Daily Digest

Daily Digest 10/21 - BofA's Death Rattle, U.S. Dollar And Euro Review And Outlook, The Rip Van Winkle Market

Friday, October 21, 2011, 9:42 AM
  • Greece Sees Suicide Surge
  • The Silver Bull Market of 2012
  • Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer
  • Top U.S. Regulator Approves New Limit on Commodity Speculation in 3-2 Vote 
  • CFTC Finalizes Position Limits
  • U.S. Dollar and Euro - Review and Outlook
  • Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer
  • Bank of America Bosses Find Friend in the Fed: Jonathan Weil
  • Bank Of America's Death Rattle
  • FT Reports Europe To Sacrifice Its Banks To Bailout Sovereigns - Under €100 Billion In Bank Recap Funding Available
  • Franco-German deadlock over ECB’s role in rescue fund
  • My SHTF Experience - Wartime
  • Rip Van Winkle Market: 40 Years of This?
  • New TEPCO Photographs Substantiate Significant Damage to Fukushima Unit 3

Watch Chris speak at the Casey Research Center about how "without energy, the economy is meaningless." A must see video.

Economy

Greece Sees Suicide Surge (audio, TG)

The government's austerity package in Greece is beginning to show the strain on the population in a tragic way.

The BBC's Chloe Hadjimatheou reports from Athens on the surge in suicides which have almost doubled in the last few years.

The Silver Bull Market of 2012 (June C.)

With the limits soon going into effect, no institution is going to want to significantly add to short positions. Therefore, the only selling pressure that can drive silver lower from here will have to come from discouraged spec longs. But here's the rub: Spec longs peaked in early April near 50,000 contracts. In the subsequent decline from $48 to today's $32, we've lost over half of that spec long position. The latest CoT spec long total was just 23,571. How many more specs can be chased from silver to drive price substantially lower from here? 2,000? 5,000?. It's hard to say but this much I do know...get ready for more, even crazier volatility.

Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer (Doug)

This changes the picture completely. This move reflects either criminal incompetence or abject corruption by the Fed. Even though I’ve expressed my doubts as to whether Dodd Frank resolutions will work, dumping derivatives into depositaries pretty much guarantees a Dodd Frank resolution will fail. Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. [Background.] So this move amounts to a direct transfer from derivatives counterparties of Merrill to the taxpayer, via the FDIC, which would have to make depositors whole after derivatives counterparties grabbed collateral. It’s well nigh impossible to have an orderly wind down in this scenario. You have a derivatives counterparty land grab and an abrupt insolvency. Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.

Top U.S. Regulator Approves New Limit on Commodity Speculation in 3-2 Vote (June C.)

“Our duty is to protect both market participants and the American public from fraud, manipulation and other abuses,” Chairman Gary Gensler said at the commission’s meeting in Washington in support of the rule. “Position limits have served since the Commodity Exchange Act passed in 1936 as a tool to curb or prevent excessive speculation that may burden interstate commerce.”

CFTC Finalizes Position Limits (June C.)

Non-spot-moth position limits will be set using the 10/2.5% formula. A single trader can hold 10% of the contract’s first 25,000 of open interest, and 2.5% thereafter. The limits will be reset biennially based on two year open interest data. Open interest will be calculated as futures open interest + cleared swaps open interest + uncleared swaps open interest. These limits will go into effect for the nine “legacy” contracts listed above sixty days after the CFTC finalizes the further definition of “swap” at levels specified in the rule. For all other contracts, the limits will be made effective by Commission order after the collection of one year of interest data. These will be adjusted biennially.

U.S. Dollar and Euro - Review and Outlook (Joe P.)

Weakening global fundamentals were largely driven by elevated concerns over the contagion effects of the periphery nation crisis in the Eurozone, and the apparent lack of a ready solution to satisfactorily tackle the issues. While we maintain a positive long-term outlook on the euro, we nonetheless decided to reduce the currency’s allocation during the year, largely driven by our assessment that there was an increased likelihood of the European Central Bank (ECB) pursuing more expansionary monetary policies.

Federal Reserve and Bank of America Initiate a Coup to Dump Billions of Dollars of Losses on the American Taxpayer (June C.)

