No 4 seed mens tennis earns 11th consecutive NCAA berth

The Ohio State men’s tennis team was selected as the No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday evening. The Buckeyes (30-2) will take on Ball State (15-14) at home in the tournament’s first round. “It’s an honor to be seeded at all,” senior co-captain Matt Allare said about the selection. Fellow senior co-captain Balazs Novak said the team was “kind of expecting to be seeded third.” The selection gives OSU its 11th straight appearance in the championship. Of the 64 teams that make up the 2011 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship Tournament, OSU was one of 31 teams that automatically qualified into the tournament because it won its conference championship. The team’s first match of the tournament is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 13 at the Stickney Tennis Center, or the OSU Varsity Tennis Center in the event of inclement weather. If the Buckeyes win, they will move onto the second round against the winner of the Notre Dame and East Tennessee State match, also to be hosted by OSU, at 1 p.m. on May 14. “We need to focus on the first two rounds,” Novak said. “Since we’re not one or two the pressure isn’t as great; we’re like the black sheep.” The No. 4 seed isn’t as much of a pressure-adder as it is a challenger, said senior co-captain Shuhei Uzawa. The Buckeyes have made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament in each of the past five years. This year’s team hopes to make it even further. “We’re just hoping to make it past (the quarterfinals),” Allare said. “We just want to get out of Columbus.” He added, however, that there are a lot of good teams in the tournament. “Virginia hasn’t been beaten at all, and USC are the back-to-back champions,” he said. Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Southern California and Tennessee. “We just need to give everything we’ve got,” Uzawa said. Although the team may be facing what it said is tough competition, Novak summed up the team’s goal two words: “Win it.” The last 16 teams left in the competition will head to Stanford, Calif., to compete in the last rounds of the tournament May 19–24 at the Taube Tennis Center. If the Buckeyes win the championship, they will be the first men’s tennis team in the history of the school to bring home an NCAA championship. read more

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Signing of the Air Passenger Information Services Agreement APIS

first_img Bahamian music legend gunned down at home in Turks and Caicos Bi-lateral talks with Bahamas to resume, UK gives green light to high-level TCI delegation TCI needs UK letter of approval to start APIS with CARICOM Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp(via the Bahamas Information Services)(Runaway Bay, Saint Lucia) – The Bahamas has now acceded to all three of the agreements which will facilitate the air passenger information system (APIS) which will allow the exchange of information to our border management agencies in advance of passengers getting on the plane to fly here. There were three agreements to allow this to be brought into force. Fred Mitchell MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs took the opportunity to sign the accession documents in Runway Bay, St. Lucia in the margins of the meeting of foreign ministers of Caricom on 22 May . The photo shows from left seated Alva Baptiste, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of St Lucia and Chair of the Foreign Minister’s Council (COFCOR) , Mr. Mitchell, Secretary General of Caricom Irwin Laroque and at the back Clifford Williams, Foreign services officer of The Bahamas and High Commissioner Picewell Forbes of The Bahamas. (Photo courtesy of CARICOM). Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:apis, bahamas, Fred mitchelllast_img read more

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Cant Make That Meeting Skype Could Have the Solution With 3D Video

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read September 3, 2013 Entrepreneurs know all too well the urgency of needing to be in two places at once. Thanks to Skype, we may soon be able to get one step closer. No, we’re not talking about cloning people. The Microsoft-owned company confirmed that it is developing 3-D video calling technology.It’s still a few years away at least, a Microsoft executive told the BBC. But Skype’s investment in the technology is a good sign for the 3-D format that, at times, has felt like one with niche professional appeal, but weak interest from mainstream consumers.With consumer-level 3-D projectors and screens retailing for less than $400 and $200, respectively, Gillett said the standardization of 3-D capable TV and computer displays makes delivering 3-D video calls feasible to a large consumer base. It’s capturing the 3-D image that’s the tricky part.”We’ve done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3-D screens and 3-D capture,” Gillett told the BBC. “But the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle.”It’s like having a digital body double virtually sit in for a meeting with your colleagues while you’re on the road for a sales call or even a family vacation. It could be a cool way for small teams to feel more connected when one or more member are away from the office for extended periods of time.Hollywood director James Cameron, who made the 3-D hit Avatar, says a takeover of 3-D displays is inevitable because “that’s how we see the world.”If it’s only a novelty for Hollywood, do we really need it for our video calls? Is there an added benefit to being holographically “present” when we’re physically not? Do we really want to come into the office, even virtually, when we’re on vacation?As Microsoft anticipates chief executive Steve Ballmer to step down, we’ll have to wait and see if his replacement will have the vision and desire to see that this far out technology becomes a reality.What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected] or by telling us in the comments below.  Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

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Rep Heise announces May office hours Coffee with Kurt events

first_img Categories: News 02May Rep. Heise announces May office hours, Coffee with Kurt events State Rep. Kurt Heise invites residents to meet with him during office hours or “Coffee with Kurt” in May to address questions or concerns regarding state government.“I encourage all who are available to come out on May 9 or May 20, so that I can listen to your concerns and help in any way that I can,” said Rep Heise, R-Plymouth Township. “The hardworking taxpayers in our community deserve to know what’s going on in Lansing and how it could affect them.”Rep. Heise’s in-district office hours will take place Monday, May 9, at the following locations:10-11 a.m., Parthenon Coney Island, located at 39910 Ford Road (east of I-275), CantonNoon-1 p.m., Northville District Library, located at 212 W. Cady St., Northville3-4 p.m., Plymouth District Library, located at 223 S. Main St., PlymouthResidents and business owners are also invited to join Rep. Heise for “Coffee With Kurt” on Friday, May 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Crawford’s Kitchen, located at 542 Starkweather St. in Plymouth.Rep. Heise is also available to meet with constituents by appointment either in the district or at his Lansing office. Residents are invited to call toll free 1-855-REPKURT or e-mail [email protected] to schedule an appointment.last_img read more

