobs data later this morning. Economists are expecting today’s Nonfarm Payrolls numbers for January to reflect an increase of 165k with Private payrolls showing a 168k increase and another part of the report to show 10k more manufacturing jobs were added last month. The Unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.8%, stubbornly high and well above Bernanke’s 6.5% target.The labor department will also be issuing its annual benchmark update, reflecting all of the revisions which it has made to the employment numbers from April 2011 to March 2012. The government will also incorporate new Census Bureau estimates into the household survey it uses to calculate the jobless rate. I’m sure Chuck will be dissecting these ‘adjustments’ and will share his thoughts with all of you (I can just hear him screaming at the walls now!)And yesterday’s plethora of data ended with the release of the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index which fell again last week. The index dropped to minus 37.5 from -36.4 the previous week. This was a fourth consecutive decrease, and the lowest reading since October as the increase in the payroll tax put consumers in a negative mood.There was a bit of good news across the pond as German unemployment unexpectedly declined in January. Even with the improvement in the German labor market, unemployment in the euro area remained relatively high at 11.7%. But this reading is still below economists forecast of 11.9% for the EU jobless rate. These good employment numbers combined with the worrying data here in the US to push the Euro up almost a full cent. The Euro surged to a high of $1.3675, the highest level for the common currency since November of 2011. The euro ended January with a 2.93% increase vs. the US$, with Brazil being the only currency with a better return vs. the US$ at 3.02% for January. This is the sixth straight month of gains for the Euro vs. the US$, a somewhat surprising run for the common currency. We still caution investors against the euro, as the sovereign debt problems are sure to raise up again sometime this year; but this run by the euro is certainly impressive.Currency experts at some of the major banks feel the Euro has even more room to appreciate. According to a report by BNP Paribas SA the euro will strengthen to $1.40 by the third quarter of this year, the highest level since 2011. The Paris bank’s experts also said they expect the yen to experience ‘sustained’ weakness this year. BNP feel the Japanese currency will fall to 95 during the first quarter before strengthening to 85 by year end.That reminds me of an alert which caused a bit of a stir on the desk yesterday. Brian Arabia, the head of our Business Foreign Exchange department, forwarded all of us an alert which stated “Dollar at 2 ½ year high”. I immediately turned toward the screens to figure out what had caused the big reversal of fortune for the US$, but saw the euro above $1.35 and the Brazilian real below the 2 handle. But after looking a bit harder at the news story Brian had sent I saw it was just referring to the dollar/yen. Yes, the dollar is certainly strong vs. the Japanese yen, but this isn’t because of the dollar’s strength but is rather due to the weakness of the Japanese yen. This just goes to show you how the media can twist things around a bit and spin them to give readers a much different first impression. A clearer story on the US$ can be seen by looking at the dollar index. This broader based index dropped to a six week low and has just dropped below a key support level of 79.2. The only currency which joined the yen in dropping vs. the US$ yesterday was the Pound sterling which tumbled to the weakest level in 14 months. A report showed UK manufacturing growth is slowing with the Markit Economics supply index falling to 50.8 from a revised 51.2 in December. The pound dropped almost 2.5% vs. the US$ in January, and is down about 2% over the past 3 months. The UK is close to slipping into a ‘triple dip’ recession, with GDP dropping .3% during the 4th quarter of 2012. Depending on the data this morning in the US, currency traders could start to bid up the commodity currency in a ‘risk on’ day as China’s manufacturing index is expected to have climbed in December. The median estimate of economists pegs China’s January PMI at 51 compared to a reading of 50.6 in December. If the number is as expected, this would be the fourth straight month of a 50+ reading which signals the Chinese economy is again on an expansionary route. This would help the Australian and New Zealand dollars which depend on the strength of the Chinese economy. The Aussie can use a little ‘love’ from the Chinese after a report showed a gauge of Australian manufacturing fell to a 3 ½ year low in January. The strength of the Australian dollar has hurt exports and manufacturing in Australia, causing a 4.1 point drop in the manufacturing index. This gauge has shown Australian manufacturing has been in contraction since February of 2012. But currency strategists are still boosting forecasts for the Aussie dollar as they expect the Australian economy to rebound along with renewed growth in China. According to Bloomberg, estimates for the Aussie have climbed 8.2% to $1.05 from 97 cents on June 30. This isn’t a large increase from the $1.0419 where it is trading now, but it is still an increase.The Canadian dollar broke above parity for the first time in a week after a report showed the Canadian economy grew