If you have any doubt that Bank of America is going down, this development should settle it …. Both [professor of economics and law, and former head S&L prosecutor] Bill Black (who I interviewed just now) and I see this as a desperate move by Bank of America’s management, a de facto admission that they know the bank is in serious trouble.

Bank of America Bosses Find Friend in the Fed: Jonathan Weil (pinecarr)

Here’s the gist of the story, broken two days ago by Bloomberg News. Bank of America, which got hit with a credit- rating downgrade last month by Moody’s Investors Service, has moved an undisclosed amount of derivative financial instruments from its Merrill Lynch unit to its biggest commercial-banking subsidiary. The latter is loaded with insured deposits and has a higher credit rating than Merrill or the parent company.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is objecting to the transfers. That part is easy to understand: More risk for the retail lender means more risk for FDIC-insured deposits, which ultimately are backstopped by the U.S. government.

The Fed, however, has signaled to the FDIC that it favors the transfers. Shifting the derivatives to the commercial lender may let Bank of America avoid collateral calls and termination fees stemming from the rating downgrade. Some Merrill clients may prefer having their contracts with the higher-rated unit. In short, the Fed’s priorities seem to lie with protecting the bank-holding company from losses at Merrill, even if that means greater risks for the FDIC’s insurance fund.

Bank Of America's Death Rattle (June C.)

B of A is really “Nations Bank” (formerly named NCNB). When Nations Bank acquired B of A (the San Francisco based bank), the North Carolina management took complete control. The North Carolina management decided that “Bank of America” was the better brand name, so it adopted that name. The key point to understand is that Nations/NCNB was created through a large series of aggressive mergers, so the bank had exceptional experience in conducting due diligence of targets for acquisition and it would have sent its top team to investigate Countrywide given its size and notoriety. The acquisition of Countrywide did not have to be consummated exceptionally quickly. Indeed, the deal had an “out” that allowed B of A to back out of the deal if conditions changed in an adverse manner (which they obviously did).

FT Reports Europe To Sacrifice Its Banks To Bailout Sovereigns - Under €100 Billion In Bank Recap Funding Available (pinecarr)

End result: this is very bad for Europe because it means they have finally done the math and realize that to get the €2 trillion or so in EFSF insured capital they have to sacrifice their banks. Alas, there is no outcome that saves both the banks, and guarantees future European sovereign issuance under the currently contemplated structure. None.

Franco-German deadlock over ECB’s role in rescue fund (pinecarr)

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has raised the stakes dramatically in Europe's debt crisis. "If there isn't a solution by Sunday, everything is going to collapse," he told his inner circle before an emergency trip on Wednesday night to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Frankfurt.

My SHTF Experience - Wartime (Phil H.)

I am from Bosnia, and as some of you may know it was hell here from 92-95, anyway, for 1 whole year I lived and survived in a city of 50,000- 60,000 residents WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water, real food distribution, or distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government. The city was surrounded for 1 year and in that city actually it was SHTF situation.

Rip Van Winkle Market: 40 Years of This? (art)

Greek debt is beyond blown out, the yield on Italian ten year debt is back over 6%, and spreads of Franco CDS continue to rise. There is so much more stress on the European financial system than anyone realizes. Contagion is spreading, and we could see the cracking of the Euro right before our very eyes.

The markets trade on every headline, positive or negative out of Europe, and will continue to do so until there is a plan. We were supposed to have a plan this weekend. Of course, there never was really going to be a plan. It has always been a plan to have a plan. Once you get into the fine details of the supposed plan, no one wants to be a part of it. Germany's citizens will not bail out all of Europe, and France can not do it alone.

New TEPCO Photographs Substantiate Significant Damage to Fukushima Unit 3 (Jeff B.)

