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Is Gold Volatility The Cheapest Event-Risk Hedge?

Tyler Durden's picture


With the plethora of mounting event risks, from the end of Operation Twist to numerous elections, the possibility of QE3, the US fiscal situation, the ECB/Bundesbank battle, and China's on-again-off-again economy, it seems finding a low cost long volatility 'bet' is the best way to gather some macro protection (aside from total liquidation that is). Earlier, we noted how expensive S&P 500 implied volatility had become relative to its realized vol - suggesting that being long S&P vol is not a low-cost option. However, as Barclays points out, GLD (and slightly less so SLV) is among the cheapest (defined based on percentiles of implied vol over realized vol) volatilities available. SPY vol is trading at a 60% premium to its realized vol while GLD is trading at a 20% discount. While the main risk to being long GLD volatility is a continued drift lower in realized vol, the current realized volatility is near the lower-end of its empirical range and there appear to be a number of catalysts, as we noted above, for gold (or hard assets in general) to break from its range-bound YTD performance in price and volatility (either up - more likely in our view - or down).


The lower pane shows the relative discount (or premium) of implied vol to realized vol for GLD - currently at a 20% discount which has historically been a relative extreme (though we have been here for a few months as the range-bound market plays out). The upper pane shows what happened last year with price (green) and implied/realized volatility (black/orange) as events started to unfold mid-year.


And across asset-classes, Barclays notes GLD, SLV, and TLT volatility looks 'cheap' while XLP, XLK, XLV, and SPY appear relatively rich (in terms of implied vol)...


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Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:32 | 2368959 CURWAR2012
CURWAR2012's picture

Buy VXX in May then sell it in early December after QE3


Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:59 | 2368999 flacon
flacon's picture

Can someone provide me with a GREEN PILL that puts me to sleep for the next FIVE YEARS? Seriously... once you are loaded up on the shiny stuff (white and yellow) then just fugadaboutit! 

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:16 | 2369024 mt paul
mt paul's picture

long in hand silver


tell me about it 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 08:05 | 2369332 midtowng
midtowng's picture

The question is: what the fuck is wrong with the miners?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:01 | 2369004 Desert Irish
Desert Irish's picture

If there's a QE III it will be well proir to the November elections....

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:03 | 2369010 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

SLV all the way! When the GSR tightens, since silver is actually used for industry much more, this bet will drive hard up again like run ups #1 circa Hunt Bros. and #2 of late.


COMEX can fuck itself they won't be able to stop this 3rd run.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:41 | 2369052 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture


In hand (or at least PSLV) or fuck off.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 01:54 | 2369139 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

Why would anyone clear a trade through DTCC to buy PSLV when actual metal holds room temperature quite well?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 06:38 | 2369250 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

Its for people who have money tied up in funds or 401Ks and are only allowed to purchase via the equity markets...

I long thought the same thing; now you know too

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 01:10 | 2369121 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

what if VXX just keeps going up as SPY/DIA roll over and SLV doesn't move up all that much? What if the GSR has already seen its best days as central banks buy gold tons at a time literally and ignore silver? One day a global currency could be gold-backed ... SILVER? I think not. Could be wrong but... how much you want to bet on that?

I say stack what suits you best & take your paper profits while you can using Options and carefully chosen stop-loss targets.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:35 | 2368965 duo
duo's picture

Yup. I don't even bother checking the gold price anymore when I wake up.  No matter what, the miners will be down. 

Move along, this is not the wealth preservation vehicle you're looking for.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:02 | 2369009 Stackers
Stackers's picture

3 words. No Counterparty Risk. Yes it is the wealth preservation vehicle you are looking for. Paper derivative leveraged assets traded in an algo manipulated (cough, cough) "market" are not the wealth preservation vehicles you are looking for.

In the age of MF Global. Hundreds of trillions in derivative counter party risk keeping ones "liquid" assets in shiney lumps of barbous metal is the only safety there is.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:12 | 2369282 duo
duo's picture

I was being sarcastic, a la MDB

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:06 | 2369012 defencev
defencev's picture

Here is my concrete suggestion for Ron Paul which, in my opinion, can make Gold bugs really happy. Presuming that Romney is GOP nominee, Ron Paul can pledge not to run as a third party candidate in exchange of Romney pledge to abolish capital gains on PM trades. What it will accomplish? It will finally allow various Goldbugs in this country to start various barter arrangements with Gold (and Silver) as a media of exchange. That will surely start driving the price of the Gold (and other PM) up. If Romney agrees, he will also be able to attract (the healthiest IMHO) subset of supporters of Paul

to vote for him rather than (God forbid) for Obama.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:18 | 2369028 Zgangsta
Zgangsta's picture

The fatal flaw in that plan is relying on Romney to keep his word.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:35 | 2369045 defencev
defencev's picture

 I agree. There is a risk of flip flopping. Still, I would take my chances versus

Gold confiscation under Obama which is a sure thing in case of serious crisis IMHO.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:46 | 2369058 Zgangsta
Zgangsta's picture

Nobody can confiscate what they can't find.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 04:17 | 2369202 noses
noses's picture

Looking at Guantanamo seeing all the confiscated non-terrorists because they couldn't find terrorists shows that that "they" can find anything they want. I'm pretty convinced that even you will tell where all your gold is after a few days of their legal interrogation techniques, too. And using them on anyone they like sems to be explicitly permitted now.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:52 | 2369317 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I would not put it past them to hold a gun to your kid's head to make you tell them. After you do, they shoot you and your kid.

Keep Stackin' !

Watch Obeyme's eyes sometime. He is one stone cold rat fucker.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 04:37 | 2369211 defencev
defencev's picture

More precisely, nobody can confiscate something that goes not exist.

Or "Proletraiat has nothing to lose except for chains..." I understand where are you coming from from, Marxist rat...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 04:34 | 2369210 defencev
defencev's picture

All these pluses you got are from Obama supporters. I did not know that this website is slipping into Marxist outlet. But in the end of the day who wants to give up all these food stamps and other government handouts? I suspect that this is a bulk of posters over here...And , of course, they like to write about Gold but own nothing...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:24 | 2369290 prole
prole's picture

You're the only Obomney supporter I see on this thread with your bad (age three level) false dilemma self.

"If you don't help sink the Ron Paul campaign you are an Obomney supporter!" (oh, .forgot, therefore you are also a Marxist!)

Here is a hint for your empty head-- The upvotes he got were from people who have long noticed that there is absolutely no difference between Obaminable and Romnel. Why would you support one or the other of two equal evils?

One puts you on a cage on top of a car until you shiite yourself, the other just eats you.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:49 | 2369314 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

How about we elect a guy who doesn't want it?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:22 | 2369033 Hansel
Hansel's picture

I'd settle for gold not being taxed as a collectable.  To tax constitutional money at 28% is one of the most tyrannical scams going.

Also, your plan for Mitt to promise to do something after he is elected will probably work out about as well as "hope and change."

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:47 | 2369061 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

I thought you lost all your gold in a boating accident!

Some friends of mine, their father had some gold and died, and when they went looking for it, couldn't find it!  Said in his will he had buried it somewhere, and "Good luck finding it you little fuckers!".  They shrugged their shoulders and said "Dad always was eccentric.".  The estate took the loss.  Poor suckers...  They doubt it will EVER be found...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 03:16 | 2369184 Likstane
Likstane's picture

I still don't understand this payment of tax on gold or silver you people describe.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:34 | 2368966 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone!

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:35 | 2368967 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

GLD and SLV are nothing but paper leveraged at 100:1. 100 paper ounces of paper is backed by only one troy ounce of physical metal. Good Luck cashing in your GLD and SLV ounces when the SHTF.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:00 | 2369003 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

Yes, I would advise just buying the physical.  Then you KNOW it's yours.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:31 | 2369043 SV
SV's picture

Speaking of physical (heh heh), Jesse just updated his NAV premium charts again:

PHYS is a really low premium right now.  It's interesting if not symptomatic of an event (he was thinking offering) and I'm not sure what to read into it either with contracts ending/expiring this week.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:43 | 2369053 fuu
fuu's picture

Typical doomer tripe. Don't you have a blog to pimp?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:46 | 2369059 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:11 | 2369065 fuu
fuu's picture

Well then why don't you just pimp it instead of creating more bag holders? You sound like mosley.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:29 | 2369086 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

So what's your investment advice you stupid asshole?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:40 | 2369093 fuu
fuu's picture

Oh settle down BoP, just a little chat room fun.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:44 | 2369101 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Flash Mobs, bitchez!


