Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China Bank Pledges Vigilance, Egypt Unrest Sparks Canal Concerns

Sunday, January 30, 2011, 12:00 PM
  • A Tangled Mess - Why Oil Mixes With Gold
  • Davos: Two Worlds, Ready Or Not
  • An Export Land Model Analysis for the USA-Part2
  • Jim Rickards Podcast: Senior Managing Director for Market Intelligence at Omnis, Inc
  • China Central Bank Pledges Vigilance
  • Saudi Arabian Stocks Tumble Most in Eight Months as Egyptians Defy Curfew
  • Tankers Gain As Egypt Unrest Sparks Concerns About Suez Canal

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Economy

A Tangled Mess - Why Oil Mixes With Gold (bcohen)



The U.S. national debt of $14.1 trillion is at an unsustainable level, at more than $170 thousand per each of the over 81.6 million U.S. families. The U.S. Treasury, however, reports debt on a cash basis so it does not take into account unfunded obligations for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. According to Shadowstats.com, the total debt on a GAAP basis from 2002 to 2009 was on average 6.4x greater than the debt on a cash basis. Applying this same methodology equates to total national debt of close to $1.1 million per U.S. family today. To make matters worse, in 2009 nearly half of American households paid no federal income tax; so with only half of households paying taxes, the national debt burden on a GAAP basis could be over $2.0 million per tax-paying family. This is clearly unsustainable and likely past the point of no return.

Davos: Two Worlds, Ready Or Not (kelvinator)



Many of the people who control the world’s largest corporations are quite comfortable with the status quo post-financial crisis.  This makes sense for them – and poses a major problem for the rest of us.The thinking here is fairly obvious.  The CEOs who provide the bedrock of financial support for Davos have mostly done well in the past few years.  For the nonfinancial sector, there was a major scare in 2008-09; the disruption of credit was a big shock and dire consequences were feared.  And for leaders of the financial sector this was more than an awkward moment – they stood accused, including by fellow CEOs at Davos in previous years, of incompetence, greed, and excessively capturing the state.

An Export Land Model Analysis for the USA-Part2 (crash watcher)



In Part 1, I presented my best estimate Export Land Model analysis for the USA, based on my analysis of trends in petroleum production and consumption for the USA and its top ten import sources.  In the article I laid out my explicit assumptions. Here, in Part 2, I examine some different possible future scenarios, based on alternative pessimistic and optimistic assumptions about the trends in petroleum production and consumption for the USA and it top ten import sources.

Jim Rickards Podcast: Senior Managing Director for Market Intelligence at Omnis, Inc (pinecarr)



Jim has been a direct participant in many of the most significant financial events over the past 30 years including the 1981 release of hostages from Iran and was also the principal negotiator for the government sponsored bailout of LTCM. His clients include private investment funds, investment banks and government directorates in national security and defense. He is an advisor to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and Support Group of the Director of National Intelligence and recently testified before Congress on the causes of the financial crisis.

China Central Bank Pledges Vigilance



Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of meetings in Kyoto, Zhou Xiaochuan pointed out that Chinese price growth slowed slightly in December, but he signalled it had more room to climb. Rising consumer prices have prompted a series of monetary-tightening measures since the beginning of last year; the central bank has twice raised interest rates and seven times increased banks' reserve requirements.

Saudi Arabian Stocks Tumble Most in Eight Months as Egyptians Defy Curfew



Savola, whose Egyptian units include Afia International Co. Egypt and United Sugar Co. Egypt, fell the most in two years to 27 riyals. Halwani Bros. Co., a Saudi food processing company, tumbled 10 percent to 36 riyals. Egypt represented 32 percent of the Jeddah-based company’s revenues in 2009. “The market will probably remain negative until a clearer picture evolves,” said Fuad Aghabi, investment director at Ajeej Capital in Riyadh.

Tankers Gain As Egypt Unrest Sparks Concerns About Suez Canal



The Suez Canal is a key transit point for oil and fuel shipments from the Persian Gulf to the Western Hemisphere, and a closure there would mean ships would have to travel around the southern tip of Africa instead, adding thousands of miles to their journeys, and likely tightening shipping capacity. There doesn't appear to be any solid indication the canal is in danger of shutting down, but it's seen as a possibility as protestors rallied in the streets of Egypt for the fourth straight day against President Hosni Mubarak. Many tanker stocks had been weighed down recently by soft freight rates, so speculation about the canal may have attracted bargain hunters Friday.