Now Tokyo Electric has released a new photograph. The first photograph is taken from behind the building, so you are still looking out toward the ocean at a slightly different camera angle. The fuel pool is on the south side which is the right of this picture. Look in the center of the building. The roof has collapsed and there is a large kind of grey structure in there. That is the trolley for the overhead crane in the middle of the building. That crane is used to lift heavy components like the nuclear reactor head, and it is also used to lift shield plugs that go over top of the nuclear reactor before it starts up after every refueling. So the crane has collapsed but it is in the center of the building.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

16 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4239
Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3200
Europe's banks

What happens to American banks if Europe throws its banks under the bus?  There must be a lot of counter party exposure to derivatives held by those banks.  Will there be a domino effect?

Doug

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
I used to listen to Chris Whalen...

I used to listen to Chris Whalen but a while back he did this strange interview where he was talking up Bank of America. He talked about what a strong company it was and how there was no way it would go under and how he had all his money in that bank.

It really struck me as awkward and somewhat uncomfortable at the time and still does.

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal

Maybe a YouTube video that you can share, will spread the news to those who don't like to read the details.

Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal

Link to above video:

Supporting documentation and details on the $53 trillion in potential derivatives blow-up. Imagine if even 2% of it blows up. That's enough to clear the roughly $1 trillion deposited by Joe and Judy Sixpack.

Federal Reserve And Bank of America Initiate A Coup To Dump Billions Of Dollars Of Losses On the American Taxpayer
"Bloomberg reports that Bank of America is dumping derivatives onto a subsidiary which is insured by the government - i.e. taxpayers."
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/federal-reserve-and-bank-america-in...

Billions?!? I think more like Trillions!!!

Poet

 

plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
the end is nigh
Long article, more like a multi-segment blog from Kreiger (Burning Platform). If this doesn't convince you that the end is nigh, nothing will.
 
 
 
by Mike Krieger

Bloomberg article from yesterday

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-19/beltway-earnings-make-u-s-capit...

As a result of an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Government Accountability Office completed its second audit of the Federal Reserve. This report focuses on the enormous conflicts of interest that existed at the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. 

Here is what the GAO found:

-    The affiliations of the Federal Reserve's board of directors with financial firms continue to pose "reputational risks" to the Federal Reserve System.

-    The policy of the Federal Reserve to give members of the banking industry the power to both elect and serve on the Federal Reserve's board of directors creates "an appearance of a conflict of interest."

-    The GAO identified 18 former and current members of the Federal Reserve's board affiliated with banks and companies that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis including General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, and Lehman Brothers.

-    There are no restrictions on directors of the Federal Reserve Board from communicating concerns about their respective banks to the staff of the Federal Reserve.

-    Many of the Federal Reserve's board of directors own stock or work directly for banks that are supervised and regulated by the Federal Reserve. These board members oversee the Federal Reserve's operations including salary and personnel decisions.

-    Under current regulations, Fed directors who are employed by the banking industry or own stock in financial institutions can participate in decisions involving how much interest to charge to financial institutions receiving Fed loans; and the approval or disapproval of Federal Reserve credit to healthy banks and banks in "hazardous" condition.

-    The Federal Reserve does not publicly disclose its conflict of interest regulations or when it grants waivers to its conflict of interest regulations.

-    21 members of the Federal Reserve's board of directors were involved in making personnel decisions in the division of supervision and regulation at the Fed.

The Sanders Report on the GAO Audit on Major Conflicts of Interest at the Federal Reserve. 

<MORE>

RJE's picture
RJE
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 1369
Chris, on the European Central Bank and Crisis...

Simply put, I have spent many hours reading and listening to more interviews than is humanly possible over the last few weeks. Today I heard many suggest that if only the ECB would guarantee and backdrop everything, and NOT ONE responder said that in their opinion the ECB by way of Trichet gave the answer, and loudly in my mind, he didn't lower interests rates!? I have to believe that would have helped and sent a message at the same time. What message sent is the one I'm groping with. Sovereigns, you are on your own? France loses its AAA? (Not good). Now the incoming head of the ECB appears tougher or more hawkish than his predecessor and won't lower rates until December when the hard numbers on a contracting economy are known. The ECB will get involved then if things have contracted so badly because it is their sole mandate, inflation. I don't think this crisis can be propped up before then. I do think this is going to have a negative ending.

