April 6, 2000Bernadette O’Neill is applying the glaze on the bells in theCeramics Apse. Photo by: DoctressNeutopia
Recommended Link — Recommended Link How This Great Trade Went South Let me tell you a story about the absolute best and worst put option trade I’ve ever seen. The trader made the most money I’ve ever seen on one put option trade, then he gave it all back… In September 1987, I was running the trading desk for a small regional brokerage firm. We had a handful of big-name clients, folks who appeared regularly on the Financial News Network (the precursor to CNBC). One of these clients was a value-oriented newsletter writer. His investment style was ultra-conservative and ultra-prudent. So in September 1987, when this client bought a large number of put options on the S&P 100 (OEX), I took note. It was the first option position this client had ever purchased. He was buying these put options to hedge his managed-money portfolios against a sudden crash in the stock market. It worked perfectly. When the stock market crashed on October 19, 1987, the put options this client purchased rallied enough to completely offset the decline in his stock portfolios. It was, in my opinion, the most perfect hedge anyone executed prior to the crash. But it turned out to be a disaster for his accounts. You see, the money manager never sold the options. Despite the market crashing, despite the VIX jumping above 100, despite the options he purchased trading for 20 times the amount he paid, he wanted to maintain the hedge. He wanted to keep his insurance in case stocks dropped even more. They didn’t. When his options expired in November, even though the broad stock market was almost 25% lower than where it was when he bought the puts, his put options expired worthless. Stocks hadn’t rallied much off the October crash bottom. The S&P 500 was maybe 5% higher. The stocks this advisor held in his managed accounts were still suffering from the crash. And he never collected from the insurance he bought to protect his clients from the crash. His clients suffered from the decline in the market, and they suffered from paying the option premium that was supposed to protect them from a crash. So what appeared to be a brilliant move in September 1987 turned out to be an expensive mistake by late November. His clients suffered from a decline in their stock holdings, and they also suffered as the OEX put options expired worthless. You need to be willing to take profits quickly. As stocks fall, the implied volatility of the option premium increases. You don’t need to wait for the stock to achieve your downside target. The option premium will often inflate to reflect the downside potential. Be willing to sell into that. — You need to buy cheap put options, and you need to be willing to lose 100% of the premium you pay for the options. It should be less of a loss than short selling the stock. Justin’s note: Today, I want to share a special essay with you from our good friend and colleague Jeff Clark. Jeff is a master trader who’s made a fortune in the options market for over 30 years. Below, he tells the story of a client’s perfectly executed trade that ended up going horribly wrong… and gives three lessons he learned from that mistake. By Jeff Clark, editor, Delta Report The stock market has entered “the worst six months of the year.” The S&P 500 makes its best gains between November 1 and April 30. The period between May 1 and October 31 tends to be negative. The exact historical figures vary depending on who you ask. But there’s a good reason the Wall Street cliché machine advises to “sell in May and go away.” Stocks don’t do very well this time of year. And most of the major stock market disruptions of my lifetime occurred during this six-month window. Smart investors should take some time off. Enjoy the fruits of the “Trump rally.” Cash in your 13% gain on the S&P 500 since last Halloween and enjoy the summer. We’ll see you back in the action in time for Thanksgiving. But… if you want to make some money while the rest of the world is losing it, then stick around. Smarter investors could have the best six months ever. Millionaire SLAMS Smug Media in TV Interview So eager to catch Trump on Russia, they’ve ignored some worrying developments concerning the banking industry and our money. [Urgent Announcement] Banking Insider Warns: “If you were born before 1969, you should move 20% of your savings here now.” More than 60,000 Americans are now following “Ronald Reagan’s Secret Retirement Income Plan,” and moving their money out of the traditional financial system into one little-known safe haven where wealth grows tax-free… This 100% legal “tax shelter” has proven – over 232 years – to protect and grow wealth in times of recession, depression, inflation, and even dollar weakness. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and at least 52 other Washington officials have already moved a portion of their cash here… The big banks have already moved $143 billion here… and plan to move billions more. Now, you can find out all the details for FREE. Click here to claim your free starter kit. You need to target stocks that are overextended to the upside and have negative divergence on the technical indicators. A Simple Lesson The lesson here is simple… When you’re betting on a broad stock market decline, you need to buy cheap put options AND you need to be willing to cash out of the trade when it moves in your direction—even if you think the move will go farther. In my experience—which goes back more than three decades—if you want to profit on the short side of trading stocks, you need to get three things right… Think about this for a moment… Over the past 20 years, the Volatility Index (VIX)—a measure of the price investors are willing to pay to insure their portfolios against a significant market decline—has traded between a low of about 10 to a high of about 80. Recently, the VIX closed at 11—one of the lowest readings in the past 20 years. This happened at a time when the S&P 500 closed near an all-time high. So with the broad stock market trading at its highest level ever, insurance is about as cheap as it has been in the past 20 years. In other words, as we enter the worst six months of the year, put options—bets that the stock market will fall—are as cheap as they’ve been in two decades. This is a remarkable opportunity to profit as stock prices decline. Speculators can risk relatively small amounts of capital and achieve HUGE returns if stock prices fall. But there are a few tricks to profiting on the downside… How to Profit as Stocks Fall Over the long term, stocks go up. Don’t argue about it. That’s just how it is. The stock market moves higher over time. So short sellers—those folks who profit as stock prices fall—face an uphill battle. Of course, there are situations where short sellers will ultimately profit even if the broad stock market moves higher. For example, companies that commit fraud, take on insane amounts of leverage, or overhype a fad business almost always eventually crash and burn. But opportunities to short the stock in these firms are few and far between. For the most part, traders who are looking to short sell are going to trade on momentum. They’re going to look for overbought situations that look ready to reverse. They’re going to buy cheap, out-of-the-money put options. They’re going to be lightning fast, taking profits as the trade moves in their favor. And they’re not going to stress out about losing 100% on a trade because they kept their position size small enough to digest the loss. Jeff Clark Editor, Delta Report Justin’s note: Tomorrow, Jeff will be releasing a brand-new presentation on what he calls “the biggest breakthrough of my career.” In it, he’ll reveal a trading strategy that he’s been developing for over five years… has a success rate of 90.2%… average gains of 50%… and an average trade length of just two days. E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, and Doug Casey have been talking all about it these past few months. They think it’s one of the most fascinating moneymaking ideas they’ve ever encountered. Most people will be watching this presentation at 12 p.m. ET tomorrow… but as a Casey reader, E.B. will be sending you the video early, so you can start watching ahead of the crowd at 9 a.m. We hope to see you there. Best regards and good trading,
Recommended Link — Justin’s note: Todd Scattini isn’t your typical marijuana entrepreneur. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1996, and currently serves as an Army officer. But next month, Todd will hang up his fatigues to serve as CEO of Harvest 360, a marijuana consulting and management firm. I met Todd at Harvest 360’s headquarters in Denver a few weeks ago. There, he told me how he’s using cannabis to solve the military’s deadliest problems. Todd’s story completely changed how I thought about cannabis. So, I called him up a few days after we met to continue our talk. Below is a transcript of that conversation. I encourage you to share it with anyone who still sees marijuana as just another “street drug.” It may just change their mind… Justin: Todd, I’m not used to seeing “cannabis” and “Army officer” in the same sentence. So, can you tell me how you became interested in the plant? Todd: I became interested in 2011. I was in Paris at the time, and I was asked to serve as a special advisor for General John Allen. He was the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) back then. ISAF was a NATO-led security mission. It’s the largest military coalition ever assembled. At the time, it was 51 nations. Its main purpose was training the Afghan National Security Forces and assisting Afghanistan in rebuilding key government institutions. It was also engaged in the war with the Taliban insurgency. I was helping manage the General’s relationship with the Coalition through bilateral engagement and normal security cooperation functions. One evening, our special staff was asked to come up with creative ways to engage with the Afghans using the domestic resources they had so that they could create an industry without relying on outside assistance. And I thought, “Geez. The Afghans don’t have many resources.” They had minerals, but the Chinese had purchased the rights to them long ago, and it would take nearly a decade to build the infrastructure to mine them effectively. They had heroin, too, but I certainly didn’t think that could be the basis for an industry. And they had cannabis. A lot of cannabis that they grew was smuggled outside of the country and sold on the black market for huge profits to fund terrorist operations. So, I thought, “why don’t we transition them to a hemp industry?” It has 25,000 different uses such as food, fuel, fiber, and medicine. And humans have been using it for 8,000 years. We have essentially evolved with this plant. Justin: How’d that suggestion go over with your supervisors? Todd: It was not well-received. I don’t believe my concept was ever even briefed to the General. I was kind of laughed out of the room, to be honest. They called me “Major Cheech & Chong” and things like that. But I learned so much about the plant by studying it, including its medical potential. And I thought, “there are some military applications here.” So, I continued to read, study, and talk to everyone I could about the plant. I learned so much that I became a master at talking to generals, other officers, and ambassadors about marijuana. Recommended Link 3 Marijuana Stocks to Buy Right Now Canada is set to vote on a new nationwide law that will set off the biggest event in the history of marijuana. The Canadian pot market will explode from $400 million to $8 billion. And new marijuana millionaires will be minted. If you missed out on the first marijuana boom, when penny pot stocks delivered peak gains of 7,820%… 6,233%… and 3,986%… often in months… This is your second and final chance. Don’t miss out again. Discover the 3 companies that will dominate the marijuana market. Justin: How do you plan to prevent these sorts of things? Todd: Well, we do this in two phases. The first is the prep phase. This happens “left of the boom,” as we say in the military. This means this is the preparation done prior to an IED strike. This includes the supplementation of cannabinoids which help “armor the brain” in preparation for a traumatic event. Hopefully no one ever gets “right of the boom,” or experiences an IED strike. But, if they do, I would propose administering an immediate supplemental dose of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and other elements very, very rapidly. Justin: What made you want to focus on TBI? Todd: I became interested after I lost a platoon leader of mine. His name was Captain Andrew Houghton. Andy was a fellow West Point graduate. He was class of 2001, and he was like a little brother to me. In 2004, he was struck in the head with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) while deployed in Iraq. The RPG didn’t explode. But it did massive damage to his head. The battlefield medics, which are so good today, performed a soldier-to-soldier blood transfusion on-site in his vehicle. They stabilized him in-country and transported him to the Army hospital in Germany. There, his brain continued to swell. The rocket did so much damage that they had to remove a large portion of his brain to release the pressure. He was then sent to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C, where I was present when they pinned a Purple Heart on him. He passed away the next day. If I can prevent something like that from happening again, I will be very satisfied and feel that I will have done my duty. Justin: I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss, Todd. But it’s inspiring that you’re trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening to other soldiers. That said, how can you be so confident that The Athena Protocol will work? After all, no one’s ever done anything like this before. Todd: So, a portion of that is the federal patent I was telling you about. This study says cannabidiol is an effective neuroprotectant and anti-inflammatory. More recent studies have also shown that victims of car accidents who have THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) have a higher percentage of survivability in TBI incidents. Plus, we know that cannabinoids pass the blood barrier much more rapidly than most pharmaceuticals. So, we’d be able to administer and see anti-inflammatory effects very rapidly. But, you are right. Of course, this theory must be tested. The unfortunate thing is that we are prevented from testing this in the United States due to cannabis’ Schedule I status on the federal government’s list of Controlled Substances. I would propose to circumvent this by studying this outside of the U.S. or gaining special permission to do so in the U.S. Justin: Would The Athena Protocol only be used to treat TBI injuries suffered in combat? Or are there applications beyond the military? Todd: Absolutely. Soldiers aren’t the only ones who suffer TBI injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.5 million people go to U.S. emergency rooms every year for TBI. And about 300,000 of those people die from their injuries. This includes everyone from car crash victims to people who slip and fall. So, this kind of treatment could really be used everywhere. And the sooner first responders and hospitals can administer this, the better. Justin: And how’s the project coming along? Todd: Right now, we’re at the research and development (R&D) level, but we have submitted for a provisional patent for the entire protocol and sub-patents for each formulation and method of administration. Specifically, we’re working on jamming as much cannabidiol into a single drop of water as possible. And we’ve already gotten some incredibly high levels of concentration. So, it’s coming along very nicely. Justin: Got it. You’re doing some incredible work, Todd. But I have to ask you one last thing before I let you go… Where’d the name, The Athena Protocol, come from? Todd: The name, and I’m not kidding, came to me in the middle of the night. I shot out of bed and wrote it down. Athena is the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Good Counsel, and War. She also wears a helmet. And Athena’s helmet adorns the West Point crest. Justin: Wow. It sure seems like you picked the perfect name. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. And best of luck with everything. Todd: My pleasure, Justin. Justin’s note: As you can see, cannabis isn’t just a plant that gets people high. It also has the potential to save thousands of lives as medicine. Most people don’t realize this. But the world’s smartest investors do. That’s why they’ve invested billions in this upcoming industry. But don’t worry. You don’t have to have deep pockets to profit from the coming global marijuana boom. You just need to own the right marijuana stocks.We have a basket of marijuana companies in our Crisis Investing newsletter that are set to soar in the coming years. You can access these names, along with all of our research on the sector, with a subscription to Crisis Investing. Click here to learn more. P.S. You can also learn more about Todd’s project by visiting the Harvest 360 website or by contacting him directly at email@example.com. Reader MailbagAre you investing in cannabis stocks? We’d love to hear how it’s going so far. Let us know right here.Today, a reader writes in agreeing with Doug’s take on “The War on Some Drugs”… To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the problem with the drug warriors is that they know so many things that just aren’t so. The other quote that applies comes from C.S. Lewis:“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”The “war on drugs” has turned into a cash machine for federal and state law enforcement, which is why it is taking so long to root out the problem. There are states where law enforcement can legally steal your assets (sometimes during a traffic stop), all because they can say they suspect the said assets were used as part of a drug deal, or were obtained through a drug deal. Some law enforcement agencies get something like 40 percent of their revenue from civil forfeiture. So there’s lots of motivation to repeat flat-out lies which fly in the face of all data.There are unfortunately a lot of people who are so intellectually lazy that they won’t bother to look at the data, and will instead just repeat the lies because they sound plausible, and because it makes them look like pillars of probity. Jeff Sessions, for example. I often wonder how people like that can function with so many logical fallacies floating around in their heads… –Clint — New controversial money-making event (limited time only) If you want to learn how to get “in” on the only legitimate chance to turn a few hundred dollars into tens of thousands of dollars… you need to attend this free event on November 2nd. One past attendee, Jon M., says: “I was left nearly speechless last night when I discovered my $300 had grown to over $125,000. I have never heard of such gains in a short amount of time.” Full warning: This opportunity is controversial. But if you’re willing to try something new… and you can stomach some volatility… it could completely change your financial future. Click here to get all the details before it’s too late. In Case You Missed It… The cryptocurrency market has taken off in 2017. If you’ve ever been curious about these little-known assets, then we recommend you attend this free training webinar. It’s hosted by cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari. Teeka has been studying the crypto world since the beginning. On November 2, he will show readers everything he’s learned about cryptocurrencies and teach you how to trade cryptocurrencies today. Reserve your spot right here. Justin: So, do they still call you Major Cheech & Chong? Todd: I still get a giggle or pot pun when I talk about it. But I’m no longer laughed out of the room. So, yes, I’ve convinced a lot of people that this is a very interesting proposition and might be a way to address reducing suicides from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and chronic pain; all significant issues that often result from our service. Justin: How did you change people’s minds? Todd: I just became so passionate and well-studied about the plant, the roots of its prohibition, and its potential to help people. So, now when speaking with generals and other senior leaders I tell them, “Sir, this is serious, and I think it could save soldiers’ lives.” I always point them to the federal government’s patent on cannabidiol as a neuro-protectant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. This is U.S. Patent 6630507. Justin: Why’s that patent so important? Todd: These days, many of our soldiers encounter improvised explosive devices (IED) on the battlefield. An IED strike can be devastating to multiple vehicles and soldiers in an instant. And, if an IED goes off near you, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a TBI. TBI is a very serious concussion possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment of cognitive, physical, and psychosocial function. We find that soldiers who have experienced a TBI are at a higher risk for PTSD and suicide. Justin: How does an IED give TBI? Todd: When an IED goes off near you, there’s a massive blast wave. The air from the blast creates a wall of pressure that hits a soldier’s hard skull and rattles the soft brain around inside of it, and a dangerous chemical process begins inside the skull. This can lead to a stroke, which is what usually kills a TBI victim. Justin: How does the military currently treat TBI? Todd: Today, there’s very little done to treat it. And, aside from improvements made to some vehicles, there’s really no protocol for preventing this sort of injury. I want to change that with my project, The Athena Protocol. I want to use formulations of non-psychoactive cannabinoids (especially cannabidiol) and a few added elements as a daily supplement to essentially “armor a soldier’s brain,” and help protect the brain’s neuroreceptors. Studies suggest that this approach could also increase the elasticity of the neurons, preventing them from calcification and potentially reducing the instance of PTSD among our soldier and veteran population.
Would you accept “State Money”? [Vote Yes or No]Did you get a refund on your state income taxes last year? Or do you (or someone in your family) work for state or local government? If so, America’s #1 currency expert predicts you may soon start receiving payment in a new kind of “state money” – in lieu of U.S. Dollars! Would you accept “State Money” instead of U.S. Dollars? [Click one] YES – I’d accept payment in “state money,” if it can be used like U.S. Dollars… NO – I’ll only take Greenbacks! Justin: It sounds like you don’t trust these numbers or, at the very least, take them with a grain of salt. If so, how do you assess the economy’s strength? What sort of things do you look at?Doug: To be honest, like most people, I live in a bubble. We all live in our own little subcultures. We can’t really be sure what’s going on in the world at large. Most of us are just milder versions of Jim Carrey’s character in The Truman Show. We don’t know much beyond what we’re shown on TV, or read in various media. How reliable is that?How reliable were the CIA’s statistics about the Soviet economy? They were less than worthless. How good were S&P’s credit ratings in 2007? Not very. How much does Tesla’s $300 stock price say about the company’s prospects? I’d say next to nothing.Even when you talk to another person, what you hear has been filtered by their own psychology. Beyond that smiling face, underneath the social veneer, what’s the real story? Government statistics certainly can’t tell you…But I look around. How many houses or buildings are being constructed? When I go to an airport, I pay attention to how busy it is. It seems nobody goes to shopping centers anymore, including me. Some years ago I’d hop a freight train to see how the other half lives. Now I hop a jet plane to see what’s happening on the other side of the globe. But I don’t kid myself—most input is anecdotal, transitory, and illusory.That said, things are holding together. There aren’t mobs in the streets with torches and pitchforks. At least not yet.Justin: And what is the glue? Is it the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies?Doug: Absolutely. Monetary policy—how much money they print, how much credit they create, and how much it costs—isn’t just the elephant in the room. It’s the brontosaurus in the room.The question is, where have the trillions of dollars that they’ve created gone? The answer is into the financial markets. It’s why the stock market has been going to new highs every day. All that money the Fed’s created has gone into the stock market. It’s gone into the bond market.And it’s gone into the real estate market. Nobody “needs” stocks and bonds. But everybody needs a dwelling of some type, and many Americans can’t afford one because a lot of that money has driven housing prices up a lot faster than wages. Believe it or not, there really are hobo jungles in 21st century America. There are lots of “homeless” living on the streets. We used to call them bums, although I think that term has become politically incorrect.We’re still in the eye of the gigantic financial/economic hurricane we entered in 2007. The question is: When are we going into its trailing edge? Well, interestingly, the amount of debt in the world has expanded hugely since 2007, when financial institutions started failing. They failed because they had too much debt. Now there’s even more debt. There’s more automobile debt. There’s a lot more student loan debt. There’s more mortgage debt. More consumer debt. There’s much more government debt. Why hacks and data breaches are a thing of the past and how control over your privacy will return to you. What “blockchain” technology is all about and why it will change the way we all work, play, and interact. — Recommended Link Click here for full story “What if I’m Right This Time, Too?” Expert WarnsThis financial guru was mocked by the mainstream. But is his strange financial prediction about to come true? — Learn how to get instant access right here. And by claiming your report today, you’ll automatically be signed up for Disruptive Profits editor Marco Wutzer’s urgent blockchain presentation next week…where he’ll discuss the coin that could kill Ethereum. Recommended Link Justin’s note: The U.S. economy is booming.According to the government, U.S. GDP (gross domestic product)—a broad measure of economic growth—rose by 4.2% year-over-year. That’s the highest mark in four years. U.S. wages are growing at the fastest rate in nine years. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 18 years. And jobless claims are at a 48-year low.This is great news for everyday Americans. That’s obvious. The question is… how much longer can the U.S. economy fire on all cylinders?So I got Doug Casey on the phone to get his take…Justin: Doug, what are your thoughts on the economy? Is it as strong as the government says?Doug: Well, to start, I must admit that no one is more surprised than I am that things are holding together as well as they are.I was convinced that zero percent interest rates and QE 1, 2, 3, and 4—the response to the meltdown that started in 2007—would bring on a disaster sooner, not later. They’ve caused people to borrow more and save less, which is a formula for poverty. But, so far, the most obvious result has mainly been booming stock, bond, and property markets. The rich have gotten a lot richer, while the middle class has slipped down only slowly.The last ten years are a classic example of how something can take much longer to happen than you expect. But once the inevitable gets underway, it’s going to happen much more quickly than you expect.But should you really trust the statistics that the U.S. government puts out? I don’t. At least not much more than anyone could trust Argentine statistics when the Kirchners were in office.There’s always a political slant to the way these things are computed, and the way they’re presented.Look at the so-called unemployment rate, currently 3.9 percent. That’s supposed to be an eighteen-year low. But the number of people working, as a percentage of the total population, is much lower than in the past.There are numerous definitions of what constitutes employment and unemployment. And with over 50% of the population receiving direct government benefits of some type, all the numbers are flexible. And so much more. The next blue-chip stocks that are being born right now on the blockchain network… and what that means for folks like you. Click here to find out Justin: Don’t forget corporate debt.Doug: Yes, much more corporate debt, too. Corporations have borrowed not to build new factories, but to buy back their stock. Why? One reason is to make management stock options valuable.The whole situation is worse, and the timing is much more on the edge, than it was back then. Interestingly, the Federal Reserve is now trying to reel in all the money that it created at the height of the crisis, trying to normalize things. They’re trying to both raise interest rates and reduce the money supply. At the same time the government is running a trillion-dollar deficit. It can’t possibly end well.Meanwhile, all the money that was created to bail out failing corporations is filtering down from the financial markets into the regular economy. But, with the financial markets at manic highs, rich people don’t care if the price of a hamburger goes up.The rich, especially in cities like New York and Washington, have gotten much richer in recent years. They stand much closer to the fire hydrants of money that the government’s created. They get to drink their fill before it trickles down to the little folks in flyover country. That’s one thing.The other thing is that the Federal Reserve’s low interest-rate policy has made it much easier for people to service high levels of debt. This wouldn’t be possible if interest rates were normal.I mean if you had to pay 8% to finance your new SUV you’re going to be much less likely to buy it than if you can finance it at 0% or 1%. It’s especially perverse in that people actually used to pay cash for cars, once upon a time. Then they financed them for two years. Then three. Now it can be for seven. Or they lease. So what was once a minor asset has become a major long-term liability. The whole U.S. economy is based on debt.Justin: This obviously can’t go on forever, though.Doug: Right. This is all a moving paper fantasy that will come to a bad end. I see two ways it ends.One, it will end with a credit collapse—all this debt is defaulted on. All that funny money that’s been created out of nowhere simply disappears. That can happen because today’s money is simply credit. It no longer represents a specific amount of gold. It’s merely an accounting fiction. We could easily have a catastrophic deflation. The remaining dollars would go up in value, for a while.On the other hand, the government could succeed in keeping things together, by printing more money. But then we’ll have much higher levels of inflation. And that’s going to devastate the average guy more than anybody else.Justin: And why is that?Doug: The average guy who gets ahead tries to produce more than he consumes, and save the difference. But his savings are dollars. If the dollars lose value rapidly, he might as well not have saved. That’s very destructive for the very fabric of society.Justin: So I think we both can agree that the Fed has played a huge role in propping up the economy. But how much credit should the last two presidents get? As I’m sure you’re aware, Trump uses positive economic data to pat himself on the back.But Obama recently did the same thing. He basically said, “Don’t forget that the economic recovery began under me.”How much credit should either Trump or Obama get?Doug: That’s a very good point.Obama should get zero credit. The economy collapsed under the disastrous Baby Bush regime. It recovered solely because of the huge infusion of credit from the Fed—which really just put off the inevitable. Apart from that, all of Obama’s actions were economically destructive.In fact, Trump deserves some credit for things holding together. One of the most important things is his attempt to cut regulations. Another is his reduction in taxes. His limiting the tax deductibility of consumer interest and state income and property taxes took away indirect subsidies people were getting in high-tax places like California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts. On the negative side, he’s wasting hundreds of billions on the military. And could quite possibly start an international trade war.I’m just afraid of what’s going to happen if things come apart in the next year. Since Trump is associated with capitalism, a collapse would be blamed on the free market. Then an overt socialist could easily be elected in 2020.Justin: Why are you so concerned by that? What would be so different if things fell apart, say, two or three years from now?Doug: As much antagonism and actual hatred as there is against Trump, the economy is one thing he’s got going for him. If the economy really falls apart—and I believe it will—the political and social consequences in the U.S. will be extremely serious. The democrats will try to impeach him.All kinds of things could happen when the Greater Depression resumes, and millions more Americans lose their jobs, their savings, their pensions, and are kicked out of their houses the way they were back in 2008 and 2009.Justin: Not to mention, the Fed is in a very precarious position right now. It kept rates incredibly low for so long. And that, as you mentioned, blew a bubble in all sorts of financial assets. So it must be careful not raise rates too quickly and risk popping those bubbles.Any chance they pull that off?Doug: I don’t think so, quite frankly. They’ve painted themselves into a corner and created many problems in the process.For one pension funds everywhere are underfunded and in a lot of trouble. And that’s true even though most of the stock and bond markets are at all-time highs.So, interest rates go up, stock and bond prices go down. If they squeeze the bubble that they’ve blown up, the air in the bubble just goes to a different place. So, no. I don’t see any way out of this.People have already forgotten how unpleasant it was back in 2008 and 2009. They also have no idea why it happened to start with. But it happened because government fiscal and monetary policy created distortions and misallocations of capital in the economy. So, it’s much more serious now than it was back in 2007. And the consequences are going to be much worse.Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me about this, Doug.Doug: You’re welcome.Justin’s note: You’re invited to meet Doug, along with all of our Casey gurus—including Nick Giambruno, E.B. Tucker, Dave Forest, and Marco Wutzer—at our first-ever Legacy Investment Summit in Bermuda next month.Keep in mind, space is limited. But this letter is your invitation. And when you come, you will not just hear the best ideas these world-renowned experts have to offer…You’ll meet them face-to-face, have drinks with them at the cocktail parties, and get exclusive insights they won’t be sharing anywhere else.It’s VIP access to high-level financial thinkers you can’t get anywhere else. Get all the details here.Reader MailbagToday, high praise for Doug Casey…I met Doug in 2005 and since then he became my mentor and model. We chatted, smoked cigars, and shared some wine in Vancouver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, etc. and, of course, Buenos Aires, Cafayate, and Punta del Este.I’m extremely in debt to Doug, who’s helped me achieve financial independence and become a true libertarian. I was honored every time he asked me about my take on various topics.—Vlad As always, you can send any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch right here.Claim Your FREE Blockchain Special Report TodayAs a valued Casey reader, we want to send you our new report—“Welcome to the Blockchain Era”—absolutely free.In this comprehensive report, you will discover:
Next Article You either liked it or you didn’t; no more internal debates over just how much or how little you enjoyed something. Netflix is taking the gray area out of its ratings system.In the not-so-distant future, the streaming giant will replace its current five-star ratings system with something a little easier: thumbs up or down. You either liked it or you didn’t; no more internal debates over just how much or how little you enjoyed something. The change will go into effect globally, beginning in April, Netflix Vice President of Product Todd Yellin said at a Thursday press briefing, according to The Verge. Netflix will also reportedly start showing users an algorithm-based percentage match for each show and movie, giving people an idea of how likely they are to enjoy it.”Five stars feels very yesterday now,” Yellin said, according to the report.Netflix has been considering this move for a while. Business Insider, citing the company’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt, in January 2016 reported that Netflix was looking to replace the five-star system with something better.”The problem, Hunt tells Business Insider, is that people subconsciously try to be critics,” the site reported at the time. “When they rate a movie or show from one to five stars, they fall into trying to objectively assess the ‘quality,’ instead of basing the stars on how much ‘enjoyment’ they got out of it.”So, if you got a lot of enjoyment out of watching a movie, but only rated it two stars because it’s not what the rest of the world would deem a quality picture, Netflix will think you hated it. In the future, the streaming site might not recommend a similar title you actually might have watched and enjoyed.Netflix started testing the thumbs up/down system last year with hundreds of thousands of new users around the world, according to The Verge. Yellin told reporters that the new system encouraged 200 percent more ratings compared to the five-star model. Netflix –shares Image credit: Shutterstock Netflix to Replace 5-Star Ratings With Thumbs Up or Down Apply Now » Reporter March 17, 2017 Add to Queue 2 min read 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag Angela Moscaritolo
Trends The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 3 min read 5 Workplace Trends That Will Impact Your Business in 2017 Apply Now » Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network Add to Queue Tom Gimbel –shares March 29, 2017 Guest Writer Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Be on the lookout for these changes to company culture expectations and the make-up of the workforce. Image credit: Shutterstock One reason I love running a staffing and recruiting company is learning the nuances of the organizations we serve — their needs, their cultures, their staff. As research for my company’s annual white paper found, workplaces in 2017 are far from stagnant; they’re adapting to trends daily. I believe these five trends will have the biggest effects in 2017: More focus on culture Expect companies to prioritize culture in 2017 to address their engagement and turnover issues — and to become a place people love to work. That means listening to staff to learn what keeps them engaged and motivated, and building culture around that. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; it’s building on the people and traits that make the organization unique. For many companies, that means certain “perks” (the foosball tables and kegs are fun, but they’re not culture) get scaled back in favor of an increased 401k match, a director of training on staff and opportunities for career growth. These investments in staff create an environment where people want to work — where people feel valued, not like a means to an end. You can’t fake the type of synergy that comes from that.More companies ditch the annual performance reviewMore companies are buying into the idea that it’s hard and often unfair to evaluate a year of work in one sitting. It’s almost impossible to remember everything and give an accurate assessment. Companies like GE and Accenture have already ditched annual reviews for new evaluation models. We’re going to see more constant communication, and on-the-spot coaching between employees and managers in 2017.Improvements to the employee experience to boost employment brand A recent study found that 83 percent of HR professionals think the employee experience is crucial to their organization’s success. The result is now a lot of companies are listening closer to what their employees want. They’re creating wellness programs, better benefits and investing in talent development. They’re showing commitment to employees by growing their skill sets and setting them up for career growth.Generation Z joins the work world 2017 is going to be the first full calendar year where gen Z (born after 1998) are in the workforce. With studies showing that 36 percent of working millennials are in managerial positions and that the majority of millennials think generation Z is lazy, watching these two groups interact is going to be a case study in collaboration. Both generations are the foundation of the future. How they come together to solve problems will be a big focus in 2017. More tasks will be automated According to a recent McKinsey study, most jobs have certain activities that could be automated, which would allow more time for high-level tasks. Financial workers, for example, spend 43 percent of their workday on tasks that could be automated. If these workers could automate non-client facing tasks such as routine spreadsheet analytics, they could not only spend more time engaging clients, but also increase the number of clients they serve — resulting in higher productivity for the employee, and more profit for the company. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List
Laura Entis Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 2 min read Technology –shares Add to Queue January 20, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Amazon is singlehandedly accelerating our transition into a sci-fi future. First came news of the drones, and now, there’s a real possibility that the retail company may start shipping your purchases before you click “buy.”The Wall Street Journal reported that in December, Amazon received a patent for “anticipatory shipping,” a system whereby the company forecasts your next order and sends it to a warehouse near you before you actually hit that purchase button. The idea is that the goods will get to you sooner when you do formally place your order.While the retail company has simply gained a patent — there is no guarantee that Amazon will actually use it — the idea that Amazon knows us well enough to accurately guess what we’ll buy next doesn’t seem that outlandish.Related: Not Science Fiction: Amazon Is Working on a Drone-Powered Delivery SystemAmazon, after all, has a wealth of data on customers and their buying habits. In choosing what to ship, Amazon can consider your previous orders and searches, what’s in your shopping cart and even how long your cursor hovers over a particular item. (Amazon’s current predictions about what I’ll be interested in are already eerily accurate).In the patent, the retail company outlined potential plans to partially fill in addresses with zip codes to get items closer to customers, completing the labels in transit as the purchases are confirmed. “Anticipatory shipping” could work well for popular items like newly released best sellers (allowing the retail company to provide the book the day it is released, discouraging customers from going to a brick-and-mortar store instead).And while some predictions would inevitably misfire, Amazon said it could use tactics such as suggesting shipped items to customers, offering discounts and turning unwanted orders into “goodwill” gifts in order to prevent costly returns.Related: What Shoppers Still Won’t Buy on Amazon (Infographic) Guest Writer Amazon Could Ship Your Next Purchase Before You Even Order It Apply Now »
Your move Golden Arches. Nina Zipkin –shares Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Burger King Dresses Up as McDonald’s for Halloween Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Add to Queue 2 min read Register Now » It wouldn’t be Halloween without some mischief, and Burger King pulled off a pretty effective trick on its rival fast food franchise.A Burger King location in Rego Park, N.Y. decided to get into the spooky spirit of the season by crafting a ghostly McDonald’s get up complete with a feisty sign that reads “Booooo! Just kidding, we still flame-grill our burgers. Happy Halloween.”Related: Burger King Gets Burned in Twitter Duel With Wendy’sThe internet seemed pretty impressed by the chain’s Halloween chutzpah and awarded this round to Burger King. There’s still time for McDonald’s to make a move, but we may be waiting until Christmas to see what the Golden Arches has in store.Now that’s the competitive Halloween spirit I like to see @BurgerKing!! ?https://t.co/nkRnVBfIXk— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 27, 2016 Leave it to a Burger King in Queens, NY to display the best Halloween costume a fast-food chain has ever worn. pic.twitter.com/Ib8sWknSZ1— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) October 27, 2016 The best Halloween costume I’ve seen so far this year:Burger King dressed up as McDonald’s. pic.twitter.com/2SSJ2yfir3— Jake Hamilton (@JakesTakes) October 26, 2016 October 27, 2016 Franchises
PX Open Marketplace Surpasses 500 Publishers in its Exchange MTS Staff WriterApril 23, 2019, 5:02 pmApril 23, 2019 Leading Technology Provider for Customer Acquisition Marketers Continues Expansion of Fully Transparent and Open Marketplace PX, the leading marketing technology platform to automate and manage customer acquisition, announced that its open publisher exchange has reached a milestone with over 500 sources now actively offering leads and calls to buyers.Additionally, new data from the 2019 PX-Leadscon State of the Industry Survey found that lead buyers who manage more than 10 sources double their likelihood to hit their ROI goals. The report also found that those buyers who are managing 40 or more sources hit their target 93% of the time, yet currently, two-thirds of industry buyers are only managing 10 or fewer sources in their campaigns.“When we set out to create the publisher exchange our objective was to offer lead buyers an open marketplace for high quality leads with complete transparency into where those leads are coming from,” said Bas Offers, Co-founder and COO of PX. “With over 500 sites currently onboard, our path towards creating a more efficient and profitable market for both buyers and sellers is well on its way to redefining the industry.”Marketing Technology News: Westchester Community College Uses Oracle Cloud to Modernize Education ExperienceThe power of the PX platform is truly unlocked when lead buyers also upload their sales data to PX, enabling them to see the complete status of every lead throughout the sales funnel and then optimize campaigns, based on that visibility. This deeper level of insight gives lead marketers a clearer understanding of their campaigns’ success and the ability to make real-time adjustments to focus on the sources and paths that provide the greatest ROI.According to the recent PX 2019: The State of the Industry Report, this end-to-end measurement, or clear visibility, is a leading factor contributing to the success of marketers to reach their ROI goals. The survey showed that marketers who consistently see and measure conversion throughout their sales funnel are 2-3x more likely to hit their ROI.Marketing Technology News: MarTech Roundup: Latest News, Insights, Funding and Salesforce UpdatesFinding and Managing New Sources:The PX exchange also provides marketers with a seamless and cost effective ecosystem for addressing one of the biggest challenges facing marketers – scaling their success by testing new sources and vendors. Survey data showed nearly three-quarters of marketers failed to reach a 40% success rate in testing new sources.With a vast and wide variety of vetted and compliant sources, the PX platform can help buyers quickly expand their efforts and reduce the risk in testing new sources. Each publisher on the platform has been vetted by a strict onboarding process to ensure they meet standards of quality and compliance, providing a huge savings in time and resources for buyers who need to continuously test in order to scale their campaigns.Currently, the PX platform supports more than 15 different verticals, across mortgage, personal finance, insurance, solar, home renovation and home services. Each lead generated in the marketplace is carefully matched with the most relevant buyers, based on targeting filters that buyers have chosen through the PX platform.Marketing Technology News: Data Privacy: Balancing Personalization and Security in the Age of Transparency AcquisitionBas OffersMarketing Technologymarketing technology platformNewsPXPX-Leadscon Previous ArticlePagely Announces 2nd Annual Scholarship for Underrepresented Students in TechNext ArticleContact Centers Adding AI to Become More Intelligent, Responsive to Customers
Helps Organizations Advance Trusted Data to the Cloud for Strategic AI, Machine Learning and Compliance InitiativesSyncsort, the global leader in Big Iron to Big Data software, unveiled Trillium DQ for Big Data, providing best-in-class data profiling and data quality capabilities in a single solution, designed to work natively with distributed architectures. Using Trillium DQ for Big Data, organizations can apply data quality to large volumes of enterprise data on-premises or in the cloud, delivering trusted data for business insights and realizing the full potential of emerging technologies to meet their data governance and compliance requirements.“Recent Syncsort research revealed more than 72 percent of respondents reported sub-optimal data quality negatively impacting business decisions,” said Dr. Tendü Yoğurtçu, CTO, Syncsort. “Almost half also found un-trustworthy results or inaccurate insights from analytics were due to a lack of quality in the data fed into downstream application such as AI and machine learning. By providing integrated data profiling, cleansing, standardization and matching on distributed and cloud platforms, we are empowering organizations to resolve the data quality issues and drive significant business value from their data.” Marketing Technology News: Forging MarTech with Big Data: Salesforce Eyes Tableau’s Big Data Expertise with $15.7 Billion Deal Trillium DQ for Big Data is part of a market-leading Syncsort Trillium family of data quality products designed to ensure enterprises understand and trust the quality of their data for effective use and accurate insights at the speed of business. It is an integrated solution that delivers profiling, cleansing, standardization and matching including strong entity resolution on distributed architectures, on-premises and in the cloud.“Analysis of data quality process flow results is essential for data analysts to support continuous data quality improvement and deliver optimal results within targeted time windows,” continued Yoğurtçu. “With the new Syncsort Trillium product, we are enabling them to easily profile large, more diverse data sources in a few simple steps, explore the results of the profiling from a business-friendly user interface to discover new insights and issues and monitor the quality of their data to allow delivery of reports and findings readily to business leaders. Data analysts and data quality specialists can also design, develop and deploy highly-scalable data quality solutions in their data pipelines or in real-time to cleanse, standardize, match and resolve entities without technical expertise in Big Data and distributed architectures.”Marketing Technology News: Big Data Push to MarTech Continues as Google Taps Looker for $2.6 BillionHighlights of data profiling and data quality capabilities provided by Trillium DQ for Big Data, on-premises and in the cloud, include:Single solution to support a variety of Big Data quality use cases for understanding issues, challenges and value of the data in the data lake including 3rd party data, requirements to utilize, govern and trust key business information and advanced analytics to build data quality solutions that provide a 360-degree view in support of critical analytical and compliance requirements (e.g. fraud detection, anti-money laundering, omni-channel marketing, predictive analytics, data science and machine learning)Robust, scalable data profiling of high volumes of data and comprehensive matching of complex entities to help ensure data quality and build a 360-degree view of key entities (e.g. customers) for business-critical applications and AI pipelines within the data lakeBusiness user-friendly interface with hundreds of built-in business rules and drill-down capabilities to quickly get insight into issues and anomalies“Design once, deploy anywhere” design for deploying data quality jobs natively to Big Data execution frameworks including Hadoop MapReduce and Spark or through real-time services to dynamically optimize processing with no coding or tuning requiredMarketing Technology News: From Sensing to Sensemaking: Converging Big Data with Plant AI New Syncsort Trillium Software Delivers Data Quality at Scale Business WireJune 19, 2019, 7:40 pmJune 19, 2019 big dataData QualityMarketing TechnologyNewsSyncsort Previous ArticleGigster Accelerates Digital Transformation With Innovative Enterprise Customers and New Key ExecsNext ArticleCuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa Serves Up Unique, Intelligent Guest Room Experiences With Avaya and Percipia
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 30 2018Immunotherapy — harnessing T-cells to attack cancer cells in the body — has given hope to patients who endure round after round of treatment, including chemotherapy, to little effect. For all of its promise, however, immunotherapy still benefits only a minority of patients — a reality driving research in the field for ways to improve the relatively new approach.One method for improving efficacy is the development of bio- and activity-based markers to better predict which patients will respond to immunotherapy and identify why some don’t. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of Notre Dame studying tumors in prostate cancer models found that nitration of an amino acid can inhibit T-cell activation, thwarting the T-cell’s ability to kill cancer cells.”People put a lot of hope on immunotherapy, and it has worked well for some patients, but overall the number is still low,” said Xin Lu, John M. and Mary Jo Boler Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame who studies molecular understanding and immunotherapy of metastatic cancer. “By identifying activity-based markers like this one, we can design approaches that shut down the particular mechanisms that inhibit T-cell activation so immunotherapy can work.”In the study, Lu and his team explain how highly reactive molecules, called reactive nitrogen species (RNS), produced by myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) cause nitration of an amino acid in a lymphocyte-specific protein called tyrosine kinase (LCK), which is crucial for T-cell activation. Nitration is a process to add a special chemical group “nitro” to the amino acid molecule, called tyrosine, in proteins. After this modification, the protein may alter its overall structure thus exhibiting different functions. MDSCs are prevalent in solid tumors that contribute to more than 90 percent of all cancers.Prostate cancer “is a slow progressing disease,” Lu said. “Nevertheless, for patients with aggressive cases of prostate cancer, there is no effective treatment.”Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerAccording to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men in the United States behind lung cancer. Lu and his team also looked at tumors in lung cancer models, and tested treatments as part of the study.”At this moment, we don’t have an agent to block a particular amino acid from nitration,” Lu said. “But we do have ways to block nitration all together.”Lu tested three methods of treatment to block nitration, which would keep the LCK protein active — and allow it to do its job of killing cancer cells. Treating models with an immune checkpoint blockade or uric acid, which can neutralize RNS to limited degrees, yielded little response in the tumor models.”When we combined them, our results showed that it could suppress RNS, activate cytotoxic T cells and achieve impressive efficacy,” Lu said.While MDSCs are highly abundant in solid tumors, they are not all alike, which is why Lu is focusing on activity taking place at the molecular level. The hope is to expand the study and investigate new antibodies capable of recognizing this particular type of modification for better prognosis.”You can imagine in the clinic, if a patient comes in with metastatic prostate cancer from which a fine-needle biopsy can be acquired, you can look for MDSC activity using the nitrated protein biomarker and predict whether or not an agent that inhibits MDSC will be required for immunotherapy to work,” he said.Because MDSCs are in high abundance in many types of solid tumors, Lu said it could be argued that the phenomenon found in the prostate cancer models has a high likelihood of applying to other solid tumors in other types of cancer.”The question is how we reach more people,” Lu said. “The goal is to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets that enhance current immunotherapies to unleash more power from these therapies. By doing this, we may benefit many more patients.” Source:https://news.nd.edu/news/scientists-neutralize-reactive-nitrogen-molecules-to-enhance-cancer-immunotherapy/
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 30 2019The number of new enrollees in Covered California plans plunged by nearly a quarter this year, largely because of the elimination of the tax penalty for people without insurance, officials announced Wednesday.The decrease was steeper than expected — and larger than the drop in new enrollment in the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. It occurred even as Covered California, the state health insurance exchange, spent millions on advertising to entice people to sign up for coverage during the open-enrollment period that ended Jan. 15.Overall, more than 1.5 million Californians selected a health plan for 2019 coverage, a figure similar to last year, the agency said. But new enrollment fell by 23.7 percent, with 295,980 sign-ups compared with 388,344 last year. Meanwhile, plan renewals remained strong, and posted a 7.5 percent increase.”Recent actions at the federal level appear to be causing large drops in enrollment that will lead to more uninsured and higher premiums for all Californians,” said Covered California executive director Peter Lee.”The federal removal of the individual mandate penalty appears to have had a substantial impact on the number of new consumers signing up for coverage,” he said.New enrollment in the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, which serves 39 states, fell to 2.1 million, down 15.8 percent from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.Total enrollment dropped to 8.4 million from roughly 8.7 million in 2018. The drop in enrollment, especially if fewer healthy people are signing up, could lead to higher premiums, explained David Panush, president of California Health Policy Strategies, a Sacramento-based consulting firm, and former external affairs director for Covered California.“When you have fewer healthy people enrolling, that has an effect on the risk pool. And when you have a sicker pool that means premiums go up, although so do subsidies,” Panush said. “But for people on the non-subsidized side, that’s a big deal.”In fact, premium rates have already increased because of the elimination of the penalty for not having health coverage, which took effect this year. Covered California said the average rate increase for 2019 would have been closer to 5 percent — instead of 8.7 percent — if the individual mandate penalty hadn’t been axed as part of the 2017 Republican tax bill.On his first day in office, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a state-based mandate, which would require all Californians to have health coverage. The legislature would have to approve it, which isn’t guaranteed even with a Democratic majority because the mandate was one of the least popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.Penalizing uninsured Californians in this way could raise roughly $500 million a year, Newsom said when he unveiled his proposed budget earlier this month. That money, he suggested, could be used to create state subsidies for Californians who struggle to afford health insurance.New enrollment fell even though Covered California spent $40 million on ads during the latest open-enrollment period, out of a monster $107 million marketing budget. By comparison, the federal government spent $10 million on advertising.Related StoriesSupplements claiming to boost brain health are ‘too good to be true’, warn expertsGovernment policy and infrastructure have substantial impact on hospitalization of seniorsExperts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivorsWhile advertising is important, it alone doesn’t do the trick, experts say. “You need all three — affordability, a mandate and advertising,” Panush said.Kevin Knauss, an insurance agent in Granite Bay, Calif., said he believes affordability played the biggest role in the drop in new enrollment. He added that a strong economy means that more people have job-based health insurance, and so they don’t need to buy plans on the open market.“In my experience, high rates are the primary driver for people not signing up,” not the end of the penalty, Knauss said. “They say ‘I can’t do it, I can’t afford it.’”At the same time, Knauss said the drop in new enrollment is almost expected, given the evolution of the market.“We have to remember the market is saturated — Covered California has been around for a while, and people that want to buy have probably already made that decision,” he said.Doreena Wong, a project director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civil rights organization, said it was harder this year to persuade people to enroll and renew their coverage.The group, part of a statewide collaborative, receives grant money from Covered California for outreach and enrollment, particularly in immigrant and low-income communities.“It’s hard to know exactly why, but we have seen at least a 10 percent drop ourselves,” she said.Wong blames the elimination of the penalty coupled with fear among immigrant communities as reasons for the decline in new enrollment.She pointed to the proposed “public charge” rule change, which is awaiting final action by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The change would allow the federal government to consider legal immigrants’ use of an expanded list of public benefit programs, including Medicaid, food stamps and Section 8 housing, as a reason to deny lawful permanent residency — also known as having a green card. Medicaid is the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people.Although federal tax credits for plans bought through Covered California are not included in the list of public programs that would be considered, there’s so much confusion among immigrants that some chose to skip enrolling in coverage, Wong said.“There are fears that communities are experiencing,” she said. “The proposed public charge rule, for example — we’ve gotten a lot of calls about that.”This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 8 2019Risks for autism and depression are higher if one’s mother was in hospital with an infection during pregnancy. This is shown by a major Swedish observational study of nearly 1.8 million children.”The results indicate that safeguarding against and preventing infection during pregnancy as far as possible by, for instance, following flu vaccination recommendations, may be called for,” says Verena Sengpiel, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and last author of the study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.Maternal infection with certain infectious agents, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) or the herpes virus, are already known to be capable of harming fetal brain development and boosting the risk of certain psychiatric disorders.The findings of the current study, however, also show that infection in general during pregnancy, too — including when the actual infectious agent does not reach the fetal brain — is related to elevated risk of the child developing autism or depression later in life.More autism and depressionThe study is based on data on all children, totaling almost 1.8 million, born in Sweden during the years 1973-2014. The particulars from the Swedish Medical Birth Register were linked to the national inpatient register, which records whether the mother was treated in hospital with an infection diagnosis during the pregnancy concerned.Using the inpatient register, the researchers also monitored these children’s mental health until 2014, when the oldest were aged 41.It was found that if, during pregnancy, a mother with an infection diagnosis received hospital treatment, there was a marked rise in the risk of her child needing hospital care later in life, with a diagnosis of either autism or depression. The increase in risk was 79 percent for autism and 24 percent for depression.Related StoriesStudy uncovers potential new way to prevent common pregnancy-related complicationsWomen’s pre-pregnancy obesity changes breast milk contents which can affect infant growthPregnant women with migraine more often have complications during pregnancy and childbirthIn contrast, there was no association between the mothers being in hospital with an infection diagnosis during pregnancy and two other psychiatric diagnoses studied in their children: bipolar disorder and psychosis, including schizophrenia.Increased risk even after mild infectionThe pregnant women in the study may have been hospitalized with diagnoses other than infections, but then had infections diagnosed during their stay as well. The elevated risk of mental ill-health in the child was also evident after infections in the pregnant women that are usually considered mild, such as a common urinary tract infection.The study, which was observational, provides no answer on how maternal infection during pregnancy affects fetal brain development. However, other studies have shown that an infection in the mother leads to an inflammatory reaction, and that some inflammatory proteins can affect gene expression in fetal brain cells.Other research shows that inflammation in the mother boosts production of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the placenta, which may conceivably affect the unborn child’s brain development.https://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/news-calendar/News_detail//child-s-elevated-mental-ill-health-risk-if-mother-treated-for-infection-during-pregnancy.cid1619697
Source:https://www.uth.edu/news/story.htm?id=4bedd30c-3d83-4e3f-8556-f3f4b566afb7 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 30 2019Phillip Robinson has gone from 10 cigarettes a day to one or two every other day after enrolling in a smoking cessation clinical trial launched by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). To help smokers quit, researchers are using a drug known more for helping people with diabetes control their blood sugar.With the support of a Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences Scholar Award and PARTNERS Research Award, Luba Yammine, PhD, RN, FNP-C, an assistant professor in the Department of Research at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth, and Joy Schmitz, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, plan to recruit 90 volunteers. PARTNERS stands for Providing Advancement Resources To Nursing Education Research and Students and is an organization that supports Cizik School of Nursing.”Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that a Food and Drug Administration-approved diabetes drug with the generic name of exenatide can decrease consumption of food and other addictive substances such as alcohol and nicotine,” said Yammine, the study’s principal investigator. “These findings prompted us to investigate exenatide as a potential treatment for smoking cessation. We think that this drug will help with smoking cessation through the mechanism of reward – people will experience less enjoyment when they smoke. It may also help to decrease cravings for cigarettes and withdrawal symptoms that people may experience when they try to quit smoking.”Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S., including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 every day.”Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death. Effective treatments for smoking cessation exist, but we still see a high rate of relapse,” said Schmitz, the Louis A. Faillace, MD Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School.Related StoriesAADE’s comprehensive guidance on care of children, young adults with diabetes releasedNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsDiabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have beneficial long-term clinical outcomes”Exenatide targets a different mechanism of action that holds promise for pharmacological treatment of smoking and possibly other addictive behaviors,” Schmitz said.Yammine said exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA). In the clinical trial, the drug is being studied in people who are prediabetic, or overweight but not diabetic. They must be between 18 and 75 years of age and make an earnest attempt to quit smoking.Participants receive six weeks of treatment with exenatide or placebo in the double-blind, randomized trial. Clinic visits take place at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction at UTHealth. The trial is registered on clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02975297).Robinson, who has now completed the trial, received a weekly injection over a six-week period and nicotine patches to curb his urge to smoke. He also received individual smoking cessation counseling. To verify his smoking status and abstinence from smoking, his breath carbon monoxide levels were tested at every appointment.”I started 25 years ago and I wished I hadn’t. I used to smoke a half pack or more of cigarettes a day. Now, I’m down to no cigarettes or one cigarette a day,” said Robinson, a 60-year-old maintenance supervisor.Robinson had tried unsuccessfully to quit on his own. “I tried the gum. I tried the patches. But, I didn’t get far. I know cigarettes are not good for you but it’s hard to stop,” he said.When Robinson heard about the trial, he decided to give it a shot. “I wanted to try something different. I liked the fact that the study involved an existing drug,” he said.Robinson and his wife Mindy Lee Robinson have a young son named Phillip Robinson III. “I’m doing this for my family, too,” he said.”The obtained data will provide information for a larger study,” Yammine said.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Google combines cloud storage for Gmail, Drive, Google+ services Google rebranded its online storage subscription program to Google One Monday and lowered prices, but Amazon still has the best deal for 1 terabyte of storage. Explore further ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Users of Google Drive’s online backup program will still go to drive.google.com to access their files. If they use under 15 GB, Google Drive is still free. The subscription offering, for heavier users, will be called One.In a blog post, Google said the new One subscription accounts now come with access to e-mail and phone customer help.Google’s new price for 2 terabytes of storage is $9.99 monthly, down from $19.99 monthly. Google also introduced several lower priced tiers, including 100 GB for $1.99 monthly or $2.99 for 200 GB. The changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks.But consumers looking for just 1 TB of storage at the lowest price might want to shop with Amazon, which offers it for $59.99 yearly. That’s lower than the $99 yearly prices from Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Neither Apple’s iCloud nor Google offer just 1 TB of storage, but a more hefty 2 TB.Google still offers 15 GB of free storage before moving people to a paid account. The new One name will offer bonuses to subscribers “like credits on Google Play or deals on select hotels found in Google Search,” said Google in the blog post.Online storage in the digital age has become a fact of life for mobile consumers, who are shooting more photos and videos, in higher resolution, than ever before, on devices that max out of room often.While physical hard drives are more economical—small external drives from companies like Western Digital and Seagate sell for around $65— they tend to eventually fail. Online storage is considered a safer backup bet, and consumers can access the files from anymore, whether on mobile, desktop or laptop.Here’s how the rivals compare:Amazon: $59.99 yearly for 1 TB, or $119 for 2 TB.Google One: $99 yearly for 2 TB.Dropbox: $99 yearly for 1 TBMicrosoft: $99 yearly for 1 TBApple iCloud: $120 yearly for 2 TB. Citation: Google cuts prices for storage under a new name. Here’s how Google One compares to its rivals (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-google-prices-storage-rivals.html
Facebook and Google are mapping big expansions in Chicago, where real estate searches by two of the nation’s other technology giants have been the center of attention. Citation: Tech behemoths Facebook, Google planning big Chicago office expansions (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-tech-behemoths-facebook-google-big.html A Facebook spokeswoman and John Buck President and Chief Investment Officer Kevin Hites did not respond to requests for comment.In May, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Facebook has been poaching recruiters from other Chicago companies so the social media company can make hundreds of new hires in the city.The Franklin Street space would be large enough to accommodate more than 1,000 employees.Facebook is represented by brokers at Cushman & Wakefield. John Buck is represented by Bill Rolander and Jon Cordell of Newmark Knight Frank.Google is expanding in Fulton Market, an area that it helped elevate a few years ago when it moved into 358,000 square feet in the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building, which was redeveloped by Chicago’s Sterling Bay and renamed 1KFulton.Google, which has nowhere else to expand at 1000 W. Fulton Market, is leasing 14,000 square feet on the ground floor that once had been planned as retail space for the building, Google spokeswoman Kayla Conti confirmed. She said that space will be used for Google’s salespeople to interact with clients.Just south of 1KFulton, Google is negotiating to take more than 100,000 square feet in a 12-story building Sterling Bay plans to finish building at 210 N. Carpenter St. by late this year, sources said.Sterling Bay managing principal Andy Gloor could not be reached for comment.Conti declined to comment on the Carpenter Street lease, or to say whether Google plans further expansion in the neighborhood. She said the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has more than 900 employees in Chicago.Google is represented by Kyle Kamin and Cal Wessman of CBRE. Sterling Bay and 1KFulton owner American Realty Advisors are represented by Sterling Bay leasing director Michael Lirtzman.About 60,000 of the Carpenter Street building’s 205,000 square feet already has been leased. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook is negotiating to lease more than 200,000 square feet in a recently constructed office tower at 151 N. Franklin St. in the Loop, according to sources.Meanwhile, sources said, Google plans to add more than 100,000 square feet of office space in the city’s Fulton Market district, where the company already has a large Midwest headquarters.Those companies’ growth in Chicago comes as city and state officials await Amazon’s decision on its planned second headquarters, or HQ2. The Seattle-based company last year announced plans to pick a North American location to add up to 50,000 high-paying jobs, and Chicago in January learned it was among 20 locations still under consideration.Also in January, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago would try to lure Apple, which is seeking a new campus that would create more than 20,000 jobs. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has remained tight-lipped about potential locations for the campus, and it’s unclear whether Chicago is under consideration.For now, at least, Google and Facebook are the tech behemoths beefing up their presence in Chicago. Many of those companies’ existing employees are in sales.If the Facebook lease is completed as expected, it would cap a spring to remember for Chicago developer John Buck Co. In May, Facebook signed the largest office lease in San Francisco history, agreeing to fill all of a new, 756,000-square-foot tower developed by John Buck and two partners: Chicago-based Golub & Co. and the asset management arm of MetLife.How do Amazon HQ2 contenders measure up? We checked the data.The Chicago deal comes immediately after tenants began moving into John Buck’s 35-story tower at 151 N. Franklin St., where CNA Financial is the namesake tenant. Another tenant in the approximately 807,000-square-foot building is law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson.The largest block of remaining space is the top 10 floors, which have just over 257,000 square feet combined. It’s possible Facebook could fill all of that space.It’s unclear whether Facebook also plans to remain in a recently expanded office on Wacker Drive, or whether the spaces will be consolidated on Franklin Street. In October, the Tribune reported Facebook had expanded its space at 191 N. Wacker Drive to more than 100,000 square feet. Explore further Apple’s new flagship Chicago store is for sale, and could fetch $170 million or more ©2018 Chicago Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.