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."

8 Comments

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China ...

Some Ruble history....got to really laugh at this part......The Soviet ruble of 1961 was formally equal to 0.987412 gram of gold, but the exchange for gold was never available to the general public.....hum...

First ruble, antiquity – 31 December 1921

1898 Russian Empire one rouble bill, obverse

The ruble has been the Russian unit of currency for about 500 years. From 1710, the ruble was divided into 100 kopeks.

The amount of precious metal in a ruble varied over time. In a 1704 currency reform, Peter I standardized the ruble to 28 grams of silver. While ruble coins were silver, there were higher denominations minted of gold and platinum. By the end of the 18th century, the ruble was set to 4 zolotnik 21 dolya (almost exactly equal to 18 grams) of pure silver or 27 dolya (almost exactly equal to 1.2 grams) of pure gold, with a ratio of 15:1 for the values of the two metals. In 1828, platinum coins were introduced with 1 ruble equal to 77⅔ dolya (3.451 grams).

On 17 December 1885, a new standard was adopted which did not change the silver ruble but reduced the gold content to 1.161 grams, pegging the gold ruble to the French franc at a rate of 1 ruble = 4 francs. This rate was revised in 1897 to 1 ruble = 2⅔ francs (0.774 grams gold).

With the outbreak of the First World War, the gold standard peg was dropped and the ruble fell in value, suffering from hyperinflation in the early 1920s.

[edit] Second ruble, 1 January 1922 – 31 December 1922

In 1922, the first of several redenominations took place, at a rate of 1 "new" ruble for 10,000 "old" rubles. The chervonets (червонец) was also introduced in 1922.

[edit] Third ruble, 1 January 1923 – 6 March 1924

A second redenomination took place in 1923, at a rate of 100 to 1. Again, only paper money was issued. During the lifetime of this currency, the first money of the Soviet Union was issued.

[edit] Fourth (gold) ruble, 7 March 1924–1947

A third redenomination in 1924 introduced the "gold" ruble at a value of 50,000 rubles of the previous issue. This reform also saw the ruble linked to the chervonets, at a value of 10 rubles. Coins began to be issued again in 1924, whilst paper money was issued in rubles for values below 10 rubles and in chervonets for higher denominations.

[edit] Fifth ruble, 1947–1961

Following World War II, the Soviet government implemented a confiscatory redenomination of the currency to reduce the amount of money in circulation. This only affected the paper money. Old rubles were revalued at one tenth of their face value.

[edit] Sixth ruble, 1961 – 31 December 1997

Further information: Soviet ruble

The 1961 redenomination was a repeat of the 1947 reform, with the same terms applying. The Soviet ruble of 1961 was formally equal to 0.987412 gram of gold, but the exchange for gold was never available to the general public. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ruble remained the currency of the Russian Federation. A new set of banknotes was issued in the name of Bank of Russia in 1993. During the period of hyperinflation of the early 1990s, the ruble was significantly devalued.

[edit] Seventh ruble, 1 January 1998 –

The ruble was redenominated on 1 January 1998, with one new ruble equaling 1000 old rubles. The redenomination was a purely psychological step that did not solve the fundamental economic problems faced by the Russian economy at the time, and the currency was devalued in August 1998 following the 1998 Russian financial crisis. The ruble lost 70% of its value against the U.S. dollar in the six months following this 1998 Russian financial crisis.

By calculating the product of all six redenominations, it is seen that a seventh ruble is equal to 5×1015
 original rubles
.

In November 2004, the authorities of Dimitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk Oblast) erected a five-meter monument to the ruble.

On 23 November 2010, at a meeting of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, it was announced that Russia and China have decided to use their own national currencies for bilateral trade, instead of the U.S. dollar. The move is aimed to further improve the relations between Beijing and Moscow and to protect their domestic economies in the conditions of the world financial crisis. The trading of the Chinese yuan against the Russian rouble has started in the Chinese interbank market, while the yuan's trading against the ruble is expected to start on the Russian foreign exchange market in December 2010.[9][10]

[edit] Coins

[edit] First ruble

At the beginning of the 19th century, copper coins were issued for ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 5 kopeks, with silver 5, 10, 25 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble and gold 5 although production of the 10 ruble coin ceased in 1806. Silver 20 kopeks were introduced in 1820, followed by copper 10 kopeks minted between 1830 and 1839, and copper 3 kopeks introduced in 1840. Between 1828 and 1845, platinum 3, 6 and 12 rubles were issued. In 1860, silver 15 kopecs were introduced, due to the use of this denomination (equal to 1 złoty) in Poland, whilst, in 1869, gold 3 rubles were introduced. [6] In 1886, a new gold coinage was introduced consisting of 5 and 10 ruble coins. This was followed by another in 1897. In addition to smaller 5 and 10 ruble coins, 7½ and 15 ruble coins were issued for a single year, as these were equal in size to the previous 5 and 10 ruble coins. The gold coinage was suspended in 1911, with the other denominations produced until the First World War.

[edit] Constantine ruble

The Constantine ruble (Russian: Константиновский рубль, pronounced "Konstantinovsky rubl'") is a rare silver coin of the Russian Empire bearing the profile of Constantine, the brother of emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I. Its manufacture was being prepared at the Saint Petersburg Mint during the brief Interregnum of 1825 but it was never minted in numbers, and never circulated in public. The fact of its existence became known in 1857 in foreign publications.[11]

[edit] Fourth, fifth and sixth rubles

The first coinage after Russian civil war was minted in 1921 with silver coins in denominations of 10, 15, 20 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble. Golden chervonets were minted in 1923. These coins bore the emblem and legends of the RSFSR. In 1924, copper coins were introduced for 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks, together with further silver 10, 15 and 20 kopeks, 1 poltinnik (50 kopeks) and 1 ruble. From this issue onwards, the coins were minted in the name of the Soviet Union. Copper ½ kopek coins were introduced in 1925. The 1 ruble was only issued in 1924 and production of the poltinnik was stopped in 1927, while the ½ kopek ceased to be minted in 1928. In 1926, aluminium-bronze replaced copper in the 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks and, in 1931, the remaining silver coins were replaced with cupro-nickel. This coinage was unaffected by the redenominations of 1947 and 1961. However, 1961 did see the introduction of new coins, with 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks in aluminium-bronze, and 10, 15, 20 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble in cupro-nickel-zinc. In 1991, a new coinage was introduced in denominations of 10 and 50 kopeks, 1, 5 and 10 rubles. The 10 kopeks was struck in brass-plated steel, the 50 kopeks, 1 and 5 rubles were in cupro-nickel and the 10 rubles was bimetallic with an aluminium-bronze centre and a cupro-nickel-zinc ring. After the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation introduced coins in 1992 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 rubles. The 1 and 5 rubles were minted in brass-clad steel, the 10 and 20 rubles in cupro-nickel and the 50 and 100 rubles were bimetallic (aluminium-bronze and cupro-nickel-zinc). In 1993, aluminium-bronze 50 rubles and cupro-nickel-zinc 100 rubles were issued, and the material of 10 and 20 rubles was changed to nickel-plated steel. In 1995 the material of 50 rubles was changed to brass-plated steel, but the coins were minted with the old date 1993.

Regularly issued commemorative one ruble coin during this period is practically identical in size and weight to a 5 Swiss franc coin (worth approx. 3 / US$4). For this reason, there have been several instances of (now worthless) ruble coins being used on a large scale to defraud automated vending machines in Switzerland.[12]

[edit] Seventh ruble

In 1998, the following coins were introduced:

Currently Circulating Coins [7]
Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 kopek 15.5 mm 1.5 g [13] Cupronickel-steel Plain Saint George Value 1997
5 kopeks 18.5 mm 2.6 g [14]
10 kopeks 17.5 mm 1,95 g [15] Brass 1997–2006, Brass plated steel 2006– Milled for brass and plain for plated Saint George Value 1997
50 kopeks 19.5 mm 2.9 g [16]
1 ruble 20.5 mm 3.25 g Cupronickel 1997–2009, Nickel plated steel 2009– Milled 2-headed eagle emblem of the Bank of Russia Value 1997
2 rubles 23 mm 5.1~5.2 g Broken reeding
5 rubles 25 mm 6.45 g Cupronickel-copper 1997–2009, Nickel plated steel 2009– 1997
10 rubles 22 mm 5.63 g Brass plated steel Broken reeding 2-headed eagle emblem of the Bank of Russia Value 2009
1 ruble 1998
Value Emblem of the Bank of Russia

1 and 5 kopek coins are rarely used (especially the 1 kopek coin) due to their small value and in some cases may not be accepted by stores or individuals. In some cases, the 10 kopek coin is also occasionally refused[citation needed]. All these coins began being issued in 1998, despite the fact that some of them bear the year 1997. Since 2000, bimetallic 10 ruble circulating commemorative coins have been issued. In 2008, it was proposed by the Bank of Russia to withdraw 1 and 5 kopek coins from circulation and to round all the prices to 10 kopeks, although the proposal hasn't been realized as of 2010. The material of 1, 2 and 5 ruble coins was switched to nickel plated steel in the second quarter of 2009. In October 2009, a new 10 ruble coin made of brass plated steel was issued and the 10 ruble banknote will be withdrawn by 2012. Bimetallic 10 ruble coins will continue to be issued. A series of circulating Olympic commemorative 25 ruble coins will start in 2011. The new coins will be made of cupronickel.

The Bank of Russia also issues other commemorative coins ranges from 1–10,000 rubles. See [8] for listing.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
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Re: Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China ...

The past two days Daily Digest has linked -- with a day lag -- to Part 1 and Part 2 of a three-part series at Of Two Minds. I noticed today that there was not a link to Part 3. To my mind, this is the most important of the three parts as it touches upon systemic change -- a topic that is not discussed as much as it should be.

An excerpt from Part 3:

Quote:
Those websites talking about purely individual responses to catastrophe, for instance, those suggesting stocking up on physical silver and gold, and using it to trade for your necessities, will ultimately look foolish. How will this solve the systemic problem? What merchant will accept on faith that what you hold is real? Your “silver” ingot could simply be coated zinc. Is that grocer going to take out a test kit and a drill? Trade will be in currency, but mainly locally-based paper currency backed by local goods, faith, and productivity. Medium-sized cities (like a Madison, WI or an Ithaca, NY) near farmland and colleges with a well-educated progressive populace, farmer’s markets, and a vitally functioning social infrastructure and comity will probably do best.

Source:

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan11/Zeus-three01-11.html

I'm not certain that colleges/universities can be add much in their current mode as specialist trainers. Indeed, the inability of "educated" individuals to understand systems is a huge failure on the part of so-called institutions of higher learning.

Doug's picture
Doug
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2764
Re: Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China ...

Matt Holbert wrote:

The past two days Daily Digest has linked -- with a day lag -- to Part 1 and Part 2 of a three-part series at Of Two Minds. I noticed today that there was not a link to Part 3. To my mind, this is the most important of the three parts as it touches upon systemic change -- a topic that is not discussed as much as it should be.

An excerpt from Part 3:

Quote:
Those websites talking about purely individual responses to catastrophe, for instance, those suggesting stocking up on physical silver and gold, and using it to trade for your necessities, will ultimately look foolish. How will this solve the systemic problem? What merchant will accept on faith that what you hold is real? Your “silver” ingot could simply be coated zinc. Is that grocer going to take out a test kit and a drill? Trade will be in currency, but mainly locally-based paper currency backed by local goods, faith, and productivity. Medium-sized cities (like a Madison, WI or an Ithaca, NY) near farmland and colleges with a well-educated progressive populace, farmer’s markets, and a vitally functioning social infrastructure and comity will probably do best.
Source:

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan11/Zeus-three01-11.html

I'm not certain that colleges/universities can be add much in their current mode as specialist trainers. Indeed, the inability of "educated" individuals to understand systems is a huge failure on the part of so-called institutions of higher learning.

While there were parts of Pt. 3 that I didn't care for (i.e. the notion that boomers are old and over the hill while gen xers and millenialists are the fount of all wisdom and creativity) the two college towns he cites do have a lot of infrastructure in place for localizing.  Both have CSAs nearby and alternative communities built on transition town principles.  Farmers markets are big and thriving, and the colleges themselves have, and for quite a while have had, large alternative minded communities exploring issues like sustainability.

I don't know who the guy is (Zeus, not you Matt), but he must be either a genxer or millenialist.  He seems to forget that in the two towns he cites, the alternative communities were started and are still at least partially led by boomers and have been developing for about 40 years.  They were started by, guess who, boomers.  These whippersnappers forget their roots. Yell

His notion of local currencies being the cash of choice when the USD loses its value is suspect.  He presumes taht alternative currencies can be established in short order in a crisis atmosphere.  I doubt it.  That may work in areas like the Berkshires where alternative currencies already exist, but coming up with new ones is more complicated than he seems to think.  And besides, currency isn't the primary use of precious metals, that would be preservation of wealth.  There will likely be thriving markets for PMs, even after tshtf.  In fact, most likely after tshtf.

Doug

green_achers's picture
green_achers
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Re: Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China ...

The first article, in dividing the national debt by the population strikes me as bogus.  It's the sort of thing a demagogue would do, or someone trying to sell a product by inciting fear and anger.  No one really thinks the national debt represents a debt burden divided equally among the populace, or even the tax-paying populace.  The reason is that the benefits of government and the taxation to pay for the government are not divided equally according to the population.

To be more equitable, the national debt ought to be divided according to wealth, because if the debt is ever paid, it will be through taxes, which the wealthy at least theoretically pay based on income.  Not perfectly proportionately, of course, the rich never really pay their fair shares of the taxes, but it just goes to show that the technique used in the article of apportioning the debt is deceptive.

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saxplayer00o1
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DanielV's picture
DanielV
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Davos conference - Ignoring the world's problems

First time posting, just thought you all might enjoy this piece in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/30/will-hutton-davos-world-economic-reform?INTCMP=SRCH

rhare's picture
rhare
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Posts: 1271
Re: Davos conference - Ignoring the world's problems

DanielV wrote:
First time posting, just thought you all might enjoy this piece in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/30/will-hutton-davos-world-economic-reform?INTCMP=SRCH

I think this article epitomizes the main problem in our leaders current and past prevailing train of thought.

Wil Hutton (from article) wrote:
Where are the the leaders who will reform the world's economy?

Shows IMNSHO that people expect some large governing body to be able to make the economy work?  As with any large complex system, central control simply leads to distortions that cause the system to break.  No one body can control or know what to do.  Until we realize that central control will fail and only smaller local governing entities (states/cities) focus on smaller local problems and let naturally occurring commerce and trade create a system that is not necessarily stable but at least not generating large scale problems we will continue to be victims of the distortions caused by the ruling parties.  Some examples:

  • Trade deficits - would normally correct by properly valuing goods/services.  Only through extreme manipulation of currency exchange rates has this been able to occur.
  • National debts - only through manipulation of currency (inflation) and forced participation of citizens in the faulty currency can the large debts we see have occurred.  In a voluntary system individuals would have abandon the currency.  Individuals would also never stand for direct taxation required to support large "entitlement" programs that currently benefit from the "hidden" taxation of inflation.

It's time to realize that the answer to too much government (central control) is less government, not more It's time to realize that large complex systems can not be centrally controlled and managed.

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SagerXX
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Posts: 2120
Re: Daily Digest 1/30 - Export Land Model Analysis, China ...

Welcome to the forums, Daniel!  Nice article -- indeed, I wonder how this can get turned around.  Not only are the challenges immense, but the leadership isn't there. 

And then I recall Pogo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kellyposter1970.jpg), and update it:  "We have met the Leaders, and they is US."

If we don't lead, likely nobody will (or at least, the ones that lead will just lead us all over the edge of the cliff).

Again -- welcome!  Stick around, get involved.  Heaps to learn!

Viva -- Sager

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