faster than forecast in November. The report released by Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy grew .3% following a .1% gain in the month prior. The loonie had been beat up a bit in January, but this data was enough to push the currency back above parity vs. the US$. To recap. Data pushed the dollar lower as the US economy is seen as stagnating in the 4th quarter. More data released today may give the markets direction, with the jobs data expected to show a small improvement. German unemployment data surprised on the upside and pushed the euro above $1.365 with many ‘experts’ feeling the euro has even further to run. Japanese yen continues to fall and was joined by the pound sterling which also dropped. The commodity currencies direction will be determined by the Chinese manufacturing numbers which will be released later today. Currencies today 2/1/13: American Style: A$ $1.0392, kiwi .8424, C$ 1.00, euro 1.3645, sterling 1.5839, Swiss $1.1052. European Style: rand 8.9420, krone 5.4461, SEK 6.3043, forint 214.50, zloty 3.0635, koruna 18.796, RUB 29.98, yen 92.13, sing 1.2409, HKD 7.7581, INR 53.1975, China 6.2273, pesos 12.7241, BRL 1.9869, Dollar Index 79.029, Oil $97.30, 10-year 2.00%, Silver $31.44, and Gold $1,664.70.That’s it for today. Happy birthday to my wonderful wife of 21 years. Tina is a great mom and good friend and I could not imagine my life without her. I asked her if she wanted to go out to a romantic dinner this evening and as is typical she instead wanted to just have a casual dinner with our kids, her mom and her sister. It’s a big day on the desk today as we finally get our replacement for Lori who left at the end of last year. Dane Moody, who started off in our operations area and then transferred to our wealth division is joining Christine on the trading side of the WorldMarkets desk. Welcome Dane, we all are excited to have you join the team!! I hope everyone has a Fantastic Friday and a Wonderful Weekend. GO NINERS!!Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
In This Issue. * RBA removes verbiage about A$ strength. * Sweden prints stronger than expected manufacturing report. * Chinese manufacturing prints flat. * Hedge Funds return to Gold. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The Partial Shutdown Begins. Good day. And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! And also welcome to October, which for many years, I’ve referred to the month as Rocktober! So, Rocktober is here, time to start getting the woolies out of storage, rake leaves, do like Chris like to do, go for rides to view the autumn foliage, and get ready for Halloween! Of course, Rocktober has also brought us a partial Gov’t shutdown. I’ll start with that discussion this morning for it’s what all the media is going kaka over! (and I don’t mean the soccer player!) So, yes, the partial shutdown of the Gov’t began at midnight last night, as the calendar turned to Rocktober. I guess I’ll have to remind the media to get a grip here… We’ve seen this all before… Yes, it’s been 17 years since the last Gov’t shutdown.. And we’ve had a number of these in our past. So, let’s not go all Chicken Little on me here! These are the things that happen when you allow your debt to rise unsustainably for over a decade… There’s an old saying about having to pay the piper… Well, that’s what this is all about… Speaking of “What it’s all about”… On a sidebar, I saw a sign the other day, that read: The Hokey Pokey Clinic… A place to turn yourself around… and that’s what it’s all about! So… What we have here is a failure to communicate… The House says that they want to negotiate and the Senate says they don’t want to negotiate… I don’t think I can even come up with a silly saying about what the lawmakers are doing right now, but… You know me, I think that both sides of the aisle has been to blame for this debt mess we’re in… And the dollar is caught in the middle… How long this lasts only the Shadow knows, but it appears that the markets are not happy with it, or the dollar right now… You see… the markets figure that if the Gov’t is going through this exercise of a partial shutdown, that the economy is going to suffer, and that would mean the Fed would have to extend their stimulus of bond buying and ZIRP (zero interest rate policy)… And all this is what has hurt the dollar in the past, so no reason to upset that applecart… Sell dollars because no one knows how this all stimulus ends, and now we’re just extending the unknown… So, after I signed off and sent the letter for review yesterday morning, the euro began to tick upward, and by the time everyone had arrived at their places with bright shining faces, the euro had climbed to 1.3545. Recall, I had told you yesterday morning that the euro had fallen below 1.35, but the move was small. That downward movement had been caused by the news this past weekend that Silvio Berlusconi (yes him again!) was pulling his party out of a coalition that would bring the Italian Gov’t down. A couple of things come to mind after typing that. 1. I’ve been dealing with currencies since 1992. And I’ve been writing about the misadventures, legal problems and scandals of Mr. Silvio Berlusconi since 1992! I can’t believe he has stuck around all this time! And 2. These Gov’t dissolutions happen all the time in Parliament Governments. And yes, it should have had some negative effects on the euro, but not much. But, as the morning wore on, a whispering campaign began to carry through the markets, that there were defectors from Berlusconi’s plans to withdraw his party. And the number of defectors would be enough to maintain the current Gov’t. coalition. And that’s what got the euro started once again. This morning, the euro is trading around that 1.3545 level still, but there are a few other currencies taking up the slack of a weaker dollar… The Aussie dollar (A$) is up more than 1-cent this morning… The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left rates unchanged, as I suspected they would, and then removed some key verbiage from their statement regarding their concern with the strong A$… The Swedish krona is outperforming Europe this morning as Sweden reported that September Manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years… The rest of the currencies are falling in behind these two… As far as the A$ is concerned, think about this for a minute… The U.S. Gov’t has begun to partially shutdown. In Japan, PM Abe announced that he was raising sales taxes next year from 5% to 8%… But in Australia, the RBA leaves rates unchanged and stops dissing the currency… I would think that the spotlight is shining brightly here, as opposed to U.S. dollars and yen… But remember what I told you that RBC thinks about the RBA and the A$ yesterday… And what the heck is Japanese PM Abe thinking about raising Sales Taxes? Think about that for another minute. Japan has had deflation cast over their economy for two decades, and part of deflation that’s not bad is that prices don’t rise, therefore there’s no impetus to go out and buy stuff now, as the Japanese know that the price will be the same in 6 months from now. So, retail sales stink in Japan, have stunk, do stink, and will continue to stink now that the PM has increased Sales Taxes! Geez Louise, what’s in the water over there in Japan that makes these guys think like this? OK… had to stop and sing along with the Guess Who, and their great song, These Eyes… But I’m back now… Like I always say, it’s a good thing I’m here by my lonesome in the early morning! But you have to love that Burton Cummings. And speaking of great things from Canada. The Canadian July GDP report printed yesterday ( I Know! This is so old data!) and printed stronger than expected, fully reversing June’s drop of -.5%… July printed at +.6%, with a rebound in manufacturing having the greatest affect on the data. I would think that the Bank of Canada (BOC) realizes that June’s drop was a direct result of the Alberta floods, and the July report is a sign of good things to come! I also think that given this quick start to the 3rd QTR for Canada, that we could very well see 3% growth in the 3rd QTR. If that happens, and we won’t know until we’re unwrapping our Christmas presents, we could very well see the BOC return to a rate hike campaign in 2014. We’ve already heard from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, (RBNZ) which pretty much greased the tracks for a return to a rate hike cycle in 2014.. Old stodgy countries, that are stuck in their ways, their wage requirements, and red tape, can’t improvise, adjust and overcome to the needs of the Emerging Markets like the mid-size industrialized countries can. And with growth being driven by the Emerging Markets as we move along in the decade, that will mean good things for everyone but the Old stodgy countries. You know who I’m talking about! Speaking of Emerging Markets. China printed their September manufacturing index at 51.1%, which is bang on what it was in August, and a bit below the expectations of 51.6%… China is on their Golden Week holiday this week. So, that makes the two of the top 3 economies in the world on hold this week. I still believe that China’s economic slowdown is over, and they are primed and ready to explode to the upside again. We’ll have to wait-n-see, eh? I know that many of you read my friend, John Mauldin. Last week John wrote in his weekly letter that he believed that the U.S. dollar would remain the reserve currency for years to come, and end up being more worthy than it is today. He also said that he believed that China would become a reserve currency too. Hmm. I’ll remind you that John also has called for the collapse of the euro for about 4 years now. So, I tell you this about what he said about the dollar, as my effort to be fair and balanced. But it does make for a good two-way market, eh? You know that I don’t believe in that talk about the dollar being more worthy than it is today in the future. How can that be? Well, he goes about explaining that with the U.S. gaining its energy independence, that the Current Account Deficit will eventually become a Surplus. But when? And it’s my contention, and I’ve explained it here, and whenever I give presentations these days, that having our Energy Independence isn’t going to help us much when the Chinese demand payment in the form of our Oil reserves, instead of the dollars that the Fed and Treasury have weakened for years. That’s just a thought on how it all plays out, folks, I’m not saying that I know anything that others don’t. And I could be wrong with all this. Let’s hope I am! British pound sterling continues to march to a different drummer these days, and book higher and higher levels VS the dollar. I say that about a different drummer, because the pound and the British economy has been so tied to the U.S. in the recent years. but new Bank of England (BOE) Gov. Carney really lit the fire under pound sterling last week when he said that the economy might not need additional bond buying. Now, that doesn’t mean the bond buying is over for sure here. And should bond buying return, these Happy Days for pound sterling will be a thing of the past. I was talking with my good friend, Charlie Tiano, last night (about baseball of course!) and the conversation switched over to the Gov’t Shutdown. I said that I expected to see a stock sell off and a switch to Treasuries. But this morning, Treasury yields are rising, which would mean that what I described as to what I thought we would see, hasn’t materialized yet. The other thing I thought we would see is a rise in the price of Gold. That too hasn’t materialized yet. Speaking of Gold. I read on the Bloomberg last night that Hedge funds combined holdings of Gold futures rose the most in September. I also saw that Gold had its first profitable quarter in a year. The last quarter that saw a rise in the price of Gold was the 3rd QTR of 2012. Last year, the quarterly rise proved to be a false dawn to Gold’s price continuing to rise. Maybe, just maybe, this year will prove to be different, although you know me, I don’t like that saying. (This time it’s different) I’m just saying, that with the Gov’t shutdown, and worries all around the world, that Gold has a reason to rise. The U.S. data cupboard has the September ISM Manufacturing Index to print for us today. The “experts” believe it will print around 55. which is a good number, and is a direct result of the weaker dollar that we’ve seen in the past couple of months. But then maybe with the partial Gov’t shutdown, we won’t see any data prints. Which would be fine with me, for you know me, I think they are all garbage these days with all their hedonic adjustments. Before I head to the Big Finish. a long time reader sent me a note yesterday with his thoughts on the Gov’t shutdown. Let’s listen in. “My idea for the Gov’t shutdown is to withhold all pay for Congress, the President and all their staff, until a budget is in place. That should change a lot of hard heads. Imagine how creative, and cooperative they will get once their own salary is sequestered.” My thoughts exactly! For What It’s Worth. I found this on moneynews.com, a sight that I frequent more and more these days. It’s the Fed Reserve president Richard Fisher, you know the guy that owns a truckload of Gold. Let’s listen in to Richard Fisher talk about Big Banks, and the U.S. Gov’t. “Fisher’s solution is not so much to break up the mega banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as it is to put a firewall between their banking activities and their investment activities. According to his thinking, federal deposit insurance and access to the Fed discount window should only be available to the commercial banking arms of the big banks, while any transaction involving any other segment of their businesses, including their investment arms, “be accompanied with a clear agreement between counterparties that it will never, ever be bailed out by government or the taxpayers.” But would this scenario play out in Washington? “The large financial companies and their proxies are spending millions of dollars to buy congressmen and congresswomen and protect their interests,” he told Euromoney. “You can quote me on that. We will see how that plays out.” Small businesses should be the engine of U.S. growth, but they are being thwarted by lack of direction from Washington, and the fact there has been no federal budget for five years, Fisher explained. Neighboring Mexico has a sounder fiscal policy than the United States, according to Fisher. “Mexico has a balanced-budget rule. Its percentage of debt to GDP is minimal. They get things done. And they have an independent central bank that is truly independent.” Chuck again. OK. I think that my first choice for new Fed Chairman is Bill Bonner, but Richard Fisher is running a close second! To recap. The Partial Shutdown of the U.S. Gov’t has begun, and with it has brought some dollar selling. This is the first shutdown in 17 years in the U.S. but has been done a number of times in our past, so don’t go all Chicken Little on me here. It’s called negotiating. The RBA left rates unchanged by also removed some verbiage about concern for the strong A$… And that has pushed the A$ up over 1-cent overnight. Sweden booked a stronger than expected manufacturing index for September, and that has the krona coming in second place in the currency returns overnight. China booked a flat Manufacturing Index, but that doesn’t spook Chuck. Currencies today 10/1/13. American Style: A$ .9425, kiwi .8290, C$ .9705, euro 1.3545, sterling 1.6235, Swiss $ 1.1060, . European Style: rand 10.0585, krone 6.0050, SEK 6.3735, forint 218.65, zloty 3.1225, koruna 18.9250, RUB 32.26, yen 97.80, sing 1.2515, HKD 7.7550, INR 62.46, China 6.1480, pesos 13.12, BRL 2.2165, Dollar Index 80.05, Oil $102.16, 10-year 2.65%, Silver $21.64, Platinum $1,398.25, Palladium $723.16, and Gold.. $1,326.06 That’s it for today. My beloved Cardinals’ first two playoff game times have been set. 4:07 on Thursday, 12:07 on Friday. I’m sure there has to be someone out there that I know that has tickets to Friday that won’t be able to get away from work to go to the game and will need someone to use their tickets! I’m your man! Sorry about the later delivery time of the Pfennig yesterday, we had a communication problem. So, do you go to the Pfennig Blog site ever? If not, you should, as you can check out the archives, and respond right there to maybe even start a lively discussion among Blog site readers! Check it out here: www.dailypfennig.com My marketing people wanted originally to only do the Blog site, and get rid of the email. You should have seen the temper tantrum I threw! So, no worries, now we have both! And two things are better than one! Right? Tampa Bay Rays beat Rangers in their one-game playoff to play another one-game play-in today VS the Cleveland Indians. Crazy stuff! Our Blues begin their NHL season in a couple of days. Will it be another year of “same old Blues” or will this be the year they finally drink from the Cup? We won’t know until June, so don’t go all-in right away. And with that, I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
“The #1 Investment I recommend you make right now” – Chris Mayer This is a big secret behind some of the world’s greatest stock pickers’ fortunes – but not many people know how to take advantage. In this FREE event, Chris will share this “success formula” with you. Click here for the details and to join this FREE event before it expires. Justin’s note: Today, Casey Research founder Doug Casey and International Man senior editor Nick Giambruno explain why it’s never been more important to diversify your savings. Read on to learn how… Nick Giambruno: For centuries, wealthy people have used international diversification to protect their savings and themselves from out-of-control governments. Now, thanks to modern technology, anyone can implement similar strategies. Doug, I’d like to discuss some of the basic ways regular people can internationally diversify their savings. For an American, what’s the difference between having a bank account at Bank of America and having a foreign bank account? Doug Casey: I’d say there is possibly all the difference in the world. The entire world’s banking system today is shaky, but if you go international, you can find much more solid banks than those that we have here in the US. That’s important, but beyond that, you’ve got to diversify your political risk. And if you have your bank account in a US bank, it’s eligible to being seized by any number of government agencies or by a frivolous lawsuit. So besides finding a more solid bank, by having your liquid assets in a different political jurisdiction you insulate yourself from a lot of other risks as well. America’s “Shadow President”—and how he’s getting rich(er) [not who you might think] Billionaire Peter Thiel has been spotted in Trump’s “NY Whitehouse” and has even been called the “Shadow President” for the influence he wields. He is a heavy backer of a new type of currency that’s already making some people very rich. This has been an opportunity for the average guy to generate “small fortunes,” writes The Economist. $24,955,415,087 have left traditional currencies and gone into this new type of currency. We’ve spoken with dozens of insiders about this phenomenon… including the world’s top investor in this space and members of the “Fed.” Click here for the full story. — Nick Giambruno: Moving some of your savings abroad also allows you to preempt capital controls (restrictions on moving money out of the country) and the destructive measures that always follow. Doug Casey: This is a very serious consideration. When the going gets tough, governments never control themselves, but they do try to control their subjects. It’s likely that the US is going to have official capital controls in the future. This means that if you don’t have money outside of the US, it’s going to become very inconvenient and/or very expensive to get money out. Nick Giambruno: Why do you think the US government would institute capital controls? Doug Casey: Well, there are about $7-8 trillion—nobody knows for sure—outside of the US, and those are like a ticking time bomb. Foreigners don’t have to hold those dollars. Americans have to hold the dollars. If you’re going to trade within the US, you must use US dollars, both legally and practically. Foreigners don’t have to, and at some point they may perceive those dollars as being the hot potatoes they are. And the US government might say that we can’t have Americans investing outside the country, perhaps not even spending a significant amount outside the country, because they are just going to add to this giant pile of dollars. There are all kinds of reasons that they could come up with. We already have de facto capital controls, quite frankly, even though there’s no law at the moment saying that an American can’t invest abroad or take money out of the country. The problem is because of other US laws, like FATCA, finding a foreign bank or a foreign broker who will accept your account is very hard. Very, very few of them will take American accounts anymore because the laws make it unprofitable, inconvenient, and dangerous, so they don’t bother. So it’s not currently against the law, but it’s already very hard. — Recommended Link Recommended Link Nick Giambruno: What forms of savings are good candidates to take abroad? Gold coins? Foreign real estate? Doug Casey: Well, you put your finger on exactly the two that I was going to mention. Everybody should own gold coins because they are money in its most basic form—something that a lot of people have forgotten. Gold is the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. And if your gold is outside the US, it gives you another degree of insulation should the United States decide that you shouldn’t own it—it’s not a reportable asset currently. If you have $1 million of cash in a bank account abroad, you must report that to the US government every year. If you have $1 million worth of gold coins in a foreign safe deposit box, however, that is not reportable, and that’s a big plus. So gold is one thing. The second thing, of course is real estate. There are many advantages to foreign real estate. Sometimes it’s vastly cheaper than in the US. Foreign real estate is also not a reportable asset to the US government. Nick Giambruno: Foreign real estate is a good way to internationally diversify a big chunk of your savings. What are the chances that your home government could confiscate foreign real estate? It’s pretty close to zero. Doug Casey: I’d say it’s just about zero because they can make you repatriate the cash in your foreign bank account, but what can they make you do with the real estate? Would they tell you to sell it? Well, it’s not likely. Also, if things go sideways in your country, it’s good to have a second place you can transplant yourself to. And I know that it’s unbelievable for most people to think anything could go wrong in their home country—a lot of Germans thought that in the ’20s, a lot of Russians thought that in the early teens, a lot of Vietnamese thought that in the ’60s, a lot of Cubans thought that in the ’50s. It could happen anywhere. Nick Giambruno: Besides savings, what else can people diversify? How does a second passport fit into the mix? Doug Casey: It’s still quite possible—and completely legal—for an American to have a citizenship in a second country, and it offers many advantages. As for opening up foreign bank accounts, if you show them an American passport, they’ll likely tell you to go away. Once again, obtaining a foreign bank or brokerage account is extremely hard for Americans today—that door has been closing for some time and is nearly slammed shut now. But if you show a foreign bank a Paraguayan or a Panamanian or any other passport, they’ll welcome you as a customer. Nick Giambruno: The police state is metastasizing in the US. Is that a good reason to diversify as well? Doug Casey: It’s a harbinger, I’m afraid, of what’s to come. The fact is that police forces throughout the US have been militarized. Every little town has a SWAT team, sometimes with armored personnel carriers. All of the Praetorian style agencies on the federal level—the FBI, CIA, NSA, and over a dozen others like them—have become very aggressive. Every single day in the US, there are scores of confiscations of people’s bank accounts, and dozens having their doors broken down in the wee hours of the night. The ethos in the US really seems to be changing right before our very eyes, and I think it’s quite disturbing. You can be accused of almost anything by the government and have your assets seized without due process. Every year there are billions of dollars that are seized by various government entities, including local police departments, who get to keep a percentage of the proceeds, so this is a very corrupting thing. People forget that when the US was founded there were only three federal crimes, and they are listed in the Constitution: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. Now it’s estimated there are over 5,000 federal crimes, and that number is constantly increasing. This is very disturbing. There is a book called Three Felonies a Day, which estimates that many or most Americans inadvertently commit three felonies a day. So it’s becoming Kafkaesque. Nick Giambruno: Thanks, Doug. Until next time. Doug Casey: Thanks, Nick. Justin’s note: The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. Fortunately, you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant. New York Times bestselling author Doug Casey explains how you can maximize your personal and financial freedom in this new special report. Click here to download the PDF now.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 30 2018In a 10-year study of women who received radiation therapy to treat early-stage breast cancer, those receiving fewer, larger individual doses experienced similarly low rates of late-onset side effects as those undergoing conventional radiation therapy. Findings from the multi-institutional U.K. FAST clinical trial were presented last week at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).”This study says it’s possible to find a regimen that would allow early-stage breast cancer patients to be treated only once a week over five weeks rather than daily over the same time period,” said Murray Brunt, MD, a professor of clinical oncology at University Hospitals of North Midlands and Keele University in the U.K., and lead author of this study. “Findings should help doctors discuss risks and benefits with their patients for various courses of radiation therapy and inform shared decision-making between physicians and patients.”The study is a long-term report of the FAST (FASTer Radiotherapy for breast cancer patients) trial, which was designed to assess changes in healthy breast tissue following conventional radiation treatment compared with two shorter regimens that delivered higher doses of radiation in fewer sessions. The trial, led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, enrolled 915 women with early-stage invasive breast cancer at 18 centers across the U.K. from 2004 to 2007.Initial trial results of the FAST trial,”These results support treatment options that are more convenient for