Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston watches theaction during his team’s match with Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at St. John Arena inColumbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Former Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team (11-7, 2-4 Big Ten) takes on the state of Michigan in a weekend-long battle as the women’s volleyball team welcomes No. 13 Michigan and Michigan State to St. John arena this weekend. The Wolverines bring the most impressive record the Buckeyes have faced this season at 15-2, and 4-2 within the conference. The Spartans stand at 14-5 and 2-4 in the Big Ten.“The Big Ten is all kind of beating each other up right now. Each weekend can flip everything so this is a big weekend for us, we’re excited for it,” head coach Geoff Carlston said. The Michigan teams bring impressive players, with each of their top attackers leading the teams with 225 kills, compared to the leading Buckeye, freshman opposite hitter Vanja Bukilić, with 199. Michigan senior outside hitter and team captain Carly Skjodt poses a threat to the Buckeyes, and according to Carlston, the rest of the Big Ten as well. “She’s tough man, she has all the shots, she grinds, she’s definitely one of their leaders,” Carlston said. “There’s lots of great outside hitters but her back-row attack is maybe one of the best in the conference.”Skjodt received Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 8, along with two other award-winning Wolverines. Senior libero Jenna Lerg earned Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week and junior MacKenzi Welsh earned Big Ten Conference Co-Setter of the Week.“There’s always a big sense of rivalry between us and Michigan and they’ve been playing well so obviously we need to raise the stakes a little bit,” said freshman defensive specialist Camryn Moeller. Carlston agreed the heightened rivalry changes the dynamic of the match. “We feel it like everyone does,” he said. “We’ve beaten them most of the time hear, and they’ve beaten us there. The environment is huge so we’re hoping to have this place rocking for sure on Friday. It’s a big match for both of us.”With a large number of player injuries this season, the Buckeyes have not enjoyed the consistency of any one lineup. The team and staff continue to work on communication and comfort on the court. “As a staff we’re trying to be more creative and do different things to keep it fresh,” said Carlston. “The chemistry on the floor is so important. You have to really be comfortable with the people to your left and right and that’s been tough because we haven’t had that ability to have the same group on the floor this year.”Ohio State will face Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. and Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Ohio State’s Dig Pink match to honor breast cancer survivors.
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In This Issue. * Disruptions reside in U.S. now. * Dollar continues to get sold. * U.S. data begins to get printed this week * Eric Sprott speaks And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! It’s Now Time For Taper Capers! Good day. And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well! Looky, looky, my two beloved teams, are getting quite a bit of attention these days! My Cardinals are in the World Series, and my Missouri Tigers, after beating the Florida Gators, soared to #5 in the country! WOW! My friend, Ed’s Auburn Tigers won, but my friend, Rick’s Clemson Tigers lost. But it was all seashells and balloons for me, sports-wise this weekend, and that’s a good thing! The goings on in Washington D.C. finally calmed down after weeks of bashing each other with words, a lot of drama, and some funky accounting. The U.S. dollar continues to remain under pressure. Can you blame the currency traders, et. al? Like I said last week, if the U.S. wants to continue to accumulate massive debt, and not do anything about it, then they are more than happy to continue to sell dollars. Think about this for a moment before we get into everything else, and it will be our theme for the day and weeks to come, I believe. 3 years ago, all the disruptions to a smooth running economy resided in the Eurozone, and the euro got hammered until, they addressed the problem, and then, and only then, did the relative calm come over the Eurozone and euro. Today, all the disruptions to a smooth running economy reside here in the U.S. and therefore it only makes sense for the dollar to get hammered, just like the euro did, for basically the same stuff. Debt. So, keeping that theme in mind. The euro continues to add to its gains last week, and has been as high as 1.3688 overnight, very close to moving past the 1.37 handle. Who’da thunk it? I mean, guys like, oh, never mind, you all know the guys I would name, but in my kinder, gentler persona, I’ll just say we had people stomping their feet, pounding the podiums, and placing the hard earned reputations on the line, saying they “knew” for sure the euro was going to collapse a couple of years ago. In addition, in Germany this past weekend, it appears a coalition Gov’t could be a done deal this week, and that goes a long way to calming the ruffled feathers in Germany, the Eurozone’s largest economy. So, the euro has a couple of things going for it this morning, but remember what I always tell you. The euro is the offset currency to the dollar, so things could be on tenterhooks in the Eurozone, and the euro would still be allowed to gain, IF the dollar is getting sold. The challenger to the euro, as the offset currency to the dollar, would be the Chinese renminbi / yuan. The renminbi / yuan will have to leapfrog over currencies like yen, pounds and francs when it comes to liquidity and number of currency units traded each day, before the real challenge comes. The renminbi / yuan was allowed to appreciate to another 20 year record level last night. The pressure on the Chinese Gov’t to keep appreciating their currency is growing, especially after the U.S. shutdown, and near default. Nothing like pushing your girlfriend toward your best friend. The Chinese 3rd QTR GDP, as I reported to you last week, grew 7.8% up from 7.5% in the 2nd QTR, and so, this strong direction of the Chinese economy is really helping out with the appreciation of the currency, and really providing an underpin for the Aussie dollar (A$). The A$ is flat this morning at .9670. I think that most of the gains from the RBA rate comments, that we talked about, the new Gov’t, and the rebound in the Chinese economy, has all been priced into the A$ at this point. Now, we’ll have to see more reasons to push the A$ higher, and those could come this week, with their latest reading of CPI (consumer inflation). For if CPI doesn’t look dicey, the calls for a rate cut will come back into play faster than you can say stupid rate cuts! And that won’t be good for the A$… So, we need to keep an eye on CPI tomorrow night (Wednesday for them) Later this week (Thursday), both the central banks of Norway and Sweden, the Norges Bank and Riksbank respectively, will meet to discuss rates. I don’t expect either of these two Central Banks to change rates, choosing to leave them unchanged, and then follow the announcement with a statement that will be positive, thus giving the markets the feeling that rates are heading higher here, next year. It might be helpful to take a step back, and list the countries that we know of that have either come out and said rates will be hiked in 2014, or have tightening biases that appear to be ready for the trigger to get pulled on higher rates. They include: New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Sweden. And a couple of the fence. Australia and Canada. Notice, a few that’s not on that list, like: the U.S., Japan, U.K., Eurozone. And with the U.S., Japan, U.K. and Eurozone all on the near zero rate policy train tracks, one would think that Gold would take that opportunity to shine. I had a conversation with the very well respected analyst, Steve Sjuggerud, one day last week, and we were talking about China’s currency, not paying interest, and Steve said, “well, I told my readers that they aren’t getting paid much on their dollar accounts, so they aren’t really losing anything, interest rates wise, by switching into renminbi.” I said, “hey, Steve, you know what? I’ve been telling our clients and readers the same thing for a long time now.” So, you see it’s not all about getting a yield advantage with another currency, the ZIRP in the U.S. allows you to look to things that have equally low rates, like Chinese renminbi, and Gold. Well, not that long ago, Japan used to enjoy a strong Current Account Surplus, which allowed investors to have an easy feeling about owning yen. For, even if the Gov’t debt was a problem, they had this strong Current Account Surplus. But then the Surplus began to melt away, and Japan began printing Trade Deficits! What? Yes, and when the first one printed over a year ago, I said then that it was not a good thing for Japan, and received some notes from people saying that I always say a swallow doesn’t make a summer, and one bad print isn’t a trend. And they were right! I always did say that, so I backed off, until getting to see more Trade Deficits print in Japan. One bad apple might not spoil the whole bunch, girl, but it did in this case! In keeping with the rot on Japan’s economic vine, September’s Trade Deficit booked a yen 932.1 Billion Deficit ($9.5 Billion in dollar terms), marking the 15th consecutive month booking a deficit. The thrill is gone for yen folks. Bad Gov’t Debt, a worsening Current Account Deficit, and an economy in a 2-decade funk. But, what about all the stimulus that the Japanese Gov’t provided over the years for the economy? Or what about all the Quantitative Easing / QE that’s still going on today? ZIRP has been in play for 15 years, and every attempt to hike rates has been met with a further downturn in the economy, thus immediately erasing the increase in rates. So. If I hadn’t started that off by telling you it was Japan, you could almost close your eyes and imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for. No wait! How’d I go there? What I was getting at was you could very easily imagine that I was talking about the U.S. No, we haven’t experienced 15 years of ZIRP, of a 2-decade economic funk.. YET! Gold really hasn’t moved much since the initial jump higher after the Debt Deal last week. I really thought that with the market participants now knowing that the U.S. was going to continue down the road to ruins, that Gold would take off to higher ground. It did. but hasn’t added to those initial gains. I told you last week, that now that the Debt Debacle was kicked down the road, that the focus would return to the Taper Capers. You know, whether or not the Fed Heads will begin to Taper or not. I say, “NOT YET”. The Gov’t shutdown probably saw to the delay in Tapering. But I guess the Gold buyers want confirmation of that. And I guess we’ll see confirmation of the delay next week, as the Fed Heads get together for a pre-Halloween meeting on October 30th. Let’s hope the Fed Heads don’t think that a good scare would be fun! But should the Fed Heads confirm the delay, as I expect them to do, I would think that Gold would get back to adding to its gains, but that’s 9 days away.. And remember, even though, I kept talking about the risks of the Fed Heads not tapering being in the markets, I thought Big Ben would make an announcement that tapering was beginning last September, and that was wrong. The U.S. data cupboard gets back to giving us economic prints this week, now that the Gov’t is “back to work”. I say that facetiously of course! The first data print will be the Jobs Jamboree for September that will print tomorrow! Then Retail Sales on Wednesday, and so on. The week will be chock-full-o-data. I actually thought it was quite nice not having trumped up data and cooked books thrown at us these past two + weeks. The “experts” have had a couple of extra weeks to research the Jobs Jamboree, and they have come up with a forecast of 180,000 jobs created in September, and the Unemployment Rate remaining at 7.3%… Me? I really don’t care, for the numbers are all trumped up, massaged and cooked to make you feel better. I prefer to look at the Avg Hourly Earnings, the Avg Weekly Hours Worked, and the Participation Rate. Before I head to the Big Finish. My friend, Ed, sent me this on Friday, and I thought it to be “True” that I just had to put it here for it is exactly how I view life. From John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” For What It’s Worth. I found this interview with Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management LP over at KingWorldnews.com and I found it to be interesting, in that he is saying the same stuff I’ve said for years now, so it’s nice to see a billionaire like Mr. Sprott come around to my way of thinking! Here’s Eric Sprott. “We’ve had so many false starts (and promises) — ‘The economy is going to be great in 2010,’ and it’s not. ‘It’s going to be great in 2011, 2012, 2013,’ and it’s not. Now, they are already talking about it being ‘great in 2014.’ But we are actually regressing, even though they (central planners) don’t want to admit it, because the numbers are all manipulated in one way or another. It will happen that gold will be accepted as the asset to back a (major) currency. And the currency with the most gold behind it, which I suspect is already the Chinese yuan, and growing rapidly, will be the dominant currency going forward. Of course this doesn’t portend well for all of the central planners currencies. They (the Chinese) are doing the smart thing by buying real physical assets. So I guess the best way of putting it is, just follow the Chinese, my friend, and you are going to be OK here.” Chuck again. You can read the whole interview by clicking here if you want. One more thing I found interesting in this interview. Sprott was talking about the suppression of the Gold & Silver price, and said, “it is staggering to think that demand (for gold) is twice (global) mine production. It’s almost unimaginable.” To recap. The most important things for today is that the Cardinals are in the World Series, and my Missouri Tigers are #5 in the country! OK. Markets wise. the sell dollar bias remains, but has settled down a bit, as the markets wait for the FOMC meeting next week, and get a look at the economic data that will begin to print again this week. Norway and Sweden central banks will meet this week, and lay the groundwork for rate hikes in 2014, and the euro continues to gain reversing the trade that existed when the disruptions resided in the Eurozone. The disruptions now reside in the U.S. Currencies today 10/21/13. American Style: A$ .9670, kiwi .8460, C$ .9710, euro 1.3675, sterling 1.6150, Swiss $1.1070, . European Style: rand 9.8450, krone 5.9225, SEK 6.4340, forint 214.75, zloty 3.0605, koruna 18.85, RUB 31.88, yen 98.15, sing 1.2410, HKD 7.7530, INR 61.51, China 6.1352, pesos 12.85, BRL 2.1745, Dollar Index 79.71, Oil $100.05, 10-year 2.59%, Silver $22.17, Platinum $1,439.90, Palladium $744.00, and Gold.. $1,317.92 That’s it for today. Wow! The World Series! This is our 4th trip to the World Series in the past 10 years. No! I’m not bragging! I’m just saying. Boy was I off a week last Friday, when I talked about Homecoming at Mizzou. It wasn’t last weekend, it’s this coming weekend, and it looks like the family is going! YAHOO! Alex gave it his best on Saturday, but wasn’t able to come up with an individual medal at the swimming invitational. I watched the Game 6 NLCS Clinching win with friends at a local watering hole last Friday night. We had a blast cheering and high fiving, and enjoying the win. Steely Dan is playing, My Old School right now, great song! And with that, I thank you for reading the Pfennig, and Hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837