Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/13 - 2011 Gold Lessons, The Year Of The Yo-Yo, Economic Collapse Sends Greeks Back To The Land

Friday, January 13, 2012, 11:48 AM


  • Lawrence Lessig: On America's Lost Ability to Govern, Legalized Corruption, our Broken Republic, and How to Approach Fixing It

  • Lessons Learned From Gold In 2011

  • The Year Of The Yo-Yo

  • MF Global May Not Be Able to Pay Clients Back: Trustee

  • Foreigners Sell Record $85 Billion In Treasurys In 6 Consecutive Weeks - Time To Get Concerned?

  • The U.S. Dollar Paper Tiger

  • Leaked documents reveal US diplomats actually work for Monsanto

  • Peak Oil's Effect on Gasoline Prices in 2012

  • How the Sunflower can Revolutionise Solar Power Plants

  • With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land

  • Corn Is Now Too Precious For Ethanol Subsidies

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Economy



Lawrence Lessig: On America's Lost Ability to Govern, Legalized Corruption, our Broken Republic, and How to Approach Fixing It (Jaime)


There is a feeling today among Americans that we might not make it. The feeling of inevitability of American greatness is gone... that we have become Britain or Rome or Greece. A generation ago, Reagan rallied the nation to deny a similar charge by Jimmy Carter. Reagan was right. But it is different today. Not that we as a people have lost anything of our potential. But we as a Republic have.



Lessons Learned From Gold In 2011 (David B.)


September watched gold plummet by nearly 9% and spooked investors from the once popular safe haven. Though the metal was able to slightly recover in October and November, the final month of 2011 watched prices fall as low as $1,530/oz. creating an interesting opportunity to buy in to the metal.



The Year Of The Yo-Yo (jdargis)


Traders and professional money managers don’t seem to have any real clue about what’s going to happen, either. You might think that volatility would allow people with superior information and market sense to get ahead. But last year money managers did a very poor job of playing the market. According to estimates made by Goldman Sachs, as of the last week in December seventy-two per cent of core large-cap mutual funds had underperformed their market indexes. The average stock-market mutual fund was down almost three per cent for the year. And hedge-fund managers, who are supposed to thrive on volatility, did even worse, with hedge funds that focus on stocks falling more than seven per cent. Strikingly, some of the biggest flops came from superstars: Bruce Berkowitz, whom Morningstar named one of the money managers of the past decade, saw his flagship fund fall more than thirty per cent; the hedge-fund manager John Paulson, whose bet against mortgage-backed securities a few years ago has been called “the greatest trade ever,” saw one of his funds drop nearly fifty per cent.



MF Global May Not Be Able to Pay Clients Back: Trustee (June C.)


Giddens and his team of lawyers said they may not be able to make another mass transfer of funds above the roughly $3.8 billion they have already paid out. That figure represents about 72 percent of the total money held in customer accounts when the firm went under, leaving many customers still thousands or millions of dollars out of pocket.



Foreigners Sell Record $85 Billion In Treasurys In 6 Consecutive Weeks - Time To Get Concerned? (pinecarr)


Last week, when we pointed out what was then a record $77 billion in Treasury sales from the Fed's custody account, in addition to noting the patently obvious, namely that contrary to what one hears in the media, foreigners are offloading US paper hand over first, there was this little tidbit: "The question is what they are converting the USD into, and how much longer will the go on for: the last thing the US can afford is a wholesale dumping of its Treasurys. Because as the chart below vividly demonstrates, the traditional diagonal rise in foreign holdings of US paper has not only pleateaued, but it is in fact declining: a first in the history of the post-globalization world."



The U.S. Dollar Paper Tiger (pinecarr)


The U.S. Dollar is due for some extreme shocks. Some might not think so, given the Euro depression in sentiment and the rattling of big European banks. Word has come that in late February and late March, some important adjustment events are due to kick in, enough to knock over the tables in the temple. Conjecture is wide open and ripe for imagination. For the U.S. Dollar to continue its catbird post in global trade is inconceivable. The elite controllers will do their best to keep the U.S. Dollar in its dominant post. But the rest of the world, especially on its Eastern locales, is working in the other direction.



Leaked documents reveal US diplomats actually work for Monsanto (dons)


The undying support of key players within the U.S. towards Monsanto is undeniably made clear not only in this release, but in the legislative decisions taken by organizations such as the FDA and USDA. Legislative decisions such as allowing Monsanto's synthetic hormone Posilac (rBGH) to be injected into U.S. cows despite being banned in 27 countries. How did Monsanto pull this off?


The biotech juggernaut managed to infiltrate the FDA positions responsible for the approval of rBGH, going as far as instating the company's own Margaret Miller as Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative Services. After assuming this position, Miller reviewed her own report on the safety and effectiveness of rBGH.


Energy



Peak Oil's Effect on Gasoline Prices in 2012 (James S.)


Cognizant of the fact that retail gasoline is currently running nearly 30 cents per gallon higher than it was in January 2008 the year when prices topped out at a national average of $4.11 and that gasoline futures have risen by 30 cents a gallon in the last few weeks, there is reason for concern. Typical of the stories is one from the Los Angeles Times that quotes Tom Kloza, long-time chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service and the go-to guy when one needs numbers and forecasts on gasoline prices.



How the Sunflower can Revolutionise Solar Power Plants (James S.)


The petals of a sunflower are arranged in a special spiral pattern commonly found in nature and known as a Fermat Spiral, a design that has fascinated mathematicians for centuries. Each petal is turned at a “magical” angle of 137 degrees with respects to its neighbour. This has allowed the “footprint” to be further reduced up to 20% of the original PS10; but even better, the spiral pattern reduces the actual number of heliostats needed and the shading they cast on one another, increasing the total efficiency of sunlight reflection. The researchers published their results in the journal Solar Energy, and have recently filed for patent protection.


Environment



With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land (jdargis)


“When I call my friends and relatives in Athens, they tell me there’s no hope, everything is going from bad to worse,” Ms. Tricha said on a recent afternoon, as she walked through her greenhouse, where thousands of snails lumbered along on rows of damp wooden boards. “So I think our choice was good.”


 



Corn Is Now Too Precious For Ethanol Subsidies (David B.)


As for the price of corn in the future, Matt Hartwig, spokesperson for the Renewable Fuels Association, stated, “We don’t expect the price of corn to fall or rise just because the tax incentive goes away. We will produce the same amount of ethanol in 2012 as 2011, if not more.”


Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

16 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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livsez
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Taxpayer Money For Mortgages; More Foreclosures in 2012

 http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2012/01/taxpayer-money-for-mortgages-more.html

I need to unload two huge sources of irritation today based on reports that I guarantee you will not be presented on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN etc.  

I sourced these from an excellent source for housing market news, http://www.housingwire.com/.  I mentioned the other day that FRE had implemented a program to enable those without a job to go for up to 12 months without making a mortgage payment.  While the thought of this is nice, make no mistake,  the expense of this will be funded by you, the Taxpayer.  Now Fannie Mae has implemented the same program.  And, all you need for the first six months is a phone call to your mortgage servicer.  Here's the LINK

So now, if you lose your job, you can get jobless benefits for up to 2 1/2 years and if you have a Fannie or Freddie funded mortgage you can live in your home for free for 12 months.  Maybe in Tim Tebow's spiritually ideal world of charity for anyone in need this is a great way to run society.  But the expense of both the jobless claims and the housing welfare is something that our country and taxpayer base just can not afford.  But just like the $278 million per hour that the Obama Government borrows every day, why not spend now to get votes and worry about paying for it later.  This mortgage "forbearance" program is nothing more than another layer being added to the  Government's welfare State.

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rjs
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France downgraded

France Downgraded by S&P, Others Set to Follow: Reports

"The consequence (if France is downgraded) is that the EFSF cannot keep its triple-A rating," said

Poet's picture
Poet
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Italian Couple Double Suicide, Dedicated To Silvio Berlusconi

'We Dedicate Our Deaths To Silvio Berlusconi': Italian couple ruined by economic crisis commit suicide in hotel room after writing to former PM
"A desperate Italian couple dedicated their double suicide to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - who 'ignored their pleas for help'. Salvatore De Salvo, 64, and his wife Antonia Azzolini, 69, killed themselves on Sunday after losing their home, jobs and dignity due to the crippling economic crisis. Their tragic end came after letters to Berlusconi and top regional politicians in the southern region of Puglia were not replied to."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086085/Italian-couple-ruined-economic-crisis-commit-suicide-hotel-room.html

Poet

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trwiley
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How the Sunflower can Revolutionise Solar Power Plants

DailyDigest wrote:


How the Sunflower can Revolutionise Solar Power Plants
(James S.)

The petals of a sunflower are arranged in a special spiral pattern commonly found in nature and known as a Fermat Spiral, a design that has fascinated mathematicians for centuries. Each petal is turned at a “magical” angle of 137 degrees with respects to its neighbour. This has allowed the “footprint” to be further reduced up to 20% of the original PS10; but even better, the spiral pattern reduces the actual number of heliostats needed and the shading they cast on one another, increasing the total efficiency of sunlight reflection. The researchers published their results in the journal Solar Energy, and have recently filed for patent protection.

How can someone patent and own a pattern found in nature? Tell me again how our monetary system and private ownership doesn't impede human progress?

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Nate
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livsez wrote:  Maybe in Tim

livsez wrote:

Maybe in Tim Tebow's spiritually ideal world of charity for anyone in need this is a great way to run society. 

Don't think so -  read Thessalonians 3:10

Nate's picture
Nate
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Corn precious?

Corn is too precious for ethanol subsidies?   Iowa top soil is to precious for corn and beans.

Nate

rjs's picture
rjs
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LPS on delinquent homeowners

livsez wrote:

 http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2012/01/taxpayer-money-for-mortgages-more.html

I sourced these from an excellent source for housing market news, http://www.housingwire.com/.  I mentioned the other day that FRE had implemented a program to enable those without a job to go for up to 12 months without making a mortgage payment.  While the thought of this is nice, make no mistake,  the expense of this will be funded by you, the Taxpayer.  Now Fannie Mae has implemented the same program.  And, all you need for the first six months is a phone call to your mortgage servicer.  Here's the LINK

So now, if you lose your job, you can get jobless benefits for up to 2 1/2 years and if you have a Fannie or Freddie funded mortgage you can live in your home for free for 12 months. 

the banks have been letting people stay in their houses without paying, too... last week LPS (lender processing services) reported on delinquent mortgages & those in foreclosure for November …the total homeowners delinquent or in foreclosure for the month was 6,260,000…given as a delinquency rate, 8.15% of mortgagees, or about 1 in 12 were not paying on their mortgages and had not yet been foreclosed on; an additional 4.16% of homeowners were already in the foreclosure processforeclosure starts dropped sharply in november, down nearly 30 percent from october, ...42% of those who were in foreclosure had been there for more than 24 months without action, up from 40% last month, and average number of days that homeowners in foreclosure had gone without making a house payment also set a new record of 645 days…

here's the LPS press releasethe report (PDF)

btw, most indications regarding extending unemployment rations seem to be heading towards reducing the total stipend available in the worst hit states from 99 weeks to 79 weeks...

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TheSilverJournal.com
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US in Worse Shape than Europe

The US has more total debt and has a worse economy than Europe. Here's Peter Schiff on why the US is in Worse Shape than Europe.

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ezlxq1949
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How can someone patent and own a pattern found in nature?

Quote:
How can someone patent and own a pattern found in nature? Tell me again how our monetary system and private ownership doesn't impede human progress?

In the same way that "they" can patent the human genome and parts thereof.

In our world, whose loveliness goes on and on, trade and commerce are more important than life itself.

Poet's picture
Poet
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Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Emerges In India

Forget the gold. How's your antibiotics storage plan and quarantine protocols?

Totally Drug-Resistant TB Emerges In India (January 13, 2012)
"Physicians in India have identified a form of incurable tuberculosis there, raising further concerns over increasing drug resistance to the disease1. Although reports call this latest form a “new entity”, researchers suggest that it is instead another development in a long-standing problem. The discovery makes India the third country in which a completely drug-resistant form of the disease has emerged, following cases documented in Italy in 2007 and Iran in 2009."
http://www.nature.com/news/totally-drug-resistant-tb-emerges-in-india-1....

Poet

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Damnthematrix
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Full-Blown Civil War Erupts On Wall Street

Full-Blown Civil War Erupts On Wall Street – Financial Elite Start Turning On Each Other

Reality Finally Hits The Financial Elite As They Start Turning On Each Other

By David DeGraw - ampedstatus.org

Finally, after trillions in fraudulent activity, trillions in bailouts, trillions in printed money, billions in political bribing and billions in bonuses, the criminal cartel members on Wall Street are beginning to get what they deserve. As the Eurozone is coming apart at the seams and as the US economy grinds to a halt, the financial elite are starting to turn on each other. The lawsuits are piling up fast. Here’s an extensive roundup:

Time to put your Big Bank shorts on! Get ready for a run… The chickens are coming home to roost… The Global Banking Cartel’s crimes are being exposed left & right… Prepare for Shock & Awe…

Well, well… here’s your Shock & Awe:

First up, this shockingly huge $196 billion lawsuit just filed against 17 major banks on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bank of America is severely exposed in this lawsuit. As the parent company of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch they are on the hook for $57.4 billion. JP Morgan is next in the line of fire with $33 billion. And many death spiraling European banks are facing billions in losses as well.

 

FHA Files a $196 Billion Lawsuit Against 17 Banks

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), today filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions, certain of their officers and various unaffiliated lead underwriters. The suits allege violations of federal securities laws and common law in the sale of residential private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) to the Enterprises.

Complaints have been filed against the following lead defendants, in alphabetical order:

1. Ally Financial Inc. f/k/a GMAC, LLC – $6 billion
2. Bank of America Corporation – $6 billion
3. Barclays Bank PLC – $4.9 billion
4. Citigroup, Inc. – $3.5 billion
5. Countrywide Financial Corporation -$26.6 billion
6. Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc. – $14.1 billion
7. Deutsche Bank AG – $14.2 billion
8. First Horizon National Corporation – $883 million
9. General Electric Company – $549 million
10. Goldman Sachs & Co. – $11.1 billion
11. HSBC North America Holdings, Inc. – $6.2 billion
12. JPMorgan Chase & Co. – $33 billion
13. Merrill Lynch & Co. / First Franklin Financial Corp. – $24.8 billion
14. Morgan Stanley – $10.6 billion
15. Nomura Holding America Inc. – $2 billion
16. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC – $30.4 billion
17. Société Générale – $1.3 billion

These complaints were filed in federal or state court in New York or the federal court in Connecticut. The complaints seek damages and civil penalties under the Securities Act of 1933, similar in content to the complaint FHFA filed against UBS Americas, Inc. on July 27, 2011. In addition, each complaint seeks compensatory damages for negligent misrepresentation. Certain complaints also allege state securities law violations or common law fraud. [read full FHFA release]

You can read the suits filed against each individual bank here. For some more information read Bloomberg: BofA, JPMorgan Among 17 Banks Sued by U.S. for $196 Billion. Noticeably absent from the list of companies being sued is Wells Fargo.

And the suits just keep coming…

<MORE>

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guardia
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Re: Full-Blown Civil War Erupts On Wall Street

Mike, this is news from September. Anything "happened" from that? It just looks like they figured it wouldn't be a good idea to go down that road anyway, or the poor FHA directors got some backstage "settlements" or something... ?

Poet's picture
Poet
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The Powers That Be Aren't Even Tempesting In A Teapot

Mike

I believe this had something to do with not letting the statute of limitations expire. That said, I don't think it's much of a whoop-de-do, considering these banks got much MUCH in TARP money and likely could easily pay the amount sued for by borrowing from the Fed's discount window, buying two-year Treasuries, and getting a "refund anticipation loan" to cover it.

Poet

Damnthematrix wrote:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), today filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions, certain of their officers and various unaffiliated lead underwriters. The suits allege violations of federal securities laws and common law in the sale of residential private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) to the Enterprises.

Complaints have been filed against the following lead defendants, in alphabetical order:

1. Ally Financial Inc. f/k/a GMAC, LLC – $6 billion
2. Bank of America Corporation – $6 billion
3. Barclays Bank PLC – $4.9 billion
4. Citigroup, Inc. – $3.5 billion
5. Countrywide Financial Corporation -$26.6 billion
6. Credit Suisse Holdings (USA), Inc. – $14.1 billion
7. Deutsche Bank AG – $14.2 billion
8. First Horizon National Corporation – $883 million
9. General Electric Company – $549 million
10. Goldman Sachs & Co. – $11.1 billion
11. HSBC North America Holdings, Inc. – $6.2 billion
12. JPMorgan Chase & Co. – $33 billion
13. Merrill Lynch & Co. / First Franklin Financial Corp. – $24.8 billion
14. Morgan Stanley – $10.6 billion
15. Nomura Holding America Inc. – $2 billion
16. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC – $30.4 billion
17. Société Générale – $1.3 billion

Josey's picture
Josey
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Re:Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Emerges In India

As the article states, it's not really new but a problem that's been getting progressively worse in certain areas and unfortunately your antibiotic storage would probably be of little use against these strains. It's also worth worrying about that our antibiotic development is far out-paced by the speed of resistence. But thank God we're pouring all that money into hair loss and erectile disfunction.

One of my worries about civil unrest and governmental collapse is that infected inviduals will begin to travel without notification and stop taking their medications. We saw this with Katrina where the health department lost track of infected people during evacuation and they didn't check in with the health department in their new location. If there weren't people actively searching them out then it could have resulted in spread. If there wasn't a health department, then there would be no such people and if there's a governmental collapse, then there's no health department. Of course, the same thing could happen with certain viral infections. Classic refugee problem (hey, I was one of those refugees, so don't give me a hard time about the word).

Good article, Poet. Thanks for sharing.

Josey

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saxplayer00o1
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JPMorgan could lose $5 billion from PIIGS exposure: report

JPMorgan could lose $5 billion from PIIGS exposure: report

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