Kentucky head coach John Calipari, of course, is on-hand at the NBA All-Star Game tonight to cheer on a few of his former players. But it looks like he’s also brought his daughter Erin along for the experience. She seems to be having a grand old time too, for other reasons than just the game.Calipari, who is clearly a bit bored, claims that she’s been photobombing her father all day. The irony? She’s worried about embarrassing him.W/ @UKCoachCalipari standing far enough away that I don’t have to talk to anyone but close enough that he can’t forget I’m here and leave me— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) February 15, 2015Every once in awhile he’ll introduce me to someone and then wait to see what I say. Pretty sure he’s thinking “you better not embarrass me”— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) February 15, 2015If you’ve taken any selfies with @UKCoachCalipari today better check the background. Yup.That’s me making that weird face. You’re welcome— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) February 15, 2015You think I’m kidding. I have this down to a science. About 6ft away is perfect. pic.twitter.com/hb8fzy0CjQ— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) February 15, 2015We can’t wait to see if any of these supposed photos pop up. Most people never get a chance to get the best of Coach Cal.
PITTSBURGH, PA – MARCH 17: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Rhode Island Rams during the second half in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Duke and Louisville are locked into a tight battle at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils led by as many as 14 but now trail late in the contest.During the second half, Duke’s Grayson Allen drove to the basket and was knocked down. While he was on the ground, he appeared to intentionally trip Louisville’s Raymond Spalding, who had corralled the ball and was dribbling up court.yep, that’s a trip by Grayson Allen … https://t.co/hAfZbZaFGb— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) February 9, 2016Definitely looks like he meant to do that.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Jamaica, Dr. Arun Kashyap, is suggesting an analysis of the potential ecomonic benfits to be derived from the country’s forests.Dr. Kashyap, who is also the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to Jamaica, notes that the economic potential of forests are often not recognized by countries blessed with these resources. In noting Jamaica’s fairly extensive forest coverage, he contends that sustainable management strategies could yield practical solutions to minimize the frequency with which the country is impacted by adverse weather conditions, such as drought.Dr. Kashyap says Jamaica could also potentially benefit from significant revenue inflows totalling as much as US$30 billion through its forests, under the UN’s programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).“It is now timely and an imperative that Jamaica gradually begins the process of accrediting economic values to as many forestry goods and services as possible,” he contended, while addressing a Forestry Department forum at the Terra Nova Hotel, Kingston, on March 21, to mark the UN’s International Day of Forests.Meanwhile, Director General in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Sharon Crooks, who represented Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, praised the Forestry Department’s work, in its effort to preserve the island’s forests during the agency’s 75 years of existence.She highlighted the Department’s Private Planting Programme initiative that promotes sustainable use of the forest, as well as its instrumentality in establishing some 13 Local Forest Management Committees (LFMCs).“It is noteworthy that you are partnering with communities to demonstrate how they can actively pursue income-generating activities and increase their economic benefits without harming our critical forest reserves,” the Director General said.She pointed out that several communities have successfully implemented projects, focusing on nature and eco-tourism; agro forestry; woodcraft and furniture production; and bee keeping and honey production, “all of which have contributed to the improvement of their livelihood.”Conservator of Forests and the Forestry Department’s Chief Executive Officer, Marilyn Headly, underscored the imperativeness of a designated day to recognise and acknowledge the importance of trees to countries’ ecosystems.In this regard, she said the forum was indicative of the Department’s cognizance of the need to heighten national awareness through public education initiatives. “We still have a long way to go (in effiorts to heighten awareness). We really would like the public, the decision makers, the political representatives, (and) more so the private sector, to take a serious look at forests, to see their importance,” she said.Ms. Headley said the results of forum’s deliberations will serve, among other things, chart effective responses to new and evolving forestry related challenges and opportunities.In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that March 21 be observed annually as the International Day of Forests. This milestone decision marked the culmination of a 42-year process to gain formal recognition of the invaluable benefits of forests. By Rodger Hutchinson, JIS Reporter
Brittany Hobson APTN NewsFor the first time in 28 years Rita Thomas shared the story of her sister Marina Spence who went missing from Thompson in August 1990.“I knew something was wrong. My heart just hurt,” Thomas told Commissioner Michele Audette during hearings for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Thompson, Man. on Tuesday evening.Thomas shared her sister’s story now in hopes of getting justice for her family.Child and family services apprehended Thomas and her five siblings, including Spence, from their home community of South Indian Lake, approximately 400 kilometres north of Thompson, after their mother died in 1990.Thomas and Spence were placed in separate homes in Thompson, but the two still remained in contact.Spence, 17, was in care when she went missing.“I know for a fact that CFS failed my family,” said Thomas.One night in August 1990 the sisters went out drinking. Thomas doesn’t remember what happened that night. All she can remember is waking up in a jail cell by herself. When she asked police where Spence was they told her she was the only one sent to the drunk tank.Thomas returned to her foster home and continued to ask her caseworker where Spence was. The only information her caseworker gave her was that Spence had gone to the town of Leaf Rapids, approximately 200 kilometres north of Thompson.After a few days of not hearing from Spence, Thomas decided to report her missing to the RCMP. When she arrived at the station an officer wouldn’t let her in the building.“I went to the station and reported my sister missing through the intercom,” said Thomas. “After I reported her missing through the intercom they got a statement off me. That was it.”Thomas said the next time police followed up with her was 11 years later when some of Spence’s remains were found near the Burntwood Bridge in Thompson. Police identified the remains through dental records.The news destroyed Thomas who was already dealing with drug and alcohol addiction at the time.“I wasn’t there to be a voice for her because I was busy drinking,” Thomas said tearfully during testimony. “Not caring about anything. Not caring about myself. My children.”Thomas said she still doesn’t know what happened to her sister.APTN News asked the RCMP for information related to Spence’s case. They were unable to provide a response by deadline.Thomas believes if child and family services allowed Spence to stay in the community with their grandmother she would still be alive.“My granny was more than capable of looking after us,” said said.“Hearing about Marina’s death broke her heart.”Debra Merasty is a family friend. She sat with Thomas during testimony Tuesday. She said there need to be more supports for guardians when kids are apprehended.“We should have these supports at a community level,” she said.She said without people to help guardians they are often left with little support or information on how to get back their kids.In the meantime, speaking out for the first time has finally given Thomas a chance to move forward.“I’m just ready to heal. That’s what I’m going to do for myself,” she email@example.com
After Ohio State plays its last regular season game against Michigan in late November, Ohio Stadium will keep its gates open.For the first time in 25 years, Ohio Stadium is set to host the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs and is set to bring in an estimated $4 million in visitor spending for Columbus, according to a Greater Columbus Sports Commission press release.The OHSAA state playoffs are set to begin Friday.From Dec. 4-6, high school teams from around the state and in all seven divisions will compete for a state title from the confines of Ohio Stadium.Game one is scheduled to take place Dec. 4. at 7:30 p.m. while the following two days will host three games each, with games starting at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.Single game tickets for each game can be purchased for $15 for club level seating, or $12 for general stadium seating. In addition, an all-session ticket can be purchased for $105 that gives the ticket holder access to the Huntington Club for each game, while an $84 all-session pass will simply give the ticket holder access to each game.For the last 24 years, the OHSAA state title games have been held at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and also at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. Ohio Stadium last hosted the OHSAA title games in 1989.
