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Daily Digest - Dec 15

Monday, December 15, 2008, 9:07 AM

Housing wave two (CBS 60 minutes), AIG offers 'retention' pay to larger group of workers, "Don't buy stuff you cannot afford", unemployment funds run out for states, consumer spending to ebb further than expected, Goldman Sachs draws (more) fire.

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Daily Digest - Dec 14

Sunday, December 14, 2008, 10:31 AM

Obama stimulus could reach $1 trillion, A long cold winter, AIG pays retention bonuses, driving decreases, aiming for full employment.

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Heroes in Action: Michael Höhne

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 2:55 PM

This is the first of a new series of Heroes in Action articles, which will recognize the efforts of people in the Crash Course community who have gone beyond the call of duty and contributed to promoting the messages of the Crash Course in unique or special ways.

Michael Höhne is a businessman living in southern Germany, near Munich. He's a recognized expert on a part of the software industry known as Customer Relationship Management Systems, or CRM. While Michael has had a very successful career, he's not a person of extraordinary wealth. (more...)

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Daily Digest - Dec 13

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 9:51 AM

World's largest illegal Ponzi scheme unravels, GDP to Debt, escaping your retirement fund prison, auto sales plunge for Japanese brands (too), Dead Cat Bounce and IBS (both humor), news outfits take a hit, retail charts for November, DIP loan freeze,  who needs Congress?, and the Z.1 report.

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Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending

Friday, December 12, 2008, 9:50 PM

In a foxhole there are no atheists. But well before the praying begins, you find out what people are really made of. Perhaps the big, muscled kid who was unstoppable in basic training goes all to pieces while the skinny guy with the thick glasses saves everyone’s bacon. Or vice versa. The point being that prior to a crisis everything rests on appearances. During a crisis it is actions that matter. That’s when we find out what people, and institutions, are really made of.

Today the Federal Reserve effectively freaked out in the foxhole and declared the spirit of democracy, if not the rule of law, to be disposable conveniences of better times.

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Daily Digest - Dec 12

Friday, December 12, 2008, 6:16 AM

Jim Rogers calls us "bankrupt", Bank of America to cut up to 35,000 positions, chart of unemployment claims vs recessions, auto bailout dies in the senate, growth in base money supply outpaced by credit destruction.

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Households pay down debts for first time

Thursday, December 11, 2008, 4:03 PM

Mayday! Mayday!

This next story outlines a dire condition for a debt-based monetary system:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Stung by the loss of $2.81 trillion in their net wealth, U.S. households paid down their debts in the third quarter for the first time since at least 1952, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

As of Sept. 30, households' total outstanding debt shrank at an annual rate of 0.8% from $13.94 trillion to $13.91 trillion, the Fed said in its quarterly flow of funds report. It's the first decline in household debt ever recorded in the report.

Consumer debt actually reversed.   This strange behavior has never before been observed in this data series and it goes back to 1952.

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Daily Digest - Dec 11

Thursday, December 11, 2008, 2:03 PM

"F-Bills" - the Fed weighs issuing its own debt, Treasuries fall (finally), trouble in Greece equals trouble in the Eurozone,  The Clapper (humor), foreclosures by state, Tobin's Q, Fannie and Freddie waive appraisals, freight haulers slam on the brakes, and unemployment claims surge. 

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"November blew away even the most pessimistic estimates"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 6:36 PM

Amidst all of the Fuzzy Numbers offered up, there are two that I trust implicitly because they cannot be gamed, massaged, seasonally adjusted, imputed, or hedonically inflated.

They are taxes and gaming revenues.

Today there were a couple of mind-blowing numbers. Think about these next two articles as if you were a government budget official trying to make plans or a social scientist attempting to assess the current social mood.

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Daily Digest - Dec 10

Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 4:03 PM

Oracles of doom, consumer credit decreases, world's hungry near 1 billion, the financial "experts" speak, and hotels in for some rough sailing.