Daily Digest

Daily Digest 12/23 - Big Banks Once Again Off The Hook, Riders On The Silver And Gold Storm, Gates Funds Battery Startup

Friday, December 23, 2011, 10:42 AM
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve Lets Big Banks Off The Hook… Again
  • Riders On The Gold and Silver Storm
  • Living large: Home going up in Highlandville to be one of country’s largest
  • As Economic Growth Fails, How Do We Live? Part II: Out With The Old
  • Bill Black: On the Incidence of Fraud Leading to the Crisis, the Absence of Prosecutions, Dodd Frank, and What Must Happen Now
  • Economy Contributes to Slowest Population Growth Rate Since ’40s
  • Scaling Caste Walls With Capitalism’s Ladders in India
  • Bill Gates Funds 'Big Battery' Startup

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The U.S. Federal Reserve Lets Big Banks Off The Hook… Again (David B.)

Delay has been a common theme for agencies charged with creating the regulations set out in Dodd-Frank. As of the beginning of December – 18 months after Dodd-Frank was signed into law – fewer than 25% of its hundreds of new rules have been finalized.

Riders On The Gold and Silver Storm (David B.)

To be right in the market, the consensus has to believe that you are wrong. Everything is down across the board in the junior mining (NYSEARCA:GDXJ) sector, yet we begin to detect what we forecasted a few months ago. Bernanke and the European Central Bank has arrows in their quivers, but in 2011 they have certainly chosen questionable ones.

Living large: Home going up in Highlandville to be one of country’s largest (Chris M.)

Beginning with a 23,000-square-foot basement, the house’s ground level is only slightly smaller and the second story is a little less than 22,000 square feet.

Garage space alone accounts for 4,000 square feet.

As Economic Growth Fails, How Do We Live? Part II: Out With The Old (Craig S.)

We cannot "set things right" in the sense of restoring things to the way they once were, but we must begin now to adapt to the new realities if we are to reduce suffering and continue an advanced culture. Today's article, "Out With the Old", will discuss the end to seven unsustainable practices. In the next and final article in this series, "In With the New" will discuss new ways of living we can adopt as economic growth fails.

Bill Black: On the Incidence of Fraud Leading to the Crisis, the Absence of Prosecutions, Dodd Frank, and What Must Happen Now (Jaime)

On the incidence of fraud : "Liars loans" means that there was no prudent underwriting of the loan. About one-third of all the loans made in 2006 were liars loans. The Anti-Fraud Specialist Unit of the Mortgage Bankers Association - the trade association of the perps - reported this to every member of the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2006. The Anti-Fraud Specialist Unit stated the following: 1. Liars loans are an open invitation to commit fraud, 2. Liars loans contain a 90% incidence of fraud, and 3. Loans that were named "Alt-A" were actually liars loans. So nobody can claim they did not know. After 2006, liars loans grew to comprise over half of all loans made.

Economy Contributes to Slowest Population Growth Rate Since ’40s (jdargis)

Underlying the modest growth was an immigration level that was the lowest in 20 years. The net increase of immigrants to the United States for the year that ended in July was an estimated 703,000, the smallest since 1991, Mr. Frey said, when the immigrant wave that dates to the 1970s began to pick up pace. It peaked in 2001, when the net increase of immigrants was 1.2 million, and was still above 1 million in 2006. But it slowed substantially when the housing market collapsed, and the jobs associated with its boom that were popular among immigrants disappeared.

caling Caste Walls With Capitalism’s Ladders in India (jdargis)

The rapid growth that followed the opening of India’s economy in 1991 has widened the gulf between rich and poor, and some here have begun to blame liberalization for the rising tide of corruption. But the era of growth has also created something unthinkable a generation ago: a tiny but growing group of wealthy Dalit business people.


Bill Gates Funds 'Big Battery' Startup (Chris M.)

"People love renewables," the company's founder, Donald Sadoway, who is also the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told us in an interview. "They love solar. They love wind. But both of those technologies are intermittent. And we don't need intermittent boosting of the grid. We need reliable power."

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Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011

People power: activism makes good  - Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets.

Running out of time on climate change - When our children look back on this decade they will likely seek to answer only one question: what was done to stem rising temperatures on Earth?

Two steps forward, one back in Indonesia on forests  - Indonesia finally passed its much heralded moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions on peatlands and in primary forests areas, but the moratorium was much weaker than expected, reflecting the influence of business-as-usual interests in the forestry sector on the Indonesian government (business-as-usual interests also stepped up pressure on green groups).

Fukushima meltdown - On March 11th, tragedy struck Japan in the form of a practically unprecedented (in recent human history) 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. Over 15,000 perished while entire cities were decimated by the worst earthquake in Japan's history. But the immediate disaster wasn't the only problem. The earthquake also lead to a meltdown at Fukushima nuclear power plant, which has become the most severe nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Extinction hits rhinos - This year confirmed the extinction of two rhinos: the Vietnamese rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) and the western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes).

Mixed signals from Brazil on deforestation - Brazil announced forest loss during the 2010-2011 deforestation year fell to the lowest level since annual record keeping began in 1988, a continuation of a three-year trend. But enthusiasm for the news was tempered by other developments that could increase risks to the Amazon. In December the Senate voted to revise the country's long-standing Forest Code, a move environmentalists fear could spark deforestation.

East African drought and famine - A punishing drought in East Africa, likely exacerbated by climate change, threatened over 13 million people this year.

Sharks see progress worldwide - In terms of wildlife conservation, 2011 was the year of the shark. Decimated by overfishing, by-catch, and shark finning, some shark populations have dropped by over 90 percent and, according to the IUCN Red List, nearly one-in-three sharks and rays are currently threatened with extinction. Yet this year may mark a turning of the tide for sharks.

Extreme weather everywhere - Another year means another pummeling from extreme weather, increasingly linked to climate change. Last year saw the Russian heatwave, drought in the Amazon, and record floods in South America and Pakistan to name a few. This year, the U.S. suffered a record number of extreme weather events that cost over $1 billion each: twelve.

Seven billion people - According to the UN, this year marked the first time seven billion hearts have beat on Earth all at once. The impact is unmistakable as cities swell, forests fall, and the blinking lights of humanity are captured each night by satellite. What does seven billion mean? It means feeding, clothing, housing, and educating twice as many people as before 1970.


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Bankruptcy Filing Raises Doubts About a Bond Repayment Pledge

That was the headline front and center of the online New York Times this evening.




Is the idea that municipal bankruptcies may cause repayment issues really a surprise at this point in the economic trainwreck?  Wow.

Merry Christmas to the whole CM crew and community by the way... maybe I better turn off the NYT and have a little eggnog.



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