Daily Digest

Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop In Self-Employment, New Energy Ideas

Sunday, September 5, 2010, 10:53 AM
  • Is The Poor Housing Market A Genetic Disease? 
  • Mauldin: Let’s Look at the Rules
  • A Crash. A Call for Help. Then, a Bill.
  • Drop in Self-Employment Shows Recovery Eludes Small Business
  • Oil From Forestry and Agricultural Waste 
  • His Corporate Strategy: The Scientific Method
  • No Risk, Says Leader of Spill Response

Crash Course DVDThe 3-disc Special Edition DVD, now $24.99 in our store (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

Is The Poor Housing Market A Genetic Disease? (Dr. B @ Truthsavvy)

While the scientific learning is just getting underway, an reasoned extrapolation of preliminary indications seems to suggest, for example, that intense greed, malice or overwhelming anxiety in a body of people can impact their internal wiring for generations. Call this the Wall Street hazard, or the Middle East hazard, but the implications are sobering. ... Is it possible that a community’s financially immoral responses to opportunities may shortcut evolution and generate mental tendencies that run counter to the good of society?

Mauldin: Let’s Look at the Rules (JRB)

There are rules in sports. ... There are rules in economics as well, they're just not as well-known. And breaking these rules has consequences for individuals, companies, and countries. Sadly, there is no independent referee who can blow a whistle and stop the game, assess a penalty, and make you obey the rules. There is, however, a market that can decide not to buy your currency or your bonds if you don't play by the rules.

A Crash. A Call for Help. Then, a Bill. (jdargis)

Ambulance charges have long been common and are usually paid by health insurance, but fees for other responders are relatively new. The charge is variously called a “crash tax” or “resource recovery,” depending on one’s point of view. In either case, motorists are billed for services they may have thought were covered by taxpayers.

    Crash Course DVDThe 3-disc Special Edition DVD, now $24.99 in our store (NTSC or PAL)

Drop in Self-Employment Shows Recovery Eludes Small Business (jdargis)

Self-employment tends to increase during and immediately following economic slumps as tight labor markets prompt recently fired workers to venture out on their own, said Scott Shane, a professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The data this time is testament to the lack of credit and a slump in demand that is choking small businesses, he said.

“The failure rate of self-employment picked up a lot during the recession,” Shane, who studies entrepreneurship, said. “I think the indications are not good at all.”

Energy

Oil From Forestry and Agricultural Waste (Johan V.)

Pyrolysis oil will only react with hydrogen at high pressure, high temperature, and in the presence of a catalyst. The resultant oil, however, can be fed directly into existing refineries. "This upgrading process produces a mixture of an aqueous fraction and an oil fraction. The oil fraction can go directly to the refinery" says Dr Hogendoorn. The drawback with using hydrogen is that it is very expensive. He goes on to explain that "We are therefore studying ways of improving efficiency, to cut the amount of hydrogen used to the bare minimum."

His Corporate Strategy: The Scientific Method (jdargis)

Now Dr. Venter is turning from reading the genetic code to an even more audacious goal: writing it. At Synthetic Genomics, he wants to create living creatures — bacteria, algae or even plants — that are designed from the DNA up to carry out industrial tasks and displace the fuels and chemicals that are now made from fossil fuels.

Environment

No Risk, Says Leader of Spill Response (jdargis)

“This well does not constitute a threat to the Gulf of Mexico at this point,” the leader, Thad W. Allen, a former Coast Guard admiral, said during a conference call with reporters. “The well has been effectively secured regarding any potential source of pollution.”

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."

8 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4149
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

 

"In this bloody free-for-all of a recession, Americans in their 50s are really taking it hard on the chin.

Their 401(k)s have been cut down to 201(k)s. Their pensions have been frozen, or worse. Their home equity has evaporated just as their kids' college bills come due. And while younger workers may have been hit harder by unemployment, 50-something Americans who get laid off are stuck in jobless limbo longer than any other age group.

"It's a real mess," says Linda Kahn, a 51-year-old San Jose graphic designer who lost her job in early 2009 and recently took a part-time gig at Target "because I was going insane just hanging around the house. On my block alone, three of us in our 50s are out of work. One woman's dipping into her savings to live. Our houses are worth less than we paid for them. And the two interviews I had went nowhere." "

"Peek inside this statistical slaughterhouse: As older Americans headed for retirement, the recession cut into their plans, sending retirement account balances down 32 percent from a peak of $8.7 trillion in September 2007 to $5.9 trillion in March 2009, according to AARP. As the recession kicked in, more than one of every four foreclosures and delinquencies involved Americans age 50 and older, this on top of the decade's already sharp increase in bankruptcy filings for the 55-and-above set. "

"Malaysians are embracing gold dinars which were introduced last month by the northern state of Kelantan to promote usage of Islamic currency as an alternative to paper money, an official said on Saturday.

The gold coins and silver dirhams were introduced in early August by the Islamic opposition party PAS which rules Kelantan state to coincide with the start of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, chief executive officer with Kelantan Golden Trade, said the first batch of gold and silver coins worth two million ringgit ($A686,700) had been sold out in less than a month.

"There is enormous response in Malaysia. Their reaction is unbelievable," he told reporters.

"In Kelantan, businesses including garage owners and taxi drivers are using the gold and silver coins."

Civil servants in Kelantan are paid up to 25 per cent of their salary in dinars and dirhams if they wish.

Umar said three more Malaysian states controlled by the opposition -- Selangor, Kedah and Penang -- had indicated interest in minting similar coins.

"By the end of the year, we anticipate sales of the dinars and dirhams to hit 60 to 70 million ringgit," he said.

According to Islamic law, the dinar coin is 4.25 grams of gold, while the dirham is 3.0 grams of pure silver.

A gold coin is equivalent to about 582 ringgit ($A200) while the silver coin is worth around 13 ringgit but their values fluctuate according to market prices.

The coins were intended to be used as an alternative to the Malaysian ringgit and sen but are not legal tender.

"Of course it is not legal tender," Umar said.

"The gold dinar is a commodity. The use of it is on a voluntary basis."

"The government of Kelantan has not received any petition from the government of Malaysia (against the usage)."

"The people in Kelantan have spoken loud and clear that they like the gold and silver coins," Umar said.

Former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whose administration promoted a moderate form of Islam that emphasised economic and scientific development, shot down the proposal to use the traditional Islamic currencies.

But his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, was an advocate of the dinar system and urged Muslim countries to use it as a trade instrument."

 

 

 

dave s's picture
dave s
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 20 2009
Posts: 56
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Is The Poor Housing Market A Genetic Disease? (Dr. B @ Truthsavvy)

While the scientific learning is just getting underway, an reasoned extrapolation of preliminary indications seems to suggest, for example, that intense greed, malice or overwhelming anxiety in a body of people can impact their internal wiring for generations. Call this the Wall Street hazard, or the Middle East hazard, but the implications are sobering. ... Is it possible that a community’s financially immoral responses to opportunities may shortcut evolution and generate mental tendencies that run counter to the good of society?

Using epigenetics as a new way to preach fire and brimstone betrays a massive misunderstanding of what epigenetics is.  It is always amusing to me to see claims made about how much softer, more decadent and more sinful we are than past generations.  It is a claim as old as time itself.   There is truly nothing new under the sun when it comes to the subject.  Seneca ain't in it.

portals's picture
portals
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 22
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Saxplayer, you surprise me.  I never see you on a Saturday or Sunday, but here you are, today, the day before Labor Day.  Take a break, dude!  :)

To everybody on CM's blog, I wish you all a nice Labor Day.

Tom

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Tom quote:To everybody on CM's blog, I wish you all a nice Labor Day.

+1

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3159
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

One thing I can't figure out is why in our day to day life, prices seem to be going up fast, but our observations are not reflected in the stats.  My wife constantly comments on the increases of her grocery costs.  I don't shop much, but yesterday I decided I needed some new jeans, so went to Penny's.  The last time I bought jeans was about 6 months ago.  The full price then was about $32-34 and the sale price was about $26.  Yesterday the full price was $48 and the sale price was $34.  A few weeks ago my son and I went to a movie.  We split a small popcorn and small soda.  Afterward we went to a diner and got a bite to eat, basically breakfast food.  Total tab for the evening was about $50 not counting gas.  I know movie prices around here are up $2 in the past year or so.

What am I missing?

Doug

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Jim Puplava at Financial Sense interviews Stoneleigh

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Doug,

I'm seeing the same thing. I am in the process of moving into a house and have been working on multiple projects, public water and sewer hookup, hardwood floors, tiling, painting, etc. Since I haven't really done any major remodeling work in the past, I've been comparing notes with neighbors,friends and family members on the cost of my projects and they all agree that prices have gone up since they last updated their floors or painted, or even did their water connections. Even my excavator was shocked at what a 100-foot coil of copper pipe cost($600). Whether it's short term price increases as in your case, or longer term as mine, prices are going up. At least, that's what I have been seeing, hearing and of course paying!!

Doug wrote:

One thing I can't figure out is why in our day to day life, prices seem to be going up fast, but our observations are not reflected in the stats.  My wife constantly comments on the increases of her grocery costs.  I don't shop much, but yesterday I decided I needed some new jeans, so went to Penny's.  The last time I bought jeans was about 6 months ago.  The full price then was about $32-34 and the sale price was about $26.  Yesterday the full price was $48 and the sale price was $34.  A few weeks ago my son and I went to a movie.  We split a small popcorn and small soda.  Afterward we went to a diner and got a bite to eat, basically breakfast food.  Total tab for the evening was about $50 not counting gas.  I know movie prices around here are up $2 in the past year or so.

What am I missing?

Doug

dickey45's picture
dickey45
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 77
Re: Daily Digest 9/5 - Thoughts On The Housing Market, Drop ...

Costs are definitely going up.  We were our own general contractors (and electrician, and plumbing, and drywall, and cabinet maker...) on our house and I made it my life mission to get the plans approved in 2009.  It took 8 months and 3 attorneys but I somehow managed it..  I still go to home depot at least 1x a week and prices have, for the most part, gone up.  I got some wickedly good deals last year and with my 10% off Lowes coupon I never pay full price but even then. 

I also had to make sure I locked in the cement prices.  They went up 10% from one month to the next.  People were out of work so I got a reasonable price on labor: framers, cement contractor, and tile setter. The one thing that didn't go down was insulation - and I suspect that might be because of all the tax breaks for insulating older homes.

I had roofed the old house in 2004.  It was $13 a bundle of shingles.  2009, same exact bundle, same color, same brand, $23 a bundle - and I looked around.  In about 2005 a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 standard drywall was like $5 a sheet at HD.  2010, I got a "contractors" price of $7 a sheet.

I could go on but I'm telling you I should have been able to build the house for about $110K or so in 2004 prices.  Today it cost $131K.  That said, our gas and electric bills are phenomenally low so I think the investment was worth it.  Our little 24x36 home is very comfortable and inexpensive to keep.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments