Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/8 - Recession Erasing Middle-Income Jobs, The Fate Of Fannie And Freddie, Malaysia Bets On Rare Earths

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 11:47 AM
  • Middle-Wage Workers and the Recession
  • No Silver? No Problem: US Mint Would Like To Know If You Will Accept Brass, Steel, Iron Or Tungsten Coins Instead
  • How Wisconsin Can Turn Economic Austerity into Prosperity
  • U.S. Dollar Very Long Term Chart: Emperor et Ses Amis du Vins
  • Should Fannie and Freddie Go?
  • Young, Poor and Jobless
  • Chinese in £750m Bid For African Uranium
  • Malaysia Makes Big Bet On Crucial Metals

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Economy

Middle-Wage Workers and the Recession (jdargis)

The structure of job opportunities in the United States has sharply polarized over the past two decades, with expanding job opportunities in both high-skill, high-wage occupations and low-skill, low-wage occupations, coupled with contracting opportunities in middle-wage, middle-skill white-collar and blue-collar jobs.

No Silver? No Problem: US Mint Would Like To Know If You Will Accept Brass, Steel, Iron Or Tungsten Coins Instead (pinecarr)

Wonder why the US mint has not sold a single ounce of silver so far in March? Here is a clue:

“United States Mint Seeks Public Comment on Factors to be Considered in Research and Evaluation of Potential New Metallic Coinage Materials”

How Wisconsin Can Turn Economic Austerity into Prosperity (pinecarr)

As states struggle to meet their budgets, public pensions are on the chopping block; but they needn’t be. States can keep their pension funds intact and leverage them into many times that sum in loans, just as Wall Street banks do. They can do this by forming their own banks, following the lead of North Dakota, the only state either to have its own bank or to have a major budget surplus.

    Crash Course DVDShare the Crash Course with your friends and family – buy the DVD today (NTSC or PAL)

U.S. Dollar Very Long Term Chart: Emperor et Ses Amis du Vins (pinecarr)

The weakness with this US Dollar DX index is that it is highly weighted to the developed economies of Europe and Japan. As such it may not reflect erosion of dollar purchasing power vis a vis the BRICs, and external measures such as gold, oil, and silver. It may be masked by the mutual weakness of central banks all inflating their currencies in unison.

Should Fannie and Freddie Go? (jdargis)

Even if these companies are shuttered, the question remains whether the government should provide support to middle-class borrowers, including lower interest rates and lenient terms. Some critics argue that a purely private mortgage finance market would be perfectly achievable and effective.

What are the consequences to ending all government support in the mortgage market? Would there have to be additional regulations to ensure that mortgages remain within reach for most Americans?

Young, Poor and Jobless (jargis)

Which Middle Eastern countries are most susceptible to revolution?

Energy

Chinese in £750m Bid For African Uranium (pincarr)

A Chinese state-owned nuclear power producer has made a £756m approach for Kalahari Minerals, as the world's second largest economy searches for new sources of uranium.

Malaysia Makes Big Bet On Crucial Metals (jdargis)

For Malaysia and the world’s most advanced technology companies, the plant is a gamble that the processing can be done safely enough to make the local environmental risks worth the promised global rewards.

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."

16 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4149
Greek Bond Yields, Swaps Climb to Records Before EU Leaders Disc

"The yield on 10-year Greek bonds jumped as much as 50 basis points to 12.83 percent, the most since Bloomberg began collecting the data in 1988, with the increase in yields the biggest since Oct. 27. The yield was at 12.82 percent as of 3:09 p.m. in London. The 6.25 percent securities maturing in June 2020 fell 1.99, or 19.9 euros per 1,000-euro ($1,390) face amount, to 65.33. "

"Spanish 10-year yields climbed 10 basis points to 5.48 percent after the nation hired banks to sell 15-year bonds. Ten- year Portuguese yields were seven basis points higher at 7.62 percent. The country plans to issue up to 1 billion euros of 2013 notes tomorrow.

The yield on similar-maturity Irish debt increased as much as 15 basis points to 9.56 percent, the most since 1993, before easing to 9.52 percent. "

  • Other headlines:

Record high yield on 10-year Irish bonds

Unrest in the Middle East and Africa -- country by country

Report: Illinois prepaid tuition program underfunded, risky

UC Riverside leaders consider sweeping cuts in face of budget crisis

Losses plague Tennessee's pensions

KPERS more than $9 billion in red

OPEC spare capacity may be below 2 mbd: Goldman

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Eco-farming can double food output by poor: U.N.

(Reuters) - Many farmers in developing nations can double food production within a decade by shifting to ecological agriculture from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, a U.N. report showed on Tuesday.

Insect-trapping plants in Kenya and Bangladesh's use of ducks to eat weeds in rice paddies are among examples of steps taken to increase food for a world population that the United Nations says will be 7 billion this year and 9 billion by 2050.

"Agriculture is at a crossroads," according to the study by Olivier de Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in a drive to depress record food prices and avoid the costly oil-dependent model of industrial farming.

"Agroecology" could also make farms more resilient to the projected impact of climate change including floods, droughts and a rise in sea levels that the report said was already making fresh water near some coasts too salty for use in irrigation.

So far, eco-farming projects in 57 nations had shown average crop yield gains of 80 percent by tapping natural methods for enhancing soil and protecting against pests, it said.

 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/us-food-idUKTRE7272FN20110308

SailAway's picture
SailAway
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 404
And Americans are

And Americans are complaining at an average gas price in the mid $3 range. In Europe, gasoline has just hit an all time record of $8.632 per gallon! As HLN.be reports: "tomorrow the price of gas will reach an absolute record. Petrol 95 can hit €1.624 per litre. This breaks the 2008 record of €1.61 per liter." Translated into American this means that a gallon of gas in Europe is now an unprecedented $8.632 per gallon, which will certainly result in Europe literally and metaphorically grinding to a halt.

 

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/european-gasoline-hits-all-time-record-8632-gallon

 

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
American Poor Spend A Lot On Gas
SailAway wrote:

And Americans are complaining at an average gas price in the mid $3 range. In Europe, gasoline has just hit an all time record of $8.632 per gallon! As HLN.be reports: "tomorrow the price of gas will reach an absolute record. Petrol 95 can hit €1.624 per litre. This breaks the 2008 record of €1.61 per liter." Translated into American this means that a gallon of gas in Europe is now an unprecedented $8.632 per gallon, which will certainly result in Europe literally and metaphorically grinding to a halt.
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/european-gasoline-hits-all-time-record-8632-gallon

A greater number of Americans depend on cars than do Europeans. They also tend to drive less fuel-efficient vehicles.

More of concern, amongst a lot of rural poor, 16% of their income is spent on gas.

I think we are reaching a tipping point with truck drivers and the mobile poor. It will affect the ability to work or get to work.

Poet

rjs's picture
rjs
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Posts: 445
rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
% of income spent on gas.
Poet wrote:

More of concern, amongst a lot of rural poor, 16% of their income is spent on gas.

I think we are reaching a tipping point with truck drivers and the mobile poor. It will affect the ability to work or get to work.

Poet

details by income group here: http://macromon.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/how-u-s-income-groups-get-squeezed-by-food-prices/

chart includes gas but not heat oil:  http://macromon.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/food-gas-expenditures.jpg

MarkM's picture
MarkM
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Joined: Jul 22 2008
Posts: 845
...and that was when

...and that was when gasoline was $1.00/gal cheaper and food was maybe 20% cheaper. I think the chart extrapolated to today would be very telling as to how the poorer families are affected by the rising prices of essential items.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Things are just getting

Things are just getting stranger by the day.....

Jager06's picture
Jager06
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 2 2009
Posts: 395
Wow...

Hearing is believing. This is what it has come to in America? Where someone who thinks this type of totalitarian regime is acceptable in America has a say in the process for choosing the candidates for the Presidency??

This is supposed to be an alternative?

Of course we are headed for civil war.

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Reduce the Fed Gov don't make it larger.

I listed to the short interview with Dick Morris and I am shocked that someone can actually propose such draconian measures as drug testing all high school students, loan recipients and many others on his expanded drug war.

Unfortunately, there will be people that will actually buy into what Dick Morris says.

The more the Fed Gov gets involved the less freedom we have.

Marty59's picture
Marty59
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 23 2009
Posts: 10
Tall wrote:

(Reuters) - Many farmers in developing nations can double food production within a decade by shifting to ecological agriculture from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, a U.N. report showed on Tuesday.

Insect-trapping plants in Kenya and Bangladesh's use of ducks to eat weeds in rice paddies are among examples of steps taken to increase food for a world population that the United Nations says will be 7 billion this year and 9 billion by 2050.

"Agriculture is at a crossroads," according to the study by Olivier de Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in a drive to depress record food prices and avoid the costly oil-dependent model of industrial farming.

"Agroecology" could also make farms more resilient to the projected impact of climate change including floods, droughts and a rise in sea levels that the report said was already making fresh water near some coasts too salty for use in irrigation.

So far, eco-farming projects in 57 nations had shown average crop yield gains of 80 percent by tapping natural methods for enhancing soil and protecting against pests, it said.

 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/us-food-idUKTRE7272FN20110308

While it may help other parts of the world first, it could also help New England if after decades of almost no agriculture, similar ideas that also ape nature's way could be started from scratch. This would help the effort to create local food sources once again.
Over time, what land is still arable elsewhere will have to be cultivated by similar ecologically balanced methods using natural forces that both balance each other off and perpetuate the process just like Mother Nature does it, or nearly so.
 
Ha, ha. Goodbye Monsanto, sooner or later....
The other side is that there will always be unintended consequences. Suppose the plant which is the perfect enemy of the boll weevil, comes from some far away place and winds up behaving like the kudzu vine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu

Also, some might need to be slightly modified genetically to work well in a new environment.

Still, it is all qualified good news.

Once we return to planning for the next seven generations, we can hope that each generation will have enough, but not too much, to deal with.

 

HarryFlashman's picture
HarryFlashman
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 1 2008
Posts: 54
Republican Totalitarianism

@Jager06

I consider myself a progressive libertarian,let people do what they want as long as they're doing no harm to others,but with a strong social safety net and progressive taxation of those who can afford to pay more.Also tax the bollocks off unearned income,at least 50%,if not a lot more.

You say that the tates is headed for civil war,what will the sides be,and which will you be on?I have a feeling that most people on this site are quite conservative and therefore will be on the side of the fascist proposing the universal drug testing for almost everyone.

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1325
Not Libertarian
HarryFlashman wrote:

I consider myself a progressive libertarian,let people do what they want as long as they're doing no harm to others,but with a strong social safety net and progressive taxation of those who can afford to pay more.Also tax the bollocks off unearned income,at least 50%,if not a lot more.

Sorry, but I think you need to drop the Libertarian part and your just a Progressive (note nothing wrong with that).  A Libertarian does not believe in high taxation or the strong social safety net because that requires "taking by force" money from others.  So no, you are not letting people do as they want.  Libertarians believe strongly in freedom and limited government, and if you aren't allowed to benefit and don't own your own labor then you are not free.

Harryflashman wrote:

I have a feeling that most people on this site are quite conservative and therefore will be on the side of the fascist proposing the universal drug testing for almost everyone.

Just  a bit divisive there!  I don't believe being Libertarian or Conservative equates with "on the side of the fascist proposing the universal drug testing".  That was really Progressive rhetoric.  Most Libertarians would say "no taxes, no drug testing, no drug war, do what ever the hell you want and when you screw up you can either count on yourself, family or charity".  No government safety net, it's not their job.   In the interview note how Peter Schiff slammed Dick Morris for his comments,  Peter is a Libertarian, the other guy I would call a Statist and certaily not a patriot as indicated by his book title.

Progressive Libertarian....  That is truly an oxymoron. Laughing

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Nice post rhare....couldn't

Nice post rhare....couldn't agree more.

plato1965's picture
plato1965
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
   RAS LANUF, Libya, March

 

 RAS LANUF, Libya, March 9 (Reuters) - Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi hit storage tanks in the oil terminal of Es Sider in east Libya on Wednesday during a heavy bombardment of rebels in the area, rebel fighters said.

 http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFWEA755620110309

 http://www.zerohedge.com/article/plumes-black-smoke-rising-area-around-sider-oil-terminal

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 3998
Qaddafi Strikes Central Oil Ports

(Edited to focus on oil)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-09/qaddafi-forces-strike-central-oil-ports-as-reward-posted-for-rebel-leader.html

Qaddafi Strikes Central Oil Ports, Posts Reward for Rebel Leader

By Ola Galal and Robert Tuttle - Mar 10, 2011 7:02 AM GMT+1000

Muammar Qaddafi’s forces carried out air and artillery strikes on central oil facilities as the government posted a 500,000 dinar ($407,000) reward for anyone who arrests the head of the rebel leadership council.

Warplanes sent from Qaddafi’s home region of Sirte struck the Ras Lanuf refinery, the country’s largest crude processing plant, Al Jazeera television said. Libya’s state broadcaster blamed damage in the town on retreating rebels. Most of the port of Sidra was destroyed and an oil terminal was hit, Al Jazeera said.

“With the violence escalating, it was a question of time when oil facilities would be drawn into the fighting,” Samuel Ciszuk, senior Middle East energy analyst at IHS Global Insight in London, said in a phone interview. “To dislodge opposition forces, you need to take these facilities. That would entail hitting some.”

Fighting has intensified this week as Qaddafi has sought to turn back rebels’ advances. Government troops are within 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) of Ras Lanuf, the rebel’s front lines. Oil prices rose in London and declined in New York trading after a strong domestic oil supply report.

More than 400 people have been killed and 2,000 wounded in fighting in eastern Libya since Feb. 17, a member of the insurgents’ provisional health committee told reporters today in the rebel-held city of Benghazi. The official, Gebril Hewadi, said the dead include 350 civilians and 50 rebel fighters, according to regional hospitals. The number of people missing is still unknown, he said.

Qaddafi’s Targets

Mustafa Gheriani, media coordinator for the rebels in Benghazi, said Qaddafi’s forces fired missiles against the oil pipeline that goes to Gulf of Sidra and against the Ras Lanuf port. He said rebel forces are now close to Bin Jawad, a government stronghold west of Ras Lanuf, and predicted that retaking the town will come at a high cost.

“We hope a no-fly zone will be imposed and then it will be easy to regain control of it,” he said.

The U.S. and its allies are debating ways to stop Qaddafi’s attacks. President Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met at the White House.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration is considering a “variety” of options, including the imposition of a no-fly zone. Rebel leaders, asking for the no-fly zone, say that the grounding of Qaddafi’s planes will help them win the war and end his regime, and the proposal also won backing from Arab nations.

Call for Recognition

Kuwait’s parliament today urged Arab nations to recognize the rebels’ Interim Transitional National Council as Libya’s legitimate government, and withdraw recognition from Qaddafi’s regime.

-snip-

Oil Export Terminals

The Sidra and Ras Lanuf ports are two of the country’s six export terminals, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Ras Lanuf has a tanker terminal that has exported 200,000 barrels a day, as well as Libya’s biggest refinery, with a capacity of 220,000 barrels a day, 60 percent of the country’s total, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Sidra terminal exported 450,000 barrels a day as recently as January, according to the IEA. Together, the two ports account for 43 percent of exports in January, according to the IEA

Ras Lanuf has been under sporadic air and artillery bombardment since it was seized by the insurgents last week. Several people were injured in airstrikes yesterday and the city’s water supply was cut off after storage tanks were bombed, Mohamed el Megaryef, a resident of the city, said by phone.

The Ras Lanuf refinery was shut and its employees fled because of the fighting, an official from the Libyan Emirates Oil Refining Co. said today. He spoke before reports of a raid on the facility and calls to his office later weren’t answered.

Exports Drop

Libya’s oil output has dropped by about 1 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said. The conflict in the country that holds Africa’s largest reserves has pushed oil prices up more than 20 percent.

Brent crude for April delivery increased $1.33, or 1.2 percent, to $114.39 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Bank of America Merrill Lynch increased its forecast for Brent crude by $36 a barrel and said prices could “briefly” surge above $140 a barrel in the second quarter.

Crude oil for April delivery dropped $1.05, or 1 percent, to $103.97 a barrel at 2:20 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange in response to a domestic oil supplies report. The contract touched $106.95 on March 7, the highest intraday price since Sept. 26, 2008. Futures are up 28 percent from a year ago.

-snip-

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