Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/17 - Guarding Government Secrets, The Fear Premium, CA Pensions May Be Put To The Test

Saturday, March 17, 2012, 9:37 AM
  • Caution: Falling Currencies
  • Untouchable Pensions in California May Be Put to the Test
  • Taliban suspend talks with US as Karzai calls for troops to leave villages
  • During Sunshine Week, Justice Department Urges Changes To Guard New Category Of Gov’t Secrets
  • Why Iran Wants To Beef Up Zimbabwe’s Military
  • Despite Cellphone Boom In India, Toilet Access Still Lags
  • Daily Chart: American Corruption
  • Dutch Regulator Told Off By Court Over Forced Gold Sale
  • Housed
  • The Fear Premium
  • CA Water Board Votes Unanimously for New Rules on Pollution from Agriculture

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Economy

Caution: Falling Currencies (David B.)

By the time President Nixon was in office something had to be done. In 1971 he defaulted on the gold obligations of the US government. This had the effect of severing gold from the monetary system, plunging us into the worldwide regime of irredeemable paper money. One consequence was that the exchange rates of the various paper currencies were allowed to “float” against one another.

Untouchable Pensions in California May Be Put to the Test (Saxplayer00o1)

As the United States population ages and more and more public workers qualify for retirement, the cost of their pensions is growing fast, turning into a major drag on many local governments’ finances.

The pension contributions that cities must make every year are rising, but their revenue, which often depends on property taxes, is not keeping up. Taxed-out residents, many of whom have lost their own pensions in the private sector, are unwilling to pay more. In tax-averse California in particular, where every tax increase must be put to a vote, officials are running out of options and some are considering bankruptcy.

Taliban suspend talks with US as Karzai calls for troops to leave villages (jdargis)

Within minutes of the insurgents' announcement, President Hamid Karzai delivered another blow to western plans by calling for US troops to leave Afghan villages immediately. In a statement following a meeting with the US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, in Kabul, Karzai said he would like to see foreign efforts shift to economic assistance and reconstruction.

During Sunshine Week, Justice Department urges changes to guard new category of gov’t secrets (jdargis)

On Capitol Hill, the director of the Justice Department’s office of information policy, Melanie Ann Pustay, told senators they need to protect against public disclosures of material about cybersecurity, critical U.S. computer networks, industrial plants, pipelines and more. Businesses have sought such a new exemption under the law for at least 10 years.

Why Iran Wants To Beef Up Zimbabwe’s Military (jdargis)

In a Sunday meeting between Zimbabwe Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, Iran pledged to help Zimbabwe to modernize its defense forces. It is not clear how the cash-strapped but uranium and diamond rich Zimbabwe would pay for this service, but Minister Mnangagwa told reporters the agreement was merely a “consolidating and deepening” of the Iran-Zimbabwe relationship.

Despite Cellphone Boom In India, Toilet Access Still Lags (jdargis)

There have been substantial increases over the past 10 years in the number of households with a concrete roof (29, up from 19.8 per cent); those that have a tap as a source of drinking water (43.5, up from 36.7 per cent) and those that have electricity as a source of lighting (67.3 up from 55.9 per cent.) There has been a huge hike in the number of households using banking services – 58.7 per cent up from 35.5 per cent.

Daily Chart: American Corruption (jdargis)

Two states had even higher numbers of appointees, government employees (and a few private individuals) convicted of public corruption: New York, with 2,522 convictions and California with 2,345 convictions. Of the largest states though, Illinois had the highest per person conviction rate, at 1.4 per 10,000 population. With little over 600,000 residents, the District of Columbia had a rate of nearly 17. This is partly because the Justice Department and other federal agencies with headquarters in DC try some corruption cases there irrespective of where the offence took place.

Dutch Regulator Told Off By Court Over Forced Gold Sale (Johan V.)

The court's ruling stated that DNB didn't convince the court of why the 13% allocation wasn't adhering to the prudent person rule but the 3% allocation was. It will now reopen the investigation to decide upon a compensation for the scheme.

According to SPVG chairman Rob Daamen the loss incurred by the forced sale adds up to roughly 11 million Euros.

Housed (jdargis)

Matt and I bought our first home together, a condo in Oakland, California at the height of the real estate bubble in May 2007. My parents had given us the down payment as a wedding present, with the hope that after a few years of living in a starter condo, we could build enough equity to buy a single-family house to raise their grandchildren.

Within months, the bubble burst, and over the next few years, we watched our property’s value eat away not only our down payment, but also half its purchase worth.

The Fear Premium (jdargis)

The three most recent global recessions prior to 2008 were each caused by a geopolitical shock in the Middle East that led to a sharp spike in oil prices. The 1973 Yom Kippur war between Israel and the Arab states led to global stagflation (recession and inflation) in 1974-75. The Iranian revolution in 1979 led to global stagflation in 1980-82. And Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 led to the global recession of 1990-91.

Environment

CA Water Board Votes Unanimously for New Rules on Pollution from Agriculture (jdargis)

The adopted plan is based on a three-tiered program. For the 3 percent of large farms that use pesticides, large quantities of fertilizer and operate near polluted waters will come under the greatest scrutiny. For most farms regulations will actually loosen, but beginning next year all farmers will have to prepare compliance reports and water quality plans that detail how they will control discharges of pesticides, herbicides and sediment.

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."

7 Comments

littlefeatfan's picture
littlefeatfan
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 20 2009
Posts: 141
Crisis of Civilization Movie - online for free

Excellent Movie  http://crisisofcivilization.com/watch/  

Bill Hicks's picture
Bill Hicks
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 3 2011
Posts: 34
NASA's Slow Collapse Continues

 http://billhicksisdead.blogspot.com/2012/03/nasas-slow-collapse-continues.html

Quote from the artiicle:

The sidelining of the Mars program is one of several depressing developments at NASA. The space shuttles will never fly again, and the agency’s reliance on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station is likely to be extended, because financing of commercial companies to take over that task has been limited. The James Webb Space Telescope, meant as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is delayed and over budget, now at least six years from being ready. The new heavy-lift rocket that is to take astronauts on faraway missions will not carry any astronauts until 2021. All of the big projects are slipping into the distant future.

And my reaction:

Someday, a hundred years from now perhaps, tales will be told to young children around the evening campfire of a fanciful time when human beings actually walked upon the face of the moon. Sadly, those stories will likely be treated by those youngsters with the same sense of wonder and yet innate disbelief as the legends of the Greek gods of mythology are today.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
Harrisburg leaders believe bankruptcy is inevitable for city

"Q: Is it your belief that there is a receiver in Harrisburg right now so Wall Street gets its money?
Miller: I believe it’s completely about that. They and the county have hired lobbyists, and they know we’re going bankrupt, too. That’s why they’re pushing so hard to sell assets so who gets the money — their friends on Wall Street. "

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
Quote of the day from Brazil Finance Minister

 

 "Brazil’s finance minister has vowed to hold down the value of the real and enact new measures to protect domestic industries, in an attempt to revive the country’s slumping economic growth.
“We don’t want to lose our manufacturing sector,” Guido Mantega told the Financial Times in an interview. “Brazil is not merely an exporter of commodities.“We are not going to just sit by and watch while other countries devalue their currencies to give them a competitive advantage.”"

 

Other headlines:

 

  1.  Proposed 25 Percent Tax on Nonprofits Would Bring $28 Million to Providence
  2. India Deficit Above 5% for Second Year Limits Rate-Cut Room
  3. Greece faces euro exit without more support, IMF says
  4. Ill. senator poised to receive 2 pensions
  5. CalPERS move to cost Riverside County up to $23 million
  6. Police pension costs increase (Louisiana)

 

 

 

 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
25% tax on non-profits?

Sax, that sounds like the most bone-headed, desperate, STUPID move of all time.

 Proposed 25 Percent Tax on Nonprofits Would Bring $28 Million to Providence

I mean, if they tax these non-profits it does not take a rocket scientist to see the obvious consequences. The non-profits will either fold up shop or leave the area, and then the already cash-strapped government will have to provide many of the services that the nonpprofits provided at no goverenment expense. Sheesh.

maceves's picture
maceves
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
price hikes

 or the tuition and medical  costs would be passed on to the consumer, so the public pays anyway.

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