patients, resulting in fewer hospital visits and less expensive health services, without increasing the risk of long-term side effects,” added Joanne Haviland at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the study’s senior statistician.Patients in the trial were randomly assigned to one of three regimens of whole-breast radiation therapy following breast-conserving surgery: conventional treatment with 50 Gray (Gy) of radiation delivered in 25 daily, 2 Gy fractions delivered over five weeks; or hypofractionated treatment with one of two doses: 30 Gy delivered in five, once-weekly fractions of 6 Gy each, or 28.5 Gy delivered in five, once-weekly fractions of 5.7 Gy each. After treatment, patients were evaluated annually for effects to healthy breast tissue including skin reactions, hardening of the breast and changes in breast conformation and size.Rates of moderate or severe long-term effects to normal tissue were low across all treatment groups. Severe effects were observed in 13 of the 774 women (1.7 percent) with follow-up data at five years, and nine of the 392 women (2.3 percent) with follow-up data at 10 years. No changes or minor changes in normal tissue were observed in 88 and 86 percent of women at the five- and 10-year marks, respectively.Late normal tissue effects were not statistically different between the conventional therapy group and the five-fraction 28.5 Gy group at five years or 10 years following treatment. Moderate/severe late effects to normal breast tissue were higher, however, for patients who received the five-fraction, 30-Gy regimen. These patients were two to three times more likely to experience moderate/severe instances of breast shrinkage (p<0.001), hardness (p=0.004), fluid build-up (p<0.001) and spider veins (p=0.02).Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerAmong patients on the conventional, daily-fraction arm, physicians observed normal tissue effects in 7.5 percent at five years and 9.1 percent at 10 years. By comparison, rates for the five-fraction 30-Gy arm were 18.0 percent at five years (p<0.001) and 18.4 percent at 10 years (p=0.04)."The profile of adverse effects to normal breast tissue was similar between the 28.5 Gy and 50 Gy groups, but rates were higher after 30 Gy given in five fractions over five weeks," said Prof. Brunt. "This disparity is rooted in differences between the two regimens in fractionation sensitivity. The sensitivity of 30 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was equivalent to a total radiation dose of 57.3 Gy in 2 Gy fractions, while 28.5 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was roughly the same as 52.5 Gy in 2 Gy fractions." Calculation suggests that 27.75 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks would be equivalent to 50 Gy in 25 fractions over five weeks.Researchers also assessed how the early-stage invasive breast tumors responded to surgery and radiation. The 10-year local relapse rate for all patients in the trial was 1.3 percent (95% CI 0.7, 2.3), with only 10 events reported in total, balanced between the treatment groups. The trial was not designed to test differences in relapse rates between treatment groups.Following these results, the research team is now investigating radiation therapy with five fractions delivered over five consecutive days. "As a next step, we want to investigate shortening the radiation therapy schedule to one week," explained Prof. Brunt. "A schedule like this would have significant clinical and practical implications, such as allowing radiation therapy to be integrated more closely with surgery and other therapies."Despite FAST and similar trials supporting the use of accelerated radiation treatment for breast cancer, large numbers of eligible patients in the U.S. are not receiving, and likely not being offered, shorter courses of radiation therapy. A 2013 JAMA study found an adoption rate of approximately 30 percent in the U.S., and a 2017 analysis for Kaiser Health News indicated that fewer than half of patients over age 50 with early-stage disease receive the accelerated treatment. The current ASTRO clinical guideline for whole breast radiation therapy, which was issued earlier this year, recommends hypofractionated therapy for breast cancer patients regardless of age, tumor stage and whether they have received chemotherapy.Source: https://www.astro.org/News-and-Publications/News-and-Media-Center/News-Releases/2018/Long-term-side-effects-similarly-low-for-once-week
Mar 4 2019The same brain network that adults use when they hear angry vocalizations is at work in infants as young as six months old, an effect that is strongest in infants whose mothers spend the most time controlling their behavior, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Chen Zhao of the University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues. The study indicates that the network recruited in adult vocal emotion processing is up and running quite early in life, and that its sensitivity to anger is partly a result of maternal interactions.It has been recognized for generations that infants can distinguish the emotional content of their mothers’ voices long before they understand words, based on intonation, tone, rhythm, and other elements. In adults, that emotional content is processed in the frontal and temporal lobes. Brain imaging studies in infants have been performed, but the noise of an MRI machine has made analysis of response to sounds challenging.Related StoriesResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaIn the current study, the authors overcame that limitation by using functional near infrared spectroscopy, a silent, noninvasive method that measures blood flow to cortical areas, while infants sat in their mothers’ laps and listened to recorded non-speech vocalizations that were angry, happy, or neutral in emotionality. Separately, the team also observed the same mother-infant pairs during floor play, quantifying the mother’s interactions in terms of both sensitivity to infant behavior as it changed, and directiveness, or the degree to which the mother sought to control the infant’s behavior.They found that both angry and happy vocalizations activated the fronto-cortical network, and the level of activation in response to anger was greater for those infants whose mothers were more directive in their interactions. The results suggest that greater experience with directive caregiving, or the stress it produces, heightens the infant brain’s ability to detect and respond to angry vocalizations.Zhao adds: Source:https://www.plos.org Brain science shows that babies’ brains are sensitive to different emotional tones they hear in voices. Such tones can cause different activation patterns in the infant’s brain areas which are also known to be involved in processing voices in adults and older children. These patterns also reveal that the early care experienced by babies can influence brain responses so that the more intrusive and demanding their mother, the stronger the brain response of these 6-month-olds is to hearing angry voices.”
Apple is seeking slightly more than a billion dollars in damages, while Samsung wants a figure closer to $28 million.The jury has been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components.”Samsung isn’t saying it isn’t required to pay profits,” Samsung attorney John Quinn said during closing arguments on Friday.”It is just saying it isn’t required to pay profits on the whole phone.”The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone’s black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed.Samsung no longer sells the smartphone models at issue in the case.Two utility patents also involved apply to “bounce-back” and “tap-to-zoom” functions.”This is a case that is focused on design, and the application of design to smartphones,” Apple attorney Joseph Mueller said in closing arguments.When one company copies a rival’s design, that “is not a level playing field, and that is just not right,” he contended.Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a “bet-the-company” project at Apple and that design is as much the “article of manufacture” as the device itself.Apple attorney Bill Lee equated the notion to a carmaker copying the look of the Volkswagen Beetle and coming to market with a competing model.Determining whether the design features qualify as the “article of manufacture” will be key to whether jurors award the profit from all the Samsung phones involved, according to legal standards presented by the court.The case dates back seven years. An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents was followed by lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone.Technology vs StyleSamsung, which had been ordered to pay $400 million, challenged the legal precedent that requires the forfeiture of all profits from a product even if only a single design patent has been infringed.The US Supreme Court in 2016 overturned the $400 million patent infringement penalty imposed on the South Korean consumer electronics giant.Justices ruled that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components, sending the case back to a lower court.The ruling found that the penalty—one element of a major patent infringement case—was inappropriate because it represented “Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones” for copying the iPhone’s “rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colorful icons on a black screen.”The key question of the value of design patents rallied Samsung supporters in the tech sector, and Apple backers in the creative and design communities.Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation.Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics, citing precedents like Coca-Cola’s iconic soda bottle.The Supreme Court stopped short of delving into details of how the lower court should determine how much phone design components are worth when it comes to patent infringement violations.Presiding US District Court Judge Lucy Koh gave jurors in her San Jose courtroom a four-factor test to determine an “article of manufacture,” but it is up to the panel to decide how the evidence fits that framework.The case is one element of a $548 million penalty—knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award —Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents. Explore further Citation: Apple-Samsung iPhone design copying case goes to jury (2018, May 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-apple-samsung-iphone-case-jury.html Jurors are weighing the price to put on patented iPhone design features copied by Samsung in a legal case dating back seven years Samsung and Apple are back in court over iPhone design. Here’s why. 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. Jurors return to a Silicon Valley courtroom Monday to put a price on patented iPhone design features copied by Samsung in a legal case dating back seven years. © 2018 AFP