Daily Digest 9/21 - A Primer On Honesty, The Next Big Panic
Human beings basically try to do two things at the same time; on the one hand we want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves - ego motivation from honesty, and on the other hand we want to benefit from dishonesty.
So I ran that thesis past Robert Shiller, of Yale University, probably the foremost authority on real estate in America. He co-founded the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and predicted the American collapse in 2005, a year before it happened.
"I worry," he told me, "that what is happening in Canada is kind of a slow-motion version of what happened in the U.S.".
Belize wins 60-day reprieve after partial debt payment (westcoastjan)
"The government's decision on the coupon payment was taken in consultation with the [bondholder] committee and we consider it a material and good faith step in the right direction," said AJ Mediratta of Greylock Capital Management, co-chair of the committee.
What happened to America's community spirit? (westcoastjan)
America, a nation we associate with rugged individualism, is actually - at least in its suburban guise - a nation of rules and conformity, a nation of community spirit, enforced where necessary by law. You may not say and do what you like in America, whatever the constitution says. You are expected to play nice. And you are all - every American - "in this together".
The Next Panic (westcoastjan)
After World War II, Japan built a financial system modeled on those of Europe and the United States. Financial intermediation is an old and venerable idea—connecting people with savings to other people wanting to make investments. Such a sensible use of savings was taken to a new level in Japan, the U.S., and Europe in the decades following 1945—helping to fuel unprecedented growth for entrepreneurs and a genuine accumulation of wealth for the burgeoning middle class.
On one hand, you could let them all default. The problem is the criminal liabilities would drive the global and national leadership into factionalism that could turn violent, not to mention what such defaults would do to liquidity in the financial system. Then there is the fact that a great deal of the fraudulent paper has been purchased by pension funds. So the mark down would hit the retirement savings of the people who have now also lost their homes or equity in their homes. The politics of this in an election year are terrifying for the Administration to contemplate.
A series of new solicitations posted on the FedBizOpps website show that the DHS is looking to purchase 200 million rounds of .223 rifle ammunition over the next four years, as well as 176,000 rounds of .308 caliber 168 grain hollow point boat tail (HPBT) rounds in addition to 25,000 rounds of blank .308 caliber bullets.
Confiscation is already here. I am not talking about outright confiscation of assets, but the confiscation of the buying power by inflating the money supply. If you keep your money in a bank account or “invest” it in bonds, you are actually losing money in real terms (i.e. after inflation). The decrease of your wealth basically results in an increase of the wealth of governments and banks, hence fulfilling the definition of confiscation.
Violence In Kenya: Election Fighting (jdargis)
The death toll since August has been unprecedented. Survivors of the tit-for-tat clashes describe terrifying slaughter; villages surrounded, people massacred by gangs of youths armed with guns, machetes and spears. Many locals have blamed the severity of recent fighting on politicians whom they believe have stoked the violence for their own gain.
All of these factors have driven the speculation leading to this week’s drop in oil prices, but to varying degrees. The FedEx news had only a short-lived effect on the oil prices, for instance, as did the European Central Bank’s announcement that it would implement more monetary easing measures, while announcements coming out of Saudi Arabia that the country intends to keep production high in order to suppress prices has a more lingering effect on the market.
“This is the first association of an environmental chemical in childhood obesity in a large, nationally representative sample,” said lead investigator Leonardo Trasande, who studies the role of environmental factors in childhood disease at NYU. “We note the recent FDA ban of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, yet our findings raise questions about exposure to BPA in consumer products used by older children.”
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