Daily Digest 3/15 - On Crony Capitalism, Rise Of The Maker Movement, How An Economist Might Be Misled
- Dutch Backing For EU Fiscal Pact Under Threat
- Lehman Act II Is Now; “The World Is Not Expecting This”
- On Crony Capitalism
- Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
- A Doctor's Vision For Medicare
- Osborne Mulls 100-Year 'Super Gilt'
- Rise Of The 'Maker Movement'
- Collapse Of The Shiny Pretty Things
- How an Economist Might Be Misled
- Fukushima: No Reason for Nuclear Energy Ban
- Obama Announces WTO Case Against China Over Rare Earths
- Twin Creeks promises thinner, cheaper solar cells
- Food Fight! Stores, Producers, Consumers Battle Over High Food Prices
- "Dry Winters" Lead To Hosepipe Ban
The Dutch Liberal-Christian Democrats coalition depends on opposition parties to secure Dutch parliamentary support for euro zone rescue measures because its natural ally, the Freedom party led by Geert Wilders, opposes bailouts.
Labour is the second-largest party in the Dutch lower house and is wary of too much austerity.
The details added to the decision to declare a credit event is akin to a judge handing down a ruling, then embarking upon an explanation into the details and ramifications of the ruling, of which he cannot possibly know in advance.
On Crony Capitalism (Davos)
Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.
“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs (VeganD)
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
A Doctor's Vision For Medicare (June C.)
So let’s pick a number—more specifically, a proportion of total economic output— to cap Medicare. Now the number is 3 percent to 4 percent of GDP. We can live with that. Distribute it to geographic regions based simply on how many beneficiaries live there. Expect howls of protest: Urban areas will complain their labor costs are higher; rural areas will complain they cannot achieve the same economies of scale. And everybody will argue that their patients are sicker.
Osborne Mulls 100-Year 'Super Gilt' (ScubaRoo)
Marc Ostwald, an economist at Monument Securities, noted that the bond could have wider significance in the Western world’s fight against its debt pile. It ‘paves the way potentially for a major restructuring of UK public sector debt, which would more or less tacitly admits that lowering budget deficits and indeed overall debt burdens in the western world will not be achieved by austerity alone,’ he commented.
Rise Of The 'Maker Movement' (Chris M.)
The maker movement has grown through the spread of real life "makerspaces" or "hackerspaces," which pool resources and provide access to more expensive technology. Each year, Maker Faires are held around the United States, drawing between 50,000 to 100,000 visitors.
Collapse Of The Shiny Pretty Things (thatchmo)
It absolutely cannot be sustained much longer, is what they're (still) saying, this rapaciousness, this constant craving for more. They say we're pushing the planet to her absolute breaking point quicker than ever, no really we are, and in fact she's actually now well past the breaking point in many categories and has run out of many natural resources, ores and precious minerals and essential planetary nutrients, not to mention thousands of animal species and sufficient fresh water and nuanced human thinking. The oceans? Don't even start.
How an Economist Might Be Misled (Mike K.)
If an economist views the period between World War II and 1970 as “normal” in terms of what to expect in the future, he/she is likely to be misled. The period of rapid energy growth following World War II is not likely to be repeated. The rapid energy growth allowed much manual work to be performed by machine (for example, using a back hoe instead of digging ditches by hand). Thus, there appeared to be considerable growth in human efficiency, but such growth is not likely to be repeated in the future. Also, the rate of GDP growth was likely higher than could be expected in the future.
Even the period between 1980 and 2000 may be misleading for predicting future patterns because this period occurred before the huge increase in international trade. Once international trade with less developed nations increases, we can expect these nations will want to increase their energy consumption in any way that is possible, including using more coal.
Fukushima: No Reason for Nuclear Energy Ban (James S.)
Power wise, the nuclear disaster forced Japan to start taking on more natural gas to balance the country's energy sector. With Asian economies booming when compared with the rest of world, the shifting focus on eastern markets could spell trouble for other countries looking to add more natural gas to their energy mix. This, in turn, would lead to higher costs and potentially exacerbate already-growing concerns about the impact that soaring energy prices are having on global economic recovery.
China produces 97% of all rare earths, according to the European Union. The materials are used in products such as flat-screen televisions, smart phones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electronics, cars and petroleum.
"We want our companies building those products right here in America," Obama said. "But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections."
"We're not a panel or a cell maker - we make big machines," said Chief Executive Officer Siva Sivaram. "Once one of them uses this, the cost advantage is going to be so large that everybody will be forced to use the same technology."
That technology also could pose a serious threat to thin-film solar companies, many of which are already struggling.
Last summer, corn prices hit a record high of $8 a bushel. Naturally, to get in on the action, farmers all over the globe have shifted production to grow more corn. As a result, prices for “the big daddy of the major U.S. crops,” according to Reuters, could fall 20% this year. Even if that happens, U.S. farmers should still be in good shape, with total domestic farm income anticipated at $96 billion, the second-best year ever (after 2011).
"Dry Winters" Lead To Hosepipe Ban (maughan.m)
The Environment Agency said rain in March had been welcome but not enough to reverse the impacts of two consecutive dry winters for the affected regions. It said it was concerned about the situation at Bewl and Darwell reservoirs in Kent, Ardingly in Sussex, Pitsford reservoir in Northamptonshire and Rutland Water.
And the lack of rain had left river and groundwater levels extremely low across southern and eastern England from the Dorset coast to Grimsby - with areas to the west and south-east Yorkshire also at risk of drought.
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