Daily Digest 5/4 - The Fraud Recipe For CEO's, Why The Euro Crisis Never Really Went Away, Arab Grain Imports Rising Rapidly
- Bill Black: The Fraud Recipe for CEO's, Why Banks Hate Free Markets and Love Crony Capitalism, and the Dysmal Legacy of Mainstream Economists
- A Weak Economy Remains Gold’s Best Friend
- Affordable Resilient Homes? Look Beyond The U.S.
- Europe: Why The Eurozone Debt Crisis Never Really Went Away
- Services Slowdown Signals U.S. Growth May Be Cooling: Economy
- Results of French and Greek Elections Could Signal Shift on Economic Crisis
- Manhole Lid Theft Is On the Rise
- Stocks Fall in Anticipation of U.S. Jobs Report
- Arab Grain Imports Rising Rapidly
- Mosquitoes Shoot Blanks in Scientist’s Air War on Dengue
Perverse incentives produce criminogenic environments that encourage fraud. When people are able to steal a lot of money, with no threat of imprisonment, nor having to live in disgrace, an environment conducive to fraud is established. Establishing such an environment in practice requires the 3 D's: Deregultation, Desupervision, and de facto Decriminalization. Deregulation: you get rid of the rules. Desupervision: any rules that remain, you do not enforce. Decriminalisation: even if you sometimes sue the perpetrators and get a fine, you do not put them in prison.
A Weak Economy Remains Gold’s Best Friend (David B.)
Meanwhile, economic data as a whole is okay but is currently failing to meet expectations. The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, (economic data relative to expectations) has gone negative for the US, and the rest of the world is not far behind. Clearly, continued disappointing economic data combined with any weakness in equities would prompt more Fed action. Judging from what happened in 2010 and 2011, it is a near certainty.
So, what would a resilient home like this cost? That’s the big question. I spent some time talking with the manager of Eco Venao and he said the construction costs to build a modest place like La Casona (I estimated about 2000 square feet) were about $60 per square foot or $120,000 all in.
Okay, but let’s say you wanted to go really resilient… Like “off-grid” resilient. What would the costs be then?
“As the local bond markets have become owned only by domestic institutions, there is less and less incentive for the other countries to support and bail out one of those,” Stephane Monier, head of fixed income and currencies at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, told Bloomberg News. “Basically you’re planting the seeds for the disintegration of the euro zone.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.8 percent to 1,391.57 at the close of trading in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index ended little changed, erasing an earlier earnings- driven rally of 1 percent. Ten-year Treasury yields were little changed at 1.93 percent.
Mr. Hollande’s words may have a degree of campaign bravado, but he is riding a wave of political resistance to austerity that has brought down even the government in the Netherlands, one of the best-run economies in Europe and a close ally of Germany. Given France’s importance, if Mr. Hollande wins he might end up leading a sort of “growth bloc,” which would challenge the German medicine, or at least try to dilute it.
Manhole Lid Theft Is On the Rise (jdargis)
Based on current commodity prices for iron, a stolen manhole cover might fetch more than $30. But it costs Con Ed about $200 to replace each one, not counting the labor involved, Mr. Hardy said. That is why he and his team of 12 investigators are canvassing neighborhoods, talking to scrap dealers around the city and sharing information with the police, he said.
“We just tell them that if anybody shows up with a manhole cover with a Con Ed logo on it to let us know,” Mr. Hardy said of the scrap dealers. “They understand that if it has our logo on it, it’s most likely stolen.”
“Little can be said to remain of any ‘core’ of strength in the region,” Mr. Williamson said in a statement. “Growth has practically ground to a halt even in Germany, and France has joined Italy and Spain in seeing a strong rate of economic decline.”
Arab Grain Imports Rising Rapidly (Mike K.)
The Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa make up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet they take in more than 20 percent of the world’s grain exports. Imports to the region have jumped from 30 million tons of grain in 1990 to nearly 70 million tons in 2011. Now imported grain accounts for nearly 60 percent of regional grain consumption. With water scarce, arable land limited, and production stagnating, grain imports are likely to continue rising.
About half of the world’s people are already at risk of infection, and the incidence of dengue is rising as the human population increases and climate change causes mosquitoes to disperse more widely, the Geneva-based WHO says. Mosquitoes that transmit dengue are found in at least 28 U.S. states and may extend their reach as temperatures warm, the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council said in 2009.
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