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In This Issue… Currency rally fades in overnigh

first_imgIn This Issue… * Currency rally fades in overnight trading… * Eurozone prints contrasting data… * RBI reduces reserve ratios… * Ted Butler on Gold & Silver… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The End Of An Era… Good day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! What a long day yesterday! After arriving here an hour earlier than I usually do, (because I couldn’t sleep!), I then had to follow the trading day with a visit to the doctor, which is not as fun as most people might think it to be! And I look forward to my next visit next Monday! NOT! The currency / Risk on, rally was quite strong yesterday, all day long! However, in the overnight markets, we’ve seen some profit taking, and reassessing of what they were doing, like pushing the euro to above 1.30. I say that because, there’s still no agreement with Greece and the private creditors… I keep hearing and reading analysts, talking about how the Greece problem is unsolvable… OK… maybe it is… but if that’s true, then what about Illinois? Or California? Why aren’t these same analysts looking at what’s going on here? Do they have blinders on? Or have they become fixated on what they claimed would happen, and until that happens (Greek defaults) they can’t think of anything else? Sure, Illinois and California, along with a handful of other states that are so deep in the red ink they are barely keeping their heads above water, have the Federal Gov’t to bail them out, right? Well… not so fast, Tim! According to Senator Jim DeMint of S.C. the Republicans have a 3-part plan to deal with the likes of these swimming in red ink states… 1. Create a legal process to allow states to renegotiate debts and union contracts like a bankruptcy 2. FORBID a congressional bailout of the states 3. FORBID the Fed to buy states’ debt Sounds like the states are in the same mess that Greece, Portugal, Ireland and the rest of the lot are in to me… But, I’m sure someone with more gray matter than me, will point out to me the things I got wrong here, they always do! And… I’m not saying that Greece won’t default… I don’t see how they pay back their debts… but then I don’t see how we as a country pay back our debts! Ok… there was some good data from the Eurozone this morning… After recent months that pointed to manufacturing contracting in the Eurozone, the flash PMI’s (manufacturing index) shows a recovery this month from 48.5 to 50.4… Yes, it’s only one month, and one data print doesn’t indicate a recovery, just as one swallow doesn’t indicate summer is here… But… as I always say… better to have a strong number than a weak one! Speaking of a weak number though… the good sign for manufacturing was offset by a weak Industrial Orders print… November saw Industrial Orders fall -2.7% from October… But remember… going into the end of the year, things were looking pretty bleak in the Eurozone, they have since taken baby steps to stabilization, as shown with the flash PMI’s today… Well… the end of an era just might happen tonight (Wednesday for Japan) when Japan is expected to print its first annual Trade Deficit since 1980! And most Japanese analysts are saying that if the yen remains strong, and global demand weak, that Japan could run trade deficits for years to come. WOW! Say it ain’t so Joe! 1980… the beginning of the decade of decadence… at least that’s what it’s called… The music of that decade was not up to par with the music of the 60’s and 70’s, but the Cardinals were in the World Series 3 times in the 80’s… Pretty interesting stuff from Japan… I still believe the yen is overvalued, given what Japan has to offer, investment wise… And if Japan does print an annual Trade Deficit, I would think that it would be the straw that broke the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) intervention silence… I would look for the BOJ to come in with both guns blazin’, selling yen, in an attempt to weaken the currency… You see… the countries like China, Singapore, Indonesia, S. Korea, and others, can beat Japan when it come to cost of product, because their wage scales are much smaller… So, it comes down to currency costs… And the yen has gotten so far out of whack with what’s going on with the other Asian exporting countries… Speaking of China… Happy New Year… there was an interesting report from China overnight that was issued by an analyst at Moodys… The analyst believes that “China’s ability to slow non-bank financing growth to its current pace is helpful to the prospects of a soft landing in the economy and development that diminishes our concerns about systemic risk.” So… another person that believe along with me that there will be moderation of the Chinese economy, not collapse… And keeping in the Asian region, I come across a story out of India this morning, that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) surprised the markets by reducing their cash reserve ratio to 5.5% from 6%… You may recall me telling you that when China reduced their reserve ratio, it was the same as a rate cut, and so too it carries the same water here… And the markets, with their strange and twisted mentality, are still rewarding currencies from countries that promote growth, so… the Indian rupee is on the rally track this morning… Just a month ago on 12/15, the rupee fell to 54.30… it has recently recovered nicely, and with today’s gains the rupee is sitting just above the 50 handle… Yesterday, I told you that India and Iran had signed currency swap agreements on their trade of Oil to remove the use of U.S. dollars… Well, then I saw a story that said that India was going to pay Iran for their Oil in Gold… Now, that’s a twist… and something I think the Indian Gov’t will re-think going forward, that is if it’s true… So.. did you see where Europe joined the U.S. in banning Iranian Oil… I think this is pretty much a symbolic move, as most of Europe’s Oil comes from Russia… But, the thought that it was banned, did push Oil higher for the first time in 4 days… And when the price of Oil goes higher, so does the value of the petrol currencies… you know, the usual suspects… Norway, Canada, Russia, U.K., Mexico, Brazil and others… I mentioned Norway… The price action was so typical yesterday… The euro gains a yard, and the krone gains 50 yards… The Norwegian Central Bank , the Riksbank is sniffing around at a rate cut, and so the rewards for promoting growth are in play again here. OK… I received quite a few notes from readers yesterday, telling me that part of the Silver move on Friday (that I said Silver was playing catch-up with Gold) came from the new Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV) buying Silver future… Ok… but I still believe that a lot of catch-up has to be made by Silver… Silver guru, Ted Butler, had this to say the other day, “Considering the technical clean out we’ve just experienced in both gold and silver over the past few months and the proximity of some key moving averages above current prices in each that threaten to be penetrated, it is not hard to envision strong price rallies. Of course, we are still discussing markets that are manipulated in price, so we must be prepared for anything. The best preparation is not to borrow or deploy margin.” And… are the bond bears waking up? They’ve been hibernating way too long… But in the past week, I’ve watched not only U.S. Treasury yields rise, but also U.K. Gilt yields rise, and German Bund yields rise… OK… all these moves are small… but I found it interesting that it wasn’t just one market that saw bond yields rise in the past week… I checked with one of my Treasury gurus, and he tells me that 2.05% yield in the 10-year Treasury is a key resistance… Well… guess what? The 10-year is at 2.05% this morning… I’ll keep my eye on this, to see if more slippage occurs today… But… the bond bears, or vigilantes are late the party… Then there was this… So… did you hear about this? The Boston Bruins hockey team visited the White House yesterday to put a final cap on their Stanley Cup win last spring… And there was someone missing… it was Tim Thomas, the goalie… and here’s the rest of the story… Goaltender , Tim Thomas, one of only two Americans from the 2011 Stanley Cup team, decided not to join his teammates. Thomas posted the following statement on his Facebook page at 6 p.m. ET:“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic.” TT Chuck again… Interesting… but even with that kind of mind frame, wouldn’t you want to visit the White House just to take in all the history? Apparently, not… But at least, he tried to take a position on that’s going on, and maybe bring it to people that would not normally see this… To recap… The currency rally that went on all day yesterday, ran out of steam in the overnight markets, but the slippage hasn’t been too bad. Greece is still in negotiations on its debt, but what about Illinois, California and the rest of the red ink swimmers? Why not the media coverage of these problem states? India reduced their reserve ratio and the rupee rallied. And Japan might just be printing their first annual Trade Deficit since 1980! Currencies today 1/24/12… American Style: A$ 1.0465, kiwi .8090, C$ .9885, euro 1.30, sterling 1.5565, Swiss $1.0780, … European Style: rand 8.00, krone 5.8785, SEK 6.7625, forint 231.95, zloty 3.3070, koruna 19.50, RUB 30.88, yen 77.30, sing 1.27, HKD 7.7605, INR 50.06, China 6.3138, pesos 13.24, BRL 1.76, Dollar Index 79.89, Oil $99.17, 10-year 2.05%, Silver $32.02, and Gold… $1,668.70 That’s it for today… I received my spring training tickets in the mail yesterday… That means it’s getting closer…I’m already envisioning me sitting in my seat at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida… Please don’t wake me up! Yesterday, I forgot to mention the HUGE win that my beloved Missouri Tigers basketball team has at then #3 Baylor last Saturday. The Tigers are now #2 in the country! WOW! And they don’t have a player taller than 6 foot 9… I sure hope I didn’t just jinx them… I’ll be doing an interview with The Street.com today regarding Gold, so I’m going to get all ready for that, and start my day here in the desk… I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

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Be polite and cooperative We humans do best when

center_img Given the scope of financial bad news – to wit, it affects the majority of households in the country, or will, and cuts across almost all age groups – the clamor for the government to do more, including using punitive taxes to wipe the smirk off the faces of the fat-cat rich folks snapping up all the bargains as in the paragraph above, will only grow louder. The politicians and the Fed, well aware of the trends in motion and needing to address out-of-control and unpayable government debts, will continue to pursue aggressively loose monetary policies, and will continue to do so until they can no longer hide the inflation by jiggering the numbers. Dear Reader,Earlier this week, while the dew was still on the ground, I slipped out for a quick nine holes at the down-market course I belong to.Given the hour, I had the place to myself except for a trio from a nearby adult housing complex who tee off every morning at 7:30 sharp, the moment the course officially opens. As I was playing solo, it only took me two holes to catch up, after which my brisk forward progress slowed to the viscosity of the maple syrup so popular in this area.It was thus, standing on the third tee communing with nature and wondering if the old dear stuck in the right bunker would ever get out, that yet another elderly gentleman landed on the second green and made quick work of it, then somewhat sheepishly (it seemed to me) fiddled with his scorecard, apparently not wishing to disturb my solitude.  Never minding a bit of company, and realizing that my forward progress was likely to remain hindered – the trio ahead of me being notorious for not encouraging others to pass through and thereby beat them off the course – I waved the new fellow over and invited him to join.Being hopelessly nosy, it was not very long thereafter that I asked Phil, my new companion, what he did for a living and was informed, after quickly consulting his watch, that exactly one month and one day earlier, he had retired after 40-some years as a housing contractor. As a consequence, he now spent his days playing golf, exercising, puttering around the house and trying his hand at writing a book.“So, how’s the whole retirement thing working out?” I asked, while waiting for one of the white-haired road blocks ahead to register a score with his third putt.At which point a cloud formed over his countenance.“Well, we planned for this for years, but we don’t have a lot of money. I think we’ll be okay. I think we have enough to cover our cost of living,” he replied, adding, “at least I hope we do.” The inflection in his voice spoke volumes about just how uncertain he actually was about his prospects.A few holes later, while killing time waiting for two of the three active oldsters to hunt down their balls in the copse of pine trees off to the left of the sixth hole, I mentioned conversationally how pleased I was with the new Foot Joy Contour Casual™ shoes I recently purchased to replace my old, worn-out shoes. The new shoes, which look and feel like a sneaker, are not only very comfortable but completely waterproof… which comes in handy when playing while the dew is still on the ground.“I have a friend who has a pair and loves them,” my companion commented, openly admiring the super-soft premium leather uppers and DuraMax™ rubber outsole. “I bought my shoes at the beginning of summer, and they have already lost their waterproofing. In fact, my feet are soaked.”“Well, these are actually quite reasonably priced,” I said helpfully, “only about $99.”His look said more than words ever could: A palatable desire to own a pair, but a desire to be left unfulfilled by the cold, hard realization that he just didn’t have the money. And probably never will.While I suspect my golf partner wasn’t aware of it, he now belongs to the new era of stoicism.My Introduction to StoicismIn my last column, on September 14, I mentioned a young genius who attended our Carlsbad Summit with her father. As you may recall, she entered MIT at 14 years old and graduated at 17, winning a highly contested Thiel Fellowship along the way.As some of you have asked, and it’s readily available in the public domain, her name is Laura Deming, and it’s her personal mission to find cures for aging and to commercialize any discoveries. (You can watch a video profile of Laura and her work on the Thiel Fellowship site).In any event, following up on a conversation I had had with Laura at our Summit, I reached out to her father, and a warm and interesting correspondence quickly developed.In the course of our correspondence, John sent me the unedited text of an interview he did with the New York Times titled “Educating Laura” (FYI, she was homeschooled). In that interview and in subsequent emails, John mentioned the positive impact his reading of the stoic philosophers has had on how he views the world. Paraphrasing, his exposure to stoicism has helped him to greatly reduce what he worries about and, as a consequence, live a far more relaxed and contented existence.Like many people, up until that point I harbored only a loose impression of stoics as rather dour individuals who habitually eschew life’s many pleasures in favor of the equivalent of a bread and water diet.Intrigued by John’s references and recognizing a blank spot in my knowledge, I turned my morning study period to the stoics and quickly realized that much of what I thought about the stoics was wrong, and the rest lacked any real appreciation for the intellectual underpinnings of the stoic philosophy.While a couple of weeks of one-hour-a-day studies in no way qualifies me as anything more than an interested amateur on the topic, I thought that you might find some of what I have learned of interest… and maybe it’ll even motivate you to learn more on your own.For reasons I’ll explain momentarily, I believe that stoicism – voluntarily and out of necessity – will once again find wide favor in the degrading Western democracies. That’s because, as you’ll read, it offers a philosophically sound and entirely positive operating methodology for those who now find themselves, like my accidental golf partner, facing what is likely to be a permanent reduction in their previous standard of living.If you wish to fully comprehend the nuances of stoic philosophy, there is much to learn. Given the time and space constraints of this publication, I can only scratch the surface, but still want to provide you with some sense of what I’ve discovered about the stoics so far.For starters, my personal take on the “big idea” of the stoics starts by acknowledging that we are humans. As humans, we share certain undeniable traits with other animals. We feel hunger. We like sex. We die. We are communal in nature. Yet, unlike other animals, we have the capacity to apply logic and reason to the matters we encounter in our everyday lives.That ability to reason gives us the capability to make choices based on what we personally believe is right or wrong. It is here that things start to get interesting.The stoic, you see, believes that the interpretation of right or wrong, good or evil, is entirely an internal affair.Or, to quote one of the most famous of the stoics, the ex-slave Epictetus, “God has entrusted me with myself.”By extension, then, the stoic doesn’t rely on dictates purportedly passed down from on high, or blindly accept as good the arbitrary rules and regulations set out by the ruling elite.Instead, the stoic uses logic and reason in attempting to understand their own nature, how they fit into the universe, and what is required to live a contented life.In the first instance, understanding their own nature, a stoic accepts things as they are, not as they might wish them to be. For instance, that they will someday die (unless Laura first comes up with a solution!). As another example of human nature, the stoics understood that we humans are communal animals and that humans do best when they work together. As a result, they believed in interacting in a positive manner with their neighbors.As to where they fit into the universe, as I interpret it, this simply recognizes that there is a certain holistic aspect to the world we live in, and going with the flow will lead to a more tranquil existence.In my opinion, it is on the latter point – understanding what’s required to live a contented life – where the stoics really shine and offer hope for the new era we have entered. In this regard, the stoics were early on in identifying and understanding that there are aspects of life they have no control over.Once they accept they have no control over a thing, a practicing stoic puts it out of his mind.On that general point, the stoic Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations, “Only a fool worries about death,” for the simple reason that it’s baked in the cake that we all die; it’s only a matter of when, and that’s nothing we have any control over. No control, no worries.Instead – and this is where the misimpression so many have of the joyless stoics comes in – the stoic lives in the moment, taking pleasure ouf of their time with loved ones (as well as the possessions they may own), but they do so with a set-in-cement understanding and acceptance that those loved ones or possessions can vanish in a heartbeat.Again, Epictetus…“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”Accepting that reality, a stoic doesn’t dwell on what the future might hold – because that’s out of their control – but lives in the moment.Desire & FearA key tenet of stoicism, as I read it, is that living a happy, contented life requires keeping both your wants and your fears to a minimum.On this topic, Epictetus, who is particularly good at putting his thoughts clearly, had much to say…“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”“The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”The implications and benefits of “right sizing” one’s desires are obvious for someone living in a society that constantly urges us to buy the latest and greatest in everything – comfortable golf shoes included – even if it means going into debt to do so.That’s not to say that wanting something is wrong, but rather that living your life in a constant state of desire – say, for the latest model of iPhone – sets you up for constant disappointment should your desire not be met. In addition, almost by definition it means you are pretty much permanently discontented with that which you already possess.Similar to setting yourself up to steady disappointment by constantly forming new desires, the vast majority of us humans waste time and set themselves up for disappointment by fearing things that are also beyond their control… for example, their own death or that of a loved one. Or the loss of their wealth or health. A true stoic fears nothing, because he or she has taken the time to identify and accept those things that they have no control over. Again, no control, no worries… it’s just a waste of time.A stoic would rather spend their time identifying the things that give them pleasure and how to get the most out of those things for as long as they have access to them. But, again, there is nuance in the concept.As an illustration, a stoic might agree that imbibing a fresh, cold glass or two of Torrontés wine while sitting in a café with friends is an enjoyable thing to do. That enjoyment comes from a combination of flavor, ambience, companions and the soothing effect a glass of wine has on the human mind. But far too many people come to believe that if a little alcohol is good, then more will be better. Yet that convivial scene just mentioned is, I think you would agree, an entirely different thing than downing a bottle of whiskey night after night, an action that will over time ruin your health and lead only to sadness.