Daily Digest

Daily Digest 2/21 - Silver Lease Rates Skyrocket, Drilling In Libya Suspended Over Unrest, Water And The Arab World

Monday, February 21, 2011, 11:49 AM
  • Silver Lease Rates Skyrocketing
  • New Haven Line Has Second Highest Ridership Ever
  • Stratfor's Geopolitical Intelligence Guidance For The Week Of February 20, 2011
  • Prove The Mayans Right: Address Structural Economic Problems With Chicanery 
  • Oil Majors Stall Libya Drilling, Withdraw Staff
  • BP Suspends Exploration as Libya Unrest Worsens; Eni Drops
  • As BP Prepares To Evacuate Staff From A Burning Libya, Commodities Are Exploding
  • Increased Costs For Wheat, Sugar, Gas Combined With Lower Wages Will Cause 'Tsunami' Of Living Costs
  • What Does The Arab World Do When Its Water Runs Out?

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Economy

Silver Lease Rates Skyrocketing (Claire H.)

All lease rates above 1%. Take a close look at the 30 day lease rate where it registers 1.2% and it is higher than the 60 and 6 months and 1 yr lease rate. What does this mean? Simple!!! There is no silver at any vault. When you have the lease rate at 1% and investment rate at .1% per annum, you are automatically in backwardation by a full .9% per annum. I smell trouble ahead.

New Haven Line Has Second Highest Ridership Ever (joemanc)

Metro-North's New Haven Line ridership increased in 2010 to reach its second highest level ever in a continuing trend that officials believe is a sign of economic recovery for the region.

New Haven Line ridership grew 2.8 percent year over year according to railroad statistics, increasing from 36.3 million in 2009 to 37.2 million in 2010, with ridership growing every month year over year from April onward, according to the railroad.

Stratfor's Geopolitical Intelligence Guidance For The Week Of February 20, 2011 (pinecarr)

As we pointed out earlier, the upcoming week will be quiet on economic and market events. What it, however, will be heavy on is revolutions, riots and the good old ultraviolence. Below is a useful primer from Stratfor for what is becoming an increasingly more complex geopolitical chess game, for the time being confined in the Maghreb, but soon spreading all across the Muslim crescent and soon thereafter into East Asia.

Prove The Mayans Right: Address Structural Economic Problems With Chicanery (pinecarr)

Seventy percent of our economy is driven from private sector employment:

Without consumers the economy is finished

Without jobs and with maxed out debt loads the consumer is finished

A fourth grader can connect these two dots and conclude: “It’s the jobs stupid.”

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Energy

Oil Majors Stall Libya Drilling, Withdraw Staff (Saxplayer00o1)

Royal Dutch Shell, whose operations in Libya are also limited to exploration, has temporarily relocated the dependents of expatriate staff outside the country, a spokesman for the Anglo-Dutch energy giant said, declining to comment further on operations.

BP Suspends Exploration as Libya Unrest Worsens; Eni Drops (Saxplayer00o1)

BP, which has no producing assets in the country, is evacuating families and non-essential staff, spokesman David Nicholas said today. Eni, the largest foreign producer in Libya, fell as much as 4.1 percent, the most since May.

As BP Prepares To Evacuate Staff From A Burning Libya, Commodities Are Exploding (pinecarr)

Is this one of those "who could have possibly seen it coming" moments? As events in Libya overnight spiralled out of control, with dozens if not hundreds killed, the parliament buildng in Tripoli on fire, and output at one of the country's oil fields reported to have been stopped by a workers' strike, BP has said it will soon begin evacuating some of its personnel from the 9th largest producer of oil. And just to complete the total chaos, Iran warships are now going to pass the Suez on Tuesday instead of today, to the full glory of a fully open US stock market. The result: gold over $1,400; silver over $33.50; Crude front month over $93; Brent over $105; etc.

Environment

Increased Costs For Wheat, Sugar, Gas Combined With Lower Wages Will Cause 'Tsunami' Of Living Costs (joemanc)

Fresh financial pain is on the way, with price hikes expected on everything from underwear to cereal. City merchants say they've held the line during the economic downturn, but now, because of the increased cost of cotton, wheat and other commodities, price increases are inevitable on almost everything we use.

What Does The Arab World Do When Its Water Runs Out? (SolidSwede)

For a region that expects populations to double to more than 600 million within 40 years, and climate change to raise temperatures, these structural problems are political dynamite and already destabilising countries, say the World Bank, the UN and many independent studies.

In recent reports they separately warn that the riots and demonstrations after the three major food-price rises of the last five years in north Africa and the Middle East might be just a taste of greater troubles to come unless countries start to share their natural resources, and reduce their profligate energy and water use.

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."

27 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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grl
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Wonder what happened to the BP oil?

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_sci_oil_spill_lingers

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When I read things like

When I read things like below, the contrarian in me says lookout for tought times ahead!!!

There are plenty of indications that the economy is shifting into higher gear. And they are not just buried in economists' models and spreadsheets, but evident in the day-to-day decisions consumers and business folks make.

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112150/signs-economy-is-on-the-upswing

 

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Exponential Growth With Diminishing/Deferred Resource Allocation

 

Re: What does the Arab world do when its water runs out? As we know, there will be massive crises in the Middle East as resources such as food and water become scarcer and more expensive - while at the same time the people in these countries continue to proliferate.

Let me be the first to predict that there will be Arab land grabs in sub-Saharan Africa because of this, as they look longingly at the lush green jungles. Either they'll bribe the corrupt governments or they'll settle their own people there with incentives or by force.

That said, this other thing scares me: Illinois may seek federal guarantee of pension bonds. (Thanks for posting, Saxplayer!) All these years, both Republican and Democrat state lawmakers in numerous states have been refusing to fully fund the pension obligations (Virginia, Maryland, many others have actually contributed little or zero in order to balance their budgets) that they have promised public employee unions. They kept pushing it to future lawmakers.

And now they want a bail-out?!? (And I'm sure they'll say, "but Wall Street got one!")

Poet

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Great interview today from

Great interview today from Max Keiser

http://vinceseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/max-keiser-on-revolts...

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Sorry for all the videos

Sorry for all the videos today but you have to see this interview with Dmitry Orlov very powerful

 

http://vinceseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/dmitry-orlov-peak-oil...

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Reports of warplanes bombing protesters in Tripoli

Reports of warplanes bombing protesters in Tripoli

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/22/3144965.htm?section=justin

There are reports from Libya that warplanes have begun indiscriminate bombing across the capital, leaving scores dead, as long-time leader Moamar Gaddafi clings to power.

There is chaos in Tripoli where buildings have been set alight and residents have described a massacre in the Tajura and Fashlum districts.

Protesters have reportedly taken control of several cities in the country's east and Mr Gaddafi's regime appears to be crumbling as senior officials desert their posts.

A man calling himself a Libyan resident told Al Jazeera television that warplanes and helicopters have begun bombing one area of Tripoli after another and there are "many, many dead".

"Every 20 minutes they are bombing" he said.

"Our people are dying. Anyone who moves, even if they are in their car they will hit you."

There are also reports helicopters carrying African mercenaries have landed in the streets of Tripoli and have begun firing on residents.

Libyan authorities are refusing foreign journalists entry to the country and phone connections are down so it is difficult to verify the reports.

Two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots defected and flew their jets to Malta where they told authorities they had been ordered to bomb protesters, Maltese government officials said.

They said the two pilots, both colonels, took off from a base near Tripoli. One of them has requested political asylum.

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<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/

<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/technology/16internet.html>

Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet

By JAMES GLANZ and JOHN MARKOFF
Published: February 15, 2011

Epitaphs for the Mubarak government all note that the mobilizing power of the Internet was one of the Egyptian opposition’s most potent weapons. But quickly lost in the swirl of revolution was the government’s ferocious counterattack, a dark achievement that many had thought impossible in the age of global connectedness. In a span of minutes just after midnight on Jan. 28, a technologically advanced, densely wired country with more than 20 million people online was essentially severed from the global Internet.

The blackout was lifted after just five days, and it did not save President Hosni Mubarak. But it has mesmerized the worldwide technical community and raised concerns that with unrest coursing through the Middle East, other autocratic governments — many of them already known to interfere with and filter specific Web sites and e-mails — may also possess what is essentially a kill switch for the Internet.

Because the Internet’s legendary robustness and ability to route around blockages are part of its basic design, even the world’s most renowned network and telecommunications engineers have been perplexed that the Mubarak government succeeded in pulling the maneuver off.

But now, as Egyptian engineers begin to assess fragmentary evidence and their own knowledge of the Egyptian Internet’s construction, they are beginning to understand what, in effect, hit them. Interviews with many of those engineers, as well as an examination of data collected around the world during the blackout, indicate that the government exploited a devastating combination of vulnerabilities in the national infrastructure.

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<http://www.smh.com.au/opinio

<http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/a-new-food-crisis-is-on-our-plates-20110221-1b2f3.html>

A new food crisis is on our plates

February 22, 2011

The world has entered a new food crisis. Prices have surged, contributing to unrest in the Arab world. The president of the World Bank, the former US deputy secretary of state Bob Zoellick, last week warned that global food prices are at "dangerous levels."

It's part two of the crisis that started in 2007-08, which led to food riots in 18 countries. Prices in 2008 reached their highest since 1845, in inflation-adjusted terms, according to the Economist magazine's index, before slumping. The crisis seemed to have solved itself.

But last month, global food prices actually broke the record, according to the experts at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. Over the past year the price of corn has risen 52 per cent, wheat 49 per cent and soybeans 28 per cent.


Rising food prices have pushed an extra 44 million people into poverty in the past seven months, according to the World Bank. It's even being felt in the rich world. In Australia, the opposition hopes to capitalise on it: "The year will begin and end with Australian families facing an ever-rising cost of living," the Liberal Party's Joe Hockey said in a speech last week.

Alarmed at spiking food prices, a score of countries, including big food suppliers such as Russia and Ukraine, have banned food exports to make sure they can feed their own people first.

This has provoked further alarm. Britain's environment minister, Caroline Spelman, argued last month that it should be illegal for countries to halt food exports, even in an emergency.

At the same time, the British government's chief scientific officer, Sir John Beddington, declared that "the case for urgent action in the global food system is now compelling".

The Group of Twenty major economic powers, which includes Australia, agreed. But meeting in Paris on the weekend, the G20 finance ministers notably failed to do anything about it.

Thomas Malthus warned in 1798 that growing population would starve humanity. The world population at that time? About 800 million. Two centuries later, it's about 6.9 billion. The world population is now growing at about 210,000 a day.

After being proved wrong for so long, is Malthus finally about to be vindicated?

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bandvbandv, thanks for the

bandvbandv, thanks for the link to the Dmitry Orlov video.  My mind gets so numb to the potential new reality, because the "real world" I live in is so oblivious to what's going on (besides "economy being bad").  But watching Orlov is like splashing cold water on your face.  It's a wake-up call!

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Organism appears new to science

Researcher: Roundup or Roundup-Ready Crops May Be Causing Animal Miscarriages and Infertility

One of the nation’s senior soil scientists alerted the federal government to a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals, raising significant concerns about human health.  Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University, believes the appearance and prevalence of the unnamed organism may be related to the nation’s over reliance on the weed killer known as Roundup and/or to something about the genetically engineered Roundup-Ready crops. In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the professor called on the federal government to immediately stop deregulation of roundup ready crops, particularly roundup ready alfalfa.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn—suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup.  This organism appears NEW to science!

...

Unique Physical Properties

This previously unknown organism is only visible under an electron microscope (36,000X), with an approximate size range equal to a medium size virus. It is able to reproduce and appears to be a micro-fungal-like organism. If so, it would be the first such micro-fungus ever identified. There is strong evidence that this infectious agent promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.

...

read entire letter: http://farmandranchfreedom.org/gmo-miscarriages

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organism appears new to science

*double post

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overpopulation?

DTM wrote:

After being proved wrong for so long, is Malthus finally about to be vindicated?

This video has some disturbing quotes by Malthus especially at 4:33:

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES:
http://www.corbettreport.com/the-last-word-on-overpopulation/

 

-littleone

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Professor Don. H. Huber: Real Person
Quote:

One of the nation’s senior soil scientists alerted the federal government to a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals, raising significant concerns about human health.  Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University...

Well, there is a real Emeritus Professor named Don Huber at Purdue University's Botany and Plant Pathology Department:
http://www.ag.purdue.edu/btny/pages/directory.aspx

The only sources I see on-line are alternative news media - nothing in the mainstream media. Here's an interesting article, includes ominous stuff about Obama, and shows a picture of Sudden Death syndrom in a soy crop, as well as links to Argentinian research on Roundup causing birth defects in frogs and chicken...
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/02/20/scientists-war...

Here's another from Mother Earth News, mentioning the article in The People's Voice:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-home-living/pathogen-in-roundup-r...

Poet

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Malthus was never wrong
Quote:

After being proved wrong for so long, is Malthus finally about to be vindicated?

Malthus was never wrong.  For many centuries, humans lived in a state of Malthusian equilibrium with their environments.  The dirt-poor peasants of the 13th century lived at the very edge of existence, and enough of them starved to death each year (and particularly in regular famines) that the population remained somewhat constant in any given area. 

As for the earth as a whole, enough areas of the globe had not yet been settled by farming peoples that a gradual increase in total numbers was seen up to the 18th century.  There were also constant small improvements in transportation and agricutural methods and food preservation which increased total available food.

After the discovery of coal and steam in the 18th century, and then petroleum in the 19th century, a vast new energy source was tapped which completely changed the picture.  It was a revolution.  Human population exploded under the power of coal and oil.

It is almost inarguable that without petroleum energy, human population is currently in a state of severe overshoot.  Our world simply cannot support anything approaching the number of people now living on it without the oil and natural gas inputs into agriculture.  WHO population estimates which show human population levelling off do not contemplate that there will be any restrictions on oil availability.

Perhaps we will find another energy source to replace the millions of years' worth of petroleum that we have burned through so quickly.  If not, then we do not need to discuss population control at all.  Mother earth always has her own population plan.

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Malthus
littleone wrote:

DTM wrote:

After being proved wrong for so long, is Malthus finally about to be vindicated?

This video has some disturbing quotes by Malthus especially at 4:33:

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES:
http://www.corbettreport.com/the-last-word-on-overpopulation/

I didn't seee anything disturbing.......  “Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlement in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases; and restrain those benevolent, but much mistaken men, who have thought they are doing a service to mankind by protecting schemes for the total extirpation of particular disorders.“ is EXACTLY what will happen, at least in the many places where they can't afford FFs.....!

The only reason Malthus has been ridiculed thus far is only because he didn't know about the existence of fossil fuels.

The transcript says "The earth is not a zero-sum game and human ingenuity has always and in every generation managed to bake a bigger pie even as they take a bigger and bigger slice of it."  I don't know what "The earth is not a zero-sum game" means, but it sure is FINITE.....!  And taking bigger and bigger slices WILL end in running out.  Even the "green revolution", turning fossil fuels into food, only postponed the inevitable collapse.

The only problems the so called doomsayers have mad was putting dates on their predictions, but there is no doubt population will collapse, even this piece says so, stating that by 2050 population will decrease.  there's every chance it will collapse well before that as oil becomes scarce/unaffordable.

You just watch what happens next in Egypt for starters, and them the rest of the mid east as the water "pie slice" runs out.

Malthus was always right......  he just got the timing wrong.

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water

DTM,

Yes, today, everything is fuel driven. For me, the "bigger" pie slice refers to the earth multiplying our efforts, like through permaculture. Seems we need to quit messing with nature for starters...many current farming methods destroy living soil, as discussed in this doc:

Industrialized society has been harming the earth...partly through population growth...but mostly due to the grind of industy itself. Seeing poor/starving people as a cancer does not hinder greed(I know you did not imply that).  

The water wars have already begun:

They call it "Blue Gold." Water is the new oil. Once a human right, it's now a valuable commodity, and corporations and super-rich oil dynasties are believed to be buying up water rights, controlling nations and populations. Jesse looks into the possibility of these activities finding their way to American shores and uncovers what may be a plot to literally steal the Great Lakes.

-littleone

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Failing government prompts Irish exodus

Failing government prompts Irish exodus
By Emma Alberici

Irish voters go to the polls this week as an ailing economy is forcing record numbers of disillusioned citizens to flee the country in search of a better life overseas.

Less than three months after the government accepted an international bailout worth $115 billion to rescue an economy on life support, the public is furious with the entire political class.

Fianna Fail is the centre-left party which has been in government for 60 of the 89 years of Ireland's independence.

Polls indicate they will be trounced in Friday's election and will be lucky to come away with 20 seats out of a possible 166.

Until three years ago, the little country the size of Tasmania was experiencing 6 per cent growth and was the envy of Europe.

Low taxes kept foreign firms investing, but the people who became known as the I-rich became obsessed with property - not buying and selling, but building.

Banks and developers, encouraged by the government, got so carried away in some areas that they built more houses than there were families to fill them.

Now there are 300,000 homes lying empty in what have come to be known as "ghost estates".

Finance minister Brian Lenihan admits it was wrong to allow the construction sector to become so big.

"We had an unsustainable building boom, construction boom in this country from 2003 to 2008," he said.

"My party leader has taken full responsibility for this. So have I."

History repeating

In a case of history repeating itself, residents of County Mayo in the west of Ireland are emigrating in what is expected to be record numbers.

It is the same place from which many of the famine boats left back in the 1840s when a wave of emigration washed 1 million people away from the country.

Close to 500,000 fled the country in the 1980s and now they are off again, with around 1,000 people heading for the exits every week.

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Silver Lease Rates

I think the author misread the charts.  The 1 month and 1 year figures were interchanged because the colors looked very similar.

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pension fund bailouts
Poet wrote:

 That said, this other thing scares me: Illinois may seek federal guarantee of pension bonds....
Poet

Poet, I was just listening to a recent Mcalvany podcast where he mentions how the government could bailout pension bonds and raid the assets:

http://mcalvanyweeklycommentary.com/february-15-2011-are-gold-buyers-the-new-bond-vigilantes/

You have to know that the Fed and the Treasury will defend that market tooth and tong.  I just want to tie this into another question that was asked about IRA assets and whether or not the government would confiscate or utilize IRA assets to prop up the bond market.  My response, I think, took several people by surprise, and it was that I do not believe the federal government will utilize IRA assets to do that because they are yours, they are mine, they are “self-directed,” they are the individual retirement accounts of individuals all across the country.  When you begin to toy with those things, I think you create a lot of, shall we say, political volatility?  That, I do not think they can afford to do.

But what they can afford to do is capture 15 trillion dollars from the pension funds and do so as a knight on a white horse.  We have suggested this in the past, but it is becoming much more crystal clear to me, that the bond market will ultimately be defended with a very large resource to back it, and interest rates could very well be defended at low levels and prices propped up in the bond market, well beyond the time frame that would be natural or normal, with 15 trillion dollars’ worth of a war chest.  I think that is where you look at the pension funds, and with some volatility in the stock market, if you assume sort of a step-sequence, the first shoe to drop may be a 10%, 15%, 20% correction in equities, which creates an even greater problem with underfunded pensions.

Then I think the government has an excuse to come in and blame pension fund managers for mismanagement.  Whatever the scapegoat is, whatever the justification that is given, they will plead their case with pensioners, saying, you can either have 40%, 50%, or 60% of your pension as it is on track to give you now, or we will guarantee 100% of your pension, but we do need the 15 trillion dollars in assets to manage appropriately

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(No subject)

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I come from sub Saharan

I come from sub Saharan Africa.

James Corbet in the video should visit Zimbabwe. Then he would see the results of his Ideal. Japan has warped his mind.

6.7 Babies per womb. Result. Cheap human life.

Malthus was not expousing an Ideal. He was observing a reality.

Men's role is to make women pregnant. The last thing we want to hear is that we may not.

(You don't want to make women pregnant? Of course not, you Paragon of Virtue.)

What I hear is an impassioned plea for the fucundity of females. Mans brain is designed for a life on the African Savanna, not for Industrial civilization.

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Gubbermint Cheese!
Woodman wrote:
Poet wrote:

 That said, this other thing scares me: Illinois may seek federal guarantee of pension bonds....
Poet

Poet, I was just listening to a recent Mcalvany podcast where he mentions how the government could bailout pension bonds and raid the assets:

http://mcalvanyweeklycommentary.com/february-15-2011-are-gold-buyers-the-new-bond-vigilantes/

Woodman

I can see why some people are buying lots and lots of PMs to keep out of reach of the gubbermint. :P

Poet

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collapse risk

DTM wrote:

there's every chance it will collapse well before that as oil becomes scarce/unaffordable.

Yes, we are at risk, now.

With all the genetic engineering going on, peak oil may start to seem trivial. As you point out, what we really need is water to support life:

*long intro until around 09:00

around 40:30 gets into more current news about the new form of microbiology...a synthetic, unnatural form.

 

Poet, thanks for the additional research: 

Quote:

One of the nation’s senior soil scientists alerted the federal government to a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals, raising significant concerns about human health.  Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University... 

 

Well, there is a real Emeritus Professor named Don Huber at Purdue University's Botany and Plant Pathology Department:
http://www.ag.purdue.edu/btny/pages/dire...

The only sources I see on-line are alternative news media - nothing in the mainstream media. Here's an interesting article, includes ominous stuff about Obama, and shows a picture of Sudden Death syndrom in a soy crop, as well as links to Argentinian research on Roundup causing birth defects in frogs and chicken...
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voic...

Here's another from Mother Earth News, mentioning the article in The People's Voice:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-h...

-littleone

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