1998-2014

What’s New in February?

Guys, its almost February! Can you believe it? 

Here are all the new shows and movies coming to Netflix! 

2/1

A Picture of You (2014)

Armageddon (1998)

Better Call Saul: Season 1

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Collateral Damage (2002)

Cruel Intentions (1999)

A Faster Horse (2015)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Game Face (2015)

Jennifer 8 (1992)

Johnny English (2003)

The Little Engine That Could (2011)

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: Season 1

Losing Isaiah (1995)

Masha’s Tales: Season 1

My Side of the Mountain (1969)

Para Elisa (2012)

Pokemon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014)

Pokemon: XY: Season 1

Scooby-Doo (2002)

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Sin City (2005)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Stardust (2007)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Teen Witch (1989)

Tin Man: “Search for the Emerald” (2007)

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom (2011)

2/2

Land Before Time: XIV: Journey of the Brave (2016)

2/3

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

2/4

Love (2015)

2/5

Care Bears & Cousins: Season 2

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado

Mad Men: Season 7: Part 2

Turbo: F.A.S.T.: Season 3

2/6

Lila & Eve (2015)

2/10

Dope (2015)

The Girl in the Book (2015)

2/13

The Face of Love (2013)

2/15

Open Season (2006)

XXY (2007)

2/16

Asthma (2015)

Atonement (2007)

2/17

The Returned: Season 2

2/19

Cooked: Season 1

Love: Season 1

2/22

3rd World Cops 2 (2015)

2/23

Bare (2015)

2/24

Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight! (2015)

2/26

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

Fuller House: Season 1

Theo Von (2016)

2/27

Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

2/29

Ashes and Embers (1982)

I’M SO READY FOR FEBRUARY

Originally posted by dayne5150

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Lance Edward Weldy, Class of 1998 and Associate Professor at Francis Marion University, just posted his 2014 lecture on “Queer Life at Bob Jones.” Professor Weldy delivered the lecture at A CLAGS event at The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York City.

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RIP Abe Vigoda (1921-2016) - Character actor best known for his role as Sal Tessio in The Godfather (1972) and its 1974 sequel, died today age 94. TV viewers will remember him as Det. Phil Fish in the series Fish and Barney Miller, the latter one earned him 3 consecutive Emmy nominations as Best Supporting Actor. Other credits include: Cannoball Run II (1984), as the grandpa in Look Who’s Talking (1989), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), North (1994), Jury Duty (1995), A Brooklyn State of Mind (1998), Witness to the Mob (1998), and Sweet Destiny (2014), his final film. He also voiced Tessio in The Godfather video games as well.

Happy 38th birthday to Gianluigi Buffon! One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, he plays for and captains both Juventus and the Italian national team. Buffon has won numerous, prestigious individual and team awards. The outstanding shot-stopper has been called up for an international record of five FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), featuring in four of them as Italy’s starting goalkeeper. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he set a record by conceding just two goals in seven matches, and keeping five clean sheets as Italy won the trophy.
@juventus @azzurri @gianluigibuffon #HappyBirthday #TantiAuguri #BuonCompleanno #Buffon #Italia #Azzurri #Juventus #Juve #WorldCup #legend #capitano #Gigi by fifaworldcup / Check out TheLeftBench.com for more sports!

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Buon Compleanno to one of the greatest goalkeepers of ALL time and my favourite 38 and still handsome as ever😩😩😩😩
He plays for and captains both Juventus and the Italian national team. Buffon has won numerous, prestigious individual and team awards. The outstanding shot-stopper has been called up for for an international record of five FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), featuring in four of them as Italy’s starting goalkeeper. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he set a record by conceding just two goals in seven matches, and keeping five clean sheets as Italy won the trophy. Truly a legend

Stream It: #HBO Streaming Coming in February 2016

Stream It: #HBO Streaming Coming in February 2016

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Joining the HBO online Lineup, February 2016 Februrary 1

  • Ali (2001)
  • Bad Santa (2003)
  • Black Card (short film)
  • Camp Nowhere (1994)
  • Club Paradise (1986)
  • Coraline (2009)
  • Evan Almighty (2007)
  • First Date, Last Date (short film)
  • Get Shorty (1995)
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
  • I Origins (2014)
  • Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience (2009)
  • Joy (short film)
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • Magic Mike (2012)
  • On…

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Esta es la cartelera de Netflix para febrero 2016

En febrero Netflix ofrecerá una gran variedad de contenido para toda la familia y te enviará directamente a los 90 con el esperado estreno de Fuller House, el spin-off de Full House.

