Whether you become a perfectionist or rebellious has very little to do with your birth position in the family, says a new study.“We found no substantial effects of birth order on any of the personality dimensions we examined,” said one of the researchers Stefan Schmukle from Leipzig University in Germany.This does not only contradict prominent psychological theories, but also goes against the intuition of many people,” Schmukle pointed out. The question of whether a person’s position among siblings has a lasting impact on personality has occupied scientists for more than 100 years, the study said.Lay people as well as a scientist share a number of beliefs: First borns are supposedly perfectionists, for example, while middle children develop a talent for diplomacy and last borns are expected to be rebellious.To find out whether these differences actually exist, the researchers analysed the data of more than 20,000 grown-ups from Germany, Britain and the US. They found that central personality traits such as extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness and conscientiousness are not affected by birth-order position. First borns were more likely to report a rich vocabulary and less difficulty understanding abstract ideas. “This effect on intelligence replicates very well in large samples, but it is barely meaningful on the individual level, because it is extremely small,” Schnukle explained. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
A giant tub where you can float and feel like you are in space, an urban laboratory for birds to rest, a wearable sculpture that protects you from pollution, a four-armed extra-terrestrial character walking the streets of Khirkee – all this and much more will be a part of the art and science exhibition ‘The Undivided Mind’ at Khoj Studios in the national Capital.“The theme of the 2016 edition of ‘The Undivided Mind’ is health, with three sub-themes — terrestrial health, mental health and extraterrestrial health,” said Sitara Chowfla, curator about the April 15-16 show. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Terrestrial health refers to that which is on, or related to the earth,” she said. “This suggests an investigation into the physical health and structure of the body, the environment, the community and the interrelations between these spheres,” she added. “Mental health focuses on a psychological investigation of what constitutes health of the mind and raises questions about the socially defined state of well-being,” said Chowfla.“Finally, extraterrestrial health may refer to any object, being or idea beyond the planet Earth. This sub-theme opens up a space where the relationship between earth and other planetary bodies can be studied,” she said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixExploring the crossover between art and science, the exhibition includes works by Alexey Buldakov (Russia), Gagan Singh (India), Johanna Schmeer (Germany), Mohan Polamar and Vivek Muthuramalingam (India), Sonia Khurana (India) and Tyska Samborska (Poland). Mohan Polamar and Vivek Muthuramalingam’s project focuses on extra-terrestrial health by using references to yoga, climate change and human evolution. Titled ‘Tub of Loss’, a giant tub filled with a solution of magnesium sulphate allows a person to float almost as easily as in space. “We wanted to create a sensory experience of separating mind from body, like we do in yoga, we also want to study how yoga can benefit astronauts and the kind of exercise they need to do,” said Vivek Muthuramalingam. An installation at the exhibition titled- ‘Womb Narratives’ by Sonia Khurana expresses the profound encounter between science and the representation of female reproductive processes. ‘Urban Fauna Laboratory’ by Russian artist Alexey Buldakov is an interdisciplinary project focusing on physical health and dedicated to observation of inter-species interactions in the city. “While in Delhi, I loved to observe animals and birds and found it interesting that despite the fact that species like pigeons and cats are not economically useful, people still have an altruistic relationship with them and feed them, shelter them,” Buldakov said. German artist Johanna Schmeer’s ‘Entangled Bodies’ studies the impact of pollution on the human body. “The sculpture is coated with a special paint that cleans the air. During my research, I discovered that Delhi is the most polluted,” said Schmeer.
In This Issue. * Calling the PPT, Calling the PPT. * Euro gives back a large chunk of its gains. * Greece decides to bundle their loan payments! * But no one tells Christine Lagarde! But First, A Word From Our Sponsor.. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. It’s A Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day. And a Happy Friday to one and all! It’s raining again here. When I said, “It’s raining again, I almost broke into the Supertramp song, but. I actually have forgotten the words! And yes I could look them up, but that would be cheating! I’m a lyrics guy, and I pride myself on how many song lyrics I know. But I do remember this about the song. C’mon you little fighter, No need to get uptighter. The late great, Dan Fogelberg greets me this morning with his song: False Faces, from one of his earlier albums: Netherlands. I’ve said it before, but what the heck, we lost Dan way too early in life to cancer. And I do NOT like to even think about that! Well. It’s the first Friday of the month, and so it is that it’s a Jobs Jamboree Friday! But as I’ve been telling you the last few months, I just don’t give two hoots about what the BLS has to say about job creation any longer. They’ve stretched the limits of my imagination with their hedonic adjustments to the already questionable surveys. So, while everyone else is going to be jumping up and down with joy today, because I’m sure the BLS isn’t going to make the same mistake they did with the March jobs report, and follow up April’s trumped up jobs report with the same for May. Yes, if you detect the disgust I have for the BLS report, you’re good, but I’m sure I didn’t leave you with any other impression. So, the rate hike campers are going to be dancing in the streets again today, as they believe these trumped jobs reports are going to lead the Fed to hike rates sooner than later. Of course I’m in a camp basically by myself, in that I don’t see the Fed hiking rates this year, and if they do, they will only do it to save face with the markets, and then it will be a one and done rate hike. But being the singular person out there in the markets that thinks this (I’m sure there are more, but for ease of writing, I’m saying it’s me, all by myself, don’t want to be all by myself any more), the dollar will be in rally mode today. It’s not right now, as most of the currencies are flat, awaiting the Jobs Jamboree, but if the BLS does what I think it will do, then we are in for a dollar rally today. So. Yesterday, I told you that I thought if the euro could maintain its strong push, that it could be the pull that reversed the direction of the Aussie dollar (A$). Unfortunately, that was not to be, as the euro faded once it got close to 1.14, and before the morning turned to lunch time, the euro was trading well below 1.13. Sure, we had to expect some profit taking, but not like that move! So, it sent me searching far and wide for the answers. The easy answer, the layup if you will, is the PPT. The Price Protection Team. Because it wasn’t just the euro that reversed its course, we also saw a huge swing in U.S. Treasury yields. the 10-year U.S. Treasury saw it’s weakness from the previous days halted, and a reversal of sorts as the yield dropped by a large margin during the morning, and that came about when U.S. 1st Productivity showed a drop of -3.1% in the period VS the previous QTR. This should have come as no surprise to those tracking this data, given the large decline in output during the 1st QTR. The 10-year’s yield this morning is 2.34%, but yesterday’s action saw the 10-year’s yield drop from 2.40% to 2.30% in a matter of hours.. But have been some BIG BUYS. So, let’s take a roster call. of the potential Big Buyers. China? No, they’ve been cutting back their Treasury buying, opting for Gold instead, Japan? No, they would love to be considered the Big Buyer, but that’s not happening, Russia? Oh, Please, give me a break, the Russians are not going to line up to help the U.S. with its financing problem as long as the U.S. has economic sanctions on Russia. Europe? No, they have their own problems right now. So who’s left? Oh. that’s right the #1 owner of Treasuries. The Fed! And that’s all I’m saying about that! OK. Let’s get back to the euro. The word on the street this morning is that Greece has informed the IMF that they will defer the loan payment due today to the IMF, and thus bundle the next 3 loan payments in the next couple of weeks, and push them out to the end of the month. I told you earlier this week, that we could very well see this happen, and now it’s become reality. Funny thing happened though. IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, had told reporters in Washington, just hours before the Geeks made their bundling announcement, that a “bundling of payments didn’t appear in the cards.” Apparently, Lagarde was holding the wrong cards! Hey, Christine, no worries, when I used to play poker with my friends for nickels and dimes, I found that I was always holding the wrong cards! So, get this latest poll from Greece taken just two days ago. 74% of Greeks say they want to remain in the euro. And it’s about 50 / 50 on whether the Greek Gov’t is going about the loan negotiations the right way. Hmmm, that certainly doesn’t sound like a country that is dead set against austerity measures, and would leave the euro if they didn’t get their way, as the media seems to want to portray them to be. But getting back to the bundling of the loan payments. It was done under the heading of it being difficult to make multiple payments in such short periods of time. But to me, this is simply Greece being Greece. It’s what they feel is a good negotiating tool. I really have to take a step back and wish I could get this message that I’m about to announce, to the Greek leaders. Hello, Mr. Tsipras, glad to meet you, sir. I have a message for you. In case you have forgotten, you owe people money, and you don’t have the cash to pay them back, so you need more loans to survive, but instead of taking the creditors’ demands, you put up a front that would make one believe that you really don’t want to survive as a country. Take the damn demands, the loans and live for another day, sir. thank you! So, I recently told you that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) was intervening in the FX markets, selling rubles to stem the currency’s appreciation.. And it worked, as the ruble went from a 49 handle to a 55 handle in a matter of a couple of weeks. But the CBR said overnight that they are finished intervening. The ruble immediately went from being sold to being bought. I think the CBR will be tested here with that statement, for if I’m correct in my suspicions that the ruble traders are ready to test the appreciation waters again, now that the fear of CBR intervention has been removed, and they are free to move the currency higher again. I think the CBR got a little scared when they learned that the weaker ruble was inviting inflation to rise in Russia. See. you mess with fire. you get burned. I know the CBR is relatively new to this Central Bank stuff, but let’s hope that this is a lesson learned. The Chinese renminbi was weakened overnight, proving to the markets once again, that they cannot assume that the renminbi is a one-way street of appreciation. And in Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) hiked rates, pushing their internal rate (The Selic Rate) to 13.75%… Brazil is fighting inflation folks. And if they hadn’t don’t dastardly things to their currency, the real, a couple of years ago, the strong real would have fought off this inflation without these astronomical interest rates. The economy is in knots, the real has been beaten and left on the side of the road by the Gov’t, but they think they can tame this runaway inflation with high interest rates only. They too have a lesson to be learned. and I hope they learn it soon! Well, two reports printed in Europe this morning one good, one bad. First the bad. In Norway, the April Industrial Production report showed a decline of -4.9% VS March, and the krone got whacked! But why? Don’t these FX guys know that manufacturing is of little importance to Norway? It’s all about Oil. And the other report came from Germany, where Factory Orders for April rose greater than expected. April Factory Orders rose 1.4% VS 1.1% in March, and VS 0.5% expected. I think this report just reinforces my thought yesterday, that the Eurozone economy has troughed, and is in healing mode. I just had to stop and sing along with a great 70’s song by Blue Swede. Hooked on a Feeling. I’m hooked on a feeling and I’m high on believing that you’re in love with me! Robin has an interesting outfit on today. So, it’s all about the Jobs Jamboree for the U.S. Data Cupboard today. Consumer Credit (read debt) will also print, but if the BLS pulls a rabbit out of its hat, ala Bullwinkle, then everyone is going to be going ga-ga over that, and won’t give two hoots about Consumer Credit. The IMF, as I mentioned above, was in Washington, and decided that would be a good place to inform everyone that they were cutting the economic growth forecast for the U.S. for 2015, from 3.1% to 2.5%… They also strongly suggested that the Fed wait for real tangible signs of wage and price gains before hiking rates. The IMF also had this to say about the dollar. The dollar is moderately overvalued, thus curbing U.S. growth, and jobs. I’m sure that the IMF then got out of Dodge as quickly as they could! HA! Gold is down again this morning, and continue to slip further and further away from $1,200. The shiny metal is down $2 this morning to $1,174. On the Gold accumulation front. Russia announced that their goal was to accumulate $500 Billion in Gold reserves. They currently hold $360 Billion of Gold reserves. And on the reverse of that, there will be a 40% drop in wedding days this year in India, and that could cause Gold to take a hit. To recap. It’s a Jobs Jamboree Friday! And while Chuck has taken to boycotting the BLS jobs report, the rate hike campers will probably be dancing in the streets. And the dollar could rally on the BLS trumped up report. Greece announced that they will defer today’s due loan payment to the IMF and bundle the other three payments due this month, into one payment at the end of the month. Someone needed to let IMF Head Lagarde know this before she told reporters that a bundling wasn’t in the cards. Greece thinks it has a new negotiating tool, and Chuck spells it out for the Greek leaders, if they would only read the Pfennig! The currencies are mostly flat this morning with pound sterling, krone, krona, and renminbi the big losers. And Gold continues to move further away from $1,200. Hmmm. For What It’s Worth. OK, I’m going to blame it on a senior moment. On Wednesday, I told you that I would have something for you on the missing 7 audit reports at Ft. Knox, on Thursday. But then Thursday’s Pfennig went out, and there was nary a word spoken about the 7 missing audit reports at Ft. Knox. And only one dear Pfennig Reader brought it to my attention! So, just shows to go ya, that you don’t pay attention in class! HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding! So. here’s what I promised you Wednesday for Thursday. So, yesterday, I gave you a teaser. I told you I would have something for you today, regarding the U.S. Government losing 7 Ft. Knox audits. And I do! But first I want to thank 1. Google+ for alerting me to this story on 2. www.bullionstar.com, written by 3. Koos Jansen.. So, let’s go to the tape, eh? “Every year the gold in Fort Knox is ‘audited’ by checking the official joint seals that were placed on all vault compartments during the continuing audits of U.S.-owned gold from 1974 until 1986, when allegedly 97 % of the gold was inspected. However, a Freedom Of Information Act request I’ve submitted in order to obtain all audit reports could not be honored. Seven reports are missing. From at least 1944 the world reserve currency is the US dollar, which was backed by gold until 1971 and supported by gold ever since. There can be no world reserve currency without appropriate gold reserves supporting it, providing essential confidence and credibility. The US official gold reserves are the world’s greatest by far at 8,134 metric tonnes. The fact that 7 audit reports that should grant the existence of these reserves appear to be missing is problematic. At the congressional hearing of the Gold Transparency Act (H.R. 1495, not enacted) in 2011 the Inspector General (IG) of the Treasury presented a case ‘all is fine’, but all is not fine. And the problem goes far beyond missing audit reports. In a series of posts we’ll continue to examine all there is to find regarding the audits of US official gold reserves. Let’s recap what we’ve studied in the previous posts. The US Treasury currently owns 8,134 tonnes of gold of which 7,716 tonnes is stored by the US Mint (4,583 tonnes at Fort Knox, 1,364 tonnes in Denver, 1,682 at West Point) and 418 tonnes at the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York. We’ve focused on the first audits of the gold stored by the US Mint. A Fort Knox physical gold audit in 1953 was anything but full, neither was the famous audit in 1974.” – Koos Jansen Chuck again. Ok. so as you read through this very long report, that I strongly suggest anyone that is inquisitive about the Gold Holdings at Ft. Knox should read, we find that Koos goes through a ton of research into the audited reports he holds, and discusses what might have happened to the other 7 that are missing. Here’s a scenario that he came up with. “In 1983 the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found out something was amiss with the audits performed in 1974-1982. It was decided to destroy several audit and assay reports and no less than 1,700 tonnes needed to be re-audited” Hmmm. seems highly likely to me, how about you? Currencies today: 6/5/15. American Style: A$ .7715, kiwi .7135, C$ .7995, euro 1.1230, sterling 1.5320, Swiss $1.0715, . European Style: rand 12.4095, krone 7.8375, SEK 8.3250, forint 277.25, zloty 3.6925, koruna 24.3960, RUB 56.08, yen 124.80, sing 1.3480, HKD 7.7535, INR 63.75, China 6.1181, pesos 15.55, BRL 3.1330, Dollar Index 95.65, Oil $57.57, 10-year 2.34%, Silver $16.18, Platinum $1,100.60, Palladium $757.38, and Gold. $1,174.59 That’s it for today. I didn’t see the game, of course, but my beloved Cardinals beat the Dodgers last night. 3 more games in L.A. UGH! My good friend, from 2nd Grade, Mike, stopped by the house yesterday afternoon, and did some stuff for me. Mike was the best man at the Chuck and Kathy wedding, and has been such a good friend of mine for over 53 years. WOW! You should see the wall length cabinet he built for me in my basement. Beautiful! Well, I was receiving a fantastic light show this morning while writing from the lightening and storms going on outside. Yesterday I drove home is a driving rain storm that left so much water on the roads, that I might have been better off in a canoe! Well, it’s the weekend, so the rain is here! UGH! I’ll sign off this week with my all-time fave song playing on the iPod right now. South City Midnight Lady by the original Doobie Brothers. So, let’s got make this a Fantastico Friday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Markets