Daily Digest

Daily Digest - October 25

Sunday, October 25, 2009, 10:54 AM
  • TARP chief: Banks possibly 'in more danger now'
  • Even the Fed Doesn't Want to Hold U.S. Dollars
  • Herding the Sheep
  • China to use ASEAN meet to make Yuan an international currency
  • Lazard Asset Management Fund Dumps The Dollar
  • The Future Of Warfare
  • French Official Says U.S. Trying to Inflate Away Debt
  • The Number of Job Hunters 65 or Older Skyrockets
  • Freddie Mac’s Secrecy Pacts Face Court Test
  • Mauldin For The Week (JRB)

Economy

TARP chief: Banks possibly 'in more danger now' (Vinny A.)

The banking system today may be in a more precarious position than it was a year ago, the man charged with overseeing a $700 billion bailout program said Wednesday. Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general managing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that the government's decision to support bank mergers over the past year may have put the U.S. economy more at risk.

Even the Fed Doesn't Want to Hold U.S. Dollars (Vinny A.)

Americans just got 15% poorer on the world stage thanks to Ben Bernanke A currency crisis is in the works (and perhaps already starting) Regarding #1: When the financial crisis hit, the Fed realized it would need to keep interest rates low while it attempted to bail out the banks (80% of the $200+ trillion in derivatives sitting on commercial banks’ balance sheets are related to interest rates).

Herding the Sheep (Vinny A.)

Financial insider and commentator Yves Smith wrote an essay last week entitled "MSM Reporting as Propaganda" arguing that the government has been using propaganda to make people think that things are getting better, no one is angry, and - therefore - no one should get upset: The message, quite overtly, is: if you are pissed, you are in a minority. The country has moved on. Things are getting better, get with the program...

China to use ASEAN meet to make Yuan an international currency (Claire H.)

BEIJING: China is set to use the ASEAN meet to sell the idea of making the Yuan an international currency. It is using the sense of uncertainty over the US dollar to sell a new dream of enlarged regional trade, financial support from Beijing and reduced dependence on the volatile dollar.

Lazard Asset Management Fund Dumps The Dollar (Claire H.)

It was only a matter of time before asset managers said "enough" to Bernanke's plan of debasing the dollar day after day, and took appropriate measures. In a not very surprising, yet quite shocking at the same time, development, caught by Annuity IQ, Lazard's The World Trust Fund has had enough of the dollar. Lazard will "change the currency in which the Fund's shares are traded from US dollars to Sterling." Good work Mr. Chairman and Wall Street lobby.

The Future Of Warfare (Claire H.)

Can you say “Big Brother is watching”? The Air Force is developing technologies that will give our military a tremendous advantage. But can this technology be used abused? Check out this video presentation of the MAV (Micro Air Vehicle) and decide for yourselves. It’s not science fiction any more.

French Official Says U.S. Trying to Inflate Away Debt (M.W.)

The United States is pumping out liquidity to try to inflate away its debt, leading to the depreciation of the US dollar, Henri Guaino, a top advisor to French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday. He told reporters on the sidelines of a conference that the United States was 'flooding the world with liquidity'.....'Historically, we have only ever got out of such situations with inflation....'if we lose control of inflation and there is hyperinflation, it's a catastrophe for everyone,' he added.

The Number of Job Hunters 65 or Older Skyrockets (M.W.)

Nearly half a million people 65 and older want to work but cannot find a job, this group’s highest unemployment level since the Great Depression.

Freddie Mac’s Secrecy Pacts Face Court Test (M.W.)

In their class-action lawsuit against Freddie Mac, three big pension funds charge that Freddie Mac executives defrauded investors by concealing the company’s exposure to high-risk mortgages, mounting losses, inadequate capital. Lawyers allege that secrecy provisions have already muzzled at least two dozen former employees. Treasury has propped up Freddie Mac with more than $50 billion in taxpayer money and will probably need additional billions in the months ahead.

Mauldin For The Week (JRB)

"Our kids? It is not the times that dictate the man (or daughter!), but the response of the man which dictates his own time. Today promises a brighter future for someone young than any other time in history, whether they are in the US or Brazil or China. They just have to seize it."

2 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2633
Re: Daily Digest - October 25

"Steep declines on Wall Street and the sluggish national economy pummeled the pension funds of the Lehigh Valley's three cities last year, resulting in a combined loss of more than $85 million.

The massive dip -- familiar to those with 401(k) retirement funds -- threatened to dramatically increase the annual contributions the cities must pay to pension plans, and possibly, increase taxes.

But state lawmakers, prompted by warnings of a financial collapse in Philadelphia, bailed out municipalities across the state with a pension bill passed last month that establishes new financial standards and provides short-term budgetary relief for municipalities facing declining revenues.

The bill, known as Act 44, allows municipalities to pay less annually to account for investment losses and spreads the payments needed to cover those losses over a longer period.

In addition, municipalities may artificially increase the value of their pension funds by 30 percent -- up from 20 percent -- to account for the volatility of the market and to reduce the impact of the 2008 losses.

Critics of the bill say it bails out politicians, not the state's taxpayers, and does nothing to address the underlying financial problems of a pension system they describe as unsustainable."

"It's happening. The long-awaited bankruptcy of big-time commercial real estate lender Capmark is just about here.

WSJ: In 2006, a group led by KKR & Co., Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners acquired the lender GMAC LLC's commercial-real estate business and renamed it Capmark. As of March 31, the investor group owned about 75% of the company, with GMAC and its employees owning the balance."

(More info)

" Forget a jobless recovery. The economy may be entering a recovery with job losses."

"Employment mystery

Economists are puzzled as to why job growth has slowed, citing everything from higher health care costs, to higher productivity, to Chinese currency manipulation.

"The answer is, we don't know," said Tim Bartik, a liberal economist with the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan who is proposing a tax credit for employers who hire new workers."

"Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines, which sold dollar- denominated debt three times this year, may turn to the domestic market to raise funds to help temper currency gains, Finance Secretary Gary Teves said."

"The Philippines sold $1 billion of dollar-denominated bonds on Oct. 17, bringing total overseas sales this year to $3.25 billion to cover a record budget deficit."

"Balli Steel, one of the world’s largest privately owned independent commodity traders, reports that China is expanding into the iron ore market and increasing its steel production capacity, against a backdrop of declining worldwide production.

Figures from the World Steel Association demonstrate that global steel production declined by 18.1% year-on-year in August 2009 to 758 million tonnes. In contrast, crude steel production in China increased by 5.4% over the same period. China now accounts for almost 49% of world steel production as well as approximately 50% of global consumption which equates to 1.5 million tonnes per day."

"The director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the IMF, Nicolas Eyzaguirre told reporters, in a press conference in São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, that the growth of Brazil in 2010 should be higher than previously forecasted by the institution, 3.5%.

Eyzaguirre also pointed out that one of the ways to avoid a new recession would be the establishment of a global insurance to avoid the world economy remaining dependant on the production of dollars by the United States.

"If everyone accumulates reserves in dollars, the United States have an enormous subsidy and we do not use this money for other things, like education and infrastructure. We need a multilateral organization that is not the Federal Reserve (Fed) to do this regulation.""

  • 8) From the Tehran Times (quoted from Mohammad-Ali Khatibi)

"Iran replaced the dollar with other currencies such as euro and yen in oil trading about three years ago, Khatibi said.

“We took the decision in a bid to diversify the oil income currency basket. Since the dollar is becoming weaker this move has led to greater benefit for our country,” he explained.

“Some other countries have also replaced dollar with a currency basket but due to the political issues they are not willing to publicize their move,” he added"

.......Interesting statistic  on some bad news on homelessness  is in the 4th paragraph

......Hundreds more employees of Pennsylvania's state government are expected to get pink slips,

     (but look at the other news items under the first story. What have they added to the water in Pennsylvania?)

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Rethinking suburbia and agriculture, from the Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/frontpage/ci_13631048

Six years ago, Matthew "Quint" Redmond suggested to Milliken planners that a corn farm north of Denver could increase its agricultural value and still anchor nearly a thousand homes.

"I got laughed out of the room," Redmond said.

Today, Milliken's 618-acre Platte River Village is ready for construction, with 944 planned homes surrounded by 108 acres of backyard farms and 152 acres of drip- irrigated community farms. The plan is for the farms to feed local residents and supply restaurants while paying for community upkeep. And Redmond, a 47-year-old planner-farmer, has 13 other Front Range projects mulling his "agriburbia" concept.

Redmond, co-founder of the Golden-based design firm TSR Group, travels the country preaching his urban farming and development idea. He envisions a future where the nation's 31 million acres of lawn are converted to food production. He sees golf-course greens redefined with herbs; sand traps as "kale traps." He sees retirement homes engulfed by farms and office buildings where workers escape cubicles on farming breaks.

Redmond, along with his born-on- a-farm biologist turned planner wife, Jennifer, sees an urban landscape like none before.

"This is where we are all going to go. We need this," said Redmond. "Everyone thinks they are so smart by crafting a 2030 plan for the future. I say we need a $180-a-barrel plan, on how our communities can be self-sufficient when oil becomes too expensive to ship food across the country."

Self-sufficient. Sustainable. Locally produced. Agriburbia incorporates all three concepts.

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