In his 2009 predictions to FOLIO:, Bob Sacks, president and publisher of Precision Media Group, said that this would be “the year that e-paper finally got the respect and understanding it deserves. The introduction in early 2009 of the Plastic Logic full sized, touch screen, e-reader will be the forerunner of this recognition.”While in the past e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader have been primarily focused on book publishing, Hearst Corporation recently announced that it will debut a magazine e-reader later this year.The first American magazine publisher to directly tap the digital reader market, Hearst is encouraging others to license technology so that they, too, can deliver digital content. Hearst is looking at a design better suited for reading magazines and newspapers than the book-focused Kindle. Those close to Hearst’s e-reader project say that the device is light, with a large screen to make digital reading as comfortable as the print products, at 8.5×11 inches versus the Kindle’s six-inch screen. Mountain View, California-based Plastic Logic also has plans to launch a new electronic reading device in 2010, and through a partnership with digital vendor Zinio will provide magazine content.It’s been suggested that, if successful, an e-reader could someday replace print magazines and save of approximately 50 percent of the expense involved by cutting paper, printing and delivery costs. e-reader digital screens also save power by displaying changeable text and images.On Esquire’s blog, editor-in-chief David Granger wrote that he is hopeful that new electronic reading devices would save not only the suffering newspaper and magazine industries, but reintroduce people to the pleasures of reading in general: “As electronic readers improve, as they add graphics and design and, eventually, color, even more people will opt for the more sustained, contemplative experiences more often.”VITAL STATS: If successful, an e-reader could someday replace print magazines with savings of approximately 50 percent for paper, printing and delivery costs.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below is an op-ed submitted by State Rep. Candidate Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury):Over the last few days there has been great media coverage of a long-time issue here in Massachusetts; the release of repeatedly violent criminals who have continued to live a life of crime. Most recently, Judge Tim Feeley released Manuel Soto-Vittini, a longtime heroin dealer, by claiming his crimes were financially based, as if it was similar to providing bread to his family. This, of course, ignores all those who potentially overdosed or had their lives destroyed by Soto-Vittini’s poison. Only a few weeks before Massachusetts lost one of its finest, Officer Sean Gannon. This was by a criminal who started dealing drugs and robbing individuals as a teenager, and deserves no mention by name. I could continue listing heartbreaking issues such as these, but it would take up far too much space. What is apparent is the system needs to be examined.Over the next few weeks you’ll likely hear a pitch that sounds good, and appears to be a silver bullet when it comes to oversight on judges ruling. This, of course, is directly elected judges. There are many aspects of this touted to be better, such as accountability to the general public, which Massachusetts currently lacks. However, when one looks closer at this issue, many issues and flaws with this suggestion also come to late. In fact, elected judges were first brought to the ballot early last century to increased judicial independence, striking down more laws than many who preceded them and upholding criminal accountability by following the rule of law, rather than letting certain folks off due to political patronage. Over the past century, this system has completely reversed itself and when measured, has become more corrupt than appointed judges.Professor Jed Shugerman, a graduate of the top-ranked Yale Law School and now a professor at Fordham, did a terrific in-depth study of elected judges that eventually he published into a book. Through his research he found out that since elected judges must appeal to contributors, judicial rulings become compromised when certain favorable parties appear before the bench. In addition, elected judges have a much higher percentage of their rulings overturned by superior courts, showing that elected judicial authorities choose the correct ruling at rates below those of an appointed counterpart. This research has been since confirmed by Emory University, NYU, and the non-partisan Constitution Center. In Michigan, a battleground state with an even split among Democrats and Republicans, over 13 million dollars was contributed to judge campaigns. With that sort of money floating around, how can justice be fair from either side?So what can we do to clean up our act here in Massachusetts? Long-time, Reagan-appointed Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day-O’Connor actually has a brilliant, common-sense solution. First appoint, like Massachusetts does, then wait and let the judge work. After a certain term, Justice Day-O’Connor suggests, have voters elect these judges back to power if they are doing a good job in the eyes of the public. This hybrid plan is ingenious for several reasons. Political appointments are often more-vetted and experienced, guaranteeing a higher quality of judgeship that elected states fail to maintain. In addition, the removal of any ballot races aside from accountability removes the potential corruption that money donated to judges would otherwise risk. When a judges term is up, say every 7 years as suggest by Justice Day-O’Connor, voters face a simple choice based on the judge’s track record and no more. There are no competitors and no need to raise money, it’s time to send them back to the bench or for the Governor and their council to pick a new appointee.This balanced, while sensible, approach would bring to Massachusetts what we in the state need; accountability. In addition to allowing us regular folks to hold those in government accountable, it preserves the higher quality of rulings that the majority of judges, who tend to do a good job overall, bring to the courts. In addition, it insulates us from potential corruption that many elected judges show, and ensures that in several years we won’t be reading about an elected judge because they let off the relative of their largest donor, who actually was “only selling heroin to get by.”Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Republican Committee Attack Robertson Over Wilmington Democratic Committee Chair’s StatementIn “Government”ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL: Robertson & Gordon Endorse Ed Markey With Possible Kennedy Showdown LoomingIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Prinzivalli Campaign Declares Debate Victory; Knocks Robertson On Dandi-Lyons & Sanctuary StateIn “Government”
Sembcorp Industries, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest utilities companies, plans to roughly triple its renewable energy portfolio over the next five years, targetting India and China for growth, a senior company official said.Industrial conglomerate Sembcorp, whose utilities arm forms one of its three main divisions, expects renewable energy to account for 20 percent of its total power capacity in five years, up from 13 percent at present, executive vice president Tan Cheng Guan told the Reuters Summit.”Over the last three years, we have grown renewables quite significantly,” Tan said. “We have been able to accelerate because the cost of renewables has been coming down quite quickly because of technology and scale.”Sembcorp, which plans to focus on wind and solar energy, where costs are expected to drop further by 2020, has total power capacity of about 8,800 megawatts (MW).India and China make up the bulk of its renewables capacity, with wind power assets in China of about 450 MW.In India, it jointly owns and operates wind and solar power assets with a total power capacity of 750 MW after buying a majority stake in Indian renewable energy firm Green Infra in February, this year.”India is under served at the moment and their (power) capacity is maybe one quarter of China’s, even with about the same population,” Tan said. “So, if India’s economy grows by 7 to 8 percent in the next decade, we see that India will grow the fastest.”A boom in clean energy projects is expected in India after it hiked its solar energy target to 100 gigawatts by 2022, a 33-fold rise from current levels.In China, Sembcorp is also jointly building a coal-fired power plant near coal mines in Chongqing.Tan said the plant’s newer and more efficient technology would help in China’s push to reduce its carbon footprint.Sembcorp is also looking towards Bangladesh and Myanmar where it is developing gas-fired power plants.He declined to comment on Sembcorp’s credit exposure to Jurong Aromatics Corp (JAC), which went into receivership last month due to debt problems.Sembcorp has a 20-year agreement with JAC for the supply of steam and other water and wastewater treatment services.
