Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/2 - Prices On All Goods Continue To Rise, Unemployment To Remain Constant, Students Protest School Cuts

Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 11:44 AM
  • Bernanke says unemployment rate would not return to a more normal level for years
  • Kodak to raise prices on digital, conventional plates
  • Michelin to raise passenger, LT tire prices
  • Clothing prices to rise 10 percent starting in spring
  • Thousands of poor Utahns face less help with heating bills
  • Tuition rates continue to rise across the board, UCCS included
  • School Lunch Prices Increase Tuesday
  • Truckers Rally Against Fee, Tax Proposals
  • As College Costs Continue to Soar, Students Head Abroad
  • U.C. Davis Braces For Cuts
  • Crime-Filled Paterson, N.J. Staring At 100-Plus Police Layoffs
  • Poverty levels spike in local schools
  • Students plan walkouts to protest budget cuts
  • Social Security offices across U.S. to protest cuts
  • USD Students Rally Against State Budget Cuts To Education
  • Delaware Social Services In High Demand Amid Cuts
  • House approves stopgap spending bill
  • Gold Hits Record High
  • Bernanke Unfazed By Gold Standard, Currency History Queries
  • Oil prices push past US$98 a barrel after Iran imprisons opposition leaders
  • Diesel prices up 14.3 cents in the last week, says EIA
  • Supermarkets are raising prices faster than inflation, says UBS

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Economy

Bernanke says unemployment rate would not return to a more normal level for years

The increase in inflation resulting from the recent spike in oil prices will be modest and temporary, Bernanke said in his prepared remarks.... He also said that the nation’s unemployment rate would not return to a more normal level for years and that the Fed would continue its bond-purchase program. And Bernanke again highlighted options available to the Fed besides raising the central bank’s target overnight rate to tighten policy when the time comes.

“The tone of his remarks suggest that the turn in the rate regime is distant, and still likely more distant than what the market is now expecting,” said Eric Green, chief U.S. rates strategist at TD Securities.

Kodak to raise prices on digital, conventional plates

Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group will increase prices of digital and conventional plates May 1, 2011, in all regions of the world. According to the company, this move is necessitated by the sustained, universal rise in costs for key raw materials and utilities used in the production of offset plates.

Increases for digital plates will be in the range of 5% to 10%, while the increase for conventional plates will be between 15% and 20%. Details of the new pricing structure will be communicated in April to all customers and dealers.

Michelin to raise passenger, LT tire prices

On May 1, Michelin North America Inc. will be increasing prices on Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and private and associate passenger and light truck replacement tires sold in the United States by up to 8.5% due to increasing raw material costs.

Clothing prices to rise 10 percent starting in spring

Brooks Brothers' wrinkle-free men's dress shirts now cost $88, up from $79.50. Levi Strauss & Co., Wrangler jeans maker VF Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Nike and shoe seller Steve Madden also plan increases.

"All of our brands, every single brand, will take some price increases," said Eric Wiseman, chairman and CEO of VF Corp., which makes clothes for The North Face, Nautica, Wrangler and Lee brands.

Thousands of poor Utahns face less help with heating bills

Beginning Wednesday, Utahns will receive lower average payments from the Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) program. The state benefit will drop from an average of $510 to an average of $360 per household.

HEAT is Utah’s version of the national LIHEAP program (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) which is federally funded. Its national budget from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is dropping from more than $5 billion to $2.5 billion. Utah’s funding is being cut from $30.1 million to between $14 and $17 million.

Tuition rates continue to rise across the board, UCCS included

UCCS is no exception: for the 2010-2011 academic year, tuition at UCCS rose by an astounding 7 percent over the previous year, equating to an additional $420 to $450 per year for the average undergrad.

The outlook for next year isn't looking particularly rosy either, as the University of Colorado system expects a $77 million budget gap they will need to fill; directors have already requested permission to raise our tuition beyond the 9 percent-per-year cap mandated by the state legislature.