 

The markets reaction today went one way, and I went the other. Short on the markets, with a keen eye on China. Their numbers are hardly transparent, banking appears to be on the edge, and the City's to house Millions have no people. Housing bubble burst?  Please, anyone have their thoughts negative or otherwise feel free to punch holes in this. 

 

PS: This is more an exercise of trying to put my very immature financial mind together to try and understand this, and yet somehow it really makes sense enough to me, and my gut, to have bet a stipends, and went short!? I do love risk, being in the game.

plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
One possibility..

 

 "The Fed can inject money into the economy in still other ways. For example, the Fed has the authority to buy foreign government debt, as well as domestic government debt. Potentially, this class of assets offers huge scope for Fed operations, as the quantity of foreign assets eligible for purchase by the Fed is several times the stock of U.S. government debt." -  Bernanke.

 from the (in)famous speech..

  http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2002/20021121/default.htm

 

 On a less serious note..

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/8831450/Matt-keeps-us-laughing-through-the-troubles-in-the-UK-economy-and-the-eurozone-debt-crisis.html

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Greeks go back to the land

"People are coming back to farms around here that they abandoned years ago so they can grow potatoes, cabbages and vegetables to help them survive the crisis," says Petros Citouzouris, as he pruned his vines high in the mountains of Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades. The financial catastrophe in Greece is engulfing the most isolated parts of the country."

http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article21297

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Advice from the real Dr. House

1) If you take regular medication which isn’t a controlled substance (like opiods or benzodiazepines) and doesn’t require refrigeration, talk to your doctor about getting a few extra prescriptions “just for emergencies”. He or she may be willing to accommodate your request.

2) Grow your own poppies. Nobody wants to suffer from severe, long term pain. [Moderator's note: Also, nobody wants to pay a fine or go to jail - growing poppies is currently illegal in many countries, including the U.S.]

3) Have at least one book which deals with medical emergencies in a wilderness setting.

4) Take a basic course in first aid.

5) Avoid the cities at all costs — those outbreaks of once cured diseases will center on large collections of people.

6) Always wear good foot protection and other protective clothing and eye wear when needed. Remember, antibiotics will be a thing of the past (this is already starting, but that’s a different topic) and even a little cut can lead to death if it gets infected.

7) Make sure your water supply is not contaminated by feces from humans or any other animals. Many diseases are spread this way.

8) Wash your hands any time after you come into contact with blood, bodily fluids, or excrement.

9) Avoid those who are sick. This seems harsh by today’s standards, but this was common practice in times past.

10) Do your best to eat a wide variety of foods, focusing more on fruits and vegetables with a minimum of red meats.

 

Advice from the Real Dr. House.

 

 

 

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
 

 

 
 

www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29474.htm

 

By Mike Whitney

October 21, 2011 "Counterpunch" - -Why is Bank of America moving derivatives from Merrill Lynch to an insured subsidiary? Is it because the derivatives could blow up at any time leaving Merrill with gigantic, unsustainable losses? If that’s the case, then it would make perfect sense to shift them into a depository institution that’s covered by the FDIC. That way, the taxpayers would wind up paying for the damage and no one would be the wiser. It’s like a stealth bailout, right? The only problem is that Bloomberg let the cat out of the bag, so now everyone knows what’s going on. And that’s going to be a very big problem for B Of A.  Here’s a clip from the Bloomberg article:


“Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

“The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

“Three years after taxpayers rescued some of the biggest U.S. lenders, regulators are grappling with how to protect FDIC-insured bank accounts from risks generated by investment-banking operations. Bank of America, which got a $45 billion bailout during the financial crisis, had $1.04 trillion in deposits as of midyear, ranking it second among U.S. firms.” (“BofA Said to Split Regulators Over Moving Merrill Derivatives to Bank Unit”, Bloomberg)

There are two things worth noting in this article. First, according to Bloomberg, “the transfers (of derivatives) are being requested by counterparties.” Well, how do you like that? In other words, the investors on the other side of these contracts want Merrill to put them under an insurance umbrella provided by the FDIC.

Now, why would that be? The only reason I can come up with, is that they know that a lot of these complex instruments are undercapitalized and ready to implode, so they want to make sure they get their money back any way possible. That means they need to latch on to Uncle Sam without anyone knowing about it. But, like we said, the cat is out of the bag.

