2014-15Cleveland Cavaliers61.1Detroit Pistons38.9 SEASONWIN VS. GOOD TEAMOPP WIN %LOSS IN NEXT GAME VS. BAD TEAMOPP WIN % 2012-13New York Knicks65.7%Phoenix Suns31.6% 2014-15Houston Rockets69.7Utah Jazz34.3 The mind-boggling stat raises two questions: Why have the Bulls been so inconsistent for this long? And can this new group of players eventually find a way to break the troubling pattern?Several premises might help explain the Bulls’ bizarre showings in recent years.Although the injury bug didn’t necessarily bite Chicago way more frequently than other teams, the ailments hampered the Bulls in a way that few clubs could relate to.Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, now with the New York Knicks, suffered devastating injuries with the Bulls. But beyond those two, basically every other regular starter — Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton and even Butler last season — battled something at one point that kept him out for a significant time. The locker room looking more like an infirmary often threw the club out of rhythm and prevented Thibodeau from being able to make full use of arguably the NBA’s best bench.It’s also fair to wonder whether the Bulls’ smothering, precision-based defense, ingrained by Thibodeau, might have left players worn down for their next game.“He loved to have his players go lay it all on the line,” Bulls power forward Taj Gibson said. “Everybody knew what kind of team we were: a hard-nosed, defensive team that was going to play hard till the last minute of the game.”The blood and sweat paid dividends: The Bulls were regularly among the NBA’s best defenses during Thibodeau’s five seasons, which started in 2010-11 and ended in 2015. Chicago also ranked near the top in terms of how much ground they covered each night despite playing at one of the slowest per-possession paces in the league. That means they moved considerably farther and faster than the average club on each play. (Looking at Minnesota’s repeated second-half meltdowns this season, the Wolves may be suffering some of the same fatigue problems.)The human nature part of all this: that a player, or a team, might get more amped to play some teams as opposed to others, as former Bull Pau Gasol surmised about his old team last week. “The Bulls usually get up against good teams,” he said. “The challenge is getting up against the not-so-good teams and winning those games.” (No one was more tightly wound than Noah when he’d play against LeBron James — a whopping 14 percent of Noah’s career technical fouls have come against James and his teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.)To be clear, it’s not out of the question that the Bulls could turn over a new leaf and start playing more consistently, regardless of the quality of their opponent. That trend of beating good teams and then immediately losing to bad ones occurred almost entirely under a previous regime, of which just a handful of players remain.Even with that in mind, it’s hard to ignore some of the unusual tendencies that started under Thibodeau and, at least for now, have continued under second-year coach Fred Hoiberg. Consider, for example, that the Bulls have won an astonishing 16 consecutive home games on TNT’s Thursday-night broadcasts since February 2013, beating, among others, the Heat, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers and Cavs over that span.Since March 2013, the Bulls have snapped Miami’s 27-game win streak, the Knicks’ 13-game win streak, Golden State’s 19-game win streak at home and, last week, the Spurs’ 13-game win streak on the road — all in nationally televised games, either on ESPN, TNT or NBATV.Wild inconsistency has played a role in the national TV success, too. Fans often joked that Hinrich, the ex-Bull, seemed to morph into Michael Jordan whenever Chicago played on national television. But there appeared to be some truth to that. Hinrich’s best performances during each of his last three seasons as a pro — per Basketball-Reference.com’s Game Score stat — were during nationally televised games: a 14-point showing at Phoenix on ESPN last season, a 20-point night against Cleveland on ESPN in 2014-15, and a 19-point explosion on TNT during a blowout win over Houston in 2013-14.It probably isn’t a great omen, then, that one of Hinrich’s replacements once carried around a similar reputation, with at least a little statistical backing.As for these Bulls, sitting at 13-10 nearly a third of the way through the season, no one would say they’re without flaws.The perimeter shooting, red hot to start the season, has regressed to where many thought it would. In a league that prioritizes spacing and shooting more than ever before, Chicago ranks dead-last in 3-pointers made, 3-pointers attempted and 3-point percentage. (Things may get a bit better now that Doug McDermott, one of the precious few competent shooters on the team, is back after suffering two concussions. But it’s troubling