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 02:26 | 2369158 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

a setup?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 02:54 | 2369175 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Bay, I invited everyone in Z Chat to ZH Flash Mob this post.  Weaker tuen-out than I had hoped!

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:09 | 2369509 fuu
fuu's picture

You know I love the silvers.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 01:06 | 2369119 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

EVERYONE is a bag-holder.

House. Car. Fuel. Food. Insurance. Gold. Silver. Paper cash. Contracts. Wages. Boat. Water supply.

Everything has a cost and every physical system has entropy.

You're fooling yourself if you think you're NOT a bag holder.

Some bags are less useful than others longer-term. Gold & silver are NOT that bag.

Most important... on a long enough timeline everyone's survival rate IS zero.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:46 | 2368981 Ima anal sphincter
Ima anal sphincter's picture

When I lay it all out on a table and everything hits with a "thud", I don't care what Kitco has to say. Did the Gold at $900 and Silver at $17. If I could, I'd buy more right now. It's just one small piece of artillery fighting the "man." Ya-never know though....with enough small hits, their wall might just come crumpling  down.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:47 | 2368985 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Central banks are buying physical gold.  Horse's [] mouth.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:50 | 2368988 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Hell ~ that's a 'sell the news' statement at face value...

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:43 | 2369056 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

You would have been selling for five years now.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 04:22 | 2369204 noses
noses's picture

I thought centrla banks were run by asses...

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:48 | 2368986 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

This is way off topic but,

April 23, 2012


The Fed Works for the Very Rich Why Paul Krugman is Full of Shit


by ROB URIE Late last week Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a piece on his NY Times blog that history will view as the best evidence to appear in at least several decades of the utter irrelevance of mainstream economics. The piece purported to respond to a Wall Street Journal editorial by Mark Spitznagel in which Mr. Spitznagel argued broadly the Austrian economists’ line that all government spending favors one group over another and more specifically that the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programs of recent years favor banks and the rich.

Mr. Krugman could have argued his New Keynesian shtick that government investment can prevent deflationary spirals in economic downturns and all would be as it was. Instead, he chose to argue (Plutocrats and Printing Presses –, an astonishing amount of evidence to the contrary, that Fed QE policies have not disproportionately benefited banks and the very rich and were in fact enacted against their wishes and interests.

The basis of his argument has two parts:

(1) conservative economists argue that QE is “printing money,” they also argue that printing money causes inflation, banks hate inflation (because loans get repaid in less valuable dollars), therefore banks opposed QE and

(2) that banks earn profits from the difference between long term interest rates and short term interest rates (NIM, or Net Interest Margin), QE has reduced this difference, therefore the banks have seen their profits fall from QE.

read the rest


Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:54 | 2368994 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"banks hate inflation (because loans get repaid in less valuable dollars), therefore banks opposed QE"

Inflate one hundred percent per year or one thousand percent.  It doesn't matter if you are given advance access to the excess cash so you can buy physical assets ahead of everyone else.   All of the bad loans are on the taxpayer side of the balance sheet.  

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 22:59 | 2369000 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

Considering the banks should all be dead since 3 years ago, I think that they are quite happy with the QE which has essentially inflated the banks stock price (boosting faith in the banks).... we are in a financial equity bubble thats bound to pop any day... lets face it... the only real asset banks have is... confidence, if people don't have confidence that JP Morgan is going to be there tomorrow shaking people down like thugs in the night , they wouldn't bother buying their stock and they would withdraw their money leaving them with an empty bag and a fist full of toilet paper.



Tech bubble -> pop, Housing bubble ->pop, equity bubble -> pop, ->gold (real assets/tulips) bubble -> pop -> new currency standard -> Tech bubble -> housing bubble -> pop, ->equity bubble -> pop.


History only repeats itself.


Technology is the only valuable investment for society long term.

Tech that

-Increasaes production of food, energy, clean water

-decreases manufacturing  costs.


That raises the standard of living of a society so even if your poor you will essentially be living better than a king in the Victorian age.


The problem is taxes, are too high and government spending is being squandered, the money should be left to the free market to choose what needs to be made.


If the govt was spending the money on something worthwhile like R&D on  the military side for new technologies that have potential implementation on the commercial side... it would be worth it... but they are wasting it on crap like solar panels, and keeping the good stuff classified, they have research on stuff that can help society but its buried in bureaucratic shit piles.




Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:00 | 2369001 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Okay. I'll just say it.

My take is that the banksters love them some obbama. If this is true then QE3 will not happen in an announced manner. Yes, the fed branch of the BIS will continue to monetize debt, it shall do so however in a stealth mode as the powers that be understand that open QE drives inflation and Gold/oil/gas higher in relative value.

 Temporary USD strength and the short term mirage of economic health that it will conjure is some powerful voodoo. Maybe even enough to get the crony capitalist wet dream a second term?

Yeah, I get it. Romney is plan B.

Plan A is so attractive as to make it worth the shot.

obama is the perfect template president. I wager that they will go all in to gift him a second term.

All else considered, Pump prices will play a role and further open devaluation of the USD might be enough to bring their poseur down. Strong dollar will make him look good.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:08 | 2369017 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Romney is a banker.  The bankers love Obama because the Red Team hates Obama.  Fox News convinces most of the Red Team he is a Marxist, and that the bankers are not to blame for the crisis.  Best for Obama to win so they can keep blaming Marxists.  Corzine is the latest example of how the oligarchs use Obama to convince the Red Team that they just need to elect a good banker to fix things.   Corzine is a banker, but he supported Obama so he must be the problem.   Carrying the metaphor:  The people that run this country are the NFL.  Do you think the NFL cares if New England or Dallas or Denver wins the next superbowl?  Just so long as people keep watching and rooting for their team....

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:13 | 2369082 Biosci
Biosci's picture

+1.  That is an excellent analogy.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:31 | 2369299 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

When was the last time Dallas ever won a SuperBowl? (or playoff game that matter)?...

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:40 | 2369307 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Soros: "Watch what happens when I press this button."

Corzine: "He starts walking!"

Soros: "Now watch the straw and white powder."


Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:02 | 2369008 Hallpass2012
Hallpass2012's picture

when you are off the gold standard, every second is a buying opportunity... those clowns will never de-lever the system, if they decide to tax anymore through inflation or rates they will kill any business who has survived this far...

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:36 | 2369046 UTICA CLUB XX PURE

I buy from my street-wise coin dealer. I pay with after tax fiat cash. He hands me US coinage junk silver / Silver 90% Copper 10%. I know his first name "Pat," he know's my first name "Billy." Uncle Sam don't know dick...


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:43 | 2369297 prole
prole's picture

I thought you were down 45% on your PSLV, sounded like you were all in on that and needed us to pray for you?

Oh- and kind of confusing how Uncle Shmuel doesn't know about your 401K, or how or why you would want to hide that?

As for me I follow all laws, stay out of prison and maintain my pristine clear criminal record.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:06 | 2369054 Paul Atreides
Paul Atreides's picture

GLD and SLV are nothing more then a paper IOU, a banks promise to pay rehypothicated over and over. Anyone playing this game of musical chairs given the current state of the worlds finances is just asking to loose a seat along with their money.

We are fast approaching a post US dollar world and the most intelligent thing to do RIGHT NOW is stack high quality physical gold and silver. I know that some ZHers would say stack all silver and I am going to post a few videos on why because I agree with the wisdom behind them but I personally don't like all my eggs on one basket.

The Silver Bullet And The Silver Shield ~ The Heretic presents Chris Duane's The Silver Bullet And The Silver Shield.

Silver is The Achilles' Heel to the Entire Economic System ~ David Morgan and BrotherJohnF



Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:51 | 2369063 Dusty
Dusty's picture

Obummer was raised a Marxist, his family were marxist, his friends were marxist, he's a marxist. Also a muslim, if anybody cares. The press obviously doesn't.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:14 | 2369083 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

He's CIA and so was his family.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:20 | 2369286 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Yeah, how is it that all the mohammedans in the Middle East know that he's a mohammedan, but most 'mericans can't quite figure that one out?!  Marxist too, with a healthy dose of opportunist thrown in -but I guess that that's redundant.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:36 | 2369304 prole
prole's picture

If he is so damn mohamedan as you claim, can you explain why he is bombing eh murdering so many mohammedans in the ME? If he is so mohammedan as you claim sir, can you explain to me why he dances to a Yiddisha jig? and why pray tell good fellow does he send the chosen people so many bombs for their fighter planes for free no less so they can kill Mohammedan and Christian Palestinians in Gaza... Kind of a funny thing for a mohammedan to be doing?? But you are much smarter than I so I'm sure you can explain that?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 08:20 | 2369356 HellFish
HellFish's picture

Don't confuse tactics with strategy.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:54 | 2369067 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Paper GOLD and Silver...!

Too fucking funny.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:09 | 2369080 jomama
jomama's picture

while shooting the shit in the sauna at the local Y with a bunch of codgers, i made my case for Au/Ag to an allegedly affluent older dude.

he asked me what was the maximum one could take delivery on.  i was at a loss. 

anyone know the largest order that can be delivered from say, APMEX?  or from your local coin shop?

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:36 | 2369091 virgule
virgule's picture

I'd wager as mush as they have in stock, which can vary quite a bit. If you don't mind waiting a few days and going through some technical hassle, you can also buy gold at and take delivery of physical by yourself. For "large orders" they even accept special direct enquiries ;-)

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 03:22 | 2369189 Likstane
Likstane's picture

I knowed a dude that bagged 40 Krugs at APMEX just before his Coleman hit a rock in the surf.  Poor guy was never the same after that. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:31 | 2369087 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

Maxwell Emery: Listen me out! Money, capital, has a life of its own. It's a force of the nature like gravity, like the oceans, it flows where it wants to flow. This whole thing with the Arabs and gold is inevitable, we're just going with the tide. The only question is whether you wanna let it go like an unguided missile and raise hell or whether you wanna keep it in the hands of responsible people, keep it channable, keep it quiet.

Ill bet anything this is described daily behind doors, play dumb as usual, sedate the markets so its business as usual, or countries blues, out of 196 on earth, they think if it isnt us, then it doesnt exist.  Out of sight out of mind..  One degree every few weeks, and black the media out for pesky thorns in your side. curtains indeed.

It seems to be obsessed with 11's or things that add to 11. very strange, pay me no mind.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 00:59 | 2369112 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

For those liking options I'd say getting Strangles for FAS, GLD, JPM time > 90 days is probably quite helpful.

Heck, just for fun replace that FAS put with FAZ call.

For those really liking to hold shares into a trade faz & vxx are quite heavily biased to the market rolling over but it is giving the appearance of rolling over. If you can afford it, that's some nice gains.

Gold is not long off from having another meteoric rise so for those that don't mind holding GLD shares it might be time to start easing in with the understanding the next time gold spot > 1900 you'll unload either at a nice target or with a nice safe stop-loss price you can live with.

As ever, if you aren't stacking actual metals you either don't get it, or your stack is big enough already.

I can easily see gold hitting 2400 to 2700 by end of year.

TSX HUG (horizons beta pro) also is like GLD and has a low share price & small bid-ask spread. HGU 2x ETF from Horizons has a very low share price & ranges 1x to 1.88x to the upside when gold rises. Can be ugly to the downside however. Over some time spans that's a 5.67x multiplier to the downside. Wonderful if you've got Puts or short but otherwise someone will cry.


Tue, 04/24/2012 - 02:41 | 2369168 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Many say gold will go up.  Here's and elliott wave count that says down.


Why?  Because the USD says up.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 03:17 | 2369185 AgShaman
AgShaman's picture

Pretty Cheap Insurance....

...and I'm a f**kin' Piker

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 03:28 | 2369192 Silversem
Silversem's picture

Whatever gold will do shortterm, it will go up longterm. That is why i own junior goldmining stocks for the long term and trade gold and silver with cfd's short term.

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:35 | 2369303 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Also don't forget (if you are long) what Harvey Organ told Martensen about China.

The Chicoms are advising their own people to go physical.

It's going up, it's just a question of when. Right now, I'm buying.

Keep Stackin' !

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 11:54 | 2370146 prole
prole's picture

Um .. what are "Chicoms?" Are you perhaps referring to the country which is now more free and more Capitalist than us, while we go Commie all the way? If anyone asks your nationality do you answer "Americom?"

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