Business

Jim Rogers: ‘I Want To Own More Silver But I Want To Own It At A Lower Price Which I Expect’

Tonight I just got finished reading the transcript of a February 9, 2017, interview of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by Macro Voices’ Erik Townsend. As usual, the former investing partner of George Soros discussed a number of topics, including:

U.S. Stocks- “Happy days are here” if President Trump carries out those “wonderful things” he said he would (cut taxes, rebuild infrastructure, bring $3 trillion home which U.S. companies have overseas) and avoids trade wars

U.S. Dollar- Despite the correction, “it’s going to go too high, may turn into a bubble, at which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell it because at some point the market forces are going to cause the dollar to come back down because people are going to realize, oh my gosh, this is causing a lot of turmoil, economic problems in the world and it’s damaging the American economy.”

Junk Bonds- “I am shorting junk bonds still”

Precious Metals- “I’m still sitting and watching. I want to own more gold. I want to own more silver but I want to own it at a lower price which I expect.”

“War on Cash”- “Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace.”

The Singapore-based investor mentioned in a separate interview earlier this month regarding India’s demonetization efforts:

If governments do away with cash, it gives them more power and control.

Townsend’s interview was of Rogers was thorough and interesting, particularly that bit about silver. Head on over to the Macro Voices website here to listen to/read their exchange.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Wadhwa, Puneet. “Modi is doing everything he can to get votes: Jim Rogers.” Business Standard. 2 Feb. 2017. (http://www.business-standard.com/budget/article/modi-is-doing-everything-he-can-to-get-votes-jim-rogers-117020200389_1.html). 13 Feb. 2017.

Rogers’ latest book…

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Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Recognizes ‘Illinois Diaspora’

“You mean that oft-repeated yarn about the state’s population loss being predominantly due to residents being fed up with our winters and moving to warmer destinations like Florida and Arizona isn’t true?”

Survival And Prosperity post yesterday afternoon regarding 86,000 Illinoisans “escaping” to Wisconsin from 2006 to 2015 (hat-tip Illinois Policy Institute)

I had to chuckle when I spotted the following on the Chicago Tribune website this afternoon. The Tribune Editorial Board penned last night:

Property taxes here are among the highest in the nation. And certain parts of the state aren’t just jobs deserts, they’re becoming depopulated deserts. More people moved away from Illinois during the last two years than from any other state in the country. Many moved to other Midwestern states. So don’t repeat the lie that it’s the weather.

Here’s what else a prospective employer sees in Illinois: No state budget in nearly two years. A credit rating nearing junk status. Inability to pay bills as they come due, a basic definition of insolvency. And political impasse in the General Assembly. An attempt at compromise legislation to get a budget passed hit a snag in the Senate on Wednesday. Senators, keep working…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Great minds think alike?

Nope. Not at all. Just very concerned Illinois residents who have arrived at the same conclusion regarding where this is all heading if Springfield and voters can’t get their act together. Like, yesterday.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Bix Weir Predicts 2017 Derivatives Implosion, Trump To Crash System Then Rebuild

“Donald Trump’s prediction that the U.S. economy was on the verge of a ‘very massive recession’ hit a wall of skepticism on Sunday from economists who questioned the Republican presidential front-runner’s calculations…

‘I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,’ he said.”

-Reuters.com, April 3, 2016

Precious metals and financial expert Bix Weir recently appeared on former network/investigative correspondent Greg Hunter’s latest project, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (“Analyzing the News to Give You A Clear Picture of What’s Really Going On”). In an interview published Tuesday, Weir warned of a coming derivatives implosion and dropped a bombshell when he predicted U.S. President Donald Trump would crash the system, then rebuild. From the exchange between Hunter and Weir:

HUNTER: Isn’t this the year we get the derivatives implosion?
WEIR: Oh definitively. People keep saying, “Well, if Greece leaves the EU, it’s not going to affect the rest of Europe.” Yes it will. It will destroy all the debt based on Greek bonds. It will destroy all the banks- Deutsche Bank, great example. If Deutshce Bank goes, J.P. Morgan goes, Citbank goes, all the banks go. And then the derivative implosion happens. And that’s alway been kind of the home-built nuclear bomb in the financial system is the derivative market- the hundreds of trillions, quadrillions, in derivatives that are so dependent upon third-parties staying in business. Because they are the counter-party to Deutsche Bank, and Citibank, and J.P. Morgan. Once one large derivative holder goes, they all go. We almost saw it in 2008. I think we’re real close to it again. I think Trump is going to push that ticket…
HUNTER: Do you think that we’re close to this derivatives explosion, this implosion, right now? Do you think it’s this year?
WEIR: I do think it’s this year. I think it can happen at any moment. I think Trump has long said that we’re in some huge bubbles and they’ve got to pop. He doesn’t want them popping after he’s fixed half the things in America. So, I would assume he’s going to pop them very soon, in the first few months of his administration. And we’re into that now. There are certain people that I know he needs to get in place. Because the popping of this bubble- this is the big mother of all bubbles.
HUNTER: So he is rushing to get his people in place so he can execute his plan. You’re saying he has a grand plan. That things aren’t just going to happen willy-nilly. You’re saying he’s going to get his people in place and he’s going to force the collapse, the reorganization.
WEIR: Yes. But it’s not his grand plan. This is the plan of the “good guys” that I’ve been talking about…
HUNTER: So why do you think we’re close to an economic reset, an implosion, a derivatives problem, the whole system resetting, changing, whatever. Why do you think we are close?
WEIR: Well, I know that Donald Trump is in charge of the exchange stabilization fund. So it’s basically he has the keys to ending this market rigging game. And once you end the market rigging game, then you can’t support the stock market. And everything has to go to its true fair market value, with real trades, no more derivatives. So Trump can do it. The question is, “Does he want to?” And it’s not just Trump. It’s the people who are behind Trump. I call them the “good guys.”
HUNTER: The Pentagon.
WEIR: Well, there’s people at the Pentagon. Within the military. Patriots. Going back since the sixties a lot of these guys are looking for a little retribution on the “bad guys” taking out Kennedy. But all this goes back to- what does Trump want to do? Trump and his people. Do they want to fix things? Go down that road to starting to fix things with the bubbles still there, with the Fed still printing money. Or, does he really want to fix them. Which means you crash the system first, and then you rebuild. I think it’s the latter. I think he’s trying to get people in place, and then he will crash the system and rebuild.


“Bix Weir-Trump Will Crash System Then Rebuild”
YouTube Video

Weir, who has a presence on the Web at RoadtoRoota.com, recommends selling “anything that has a third-party between you and your hard asset” like stocks and bonds, and buying Bitcoin (“get it out of the system”), gold, and silver- particularly silver. He concluded:

If you’re looking to make money, silver and Bitcoin- you can’t go wrong.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’d heard of Bix Weir before, but never read/listened to anything by him before. Very interesting, to say the least.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government No Comments

The Rich Keep Buying Survival Bunkers

Back in March 2011 I started blogging about underground survival shelters on Survival And Prosperity. Anyone remember that Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers focusing on Dallas-based shelter fabricator Deep Earth Bunker? Yeah, I covered that production in a number of posts.

Chatter about survival bunkers in the mainstream media kind of subsided for a few years. Then I noticed a definite pickup about such shelters in the news over the last few months. Two just-published articles appear on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and BBC News websites. Gordon Dickson reported on the Star-Telegram site Friday:

Inside his football field-size warehouse an hour’s drive southeast of Dallas, Gary Lynch is busy trying to keep up with orders for his solid-steel bomb shelters

Lynch explains that orders for his most expensive shelters, which can cost as much as several million dollars, have increased since the November election.

“It definitely has picked up a little as Donald Trump emerged as president,” said Lynch, general manager of Rising S Co. on the outskirts of the rural city of Murchison…

Sales of Rising S’s most luxurious shelters have jumped 700 percent in recent months…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Americans buy bomb shelters, prep for ‘Trumpocalypse”
Star-Telegram Video

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity shouldn’t be surprised rich Americans are acquiring survival shelters. Last Thursday I discussed an article from the January 30, 2017, issue of The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich.” There was this bit in the piece:

In private Facebook groups, wealthy survivalists swap tips on gas masks, bunkers, and locations safe from the effects of climate change. One member, the head of an investment firm, told me, “I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time, and I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The article also talked about Larry Hall (first blogged about here in March 2012), the CEO of the Survival Condo Project, who sells luxury survival condos built underground in former Atlas missile silos. Hall and his survival condos were the focus of a January 31 BBC News piece analyzing the market for such shelters. Neil Koenig, “The Life of Luxury” series producer, penned on the BBC News website earlier today:

Despite the fact that the apartments cost millions of dollars each to buy, starting at $1.5m (£1.2m), Mr Hall says he is seeing strong demand from wealthy customers

Hall is by no means the only player in the specialist market for survival bunkers, with rivals offering facilities at several locations across the globe. But with his use of luxury elements, experts say, Mr Hall is exploiting a growing trend

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Koenig added that one complex is already completed, with another one “well under way.” The New Yorker piece noted every unit in the first complex has sold out.


“This doomsday bunker costs $3 million”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Dickson, Gordon. “Bomb-shelter builder stays busy as customers prep for ‘Trumpocalypse.'” Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 27 Jan. 2017. (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/technology/article129232199.html). 31 Jan. 2017.

Koenig, Neil. “The nuclear bunkers designed for luxury living.” BBC News. 31 Jan. 2017. (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38795967). 31 Jan. 2017.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 Business, Government, Preparedness, Wealth No Comments

State Of Illinois’ Unpaid Bills Could Spike To $15 Billion By July

Bad news about the State of Illinois’ finances keeps rolling in. Monique Garcia reported on the website of the Chicago Tribune this morning:

The state has a record stack of unpaid bills that’s expected to hit $15 billion by July if nothing is done, and it must fork over interest when it’s late paying them. Putting a hard dollar figure on those interest costs is difficult, however…

The potential price tag is high enough that Senate leaders from both parties are pushing a plan to borrow billions of dollars to help whittle down the bill backlog and limit interest payments…

Under the plan being pushed by Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, Illinois would borrow $7 billion over seven years to pay down the bill backlog and bring the payment cycle closer to 30 days…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Tribune article comes after Governor Bruce Rauner pointed out in his State of the State address last Wednesday:

We haven’t had a full year budget of some kind in a year-and-a-half- and we haven’t had a state budget that is truly balanced in decades. We have more than $11 billion in unpaid bills, a $130 billion unfunded pension liability, and the worst credit rating in the nation. We have the 5th highest overall tax burden and one of the lowest rates of job creation of any state

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Garcia’s piece took a close look at the interest payments associated with the bill backlog debacle, which you can read about here on the Tribune site.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Amended Illinois Tax Hike Plan To Hit Taxpayers, Businesses, And Employment?

Back on January 16 I published a post on Survival And Prosperity entitled “Illinois ‘Grand Bargain’ Legislation Includes 32 Percent Personal Income Tax Hike.” I started the piece with:

Illinois taxpayers may get hit with a significant income tax hike pretty soon…

Yesterday morning, I learned the potential “hit” could be a “combination of punches” directred at taxpayers, businesses, and employment.

From the Greg Hinz On Politics blog on the website of Crain’s Chicago Business:

There’s still no word on when lawmakers are going to vote on it, but an amended tax-hike plan has been introduced in the state capital.

It’s a doozy, with an even higher income tax, a limited service tax and a sort of minimum tax on business. But the soda pop levy is gone, as are a couple of those corporate loophole closings that business groups didn’t like…

The highlights:

The Individual income tax would go to 4.99 percent from the current 3.75 percent, and the corporate income tax to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. Combined, that would pull in about an additional $5 billion a year.

A new “business opportunity tax” ranging from a fee of $225 to $15,000 a year would be imposed, based on payroll. The intent is to make sure that all companies pay something, whether they are profitable or not. The state’s net on this is an estimated $750 million a year.

However, the research and development tax credit would be made permanent and the manufacturers purchase and graphics arts credits would be combined, as some businesses wanted.

A service tax—extension of the sales tax—would be imposed on certain items including repair and maintenance of personal property, use of amusement services including gyms, landscaping, laundry and dry-cleaning, and storage of personal goods such as cars and property. This would pull in a projected $400 million a year.

The telecom excise tax would be extended to cable and satellite services.

Both Radogno and Cullerton are said to have negotiated and support the above, pending action on the rest of the package…

Hinz does a good job summarizing the proposed expanded revenue grab. At this point, I want to go back to that bit about a new “business opportunity tax.” From the actual legislation for the so-called “Business Opportunity Tax Act”:

Section 1-10. Tax imposed.
(a) Beginning on July 1, 2017, a tax is hereby imposed upon each qualified business for the privilege of doing business in the State.
(b) The tax under subsection (a) shall be imposed in the following amounts:
(1) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is less than $100,000, then then annual tax is $225;
(2) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $100,000 or more but less than $250,000, then the annual tax is $750;
(3) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $250,000 or more but less than $500,000, then the annual tax is $3,750;
(4) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $500,000 or more but less than $1,500,000, then the annual tax is $7,500; and
(5) if the taxpayer’s total Illinois payroll for the taxable year is $1,500,000 or more, then the annual tax is $15,000…

I can see a number of existing and prospective Illinois business owners having concerns with the proposed “Business Opportunity Tax Act.”

First, Illinois already has poor business reputation. For example, early last year Chief Executive magazine asked 513 CEOs to rank states they are familiar with on the friendliness of their tax and regulatory regime, workforce quality, and living environment. The “Land of Lincoln” came in as the 48th worst state in this annual survey, beaten only by New York and California in that order. The “Business Opportunity Tax Act” has the real potential of increasing the perception that Illinois is business-unfriendly.

Second, if my understanding of the legislation is correct, the larger the payroll an Illinois business has, the more taxes they will pay. Consider the following. If I’m an Illinois business owner with a payroll just shy of $250K who would like to bring on more staff, I may be dissuaded from doing so to avoid forking over an additional $3,000 to the state (unless I’m convinced the hiring would offset the $3K hit). And how might employee raises be impacted once payrolls start approaching a higher tax bracket? The proposed “Business Opportunity Tax Act” may not be too terrific for Illinois employment.

Third, readers of this blog may know that I am in the process of rolling out a research business focusing on specialized asset protection. It’s been my intention to launch in the Chicago area. Lately, however, I’ve been thninking of opening up shop in southeast Wisconsin (where my family has a residence) due to the direction Illinois looks to be heading with taxes and its treatment of the business community. The passage of the “Business Opportunity Tax Act” could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I wonder how many other prospective Illinois business owners might be in the same boat?

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Hinz, Greg. “New, wider tax plan rolls out in Springfield.” Greg Hinz On Politics. 24 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170124/BLOGS02/170129931/springfield-lawmakers-roll-out-new-wider-tax-hike-plan). 26 Jan. 2017.

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Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Business, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Taxes Comments Off on Amended Illinois Tax Hike Plan To Hit Taxpayers, Businesses, And Employment?

16,700 Illinois Jobs Gone In December

Illinois lost 4,500 jobs in November, followed by a whopping 16,700 jobs last month. From an Illinois Department of Employment Security news release Friday:

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in December inched up +0.1 percentage points to 5.7 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -16,700 jobs over the month, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. November job growth was revised down to show a decrease of -4,500 jobs rather than the preliminary figure of +1,700 jobs. The downward revision, coupled with the drop in December payrolls kept job growth well below the national average, with Illinois -52,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“Nonfarm payrolls reflect the job market and this kind of drop is troubling, to say the least,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “It’s the largest monthly decline we’ve seen this year and the drop was across most sectors.”

“Another month of climbing unemployment numbers that are far from the national average,” said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Acting Director Sean McCarthy. “Illinois needs structural reforms and a balanced budget to attract new jobs and investment in our state. We cannot repair the damage of losing 11,000 manufacturing jobs, 9,700 construction jobs and 5,800 information and financial activities jobs over the course of just one year without real changes that create growth and opportunity in our economy.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

To be fair, IDES added:

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +28,400 jobs with the largest gains in two industry sectors: Professional and Business Services (+31,600); and Leisure and Hospitality (+11,900)…

Hmm. “Professional and Business Services,” which includes temporary staffing (booming after the bust). And “Leisure and Hospitality,” one of the lowest-wage sectors of the economy. Get where I’m going with this?

January’s job report should be interesting.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, January 23rd, 2017 Business, Employment, Government, Manufacturing Comments Off on 16,700 Illinois Jobs Gone In December

Robert Shiller On Trump, Economy: ‘He Might Do Something Good’

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller was on CNBC TV’s Squawk Box yesterday talking about the state of the U.S. economy and the potential impact President-elect Donald Trump might have on it. The Yale University professor- who correctly called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade- told viewers:

Well, the economy is looking strong. But at the expense of still near-zero interest rates. So it’s not normally healthy. And it relies on an institution, and Janet Yellen, that’s none too friendly with Donald Trump. So, I think it’s just a very uncertain time…

Regarding a “Trump Effect,” Dr. Shiller observed:

I think Trump is for many people an inspiration. He’s pro-business. Think big. Live large. That’s Trump. And to some extent that communicates to homebuyers as well as other investors… We’re in a revolutionary time. We don’t know what Trump is going to do. We know one thing- he’s got tremendous self confidence. And he doesn’t believe experts. Or he doesn’t just routinely believe them. So we’re going to see some big changes. It’s not just monetary- whether they raise interest rates another 50 basis points. It might be something more fundamental that comes up about how the Fed is even designed…


“Trump exciting ‘animal spirits’ in housing: Robert Shiller”
CNBC Video

Shiller also added this:

I didn’t vote for Trump. We’ve got him. Let’s hope for the best. He might do something good.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 Banking, Business, Crash Prophets, Federal Reserve, Government, Housing, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy Comments Off on Robert Shiller On Trump, Economy: ‘He Might Do Something Good’

Prepping Now $40 Billion Industry In U.S.?

Last week, I blogged about a Chicago Tribune article on the current state of “prepping” in America.

Last night I came across another insightful piece on the status of prepping in the U.S. on The Daily Universe (Brigham Young University) website in which Sarah Averett reported Monday:

Preparing for emergencies has become a hobby and lifestyle for an increasing number of people throughout the U.S. who call themselves “preppers.”

Preppers are enthusiasts of all things emergency preparedness, ranging from interests in survivalist techniques and homesteading to food storage and first aid. The term “prepper,” popularized by National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers series, refers to people who put time, money and effort into learning skills and collecting items that will help them become more self-reliant.

The prepper world has experienced exponential growth in recent years, according to preppers throughout the U.S.

“It’s really hard to identify exactly how many preppers there are, but since 2007, we’ve gone from a $10 million market to a $40 billion market space (nationally),” said Scott Stallings, founder and CEO of PrepperCon…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An interesting read, which you view in its entirety here on The Daily Universe website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 Business, Emergencies, End Times, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on Prepping Now $40 Billion Industry In U.S.?
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