When Melanie Nichols steps onto the mound at Buckeye Field, she says she feels at home. But batters facing the 5-foot-10-inch freshman might not feel welcome, because Nichols has 128 strikeouts.Nichols currently holds a 21-2 record for the Ohio State softball team. The old record for a rookie was 16 wins, as Nichols surpassed former All-American OSU pitcher Kim Reeder and Netherland Olympian Kristi DeVries.“At first, I actually didn’t know what the record was until after I beat it,” Nichols said. “Maybe that helped. But I try not to focus on that because I can be a lot better than I am.”Nichols came to OSU battling an improper recovery from surgery on a torn meniscus in her left knee.“It was in the middle of my high school season, so the day I got cleared I went and played a doubleheader, which was not the smartest thing to do. Definitely not,” Nichols said.After a short while at OSU, her knee was “good to go,” she said. But when the Scarlet and Gray headed down to Florida for a tournament at the beginning of the season, Nichols faced another injury.“My back started to really hurt and all I thought was that I had a really bad pinched nerve,” Nichols said. “But my rib was out of my place.”Shortly after Nichols’ rib was popped back in, she blamed her clumsy demeanor for the reason she was wearing a boot on her ankle a few weeks back.“What’s really funny is that I never get hurt, but once I got knee surgery it’s been bam, bam, bam,” she said.Although Nichols said she expected to be a regular freshman and never expected to be doing the things she’s doing now, assistant coach Erica Beach thought otherwise.“A lot of people look past their freshman year and don’t expect great things, but I expected her to make an immediate impact like she has,” Beach said.And Nichols has done just that.Currently on a 10-game winning streak, the freshman pitcher has a 1.86 ERA with more than 160 innings pitched.Nichols had a win against the Michigan Wolverines, who were ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time.“On the mound, she’s mentally tough. She brings confidence to the pitching circle,” Beach said. “And off the field, she’s a really great chemistry player. People like to be around her.”That mental toughness and confidence have definitely worked for Nichols, who has thrown 15 complete games.“She focuses on being great in the game. She practices like she plays,” Beach said.Although Nichols has said she has much to improve on, it’s not only this year that she’s expected to make an impact. Coach Linda Kalafatis said she knows Nichols will be a contributor all four years.“We knew that Mel had the chance to be maybe one of the best pitchers here. She’s got the potential depending on how hard she wants to work for it,” Kalafatis said. “In the same respect, did I think we’d get to the point where she’s 21-2? No, I guess I never thought of it in those kind of numbers. But you know, winners get records but teams win games.”
Brutus Buckeye helps carry the flag spelling “Ohio” before the game against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 107-61. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo Editor
See at Amazon Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $999 Comment Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Best Buy 1 I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $520 at HP Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $60 at Best Buy Share your voice HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read the AirPods review Mobile,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Turo $999 Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Comments DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Sarah Tew/CNET TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Sarah Tew/CNET Read DJI Osmo Action preview $6 at Tidal Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See it $155 at Google Express See It Sarah Tew/CNET $210 at Best Buy See at Turo Noah Berger / AFP/Getty Images Apple News Plus reportedly roped in more than 200,000 subscribers in its first two days.The iPhone maker unveiled Apple News Plus, its $9.99 per month subscription service, last week. Users can read articles from various publications, including more than 300 magazines. The service is free for the first month, which may have given users a nudge in signing up. Apple News Plus has reached more subscribers than Texture, a magazine app Apple bought last year, had at its peak, according to a Tuesday report by The New York Times. Following the launch of its premium news service, Apple said it would retire Texture on May 28.Before the launch of Apple News Plus, some publishers were reportedly hesitant about participating in the service because Apple reportedly would keep half the subscription revenue. The New York Times and The Washington Post ultimately didn’t participate in the news service. See It Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Tags Rylo Read the Rylo camera preview Sarah Tew/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). 7 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Read Google Home Hub review Chris Monroe/CNET DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. $59 at eBay Sprint Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Tags The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Boost Mobile See It JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $999 Apple iPhone XS Angela Lang/CNET $999 Share your voice $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $299 at Amazon Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) The Cheapskate Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Amazon
Prince HarryGetty ImagesMeghan Markle seems to have an uphill battle when it comes to pleasing her in-laws, especially when they are the Royal Family.Apparently, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been banned by the Queen from wearing an array of jewellery worn by the late Princess Diana as an alleged row between the two escalates.According to The Sun, a royal insider said the Queen has been “less than impressed” with Meghan’s behaviour. But in a cruel twist, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will be allowed to continue to wear the iconic jewellery. The decision is said to have left Prince Harry devastated, sparking further tensions between the royals.An insider said: “This is a surprising situation that has been going on behind the scenes over the past few months and has caused tension and upset, especially for Harry.””It is at the discretion of the Queen and trusted advisers which items in the Royal Collection she chooses to loan out and to whom.””Aspects of Meghan’s behaviour, including before the Royal Wedding, caused resentment with forces within Buckingham Palace.” Meghan Markle and Prince HarryGetty Images”To be perfectly honest, the Queen herself was not impressed with some of Meghan’s demands, especially as a new member of the family.”The senior source told The Sun that the Queen likes Meghan personally but her concerns were more about “the hierarchy.”Well we have to say that Meghan needs to keep her head down and not rub people the wrong way, which she has been doing a lot lately. Whether it actually is her fault or not doesn’t seem to be the issue as more and more people are speaking up against her behavior.One person could be disregarded, but a whole plethora of people, now the Queen included could not be misinterpreting Meghan’s behavior. As a new Royal Meghan needs to be diligent about her behavior and ingratiate herself to the Queen not antagonise her.
