Daily Digest 2/27 - Extend & Pretend Coming To An End, Lofty Oil A Problem For Europe, Urban Agriculture On The Rise
- Tokyo Based Hedge Fund AIJ May Have Lost/Stolen All Customer Pension Fund Money
- Why Silver Might Crash
- Foreclosure settlement a failure of law, a triumph for bank attorneys
- MF Global Was Sloppy, But Not Criminal
- Extend & Pretend Coming To An End
- Politics, Pandering And Petroleum Prices
- Lofty oil new headache for debt-ridden Europe
- Oil: In Perpetuity No More
- Soaring Oil Prices Will Dwarf The Greek Drama
- Urban Agriculture On The Rise
- Children Of The Corn
While they keep talking about 'lost money' and 'hiding losses' it looks more like embezzlement on the surface for at least part of the funds. It appears that virtually all the customer money has 'vanished.'
It will be interesting to see which European bank received the customer money once it hit Hong Kong via the Cayman Islands. It is not a good sign for customers that a European or American bank was involved. That smells more like theft than loss.
Why Silver Might Crash (ewilkerson)
Discussion on whether markets are in a bubble invariably appear to be very subjective, with both bubble diviners and naysayers justifying their polar opposite stances. In the past few years we have put the case, we believe with a subjective and empirical analysis of the precious metals markets, as to why they were (and are) not exhibiting the signs of bubble behaviour.
We never want to see an innocent party “accidentally” evicted from a home. The legal system has evolved so this has become a “legal impossibility.” Imagine returning home from work or vacation to find the front door padlocked, the belongings strewn all over the block, a big orange sticker screaming “FORECLOSED” on the garage door, with an auction sign in the front lawn. Now imagine that this occurred even though you are not in default or even delinquent on payments. Thanks to the robosigning banks, this legal impossibility has happened repeatedly, even to homeowners who paid cash for their houses and had no mortgages. Imagine that — foreclosed with no mortgage.
MF Global Was Sloppy, But Not Criminal (June C.)
Client accounts must be kept separate from a firm’s trading business, but firms can legally borrow from those accounts under certain circumstances. In his recent congressional testimony Corzine stated that he was given assurances that the use of customer funds during the firm’s final days was completely legal.
You have to admire the resourcefulness of the vested interests in disguising disaster and pretending that time will alleviate the consequences of their insatiable greed, blatant criminality and foolish risk taking. Extending bad loans and pretending they will be repaid does not create the cash flow necessary to actually pay the interest and principal on the debt. The chart below reveals the truth of what happened between 2005 and 2008 in the commercial real estate market. There was an epic feeding frenzy of overbuilding shopping centers, malls, office space, industrial space and apartments. During the sane 1980’s and 1990’s, commercial real estate loan issuance stayed consistently in the $500 billion to $700 billion range.
Politics, Pandering And Petroleum Prices (James S.)
Never mind the fact that the United States is actually a net gasoline exporter because of lower domestic demand. A contributing factor in the price of oil, and subsequently gasoline prices, is speculation, so in some ways it's all a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's talk of high oil prices that causes high oil prices. There are some who fear tensions with Iran could translate to $4 or even $5 for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. market by the summer. So guess what happens? Gasoline prices go up. Even if Republicans got there way, it's unlikely any domestic drilling would cause a sudden precipitous drop in energy prices overnight. And the reason for that is because this largely isn't an issue about oil markets, domestic energy policies or concerns about the health of the European economy. No, this is about fear and anger, two very basic human emotions.
Lofty oil new headache for debt-ridden Europe (ewilkerson)
"Corporate profits are already not that strong already and, although some parts of the stock market would benefit, self-evidently, the negative impact on the wider economy and on domestic profits would become quite noticeable," Milligan said.
Economists at JP Morgan said the recent price run-up brings it closer to becoming the largest immediate potential pitfall for the European and global economies.
Oil: In Perpetuity No More (SolidSwede)
"Most outside observers believe that the 'official' reserves of OPEC members are way overstated," Whipple, who is also a Post Carbon Institute fellow, told Al Jazeera. "Remember the last increase was in response to the OPEC quota agreement which allowed members to sell oil in proportion to their reserves - the bigger your reserves, the bigger your quota."
Creditors are being asked to swap their bonds for a combination of new short-term instruments, issued by the European Financial Stability Facility, and longer-term Greek government debt. If half of them agree to take the hit then, under "collective action clauses" approved by the Greek parliament, the deal could be forced on all bond-holders.
Urban Agriculture On The Rise (jdargis)
Even with well-established and popular program like Portland’s, the city is looking for ways to expand and improve its urban farming practices. For example, Portland’s Urban Food Zoning Code Update Project Advisory Group (PAG) is revising its zoning code to address community gardens, farmers’ markets, and urban food production. Another issue the PAG is considering is how to best expand urban farming to the widest area possible without disturbing businesses or neighbors. Now that issues like these have been identified, the next step for the PAG is to publish the Urban Food Zoning Code Concept Report, which will identify issues and possible solutions to these problems.
Children Of The Corn (jdargis)
In July, I visited a cornfield that gave survival a new meaning. It was on the Tuscarora Reservation, just northeast of Niagara Falls, N.Y. A modern commodity corn farmer would have laughed at it from the air-conditioned cab of his $350,000 combine, and even a backyard gardener growing sweet corn would have found it puzzling. The rows were set wide, and the soil had not been hand-weeded, sprayed or “cultivated,” which is the name for mechanical weeding. It had been a dry season in the Niagara frontier. The cornstalks were waist high, and the leaves seemed to have opened their arms to the sun in a delicate arc. The tassels — the organs of germination — had barely begun to form.
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