that Nikola Mirotic’s game continues to oscillate between that of Channing Frye and a late-career Andrea Bargnani, who now finds himself playing overseas at age 31.)Crunch-time offense should be a concern for the Bulls, too, even if it hasn’t truly cost them yet.Despite the worries about the range-impaired backcourt featuring three players who each need the ball, Rondo, Wade and Butler haven’t gotten in each other’s way for the most part. The trio has handled opponents comfortably overall, winning by 6.3 points per 100 plays in 353 minutes.But things have played out far differently in clutch moments, when the game slows down and spacing gets cramped because teams refuse to guard Rondo near the arc. CHICAGO — After dealing a former most valuable player, letting a fiery, ex-defensive player of the year walk in free agency and signing a future, yet aging Hall of Famer, the Bulls were bound to change. We just didn’t know whether it’d be for better or for worse.But, ironically, even with a mostly new cast surrounding star swingman Jimmy Butler, one of the most bizarre tendencies from past Bulls’ teams persists: the baffling ability to take down some of the league’s best teams one night but lose to its very worst the next. Many have tried to explain the phenomenon, and the explanations range from an unfortunate run of injuries to team style and composition influencing consistency to the general wear and tear of life under the exacting rule of former coach Tom Thibodeau, who’s set to storm the opposing sideline in Chicago for the first time Tuesday night as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.The Bulls’ puzzling, two-faced play stands out most when it happens in consecutive games, as it did earlier this month. The club beat the defending-champion Cavaliers the night before getting drilled by the Dallas Mavericks, who, along with the Wolves and Sixers, have the worst record in the NBA.The showing wasn’t out of the ordinary. During the past five full seasons and what’s been played so far this year,1The data from Elias covers games from the start of the 2011-12 season through games played Sunday night. the Bulls have had nine instances — more than any other club2Five teams had eight. — in which they knocked off a team with a pre-game winning percentage of at least .600, only to then lose to an opponent with a .400 winning percentage or worse the next game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Bulls narrowly escaped laying another egg by holding on to beat a lowly Miami unit this weekend after an impressive win over San Antonio. 2016-17Cleveland Cavaliers76.5Dallas Mavericks16.7 2014-15Golden State Warriors85.7Los Angeles Lakers26.1 2012-13Golden State Warriors63.4Washington Wizards24.4 2014-15Toronto Raptors60.3Detroit Pistons35.3 2014-15Toronto Raptors87.5Indiana Pacers30.0 2012-13New York Knicks66.2Toronto Raptors38.5 Bulls wins against teams with .600 winning percentages or greater that were followed by a loss to a team with a .400 winning percentage or lower, since the 2011-12 seasonSource: Elias Sports Bureau That explains why the Bulls own the NBA’s worst field-goal percentage during the last five minutes of close games and how the same three players are losing by 12 points per 100 plays in fourth quarters.Nevertheless, the Bulls have been able to survive many of their late-game scares with solid defense. They’ve been surprisingly good on that end of the floor, limiting opponents to 18 free throws a game, second-fewest in the NBA, while also forcing turnovers at a better rate than last season.And for how horrible their shooting is, the Bulls make up for some of that with their newfound ability to draw fouls — never much of a strength of the old-look Bulls and their star. Their free-throw attempts — more consistent than relying on someone like Butler’s jump shot — are up more than 21 percent from the same point last season. Another welcome source of scoring: the offensive glass. Chicago, similar to the Bulls teams that Thibodeau coached, owns the best offensive-rebounding rate in the NBA and scores more second-chance points per night than any other club.By no means are these improvements enough to make the Bulls real contenders again, like they were under Thibodeau before Rose’s injuries took root. But they at least give Chicago a shot to find consistency with Butler and Hoiberg, both on national TV and otherwise.