Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/9 - The Year Of Living Dangerously, Rocks And Hard Places, How Peak Oil Will Fare In 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012, 10:42 AM
  • 2012 - The Year Of Living Dangerously
  • Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs
  • Rocks And Hard Places
  • As Home Prices Fall, Borrowers Walk Away
  • Manufacturing Is Surprising Bright Spot in U.S. Economy
  • BP Closes its Solar Business After 40 Years
  • How Will Peak Oil Fare In 2012
  • G.M. to Reinforce Battery in Its Hybrid Car, the Volt

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water


2012 - The Year Of Living Dangerously (JimQ)

The world is awash in debt. Everyone is focused on the PIIGS with their debt to GDP ratios exceeding the Rogoff & Reinhart’s 90% point of no return. But, the supposedly fiscally responsible countries like Germany, France, U.K., and the U.S. have already breached the 90% level. Japan is off the charts, with debt exceeding 200% of GDP. These figures are just for the official government debt. If countries were required to report their debt like a corporation, their unfunded entitlement promises to future generations are four to six times more than their official government debt.

Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs (jdargis)

“It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.”

Rocks And Hard Places (Ilene)

For the upcoming week, Phil is concerned that the Fed may need to encourage treasury buying by playing up fear. He wrote, “I think we should hold up Monday, but on Tuesday, there should be some bad news to scare people into Treasuries, and for sure on Wednesday, as a failed US 10-year auction is a disaster that the Fed is not willing to risk.”

As Home Prices Fall, Borrowers Walk Away (Jeff B.)

Strategic defaults like the one contemplated by Martin are on the rise. A survey last year by two Chicago-area finance professors, Paola Sapienza at Northwestern University and Luigi Zingales at the University of Chicago, found that roughly three out of 10 mortgage defaults in 2010 were by homeowners who could afford to make their payments, up from 22 percent in 2009.

"It's a looming problem that's in the shadows," said Jason Kopcak, a mortgage trader at Cantor Fitzgerald who advises lenders on how to value the loans on their books. "It's very worrisome to mortgage lenders."

Manufacturing Is Surprising Bright Spot in U.S. Economy (jdargis)

The United States is particularly strong in machinery, chemicals and transportation equipment, which together make up nearly half of the exports. Exports of computers and electronic products are growing, but are well below their precrisis levels. Production of cheaper computers and parts shifted to Asia long ago.


BP Closes its Solar Business After 40 Years (James S.)

Just as important is BP's failure to capitalize on innovative technologies that would have allowed the company to profit in the solar market. Nathan Stoddard, one BP's own researchers, invented a new way to make silicon wafers for solar cells that significantly cut the cost of high efficiency silicon solar panels. The technology was originally developed in 2006, but never fully commercialized.

How Will Peak Oil Fare In 2012 (James S.)

The peak oil story changed little last year. Global oil production hung in around 88 million barrels a day (b/d) despite the Libyan uprising which took nearly 1.6 million b/d out of production for several months. For much of last year global oil production was below consumption resulting in a gradual drawdown of world reserves. With OECD stockpiles of about 2.6 billion barrels, plus the new reserves being accumulated in China, a slight shortfall in production is not a problem for the time being.

G.M. to Reinforce Battery in Its Hybrid Car, the Volt (jdargis)

“The results of that crash test showed no intrusion into the vehicle’s battery compartment, and no coolant leakage was apparent,” the agency said in the statement. “The preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors today should address the issue of battery intrusion.”

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."


saxplayer00o1's picture
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U.S. debt is now equal to economy (USA Today)

"The soaring national debt has reached a symbolic tipping point: It's now as big as the entire U.S. economy.
The amount of money the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion.

That's roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year: $15.17 trillion as of September, the latest estimate. Private projections show the economy likely grew to about $15.3 trillion by December — a level the debt is likely to surpass this month.

"The 100% mark means that your entire debt is as big as everything you're producing in your country," says Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which has proposed cutting nearly $6 trillion in red ink over 10 years. "Clearly, that can't continue."

Long-term projections suggest the debt will continue to grow faster than the economy, which would have to expand by at least 6% a year to keep pace.

President Obama's 2012 budget shows the debt soaring past $26 trillion a decade from now. Last summer's deficit reduction deal could reduce that to $24 trillion."


Other headlines:


  1. Survey shows Germany already in recession: report
  2. Chicago Public Schools report more homeless students
  3. Monterey County sees a rise in homeless students, a need for resources
  4. Number of homeless students in Central Florida nears 10,000 as DCF issues call to action
  5. Soros Says World Economy Facing 'Vicious' Deflationary Cycle
  6. Holders Of Greek Debt To Be Asked To Accept 60% Haircut-Sources
  7. Nomura Cuts S. Korea's Growth Outlook For 2012
  8. ECB funding to Italy banks tops 200 bln eur in Dec
  9. IMF lowers global growth forecast as Europe struggles
  10. UniCredit Rights Fall in First Day of Trading; Share Decline
  11. State lawmakers open session facing $2 billion budget shortfall (Florida)
  12. Spain faces "unprecedented" deficit challenge



Tall's picture
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Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land

CHIOS, Greece — Nikos Gavalas and Alexandra Tricha, both 31 and trained as agriculturalists, were frustrated working on poorly paying, short-term contracts in Athens, where jobs are scarce and the cost of living is high. So last year, they decided to start a new project: growing edible snails for export.

As Greece’s blighted economy plunges further into the abyss, the couple are joining with an exodus of Greeks who are fleeing to the countryside and looking to the nation’s rich rural past as a guide to the future. They acknowledge that it is a peculiar undertaking, with more manual labor than they, as college graduates, ever imagined doing. But in a country starved by austerity even as it teeters on the brink of default, it seemed as good a gamble as any.


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Posts: 3998
GM Volt

RE: G.M. to Reinforce Battery in Its Hybrid Car, the Volt

"G.M. has sold about 8,000 Volts since the car, a plug-in hybrid that travels about 35 miles on battery power before using a gasoline engine for additional range

Nothing about the Volt’s 400-pound battery pack itself, which G.M. assembles at a factory near Detroit using lithium-ion cells from South Korea, will be altered."

So it takes a 400 pound battery pack to go 35 miles........  no wonder they're not making their targets!


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