Los fanáticos que no han terminado de ver Mad Men podrán hacerlo a través del servicio de streaming cuando añadan la segunda parte de la última temporada el 5 de febrero. Otros shows y películas que no podrás perderte son Lila & Eve con Jennifer López, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby con Will Ferrell y la primera temporada de Better Call Saul.

VER TAMBIÉNNetflix anuncia nuevos títulos y fechas de estreno

Acá tienes la lista completa de estrenos:

1 de febrero:

A Picture of You (2014)

Armageddon (1998)

Better Call Saul: primera temporada

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Collateral Damage (2002)

Cruel Intentions (1999)

A Faster Horse (2015)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Game Face (2015)

Jennifer 8 (1992)

Johnny English (2003)

The Little Engine That Could (2011)

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles: primera temporada

Losing Isaiah (1995)

Masha’s Tales: primera temporada

My Side of the Mountain (1969)

Para Elisa (2012)

Pokemon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014)

Pokemon: XY: primera temporada

Scooby-Doo (2002)

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Sin City (2005)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Stardust (2007)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Teen Witch (1989)

Tin Man: “Search for the Emerald” (2007)

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom (2011)

2 de febrero

Land Before Time: XIV: Journey of the Brave (2016)

3 de febrero

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

4 de febrero

Love (2015)

5 de febrero

Care Bears & Cousins: Segunda temporada – (Serie Original de Netflix)

Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado – (Serie Original de Netflix)

Mad Men: Segunda parte de la séptima temporada

Turbo: F.A.S.T.: Tercera temporada – (Serie Original de Netflix)

6 de febrero

Lila & Eve (2015)

10 de febrero

Dope (2015)

The Girl in the Book (2015)

13 de febrero

The Face of Love (2013)

15 de febrero

Open Season (2006)

XXY (2007)

16 de febrero

Asthma (2015)

Atonement (2007)

17 de febrero

The Returned: Segunda temporada

19 de febrero

Cooked: Primera temporada – (Serie Original de Netflix)

Love: Primera temporada – (Serie Original de Netflix)

22 de febrero

3rd World Cops 2 (2015)

23 de febrero

Bare (2015)

24 de febrero

Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight! (2015)

26 de febrero

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016) – (Película Original de Netflix)

Fuller House: Primera temporada – (Serie Original de Netflix)

Theo Von (2016) – (Película Original de Netflix)

27 de febrero

Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

29 de febrero

Ashes and Embers (1982)

Para más noticias de Variety Latino: Síguenos en Twitter y Facebook

Guns 'N Roses reunion will be a 'healing' process

The Guns ‘N Roses reunion will be a “healing process” for the band, former bassist Tommy Stinson has claimed.

The musician played with the rock group from 1998 until 2014 when he decided to leave to reunite with his own former band The Replacements.

Stinson has given the reformation of classic line-up members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan his full blessing ahead of their headline slot at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April and thinks the trio will take a lot from their reunion.

In an interview with American radio station The Current, he said: “I think everyone kind of knows where I stand with it all. I left it in a good way. I mean, roughly, I actually had to just start turning down tours because I was unable to tour; I got into a position, personally, where my personal life was going to prevent me from doing it. I don’t know, it must have been about five tours that they called me to do, and I just said I can’t do 'em. And at that point, they … I think Axl got to the position where he was, like, 'OK, so what am I going to do now? 'Cause I don’t have a band. Blah blah blah.’ So I think it worked out.

"I think they’ll have fun. It will be a healing thing for them, if it works out good. It will be good for them.”

Last week, Guns N’ Roses announced two Las Vegas warm-up shows ahead of their headline slot at Coachella at the T-Mobile arena on April 8 and 9. It is the first time the classic line-up of the group will have been together on stage since 1993.

It is still not yet known who will take on drumming duties with former sticksmen Steven Adler - whom played on debut LP 'Appetite For Destruction’ - and 'Use Your Illusion’ era musician Matt Sorum both expressing an interest in participating in the reunion and being prepared to share duties.

Guns N’ Roses are also expected to come to the UK and Europe for a series of shows.

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(DSC_2133) De Rotterdam by K.J.V.W
Via Flickr:
(This building is named after the city here it is contained it) I know what you’re thinking, 70 percent of the clouds are not real, but inflicted with inflicted. First I had to eliminate an annoying building.

Why did I blow the whistle to Merseytravel?

Why did I blow the whistle to Merseytravel?

