Tag: 南京夜生活

first_imgBy DAVID CRARY and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — LGBT leaders are reacting furiously to a report that the Trump administration is considering a new definition of gender that would effectively deny federal recognition and civil rights protections to transgender Americans.Activists are pledging legal challenges if such a change is put in place, and they say it would run counter to numerous court rulings.(Courtesy Image/commons.wikimedia.org)According to The New York Times, a draft memo circulated by the Health and Human Services Department proposes defining gender as an immutable biological condition determined by a person’s sex organs at birth.Such a policy, if in place, would be the latest administration move targeting transgender rights. That includes an attempt by President Donald Trump to ban transgender people from military service.The administration has refused to comment on the memo.last_img read more

first_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. July 28, 2014 By now we’re all used to seeing security cameras perched on rooftops, on street corners, in lobbies and countless other locations in big cities. Even in smaller towns. But what if there are cameras out there, watching you, that you can’t see? Oh, there are. Thanks to a startup called Placemeter, there are cameras all over New York City, staring down at you from people’s apartments. And you’d probably never know it.Related: Say Hello to the Robotic Personal Assistant of Your DreamsPlacemeter’s “Meter” program offers individuals in NYC up to $50 a month to install a camera on a street-facing window in their apartment to record what’s happening outside. It’s looking to get a view of stores, restaurants and bars. And lots of people. On the front end, the system is super low-tech. Placemeter says participants use a suction cup to place an old cell phone to their window. Any old Any Android, iPhone or iPod Touch with a camera will do. Placemeter can provide the cell phone if a person doesn’t have an old one handy, but it will deduct one month’s payment for supplying it.From there, the phones connect to the Placemeter app which feeds the images and data the phone captures back to Placemeter. It is run through the company’s image-recognition algorithms, which can discern between pededstrians and cars and storefronts.Related: This Startup Aims to Warn You About Spying DronesThen, apparently, Placemetter discards the data. “Placemeter’s technology and camera networks are not used to track individuals,” the company says on its website. “We will not use our Meters’ data to identify any pedestrians through our video streaming…ever.”The skeptic in some of us might find that difficult to believe. Placemeter also doesn’t capture information from inside a person’s home — only the goings-on outside the apartment, it says.Placemeter was founded in 2012 by CEO Alex Winter and COO Florent Peyre. They say the idea is to help cities better understand how many people are in a space at any given time. Consumers can use it to know — for instance — how long the line at their favorite hamburger joint is or to record video of people driving too fast down the street.One of Placemeter’s first initiatives was to partner with NYC’s “Business Atlas” program, which uses cameras to record foot traffic in all five boroughs. In addition to foot traffic, the program aims to supply users with information such as neighborhood-level population and income. Related: A Venture Capital Firm Just Named an Algorithm to Its Board of DirectorsFor entrepreneurs, this can be a handy tool for market-research or for making location-specific business decisions.Of course, other companies, like ShopperTrak, have been tracking and analyzing foot traffic in and around businesses for decades.Placemeter wouldn’t say how many people are participating in NYC’s Meter program, but a representative pointed out that the company has more than 700 “viable applications.” Beyond NYC, Placemeter aims to expand to other cities in the U.S. and abroad. The representative did not say which cities the company is targeting first.Either way, Placemeter has its eyes on you.Related: How Google Is Taking Over Our Livescenter_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 3 min readlast_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue.*Rumors say Spain to request assistance. *RBA cuts rates. *S. African Gov’t bonds get added to an index. *What ZIRP does to savers.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!U.S. Manufacturing “Unexpectedly Rebounds”?Good day.  And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! One down, one to go! My beloved Cardinals just need to win 1 more game to ensure that they are a presence in the playoffs for the 3rd time in the last 4 years.  This is fingernail biting stuff for yours truly, and I had to just go to bed to keep the finger nails that I have intact!It’s fingernail biting  for Spain even with the somewhat good results of their recent bank audit. There are rumors going ’round that someone’s underground, and that Spain will finally ask for Eurozone help. There’s nothing on the docket that would give the Spanish PM an opportunity to formally ask for help, so maybe not today.  the euro has not let those rumors get in the way of adding to its gains, albeit minimum gains, VS the dollar.   Yes, the euro has gained VS the dollar the past two days, with skinny moves, but positive nonetheless. As I tell people all the time, look at this mess in the Eurozone, doesn’t it look like the euro should be trashed?  But it’s not. at least not so far, so what does that tell you about the dollar?The Big News overnight was that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) took my suggestion, (I’m sure they all read the Pfennig!) and went ahead and made that rate cut now that was thought to be in the works sometime before year-end. The RBA made certain that they made everyone understand that uncertainty in China is the main reason they cut rates.  The Aussie dollar (A$) saw some selling after the rate cut announcement, but in reality, most of the selling and downward movement in the price of the A$ had already taken place, as the markets, (like I always tell you) tried to be ahead of the crowd.I think you can get a lot of information from the reaction of the A$ to the news.  yes, it was sold right after the announcement, but it has rebounded a bit and found a home just above $1.03.  That tells me that traders view this rate cut for what it was, bringing forward the rate cut that was expected by year-end, instead of the RBA sending a signal of OMG!   