Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/18 - Benefits Of Long-Term Jobless Reduced, Demand For Gold Remains Strong, USPS Expects To Lose 8.3B This Year

Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 9:42 AM
  • U.S. Debt Holders Willing to Miss Payments: Rep. Ryan
  • Long-term Jobless See Reduction In Benefits
  • For teen job-seekers, summer again offers dismal prospects
  • Restaurant inflation is edging up
  • Kodak to vary prices more often as silver climbs
  • Demand for gold remains strong
  • Empty Mansions Causing Headaches for Vegas Realtors
  • Arizona's older unemployed workers crowd youths for summer jobs
  • Retirement of baby boomers weighs on Korean society
  • China Builds Desert Ghost City as Critics Warn of Bubble
  • Portugal's Banks Using Government Guarantees to Raise Cash
  • Almost four in 10 workers say they’ll retire after age 70 — or just keep working
  • Postal Service expects $8.3 billion loss this year
  • Ireland says cheaper aid needed to avoid failure in eurozone
  • OTC Commodity Derivatives Climbed 2% in Second Half, BIS Says
  • Stockton City Council Facing Fiscal Emergency
  • Santa Barbara County braces for massive layoffs
  • China's electricity shortages may worsen as summer looms
  • Japanese Power Plants Damaged or Closed by Earthquake

Crash Course DVDThe 3-disc DVD with presenter’s pack offers helpful guidance for sharing the 3E message with your community. (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

U.S. Debt Holders Willing to Miss Payments: Rep. Ryan (CNBC)

Holders of US government debt would be willing to miss payments "for a day or two or three or four" if it put the US in a stronger position to pay them later on, Rep. Paul Ryan told CNBC Tuesday.

"That's what I'm hearing from most people," said the Wisconsin Republican, chairman of the House Budget Committee. "What is more important is that you're putting the government in a materially better position to be able to pay their bonds later on."

Long-term Jobless See Reduction In Benefits

Governors and legislatures across the nation are moving to cut the length of time unemployed workers can receive benefits, despite historically high unemployment rates, amid concerns that states may need to boost taxes on employers to shore up unemployment trust funds exhausted by the jobless benefits.

More than 8 million Americans are drawing unemployment, according to the Department of Labor.

For teen job-seekers, summer again offers dismal prospects

The number of teens holding summer jobs in Massachusetts and across the country is expected to match or be even less than last year’s record lows, with only about 1 in 4 teens finding work, according to research by Northeastern University.

Just 26 percent of US teens held jobs last summer, the lowest youth employment rate since World War II, and this year youth advocates are scrambling to fund job opportunities amid federal cutbacks and a shaky private-sector recovery.

Restaurant inflation is edging up

Thanks to the recession, 2010 was a year of $5.99 lunchtime specials, dollar-menu bargains and 2-for-1 meal deals; 2011 is turning out to be quite different.

Since March 2010, beef prices have risen 12.2%, the USDA said; pork prices are up 11.2% and poultry 2.2%. By the end of the year, beef prices are projected to increase 7% to 8%; pork prices, 6.5% to 7.5%.

Kodak to vary prices more often as silver climbs

Eastman Kodak Co.'s film, photofinishing and entertainment group said Monday that it will adjust its prices more often due to the recent growth in the price of silver, which the group uses as a raw material to produce film and paper products. The group said that it needs to do so because of the rise in the price of silver, as well as increasing pulp and petroleum costs.

Demand for gold remains strong

This month's commodities rout has hit resources stocks but it has also turbocharged investors' appetite for gold, with demand from US buyers, in particular, propelling sales of coins into overdrive.

Coin sales at the US Mint - the world's biggest - have put it on track for its best month in a year, with 85,000 ounces of its American Eagle snapped up since May 1. It's a similar story at the Perth Mint, where demand for both coins and bullion is hovering near record levels.

Empty Mansions Causing Headaches for Vegas Realtors

Las Vegas real estate broker Ken Lowman would love to sell one of his luxury listings, an 8,500-square-foot., 8 bedroom masterpiece with an amazing poolside cabana and gourmet kitchen, for its original price of $4 million. But the value of homes in the area has plummeted, forcing Lowman to put the mansion on the market for nearly half its price. "I have the home listed today for $2.35 million," said Lowman.

According to a recent report from online real estate service Zillow Inc., more than 28% of U.S. homeowners with mortgages have negative equity, which means they owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth. In Las Vegas, Zillow reported negative equity for a whopping 85% of homes in the city with mortgages.

Arizona's older unemployed workers crowd youths for summer jobs

High school students seeking summer jobs flipping burgers or bagging groceries are likely to find more competition from older unemployed workers. Teens often fill their summers and pocketbooks with entry level, low-skill and low-paying jobs.

But as the unemployment rate remains persistently high, teens looking for their first job now could be competing with a 50-year-old career changer trying to make ends meet.

Retirement of baby boomers weighs on Korean society

With those born in 1955 reaching corporate retirement age usually set at 55 to 58, an average of 500,000 baby-boom generation workers are set to retire every year through 2017, Employment and Labor Ministry officials forecast. Many experts are highlighting the problems arising from the massive retirement of baby boomers, most of whom, like Sohn, are not prepared for life after retirement. Coupled with prolonged life expectancy, they warn, the retirements could lead to a “social catastrophe.”

“The baby boomers are the last generation who consider it their duty to care for their parents and the first generation who cannot expect their children to take care of them,” said Woo Jae-ryong, who heads the Samsung Life Retirement Research Center. If no proper measures are taken, many retirees from the baby-boom generation will fall below the poverty line, he said.

    Crash Course DVDThe 3-disc DVD with presenter’s pack offers helpful guidance for sharing the 3E message with your community. (NTSC or PAL)

China Builds Desert Ghost City as Critics Warn of Bubble (Video)

Bloomberg's Adam Johnson reports on the construction boom in Kangbashi, a city in China's Inner Mongolia originally designed to accommodate around 1 million people that currently has about 30,000 residents. The desert city is part of the Chinese government's plan to add 36 million units of affordable or social housing in the next five years. Critics warn that "ghost cities" like Kangbashi are adding to the nation's real estate bubble.

Portugal's Banks Using Government Guarantees to Raise Cash

Portugal's banks have started to tap government guarantees offered under the bailout the country is receiving to help them fund their operations, showing the banks expect a liquidity crunch in the sector to continue.

Bank executives and analysts, however, said the guarantees in the form of government-backed bonds won't be enough to cover funding needs, highlighting how little the European Central Bank can do to help the banking system find funding for its operations outside ECB's own liquidity lines.

Almost four in 10 workers say they’ll retire after age 70 — or just keep working

Thirty-nine percent of people said they’ll work past age 70 or simply never retire, according to the annual survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, a nonprofit private foundation. Meanwhile, 40% of workers said the recession will force them to work longer than planned — up from 28% who said that a year ago

Postal Service expects $8.3 billion loss this year

The U.S. Postal Service estimates it will lose $8.3 billion this year, not counting adjustments for workers' compensation liabilities, which could add another $2 billion to the total. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe disclosed the loss estimate during a Senate panel hearing Tuesday, a week after the agency posted worse-than-expected second-quarter results, driven by a sharp drop in profitable first-class mail volume. Last year, the agency suffered a $6.5 billion loss.

Ireland says cheaper aid needed to avoid failure in eurozone

Portugal, Greece and Ireland all need cheaper loans to ensure efforts to rehabilitate them succeed, Ireland's finance minister said, and he pressed for a European to lead the IMF should its current chief leave.

Michael Noonan's remarks signal a change of tack in Dublin's so-far unsuccessful bid to win a lower interest rate on aid given to it by euro zone states, by attempting to ally itself with others in a similar position.

OTC Commodity Derivatives Climbed 2% in Second Half, BIS Says

Metals, energy and agricultural contracts made up 0.5 percent of the total $601 trillion of over-the-counter derivatives traded worldwide in the half, the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS said.

Stockton City Council Facing Fiscal Emergency

City officials have said bankruptcy might follow if the city is unable to pay its workers in the coming fiscal year. A fiscal emergency would allow the city to set workers' pay and benefits unilaterally.

Santa Barbara County braces for massive layoffs

With a grim financial outlook and dwindling reserves, Santa Barbara County is pondering laying off around 130 employees for the next fiscal year. To close a $72 million budget gap for the next fiscal year, the county is considering eliminating 289 positions, approximately 130 of which are filled.

Energy

China's electricity shortages may worsen as summer looms

Rising prices of coal, used to generate about 80 per cent of China's power, and government caps on electricity prices have eroded profitability at power plants, causing generators to cut production or even shut.

China may face a summer shortage of 30 gigawatts as supply lags behind demand growth, the China Electricity Council said on April 29. That's about twice the shortfall Japan faced after the March 11 earthquake, Gordon Kwan, the Hong Kong-based head of energy research at Mirae Asset Securities, said in an e-mailed note on May 12.

Japanese Power Plants Damaged or Closed by Earthquake

The following is a table showing nuclear and thermal power plants in Japan halted or damaged by the earthquakes on March 11. Capacity figures are in megawatts.

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8 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4061
Inflation using "1980 methodology"...Great McAlvany audio

 

Warm and Contented in a Cocoon of Untruth (McAlvany audio.. listen at 20 minutes. Inflation at 10.7% using 1980 methodology? Explains how this gets us from here to a loss in confidence and hyperinflation. Talks also on gold )

  • News and headlines:

World Bank sees end to dollar’s hegemony

ECB Rejects Greek Restructuring in Clash With EU Policymakers

Greece Default Risk Rising With IMF Turmoil, El-Erian Says

Dubai steps in to take over cash-strapped bank

Sovereign Debt Risk Rises in Europe, Credit-Default Swaps Show

Governor Christie Faces Potential $2.3 Billion Bill for Schools, Tunnel (New Jersey..."warned of “unthinkable” cuts if the state Supreme Court rules that his $1.7 billion of education-aid reductions are unconstitutional")

Belarus turns to Russia for bailout

Hawaii's bond rating lowered as state finances dwindle

S&P Lowers Iceland Local-Currency Rating To Edge Of Junk

Detroit council eyes deep cuts to cultural institutions

San Francisco's budget woes make rocky roads rougher

Venice could be bankrupted by police and fire costs

Pasco County school teachers brace for budget cuts ("$54 million deficit")

State finances threaten recovery: Whitney

JPMorgan Says Crude Oil, Gold to Drive Rebound in Commodities on Shortages

Unemployment Claims Rise Most Since January 2010 as Recovery Stays Fragile (UK)

Free Money Claim Roils Dispute on One-Time U.S. Offshore Tax Holiday

Geithner: U.S. must deal with budget woes or pay more

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
The $4 Billion Oil Company Subsidies

American oil companies have made record profits year after year. The top ones either pay no Federal income tax, or they get hundreds of millions in "refunds" back from the IRS.

But on top of that, they also get $4 billion in oil subsidies legislated by Congress. Now, the oil companies say that cutting the oil subsidies will make gas prices higher. but is that necessarily true? The oil companies extract oil from U.S. land or waters, then sell it on the open world market where U.S. companies bid against everyone else for oil delivery. Do the $4 billion in free tax subsidies really help American drivers pay less at the pump?!? I don't think so. But even if that were true, wouldn't that mean we're also helping subsidize the rest of the world's oil purchases, too?!?

The $4 Billion Oil Company Subsidies
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/42999308#42999308

Poet

Josey's picture
Josey
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 24 2011
Posts: 40
Update on "Spanish Revolution" protests: riot police surrounding

Live webstream link found here.

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/05/18/update-on-spanish-re.html

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4061
Health-care expenses to rise 8.5% in 2012: study

 

"Employers can expect to see an acceleration in health-care cost increases in 2012, with expenses rising 8.5% next year, according to a study released Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers. "

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 496
Please Don't Make Them Put a Chunk of Money Down

"We strongly oppose a reduction in loan limits because it means financing would become even more difficult," said Walt Molony, a senior public affairs specialist for the National Association of Realtors. "If more expensive loans were entirely dependent on private financing, you could see a real crisis in areas like California when capital disappears."

            Gee, the guy from the National Associatin of Realtors doesn't think loan limits should be reduced. What a news flash!


rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1323
EVIL oil companies and $4B dollars...
Poet wrote:

Do the $4 billion in free tax subsidies really help American drivers pay less at the pump?!? I don't think so. But even if that were true, wouldn't that mean we're also helping subsidize the rest of the world's oil purchases, too?!?

Time for math reality check.  So we have $4B in subsidies, if we pass that along to the end consumer of gasoline only:

$4,000,000,000 / (18,771,000 barrels/day * 365 days) = $0.5838 / barrel

$0.5838 / 19.4 gallon gas /barrel = $0.03 / gallon of gas.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think these subsidies as well as all others should be eliminated. But this is a distraction meant to keep the masses angry and not looking at the real problems.

Let's look at gasoline alone, federal tax on gasoline is $0.184 and average state tax is $0.272.  So taxes alone are at least 15 times higher than the impact of that $4 billlon dollars.  Also, Maddow and her tirade, lets raise those taxes on the evil oil companies, who does she think will pay for the taxes?  Corporations are forced to simply pass the tax along to the consumers of their products. It means the tax gets dispersed much more equitably among those who use the product.  I don't think she has a clue that raising corporate taxes mean the poor will pay a much higher percentage of the tax than with the current system. Tongue out

But again, this is simply a distraction from the real problem, the deficit.  The oil companies get to be the boogieman du jour so that we can toss around $4B and generate outrage and ignore the $1.65T deficit.  So let's stop those evil oil company subsidies and I'm sure that will fix the problem.  After all it's 0.24% (that's 0.0024) of the current deficit, only 99.76% to go!

 

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Profit Is The Motive, Excuses Fit The Motive

Rhare:

Oh, I agree the taxes and fees on gasoline/fuel are much, much higher than that subsidy. However, it's funny to see politicians and the oil industry fight so hard for it. But the way I see it...

Example: Joe Barton, (R-Texas), defendiing tax subsidies for oil companies as justified "so long as you believe that you believe in the free market capitalist system."

Reducing taxes does not necessarily mean that savings are passed back to the consumers. Companies are often known to come up with excuses for bringing in more revenue anyway: whatever the market can bear. For example: when the telephone tax to help pay for the Spanish American War was finally removed from phone bills a few years ago (practically a century after that war was over), Verizon initially decided it would just create a new "service fee" equal to that tax.

By the same token, increasing taxes also does not necessarily mean that costs are passed on, either. For example. a lot of restaurants and food companies initially sucked it up and ate the increased costs of commodities for fear of driving away customers, didn't they? Isn't inflation in commodity prices also a "tax" in terms of cost and expense?

Therefore, there's no way to really know if $4 billion in free tax subsidies to oil companies would really help American drivers pay less at the pump. And even if it does, then it's also a subsidy for the rest of the non-American world that also gets to bid on oil contracts on the world market, too. And why should we subsidize the rest of the worldt? :)

Poet

rhare wrote:
Poet wrote:

Do the $4 billion in free tax subsidies really help American drivers pay less at the pump?!? I don't think so. But even if that were true, wouldn't that mean we're also helping subsidize the rest of the world's oil purchases, too?!?

Time for math reality check.  So we have $4B in subsidies, if we pass that along to the end consumer of gasoline only:

$4,000,000,000 / (18,771,000 barrels/day * 365 days) = $0.5838 / barrel

$0.5838 / 19.4 gallon gas /barrel = $0.03 / gallon of gas.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think these subsidies as well as all others should be eliminated. But this is a distraction meant to keep the masses angry and not looking at the real problems.

Let's look at gasoline alone, federal tax on gasoline is $0.184 and average state tax is $0.272.  So taxes alone are at least 15 times higher than the impact of that $4 billlon dollars.  Also, Maddow and her tirade, lets raise those taxes on the evil oil companies, who does she think will pay for the taxes?  Corporations are forced to simply pass the tax along to the consumers of their products. It means the tax gets dispersed much more equitably among those who use the product.  I don't think she has a clue that raising corporate taxes mean the poor will pay a much higher percentage of the tax than with the current system. Tongue out

But again, this is simply a distraction from the real problem, the deficit.  The oil companies get to be the boogieman du jour so that we can toss around $4B and generate outrage and ignore the $1.65T deficit.  So let's stop those evil oil company subsidies and I'm sure that will fix the problem.  After all it's 0.24% (that's 0.0024) of the current deficit, only 99.76% to go!

 

 

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1323
Restaurants can only eat the costs in the short term.
Poet wrote:

However, it's funny to see politicians and the oil industry fight so hard for it.

Yeah, it goes to show who really support a free market system, and there are so few. Frown

It's all political theater to keep us fighting and grumbling about minor details and ignoring the big picture.  Sigh....

I'm not sure your example of the restaurants and others eating the higher inflationary costs really works.  I think many places do that in hopes that things will get better if they can just hold on a little longer, then they go bust.....  A good way to think about it is those are subsidies to the patrons, and like nearly all subsidies, are unsustainable since they fighting true price discovery.

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