Daily Digest

Daily Digest 8/18 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, Fed Buys Treasuries, Oil Droplets Still Speckle Gulf Floor

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 10:49 AM
  • Time Is Running Out For The West
  • Texas Seeking 1,500 New Food Stamp Workers
  • Kyle Bass Predicts Sovereign Debt Restructuring
  • Miami Misused Fuel-Tax Revenue to Keep City Street Lights On, Auditor Says
  • Malaysian State Launches Islamic Currency (Gold and silver)
  • Fed Buys $2.551 Billion Treasuries to Aid Economy
  • Banking Execs Say Gov't Needs To Back Mortgages
  • U.S. Must Support Flagging Housing Market: Geithner
  • Japan To Mull New Stimulus As Yen Threatens Recovery
  • Some Stores Finding Deep Discounts Aren't Enough
  • USF Scientists Say Oil Droplets Speckle Gulf Floor
  • Scientists: Up To 80% Of Gulf Oil Remains

Economy

Time Is Running Out For The West

The Great Recession has dramatically shrunk the time left for the big AAA states to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis as their demographic time-bomb threatens, US rating agency Moody's has warned.... "Genuinely adverse debt dynamics were only expected to materialise in 15 to 20 years. The crisis has 'fast-forwarded' history, eroding all the time available to adjust" said the group's quarterly Sovereign Monitor.

Texas Seeking 1,500 New Food Stamp Workers

Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs has asked for more than 1,500 new eligibility workers to deal with anticipated higher demand for food stamps.

The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday that the state currently has more than 8,300 eligibility workers, processing in excess of 2.6 million cases. Suehs says that by 2013 the program could have nearly 3.1 million cases.

Kyle Bass Predicts Sovereign Debt Restructuring (Videos, posted by grl)

Bass, who correctly called the subprime implosion (and profited handsomely from it) as a iconoclast contrarian to conventional wisdom, tells David Faber that "given my outlook on the world, I don't know how I can be long stocks."

Miami Misused Fuel-Tax Revenue to Keep City Street Lights On, Auditor Says

Miami, facing a projected $96.5 million budget gap in the next fiscal year, misused fuel-tax revenue to keep the streetlights on, an auditor’s report said.

The city transferred $10.4 million from an account reserved for road and bridge maintenance and public transportation to its general fund in fiscal 2008 and 2009, Victor Igwe, the city auditor, said today in a report. More than 90 percent of that was used to pay for keeping streetlights lit, which isn’t a permitted use of the money, the report said.

Malaysian State Launches Islamic Currency (Gold and silver)

A Malaysian state on Thursday launched the Islamic dinar and dirham as an alternative currency, allowing the golden and silver coins to be used as legal tender alongside conventional banknotes....“We have over 1,000 shops that have signed up to our campaign and agreed to accept the dinar and dirham for the purchase of goods,” state cabinet minister Husam Musa told AFP...According to Islamic law, the dinar measures 4.25 grams of gold, while the dirham is 3.0 grams of pure silver.

Fed Buys $2.551 Billion Treasuries to Aid Economy

The Federal Reserve bought $2.551 billion of Treasuries in the first outright purchase of U.S. government debt since October to prevent money from being drained from the financial system.

The Fed bought 14 of the 25 securities listed for possible purchase. The notes mature from August 2014 to February 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a statement today on its website.

Banking Execs Say Gov't Needs To Back Mortgages

The Obama administration invited banking executives Tuesday to offer advice on changing the government's role in backing the mortgage market. While they disagreed on the exact level of support needed, the group overwhelmingly advocated the government should maintain a large role in the $11 trillion market.

If the government pulled out, executives said, millions of Americans wouldn't be able to convince banks to take the risk of giving them home loans. Ending government support could lead to a spike in mortgage rates. That could deter many from buying homes, and banks, mortgage lenders and Realtors would lose money over time.

U.S. Must Support Flagging Housing Market: Geithner

Geithner said the government's role in providing stability to the housing finance system, both in times of prosperity and during downturns, was key to economic stability.

