When the Arizona Cardinals selected fullback Anthony Sherman in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft they got themselves a true fullback who likes to hit people. Sherman has done plenty of that in camp and, as he told Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf, he expected pretty much everything that’s been thrown at him — on the field.“Coming from college to the NFL, it’s just the business aspect of it and how everything…you’re responsible for what you do,” he said of what’s been the biggest surprise. “You can control how you do everything. In college it was more, they’d yell at you, get on you and make you do the things they wanted, but now you just have to handle your business and you’re free to do whatever.” Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Sherman has done a nice job, though. He won’t often show up in the box score as a runner, but he threw some nice blocks and forced a fumble on special teams in the preseason opener last Thursday. He’s also received ample praise from head coach Ken Whisenhunt. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
The UK version of Disney’s preschool channel Disney Junior has launched in high definition.Disney has already rolled out HD versions of its core Disney Channel and boy-skewed Disney XD in high definition in the UK making Junior its third kid-focused HD channel.The new service will be carried exclusively on DTH platform BSkyB. Disney and Sky recently renewed a longstanding programming and channels deal, which included the launch of a new joint venture service Sky Movies Disney.Disney announced the new Junior launch alongside ratings for some of its new shows on the channel.It said that Henry Hugglemonster delivered over 620,000 viewers through launch weekend and Disney princess animated series Sofia the First was its most popular launch ever.Boel Ferguson, VP and general manager, Disney Channels and Disney Online, UK & Ireland, said: “Disney Junior is the entry point to all things Disney and with the company’s continuous focus on quality, our audiences first experience of the brand should be in HD, the ultimate standard for broadcasting.”
In This Issue. * Big Ben keeps his word. * Gold soars $65 * Euros & Aussie up 2-cents! * Norges Bank turns hawkish. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! No Taper, Markets Go Crazy. Good day. And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Well, the risk that I kept reminding you about regarding the Fed not doing anything, came to reality yesterday afternoon. Aaron Stevenson, sent me a text that read, “are you seeing this”. Well, I wasn’t seeing anything but the underside of my eyelid at that moment, but waking up from the vibrating phone in my shirt pocket, and answered, “what?”. He replied, “no taper, markets are going crazy”. And there you have the whole story of what happened yesterday. No taper, markets are going crazy. As I told you a couple of weeks ago, “should Big Ben Bernanke follow his words, that the future of Quantitative Easing / QE, would depend on the incoming economic data, then there would be no tapering, and that would send Gold soaring”. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Big Ben decided to follow his words. Kudos to him! (I can’t believe I actually said that, but I did. ) How else can Big Ben get the markets to believe him if he doesn’t follow his own words? As I’ve chronicled here in the Pfennig, the economic data just wasn’t on a path that would give Big Ben a warm and fuzzy about tapering. For Tapering is akin to taking your foot off the gas, what happens to a car when you take your foot off the gas? It slows down. The signs were all there that he wouldn’t do anything, but I was convinced that Big Ben wanted to go out with a bang. Of course he still has 6 weeks from now to accomplish that, but right here, right now, that isn’t playing in the markets. What is playing is that the punch bowl has been brought back to the risk assets party, and so we’re going to party like it’s 1999! (there you go Jen. a Prince song, 1st time ever, and last I might add!) Gold isn’t the only asset class that is in the conga line at the party. There’s the non-U.S. dollar currencies, and Oil, and looky there, the stock jockeys have joined the conga line! The price of Oil shot up $2 on the no-taper news. The currencies were cooking with gas, which goes back to the last couple of days where they were well bid ahead of the FOMC meeting. The currency boys & girls seemed to have this whole thing right from the get-go. After the initial sell off of the currencies in May when the first mention of tapering was made, the currency traders just didn’t think Big Ben had the intestinal fortitude to take his foot off the gas. But in reality it wasn’t a lack of intestinal fortitude, it was simply taking a page out of the book by the Captain in Cool Hand Luke. What we have here is a failure to communicate. Go back to the original comment by Big Ben. He said that “the Fed was thinking about tapering QE”. I recall me going bananas the next morning, about how he DIDN’T SAY HE WAS GOING TO TAPER! And I didn’t understand why the currencies and metals were getting sold based on what Big Ben had said.. But the markets heard differently, and so we’ve been on this path toward yesterday’s FOMC meeting. In other words. All This Talk About Tapering, Should Have Never Taken Place! I’m sure Big Ben was doing a “Whoops, did I say that out loud?” song and dance when he got back to his office after that initial tapering talk. Yes, I got dragged into the trap. In my heart of hearts, I didn’t see how Big Ben could taper, given the economy, which I continually said that the Fed was being too optimistic about. But now. I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. So, for those of you not wanting to wait until you get to the currency roundup below, the euro is trading at 1.3550, more than 2 full cents higher than yesterday morning. Add 2 full cents to the Aussie dollar / A$ too. and so on down the line. The punch bowl has been brought back to the risk assets party (I know I already said that, but I said it again for emphasis!) and now the currencies get to party. So, yesterday, when I woke up from the vibrating phone in my shirt pocket, I turned on the TV to a financial news station to get their take, which I always, salivate ahead of time, because I know I’ll get to make fun of something they say. Well, I won’t make fun of this, but I will question it, as I’m known to do. A talking head on one of the stations said, “Well, no taper this time, but eventually this will all have to come to an end”. And I replied to the TV, of which my granddaughter, Delaney Grace, always tells me, “they can’t hear you, General”. but I do it anyway. I said to the guy on TV. “And you know this because? You know that it will have to end? What gives you that “expert knowledge” to say that? Maybe, just maybe, this will go on forever!” I mean, ask the Japanese about how long an economic malaise can last! And ask them how they feel about those initial stimulus and bond buying programs that began 20 years ago, now. Once you start these programs, they become like a drug that you can’t just go cold turkey on. So. as you know, I said that Fed Heads would begin tapering only to find out they shouldn’t have done so, and start it (bond buying / QE) up again. Well, they took out the beginning tapering, and just kept the bond buying / QE going. and going. like the Energizer Bunny. OK. Let’s talk about something other than the Fed. Big Ben. and Tapering. Well, I told you yesterday that the Norges Bank in Norway was going to meet today, and with the recent bump up to the top side of the inflation target (2.5%), that we could very well see / hear the Norges Bank Gov. Olsen, remove the easing bias, and begin to talk about rate hikes. And guess what happened? Exactly how thought it would happen! In fact the Norges Bank delivered a very hawkish statement, and now it appears that by June of next year, interest rates in Norway could be higher, if not sooner, given the performance of inflation recently. All that, is good for the krone, folks, which has been in need of some good news. And the Emerging Markets Currencies, which had also been in need of warm and fuzzy news, took the no taper news and ran with it all the way to the bank. I told you all about how the IMF’s head had sent messages to Big Ben asking him to think about the rest of the world, before taking his foot off the gas. The rest of the world here, were the Emerging Markets. As I said above, Gold soared on the news yesterday, up $65. I sure hope the price manipulators got caught short and it hurt them so bad that they are thinking of giving up the ghost on their shorts positions! So, that brings me to this question that everyone should be asking. Can we expect for yesterday’s price action to continue in the risk assets? Certainly not. These moves were exceptional, and don’t come along every day. But what it does, in my opinion, and I could be wrong, is form a higher base from which future moves can be made. I think that the metals and currencies can bet their sweet bippie that from here on out, their fortunes every day will be tied to the economic data here in the U.S. Because if Big Ben did anything yesterday, he enforced his words, and showed the markets he’s a man of his word. So, we can go back to the initial statement from Big Ben. “the future of Quantitative Easing depends on economic data”. This week I’ve highlighted some of the stuff that I said in the Review & Focus letters from 2002. The reason I did this, was to highlight that not much has changed in 11 years, the numbers just keep getting bigger and bigger. So, in this light, I thought one more from December 2002 played well here in talking about the U.S. economy. Here’s what I had to say in December 2002. “There are a number of questions hanging over the U.S. economy right now, and even though there are just as many hanging over the German economy, the market seems to hold the U.S. economy to a higher standard. Most of the bad news from the German economy seems to be discounted, and any bad news coming from the U.S. economy seems to get highlighted, which the dollar acting as the markets’ piñata!” – Chuck December 2002 The U.S. data cupboard has a few things for us today to go through. The Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which you may recall I pointed out last week that 2 states, (California and Nevada) had failed to file claims the week before, so this week’s data should be caught up. Existing Home Sales for August, and the Leading Index data. And this will be it for data this week, as the data cupboard gets emptied out, and cleaned up before being restocked for next week. And before I head to the Big Finish. Did you see where Gold began to jump higher minutes before the official announcement of no tapering yesterday? So, who got leaked the news? Doesn’t this stuff just get under your skin? It does mine! I don’t like it when someone knows “ahead of time” something that will move markets. It just ticks me off! For What It’s Worth. A long time reader sent this story to me from the NY Times. It’s title is: Congressional Budget Office Predicts Unsustainable Debt. OK, I’ll take the bait on that! Of course you knew I would! So, let’s listen in to the CBO. “As the White House and Congress careen toward another fiscal showdown, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned on Tuesday that President Obama and lawmakers have been cutting the wrong kind of federal spending as they try to avoid the unsustainable buildup of debt that is projected in the coming decades. Annual federal deficits will continue to fall in the short term, the budget office reported in its yearly long-term outlook, because of the recent spending cuts in military and domestic programs and rising tax collections in a recovering economy. The report projected the deficit in 2015 to be equal to 2.1 percent of the economy’s output, or just one-fifth of the peak shortfall at the height of the recession in 2009. But starting in 2016, deficits are projected to rise again as more baby boomers begin drawing from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the fast-growing entitlement programs, which Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on how to rein in.” Chuck again. Yes, those darn Unfunded Liabilities that I point out at every presentation that I make are scary folks. And they’ll just keep getting scarier and scarier. As baby boomers like me, begin to get close to retirement age. To recap. No Taper, Markets Go Crazy. That’s describes what happened yesterday in a nutshell. Chuck thinks that Big Ben had to show the markets that he was a man of his words, and that’s why he didn’t begin to taper QE yesterday.. Gold soared $65 on the news, and the usual suspects in currencies are stronger by 2-full cents. Norges Bank sounds hawkish, changing their easing bias, and all the risk assets have joined the conga line at the party. Currencies today 9/19/13. American Style: A$ .9515, kiwi .8420, C$ .9805, euro 1.3555, sterling 1.6090, Swiss $1.0995, . European Style: rand 9.6305, krone 5.7730, SEK 6.3120, forint 218.05, zloty 3.0845, koruna 18.9920, RUB 31.60, yen 98.85, sing 1.2440, HKD 7.7535, INR 61.91, China 6.15570, pesos 12.59, BRL 2.1845, Dollar Index 80.12, Oil $108.93, 10-year 2.71% (the bond bubble avoids another pin in the room!) Silver $22.97, Platinum $1,470.42, Palladium $720.80, and Gold. $1,367.01 That’s it for today. I’m really dragging the line this morning, not that you could tell that when I was writing this morning, as it seemed I was going in all directions! UGH! So, thanks for sticking through it. I’m ready to put my head down on the desk and sleep! But, that’s not going to happen, so forgetaboutit Chuck! Little Braden Charles was at the house yesterday, and does love for me to put music on the stereo so he can “dance”. So darn cute, and funny! Everett isn’t so much a “dancer” but Delaney Grace is. Cardinals need to send a thank you card to the San Diego Padres for beating the Pirates! Had to stop and sing along with Chicago.. Hard Habit To Break. one of my fave Chicago songs. Now go out and have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday like Gold and the currencies are enjoying! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
Even the most steadfast bears are throwing in the towel.In November, two famous and successful contrarian money managers—Jeremy Grantham and Hugh Hendry—capitulated. Both admitted that while soaring stock prices make no fundamental sense, betting against them is unwise.They hopped on an already-overcrowded bandwagon: depending on which survey you consult, bullish sentiment is either at multiyear or all-time highs.You don’t need me to tell you that such universal bullishness is a classic signal of a market top. When everyone’s a bull, there’s no one left to buy. Bullish sentiment last peaked in 2007, and before that in 2000, which tells you all you need to know about bullishness as an indicator.John Hussman is also a successful contrarian fund manager, one of the few who haven’t capitulated. And he won’t. Not because he’s a permabear: John was a bull in the early 1990s and in 2003, and captured the stellar stock market gains of those eras.It’s just that today, his firm’s proprietary models—which have predicted past stock market inflection points quite accurately—indicate zero justification for sky-high stock prices.What’s worse, John believes we’re setting up for another crash. Of today’s stock market, he says:“We are observing overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that are uniquely associated with peaks that preceded the worst market losses in history (including 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000 and 2007).”Read on to find out exactly why John Hussman is still bearish, what would make him change his mind, and which group of investors is in the most danger if stocks do disappoint over the next several years.You can learn more about John Hussman and the Hussman funds here.Dan SteinhartManaging Editor of The Casey ReportThe Elephant in the RoomBy John P. Hussman, Ph.D.“Being wrong on your own, as Keynes described so eloquently in Chapter 12 of the General Theory, is the cardinal crime of an investment manager. The management of career risk results in very destructive herding. Investors should be aware that the U.S. market is already badly overpriced—indeed, we believe it is priced to deliver negative real returns over seven years [GMO estimates fair value for the S&P 500 at 1100]. Be prudent and you’ll probably forgo gains. Be risky and you’ll probably make some more money, but you may be bushwhacked and if you are, your excuses will look thin. My personal view is that the path of least resistance for the market will be up.”—Value investor Jeremy Grantham, GMO, November 18, 2013“I cannot look at myself in the mirror; everything I have believed in I have had to reject. This environment only makes sense through the prism of trends. You have got to be in things that are trending. Crashing is the least of my concerns. I can deal with that, but I cannot risk my reputation because we are in this virtuous loop where the market is trending. I may be providing a public utility here, as the last bear to capitulate.”—Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, Eclectica, November 22, 2013“I am out of justification to fight the uptrend. Up until now, I have had what I thought was compelling evidence to believe in the bearish case, but it has now been revealed to have been insufficient for the task. I am without ammunition to bet on the bears. I don’t like it, because I see the market as overly dependent upon the Fed’s largesse for its upward continuation. I see this as a bubble, but a bubble that is continuing higher even though it should not. I plan to ride the bubble for a while, and will hope to be able to succeed in reading the right [exit] signs.”—Market technician Tom McClellan, November 26, 2013In a classic case of not only locking the barn door after the horse is loose, but removing its best opportunity to return home, we’re seeing a capitulation by investment managers across every discipline, from technical, to value-conscious, to global macro. Historically extreme overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions were in place even ten months ago, and my impression is that every further extension worsens the payback that will inexorably follow.Investors Intelligence reported last week that the percentage of advisory bears has plunged to 14.4%, lower than at the 2000, 2007, and 1987 peaks, and every point in between. I’ll spare a full review of the overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes we observe here (see A Textbook Pre-Crash Bubble)—it’s clear that over the past year, even the most extreme variants of these conditions haven’t “worked,” having already appeared in February and May of this year to absolutely no effect.I have no question—at all—that the market has simply climbed a higher cliff from which to plunge, but I learned in 2000 and 2007 that there’s no hope of convincing many investors of this sort of thing—despite the fact that these reckless speculative peaks seem so “obvious” after the market collapses. Even when investors listen, at least some of the tears they would have shed after the plunge are substituted for tears they have to endure while missing the final advance.We’re faced with a speculative advance that seems unstoppable, despite the absence of any reliable mechanistic link between quantitative easing and stock prices—only a combination of superstition and yield-seeking that has repeatedly ended badly. What’s driving capitulation here is not evidence, or even the faint memory of cycles as recent as 2000 and 2007—but pain, impatience, career risk, and the demand that all discomfort must arise from conventional behavior.As John Maynard Keynes wrote in the General Theory:“Human nature desires quick results, there is a peculiar zest in making money quickly, and remoter gains are discounted by the average man at a very high rate… It is the long-term investor, he who most promotes the public interest, who will in practice come in for most criticism, wherever investment funds are managed by committees or boards or banks. For it is in the essence of his behavior that he should be eccentric, unconventional and rash in the eyes of average opinion. If he is successful, that will only confirm the general belief in his rashness; and if in the short run he is unsuccessful, which is very likely, he will not receive much mercy. Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”Keep in mind how investment bubbles work. A bubble always starts with some real factor that takes on increasingly exaggerated importance in the eyes of investors. The bubble expands not on facts but on untethered imagination. People imagine that X will result in ever-increasing prices, and assume that an endless crowd of buyers is still behind them—dot-com stocks, technology, housing, “tronics” stocks in the ’60s, the Nifty Fifty in the ’70s, quantitative easing, tulip bulbs.Regardless of whether the mechanism underlying that concept is fictional, and regardless of how tenuously it is linked to reality, a bubble advances as long as the adherents it gains are more eager than those it loses. What stops the bubble is not the concept itself hitting a brick wall, but the pool of new adherents being exhausted. Once everyone is in, who’s left to buy from all those holders with their fingers hovering over the sell button? The question, once the moment arrives, is always the same: Sell to whom? And that’s why markets crash.With the percentage of advisory bears at the lowest level in a quarter-century, the following bit from mid-2007 is a useful reminder of how all of this works.“The U.S. stock market now stands at its highest level ever. By most measures, it is as pricey as ’29, or ’68, or 2000. Upon this sea of easy cash and credit, practically every stock market on the face of the planet floats higher and higher.Even some of the greatest and most experienced market observers … have finally given up fighting ’em. They’ve decided that this really is a New Era of New Capitalism and that this is the time to join ’em. This worldwide bubble is more worldly and more bubbly than any in history, they say. It may get much, much bigger. And they have good reasons to think so… all those trillions of new money. How can they help but blow this bubble up even bigger—so big even the moon will have to get out of the way.But wait … isn’t there an old market adage: The bull market is over when the last bear throws in the towel? Are there more bears still out there? We don’t know. But there can’t be many of them.”—Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning, June 25, 2007On that subject, for anyone waiting for me to capitulate, it’s important to understand that my views shift when the data shifts. Capitulation is the luxury of those who invest by the seat of their pants. To the extent that I have any latitude to capitulate, the most that one can expect already happened months ago, when we allowed for a “blowoff” in response to the Fed’s decision not to taper—a decision that many of the Federal Reserve’s own members have openly described as a close call, a borderline decision, a missed opportunity, and a threat to the Fed’s credibility.We continue to allow (though not rely on) the potential for a further blowoff in the S&P 500. My opinion about this isn’t driven by the preponderance of historical evidence, which is already strikingly negative, but by the characteristic log-periodic behavior we’re observing in prices (see A Textbook Pre-Crash Bubble).The associated “singularity” may yet be a few weeks away. As Didier Sornette has observed, numerous past bubbles in financial markets and commodities have featured this signature, which I’ve described in terms of increasingly immediate impulses to buy the dip. The pattern was already extreme enough back in April/May of this year, and pushing that singularity further has required the price advance to become even steeper and corrections even shallower and more frequent. The pattern that pushes out to January is the most extreme variant we can fit, but more recent price behavior is more consistent with a mid-December singularity (see last week’s comment).Frankly, I don’t think we can rely on markets following math, but the fidelity to these patterns is creepy, and consistent with what Sornette described in Why Markets Crash.In any event, I don’t actually expect investors to retain any of these potential gains even a couple of months from now, nor would I encourage any meaningful exposure to market risk. Still, modest exposures in index call options can have a useful contingent profile since strike prices can be raised even in the event an advance is purely temporary.The Elephant in the RoomOur focus has always been on outperforming the market over complete market cycles (combining both bull and bear markets), with smaller periodic losses than a passive investment approach. In pursuit of that objective, we’ve always been willing to accept periods where we don’t track the market. By 2009, it was easy to demonstrate the success of that discipline.I was a fully leveraged raging bull in the early 1990s; was defensive well before the 2000 bubble peak, and was more than absolved by prospering during a market plunge in 2000-2002 that wiped out every bit of total return in the S&P 500, in excess of Treasury bills, all the way back to May 1996; shifted to a constructive outlook in early 2003 as a new bull market took hold; warned loudly about an oncoming credit crisis and severe market losses in 2007; and navigated the crisis well in the 2007-2009 plunge as the S&P 500 lost 55% of its value, again wiping out every bit of total return in the S&P 500, in excess of Treasury bills, all the way back to June 1995.I’ve been as comfortable being an aggressive bull as I am being a raging bear today. I can hardly wait for the opportunity to change species when the evidence presents itself. But it is purely a function of the data that I’ve been generally defensive in a period where stocks have been so overpriced that the S&P 500 has scarcely achieved a 3% nominal annual total return in over 13 years, and even then only because valuations have again been driven above every pre-bubble extreme except 1929.What obscures perspective and shakes confidence is the elephant in the room—our disappointing “miss” since 2009. My sense is that many investors are inclined to ignore the objective warnings from a century of evidence because our own subjective experience since 2009 has been disappointing. Before investors dispense with evidence that may very well define their investment future over the next several years, or even the next decade, they may be well served to understand that most of that miss had little to do with the overvaluation and extremely overbought, overbullish conditions that concern us at present.As in 2000 and 2007, my concern is deepest for investors who have relatively short horizons until their funds are needed, who don’t have a great number of years ahead in which they’ll be adding to their investments, and who have allocations to stocks that don’t recognize that equities have a duration of 50 years here (so an investor who needs the funds in 5 years should really have no more than 10% of assets in stocks, particularly at present valuations).We presently estimate a nominal annual total return for the S&P 500 over the coming decade somewhere between zero and 2.2%. We are observing overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that are uniquely associated with peaks that preceded the worst market losses in history (including 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2007). Speculators are now leveraged to the greatest extent in history, with NYSE margin debt surging last month to a record high in dollar terms, and 2.5% of GDP in relative terms (a level previously observed only at the 2000 and 2007 extremes). Our challenges of the past few years—most of which trace to a single decision—should not encourage investors to ignore evidence that is specific to the markets.I believe that more than half, and perhaps closer to all, of the market’s gains since 2009 will be surrendered over the completion of this cycle. Investors will do themselves terrible harm if they ignore the objective warnings of history based on our subjective experience in this unfinished half-cycle. That subjective experience is far more closely related to my 2009 stress-testing decision than many investors recognize.The “stress-testing” problem was to develop an alternative way of estimating return and risk that was robust to complete market cycles across history, including not only post-war data, but also Depression-era data, as well as holdout data that was not used as part of the research process. It’s very easy to simply “back fit” a model to historical data. The actual requirements of validating against holdout data are much more challenging, but until we were certain we could distinguish market conditions in the most extreme circumstances, we worked to solve what I called our “two data sets problem.”Even after we had addressed that problem in mid-2010, there was a smaller issue still to be addressed. The subtlety is that valuations have a very strong effect on long-term returns, but since the long term is just a sequence of short terms, valuations still feature heavily in estimates of expected market return/risk over shorter horizons, even when market action and other factors are included.One cannot simply ignore an overvalued market when trend-sensitive measures are favorable. While favorable market trend-following measures do result in further market advances for a while, this tends to continue only until an advance becomes so extended that a syndrome of “overvalued, overbought, overbullish” conditions emerges. At that point, prices are typically so elevated, relative to any threshold that might provide a reasonable exit, that a great deal of ground is typically lost in one fell swoop at the very end. The key to overvalued markets is to embrace favorable market internals only until those overextended syndromes emerge, but no longer. Greed really is punished over time.By April 2012, we addressed that subtlety by incorporating further criteria to limit our defensiveness, even when our return/risk estimates are negative, provided that our measures of market internals are favorable and overvalued, overbought, overbullish syndromes are absent. While this modification is not actually required over the complete market cycle, it does have the effect of improving the capture of returns in markets that are already substantially overvalued.What our investment discipline has not done is to encourage us to speculate in the face of the unprecedented and uncorrected overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions driven by investor faith in QEternity during the past year. Investors who wish to rest their financial security on quantitative easing are entirely free to roll those dice on their own.That said, hardly a week goes by that we don’t look into some factor that might convince us to take a more constructive approach toward QE or the associated advance. My belief that the present situation will end very badly is driven by the lessons from a century of evidence, and the absence of a single testable monetary, economic or technical factor—aside from blind faith in QE—that would have helped to capture gains during the past year without worsening the results of our discipline in past market cycles throughout history.Given that our approach spans a century of available data, I have no expectation of reliving such stress testing in any future market cycle, and every reason to expect the resulting approach to outperform our pre-2009 methods in future cycles, not to mention the completion of the present one. Both our 2009-early 2010 miss, and the missed post-correction advances in late 2010 and late 2011 are unfortunately casualties of the credit crisis and the resulting stress testing.I’d like to have a better answer to the past year of QE-induced gains other than noting their resemblance to the confidence in dot-com stocks. The fact is that every strategy we’ve tested that might have embraced these gains also fails spectacularly in historical data, largely because some of the worst market losses in history emerged from overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes that were less extreme than what we observe today. There’s no denying that the present overvalued, overbought, overbullish extremes have endured longer than they have historically, but I’m not inclined to believe that the end result will be sweeter.I’ve got a very uncomfortable sense that some investors are disregarding objective evidence here, and assuming that extreme overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions can easily be ignored, on the argument that we’ve had a difficult time of things since 2009.As investors place all of their valuation hopes on the “Fed Model,” comparing the market’s value on “forward earnings” with the 10-year bond yield and resting their financial security on the confidence that the Federal Reserve provides a “put option” to protect them against loss, I’ll end with a reminder from the last time the same beliefs carried such weight, just before the stock market lost more over half its value:“I’ve done my best to warn loudly, I’ve put the data out there, and have analyzed this thing to pieces. The Fed Model has no theoretical validity as a discounting model, is a statistical artifact, would never have been materially negative except in 1987 and the late 1990s (even in 1929 or 1972), yet views the generational 1982 lows as about “fairly valued,” is garbage in data prior to 1980, and vastly underperforms proper discounted cash flow models and normalized P/E ratios. If investors still wish to follow the Fed Model, my conscience is clear, and my hands are clean.“There is no evidence that historically reliable valuation measures have lost their validity. Speculators hoping for a ‘Bernanke put’ to save their assets are likely to discover—too late—that the strike price is way out of the money.”—Hussman Funds Weekly Market Comment, August 27, 2007, Knowing What Ain’t True
In North Carolina, the opioid epidemic claims the lives of, on average, more than 3 people a day, and it shows little sign of slowing down. That’s just one of the issues that the state agency in charge of behavioral health is facing, which includes everything from substance abuse to mental health, developmental disabilities and more. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently released a 90-page strategic plan on how it aims to improve services in the state.WFDD’s Bethany Chafin spoke with Deputy Secretary for Health Services Mark Benton about what went into the plan and what it says about behavioral health in North Carolina.Interview Highlights On gathering feedback for the report: One of the things that we knew as we developed this plan was that we were also in the midst of a devastating opioid crisis…a big portion of that crisis points back to the fact that there are a lot of individuals who are suffering who do not have access to health coverage. And we also know that we have pockets in our state where we don’t have enough behavioral health providers, particularly substance use counselors. And so part of [it is] our recognizing that we need to increase access to health care, that’s both physical health and behavioral health. We also need to address the fact that we don’t have an adequate workforce, and we need to be able to look and hopefully better leverage the use of telemedicine to be able to bring care into communities where people are suffering. And you know, I guess in other words, the opioid crisis is in some ways is sort of a reflection of the fact that we have much more work to do in improving our behavioral health system. On the challenges facing North Carolina’s behavioral health system: The planning and the input for the behavioral health plan was really about a year-long process. We held 6 community meetings or community forums around the state. We talked with countless numbers of stakeholders…and some of the key pieces of feedback that we got consistently through all of those different venues were concerns around the timeliness and the affordability of behavioral healthcare, and that sort of addressed a number of subpoints. One [was] about whether we have an adequate behavioral health workforce and are we providing an adequate amount of services? And then generally, the ability for folks to be able to access those services – those with insurance and those without insurance. There was also another key theme that addressed the need to treat the entire person, the whole person. We refer to that as integrating both behavioral health and physical health. And then lastly were just general observations around the need to sort of improve the quality of behavioral health care that’s provided across our state. So those were sort of the three main buckets of feedback that we’ve received in this year-long process. The major challenges come back to lack of funding and access to health insurance. We still have a large segment of our population that are working, are perhaps individuals with no children and have no means of accessing healthcare. We know generally there’s not enough money to cover the services that are needed. We also know that we still live in a day where there’s a stigma associated with having a mental illness or a substance use diagnosis. And we also know one of the other challenges is that our current system is fragmented and this is sort of a lead back to the need to integrate behavioral health and physical health. And so right now the two systems are very much separate. And we believe that needs to be addressed going forward. On how this addresses the opioid epidemic:
This week, a federal appeals court addressed the right to treatment for an inmate who suffers from opioid addiction, a move that legal advocates say could have wide repercussions. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled that a rural Maine jail must provide Brenda Smith with medication for her opioid use disorder. One of her attorneys, Emma Bond, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Maine, says the new ruling has the potential to create a “big signal” for jails across the country and combat the social barriers preventing incarcerated people from receiving treatment.”This is the first federal appeals court in the country to address the right to treatment for opioid addiction in jail,” says Bond. “It represents a huge step forward in the fight against the opioid crisis and for our client who will get her medication in jail.”Brenda Smith, a resident of Madawaska, Maine, was sentenced in 2018 to 40 days in the Aroostook County Jail for theft at an area Walmart, according to statements in an earlier court decision. Smith currently receives a twice-daily dose of buprenorphine — more commonly known by the brand name Suboxone. This medication helps people with opioid addiction control cravings and maintain recovery. Smith has been in stable recovery for five years on the medication.Jail officials told her lawyer they were going to interrupt that treatment during her sentence, according to this week’s ruling, forcing her to undergo withdrawal in jail. They argued the drug is contraband in the jail and could hinder rehabilitation and become a source of trafficking. Smith and the ACLU of Maine challenged that position in court, arguing that withholding treatment would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 8th Amendment of the constitution.Susan Friedman of the Legal Action Council in New York has worked on the intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and access to medication-assisted treatment for the better part of a decade and she agrees with Bonds’ assessment. Friedman says not only is the ruling binding for courts and jails in the First Circuit, courts around the country will pay attention to this affirmation that denying inmates in jail medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder violates the ADA – and is illegal. Under the ADA, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability, and this includes people who have gone through or are going through drug rehabilitation.”That sends a really important message to jails and prisons around the country as well as to policy makers who are grappling with these issues,” said Friedman.Friedman said some jails and prisons will likely start trying to provide access to medications for opioid use disorder to avoid being the subject of a similar lawsuit or because administrators recognize it’s the right thing to do. Research has shown that providing medication treatment in jail and prison can prevent relapse and reduce risk of overdose upon release. A number of jails and prisons around the country are starting to offer medication treatment with buprenorphine or methadone — but many refuse to, citing concerns that the drugs will be diverted and abused. Smith’s won her Maine-based case this week when a three-judge appellate panel upheld an earlier ruling by federal judge Nancy Torresen in U.S. district court for Maine. Last month, Torresen ordered the jail “to provide the Plaintiff with her prescribed buprenorphine during her sentence at the Aroostook County Jail in whatever way the Defendants deem most appropriate in light of the Aroostook County Jail’s security needs.”The new ruling comes while county jails around the country struggle to meet the needs of patients struggling with opioid use disorder and addiction. According to The National Sheriffs’ Association more than half of the country’s jail population struggles with drug use and dependence. Like Aroostook County, other jail administrators in the U.S. have expressed concern with jail-based medication-assisted treatment’s cost and effectiveness. Friedman says many of these concerns don’t hold up to scrutiny. The drug can be monitored like any other controlled substance deployed in jails. Additionally, she says, the medication is not prohibitively expensive nor do jails make the same arguments when it comes to other treatments needed for health concerns like diabetes or heart conditions.”This is no different — this is a medical condition that kills over 100 people every day,” said Friedman.The ruling closely follows two recent suits in Massachusetts and Washington State which also addressed access to medication-assisted treatment. Yet Brenda Smith’s case solicited a decision by the highest court yet to rule on this particular issue. Smith’s lawyer Bond says this week’s ruling could do more than ensure people are receiving addiction treatment while in jail. She says the ruling could influence how people perceive addiction stigma. “This decision is a big step forward in fighting that stigma and fighting that discrimination and so it will be a big step forward in fighting the opioid crisis itself,” says Bond. Bond says Smith is grateful to receive the treatment many doctors say is medically necessary for dealing with opioid use disorder. Copyright 2019 Maine Public. To see more, visit Maine Public.
The Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University.Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 03:43 amRosemont, Illinois-based Town Bank parent Wintrust Financial Corp. announced it will donate $12 million to Marquette University and has formed a 10-year corporate banking partnership.The Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University currently houses a US Bank branch.Hartland-based Town Bank will now be the university’s exclusive commercial and retail bank, replacing the longstanding partnership with U.S. Bank.The $12 million will go toward student scholarships, athletic and educational programming, and other campus events, according to a release from the organizations. Wintrust has also agreed to invest in the College of Business Administration’s commercial banking program, provide seed funding for a small business revolving loan fund, and provide low-cost loans for businesses in the neighborhoods around campus. The U.S. Bank contract expires at the end of this fiscal year, and Marquette completed an RFP process to evaluate financial services options.“In working closely with Wintrust and their Town Bank team, we discovered mission alignment and shared values related to providing access and affordability to those who need it most,” said Marquette president Michael Lovell. “We are grateful for their significant investment in scholarship aid, which will have a profound impact on Marquette students as they become men and women for others and positive change agents in our communities.”Town Bank has recently expanded its presence in southeastern Wisconsin, particularly in downtown Milwaukee. BizTimes reported the bank plans to move its commercial banking operations to 731 N. Jackson St. this spring, bringing about 40 employees downtown. And Town Bank’s first two downtown branches are in the works at 1100 W. Wells St. and 400 E. Kilbourn Ave.“Partnering with Marquette University fits well with the mission and values of Town Bank and Wintrust,” said Jay Mack, president and chief executive officer of Town Bank. “Just as the university seeks to extend its boundaries beyond the campus, we, too, want to extend our presence beyond our brick and mortar branches.” Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
THREE players will make their Test debuts when England face France in Friday’s international in Avignon, kick-off 7.45pm.England coach Steve McNamara confirmed debuts for Castleford Tigers half-back Rangi Chase, who will start the match at scrum-half partnering Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield in a strong half-back combination.Brisbane Broncos’ Jack Reed will make his first international start after being named in the centres alongside Hull FC’s Kirk Yeaman, who will be making his first international appearance since November 2007 when he played for Great Britain in a 28-22 victory over New Zealand in Wigan. Wests Tigers Chris Heighington is the third debutant and will start the game at loose forward, with Warrington Wolves Ben Westwood and Wests Gareth Ellis making up the rest of the back row.“The players have trained really well all week and we are looking forward to taking on France as we continue our preparations ahead of the Gillette Four Nations,” said national coach Steve McNamara.“The make-up of the side looks very exciting, with the right blend of youth and experience. There is a great opportunity for the players to really push on and stake a claim for a start against Wales the following week.“I have also been pleased with the attitude of the players that haven’t made the side this week. They are working hard in training and will come into contention as the Four Nations gets underway.”England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1.00pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.England’s remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday November 12 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 Adult and £10 concession.Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.ukThe England team:1 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)2 Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton)3 Jack Reed (Brisbane Broncos, South Logan Magpies)4 Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC, Myton Warriors)5 Tom Briscoe (Hull FC, Featherstone Lions)6 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)7 Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers)8 Jamie Peacock © (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)9 James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)10 James Graham (St Helens, Blackbrook)11 Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers, Lock Lane)12 Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton)13 Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers, Umina Bunnies)14 Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, King Cross)15 Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves, Eccles)16 Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)17 Jon Wilkin (St Helens, East Hull)
The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now » The bug appears to only affect High Sierra (MacOS 10.13.1), and Apple is working on a fix. Guest Writer Next Article November 29, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List MacOS High Sierra’s ‘Root’ Bug Makes Hacking it Easy Add to Queue Reporter 3 min read Michael Kan –shares This story originally appeared on PCMag Mac computers with High Sierra (MacOS 10.13.1 or higher) have a serious bug that can let anyone gain root access to the system without a password.The hack is easy to pull off. It can be triggered through the Mac’s System Preferences application when “Users &; Groups” is selected, and the lock icon on the window is clicked. After that, a new login window will appear. Anyone who types “root” as the username, leaves the password field empty, and clicks unlock (once or twice) is on their way to a new account that has system admin privileges to the computer.With those privileges, the account can be used to modify the rest of the Mac and look up passwords on the keychain access. Even after a reboot, the root account remains.There are also reports the bug can be triggered at the Mac login screen, but not everyone was able to produce the same findings.The problem made headlines when security researcher Lemi Orhan Ergin tweeted about on Tuesday.????? pic.twitter.com/4TBh5NetIS— patrick wardle (@patrickwardle) November 28, 2017Amit Serper, a security researcher with Cybereason, replicated the result and said the bug “is as serious as it gets.”Hackers are always crafting malware that can gain greater system privileges into a computer. Now they have a new way, which can also be triggered via a Mac’s command line function. Imagine a piece of malicious code designed to attack Macs using the same flaw. Users wouldn’t even know they were compromised, Serper said.Shortly after the bug was made public, Apple issued the following statement:”We are working on a software update to address this issue. In the meantime, setting a root password prevents unauthorized access to your Mac. To enable the Root User and set a password, please follow the instructions here. If a Root User is already enabled, to ensure a blank password is not set, please follow the instructions from the ‘Change the root password’ section.”Security experts are still going over the bug, but it can be remotely exploitable, if for instance, screen sharing is enabled on the Mac.If certain sharing services enabled on target – this attack appears to work ? remote ??? (the login attempt enables/creates the root account with blank pw) Oh Apple ???? pic.twitter.com/lbhzWZLk4v— patrick wardle (@patrickwardle) November 28, 2017It does not appear Apple was made aware of the bug before it was publicized on Twitter, something the security community generally frowns upon. “This kind of public disclosure can put users at risk,” said Keith Hoodlet, a security engineer with Bugcrowd, which does crowdsourced security testing.He recommends users refrain from trying out the bug on their High Sierra-installed Macs. Doing so creates an account with super privileges, which can open it up to remote attack. To mitigate the risk, users who’ve decided to test the bug should create a password for the new root account, which can be done by following the temporary fix Apple provided. Apple Image credit: pisaphotography | Shutterstock
Calc is similar in almost every way to Excel, but Calc files, unlike Excel files, can be saved directly to PDF, thus saving you the time and expense of having to use a separate program–Adobe–to turn the text document into a PDF. Apply Now » Donald Carroll Testing the Open Source Waters It was my fault–I admit it. I was cleaning my computer’s file system, trying to speed it up a bit, when poof! My computer died. I was able to bring it back to life, but I lost a lot of programs I had to reinstall. Unfortunately, at some point during a move six months earlier, I had lost my Microsoft Office disk and now was in a bit of a jam: I was working on a project for a client, the deadline was coming up quickly, and it was too late to go to the store to buy another copy.That’s when I turned to Google. On a hunch, I searched for “Alternatives to Microsoft Office” and there I found OpenOffice.org. A quick read of OpenOffice’s website revealed a program that’s intended to be similar to Microsoft Office in look and feel, and that can read and save files in the Microsoft Office format, among others.Here’s the kicker: OpenOffice is free. Regardless of how many workstations you use the program on, it’ll never cost your company a penny. Compare that to the cost of licensing Microsoft Office Professional for just five workstations: According to a sales associate at the online retailer CDW, that’ll cost you upwards of $2,000.Being convinced–and desparate–enough to give it a try, I went through the download and install procedures, which took only a few minutes using my cable modem. I was very pleased with what I found. There’s a “Word”-like program, called Write, for drafting documents. There’s also a spreadsheet program, called Calc, that’s very similar to Excel and a presentation program called Impress that’s similar to PowerPoint. There’s also a program called Draw, which is comparable to Paint.After I became more familiar with OpenOffice, I discovered many useful features that other business owners will appreciate:Write is the OpenOffice equivalent of Word. It’s highly functional, very intuitive and has utilities for saving documents directly to PDF format, which allows for easy web publishing or portability between platforms, something Word doesn’t offer. Mail merge, table maker, object manipulation, various wizards and the ability to create your own templates are also available in Write. 4 min read Add to Queue Technology July 28, 2005 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares OpenOffice 1.2 also has a database function built in. This can be used to create bibliographies, contact lists, address books and other functions you’d expect from a relational database.Though it’s easy to learn how to use the programs–and easy on any company’s budget–OpenOffice does have some drawbacks:The database program in version 1.2 is extremely difficult to learn. I also came across compatibility issues with some of my Windows software that wouldn’t allow for the creation of databases through OpenOffice. There’s an Access-like database for OpenOffice 2.0, called Base; however, it’s still in Beta version, so some functions don’t work. And at this point, Base doesn’t have an “import” function, which many Access users find useful. Impress presentations can be saved directly as a Macromedia Flash file, for easy uploading to your company’s website. In PowerPoint, this can only be done by using a separate and expensive program for converting PowerPoint documents to Macromedia Flash format. If you don’t remember to save your Write files in a .doc format, or PDF, then non-OpenOffice users who you send your files to won’t be able to read them. Is free software really worth it? One business owner describes his first experiences with OpenOffice. Next Article Lastly, since OpenOffice was created as a group effort and built by volunteers, its how-tos and help files are sometimes difficult to find and understand.Overall, OpenOffice provides users with a versatile office suite. Many small-business owners will find that the office suite is a gateway to the larger world of open source software. For instance, when you find that OpenOffice doesn’t offer an Outlook-like e-mail service, you might soon discover Mozilla Thunderbird, another open source program that looks and acts very much like Outlook. Soon you may begin wondering why so many thousands of your business’s hard-earned dollars went to software suites, when similar software is available for free on the internet.Donald Carroll is the founder of Calvary Copywriting in Kansas City, Missouri. Specializing in the peculiarities of small to mid-sized businesses, Donald takes pride in helping the little guys fight big competition. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List
Technology Image credit: gamecocksonline.com Register Now » Guest Writer December 13, 2013 –shares Laura Entis 3 min read We’re a Country of Binge-Watchers, and We Feel Pretty Good About It Binge-viewing has become our new normal, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix.The survey found that among U.S. adults who stream a TV show at least once a week, 61 percent binge-watch regularly. And the majority of us binge-watchers don’t feel guilty about it — in fact, 73 percent said they have positive feelings about the experience.What is binge-watching, though? To me, the word (which, by the way, was a runner-up to “selfie” for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year) conveys an intense marathon of watching – an entire TV season manically consumed in a day or two. But most people, it turns out, don’t see it this way – 73% percent of respondents defined the term in much more moderate language as “watching between two to six episodes of the TV show in one sitting.” (Which begs the question: what’s the word for watching an entire season in one sitting?)This is a very sane definition, but our habits aren’t necessarily so controlled. Netflix executives told The Wall Street Journal that they found a consistent pattern in the pace at which people binge: in general, about half the viewers studied had finished an entire season (up to 22 episodes) within one week. Not the fevered bout of five seasons of Breaking Bad in four days, but not the more restrained two episodes in one sitting, either.Related: Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ Gets Emmy Not as TV Moves Online”Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, in a statement.But is it always a good idea to consume multiple episodes in one sitting? Before the release of the latest season of Arrested Development, series creator Mitch Hurwitz recommended restraint. “You’ll get tired!” Hurwitz told Vulture, before recounting a story about a producer who watched too many episodes back to back, with diminishing laughs each time. “You have to take a break,” he advised. “There’s too much material.”It’s safe to say that most people probably didn’t heed Hurwitz’s warning, and binge-watched anyway (I know I did). The survey backs this up — 79 percent of respondents said “watching several episodes of their favorite shows at once actually makes the shows more enjoyable.”While Netflix hasn’t always been a huge fan of binge-watch “due to connotations of gluttonous or antisocial behavior,” the company has finally embraced the word. Binge-watching, it seems, has come out of the dark and into the daylight, so to speak.Related: Netflix Goes Where No Customer Service Has Gone Before Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue
Enroll Now for $5 Geoff Weiss Facebook has released a new version of Community Standards regarding what kind of content is appropriate to share, clarifying its policies surrounding nudity, hate speech and the identities in which its users may traffic.“Because of the diversity of our global community,” Facebook wrote in announcing the changes, “please keep in mind that something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate our Community Standards.”After several drag queens’ accounts were flagged last year for using names like Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess instead of their legal names, Facebook’s new terms clarify that users may now connect using “their authentic identities” — even if it isn’t a legal moniker.“There has been a lot of confusion from people who thought we were asking them to use what’s on their driver’s license,” Facebook’s head of global product policy, Monika Bickert, told Re/code. “That’s not an accurate interpretation. We want people communicating using the name they actually use in real life.”Related: Facebook Updates Its Suicide Prevention ToolsThe new guidelines, which are roughly three times as long as the previous version and were in the works for roughly a year, also specify how Facebook will handle posts containing nudity.“We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks,” the company writes. “We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.”Facebook also added a new section entitled Dangerous Organizations, reports the BBC, which states that, in addition to banning terrorist organizations from Facebook, the site will now prohibit praise or support for such groups — a point that hadn’t been noted before.Other clarifications include the barring of altered images intended to degrade victims, as well as the celebration of criminal activity. While hate speech is also banned, users are allowed to share examples in order to raise awareness — though this intention must be clearly indicated. Related: You Can Now Appoint Someone to Manage Your Facebook Account After You Die –shares Next Article 2 min read Former Staff Writer Facebook Announces New Policies Regarding Names, Nudity and Controversial Content Regulations Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. March 16, 2015
Register Now » Add to Queue 3 min read Priceline Group has agreed with Cuba to make Cuban hotel rooms available to U.S. customers via subsidiary Booking.com, becoming the first U.S. online travel agency to strike a deal with the island state, a Booking.com executive said.The deal comes on the first full day of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba and on the heels of U.S. hotel firm Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s agreement with the Cuban government to manage and market three Havana hotel properties.Booking.com would allow Americans traveling to Cuba to reserve and pay for rooms at a number of Cuban and foreign hotels, starting in several weeks, Booking.com Americas Managing Director Todd Dunlap told Reuters in an interview.Americans previously had to reserve Cuban hotels principally through travel agencies or tour groups.Booking.com would operate initially in Cuba only in Havana, Dunlap said. It planned to work with foreign firms already on the island, including France’s Accor and Spanish chains Meliá Hotels International SA and NH Hotel Group SA. It was also working on deals with state-run Cuban chains.The only major American lodging booking service currently available to Americans traveling to Cuba is online home-rental marketplace Airbnb, which began operating in Cuba in April last year.Priceline began working on bringing its services to Cuba shortly after President Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with the island on Dec. 17, 2014.Cuban tourism infrastructure has seen significant strain since U.S. relations to the island warmed. Prices have surged for the island’s 63,000 hotel rooms, many of which are booked solid months in advance. Cuba received a record 3.52 million visitors last year, up 17.4 percent from 2014. American visits rose 77 percent to 161,000, not counting hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans.Tourism to Cuba is still technically illegal under the U.S. trade embargo. U.S. travelers to the island are required to do so under “general licenses,” which permit travel for religion, family visits, cultural exchange, sports, and other purposes approved by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control. On March 17 OFAC said it would allow individual people-to-people educational exchanges, as well.Booking.com would ask travelers to certify that they fit one of the Treasury’s approved travel categories, but would not verify their status, Dunlap said. The company would keep travelers’ information on file for five years after their travel, should officials choose to check.(By Mimi Dwyer, additional reporting by Mike Stone in New York, editing by Peter Henderson and Stephen Coates) –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Cuba Image credit: Reuters | Alexandre Meneghini Priceline Strikes Deal With Cuba to Let Americans Book Hotels This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Tourists ride in a vintage car in Havana. March 21, 2016
