Daily Digest

Daily Digest 6/11 - China Breaks Down, Iceland Crowdsources Its Next Constitution, The Politics Of Venezuelan Oil

Saturday, June 11, 2011, 9:43 AM
  • 30% Of People With A 401(k) Have Taken Out A Loan Against It: New All Time Record
  • A Classic Technical Signal: China Breaks Down
  • Mob rule: Iceland crowdsources its next constitution 
  • U.S. Hurtles Toward System Failure
  • Oil Production Problems Are Brewing in Iran
  • China and the Politics of Venezuelan Oil
  • Oil Futures Fake Out
  • BP Is Resuming Oil Exploration, Chief Says

Learn how to protect your wealth against the Three E forces using our 'What Should I Do?' guide

Economy

30% Of People With A 401(k) Have Taken Out A Loan Against It: New All Time Record (pinecarr)

About a year ago Zero Hedge posted an article titled: "Record Number Of Americans Using Retirement Funds As Source Of Immediate Cash" after a report by Fidelity uncovered that "plan participants with loans outstanding against their 401(k) accounts had reached 22 percent versus 20 percent a year earlier." It is now time to revisit this very important topic because if recent press reports are true, last year's record number has just increased by another 50%.

A Classic Technical Signal: China Breaks Down (pinecarr)

China's stock market has broken a long-term flag to the downside. Look out below. Since "the China Story" is the foundation of global growth, demand for commodities and ultimately, stock market profits, when China's stock market breaks down it behooves us to pay attention.

Mob rule: Iceland Crowdsources Its Next Constitution (pinecarr)

Country recovering from collapse of its banks and government is using social media to get citizens to share their ideas.

U.S. Hurtles Toward System Failure (Claire H.)

Innovation remains prevalent among technology and telecommunication firms. Too bad so much of the product output is done by US subsidiaries in Asia. The USGovt leadership thought a green revolution would make for a solid initiative until it realized that most of the purchases would come from Asia. The high speed rail projects almost all involve Chinese equipment. The US is so badly on a slippery slope, that a simple debt default might be the best of outcomes to hope for, given the nasty added ramifications that could come from chaos. The main location for innovation within the USEconomy seems to be in financial fraud and military weapons. Former USFed Chairman Volcker once accused the financial industry of having only one productive innovation in three decades, the automatic teller machine (ATM), a scurrilous accusation indeed.

Energy

Oil Futures Fake Out (Ilene)

No one knows officially except the tiny handful of energy trading banks in New York and London and they certainly aren’t talking. But I will point out that oil traded between $35 and and $50 between November of 2008 to May of 2009 - AND NO OIL COMPANIES HAD A LOSING QUARTER!

Oil Production Problems Are Brewing in Iran (pinecarr)

Iran - the second largest OPEC producer after Saudi Arabia - produces 3.7 million barrels of oil a day. After years of insufficient investment in infrastructure, however, that output is threatened. Iran's deputy oil minister, Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, says the country has to invest at least $32 billion to maintain its production capacity. If it does not do so, output will fall to 2.7 million barrels per day by 2015.

China and the Politics of Venezuelan Oil (pinecarr)

According to the U.S. Energy Administration, two months ago the United States total crude oil imports averaged 9,033 thousand barrels per day (tbpd), with the top five exporting countries being Canada (2,666 tbpd), Mexico (1,319 tbpd), Saudi Arabia (1,107 tbpd), Venezuela (930 tbpd) and Nigeria (918 tbpd.)

Notice anything odd about this list? First, three of the top five oil exporters to the U.S. are in the Western hemisphere, and two of them are neighbors. Secondly, only two of the five states can comfortably be described as stable.

BP Is Resuming Oil Exploration, Chief Says (jdargis)

Mr. Dudley’s plan to explore in the Arctic through a share swap and cooperation agreement with Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled energy company, was announced in January. But it collapsed last month after BP’s partners in TNK-BP took legal action to block the deal. Those partners, a group of Russian billionaires, claimed the deal violated their shareholder agreement with BP.

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

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
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Posts: 546
FROM JUNE 9TH Time

FROM JUNE 9TH Time Mag

Summary

Time Inc. is a major subsidiary of the media conglomerate Time Warner, the company formed by the 1990 merger of the original Time Inc. and Warner Communications. It publishes 130 magazines, most notably its namesake, Time...

Better late than never. . .but they could have said SOMEthing 5 years ago when people had time to make changes. . .EGP

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
The $200 Billion Rip-Off: Our Broadband Future Was Stolen

This is an old article from 2007, but seriously worth reading. It's about how the telecom companies used lobbying and captured regulation to give themselves profits in the name of delivering high-speed broadband.

The $200 Billion Rip-Off: Our Broadband Future Was Stolen
"This is part three of my explanation of how America went from having the fastest and cheapest Internet service in the world to what we have today - not very fast, not very cheap Internet service that is hurting our ability to compete economically with the rest of the world. Part one detailed expected improvements in U.S. broadband based on emerging competitive factors, yet decried that it was too little too late. Part two explained how U.S. broadband ISPs are different from most overseas ISPs and how those differences make it unlikely that we'll ever regain leadership in this space. And this week's final part explains that this all came about because Americans were deceived and defrauded by many of their telephone companies to the tune of $200 billion - money that was supposed to have gone to pay for a broadband future we don't - and never will - have."
http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070810_002683.html

That brings into perspective this more current chart from another source:

Wow.

Poet

littlefeatfan's picture
littlefeatfan
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Posts: 141
3E Links and Cartoons posted

weekly summary posted at http://3es.weebly.com/

Russ_H's picture
Russ_H
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Posts: 18
Virtual currency

Saw this, interesting concept.

 

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/06/bitcoin-inside-the-encrypted-peer-to-peer-currency.ars

Some advantages over the usual fiat money, some disadvantages, may be banned for instance or something better may come along. 

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 4064
The debt level of the USA is disastrous (Jean-Claude Juncker)

Thanks to Zerohedge for catching this

 

"Highly indebted Greece needs a "soft, voluntary restructuring" of its debt, Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the group of countries using the euro as a common currency, said in a radio interview Saturday."

"Not withstanding the euro zone's problems, Juncker said that both the deficit and overall debt in the U.S. and Japanese economy are substantially higher than in Europe.

"The debt level of the USA is disastrous," Juncker said. "The real problem is that no one can explain well why the euro zone is in the epicenter of a global financial challenge at a moment, at which the fundamental indicators of the euro zone are substantially better than those of the U.S. or Japanese economy." "

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Scientists create cow that produces 'human' milk

Scientists create cow that produces 'human' milk
Scientists in Argentina have created the world’s first cow to boast two human genes that will enable it to produce human-like milk.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/8569687...

By Robin Yapp, Sao Paulo

7:00AM BST 11 Jun 2011

Genetic engineering was used to introduce the “mothers’ milk” genes into the animal before birth, according to the National Institute of Agribusiness Technology in Buenos Aires.

As an adult the cloned cow “will produce milk that is similar to humans” in what will prove “a development of great importance for the nutrition of infants”, it said in a statement.

“The cloned cow, named Rosita ISA, is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates two human genes that contain the proteins present in human milk,” the statement said.

In April scientists in China published details of research showing that they had created GM Holstein dairy cows which produced milk containing proteins found in human breast milk.

Doug's picture
Doug
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Let me count the ways
Quote:

The debt level of the USA is disastrous," Juncker said. "The real problem is that no one can explain well why the euro zone is in the epicenter of a global financial challenge at a moment, at which the fundamental indicators of the euro zone are substantially better than those of the U.S. or Japanese economy."

US

World's reserve currency.

$ = 40% of the world's reserves.

Largest economy by a factor of three (not counting Eurozone) in the world.

Oil traded in $'s.

Military as large as the rest of the world's combined with the most sophisticated weapons systems, and not afraid to use them.

Japan

All debt internal.

Third largest economy in the world (not counting Eurozone).

Everybody wants their stuff.

That's a lot of inertia to overcome.

Doug

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
Scientists create cow that produces 'human' milk
Damnthematrix wrote:

Scientists create cow that produces 'human' milk
Scientists in Argentina have created the world’s first cow to boast two human genes that will enable it to produce human-like milk.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/8569687...

By Robin Yapp, Sao Paulo

7:00AM BST 11 Jun 2011

Genetic engineering was used to introduce the “mothers’ milk” genes into the animal before birth, according to the National Institute of Agribusiness Technology in Buenos Aires.

As an adult the cloned cow “will produce milk that is similar to humans” in what will prove “a development of great importance for the nutrition of infants”, it said in a statement.

“The cloned cow, named Rosita ISA, is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates two human genes that contain the proteins present in human milk,” the statement said.

In April scientists in China published details of research showing that they had created GM Holstein dairy cows which produced milk containing proteins found in human breast milk.

No thank you.  I don't want ANY!

hugs ... dons

RogerA's picture
RogerA
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2009
Posts: 106
Imf hacked

 

http://www.themoneytimes.com/node/1701710530

IMF attacks serious
The officials aware of the attacks termed it as serious. “This was a very major breach,” said one of the officials.

The attack is said to have taken place before the arrest of French Politician Dominique Strauss Kahn, IMF's former managing director, on the charges of assaulting a hotel maid in New York.

Internal memos of the IMF which were obtained by the Bloomberg asked the employees of the fund to be cautious as one of their systems had been “compromised.”

gegreene's picture
gegreene
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Posts: 9
Juncker's Comments

Japan is not at the epicenter because a large percentage of their debt is owned by its onw citizens, unlike the U.S.

gary_rowe's picture
gary_rowe
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 24 2010
Posts: 9
Bitcoin article on Ars Technica

(First post)

Russ_H is right to point out the interesting nature of Bitcoin. If it lives up to it's promises then it could revolutionise the way that money is handled worldwide. Take a look at bitcoin.org for more details on it. 

To dispel the usual FUD that goes with this sort of thing:

1) It is not owned by anyone. The source code is free and open source. The protocol it uses is free and open source. There are many, many nodes spread across the world in the network and the number is growing every day. Anyone can run a node on their machine just by starting the bitcoin wallet application. 

2) it is not anonymous - it is pseudonymous.. This means that if you really, really think you can be anonymous on the net then you might just be able to cover your tracks. The other 99.999999999% will be trackable by anyone with sufficient interest in our affairs. True anonymity on the internet involves a lot more than just running a VPN and disabling cookies. This pseudonymity is achieved by the fact that every wallet can generate a new send/receive address for every transaction and no-one can tell who owns that address. However, all transactions must be in the open and can be tracked (see blockexplorer.com). 

3) 1 Bitcoin (BTC) is the default unit, but fractions of Bitcoins are used for everyday items down to 0.000 000 01 BTC which is currently termed a satoshi.

4) You can convert from BTC to many other currencies USD, GBP, EUR etc using many online exchanges (Mt Gox for USD, or Britcoin for GBP). Some charge transaction fees, others do not. You can run your own exchange if you want to, the Britcoin source code is open source and free to download.

5) You can send or receive any amount of BTC from anyone, anywhere in the world within 10 minutes - although it takes about an hour to be absolutely certain that the transaction has cleared. There are typically no transaction fees for this.

Definitely worth looking at. 

playon's picture
playon
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 23 2011
Posts: 9
Good luck getting people to

Good luck getting people to knowingly feed their infants GMO milk.

Mr. Fri's picture
Mr. Fri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 220
Bitcoin?

Hi Gary, welcome to CM (and the forums).

Bitcoin sound like an interesting way for currency to evolve.  I noticed that a quick look at the web shows that there's some concern about drug trafficking. I guess that unavoidable but it could be a negative for bitcoin.  It would also mean people could have a strong black market when their governments try to restrict things.  That could be good or bad depending on the situation.  Also, I wouldn't say that Bitcoin independent of governments since it's dependent on the internet.  As long as the internet is open, all is OK.  But, governments can (and do in some places) do have control over the internet. It's an interesting concept and worth keeping an eye on its development.

 

 

gary_rowe's picture
gary_rowe
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 24 2010
Posts: 9
Bitcoin?

@Mr. Fri Thanks for the welcome :-)

Remember that drug trafficking (i.e. the whole Silk Road affair) occurs in every currency. It is not the fault of the currency that people break local laws. What Bitcoin does offer is a more open perspective on the whole money trail than, say, paper dollars. I repeat, it is *very* hard to be anonymous on the internet. Governments have very powerful data mining systems and have found the block chain that Bitcoin uses to record it's transactions very helpful in piecing together how money has been moved around the system. By contrast using paper dollars is far more anonymous and so would be a better system for nefarious activities. 

I take your point about the internet being necessary for the currency to exist. However, Bitcoin transactions can be tunnelled through secure channels before accessing one of the public nodes that can process the transaction. This means that if you are in a country that prevents internet access then you could, for example, use a satellite phone as a modem to get your connection out over an alternative line.

If the Internet as a whole went down then we'd have bigger problems than wondering where our bitcoins went. :-D

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