first_imgThe long-term water supply projects in Rajasthan will be completed on time to ensure the availability of water in the geographically difficult areas. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has given instructions for speeding up implementation of water supply schemes for both drinking and irrigation.Mr. Gehlot said at a review meeting here after the appointment of committees for the Rajiv Gandhi Jal Sanchay Yojana that the long-term projects would permanently resolve the issue of paucity of water caused by scanty and erratic rainfall in the State. “The projects should be formulated to meet the local needs and regularly monitored,” he said.The progress of projects financed by institutions such as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency and New Development Bank as well as the dam, canal and small irrigation projects was reviewed on the occasion.The committees appointed at the district, block and village panchayat levels for the Yojana will coordinate the activities of various departments and monitor the progress of work for water conservation.last_img read more

first_imgBrazil’s Neymar with teammate Dani Alves at a training session at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 16. (AP PhotoNeymar and his Brazilian teammates will be back in action for their second match at the World Cup, before Russia and South Korea have even kicked off their campaigns.Brazil won the tournament’s opening game last week against Croatia and on Tuesday will meet Mexico, which beat Cameroon 1-0 in its first Group A game. A win for either team would go a long way toward securing a spot in the next stage.Russia against South Korea is the second of two Group H matches on day six, which gets underway with Belgium against Algeria.High StakesBrazil striker Hulk is a doubtful starter after missing training for two days due to a left leg injury, meaning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari may have to change a winning formula.Scolari planned to leave the decision until game day, saying, “If he can’t play we lose something because this team has been playing together for a long time with this same system.”Five-time World Cup champion Brazil has won 16 of its last 17 matches, including the Confederations Cup on home soil last year, and Scolari attributes that to sticking with a formula.If Hulk is ruled out, Chelsea midfielder Ramires and 21-year-old Bernard could come into contention for a starting spot.The Brazilians got the benefit of a questionable penalty call in their 3-1 comeback win over Croatia, while Mexico had two contentious decisions go against them before Giovani Dos Santos found the back of the net against Cameroon.advertisementCoincidentally, Brazil and Mexico met at Fortaleza in the Confederations Cup last year, with Neymar scoring to help the home team to a 2-0 win. Neymar, who lived up to expectations last week with two goals in the win over Croatia, has had a change of hairstyles in between.The Mexicans have won seven of the last 15 matches against Brazil. And Mexico won the 2012 Olympic gold medal, beating Brazil in the final.Mexico “has always created difficulties for Brazil and I’m sure it won’t be any different this time,” said Oscar, who was on the Brazil team that lost the Olympic final.The winner of Tuesday’s match would be guaranteed a spot in the next round if Cameroon and Croatia draw their match on Wednesday in Manaus.last_img read more

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery: Very young Guendouzi offers many thingsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is delighted with the impact of Matteo Guendouzi.Guendouzi was booked for the fourth time this season in the feisty 3-1 win over Burnley.That was the 19-year-old’s 15th Premier League appearance of a season which began with him excelling even in defeat to Manchester City and has seen him establish himself as the latest youngster to take Arsenal by storm.“I am very happy with Matteo, he’s improving a lot and helping us,” said Emery. “He gives us a lot of moments in the team with combination and quality, with the possibility to play with our style.“He needs to improve more, to continue his progress with us. He’s very young.” last_img read more

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Valencia, Atletico Madrid battle for Man Utd striker Alexisby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAlexis Sanchez is wanted in Spain.The Chilean winger, who has struggled to make any impact at Manchester United, could have a route out of the club.Sanchez is wanted by Valencia and Atletico Madrid.And Spanish publication El Gol Digital suggests he is determined to leave United on a permanent deal.One stumbling block would be the player’s wages, which are reportedly £350,000-per-week before bonuses.Sanchez may also want to prove himself under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before deciding on his future in the summer. last_img read more

first_imgSmall Steps Project is honoured to name The Following actor James Purefoy as their celebrity Ambassador.Over the years James has been a massive support to the charity, he has been to their events, featured in their documentary and inspired many of his celebrity friends to take small steps and donate their shoes. Thanks to James, famed for his role as Mark Anthony in Rome, Small Steps Project have had shoe donations from Sienna Miller, Rachel Weisz, Eva Green, Sharleen Spiteri, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.This year he has asked many of his co-stars from ‘The Following’ to take part in the annual Celebrity Shoe Auction including Shawn Ashmore from X-men, Valorie Curry from Twilight and of course Kevin Bacon from pretty much everything.James explains what made him become our celebrity ambassador, “What Small Steps have achieved in their relatively brief existence is akin to a minor, but very beautiful, miracle. They have turned lives around. They are the embodiment of that lovely phrase ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. I am proud and humbled to be associated with them.”Small Steps Project’s mission is to support children around the world who live on rubbish dumps and survive from scavenging.last_img read more

first_img An opportunity to meet Leonardo DiCaprio at his Foundation’s St. Tropez Gala. Andy Modeling in Vest, a 1983 Christopher Makos photograph of his friend and frequent portrait subject, Andy Warhol. A Gilles Bensimon photograph of Audrey Hepburn, shot for French Elle in 1988, from the last fashion shoot of her lifetime, which celebrated the legendary partnership between two icons: Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy. An opportunity to attend the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s first major fundraising gala in the heart of Monte Carlo, including a meet and greet with His Serene Highness, to benefit its initiatives to support sustainable oceans worldwide.The evening also marked the Paris launch of amfAR’s new fragrance, Gala by amfAR. Available as both a women’s perfume and a men’s cologne, Gala by amfAR was conceived as a tribute to the Foundation’s Founding International Chairman, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, the first celebrity to have her own line of fragrances. The Paris debut of Gala by amfAR coincides with the 30th anniversary of the launch of Dame Elizabeth’s first perfume, Passion. Proceeds from the sale of Gala by amfAR will support amfAR’s efforts to achieve one of the greatest scientific and humanitarian goals of our time – a cure for HIV.Harry Winston was the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Moët Hennessy and Renault were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. A photograph of David Bowie, taken in 1974 as a publicity shot for the LP Diamond Dogs, by one of the world’s most accomplished and collected photographers Terry O’Neill. The exclusive Moët & Chandon MCIII Wine Cellar, the only one of its kind in the world, featuring 23 magnum bottles of MCIII wine housed in a specially handcrafted cellar.center_img A luxurious vacation at the legendary Maldives resort of Huvafen Fushi. Supporters gathered for a dinner and auction at the Petit Palais in Paris over the weekend in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.Carla Bruni Parforms at amfAR EventCredit/Copyright: Kevin Tachman/amfARamfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost opened the evening by welcoming guests and thanking event sponsors Harry Winston, Moët Hennessy, and Renault for making the night possible, and also gave a special thanks to amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby and Carine Roitfeld for their continued support of amfAR. Frost then introduced the evening’s performer, world-renowned singer-songwriter and former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni.Carla Bruni gave a special performance for the exclusive guest list. The chanteuse sang Enjoy the Silence, a new song from her upcoming album French Touch, and a soulful rendition of The Rolling Stones’ Miss You.Exclusive items featured in the live auction, conducted by event producer Andy Boose, included: A Jean Pigozzi photograph of Mick Jagger and Arnold Schwarzenegger taken in 1990 at the legendary Hôtel du Cap in Antibes. A one-week trip aboard the magnificent yacht Bliss. A Paris Haute Couture Week package, including tickets to the Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ulyana Sergeenko, Valentino and Chanel shows, as well as a Jean Paul Gaultier-designed “Moulin Rouge” haute couture dress and a four-night stay in a suite at Le Bristol Hotel.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it will go to the root of the alleged conspiracy and sensational claims made by a lawyer that there was a larger conspiracy to frame Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in the sexual harassment allegations against him. A three-judge special bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said if fixers continue to work and manipulate the judiciary as claimed, neither this institution nor any of “us” will not survive. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The bench, also comprising justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta, asked lawyer Utsav Singh Bains, who has made claims of a larger conspiracy, to file another affidavit by Thursday morning after he claimed that he has some more “incriminating evidence”. The bench said it will take up the matter for hearing on Thursday. “We will inquire and go to the root of alleged claims of fixers at work and manipulating the judiciary. If they continue to work then none of us will survive… Fixing has no role to play in the system. We will inquire and take it to the logical end” it said. The bench also clarified that there is no connection in the hearing of Bains’ claims of larger conspiracy and the in-house inquiry ordered into the sexual harassment allegations against CJI. Earlier in the day, the apex court directed chiefs of the CBI, IB and Delhi Police to appear and meet in chambers the three judges who are hearing his claim that there was a larger conspiracy to frame CJI.last_img read more

first_imgMortgage Loan Defaults: A Lesson Learned for Servicers in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing Share In April 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a 60-page opinion which addressed claims brought by borrowers Johnnie and Adrian Marchisio against servicer Mortgage Services, LLC, for various statutory and contractual violations committed by the servicer while servicing the Marchisios’ first and second mortgages. (Marchisio v. Servicer Mortgage Services, LLC.)The borrowers took out two mortgage loans to purchase property and defaulted on both loans in 2008. The servicer filed an action seeking to foreclose both mortgages, and the lawsuit was later resolved through a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure entered in December 2009.Pursuant to the parties’ agreement, the borrowers surrendered the property and the servicer “agreed to report to the credit reporting agencies … that the mortgage was discharged with a zero balance owed.” However, more than two years later, the bank still had not reported the discharge. Instead, it “resumed its debt collections efforts” reporting the borrowers’ debt as delinquent. As a result, in July 2012, the Marchisios filed a federal action (first action) alleging Mortgage Services’ failure to timely report the pertinent settlement terms violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Florida Collections Act (FCA).The filing of the first action prompted the servicer to partially correct its misreporting. The lender sent an automated universal dataform (AUD) to the reporting agencies requesting they “update the first loan to reflect that it had a zero balance.” However, the servicer continued to misreport a delinquent balance due on the second mortgage.Ultimately, in January 2013, the parties reached a settlement agreement with regard to the second mortgage wherein the servicer paid the borrowers $125,000 and agreed to “report the second loan as having a zero balance as of December 9, 2009 … as soon as reasonably possible, but in any case within 90 days.” In exchange, the borrowers dismissed the first action. The settlement noted that time was of the essence, which has the legal effect of a hard default on the 91st day.Despite the parties’ settlement agreement and the borrowers’ dismissal of the first action, the servicer continued to send inaccurate reports to credit agencies in February, March, and April 2013. The reports reflected the borrowers’ second mortgage was not paid off and had a past due balance exceeding 120 days. Only after the borrowers complained to the servicer about these inaccurate reports did the company submit an AUD to the credit agencies requesting “they update the second loan to show a zero balance.” Notably, the servicer did not send this AUD until April 25, 2013—two days after the deadline for doing so under the settlement agreement. Additionally, according to the borrowers, the servicer continued to make collection calls wherein they threatened to foreclose due to an allegedly unpaid “balloon balance” on the second mortgage.In August 2013, the borrowers moved to enforce the settlement agreement which resulted from the first action, but the district court declined to exercise jurisdiction. In November 2013, they disputed the servicer debt with the credit agencies. In their written dispute they described the litigation history between them and the servicer, the resulting settlement, and the final agreement, which indicated the borrowers owed nothing on the first or second mortgages.Pursuant to the requirements of the FCRA (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(1) and (2)), the credit agency notified the servicer about the dispute and the servicer conducted an investigation. As part of its investigation, an employee of the servicer consulted the “Fiserv database” which was supposed to house all relevant information regarding the loans serviced by the company. Notwithstanding, the Fiserv database did not have any information regarding the 2013 settlement agreement. The servicer’s representative reported back to the credit agencies that its prior reports were accurate and confirmed the borrowers owed a balloon payment on the second loan.To further complicate matters, near the end of 2013, the servicer’s insurance vendor (Southwest) sent the borrowers letters on the servicer’s letterhead informing them that force-placed fire insurance would be placed on their property if they did not obtain their own insurance. When the borrowers failed to purchase fire insurance for a property they no longer owned, Southwest purchased it for them, billed them, and then tried to collect payment by sending notices on the servicer’s letterhead.Ostensibly left with no other options for resolving the dispute, the borrowers filed a second federal action (second action) against the servicer in January 2014, “alleging breach of the settlement agreement entered in the first action and violations of the FCRA and the Florida Collections Act.” Regarding the FCRA claim, the borrowers alleged that the servicer violated the act by failing to conduct a reasonable investigation upon learning that the borrowers disputed the credit reports, which included the balloon balance on the second mortgage. As to the FCRA claim, the borrowers argued the collection calls and notices regarding force-placed insurance constituted violations of the FCRA because the servicer attempted to enforce a debt that they knew did not exist.The second action finally prompted the servicer to issue an AUD to the credit agencies requesting they “delete from [the borrowers’] credit reports any reference to a balloon-payment obligation.” The servicer also canceled the force-placed fire insurance. Despite this corrective action, litigation ensued and both parties moved for summary judgment. The district court entered summary judgment in the borrowers’ favor on their FCRA claim finding the servicer “failed to conduct a reasonable investigation” of the dispute filed with the credit agency and that such failure was willful. The court awarded statutory damages of $3,000 but “ruled that Plaintiffs were not entitled to any damages for emotional distress or as punitive damages” as a matter of law. As to both the FCA claim and the breach of contract claim the district court entered summary judgment in the servicer’s favor. The district court awarded $94,000 in attorneys’ fees to the borrowers. Both parties appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit made the following rulings:Firstly, it affirmed “the district court’s finding of a willful FCRA violation,” surmising it was “obvious that [Servicer] failed to conduct a reasonable investigation of [the Borrowers’] report.” The court disagreed with the servicer’s argument that the “erroneous verification” that a balloon payment was owed on the second loan “constituted a mere isolated human error that was promptly corrected.” The court clarified it was not the employee that made the mistake because he “accurately reported what he found in the databases.” The court explained it was the servicer which “failed to create a reliable system for inputting information regarding the settlement of litigation that might impact the data found on the relevant databases.”The Circuit Court concluded the servicer’s system was “unreliable” and that “it was incumbent” on the servicer “to take steps to ensure that news of the terms of the settlement agreement be communicated to those who generate reports to reporting agencies.”  The court surmised “there was a large ‘disconnect’ between [servicer’s] system for debt verification and its ad hoc handling of settlement-related changes to debt obligations” rendering the servicer’s investigation unreasonable for purposes of the FCRA. The court also concluded the servicer’s conduct was willful because even if unintentional, the servicer “acted in reckless disregard” of its obligations under the FCRA, given its failure to take corrective action despite “the number of times that [Servicer] was put on notice of the false information being reported.” It concluded the servicer’s FCRA violations could support an award for emotional distress and punitive damages and reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment on those issues “to allow factual development” of those issues at trial.Secondly, the Circuit Court reversed the summary judgment for the servicer on the FCA claim finding there to be genuine issues of material fact as to whether the servicer made the debt collection calls and whether the servicer could prove its “bona fide error defense.” The court concluded the borrowers’ testimony regarding the collection calls, viewed in a light most favorable to the non-movants, was sufficient to withstand summary judgment. The court also found that the question of whether Servicer “maintained procedures reasonably adapted” to avoid violations of the FCRA was a question for the jury and not properly disposed of on summary judgment.Thirdly, the Circuit Court reversed the grant of summary judgment for the servicer on the breach of contract claim. Although the Circuit Court agreed with the district court that “emotional distress damages [were] not cognizable as to the breach of contract claim,” the court explained the servicer’s failure to timely correct the misreporting on the second mortgage could have resulted in other damages such as “adverse financing terms” in connection with the borrowers’ purchase of two automobiles prior to the servicer correcting its misreporting. The court surmised the merit of the borrowers’ breach of contract claim and whether the borrowers could establish damages from that breach was to be determined by the jury and not properly disposed of on summary judgment.Lastly, the Circuit Court vacated “the award of attorney’s fees to [the borrowers] so that the district court [could] recalculate those fees at the conclusion of the litigation.” The court remanded the matter for trial and set the floor for a fee award at $94,000 reasoning that the district court had calculated that number, “in part, on the fact the borrowers’ prevailed on only one claim” but they may prevail on additional claims at trial thereby entitling them to additional fees.This detailed holding provides helpful insights into best practices for servicing a loan in default where the default is resolved through settlement. While this article is not intended to be giving legal advise, below is a list of suggested practices extrapolated from the Circuit Court’s holding:SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS: Ensure those responsible for complying with a settlement agreement understand the terms of the agreement and know what is required for full compliance. Where possible, incorporate clear requirements into an agreement and avoid terms such as “as soon as reasonably possible.” Phrases such as these are subject to interpretation and create confusion and/or conflicting expectations of the various parties. Where deadlines are clearly articulated in an agreement, do not delay in complying and understand that courts will consider “the spirit of the agreement” when evaluating whether a party complied with a particular provision.SYSTEM ENTRIES: When settlement is reached, make redundant entries into multiple systems clearly indicating the parties reached a settlement. Create and implement a procedure that details the various steps required when settlement is reached and make the procedure known and understood to the appropriate staff. Include the primary aspects of the settlement agreement in system entries and reference where additional information about the settlement can be obtained. Provide information about the department involved in the settlement negotiations, and the name of at least one point of contact. Have a policy in place to ensure this information is updated in the event of staffing changes. If the specifics of the settlement are to remain confidential, note “CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT REACHED” in all systems. Again, reference a point of contact and where additional information can be obtained.CREDIT DISPUTES: Upon receiving notice of a credit reporting dispute, conduct a thorough investigation. This should include the review of system notes and documents, but also a thorough review of the information submitted by the borrower. If there is a discrepancy between the system notes and information from the borrower, especially significant facts that were omitted such as a reference to a lawsuit or settlement, investigate further. Seek assistance from or refer the matter to a litigation specialist within your company. Importantly, you should not reach out to the borrower for clarification until there is confirmation he or she is not represented by counsel.center_img borrower court Default Foreclosure Lender loan property Servicer Settlement 2019-05-15 Radhika Ojha May 15, 2019 731 Views last_img read more

first_imgAndrus AnsipNew European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip has backed “solid” and “clearly defined” net neutrality and called for geo-blocking restrictions in Europe to be scrapped.In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg Ansip – who is one of three European commissioners who has taken over from recently retired digital policy chief Neelie Kroes – said that geo-blocking based on location or residence “goes against the core principles of Europe’s single market.”He also said that building trust and confidence in the online world is vital if a digital single market is to exist in Europe and function properly.“Our citizens want the best the internet can offer, they want an internet that is safe and accessible to everybody. This is not a reality in Europe today,” said Ansip.“There is even more work to do to achieve a truly connected digital single market. A market where every consumer is able to enjoy digital content and services – wherever they are in the EU, including government services.“It means every company should be able to share and sell its wares to a market of 500 million, using seamless online channels.”In terms of geo-blocking restrictions, Ansip said that work should centre around reforming and modernising copyright rules and “getting rid of unjustified curbs on transfer and access to digital assets.”In 2015 the European Commission will present its strategy for a digital single market and prepare measures based on its assessment of “the most urgent obstacles to be removed.”“The benefits of a digital single market are €260 billion a year, potentially more. Imagine ending those barriers, making this a benefit to Europe, not the cost of non-Europe. This is the jolt that our economy needs and the opportunity our citizens want,” said Ansip.The comments came as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) yesterday called on EU member states to launch negotiations as soon as possible with the European Parliament on net neutrality provisions.In an open letter co-signed by the EBU last month, the union said that legislation on net neutrality “would provide certainty for providers of innovative online content, applications and services, enhance transparency for end-users and boost consumers trust in the internet”.Neelie Kroes stepped down earlier this month, with her role divided up and three European Commissioners succeeding her: Ansip, vice president-designate for the Digital Single Market; Günther Oettinger, commissioner-designate for the Digital Economy and Society; and Jyrki Katainen, vice president-designate for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness.last_img read more

first_imgNetflix is due to launch in Japan on September 2, marking its first steps into the Asian market.The video streaming giant confirmed the launch date to tech site VentureBeat, after revealing earlier this year that it planned to go live in Japan this autumn.Last month Netflix said in its second quarter earnings announcement that it had passed the 65 million subscriber-mark and also plans to launch in China next year as part of its ongoing expansion efforts.Though Netflix did not launch in any new markets in Q2, it said that its international segment is growing at “a rapid pace” with plans already in place to launch in Japan in Q3; in Spain, Italy and Portugal in Q4; and in further global markets after that.Netflix has already expanded into Australia and New Zealand this year, going live in these countries in March.News of the Japan launch date came yesterday as Netflix’s share-price climbed 7.6% to reach a day high of US$122.70 – exceeding its 52-week high of US$177.88.Bloomberg said the surge came as Guggenheim Securities issued a buy recommendation and a price target of US$160, indicating confidence in Netflix stock. Netflix’s shareprice has  already reportedly climbed 148% this year.last_img read more

first_img Gross profit (billions $) 14.7 Other 16.7 Addition of carriers. Currently, Apple has relationships with and supplies about 250 carriers in over 100 countries. However, there is significant potential for growth with telecoms that do not have relationships with Apple. China Mobile – China’s largest telecom with over 700 million subscribers – is a prominent example. We’ve concluded that adding carriers in emerging markets could provide Apple with an incremental 60 million units of iPhone sales annually. However, carrier expansion will likely be pushed out toward the back half of 2013 and into 2014. In the following calculation of gross profit for Apple’s iPhone segment for 2014, we have assumed a unit volume of 185 million. We’ve also modeled the impact that a low-cost phone will have on average sales price and gross margins. High customer satisfaction around other Apple products (iPods, iPhones, and iPads) creates a halo effect, which drives customers to Macs when they are ready to buy a PC. For these reasons, we think Apple’s Mac sales will continue to resist the overall trend, and at worst, remain flat for the next 18 months. We also foresee little change in average sales price and margins. Here’s our resulting forecast for the PC segment: Gross profit % 46 Units (millions) 18.2 The case presented above yielded earnings per share of $50.32 for fiscal year 2014. Currently, Apple’s share price multiple is about 10 times, well below the current market multiple of 18. This may seem too low; however, we think this is a good number to apply to our estimate. Multiples are usually a reflection of anticipated growth. Because Apple faces the law of large numbers, the market is apt to be perpetually nervous about its ability to grow, and therefore will continue to assign it a low earnings multiple. Nevertheless, 10 times our earnings estimate would result in a share price of $503, a return of about 25% in 18 months. This is by no means a spectacular return, but it is based on conservative projections. So it is, in our view, very achievable. What Will Move Apple Just as a stationary ball needs a push to provide it initial momentum, the undervalued stock needs a catalyst to fuel its price move. With Hewlett-Packard, a stock we recommended in the October issue of BIG TECH, one catalyst we foresaw was breakup speculation. Our thinking was that Hewlett-Packard had become so grossly undervalued, that it was only a matter of time before activist investors and Wall Street analysts began calling for a breakup of the company as a way to unlock shareholder value. That’s exactly what happened. We were also helped along by another catalyst: the Dell buyout news. When it was all said and done, our strategy yielded a 50% profit in just shy of five months. Never let it be said value investing is boring. With Apple, there are a handful of short-term catalysts that could send the stock higher. The ones that immediately come to mind are: The successful launch of a new product – such as the long-rumored smart TV and/or the iWatch – that catches fire in the marketplace. A deal to distribute iPhones with China Mobile, China’s largest mobile network provider with over 700 million subscribers. A sizable dividend hike and/or a sizable share buyback. On the flip side, a disappointing earnings report could send shares lower. But that’s probably baked into the cake. And besides, CEO Tim Cook will probably have some good news in his hip pocket (i.e., a big dividend hike) if he thinks earnings will disappoint. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a major market correction. If that happens, almost every stock will get hit. But since Apple is down big over the last few months, it will probably withstand a downturn better than most. Long story short, Apple possesses the characteristics we look for in a stock. Given its future earnings prospects, it looks undervalued, and it has multiple short-term catalysts. For these reasons, it looks like a decent buy at current levels. Bits & Bytes The Alibaba Phenomenon (The Economist) When thinking of e-commerce companies, Alibaba is probably not one of the first names that comes to mind… but that may soon change. Rumor has it that China’s e-commerce king is planning to go public, with valuation estimates ranging from $55 billion to more than $120 billion. That would make it one of the most valuable publicly traded companies in the world. Bitcoin ATMs Coming Soon (CNN Money) Bitcoins are taking a step into the real world, with an entrepreneur planning to introduce ATMs for the virtual currency. The Bitcoin ATMs will accept dollar bills and instantly convert the amount to Bitcoins and deposit the result in your account. Aereo Could Bring Down Broadcast TV (CNN Money) Aereo, an upstart online service which provides low-cost access to broadcast TV over the Internet, could be a huge step toward a future when programming options come à la carte, divorced from the expensive packages assembled by cable and satellite carriers. Tablets The tablet computer – a cross between a laptop, a smartphone, and a personal digital assistant – is not a new concept. Computer scientist Alan Kay began advancing ideas about component miniaturization, touchscreens, and WiFi technology way back in 1968. However, not until 2010 did any version of the tablet meet with meaningful commercial success. That’s the year that Apple launched the iPad. On launch day, 300,000 iPads were sold. Over the next year, more than 15 million were sold. The era of the tablet had arrived. Why did it take so long? Well, there were some attendant and powerful circumstances that prevailed in 2010 that either did not exist or were not sufficiently mature during earlier attempts to market tablets. Though inferior to the PC for content creation, the tablet is ideal for content consumption. Thanks to the advent of the Internet and WiFi and the spawning of thousands of apps, there is now a lot of content to consume. In addition, battery life has been extended from three hours on early versions of the tablet to over 12 hours on some current models, making these devices more portable and, therefore, more appealing to consumers. Those circumstances have driven astonishing adoption rates every year since 2010. In fact, the market for tablets has ramped up faster than any technology in history. 38.7 Personal Computers Much has been written in recent years about the decline in sales of personal computers (desktops and notebooks). As we all know by now, mobile computing devices are the cause. As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis. According to Gartner, PC shipments peaked in 2011 at 364 million units, a 3.7% increase over the prior year. In 2012, year-over-year shipments decreased by 6.3%, and the slide is expected to continue in 2013 and 2014, with decreases of 7.6% and 4.1% respectively. However, Apple’s Mac division has experienced no such letdown; unit sales of Apple personal computers actually increased by 9% for the 2012 fiscal year. We think Apple is defying the PC trend for two main reasons: Apple serves the high end of the PC market. Because these high-end users are content creators, they are less likely to abandon the Mac for a tablet. Revenue* 108.3 Operating expenses* (Click on image to enlarge) This is not a fad. Rather, it is structural and will prevail for many years. Technology research firm IDC estimates that tablet shipments will reach 191 million units in 2013 and grow at a compounded annual rate of 16.6% for four years thereafter. Upon reinventing the tablet category in 2010, Apple dominated the market with a whopping 70% share. Since then, several formidable competitors have entered the fray, including Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft. For the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple’s share had dropped to 46%, owing to the increased number of competitors and to Apple’s unwillingness to participate in a race to the bottom on pricing. IDC estimates that by 2017, the company’s share will drop to 43.5%. Conservatively, we have built our projections on the assumption that its share will be 40% for next fiscal year (September 2014). For fiscal year 2012, the average sale price of an iPad was about $531. However, in November 2012, Apple released the iPad Mini with a retail price of $329. Estimates are that the Mini will comprise 40% of total iPad sales. We estimate that that will lower the average sale price to about $450. Gross margin on iPads was 42.7% during fiscal year 2012, but the shift in sales mix to the Mini will put downward pressure on those margins. We estimate margins will fall to 38% for tablets in 2013 and stabilize at that level for 2014. Putting this all together, here is our projection for tablets down to the gross profit line for 2014: PCs Tablets Gross profit % 24.5 Apple units (millions units) 86 Gross profit % 38 When the market turns against a stock, watch out. Just ask Apple investors. From its peak just seven months ago, Apple is down over 40%. That’s an incredible move for a company of Apple’s size. Several factors have contributed to the decline, including: management departures, low-cost competition, and concerns that Apple’s well of innovation may have run dry with the loss of Steve Jobs. Each of these factors is cause for concern. However, healthy skepticism can quickly give way to a herd mentality, causing an overreaction in share price. Could that be what we’re seeing with Apple? To find out, we decided to take a look at the prospects for each of Apple’s major business segments. Smartphones Worldwide shipments of smartphones topped 700 million units in 2012, according to tech research firm IDC, an increase of 46% over 2011. Torrid growth is expected to continue; in 2013, IDC expects a 27% increase in smartphone shipments and another 17% in 2014, lifting sales to over 1 billion units annually. Analysts look for Apple’s smartphone growth to stay pretty much in lockstep with the market: fiscal year 2013 iPhone shipments are estimated to increase by about 25% (from 125 million to 156 million units), while a 19% increase is foreseen for FY 2014 (from 156 million to 185 million units). These estimates look very achievable and possibly even conservative. Here’s why: Introduction of a low-cost phone. In the US, Apple depends heavily upon a carrier-subsidized business model. Under this model, Verizon, AT&T, and other telecoms buy iPhones from Apple, then resell them to consumers well below their costs. In exchange for the discount received on the phone, the consumer signs a long-term contract (typically two years) with the carrier. In many regions outside the US, the subsidy model is not utilized. In order to penetrate the market in those regions, Apple needs a low-cost phone. Speculation has it that such a phone is on the way and will be introduced sometime around mid-year. In addition to driving growth internationally, an iPhone in the $300-$400 price range should help Apple capture share with non-contract (known as prepaid) US carriers. Pre-tax income* Revenue (billions $) 23.2 26.1 Units (millions) 185 Putting It All Together In the table below, we aggregate the information for the segments we discussed above. We add in the combined revenues from the iPod, iTunes, and accessories segments with the assumption that the iPod segment will decline at a 25% annual rate, while iTunes and accessories will increase at about a 12% annual rate. And finally, we assume that operating expenses and income taxes, consistent with the last two years, will be 8.5% of sales and 25% of pre-tax profits, respectively. 39.5 Income tax* Gross profit % 46.0 Refresh of iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is due for a refresh. One is expected at mid-year, about the same time as the low-cost phone introduction. If that’s the case, it will be just in time for the upgrade cycle, as iPhone 4 customers who bought phones in the fall of 2011 will be coming off their two-year contracts and looking for new subsidized phones. It’s a safe bet that most of these customers will stick with Apple. A recent survey from Morgan Stanley and AlphaWise found that Apple leads the smartphone industry in customer retention. Among those surveyed, 83% of iPhone users said they plan to buy another iPhone. Total 63.8 Average sale price     450 23.2 Revenue (billions $) 108.3 Average sale price 585 Addressable market (millions units) 214 24.5 10.3 14.7 41.0 * Numbers in billions Gross profit (billions $) 5.7 Gross profit* 49.8 Average sale price 1,275 Net income* Revenue (billions $) 38.7 196.3 Smartphones 38.8 5.7 Apple share 40% 80.5 47.8 16.0 Gross profit (billions $) 49.8last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Tapering is “all priced-in”. *  Summers says thanks but no-thanks. *  Retail Sales disappoint in the U.S. *  Gold manipulation whistleblowers. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Dollar Gets Sold Like Funnel Cakes At A State Fair! Good day.  And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a wonderful weather-wise weekend (how about that poetic use of alliteration so early in the morning!)  for us here in St. Louis this past weekend! We had our “block party” in the subdivision that I live in, so that was a good time, and the grandkids had a “dance party” at the house Friday night, so darn cute! Well, I came in this morning, turned on the currency screens, and what to my surprise! A currency rally! 2 days before the Fed will announce tapering to boot! So, what gives? Why would the dollar be getting sold now? Ahhh grasshopper, come, sit, and listen to a tale of what they call in the markets of an event being “priced in”. Apparently, traders came to the realization last night that the Fed’s tapering, is already “priced in”, and the only thing left is for the Fed to disappoint them, with the announcement of a small amount of pull-back, or a delay. So, the dollar is getting sold like funnel cakes at a state fair this morning. The other item that’s weighing on the dollar was the announcement this weekend that Lawrence Summers has withdrawn his name from the list of those wishing to be the next Fed Chairman.  OK. there are three things here that come to mind as to why Mr. Summers decided to pull out ahead of the nomination process. 1. He could have skeletons in his closet, and the confirmation process would expose those. 2. He got a glimpse of the Fed’s balance sheet, and decided that he didn’t want to be the one who’s name was attached to that mess. or 3. He read the Pfennig last week, and got scared.  So, actually, I think he took what was behind door #2, with #3 coming in close! So, here’s the skinny on why this news is bad for the dollar. You see, Summers was thought to have been a Fed Chairman that would favor tightening at a much quicker pace, and higher interest rates in the U.S. is what a lot of traders were looking forward to. On the other hand, Janet Yellen, the other person close to the nomination is thought to be “pro-growth”, which means interest rates would remain near zero longer.  And, before we go any further, you all know that I’m just having some fun with his reasons for withdrawing his name, right? So, there you go! Two reasons for the currency rally and dollar selling this morning! Let’s review very quickly. The markets came to the realization that they had already priced-in the Fed tapering this week, too far. and 2. Summers grabs his hat from the Fed Chairman ring. On a side bar. Wouldn’t it be something if Janet Yellen also withdrew her name as a Fed Chairman possibility? Then NY Fed Head Dudley would be next, and then he said thanks, but no thanks?  I doubt that will happen, as these Fed Heads are pretty egotistic, and probably believe that they “have the plan to save the world”.  And when they announce that plan to save the world, you might want to make plans to take a long vacation. The Emerging Markets took the Summers news as a sign that they too should rally, and rally they did!  The Indian rupee surged higher, and the Turkish lira made its strongest move in 2 years!  These wild swings is one of the reasons people get squeamish when it comes to investing in the Emerging Markets, which is why it makes sense to go into them with Principal protection, like that’ s afforded to the holders of our Evolving Markets MarketSafe CD, which by the way, we’ve brought back for another round. So, if you couldn’t pull the trigger on the first one, this is your last chance saloon. The best performing currency overnight is the Aussie dollar (A$) which is up over 1-cent this morning.  Knowing that the U.S. rates will be anchored for some time to come, is good news for the currencies like the A$, kiwi, and even the Brazilian real, for those interest rate differentials are really making a comeback as a key fundamental. And that puts a smile on my face. Reminds me a dentist’s card I saw many years ago. It had printed on the card: “Smile, it improves your face value”. Gold just can’t seem to catch a bid these days, and is down $10 this morning. Did you see the report last week from Goldman Sachs, that said they see the risk of Gold going below $1,000? OK. Quick Quiz. What have I told you in the past about Big Brokerage Houses’ Calls for assets? That they very well could be trading their book, or their future needs. In this case, the brokerage firm could be short the asset, and needing to buy it back at cheaper levels, So, they issue a letter to their clients and tell them what they see, in hopes of getting everyone to sell, thus cheapening the price of the asset, and then the firm can go in a buy cover their shorts, at cheaper prices.  Now, I’m not saying this is what this firm is doing right now. I’m just saying that we need to take these calls with a grain of salt, and see them for what they could possibly be. It’s funny, I saw this news story on the Bloomberg Friday morning, and the story below this one was one from HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp.) “HSBC Lifts 2013 Gold Price Forecast on Higher Physical Demand”.  So, which one  of these stories are you going to hang your hat on? Me?  I think I’ll just keep a steady Eddie focus on owning Gold as a store of wealth, and not get caught up in forecasts! OK. The euro is much stronger to start the week at 1.3350 this morning. The German Federal Elections are next Sunday, and the only thing out there that could hurt the euro in these elections is IF the anti-euro party (AFD) wins 5% of the vote, and makes it into parliament. Right now the polls have then at 4%, which is where they will need to stay to keep the euro well bid next week. If the 5% level is achieved, I would think that the euro would take a hit. The Chinese renminbi / yuan is much stronger this morning as the Chinese Gov’t allowed a strong appreciation overnight. There was an article in the China Finance magazine that talked about how conditions in China have matured to further open Capital account. This is the stuff that I’ve been telling you was going to happen, folks. I love it when a plan comes together! But getting back to the renminbi movement. We saw these kinds of moves last spring too, when hot money flooded the Chinese markets, but then left when they got scared that China’s economy was going to shut down. When that didn’t happen, the hot money has begun to flow into China again. You see, interest rates “in China” are good, and we all know that interest rates sure aren’t good in the U.S., Japan, or Eurozone! And in Norway, the Norwegian August Trade Surplus narrowed to NK28.8 Billion from NK 35.3 in July. But this news wasn’t seen as bad for the krone. This drop in the Surplus isn’t new or surprising, as this data is very volatile. The chart on the Surplus looks like a chart for someone on a trampoline!  I think the thing to keep in mind the most here is that Norway has a Trade Surplus, and that’s something a lot of countries don’t have. And they didn’t need to weaken their currency to achieve this Surplus. Well, the data from last week was interesting, I’ll give it that! The Big Kahuna data print last Friday, the 13th I might add, was U.S. Retail Sales from August, which came in weaker than expected at +.2% (.5% was forecast). So, the Fed Heads have that on their minds as they begin to gather this week for a two-day meeting. The U. of Michigan Consumer Confidence report fell from 82.1 to 76.8. not a good thing.  Today, we get my two faves. Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization.  Nothing that’s going to turn the dollar around today. For What It’s Worth. JMR Doug, sent me this link to the story on King World News. So thanks JMR  Doug! He said in his note to me, “Looks like the mainstream media will finally have to admit what you’ve been preaching for years Mr. Chuck.” So.. this was in King World News. Here’s the link to the whole story. And my snippet. In a stunning development, two JP Morgan whistleblowers have confessed that the bank manipulates the gold and silver markets.  This is truly a shocking admission by the courageous JP Morgan whistleblowers.  In a blockbuster King World News interview, London metals trader Andrew Maguire told KWN that the two JP Morgan employees came directly to him with hard evidence that the bank was actively manipulating the gold and silver markets.  This is a truly catastrophic event for JP Morgan, which up to now has denied manipulating these markets.  Below Maguire takes KWN readers around the world on a trip down the rabbit hole as he discusses how he led the two JP Morgan employees to turn over the evidence to a law firm which specializes in high profile whistleblowers, and also to the CFTC.  According to Maguire, the CFTC has virtually buried this information.  Is this a cover up, or the next LIBOR scandal about to be exposed? Chuck again. I like the fact that a major news outlet like King World News, ran this story. now, if the cable news stations would pick it up, we might get some traction. Other than that, this will die out again. But don’t worry, we’ll get plenty of coverage from the cable news stations on Miley Cyrus.  Speaking of her, I saw a very funny cartoon last week, it was Dr. Brown from the Back to the Future movies sitting in the DeLorean talking to Marty and the quote was: “Marty, we have to go back in time to help Billy Ray Cyrus from getting into “trouble”..  And make no mistake. I’m just reporting the story here. To recap. The dollar is getting sold like funnel cakes at a state fair this morning, as the markets realize overnight that they have already priced in the Fed’s Tapering, and the news that Lawrence Summers pulled his name from those being considered as the next Fed Chairman, thus leaving the nomination to Janet Yellen, who is a pro-growth Fed Head, and that means ZIRP remains in place longer, which is not good for the dollar. Currencies 9/16/13. American Style: A$ .9380, kiwi .8210, C$ .9710, euro 1.3355, sterling 1.5930, Swiss $1.0790, . European Style: rand 9.7570, krone 5.9090, SEK 6.5105, forint 223.75, zloty 3.1430, koruna 19.2855, RUB 32.26, yen 98.90, sing 1.2595, HKD 7.7540, INR 62.83, China 6.1554, pesos 12.91, BRL 2.2795, Dollar Index 81.14, Oil $106.64, 10-year 2.81%, Silver $21.73, Platinum $1,444.43, Palladium $704.20, and Gold. $1,311.03 That’s it for today. Lucky me! I came in this morning to find some chocolate chip cookies wrapped in foil that were left here for me from Kathy G, when she visited last week! What a sweetheart! My beloved Cardinals are hanging on, but need to get some separation from the Pirates and Reds. Markets could get pretty volatile this week with the Fed meeting, so be prepared to hunker down. Next week I’ll be in Houston for a visit to the oncologist and the other doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Clinic. It’s been a year, since my first visit there. I can’t express my gratitude enough to my beautiful bride who insisted that I apply to MD Anderson. Now, the goal is to NOT have to visit them any longer! Wouldn’t that be nice!  And with that thought, I’ll send you out to tackle this day and week. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

first_imgThe toy trap: we all have friends who’ve fallen in. I received a wave of emails after publishing Debt: The Last Social Taboo?, all sharing similar sad stories. Author Dave Ramsey summed up the problem best: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Malcolm Forbes, lover of all-things extravagant, likely originated the phrase “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Few of us could ever afford Forbes’ Fabergé egg collection or the ostentatious parties he threw, but many a retiree or near-retiree has overspent on cars, boats, homes, and a surgically enhanced trophy wife or two. My wife Jo tells me this isn’t just a “guy thing” either. She has friends with two or three closets filled with designer clothes. We have one friend who’s been retired for over a decade, yet who still makes monthly trips down Michigan Avenue in Chicago to shop, shop, shop. Her closet is full of enough fur coats to spark a PETA riot. So is there room in 2014 for a return to financial modesty—room to reject the toy trap? I say yes! Here’s our five-step guide to doing just that.#1—Someone always has a bigger, faster boat. Playing the game is futile, because no matter how much wealth you have, you can’t win. Someone will always have more. Rush Limbaugh once boasted about buying the newest, biggest, fastest Gulfstream jet, a G650. He mentioned something about flying nonstop from Raleigh to Honolulu with 20 of his best friends. I won’t begrudge a man any toy he can truly afford, but Limbaugh is in for a rude awakening. As far back as 2009, the CEO of Gulfstream’s parent company had already announced it was working on developing a plane “beyond” the G650. What will Limbaugh do then? In the meantime, some oil baron from the Middle East is looking down from his 747 with a smirk on his face. I was on a 13-hour flight from London to Miami years ago and totally bored, so I made a list of all the material things I would love to own. Yeah, I included a private jet and a yacht. Then I calculated the cost of buying and maintaining those toys and realized I’d have to win the lottery every year to afford such luxury. Time to get real! The sooner you get a handle on needs versus wants, the better off you and your family will be. Owning cool stuff is fun. Most real people, however, have to choose between the neat toys they’d like and saving enough to retire comfortably. So until those lottery wins come in, I’ll continue flying commercial with the other mere mortals. If you want to treat yourself, pay a little extra to upgrade your seat.#2—Don’t misunderstand status. In dictionary terms, status means:sta·tus rank: the relative position or standing of somebody or something in a society or other group prestige: high rank or standing, especially in a community, work force, or organization condition: a condition that is subject to change In Miller terms, there are least two different types of status. The first I call “pseudo-status.” In the article mentioned above, I wrote about my friend Tom, the poster child for spendaholics anonymous. Tom spent a good portion of his adult life trying to impress others and move up in the pecking order. Could Tom have really bought his way to the top? No. The second type of status I call “earned status.” Each major professional sport has a hall of fame. The players enshrined in them stood out among their peers and earned their status in those communities. Earned status is a laudable aspiration. A mentor of mine once said:“Real status does not come from telling people how important you are, but rather from others recognizing your achievements above the rest. Accomplish something, and they will know you are good. You won’t have to say a word.”#3—You don’t have to be a scrooge. Owning nice things can make life more enjoyable. There is nothing wrong with buying cool stuff that makes you happy. Enjoying an expensive glass of wine at dinner does not make you an alcoholic or a spendaholic. However, buying stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have will eventually affect your family, your retirement, and your health. Tom had closets crammed full of clothes, but he still made regular trips to the big city men’s store where he’d drop $10,000 or more each visit. He would leave the store carrying nothing—everything had to be monogrammed and shipped. I can’t remember the last time I saw Tom in a non-monogrammed shirt. After he died, one of his children confided that his designer jeans and socks were monogrammed too. No wonder they said he had an addiction.#4—Short-term gratification is just that: short term. Tom’s life saddens me. He had a great business, employed many people, earned a good income, and was an asset to the community. Had he focused on long-term goals rather than indulging short-term emotional needs, he would have achieved the status he so desperately wanted. Tom fell prey to his desire to constantly feel important. He seemed to think the only way he could satisfy that hunger was to constantly buy clothes and toys. Unfortunately, that addiction is what kept him from his goal. He died bankrupt, and everyone in town knew it.#5—Remember the lessons your grandparents taught you. You can’t buy real friends, nor can you maintain a friendship by constantly flaunting your wealth. True friendship has nothing to do with money. It comes from who you are and how you behave. I have a friend whom I’ve known since high school. He grew up on a farm in a single-parent home. He has built quite a business empire and has more than his share of cool and very expensive toys. Unlike Tom, however, he can actually afford to write a check for them. The friends he is most comfortable with are the ones who knew him when he was poor and are happy for his success. This friend was too busy on the farm growing up to participate in many high school activities. When the school bell rang, he rushed home to work late into the night. Tom, on the other hand, had a different childhood. His parents looked after him financially. They even started the family business that Tom eventually took over. He never learned to save. Money magically appeared when he wanted it for many decades—until it didn’t. Maybe things just came too easy for Tom. He never valued having money, only what it could buy him. I’ll leave that for the professionals to ponder. Forbes and countless T-shirts in the 1980s said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” There was another popular T-shirt, though—one I’d be proud to wear—that said, “He who dies with the most toys still dies.” Toys are not the measure of a man. The true captain of his own ship looks after his crew and their welfare until his dying day. The folks I know who are truly happy have done just that. A man who doesn’t fixate on toys he neither needs nor can afford has a much better chance at finding lasting happiness. I am a big believer that being “rich” is a state of mind. As you cross the threshold toward retirement, the ability to maintain your lifestyle without worry can help keep you in that mindset. Retirement shouldn’t involve a lot of money worries… and it doesn’t have to. Our goal at Miller’s Money Forever is to help our subscribers become truly rich and make their golden years the best of their lives. Our portfolio is doing quite well, and we have optimal safety precautions in place. If you have not done so already, I urge you to take advantage of our 90-day risk-free offer. We are reasonably priced ($99/year). If you feel we are not for you, cancel within the first 90 days and receive 100% of your money back, no questions asked. Click here to subscribe today.On the Lighter Side I had another good chat with Chad Slagle on his television and radio program. I was in the hot seat, as they say. You can watch along here: Dennis Miller on the Chad Slagle Show. Next week is St. Patrick’s Day, and we love to go to Fountain Hills to watch the green fountain shoot up 300 feet. In Chicago they make the river green, but the fountain is a lot more fun to watch. Last week we went to a Cubs game at the new facility in Mesa, AZ. We were thrilled to see the Budweiser Clydesdale team. Such magnificent animals! I whispered to the lead horse how much I enjoyed his Super Bowl commercial and darned if he did not bob his head up and down a couple of times. Who says those animals aren’t smart? Our good friend Phil works at the Surprise, AZ spring training facility. Each year he gets tickets for our group of Chicago Cub fans in the area. This year 26 couples are going to dinner and the game. It’s always a lot of fun. And finally… Dear friend Toots sent some cute remarks about aging: You’re getting old when you don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along. Statistics show that at the age of 70, there are five women to every man. Isn’t that an ironic time for a guy to get those odds? Old age is when you have stopped growing at both ends, and have begun to grow in the middle. Old age is having a choice of two temptations and choosing the one that will get you home earlier. A man has reached old age when he is cautioned to slow down by his doctor instead of by the police. And my favorite: You’re getting old when “getting lucky” means you find a great parking space. Until next week…last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar fights back yesterday * But currencies try to rally again this morning. * Foreign Investment flows into India soar! * Money can’t buy you love, but Gold can! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Eurozone Starts Negotiations With A Tough Stance. Good Day!…  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m greeted this morning with a song from the late 70’s while Chris was dancing at a mixer to disco music, by Ambrosia. That’s How Much I Feel..  Yes, there was “other music” being made besides disco in the late 70’s. Chris and I always have fun claiming the other one liked disco music. But I KNOW I didn’t! Now, Chris? I think the possibilities are great!   Remember me whining and complaining about the lack of volatility in the currencies the past 3 to 4 years? Well, I whine no more! Volatility has returned, and the leader of the pack is the euro, which is trading with the most volatility that it has seen since 2011!  And that volatility has been brought to the euro by the goings on in Greece. Funny, isn’t it, that the last time we visited problems in Greece it was 2011. Hmmm.  So, since the euro trading is all about the goings on with Greece, we might as well take a stab at those goings on, eh?  Well, the rug was pulled out from under the euro’s rally yesterday. After a good start to the day, the news from the Eurozone / Greece meetings became very dark, and pulled the rug with a quick, strong yank! So for those of you who want to get into all this drama coming from the Eurozone, I’ll get into it. For those of you who could do without it, because life is so full of drama on a daily basis, go on and skip ahead. At its non-monetary policy meeting yesterday,  the ECB’s Governing Council decided to lift the waiver that allowed bonds issued or guaranteed by the Greek government to be eligible at the Eurosystem’s refinancing operations (you know the LTRO’s we’ve discussed and other forms of refinancing that is used)  despite their sub investment grade rating. As a consequence, such bonds are not eligible anymore as collateral to the ECB’s regular liquidity operations, starting from the maturity of the current main refinancing operation on February 11. So, the Greeks have to go back to the drawing board, and figure out if they want loans or not, because if they do want loans, and they’ll run out of money by the end of this month, they’ll have to accept and maintain austerity programs. The news on the Bloomberg this morning, say the Greeks are going to keep their “anti-austerity” talk. YIKES! Obviously, these are the opening salvos being thrown out to see where the negotiations start, but to me, this is going to get ugly, folks.  There are other things going on, that really get pretty hairy with their description of what’s going on, but in essence, this main point that I’ve discussed here, is what it all boils down to. So don’t let all that other stuff, about eligible or non-eligible get in the way of what’s important here. The euro got whacked on this news, but in reality, I would ask why?  Here is a governing body that represents 17 countries and they decided that one country has not done anything close to what they were asked to do, and now wants more, and the governing body, decided to say “no mas”. We won’t accept your bonds any longer, unless you agree to adopt our terms.  The great 70’s rock group, Foghat, had a song called. Take it or leave it.  Take it or leave it, tell me what you’re going to do.. Take it or leave it, now the choice is up to you.  I can’t wait until tomorrow, tomorrow may be too late. take all the sorrow, I can’t wait! I bet you’re wondering, where the heck does he come up with these bands? Foghat? Ahhh, grasshopper, Foghat songs were the soundtrack of many a party in the 70’s. Slow Ride, Fool for the city, Drivin’ Wheel, and so on. So there’s your Rock history for today.. A changeup was badly needed folks. Don’t you agree?   Today. believe it or don’t, the euro is rallying, along with the Aussie dollar (A$), N.Z. dollar / kiwi, Norwegian krone, and well, heck most of the currencies except the Chinese renminbi, and Gold. With the renminbi weaker this morning, what does that indicate the performance of Indian rupees will be? That’s right! If you were paying attention in class yesterday, I told you that these two currencies (renminbi & rupee) should in my opinion trade together, but in recent trading they move in opposite directions. So that means the rupee is rallying today. I have to say that one of the first things I check each morning, are the prices of Oil, Gold, the 10-year Treasury and the euro.  And this morning, I noted that the price of Oil had dropped again, losing the $50 handle, making the two-day run in Oil earlier this week a thing of the past, and I thought to myself, that the petrol currencies must be under pressure.  But then when I switched over the full currency screen I was stunned and amazed to see not only the Norwegian krone rallying, but too the Russian ruble, Canadian dollar / loonie, Brazilian real, and so on.  So, what gives with that? The price of Oil drops, but the petrol currencies rally?  Well, I’ll tell you sometimes you get ½ the answers and have to live with it. and this is one of those times. So, let’s just move along here, there are not the droids we’re looking for.   Getting back to the Indian rupee for a moment. I saw some stuff on the Bloomberg this morning regarding investment flows to India, which would go a long way toward the rupee rally. And investment flows to India and Indian Gov’t bonds in January were the biggest since last July. Recall that last July we had the euphoria in India about a new PM.   For those of you keeping score at home, foreign investors bought $464 Million more rupee-denominated bonds at the auction yesterday, and in January the total was $3.3 Billion!  The yield on the 10-year Gov’t bond is around 7.7% (for institutional buyers) That’s nearly 600 Basis Points greater than the same tenor U.S. Treasury.  Sure, India is no match to the U.S. as far as size, strength, and safety, but. 600 Basis Points would certainly make me think twice about opting for an investment in India. Now, I’m not saying you should go right out and buy Indian bonds. I’m simply pointing out why the foreign investment flows into India are strong right now, and when that happens, the rupee should be the beneficiary. There’s a report out this morning from Citigroup regarding Denmark, and I have to say I love it!  Citigroup says that it’s unlikely that Denmark will scrap the peg to the euro.  So, wait a minute Chuck, didn’t you say something opposite to that in the Daily Reckoning? (www.dailyreckoning.com)  Well, thank you for being on top of this!  Yes, I did say something opposite of that in the Daily Reckoning, but. You know me. Citigroup has probably dozens of researchers that contributed to this report, and here it’s just little old me.. So, when someone says something opposite of what I’ve said, I take it as they read what I said, and decided to prove me wrong. Yes, it’s a very myopic viewpoint, but what the heck! Now we have to wait-n-see who turns out to be right. Well, Gold can’t seem to find a bid again this morning. UGH!  The Beatles are singing “Money can’t buy me love” on the iPod, right now, and that may be true, but I bet Gold can buy you love! HA!  And then that song was followed by Pink Floyd’s song: Money.  strange how that all came about, eh?  Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today.  Notice they didn’t sing: Gold is the root of all evil today!  Silly stuff, I know, but so is watching the price manipulators take the price of Gold lower. Ed Steer’s daily letter just showed up in my email box, and clicking on it, I see the headline is: “Buy Gold and Short Federal Reserve, Says Marc Faber Once Again!”  Have I ever told you the story about me sitting on a panel at the New Orleans Investment Conference, the granddaddy of all investment conferences, and this is the first time I ever met him.  I was totally impressed with his ponytail, and then at one point of the discussion, he even told the crowd that they should listen to me.  So, now when I see something he has written or a video interview, I click on it immediately, for this guy must know what he’s talking about, he told people to listen to me! The U.S. Data Cupboard is gearing up for tomorrow’s Jobs Jamboree. Just the usual Tub Thumpin’ Thursday stuff for us today, like the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, we’ll see if last week’s drop was a “true drop” or one that was a result of the week being short a day. Yesterday’s Data Cupboard, printed a weaker than expected ADP Jobs report. Hmmm. 230,000 was expected and only 213,000 printed. Hmmm. On a sidebar. I had the TV on yesterday while I was doing some reading, and the funny Geico commercial with Pinocchio as a failing motivational speaker was on, and it made me laugh, and immediately my mind began thinking about this. Pinocchio is asked to be a motivational speaker to countries.. And he begins by pointing to a country, like Japan, and saying “and you have a strong economy” and his nose grows, then points to the U.K. and repeats “you have a strong economy” and his nose grows, and then points to the U.S. and says, “I really see potential because of your strong economy” and his nose grows a foot!  Now, tell me how many people would have thought of that? For What It’s Worth. I have something different for you this morning. Just something else to think about. Thanks to dear reader Bob for sending along to me, and you can read the whole article here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/04/japanese-bank-introduces-robot-workers-to-deal-with-customers-in-branches “Japan’s biggest bank is preparing to unveil robot employees with a human touch. Nao, a 58-centimetre (1ft 11)-tall humanoid developed by the French company Aldebaran Robotics – a subsidiary of the Japanese telecoms and internet giant SoftBank – will begin work on a trial basis at one or two branches of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group from April. Depending on his performance, more robots could appear at other branches in the coming months. Equipped with a camera on his forehead, Nao is programmed to speak 19 languages. He analyses customers’ emotions from their facial expressions and tone of voice, enabling him to greet customers and ask which services they need. The 5.4-kg robot, who was “born” in Paris in 2006, lived up to his billing with a faultless interaction with an English-speaking customer, during a presentation in Tokyo this week.” Chuck again. WOW! Robots in bank branches! I doubt that it catches on here for many years, but in my opinion, if I was concerned about online banking before, I wouldn’t be now!  Where’s a good online bank I hear you asking?  Ahem. you’re reading this letter that’s sponsored by such a bank! To recap. Well, the playing nicely in the sandbox ended up with some sand being kicked in the faces and kids crying and pointing fingers at who started it. Germany opened the negotiations with Greece by dropping Greek bonds from the lending facility (LTRO) and the Greeks answered by saying they were keeping their anti-austerity stance. Needless to say the euro got whacked and led the rest of the currencies lower yesterday. But today is different, and the currencies for the most part are rallying, led by the euro.  The renminbi and Gold are down today, while the rest of the currencies dance. Currencies today 2/5/15. American Style: A$ .7805, kiwi .7390, C$ .7980, euro 1.1430, sterling 1.5245, Swiss $1.0780, . European Style: rand 11.4205, krone 7.5425, SEK 8.2600, forint 269.45, zloty 3.6520, koruna 24.2915, RUB 67.26, yen 117.35, sing 1.3460, HKD 7.7525, INR 61.73, China 6.1366, pesos 14.79, BRL 2.7295, Dollar Index 93.94, Oil $48.98, 10-year 1.77%, Silver $16.94, Platinum $1,246.48, Palladium $791.50, and Gold.. $1,260.22 That’s it for today. It’s a downpour outside this morning, so no going out to see the ocean while I wait for the review for me this morning. This is the first day that it’s rained in the early morning since I’ve been here. And it’s pouring outside!  So, how is your tax accounting going this year? Sorry to bring up such a nasty subject, but it something that has to be done once a year for most, so we might as well face up to it! Mine is not coming along too well, but that’s OK. it’s always a last minute thing with me! I have no idea what I started talking about that. UGH!  I guess I had a pain somewhere and that reminded me. HA!  Well, it was announced yesterday that two more baseball teams will play close to me down here. The Astros and Nationals are moving near here, which is a good thing. I had to laugh right now, I just saw a LinkedIn message that was featuring the story I had for yesterday from the CEO of Gallup, talking about how the Unemployment Rate is a fabrication. So, I run it one day, and LinkedIn runs it the next day. Hmmm. that has to be a co-inkee-dink!   Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP) is playing their song: Lucky Man, on the iPod right now, this was the first song I remember hearing a synthesizer being played.  I used to play this song on my guitar, so those song are always special for me to listen to..  And with that. it’s time to go! I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

first_imgA disabled activist has won a three-year battle with his bank over its refusal to allow him to communicate by email and provide him with a direct telephone contact number as reasonable adjustments.The Financial Ombudsman ruled that the Co-operative Bank had failed in its duties under the Equality Act, and awarded Adam Lotun £800 compensation.He had repeatedly asked over more than three years for the bank to make reasonable adjustments to take account of his hearing impairment, autism and memory problems.As well as turning down Lotun’s request for a way to communicate with the bank by email, it failed to provide a direct telephone number for him and other disabled people to contact staff who were trained to deal with customers with access needs.On several occasions, Lotun (pictured) was stranded away from home without any money because his card had been blocked without his knowledge, as a result of the high level of PayPal transactions on his account.The ombudsman found that he had been unable to unblock the card because he could not stay on hold on the phone for long periods.On one occasion, Lotun had to wheel himself five miles from a retail park and didn’t arrive home until quarter to one in the morning after his card was rejected at a supermarket checkout and he was left without any money for a taxi.The ombudsman said that if he had had a direct contact to call, “all of these occasions would’ve been avoided” because he could have called to get his card unblocked “with ease”.The ombudsman also told Lotun that the bank had told him he could use its text relay system instead of an email, but that “if the time had been taken to understand your needs it would’ve become clear that this isn’t suitable”.The ombudsman concluded: “Overall, I don’t think the adjustments you’ve asked for are unreasonable – namely to be able to communicate with Co-op via e-mail [and] to have a direct telephone contact for emergency situations only.“The former has been rejected by Co-op on several occasions on the basis that they didn’t have a secure e-mail facility.“I don’t think that this was a good enough reason and an attempt should’ve been made to explore this more fully. And I can’t see that Co-op ever proposed suitable alternatives.”The bank has now agreed to set up a secure email address for him, and has provided a telephone number for a team set up to deal with “vulnerable” customers.The ombudsman concluded that Lotun had been caused “unnecessary distress and inconvenience by Co-op’s failure to put your reasonable adjustments into place sooner”, although this appeared to be the result of the bank’s “limited resources” rather than discrimination.The ombudsman said that “a period of three or four years of having to constantly ask for adjustments that weren’t actually that demanding is far too long a period of time.“I also think that if the reasonable adjustments had been put into place in good time you would’ve been spared a lot of distress and inconvenience on several occasions.”A spokesman for the bank said it accepted the ombudsman’s decision.He said: “Since 2013, we have made significant progress in rebuilding the bank, and part of this process has been to completely review how we deal with vulnerable customers, leading to the creation of a vulnerable customer team in late 2016.”He said the bank had introduced company-wide “customer vulnerability awareness training” for its staff, “front-line training in the identification and engagement of vulnerable customers”, and enhanced training for the new “specialist customer vulnerability support teams”, as well as an advice line for its staff.As a result of a new partnership with Citizens Advice Manchester, a full-time advisor from the charity has been appointed to the bank to support customers with “multiple issues” who need support with such areas as housing, benefits and access to social support.The spokesman said: “We also provide appropriate customers with a single point of contact within our central vulnerability teams via a freephone number, via mail or in some instances a secure/encrypted e-mail platform.“We have made significant progress in improving our support for vulnerable customers since this matter was first raised in 2014 and we apologise to Mr Lotun for any inconvenience caused from his ongoing dealings with the bank.”Lotun, who has been a Co-op customer for more than 20 years, said it had been a “long and hard-fought battle” to secure the reasonable adjustments he needed.He said: “The Co-op have now been forced to recognise that they have consistently treated disabled customers negatively and that they have also been forced to recognise their actions and to also create and implement a specialist team to provide the best services possible for disabled customers.“In my view, a bank that promotes itself as a ‘ethical bank’ should not have to be challenged for so long in this way for ‘ethical standards’ to be put into place.”last_img read more

first_img Source:https://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/news-calendar/News_detail//thirty-percent-fewer-prostate-cancer-deaths-with-psa-screening.cid1605960 Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 22 2019PSA-screening cuts deaths from prostate cancer by some 30%. This is shown by research based on data on 20,000 men monitored for more than two decades. The men’s initially measured PSA level proved highly significant as a predictor of future cancer risk.”This research is important because it shows the long-term effects of an organized screening program in Sweden,” says Maria Franlund, MD, PhD in Urology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Head of Department at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.Franlund’s thesis on prostate cancer screening comes after the latest (2018) recommendation from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare: that health services should not offer screening with PSA testing alone. The reason is that the Board regards the drawbacks of PSA screening — overdiagnosis and overtreatment — as outweighing its benefits.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsThe main purpose of this research has been to enhance understanding of the implications of screening, and of the possible design of a future screening program for prostate cancer.Franlund’s thesis work originates from a large, population-based study that started in Gothenburg in 1995. The study is unique in many ways, and currently has the longest follow-up period of all screening studies on prostate cancer worldwide.Initially, the Randomized Population-Based Prostate Cancer Screening Trial comprised a total of 20,000 men aged 50-64. Ten thousand were randomly selected for a screening group and offered PSA testing (screening) every two years and cell sampling if elevated PSA levels were found. The other 10,000 were assigned to the control group and not offered PSA sampling in the study.After 22 years’ follow-up, approximately 300 men had died of prostate cancer. The risk was some 30 percent lower for men who had undergone screening in the program. Men at the highest risk of dying from prostate cancer were those whose screening started after age 60; men who were diagnosed after leaving the study (aged about 70 and over); and those who were invited, but did not participate at all.Further, the study included outcomes for men who participated in the screening program and left the trial without prostate cancer being detected. Among these men, who were monitored for nine years after their screening ended, some 200 cancer cases altogether were found. Of these men, 21 later died from the disease.PSA levels on the first screening occasion proved to have a major bearing on future cancer outcomes. They may therefore be used for risk estimation. The results also showed that in men with voiding dysfunction — difficulty in emptying the bladder — the risk of prostate cancer was lower than in symptom-free men in the study.To further reduce prostate cancer mortality, in Franlund’s view, the ages at which men join and leave a possible future screening program need to be optimized. Strategies are also required to reduce the dropout rate. Men in good health and with PSA above a certain level (1.5 ng/ml) should be offered continued checkups after age 70 as well.last_img read more

first_img Source:https://news.stanford.edu/press/view/26744 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 13 2019Concussion researchers have long suggested that damage to the corpus callosum, a thick bundle of nerves that connects the brain’s two halves, could result in some common side effects of concussion, like dizziness or vision problems. The assumption is straightforward – that damage to the corpus callosum could affect coordination between the two halves – but difficult to prove.Although still not proof, Stanford University researchers have gathered evidence to support the idea by combining data from sensors worn by athletes, simulations of brain movement based on those measurements and brain images of people with and without concussions. Their findings, published March 12 in Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, suggest that impacts to the side of the head might cause harmful vibrations in a structure connected to the corpus collosum.”Concussion is a big, vague term and we need to start breaking it down,” said Fidel Hernandez, a former graduate student in the lab of David Camarillo, assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, and co-lead author of the paper. “One way we can do that is to study individual structures that would be likely to cause traditional concussion symptoms if they were injured.”Evaluation, three waysThis research is built on data from mouth guards worn by football players and developed by the Camarillo lab. Each mouth guard records head movement and acceleration in six directions through an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope. Analyzing 115 impacts recorded by these mouth guards, the researchers found two associated with concussion diagnoses. By applying the mouth guard measurements to a simulation of the neck, head and brain, the researchers saw instances where the corpus callosum was pulled around by a structure above it called the falx.The falx sits like a mohawk hairstyle between the brain’s two halves and is stiffer than the rest of the brain, like leather versus gelatin. Watching reproductions of the recorded impacts and additional simulations, the researchers saw that hits to the side of the head could produce vibrations in the falx, due to its stiffness. Those could then propagate down to the corpus callosum, creating the kind of tissue strain that is often implicated in concussion. Simulated strikes that made the head tilt toward the shoulder produced C-shape waves in the falx, while those that caused the head to turn produced S-shaped waves.With direction from the simulations, Michael Zeineh, assistant professor of radiology and his lab, including former postdoctoral fellow and co-lead author of the paper Maged Goubran, assessed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from the two athletes who had been diagnosed with concussion. The researchers looked with the most sensitive method available – diffusion imaging – and found evidence of possible damage to the corpus callosum in both brains.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionDiffusion imaging is rarely used in clinical practice and, even with this advanced technology, the researchers only saw the corpus callosum abnormalities because they knew where to look and had a comparison group – scans from athletes from the same sport and with similar years of experience who had never been diagnosed with concussion.”The bottom line is, when we do post-concussion brain scans in clinical settings, we don’t find anything. I’d say 95 percent of them are normal,” said Zeineh, who is also co-senior author of the paper. “Clinically, we interpret by eye, but the kinds of changes we’re showing in the paper, you can’t see with your eye. Concussion cannot be diagnosed by imaging alone.”Given there were only two concussions in the data, the researchers emphasize the connection between side impacts, corpus callosum strain by the falx and concussion is still a hypothesis. A few previous studies have discounted this link but none have combined biometric measurements, simulations and neuroimaging at this resolution. The researchers need more data to see how their hypothesis holds up and they are already working with women’s lacrosse and additional football players to obtain that.”The neuroimaging is really important for confirming the simulated models, but it’s been difficult to get this combination of mouth guards and imaging,” said Camarillo, who is co-senior author of the paper. “Now, we can prove these things out in a more rigorous and larger sample size.”Understanding what we’re up againstWhen someone is diagnosed with a concussion, the treatment is almost always the same. The problem is that there are likely many kinds of concussions with symptoms that depend on which part of the brain was injured and how badly.”All concussions are not created equal,” said Hernandez. “We try to draw a line – a binary ‘yes concussion’ or ‘no’ – but concussions happen on a gradient.”A more detailed understanding of concussions could lead to more tailored treatments and change how we prevent them, showing us, for example, which kinds of concussions are most damaging or easiest to avoid. This topic matters beyond sports, as many concussions are the consequence of falls, particularly in the elderly or very young. Car crashes carry concussion risk as well. So, not only could research like this help improve protective gear for football players and cyclists, it could inform safety standards for cars or suggest new ways to design safer homes.last_img read more

first_img Source:https://www.pdx.edu/news/psu-researcher-investigates-how-hospitals-can-better-support-parents-nicu Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 8 2019Thirteen years ago, Susanne Klawetter gave birth to triplets. They required a stay in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Stays like Klawetter’s are relatively common: about 10 percent of all babies born nationwide will require care in a NICU, according to the National Institutes of Health.The experience is traumatic and can have negative, lasting impacts for both the baby and parents. But health systems don’t have an infrastructure in place to support NICU parents in a systematic way.”The NICU experience can be really tough. We need to be thinking about how we can support families navigating it,” Klawetter said.Her experience inspired the Portland State University Assistant Professor of Social Work to seek change and research the needs of NICU parents.Klawetter received a two-year, $740,601 grant through the NW Patient-Centered Learning Health Systems Science K12 Research Career Development Program to support her research project. She’s the first recipient of a K-12 grant in the PSU School of Social Work.The grant will allow Klawetter to identify the behavioral health needs of parents with NICU babies — which could include features like on-site counseling or access to peer support — and identifying barriers to meeting those needs. She will partner with Oregon Health & Science University to conduct the study.Once she determines what health systems could offer to better support parents, Klawetter will pull together a workgroup to figure out what a sustainable program might look like.”There’s such a tremendous opportunity for health systems to really impact the long-term trajectory of the family in a focused way,” Klawetter said.Related StoriesNew structured approach to managing patients with depression in primary careTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseParents with babies in the NICU also have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, according to NIH statistics. The postpartum depression rate in the U.S., for example, is 10 to 15 percent for the general maternal population. That rate jumps to 39 to 55 percent for mothers with babies in the NICU.Research also shows that mothers with infants in the NICU have a higher prevalence of severe anxiety — 43 percent — and parents hold onto the stress and trauma of their experience in the NICU for more than a month after discharge in the form of PTSD, according to NIH. That’s the case for 15 percent of mothers and 8 percent of fathers.”My position is that if we can figure out how to have the health system provide behavioral health support for families in the NICU, you will ultimately improve patient outcomes,” Klawetter said.The good news is providers want to support families in the NICU but the best way to do this is currently a knowledge gap.”I think they care about families and want to increase knowledge about how to support NICU families,” she added.Klawetter’s research will begin in earnest this summer with the hiring of a PSU graduate assistant. After completing phase one of her project, Klawetter plans to apply for a new grant to design a pilot project based on her findings.last_img read more

first_imgJust in time for the holidays, Apple added a new gifting option that will allow you to give the gift of in-app purchases to your friends and family. (c)2018 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Facebook ‘gifts’ launch, users can send presents Citation: Apple tweaks app rules to allow users to gift in-app purchases (2018, December 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-apple-tweaks-app-users-gift.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further In an update to its App Store guidelines, the tech giant announced that “apps”—or app developers—are authorized to enable iOS users to buy in-app goods for one another. That includes both ongoing subscriptions and one-time gifts.Apple’s previous policy didn’t permit such gifts.First spotted Wednesday by MacRumors, the language located under the Payments section of the guidelines now states: “Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged.”The previous wording stated: “Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others,” according to MacRumors.The iPhone maker does not offer any insight into how the integration of internal-content-gifting will work, however.Currently, if you wish to give a nonfree app to someone, you tap the blue and white three-dots icon located across from the app’s price. You’ll then be prompted to send the app via email to the recipient.Apple’s latest move could really benefit gamers who use in-app currency such as “Fortnite” V-Bucks. Users could also gift premium content such as locked photo filters and ad-free app upgrades.last_img read more