Mobile wallet service provider Oxigen has partnered with Kerala Blasters Football Club as their official payments solution sponsor. Owned by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is also the brand ambassador for
Kolkata: Calcutta High Court on Thursday sought judicial and administrative reports on the lawyers’ scuffle with police which took place at the Howrah court on Wednesday.Lawyers across the state launched a cease-work strike to protest against the police action during the Howrah incident. Later in the day, the state Bar association at Calcutta High Court called a meeting and it was decided that pen down movement would continue until action is taken against the police personnel. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe division bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Nair Radhakrishnan issued orders to submit the reports by Monday. Lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya mentioned about the incident before the Chief Justice and appealed him to take suo motu cognizance of the same to which he agreed. Following issuing the order to submit reports on the incident, the Chief Justice said an attack on the judicial system would not be tolerated. The High Court will take action in this regard. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateOn Wednesday, a major clash took place between the lawyers and staff of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) over vehicle parking at Howrah Court area. The lawyers had allegedly attacked cops with bricks during the fight with Howrah Municipal Corporation employees. Around 10 am, when a lawyer parked his bike at the HMC’s free parking area, an employee of HMC asked him not to park his vehicle there. This led to a fight between the two and the argument further heated up when some lawyers and law clerks joined them and allegedly assaulted the HMC staff and a security personnel. Within minutes more civic body staff members joined and a clash ensued between both the parties. It was alleged that bricks were hurled during the incident. The police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Later around 5 pm, when some mediapersons and HMC staff were moving out of the HMC, the lawyers allegedly assaulted them. Some lawyers allegedly hurled bricks at them which hit some police personnel who were duty. Having no other option, the police resorted to lathi-charge. The situation took an ugly turn when the lawyers retaliated and attacked the police personnel. To disperse the violent mob, the police fired a few tear gas shells on the Howrah court premises.
With the aim of bringing the young and promising future stars of the international culinary community on a single platform where they could connect, share ideas, while creating something exceptional out of their experiences – the world’s biggest culinary competition for student chefs – the International Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) – is back with a delicious and delectable bang. The fifth edition of the event will be held across four cities of India – Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata – from January 28 February 2. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) brings together the best hospitality and culinary which has made IIHM numero uno.YCO 2019 will witness participation from budding chefs from 50 countries, including England, Wales, Canada, Russia, Spain, South Africa, UAE, Switzerland, Thailand, France, Italy and Hong Kong among others. Dr Suborno Bose, Chairman, YCO Global Council, Co-chairman and CEO, International Hospitality Council Founder and Chief Mentor, International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), took the initiative and kicked off Young Chef Olympiad in the year 2015 and since then the event has been organised over and over again. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTalking about the initiative, he said: “In 2015 we organised the first ever International Young Chef Olympiad with 15 participating countries. The rest has been an extraordinary success story. Now we are planning to build a sustainable model for YCO for the next 50 years. We are looking at not just being stationed in India, but taking the Olympiad abroad to different countries, where it would be easier to unearth even more local talent. I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to make India proud this year too.” He believes that IIHM is a perfect place for the people who are looking for an education that extends beyond the four walls of the classroom, and a qualification accepted internationally with hands on experience in highly skilled areas of the hospitality industry. The students are challenged intellectually to develop their analytical thinking, sense of responsibility and their holistic approach to solving business problems in the real world. Dr Bose also shared that the institution holds strong values which are ingrained in the students from the time they take admission in the institute. They ensure that all students take active part in the numerous charitable activities at IIHM every year. The international curriculum at IIHM is designed to motivate students to learn holistically through research, field trips, surveys, real-time practice in an attached hotel and develop international perspectives through sharing of ideas with international guest lecturers. At all levels of study, extreme care is taken to ensure that all the students get enough opportunities to be able to satisfy one. The students are engaged in international case studies, essay writing and presentation skills with emphasis on citation, referencing and bibliography. In the first two levels of the course the student is regularly exposed to the practices and problems within the hospitality industry through work in the kitchen, the training restaurant and the Front Office Studio and assumes responsibility for managing the operations. Revealing the curriculum in the institute, he asserted, “We started with 35 students; it has come up to 7000 students all over India. Campuses in Doha and Qatar are scheduled to begin in March 2019. The students of IIHM are placed all over the world as general managers, executives, owners, chefs, entrepreneurs. There is a huge emphasis on technology education as well a practical knowledge which is provided to the students.” Dr Suborno also informed that countries like Turkey, Sweden and France have also collaborated with the institute, for the various student exchange programmes. “We are a very modern institute, focussing on worldwide teachings, focussing on to social media which has become a necessity for the benefits of the students in the longer run and be industry ready,” he said.