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Why did I blow the whistle to Merseytravel?                                                              Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Audit Committee 26th January 2016 Below is an email I’ve just written about what happened today. I look forward to reading your comments on it. If I had faith in the whistleblowing procedures at Merseytravel I would not see the need to publish it,…

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New Post has been published on XplicitGH.com

New Post has been published on http://www.xplicitgh.com/lena-dunham-on-hollywood-diversity-we-have-a-serious-problem/

Lena Dunham On Hollywood Diversity: “We Have a Serious Problem”

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Lena Dunham is the latest celeb to blast Hollywood for its diversity problem.

The Girls creator says all the studios need to do is take a look at the “incredibly talented and diverse voices” at the Sundance Film Festival.

“If the studio system is ignoring these voices then we have a very serious problem and they are and the fact is this dialogue and the promises that the Academy has made is the beginning of shifting that, but what really needs to happens is that people need to take notice and give resources to these voices,” Dunham just told me at the Sundance premiere of Suited, her new HBO documentary about the Bindle and Keep tailoring company that designs for people across the entire gender spectrum.

“The idea that there aren’t enough diverse filmmakers or there aren’t enough woman filmmakers to give jobs to, it’s simply a fallacy and I know that because I’m here and I’m seeing the movies,” she said.

Dunham’s producing partner Jenni Konner added, “Television is really proof of that. Television is really starting to show diversity and so the film business has to follow. They have no choice.”

Hollywood’s diversity issue has been a hot topic at Sundance.

Spike Lee told me yesterday that he will continue to boycott this year’s Oscars.

Even so, he praised Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs for her swift action to try to diversify the organization’s membership.

“I really think all the discussion is good because it’s been the elephant in the room,” he said. “Now, let’s put everything out on the table. Let’s put it out there and discuss it.”

New Post has been published on XplicitGH.com

New Post has been published on http://www.xplicitgh.com/mos-def-breaks-silence-about-his-arrest-in-south-africa-audio/

Mos Def Breaks Silence About His Arrest In South Africa (AUDIO)

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Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) was arrested in South Africa last week for allegedly trying to exit the country with a “fraudulent passport.” The Brooklyn born emcee has now issued a statement about the matter through his longtime friend and musical partner Kanye West.

Kanye posted “A message from Yasiin Bey” on his Twitter page with a link to audio of Bey both rhyming and talking about the situation in South Africa. He opened by referring to Kanye’s latest single “No More Parties In L.A.

“No more parties in S.A.,” said Bey.

He continued, “This is not an expression of fear. This is just to make things clear. My intentions are pure in coming here. And that’s on everything I love or hold dear.”

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Bey denied committing any crimes, and he believes government officials are making false claims against him. According to Bey, his world passport has been an accepted document in South Africa for years.

“I have reason to believe or suspect that there are political motivations behind the way that I’m being treated, because this is following no reasonable train of logic,” stated Bey. “It’s curious. I haven’t broken any law, and I’m being treated like a criminal.”

Bey added he just wants to leave South Africa. He and his family are ready to exit the country and not return. In addition, the 42-year-old creator of the Black on Both Sides LP announced he will be releasing his final album later this year before walking away from the entertainment business for good.

https://youtu.be/mtAe–O6Iog

Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist (2014) - In 1998 Marco Pantani, a popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. He was a hero & the saviour of cycling following doping scandals. At age 34 he was found dead in a cheap hotel room from cocaine poisoning

Baseball Preview: Edinburg North

Baseball Preview: Edinburg North @6ATxHSBaseball #956baseball #RGV

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Cougars Are Hungry For A Longer Playoff Run Head Coach: Damian Gonzalez, 6th season Assistant Coaches: Edgar Anzaldua, Chase M. Deaton, Eduardo Hinojosa 2015 Record: 18-7-2, District: 8-4 Career Record: 74-63-2 School’s District Titles: 1994, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2014 Bi-District Champions: 1998, 2014, 2015 Key Losses: Alex Canul (Texas A&M-Kingsville) Sam Garza Michael Cantu Samuel Chavez Returning…

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$1 Brew Your Own Back Issue Blowout! For a limited time get @brewyourownmag Back Issues for just $1 each (plus shipping). We are offering readers a very special deal on our limited quantities of back issues still in stock from 1998 through 2014 (all 2015 and 2016 back issues are still normal price). Don’t miss out on great #homebrewing content at an unbeatable price before these #homebrew issues sell out. http://byo.com/store/backissues

A Norwegian Gold Allocation Would Counter Sovereign Incompetence Risk
By : Zero Hedge Published on : 1/31/2016 2:13:27 PM

Submitted by Alexander Grover in Oslo, Norway

A Norwegian Gold Allocation Would Counter Sovereign Incompetence Risk

The Norwegian Oil Fund (The Government Pension Fund) or The Fund belongs to the Norwegian people, investing surpluses from domestic oil activity. NBIM (Norges Bank Investment Management), established in 1990 by the Norwegian Parliament, receiving initial funds in 1996, manages the mandate. Currently, The Fund invests 60per in equities, 35per in Fixed Income (bonds) and 5per in real estate, allocating 39per in Europe, 39per in North America, 18per in Asia and 4per everywhere else. Adjusted for inflation and management overheads, the average annual return between 1998-2014 is 6.3per in USD terms, beating the S&P 500 4.2per annual return (inflation adjusted and reinvesting dividends) during the same period.

