Daily Digest 9/27 - Silver Outshining Gold, The Desktop Drugstore
QE4? Why Wall Street Will Still Want More (David B.)
Sadly, the truth is that money printing is not a “quick fix” and it never has been. Just look at Japan. The Bank of Japan is on round 8 of their quantitative easing strategy, and yet things in Japan continue to get even worse.
But that is not going to stop the folks on Wall Street from calling for even more quantitative easing.
China And Japan: Could Asia really go to war over these? (westcoastjan)
Optimists point out that the latest scuffle is mainly a piece of political theatre—the product of elections in Japan and a leadership transition in China. The Senkakus row has boiled over now because the Japanese government is buying some of the islands from a private Japanese owner. The aim was to keep them out of the mischievous hands of Tokyo’s China-bashing governor, who wanted to buy them himself. China, though, was affronted. It strengthened its own claim and repeatedly sent patrol boats to encroach on Japanese waters. That bolstered the leadership’s image, just before Xi Jinping takes over.
Greek protest turns violent as tens of thousands march (westcoastjan)
Everyone from shopkeepers and pharmacists to teachers, customs workers and car mechanics joined the demonstration, seen as a test of public tolerance for more hardship after two years of harsh spending cuts and tax hikes.
“People, fight, they're drinking your blood,” protesters chanted as they banged drums.
3D printing: The desktop drugstore (westcoastjan)
“Learning while doing” is the philosophy behind the educational project in Pabal called the Vigyan Ashram – part of a worldwide project called FabLab, set up by physicist and computer engineer Neil Gershenfeld at Massachussetts Institute of Technology. Through this initiative, local villagers are taught to find ways of solving problems using kit given to them by MIT. With the ashram’s FabLab fully set up in 2004, the first project involved making a sensor to check milk quality. Later this year, Amitraj Deshmukh hopes to build something for the ashram that might prove to be a life-saving piece of kit in remote regions like this – a 3D printer.
Germany Acts to Increase Limits on High-Speed Trades (westcoastjan)
The latest occurred in early August in the United States, when problems with newly installed software caused the Knight Capital Group, a New Jersey broker that specializes in computer-driven trading, to lose $440 million. The problem led Knight’s computers to rapidly buy and sell millions of shares in more than 100 stocks for about 45 minutes after the markets opened on a Wednesday. Those trades pushed the price of many stocks up, and Knight lost money when it had to sell the shares back into the market at a lower price the next day.
"There's been a huge increase in emerging market demand as more people move up to the middle class, and silver is an easier acquisition for them," Lydon says in the attached video. "Although somewhat of a speculative investment ten years ago, gold and silver are now becoming a foundation investment." He says the average investor no longer just puts 60% in stocks and 40% bonds anymore.
Top investors expect financial tsunami in next year: survey (westcoastjan)
Two thirds of the investors surveyed said the tail-risk event would be triggered by the global economy falling into recession, another two thirds said it would be caused by the break-up of the euro and a fifth said it would be caused by a bank insolvency.
By 10am it emerged that Mr Perkins had single-handedly moved the global price of oil to an eight-month high during a "drunken blackout". Prices leapt by more than $1.50 a barrel in under half an hour at around 2am – the kind of sharp swing caused by events of geo-political significance. Ten times the usual volume of futures contracts changed hands in just one hour.
In one important respect, however, the present maelstrom is unique. Never before have we seen a financial crisis result in such all-encompassing and explosive growth in public indebtedness. This is not a problem exclusive to Britain, nor is the UK even the worst example of it. To a greater or lesser extent, all advanced economies that were directly involved in the financial crisis have suffered the same phenomenon, with public debt climbing to previously unthinkable levels. This might be understandable in the event of a no-holds-barred military conflict, where nations are fighting for their very existence, but for public indebtedness to be approaching such extremes in peacetime is quite without precedent.
Touch-and-go tablet and computer screens (westcoastjan)
Such a prospect might not seem as alarming as running out of essential commodities, such as food or water. But over the past few decades digital displays have become so enmeshed in our lives that they are integral to our social interactions and livelihoods from rural East Africa to the offices of Wall Street. I have met Kenyan fisherwomen trading their wares via SMS to clients based hundreds of kilometres away – an opportunity that depends on indium just as much as my need to read these words I am typing on my computer monitor.
Energy And Public Opinion: Confusion Reigns (James S.)
This survey, conducted by TNS Gallup at the behest of the Vestas wind energy company, shows that 85% of global consumers want more renewable energy, while 49% are even willing to pay more for products made using renewable energy. Getting more specific, the survey showed that 62% would be more willing to buy products from companies that use wind energy. The survey polled 24,000 people from over 20 countries. The poll also showed that 45% of those surveyed view climate change as one of the world’s key challenges.
According to a 2008 study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic contains just over a fifth of the world’s undiscovered, recoverable oil and gas resources. The melting of the polar ice cap has made the area more accessible to the majors than ever before.
Nature’s water purifiers help clean up lakes (westcoastjan)
By creating floating treatment wetlands out of small, human-engineered rafts of vegetation, researchers and entrepreneurs hope to provide these same ecological services to small, polluted bodies of water that may be far from a natural marsh. “BioHaven floating islands are concentrated wetland systems that are essentially biomimicking nature’s wetland effect,” says Bruce Kania, the founder and research director of Floating Island International, the company behind the Fish Fry Lake rafts.
Malaysia's environmentally sustainable 'smart villages' (westcoastjan)
The results have impressed the government. According to the United Nations, two-thirds of the poorest in Malaysia in 2009 lived in the countryside. That is why officials now want Iris to replicate the model on a bigger scale in five states.
The first one funded by the government is being built further north of Pahang state in the Kuala Lipis countryside in Benta village.
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