Here’s just the thing for the people who love their classical arts. ICCR, Sangeet Natak, Academy and Kalahetu presents Windows Into Indian Dance 2013 – a series of programmes celebrating nature through Indian music and dance. The evening will witness performances by several well known names in Indian dance and music including – Parveen Gangani (Kathak), Mukesh Gangani (Kathak), Kalpana Verma (Sufi Kathak) and the group Kalahetu and vocalist Fareed Hassan. WHEN: 7 August, 6:30 om onwards WHERE: ICCR, Azad Bhavan
Categories: Hoitenga News,News ### 20Mar Rep. Hoitenga announces extra road repair money is headed to Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties More money for urgently needed road repairs is headed to Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties, state Rep. Michele Hoitenga said today, an investment coming without higher taxes or fees.“Improving the condition of our roads is one of my top priorities, because it is one of the top priorities of just about everyone I talk to from all of our communities,” Hoitenga said after a plan she supported was signed into law. “Too many of our roads are in bad shape and in desperate need of an upgrade. This money doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it most definitely helps – especially after this rough winter and all the potholes it caused.”The new law provides an additional $175 million in transportation funding statewide. Much of the money is headed directly to counties, cities and villages for road preservation and construction. The money is left over from a previous budget cycle by various state departments, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment.The road agency for Mecosta County will receive just over $455,000 in funding beyond what was previously planned. In addition, cities and villages within the county will get extra funding estimated as follows: Big Rapids ($70,522.49), Barryton ($3,096.25), Mecosta ($4,937.16), Morley ($4,983.62) and Stanwood ($1,995.56).Wexford County’s road agency will receive just under $420,000. Cities and villages within the county will get more money on top of that allocation including Buckley ($7,280.65), Cadillac ($82,292.32), Harrietta ($2,882.69), Manton ($11,432.26) and Mesick ($5,076.31). Amounts are estimates.Osceola County will receive just under $345,000, with Reed City getting an estimated $20,092.52, LeRoy getting an estimated $4,980.13 and Tustin receiving an estimated $2,880.68.The extra money comes in addition to record-level road funding provided by previous long-term reforms. The state also has strengthened its warranty system designed to make sure new and refurbished roads will last longer.
Digital terrestrial television is booming in Latin America and will be in 94.5% of homes by 2020, according to a new report.This means 132 million DTT homes will be added in the region in the decade between 2010 and 2020, according to the Digital TV Latin America report, and that DTT will account for half of all digital TV homes added by 2020.In comparison, just 18.1% of homeswere DTT-enabled four years ago.“Much of this growth is being driven by satellite TV, especially lower-cost and prepaid packages – although these subscribers are forcing down average ARPU figures,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, the report’s creator.Nearly 14.4 million satellite pay TV households will be added between 2013 and 2020, with 3.1 million added this year alone. Pay satellite TV penetration will be 21.1% by end-2014 – up from 9.6% in 2010 – and up to 25.8% in 2020, which indicates much of the fastest growth has already taken place.Free-to air DTT will overtake pay satellite in 2015, Digital TV Research predicts. This will see the number of primary DTT homes rocket from 4.3 million at end-2010 (3% penetration) to 27.1 million (18%) in 2014 and on to 71.1 million (42%) by 2010.Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are predicted to dominate the region. Brazil alone will add 37 million digital TV households between 2013 and 2020, with Mexico contributing 15 million and Argentina nearly seven million more.Digital TV households will also increase rapidly in the other 16 countries covered in this report – collectively adding 34 million digital homes between 2013 and 2020.The report studied trends in 19 territories across the region, and each will see rapid increases in digital FTA uptake, with a collective 34 million homes added between 2013 and 2020. Pay TV penetration will also rise, but not as significantly – up 12% in 2010 from year-end-2013.Pay TV revenues will be US$4.5 billion higher in 2020 than in 2013, taking an overall US$24.7 billion. Satellite will remain the largest contributor at US$17.6 billion, while cable will add US$6.1 billion.
(Click to enlarge) Renewed Fiscal Crisis by Early September At present, the US Treasury is playing daily accounting games in order keep its borrowings—subject to the debt ceiling—from exceeding the ceiling. The July 3, 2013 Daily Treasury Statement showed those borrowings to be just $25 million shy of the roughly $16,999.421 billion ceiling. The US Treasury estimates that the ability to play games will end, and the debt limit will have to be raised, sometime early in September 2013. The long-postponed and unresolved budget-deficit conflicts within the Congress and with the White House are likely to surface anew at that time. What is being played out here is still part of the fiscal-crisis confrontation of July and August 2011, which almost collapsed the US dollar and brought about a downgrade in the sovereign credit rating of the United States. The issues never were resolved. They were put off until after the 2012 election, and other than for minimal sequestration, they remain in play, going into a post-Labor Day 2013 showdown. The global markets, which broke into brief but extreme turmoil with the unresolved crisis in 2011, await a resolution. The markets have been patient with the US dollar through the ensuing sequestration, and continued postponements of serious negotiations that have accompanied successive displays of the political inability of the US government to address its long-range solvency issues. Further efforts at delay and/or obfuscation not only should invite an intensifying crisis of global confidence in the US dollar, but also will invite a further downgrade to the sovereign credit rating of the United States. The crux of the dollar-debasement and ultimate, severe-inflation/hyperinflation issues indeed is this political inability of the United States to cover its long-range obligations, other than by printing the money it needs. Based on the US Treasury’s financial accounting of the federal government using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the GAAP-based federal budget deficit was $6.6 trillion in fiscal-year 2012 (year ended September 30). Well beyond the simple cash-based deficit of $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2012, the GAAP-based annual deficits have been in the range of $4 to $5 trillion for the six years leading up to 2012. The largest difference here is that the GAAP numbers include annual deterioration in the net present value of unfunded liabilities for programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Those GAAP levels are not sustainable or containable. Beyond the likelihood that the economy is at the tipping point on taxes, where higher taxes actually would increase the deficit due to resulting slower economic growth, the government cannot raise taxes enough to cover the actual deficit in any given year. The annual shortfalls also are so large that every penny of government spending (including defense) could be cut to zero except for the social programs, and the fiscal circumstance still would be in deficit. The options open to those running the government are limited in terms of new taxes and have to include significant spending cuts and restructurings of Social Security, Medicare, etc., so that those programs are solvent over the long haul. Such actions are a political impossibility at the moment. Given continued political contentiousness and the use of overly optimistic economic assumptions to help ten-year budget projections along, little but gimmicked numbers and further smoke and mirrors are likely to come out of pending negotiations or confrontations. Economic Plunge and Recovery versus Plunge and Stagnation The official version of recent