The other thing worth noting is that the Fed and the FDIC are at loggerheads over the matter. (“The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting.”) Now, that’s not good at all, in fact, it’s a big red flag that suggests the Fed trying to pull a fast one on the American people. One does not have to look too far for other examples of Fed misbehavior; the endless bailouts (TARP, QE1 and 2, Operation Twist, ZIRP, etc) In fact, the Fed’s history is a tedious chronicle of one shifty deal after another. This is just more of the same; another gift to big finance at the public’s expense.

It’s ironic that the B Of A flap is taking place at the same time the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO)  just released its report on conflicts of interest in the Fed. It helps to put the Fed’s dubious behavior into context. This is a summary of the report from Washington’s Blog:


“The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves….

“The corporate affiliations of Fed directors from such banking and industry giants as General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, and Lehman Brothers pose ‘reputational risks’ to the Federal Reserve System, the report said. Giving the banking industry the power to both elect and serve as Fed directors creates ‘an appearance of a conflict of interest,’ the report added….

Joseph Stiglitz – former head economist at the World Bank and a Nobel-prize winner – said yesterday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it is ‘corrupt’ and undermines democracy.

Stiglitz said,  ‘If we [i.e. the World Bank] had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure.’” (“Non-Partisan Government Report: Federal Reserve Is Riddled with Corruption and Conflicts of Interest,” Washington’s Blog)

So, no one should be surprised that the Fed is involved in another sketchy deal. Even so, this particular maneuver really seems to have hit a nerve with some prominent and usually even-tempered, financial bloggers, like Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism. Here’s Smith’s take on the Fed’s subterfuge:


“This move reflects either criminal incompetence or abject corruption by the Fed. Even though I’ve expressed my doubts as to whether Dodd Frank resolutions will work, dumping derivatives into depositories pretty much guarantees a Dodd Frank resolution will fail. Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. So this move amounts to a direct transfer from derivatives counterparties of Merrill to the taxpayer, via the FDIC, which would have to make depositors whole after derivatives counterparties grabbed collateral. It’s well nigh impossible to have an orderly wind down in this scenario…..This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors. No Congressman would dare vote against that. This move is Machiavellian, and just plain evil.” (Naked Capitalism)

“Just plain evil.” Maybe that should be the Fed’s byline?

Anyway, Smith is not alone in her contempt for the Fed, but there are those who feel she may be off-base in her assessment of what is going on vis a vis the derivatives dump. Bank analyst Christopher Whalen at Reuters thinks that the transfer could be a sign that B of A is getting ready to throw in the towel. Here’s an excerpt from the article:


  “…. the move to put the derivatives exposures of Merrill Lynch under the lead bank could be preparatory to a Chapter 11 filing by the parent company. The move by Fannie Mae to take a large junk of loans out of BAC, the efforts to integrate parts of Merrill Lynch into the bank units earlier this year, and now the wholesale shift of derivatives exposure all suggest a larger agenda.

“I don’t have any access to inside skinny, but what I see suggests to this investment banker that a restructuring may impend at Bank of America.” (“Is Bank of America planning for a Chapter 11″, Reuters)

“Restructuring”? So is B of A headed for the glue factory?

No one knows for sure, but the banking behemoth has been laying off workers by the thousands, slashing expenses, and raising fees while its stock has dropped 49 per cent in a year. These are hardly signs of a thriving business.

So, consider this: If you were in Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s shoes, what would you do?

Let’s say the second biggest bank in the country is starting to teeter because it’s loaded with all manner of dodgy (toxic?) derivatives that could blow up at any minute and take down the entire global financial system. Would you (a) Wait until the bombshell exploded knowing that the only choice you would then have would be to further expand the Fed’s balance sheet by another couple trillion dollars or (b) Try to sleaze the whole thing off on Uncle Sam and let the taxpayers pick up the tab?

I’m not sure, but I think Bernanke may have chosen (b).

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
I up your good news Plato.

Plato

 Some good news..

I interpret this to mean that the flow of oil has not been increased by the invasion of Iraq.

