Daily Digest 11/22 - Soros Bets Big On Gold, Cornucopia of Prosperity Can Flow From Carbon Tax
Over the long run, the U.S. economy has grown an average of about 2.5 percent each year. Economists predict growth in the July-September quarter will be revised up to an annual rate of around 3 percent, above the government’s initial 2 percent estimate. But they think the economy is slowing to an annual growth rate below 2 percent in the October-December quarter — too slow to make much of a dent in unemployment.
When it was released a year ago this month, James Rickards' Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis was widely hailed and quickly adopted as a guidebook of sorts for economic conservatives, Fed critics and gold bugs -- especially gold bugs given Rickards' support for a return to the gold standard.
Central banks from Europe to China are pledging more steps to boost growth, raising concern about inflation and currency devaluation. Investors bought 247.5 metric tons through ETPs this year, exceeding annual U.S. mine output. While both sides said talks Nov. 16 between President Barack Obama and Congress over the so-called fiscal cliff were “constructive,” the Congressional Budget Office has warned the U.S. risks a recession if spending cuts and tax rises aren’t resolved.
Yang Jisheng: The man who discovered 36 million dead (westcoastjan)
"I could not say I was looking for data about the famine, I could only say I was looking for data about the history of China's agriculture policy. In the data, I found a lot of information about the famine, and people who starved from it. Some of the libraries allowed me to take photocopies; some only let me write the information down. These," he gestures casually at a teetering pile of brown envelopes on the floor, "are the photocopies".
CNOOC agrees to Canada’s demands for Nexen takeover: sources (westcoastjan)
Negotiators for the Canadian government adopted many of the conditions requested by Alberta Premier Alison Redford last month, which include guarantees that at least 50% of Nexen’s board and management positions be held by Canadians, the two people said on condition they not be identified because negotiations are confidential.
Special Report: How gaming Libor became business as usual (westcoastjan)
The problem with the CME's plan, as Engel saw it: The banks that set the rates in London daily were also able to take positions in the CME's Eurodollar contract. In her letter to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, she said tethering the futures contract to Libor "might provide an opportunity for manipulation" of the interest rate. A "bank might be tempted to adjust its bids and offers ... to benefit its own positions."
The most urgent problem facing the US and the Western nations is not a 'fiscal cliff.' It is the pernicious corruption in the financial system that has captured the politicians of both parties, and distorted the public conversation through influence in the media and directing the opinions and buying the research of 'experts' through the power of big money. The people are held hostage in a Bastille of deceit.
What a condemnation it is, that so few love the truth for itself, and willfully turn from it, being led in their choice by the lies that favor their particular flavor of greed, and rotten self-interest.
It might sound like a crowded living situation, but it's not uncommon. The Bruno family is one of 4.4 million American households who have three generations or more living under one roof. There are also an estimated 51.4 million Americans that currently live in homes with more than two generations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, multigenerational households are a growing trend, up 30 percent between 2000 and 2010, a figure that will only continue to grow, experts say.
By permitting Canadians to do business there, as much as by allowing Chinese firms to do business here, we are arguably signalling our acquiescence in, if not approval of, this behaviour. Certainly we are signalling there will be no economic price to be paid for it: you may mistreat innocent human beings on a mass scale — jail them, beat them, pluck their eyes out if you like — and commerce will flourish between us undiminished.
Urgently Needed: A Dumber, Tougher Grid (guardia)
What was made clear by the “Frankenstorm,” the second costliest such event in U.S. history, after Katrina, is that as the world warms, waters rise, and turbulent storms become more violent and unpredictable, grids will have to be physically hardened. This will be an immensely complicated and expensive undertaking, considering that such an undertaking must include the grid’s natural extensions: electrified railways, subways, and light rail,
The nation's main focus is still "jobs, jobs, jobs". The President has his ear keenly attuned to the public voice, and he is right to insist economic prosperity must flow from any climate proposals.
The price of climate action will be acceptable if it is used to deliver what the public wants. Salespeople never begin by focusing on price, but rather strive to meet what the customer wants. Once the customer decides they want something, they are willing to pay the price to get it.
Given these trends, I find it very hard to imagine how Japan’s economy (e.g., as measured by GDP or GDP per capita) would have any chance of remaining at present levels in the face of -5 %/yr declines in petroleum consumption. Rather, for the next 10-15 years Japan is likely going to suffer even steeper economic declines than it has in the past 10-15 years.
Greenhouse Gases Hit Record High (westcoastjan)
"These billions of tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on Earth," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
"Future emissions will only compound the situation."
Part of the problem is the increasingly dysfunctional nature of a polarized and paralyzed U.S. political system -- including a Congress dominated by anti-environmental, anti-tax and often anti-government Republicans. Many of us -- not just Americans -- hope the president will show stronger leadership this time around. Unfortunately, his news conference statement sent mixed messages. Although he acknowledged that more should be done and promised to have "a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials" about reducing carbon, he also said "if the message somehow is that we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anyone's going to go for that. I won't go for that."
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