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Chicago Bulls: The NBA’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A government committee this week gave the green light for 12 energy projects with a total budget of 11.5 billion euros to be licensed through the fast-track process.Meeting under Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, the Ministerial Committee for Strategic Investments decided to fast-track investments expected to create a total of 17,000 jobs while helping Greece to enhance the security of its energy supply and eventually see it evolve into an energy hub.The projects include the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the ITGI pipeline network to transmit natural gas across northern Greece toward Italy; the interconnection of the grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece; the Interconnection Greece-Bulgaria project to link the two countries’ gas transmission networks; and a pipeline to carry natural gas from a Cypriot offshore area to the Greek mainland via Crete.The ministerial meeting also decided to start a process that will lead to the drafting of a special plan for the energy upgrade of The Mall Athens, which will require a presidential decree following the approval of the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court. Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
The Recipes app is an extension of the magazine’s food column, the company says. Meanwhile, the Reader’s Choice app builds off the issue’s “2010 Photo Contest” feature and the Travel Guide is an interactive connection to a feature story on the Dominican Republic.All four apps were created in-house, Tauber says. For the Pictures app, Islands editors utilized the iPhone SDK developer program, which is commonly used by developers to create iPad, iPhone and iPod touch applications.“Response has exceeded expectations, with a solid rise in downloads for the Pictures app coming when we soft-launched it on Islands.com and Islands.com/Facebook,” says Tauber. “In terms of scans, the Recipes app is winning so far.”Earlier this year, Bonnier’s Wakeboarding and Sport Driver also utilized Microsoft’s HCCB tagging technology to direct readers online for additional interactive content.Tauber says Islands so far isn’t charging for the Pictures app in Apple’s iTunes Store but says it will experiment with different pricing models with future apps. “Right now we’re focusing on learning how to best use and execute them and gathering metrics that we can then share with clients,” he says. The team at Bonnier’s Islands magazine took some cues from sister title WakeBoarding when they put together their June issue which integrates tagging technology with mobile apps. Readers are able to access four apps developed by Islands editors by using a smartphone to scan 2-D barcodes within the issue’s pages.The cover features an app icon and URL for a “Pictures” app the Islands edit team created that is available exclusively in the Apple iTunes Store. It offers users a gallery of island photography, photo quizzes, and a photo feed of editors’ travels. The app also was promoted inside the magazine on the editor’s letter page, in a house ad and in a feature story.The magazine also used 2-D barcodes, created using Microsoft’s High Capacity Color Barcode technology, to unlock three free Web-based apps: Islands Recipes, Islands Reader’s Choice and Islands Travel Guide: Dominican Republic. “For this particular issue, each of the three Web apps organically fit as an extension of what was in the magazine,” Islands brand manager Chris Tauber says. “And repurposing content or drawing on previous research was fairly efficient for us in each of these cases.”
World BankThe World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$700 million to improve primary education in Bangladesh, reports UNB.The project titled ‘Quality Learning for All Programme (QLEAP)’ will help improve the education quality and ensure equitable access to primary education and benefit over 18 million children studying in pre-primary level to grade 5, the World Bank said in a statement on Thursday.The bank said it will finance for implementing the government’s Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4).The project will focus on improving learning outcomes for Bangla and Mathematics of Grade III students, it said.This will be achieved through an evaluation of the current curricula, textbooks and supplementary learning materials based on new curriculum, recruitment and training of about 100,000 teachers, providing digital materials for teachers and students, exams system reforms, and the expansion of one-year quality pre-primary education in all government schools.
Boxer Systems, a UK solution provider for the video, film and TV markets, has agreed a new partnership with compression services firm V-Nova.Boxer will represent V-Nova’s line of Perseus-powered P.Link products for the contribution and remote production markets and will provide infrastructure support for the V-Nova P.Link customer base.“With a focus on solutions for media production and playout as well as content capture and processing, Boxer will provide a strong local presence and market expertise for our Perseus-powered P.Link compression solutions,” said Guido Meardi, CEO and co-founder of V-Nova.Boxer has worked for more than 25 years in the broadcast and post-production arenas, supplying equipment and integrated systems to clients including Arqiva, the BBC, Sky, Channel 4, ITV, and Technicolor.
Well, it couldn’t get much more blatant, now could it?The gold price developed a slight negative bias right at the beginning of Far East trading on Friday…and that process accelerated a bit once London began to trade.Then at the Comex open, the gold price jumped up…and almost immediately ran into a willing not-for-profit seller…and by 9:45 a.m. JPMorgan et al had bashed the price into submission. From there it recovered a hair, but hit its absolute low of the day at precisely 12:00 noon in New York…and then rallied a bit into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading.The high tick at 8:31 a.m. Eastern was…$1,678.20 spot…and the low tick at noon was reported by Kitco as $1,652.50 spot.Gold finished the Friday trading session at $1,662.70 spot…down $12.10 on the day. Net volume was around 145,000 contracts.Silver’s price pattern on Friday was virtually a carbon copy of gold’s. The only big difference was that silver’s low price tick [$30.07 spot] came at 10:00 a.m. Eastern…right on the button. From there it traded sideways until around 12:45 p.m. in New York…and then rallied into the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. From that point, and until the close of Friday trading, the silver price traded flat.Silver’s high price tick came shortly before 9:00 a.m. Eastern time…and Kitco recorded that as $30.93 spot.“Da Boyz” took away almost all of Thursday’s gains with yesterday’s shenanigans…and silver closed on Friday at $30.44 spot…down 42 cents. Volume was pretty hefty…around 52,000 contracts.The dollar index opened on Friday morning at 79.79…and traded ruler flat all through Far East and early London trading. Then at 1:00 p.m. GMT, the index did a 36-point face plant in just thirty minutes. The index spent the New York trading session recovering a bit of those loses, but the dollar index still closed down 24 basis points when all was said and done.Of course it’s laughable to even entertain the idea that the precious metals prices were in any way linked to what went on in the currency markets yesterday.Since the gold price got slammed at the open of the New York equity markets on Friday, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the gold stocks got sold off in the first half hour of trading. But then they rallied back to unchanged by around 11:30 a.m. Eastern…and chopped sideways for the rest of the day. The HUI finished down a tiny 0.07%…a fabulous accomplishment considering the circumstance. It was obvious, at least to me, that strong hands with deep pockets were buying everything that fell off the table yesterday.Not surprisingly, the silver shares finished mostly down on the day…and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down as well…0.48%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s Nick’s long-term Silver Sentiment Index so you get a view of the overall.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold…along with a surprising 124 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday. The big short/issuer was Merrill…and the spoils were divided up between JPMorgan  in its proprietary [in house] trading account…Bank of Nova Scotia …and Jefferies with 31 contracts stopped.What started out as a very sleepy delivery month in silver, has turned into anything but! Already this month, there have been 641 contracts posted for delivery, which is a very large number for what has always been a traditional non-delivery month for either gold or silver…and the month is less than half over. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV.Bullion coins continue to fly out the door at the U.S. Mint. Yesterday they reported selling another 12,000 ounces of gold eagles…and 150,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date…only eight business days…the mint has sold 97,500 ounces of gold eagles…36,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 4,782,000 silver eagles. Based on these sales, the silver/gold ratio stands at just under 36 to 1. I sure hope that you’re getting your share, dear reader…and if not, you should make amends as quickly as you can.It was a monster day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They reported receiving 975,656 troy ounces of silver…and shipped an eye-watering 2,786,866 troy ounces out the door. Amazing! I can hardly wait to read what Ted Butler has to say about this in his weekend review coming out later today. The link to yesterday’s activity is here.There has been evidence presented on the Internet during the past week of shortages appearing in some types of precious metal products, both in North America and in Europe. Well, I got it right from the horse’s mouth…as one of the largest private mints in the U.S. told us late yesterday afternoon that there’s a 10-day wait for delivery on 10-ounce silver bars…and a 30-day wait for 1-ounce silver rounds. It has begun again.As I said a few paragraphs back…I sure as heck hope you’re getting your share.Well, yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report showed the expected declines in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver. Ted was hoping/expecting bigger numbers than were posted…but they are what they are. I had very little time to talk to Ted on the phone about this yesterday, as it was very busy at the store.In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by 4,071 contracts, or 20.4 million ounces of paper silver. The Commercial net short position as of the close of Comex trading on Tuesday stood at 206.3 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ are short 230.4 million ounces of silver…which is about 112% of the Commercial net short position show in the previous paragraph. Ted says that JPMorgan’s short position is about 140 million ounces out of that 230.4 million ounces…28,000 Comex contracts…and it’s my guess that the Bank of Nova Scotia is short at least 50 million ounces as well…so the ‘BIG 2’ are short around 190 million ounces of silver between them.On a net basis, the ‘Big 4’ bullion banks are short 48.6% of the entire Comex futures market in silver…and the ‘BIG 2’ on their own are short about 40% of