Daily Digest

Daily Digest 4/8 - ECB Takes Away Punch Bowl, Millions Lose Power In Japan Aftershock, New Leak At Onagawa Plant

Friday, April 8, 2011, 10:39 AM
  • Merk Commentary: ECB Takes Away Punch Bowl
  • Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown
  • Special Report On Pensions: Too Much, Too Young
  • Millions Without Power After Japan Aftershock
  • Americans to Fed: prices are too high
  • New Radioactive Leak At Second Nuclear Plant In Onagawa, Japan
  • Closing Ranks: The NRC, the Nuclear Industry, and TEPCO are Limiting the Flow of Information
  • The Oil Industry: Refined Tastes

Crash Course DVDOwn the Crash Course Special Edition Set with Presenter’s Pack (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

Merk Commentary: ECB Takes Away Punch Bowl (Joe P.)

ECB President Trichet has long argued that its monetary policy is independent of the "extraordinary measures" put in place to support the financial system. However, it was only earlier this year that the market took Trichet's suggestions that he may raise rates seriously, even as the sovereign debt crisis remains unresolved.

The role of a central bank is to take away the punch bowl when necessary, to pursue its mandate, not to be a cheerleader. The ECB's move can be seen as a stern signal to the banking system and governments to get their act together. Ultimately, the fate of each individual nation is in that country's hands, just as the fate of each bank rests with it's respective management. The Eurozone as a whole, however, will not wait for local or corporate politics.

Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown (jdargis)

The two sides had agreed on everything but a $300 million cut for Planned Parenthood that House Republicans want included in a budget resolution to carry the government through the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, one Democratic official said today. Republicans said larger spending issues remained as an obstacle to agreement. Another person familiar with the negotiations said the issues agreed upon were less clear than last night.

    Crash Course DVDOwn the Crash Course Special Edition Set with Presenter’s Pack (NTSC or PAL)

Special Report On Pensions: Too Much, Too Young (jdargis)

The demographic picture looks different now that the baby-boomers are starting to retire. In 1950 there were 7.2 people aged 20-64 for every person of 65 and more in the OECD. By 1980 the ratio had dropped to 5.1. Now it is around 4.1, and by 2050 it will be just 2.1. In short, every couple will be supporting a pensioner.

Millions Without Power After Japan Aftershock (jdargis)

The public broadcaster, NHK, said two people had died in Miyagi and Yamagata, including a 63-year-old woman whose ventilator stopped working in the blackout. Many more were injured. Of about 3.6 million households initially affected, 950,000 were still without power Friday afternoon, The Associated Press reported, quoting the utility that serves the region.

Americans to Fed: prices are too high (ES)

"The government says inflation is low, but that's not what I'm seeing at the grocery story," Jorge Alberto, an 88-year-old retiree in Miami, said walking out of a supermarket. "My pension is being put to the test."

Policy-makers at the U.S. Federal Reserve largely agree that promoting economic growth is still more urgent that constraining a nascent pick-up in consumer prices.

New radioactive leak at 2nd nuclear plant in Onagawa, Japan (jkibbe)

In Japan, radioactive water is reported to have leaked from fuel pools at the Onagawa nuclear power plant following a violent aftershock measuring seven point one. The plant is less than a hundred kilometres from the stricken Fukushima plant, which is still to be made safe following last month's devastating double hit of earthquake and tsunami. To discuss how events might develop RT talks to Philip White from the Citizen's Nuclear Information Center, who's in Tokyo.

Closing Ranks: The NRC, the Nuclear Industry, and TEPCO are Limiting the Flow of Information (Ivo M.)

Arnie Gundersen discusses inconstancies between what the NRC, TEPCo, and the Nuclear Industry are saying privately and publicly. Documents from the French nuclear firm, Areva, and the NRC reveal what the industry knows about the Fukushima disaster.

http://vimeo.com/22062314

Energy

The Oil Industry: Refined Tastes (jdargis)

Essar, an Indian conglomerate, this week paid Shell $1.3 billion for the Stanlow refinery in north-west England. In February, state-owned PetroChina paid $1 billion for a half-share in Scotland’s Grangemouth refinery and in another at Lavéra in the south of France. Many more refineries are for sale in Europe and America. Britain’s BP, which is raising cash to pay the bill for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wants to sell two huge ones in America. Valero, an American refiner, may show interest, though it has just bought a plant in Wales from Chevron for $1.75 billion.

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."

11 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4149
Budget deficit hits $830 billion for half the year

" The Federal Reserve's balance sheet expanded to $2.65 trillion in the week ended April 6 from $2.63 trillion in the prior week, the central bank said on Thursday. The Fed continues to purchase Treasurys to try to lower long-term interest rates, and its holdings of Treasurys rose to $1.358 trillion from $1.333 trillion"

"The Congressional Budget Office just made clear what all the fuss is about over the 2011 budget -- it's $830 billion in the red, and there are six months to go.

That's a remarkable figure, almost double the full-year deficits for any year before 2009. And the fiscal year won't be over until Sept. 30."

"The $830 billion is $113 billion more than the 2010 deficit was a year ago at this time. Post-stimulus spending is up $179 billion, or 11% over the same period a year ago, while post-recession revenue is up $66 billion, or 7%."

...................2A) US Government Posted $830 Billion Deficit In First Half Of Fiscal '11 -CBO

"While the controller lowered The City’s latest deficit projection for the upcoming fiscal year to $306 million from $380 million, the report painted a grim financial picture for the following years.

There is a $480 million deficit projected for fiscal year 2012-13, and a $642 million deficit projected for fiscal year 2013-14 — which amounts to nearly $800 for every San Franciscan."

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

Fitch Comments on U.S. Debt Ceiling and Sovereign Rating

Bernanke or Bust: Everyone Loses During Hyperinflation (CNBC)

Portugal must agree "harder" reforms to get aid

Europe's $2 Trillion of Distressed Debt Set to Outstrip US

Treasury to Sell $128 Billion (Next week)

Canada weaning itself off US trade.

Layoffs possible in North Las Vegas amid $22.6 million shortfall

Los Angeles May Freeze Retiree Health-Care to Save $525 Million

Merced County deficit at $20 million

California March Receipts Trail Forecast 5.8%, Chiang Says

Corbett says cash-strapped school districts need to consolidate (Pennsylvania)

Housing Subsidy is $2,085 per Household

International Monetary Fund Voices Concerns With U.S. Housing System

 

 

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Ideology - Two Rats Fighting On A Sinking Ship

Re: Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown

So let me get this straight. They've agreed on EVERYTHING - basically the Democrats agreed to everything the Republicans wanted. But  they can't have a budget agreement because there's still an ideological battle over the entire $300 million in annual funding given to Planned Parenthood for woman's health, cancer screenings, family planning (but not abortion, though apparently it frees up money for abortion just like giving public funds to churches to operate soup kitchens frees up funding for proselytization)?

I'm reminded of the letter signed by all the Republicans in the Senate sent to Democrats back in December, threatening to stop all legislation until the Bush tax cuts were also extended to those making more than $250,000 per year. So it was passed.

In the meantime, my conservative newsletters (I subscribe to a few) keep telling that Obama and the Democrats want to stop government, while the liberal ones keep telling me the Republicans and Boehner want to stop government.

Doesn't it take two to tango? Our politicians on both sides are MESSED UP. They're willing to shut down government over ideology. Two rats fighting on a sinking ship - and they ate the holes in the hull in the first place!

Poet

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2008
Posts: 348
Poet wrote: Doesn't it take

 

Poet wrote:

Doesn't it take two to tango? Our politicians on both sides are MESSED UP. They're willing to shut down government over ideology. Two rats fighting on a sinking ship - and they ate the holes in the hull in the first place!