If not this, then what?

I lifted this picture from here.

Which horse did the West back? They chose the tried and true war horse. Cost billions, proved to the world that the USA is impotent, got thousands slaughtered and failed.

And ignored what they should be good at.            Basic research and development.

Stick with your strengths.

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
The Real Dr. House

Hey Arthur,

I enjoyed the article and I'm not sure who flagged it - but I can see why.
it strikes me as particularly irresponsible to encourage people to grow their own opium. Not because it's not a practical, utilitarian thing to do - It is. But because of the risks associated.

First and foremost - if one is successful in taking poppy seeds and turning them into usable opium, there is almost no consideration given to dosage. This is exceedingly important - I did a report on primitive medicine before I left for this deployment and one of the common complaints with Opium during the frontier expansion was that a dose too low was ineffective, whereas too high of a dose carried the risk of accidental overdose - neither is good for the patient.

In addition to this, the poppy plants themselves are not homogenous in their concentration of the alkaloids that produce the analgeisic effects associated with narcotics. This inconsistency makes it highly irresponsible of Dr. House to recommend that people grow their own opium for use during a social collapse.

While I think that some domestic production would be good, and ultimately could do a good deal of difference in that situation (in essence, I agree with him about the fragile infrastructure that medicine finds itself perched) the risks greatly outweigh the potential consequences for the average citizen.

A further concern is the probability of addiction - especially when coupled with the depressing surroundings of a collapsed America, and all the social deprevation that comes along with it. Opium as a 'crutch' could make what would have been a medicinal operation evolve into an illicit trade without much of a tailwind.

That said, I'm not a Doc - just a wannabe. Hopefully, one of our resident M.D.'s can chime in and correct me if I've made any mistakes in my understanding.

Cheers, and thanks for the interesting read.

Aaron

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
A possible future of medicine.

I am glad that you emphasised the physical risks of pain relief from raw Opium Aaron.

My post was flagged because of the legal risks. People are always telling me how things stand at present.

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
Present vs. Future

Arthur,

Often enough, your posts highlight the differences in our way of thinking - but always in such a way that I can symphathize with the way you arrived at your conclusion.

I didn't take anything in your post to mean you were encouraging people to get into the horse trade in situ, now, so I find the flag kind of funny. Consideration needs to be given to these things - but I think dialog would work better than flagging for removal.

The rule of law - specifically drug laws - is rather new, and I think will become quite un-enforcable in the near term future. Arguably, we're already there... there's just happens to be enough funding to keep the enforcement heat on the high profile offenders.

Similar to prohibition, I think it's worth considering what society will be like when this concept of drugs and illegality evaporates. As such, it's worth evaluating the medicinal qualities of various herbal remedies.
Cumadin, for example is a synthetic derivitive of Dicoumarol, which is naturally found as a waste product from certain organic decay. I remember reading about it's anti-coagulate properties in the book "The first 100 years of Nino Cochise", which was an interesting account of the Apaches. One of their elders routinely ate leaves with Dicoumarol in small doses, and was said to live into his hundreds.

Anyhow - long story short - I'd rather look at these potential treatments now, with modern day chemistry, the internet, and academia a phone call away, rather than post-collapse, when I'm trying to scratch out a living.

Cheers!
Aaron

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Future medicine.

Medical issues are discussed on this forum.

Thanks for the link to Dicoumeral. I had never heard of it. Fungi will feature strongly. Penicillium springs to mind.

Mycelium (Mushrooms) are neither plant nor animal, and have been in an evolutionary race with pathogens since forever. This is why they are useful and interesting.

. Petroleum products and pesticides that can be contaminants of soil are organic molecules. Therefore, fungi should have potential to remove such pollutants from the soil environment, a process known as bioremediation.

 

Wiki Fungi are found in a suprisingly large array of food preperations. Bread, beer, miso, sauerkraut, yoghurt, cheese etc.

Opium is odd. It is not a fungus. We used to have a bee stings worth of Heroin on our dogtags in a war. Those who are blindly opposed to it change their position when their foot is blown off.

Wiki has a balanced expose.

Coral reefs and any complex eco-system are also important.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments