Daily Digest

Daily Digest 12/30 - A Thinly Veiled Bail, Photos Of Japan's Exclusion Zone, War Imminent In Straits Of Hormuz?

Friday, December 30, 2011, 11:49 AM
  • Repo Men
  • What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?
  • How Banks Cheat Taxpayers
  • A Thinly Veiled Bail
  • Is It Too Late To Buy Gold And Silver? - Mike Maloney
  • Venezuela to Open up Massive Natural Gas Field with European Investment
  • Oil Prices Predicted to Stay Above $100 a Barrel Through Next Year
  • War Imminent in Straits of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil?
  • An Entrepreneurial Solution To The Problem Of Getting Local Food To Local Tables: Trust, Convenience, And Perceived Value
  • Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone

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Economy

Repo Men (Phil H.)

That’s a pretty fantastic lineup, from Wall Street’s point of view, but the real bonus turned out to be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who came up through the ranks as part of the bipartisan Robert Rubin–Hank Paulson–Citigroup–Goldman Sachs cabal. Geithner, a government-and-academe man from way back, never really worked on Wall Street, though he once was offered a gig as CEO of Citigroup, which apparently thought he did an outstanding job as chairman of the New York Fed, where one of his main tasks was regulating Citigroup — until it collapsed into the yawning suckhole of its own cavernous ineptitude, at which point Geithner’s main job became shoveling tens of billions of federal dollars into Citigroup, in an ingeniously structured investment that allowed the government to buy a 27 percent share in the bank, for which it paid more than the entire market value of the bank.

What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds? (June C.)

The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud.

How Banks Cheat Taxpayers (June C.)

There is absolutely no good reason why all debt issues are not put up to competitive bids. This is not like defense contracting, where in some situations it is at least theoretically possible that X or Y company is the world’s only competent manufacturer, say, of armor-plated Humvee doors, or some such thing. It’s still wrong and perverse when companies like Halliburton or Blackwater get sole-source defense contracts, but at least there’s some kind of theoretical justification there.

A Thinly Veiled Bail (Ilene)

In exchange for Euros as collateral, the ECB gets non-technically loaned Dollars which it then lends to European banks. The additional Dollars flowing to the EU banks enable the ECB not to release more Euros to the EU banks and into circulation. According to O'Driscoll, this "Byzantine financial arrangement" was designed perfectly to confuse people.

Is It Too Late To Buy Gold And Silver? - Mike Maloney (adam)

With the recent price drop around the precious metals over the past month, many people are wondering if the precious metals bull market is coming to an end... If they should sell now at a loss before the price dives even more...

So... Are they right? Should you sell your metals, or buy more? Is the price going to increase or decrease from here?

Energy

Venezuela to Open up Massive Natural Gas Field with European Investment (James S.)

ENI issued a statement noting, “Following the execution of the gas sales agreement, Cardon IV will proceed to the final investment decision for Phase I, which includes the utilization of the wells already drilled and the installation of light offshore platforms linked through a gas pipeline to a central processing facility located onshore. Phase I has an estimated cost of $1.4 billion, incorporating some of the investment necessary for subsequent phases (mainly for pipeline and platforms). Phase II and III will require additional drilling from the platforms installed in Phase I, and the expansion of the CPF processing capacity.”

Oil Prices Predicted to Stay Above $100 a Barrel Through Next Year

Now, though, the focus has turned to Iran. On Wednesday, Iran and the United States sharpened their tone over Iran’s vow to close the Strait of Hormuz if Western powers tried to stifle Iran’s petroleum exports.

War Imminent in Straits of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil? (James S.)

The participating Iranian forces have been divided into two groups, blue and orange, with the blue group representing Iranian forces and orange the enemy. Velayat 90 is involving the full panoply of Iranian naval force, with destroyers, missile boats, logistical support ships, hovercraft, aircraft, drones and advanced coastal missiles and torpedoes all being deployed. Tactics include mine-laying exercises and preparations for chemical attack. Iranian naval commandos, marines and divers are also participating.

Environment

An Entrepreneurial Solution To The Problem Of Getting Local Food To Local Tables: Trust, Convenience, And Perceived Value (jdargis)

Hudson Valley Harvest is the brain-child of Paul Alward, who happens to be both a farmer himself and, in the spirit of full disclosure, a good friend. The company has pulled together a line of locally grown and processed frozen vegetables and naturally-raised beef and pork now available in 21 grocery stores and 10 restaurants in the NYC Metro area. They plan many more. The vegetables (this year’s crop: corn, greens, summer squash, tomatoes, broccoli, and edamame) all come from a network of independent small-scale farms. Produce is harvested at peak freshness, quickly brought to a processing plant in Kingston, and flash-frozen. Individual packages come from single farms and are labelled so as to be completely traceable from ground to package (see picture and caption).

Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone (jdargis)

What does a sudden evacuation look like? After everyone is gone, what happens to the places they've abandoned? National Geographic Magazine sent Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder to the nuclear exclusion zone around Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant to find out. Evacuated shortly after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami led to a nuclear radiation crisis, the area has been largely untouched, with food rotting on store shelves and children's backpacks waiting in classrooms. The area may face the same fate as the town of Pripyat, Ukraine after the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.

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."

10 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 4149
thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1615
Rural vs. urban when SHTF

I know a lot of people are concerned about the best type of location to be in when the SHTF.  Ferfal (www.themodernsurvivalist.com) doesn't like remote/rural locations any more than urban ones.  Small town is more to his liking.  Here is an exchange he just posted re: that issue.


Just wanted to reinforce the correctness of your stance on being close enough to town/city to get good medical care in a timely fashion. 

My aunt lives in the Western US 2+ hours from any specialist type of medical care and even hit and miss ambulance type access if the weather is bad.  This remoteness came back to bite her this last week when she had an emergency and was not able to get to a specialist until 4 days later when the roads/weather cleared enough to drive into where they needed to go. 

She did finally get an ambulance to her on the icy roads, but they where not able to help her and she did not receive any help until my uncle was able to drive her into the city 4 days later.

As a result of burst blood vessel in her eye or some such thing she not only was in excruciating pain, but is also likely blind now as well.

-SD

 

Hi SD, Indeed its one of those things that people overlook. They will chose to live 100 miles from the nearest town because its supposedly safer when the hordes of stupid city folks suddenly turned into zombie locusts come rolling down, yet they completely ignore the most logical, most probable causes of death which usually requires immediate medical attention and your odds of survival drop 5% every minute you delay it.

FerFAL 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
thc0655 wrote: I know a lot
thc0655 wrote:

I know a lot of people are concerned about the best type of location to be in when the SHTF.  Ferfal (www.themodernsurvivalist.com) doesn't like remote/rural locations any more than urban ones.  Small town is more to his liking.  Here is an exchange he just posted re: that issue.


Just wanted to reinforce the correctness of your stance on being close enough to town/city to get good medical care in a timely fashion. 

My aunt lives in the Western US 2+ hours from any specialist type of medical care and even hit and miss ambulance type access if the weather is bad.  This remoteness came back to bite her this last week when she had an emergency and was not able to get to a specialist until 4 days later when the roads/weather cleared enough to drive into where they needed to go. 

She did finally get an ambulance to her on the icy roads, but they where not able to help her and she did not receive any help until my uncle was able to drive her into the city 4 days later.

As a result of burst blood vessel in her eye or some such thing she not only was in excruciating pain, but is also likely blind now as well.

-SD

 

Hi SD, Indeed its one of those things that people overlook. They will chose to live 100 miles from the nearest town because its supposedly safer when the hordes of stupid city folks suddenly turned into zombie locusts come rolling down, yet they completely ignore the most logical, most probable causes of death which usually requires immediate medical attention and your odds of survival drop 5% every minute you delay it.

FerFAL 

What makes ANYONE think things will be normal, even close to amenities, once TSHTF?  Where will ambulances get fuel from?  We seem to have this attitude that help should always be at hand.... well let me tell you, it's all an anomaly, didn't exist for 99% of humanity's existence, and you know what?  WE ALL DIE ANYWAY SOONER OR LATER.....  I'm not too hung up over my mortality, I just don't want to freeze to deat, or die of starvation, or burnt to a crisp under our tropical sun.  When it's all over, it's all over...

Mike

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2009
Posts: 166
Rural Living

 It seems to me the lady described was not very self sufficient or had no one around that was capable of taking care of business. How could anyone be trapped in a location for four days? I have lived through some of the worst storms you could imagine and I was still able to get out to medical attention. No point is proven when a helpless person is picked as the example. How about that comment that you chances of survival drop 5% every minute, so this lady should have been dead in twenty minutes or just a little longer than the average time it takes an ambulance to get to an emergency in the city.

If a person decides to live in a remote area they should make sure they are capable of getting to "help", without relying on others, no matter what the conditions. Thats the point in living a resilient lifestyle, not having to count on anyone to come save you. Save yourself!

Rich

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1325
Do you carry around a sign "The end of the world is nigh?"
Damnthematrix wrote:

What makes ANYONE think things will be normal, even close to amenities, once TSHTF?  Where will ambulances get fuel from?

Mike, really?  This Mad Max outcome seems a bit unrealistic.  Yes, we could have brief interruptions, fuel most likely will become much more expensive, but I highly doubt it will simply be unavailable for the long term anytime in the next 20 years.

The much more likely scenario is a shock with rationing and limited availability at high prices for general use, but military, police, and emergency services will certainly be given priority.  People will be forced to finally make decisions about what is important: fire department and police or fancy new office buildings for city officials and stadiums. 

Eventually it will become apparent to all that up until now many governments threaten to cut critical services first in order to get tax increases passed, then people will make the choice to cut unnecessary spending and keep services that are important and that includes allocation of scarce resources (such as fuel) to important things.  We just haven't got to the realization yet that you can't have it all.

 

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

What makes ANYONE think things will be normal, even close to amenities, once TSHTF?  Where will ambulances get fuel from?

Mike, really?  This Mad Max outcome seems a bit unrealistic.  Yes, we could have brief interruptions, fuel most likely will become much more expensive, but I highly doubt it will simply be unavailable for the long term anytime in the next 20 years.

Really?  ALL it would take is for the morons in charge to go stupid over the Strait of Hormuz....  supply is already so tight, ANY disruption will cause chaos.  I think this year will start bringing shortages as production starts falling.

Then there's the EXPORT LAND MODEL.  Surely you've heard of this on this site?  Mexico's production is in such steep decline, they will likely stop selling you guys oil within five years.  I suppose you could invade Mexico......

Then there's the Saudis who I think are past peak and will be struggling to continue exporting as much as they currently are in view of their skyrocketing domesting demand (ELM again)

As everyone's production starts failing, they will ALL want to import more and more from countries getting less and less willing to do so.

Where have you been?  Hiding under a rock?

rhare wrote:

The much more likely scenario is a shock with rationing and limited availability at high prices for general use, but military, police, and emergency services will certainly be given priority.  People will be forced to finally make decisions about what is important: fire department and police or fancy new office buildings for city officials and stadiums.

Well in your country I doubt they'd send an ambulance unless you could prove you could pay for it.....  and WTSHTF, people like you and me will be on our own!

The future of oil production looks like this:

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1325
Like a caveman....
Damnthematrix wrote:

Where have you been?  Hiding under a rock?

If you look at values on the Hubert net energy curve, you find then in about 2025-2030 we will have about 15% of the oil we have today.  That doesn't include natural gas or electricity.  What I said is people will prioritize.  It's quite possible you will only have abulances and delivery trucks on the roads since oil will be too expensive for any other use.  It's also quite possible that we will extract oil with a negative EROI, since liquid fuels have such high utility.  We may expend a lot more electricity from coal or other sources to produce oil.

People will choose food delivery and emergency care over other uses.    Emergency vehicles will probably be some of the first converted to natural gas or electric - they will also be one of the last to use liquid fuels since they will be given priority.

So no, I don't expect Mad Max scenario - at least not in the next 20 years.  Lot's of painful adjustment to a lower standard of living - yes.

horstfam's picture
horstfam
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2008
Posts: 71
40,000 new laws in 2012! Happy New Year!

I think 2012 will definitely be "different". The truth is stranger than fiction:

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/40-000-new-laws-for-the-new-year/6lqf92p?cpkey=07050409-91f4-4815-8b01-8a461d26ae45%7C%7C%7C%7C

 

 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Poking a Lemings nest.

Poking a hornets nest gleefully I say "Boys, Boys, settle down. We are saved."

I have it on good authority that there is plenty of oil.

The trends are solid enough that Exxon Mobil Corp. predicts in its 2012 energy outlook that tight oil will contribute about 5% of the world’s liquid fuels by 2040

5%!! We are saved. Not to mention the extra Carbon that we release into the atmosphere. If we find it, by God we will burn it.

And we will absolutely not look at any potential solutions.

On, On Dear Lemmings. Destiny awaits.

Eer. Come to think of it- 5% of what?  in 2040?  5% of 10 barrels is a half a barrel.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals

Visiting here in Connecticut, we were just shopping for some vegetables and I saw one of my favorites: cauliflower.

Lo and behold, where was it grown? Holtville, California, in the irrigated desert of Imperial County, just a few miles from the Mexican border.

According to Google, that's 2,766 mile drive from the fields in Holtville to the ShopRite at the Shoppes At Farmington Valley, an outdoor mall in Canton, Connecticut...

Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals
"Clamshell containers on supermarket shelves in the United States may depict verdant fields, tangles of vines and ruby red tomatoes. But at this time of year, the tomatoes, peppers and basil certified as organic by the Agriculture Department often hail from the Mexican desert, and are nurtured with intensive irrigation. Growers here on the Baja Peninsula, the epicenter of Mexico’s thriving new organic export sector, describe their toil amid the cactuses as planting the beach.'"
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/science/earth/questions-about-organic-produce-and-sustainability.html

Poet

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