"This question is really about whether the government -- in order to make sure that Americans can borrow at reasonable interest rates to buy a house even in a downturn -- has to provide a form of guarantee or insurance against losses," he said.

Japan To Mull New Stimulus As Yen Threatens Recovery

Japan's government will consider further stimulus steps, potentially making it the first developed country to turn to additional fiscal spending since the global crisis, as a strengthening yen threatens its faltering recovery.

Some Stores Finding Deep Discounts Aren't Enough

On Tuesday, quarterly financial results from retailers including Home Depot and Abercrombie & Fitch showed that profits are rising because retailers are cutting costs and keeping their inventories lean.

But with the economy slowing once again and consumer confidence falling, they expect less out of the rest of the year, and they already have to push harder to get shoppers to buy.

Environment

USF Scientists Say Oil Droplets Speckle Gulf Floor

USF scientists made a big announcement Tuesday after one of their research vessels returned from a two-week research mission in the Gulf. They say they found significant amounts of toxic oil sitting on the Gulf floor and it is killing sea life.

USF scientists blame not just BP’s leaking well, but the dispersants the oil giant pumped in to break it up.

Scientists: Up To 80% Of Gulf Oil Remains

Georgia scientists say their analysis shows that most of that BP oil the government said was gone from the Gulf of Mexico is still there.

The scientists say as much as 80 percent of the oil still lurks under the surface. The Georgia team said it is a misinterpretation of data to claim that oil that is dissolved is actually gone. The report from University of Georgia and other scientists came from an analysis of federal estimates.... "Where has all the oil gone? It hasn't gone anywhere. It still lurks in the deep," said University of Georgia marine scientist Chuck Hopkinson.

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."

7 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4167
Re: Daily Digest 8/17 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, ...

"SALEM -- Oregon's state budget picture is bleaker than previously thought, with revenues down by as much as $1 billion since the Legislature wrote the current, $14 billion two-year spending plan.

On Tuesday, Gov. Ted Kulongoski advised legislative leaders, school superintendents and agency directors that state economists expect tax collections to be down significantly more than the $577 million shortfall projected in May.

Because the Oregon Constitution prevents state government from running a deficit, the governor ordered agencies to cut spending by 9 percent to fill the $577 million hole in the 2009-2011 budget.

Now state economists believe revenues will shrivel by an additional $200 million to $500 million, prompting Kulongoski to send a flurry of letters and notices warning of more cuts to schools and state services.

"Unfortunately, it now appears that the ongoing effects of this recession will continue to undermine our budget," the governor wrote in a letter to his fellow Democratic leaders, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dave Hunt. "

"WASHINGTON – Bankruptcy courts in the Central Valley and beyond are busier than they've been in years, as distressed families and businesses increasingly seek respite from the financial storm.

Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30, according to records released Tuesday. The 1.57 million cases filed in federal courts were more than at any time since Congress tightened bankruptcy rules in 2005.

"We've seen an increase in bankruptcy filings across the board," Fresno attorney Benny Barco said Tuesday. "A lot of it has to do with loss of employment."

In April, May and June, some 422,061 bankruptcy filings were entered nationwide. This exceeded the number in nearly every quarter going back to 1995, records compiled by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts show.

For federal bankruptcy courts in Sacramento, Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield, the grim business just keeps on coming. On Monday, a seemingly typical day this week, 129 new bankruptcy filings were recorded in the three courts."

...............2A) Bankruptcies jump across nation, region

"Bankruptcy lawyer Stefan Coleman said people have tapped out their savings, stocks and 401(k) plans for funds over the past two years.

"People have nothing left," he said.

Rising foreclosures -- especially in Maryland -- are another key factor, bankruptcy lawyer Harris Ammerman said.

"There are more foreclosures and more auctions, which translates into people seeking relief in the bankruptcy law," Ammerman said."

"And rising bankruptcy filings aren't likely to end anytime soon.

In a statement, Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, noted that filings are on track to surpass 1.6 million for the 2010 calendar year."