“It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.”The nuance in that quote, again from Epictetus, is not that you should deny yourself all pleasures… but rather enjoy them in moderation, for that’s how to enjoy them most.The benefits of delaying gratification may have a scientific foundation as well. In the Marshmallow Experiment, researchers at Stanford placed children alone in a room with a single snack. The kids were informed they would be left alone for 15 minutes and if they could wait until the researcher returned, they could have two snacks. On the other hand, if they just couldn’t wait, they could ring a bell and the researcher would return immediately and the child could eat the single snack. (A number of the children didn’t bother ringing the bell; they just gobbled down the snack.)While the test was originally set up to test one thing, by happenstance some years later the lead researcher stumbled upon a strong correlation between the kids who couldn’t wait and a host of lifelong poor choices leading to higher drug use, lower SAT scores, less successful careers, higher divorce rates and so forth.(Somewhat related, there is another body of research that shows that kids who grow up in high-stress environments overdevelop the part of the brain dealing with flight or fight, resulting in just the sort of pathology that would cause them to fail the Marshmallow Experiment… but I drift.)I had a very close friend who built a fortune worth on the order of $40 million, then died young of a drug overdose. His wealth meant he could have anything he wanted, and he had no shortage of “things”… yet, with no philosophical underpinnings to his life, he died chasing his transient pleasures, and miserably so.So, how do you find the day-in, day-out tranquility that is the quest of the stoic?For starters, spend some time thinking about what you really need in life, versus just those things you want. I have had a lot of fun doing this as part of my morning studies. As I look at the clutter around me from past fulfilled desires – a motorized canoe, a pool table, a Polaris Ranger, a fishing boat – all of which now sit largely unused, I can only shake my head at the folly of my chasing after material things of marginal utility.Secondly, learn to understand and accept that the nature of things means that a wide range of outcomes is possible in every aspect of your life… including your every interaction with other humans.An opportunity to practice being stoic was provided by my family’s need to visit a passport office about an hour’s drive away to renew a passport last week. As I knew this would entail interacting with human government agents, I mentally prepared myself for a wide range of possible outcomes, all of which would sync with the nature of humans. On one end of the range, the agents might be friendly and cooperative, or they could be bland and mediocre. Or they might be aggressive and antagonistic, even arbitrarily denying us that which we desired – prompt action in renewing the passport ahead of our upcoming trip.To a stoic, whether the agents are friendly or antagonistic would be irrelevant. That’s because you would accept that any of the outcomes mentioned above is very much within the range of possibility. Thus, the stoic would arrive at the passport office with zero expectations, instead paying attention only to what is within their own control – for instance, by making sure they had the required paperwork in hand. Furthermore, the stoic would approach the member of officialdom in a spirit of cooperation, because of the undeniable truth that humans do best when cooperating.If they were then met with an ignorant and agonistic bureaucrat, they might politely try to show the person the error in their logic, without judging the person themselves – because they are only human, after all, and thus, by definition, ignorance and antagonism are well within the norm – but they wouldn’t get upset because they entered the office knowing that that very outcome was always a possibility.If, at the end of the interchange, the stoic is denied what they seek, they would not worry about it, but rather go about their business on an alternative path. In our case, the transaction went off smoothly, which was just icing on the cake.While that may seem overly sheepish, when you ponder the matter from the perspective of living a happy life – a life that is largely free from frustration and fear – it begins to make sense. In the case above, if I had arrived at the passport office with a pre-determined attitude that the agent was going to be an ignorant government functionary, and that I was going to get my way regardless, I’d have been setting myself up for frustration.First off, my negative attitude would very likely have been communicated in conscious or unconscious ways to the person I was there to interact with, hurting the chances for cooperation. Secondly, if things didn’t go as planned, my frustration could have easily boiled over… causing my blood pressure to soar and maybe causing me to end up face down with my arms cuffed behind my back.Now, don’t get me wrong. I could be entirely in the right about my expectations – that the bureaucrat should just speed things along smoothly. But that’s not what I’m trying to get at. What I am trying to get at is that the stoics spent their lives studying what it takes to live a joyful life, and came to the conclusion that it begins with accepting the world as it is, and by adopting a mental framework that allows us humans to all but eliminate frustration and worries, thereby living our lives to the fullest.Put to music, I suspect the stoics would nod in agreement at the title of the classic Rolling Stones hit, You Can’t Always Get What You Want (but you can sometimes get what you need).But I go on too long, so let me move along.In his book, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, author William Irvine makes the valid point that most people go through life without an operational philosophy: we humans just don’t think about this stuff very much anymore. And so the masses ultimately confuse passing pleasures with life fulfilled and so spend far too much time and money chasing them.That lack of an operating philosophy also leaves us, individually and as a society, open to easy manipulation… for example, by banks and governments that urge us to go into debt. Or the media that try to work us up into a frenzy of greed, fear or anger in order to get more eyeballs on their advertising.What I find refreshing about the stoic philosophy as a foundation for life is that it offers a clear framework for dealing with pretty much whatever life throws your way, starting by taking control of what you can control and not worrying about the rest.While I have only scratched the surface of the ideals the philosophy contains, and in a moment will try to coherently tie these musings into matters relevant to the economy, to help set the baseline understanding of what a stoic is, here are some additional quotes from Epictetus you might appreciate…The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.All religions must be tolerated… for every man must get to heaven in his own way.Only the educated are free.First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.If you wish to be a writer, write.Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother.Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.You are a little soul carrying around a corpse.No man is free who is not master of himself.He is a drunkard who takes more than three glasses though he be not drunk.Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going.We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope.The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.Practice yourself in little things, and then proceed to greater.Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.Never in any case say I have lost such a thing, but I have returned it. Is your child dead? It is a return. Is your wife dead? It is a return. Are you deprived of your estate? Is not this also a return?Silence is safer than speech.Control thy passions lest they take vengeance on thee.For those of you who are interested in learning more about stoics, following is an excerpt from my email correspondence with John Deming, in which he replies to my request for a good starting point in studying the stoics.As for stoicism, there are two entry points. And by the way, it certainly doesn’t hurt to impart stoicism to kids but with one huge caveat that I mentioned in the NY Times responses. Stoicism can easily turn into resignation to one’s fate. Wrong! The stoics do not teach that, but it can be one derivative interpretation of their meaning. But that sort of resignation is what killed progress all over Asia for 2,000 years. Buddha came to some of the same conclusions as Chrysippus, the original Greek stoic, but ended up with the concept of nirvana, one of the most counterproductive concepts ever conceived. Mises, by the way, utterly destroys the concept of nirvana and heaven in several places.First entry is through the modern field of psychology called cognitive therapy pioneered by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis. One of the best and most accessible books is Feeling Good by David Burns. Any book by David Burns or Aaron Beck is good.But when I discovered Epictetus at David Burns’ recommendation, I hit gold. As usual, since all the original stoic works are in Latin, the translation makes a huge difference.Best entry into the original stoics is with one of the later ones, Marcus Aurelius. The best, most accessible translation (for any age) of Marcus Aurelius’s thought is the recent edition published by David and Scot Hicks titled The Emperor’s Handbook, A New Translation of The Meditations. Unfortunately, it’s not available on Kindle.Another useful entry point is William B. Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, which is available on Kindle.The thing I like about Irvine’s book is that he avoids the Buddhist interpretation but gets the heart of the philosophy and its life-changing advice just right, in my opinion.David again. In addition to reading Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, I am well into Irvine’s book and agree that it’s a great overview of the philosophy and the role it can play in living a more fulfilled existence, one that is largely disconnected from the ideals embodied in the now debunked American dream.Which brings me, finally, to…The New StoicsSimply stated, based on the work we have done here at Casey Research, we believe that the long-running fiction that debt is money is coming to an end, and with it the debt-fueled, artificially higher quality of life enjoyed by young and old alike.The chart below shows the decline in the inflation-adjusted net worth of American families, broken down by income percentiles. As you can see, the folks in the top income bracket – shown in orange – continue to do well. And understandably so: just as a one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind, so are the families who have a tangible net worth kings in the land where everyone else only has debt.But it is the decline in net worth for “everyone else” that is so startling. It is the very picture of Doug Casey’s definition of a depression – a widespread decline in the standard of living.(Click on image to enlarge)In this next chart, we look at the change in family net worth by age group. Even a glance at the chart shows that while all the age groups have taken a hit in this crisis, even those who have lived the longest and therefore had the most time to accumulate wealth, the younger demographics have been absolutely crushed.That includes, it is well worth noting, the pre-retirement age group of 55 through 64. At a time when they should be building net worth to retire on, they are skidding hard in the wrong direction.(Click on image to enlarge)In the next chart, we see the inflation-adjusted median family net worth in the United States. Again, a couple of things leap out.One being that the country’s family units have taken a big haircut in the crisis. Most starkly, fully half of the families in the United States have less than $80,000 in total net worth.(Click on image to enlarge)Even in the top three deciles (not shown here), you find, in ascending order, an average net worth per family of just $128,000 and $286,000, respectively. Only in the very top percentile does the average family net worth – at $1.194 million – approach something a person can rely on to see them through a long retirement.Given the real rate of inflation and the near-certainty that it’s only going to get worse from here due to the money printing, it should be clear that the majority of Americans are in dire straits – though many of them don’t fully understand the serious consequences of that coming inflation to them personally.Put another way, the average person here in the US – and in most of the large Western economies – is on a well-greased slope to a new paradigm where their every desire can no longer be satisfied simply by pulling out a piece of plastic or hopping down to the local bank for a home equity loan.That’s not to say that the process of shifting from a consumer society to a saver society is anywhere near complete. In fact, thanks in no part to the banks being made whole by the Fed’s various machinations and lower interest rates, total consumer credit has rebounded to new highs.(Click on image to enlarge)But, more tellingly, the household debt service ratio has fallen sharply. There are a number of reasons for this, including people walking away from debts during and after the big crash. In addition, the Fed’s cramming down of interest rates has brought the cost of credit – especially on mortgages – way down. That said, I also believe a big part of the fall-off in the debt service ratio is that people are waking up to the hard reality that they can no longer sustain their previous “have it all” lifestyles.