the entire Comex futures market in silver all by themselves. How’s that for concentration?On a net basis, the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 11.6 percentage points of the entire Comex silver market. So the ‘Big 8’ in total are short more than 60% of the Comex silver market. But like I said…it’s the BIG 2…or probably just the BIG 1…that really matters.If we could see…and then subtract…all of the spread trades, not just some of them, it’s my guess that these concentration ratios would be substantially more grotesque than they already are.In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by 10,187 contracts, or 1.0 million ounces. Ted was expecting a much bigger number…and would have got it, except for the fact that the ‘5 through 8’ traders actually sold about 7,000 contracts short…instead of covering short positions…and/or going long themselves. Having said all that, the Commercial net short position has now declined to 17.85 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ bullion banks are short 11.65 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ largest traders are short an additional 5.74 million ounces of the stuff. So between the eight biggest traders, they are short 17.39 million ounces of gold…almost 100% of the Commercial net short position.On a ‘net’ basis…once all the market-neutral spread traders are subtracted out…the ‘Big 4’ are short 32.3% of the entire Comex gold market…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 15.9 percentage points. So the ‘Big 8’ are short a bit over 48% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.Of course, like in silver, if all the unreported spread trades could be subtracted out, it would push these concentration numbers well over 50% for the ‘Big 8’ combined.Here’s Nick Laird’s wonderful “Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions” chart. It shows the short positions of the Big 4 and Big 8 for all the physically traded commodities on the Comex…as shown in the latest COT Report. I just talk about silver and gold…but Nick shows them all…and the obscene and grotesque short positions in all four precious metals are obvious to anyone.(Click on image to enlarge)The links to the long-term interactive COT charts for gold is here…and silver is here. Depending on your browser and computer, they may take a while to load…especially the link for silver.The Bank Participation Report data was as expected in silver…but a bit of a surprise in gold.In silver, less than 4 U.S. banks [probably 3] decreased their net Comex short position from 39,573 contracts in the December BPR, down to 32,236 contracts in January’s BPR.Since Ted Butler says that JPMorgan Chase’s short position is in the 28,000 Comex contract range, that means that there are only 4,236 Comex contracts left to split up between the two other U.S. banks. Using the past as prologue, I’m guessing that virtually all of that…like 95%…is held by HSBC USA…and a tiny non-material amount is held by Citigroup maybe.Continuing in silver…15 non-U.S. banks held a net short position in Comex silver in December of 18,199 contracts…and in the January BPR just released, that short position has been reduced down to 14,913 Comex contracts…and only 14 banks. It’s my firm belief that more than 10,000 contracts of this amount is held by the Bank of Nova Scotia…like maybe 12,000 contracts…leaving 2,913 contracts to split up between the remaining 13 non-U.S. banks, which is about 225 contracts per non-U.S. bank. As you can tell, these positions are immaterial.Remember what I said about the ‘BIG 2’ in silver when I was talking about them in the COT Report further up. What the BPR does, is strip these two bullion banks naked for all to see. That’s how concentrated their positions are…and there is just no way for them to hide on this one day every month when we can compare the COT numbers and the BPR numbers…as they are derived from the same data set.In gold…5 U.S. banks had a net Comex short position of 106,393 contracts in the December BPR. The January report showed that the number of U.S. banks holding short contracts on the Comex had been reduced to 4 banks…and they had reduced their net Comex short position down to 82,204 contracts. It’s a safe bet that it’s the same banks in gold as it is in silver…with the addition of maybe Morgan Stanley…and they wouldn’t have a big position…as the lion’s share would most likely be held by JPMorgan Chase.Continuing in gold…19 non-U.S. banks were net short 44,707 Comex contracts in the December BPR…and are now net short 45,847 Comex gold contracts in January’s BPR. The surprise here is there was a net increase from December to January…which I wasn’t expecting at all. And, once again, I’d bet serious money that well over a third of that short position is held by the Bank of Nova Scotia. That leaves 18 non-U.S. banks net short a bit under 30,000 Comex gold contracts…and if you can divide, the individual positions of these 18 bank is immaterial.The one caveat to these ‘immaterial’ short positions in both silver and gold is that there is massive collusion within the ranks of the smaller trader…and these smaller banks may influence prices if they work together, like Ted Butler’s raptors…and I’m sure that they do it at times.Here’s a graphic representation of the Bank Participation Report for silver going back to 2000. There are five charts in all…and the first two are price and open interest…and the third is the number of U.S. and non-U.S. banks. Charts 4 and 5 require one minute of thinking.In some ways, charts 4 and 5 are identical to the “Days to Cover Comex Short Positions” charts from the COT data above…except they are for U.S. and non-U.S. banks only…and it shows just how dominant they are once they’re stripped out from the crowd. The ‘click to enlarge’ feature works wonders here.(Click on image to enlarge)I have a huge number of stories, quite a few of which I’ve been saving for today’s column…and I wish you luck wading through all of them.Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.” – Lazarus Long [The quote is from a novel by Robert Heinlein. The character Lazarus Long appeared in several of his books. – Ed]Today’s ‘blast from the past’ is instantly recognizable…as is the group that sings it. So turn up your speakers and enjoy. The link is here.Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is the most famous of arias from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. This version was ripped out of the 1984 Miloš Forman move Amadeus…and if you’ve never seen this flick, you owe it to you to do so. The link is here.Well, it couldn’t get much more blatant, now could it? JPMorgan et al just don’t give a damn whose watching, because there’s no adult supervision to be found anywhere…and the spineless silver and gold mining companies won’t lift a finger on behalf of their shareholders.But one thing is for sure, it shows just how desperate this situation is becoming…especially in silver. The fact that delivery times are now getting stretched out for precious metals just about everywhere on Planet Earth means that there’s big trouble coming in River City…and only the timing is unknown. And the frantic in/out activity at the Comex…plus the goings-on in SLV over the last month, shows how frantic things are getting. It’s my opinion that it’s only a matter of time before the whole things comes unglued.Ted Butler had this to say about it in his closing paragraph to his paying subscribers on Wednesday…”Throw in the probability that the simmering physical shortage will turn into a full boil on a moment’s notice…and the only prudent approach is to hold onto long-term silver positions tightly.” Amen to that, as that’s precisely what I’m doing.Silver is back under its 200-day moving average once again…and gold is sitting right on its 200-day moving average. It appears that the prices of both metals are being held in place…but for what reason…and how long? Beats me.And then the question becomes…are we going higher or lower from there. If you waded through what I had to say in the COT Report and the BPR, you can see that its just a small handful of bullion banks trying to keep the precious metals market from blowing sky high.In my estimation it has now become a death watch…and what part this $1 trillion dollar platinum coin has play in all this, is not known. It may come to nothing, but I have a hunch that we haven’t heard the last of this insanity.My last chart of the day is one of my favourites from Nick. It’s the “Total PMs Pool“…and it’s at another new high…a relentless and most likely unstoppable trend with unlimited fiat currency printing upon us.(Click on image to enlarge)That’s all for this week…and I’ll see you right here on Tuesday. Sponsor Advertisement Canada’s Golden TollboothsThere is a special tollbooth located 8 hours north of Toronto near a gold mine. And every time a mining truck passes by, it must pay a toll: For each 100 ounces of gold carried, 4 of these must be paid to the tollbooth. Over $6,600. Every single time.What’s better, there’s another one of these “golden tollbooths” located 20 miles east … and still another one 100 miles farther. All told, about seventy of these special tollbooths exist in the world today.And one company owns over half of them.Now this company—who has already banked $600 million on a single one of these tollbooth deals—is willing to split the profits with us…Click here to read the full story.
Casey Research’s Jeff Clark was interviewed as one of The Gold Report’s “superstars of resource investing.” Learn his approach to staying current with precious metals trends… despite what the headlines and mainstream media say. Right now, the opportunity’s on in gold and silver. Contrarian investors know that the time to buy is when the mainstream media has completely dismissed a sector—which is precisely what’s happening with precious metals right now. And you can get all the insights Jeff gleans from his painstaking research and put it to work for you in 2014. Get the details and get started today.
• Another bearish sign from junk bonds… For months, we’ve been warning of trouble in the junk bond market. Casey Daily Dispatch readers know the junk bond market is where companies with shaky finances go to borrow money. These companies are often the first to have trouble paying their bills when the economy slows. That’s why economic problems tend to show up earlier in the junk bond market than in the stock market. Junk bonds are set to have their first year of losses since the financial crisis in 2008. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that junk bond defaults are expected to nearly double next year. On Friday, a large junk bond fund barred investors from pulling their money out. The Wall Street Journal reported: A firm founded by legendary vulture investor Martin Whitman is barring investor withdrawals while it liquidates its high-yield bond fund, an unusual move that highlights the severity of the monthslong junk-bond plunge that has swept Wall Street. The decision by Third Avenue Management LLC means investors in the $789 million Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund may not receive all their money back for months, if not more. This is a big deal. Investors don’t like to hear “you can’t access your own money.” Typically, fund managers will only restrict withdrawals as a last resort. The Wall Street Journal continues: Third Avenue said poor bond-market trading conditions made it almost impossible to raise sufficient cash to meet redemption demands from investors without resorting to fire sales of assets. Third Avenue’s move sparked a big sell-off in junk bonds. The SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the two largest junk bond funds in the U.S., each fell 2.0% on Friday. Chart of the Day The largest U.S. junk bond fund plunged to a six-year low on Friday… Today’s chart shows the performance of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) since 2008. HYG is the largest U.S. junk bond ETF. It holds $15 billion in junk bonds. HYG has fallen 11.3% this year, to its lowest level since 2009. HYG also crashed through a long-term “support line” during last week’s sell-off. Breaking