Daily Digest

Daily Digest 12/6 - Actionable Bank Fraud At Citibank, Dems Will Try Again On Payroll Tax, Inside The Exclusion Zone

Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 11:47 AM
  • 60 Minutes Exposes Specific Instances of Actionable Fraud at Citibank and Countrywide - It is being Actively Ignored
  • Next-Day Mail Faces Postal Service Cuts
  • Democrats Say They Will Try Again on Payroll Tax
  • Borrow. Borrow. And Borrow Some More.
  • The Real China Threat
  • What Will Renewable Energy Really Cost?
  • Wind Energy Breakthrough: Japan Designs New Wind Turbine With Triple the Output of Traditional Models
  • Fukushima: Inside The Exclusion Zone

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Economy

60 Minutes Exposes Specific Instances of Actionable Fraud at Citibank and Countrywide - It is being Actively Ignored (Jaime)

In the excellent 60 Minutes episode below, whistle-blower Eileen Foster, former Countrywide Executive VP in charge of Fraud Investigations, is interviewed. Ms. Foster states that she was astounded by the systemic fraud she discovered. Fraud defined entire regions of the company. She was fired shortly before a scheduled meeting with federal regulators - and after she refused to spin her story. Citi subsequently offered to compensate Ms. Foster, in return for silence. She refused.

Next-Day Mail Faces Postal Service Cuts (jdargis)

The agency said the slower delivery would result from its decision to shut about half of its 487 mail processing centers nationwide. The move is expected to eliminate about 28,000 jobs and increase the distance that mail must travel between post offices and processing centers. It would be the first reduction in delivery standards for first-class mail in 40 years.

Democrats Say They Will Try Again on Payroll Tax (jdargis)

The proposal, devised by Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, would extend the current payroll tax cut for employees and reduce the employer’s share of the payroll tax as well. It would also provide additional money for highways, bridges and other job-creating transportation projects.

It would offset the cost with a 2 percent surtax on income in excess of $1 million a year, but would carve out protection for many small-business owners who report business income on their personal tax returns.

Borrow. Borrow. And Borrow Some More. (jdargis)

People take out mortgages, for example, rather than buying houses with credit cards. When mortgage rates fall, there’s a rush to refinance. Cheap money is better than expensive money. But what you never get is an offer of free money. The idea, always, is that someone will give you some money today and in exchange you have to give him back more money later on. Unless, that is, you’re the government of the United States of America, and lenders are willing to pay for the privilege of lending you money.

Energy

The Real China Threat (Jeff B.)

Prices of these and many other key industrial materials have been in steady uptrends for a decade as supplies have tightened. They’ve remained high even despite the dreadful U.S. economy. Emerging economies, particularly China — which has become a voracious consumer of industrial materials — are behind the stunning growth in demand. One statistic: in 2011, Brent oil, the chief marker for oil, has been above $100 a barrel a record number of days; its average price for the year is likely to be an all-time high. And with China’s growth continuing, there’s no end in sight.

What Will Renewable Energy Really Cost? (James S.)

That is the question customers are asking as their utility rates go up to pay for the cumulative cost of the aspirations of politicians and regulators. But until now the answer to that question was hard to get, at least in California where under state law and utility regulations the costs of utility procurement of renewable energy contracts was kept confidential. Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 836 sponsored by Los Angeles County Senator Alex Padilla requiring that the California Public Utility Commission produce a report to the Legislature each year starting in February 2012 that tells the politicians and customers what impact on rates the aggregate costs of renewable energy will cause.

Wind Energy Breakthrough: Japan Designs New Wind Turbine With Triple the Output of Traditional Models (James S.)

The two major concerning issues with traditional turbines have been their general inefficiency and intolerable noise. However, Kyushu's researchers found that attaching an inward curving ring around the perimeter of a turbine's blades increases the focus of airflow faster through the blade zones at two to three times the speed as before. An improvement in safety from covering the outer edges of the blades and a reduction of the dreaded noise pollution of older models is just a bonus.

Environment

Fukushima: Inside The Exclusion Zone (jdargis)

In June, National Geographic sent AP photographer David Guttenfelder into the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, which was badly damaged in the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. He captured images of communities that had become ghost towns, with pets and farm animals roaming the streets. Later, in November, Guttenfelder returned to photograph the crippled reactor facility itself as members of the media were allowed inside for the first time since the triple disaster last March. In some places, the reactor buildings appear to be little more than heaps of twisted metal and crumbling concrete. Tens of thousands of area residents remain displaced, with little indication of when, or if, they may ever return to their homes.

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."

17 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Europe Bailout Fund Faces Downgrade
"European government bonds fell, sending yields higher Tuesday, a day after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services put the credit ratings of 15 euro-zone countries on negative watch."
"Germany, France and four other nations may lose their AAA credit ratings depending on the result of a summit of European Union leaders on Dec. 9, S&P said yesterday."
 
"Greece's leading social security fund IKA needs three billion euros ($4 billion) in loans to plug a 200-million-euro deficit in 2011 and manage pension payments in the next two years, its director said Monday.
"We are studying alternative solutions to ensure pension payments in 2012 and 2013," IKA director Rovertos Spyropoulos told AFP."
 
 
 
  • Other headlines:
 
 
 
 
  1. BOE Starts New Sterling Liquidity Facility as Crisis Escalates
  2. Budget shortfall could mean catastrophic Medicaid cuts after all (N.C.)
  3. Detroit Financial Review Begins This Week
  4. MoCo Scrambles To Pay For Teacher Pensions
  5. Three more notaries charged in Nevada robo-signing scandal
  6. Basel Rules Face Change in No-Risk Debt Focus
macro2682's picture
macro2682
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New Wind Turbine Idea from Japan

Concentrating the wind using a collector (ducted fan) is a NEW idea for renewables???  If that's true, how the heck did we NOT think of that until now? 

That's embarrasing.

Poet's picture
Poet
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Simple And Elegant Sometimes Comes Later

macro2682 wrote:

Concentrating the wind using a collector (ducted fan) is a NEW idea for renewables???  If that's true, how the heck did we NOT think of that until now? 

That's embarrasing.

Sometimes the simple and elegant solution doesn't come until later. Think about the Wright brothers and their bi-plane design. It wasn't until three decades later than monoplanes started becoming more common.

Experiments have shown that shaping wind turbine blades to mimic bumps like those of humpback whale fins can increase performance by nearly 40%. Imagine if the two were combined...

Poet

macro2682's picture
macro2682
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Bipe

Poet wrote:

macro2682 wrote:

Concentrating the wind using a collector (ducted fan) is a NEW idea for renewables???  If that's true, how the heck did we NOT think of that until now? 

That's embarrasing.

Sometimes the simple and elegant solution doesn't come until later. Think about the Wright brothers and their bi-plane design. It wasn't until three decades later than monoplanes started becoming more common.

Experiments have shown that shaping wind turbine blades to mimic bumps like those of humpback whale fins can increase performance by nearly 40%. Imagine if the two were combined...

Poet

Bi-planes were the norm because of material/structural issues with having a mono-wing (with the need for heavy deflexors).  I just cant beleive that these guys were the first people to try using a ducted fan to concentrate the airflow.  It just makes me think we weren't trying that hard.

rhare's picture
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Most likely an engineering issue.....

macro2682 wrote:

Concentrating the wind using a collector (ducted fan) is a NEW idea for renewables???  If that's true, how the heck did we NOT think of that until now?

I have seen other designs with the ducted fan scheme (some low speed designs for homes).  However, you have to read the article to realize that those turbines are tiny.  The large units have a blade diameter is 40'.  Making a duct 40' that can withstand the forces is probably a lot more difficult that the smaller 6' versions.  Now try and make a duct that's 400' in diameter.  I bet your material issues become much harder.  Just look at how hard it is to make blades to stand up to the forces.

Wind turbines, particularly the large MW size units are feats of engineering.  You see the pictures, but until you get close to one of these things it's hard to grasp how big they really are: World's largest wind turbine.

World's largest wind turbine

macro2682's picture
macro2682
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Good point!

A very good point!  Hopefully it was the material and practical engineering of the circle that prevented us from figuring this one out.  I wouldn't be as embarassed.

Thanks!

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Wind Traps?

That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for explaining that, Rhare.

So... What do you think about a design similar to the Wind Traps from the computer game, Dune 2000? Spin the blade horizontally on the ground, use a curved structure to channel the wind downwards... Or only in science fiction?

Poet

rhare wrote:

I have seen other designs with the ducted fan scheme (some low speed designs for homes).  However, you have to read the article to realize that those turbines are tiny.  The large units have a blade diameter is 40'.  Making a duct 40' that can withstand the forces is probably a lot more difficult that the smaller 6' versions.  Now try and make a duct that's 400' in diameter.  I bet your material issues become much harder.  Just look at how hard it is to make blades to stand up to the forces.

Wind turbines, particularly the large MW size units are feats of engineering.  You see the pictures, but until you get close to one of these things it's hard to grasp how big they really are: World's largest wind turbine.

World's largest wind turbine

Mirv's picture
Mirv
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New Wind Turbine Main Advantages Overlooked

The mini (2-3 kwatt suitable for family) and small (20-100kw for community) wind turbines are deprecated because Big Govt.  Big Banks and Big Utilities cannot use them (from their perspective: as a tool to parasitize us with financial games and controls over us).  Most likely these turbines really are higher efficiency and only practical for small size due to scale up issues. BUT this is their biggest advantage in some ways.  Everything we buy, do/work on, and plan for from now on until the greater depression plays out has to be evaluated also from the view of "how can banksters use this and government mobsters use this to gain access to my money and freedom, respectively?"  A huge value of this invention is that it provides a freedom tool for locavore independence energy for the family and local community without providing a new access point for banksters to finance us or government mobsters to control exploit.  Going forward, all grid relationships (electric power accounts) have the demerit as a control point for the too big too fail people to extract more from us.  On the other hand, high efficiency LOW NOISE (the biggest practical problem with small installations) wind generation can help ameliorate solar electric  no-sunshine down times for energy because often the wind blows best when the sun shines the least.   One of the best things that could happen (for a life quality separate from TBTF explotation) would be if  Panasonic or another consumer company could start making and selling these to us for local use.  Unlike nuclear, large wind  turbine,  coal etc. which are a good excuse to create and grow corrupt TBTF relationships, this technology apparently works best at the local level. I hope that the Japanese develop this for locavore use domestically because they are caught in a TBTF nuclear power industry vise that is extracting an incredible toll in terms of land destruction and ongoing financial siphoning of money (monthly payments) from families into banksters who control distribution and "financing" of energy production here.

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New Wind Turbine Idea from Japan

this came up a while back in nz

http://www.ipenz.org.nz/ipenz/publications/engineering-NZ/volume54-1999/...

 

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New Capacitor storage

‘Compared to rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors, the proprietary membrane allows for very simple device configuration and low fabrication cost,’ said Dr Xie. ‘Moreover, the performance of the membrane surpasses those of rechargeable batteries, such as lithium ion and lead-acid batteries, and supercapacitors'

From Here.

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I totally agree with Mirv

I totally agree with Mirv regarding decentralising the grid......  TPTB hate it because they lose control.

here's a cool turbine which also has a venturi....

Wind Generators - Aerofortis

The Champion Wind Turbine!

Aerofortis specializes in eco-friendly wind turbines, that surpass competitors products in quality and efficiency.

The Aerofortis team has been working on turbo machines, wind turbines and UAV design for over 15 years. We provide professional wind turbines using major aerospace technologies such as advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and ground radio receivers. The test centre is equipped with advanced computer software, a professional non-boundary layer high speed wind tunnel, and an electrical testing bed for generators.

The outstanding features of these products include the down-wind design, all-in-one ducted-blade (no bolts needed), silent operation, high level of water and dust proofing, tail-less, vibration-less and compact build (only 6 bolts in total). These products are the best as far as quality and efficiency are concerned.


Hybrid On Grid Wind-Solar System

Multi-MPP Tracker Pure Sine Wave Inverter

A400 + HX-600


Absolutely silent and the most efficient system ever with 4 Maximum-Power-Point Trackers.

Key Features

Revolutionary ducted blade, extremely silent in operation
Vibration and maintenance free tail-less design
IP65 & IEC 61400-2 certified heavy duty construction
State of the art PFC & MPP Tracker design
Adjustable parameter and real time multi-info LCD screen
Complete system safety protection
RS-485 and SO COM port

Quality Assured - All components are made in Taiwan, CE approved
Warranty - 2 Years

click here for the full Aerofortis brochure and technical data


Off-Grid Application

Used for an average family and small business, and able to generate independent energy for buildings, electrical equipments as well as public shared electricity.  Also it is suitable for transporation (electric motorcyle/bicycle, yacht, boat, caravans and motorhomes), lighting equipments (street lamp, landscaping & garden lights, security lights) and wireless surveillance system.

Mirv's picture
Mirv
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New Wind Turbine from Japan Explanation

By coincidence I met the inventor of this wind turbine (professor at Kyushu U) today at a photovoltaic exposition near Tokyo.  I asked him the same questions we had for his invention on this forum.  Here are my observations:  extensive computer analysis was done on the propeller-shroud as a unit and both have been optimized much different than previous versions.  For example, each propeller blade is NOT symmetrical and furthermore is wider at the ends than  in the middle (unlike propellers generally). And the shroud/prop combination was designed by computer to MINIMIZE wake turbulence (thus lower noise and higher efficiency).  After much math analysis he built various models and tested to arrive at a final version.  by the way all surfaces are rather contoured and not simple.  This project is being handed off to the local Venture - University organization for development/commercialization just outside Kyushu University.  I plan to visit that group this Winter or Spring out of interest.  By the way I have more to say for anyone interested in building such thing for a locavore project.  But I dont want to write publically so email me if you are interested in any followup.   I am convinced that this is a real mcCoy (true advance in lower noise and efficiency over the previous types). 

rhare's picture
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You never know until you try....

Poet wrote:

So... What do you think about a design similar to the Wind Traps from the computer game, Dune 2000? Spin the blade horizontally on the ground, use a curved structure to channel the wind downwards... Or only in science fiction?

I'm not an engineer, just a techie, but I look at all the turbines currently produced and they all recommend high towers.  Even the small residential units suggest 80' towers to get above the turbulence near ground level.  However, those in the Dune look to be huge!  So it's always possible something like that could work, but would it be cost competitive with other methods?  I think that is generally what it comes down too.

graynicolas wrote:

this came up a while back in nz\

It looks like Vortec Energy shutdown a couple of years after that article, claiming the techonolgy was not economically feasible.  That seems to be pretty common with a lot of technologies that look good in the lab, but fail to be realistic when scaled up. 

I'm really glad we have an environment where companies and individuals can push the boundaries and try new things, but it's important to realize many will fail, and there is no panacea. My personal longshot favorites that I hope will succeed are Solar power towers and piston fusion. :-)  

Mirv and DamnTheMatrix - I too support local and smaller installations, but big giant turbines offer efficiency and reliability over smaller turbines. Those very large turbines are much more cost effective and it's not really a control issue as much as it is a price issue.  Most people do not have the resources to put up even a small turbine or solar production facility without massive government subsidies.  Perhaps more local communities investing in large "local" turbines?

Arthur Robey's picture
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Aviation is the canary in the coal mine.

Much research has been driven by efforts to save jet fuel. Having more than doubled in price in recent years, it now accounts for about half of airlines’ operating costs. Even slight gains in efficiency quickly pay off—as a rule of thumb, a 1% improvement knocks more than $1m off a airliner’s fuel bill over its lifetime of roughly 20 years, says Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s vice-president of sales for China.

From Here

macro2682's picture
macro2682
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Posts: 420
Mirv wrote: By coincidence I

Mirv wrote:

By coincidence I met the inventor of this wind turbine (professor at Kyushu U) today at a photovoltaic exposition near Tokyo.  I asked him the same questions we had for his invention on this forum.  Here are my observations:  extensive computer analysis was done on the propeller-shroud as a unit and both have been optimized much different than previous versions.  For example, each propeller blade is NOT symmetrical and furthermore is wider at the ends than  in the middle (unlike propellers generally). And the shroud/prop combination was designed by computer to MINIMIZE wake turbulence (thus lower noise and higher efficiency).  After much math analysis he built various models and tested to arrive at a final version.  by the way all surfaces are rather contoured and not simple.  This project is being handed off to the local Venture - University organization for development/commercialization just outside Kyushu University.  I plan to visit that group this Winter or Spring out of interest.  By the way I have more to say for anyone interested in building such thing for a locavore project.  But I dont want to write publically so email me if you are interested in any followup.   I am convinced that this is a real mcCoy (true advance in lower noise and efficiency over the previous types). 

Thanks Mirv.  This is quite a far reaching group!

Doug's picture
Doug
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Posts: 2747
new design

These folks appear to have an innovative design.

http://aristapower.com/

Doug

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KugsCheese
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Posts: 672
ECB? 10 year bonds?

Who is driving the yield down on Italy and Spain 10 year bonds? Italy was down to 5.76 today but is now 6.03; wild swings for sovereign debt market!   Has the ECB some US taxpayer dollars to play with?

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