Daily Digest

Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, Mortgage Delinquencies Rise, Wind Turbine Projects Experience Resistance

Saturday, August 28, 2010, 11:08 AM
  • What I Learned From Jared Diamond
  • John Williams on the Revised GDP Number
  • Struggling Cities Shut Firehouses in Budget Crisis
  • Foreclosures Fall, but Early Delinquencies Rise
  • Wind Turbine Projects Run Into Resistance
  • Brazil Government Gives Go-Ahead For Huge Amazon Dam

Crash Course DVDInsightful analysis on the Three E’s. Take home a Special Edition DVD today. (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

What I Learned From Jared Diamond (Penny P.)

read the book because I am working on a project exploring why states (and groups and individuals) often find it difficult to "cut their losses" and abandon policies that are clearly not working. This topic is a subset of the larger (and to me, endlessly fascinating) question of why smart and well-educated people can nonetheless make disastrous (and with hindsight, obviously boneheaded) decisions. Diamond's work is also potentially relevant to the perennial debate on American decline: Is it occurring, is it inevitable, and how should we respond?

John Williams on the Revised GDP Number (Davos)

It would be quite surprising if the financial markets did not react violently, with a massive sell-off in the U.S. dollar contributing to and coincident with massive sell-declines in both the U.S. equity and credit markets.

Struggling Cities Shut Firehouses in Budget Crisis (jdargis)

Fire chiefs and union officials alike say it is the first time they have seen such deep cuts in so many parts of the country. “I’ve never seen it so widespread,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

    Crash Course DVDInsightful analysis on the Three E’s. Take home a Special Edition DVD today. (NTSC or PAL)

Foreclosures Fall, but Early Delinquencies Rise (jdargis)

The problem is no longer high-interest subprime loans, many of which have worked their way out of the system. The critical area now is prime loans, where defaults are driven by stubbornly high unemployment.

“It takes a paycheck to make a mortgage payment,” Mr. Brinkmann said.

Energy

Wind Turbine Projects Run Into Resistance (jdargis)

Although the military says no serious incidents have yet occurred because of the interference, the wind turbines pose an unacceptable risk to training, testing and national security in certain regions, Dr. Dorothy Robyn, deputy under secretary of defense, recently told a House Armed Services subcommittee.

Environment

Brazil Government Gives Go-Ahead For Huge Amazon Dam (Johan V.)

Critics say the project will damage the local ecosystem and make homeless 50,000 mainly indigenous people.

But the government says it is crucial for development and will create jobs.

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."

12 Comments

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...

Only because it is detailed in the DD today-

Jared Diamond's "Collapse" is hands down the most influential book I've read in my life- a total game changer.  I'm probably preaching to the choir here but everyone should read it.  Despite the title, it is not shrill or alarmist- in fact it is quite entertaining, really helps you look at the bigger picture.

Davos's picture
Davos
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Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...
yoshhash wrote:

Only because it is detailed in the DD today-

Jared Diamond's "Collapse" is hands down the most influential book I've read in my life- a total game changer.  I'm probably preaching to the choir here but everyone should read it.  Despite the title, it is not shrill or alarmist- in fact it is quite entertaining, really helps you look at the bigger picture.

One of my rants on FSN went into the law of morons. In a nutshell: What are Diamond's reasons for intelligent people making bonehead decisions?

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...
Davos wrote:
yoshhash wrote:

Only because it is detailed in the DD today-

Jared Diamond's "Collapse" is hands down the most influential book I've read in my life- a total game changer.  I'm probably preaching to the choir here but everyone should read it.  Despite the title, it is not shrill or alarmist- in fact it is quite entertaining, really helps you look at the bigger picture.

One of my rants on FSN went into the law of morons. In a nutshell: What are Diamond's reasons for intelligent people making bonehead decisions?

Simplified, it pretty much comes down to the same old standards ... greed and fear primarily with laziness and complacency not far behind.

More than any one thing, Collapse, to me, emphasized the dangers of deforestation.  Instead of wringing our hands about greenhouse gases and allowing carbon credits and other such nonsense to be shoved down our throats, we should be planting trees like crazy.  They provide fuel, provide construction material, extract nutrients deep in the soil and bring them to the surface, bind up carbon, produce oxygen, stabilize soils against erosion, stabilize water quality and supply, act as windbreaks and shade, provide cooling, provide habit and food for wildlife, add to the aesthetics of the environment, etc., etc.

Just listening to myself, I probably should get involved with the Arbor Day Foundation. 

 

batkinso's picture
batkinso
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 6 2009
Posts: 8
The Elites Have Lost the Right to Rule

"First, who is Ben Bernanke?

You can really see into his head from reading this speech.  He is an academic who thinks he is smarter than everyone else which is why he is in the position he is in.  He thinks the key to monetary policy is to trick people into doing things that will hurt them in the end.  He believes the mal-investments he intends to push people and institutions into equals economic growth.  What surprises me so much about the investment community and the American public in general is that so many fail to understand that we live in a top down centralized economic system much more similar to China in more ways than people want to admit.  We look at how the government steers the economy in China and sneer.  How are we so different right now?"

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/elites-have-lost-right-rule

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...

Thank you AO.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4148
Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems

 

 

"At a Fed policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Bernanke gave his strongest indication yet that the Fed is ready to resume its large purchases of longer-term debts if the economy worsens. Such purchases would add to the Fed’s already substantial holdings.

“We have come a long way, but there is still some way to travel,” Bernanke said. “Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems.”" 

====================

(The full text. Link)

"This list of concerns makes clear that a return to strong and stable economic growth will require appropriate and effective responses from economic policymakers across a wide spectrum, as well as from leaders in the private sector. Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems."

 

 

.............................I emailed that quote to a friend. Now he needs a new computer.

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s ...
saxplayer00o1 wrote:

Bernanke said. “Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems.” 

 

But they can sure screw em up.

V's picture
V
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2009
Posts: 849
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...
ao wrote:
Davos wrote:
yoshhash wrote:

Only because it is detailed in the DD today-

Jared Diamond's "Collapse" is hands down the most influential book I've read in my life- a total game changer.  I'm probably preaching to the choir here but everyone should read it.  Despite the title, it is not shrill or alarmist- in fact it is quite entertaining, really helps you look at the bigger picture.

One of my rants on FSN went into the law of morons. In a nutshell: What are Diamond's reasons for intelligent people making bonehead decisions?

Simplified, it pretty much comes down to the same old standards ... greed and fear primarily with laziness and complacency not far behind.

More than any one thing, Collapse, to me, emphasized the dangers of deforestation.  Instead of wringing our hands about greenhouse gases and allowing carbon credits and other such nonsense to be shoved down our throats, we should be planting trees like crazy.  They provide fuel, provide construction material, extract nutrients deep in the soil and bring them to the surface, bind up carbon, produce oxygen, stabilize soils against erosion, stabilize water quality and supply, act as windbreaks and shade, provide cooling, provide habit and food for wildlife, add to the aesthetics of the environment, etc., etc.

Just listening to myself, I probably should get involved with the Arbor Day Foundation. 

 

AO 

i joined and got ten free trees about 265 years ago.

16 years ago i was involved in a reforestation project in India and planted hundreds of trees. The British raped India. The area I worked in was a virtual desert which at one time had been a forest.  You are absolutely correct about the benefits of trees. I am planting fruit trees on my place now as well as Walnuts and wild Cherry. I will not live long enough to see them reach any size but someone down the road may appreciate them.

V

straight's picture
straight
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2008
Posts: 103
Jarad Diamonds view of collapse.

