Daily Digest

Daily Digest 2/14 - Why Greece's Fate Is So Important, The Final Tipping Point, French Nuclear Anxiety Soars

Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 11:44 AM
  • Why Greece’s Fate Is So Important
  • Athens In Flames
  • Orwellian Doublespeak Dominates Economic Policy
  • John Williams of Shadow Stats, "This Is End Of The World Type Stuff"
  • Peter Grandich Now Predicting Gold Prices To Top $2,350/oz
  • The Final Tipping Point: Sheeple Meet Cliff
  • For California, Attorney General Insisted on Better Terms in Foreclosure Deal
  • French Nuclear Anxieties Soar After Fukushima

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Economy

Why Greece’s Fate Is So Important (David B.)

Today is the first day of massive protests in Athens, Thessalonika and other cities. Five ministers resigned from the coalition cabinet of Lukas Papademos. Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble cast a shadow of doubt over the proposed implementation of austerity measures since they haven’t followed through on the conditions from the first bailout. Several members of the “nationalst” Laos party resigned and refused to back the settlement. It’s getting ugly.

Athens In Flames (jdargis)

Over the weekend, more than 45 buildings across Athens were set ablaze by violent protesters. The fires began as the Greek Parliament passed a strict package of austerity measures, in an effort to meet demands by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The measures, which were prerequisites for a $170 billion bailout, included steep public-sector job cuts and a 20 percent reduction in the minimum wage. More than 80,000 Greeks reportedly demonstrated in the streets of Athens -- among them, a small, violent group that hurled firebombs at riot police and set dozens of fires. More than 120 police and protesters were injured. The next step for the new austerity measures is implementation, and that may face strong opposition as well.

Orwellian Doublespeak Dominates Economic Policy (estatesavr)

If compound obfuscation is your fancy, try "unemployment insurance." It's the only kind of "insurance" where your benefits can go up even when you are out of work and not paying any premiums. And if you stop looking for work as soon as you finish collecting benefits, you are no longer unemployed. Brilliant!

John Williams of Shadow Stats, "This Is End Of The World Type Stuff" (Phil H.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b02-ZlrEj9w#!

Peter Grandich Now Predicting Gold Prices To Top $2,350/oz (David B.)

The majority of investors usually can withstand the financial risk that they’re taking, but greatly underestimate the mental anguish that can come from the downside of what their investments or speculations/gambling will bring. Wall Street created the word “speculating” so that it doesn’t have to use the word “gambling,” but it’s gambling. You have to be prepared to lose part or all your money when you gamble and I don’t think most investors are. They think of the best possible scenario and never think of the worst.

The Final Tipping Point: Sheeple Meet Cliff (pinecarr)

But what really floored me was the second principle. Social scientists revealed that with herds it only takes 5 percent of the herd to create a "social tipping point". This 5 percent is actually large enough to nudge the herd in a different direction. Which brings focus to Einstein's quote:

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

For California, Attorney General Insisted on Better Terms in Foreclosure Deal (jdargis)

Along the way, Ms. Harris charted a lonely course, keeping her distance from potential allies and angering some of her peers in other states, who saw her as grandstanding. On one side, Ms. Harris, a close Obama ally, faced increasing pressure from the administration to return to the negotiating table. On the other, liberal groups mounted a concerted push to get her to wring more from the banks.

French Nuclear Anxieties Soar After Fukushima (James S.)

The study determined that after the "shock to public opinion" that the Fukushima accident on 11 March 2011 caused, nuclear power risks have climbed to the fourth-highest concern of the French, behind unemployment, the financial crisis, and (social) exclusion. Today, 55 percent of the population consider nuclear power plant risks "high" and only 24 percent "trust the authorities" to protect the public against this danger. More than 80 percent "want the safety assessment of French nuclear facilities to take place in a pluralistic manner," with (the involvement of) international experts.

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7 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2472
Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
It's not just gasoline that is decreasing in consumption

As a knock-on to last week's news on diminishing gasoline consumption, CHS finds that all fossil fuel consumption is decreasing:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-its-not-just-gasoline-consumption-thats-tanking-its-all-energy

Quote:
It's not just gasoline consumption that's declining--petroleum and electricity consumption are also dropping. Is that indicative of economic growth?