Snapchat Just how good is Snapchat at keeping people using the service? We’ve heard figures about Snapchat’s popularity before, but the company is now pitching advertisers about the amount of time people spend, on average, within the app each day. And given how little time you have to watch videos and photos on the service, you’ll probably be as surprised at the figure as we were.According to Snapchat, which recently confirmed the figures with Business Insider, the app’s daily active users spend an average of 25 to 30 minute each day using Snapchat. And these users — more than 100 million in total — aren’t just watching videos from their friends or Snapchat’s brand videos. Around 60 percent or so of these daily users are actively creating new content.That said, it remains to be seen just how many Snapchat users are actively engaging with the content that comes from some of Snapchat’s existing partnerships. According to a recent poll from Variety, around 23 percent of those responding said they watched Snapchat’s Live Stories or Discover content — the partnerships Snapchat has with other brands that puts their content front and center on Snapchat’s Stories tab. Among those in the 13 to 24 age range who said they had used Live Stories and Discover at some point, only 44 percent said they used it on a daily basis. That’s not bad, but we wager Snapchat would love to see those figures a bit higher (if they’re accurate reflections of how teens and young adults use the app).Yet, if you talk to Snapchat, you’ll see that it has some figures for a similar age bracket, meant to convey to advertisers — particular television advertisers — that Snapchat is a better platform for them to throw money at. According to a survey the company commissioned Nielsen to perform, Snapchat reaches around 41 percent of all 18 to 34-year-olds in the United States. According to that very same survey, the top 15 television networks in the U.S. only reach 6 percent of this age bracket.In other words, Snapchat is a great way to reach young people, and they (along with Snapchat’s other users) are spending a lot of time on the app. At least, that’s what Snapchat hopes to convince television advertisers of, so they’ll start sending big bucks (and vertical advertising) Snapchat’s way. Add to Queue David Murphy Register Now » –shares 3 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Average Snapchat Users Spend 25 to 30 Minutes on App Each Day This story originally appeared on PCMag March 28, 2016
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 7 2018Group of scientists at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania are investigating the possibilities of using berry pomace to increase the safety of meat products and, probably, to mitigate their negative effects on human health. According to the hypothesis raised by the scientists, phytochemicals, i.e. the biologically active natural compounds found in berries, might mitigate the negative impact of additives used in meat products as well as naturally forming hazardous compounds during their processing, thus lowering the risk of cancer.According to World Health Organization, consuming 50 g of processed meat a day (equivalent of two slices of bacon) increases the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies processed meat in the same category as tobacco smoking and asbestos (Group 1, carcinogenic to humans). Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or to improve preservation.”Nitrites and nitrates, used in meat products for increasing its taste and shelf-life, in the process of digestion can become carcinogenic nitrosoamines. Another type of carcinogenic substances form when meat is heated at very high temperature”, says Professor Rimantas Venskutonis, Chief Researcher at Food Science and Technology Department, KTU, Lithuania.Research group lead by Prof Venskutonis are investigating the properties of phytochemicals derived from berry pomace in order to obtain preliminary information if their usage might be considered for counteracting the damaging effects of hazardous compounds in meat products. After several years of work on the subject, the scientists from different countries have collected great body of scientific evidence on the beneficial properties of bioactive ingredients found in berries – they are strong antioxidants, capable of subduing inflammatory processes in the organism, they can help diminish the risk of cardiovascular diseases and even destroy cancer cells.”There is sufficient scientific evidence, both from our research and from that of our colleagues in other institutions, that some of the active substances found in berries could inhibit the process of carcinogenic substances formation in meat during heating. Moreover, once these substances are present in human organism, they can activate certain defense mechanisms, detoxification systems and in such a way they might reduce the risk associated with the consumption of processed meat”, says Prof Venskutonis.The research project, which concentrates on the impact of berry-derived phytochemicals on meat products has two main goals. The first goal, according to Prof Venskutonis, is a technological one – to prove that substances, extracted from berry pomace can be used in meat products as natural additives. As some of them are strong antioxidants, have antimicrobial properties and other useful properties, these naturally active ingredients can be used for increasing shelf-life of meat products, and improving their colour and other quality characteristics. The second, and more complicated goal is to prove the actual benefits the phytochemicals have on human health. In order to step forward in this direction, the KTU researchers will collaborate with the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.Related StoriesResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryAt the moment, the first stage of the project, the bio-refining process during which bio-chemically active products from berry pomace are being recovered, is completed.”We have scientific proof that berry-derived active substances can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and negative oxidation processes in meat products. Therefore, we can recommend using them instead of artificial additives in order to improve shelf-life and quality of meat products. However, in order to scientifically prove the potential health benefits of phytochemicals derived from berry pomace in diminishing the risk of cancer more research needs to be done. We will take the first step into this direction by undertaking the research with our colleagues from biomedical sciences and observing the impact phytochemicals have on cancer cells in vitro. This stage of the project will start shortly”, says Prof Venskutonis.Prof Venskutonis emphasizes that the research group is using green chemistry methods in the bio-refinery process, during which several types of products are extracted from berry pomace. First, lipophilic substances, or, simply, oil is extracted, then, using other solvents, polar substances containing most antioxidants are obtained, and finally, during enzyme assisted extraction dietary fiber-rich ingredients are being made. In the process only food and environmentally friendly solvents such as water and ethanol, and methods such as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction are being used.”We are working with zero waste concept in mind – in our research we are using berry pomace which is a by-product of juice production usually discarded as waste. The bio-refining technology developed by us allows to process berry pomace without any losses: their seed oil is of high value because it is rich in vitamin E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and other valuable compounds, while the beneficial effects of natural antioxidants and dietary fiber on human health is proved by many studies. Many of these functional ingredients can be used in food, cosmetics and even pharmaceutic industry”, says Prof Venskutonis.In the research the pomace of most locally growing berries are being used. Some of them, such as raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, black chokeberries are more common, and some, such as snowball tree berries – less widely consumed and therefore under-investigated. Source:https://en.ktu.edu/news/berry-juice-processing-by-products-could-reduce-the-risk-of-cancer/
Source:https://today.uconn.edu/2019/02/many-lgbtq-youth-not-identify-traditional-sexual-identity-labels/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 14 2019A large proportion of sexual and gender minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels – such as gay, lesbian, and bisexual – but instead describe previously little understood sexual identities using emerging sexual identity labels such as pansexual, non-binary, or asexual, according to a new University of Connecticut study.The findings, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, are based on a national survey on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teenagers.”We need to ask and be open to what our teens’ sexual identities are, because if we don’t know they’re out there, we don’t know how to help them,” said Ryan J. Watson, assistant professor of human development and family studies.Watson led the study with co-authors Rebecca M. Puhl of UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and Christopher W. Wheldon of the National Cancer Institute.The study uses data from the LGBTQ National Teen Study that Watson and Puhl developed in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign. The survey of 17,000 teens (4,720 M/12,373 F) was conducted online across a range of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic statuses, and found that 26 percent chose emerging sexual identity labels.Watson discussed the study with UConn Today.Q. Your major finding is that a large proportion of minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels, but instead describe their identity with emerging identity labels. Why is this significant?A. A lot of effort in research is now asking youth to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, in trying to figure out who this population is. Some people don’t even ask. The 2020 United States Census is not even asking about sexual orientation. We’re already missing who we know exists out there, and this study has showed us that it is not enough today to just ask about these traditional labels – lesbian, gay, bisexual. Instead, there’s thousands – and if you extrapolate from this study, hundreds of thousands – of teenagers who identify with new identity labels that people don’t even know what they mean; they have never heard of them before. This is vexing, given there are likely hundreds of thousands of youth who are using terms like pansexual and non-binary. It’s important for researchers especially to capture what the nuanced experiences might be of these youth. We don’t want to miss them. We want to make sure we capture what these youth want to be called; the identities they actually are identifying with. We think that’s pretty important.Q. The study notes there is a divergence in patterns of sexual identification, noting the complex interaction between sexual, gender, and ethno-racial identities. Could you explain that?A. What we really wanted to do with the national teen survey was try to understand nuanced experiences within LGBTQ people. Before the study it was really hard to understand intersecting identities among this population in particular. We know all people have a sexual identity; everybody has a gender identity, and most people identify as male or female. But we see from the study that more and more teens are using different identity labels, other than male or female. We suspected that the patterns and how people use those terms to describe their sexual or gender identity might be different based on their ethnicity; so are Asian, African American, or white kids more or less likely to use particular emerging terms? It’s not enough, we are arguing, just to say this person is queer, LGBT. We want to know how else do they identify? Are pansexual youth more likely to be non-binary and African American? In our preliminary findings, the answer is yes. We know that might be a unique experience, a triple minority you might say, that could explain more detrimental health outcomes or a harder time at school being bullied. One of the findings we came across is that youth who are not cisgender – youth who do not identify as the sex they were given at birth – we might think of that as someone who is transgender, non-binary – those kids are far more likely to describe their sexual orientation with these emerging identity terms compared to cisgender teens. Most people know of ‘lesbian, gay bisexual,’ but there’s something about kids today who are a little more advanced or are using new words to describe how they feel sexually in terms of orientation. To me that’s a really novel, intriguing finding in terms of how do we best serve kids who are transgender? I think it’s useful just knowing the patterns of sexual and gender identities for people who are growing up right now in our country.