Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/16 - Japanese Emperor 'Deeply Worried', Homes Sit Empty Across East Bay, Japan May Need 200k Barrels Oil/Day

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 9:40 AM
  • Japanese Emperor 'Deeply Worried'
  • Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers
  • Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release
  • Meltdown 101: What Are Spent-Fuel Pools And Why Are They A Threat?
  • The World's Largest Nuclear Producers
  • Bentley Supports Bankruptcy Over Sewer Debt
  • California Schools Hold Rallies To Protest Layoffs
  • Facing $80M In Budget Cuts, CPS Hears Public's Input
  • Safety Net For Jobless Rolls Up After 99 Weeks
  • Louisiana Governor's Budget Assumes College Tuition Hike
  • Geithner Backs Covered Bond Bill For Mortgages
  • Fed Sees Economy on ‘Firmer Footing’; Affirms Bond Purchases
  • Daytona Adds Red-Light Cameras To Intersections
  • Homes Sit Empty Across East Bay
  • Nevada's Boom Ends In Empty Houses
  • Japan May Need 200,000 Extra Barrels of Oil Daily, IEA Says
  • IEA Warns High Oil Prices Could Hit Growth

Our 'What Should I Do?' guide has steps to cook, see & stay warm in times of power outage

Economy

Japanese Emperor 'Deeply Worried'

In an extremely rare appearance, the emperor went on live TV to make his first public comments on the disaster, and urged an all-out rescue effort.He spoke after technicians temporarily abandoned a quake-crippled nuclear plant as radiation briefly surged.

Thousands of people were killed in the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami.

Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers

Workers struggled on Tuesday and Wednesday to keep hundreds of gallons of seawater a minute flowing through temporary fire pumps into the three stricken reactors, Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Among the many problems that officials acknowledged on Wednesday was what appeared to be yet another fire at the plant and indications that the containment vessel surrounding a reactor may have ruptured. That reactor, No. 3, appeared to be releasing radioactive steam.

Japan Says 2nd Reactor May Have Ruptured With Radioactive Release

The break, at the No. 3 reactor unit, worsened the already perilous conditions at the plant, a day after officials said the containment vessel in the No. 2 reactor had also cracked.

Meltdown 101: What Are Spent-Fuel Pools And Why Are They A Threat?

Spent-fuel pools at the plant sit in the upper reaches of the reactor buildings, near the top of the reactors so cranes have easy access to load and unload fuel.

Most of the radiation shielding at the reactors comes from the thick steel reactor vessel itself, which sits inside a steel-and-concrete containment structure. The upper reaches of reactor buildings represent the weakest barrier in the plant's "defense in depth" approach to keeping dangerous levels of radioactivity out of the environment.

As a result, under the right conditions, the spent-fuel pools at the plant potentially pose as large a threat of environmental contamination – if breached – as the multiply-shielded reactor cores themselves. In particular, two of the reactors – No. 1 and No. 3 – have experienced explosions that blew holes in their roofs and upper levels.

The World's Largest Nuclear Producers

The explosions and meltdown fears at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant that followed Friday’s earthquake have increased concerns in Japan about the safety of nuclear power. The country is not well placed to move away from it though, with only America and France producing more electricity from nuclear sources. Germany, which yesterday suspended a deal to delay closing its ageing nuclear plants, is the world’s sixth-largest producer. In percentage terms the story is rather different. Nuclear power in Japan accounts for just 29% of total domestic power production, putting Japan 15th on the list of the most nuclear-reliant countries. It ranks far below France, where nuclear power makes up three-quarters of electricity production.

Bentley Supports Bankruptcy Over Sewer Debt (Jefferson County)

Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington and Commissioner Sandra Little Brown met with Governor Robert Bentley Monday, who said he supports filing for bankruptcy to deal with the county's sewer debt.

California Schools Hold Rallies To Protest Layoffs

Districts have warned that unless more money gets directed to schools hundreds of thousands of teachers statewide will lose their jobs. Some districts have warned that budget cuts will not only cost jobs, but will also mean an end to art, music and other programs. A sample of some preliminary layoff numbers just in the South Bay shows in the San Jose Unified School District, 154 teachers will get pink slips today.

Facing $80M In Budget Cuts, CPS Hears Public's Input (Cincinnati)

About 200 people packed a Cincinnati School Board meeting Monday night, many of them to talk about the district's finances.

Cincinnati Public Schools is trying to figure out how it will balance its budget in the face of an expected loss in revenue next year of nearly $80 million, or 17 percent. The district, like schools across the state, is bracing for deep cuts to education funding when Gov. John Kasich releases his biennium budget today. It's also facing losses in federal funding and rising expenses.

Safety Net For Jobless Rolls Up After 99 Weeks

Nationally, the ranks of those out of work 99 weeks or longer have swollen to nearly 1.8 million from 935,000 a year ago and 271,000 in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As a portion of the total unemployed population, those unemployed 99 weeks or longer have grown from about 3 percent before the economic downturn to 12.2 percent during February.

The previous annual high was 5.6 percent in 1984, indicating that the recent recession created an unprecedented group of chronically unemployed.

Louisiana Governor's Budget Assumes College Tuition Hike

The tuition and fee increases would come on top of $60 million in increased costs for students already set to take effect this fall for the 2011-12 school year. Those increases are as large as 10 percent at some schools, and they will grow for at least four additional years, under legislation passed last year.

Geithner Backs Covered Bond Bill For Mortgages

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday backed efforts by U.S. lawmakers to create a new market for financing mortgages that would help wean the $10.6 trillion U.S. mortgage market from government support...In a covered bond system, banks can borrow against the value of the underlying mortgages to obtain fresh capital to extend further loans. The bond investors have the right to those underlying assets in the case of a bank default.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has warned a covered bond system could put its bank deposit insurance fund at increased risk for losses because the investors would have seniority over the agency in the event of default.

Fed Sees Economy on ‘Firmer Footing’; Affirms Bond Purchases

Federal Reserve policy makers said the recovery is gaining strength and that higher energy prices will have a temporary effect on inflation, while reaffirming plans to buy $600 billion of Treasuries through June.

Daytona Adds Red-Light Cameras To Intersections

If dying in a car crash isn't enough of a deterrent for some people to stop at red lights, here's another: In three weeks, running a red light could cost $158 a pop....The state will collect $83 from every $158 fine, and the Massachusetts company that's installing the cameras and doing most of the work on the program will charge the city $4,600 per month per camera. But even after those fees, the city estimates it could still raise more than $1 million annually.

Homes Sit Empty Across East Bay (California)

Many of the Contra Costa cities that grew the fastest in the lead-up to the housing crash are now littered with the highest percentages of empty homes. The cities of San Pablo and Richmond have the highest overall vacancy rates in Contra Costa -- 8.5 and 8.2 percent, respectively. Pittsburg, Antioch and the rest of East Contra Costa follow close behind. Vacancies in East County cities increased by 200 to 550 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Nearly one in five houses in Karen Mann's upscale Discovery Bay neighborhood sits empty. She can see three of them from her front porch.

Nevada's Boom Ends In Empty Houses

Newly released Census data shows 167,564 empty houses in the state last year, more than double the number in 2000. In all, the number of vacant homes represents about one out of every seven houses across Nevada.

Japan May Need 200,000 Extra Barrels of Oil Daily, IEA Says

Oil demand in Japan may climb by about 200,000 barrels a day if the country makes up the shortfall in nuclear power with crude-fired generation, the International Energy Agency said.

Japan shut 11 atomic reactors totaling about 9.7 gigawatts of capacity after being struck on March 11 by its largest recorded earthquake.

IEA Warns High Oil Prices Could Hit Growth

The International Energy Agency warned Tuesday of a "marked slowdown" in the global economy unless oil prices fall from current high levels as post-recession demand picks up. "If prices remain at current levels or rise further, by September 2011, if not before, the global economy may feature a marked slowdown," the IEA said in its monthly oil report.

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."

13 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4062
19000 educators get pink slips in Calif.

"Miami-Dade County voters are poised to oust Republican Mayor Carlos Alvarez today after he raised property taxes to help close a deficit. Florida’s most-populous county would become the largest U.S. municipality to recall a top official.

Voters in the county, home to the city of Miami, favor a recall by 67 percent, according to a poll commissioned by the Miami Herald dated March 5. "

"Staff members had proposed the board reduce the annualized forecast of investment returns from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent.

Had that been approved, it would have increased payments required from the state and California State University system by roughly $400 million. Most of that amount would have come from California's general fund, which has a $26.6 billion deficit. Local governments would have been on the hook for tens of millions more.

Board members say governments cannot afford such higher costs at a time of steep budget deficits. "

...................2A) Calpers Committee Holds Assumed Return Rate at 7.75%

"New construction of U.S. housing units plunged in February, erasing a sharp gain in January and coming close to an all-time-low level.

Starts fell 22.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000, the Commerce Department said. This is just 0.4% above the record low of 477,000 units set in April 2009.

The decline in starts in February was the largest since March 1984."

.........................3A) GDP forecasts cut after housing data

 

  • Other News, headlines and opinion:

Union: 19K teacher layoff slips so far in Calif and Union: 19000 educators get pink slips in Calif.

Japan central bank's cash injections hit nearly $700 billion amid disaster aftermath

Earthquake to cost 3% of Japanese GDP: Barclays

Moody's cuts Portugal's debt rating

Perry, House leaders agree to use $3.2 billion from Rainy Day Fund to close 2011 deficit (Texas)

York City schools facing $25 million budget hole; Eyeing huge cuts

Long Beach eliminates 2011 police and fire academies

Victorville, California, Faces Insolvency

State allows Flint to borrow $8 million to cover deficits

ATM Fees Heading Higher

The End of Oil and Dollar Stability (McAlvany audio...start at 13 minutes into this...a must listen..."Petro Dollar Complex Looking Elsewhere for Protection after US Abandonment")

Illinois Pension Crisis Eludes Easy Solutions

Study on pensions 'shocking' (San Francisco)

U.S. Producer Prices Rise More than Forecast, Led by Food, Oil

Bond Sale Failing in Russia as Poland Raises 50% of Target Shows Retreat

Thriving metropolis or ghost town? Crisis transforms Tokyo

Wave of pension costs to hit OC cities (California)

Morning Update/ Market Thread 3/16 – "It's Contained" Edition… (Nathan's Economic Edge...Opinion)

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4062
EU energy chief says Japan catastrophe possible

"LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The European Union's energy commissioner on Wednesday warned that "possible catastrophic events" in Japan could be seen in the next few hours, news reports said, knocking U.S. stocks and roiling financial markets. "

Catastrophic events could unfold in the next few hours at Japan’s damaged nuclear site, the European Union’s top energy official said Wednesday, sending U.S. stocks lower and roiling financial markets.

“The site is effectively out of control,” Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told a European Parliament committee, according to news reports. “In coming hours there could be further catastrophic events which could pose a threat to the lives of people on the island.” "

 

Saudi Arabia orders radiation tests on all Japan imports

 Radiation checks on Japanese food imports (Video)

 Italy restricts the import of Japanese products, introduces checks for radiation

Radiation-free certification required for Japan food imports from April 15 (Malaysia)

India monitoring food import from Japan for radioactive contamination

Shanghai to scan Japanese food, cargo for radiation

Hong Kong Moms Empty Shelves of Japanese Baby Formula Amid Nuclear Scare

FireJack's picture
FireJack
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2009
Posts: 156
Im going to go out on a limb

Im going to go out on a limb and say they get the nuclear plant under control, and it will cease to be front page news by april. 

When that stops we can finnaly see what the rest of the destruction has done. It's been a big huge question and news is little.

plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
  Yen just went apeshit...

 

Yen just went apeshit... skywards..

 

 Good 2.5E piece by AEP... 

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/globalbusiness/8386829/World-energy-crunch-as-nuclear-and-oil-both-go-wrong.html

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
nuke disaster pics

While everyone on the nuclear industry side is saying soft words --
here are some pictures of what's actually happening on the ground:

http://totallycoolpix.com/2011/03/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-nuclear-disaster-looms-large/

Nacci's picture
Nacci
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2009
Posts: 194
idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
He tells it like it is.....
idoctor wrote:

Peter Schiff

Which just proves to me economics is a whole of croc........  and there's no way out of this $***storm.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4062
National Debt passes $14.23 Trillion

Treasury Direct link

 

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
03/01/2011 9,562,563,775,550.10 4,610,393,814,306.52 14,172,957,589,856.62
03/02/2011 9,562,608,771,779.38 4,615,916,336,488.22 14,178,525,108,267.60
03/03/2011 9,571,009,627,588.32 4,611,076,571,468.69 14,182,086,199,057.01
03/04/2011 9,571,126,198,972.77 4,611,500,985,908.26 14,182,627,184,881.03
03/07/2011 9,571,237,801,717.37 4,614,931,001,963.10 14,186,168,803,680.47
03/08/2011 9,571,514,785,739.56 4,621,661,967,732.06 14,193,176,753,471.62
03/09/2011 9,572,070,258,391.50 4,610,593,589,972.50 14,182,663,848,364.00
03/10/2011 9,551,255,398,880.23 4,612,177,672,255.04 14,163,433,071,135.27
03/11/2011 9,552,087,457,389.01 4,612,272,903,889.84 14,164,360,361,278.85
03/14/2011 9,552,467,551,218.67 4,613,563,236,561.13 14,166,030,787,779.80
03/15/2011 9,618,473,765,645.37 4,619,478,511,253.32 14,237,952,276,898.69
Bogdan's picture
Bogdan
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2009
Posts: 13
Deeply in debt and buyer of US Treasuries at the same time?

Hi,

Can anyone explain to me how can Japan be both deeply in debt and a significant buyer of US Treasuries at the same time? Are they borrowing money just to lend it to the US govt? Or are we talking about different entities here, the Japan govt being in debt, and Japanese private financial institutions, that lend money to the US govt?

Thanks,

Bogdan.

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 496
Calpers Committee Holds Assumed Return Rate at 7.75%

7.75% Undecided

From their lips to god's ears. Unfortunately, I don't think they have that much clout.

SS

DRHolden's picture
DRHolden
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 18 2009
Posts: 131
going out on a limb
FireJack wrote:

Im going to go out on a limb and say they get the nuclear plant under control, and it will cease to be front page news by april. 

When that stops we can finnaly see what the rest of the destruction has done. It's been a big huge question and news is little.

I think the before and after pictures tell it all.  It will make Katrina seem like a walk in the park.  It will take that part of the country MANY years to recover, but the country and stock market will bounce back much quicker.  I doubt oil will drop much below the new $100 baseline in my lfetime.

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