"Mayor Tony Mack alerted city employees that layoff notices are imminent as government officials prepared for a $60 million budget crisis expected to debilitate normal operations.

An estimated 111 police officers and 70 firefighters could be out of jobs, while 200 other city workers face unemployment.

All 1,200 city employees received Mack’s letter that spelled out actions being taken to offset a $60 million budget deficit, a black hole that includes a $43 million cut in state aid."

  • Other news and headlines:

China Doubles Korea Bond Holdings as Asia Switches From Dollar

China Reforms May Mark Start of Financial 'Big Bang' and  Beijing looks to broaden renminbi use

Irish Nationwide bailout could be over €3bn

Investors Cut Holdings of US Stocks on Economy, Merrill Says

28% of pay isn't enough to rescue Fort Worth pension

California pension reform effort loses support

Hungary Set to Overshoot Budget Deficit Targets Through 2012, Council Says

Sonoma County property tax rolls drop for second year

End to COBRA subsidy means higher health insurance bills

Obama pushes Republicans on jobs bill ($30 billion plan)

Coming soon: a flurry of condo auctions (Houston...Prices at about 1/2 of the original)

New bankruptcy statistics suggest many Memphis debtors can't manage repayment plans

LA City Council to consider leasing parking garages to avoid further layoffs, furloughs

Newark May Consider Prudential Center Sale to Plug $150 Million Budget Gap

22 cities in danger of a double-dip recession (CNN Money)

Experts: US can no longer afford housing tax breaks

Pensions at BBC to cost more than radio stations (UK)

Chicago Downgrades Raise Borrowing Costs Amid $164 Million Sale

Call for pension reform criticized (Riverside County's pensions underfunded by $800 million)

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Re: Daily Digest 8/17 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, ...

caveat emptor:

Tons of gold imports turn to dust on arrival - Emirates24|7

Several tons of gold imported into the UAE by traders and investors turned out to be fake on closer inspection, resulting in millions of dirhams in losses and high levels of stress to the victims.Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Mohamad Shakarchi,, Managing Director of Emirates Gold, said: "A lot of people in the UAE who tried to import gold at lower prices or through dubious overseas companies have been cheated. We have inspected many consignments from African countries, especially Ghana, and found that there is not an ounce of gold in them.

dickey45's picture
dickey45
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 77
Re: Daily Digest 8/18 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, ...

Great, sax's first article is about my state :/  Undecided  Pretty soon his list of articles will take a whole page...

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 742
Re: Daily Digest 8/18 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, ...

Thanks Sax as always for a great list :)

I look forward to seeing your articles and, at the risk of sounding contrary I want to say  I hope you have a bunch about my home state, better to know what is going on I think....but to each his own

Take Care

D

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2247
Re: Daily Digest 8/18 - Texas Seeking Food Stamp Workers, ...
saxplayer wrote:

...............2A) Bankruptcies jump across nation, region

"Bankruptcy lawyer Stefan Coleman said people have tapped out their savings, stocks and 401(k) plans for funds over the past two years.

"People have nothing left," he said.

Rising foreclosures -- especially in Maryland -- are another key factor, bankruptcy lawyer Harris Ammerman said.

"There are more foreclosures and more auctions, which translates into people seeking relief in the bankruptcy law," Ammerman said."

And rising bankruptcy filings aren't likely to end anytime soon.

In a statement, Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, noted that filings are on track to surpass 1.6 million for the 2010 calendar year.

(bold mine)

-How sad is that?!!

Saxplayer, great job as always shining thte light on what's going on in the real real world!

 Davos, maybe you should consider adding "increasing number of individuals whose savings and assets are all tapped out"  to your list of anticipated  events whose full impact is yet to be felt! 

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2008
Posts: 506
Kyle Bass Predicts Sovereign Debt Restructuring (Videos, posted

Great vids.

"How many of your problems that you've kicked down the road, have eventually gotten better?"

Thanks Kyle, that pretty much sums it up.

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