School Lunch Prices Increase Tuesday (Hawaii)

The price of school lunches at Hawaii’s public schools will increase Tuesday from $2.20 to $2.35. It will be the second price increase in 14 months.

Truckers Rally Against Fee, Tax Proposals (Maryland)

The truckers planned to encircle the Lowe House Office Building while industry representatives tell lawmakers how proposals to raise revenue will cripple their businesses, inflate consumer prices and stall the economic recovery. Registration fees would go from the current $1,800 to $2,700, according to Louis Campion of the Maryland Motor Truck Association.

Also on the table is a 10-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase, he said.

As College Costs Continue to Soar, Students Head Abroad

With the cost of college skyrocketing here in the U.S., some students are washing their hands of the American education system, grabbing their passports, and seeking cheaper degrees abroad. The number of students doing so has increased 2 percent annually in recent years, according to the Dept. of Education, although the data does include the more traditional semester abroad category.

U.C. Davis Braces For Cuts

Up to 500 jobs could be eliminated, and students could face higher fees under a proposal being circulated by U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. In a letter released by her office, Katehi projects a shortfall of $107 million next year, as a result of Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget cuts.

Katehi is interested in offering admission to more out-of-state students, because they pay higher tuition.

Crime-Filled Paterson, N.J. Staring At 100-Plus Police Layoffs

Budget problems may result in fewer police patrolling the streets of one of the Garden State’s most violent cities.

A third of the officers are scheduled to be laid off, fueling fears that the cuts will mean a rise in crime, reports CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

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Poverty levels spike in local schools (Santa Rosa)

Seven out of 10 elementary students in Santa Rosa City Schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, reflecting a rising level of poverty in the city's core schools, according to guidelines established by the federal government. Less than a decade ago, about half of the elementary students in Sonoma County's largest school district were eligible for subsidized lunches.

Today, at four of the district's 10 elementary schools, income levels are so low that more than 90 percent of students get help in paying for their lunches.

Students plan walkouts to protest budget cuts (Washington)

Students say they're protesting budget cuts that state lawmakers are considering. The Legislature has asked college and university presidents to estimate the impact if the state has to cut higher education by $180 million more than the $600 million Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed for the next two years.

The University of Washington's president warned lawmakers just last week, that a 30 percent budget cut at the UW would lead to layoffs, fewer students, and big tuition hikes.

Social Security offices across U.S. to protest cuts

Social Security workers around the country will take the path of their counterparts in state governments, picketing Wednesday to protest budget cuts.

While tensions continue in Wisconsin and at statehouses elsewhere over Republican efforts to restrict union rights and reduce state workers' pay, demonstrations are planned at 75 Social Security offices from Rhode Island to Montana over a House Republican plan to cut $1.7 billion from the Social Security Administration's $11.4 billion budget.

USD Students Rally Against State Budget Cuts To Education (South Dakota)

When Gov. Dennis Daugaard presented his budget in January for fiscal year 2012, he proposed cutting at least 10 percent from each state-funded program, including education. That leaves the University of South Dakota’s budget an estimated $4.9 million short — a difference that may be made up with a tuition increase.

To express their opposition to the governor’s proposal, a group of roughly 30 students staged a “Cut Class for Budget Cuts” rally on the lawn of the Muenster University Center over the noon hour Monday.

Delaware Social Services In High Demand Amid Cuts

Medicaid cases also are rising quickly, causing budget troubles. Between 2008 and 2011, the state's Medicaid caseloads have risen from 156,000 to nearly 196,000 — an increase of more than 25 percent. There was a similar rise in demand for food stamps.

House approves stopgap spending bill

The House bill funds operations through March 18. Without a stopgap bill, many operations would grind to a halt on Saturday, leading to the first government shutdown since the mid-1990s. Reid said the Senate will approve the plan and turn to longer-term funding of the government.

Gold Hits Record High

Gold prices settled at a new record high on Tuesday, as unrest in North Africa and the Middle East pushed the safe-haven commodity north of $1,430

Bernanke Unfazed By Gold Standard, Currency History Queries

Bernanke, appearing before the Senate Banking Committee, was pressed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) on the viability of a return to a gold-backed economy or the idea of the Treasury Department issuing bonds payable in gold. Bernanke, who has studied the issue, said a return to the gold standard wouldn't work.

"It did deliver price stability over very long periods of time, but over shorter periods of time it caused wide swings in prices related to changes in demand or supply of gold. So I don't think it's a panacea," Bernanke told DeMint.

Energy

Oil prices push past US$98 a barrel after Iran imprisons opposition leaders

Oil prices surged 13 per cent last week, peaking above US$100 per barrel, as Libyan protesters expanded their control over the country. While the Libyan uprising continued Tuesday, news agencies reported that Iranian authorities had imprisoned opposition leaders in Tehran. Iranian authorities denied the reports.

Pro-reform groups have clashed with the Iranian government. Jailing opposition leaders would be a major escalation of the country's political crisis. Iran exports about 2.5 million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids per day, about three per cent of global demand.

Diesel prices up 14.3 cents in the last week, says EIA

Diesel prices saw their single largest weekly price hike since a 14.6 cent increase during the week of June 8, 2009, with a 14.3 gain, bringing the price per gallon up to $3.716, according to data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). On an annual basis, diesel prices are up 74.1 cents.

Environment

Supermarkets are raising prices faster than inflation, says UBS (UK)

Supermarkets are ripping off British shoppers by raising food prices faster than inflation, risking another competition inquiry, the investment bank UBS has warned in a new report. According to the bank's analysis, commodity price inflation in the past few months would justify a 3pc-3.5pc increase in processed food prices, but supermarkets have increased prices by 6pc-6.5pc.

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12 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4165
1) Boise County files for

"In a move rare in the United States and perhaps unprecedented in Idaho, Boise County is filing for federal protection against a multimillion dollar judgment.

“This was not our first option. This was our last option,” said Jamie Anderson, chairwoman of the three-member Boise County Board of Commissioners. “This protects us so we can continue to operate.”

Chapter 9 protection, from a section of federal code expressly for financially distressed municipalities, means that creditors can’t collect while the county is developing a plan for reorganizing its debts."

"The delinquency rate for commercial mortgage-backed securities reached record levels in February, as commercial real-estate deals made in the market's peak continue to struggle despite rising values in some parts of the country.

According to research firm Trepp, 9.39% of all CMBS loans were delinquent in February, a modest increase from 9.34% in January.

The bulk of troubled CMBS loans, mortgages bundled together and sold to investors as bonds, were made in 2006 and 2007. At least $22 billion of those loans are expected to mature in 2011, according to Fitch Ratings."

"Gold purchases in China, the world’s largest producer, climbed to 200 metric tons in the first two months of 2011 as faster inflation boosted consumer demand, according to UBS AG, which said the price may gain to $1,500.

“China is the big buyer,” Peter Hickson, global commodities strategist at Switzerland’s largest bank, said by phone yesterday, without giving a comparable figure for 2010. The estimate for the two-month period compares with full-year consumer demand from China of 579.5 tons for last year, according to the World Gold Council, a producer-funded group."

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

Muni Default Estimate: $100 Billion

Brazil To Use Debt Markets To Help Stem Currency Gains

Minnesota nursing homes brace for deepest funding cuts in decades

Nearly 500 in S.F. schools to get pink slips

'Pension Spiking' Boosts BART Police Retiree Pay

Part of Kansas school aid delayed again

4.5% tuition hike likely, report states

New Jersey pension reform not enough, Moody's says

S&P warns of downgrades on Portugal and Greece

Bell officials order police union to halt campaign

SFPD: Cameras Could Bring Millions; Revenue Sought To Avoid Budget Cutbacks

Governor to discuss prison closure (Colorado)

Wis. governor proposes deep cuts for schools

February planned layoffs highest in 11 months: Challenger

Brown to police: Pension curbs may be ahead (California)

Bernanke Signals No Rush to Tighten When Asset-Buying Ends

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 166
Thank You

Saxplayer

Thank you very much for all of your hard work. 

vinnya's picture
vinnya
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 5 2009
Posts: 27
rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Surpluses Forever!
Fed Testimony: Surpluses Forever! - It is probably a good time to revisit then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony to the same committee 10 years ago today. Here is his testimony on March 2, 2001:  Both the Bush Administration and the Congressional Budget Office project growing on-budget surpluses under current policy over the next decade.  The most recent projections from OMB and CBO indicate that, if current policies remain in place, the total unified surplus will reach about $800 billion in fiscal year 2010, including an on-budget surplus of almost $500 billion. Moreover, the admittedly quite uncertain long-term budget exercises released by the CBO last October maintain an implicit on-budget surplus under baseline assumptions well past 2030 despite the budgetary pressures from the aging of the baby-boom generation, especially on the major health programs. These most recent projections, granted their tentativeness, nonetheless make clear that the highly desirable goal of paying off the federal debt is in reach and, indeed, would occur well before the end of the decade under baseline assumptions.
TNdancer's picture
TNdancer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 127
Under "baseline assumptions"

Under "baseline assumptions" that were clearly worth nothing.....ahahahaaaaa

 

 

On a return to the gold standard"

"Bernanke, who has studied the issue, said a return to the gold standard wouldn't work."

Treasury bonds that promise to pay in gold ?? 

WELL OF COURSE IT WOULDN'T WORK.

1.  WHERE are they gonna GET the gold ?

2. Would the bond be denoted in a dollar value or in ounces ?

3.  Neither of the two above matter, since they lie like DOGS and change the rules whenever it suits them to do so....WHO in their right mind would trust them to payoff in gold ?   If you raise your hand, I have some silver certificate Federal Reserve Notes to show you, that promise to pay, at the Treasury, one dollar in silver.  Ask any Native American exactly what the word of the "great white fathers in Washington" is worth.

 

 

osb272646's picture
osb272646
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 14 2010
Posts: 120
surpluses for ever

Yah.  That was before the Bush Tax Cuts, 9/11, Iraq and Afganistan.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
(No subject)

:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXuJCmOWB2k

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
From the first Daily Digest

From the first Daily Digest link at Marketwatch.com...

"The increase in inflation resulting from the recent spike in oil prices will be modest and temporary, Bernanke said in his prepared remarks."

From the same person who said housing was not in a bubble.  Come on Ben, we're not afraid to hear the truth!

tomwil's picture
tomwil
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 13
modest and temporary
Woodman wrote:

From the first Daily Digest link at Marketwatch.com...

"The increase in inflation resulting from the recent spike in oil prices will be modest and temporary, Bernanke said in his prepared remarks."

From the same person who said housing was not in a bubble.  Come on Ben, we're not afraid to hear the truth!

Oh, now that is truly funny!

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index falls 7.4%

Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index fell 7.4 per cent, plunging to the lowest since September 2009, on concern that political unrest in the Middle East may spread to the kingdom.

The Tadawul All Share Index, which closed down at 5538, has lost 18 per cent since Tunisia's ex-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country amid protests that spurred similar uprisings in nations across the region.

FireJack's picture
FireJack
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2009
Posts: 156
Wonder if there will be some

Wonder if there will be some kind of "shock" announcement like dubai sometime soon. Like X European country defaults on it's debts, Saudi admits it cannot increase production, etc.

AgAuMoney's picture
AgAuMoney
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 2 2009
Posts: 2
FYI Boise vs Boise County

Just FYI, Boise county is not Boise City (the capitol city of Idaho).  Boise City is located in Ada county, which is immediately to the south and east of Boise county.

The entire population of Boise county is well under 10,000 spread over 1900 sq miles.  That means the tax base is low.  So after losing a lawsuit with a judgement like that then there really isn't any way to pay it.

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