Daily Digest 2/18 - March 23 For Greece Default, Al. To Close Hospitals For Mentally Ill, "Peak Oil Is Dead", Says Citigroup
- Greece “Officially Defaults” March 23, Banks Close
- Alabama Plans to Close Most Hospitals for Mentally Ill
- Interference Seen in Philadelphia Papers
- After MF Global, Traders Hold Tight To Excess Collateral
- Beware Of A Volume Spike As It Could Be A Bad Sign
- Tax Cut Extension Passes; Everyone Claims a Win
- How About Gardening Or Golfing At The Mall?
- Citigroup Says Peak Oil Is Dead
- Shell Clears Major Hurdle in Its Bid for New Arctic Drilling
“A written document giving firm dates and detailed actions for a planned Greek default has been in the possession of two top Wall Street bank currency trading bosses since the second week in January,” Ward begins his blog post of the morning of Feb. 16. “The Slog has separate but corroborative sources affirming the existence of the document, and a conviction among senior bank staff that – at least at the time – the plan represented ‘a timetable, not a contingency’. The plan gives a firm date of March 23rd for default to be announced after the close of business.”
The decision to close four hospitals and lay off 948 employees is a bleak reminder of Alabama’s shrinking budget. But it is also the latest example in a longstanding national effort among states to relocate mentally ill patients from government hospitals to small group homes and private hospitals.
Interference Seen in Philadelphia Papers (jdargis)
Reporters and editors believe that coverage has been steered to favor the prospective buyers and fear what might happen once they control the papers. On Feb. 6, The Inquirer killed an article about a real estate developer who had put together a competing bid to buy the company, which went on the market earlier this month. Then, on Feb. 7, a company spokesman removed a post on The Daily News’s PhillyClout blog that mentioned other potential buyers.
"For the clients who haven't taken advantage of this, they are doing it more now," says Pauline Modjeski, president of Chicago-based Horizon Cash Management, which helps manage about $2.5 billion of cash on behalf of dozens of funds and traders.
"As opposed to sweeping large cash balances once in awhile, we're sweeping large cash balances every day."
The third occurrence of a drop in volume with the S&P in its own trend happened in the first six-and-a-half months of 2011. Once again the index was headed higher while the volume was trending lower. During the week of July 18, volume spiked well above the trendline and the index proceeded to fall sharply over the next 11 weeks. From the volume spike in July to the October low, the S&P lost just over 20%.
Democrats could count far more policy victories in the bill: the payroll tax break will not be paid for, large changes that Republicans sought to the unemployment insurance program were not realized, and the program was extended far beyond what the opposing party sought. But Republicans were satisfied that they had excised an election-year issue that Democrats were seizing on to harm them.
How About Gardening Or Golfing At The Mall? (Stephanie N.)
Malls, over the last 50 years, have gone from the community center in some cities to a relic of the way people once wanted to shop. While malls have faced problems in the past, the Internet is now pulling even more sales away from them. And as retailers crawl out of the worst recession since the advent of malls, many are realizing they are overbuilt and are closing locations at a fast clip.
Citigroup Says Peak Oil Is Dead (ewilkerson)
Changes in oil markets in the past decade have given significant traction to the argument that world oil production is close to peaking. Despite the huge incentive of a near-threefold increase in the price of benchmark Brent crude from 2000 to 2010, the world barely managed to eke out a 10% increase in crude oil production, according to BP data.
Many have argued that this proves the physical limit on global crude oil production is near, or may already have been passed.
Shell has spent more than $4 billion over five years in its quest to exploit the vast oil and natural gas resources believed to lie beneath the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off the north coast of Alaska. It has faced opposition from environmental groups and Alaska Natives who worry that extensive petroleum activities will foul the pristine seas and harm wildlife, including bowhead whales, ice seals, polar bears and walruses. Such environmental groups are likely to try to block any drilling in court if final federal approval is granted in coming months.
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