Reverberating the ambience with warm, full, and far-carrying tone, 421 conch shells trumpeted in unison at the Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon Puja grounds in Sector 56 on October 17. In a first-ever unique attempt by any Durga Puja Committee, the Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon (BPG) attempted to set a new world record with 421 people, including devotees and volunteers, blowing conch shells or the shell trumpet together, in groups of 50. It continued for almost an hour from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm under the strict supervision of stewards and witnesses. The Committee was committed to beat the present world record of ‘295 people blowing conch shells together in the Bahamas in 2013’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfElated at the completion of the activity, Sanjay Banerjee, President of Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon, said, “We are extremely thrilled at the opportunity to come together and attempt to set a new world record in trumpeting conch shells together. While we are waiting for the official the announcement, I would like to sincerely thank and appreciate all the devotees, volunteers and participants for coming forward and spending their time and energy on making this a success.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”For us, it is beyond just an activity. Conch, also known as ‘seashell horn’ or ‘shell trumpet’ is a musical instrument and often called a ‘signal’ instrument. The ceremonial practice of blowing the conch shell dates back to the ancient times and continues to be a call to the divine announcing the official beginning of a sacred ceremony. However, the tradition is getting lost in modern times,” he added. “Our effort was not just to revive this forgotten tradition but also to serve as a clarion call to seek an end to all negative energy in the world and make it a better place. Pollution has been a huge concern and we pledge to contribute in the best way. Our pandal is eco-friendly and so is our immersion process. We also promoted environment-friendly activities in the pandal area such as banning single-use plastic and segregation of waste. We urge one and all to take small steps and make a difference,” he stated. To enter the event, BPG applied to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking the present record of maximum people blowing the conch shell at one time. After the application was accepted, participants were selected by team leaders after checking their ability to blow the conch shell. As per process of Guinness Book of World Records, an independent Steward oversaw 10 groups of 50 people each blowing conch shells simultaneously and certified the same. Two ‘witnesses’ supervised the event and submitted evidence on behalf of BPG. Overall 432 people attempted to blow conch as a part of 10 groups and 421 was certified as successful participants. They are now submitting evidence to Guinness World Record portal using a unique id and application number, the result is expect to come in a couple of days.
The reported location of the jackknifed lorry (Image: Inrix/Google) In other Staffordshire Moorlands travel news this morning the A53 remains closed between Leek and Buxton due to snow. The A537 Cat and Fiddle and the A54 between Buxton and Bosley are also both closed due to snow, according to the latest updates from Cheshire East Council – with a Met Office Yellow Weather Warning for ice in force across the region until 10am this morning. Read MorePregnant mum-of-five, 28, banned from keeping animals after four emaciated puppies and dog rescued from home In Stoke-on-Trent there is an accident on Colclough Lane at Mobberley Road in Goldenhill, leading to slow traffic in the north of the city this morning. For live updates on all the latest travel news throughout the area visit our live news service here. Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUPDATE: This accident has now cleared A Staffordshire Moorlands road is partially blocked after a lorry jackknifed this morning. The A52 is blocked after the vehicle jackknifed near the junction with Main Road in Cauldon. Traffic data company INRIX reports there is heavy traffic in the area around The Cross pub – with the vehicle jackknifing at around 7.45am today. This is affecting traffic travelling between Stoke-on-Trent and Ashbourne.