(Click on image to enlarge)As a consequence of the simple realities encapsulated in the charts above, and the overarching pressures of the excessive debts at all levels that will remain a burden on the economy for as far as we can see, I suspect that an increasing number of individuals – maybe entire generations – will rediscover the commonsense ideas of the stoics.Specifically, that it’s better to live within your means, and that owning every new gadget is not a birthright. The party is over, but for the stoic, life couldn’t be better.Some Closing ThoughtsSo, what’s it all mean, in terms of the economy, going forward?Household deleveraging is likely to continue. That will put downward pressure on prices for non-essentials. Of course, this is all so much the better for the top percentile, who will be able to leverage their net worth to take advantage of the fire sales caused by deflation. Moderation in all things, including your excesses. Too much of a good thing is, well, too much of a good thing. Buying every new toy won’t make you happy and neither will being immoderate in your pleasures… whether it be adult beverages, sex, even physical exercise – I have a relative who is a total adrenaline junkie and one tick off needing institutionalization as a result of over-exercise. Miscellaneous“enuf, I’m out of here…” That’s how a friend titled an email in which he sent along an article that I quote from here. Here’s the quote…Having been held hostage by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the private contractor in charge of the state’s toll road, Faneuil, Inc. at a toll booth last year for paying cash and refusing to have a report filled out on them and their vehicle, Joel, Deborah and Robert Chandler filed suit.“Under FDOT policies in place at the time, motorists who paid with $50 bills, and occasionally even $5 bills, were not given permission to proceed until the toll collector filled out a ‘Bill Detection Report’ with data about the motorist’s vehicle and details from his driver’s license. Many of those who chose to pay cash did so to avoid the privacy implications of installing a SunPass transponder that recorded their driving habits,” reports The Newspaper.“They were likewise unwilling to provide personal information to the toll collector, but they had no alternative because the toll barrier would not be raised without compliance. FDOT policy does not allow passengers to exit their vehicle, and backing up is illegal and usually impossible while other cars wait behind.”The three-judge panel dismissed the suit, ruling that detaining motorists in order to record details about people who paid by cash was not a constitutional violation and that the state and the contractor could subject motorists to such treatment because, “In Florida, a person’s right and liberty to use a highway is not absolute.”This is merely the latest example in a growing trend of authorities treating people who use cash to pay for goods, bills or services as suspicious. Given that the use of cash cannot be used to track purchases or movements of individuals, extra layers of bureaucracy and intimidation are becoming institutionalized in order to dissuade people from using hard currency as part of the move towards a cashless society.David again. I have written in the past about the inevitability of government’s outlawing cash in favor of debit and credit cards. Once that happens, it will be a brave new world indeed, as our every transaction is logged and stored for further reference. I am betting it will happen before this crisis ends.Notification of pending stock sale. Per our corporate policies, a staff member has informed us he needs to raise some cash by selling half of a small position he holds in First Majestic Silver, which is currently being covered in one of our services. This is in no way a reflection of our view of the company, just a personal need for some liquidity.And with that, I will sign off for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a Casey Research subscriber. I hope I didn’t go on too long on the whole stoic thing; I just found it all quite interesting and thought you might, too.Until next week!David GallandManaging DirectorCasey Researchlast_img read more

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The silver chart was a mini version of the gold ch

first_img The silver chart was a mini version of the gold chart—and after the 10 a.m. EDT rally got capped, the silver price traded pretty flat for the remainder of the day in New York. The high and low ticks were recorded as $19.87 and $19.575 in the May contract. Silver closed the Thursday session at $19.69 spot, down only 4.5 cents on the day.  Considering the price action in early trading in London, I’d call yesterday’s price action in New York a win.  Volume, net of March and April, was 37,500 contracts, which wasn’t a lot compared to other days. Of course, as I reported in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, the long knives were out for palladium—and the metal was down over 3% in short order during the first hour of trading in London.  The subsequent rally, such as it was, got cut off at the knees at 11 a.m. in New York.  Then it got sold down to its absolute low of the day, which came minutes before 3 p.m. in electronic trading.  Then, like platinum, it rallied a few dollars into the close.  And just as a point of interest, the high/low in palladium in the June contract [the current front month] on Thursday was $782.20 and $756.35—an intraday move of 3.3%. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon at 80.006—and by the end of the Thursday session had chopped its way up to 80.13.  Nothing to see here once again. Gold closed firmly below both its 50 and 200 day moving averages yesterday It was another day when not much happened during the Far East trading session—and volumes were microscopic.  But as you already know, that all changed once London opened.  At that point the gold price got sold down a bit more than six bucks—and I was expecting the worst when I got up late yesterday morning, but was much relieved to find out that the worst had already past.  Gold rallied a bit until precisely 10 a.m. EDT in New York, before getting sold down for the remainder of the day. The CME Group recorded the high and low ticks at $1,307.60 and $1,289.60 in the April contract.  Glancing at Friday morning activity in Hong Kong right now, I note that most of the trading activity is now in the new front month, which is June. Gold closed in New York on Thursday afternoon at $1,291.70 spot, down $14.10 from Thursday’s close.  Not surprisingly, gross volume was over the moon at 335,000 contracts, as all the large traders [except those standing for delivery] had to be out of their April positions by the Comex close yesterday.  Net volume was a tiny 34,000 contracts.  And, as an aside, the rest of the traders have to be out of their April positions by the end of the Comex session today.  That applies to all Comex contracts, regardless of the commodity. Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff  the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation which was updated in March 2013. Indicated resources are 3.41 million tonnes averaging 1.48 g/t Au for 162,000 ounces, and Inferred resources are 53.25 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t Au for 1,799,000 ounces of gold utilizing a cutoff value of 0.5 grams/tonne (g/t) as a possible open pit cutoff. Please send us an email for more information, [email protected] After Wednesday’s big sell-offs in the mining stocks, I was happy [and relieved] to see rallies in these same stocks even though the prices for  gold or silver didn’t finished in the plus column.  It was obvious that someone was bargain hunting. This afternoon at 3:30 p.m. EDT, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report—and if all the data for the reporting week was filed with the CFTC in a timely manner, we should see some rather significant improvements in the commercial net short positions in both gold and silver—and whatever the numbers show, I’ll have that for you tomorrow. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is still 90 minutes away—and with the exception of palladium, the other three precious metals are up a bit.  Volumes are about average for this time of day—and the dollar index is still barely above the 80.00 mark. And as I send this off to Stowe, Vermont—all four precious metals haven’t changed much, although the tiny rallies in gold and silver got sold down a hair at the London open.  Volumes are higher, but still reasonably light—and there’s a lot of roll-over activity in gold, which is to be expected.  The dollar index is up a whole 10 basis points since London opened. I have no idea what to expect in New York trading action later this morning, but since it’s Friday and the end of the month, we should be prepared for any eventuality. Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. It was virtually the same price action in the silver equities as well—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 1.35%. The gold stocks opened down, but quickly rallied into positive territory, hitting their high of the day at 10 a.m. EDT on the dot.  From there they sold off in fits and starts until the low was in shortly before 3 p.m.  Then a buyer showed up and bid the stock back into positive territory—and the HUI closed up 0.81%. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved warehouses on Monday.  As I said in this space yesterday, it was my opinion that the March delivery was complete as of Wednesday’s report—and that has turned out to be the case. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 10:15 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. For the third week in a row, there was no in/out activity in SLV—and Joshua Gibbons’ report is the same as it has been since early March—and this is what he had to say about it on his website last evening: “Analysis of the 26 March 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list. No bars were added, removed, or had serial number changes. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 99.8 troy ounces. All daily changes are reflected on the bar list. This is three straight weeks with no silver added or removed to SLV, the longest since we started keeping track in July, 2010.”  The link to Joshua’s website is here. The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report.  They sold 25,000 silver eagles—and that was it. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase reported receiving 160,750 troy ounces of gold—and if you divide that number by 32.15—which is the number of troy ounces in a kilobar of any precious metal—you come up with precisely 5 metric tonnes to the ounce.  Nothing was reported shipped out.  The link to that activity is here. There was pretty decent activity in silver, as nothing was reported received, but 764,360 troy ounces were reported shipped out for parts unknown.  Most of the activity was at HSBC USA—and the link to that is here. I have an average number of stories for a weekday column—and there should be a couple in here that pique your interest. While the 40% change in ownership of the entire COMEX copper futures market in less than three months is an extreme example of the force that the technical funds can exert on a market, it is not an aberration. In the first two and a half months of this year on the $200 rise in [the gold] price, the technical funds bought a net 120,000 contracts of COMEX gold futures, or 37.5% of the net total open interest of that market. In COMEX silver, some 25,000 contracts were bought by the technical funds in just one month (Feb 4 to March 4), or 23% of the entire market, on a $2.50 rally.  Similar technical fund movements and resultant price changes can be verified in other markets. The key point here is that it is undeniable that collective technical fund buying and selling causes prices to rise and fall. It is not possible that a sudden 25% to 40% change in the ownership of a total market wouldn’t be the price driver, almost to the exclusion of any other factor. In the short term, technical fund buying or selling is the only supply and demand equation that matters. It’s why I’ve studied the Commitments of Traders Report for 30 years. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 26 March 2014 It was another day of surprises in the precious metal market—and I must admit that I was expecting more price damage then we got by the time I got out of bed late yesterday morning.  But, with the exception of gold, virtually all of the downside was in, in all the other precious metals by the time I went to bed about two hours after the London open. Gold closed firmly below both its 50 and 200 day moving averages yesterday, but Ted and I feel that we haven’t seen the final washout to the downside in either gold or silver.  And as Ted pointed out, it’s not always the price that determines when the bottom is in, it’s the number of long contracts that JPMorgan et al can force the technical funds to puke up with their HFT antics.  We’ll find out soon enough when the bottom is in—and that will be determined by how quickly “da boyz” slice the salami to the downside.  They way they’re going now, it could take a while.  I’d prefer the end to come with a big burst to the downside, but JPMorgan et al always prefer to take their time with a little slice each day, with the odd tiny rally sprinkled in every once in a while.  I’d prefer it to happen in a couple of day—but it could take a couple of months. Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver once again, so you can keep a running tab on how the salami is being sliced—and as Jim Rickards said: “If I were running the manipulation, I would actually be embarrassed at this point because it’s so blatant.”  And except for the willfully blind—and all the precious metal mining companies—it’s certainly all of that. Sponsor Advertisement Platinum rallied ten bucks in the first two hours of trading in the Far East on their Thursday morning but, like gold and silver, once London opened the selling began, but ended at precisely 12 o’clock noon in New York.  After that, the price gained a few bucks into the close, finishing down on the day by a handful of dollars.last_img read more

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