below this support line is a bearish sign that suggests the sell-off in junk bonds will get worse. — Friday was another devastating trading session for resource stocks. The “bluest” of blue chip resource companies, BHP Billiton (BHP), dropped 5.3% to reach a new multiyear low. Shares are down 74% from their 2011 high. Coal mining giant Peabody Energy (BTU) also hit a new multiyear low. Leading agricultural chemical firm CF Industries (CF) hit a new 52-week low. Other well-known resource names hitting new lows include Anadarko Petroleum (APC, oil and gas), Southwestern Energy (SWN, oil and gas), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A, oil and gas), National Oilwell Varco (NOV, oil drilling rigs), Mosaic (MOS, agriculture), Eagle Materials (EXP, construction aggregates), and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD, coal). The story here is simple: The global economy is barely growing. And the easy money policies of global central banks allowed resource firms to borrow enormous amounts of money, which led to enormous amounts of new supply. This has many resource industries locked in a vicious cycle. Prices are falling, so many producers have increased production to make up for them. The increased supply causes prices to fall further, which leads to more production…and so on. This cycle will end with absurdly low resource prices and a wave of bankruptcies. We’ll eventually get an amazing opportunity to buy resource stocks at fire sale prices. But, for now, the trend here is still down. • Oil had another horrible week… On Friday, the price of oil fell 3.3% to $35.36, its lowest level since 2008. Oil’s 67% plunge since last June has slammed the oil industry. Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest U.S. oil producer, has plummeted 27% since last summer. Chevron (CVX), the second-largest U.S. producer, has plummeted 34% over the same period. The world simply has too much oil right now. According to the International Energy Agency, stockpiles of oil in developed countries hit an all-time high of nearly 3 billion barrels in September. Yet major producers continue to flood the market with oil… The U.S., the world’s largest oil producer, is pumping more oil than it has in nearly three decades. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is also pumping near record amounts of oil. OPEC is a cartel of 12 oil-producing countries. It accounts for 40% of global oil production. For years, OPEC set a cap on the amount of oil its members could produce. However, on December 4, OPEC scrapped the production cap. Since then, the price of oil has dropped 11%. On Friday, Bloomberg Business reported that global oil stocks have lost $240 billion in value since OPEC ended its production cap. • Casey Research founder Doug Casey called this move in oil… In October, Doug was bearish on oil prices. He said: I don’t know how long oil prices will stay low. But they’re going lower for the time being. Production is stable to up, but consumption is headed down with a slowing economy. And I’m all for oil going even lower. I hope it goes down to $10 a barrel. At that point, you can buy it reflexively and make a huge killing. But I’m still short oil at the moment. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida December 14, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to email@example.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. – 70-year old multimillionaire’s #1 step to survive America’s looming currency crisis I think you’ll be surprised just how easy this is – yet most Americans know nothing about this option. You don’t even have to send a single penny outside the U.S. to do it, either. Click here to learn more. Recommended Links You won’t see this from Bill Gates OR Richard Branson… Wall Street Journal bestselling author James Altucher just got named one of the top Influencers of the year by LinkedIn. Actually, he was #4 behind Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Mohamed El-Erian. To celebrate, he’s doing something a little bit crazy. It has something to do with showing even more people how to live the life they want to live and still get rich in the process. My hunch is that all of this is related to him hitting the “#1 Influencer” spot next year, but I could be wrong. You’ll find all of the details on the page below. What I can tell you is that if you went to Amazon to get what he’s offering, you’d be OVERPAYING by a hefty margin. How often does that happen? Click here to see what James is doing…
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 13 2019University of Sydney research provides new evidence that nanoparticles, which are present in many food items, may have a substantial and harmful influence on human health.The study investigated the health impacts of food additive E171 (titanium dioxide nanoparticles) which is commonly used in high quantities in foods and some medicines as a whitening agent. Found in more than 900 food products such as chewing gum and mayonnaise, E171 is consumed in high proportion everyday by the general population.Published in Frontiers in Nutrition, the mice study found that consumption of food containing E171 has an impact on the gut microbiota (defined by the trillions of bacteria that inhabit the gut) which could trigger diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer.Co-lead author Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski said the study added substantially to a body of work on nanoparticle toxicity and safety and their impact on health and environment.”The aim of this research is to stimulate discussions on new standards and regulations to ensure safe use of nanoparticles in Australia and globally,” he said.While nanoparticles have been commonly used in medicines, foods, clothing, and other applications, the possible impacts of nanoparticles, especially their long term effects, are still poorly understood.Titanium dioxide consumption has considerably increased in the last decade and has already been linked to several medical conditions, and although it is approved in food, there is insufficient