Gold1,581.161,607.171,600.33 Rock & Stock StatsLast Gold Producers (GDX)41.7247.2760.35 Dear Readers,I’m in Shanghai as I type, and the “China Miracle” is in full bloom. Few variables are more important in the world of metals and mining investment than the strength and sustainability of the extraordinary bull run the Chinese economy has enjoyed for years. So many pundits, critics, and cheerleaders keep pouring out opinions on this question that they saturate the news – but leaves no one the wiser.I’m sorry to say that, as arrogant as I am, I do not have quite the hubris to tell you that I have figured China out and know what is and will be. Certainty is not an option here, and if anyone offers it to you, I suggest you check your wallet afterward.But I can tell you that I’ve traversed China from south to north, from east to west. I’ve spent days driving through the countryside, passed through China’s largest cities and smallest villages. I have seen a China that is visibly, radically different than the China I saw for the first time a mere six years ago. Ten percent growth compounded over six years is a 177% difference – and the reality behind such numbers is unmistakable. Yes, there is still great poverty here and a lot of people living on a subsistence basis, but this is not a poor country. The fraction that has been lifted to middle class and above is enormous, and the country’s GDP is now the second largest in the world.Shanghai itself may not be the financial capital of China any more, as in a politically dominated economy like this, all the big decisions get made in the political capital of Beijing, but the wealth here is tremendous. The proliferation of high-tech buildings, modern housing, shopping malls, expensive cars, and more defies belief.But the real shocker is the modernization of small towns and villages. Oxen have been replaced with tractors, rags replaced with bright new clothes, mud brick and thatch replaced with real brick and glass and electricity and satellite TV. The material improvement in the lives of hundreds of millions of people is spectacular.To me, the most important economic consideration is that whatever the degree of misallocation of capital may be here, the allocation of most capital is to infrastructure, factories, power generation, mine development, agriculture, housing, and generally to durable and productive assets. China is gearing up to flood the world with products on a scale that could be an order of magnitude greater than what we’ve seen so far.What if the EU disintegrates and the US sinks back into recession? What will China do with all its productive capacity then? Some would be wasted – factories and luxury cars can both rust for lack of capital to maintain them – but the productive capacity would still exist. With the investment already made, my guess is that the cost of goods manufactured in China would plummet. Particularly with so many state-owned enterprises – for which jobs and production may become more important than profit – selling at no profit would be better than shutting down. The central committee may even see flooding the world with inexpensive products as a way to help China’s trading partners while helping themselves.Is China in a bubble? Could the China Miracle turn into a China Nightmare?I suppose it could; some massive misallocations of capital will certainly have to be liquidated. But a system that was already misallocating capital to an extreme degree can see major improvement simply by misallocating capital massively.Remember that, unlike the US, the Chinese government is not borrowing money to build a network of high-speed trains across the country; it’s paying for it out of excess savings. On the household level, people who save 40% of their income every year could lose half their savings and still have a lot more net worth than the average, highly indebted American. And they’ll still want new cars, or electric bikes, or even airplanes (I’m told that civil aviation has been legalized in China).By the way, the high-speed trains are linking more and more cities and are seeing heavy usage. You don’t have to drive out of the cities to an airport; you don’t have to be there an hour before departure time; you don’t need to spend hours making connections; and there are many other advantages. Most critical is that the population density, I’m told, is sufficient to make the thing turn a profit. Plus, where there’s high-speed rail, the regular lines are freed up for cargo only – and those trains now carry cargo up to 200kph.My point is that if China is in a bubble, and if it does pop, this system will still be here, as will all the new highways, houses, factories, etc. This is not a deeply indebted nation of lawyers and hairdressers, but a cash-rich nation building up its productive capacity. If growth here were cut in half, it would still be substantially greater than in the US or EU.What about social unrest? Well, that’s one reason for China to keep manufacturing, even if profit drops off, but my sense is that, a few idealists aside, there is very little real pressure or even desire for major reform. People can see that things are improving, and they just want to improve their own lives.What about China’s military buildup and saber-rattling regarding those islands it and Japan both claim? Well, I was having dinner recently in a very large Chinese restaurant, where a large group of people were making round after round of toasts. The strength of the anti-Japanese sentiment that the alcohol loosened was astounding. Many Chinese – even though few are left alive who witnessed it – deeply, deeply resent Japan’s invasion during WWII. But I haven’t met anyone here who wants war – they’d much rather just become richer than Japan and show the world who is smarter and better.Similarly, I’d have to say that there is some sense of people here wanting to take over the world, but they don’t want to conquer it; they want to buy it. China wants to be an economic superpower and seems