Quote:
The basic thesis here is that petroleum consumption is a key proxy of economic activity. In periods of economic expansion, energy consumption rises. In periods of contraction, consumption levels off or declines.

This common sense correlation calls into question the Status Quo's insistence that the U.S. economy has decoupled from the global ecoomy and is still growing. This growth will create more jobs, the story goes, and expand corporate profits which will power the stock market ever higher.

Oh yeh, remember that 100 years of NG  being promised by the industry?  Charles helpfully provides a link to the reality of that dream.

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-02-05/falling-feeling-shale-gas-estimates-continue-downward

Quote:
But, in its early release of the Annual Energy Outlook for 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its estimate of technically recoverable resources of U.S. shale gas from 827 tcf to 482 tcf. (That says little about whether all those resources will be economically recoverable.) Much of the decline in the EIA estimate comes from a downgrading of the Marcellus Shale, by far the largest of the U.S. shale gas deposits spanning vast areas of New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as sections of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The downgrade resulted from extensive drilling results now available as the rush to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale accelerates. The EIA cut its estimated technically recoverable resources from 410 tcf to 141 tcf. This estimate remains well in excess of last year's estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey which put those resources at 84 tcf.
rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 369
on Occupy the SEC
Occupy’s amazing Volcker Rule letter - One of the saddest aspects of the financialization of the US economy is the way in which America’s best and brightest found themselves working on Wall Street, rather than in jobs which improved the state of the world. Proof of this comes from the absolutely astonishing 325-page comment letter on the Volcker Rule which has been put together by Occupy the SEC; it’s pretty clear, from reading the letter, that the people who wrote it are whip-smart and extremely talented. If you can’t read the whole thing, at least read the introductory comments, on pages 3-6, both for their substance and for the panache of their delivery. A taster: During the legislative process, the Volcker Rule was woefully enfeebled by the addition of numerous loopholes and exceptions. The banking lobby exerted inordinate influence on Congress and succeeded in diluting the statute, despite the catastrophic failures that bank policies have produced and continue to produce… The Proposed Rule also evinces a remarkable solicitude for the interests of banking corporations over those of investors, consumers, taxpayers and other human beings.The Administrative Procedure Act requires that, prior to the enactment of a substantive regulation, an agency must give “interested persons” an opportunity to comment. The Agencies seem to have lost sight of the fact that “interested persons” could include human beings, and not just banking corporations.

entire 325pp document is embedded here...

hockeypuck777's picture
hockeypuck777
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Posts: 1
Greece and America

Wondering if someone with a ten pound brain can help me understand Greece and the EU by drawing an analogy to one of the states in the USA?  Florida? What if Florida were to be kicked out of the US and printed its own currency?  Louisiana maybe?  I get it that the EU is different, yes, but  I dare think the Republic would somehow survive without one of its states?

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 548
hockeypuck777

hockeypuck777 wrote:

Wondering if someone with a ten pound brain can help me understand Greece and the EU by drawing an analogy to one of the states in the USA?  Florida? What if Florida were to be kicked out of the US and printed its own currency?  Louisiana maybe?  I get it that the EU is different, yes, but  I dare think the Republic would somehow survive without one of its states?

You are absolutely correct, the EU would survive Greece leaving. The EU would be stronger for it. The hubub is caused by the bonds that Greece sold to get itsself financed to play with the big boys and girls. Defaulting on those bonds, if we were only talking about the bonds would cost the banks around Europe a huge chunk of change. Not so much to really fold them mind you, but it would take some fancy finnigling to stay afloat in a couple of cases. The crush is that those bond have been made subject to Credit Default Swaps. This multiplies the liabilities many times the actual dollar value of the original bonds sold. If Greece defaults on its bonds, the Credit Defaults are triggered and the billions (trillions?) of CDS must be settled. This will crush all the players who sold(big banks) CDS on Greek debt ( bonds ).

I think I got this correct.

Here's a part from Inside Job that gives a brief explanation of CDS where AIG got tagged. Swap the words Greek Bonds for CDO:

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 548
A visual of Greek debt:

And each Euro may carry more than one insurance policy.

http://demonocracy.info//infographics/eu/debt_greek/debt_greek.html

britinbe's picture
britinbe
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 381
Iran halts oil exports to some EU countries

http://presstv.com/detail/226807.html

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