The A$ would be still be getting sold, if it was the latter, so. like I  said, we can get a lot of information in the way the A$ has traded.But at the end of the day, folks. you have to wonder if the A$ can maintain these lofty figures above parity, given what the rest of the world is doing to their currencies.  I once scoffed at the idea of a currency war, but that was long ago in a far away galaxy. That’s when countries like Australia, and Norway and Sweden and Canada were raising their interest rates, and making their currencies more attractive.  Those rate hikes are a thing of the past now.  You have to question just what is the goal of debasing one’s currency just because other countries are debasing their currencies. Like I used to tell my kids, when they would tell me that “but everyone else is doing X” I would say, “but don’t you want to be better than everyone else?”   I think a few countries that have good fundamentals like the 4 I mentioned above would do well to want to be better than everyone else!Hey! Like I’ve told you a couple of times now, the A$ is getting bought by Central Banks around the world, as a diversification to their reserves, so at least it has that underpinning going for it!You know, I talk a lot about the manipulation that I believe goes on in both Silver and Gold. (we all know it goes on in stocks, can you say QE1, QE2, or QE3? I knew you could!)  And yesterday, I sat here and watched Gold soar in the morning moving to +$18 on the day. only to see that wiped out in a matter of minutes!  How does that happen? Sure, you could see some profit taking, limit the gains, but to see $18 of gains wiped out in a matter of minutes?  I shake my head in disgust.   and again, tell you all that the only way we’ll see these shenanigans stop is to see truck load on truck load of buying in both physical, Gold & Silver.I had a reader send me a link to a story on what the write believed to be a manipulation of the price of Oil.  Sure, that could happen easily, but at this point, I would have to believe that with the price of Oil around $92, which happens to be close to the total cost of getting it out of the ground and to the refinery, that the manipulation is watered down right now.Did you see that the South African rand, which has really been beaten up lately, rallied on the news that Citigroup had added South African Government Bonds to the Citigroup World Government Bond Index?  This is always news when an asset gets added to an index, which means investors that follow that index have to buy the asset. And when you buy S. African Gov. Bonds, you  have to buy the rand to clear the transaction. So, the rand, visa vie the index inclusion gets to rally.Don’t expect this to carry on long though. Usually by the time everyone knows about the new addition to an index, the major buying is over. But, the good news for the rand is that it finally is a part of something that could be an underpinning.Yesterday, here in the U.S. the data cupboard brought us the news that the U.S. Manufacturing Index (ISM) unexpectedly rebounded in September from August. This was the first expansion of the manufacturing activity in the U.S. since May.  For those of you keeping score at home, the September print was 51.5, up from 49.6 in August.  But, just when you think the U.S. economy is on the rebound, Construction Spending drops by -.6% in August, marking the second straight monthly decline following the -.4% drop in July.Don’t you find it strange that the manufacturing index “unexpectedly rebounded in September?” I do. We’ve seen all the regional manufacturing reports come in negative as can be, but when you add it all together it “unexpectedly rebounds?” I can’t say it any other way than to just come out and say that it appears to me that the books have been cooked.  if I say anything in addition to that, it would sound political, so I’m not going there, no sir! Just move along, these are not the droids we’re looking for!While I’m here in the U.S. this looks like a good place to bring out the Ross Perot card. Remember Ross Perot?  Remember how people laughed at his thoughts  back in 1992? Well, he pretty much nailed everything that has happened since, way back then.   Well, he’s made a new statement, that, by the way, is pretty much in line with what I’ve been saying for years now.Here’s Ross Perot. “”We’re on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. Otherwise, we’re leaving a disaster to our children’s and our grandchildren’s future,” he said.“If we are that weak, just think of who wants to come here first and take us over and the last thing I ever want to see is to see this country, our country taken over because we’re so financially weak we can’t do anything and we’re moving in that direct. . We could even lose our country if we don’t get this fixed and straightened out and nobody that’s running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.”You tell ’em Ross!  It doesn’t matter whether you like him or not, what he’s saying is the same stuff I’ve been saying for 10 years now.  our national security is at risk when we have so much debt and have to depend on a country like China to keep us afloat.  Think about that for a minute and then you’ll see what I’m talking about.The U.S. data cupboard only has vehicle sales today for us to view, not a market mover, so the focus will be on the Eurozone once again.  I saw that Spanish unemployment was some astronomical number, twice the previous month’s number (80,000 I believe), but these things shouldn’t shock us, for this is what happens when a country is allowed to build up debt, make promises it shouldn’t, and then one day finds out that the game of musical chairs it was playing, had the music stop and they were without a chair! Social unrest like we saw and continue to see in Greece is to be expected, as spending cuts begin to hurt.  Now, if we here in the U.S. were to actually cut spending, and not spread it over 10 years, but cut it now to balance our budget, which is what these countries in the Eurozone are attempting to achieve, the social unrest in this country would be the same. I know, I had a reader tell me the other day that he didn’t think it would happen, because he believes that Americans have become lazy, and will just accept what the Gov’t sticks them with.  I don’t believe that to be true.  For instance. 46 million people (and the number is rising every day) received food stamps.  Tell those 46 million people that their food stamps are going to be reduced.   I for one, don’t even want to think about that!PIMCO’s Bill Gross (the bond king) backed the studies by the Congressional Budget Office, the IMF and Bank for International Settlements that suggest the U.S. needs to cut spending or raise taxes by 11% of GDP, and rather quickly over the next five to 10 years.  “Unless we begin to close this gap, then the inevitable result will be that our debt/ GDP ratio will continue to rise, the Fed would print money to pay for the deficiency, inflation would follow, and the dollar would inevitably decline”- Bill Gross..OK. on to other stuff, for all this is giving me a rash! I’m just one cheery story after another this morning, eh?  Sorry.  but it is what it is. no reason to cherry top it.Zero or near zero interest rates, are really beginning to bite! My friend Dennis, sent me this, and it illustrates the problems for savers with a zero interest rate policy or ZIRP as they call it on the street.It would take $22,000 invested in a taxable money market earning +4.54% (the national average yield 5 years ago in October 2007) to generate $1,000 of taxable income over the course of a year. It would take $3.3 million invested in a taxable money market earning +0.03% (the national average today) to generate $1,000 of taxable income over the course of a year in 2012.Chuck! You said you were going to get away from the non-cheery stuff, but then you talk about ZIRP?  Liar, liar, pants on fire!   BTW a great old song from the Castaways!Then There Was This. from the WSJ. “New York’s top prosecutor opened a new front in efforts to hold banks accountable for the financial crisis by filing a civil lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., alleging widespread fraud by the company’s Bear Stearns unit in the sale of mortgage-backed securities.Since 2008, state and federal regulators have launched dozens of probes to determine whether banks broke securities laws or were simply guilty of errors of judgment. Regulators have achieved some record-breaking penalties and investors have secured some significant victories. Bank of America Corp. agreed Friday to pay $2.43 billion to settle claims it misled investors about the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., in the largest shareholder class-action settlement tied to the meltdown. BofA didn’t admit wrongdoing.”Chuck again. Hey, don’t the regulators have some cards in this game too? They sat there and watched all this going on, and failed to bring enforcement actions in relation to some of the biggest blowups, such as the collapse of Lehman Bros.  I just don’t think they get to get off scot-free!To recap. The RBA did go ahead and cut rates last night by 25 Basis Points (1/4%), thus bringing forward the expectation that they would cut rates one more time before year-end.  The A$ got sold following the announcement, but has found a home around $1.03. Rumors are all around that Spain will finally formally request Eurozone assistance, but not today, as nothing is on the docket for them to do so. U.S. Manufacturing “unexpectedly rebounded” in Sept from August. Chuck’s spider sense is tingling, and suspects some major book cooking!Currencies today 10/2/12. American Style: A$ $1.0315, kiwi .8325, C$ $1.0180, euro 1.2915, sterling 1.6140, Swiss $1.0670, . European Style: rand 8.3635, krone 5.7005, SEK 6.6045, forint 221.25, zloty 3.1755, koruna 19.3815, RUB 31.08, yen 78.15, sing 1.2290, HKD 7.7545, INR 52.37, China 6.3230, pesos 12.82, BRL 2.0265, Dollar Index 79.74, Oil $92.71, 10-year 1.64%, Silver $34.80, and Gold. $1,778.35That’s it for today. we have a ton of EverBank employees from everywhere in the office today. And they get a special treat when they get to hear me give them my thoughts on World’s economies. I’m going to borrow a line from my good friend, the Mogambo Guru, and simply tell them that “we are all freakin’ doomed”!   Happy Birthday to Dane Moody.. Dane is in our Wealth Management Div, and I’ve known Dane since he was about 4 or 5. His dad is a very good friend of mine, and one of my spring training traveling buddies! And one of the best cooks at a grill or smoker that I’ve ever known!  I’ve missed quite a few co-worker birthdays, in recent times, so I apologize for those omissions!  Now, let’s go out and have a Tom Terrific Tuesday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

first_imgIt’s all too easy to get lost in the misinformation and politicking surrounding Obamacare. Dr. Vliet, an independent physician and the past director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (whom I had the good fortune to meet when she spoke at the last Casey Summit) graciously agreed to sit down and clear the fog shrouding the new healthcare law for us. A warm thank you to Dr. Vliet for carving out time in her busy schedule to chat with us today.Dennis Miller: Thank you for speaking with us today. I’ve been fielding reader questions on Obamacare, and, as with all topics, I strive to give straightforward answers. Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., former Lt. Governor of New York, has written a book titled Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for the New Healthcare Law. According to her research, seniors will be hit the hardest. McCaughey recommends that seniors get hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries done before January 1, 2014, as these procedures will become particularly hard to get. I want to set cost concerns aside for a moment and focus on care. There’s no point in worrying about money if medical care is unavailable or inaccessible. Can you expand on the issue of care being denied, particularly for seniors?Dr. Vliet: The goal of the new healthcare law—AKA Obamacare—has been to reduce expenditures for medical services to seniors and shift those funds into the Medicaid expansion providing medical care for younger people. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother and Obama’s initial White House Health Policy Advisor, has described this fundamental transformation of American medical care in detail. He wrote a number of medical papers describing his “Complete Lives System,” in which he outlined two major goals for the delivery of medical services in the United States: Medical care is to be “attenuated” (i.e., rationed) for those older than 45 and younger than age 15, so that medical resources can be concentrated on those whom bureaucrats deem most “valuable” to society. Doctors should be taught to do away with the Oath of Hippocrates and its focus on the individual patient. Doctors should instead be taught to make medical decisions aimed at what is good for the “collective,” or society as a whole. Emanuel’s views underpin the philosophy behind the Obamacare law. They are the primary reason that over $700 billion was cut from Medicare (source: the Congressional Budget Office) and shifted into the Medicaid expansion for medical services for younger people. The older (and “less valuable” to society) one is, the harder it will be to have medical care approved. Many people have been satisfied with Medicare as delivered in the past. However, Medicare as we have known it ended with the 2010 passage of the new healthcare law. Keep in mind: You simply cannot have today’s level of medical services going forward when over $716 billion have been cut from the Medicare budget over the next decade. These Medicare cuts reduce hospital, skilled nursing care, home health, hospice, and other services for seniors that have been covered by Medicare in the past. The priorities in the 2010 healthcare law were very clear: seniors have already lived their lives, so healthcare dollars are being shifted to medical care for younger people. And that doesn’t just include the surgical procedures Betsy McCaughey mentioned. It is also medications, treatments, and procedures for cancer, cardiovascular, neurological, and many other conditions. For many years, patients in the UK and Canada have been denied the latest drugs for breast, prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. They do not have access to the same medications for early treatment of macular degeneration, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease that American patients currently have. Nor do Canadian nor UK patients, under the National Health Service government-controlled approvals, have the early and frequent screenings for breast and prostate cancer currently available to American patients. Consequently, survival rates with these common cancers are much better in the US than in either Canada or the UK.Dennis: If Medicare or our insurance companies say they will not pay for the treatment, can we just go ahead and pay for the treatment out of pocket?Dr. Vliet: The rules and regulations are different for patients using Medicare (i.e., over age 65), Medicaid (i.e., under age 65), and for those using non-Medicare, non-Medicaid, ACA-compliant health insurance policies. For Medicare patients, payment regulations under federal law vary depending on whether the patient sees a Medicare-contracted doctor, a doctor who has legally opted out of Medicare under the federal rules for doing so, or is seeing a doctor who simply hasn’t enrolled in Medicare. Each situation is different, so there is no easy answer—and of course, that in turn makes it difficult for patients to plan for medical expenses that a particular policy does not cover. It’s likely to become very frustrating and more costly for patients. In some situations, like lab tests and imaging studies (MRI, CT scans, etc.), it is possible for patients to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice, or ABN, in which patients agree to pay for tests that Medicare doesn’t cover. If Medicare does not cover a test and the patient does not want to pay for tests, it is more difficult for a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. Patients sometimes think they can pay cash to get in to see a doctor who has stopped taking Medicare patients, but doctors are not allowed to use the ABN forms for services like office appointments that Medicare does cover just to allow patients to pay cash or a higher fee to be seen by that doctor. The details of these complex rules are beyond the scope of this interview. As the Medicare budget cuts continue, I fear the list of non-covered services will quickly grow and we will see fewer doctors participating in Medicare, making it harder for patients to find doctors. In fact, that is already happening. On the non-Medicare or “private” insurance side of the coin, most polices have clauses called “enrollee hold harmless” clauses that prevent patients from paying cash for medical care that a plan reviewer has deemed “medically unnecessary” based on age or condition. Frank Lobb covers the details of this hidden problem in depth in his book The Great Healthcare Fraud. Patients don’t have an easy way to find out about these obstacles to paying cash. These clauses are not found in patients’ contracts with their carriers, they are only in the contracts between doctors and insurance companies or between hospitals and insurance companies. When hit with this situation, a patient’s only option is to seek the medical treatment they need from a hospital or doctor independent from that particular insurance plan.Dennis: Who makes these arbitrary decisions, and how can we appeal them?Dr. Vliet: The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the newly expanded Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are the ones who write these rules. Even the people who work for Medicare and HHS can’t keep up with the complexity of it! No wonder patients are confused and bewildered. What I find really frustrating is I get different answers from Medicare offices in the different states in which I practice medicine. If I cannot get a straight answer, then I can’t very well explain it to a patient. So I legally opted out of Medicare in 1997. I answer only to my Oath to serve the patient “to the best of my ability and judgment.” Private insurance plans have always had appeals processes, and most physicians use those regularly to help patients get medical services that might be denied coverage the first time around. But once the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) goes into effect in 2015, there is no appeal to decisions made by IPAB: that’s why they are called “independent”— not even Congress nor the Supreme Court is allowed to override the IPAB decisions. Betsy McCaughey writes that the law says IPAB “recommends,” but what isn’t addressed is their “recommendations” automatically become law unless Congress passes a different plan to achieve the same cost reductions as IPAB recommended, and Congress must pass this plan with a three-fifths supermajority vote during a two-week window in 2017. That’s unlike anything we have ever had before. McCaughey points out that the IPAB is an unelected group of political appointees essentially making law and usurping the role of Congress, yet isn’t accountable to anyone except the president.Dennis: Wow! Let’s discuss cost for a moment. My friend Jeff White has voiced a concern shared by many. With no risk selection and underwriting permitted; with forced acceptance of people who clearly are not taking care of themselves or have costly medical conditions; with loss of cost controls in general, health insurance costs will have to go through the ceiling. What is your take on this?Dr. Vliet: He is exactly right. We have not had “insurance” in the correct sense of the term for more than 40 years. What we really have is prepaid healthcare—but a perversion of this since we pay the premiums and they (government bureaucrats or insurance clerks) decide what they will “reimburse” to cover medical services our doctors think we need. Most of us in the medical profession acknowledge medical care wasn’t the problem; it was our broken payment system. People in the individual (vs. employer-based) market were having a hard time getting individual coverage if they had significant medical issues. People also don’t realize two other fundamental problems in the health insurance market: These problems were not a failure of the free-market system, but rather were due to government intervention and distortion of the free-market system, primarily government regulations that affected the cost and type of insurance available to consumers. The 2010 healthcare law prohibits any private insurance company from offering a policy that does not comply with the Obamacare rules for coverage. That is why so many policies—for perhaps as many as 93 million Americans—are being canceled. It’s the healthcare law itself that is forcing insurance companies to cancel policies that do not comply with the expanded coverage requirements. When a government-required level of insurance requires the policy to cover almost all preventive services, plus medical/surgical and psychiatric treatment for the entire population, the cost is going to be exorbitantly expensive.Dennis: As a capitalist, I can see there will be a need for health care that is denied by the system—maybe doctors banding together in clinics or small hospitals, for example. Can physicians and patients just opt out of the system?Dr. Vliet: Obamacare regulations severely limit doctors from starting new doctor-owned hospitals in the US. Some enterprising groups are beginning to develop such clinics in Mexico and other countries, and it may be possible to set up clinics in “medical freedom zones” on the sovereign lands of Native American tribes that avoid Obamacare restrictions. Right now, however, such options are very limited and certainly cannot serve the huge number of people who will likely need them as medical care is further rationed (especially for older people). Regarding physicians and patients opting out altogether: Patients who opt out and do not buy an ACA-compliant health insurance policy will have to pay the penalty (or tax) for not doing so. For now, physicians can opt out of Medicare, Medicaid, and even private insurance contracts and simply do “fee for service” agreements with patients, like lawyers and accountants already do. But if the US moves to the same model as Canada, doctors may be denied a license to practice medicine unless they are part of the government-controlled Medicare and Medicaid.Dennis: I have Canadian friends who tell stories about family and friends needing eye surgery or heart bypass surgery and having to wait months for those procedures. So they come to the US for care instead. In many cases, had they not done so, they wouldn’t have lived long enough to keep their Canadian appointment. Is this where we are headed?Dr. Vliet: Most certainly, that is exactly where we are headed. Long delays are the fundamental flaw in all government-run medical systems. It is only the free-market, voluntary delivery of medical services that has brought the price down and improved availability of services. Just look at Lasik eye surgery and lap band gastric surgery and note how competition and comparison shopping have brought prices way down over the last decade.Dennis: I like to think of myself as a practical guy. What can we do to stay as healthy as possible and get affordable, quality health care on our terms?Dr. Vliet: The most critical thing everyone can do is take responsibility for lifestyle choices. Our “bad choices” are the biggest cause of most of the diseases that hit us as we age and rob us of health and vitality. These are things we can all actually do that will help lower medical costs and keep ourselves healthier and better able to recover if we do have an illness. These are things my grandmother taught me—they aren’t rocket science—and you will even save money if you do them. Eat less, eat a balanced diet, always eat breakfast, exercise more, maintain a healthy body weight, get enough rest, don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol in excess, don’t overuse prescription medicines, don’t use street drugs, practice stress management, engage in a regular spiritual practice. While this advice sounds boring, these commonsense lifestyle choices have been shown in many research studies to prolong life, preserve quality of life and vitality, and to reduce medical costs. In addition to these practical tips, for the last several years I have encouraged my patients to set up international health insurance policies to give them options later on. Not everyone has the money to pay cash for medical care, even when going to lower-cost countries. But you have to get international policies before you’re too old or too sick to qualify. Most companies do not offer these policies if you’re over 70, or in some cases 75. There are many companies offering such plans. I also encourage my patients to set up international bank accounts so they’ll have money overseas in the event they need it for to pay for medical care that may be denied or delayed here at home. Call this account your “international health savings account.” Even if it won’t have the tax advantages of HSAs under US rules, at least the money will be there if you need overseas medical care. Overseas bank accounts are legal as long you comply with US reporting rules. This is a step to take before the US government further limits our ability to move money into other jurisdictions.Dennis: Thank you for taking your time to fill in some of the blanks regarding Obamacare.Dr. Vliet: Thanks, my pleasure!Dr. Vliet writes as an independent practicing physician with medical practices in Tucson and Dallas, focused on issues of endocrine aging in men and women from puberty to late life. Dr. Vliet is also the CEO of International Health Strategies Ltd., a medical consulting company that assists patients in finding appropriate high-quality, affordable medical care overseas to maintain patients’ medical privacy and medical freedom to choose individualized treatment options free of government intrusion.Dr. Vliet is the author of six consumer health books and the 2007 Voice of Women Honoree by the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering work on the overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and TV shows discussing the healthcare law as well as a variety of health topics for women and men. Dr. Vliet was one of the speakers at the recent 2013 Casey Research Summit (click here to purchase the complete Summit audio set). Dr. Vliet received her M.D. and did an internal medicine residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School, then completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins.Dr. Vliet’s medical websites are HerPlace.com and InternationalHealthStrategiesLtd.com. Follow Dr. Vliet on twitter: @healthandcents.On the Lighter Side My wife Jo and I are back in Florida after spending Christmas in Indiana. The good news was our grandson got a really cool electric guitar; the bad news is he also got an amplifier. Speaking of the grandchildren, something popped into my inbox over the holidays. It’s a sound reminder from our friend Ed D’Agostino of the Hard Assets Alliance of why we give precious metals in lieu of toys. Ed has written a short note explaining why gold and silver are the best gifts you can give your children or grandchildren and how you can do just that quickly, safely, and hassle-free. Although the holidays are over, it’s not too late to give. Click here to read Ed’s message now. For those among you unfamiliar with this part of the US, Interstate 75 runs from Michigan to Florida, and it’s particularly crowded this time of year. The cars from Ontario and Michigan were covered with gray-black dirt—the usual aftermath of snowstorms. From Atlanta to Tampa, we estimated that at least half of the vehicles headed south were from “up north,” most driven by seniors who prefer to spend Christmas with family and return to Florida until Easter. And finally… Jo sent me this to me; it seems appropriate after our recent holiday visit. Until next week…last_img read more

first_img The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day Two of the March delivery month showed that zero gold and another 635 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  The two biggest short/issuers were Jefferies and FC Stone with 299 and 100 contracts respectively.  The third and fourth largest short/issuers were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 67 and JPMorgan with 65 contracts out of its client account.  On the long/stopper side was the one and only JPMorgan in it’s in-house [proprietary] trading account with 573 contracts. In the first two days of the March delivery month, JPMorgan has taken delivery on 997 Comex  futures contracts of the 1,494 silver contracts that have been posted for delivery so far.  That’s a hair under 5 million ounces—and two thirds of all the silver contracts posted in March up to this point.  And the month is still young!  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here—and it’s worth checking out. Just to jog your memory, JPMorgan Chase took delivery of 5 million ounces of silver during the December delivery month as well.  I’ll have more on this in The Wrap further down. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 9:17 p.m. EST last evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. The U.S. Mint had a sales report on the last day of the month.  They sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles—and 78,500 silver eagles.  For the month of February, the mint sold 31,000 ounces of gold eagles—12,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 3,750,000 silver eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver/gold ratio for February works out to 85 to 1.  Considering the fact that there are 16 ounces of silver mined for every ounce of gold, that sales ratio is astonishing—along with the fact that the current gold/silver price ratio is 60 to 1—it’s obvious that silver is outselling gold by a wide margin on a dollar basis as well. There wasn’t much in/out movement in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.  They didn’t report receiving any—and only shipped out 1,464 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here. It was a lot busier in silver, of course, as 412,680 troy ounces were reported shipped in—and a smallish 6,818 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that action is here. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I checked out the latest Commitment of Traders Report at 3:30 p.m. EST yesterday.  I certainly wasn’t expecting the worst, but that’s what we got, as the numbers were horrific—and orders of magnitude worse in both gold and silver than either Ted and I were expecting. In silver, the Commercial net short position blew out by another 6,132 contracts, or 30.7 million ounces.  The total net commercial short position is now 194.9 million troy ounces.  I can’t remember how long it’s been since the Commercial net short position has been this high, but I’m sure Ted will have the numbers in his column later today. Ted said that JPMorgan added another 1,000 contracts to its short-side corner in the Comex silver market.  JPM is now net short 18,500 contracts.  Almost all the rest of the increase in the Commercial net short position came from the raptors selling about 4,300 long contracts at a profit, with the balance made up with selling by the ‘5 through 8’ largest traders. In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a gargantuan 24,912 contracts.  The ‘5 through 8’ largest traders bought about 4,500 long contracts, but it was the raptors that did most of the damage, as Ted said they sold almost 29,500 of their long positions at a profit. According to Ted, the really big surprise was the fact that JPMorgan’s 58,000 contract long-side corner in the Comex futures market in gold didn’t change from the previous COT Report.  They didn’t sell any of their position during the reporting week. The one take-away from this is that despite the huge deterioration in the short positions in both metals, it was mostly raptor selling of long positions [and taking profits] into a short-cover rally that was caused by the technical funds rushing in to cover their short positions as prices rose.  The big market manipulator, JPMorgan Chase, did very little during the reporting week—adding only 1,000 contracts to its silver short position and remaining unchanged in gold. As Ted Butler keeps saying—all eyes should be on what JPMorgan is doing, or not doing, as the case may be.  I’ll have more on this in The Wrap as well. I got an e-mail from Joshua Gibbons, the proprietor over at the About.Ag website yesterday—and here’s what he had to say about Tulving: Hi Ed, I thought you might want to know that it looks like Tulving finally gave up. I was expecting about 35 new complaints this week to update my webpage about Tulving, but there have been no new complaints from the BCA for over a week now, and only 4 from the BBB (3 of which were re-opening old cases, as Tulving did not ship when he had promised the BBB he would). But today the BBB website shows 12 complaints this week that they have categorized as “BBB did not receive a response from business.” So as far as I can tell, he has effectively shut down. The only people who were getting their metal were those who made official complaints (e.g. to the BBB or BCA), so it seems likely that at this point nobody will be getting their metal. He isn’t even responding to as many complaints as he can handle, he just isn’t responding at all. -JG You can read Joshua’s comments on his Tulving webpage headlined “February 28, 2014 – The End.”  