evidence about its safety.Increasing rates of dementia, auto-immune diseases, cancer metastasis, eczema, asthma, and autism are among a growing list of diseases that have been linked to soaring exposure to nanoparticles.Related StoriesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerLiving with advanced breast cancer”It is well established that dietary composition has an impact on physiology and health, yet the role of food additives is poorly understood,” said Associate Professor Chrzanowski, a nanotoxicology expert from the University of Sydney’s School of Pharmacy and Sydney Nano Institute.”There is increasing evidence that continuous exposure to nanoparticles has an impact on gut microbiota composition, and since gut microbiota is a gate keeper of our health, any changes to its function have an influence on overall health.””This study presents pivotal evidence that consumption of food containing food additive E171 (titanium dioxide) affects gut microbiota as well as inflammation in the gut, which could lead to diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer,” he said.Co-lead author Associate Professor Laurence Macia from the University of Sydney said: “Our research showed that titanium dioxide interacts with bacteria in the gut and impairs some of their functions which may result in the development of diseases. We are saying that its consumption should be better regulated by food authorities.””This study investigated effects of titanium dioxide on gut health in mice and found that titanium dioxide did not change the composition of gut microbiota, but instead it affected bacteria activity and promoted their growth in a form of undesired biofilm. Biofilms are bacteria that stick together and the formation of biofilm has been reported in diseases such as colorectal cancer,” said Associate Professor Macia, who is an immunologist expert on the impacts of the gut and gut microbiota on health from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Charles Perkins Centre.Source: http://www.usyd.edu.au/
Breastfeeding Questions When Should I Not Breastfeed My Baby? Breastfeeding and Diet Breastfeeding, Preparing for Arrival How do I Manage Breastfeeding and Work? Breastfeeding and Hormones Breastfeeding Tips Breastfeeding During Pregnancy Further Reading The research found that infant mice breastfed by a mother who had a worm infection before getting pregnant acquired life-long protection against this infection.Unexpectedly, this effect was passed onto the infants by cells in the mother’s milk and not proteins such as antibodies. These transferred cells provided protection from worm infection throughout the body to the infant. This work shows that mothers exposed – even before pregnancy – to a globally prevalent source of infection provides long-term breastfeeding acquired immunity to infection in infants.Lead Researcher, Dr William Horsnell, from UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and the Division of Immunology said:Immune transfer from mother to infant via breastfeeding is a very important source of protection from early life infection. To the best of our knowledge this is the first demonstration that infection prior to pregnancy can transfer life-long cellular immunity to infants.The work shows that exposure to an infection before pregnancy can lead to a mother transferring long term immune benefits to her offspring. This is remarkable and adds a new dimension to our understanding of how a mother can influence our health.”Adam Cunningham, Professor of Functional Immunity at the University of Birmingham (UK) and co-director of the BactiVac Network which aims to accelerate the development of bacterial vaccines in a bid to prevent infections, added: “We are particularly interested in how these findings may help to design maternal vaccine strategies that provide longer term protection to children.”This work shows that maternal exposure to an infection can permanently alter offspring immunity. Currently vaccination of mothers to protect infants against infection is very important in boosting protection from infection to new-borns, however this protection is considered to be transient.Our work shows that this effect can also be permanent. This could lead to the design of new vaccines that will be able to be given to a mother to transfer long-term immunity to her children.”Professor Kai-Michael Toellner, also of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, added: “We hope this research will lead to human investigations into how maternal exposure to pathogens prior to pregnancy can influence infant health.”The research was carried out in collaboration with the University of Liège in Belgium, University of Cardiff, University of Washington in the US, the University of Mainz in Germany, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, in South Africa and the South African Medical Research Council.Source:University of Cape Town Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 31 2019Mothers can transfer life-long protection against infection to their infants by breastfeeding. This was the finding from new research in mice by an international team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Cape Town (UCT).Previously it was generally thought that immunity against illness is passed from mum to baby for only the period they are breastfed, and this protection ends when breastfeeding stops. It was also thought that this immunity was transferred by a mother’s proteins such as antibodies that are used by the immune system to neutralize bacteria and viruses.However, research by scientists published today in Science Advances, has found that the transfer of immunity can be long-term, beyond the period of breastfeeding. They also found that this protection was driven by the transfer of immune cells and was completely independent of antibodies. Journal reference:Darby, GM. et al. (2019) Preconception maternal helminth infection transfers via nursing long-lasting cellular immunity against helminths to offspring. Science Advances. doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav3058.