Greed, and not the willingness to return the favour, is the main reason people give in to bribery, according to a study carried out in several settings, including India. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in the US suggest that when incentives are dependent on choices, people accept and reward bribes. On the other hand, when bribes are not contingent on delivering a certain outcome, they do not distort judgment nearly as much. Pairs of participants wrote original jokes and submitted them to a judge, who was tasked with deciding which pun was the funniest. Joke-tellers could blindly submit bribes up to USD 5. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhen judges were allowed to keep only one bribe, nearly 90 per cent of them chose the joke that came with the most money. The better joke – as determined by independent evaluators – was selected just 60 per cent of the time. “Quality was basically ignored when the person could pocket the winner’s bribe. Nearly every person went with the money,” said Silvia Saccardo, an assistant professor at CMU. The results were different when the judges could keep both bribes. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey selected the better joke 84 per cent of the time. In fact, they overwhelmingly chose the person who wrote the funnier joke even when they offered the lower bribe. “When the referees’ payoff didn’t depend on the choice of winner, bribery didn’t distort judgment,” said Saccardo. “And because they sided with quality instead of a higher payoff, it’s an indication that in our data reciprocity isn’t a driving factor when it comes to bribes,” he said. The researchers, including those from the University of California San Diego in the US and WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany, created one final scenario in the study that provided a clue that greediness can actually be overcome. Rather than allowing participants to bribe the judge when they submitted their jokes, joke-tellers had to wait two minutes. The extra time allowed the judges to objectively read and evaluate the submissions before seeing any money. They could keep only the winner’s money; they chose the better joke 81 per cent of the time. “When a bribe arrives before you have time to make an unbiased decision, you ‘conveniently’ convince yourself that a subpar proposal is actually the best one,” Saccardo said. “It’s more difficult to justify your own dishonesty once you have already made a decision before receiving a bribe,” said Saccardo. The researchers replicated the main conditions of the study at a market in India using a taste-test. The results were consistent. “Our results suggest that policy interventions that focus on increasing the moral costs of distortion and limit the scope for self-serving biases may provide a successful way to reduce the effectiveness of bribes,” Saccardo said.
In This Issue. * Poor US data sends the US$ higher… * US Treasury Sec Geithner addresses congress… * Yen continues to rally… * Oil drops, bringing down the commodity currencies… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Data shows the US recovery isn’t strong… Good day… The dollar maintained its stronger tone yesterday in spite of durable goods data which came in slightly lower than predicted. Durable goods orders for February increased 2.2% vs. last month’s revised 3.6% drop and the ex-transportation number was up 1.6% vs. a revised drop of 3% last month. Neither of these numbers met economist’s expectations, but the revision of last month’s numbers apparently offset this month’s failure to live up to expectations. MBA mortgage applications were down 2.7%, better than last month’s drop of 7.4%. I probably misspoke when I said the dollar was stronger in spite of the poor data, since this is the pattern which has developed lately. Good data out of the us, showing the economy is getting stronger leads to dollar weakness; and data which shows the US recovery may not be as certain or strong as some believe pushes the dollar higher. The dollar is being used as a ‘safe haven’ and this thought is supported by the yield on the US 10 year treasury which fell again yesterday. As investors worry about the global recovery, they are seeking shelter in the US treasury market which causes prices to rise and conversely the yields to move lower. Today we will get the GDP numbers for the 4th quarter of 2011 which is expected to have remained stable at 3%. The accompanying data, GDP Price Index, Personal Consumption, and Core PCE are all expected to remain unchanged from previous estimates. We will also get the weekly jobs data which are expected to show another 350k filed for first time unemployment benefits last week. Continuing claims are expected to remain at 3,350k. Treasury Secretary Geithner was on Capitol Hill yesterday and told congressmen that the US economy is ‘regaining strength’ but warned the recovery ‘will depend in part on events beyond our shores’. Sounds like the Treasury Secretary is starting to build up an excuse in case the recovery sputters during this election year. You can believe the administration will point to events in Europe as the reason if our economy doesn’t recover as quickly as they would like. I give Geithner credit for not painting too rosy of a picture for the House Appropriations subcommittee. “While the economy is regaining strength, we still face significant economic challenges. Unemployment is still far too high, the housing market remains weak, and the overall effects of the financial crisis remain an obstacle to growth.” Sounds like Geithner and Bernanke are both on board for additional stimulus if we see any further deterioration in our recovery. The Treasury Secretary moved over to the Senate to address the Senate Appropriations Committee and suggested Fannie and Freddie Mac should reduce principal on some home mortgages. “We’ve been encouraging Fannie and Freddie to take another look at the map, at the economics of the finance because we think there is a strong case in some circumstances to help maximize return of the taxpayer,” Geithner told the committee. As I reported yesterday, the huge overhang of foreclosed homes and those which are approaching foreclosure is keeping home prices down. Housing remains a vital piece of the US economy, so the Treasury Secretary needs to try and figure out how they can try to stop the bleeding. They have already kept interest rates near zero, and are apparently turning to a more direct approach, having the two largest holders of mortgages (which just happen to be under government conservatorship) institute principal reductions. Chuck will probably disagree, but there is some logic here, as it is probably cheaper to agree to a $20,000 principal reduction instead of having to put the home into foreclosure and selling it. The risk is these principal reductions are taken and the home owners still can’t pay, forcing them right back into default. Short sales are the simplest answer, and should definitely be given a ‘fast track’ with Freddie and Fannie. But enough of the mortgage talk, let me get back to something I actually know something about; the currencies. The Japanese yen was able to move higher again yesterday after a report showed retail sales rose more than expected in February. Sales increased 3.5% from a year earlier, the biggest advance since August of 2010. The increase more than doubled economists’ predictions who called for an increase of just 1.4%. The yen also rose on ‘safe haven’ buying as US data disappointed and an official over at S&P said Greece may have to restructure its debt again. There is also another factor which will probably move the yen higher today and tomorrow as the Japanese fiscal year ends on March 31. Companies typically repatriate overseas earnings before the end of the year, forcing them to purchase yen. Safe haven flows will probably continue this morning as there was more bad news out of Europe. European economic confidence unexpectedly declined in March according to a report released by the European Commission. An index of executive and consumer sentiment fell to 94.4 from a revised 94.5 figure in February. Economists had predicted a reading of 94.5 which would have been a slight gain, but a revision to last month’s figure caused the drop. First quarter growth in the UK was revised lower and another report showed disposable income in the UK declined, putting additional pressure on the BOE to increase their quantitative easing. There was a bit of good news in the data released in Europe this morning as a report showed German unemployment fell more than forecast in March. The number of people out of work fell a seasonably adjusted 18,000 vs. economists predictions of a drop of 10,000. The adjusted jobless rate in Germany dropped to 6.7%, the lowest in two decades. The German economy definitely looks resilient, and unemployment could continue to decline as the pace of economic growth accelerates. The big problem is that the debt crisis will undoubtedly return, possibly derailing the recovery in Europe’s largest economy. Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is trying to deliver the nation’s first budget surplus since the global economic crisis began; but he has voiced concerns that the global recovery may not be enough to generate an increase in revenue. “When it comes to the structural underpinnings of the revenue base, we are in a tough new world,” Swan said in a speech today. “This is a crucial point: even if we were to witness an enduring global recover, we should not expect to see a similar recovery in revenues.” Swan’s cautionary tone caused the Aussie dollar to drop as investors increased predictions that the Australian central bank would cut interest rates. Continued concern over the Chinese slowdown is also keeping downward pressure on the Aussie dollar which has fallen just over 1% vs. the US$ over the past two days. The South African Rand was the worst performer vs. the US$, falling over 1.6%. The rand had benefitted from a renewed interest in the carry trade, and has retreated as the markets have become concerned about global growth and investors have been in a ‘risk off’ mode. As global equity markets fall, the rand and other carry trade currencies will also probably fall. Oil was down a couple dollars last night, falling to the lowest level in a week after stockpiles surged in the US. There was also some discussion regarding the tapping of emergency reserves in order to offset the recent price increases in the cost of fuel. The US and Europe discussed an agreement on using strategic stockpiles to reduce the price of oil. Apparently President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the move earlier this month. The drop in oil prices will probably have a negative impact on the Norwegian krone which is a major exporter of crude. A report released yesterday said Norway’s jobless rate fell in March as record petroleum investments boost economic growth and demand for labor. The unemployment rate in Norway dropped to 2.6% from 2.7% in February. Norway continues to be very popular with currency investors as the country continues to have some of the strongest underlying economic fundamentals of any developed nation. Chuck has mentioned the BRIC nations were looking to set up a multilateral bank to finance projects in the developing world. India had proposed the new supranational bank after worrying the European debt crisis and other Western financial demands are keeping the existing ‘World Banks’ from concentrating on the developing world. The BRIC nations will be holding a summit tomorrow to discuss the establishment of this new ‘world bank’ along with further discussions on ways to spur trade and investment in their countries. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have been working toward more cooperation in policies. This is just another sign of how economic power is slowly shifting away from the developed world and toward the developing nations. Then there was this… I will share another improvement which the new WorldMarkets system will bring next week. Investors who use the Online Financial Center to enter transactions will see these transactions on a real-time basis. These transactions will now appear in a ‘pending’ status as soon as they are received by the WorldMarkets trade desk. Currently investors have to wait until the next day to see these transactions, which has been a source of some duplicate transactions and concerns regarding if in fact we received the transaction. The new system should go a long way toward solving this problem. In addition, WorldMarket investors will be able to see their portfolio holdings graphed in a pie chart or bar graph, making it easier to view just how diversified your current holdings are. Currencies today 3/29/2012. American Style: A$ $1.0346, kiwi .8147, C$ $.9996, euro 1.3275, sterling 1.5867, Swiss $1.1016. European Style: rand 7.731, krone 5.7531, SEK 6.6657, forint 221.67, zloty 3.1337, koruna 18.6392, RUB 29.3873, yen 82.23, sing 1.2588, HKD 7.7648, INR 51.34, China 6.3064, pesos 12.8053, BRL 1.8259, Dollar Index 79.283, Oil $104.77, 10-year 2.18%, Silver $31.84, Gold $1,656.96, and Platinum $1,635.75. That’s it for today… My family is packing up for a trip down to Florida for their spring break. I will be here in St. Louis working on the conversion, which has already begun. It has been interesting watching all of the pieces of this massive puzzle coming together. I was woken last night by a loud thunderstorm which rolled through around 3 am. We are supposed to get a bit more rain this morning but the tomorrow and the weekend look like they will be nice. Hope everyone has a Tub Thumping Thursday and thanks for reading the Pfennig! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
In This Issue. * Jobless recovery continues to muddle along… * Kiwi drops on dairy export concerns… * Japanese yen and Pound sterling move higher… * GDP re-calculations could have political consequences… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Our Jobless Recovery continues to muddle along… Good day. It is great to be back home! I enjoyed the time I spent touring a couple of our locations in the Florida market during the first half of last week and ended the week in Dallas at a family reunion. But as Mike suggested, my flights were anything but enjoyable. Dollar bulls didn’t have an enjoyable day on Friday either, as the dollar dropped after the monthly jobs report showed US employers added fewer workers. Payrolls rose by just 162,000 workers in July, the smallest increase in four months and well below the expected 185,000 increase. June’s payroll figures were also adjusted lower, but in what has become a typical ‘twist’ the jobless rate actually dropped from 7.6% to 7.4%. Other data showed the typical workweek shrank and hourly earnings fell for the first time since October of last year. The numbers confirm what we have been saying at all of the presentations we have been giving, that this continues to be a ‘jobless recovery’ here in the US. And digging into this latest employment report I discovered the average work week for all workers dropped to 34.4 hours from 34.5 hours last month. This is a forward looking piece of the report similar to the capacity utilization figure which Chuck always highlights, and it shows employers can still push more production from their current employees. While certain sectors, including automotive and the financial sectors seem to be recovering, the Fed will have to wait a while if they truly want to see a marked improvement in the labor market before starting their taper. Employers seem reticent to add employees, and instead are finding other ways to meet current demand. Perhaps this is a result of the new health care plan, which adds more expense with each new hire. But whatever the reason, the labor market is not recovering as quickly as some had thought. Other data released on Friday by the Commerce Department showed household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the US economy, rose .5% in June after a .2% increase the prior month. But the pace of income didn’t keep up with spending as personal income rose .3% compared to a .4% increase in the previous month. And the week ended with the release of Factory orders for the month of June which came in at 1.5%, well below the expected figure of a 2.3% increase. However, any reaction to this disappointing figure in June was offset by the revision of the prior months orders which were adjusted from an increase of 2.1% to 3.0%. As Mike pointed out last week, we are really short on data here in the US this week, with the ISM Non-Manufacturing composite number being the only piece of data today. The Institute for Supply Management is expected to say that its non-manufacturing index rose to 53.1 in July from 52.2 in June, the lowest level since February of 2010. Trade Balance figures will be released in the US tomorrow, followed by the weekly jobs numbers on Thursday. A very light week for data so the markets will have to look overseas or to the talking Fed Heads for direction. Moving overseas, the kiwi lost over 1 percent on Friday, dropping to the lowest level in over four weeks. The fall came after China and other nations suspended imports of milk powder from Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. based in New Zealand. Many readers probably don’t know that New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products making up nearly 25% of the nation’s total overseas sales, so the ban could turn into a major blow for the New Zealand economy. The ban was due to possible bacterial contamination of whey protein used for everything from baby formula to sports drinks. The small overall size of the New Zealand economy has always made the kiwi susceptible to some pretty dramatic swings, and when the nation’s number one export is the subject of bad news the direction of that swing is downward. The Japanese yen moved higher after the disappointing employment data released here in the US caused some traders to extend expectations of a Fed taper. Many currency traders had jumped on the ‘September taper’ bandwagon, but Friday’s data had some of these traders now adjusting their expectations of when the Fed will start to pull back on the amount of bond buying. While 50% still believe the Fed will reduce purchases in September, more and more people are shifting to a December time frame (which I agree with). The dollar has seen selling pressure increase as these expectations have moved further out in the calendar year. The pound sterling rose for a second day vs. the US$ after a report showed UK services grew more than expected in July. The gauge of services output rose to 60.2 from 56.9 in June, matching the increase in UK manufacturing and construction which was released last week. The UK economy is apparently growing at a quicker pace than economists had predicted, supporting a higher price for the pound sterling. The focus this week will move to the new BOE Governor Mark Carney who is expected to detail plans for forward guidance on interest rates during the quarterly inflation report due out on Wednesday. Staying in Europe, Sweden’s krona jumped higher after an index showed the services industry unexpectedly expanded in July to a seasonally adjusted 56.6 from a level of just 44.9 the previous month. Sweden’s central bank left rates unchanged during their last meeting, but has continued to suggest it will start raising interest rates sometime next year as the Swedish economy continues to improve. China’s economy is starting to show signs of stabilizing after slowing down over the past two quarters. A report released over the weekend showed the non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 54.1 in July from 53.9. This was the first acceleration since March and follows last weeks unexpected gain in a manufacturing PMI. These reports indicate that the Chinese economy is not in a freefall, but is instead slowing to a more sustainable level, exactly what Premier Li Keqiang and his policy makers want to see. Additional support for the Chinese economy was announced over the weekend as the country’s economic planning agency said they will accelerate transportation related infrastructure projects. China’s economy grew at 7.5% from a year earlier in the second quarter, and many worried that the downward spiral would continue to accelerate through the end of the year. But this recent data shows that the Chinese economy has probably stabilized, and growth through the end of the year is now expected to remain near the current levels. While below the 8% ‘social unrest’ threshold, the 7.5% growth rate is still very good when you consider the overall size of the Chinese economy. Readers know that I remain a bull on China, and believe the evolution of the Chinese economy, which is moving toward consumption from one driven by exports, will remain the most important global story during the next decade. Gold bounced back over $1,300 on Friday after opening up the morning trading below the figure for the first time in two weeks of trading. We seem to be forming another base from which we could possibly move back up above $1,400. The charts show that the shiny metal has been trading in a slightly narrower range over the past month leaving the $50 to $80 daily moves in the recent past (there were 10 of these volatile days in the past 3 months). Concerns that the Fed will cut back on stimulus has hurt investor demand for gold, with most of the selling being done in the ‘paper market’. Hedge funds, which typically leverage their bets through the use of gold based derivative contracts, lowered their bullish gold bets for the first time in five weeks on the data which showed US growth may be accelerating. However, demand in the physical market continues to be strong, and spiked when the price fell below $1,300. Premiums for gold coins hit a record level on Friday according to a chart I found on Bloomberg. The reason for the increase in premiums on physical coins? Apparently there continues to be supply concerns as more and more investors opt to have their gold ‘within reach’. Then there was this. Both Chuck and Mike mentioned the changes to the GDP calculations as reported in the US last week, and while most (including me) agree that the way data is compiled needs to adjust over time, it certainly makes you want to take a closer look at these adjustments and what impact they will have across other data points. With all of the time I spent in airports last week, I caught up on my reading and came across an interesting analysis of the new GDP data in the Financial Times. In the column, Robin Harding gives his analysis of the new GDP statistic (note this was in the FT early last week): “US economic history will be rewritten this week, as the most far-reaching methodological changes in years will add the equivalent of a country the size of Belgium to output in the world’s largest economy. The most important change by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a statistical agency of the Department of Commerce, to be announced on Wednesday, will be to start counting spending on research, development, and copyrights as investment, and reflect pension deficits for the first time. Combined, they are expected to add 3 percent to gross domestic product.” Harding goes on to explain how these changes may take on a political tone in the upcoming negotiations regarding the US debt limit: “The scope of the revisions will keep economists busy for months. For example, politically sensitive figures on the size and growth of the US government will change, because the revisions have no effect on past tax revenues. At a time when Republicans argue the growth of federal government is out of control, the revisions are likely to reduce federal spending as a share of GDP by half a percentage point. They should also cut federal debt as a share of GDP by about 2 percentage points from 73 percent in 2012.” Harding makes an excellent point which I think needs repeating; while the GDP adjustments will be carried all the way back to 1929, the GDP adjustments will also impact several of the most common measures by which the US economy is compared to others. We commonly look at data ‘as a percentage of GDP’ and if GDP is suddenly increased, most of these measures will improve solely because of last weeks GDP calculation adjustment. I won’t say the changes were politically motivated, but the timing certainly seems to be advantageous for the current administration. To recap. The monthly jobs numbers released on Friday showed we are still in a ‘jobless recovery’ here in the US. The dollar got sold as currency investors started to move the timetable of the upcoming Fed taper. The kiwi booked large losses after bacteria was found in whey protein, impacting the sales of dairy products which are New Zealand’s largest source of exports. The Japanese yen and Pound sterling were the two biggest gainers vs. the US$ on Friday. The yen moved higher after currency traders adjusted their expectations of the upcoming fed taper, and the Pound Sterling benefitted from an increase in a US services index. Data released over the weekend show China’s economy is starting to stabilize, and Gold bounced back over $1,300 after falling briefly below that figure on Friday. Currencies today 8/05/13. American Style: A$ .8900, kiwi .7764, C$ .9625, euro 1.3270, sterling 1.5350, Swiss $1.0742. European Style: rand 9.8431, krone 5.9214, SEK 6.5968, forint 225.02, zloty 3.1787, koruna 19.526, RUB 32.8774, yen 98.49, sing 1.2685, HKD 7.7569, INR 60.8712, China 6.1767, pesos 12.6435, BRL 2.2874, Dollar Index 81.886, Oil $106.35, 10-year 2.62%, Silver $19.7635, Platinum $1,446.40, Palladium $729.60, and Gold. $1,309.09 That’s it for today. As Mike mentioned on Friday, I had quite the week of travel, spending an unplanned night in Atlanta only to get home to St. Louis and finding that my flight out to Dallas had been canceled. We did finally make down to Dallas and enjoyed the weekend with several aunts, uncles, and cousins during an overdue family reunion. It actually feels good to be back on the desk after I have traveled each of the last 3 weeks. Did you catch the Pre-Season football game last night? Hard to believe football is back, I’m sure looking forward to the Rams season; many believe this will be a breakout year for them. Thanks again to new dad Mike for covering for Chuck and me while we were out, great job! Now I’ll hit the send button and get started on some of the emails which have accumulated in my inbox. I hope you have a marvelous Monday, and thanks for reading the Pfennig. Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837