I have the usual number of stories for a weekend column—and I hope you can find the time in what’s left of your weekend to read the ones that interest you. In essence, it comes down to how long JPMorgan’s control and manipulation of the silver price can last until some world entity (or entities) decides to take enough of a position in physical silver that creates a shortage. Not only am I convinced that situation must occur; in fact, it had already begun to occur around April 2011, when the world faced the first silver shortage in history. If you remember, one of the key signs of shortage at that time was that the Sprott Silver ETF had to wait for delivery and when it did receive delivery, many of the bars were manufactured after the original order date, indicating no existing bars were available. One other thing that Joshua [Gibbons] pointed out was that of the 8 million oz in 1,000 oz bars that came into the SLV last week (to replace 8 million oz that were removed), 82% were manufactured in 2013 and 18% were made in 2014. We may not be exactly where we were in April 2011 in terms of physical tightness, but there does not appear to be many old silver bars available for sale either. Therefore, we appear to be not that far away from where the physical silver equation was in early 2011. The big difference is that JPMorgan has positioned itself much better than it was back then. I can’t deny that this puts JPM in better potential control of prices short term as it has sufficient physical supply of both gold and silver to head off any shortage for the time being should it choose to let loose of some of its metal. The March COMEX delivery period which starts Friday should be revealing as to JPM’s intentions. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 26 February 2014 Today’s pop “blast from the past” comes from one David Thomas “Dave” Mason.  I can pretty much guarantee that the name means nothing to you—but the tune he’s remember for, is a classic—and you’ll know it instantly.  The link is here. Today’s classical selection is the Adagio from Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 for winds in B flat major, K. 361/370a which he composed in the early 1780s.  Any fan of the movie Amadeus will know it right away.  It’s all on period instruments—some of which I’m sure you’ve never seen before.  I certainly haven’t.  It’s extraordinary.  The link is here. It was another day where not much happened as far as prices were concerned—and net volume was pretty light in both gold and silver.   I don’t expect this period of quiet to last very long—and it only remains to be seen whether the current situation resolves itself to the upside, or the downside. As Ted mentioned in the quote above, JPMorgan’s intentions in silver in the March delivery period are very clear now.  They’re out for every ounce they can get.  They took delivery of 5 million ounces of the metal in the December delivery month—and now another 5 million in March.  On top of that, they were virtual “no shows” in the COT Report yesterday—only a tiny bit in silver, and not at all in gold. One has to wonder how much physical gold and silver JPMorgan [and maybe the other U.S. bullion banks] are now sitting on that we don’t know about, as there’s no law that says they have to store all their metal in the Comex-approved depositories.  They can hide it anywhere—and as Ted has mentioned on many occasions, SLV and GLD are ideal candidates.  Because as long as they stay under the minimum public reporting requirements for both these ETFs, there’s no way to know exactly how much they hold. Then there was the mysterious silver switch in SLV that Joshua Gibbons told me about earlier this past week—and Ted alluded to in the quote above.  I never mentioned it in this column, as I wasn’t sure what to read into it—and I’m still not sure.  But it involved SLV’s custodian directly—and that is JPMorgan Chase—so I’m really suspicious now that I add their March silver deliveries into the mix. Here’s what Joshua had to say.  I stole it from Ted Butler’s Wednesday commentary to paying subscribers, but I was privy to this information before Ted, so I’m not really stealing anything:  “Joshua also told me that JPMorgan was responsible for 8 million ounces of silver moving into and out from the big silver ETF, SLV, last week. That’s a 16 million ounce turnover and only an entity which dominated a market could arrange such a turnover. This info was also highly supportive of my premise that JPMorgan has amassed an unprecedentedly large physical silver position. At some point, JPMorgan’s actions should prove wildly bullish for the long run in silver, but who knows what these crooks will do in the short term.” So, what to make of all this?  As I pointed out many times in this space over the years, JPMorgan Chase—either the day before, or the day after the drive-by shooting of May 1, 2011 all of sudden started collecting silver at its Comex-approved warehouse in New York.  Now they are within an eyelash of being the largest holder of silver within the Comex-approved depositories—and March’s deliveries should put them over the top, if they have to transfer the silver in from another Comex-approved depository. Too many coincidences for me.  Something is up—but what?  I’m just unsure of when JPMorgan and the rest of the U.S. bullion banks will spring it on us.  I know that Ted has a theory—and I won’t steal a decibel of his thunder by mentioning a word of it here.  I look forward to reading about it in his weekly commentary which will be posted on this website this afternoon EST. In closing, it might be worth your while to jump back into, or increase your exposure to the precious metals once again.  Your best bets for that are Casey Research’s monthly BIG GOLD newsletter—and Casey Research’s flagship publication—Casey International Speculator.  If you go for Casey International Speculator, it includes a subscription to BIG GOLD at no extra charge. It costs nothing to check them out—and Casey Research’s 90-day money back guarantee applies to both. That it for the day—and the week.  I’m off to bed—and I’ll see here on Tuesday. Too many coincidences for me. Something is up, but what? The gold price chopped around the $1,330 price mark until the Comex open on Friday in New York—and at that point gold began to get sold down, with the low coming minutes after the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  From that low, gold rallied a bit, but wasn’t allowed to get back to its Thursday close. The CME recorded the high and low ticks as $1,333.60 and $1,319.30 in the April contract. Gold closed in New York at $1,328.60 spot, down $3.20 on the day.  