prepared to remove any obstacles to that goal – including outdated Marxist ideas.Whether that’s good or bad is an important discussion, but it’s not what we’re here for today. The point for now is that all of this is bullish for China’s continued demand for raw materials, including metals.One more factor I’d like to touch on is the question of “internal demand” – are there enough people in China with the money and the desire to buy the output of China’s factories and keep the economy here growing? I don’t think so… not all of the output of all of the factories. But reduced demand from the rest of the world does not mean no demand, and China’s internal demand is certainly growing.An anecdote: I happened to be near the famous Kumbum Monastery near Xining, Qinghai, in western China, so I stopped in for a look. The ancient Tibetan architecture and relics were fascinating, but I noticed that the biggest gold-plated temple of them all was not ancient, but built five years ago. The monks are re-paving the streets with heavy blocks of tight-fitting granite. I saw – literally – piles of cash at the Buddha’s feet and elsewhere, as the throngs left their offerings. But I saw only one other Westerner the whole day I was there. The renewal of this monastery is a testament to China’s capacity to spend internally.(Click on image to enlarge)New temple at the Kumbum Monastery, home of the “yellow” branch of Tibetan Buddhism. If you abase yourself 100,000 times, you can get a better life – but in your next life, not this one. I don’t know how much gold is on that roof, but I do know that it’s paid in full – there’s no mortgage – and people seem to have plenty more to give.What I am trying to say is that China’s economy may slow, but I don’t think it will dry up and blow away. There may be a lot more correction in industrial metals in the near term, driven by lower demand from China, as the growth rate moderates. There will certainly be an acute downward plunge if or when we get another 2008-style meltdown. But mid- to long-term, major demand is baked in the cake. There will be money to be made in metals and mining for decades to come – and should we be so lucky as to get a meltdown before the metals peak, what a fantastic buying opportunity that would be.We’ll be watching to see how that unfolds and will let you know when we see major turning points and buying opportunities.Stay tuned.Sincerely,Louis JamesSenior Metals Investment StrategistCasey ResearchLouis will be sharing his latest findings on the junior mining sector and his favorite stock picks in Carlsbad, California at the Casey Research/Sprott, Inc. Summit, Navigating the Politicized Economy. The event will be held September 7-9 and will feature an esteemed faculty of financial experts and Washington, DC insiders who will help you understand today’s overly politicized economy so that you can leverage it to outsized gains.You’ll hear David Walker, former United States Comptroller General, 1998-2008, and founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative… John Mauldin, best-selling author, chairman of Mauldin Economics, and publisher of the wildly popular Thoughts from the Frontline and Outside the Box… Donald Coxe, strategy advisor to BMO Financial Group, with $500 billion under management… Dr. Lacy Hunt, executive vice president of Hoisington Investment Management (he presented at the last Casey Summit and was voted its most popular speaker)… and, of course, our own Doug Casey, as well as a host of other financial luminaries and members of the Casey Research team. TSX Venture1,190.871,254.572,017.86 Silver Stocks (SIL)17.7020.0327.62 Silver27.2328.1340.01 Gold and Silver HEADLINESGold Discoveries Not Keeping Pace with Mined Production (Metals Economics Group)Metals Economics Group (MEG) released a study on gold reserves replacement. MEG reports that 99 significant gold discoveries (defined as a deposit containing at least 2 million ounces of gold) have been made from 1997 to 2011, yet they will potentially replace only 56% of the estimated gold mined during the same period. Actual numbers may be lower, as not all of them may be deemed economic to mine. Economic viability involves many factors such as location, infrastructure, political risk, capital and operating costs, and market conditions, all further reducing the amount of resources that will reach production.The situation is better for some individual gold producers than for industry as a whole:“Over the past decade, the top 26 global gold producers (those that mined at least 600,000 oz. of gold in 2011) collectively replaced almost 208% of the gold they produced. Individually, 21 of these major producers added enough reserves through exploration and acquisitions to keep ahead of production, maintaining a strong pipeline of projects to insure stable or increased gold production.”The researchers conclude that the biggest challenge to replacing reserves is not that there is no gold left to dig up, but that all the “easy” gold has been mined:“Increasing risk of political, regulatory, and tax instability in many resource-rich nations, declining grades, rising costs, and dramatically longer development times, the amount of gold available for production in the near term is likely far less than has been found.”The report suggests that a shortage in gold mine production in the coming years should be an expected outcome. This has obvious implications for the price.Tea Compound + Radioactive Gold Nanoparticles = Prostate Cancer Treatment (Mineweb)Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that gold nanoparticles can be used to treat aggressive prostate cancer. Nanoparticles and a compound found in tea leaves are more efficient in targeting prostate tumors than toxic chemotherapy. This new cure would require doses that are thousands of times smaller than chemotherapy and do not travel through the body, inflicting damage to healthy areas.This particular discovery won’t have a significant impact on demand, as the amount of gold needed for cancer treatment is tiny, but it does show there is continuing interest in medical uses for the precious metal.Infographics on Gold Mania (InformedTrades)Follow the above link to see a compilation of gold charts, some based on our own research, that point to the possibility of a gold mania.Other News: San Diego PhyleThere’s a new Casey phyle forming in San Diego. If you’re in the area and would like to participate, please contact our firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Copper3.533.394.43 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)18.6220.9538.44 One Month Ago TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)11,665.7011,759.3413.340.83 Oil92.6681.8098.11 One Year Ago
By Kevin Brekke, World Money Analyst Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to see a greater than usual number of articles covering the rise in the number of Americans leaving the country. This seems in line with the figures released by the US Treasury that show those renouncing their US citizenship is growing. Just for kicks, I plotted the number of US renunciations since 1998 against the gold price. Except for the “everybody feels good about America” bubble that burst in 2008, the slope of both lines is strikingly similar. If one believes that gold is a crisis barometer, this makes sense. As the fiscal crises in the US persist, the higher taxes are likely to climb, adding more incentive for the wealth creators to leave… and take their wealth with them. The IRS appears to be losing one taxpayer for every dollar rise in the gold price. Taxation Cliff The omnipresence of warnings about the impending “fiscal cliff” will certainly not help to soothe any unease among those contemplating expatriation. This clever yet vivid metaphor describes the fate that likely awaits the US economy should DC legislators fail to extend the expiration of several key tax breaks and incentives that sunset in January. If the original legislation is left unaltered, taxes will rise and further constrain an already stretched consumer. In turn, absent moderate growth in consumer spending, employers will lack the incentive and confidence to begin hiring. Today, elevated unemployment is a chronic problem facing the US economy, and is seen by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke as a challenge that will take quite some time to correct. A stagnant to falling work force means at best a wobbly stream of tax revenue, and more probably falling tax receipts. With all levels of government starved for revenue the circle completes, as they are forced to raise taxes and cut government employees to meet the operating costs of government services and pension benefits. And this highlights a further taxing dilemma that might lay in wait for taxpayers. As desperate as the fiscal situation might be at the federal level, hundreds of state and local governments are in dire straits. So we may see a perverse scenario in which the tax breaks that are extended by Washington are offset by a rise in income, property, and other taxes and fees by state and local jurisdictions. Regulatory Cliff Yet, another ledge on the cliff-of-state concerns the rise in costly and intrusive regulations dreamed up in Washington. One of the most far-reaching and sinister is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA. I have covered this area in past International Man articles, so most readers will be familiar with it. But for anyone who’s been in a cave for the last two years, in a nutshell, this new compliance regime effectively forces all foreign financial institutions to identify, track, monitor, and report the movement of funds by all US persons (and entities with a US person or persons as the beneficial owner) and report it to the IRS. That is a grossly simplified explanation, but nonetheless accurately conveys how broad the reporting net has grown. Failure by any foreign institution that is deemed to be “financial” to comply with FATCA reporting will result in 30% of the funds in question to be withheld and forwarded to the IRS as a penalty. A Crumbling Ledge The ledge on which US international investors stand just got a bit narrower. On Sept 11, 2012, the IRS released the draft versions of four compliance reporting forms for individuals and entities. They are: – Form W-8IMY, Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain US Branches for United States Tax Withholding – Form W-8ECI, Certificate of Foreign Person’s Claim that Income is Effectively Connected with the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States – Form W-8EXP, Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for United States Tax Withholding – Form W-8BEN, (Individuals), Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding As shown, FATCA regulations have continuously expanded to the point that it covers all forms of wealth structures. For any US person with an interest in a foreign entity, this is an important progression. Professional advice and counsel should be sought to avoid missing a filing deadline, or otherwise failing to comply with FATCA. The financial and manpower burden that FATCA will impose on foreign institutions to comply is big and getting bigger. In response, many foreign banks and brokerages have opted to bar US persons as clients and forgo the hassle. In this sense, FATCA should be seen as the back-door implementation of exchange controls. And it will get worse. Anyone sitting on the fence about internationalization must take steps to get some wealth outside the US now. That window is closing fast. If you’re going to successfully internationalize – whether assets, income or personally – you’ll need some good resources to do it. Join us at the International Man Network and gain access to our library of reports on a wide range of diversification topics from moving gold overseas or finding an international broker to getting set up on the ground in a number of different countries around the world. Click here for more information.
Recommended Links Faber has been making bold calls his entire career. He’ll be sharing his thoughts with Casey readers at the 2015 Casey Research Summit. Doug Casey, James Altucher, and Gerald Celente will also be there, among other investing all-stars.The summit is from October 16-18 at the 5-star Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona.Click here for more information on the 2015 Casey Research Summit.• At least one industry is benefiting from too much oil…There’s a boom happening in oil shipping.Oil shipping companies move oil from one country to another. They make money based on the volume of oil they move…so they don’t need high oil prices to earn high profits. Unlike big oil companies, oil shippers are making a lot of money with oil at $42/barrel.Nordic American Tankers (NAT) is one of those companies. It owns a fleet of 24 ships that it uses to move oil across oceans.Nordic just released great second-quarter results. Profits jumped 84% from last year, and it raised its dividend from $0.12 to $0.40. Nordic’s stock price is up 50% this year.E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, is bullish on oil shipping stocks. In the newest issue of The Casey Report (published yesterday), he explained how the oil shipping industry is in a “sweet spot” right now.Basically, the world has plenty of oil…but much of it is in the wrong places. Countries that have lots of oil don’t need it all…and countries that need oil don’t have enough. For example, China consumes 3.8 billion barrels of oil per year. But it produces only 1.7 billion barrels per year.Oil shipping companies’ stocks are booming because it’s their job to get oil to those who need it.E.B. likes one dominant oil shipper in particular. He expects it to raise its dividend by next week:The company will announce its second dividend payment for the year on August 20. It has an explicit policy of paying 80% of annual net earnings to shareholders. The first dividend payment this year was $0.25 per share. Earnings were higher in the second quarter. We expect the dividend to be, too. We want to buy in before that happens.The tanker business has been strong. But the collapse in oil prices has overshadowed it. We have a unique opportunity to buy shares of the best-positioned crude tanker operating right before it announces its next cash payout.You can invest in this oil shipper with us by taking a risk-free trial of The Casey Report.Chart of the DayToday’s chart shows the huge growth in world oil production.You may think that low oil prices should cause a decline in production. After all, the laws of supply and demand say that “the cure for low prices is low prices.”But here’s something you might not know: once an oil well starts producing oil, there’s no easy way to turn it off. Oil companies have spent hundreds of billions of dollars unlocking new sources of oil. Now that the oil is flowing, most of it will keep flowing no matter how low oil prices get.As you can see, global oil production is at its highest level in at least 25 years…and shows no sign of slowing down.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaAugust 14, 2015 The price of oil has fallen to a new six-year low.Casey readers know the story behind cheap oil prices in the US. New technologies have unlocked huge amounts of oil. US companies are now pumping more oil than they have since the 1970s. US oil production has doubled in the past decade.The price of oil has fallen from $106 per barrel in June 2014 to $42 today. In May and June, oil rebounded above $60, giving some hope that the bottom was in. But this latest washout to new lows suggests that oil will be cheap for at least the next couple of months.Bloomberg reports that the International Energy Agency (IEA) thinks the “supply overhang” could last at least another year.The global oversupply will average 1.4 million barrels a day in the second half of this year, straining available storage capacity, before easing to about 850,000 barrels a day in 2016, the IEA estimated. The production surplus in the second quarter was 3 million barrels a day, the highest in 17 years, it said.• The oil crash is slamming companies in the industry…We’ve shown you how big oil companies are hurting. America’s two largest oil companies, Chevron (CVX) and Exxon (XOM), both reported their weakest profits in 13 years. XOP, an exchange-traded fund (or ETF) that holds the largest oil companies, is down 57% from its June 2014 peak.We’ve also shown you how the “picks and shovels” of the oil industry, like Halliburton (HAL) and Schlumberger (SLB), are struggling. OIH, an ETF that owns “pick and shovel” companies, is down 44% since last June. • The oil crash is also hurting entire countries that rely on oil revenue…Norway is one big oil producer that’s hurting. Norway produces more oil than any other country in Europe, thanks to its vast oil reserves in the North Sea. Petroleum and natural gas account for 62% of Norway’s exports.Crashing oil prices have pushed Norway’s unemployment rate to an 11-year high. And Norway’s currency, the krone, has dropped 25% in the last year.Norway’s problems are important because it runs the biggest sovereign wealth fund on the planet.You see, Norway was smart with its oil profits. With oil around $100/bbl for much of the last four years, Norway made a lot of oil money. It socked much of those profits away into its government pension fund. It’s now the largest pension fund in the world, with nearly $900 billion in investments.Norway’s pension fund is a gigantic investor. It owns an incredible 1% of all stocks worldwide.• The oil crash could force Norway to sell some of its stocks…Bloomberg explains how Norway may have to make some tough choices:If the government has to withdraw money from its $875 billion sovereign wealth fund, it will be a historic step. It’s either that, or heavily rein in fiscal spending at a time when the country needs it most. The state’s spending could start to outstrip income from oil, which it pours into its wealth fund for future generations.If Norway does start selling its stocks, it could put pressure on stock prices worldwide. European stocks would probably feel it the most. Norway’s pension fund is the single largest owner of European stocks, owning 2% of all European stocks.• Marc Faber thinks the oil crash could force other government funds to sell…Faber is the managing director of Marc Faber Limited, an investment advisor and fund manager. You may know him as “Dr. Doom.” He earned that nickname by making several huge contrarian calls throughout his career. He urged his clients to get out before Black Monday hit in 1987. And he predicted the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998.In a recent Barron’s Roundtable, Faber said that the collapse in energy prices could cause sovereign funds around the world to sell:…sovereign wealth funds rose to $6.8 trillion as of September 2014, from $3.2 trillion in 2007. Of that growth, 59% came from oil, gas, and related revenue. As oil prices fall, what will happen to the growth of sovereign wealth funds, which have been buying financial assets around the world? Their funding is going to evaporate, and they might be forced to sell. — – Why You Shouldn’t Invest in Gold…Contrarian investors are piling into a risky sector of the gold market right now. As uncertain as this opportunity may be, our Executive Editor, Dan Steinhart says,“This is one of best investment opportunities in the world for the next five years and beyond. So much money is going to be made… and it’s going to happen very quickly. But time is running out…” Click here to learn why.
• Companies can’t raise prices easily when they have a lot of unused capacity… E.B. explains: You see, if demand picks up, there’s an idle machine nearby whose owner is willing to put it to use. He’s just glad it’s being used. He’s definitely not in a position to charge more since there are several idle machines to choose from. In fact, it’s more likely he’ll undercut his competition just to have the work. As we mentioned, deflation will hurt deeply indebted companies the most: Companies that borrowed money during the Fed’s credit experiment will also be hit hard. For example, if a company borrowed $100 million to build a new factory, it has to repay that cheap money over 10 years. But its competitors sit with idle factories willing to produce at any price to avoid bankruptcy. To compete, it has to drop prices…so it has less money coming in to pay its debts…and forget about profits. • Profits for companies in the S&P 500 have fallen three straight quarters… They are on track to decline a fourth straight quarter. That hasn’t happened since the 2008–2009 financial crisis. These companies are also bleeding cash… Companies in the S&P 500 spent 108% of their operating income on dividends and buybacks during the fourth quarter. According to investment research firm Yardeni Research, that’s the highest level since the 2008–2009 financial crisis…when corporate profits nosedived. Companies will have even less money for buybacks, acquisitions, and dividends when deflation arrives. • There’s little reason to own U.S. stocks right now… E.B. is telling readers to hold cash and physical gold. A cash reserve will help you avoid losses if stocks fall. It will also allow you to buy stocks when they get cheaper. Holding physical gold is another simple way to avoid losses. As we often remind you, gold is money. It’s preserved wealth for centuries because it has a unique set of qualities: It’s durable, easily divisible, and portable. Its value is intrinsic and recognized around the world. Investors buy it when they’re nervous about stocks or the economy. This year, gold is up 18%. It’s at its highest price in well over a year. • E.B. isn’t out of stocks completely… E.B is investing in companies that can do well no matter what happens with the economy. And he’s found the ideal business to own during deflation… Earlier this month, he recommended a world-class licensing company that “caters to the masses.” The company owns dozens of popular American brands. But it doesn’t manufacture anything. Instead, it gets paid a cut every time one of its logos appears on a jacket or pair of shoes. According to E.B., it’s the type of business you want to own during deflation: This is a great business model. The company makes money on every product sold. But it doesn’t bear any of the risk of running a factory or a retail store. The stock is also dirt cheap. It’s trading 83% below its 2014 high. If you’re concerned about the stock market like we are, we urge you to take action today. At minimum, we recommend you hold more cash than usual…own gold…and only invest in businesses you know can survive a major financial crisis. For other ways to “crisis proof” your wealth, watch this short presentation. In it, E.B. explains why the coming crisis could cause stocks to plunge 50%…trigger a collapse of the banking system…and even provoke the government to ban cash outright. It’s one of the most important messages we will deliver all year. Click here to view this free video. Chart of the Day The U.S. stock market is in its longest “dry spell” in two decades… Today’s chart shows the performance of the S&P 500 over the past year. You can see it’s now gone a whole year without setting a new high. You don’t often see this during bull markets. Bloomberg Markets reported over the weekend: On Monday [Yesterday], the S&P 500 will extend its streak without a record to 253 trading days, matching the drought that lasted through February 1995. Only two other long-term rallies went without new highs for longer — 272 days through 1984 and 361 days through 1961. Bull markets end when a benchmark index falls 20 percent from a record. According to Bloomberg, this kind of “dry spell” usually marks the end of a bull market: More often than not, such dry spells are ominous for equities. Among the 13 instances since 1946 that began with stocks going as long as they have now without posting new highs, 10 ended in bear markets. U.S. stocks are treading water right now. We encourage you to invest with caution. It’s an immediate threat to your wealth right now…and it’s another sign we’re headed for a major financial crisis. What we’re covering today stems from the Fed’s “monetary experiment” that began in 2008. As you may know, that year, the Fed dropped its key interest rate to effectively zero. It then started borrowing and printing trillions of dollars. This experiment has been nothing short of a disaster. Over the past eight years, the Fed’s pumped $3.5 trillion into our financial system. And our national debt has more than doubled. Casey Research founder Doug Casey says the Fed has set us up for a massive financial crisis…one that will ultimately destroy the U.S. dollar: These reckless policies have produced not just billions, but trillions in malinvestment that will inevitably be liquidated. This will lead us to an economic disaster that will in many ways dwarf the Great Depression of 1929–1946. Paper currencies will fall apart, as they have many times throughout history. E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, agrees that the dollar will collapse eventually. But he says there’s a more immediate threat to protect yourself against today… • Deflation is a huge threat to your investments right now… Deflation is when prices for goods and services fall. It’s the opposite of inflation. To many people, deflation sounds like a good thing. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay less for food, clothing, and electronics? While deflation can be good for consumers, it’s terrible for many businesses. It’s especially bad for businesses that have borrowed too much money. After all, deflation in the U.S. makes the dollar stronger, which makes it harder to pay back loans. For example, if a company borrows $100,000 and we get 5% deflation, it effectively has to pay back $105,000. • E.B. says the Fed planted the seeds of deflation during the 2008 financial crisis… In 2008–2009, the Fed’s flawed thinking went like this: people are “hoarding” money instead of spending it. If we could just convince people to spend more money, the economy would recover. So its solution was cheap money…lots of it. As we mentioned, the Fed printed massive sums of money and cut rates to zero, in hopes that it would jumpstart spending. It backfired. The chart below shows the “velocity” of the U.S. money supply, which measures how fast money changes hands. As you can see, velocity is at its lowest point since 1959. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida May 24, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to email@example.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. – [Shocking New Video] He Predicted the Collapse of the Soviet Union… Now He’s Issued a Dire Forecast for America Doug Casey just released an urgent broadcast. And one thing is clear: For unprepared investors, what’s coming in 2016 could be devastating. For serious investors ready to take action now, the next seven months could be more profitable than the past seven years. I almost couldn’t believe what he says at 5:27. Click here now. Leaked: Critical Two-Minute Warning from Accountant’s Computer Have you seen this obscure video yet? Yesterday, it leaked from the personal computer of a former insider at one of the world’s largest banks… And it has some folks predicting it could save a major portion of your savings within the next month. Not only that, they’re saying this video can also hand you some of the greatest profit opportunities of your life. Up to five triple-digit gains by December. Are the rumors true? There’s only one way to find out… Click here to air a private viewing now. — • U.S. capacity utilization is at its lowest level since the financial crisis… This metric measures the percentage of property, plant, and equipment that’s currently in use. A low number means a lot of factories are sitting idle, instead of producing goods. You can see in the chart below that U.S. capacity utilization is below 75% for the first time since 2008. This means nearly three out of every ten machines in the U.S. are sitting idle right now. Recommended Links • The Fed’s printed cash is not moving around the economy… E.B. explains why the Fed’s plan backfired: Instead of being spent on goods and products, the Fed’s cheap money has been funneled into investments. Instead of buying more cars and houses like the Fed intended, folks bought more stocks and bonds. With folks investing the new cheap money instead of spending it, the S&P 500 has more than tripled since 2009. Bond prices have hit record highs too. Meanwhile, the “real” economy is worse off in many ways. The U.S. economy is growing at its slowest pace since World War II. And the real median household income is about $2,500 lower today than it was in 2007. • Thanks to rock-bottom interest rates, U.S. corporations have borrowed almost $10 trillion in the bond market since 2008… Last year, they borrowed a record $1.5 trillion. But like consumers, companies didn’t use the borrowed money to buy real, tangible things. They didn’t buy machinery, equipment, or anything else that would grow their businesses. Instead, they borrowed to buy other companies and their own stock on the open market, also known as a share buyback. • Companies in the S&P 500 spent nearly $1 trillion on acquisitions and buybacks last year… That’s about $200 billion more than they spent on new machinery, equipment, and research and development. This is a big problem. A company can boost its earnings by buying other companies or its own stock. Neither actually improves the business. But they can make profits look bigger “on paper.” Since the financial crisis, hundreds of giant corporations have used acquisitions and buybacks to hide problems. But those problems are becoming too big to ignore.