Although successful in the past, the current situation, considering energy and the global economy, warrants a critical reassessment of their investment strategies. The Fund needs to perform better now that oil prices are below the necessary $70 per barrel, which balances the budget. Norway started to withdraw from The Fund, shoring up deficits amidst a slowing economy. Moreover, global stock markets are retreating, and fixed income (bonds) may have peaked. The Fund invests a small portion in prime real estate in New York, London and Singapore. However, this may also be at a peak with finance sector turmoil.

None of these factors, driving the present situation, were forecasted by mainstream financial media or academics. The greatest risk to The Fund is the lack of Norwegian government and Norges Bank (Norwegian Central Bank) crisis experience. Central Banks are biased towards inflation, but not getting it, risking an overshoot in the future. Mismanagement could cause The Fund, which has taken two generations to accumulate, to disintegrate over the next five to ten years, filling budget shortfalls while the overall value declines. Therefore, The Fund must to protect itself, adjusting allocation, from current and unforeseen risks. This is the case for The Fund to invest 5per of overall holdings in to physical gold:

Norwegian Economic Expert Risks:

Oil Extraction Technology: One of technologys goals is to turn scarce resources into abundant commodities (i.e. aluminum and salt were overcome with technical advances). We can expect extraction and refining technology to keep advancing while engines and machinery, which consumes oil, increase in efficiency.

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Norwegian labor laws would make this bucket cost ca. $100. Therefore, fried chicken is not a viable export.

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One barrel of oil equals one full grown salmon I have done extensive research on fish farming. Its good business but cant cover oil losses. Moreover, as Salmon prices rise, nations with cold water and coastlines (Japan, USA, Canada and Russia) will get into the game as prices rise.

Shale Bankruptcies and Consolidation in the American oil industry continues to lower long term operating costs. Oasis petroleum, improving efficiency, reduced their long term operating cost from $66 to $50 per barrel. The operators unable to adapt will go bankrupt, selling their equipment, exploration data and wells at distressed prices. The new driller will enjoy much lower CAPEX, helping reduce operation costs. Shale wells can be started and stopped with minimal losses whereas traditional ones are significantly less productive when restarted. Consolidation is just beginning. The EIA (Energy Institute of America) estimates that the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Niobrara fields could break even at $25 per barrel.

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At $50, these rigs will be put back to work by new owners, receiving substantial discounts. Robotics and Industrial Revolution 4.0 will further reduce OPEX!

Unreliable Forecasting: Reviewing the Norwegian State Budget, one can see that forecasting was mostly rearward looking, averaging prices from previous months in the past year and then making some conservative adjustment ca. 10per. However, this year, the forecast appears to be way off as oil treads water at $30/barrel while the EIA (Energy Institute of America) and API (American Petroleum Institute) more often report above forecast output and inventory than lower. The latest report, published on January 26, 2016, shows an upside blowout. Crude supplies were at 11.4M barrels vs. 3.5M expected. Furthermore, fracking opens up new reserves, not economical before, turning Ukraine and Poland into another Bakken.

The charts below, from DnB, Norways largest bank, (and the one calling for a cash ban) indicate constantly changing predictions:

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Source: DnB Group: Oil Related Portfolio Update by the Global Head of Energy: New York February 27, 2015

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Source: DnB Markets Oil Market Prognosis: January 2016 Report.

Therefore, forecasting (guessing) is an inexact science at best. The fortune tellers, working along Karl Johan (Oslos main street), may offer better insight at far greater cost than government experts.

US Economic and Political Risks: Although the United States, regarded as the worlds safe-haven, displays strength and does innovation better than anyone else, there are huge underlying risks. The Fed, like NBIM and other Central Banks, is trapped in a box. If they raise rates, they could derail the fragile recovery or spark a bond market sell-off. If they hold or rollback, their credibility comes into question and dollar drops. However, there is even negative interest rate talk. This inflationary move would significantly weaken the dollar, devaluing NBIMs holdings, assuming steady stock prices. As we can see from the chart below, inflation moves in large increments, central banks then rush to contain it, drastically raising rates.

It is not safe to assume that lower or negative rates boost stocks. US Corporate earnings and growth rates factor more than prevailing interest rates. Although I do not personally regard Donald Trump as a political risk, the global financial sector does. If the US economy starts to struggle around November and he gets elected, there is no telling what markets and the USD will do.

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Source: Seeking Alpha - The US Economy Vs. Fed Policy At A Glance

NBIMs invests around one-third in the USA, including Apple and real estate (RE). Prime American RE is a good long term bet. However, only 5per of The Funds strategic allocation is RE, currently holding at three percent. Recently, Apple outlook took a 180-degree turn. They appear to have peaked at ca. $518 billion market cap. There were optimistic predictions, not too long ago, for Apple to be the worlds first trillion-dollar company. Apple is one of NBIMs largest holdings.

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NBIM website on January 27, 2016

Therefore, the USD and American exposure that has been helping The Fund could work against them. If the US starts to slow down, it could affect other markets, namely Asia and Europe, where NBIM also has substantial exposure.

Black Swans: There are many unknowns that could adversely affect The Fund. The following are 2016s most discussed tail risks:

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Europe is falling apart. Barclays stated that a successful exit vote would turn the UK into a safe haven, encouraging others to leave, collapsing the European Union. They further state that these risks have not been properly accounted, calling this one of the worlds most significant risks in 2016. Global recession risk negatively impacts oil demand, furthering Norways economic woes. China is landing hard but its difficult to tell how severe. Data, deemed unreliable, further exacerbates the problem. The world, flooded with debt, becoming more uncertain every year. Norway is not immune from this and therefore requires further safeguards.

The Norwegian Government Lacks Crisis Experience:

Things have been quite good in Norway since the 1980s. Hence two generation experienced prosperity, led to believe that this will go on forever by an overly optimistic media and government. Norwegians, like Americans in the past, were led to believe that housing will always go up, dropping all their wealth in real estate. The NOK crashed so fast, catching many experts by surprise. They have a dilemma:

  • Cutting rates is inflationary, further pumping up asset bubbles, namely housing. However, with massive job cuts, namely in the well paid oil sector, housing is starting to flatten out. Low interest rates wont help much if people dont have jobs to pay inflated mortgages. SEB predicts that the USDNOK to break 9.00 in 2016.
  • Holding or raising rates could crash the housing market. However, in dollar terms, the housing market has already crashed (NOK vs. other currencies). This effect also extends to other assets, namely productive companies, making them susceptible (cheap) to foreign acquisition. The company, under foreign ownership, will continue to do the work in Norway but the profits will be taken offshore.

The bias in Norway is like everywhere else, looking for an easy way out. Cut rates, inflating to save housing and the stock market, kicking the can down the road. ystein Olsen, Norwegian Central Bank governor, just like Janet Yellen, engages in open mouth operations. He is attempting economic Jedi Mind Tricks on the Norwegians:

We think the economy will turn around in the summer of 2017, Olsen told Aftenposten. Thats when both exports and private consumption will start to rise. We arent drawing a gloomy picture.

Therefore, Norwegian leader is navigating uncharted waters, never seen before.

Norway is one of the only rich countries without a gold reserve.

Many believed that the NOK was backed by oil, not requiring a gold reserve. However, oil is no longer a scarce resource but an abundant commodity. Switzerland, Germany, America and other first world nations have gold reserves. Norway should have one too! Ever since oil started moving downward, starting 2014 and the NOK following, gold started moving up significantly in NOK terms:

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Gold, perceived negatively by many, is being taken seriously by some very smart and rich people. The University of Texas Investment Management Company, the second largest university endowment in the USA, took physical possession of their gold, amounting to $1 billion. Kyle Bass, who saw and capitalized on the US sub-prime crisis, advocated the move from the NY Federal Reserve Bank Vault to the Texas repository. Gold is not only for cowboys and crazy people. Recently, some very rich and smart people have bought large quantities of gold. Moreover, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Austria are repatriating their physical gold.

Gold prices, relatively low compared to the amount of currency printed, offers NBIM a unique opportunity. They could liquidate 5per of their riskiest assets, allocating the proceeds to physical gold. This would give the Norwegian people insurance. They would have the most gold per capita and eight largest gold reserve overall, displacing Switzerland. Moreover, Norways abandoned mines, many of which are being turned into super secure data centers could also be used for storage. Norway could further extend storage to private persons and commercial entities, leveraging their reputation for trustworthiness.

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Gold will protect Norway from unforeseen events, economists and politicians.

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Source: Wikipedia and ThePrudentInvestor.com sourced from World Gold Council.

Conclusion

The prognosis for the global economy is not good. The oil price collapse appears to have caught the Norwegian policymakers off-guard, and perhaps they were thinking the situation is temporary. However, technology today is much more advanced than in the past, making oil extraction faster, easier, safer and cheaper. Moreover, OPEC, Russia, Iran and North Dakota are in a pumping frenzy. Norway needs $70 per barrel to breakeven. Getting to $50 will be a challenge.

My previous articles argue for a long term solution. However, the short term prognosis requires immediate action, hedging the The Fund against unforeseen risks including the managers themselves. Central Banks, including Norways, are inclined towards rate cuts and NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy), setting the stage for inflation. Historically, we have seen inflation run away while policy makers try stimulate. Before experimenting, NBIM should offset this risk by investing into physical gold, giving the people a solid base during crisis. Remember, these are the same policy makers, along with mainstream media, that encouraged Norwegians to put most of their money into housing. Despite numerous warnings, this bubble continues to grow.

We expect NBIM to do the obvious. They will cut rates. Once they are at zero, they will go to NIRP, do quantitative easing (QE) or both. I do not expect NBIM to buy gold. I came to Norway almost three years ago. I found a job, dutifully paid my taxes and learned the language enough to read the business newspapers. This summer I will become a permanent resident and in 2020 a citizen. Therefore, we,“ meaning all of us contributing to Norwegian society, must take some precautions, protecting ourselves from big mistakes and serious miscalculations.

This is how to prepare for the coming economic winter:

  • Get a Dale Sweater, heavy knit and wool, made in Norway. Its not only warm and supports the economy but also helps you blend in.
  • Get a gold chain, bigger is better and put some King Harald 1500 NOK gold coins your pocket. They will protect you from inexperienced economists and politicians.
  • Wear sunglasses during daylight hours, protecting yourself from UV risks and facial recognition software.
  • Wear a hat. It goes with the sweater and glasses, making you look cool.
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A Norwegian Gold Allocation Would Counter Sovereign Incompetence Risk

Submitted by Alexander Grover in Oslo, Norway

A Norwegian Gold Allocation Would Counter Sovereign Incompetence Risk

The Norwegian Oil Fund (The Government Pension Fund) or “The Fund” belongs to the Norwegian people, investing surpluses from domestic oil activity. NBIM (Norges Bank Investment Management), established in 1990 by the Norwegian Parliament, receiving initial funds in 1996, manages the mandate. Currently, The Fund invests 60% in equities, 35% in Fixed Income (bonds) and 5% in real estate, allocating 39% in Europe, 39% in North America, 18% in Asia and 4% everywhere else. Adjusted for inflation and management overheads, the average annual return between 1998-2014 is 6.3% in USD terms, beating the S&P 500 4.2% annual return (inflation adjusted and reinvesting dividends) during the same period.

Although successful in the past, the current situation, considering energy and the global economy, warrants a critical reassessment of their investment strategies. The Fund needs to perform better now that oil prices are below the necessary $70 per barrel, which balances the budget. Norway started to withdraw from The Fund, shoring up deficits amidst a slowing economy. Moreover, global stock markets are retreating, and fixed income (bonds) may have peaked. The Fund invests a small portion in prime real estate in New York, London and Singapore. However, this may also be at a peak with finance sector turmoil.

None of these factors, driving the present situation, were forecasted by mainstream financial media or academics. The greatest risk to The Fund is the lack of Norwegian government and Norges Bank (Norwegian Central Bank) crisis experience. Central Banks are biased towards inflation, but not getting it, risking an overshoot in the future. Mismanagement could cause The Fund, which has taken two generations to accumulate, to disintegrate over the next five to ten years, filling budget shortfalls while the overall value declines. Therefore, The Fund must to protect itself, adjusting allocation, from current and unforeseen risks. This is the case for The Fund to invest 5% of overall holdings in to physical gold:

Norwegian “Economic Expert” Risks:

Oil Extraction Technology: One of technology’s goals is to turn scarce resources into abundant commodities (i.e. aluminum and salt were overcome with technical advances). We can expect extraction and refining technology to keep advancing while engines and machinery, which consumes oil, increase in efficiency.

External image

Norwegian labor laws would make this bucket cost ca. $100. Therefore, fried chicken is not a viable export.

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“One barrel of oil equals one full grown salmon” I have done extensive research on fish farming. It’s good business but can’t cover oil losses. Moreover, as Salmon prices rise, nations with cold water and coastlines (Japan, USA, Canada and Russia) will get into the game as prices rise.

Shale Bankruptcies and Consolidation in the American oil industry continues to lower long term operating costs. Oasis petroleum, improving efficiency, reduced their long term operating cost from $66 to $50 per barrel.  The operators unable to adapt will go bankrupt, selling their equipment, exploration data and wells at distressed prices. The new driller will enjoy much lower CAPEX, helping reduce operation costs. Shale wells can be started and stopped with minimal losses whereas traditional ones are significantly less productive when restarted. Consolidation is just beginning. The EIA (Energy Institute of America) estimates that the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Niobrara fields could break even at $25 per barrel.

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At $50, these rigs will be put back to work by new owners, receiving substantial discounts. Robotics and Industrial Revolution 4.0 will further reduce OPEX!

Unreliable Forecasting:  Reviewing the Norwegian State Budget, one can see that forecasting was mostly rearward looking, averaging prices from previous months in the past year and then making some conservative adjustment ca. 10%. However, this year, the forecast appears to be way off as oil treads water at $30/barrel while the EIA (Energy Institute of America) and API (American Petroleum Institute) more often report above forecast output and inventory than lower. The latest report, published on January 26, 2016, shows an upside blowout. Crude supplies were at 11.4M barrels vs. 3.5M expected. Furthermore, fracking opens up new reserves, not economical before, turning Ukraine and Poland into another Bakken.

The charts below, from DnB, Norway’s largest bank, (and the one calling for a cash ban) indicate constantly changing predictions:  

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Source: DnB Group: Oil Related Portfolio Update by the Global Head of Energy: New York February 27, 2015

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Source: DnB Markets Oil Market Prognosis: January 2016 Report.

Therefore, forecasting (guessing) is an inexact science at best. The fortune tellers, working along Karl Johan (Oslo’s main street), may offer better insight at far greater cost than government experts.

US Economic and Political Risks: Although the United States, regarded as the world’s safe-haven, displays strength and does innovation better than anyone else, there are huge underlying risks. The Fed, like NBIM and other Central Banks, is trapped in a box.  If they raise rates, they could derail the fragile recovery or spark a bond market sell-off. If they hold or rollback, their credibility comes into question and dollar drops. However, there is even negative interest rate talk. This inflationary move would significantly weaken the dollar, devaluing NBIMs holdings, assuming steady stock prices. As we can see from the chart below, inflation moves in large increments, central banks then rush to contain it, drastically raising rates.

It is not safe to assume that lower or negative rates boost stocks. US Corporate earnings and growth rates factor more than prevailing interest rates.  Although I do not personally regard Donald Trump as a political risk, the global financial sector does. If the US economy starts to struggle around November and he gets elected, there is no telling what markets and the USD will do.

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Source: Seeking Alpha - The US Economy Vs. Fed Policy At A Glance

NBIM’s invests around one-third in the USA, including Apple and real estate (RE). Prime American RE is a good long term bet. However, only 5% of The Fund’s strategic allocation is RE, currently holding at three percent. Recently, Apple outlook took a 180-degree turn.  They appear to have peaked at ca. $518 billion market cap. There were optimistic predictions, not too long ago, for Apple to be the world’s first trillion-dollar company. Apple is one of NBIM’s largest holdings.

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NBIM website on January 27, 2016

Therefore, the USD and American exposure that has been helping The Fund could work against them. If the US starts to slow down, it could affect other markets, namely Asia and Europe, where NBIM also has substantial exposure.  

Black Swans:  There are many unknowns that could adversely affect The Fund. The following are 2016’s most discussed “tail risks:”

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Europe is falling apart. Barclays stated that a successful exit vote would turn the UK into a safe haven, encouraging others to leave, collapsing the European Union. They further state that these risks have not been properly accounted, calling this one of the world’s most significant risks in 2016.   Global recession risk negatively impacts oil demand, furthering Norway’s economic woes. China is landing hard but it’s difficult to tell how severe. Data, deemed unreliable, further exacerbates the problem.  The world, flooded with debt, becoming more uncertain every year.  Norway is not immune from this and therefore requires further safeguards.

The Norwegian Government Lacks Crisis Experience:

Things have been quite good in Norway since the 1980s. Hence two generation experienced prosperity, led to believe that this will go on forever by an overly optimistic media and government. Norwegians, like Americans in the past, were led to believe that housing will always go up, dropping all their wealth in real estate. The NOK crashed so fast, catching many “experts” by surprise. They have a dilemma:

  • Cutting rates is inflationary, further pumping up asset bubbles, namely housing. However, with massive job cuts, namely in the well paid oil sector, housing is starting to flatten out. Low interest rates won’t help much if people don’t have jobs to pay inflated mortgages. SEB predicts that the USDNOK to break 9.00 in 2016.
  • Holding or raising rates could crash the housing market. However, in dollar terms, the housing market has already crashed (NOK vs. other currencies). This effect also extends to other assets, namely productive companies, making them susceptible (“cheap”) to foreign acquisition. The company, under foreign ownership, will continue to do the work in Norway but the profits will be taken offshore.

The bias in Norway is like everywhere else, looking for an easy way out. Cut rates, inflating to save housing and the stock market, “kicking the can down the road.” Øystein Olsen, Norwegian Central Bank governor, just like Janet Yellen, engages in “open mouth operations.” He is attempting economic “Jedi Mind Tricks” on the Norwegians:

“We think the economy will turn around in the summer of 2017,” Olsen told Aftenposten. “That’s when both exports and private consumption will start to rise. We aren’t drawing a gloomy picture.”

Therefore, Norwegian leader is navigating uncharted waters, never seen before.

Norway is one of the only “rich countries” without a gold reserve.

Many believed that the NOK was backed by oil, not requiring a gold reserve. However, oil is no longer a scarce resource but an abundant commodity. Switzerland, Germany, America and other first world nations have gold reserves. Norway should have one too! Ever since oil started moving downward, starting 2014 and the NOK following, gold started moving up significantly in NOK terms:

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Gold, perceived negatively by many, is being taken seriously by some very smart and rich people. The University of Texas Investment Management Company, the second largest university endowment in the USA, took physical possession of their gold, amounting to $1 billion. Kyle Bass, who saw and capitalized on the US sub-prime crisis, advocated the move from the NY Federal Reserve Bank Vault to the Texas repository. Gold is not only for cowboys and crazy people. Recently, some very rich and smart people have bought large quantities of gold. Moreover, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Austria are repatriating their physical gold.        

Gold prices, relatively low compared to the amount of currency printed, offers NBIM a unique opportunity. They could liquidate 5% of their riskiest assets, allocating the proceeds to physical gold. This would give the Norwegian people insurance. They would have the most gold per capita and eight largest gold reserve overall, displacing Switzerland. Moreover, Norway’s abandoned mines, many of which are being turned into super secure data centers could also be used for storage. Norway could further extend storage to private persons and commercial entities, leveraging their reputation for trustworthiness.

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Gold will protect Norway from unforeseen events, economists and politicians.

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Source: Wikipedia and ThePrudentInvestor.com sourced from World Gold Council.  

Conclusion

The prognosis for the global economy is not good. The oil price collapse appears to have caught the Norwegian policymakers off-guard, and perhaps they were thinking the situation is temporary. However, technology today is much more advanced than in the past, making oil extraction faster, easier, safer and cheaper. Moreover, OPEC, Russia, Iran and North Dakota are in a pumping frenzy. Norway needs $70 per barrel to breakeven. Getting to $50 will be a challenge.

My previous articles argue for a long term solution. However, the short term prognosis requires immediate action, hedging the “The Fund” against unforeseen risks including the managers themselves. Central Banks, including Norway’s, are inclined towards rate cuts and NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy), setting the stage for inflation.  Historically, we have seen inflation run away while policy makers try stimulate. Before experimenting, NBIM should offset this risk by investing into physical gold, giving the people a solid base during crisis. Remember, these are the same policy makers, along with mainstream media, that encouraged Norwegians to put most of their money into housing. Despite numerous warnings, this bubble continues to grow. 

We expect NBIM to do the obvious. They will cut rates. Once they are at zero, they will go to NIRP, do quantitative easing (QE) or both. I do not expect NBIM to buy gold. I came to Norway almost three years ago. I found a job, dutifully paid my taxes and learned the language enough to read the business newspapers. This summer I will become a permanent resident and in 2020 a citizen.  Therefore, “we,“ meaning all of us contributing to Norwegian society, must take some precautions, protecting ourselves from big mistakes and serious miscalculations.

This is how to prepare for the coming economic winter:

  • Get a Dale Sweater, heavy knit and wool, made in Norway. It’s not only warm and supports the economy but also helps you blend in.
  • Get a gold chain, bigger is better and put some King Harald 1500 NOK gold coins your pocket. They will protect you from inexperienced economists and politicians. 
  • Wear sunglasses during daylight hours, protecting yourself from UV risks and facial recognition software. 
  • Wear a hat. It goes with the sweater and glasses, making you look cool.
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