Net volume was pretty light at around 113,000 contracts. It was more or less the same price action with the silver equities, but their lows came minutes after 2 p.m. EST—and the rally from there didn’t quite make it back into positive territory.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver sentiment Index closed down 0.27%. The dollar index closed at 80.26 late on Thursday afternoon in New York—and when it opened early Friday morning in Far East trading, it didn’t do much until about 9:30 a.m. in London.  Then, in the space of an hour, the index dropped 35 basis points, slicing through the 80.00 mark in a flash—and continued drifting quietly lower for the rest of the day.  The index closed at 79.78—which was down 52 basis points from Thursday. The silver price didn’t do much, either.  It’s Far East low came around 12:30 p.m. Hong Kong time—and from there it chopped sideways until shortly before 11 a.m. a.m. in London.  It’s high tick was at the 8:20 a.m. EST Comex open—and it was all down hill from there, with silver hitting its low tick the same time as gold, shortly after the Comex close.  From there it rallied quietly into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading. The high and low ticks, both of which occurred in New York, were reported by the CME Group as $21.43 and $21.105 in the May contract. Silver finished the Friday session at $21.225 spot, down 3.5 cents from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was pretty decent at 40,500 contracts. The lousy dollar index action had no visible impact on the price of any of the four precious metals yesterday. The gold stocks opened in positive territory, but that didn’t last.  Their low tick came at 3 p.m. EST right on the button.  From there they rallied back into positive territory shortly after 3:30 p.m., only to get immediately sold down for a small loss on the day, as the HUI finished lower by 0.49%. The Energy Sectors You Should Invest in This Year Top energy analyst Marin Katusa, frequently featured in the financial media such as Forbes, Business News, Financial Sense News Hour, and the Al Korelin Show, says two undervalued energy sectors will provide windfalls for smart investors this year. Read his assessment, including which energy investments you should be bullish on for 2014… and which you’d only lose money on. Click here for Marin’s free report, The 2014 Energy Forecast. Sponsor Advertisement Platinum traded within ten bucks of its Thursday open for the entire day.  It was obvious that the price wanted to rally after the Comex opened, but the price was just as obviously capped.  Palladium didn’t do a lot.  Here are the charts.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 15 2019Results from a large clinical trial indicate that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are likely to experience the same level of cardiovascular benefits from statins as other individuals, without additional risks. The findings appear in Arthritis & Rheumatology, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology.Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an approximately 50 percent higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. By lowering LDL cholesterol, statins are known to help prevent cardiovascular events in certain high-risk individuals, but it’s unclear whether they are safe and effective for patients with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.To investigate the potential risks and benefits of statins in moderate risk patients with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers designed the Trial of Atorvastatin for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (TRACE RA), a multi-center, randomized, double-blind trial comparing the statin atorvastatin with placebo.The trial included 3,002 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were over aged 50 years or had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 10 years, without clinical atherosclerosis, diabetes, or myopathy. Patients were randomized to receive atorvastatin 40mg daily or placebo.During a median follow-up of 2.5 years, 1.6 percent of patients who received atorvastatin and 2.4 percent of patients receiving placebo experienced cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or any arterial revascularization. After adjustments, there was a 40 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events for patients taking atorvastatin, although the difference was not statistically significant. This was because the overall rate of events was low.Related StoriesResearchers identify new clues on tissue damage in rheumatoid arthritis and lupusFirst safe, reliable, noninvasive way to monitor rheumatoid arthritisResearchers develop NO-scavenging hydrogel for treatment of rheumatoid arthritisAt the end of the trial, patients taking atorvastatin had significantly lower LDL cholesterol as well as significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, compared with patients taking placebo. Adverse events in the atorvastatin and placebo groups were similar.The paper’s lead author is Professor George Kitas of Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, while co-senior authors are Professor Jill Belch of the University of Dundee and Professor Deborah Symmons of the University of Manchester.”The trial found that the statin reduced levels of cholesterol by similar amounts as has been seen in other populations studied. The results also show that it is as safe for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to take statins as for the general population,” said Prof. Symmons. “In addition, because of the low overall rate of cardiovascular events in the trial population, there is no indication for all patients with rheumatoid arthritis to be prescribed a statin. This is unlike diabetes where the great majority of patients are recommended to take a statin.”The study authors recommend that patients with rheumatoid arthritis be prescribed statins according to national or local guidelines for managing cardiovascular risk in the general population.An accompanying editorial notes that the study provides information that will be useful for researchers and clinicians who focus on rheumatoid arthritis, and the results may be helpful when considering cardiovascular risk across other rheumatic diseases. Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/arthritis-rheumatology/large-clinical-trial-finds-statins-safe-and-likely-effective-prlast_img read more

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