Daily Digest

Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden Renaissance, The Great Debt Drag

Friday, September 17, 2010, 9:52 AM
  • Harvard Lobotomies and the Disgrace of the Economics Profession
  • A University of San Diego Lecturer With A Clue
  • Hinde Capital On Gold Wars And A Golden Renaissance
  • Sizing Up China's Cities
  • Recession Raises Poverty Rate to a 15-Year High
  • The Great Debt Drag
  • Young Greeks Seek Options Elsewhere
  • U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics

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Harvard Lobotomies and the Disgrace of the Economics Profession (Davos)

The truth is that modern Economics has been designed to completely hide the monetary system that hovers above the economy. It assumes money is just a medium of exchange floating through the economy to facilitate a free market and generate wealth. At times that has been true, but today it’s probably the biggest lie of modern history. The current system does not generate wealth and freedom for most people. It generates debt and servitude. And it is not a free market. Today’s money flows from a top-down imperial power system expanding globally. It creates a master-servant relationship because all money comes from privately held debt.

A University of San Diego Lecturer With A Clue (Davos)

History teaches that human beings are frail, fickle, prone to extremes of euphoria and pessimism, and often love to claim that their era is better than times past. History is filled with people who claimed that their time was different (and it wasn’t), and that they could escape the mishaps that have plagued earlier people (and they couldn’t). Above all, history teaches humility.

Hinde Capital On Gold Wars And A Golden Renaissance (Ivo)

The Gold Wars: A Golden Renaissance, by Hinde Capital

Sizing Up China's Cities (jdargis)

Top of the heap, as in the previous ranking two years ago, is New York, followed by the familiar trio of London, Tokyo and Paris. But the stability at the top of the table belies the churn further down. Shanghai made it into the top 40 for the first time (see chart) and ten Chinese cities, including some quite obscure places, such as Erdos, Hohhot, Quanzhou and Xuzhou, rose more than 30 places. Seven cities in Africa and three in Brazil jumped by more than 15 places.

Recession Raises Poverty Rate to a 15-Year High (jdargis)

With the country in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million, or one in seven residents. Millions more were surviving only because of expanded unemployment insurance and other assistance.

And the numbers could have climbed higher: One way embattled Americans have gotten by is sharing homes with siblings, parents or even nonrelatives, sometimes resulting in overused couches and frayed nerves but holding down the rise in the national poverty rate, according to the report.

The Great Debt Drag (jdargis)

Americans are not optimistic. Official statistics say that the economy has been growing for nearly 15 months, but so sluggishly that most people seem to think it is still in recession. For a few months it looked as if the economy might even shrink again, as growth slowed to a mere 1.6% (at an annualised rate) in the second quarter, job creation almost stopped and home sales plunged.

Young Greeks Seek Options Elsewhere (jdargis)

"In other countries, young people are encouraged,” Ms. Mallosi said. “In Greece, they are held back.”

Like Ms. Mallosi, an increasing number of young college graduates are leaving Greece as a deepening recession chokes a job market already constrained by an entrenched culture of cronyism. And the outlook for a turnaround is not good.


U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics (jdargis)

Dispensing antibiotics to healthy animals is routine on the large, concentrated farms that now dominate American agriculture. But the practice is increasingly condemned by medical experts who say it contributes to a growing scourge of modern medicine: the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including dangerous E. coli strains that account for millions of bladder infections each year, as well as resistant types of salmonella and other microbes.

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. 


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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

"Bonds issued by developed countries, including those with the highest credit ratings such as Germany and the U.S., are not “completely safe” as demand for public spending is growing faster than revenue, Citigroup Inc. said.

Greece is the country most at risk of default, followed by Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the bank said. The U.S. may also face repayment challenges “at horizons longer than five years.”

“We conclude that no sovereign debt can and should be considered completely safe,” London-based economists Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari wrote in an e-mailed note today. “We still consider it unlikely that there will be a sovereign default during the next five years by more than a couple of advanced economies.” "

"A fresh round of state budget cuts could mean another prison closure, less money to help school districts and thousands fewer spots for community college students, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday.

Those steps and more - including big cuts in social services - are being driven by a major drop in state tax collections that punched a roughly $520 million hole in the recession-walloped state budget.

The new deficit is a small slice of the roughly $28.5 billion state budget, which covers government operating costs for the two years ending in July 2011. But since there are only a few months left in the current budget cycle, balancing the books is more difficult.

"My heart goes out, frankly, to everyone who will be impacted by these budget cuts," Gregoire said. "This is a very difficult time for us in Washington state and across the United States, but we're up to the challenge. We will get the job done.""

.....................2A) State will have to cut deeply as forecast worsens (Washington)

Washington budget


"During yesterday’s meeting at UC San Francisco, the UC Board of Regents discussed restructuring pension and health care policies in order to cope with a $21 billion shortfall in the UC retirement budget.

In addition to reducing health benefits, the new policy could potentially raise the retirement age of new workers and increase employee and university contributions to pensions. If the retirement policy is left unchanged, the budget deficit could reach $40 billion — twice the size of the UC system-wide budget — within five years."

"New Jersey will have to consider turning to private companies to finance transportation projects as the fund financing roadwork runs short of money, the head of a panel studying the issue told lawmakers.

New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund Authority, which is supported by the state’s 10.5-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax, will be hard pressed July 1 when payments on $12 billion in outstanding debt consume its $895 million in annual revenue, said former U.S. Representative Richard Zimmer, who leads the panel. The highway account is scheduled to issue as much as $1.75 billion in bonds later this month.

“We’re just headed toward a brick wall,” Zimmer, a Republican, said following a hearing in Trenton today on privatization proposals from the governor. “There’s a pretty grim situation. By the process of elimination, public-private partnerships are going to be part of that solution.” "

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state's general fund has had a negative cash balance every day since September 3, a problem that "underscores the tremendous amount of risk" in the state's budget, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Thursday.

Though New York ended August with a nearly $528 million of cash in the general fund, which counts state tax and fee revenue but excludes federal dollars, it was forced to delay paying billions of dollars of bills that were due last month.

"Restoring the General Fund to a positive balance will depend on whether the state brings in enough revenue in the second half of the month," said DiNapoli in a statement."

""Gold is making a new high and stocks are rallying because the markets think the Fed will print more money before the end of this year just to ensure that the US economy remains on an even keel," said analyst Neil MacKinnon at VTB Capital.

"The risk for investors is that the US economy does actually fall into a 'double-dip' (recession) and not the 'soft landing scenario' which the markets are currently discounting," he told AFP."

(Update: the original quote saying "print more money" is here)

"ATLANTIC CITY — The state is considering intervening in city finances after telling local government officials it will reject their plan to avert a budget crisis that could shut down city government.

Council Vice President Steven Moore confirmed Thursday that state officials informed Mayor Lorenzo Langford’s administration earlier this week that a request to exceed a cap on property tax increases by $9.9 million will be rejected by the state’s Local Finance Board.

City finance officials previously said that, without the cap waiver, the city would run out of money by the end of the year and would be forced to lay off more than half of its work force."

"New Jersey’s pension fund should put more money in alternative investments such as private equity and real estate to boost returns and protect against stock losses, consultants told the State Investment Council.

The panel voted to draft regulations that would allow as much as 38 percent of the $68.3 billion fund to be invested in alternatives, compared with a maximum of 28 percent currently, according to former chairman Orin Kramer."

"Through June 30, 2009, the pension system was underfunded by $46 billion using that measure, and had 66 percent of the assets needed to fund promised benefits, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

China faces potential stimulus 'hangover': Fitch

Bernanke Shadow of Easing Limits BOJ Success With Yen Weakness

Sovereign Creditworthiness Is Weakest Ever Versus Companies Amid Debt Woes

Cash Is King for Japan Households As Economic Outlook Spurs Uncertainty

US commercial paper market shrinks q 4th week -Fed

Spanish Banks Pay Record Yields on Covered Bonds as Sales Surge

Romania: New Bailout??- Borrowing needs in Nov close to debt sales for all 2008

Analysis: Romania could reach financing crisis in November

Canadians carrying a heavy debt load ("We’re second only to Americans, says Scotia Capital")

Moody's Downgrades Billions More Of Alt-A RMBS ("has downgraded hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of residential mortgage-backed securities in recent months")

States' debt binge to top $240 billion (Australia)

Borrowing ruled out as pension fund fix (Connecticut..."in 2008, the pension fund had $19.2 billion worth of obligations, or liabilities, and held just under $10 billion, an amount equal to 52 percent of its liability")

IMF does not rule out more Greece aid: report

Tribe's Roll of Dice Rattles Lenders

Risky-Loan Market Is Back in Gear

Oregon agencies propose cuts in face of $378 million shortfall

Underwater Mortgages Putting Many Americans in a Bind

Big pension plans pressed to fix funding woes (Canada)

Retirement perks cost towns millions (Illinois)

Banks Hold Off On Foreclosure Notices (CNBC)

U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Unexpectedly Declines

Government perilously close to calling in IMF, report warns (Ireland)

Nortel's underfunded pension to be turned into annuities (Canada)

Silver Offers Investors an Outstanding Opportunity to Make Large Profits (Commentary at Kitco...."bullion banks increased their net short position to an almighty 61,798 contracts, or 309.0 million ounces of silver")

rjs's picture
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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

correct link on first item:


land2341's picture
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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

With all of the scathing commentary on harvard lobotomies one has to admit that it crosses your mind - - if I get that lobotomy I will not be able to think about the problems facing us and any thoughts that do cross my mind will have no emotional impact for me.  AND,  according to this that lobotomy will garner me billions to make my unwillingness to think about the world's problems even more comfortable for me.

Are we supposed to be chastising them or admitting that, for many, that lobotomy was not a bad deal?

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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

Nicole Foss (aka, stoneleigh) is interviewed by Max Keiser in the last half of the show: http://maxkeiser.com/2010/09/16/kr78-keiser-report-markets-finance-economic-recklessness/

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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

Friday Funnies - 16

More: http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/09/17/friday-funnies-16/


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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

Who Owns the Federal Reserve and the 12 Central Banks!

Rothschild, a London Banker, wrote a letter saying "It [the Central Bank] gives the National Bank almost complete control of national finance. The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class. The great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending, will bear its burden without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is contrary to their interests."

The ownership is a very well kept secret, but has been revealed.


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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...
idoctor wrote:

OMG, starting from 12:36, must see.. Greatest graduation speech ever


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Re: Daily Digest 9/17 - Harvard Lobotomies, A Golden ...

Here are the links to the graduation speech, a) YouTube and b) Erica Goldson's blog containing the text.


Remarkable and rare.


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