Local NewsNewsWatchState NewsTop Stories $28 Million in Federal Funding for Flood Relief Announced By Tyler BarkerApr 10, 2018, 15:32 pm 482 0 Home NewsWatch Local News $28 Million in Federal Funding for Flood Relief Announced Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at email@example.com Linkedin Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Tumblr Google+ Mail Pinterest Twitter Facebook Next PostOak Hill Woman Is Arrested For Malicious Wounding After Biting & Trying To Stab Her Boyfriend Previous PostBluefield College to Host Blue Jeans and Bands Charity Concert WASHINGTON DC– The state has been awarded more federal funding to aid in the recovery efforts from the June 2016 and October 2017 floods.More than $28 million in funding has been awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation for highway repairs across the state.Individual awards are listed below:$300,000 – Forest Service Project in Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pocahontas and Webster Counties$212,963 – Fish and Wildlife Service Project in Greenbrier County$12,000,000 – West Virginia Department of Transportation Projects across West Virginia$12,131,106 – Forest Service Project in Randolph, Pocahontas, Webster, Greenbrier and Nicholas Counties$3,600,000 – West Virginia Department of Transportation Projects across West Virginia
Daily Archives: August 4, 2019
Pinterest EducationLocal NewsNewsWatch New River Community and Technical College Names New Interim President By Daniella HankeyJul 03, 2018, 08:18 am 362 0 Linkedin Twitter At the college level, Butler has held nearly every academic position at Glenville State College: faculty, Dean, Academic Vice President and Provost. Additionally, she also served as a Special Assistant/Counselor to the President at Ohio Valley University. Butler has over 35 years of experience in West Virginia education, including 26 years in higher education (both public and private) and 10 years in public K-12 education. She has served as WV Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, working with both the Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System and later served as Special Assistant to the HEPC Chancellor. Previous PostPrinceton Hospital Announces July Community Events Google+ Home NewsWatch Education New River Community and Technical College Names New Interim President BEAVER, WV (WOAY)- The New River Community and Technical College Board of Governors has selected Dr. Kathy Butler to serve as interim president of New River Community and Technical College until the search is completed to fill the position vacated by the resignation of Dr. L. Marshall Washington. Mail She holds an Ed.D. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from West Virginia University. Next PostRaleigh County Man Arrested For Breaking Into Several Homes To Sleep And Eat Food Tumblr Facebook Daniella Hankey
We are at another major low in gold and silver prices Except for a slight bump up in price beginning at the noon silver fix in London and ending 10 minutes before the Comex open, there was no price activity worthy of the name anywhere on Planet Earth yesterday, and the highs and lows aren’t worth mentioning. Gold finished the Friday session at $1,243.70 spot, up $1.30 from Thursday’s close in New York. Gross volume was big, but was irrelevant, as once the roll-overs and spreads out of the December delivery month were subtracted out, the net volume was a microscopic 53,500 contracts. The dollar closed on Thursday a hair above the 81.00 mark, with the top [81.08] coming shortly after 11:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. From there, it was a long gentle slide into the end of the trading day in New York. The index closed on its absolute low of that day, which was 80.70, down 31 basis points from the prior day. Platinum was slightly more interesting, rallying in fits and starts until shortly after 9 a.m. in London. A willing seller showed up at that point and took the price below its Thursday close in New York. But once the noon silver fix was in, another rally began that got capped as soon as the Comex began trading. Then down went the price once again, with a final kick in the pants just before the 5:15 p.m. electronic close. Palladium traded flat until 2 p.m. Hong Kong time, and then rallied a bit into the noon silver fix, before blasting skyward. But a seller of last resort put in an appearance 10 minutes before the Comex open, and the price was firmly back under control an hour before the Zurich close. From there it traded sideways for the rest of the Friday session. It was virtually the same story for the silver price, including the price bump at the London silver fix, and the price was never allowed to stray too far above the $20 spot price mark. Silver traded in a two bit price range for all of Friday. Silver closed yesterday at $19.83 spot, down 15.5 cents from Thursday. Net volume was an even more microscopic 16,500 contracts. The gold stocks gapped up a hair at the open, hitting their high of the day less than 10 minutes later, and it was all down hill until 2 p.m. EST. From there the HUI traded more or less sideways before closing virtually on its low of the day, down 0.94%. Despite the fact that the silver price finished in the red, the equities actually eked out a small gain, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up a smallish 0.18%. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 26 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. The only short/issuer was Jefferies, and the biggest long/stopper was JPMorgan Chase with 14 contract for its in-house [proprietary] trading desk. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There with withdrawals from both GLD and SLV yesterday. In GLD, an authorized participant withdrew 144,723 troy ounces, and in SLV it was 1,444,584 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint did not have a sales report on Friday. The in/out activity in gold on Thursday over at the Comex-approved depository is hardly worth writing about, as only 64 troy ounces were reported received, and 98 ounces shipped out. But there was big activity in silver, as 2,554,353 troy ounces were received, and 18,335 troy ounces shipped out. The big receipt was 1.954 million ounces at HSBC USA. The link to that action is here. Yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report showed improvements in both gold and silver far bigger than I was expecting. Ted Butler said it probably included some catch-up numbers from the prior reporting week as well. And whether that omission was deliberate or accidental is hard to say, but whether or it was or not, the report was impressive. In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by a chunky 20.7 million troy ounces. It’s now down to 17,464 contracts, or 87.3 million ounces. That’s not the lowest number we’ve seen, but it’s within spitting distance of it. Of course the brain dead technical funds and small traders did their Pavlovian thingy; pitching longs and/or going short in a big way. JPMorgan Chase et al happily stood by and bought all the longs they were selling, and took the long side of all the short positions that were put on. Ted says that JPMorgan Chase’s short position in silver is back down to the 12,000 contract mark once again, and that represents 64% of the entire Commercial net short position in silver. JPMorgan’s short-side corner in the silver market is about 11% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis. In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by 1.43 million ounces, and is now down to 5.15 million ounces. Once again JPMorgan et al feasted on the long positions being sold by the technical funds and small traders, and also took the long side of every short position these same traders were putting on. It’s the same old routine. Ted figures that JPMorgan’s long-side corner in gold now sits at 7.5 million ounces. That being the case, the other commercial traders [other than the collusive raptors] must be net short the gold market to the tune of 12.65 million ounces to make the Commercial net short position work out to the number shown in this week’s COT Report. The numbers for copper are even more mind-boggling, and JPMorgan is the big long there as well. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Of course, since the Tuesday cut-off, there’s been another big decline in the prices of both gold and silver, especially the hammering they took on Wednesday, the day after the cut-off. And not to be forgotten are the carefully placed new low ticks in both metals that was engineered at the London p.m. gold fix on Thursday. Both these events are clearly visible on the Kitco charts at the top of this column, so take another look at them. If we survive Monday and Tuesday without any major price rally, then next Friday’s COT Report should show even more improvement in the Commercial net short position in both metals and, of course, in conjunction with new shorting/long selling by the technical funds and small traders. Since we are down to the final days of the roll-over out of the December delivery month in silver and gold, I’m not expecting much to happen to the upside as far as prices are concerned. But as I’ve said many times in the past, one should always be on the look out for “in your ear” regardless. Despite my best editing efforts, I have too many stories today that I didn’t have the heart to delete, so I’ll wimp out and let you do it for me. A lot of them are centered around the New Great Game. There are other bigger forces at play here, forces that are also responsible for changing sentiment with regard to gold…and thus persuading weak holders to offload their holdings. – Lawrence Williams: Mineweb.com, 18 November 2013 Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ was a big disco hit for this Swedish pop group back in 1979. The band, and the song, require no further introduction, and the link is here. Today’s classical ‘blast from the past’ is something that I’m sure I’ve posted here before, but I just can’t remember exactly when, or who the soloist was. Not that it matters, I suppose. This is Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” which he composed in 1863, for the then 18 year old Spanish violin prodigy Pablo de Sarasate. Considering who he wrote it for, it had to be a virtuoso piece of the first order. And it was. The incomparable Dutch violinist Janine Jansen does the honours here, and she plays like the devil himself has possessed her. I consider this performance to be the definitive version of this work, and she’s awesome to watch as well. The link to this youtube.com video is here. Enjoy! Yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, is all the proof necessary that we are at another major low in gold and silver prices. That, and the price action on both Wednesday and Thursday were the icing on the cake, and I’d be prepared to be a fair chunk of change that we saw the low at the London afternoon gold fix on Thursday. So where to from here once we get past First Notice Day for the December delivery month? As I mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been at this particular brink several times already this year. It’s hard to imagine JPMorgan Chase being more favourably positioned than they are now. True, they still hold a short-side corner in the Comex futures market in silver, but Ted Butler feels that they are most likely covered in other markets; of course not forgetting their massive long-side corner in the gold market as a visible loss-covering mechanism on any dramatic rise in price in both metals. And as is always the case at moments like this, it’s what JPMorgan et al do as this inevitable rally unfolds [in all four precious metals, plus copper] that will 100% determine how high we go, and how fast we get there. Will they step in front of it again, or step aside? Nothing else matters. I’m done for the day, and the week. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. Sponsor Advertisement Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project.