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerQ. This seems to speak about millennials and how they view the world. They are more accepting of variation, diversity, mixed culture, and orientation than previous generations.A. That’s a great point. When I was a post-doc at the University of British Columbia, we went out to high schools and surveyed students. We asked them how they identified their sexual orientation. At the time, just a few years ago, those kids were critical of the ways we were asking the question. They were ahead of the curve. You’re right that these emerging identity labels, as we’re calling them, are driven by teens, shared through new social media outlets like Reddit, Facebook, or Instagram. Adults can be out of the loop – even renowned professors or people who study the population aren’t caught up with the labels. If we’re going to try and understand why teens are unhealthy or where teens need help the most and we don’t know where to reach them, what identities describe them, we are out of touch. It might be more difficult to do our research.Q. What do the findings of the study mean for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers you include as stakeholders in the data as to how they should use this information?A. One of the biggest problems I see is that young people – and adults – who are LGBTQ are not being recognized and counted. If we don’t know that this population exists and we don’t count them, they’re not included in our efforts. The diversity we found shows the need for those in power who are doing the Census or national surveys to start asking at least for youth to write in or give them more options for describing who they are. What the initial findings from the research shows, it’s not just that LGBTQ people are doing worse than straight people and cisgender people, but it matters what subgroup of LGBTQ person you are. Pansexual people have different experiences than gay people. Those labels matter and are associated with different outcomes. We should be mindful to ask the identities of our participants because it matters for their health and their experiences. The other thing folks can do is just ask and be open about changing terms. What we see is a growing number of young people and adults coming out and feeling free to tell other people about their sexual identity. We need to ask and be open to what our teens’ sexual identities are, because if we don’t know they’re out there, we don’t know how to help them.Q. One of the major conclusions is that this is just the first major study of its type, and further research is important. What do you want to see happen to advance this knowledge?A. In the 10 years I’ve done this, and the decades others have done this, we consistently find that this population as a whole faces more health problems, harder experiences to deal with at school, and more bullying. We know there is this gap in disparity for the population. What we haven’t been able to know until now is how folks who have multiple identities that are repressed, folks who are using emerging terms, how they might suffer or thrive in different ways than their peers who are also somewhat like them. I hope this research will continue in ways that will replicate this. We can ask these questions again to see: Was this emerging label more popular this time? Do we see a continual progression of more emerging labels or more youth using these labels? Or are youth going to go back to traditional labels?This study is one of the first to be able to look at enough data among small minorities to start to see patterns in their experiences. With old data, we haven’t been able to say: what does it look like for an African American gay transgender boy in the United States who lives in the south? We didn’t have enough data to look at that. Now with this data moving forward, we’ll start to be able to identify what does that individual experience look like? What does it mean for a young person who shares multiple, repressed identities? How might we best support them? What identity is most salient? Which repressed identity needs most attention? Never have we been able to explore that with data, because we haven’t had the availability of data that robust before. I’m looking forward to further exploring that. It’s exciting.
Explore further Japan said on Friday it had carried out raids on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges following a massive hack that saw thieves steal $530 million in virtual currency. The hack of Coincheck was one of the largest of its kind, and prompted authorities to search the firm’s offices last week, after slapping it with an administrative order.Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday those raids were now being expanded.”We have started to raid several virtual currency exchanges,” he told reporters, adding that the raids were intended to “examine their internal governance structure”.Aso, also the minister in charge of financial services, has admitted that the government “needs to strengthen our supervision” of virtual currency exchanges.Japanese officials have suggested Coincheck lacked proper security measures, making itself vulnerable to theft.In the wake of the theft, the country’s Financial Services Agency instructed more than a dozen local exchanges to submit reports on their efforts to monitor systemic risks.Thieves syphoned away 523 million units of the cryptocurrency NEM from Coincheck during the January 26 hack, exceeding the $480 million in virtually currency stolen in 2014 from another Japanese exchange, MtGox.That hack prompted Japan to issue new regulations, requiring exchanges to obtain a licence from the FSA, but Coincheck was allowed to continue operating while the agency was reviewing its application.The firm has said it will reimburse customers who lost money in the hack, which is still being investigated by local authorities.Reports in Japan’s media in recent days have suggested hackers may have accessed the firm from abroad.The Yomiuri Shimbun earlier this week cited unnamed police sources as saying Coincheck was repeatedly accessed illegally through servers in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands in the days before it was hit.And the Asahi Shimbun daily reported Friday that part of the stolen cryptocurrency was sent to an exchange in New Zealand called Cryptopia.Cryptopia offers a platform for trading various virtual currencies including bitcoin, according to its website.In recent weeks, regulators around the world have discussed or begun imposing new restrictions on virtual currencies. Japan raids hacked crypto exchange, bitcoin plunges further Finance Minister Taro Aso said the raids were being carried out on exchanges to “examine their internal governance structure” © 2018 AFP Citation: New raids on Japan crypto exchanges after Coincheck hack (2018, February 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-raids-japan-crypto-exchanges-coincheck.html 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.
January 23, 2019 SHARE Earlier this month, after wandering for hours to fetch some water, 22-year-old Nakushi Ahire saw some in a well a few kilometres away from Sarde, a village in Maharashtra’s Nashik district. While drawing it, she lost her balance and fell in. Ahire died on the spot. This was the first death of a ‘Nakushi’ this year. More are certain to follow, of Nakushis as well as Dhondabais.There are thousands of girls with these names traversing Maharashtra’s parched landscape searching for water. For, in the drought-prone regions of the State, the responsibility of getting water for the household rests on them.In Marathi, the name Nakushi means unwanted, while Dhonda means stone — a Dhondabai is thus a woman who is considered a burden. Many girls in drought-affected areas have these names, with their families grudgingly accepting their existence.“Right from birth, we are told that we are unwanted. We grow with this tag, which we carry life long, with a pot of water. We are either Nakushi or Dhonda,” says Dhondabai Nimbule from Osmanabad.Sarde village gets its supply of water on alternate days, and a majority of villagers depend on intermittent supply through tankers. Women and girls set out early in the morning to search for water. Nakushi Ahire was one of them.A routine eventHer death has not shocked the villagers or the administration. “These deaths are considered routine. This reflects the mindset of the people,” says Beed-based activist Manisha Tokale.“Many parents who expect a son and get a daughter name the child Nakushi. Earlier, parents used to name their third or fourth daughter Nakushi as they expected more than one son; but today, every girl is named Nakushi,” says Sunita Lohar from Satara district, where thousands of girls bear the name.The Satara district administration, with the help of social activists, has launched various drives to rename the girls, but the list of Nakushis in the district only seems to get longer.These girls rarely get to go to school. When they do, it’s not for long. Kalpana Chambulwar from Wardha district says that when the drought becomes severe, almost all girls abandon school in search of water “Here, girls are born to fetch water. From childhood till death, we have to do the same work,” she explains.“Anyway, not many parents admit their girls in schools and the majority wants to get rid of them as soon as possible. Child marriages are common, and after marriage, girls continue to shoulder the responsibility of getting water for the family,” she adds.Dhondabai Nimbule is the exception. Her husband committed suicide due to farm debt, but she is determined to move forward. She has a daughter, but has not named her Nakushi. “I am educating her. Her name is Pallavi — and for me she is not a Dhonda or a Nakushi.” COMMENTS In Maharashtra’s drought-hit regions, unwanted girls are given this name, and are condemned to fetch water Published on crime against women COMMENT women Maharashtra SHARE SHARE EMAIL