Daily Digest 8/14 - China To Pass India As Biggest Gold User, And Pass U.S. As Top Oil Importer
At the same time, the U.S. electric grid is getting old. The average U.S. power plant is 30 years old, and 70 percent of the grid's transmission lines and transformers are at least 25 years old, making them weaker and more susceptible to failure in storms.
The last decade has seen copper prices spike, as the commodity supercycle helped propel a number of hard assets to new levels. Approximately 10 years ago, copper went for 80 cents a pound on the CME, that price has now jumped to $3 a pound (during a period where prices actually touched $4/pound during the height of the recession). The chart below shows the price of copper over the last 25 years.
Greece says its deep recession eased from April to June, but the country’s economy has now shrunk more than 20 percent in the last five years.
China will overtake India to become the biggest gold consumer this year as its bullion consumption jumped 54 percent in the first six months from a year earlier, according to the China Gold Association. Gold consumption, including jewelry, bars, coins and industrial use, totaled 706.4 tons in the first half, up 246.8 tons from a year ago.
In separate notes, Moody's attributed the decision to Illinois' unpaid bills and nearly $100 billion pension backlog.
The city’s bankruptcy threatens to change the rules of the municipal bond game and already is making it harder for other cities and counties in Michigan to borrow money. Over the past two weeks, three jurisdictions — Genesee County, Saginaw County and Battle Creek — delayed planned bond issues because the uncertainty surrounding Detroit had increased their borrowing costs.
"The imminent emergence of China as the world's largest net oil importer has been driven by steady growth in Chinese demand, increased oil production in the United States, and a flat level of demand for oil in the U.S. market," the EIA said in its latest outlook.
Despite all the grumbling about tuition increases and student loan costs, other college expenses also are going up.
Emanuel had predicted as much as $30 million in revenue from speed cameras in the first year, but was forced to pare that projection after the delays. Even so, the camera program promises to be a cash cow. Two locations that were part of pilot test of the speed cameras in December generated nearly 52,000 potential speeding violations, and found that one in 10 cars would have been ticketed.
Eight other locations will get the speed cameras next month, city officials said.
Many of the people driving around the suburbs in their giant SUVs while talking on their new cell phones are deeply in debt. If you ask them how they are doing, they will tell you that they are just barely getting by. According to a Federal Reserve Board study, 43 per cent of American families spend more than they earn.
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