For several months, the investment community has been abuzz over the possibility of a tech bubble, with nearly everyone from the financial world weighing in. The very fact that there’s so much chatter about a bubble probably indicates that one doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I decided to look deeper into the matter. On August 28, I began examining the evidence in a series of articles titled “Tech Bubble 2.0”? In Part 1, we looked at the Nasdaq’s normalized price/earnings ratio over the last 20 years. Our conclusion: the Nasdaq is due for a correction, but is nowhere near the highs of the dot-com bubble. In Part 2, we looked at mergers and in Part 3, IPOs—both areas where irrational exuberance would indicate that a bubble is forming. In both areas, we concluded that there are definite signs of excess, but we are not approaching bubble levels… yet. In today’s fourth and final installment, we’ll take a look at what the venture capitalists are up to and decide whether they’re signaling that a bubble is upon us. The Unique Barometer of Venture Capitalists Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) are terms that are often used interchangeably. And though in practice they often overlap and are hard to distinguish, in theory they connote two very different kinds of business funding. Private equity investors typically buy existing companies with established products, distribution, and revenues that are under- or mismanaged, then seek to optimize profitability through operational improvements and/or restructuring. Venture capitalists, on the other hand, are the intrepid souls who fund startup or early-stage companies that may have little to no revenue but have extremely high growth potential. Since more growth potential exists in technology than any other field, that’s the sector where most VC activity takes place. VCs make their money by funding startup and early-stage companies until a “liquidity event” can be arranged, such as an IPO or sale to an established company that sees a strategic advantage to making the purchase. Awash with cash from a few big wins and high demand from investors seeking to jump on the bandwagon, funding and liquidity events tend to reach a fever pitch when a bubble is imminent. Unlike private equity funds that often have strict criteria for what multiples of revenue, EBITDA, and enterprise value they will purchase companies at (which limit their likelihood of overpaying), VCs get to be more creative by definition. Since most VC funding happens based on a vision of what a company might be able to accomplish, they can be much more creative about how they value a company and take on a lot more risk. When the cash is flowing into funds, the temptation to keep it there often has them throwing more and more money at fewer and lesser-quality deals, all to avoid giving it back to partners and losing out on fees or looking like they don’t know what they’re doing amidst a market where everyone else is doubling down. Of all investment markets, without the healthy forces of short selling, volume declines, and negative analyst coverage to push back against their ideas of grandeur, VCs are most susceptible to the groupthink that drives any bubble and thus tend to blaze the trail going in. That’s what happened in 2000; is it happening again? Overstating the Case We hear a lot of anecdotal evidence that a VC bubble is indeed imminent, most of which revolves around seemingly irrational valuations. “A $10 billion valuation on AirBnB… ridiculous. Or Uber’s $18 billion… preposterous.” Okay, I won’t even try to justify those, even though AirBnB holds more inventory than most of the world’s hotel chains, and Uber is quickly becoming the eBay of transportation, generating $20 million per week in revenue by the end of last year and doubling every six months… and all this before the company even raised the cash to truly start marketing. None of that matters because: No one valued AirBnB at $10 billion, or Uber at $18 billion. The companies are twisting the truth for air play, and the media are parroting it back in exactly the way they’d hoped. Bingo!: free marketing. With VC deals, you see, the terms are far more complex than just a chunk of money for a percent of the company; and as a result, the implied valuation is almost always meaningless. These deals invariably contain options, warrants, and most germane to valuation, liquidity preferences. Those spell out terms that put the VC’s preferred stock ahead of other investors when the stock is sold to an acquirer or the public markets. For example, if a VC invests $500 million for 5% of a company, the implied valuation is $10 billion. If there’s a liquidation preference on that investment and the company sells out for $3 billion to a competitor, the VC gets paid first. Despite the paper loss against implied valuation, the VC walks away fully paid off and most likely with a profit to boot, because he was first in line before lower-order shareholders… and the common stock is worth wildly less than $10 billion. The point is this: valuations in the world of venture capital are routinely inflated and misreported because they’re calculated without taking into account the true nature of liquidity preferences. But inflated valuations make for good headlines that drive clicks, so we get stories about bubbles from reporters more interested in sensational claims than anything resembling the truth. Let’s take those claims with a grain of salt (since we now know they often rest on a faulty premise or three) and turn our attention instead to more quantifiable data as we wrestle with the Tech Bubble 2.0 question. A Look at the Numbers Here’s a chart that shows the annual number and dollar amount of venture capital deals from 1998 through 2013. As you can see, information technology drove the 2000 bubble, accounting for 65% of venture capital financing as it jumped to record heights—not unlike subprime loans in 2005-‘07, the asset class exploded higher in activity. In 2013, tech accounted for a much healthier 26% of total venture capital financing—close to its typical share. Furthermore, total tech financing (including life sciences) of $17.2 billion in 2013 was only 26% of the $66 billion financed in 2000, while “other” industry financing in 2013 was 59% of the 2000 amount. From the data, an argument could be made that there’s less evidence of a bubble in tech than in the rest of the market. So the numbers seem to be telling us we’re not yet in a tech bubble. However, our chart also shows us that we’ve had significant VC financings for three consecutive years. And Dow VentureSource reports that in 2014 the pace is accelerating. First-half 2014 venture investment, according to the research firm, was $25 billion and is projected to reach $50 billion for the year. That’s a 52% increase over 2013. A Bubble of a Different Sort How do we reconcile the fact that technology isn’t running away from the pack as it did in the dot-com era with the fact that venture activity has surpassed 2007 levels and is climbing? The former seems to contradict the theory that tech is in a bubble, yet the latter shows we have definitely entered an exuberant phase. Has the economy improved so much it’s simply a warranted increase? Some believe that we’ve simply entered a new golden age of technology, and that differences in the makeup and maturity of the tech market between the dot-com days and the present justify the increased activity. Marty Biancuzzo, writing for Wall Street Daily, effectively describes those differences: Consider that before the dot-com frenzy took hold, the euphoria came largely from one industry trend: the Internet. Today, we still have tech sector exuberance, of course… but it’s dispersed across several industries instead. For example, trends like mobile technology, cloud computing, social media, on-demand services, the Internet of Things, and wearable technology. In other words, today’s tech sector is much more diverse than it was 15 years ago, when the Internet was just getting started. We have far more growth drivers now. In our “always on, always connected” society, says Biancuzzo, we have “unstoppable mega trends that’ll drive underlying growth for years.” It’s hard to argue with the increased user base of technology over the last 15 years—growth has been enormous all around the world. Fund raising for tech, especially information tech, is primarily driven by fundamentals and growth catalysts today as opposed to the euphoria that came to drive venture capitalist in 2000. But that only answers half the question. That technology VC activity has grown so much would be a fine explanation had it not stayed at the same ratio to all other venture investing. That means all other venture investing is way up too, and those markets don’t have the same qualitative justification. The same goes for every aspect we’ve explored: Revenue and profit multiples in publicly traded tech have increased at only a fraction of the rate of those in financials; These numbers aren’t even inflation adjusted, so the nominal value is even a bit overstated. And yes, deal flow has been increasing more rapidly than dollars, but that just means VCs are picking up smaller deals on average, which is usually indicative of a focus on earlier-stage companies (counter to all the talk about the comparative handful of “mega rounds” and late-stage financing). If 2000 is the benchmark for a bubble, these data would suggest that the VC market is nowhere near the hysteria that characterized the dot-com years. But the data cover VC activity for all industries; what about data specific to tech? Let’s take a look. I think we can all agree that 2000 was a bubble year in the truest sense. The number and dollar amount of VC deals in that year were up 39% and 89% respectively from the year before, and 149% and 421% more than two years earlier. In the 13 subsequent years, the VC market has yet to come close to equaling the number of deals or the dollar amount of financing completed in 2000. 1) Information Technology $8.6 $60.0 The increase in VC activity is much larger outside technology than in it. All these factors together look like the opposite of 1999. Back then, technology’s bubble caused excess capital to flow into all sorts of industries, pushing up wages, tax receipts, stock values, private equity and venture flows, etc. well beyond the dot-coms. But technology clearly led the way. Today, tech is rising in line with everything else. It appears to be the side beneficiary of a bubble elsewhere, not the cause. When you cannot pinpoint where you have a bubble, it usually means that bubble is in money and banking itself. While the Mexican peso crashed in the 1980s, many a “millionaire” was minted as the stock market there rose rapidly in nominal terms. Japan has seen a similar trend in recent years, with the yen falling and Japanese stocks rising. And now, America is awash in cheap liquidity. That’s driving up public debt and derivatives activity to unforeseen levels. Those who hedged their holdings against previous liquidity bubbles did spectacularly well—think George Soros and others who bet against the British pound. Those who didn’t hedge just ended up peso millionaires. My advice to those who are worried about a tech bubble… think bigger. We’re in the midst of a classic game of excess liquidity driving up asset prices across the board. When that happens, you must stay invested, lest you miss asset prices rising rapidly while wages and interest stagnate (sound familiar for the past five years?). And you would be very well served by hedging against the possibility that our currency goes the way of the peso. After all, that’s the actual goal of current policy, as cheap dollars equal strong exports and blue-collar jobs. Article one in this series: Tech Bubble 2.0? Not According to the Stock Market Article two in this series: Merger Mania! Tech Bubble 2.0, Part 2 Article three in this series: IPO Insanity! Tech Bubble 2.0, Part 3 Dollar Amount Financed 2011 $36.2 Billion $92.9 Billion 39% Number of Deals 2012 3,649 6,448 57% 2013 2000 Total Tech $17.2 $66.0 2) Life Sciences $8.6 $6.0 Peak Yr. No./Amt. Bubble Yr. (2000) No./Amt. Peak Year as % of Bubble Yr. VC’s Peak Years Since 2000 Private equity financing multiples are up across the board in every sector, including larger jumps in health care and real estate than in technology; Total, All Industries $33.1 $92.9 VC Financing (Billions): 2013 Compared to 2000 IPO sizes have increased dramatically, as have the market pops afterward, exactly at a time when the profit quality of those firms is decreasing; and Other Industries $15.9 $26.9
You’ve probably heard this quote in one form or another: “Losers let things happen. Winners make things happen.” Nobody knows who first said it. My guess is a high school football coach. But I think it describes perfectly what it takes to be a successful businessperson. I don’t mean a slick-talking, Don Draper type. I’m talking about a hustler who gets his hands dirty to build his company from the ground up. A guy who’s the opposite of lazy. If there’s a problem, he fixes it. If he’s unhappy with something, he changes it. Basically, a great businessperson molds reality to fit his inner vision. He makes things happen, just like the quote says. And that’s precisely why he tends to be a poor investor. You can’t make things happen in markets. The market freight train is gonna go where it’s gonna go. You can either hop aboard, stand aside, or get run over. Most of the nonprofessional investors I know have a businessperson’s mentality. When something in the market doesn’t make sense, they’ll try to “fix it” by betting against it. They see biotech, up a mind-numbing 196% in three years, and think, “Pfft! Obvious bubble. These buyers must be idiots. I’ll get short and just wait for the pop.” Okay, agreed that biotech is obscenely expensive. No doubt about it. But guess what? It was expensive a year ago, too (as Janet Yellen pointed out). And it’s climbed another 44% since then. The biotech buyers fueling that rally may very well be idiots. But if there are more of them than you—and right now, there definitely are—betting against them will lose you money. Interest rates are another example. We’ve been recommending long US government bonds (via the ETF TLT) in The Casey Report. We’re sitting on a decent 10% gain, but a lot of people are just dead set against the trade. They point out that interest rates are at historic lows, and when the trend reverses, it will murder anyone sitting on long bonds. No argument here. I’m a huge bond bear. Though I do like US bonds as a near-term trade because they’re far cheaper than the bonds of four of the five PIIGS (remember them?), which is pure insanity. But the fact is that bonds are in a 35-year uptrend. If you’re shorting bonds, you’re basically betting that you can call the top. And accurately calling the top of a 35-year trend is… challenging. I mean, you could be early by just 5%—which amounts to a pretty darn accurate forecast—and you’d still be off by 21 months. Then you’d have to have the cojones to hold on to a losing trade for 21 months while waiting for your thesis to play out. That sounds miserable. Going with a trend is so much easier. Besides, in the investment business, we have a term for being 21 months early. It’s called “being wrong.” I speak from experience here. I shorted bonds about two years ago. Needless to say, it didn’t go so well. Thankfully, I was at least smart enough to use put options, so my risk was capped. But I still lost money because I tried to make something happen. Lesson learned. When you see crazy, illogical rallies like biotech or bonds, don’t fight ’em. Let ’em happen. Put your money to work somewhere else. That’s what good investors do. If I could rewrite the beginning quote for investors, it would read: “Bad investors try to make things happen. Good investors let things happen and take advantage of them.” Thanks for reading. As a shameless self-promotion: I write a monthly investment article for The Casey Report. You can try it risk-free by clicking here.