Or as Jesse has expressed it this afternoon:

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

"The discussion and threats of a US government shutdown are primarily political theater which does not mean all that much, but it does demonstrate foreign creditors that the politicians are not men and women of serious business, but merely bought things, purchased souls, playing to their various constituencies."

And this from the same post:

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Marc Faber

Marc Faber

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
fuel price deters shoppers

<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/apr/08/town-shopping-malls-fuel-price>

Out-of-town shopping malls suffer as fuel price deters shoppers

John Lewis reveals sales plunge in stores at Bluewater and Cribbs Causeway, in contrast to traditional shops

  • Friday 8 April 2011 19.05 BST

    Soaring petrol prices are hitting sales at out-of-town shopping centres as cash-strapped consumers think twice about making long journeys to retail destinations such as Cribbs Causeway in Bristol and the Metrocentre in Gateshead.

    As the price of oil breached $124 a barrel for the first time in two and a half years – and is now at a record in sterling terms, as a result of the weaker pound – John Lewis revealed big sales declines at its shops in key out-of-town malls, including Bluewater in Kent and Cribbs Causeway.

    Takings at the retailer's Bluewater department store are down more than 9% since the end of January, with the decline accelerating to more than 12% in the most recent week. At the John Lewis store in Cribbs Causeway mall sales have tumbled more than 11% so far this year and were down more than 14% last week.

    City retail analyst Freddie George, at brokers Seymour Pierce, said: "With the petrol price so high, we knew this was coming and these John Lewis figures provide the first significant evidence."

    The dismal sales at John Lewis' out-of-town centres are in sharp contrast to its more traditional city centre branches and internet site.

    Retail research group Synovate, which monitors the number of shoppers visiting retail centres nationwide, said it had also detected a move for shoppers to stay local. The number of shoppers going through the doors of out-of-town centres fell nearly 12% in March, compared with last year, and compared with a 7% decline across all shops.

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
I'm shocked.

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/04/07/first-iceland-bank-crash-pris...

They have actually passed a prison sentence for a banker in Iceland.  I thought I'd never see the day.  Isn't this one of the signs of apocalypse?

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

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Planned Parenthood stumbling block
Poet wrote:

Re: Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown

So let me get this straight. They've agreed on EVERYTHING - basically the Democrats agreed to everything the Republicans wanted. But  they can't have a budget agreement because there's still an ideological battle over the entire $300 million in annual funding given to Planned Parenthood for woman's health, cancer screenings, family planning (but not abortion, though apparently it frees up money for abortion just like giving public funds to churches to operate soup kitchens frees up funding for proselytization)?

Poet

Before you get all  'bleedin' heart'  on us about how those mean Republicans are depriving women of health care services like cancer screenings and such, consider that Planned Parenthood doesn't even offer those services. They are abortionists, pure and simple. Those reputed other services are nothing but a public relations fig leaf to hide their real purpose: to perform abortions. Subsidized by taxpayers.

Don't believe it? Then watch as they are caught on camera. AGAIN.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Ideology Impregnates The Government's Woes
earthwise wrote:
Poet wrote:

Re: Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown

So let me get this straight. They've agreed on EVERYTHING - basically the Democrats agreed to everything the Republicans wanted. But  they can't have a budget agreement because there's still an ideological battle over the entire $300 million in annual funding given to Planned Parenthood for woman's health, cancer screenings, family planning (but not abortion, though apparently it frees up money for abortion just like giving public funds to churches to operate soup kitchens frees up funding for proselytization)?

Poet

Before you get all  'bleedin' heart'  on us about how those mean Republicans are depriving women of health care services like cancer screenings and such, consider that Planned Parenthood doesn't even offer those services. They are abortionists, pure and simple. Those reputed other services are nothing but a public relations fig leaf to hide their real purpose: to perform abortions. Subsidized by taxpayers.

Earthwise

Publicly, I consider abortion to be a woman's choice and a legal right. I am not a woman, but privately I do not condone it except in the first trimester in cases of rape or incest, or later if there is mortal danger to the mother's health or a viability problem (I had a friend who had to walk past a gauntlet of in-your-face, ignorant shouting protestors to a clinic because the fetus had no brain but was still growing, and no hospital would do it). I also recognize that it is not our place to legislate what a woman may choose in a very personal, private, moral, religious, and mentally/emotionally difficult decision. There was a reason the U..S. Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade. Stare decisis.

On the other hand, as a practical policy matter, government funding of condoms, birth control, morning-after pills, and early term abortion would be a cheap curb on massive outlays of future government funding on welfare, food stamps, medical care, crime figting, incarceration, etc. The economists who studied the matter and published their findings in Freakonomics regarding the causes of the drop in crime since the 1990s have some strong evidence. "Bleeding heart" doesn't describe my pragmatic outlook. Anyone serious enough about addressing overwhelming government costs needs to at least put it on the table for discussion, even if to make the decision later to abandon it for moral or religious reasons.

Rather than continue debate on a social/religious wedge issue, we will just have to agree that we disagree on a matter that is much more contentious and more fraught with disrespect (hence your "bleedin' heart" comment?), demonization than the lively debate between hyperinflationists and deflationists over how our coming economic armageddon will manifest.

That said, my emphasis (not quoted) was how the politicians of parties literally are rats fighting on a sinking ship, for $300 million in funding becoming the ideological basis for a dispute that threatened to shut down ALL of government. Which is why, though we are not supposed to discuss contentious political/social/religious wedge issues here on PeakProsperity.com, these political/social/religious issues still manage to wedge themselves into the very heart of the discussion on the economics and finances of our nation. The government budget isn't just the largest single source of spending in our economy, it is also a blueprint of our (admittedly often rather f****d up) national priorities.

I expect that as our government's financial situation deteriorates, the public policy debates and Congressional battles over allocation of dwindling resources will become even more heated, the rhetoric and brinksmanship even more extreme. Rather than coming together to find common ground, politicians will find themselves increasingly with less ground to stand on. They will have less room to maneuver as economic, budgetary, demographic, and even 3E (economics, energy, environment) constraints close in from all sides. It'll be really bloody then.

The two sides in Congress finally reached a deal this morning. The deal did not cut funding for Planned Parenthood. However, they only agreed to extend government funding for another week, and of course there's still the budget for next year to fight over. Basically, they only agreed to postpone the fight for another day and another vote.

And perhaps that is what you and I should do.

Poet

 

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Watch the birdie!!!

WOW!

Ok, so now the pols have distracted their "mark" (us) by making a budget debate about Planned Parenthood! (the birdie) BRILLIANT!!!

C'mon guys, don't fall for that.

Oh, BTW, this little spat has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood, cutting the budget, dems or republicans.... I will submit it is a way to - for once and for all, squash the TEA party.

I am NOT a TEA party member or advocate. I have kept thinking why "both sides of the isle" have made such a push arguing over crumbs. Listen to the rhetoric. Read between the lines. If there are more than two political parties in this country, BOTH of the mainstream hacks we have now are the only ones that stand too loose.

Look, before it is over, you will see Boehner crying on Obama's shoulder saying, "it's those bad, bad TEA party freshmen in my party that won't LET me compromise with you mister president. I want to... It's their fault."

Moderator Jason's picture
Moderator Jason
Status: Moderator (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2008
Posts: 98
Re: Daily Digest 4/8

Attention everybody:

In case RNcarl's exhortation to stay on topic is not enough, I will make it clear: we will not have an argument about abortion on this thread. 

Abortion is one of the two prohibited topics because these conversations never make any constructive headway.  Nobody is going to change anybody's mind about this subject over the internet.  Such conversations quickly and inevitably go downhill, and take entire threads with them.  This is a warning: no further conversation or posts about abortion from anybody on this thread.

If anybody has any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Jason

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments