Daily Digest

Daily Digest 9/19 - Tumult Of Arab Spring Concerns Washington, Small Farmers Selling Less Wholesale, Fracked Off

Monday, September 19, 2011, 9:42 AM
  • Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington
  • Picking markets: Some local farmers discover hidden costs of selling wholesale
  • Berlin Hopes Growing Tech Community Will Lift City’s Economy
  • Kabuki Theater Economy
  • The Old Man And The Sea - 2011
  • Obama to Offer Plan to Cut Deficit by Over $3 Trillion
  • Fracked Off!
  • China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Anti-Pollution Protests

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Tumult of Arab Spring Prompts Worries in Washington (jdargis)

Diplomacy has never been easy in the Middle East, but the recent events have so roiled the region that the United States fears being forced to take sides in diplomatic or, worse, military disputes among its friends. Hypothetical outcomes seem chillingly present. What would happen if Turkey, a NATO ally that the United States is bound by treaty to defend, sent warships to escort ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to do?

Picking markets: Some local farmers discover hidden costs of selling wholesale (June C.)

One Chester County farmer, Pete Flynn, eliminated his wholesale business entirely this year. His own produce was selling at a nearby Wegmans, under his farm's name, but at prices below what he was charging in his own little store.

The well-heeled customers driving into his Westtown Township farm market in Land Rovers and BMWs asked time and again: "Why should I buy here when I see your stuff a few miles away for less?"

Berlin Hopes Growing Tech Community Will Lift City’s Economy (jdargis)

“I kind of get the feeling that the whole city of Berlin is a start-up,” said Alexander Ljung, chief executive and one of the founders of SoundCloud. “It’s fast-moving, chaotic. You don’t really know where it’s headed, but you know it’s headed in a good direction, and that’s a start-up feel.”

Kabuki Theater Economy (Ilene)

John Mauldin had another take. He wrote, “The Fed is not lending to European banks or even to the various national central banks. Its customer is the ECB, which will deposit euros with the Fed to get access to dollars. Making the safe assumption that the Fed knows how to hedge currency risk (fairly easy), the only risk is if the ECB and the euro somehow ceased to exist. And these are swap lines. This is not a new concept; it has been authorized since May, 2010. The real difference is that previously it has been used only for loans with 7-day maturity, and now that is extended to 3 months. This gives the ECB the ability to lend dollars for 3 months, which they must think will entice US money-market funds back into at least short-term commercial paper. (Just stay one step ahead of the ECB and the Fed, and your loan is “safe.” We will see how enticing this is.)

The Old Man And The Sea - 2011 (JimQ)

Ernest Hemingway and Ron Paul never met. Ron Paul was completing medical school in 1961 when Hemingway committed suicide at his home in Idaho. I think they would have hit it off.

Obama to Offer Plan to Cut Deficit by Over $3 Trillion (jdargis)

Mr. Obama’s proposal is certain to receive sharp criticism from Congressional Republicans, who on Sunday were already taking apart one element of the proposal that the administration let out early: the so-called Buffett Rule. The rule — named for the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, who has complained that he is taxed at a lower rate than his employees — calls for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers.


Fracked Off! (TG)

"I want them to come here and see what we're going through. Why don't we have the right to clean water?"

China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Anti-Pollution Protests (jdargis)

At least 23 people have been detained on charges of vandalism and public disorder, including a man accused of “spreading false information” about the impact of pollution from the plant, the Haining city government said on its Web site. Three company employees were among those taken into police custody after they tried to wrest television cameras away from reporters attempting to film the demonstrations.

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#2 above: Revice Economy

I really love the Freudian typo in #2.

I hope you DON"T fix it. It kinda makes you think.

In reality, I do not believe the "vice" ever went away.

Look at all the resistance there is to bringing the econoperps to justice.

"Vice" didn't go away it's just being buried deeper.

"Hey!, look over there! A newer crisis!"

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Nothing but word games....
New York Times Article posted by jdargis wrote:

Obama Offers Plan to Cut Deficit by Over $3 Trillion

So deceptive all these politicians, since when did we start measuring the deficit on a 10 year time frame.  It would be really nice if the media would do it's job... This headline should read:

Obama Offers Plan to Cut $1.5 Trillion Deficit by $300 Billion

or perhaps

Obama Offers Plan to Cut $1,500 Billion Deficit by $300 Billion

or more accurately

Obama Offers Plan to Cut $1,500 Billion Deficit by $300 Billion in a few years when deficit is $5,000 Billion

Just word games with no real cutting going on here!




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Old man and the sea

The book, the piece, the man...all classics.

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Siemens to completely withdraw from nuclear industry

and focus on renewables.



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Italy Debt Rating Lowered to A by S&P, Outlook ‘Negative’


"Italy’s credit rating was cut one level to A by Standard & Poor’s, which said the outlook remains “negative.”

The rating for Italy, which has Europe’s second-largest debt load, was lowered from A+, S&P said today in a statement. The firm said Italy’s net general government debt is the highest among A rated sovereigns, and now expects it to peak later and at a higher level than it previously anticipated.

“In our view, Italy’s economic growth prospects are weakening and we expect that Italy’s fragile governing coalition and policy differences within parliament will continue to limit the government’s ability to respond decisively to domestic and external macroeconomic challenges,” S&P said in a statement."


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Resource wars

I know that this conflict has been described on the digest recently, but this longer story gives maps and many details, like the use of Filipino fishing boats to make blocades, and how the output is already failing at China's existing oil fields.  This really cood be the next resource war, and soon.  What will the U.S. do?



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Fracked off!

Fracking is an industry which seems to have become established in Australia quite suddenly and comparatively recently. It’s generating a huge amount of opposition, but I gloomily expect it to continue unabated. It’s too big to fail.

What we’re seeing of course is but one aspect of the ransacking of the planet for resources to feed the growth machine. Worse, we now have the technology to exploit coal and shale-oil reserves previously unreachable, e.g. the Antarctic. I can hardly wait.

George Monbiot as usual has some intelligent insights for us Suggested reading:

Yes, I know he can be a bit gloomy, but his analyses are worth it. Quotable quotes:

“Industrial civilisation is trashing the environment. Should we try to reform it or just watch it go down?”

“We seem, in other words, to be in trouble. Either we lay hands on every available source of fossil fuel, in which case we fry the planet and civilisation collapses, or we run out, and civilisation collapses.”

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Greece Offers to Repay Loans with Giant Horse

Greece Offers to Repay Loans with Giant Horse

Steed Wheeled Into Brussels at Night

BRUSSELS (The Borowitz Report) – In what many are hailing as a breakthrough solution to Greece’s crippling debt crisis, Greece today offered to repay loans from the European Union nations by giving them a gigantic horse.

Finance ministers from sixteen EU nations awoke in Brussels this morning to find that a huge wooden horse had been wheeled into the city center overnight.

The horse, measuring several stories in height, drew mixed responses from the finance ministers, many of whom said they would have preferred a cash repayment of the EU’s bailout.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she “welcomed the beautiful wooden horse,” adding, “What harm could it possibly do?”

Elsewhere, in a poll about a hypothetical matchup between Rick Perry and Barack Obama, a majority of Perry voters answered, “What does hypothetical mean?”

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and it gets even more interesting........
yoshhash wrote:

and focus on renewables.





Siemens moved deposits from French bank to EC: Financial Times

Sep 19, 2011

(Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) withdrew deposits from a large French bank two weeks ago and transferred them to the European Central Bank, in the search for a safe haven, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper said the German group had withdrawn more than half a billion euros in cash deposits from the French bank. In total, Siemens has parked between 4 billion euros and 6 billion ($8.2 billion) euros at the ECB's facilities, mostly through one-week deposits, the paper said.

It quoted a person with direct knowledge of the matter as saying that the group had withdrawn the money partly because of concerns about the future financial health of the bank and partly to benefit from the higher interest rates paid by the ECB.

The newspaper said it was not clear from which bank Siemens had withdrawn the deposits. However it quoted a person familiar with BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) as saying that it was not the bank involved.

No one at Siemens was available to comment.

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