In The News Today

Posted at 2:33 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

What if just by chance there is not a midnight compromise this time?

US government on verge of shutdown as House votes to delay health law
Resolution passed Sunday, makes funding government until December contingent upon one-year delay of healthcare reforms
Paul Lewis in Washington
The Guardian, Sunday 29 September 2013 17.30 BST

The US government is on the precipice of a historic shutdown that would result in hundreds of thousands of federal workers being placed on unpaid leave, after House Republicans refused to pass a budget unless it involved a delay to Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reforms.

Democratic leaders declined to convene the Senate on Sunday, standing firm against what they described as the extortion tactics of their Republican opponents who they accused of holding the government to ransom for ideological reasons.

The resolution passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the early hours of Sunday morning makes funding the government until the middle of December contingent upon a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act. It also strips the new healthcare law, which is due to come into force on Tuesday, of a key tax on medical devices.

Senate Democrats and the White House have said they will block any budget resolution that is tied to the healthcare law – known as Obamacare – which was passed three years ago and upheld by the US supreme court last year.

Undermining the healthcare reforms – the flagship legislative achievement of Obama’s presidency – has been a priority for the conservative wing of the Republican party for years and the spectre of government shutdowns has been used in the past.

However there was a growing sense on Capitol Hill on Sunday that House Republicans were prepared to see through their threat of a shutdown, which would begin at 12.01am ET on Tuesday, even though polls show they would be blamed for a maneuver that could damage the party during next year’s midterm elections.

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Countdown to a US government shutdown: what to look out for
Republicans have raised the stakes in the looming shutdown – so will the two sides strike a deal before Monday night?
Dan Roberts in Washington
theguardian.com, Saturday 28 September 2013 14.03 ED

As the hours tick down to the Monday night deadline ahead of the first US government shutdown in 17 years, here’s a timeline of what to watch for:

Saturday

House of Representatives are expected to vote on a new, continuing resolution that includes postponing Obamacare for a year and repealing a linked tax on medical devices that would have helped pay for it. A separate bill authorising military spending is also expected.

Sunday

The bill will be returned to the US Senate, where senators were asked not to leave Washington this weekend so they would be available for emergency debates on votes. The Democratic majority are expected to reject the House’s resolution either on Sunday or Monday, but may not be able to mount a vote if obstructed by Republicans such as Ted Cruz.

Monday

Democratic leaders in the Senate may attempt talks with House Republicans to try to reconcile their two contradictory positions, but this seems unlikely before the midnight deadline for federal spending authorisation expires.

Tuesday

Under the Anti-Deficiency Act passed in the 1880s, federal government officials are prohibited from spending money except for essential staff. Who is deemed essential will be determined by the White House Office of Management and Budget, which has published a preliminary list here.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This was fully intended and not an error, sloppy thinking or work!

How Bad Data Warped Everything We Thought We Knew About the Jobs Recovery
Matthew O’Brien Sep 24 2013, 1:38 PM ET

The jobs numbers have been distorted, but not because of those Chicago guys (Reuters)

You know something is really boring when economists say it is.

That’s what I thought to myself when the economists at the Brookings Institution’s Panel on Economic Activity said only the "serious" ones would stick around for the last paper on seasonal adjustmentzzzzzzz…

… but a funny thing happened on the way to catching up on sleep. It turns out seasonal adjustments are really interesting! They explain why, ever since Lehmangeddon, the economy has looked like it’s speeding up in the winter and slowing down in the summer.

In other words, everything you’ve read about "Recovery Winter" the past few winters has just been a statistical artifact of naïve seasonal adjustments. Oops.

Okay, but what are seasonal adjustments, and how do they work? Well, you know the jobs number we obsess over every month? It’s cooked, in a way — but not how Jack Welch thinks. For example, the economy didn’t really add 169,000 jobs in August. It added 378,000 jobs. But that 378,000 number doesn’t tell us too much. See, the economy pretty predictably adds more jobs during some months more than others. Things like warmer weather (which helps construction), summer break, and holiday shopping create these annual up-and-downs. So to give us an idea of how good or bad each month actually is, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusts for how many jobs we would expect at that time of year. This doesn’t change how many jobs we think have gotten created over the course of the year; it changes how many jobs we think have gotten created each month of the year. You can see how that smooths out the data in the chart below from Johns Hopkins professor Jonathan Wright’s Brookings paper. It compares the adjusted (blue) and unadjusted (red) numbers for total employment going back to 1990.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

What an Exchange does when it has no real warehouse to meet contractual demand and what the COMEX will also do soon.

NSEL e-series investors can expect quick refund
Saturday, Sep 28, 2013, 10:25 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Nitin Shrivastava 

Exchange opts for financial settlement or encashment.

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The small investors in e-series gold and silver units traded on National Spot Exchange (NSEL) may be able to get back their invested amount faster.

The beleaguered commodity bourse, which is under severe pressure to redeem the e-series units, has proposed a faster exit route to its unit holders by way of financial settlement or encashment of e-series gold and silver units rather than giving physical delivery of equivalent precious metals.

Though the exchange has the required physical inventory, the process for physical delivery is taking substantial time due to heavy redemption pressure.

“In order to offer a fast exit route to unit holders, the exchange has made an arrangement of providing exit option to all e-series holders of gold and silver units by way of financial settlement (encashment of E-Series units), after considering the feedback received from all market participants and after due discussions and deliberations with the prospective buyers,” read the exchange circular.

The exchange has said that unit holders can redeem their units by the above method on any day starting from October 3 to October 9 (both days inclusive but excluding Saturday and Sunday) or extinction of units, whichever is earlier.

The faster exit route comes as a relief for about 7 lakh small investors in e-series contracts as the exchange had stopped trading of e-series contracts since August 6 after it could not payout around Rs 5,500 crore to its investors for their trade settlements – in other commodity contracts – on account of default by 24 of its members.

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