 

Diamond is indeed a substantial intellect, and his integration of many spheres of human psychology, geography and biology is a substantial achievement. He is one of our times great thinkers, yet his lack of understanding of the human condition leave him stranded when he could contribute so much more.  To explain this I will look at this summary of his work as linked in today’s blog:

"Fifth, even when a state or society recognizes that it is in trouble, Diamond identifies a number of pathologies that make it harder for them to adapt and survive. Political divisions may make it impossible to take timely action even when everyone realizes that something ought to be done (think gridlock in Congress), and key leaders may be prone to either "groupthink" or various forms of psychological denial. And the bad news here is that no one has ever devised an effective and universally reliable antidote to these problems."

I suggest that denial is central to our predicament. Jarad is mistaken in his assertion that no one has ever devised an effective antidote to these problems. 

 in this link Diamond looks at why religions exist, what roles they play, why various religions have thrived and others failed.  In this video Diamond seems to lack the same central understanding of the role of human nature and the tear between our intellect an our instinct.  He is asked some very good probing questions about this and he fails to show an understanding of this very cental aspect of our psychology. 

How does one reconcile our instinct as an animal with our evolved intellect and the resulting high level of self awareness?  Diamond fails to address this central issue and as such he has no answer for the source of our denial.  Humans are the only species that exhibits the trait of denial. 

Why is that the case and how do we address that denial?  Visit this page http://www.worldtransformation.com/ and watch the videos. they start slowly and build. they will challenge you.  they are not dogma, Griffith is a scientist and his understanding of human nature and the human condition will fill the gaps left by Diamond.

For me the bottom line understanding missed by Diamond is that humans have evolved to be loving, supportive, communal animals and that our hitherto inability to reconcile that with our ability and seemed willingness to be exactly the opposite leads us to denial.  Once we embrace denial we can do anything. We can believe in a way of being in the world that says 'thou shalt not kill', whilst waging wars, we can roll our civilisation across the globe killing millions in the process and see ourselves as doing good in the world... we can do anything if we live with denial. 

the answers are out there.  http://www.worldtransformation.com/

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...

Thank you Straight. Yoshhash & Penny, glad you bought this up.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38826988

 The Dow Jones Industrial Average will lose about half of its value over the next couple of years as it follows a Nikkei-like pattern of several sharp rallies in an overall decline, according to Charles Nenner, founder and president of Charles Nenner research.

 

 

Stocks are currently in a bear-market rally, and looking at charts and past trends, unemployment and leading indicators suggest the Dow will drop to 5,000 in the next two to two-and-a-half years, Nenner told CNBC in an e-mail.

Deflation will arrive, along with a sharp double-dip recession, pushing the Dow lower, although, like the Japanese market, stocks will see several jumps of 30 percent to 40 percent, he said.

- Watch the full Charles Nenner interview above.

"Things look really bad for the next 10 years," Nenner said.

While most stocks will get caught in the downturn, the exception will be those with exposure to soft commodities like wheat, corn and soybeans, he added.

Last week, JPMorgan

[JPM  36.60    0.97  (+2.72%)   ]

strategist David Kelly said there is still a lot of opportunity in stocks and that a double-dip scenario is "very unlikely."

Nenner is also bullish on gold and silver over the longer term and expects the precious metals to start a new leg higher by the end of the year.

Bond yields should go lower for the next three or four years and the Japanese yen should gain against the dollar, he said, adding that his target was 80 yen per dollar.

Nenner also said that there is a strong case to suggest that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy further.

guardia's picture
guardia
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2009
Posts: 592
Re: Daily Digest 8/28 - John Williams On The Revised GDP, ...
Davos wrote:

One of my rants on FSN went into the law of morons. In a nutshell: What are Diamond's reasons for intelligent people making bonehead decisions?

BTW, this might also interest you:
http://scientopia.org/blogs/thisscientificlife/2010/08/10/laurie-santos-how-monkeys-mirror-human-irrationality/
I found it interesting anyway...Humans are probably also irrational by nature...

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