Daily Digest 1/20 - Debt Supercycle Reaches Final Chapter, Letters From Detroit, The Hand Behind Wall St. Bonuses
- The Debt Supercycle Reaches Its Final Chapter
- World Bank; Warning Signs That We Should Prepare For The Worst
- Letters From Detroit
- China's economic growth slows to 8.9% in fourth quarter
- As Further Sanctions Loom, Plunge in Currency’s Value Unsettles Iran
- Ron Paul Hates The Federal Reserve But Loves Gold
- The Invisible Hand Behind Bonuses On Wall Street
- Scotland Well on the Way to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy by 2020
- How Will The Economy Fare If High Oil Prices Continue?
A graphic depiction of this Debt Supercycle can be seen below. As of this writing, outstanding U.S. federal debt is close to $15.3 trillion dollars. For the first time in my lifetime US federal debt now exceeds U.S. GDP. In personal terms each U.S. citizen now owes $180,559.
When this crisis is over, all sorts of people are going to be running around claiming that they predicted it. But it does not take a genius to see what is coming. All you have to do is open up your eyes and look at the flashing red warning signs.
So what should we all be looking for next?
Letters From Detroit (jdargis)
The city used to require its employees to live inside Detroit, but the law was controversially repealed in 1999, which led to massive suburban flight among emergency responders and other city employees. The current mayor, David Bing, has an initiative called “Project 14” to lure police to live in the city again with massive subsidies (“14” is police code for “return to normal operations”). Bing argues that having police live inside city neighborhoods bulwarks safety. Detroit police who live in the suburbs counter that the city — with its high insurance rates, limited services, and poor school options — is a very difficult place to raise a family.
Tuesday's data showed that real estate investment in China rose 27.9% in 2011, down from an annual growth rate of 29.9% between January and November, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
A report in Iran’s state-run news media that the government had decided to suspend trading relations with the United Arab Emirates in retaliation for that country’s support of American sanctions on Iran — denied later by Iran’s vice president — apparently contributed to a rush by Iranian merchants and trading companies to sell their rials for other currencies. The United Arab Emirates is a major gateway for Iran’s exports.
However, whatever is done to a fiat currency can be done to any replacement. If the US dollar were replaced by gold or a basket of commodities, that too could easily be manipulated by the public or private sectors.
This year’s bonus season, which began in late December and will continue until February at some companies, is expected to be the worst for industry employees since 2008, as regulatory measures and economic uncertainty have cut deeply into profits and made pay pools smaller.
Whilst renewable energy is the sector, the Scots are focussing their efforts on offshore wind farms. This will be hugely helped by the recently declared partnership with Masdar, the Abu Dhabi clean energy company. The pooled resources of both institutions will be used to research and advance clean technology development. Salmond acknowledged that "the costs of offshore wind will have to be reduced by 20% to be competitive,” as will the costs of efficiently transporting electricity over long distances. But the aim is clear; the commercialisation of offshore wind farms. It is the big prize, and will give Scotland a strong foothold in one of the most promising industries of the future; which could reportedly be worth $30 billion. Needless to say, Scotland’s hopes are as high as their ambitions.
Another issue is that we have built millions of miles of electrical transmission, oil and gas pipelines, water and sewer pipelines, and roads. It becomes difficult to abandon parts of these systems, even if total resources for maintaining the system are constricted. If we think of the situation in terms of tax dollars (or charges by utility companies), it becomes increasingly difficult to collect enough tax dollars (or utility charges) to pay for the inflated cost of replacing worn out roads, pipelines, and electrical transmission, as the rising price of oil makes these costs rise much more rapidly than salaries.
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