economy activity is that a deep recession began in December 2007, hit bottom in June 2009, and that business activity has been in recovery since. That pattern is reflected in the accompany graph of headline, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP). The economy regained its pre-recession high in fourth-quarter 2011 and has been expanding ever since. Unfortunately, no other major economic series has shown the full and expanded recovery suggested by GDP reporting. Those “errant” series include payroll employment, industrial production, consumer confidence, and housing starts, among others. (Click to enlarge) Other Factors Impacting the US Dollar, Inflation, and Precious Metals Highlighted here have been several issues where recent shifts in market sentiment have neutralized or reversed the impact or otherwise had been significant, negative elements for the outlook of the US dollar, and supportive elements of the outlook for domestic inflation and the prices of gold and silver. Market sentiments should shift again, both as the economy shows an intensifying downturn and as the clock runs out on fiscal-crisis delaying tactics. A new factor—not yet widely anticipated in the markets—is that still-developing political scandals tied to the Obama administration could threaten global perceptions of political stability in the United States, placing significant downside pressure on the value of the US currency. The popular press generally has been highly sympathetic to the political needs of the administration, so increasingly negative press in these areas suggests that recognition of the “scandals” has gained some momentum. In the event that a Watergate-type circumstance evolves from the current hubbub of touted misdeeds, it could become a seriously negative factor for the US dollar. After Nixon floated the US dollar in March 1973, the Watergate scandal began to break open with Congressional hearings. Despite other turmoil of the time, including an Arab-Israeli war and an Arab oil embargo, the day-to-day developments in the Watergate scandal dominated day-to-day trading in the US currency. When the US dollar again comes under heavy selling pressure, oil prices will spike anew, separate from the effects of political crises in the Middle East. The inflation, so driven, should reflect dollar weakness from Federal Reserve policies that Mr. Bernanke will find he cannot escape, and from dollar weakness reflecting the inability of the US government to address its long-term sovereign-solvency issues. Ongoing economic weakness will exacerbate the dollar-negative circumstances, intensifying the problems with Fed easing and US fiscal deterioration. The inflation will be driven by US dollar weakness, not by strong domestic demand for goods and services. As fundamental dollar selling kicks in, full-fledged dollar dumping along with heavy sales of dollar-denominated paper assets are likely to unfold. Preceding, or coincident with that, the global reserve status of the US dollar should be challenged. As the rest of the world moves out of the dollar, domestic confidence in the US currency will falter as well, eventually fueling severe domestic inflation, and setting the early base of a likely hyperinflation. Such an environment is one for which physical gold and silver would serve as primary hedges against the ultimate debasement of, and loss of purchasing power in the US dollar. Economist Walter J. “John” Williams publishes www.shadowstats.com. ShadowStats specializes in assessing the reliability of government economic data and in looking at alternative economic measures from the standpoint of common experience, net of heavily politicized methodological changes of recent decades (inflation, unemployment and GDP). Other analyses include estimates of ongoing money supply M3, which the Fed ceased publication in 2006, or less-commonly followed series such as the federal government’s GAAP-based financial statements. Articles related to the accompanying comments on the understatement of official inflation and federal-deficit reality, and an article outlining risks of a US hyperinflation, are available to the public in the upper right-hand column of the ShadowStats home page. (Click to enlarge) Closer to common experience, there never was a recovery following the economic downturn that began in 2006 and collapsed into 2008 and 2009. What followed was a protracted period of business stagnation that began to turn down anew in second- and third-quarter 2012. The “recovery” seen in headline GDP reporting was a statistical illusion generated by the use of understated inflation in calculating the inflation-adjusted series. During the last three decades, a number of methodological changes were made to inflation-estimation techniques that have had the effect of artificially reducing annual inflation rates. Of particular relevance to GDP estimation has been the introduction of hedonic quality adjustments, which adjust inflation rates for the effects of nebulous quality changes. These changes—ranging from new features with computers and washing machines to the use of colored pictures in college textbooks—cannot be measured directly, only estimated by econometric models, with the usual effect of reducing related inflation. The lower the inflation rate that is used in adjusting a series, such as GDP, for inflation impact, the stronger will be the resulting inflation-adjusted growth. When the US first used this process in its GDP reporting, countries such as Japan and Germany did not follow. Hence, stronger relative US versus Japanese GDP growth at the time reflected the difference of use in inflation gimmicks, more so than actual differences in economic activity. The hedonic changes used in US GDP estimates never have been applied consistently and do not reflect common experience. The following graph of corrected real GDP is adjusted for the removal of roughly two percentage points of aggregate, hedonically understated annual inflation. It shows a pattern of economic plunge and stagnation, as opposed to the official pattern of plunge and recovery. Our guest contributor today needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. John Williams, founder of Shadow Government Statistics (often referred to as “ShadowStats”), has been debunking federal government statistics for years. John adjusts government economic data to be more honest and realistic, and publishes the results on his website. Among other statistics, John has developed his own inflation, unemployment, and GDP measurements that aim to more accurately describe reality than the government’s own numbers. In some cases, the government has made his job easy—John simply uses the government’s own calculations from many years ago, before they were massaged, revised, and “improved” to the point that they’re hardly recognizable. For others, he strips out distortions and adjusts the statistics to more truthfully describe the real world. For instance, I’d bet that your grocery bill would agree that ShadowStats’ inflation rate of 9% is much closer to reality than the government’s own calculation of 1.4%. To whet your appetite, I grabbed two more of the more stunning stats from John’s piece below: The government reports its 2012 deficit as $1.1 trillion. If you calculate the deficit using generally accepted accounting principles, as publicly traded companies in the US are required to, the deficit would be $6.6 trillion. So far in 2013, the Federal Reserve purchased 90.5% of the US government’s net issuance of debt. The article is equal parts eye opening and sobering. Before moving on to the article, however, a brief announcement. A Casey phyle is starting up in Charlotte, NC. If anyone reading is interested in joining it, please drop an email to email@example.com to learn more. I’ll keep it short today by signing off here, as I’m still putting the final touches on this month’s The Casey Report, due out on Thursday. It’s going to be a good one, as we’re analyzing when nasty inflation might return to the US. If you’re not a subscriber already, check it out—it’s absolutely risk-free. See you next week. Dan Steinhart, Managing Editor of The Casey Report Market Shocks Ahead Should be Positive for Gold, Negative for the US Dollar By John Williams, Founder, ShadowStats.com Nothing is normal: not the economy, not the financial system, not the financial markets and not the political system. The financial system still remains in the throes and aftershocks of the 2008 panic. A number of underlying problems of that time, tied to the risks of a near-systemic collapse and the related, extreme economic downturn, were pushed into the future—not resolved—by the extraordinary liquidity and systemic-intervention actions taken by the Federal Reserve and federal government. Further panic is possible, and severe US dollar debasement and inflation remain inevitable. Nonetheless, several major misperceptions appear to have developed in the last month or two concerning an end to the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, the level of crisis posed by US fiscal imbalances, and an unfolding recovery in the US economy. Contrary to currently hyped expectations in the popular financial media, chances are negligible for any serious, near-term reduction in the Federal Reserve’s purchases of US Treasury securities. The Fed has locked itself into ongoing quantitative easing, with fair prospects of expanded, not reduced accommodation in the year ahead. Separately, the long-term solvency issues of the United States should return to the center of attention for the global financial markets by early September 2013. At present, prospects of the US government meaningfully addressing its extreme fiscal imbalances are nonexistent. Exacerbating financial-system solvency concerns for the Fed and intensifying US fiscal instabilities, the US economy never recovered from its 2008 plunge, and now it is slowing anew. Increasing recognition of these factors, complicated by the potential of a domestic political scandal taking on Watergate-style status, promise difficult times ahead for the US dollar, with resulting domestic inflation problems and significant upside pressure on the prices of gold and silver. Federal Reserve’s Primary Function Is to Preserve Banking-System Solvency Despite a Congressional mandate that the Federal Reserve pursue policies to foster sustainable US economic growth in an environment of contained inflation, those issues are secondary to the Federal Reserve’s primary mission, which is to preserve the stability of the banking system. While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has acknowledged that there is little the Fed can do at present to boost economic activity, the weak economy remains the foil for banking-system difficulties, serving as justification for more easing by the Fed. Accordingly, since the breaking of 2008 crisis, the Fed’s accommodation, liquidity actions, and direct systemic interventions have been aimed at maintaining the stability and liquidity of the banking and financial-market systems. As bank bailouts became politically unpopular, the Fed increasingly used the weakness in the economy as political cover for its systemic-liquidity actions. In response to critics of excessive accommodation, the US central bank recently put forth several rounds of jawboning on exiting quantitative easing, in an effort to quell inflation fears. Those efforts have been a factor in recent gold selling. Comments from the June 19 Federal Open Market Committee meeting and Mr. Bernanke’s subsequent press conference were clear but largely ignored by the markets. The shutdown of quantitative easing—specifically the bond buying of QE3—would not happen until such time as the economy had recovered in line with the relatively rosy economic projections of the Fed. As the stock market began to sell off in response to the Fed chairman’s initial press-conference comments, he sputtered something along the lines of, “No, you don’t understand me. If the economy is weaker, we’ll have to increase the easing.” The economy is going to be weaker; banking problems will persist, and the Fed will continue to ease. Nonetheless, the consensus perception appears to be that QE3 will be gone by the middle of 2014, despite the stated economic preconditions. As will be discussed, though, intensifying economic deterioration should become obvious to the markets in the next several months, and that should help to shift perceptions. The harsh reality remains that the Fed is locked into its extraordinary easing by ongoing solvency issues in the banking system (only hinted at in Bernanke’s post-FOMC press conference), and by the political cover provided by a weakening economy. In the latest version of quantitative easing (QE3), the Fed has been buying US Treasury securities at a pace that is suggestive of fears that the US government otherwise might have some trouble in selling its debt. Through July 3, 2013 and since the expansion of QE3 at the beginning of 2013, the Fed’s net purchases of Treasury securities has absorbed 90.5% of the coincident net issuance of gross federal debt. That circumstance is exacerbated somewhat by gross federal debt currently being contained at its official debt ceiling. Still, in the pre-crisis environment of 2008, the St. Louis Fed’s measure of the monetary base (bank reserves plus cash in circulation) was holding around $850 billion, with roughly $40 billion in bank reserves. As a result of intervening Fed actions, today’s monetary base is around $3.2 trillion, with more than $2.0 trillion in bank reserves (primarily excess reserves). Under normal conditions, the money supply would expand based on the increase in bank reserves, but banks have not been lending normally into the regular flow of commerce, due largely to their impaired balance sheets. While there has been no significant flow-through to the broad money supply from the expanded monetary base, there still appears to have been impact. As shown in the accompanying graph, there is some correlation between annual growth in the St. Louis Fed’s monetary base estimate and annual growth in M3, as measured by the ShadowStats-Ongoing M3 Estimate. The correlations between the growth rates are 58.1% for M3, 39.9% for M2, and 36.7% for M1, all on a coincident basis versus growth in the monetary base. The June 2013 annual growth estimates are based on four weeks of data. The ShadowStats contention, again, remains that the Fed’s easing activity has been aimed primarily at supporting banking-system solvency and liquidity, not at propping the economy. When the Fed boosts its easing but money growth slows, as seen at present, there is a suggestion of mounting financial stress within the banking system. Further, underlying US economic reality is weak enough to challenge domestic banking stress tests. In this environment, the Fed most likely will have to continue to provide banking-system liquidity, while again, still taking political cover for its accommodation activity from the weakening economy. (Click to enlarge) Not only do a number of large, consumer-oriented companies find that the “corrected” pattern of activity more closely resembles their business activity, but this same pattern also is reflected in underlying fundamentals that drive broad activity, such as household income. The primary issues facing the economy are structural liquidity problems for the consumer, who generates more than 70% of GDP activity. Without real income growth, the consumer cannot sustain growth in real consumption, except for the possible use of short-lived credit expansion. Yet, credit availability has been limited. Without credit expansion (all growth in post-debt-crisis consumer credit outstanding remains in federally owned student loans), the consumer is unable to borrow in order to cover the shortfall in living standards. The next graph shows median household income through May 2013, deflated by the CPI-U (data courtesy of Sentier Research). Monthly median household income plunged as the economy purportedly began its strong recovery in June 2009. Further, in the last two years, income has been bottom-bouncing near its cycle low, consistent with the “corrected” GDP series. The numbers here are based on monthly surveying by the US Census Bureau. So long as consumer liquidity remains constrained, the economy has not and cannot recover. Accordingly, any near-term hype from an occasional “good” economic statistic most likely is no more than hype. Economic reality will continue to surprise on the downside, and that is a negative for the US dollar, as well as for budget-deficit and Treasury-funding projections. The US economic weakness is long-term and structural, and increasing global recognition of that in the months ahead will contribute to eventual pummeling of the US dollar in the global markets.
Take oil and gasoline, for example. Oil is far removed from final use (gasoline) and has varied from $30 to $140 a barrel during the past ten years… and yet the gasoline price (final consumption) is far more stable, varying from $3 to $4 a gallon. But there’s a silver lining in this story. While commodity prices are far more volatile, it also means that commodities and commodity stocks can be much more profitable on the upside… if you buy right. And with commodity prices down 40% or more (with oil being an exception), now may be a great buying opportunity. For example, Newmont Mining (NEM) is currently selling for book value at only eight times current earnings and sports a 5.1% dividend that is rising. It looks like a bargain to me. Good investing, AEIOU, Mark Skousen Editor, Forecasts & Strategies www.markskousen.com “To trace something unknown back to something known is alleviating, soothing, gratifying and gives moreover a feeling of power. Danger, disquiet, anxiety attend the unknown—the first instinct is to eliminate these distressing states. First principle: any explanation is better than none. —Friedrich Nietzsche “Nobody really understands gold prices and I don’t pretend to understand them either.” —Ben Bernanke, July 18, 2013 (6 days ago) As Nietzsche understood, humans like to have an explanation for everything. Unknowns are stressful. Behavioral psychologists will tell you that when you come to understand a previously baffling phenomenon, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel good. Humans are chemically wired to seek knowledge for the sake of certainty, real or imagined. That’s not to say humans who don’t seek answers about a particular subject have some sort of handicap. Some topics are simply of no interest. For instance, I don’t know why my dog likes to lick my face, but I’m not going to spend precious time looking it up, because I don’t really care. However, if I were chairman of the Federal Reserve and didn’t understand the forces that move gold, learning about them would be near the top of my to-do list, if for no other reason than a large swath of the investment community uses gold as a barometer to evaluate how good a job I’m doing. Bernanke’s clueless quote paints a stark contrast between the academic and real world. Upon observing the recent correction in the price of gold, how many asset managers do you think threw their hands up in confusion and proclaimed that no one can possibly know what’s going on, so why even try? My guess is zero. Instead, they researched, reached out to their contacts, and tried to find out what the heck was happening. Collectively, they hatched a multitude of theories—the vaunted QE taper, JPMorgan’s dominance of the paper gold market, stricter gold buying laws in India—as to why the gold price fell. Some were more viable than others. The point is that human nature compels us to seek answers to pertinent questions, especially if those answers impact your wealth, your employment, or both. Bernanke, apparently, is immune to these forces. It’s curious that he doesn’t even try to understand gold. Perhaps he’s short on serotonin receptors… though it’s more likely that he doesn’t want to understand, because doing so would call into question virtually every action he has taken since becoming Fed chairman in 2006. Or maybe he does understand the connection between his printing trillions of dollars and the sevenfold rise in the price of gold, but pretends not to. Only Ben knows for sure. Our feature article today approaches the issue of gold volatility from a broader angle by explaining why not just gold, but all commodities, are so volatile. Have you ever wondered why the price of coffee beans has dropped 34% in the past year, but the price of a venti at your local Starbucks hasn’t budged? Mark Skousen, today’s featured author, has the answer. If you aren’t familiar with Mark, he is an Austrian School economist, investment expert, and newsletter editor. He’s written several books, is the founder of FreedomFest (at which our own Doug Casey was a keynote speaker just a few weeks ago), and is in general a heavyweight in the combined fields of economics, investing, and freedom. Enjoy Mark’s article, and see you next week. Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report Why Are Gold and Commodities So Darn Volatile? By Mark Skousen, Editor, Forecasts & Strategies Why are commodities and commodity stocks so volatile? Commodity speculating is not for the faint of heart, and many investors give up on gold, silver, and mining stocks because they can lose 40-90% of their value in a short period of time. Gold’s recent drop from $1,900 to $1,200 is a case in point. You have to expect a volatile market. The reason why commodity prices vary so much can be found in an understanding of Austrian economics, the free-market school that is endorsed by Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and many other commodity experts. As developed by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek in the 20th century, the Austrian school of economics explains why commodity prices are so volatile. Austrian economists call it “the structure of production.” As a follower of the Austrian school, I wrote a book titled The Structure of Production (New York University Press, 1990). Rick Rule told me he loves the book and has bought hundreds of copies to give to his clients. Austrian economists emphasize the structure of the economy—the structure of interest rates, production, employment, and inventories. It is a complex theory, but the basic idea is that price volatility depends on how far away the product or service is from final consumption. Consumer prices are the most stable, producer or wholesale prices less stable, and commodities are the furthest from final use; therefore, those prices are the most volatile. You can see this difference in the graph below, where the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is far more stable than the RBA Commodity Index.
As stories circulated of Iraqi cities falling to Sunni militia groups, I was struck by the words of Former Marine Staff Sgt. Keith Widaman, who spent a tour in Iraq: “When I left in April 2009, I said, ‘In five years there’ll be a civil war.’” Mr. Widaman was right, as we’ve all seen over the past few days, and the “high officials” were wrong. The result – and I say this with sympathy for the dead, injured, and traumatized – is that the fighting, “nation building,” and trauma were all for nothing. When it comes to war, always believe the men and women who spent time on the streets, not the politicians and generals. Iraq is not going to become a Western country. Afghanistan is not going to become a Western country. There is no foundation for Western life there, and as soon as overwhelming force pulls back, life there will return, more or less, to its usual ways. If you want to change a way of life, you have to change the deep cultural assumptions that give it its shape. Armies and corrupt sycophants won’t cut it. Saddam Was Necessary Please understand that I think Saddam Hussein was a monster, and that I’m pleased he’s no longer running around on this globe killing people. But that said, if you want a country like Iraq to hold together, you need more than the usual level of coercion; you require a tyrant. The borders of Iraq were drawn by the Brits in about 1920. In other words, a conquering power (the Brits ‘won’ World War I) drew lines on the map as it suited them. But when they did, they ignored the fact that they were forcibly grouping Sunnis and Shiites together, and that they hadn’t learned how to mix. Forced grouping is a very important subject, and one that is almost totally ignored by rulers. They control the borders and they expect everyone to get along. They have scribbles on papers called laws, after all! But when you force humans together against their will, all sorts of frictions, insults, and misunderstandings arise… and there is no way to escape them, because the grouping is enforced. If you leave people alone, they generally learn to co-exist. For example, there is a street in my old neighborhood lined with stores owned and run by both Indians and Pakistanis. These people – bloody enemies in their old countries – have learned to get along for one reason: No one forces them to live or work on that street. If they want to open a store or rent an apartment there, they can. If they don’t want to, they don’t have to. The result of freewill grouping is that people eventually learn to get along. The result of forced grouping is resentment, sectarianism, and all too often, blood. If you want a nation of Shias and Sunnis and Kurds to function as a single unit, overwhelming force – permanent overwhelming force – is required. Without it, things fall apart, and civil war is the typical result. So, if the Foggy Bottom Gang (that’s the State Department) is religiously committed to sacred, unchangeable borders, the US must become a colonial dominator. That means a permanent military occupation and our sons and daughters spending years, openly and knowingly oppressing people, “for their own good.” Afghanistan Afghanistan is a more homogenous country than Iraq, but it’s not going to become a Western nation either. I spent time in Afghanistan in 2007, outside of the safe bases where politicians and media show up, take a few photos, and leave. I dealt with real Afghans, from the lowly to high military. I saw a tremendous amount during my short stay, including the worst corruption I’ve ever seen, anywhere. Everything was corrupt, from the lowest levels of bureaucracy and police power to the Western aid agencies. It was a riot of domination, bribery, poverty, skimming, and dirty deals. That place is not going to become normal in any way that we understand. Not for a long time. A Few Have Done Well Seeing that the US government has spent about $2 trillion on these escapades (it was officially $1.283 trillion in 2011), someone had to make money on them. Those people were Dwight Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex (MIC), with the new mega-intelligence complex tacked on for good measure. The people who make killing machines have done very, very well. As have the people who build spying machines. Certain engineering and private military contractors have done very well too, but only those who had contacts inside the MIC. Independents got nothing. The people who were in positions to hand out contracts made a lot of money. Perhaps the oil companies and Middle Eastern royalty did well on it too, but that’s beyond my direct knowledge. Who Lost Badly The worst losers, of course, were the dead. I’m not sure how many Iraqis died; estimates range from 100,000 to over a million. That’s a lot of dead people – all of them sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends. The fact that these deaths were far away doesn’t make them any less tragic. The number of injured must be much higher, of course. On the Westerner side, only a number of thousand died, but that’s not trivial either, nor are the many more thousands of injured. And not only that, but returning soldiers are committing suicide in surprising numbers. Aside from the military-industrial-intelligence complex, everyone has lost, and the situations in both Iraq and Afghanistan are “reverting to the mean.” And there they will stay, unless Americans commit their children to serve as international oppressors. It really was all for nothing. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.com
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Add to Queue Nina Zipkin Uber 5 min read Image credit: Shutterstock Entrepreneur Staff 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Just Who Has the Right Skills to Turn Uber Around? Experts says that communication and a capacity for empathy is a good place to start. August 1, 2017 –shares Apply Now » Next Article Last week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman decided to clear the air. The executive took to Twitter — an account that largely hadn’t been active since 2011 — to make this statement about whether she would step into Uber’s CEO position vacated by Travis Kalanick.(3/3) We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman.— Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) July 28, 2017Her answer was a resounding no. So who is it going to be? Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and GM CEO Mary Barra apparently aren’t interested either. Two of the names that have floated to the surface are Jeffery Immelt, who will leave his post as CEO of GE this week, and Mark Fields, who was CEO at Ford.Kyle Jensen, associate dean and director of entrepreneurship at the Yale School of Management, says he thinks that those leaders would be sensible choices.“Each is a Silicon Valley outsider and each presided over complex multi-national operations, which is relevant as Uber races Lyft and others around the globe,” Jensen says. “Unfortunately for Uber, its culture was ill-shaped by the leadership of founder Travis Kalanick. Uber is in the enviable position of leading the ride share market, which will provide some breathing room and time to instill more sound ethics in the organization. Until the culture is fixed, it will be a tax on the company.”The search continues for a new person to helm the embattled ride hailing company, but reports indicate it hasn’t been the smoothest transition. And that’s before you get into turning around a company that has spent months beset by scandal.As Kalanick remains on Uber’s board, how much of an impact the former CEO will have on the day-to-day operations of the company remain somewhat unclear, but it would seem that he isn’t quite comfortable with the idea of taking a backseat to new leadership.Related: Travis Kalanick Stepped Down, But Uber’s Problems Won’t Be Instantly SolvedAccording to Kara Swisher in Recode, some are concerned that Kalanick is “trying to game the outcome in his favor, after he told several people that he was ‘Steve Jobs-ing it.’ It is a reference to the late leader of Apple, who was fired from the company, only to later return in triumph.”In April, Uber’s valuation was hovering around $50 billion — still high, but a significant dip from the $70 billion valuation that made it the most valuable private company in the world. For the members of the board who have put money and time into the growth of the company, finding a new CEO isn’t just about righting Uber’s cultural woes but also getting a return on their investment.“This next CEO could potentially be the CEO to take the company public,” notes Dr. Marsha Ershaghi Hames, managing director of strategy and development at LRN, a firm that specializes in helping companies build cultures and systems of leadership that promote ethical behavior. But in order for the new leadership to succeed, it can’t just be about the money.Related: Uber Recently Gave Pay Raises, But Are They Enough to Keep Employees Around?“We’re in this era where we’re doing well when we’re doing the right thing,” Ershagi Hames says. “My advice to whoever is leading the recruitment and evaluation for the next Uber CEO is there isn’t going to be one individual or one silver bullet. That individual put into the position of leadership needs to lead by building trust, by driving an open and transparent dialogue, by being willing to listen first and by connecting profit with purpose.”One of the central tasks that a new CEO will have to contend with is recreating the company’s culture. The investigation conducted by former attorney general Eric Holder highlighted the most toxic elements that need to be removed in order for Uber to move forward, but Heather Huhman, career expert and the president of Come Recommended, says that it can be tough to impose a new culture, especially if it is seen as coming from an outsider.“Culture is discovered rather than created — and a new leader will need to listen very carefully to the people inside Uber to find the stories and values that they can amplify to propel them forward,” she says. “This will be the defining trait of the right person — that they are able to find a voice for the people that are there, rather than bringing all the ideas from outside. These are hard questions that the company needs to grapple with, and they will require an extremely skilled listener and communicator to turn the ship.”Related: The Rise and Fall of Uber and Travis KalanickBrett Stephens, the CEO of executive search and leadership consulting firm RSR Partners, agrees. He says that he thinks the main trait that a successful CEO leading a turnaround must have is a capacity for empathy.“Uber is a perfect example of how artificial intelligence and digital disruption are quickly recalibrating the CEO’s desired skillset,” Stephens says. “These chief executives need to be experts in collaboration, engagement and human interaction. This ability to connect with others will likely be the defining leadership trait of our generation. If deployed adeptly, empathy will enable a new CEO to not only excel at reshaping the company, but also build a culture that empowers employees, strengthens the company and rewards investors.”While Uber’s first era was marked by sharp elbows and a win-at-all-costs mentality, for the company to succeed in its next chapter, the person at the helm will do well to listen rather than talk.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Green Entrepreneur Podcast Listen Now 3 min read May 24, 2018 Next Article Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. Add to Queue Cannabis Guest Writer Cryptocurrency and the Allure of a Cashless Cannabis Industry –shares dispensaries.com The legal marijuana industry in the United States is awash in cash. Literally.With reports that cannabis businesses generated almost $61 million in tax revenue for California in just the first quarter of recreational marijuana sales, it’s important to remember that the money moving through the marijuana financial system is almost 100 percent in cash. Why? Most banks won’t touch money from legal marijuana businesses because cannabis remains a Schedule I illegal drug at the federal level, meaning banks in the strictest sense risk committing crime providing the industry ordinary commercial banking services. That leaves marijuana entrepreneurs working in a cash-only world.It’s more than just inconvenient. It makes it more difficult to create a safe environment for both employees and customers. It makes it next-to-impossible to get loans to start or grow a business. It also makes tracking marijuana transactions more difficult for businesses and the government.Related: For the Perfect Social-Impact Investment, Look No Further Than CannabisCryptocurrency OpportunityCryptocurrency companies, using blockchain technology, are hoping to step into the gap. At the recent CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York City, many companies touted blockchain and cryptocurrency as a potential cure for the marijuana industry’s financial headache. The conference attracted thousands. More than $17 million in ticket sales were made for the event, held at the New York Hilton Midtown.Blockchain provides a transparent, secure digital transaction record that can be accessed by all users. It’s most associated with Bitcoin. One of the main topics at the conference was how can blockchain be used in the cannabis industry.The idea of cryptocurrency in the marijuana industry gained momentum late last year when researchers at IBM advised the government in British Columbia, Canada, to use blockchain to for seed-to-sale tracking of legal marijuana. Legal recreational marijuana sales are expected to begin in July across Canada.Related: Why Some Veterans Are On the Front Lines to Legalize HempCryptocurrency StartupsNow startups, or more specifically their financial backers, are putting their money behind this theory. Companies that have developed blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies aimed at use in the marijuana industry are springing up like weeds. For examples:Cannabis social media hub MassRoots is now transitioning to a marijuana-focused software company, tying blockchain to its marijuana point-of-sale tracking business, MassRoots Retail.Alt Thirty Six, which uses the cryptocurrency Dash, has partnered with cannabis software company Webjoint to provide access to its digital transaction system for the marijuana-related businesses Webjoint serves in California.Software company Greenstream is building a blockchain-based supply chain system for the cannabis industry that could be accessed by retailers, suppliers and regulatorsRelated: DEA Chief’s Congressional Testimony About Legal Marijuana Angered Some, Baffled ManyIf it all seems a bit like Silicon Valley in the 1990s and 2000s, that’s because it is. The marijuana industry has gone from nowhere to a multibillion-dollar industry in just a few years, yet people are still carrying around their profits in leather satchels. At some point, that is going to end. If the federal government doesn’t provide a solution, then cryptocurrency might.Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Marijuana prohibition never stopped marijuana sales. Blocking legal marijuana businesses from the legal banking system isn’t working, either. Image credit: MARK GARLICK | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY | Getty Images Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community.
TV Social Audience Growth up 16% in q1 2019, Social Engagement up 6% for TV IndustryListenFirst, the most comprehensive social analytics solution for the enterprise, released its 2019 State of Social TV report with key insights into how consumers are engaging with TV properties on social media, the impact on TV arising from the changes in audience and content quality across social platforms, and the continued rise of Instagram. ListenFirst’s report details the rise in Instagram Stories, fan footprint and engagement, growth in YouTube subscribers and viewership for TV pages, and the uptick in Facebook organic reach and Twitter engagement after major declines.“This report shows the effects that the various social platforms’ changes in the past year had on TV audiences; from Facebook’s algorithm change, to Twitter’s bot purge, to Instagram’s Stories enhancements,” says Jason Klein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, ListenFirst. “The unique insights in this report can help TV networks understand and capitalize on the platforms, content types, and strategies which are thriving in the current social landscape.”Marketing Technology News: Captify and Publicis Media Release New Research Revealing Global Beauty Trends That Will Transform The Larger FMCG EcosystemKey takeaways from the report include:Instagram and YouTube leading in TV audience growth and interactions: TV pages saw their fan footprint grow 83% on Instagram and 211% on YouTube from Q1 2017 to Q1 2019, with Instagram engagement growing 123%, and YouTube video views up 135% during the same periodOrganic reach on Facebook is on an upwards trend: Organic reach for content published by TV pages on Facebook dropped from 7.85% in January 2018 to a low of 3.66% in November 2018, but has since trended upwards, ending March 2019 at 5.86%; organic reach for branded content posted by TV pages was also up to 11.5% in Q1 2019, up from 9.5% in Q1 2017Streaming networks outpace other networks in social engagement: Social engagement for streaming programs spiked 200% from Q1 2017 to Q1 2019, while Broadcast and Premium Cable programs grew by 55% and 69%, respectively, during the same periodOn Instagram, organic reach dips slightly, but the platform is still growing fast: Despite organic reach for content published by TV pages declining slightly in 2018, from 27.85% in January 2018 to 23.78% in March 2019, Instagram continues to grow with 156% more Stories posted by TV pages in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018 and the number of TV programs posting Instagram Stories up 74%Top 5 TV Programs by Interest Score in Q1 2019: Game of Thrones, HBO (9.1M); The Umbrella Academy, Netflix (6.5M); You, Netflix (4.3M); Shadowhunters, Freeform (4.2M); Riverdale, The CW (3.7M)Top 5 TV Network Roll-Ups by Social Engagement Score in Q1 2019: ESPN (564.5M), E! Network (204.4M), ABC (202M), NBC (199.7M), Netflix (187.5M)Marketing Technology News: Arvind Fashions Partners With Nucleus Vision to Create a More Seamless and Personalized Shopping ExperienceListenFirst is the social analytics solution trusted by the largest companies in the world. With a breadth of analytics and domain expertise unmatched in the market, we provide a streamlined solution for leading brands seeking to unlock the power of social insights in an increasingly fragmented world. Founded in 2012, ListenFirst has been honored with multiple accolades including 2018 and 2019 Stevie Awards for exceptional client service, a 2019 High Performer recognition from G2 Crowd, and named one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing companies. ListenFirst clients include major media brands including Turner, AMC Networks, Amazon, A&E Networks, and FOX, and is regularly featured in Variety, Ad Age, The New York Times, and more.Marketing Technology News: RainFocus Recognized as Account-Based Marketing Thought Leader ListenFirstMarketing TechnologyNewssocial analytics solutionSocial TV reportStreaming networksTV audiences Previous ArticleSreekant Lanka Joins iQuanti as Head of Paid MediaNext ArticleComscore Expands Partnership with Lockwood Broadcast Group to Exclusive Measurement Deal ListenFirst’s State of Social TV Report Provides Key Insights To Boost Strategy Performance PRNewswireMay 15, 2019, 3:41 pmMay 15, 2019