Daily Digest

Daily Digest - December 13

Sunday, December 13, 2009, 11:46 AM
  • The National Inflation Association Endorsement Of Silver As Best Hedge
  • Obama's Big Sellout
  • Thoughts On The Statistical Recovery
  • Steve Keen on Keiser Report
  • Congress Squabbles Over Details Of Debt Ceiling Legislation 
  • Drug Money Saved Banks In Global Crisis Claims UN Advisor
  • N Korea War Weaponry Found On Thai Plane, May Have Been Headed To Pakistan
  • Russian Central Bank To Buy 30 Tons Of Gold This Week
  • Greece Admits It Is Riddled With Corruption
  • Inflation Returns To China
  • US Mint To Resume Sales Of Gold Bullion Coins
  • Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Users Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill
  • US Agency Sees More Health Spending With Reform
  • Angry Crowd Of Protestors Throw Torches At Home of UC Berkeley Chancellor
  • Number Of Fatally Shot Police Officers Is Up 24% In 2009
  • AIG Pays Bonuses With Endorsement From The Fed
  • Welcome To Obamaville
  • Fewer Gifts And Frills Expected This Holiday Season
  • Missing More Than A Meal: Child Hunger--The Silent Epidemic
  • IRS Hires Hundreds For New Wealth Unit
  • Fitness Industry Out Of Shape
  • The Lure Of Store Credit Cards And The Hook
  • Banks And Stores Make Billions On Unused Gift Cards
  • 'Tis The Season For Shoplifters

Economy

The National Inflation Association Endorsement Of Silver As Best Hedge (Claire H.)

It is only over the past 100 years that the gold to silver ratio has averaged 50. History will look back at the artificially high gold to silver ratio of the past century as an anomaly, caused by the dollar bubble and the world being deceived into believing that fiat currencies are real money, when in fact they're all an illusion. Next decade, the fiat currency experiment will end badly in a currency crisis. The wealthiest people will be those who bought silver today and were smart enough to research and pick the best silver mining stocks.

Obama's Big Sellout (Joemanc)

Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans." Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it's not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.



What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing. Then he got elected.

Thoughts On The Statistical Recovery (JRB)

We are clearly starting to get some better data points here and there. But as I pointed out this summer, it is going to be a recovery in the statistics and not in the things that count, such as income and employment. This week we look at the nascent recovery (which could be at 3% this quarter) and try to peer out into the future to see what it means. We look at how recoveries come about, and why I am concerned that we will see a double-dip recession

Steve Keen on Keiser Report (Video) (present moment)

In about 12 minutes into this video clip, Max Keiser interviews an Australian economist, Steve Keen. Mr Keen's assessment about the current economic crisis and bail-outs was very interesting. He said we Americans are anti-understanding and described the bail out of these financial institutions as "keeping vampires and parasites alive". He also said 20% of our workforce don't have skills to do any productive work for our society, which Peter Schiff keeps harping about.

Congress Squabbles Over Details Of Debt Ceiling Legislation (M.W.)

Congress is playing brinkmanship over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, with each chamber insisting on adding controversial elements to the legislation that the other opposes.

Drug Money Saved Banks In Global Crisis Claims UN Advisor (M.W.)

Drug money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the UN drugs and crime tsar has said. Antonio Maria Costa said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

N Korea War Weaponry Found On Thai Plane, May Have Been Headed To Pakistan (M.W.)

Five foreigners were detained and their foreign-registered aircraft impounded after it landed in the Thai capital with 45 tons of war weaponry on board that originated in N Korea. Government spokesman Wattanayakorn confirmed the seizure and the arrests, saying the weapons included "missiles, explosives and tubes." It came from N Korea and was heading for somewhere in South Asia, probably Pakistan," the official told Reuters.

Russian Central Bank To Buy 30 Tons Of Gold This Week (M.W.)

The source at Gokhran, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on Dec. 7 approving the sale. "Next week, I think, we will conclude everything." Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin first announced the sale on Nov. 18, saying Gokhran -- which falls under his ministry's watch -- would sell at market price and use some of the proceeds to buy diamonds from state-run miner Alrosa.

Greece Admits It Is Riddled With Corruption (M.W.)

At an EU summit, The bloc’s 26 other national leaders sat in silence as Mr Papandreou delivered a short, blunt speech that said everything the rest of Europe had long known, or suspected, about Greek bureaucracy. Greece is in the throes of the most serious fiscal emergency to strike the eurozone since the single currency’s launch in 1999.

Inflation Returns To China (M.W.)

Inflation returned to China last month after nearly a year of declining prices, presenting a potential headache to policymakers as they try to consolidate a strong economic recovery.

US Mint To Resume Sales Of Gold Bullion Coins (M.W.)

A limited quantity of 2009 American Eagle Gold half-, quarter- and tenth-ounce bullion coins will be offered starting Monday. Once this inventory is depleted, no additional inventory will be produced. The Mint will resume the sale of 2009 American Eagle gold 1-ounce bullion coins Tuesday. An allocation will be made on a weekly basis until the end of the year.

Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Users Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill (M.W.)

Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to Obama's health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money -- called "virtual currency" -- to send letters to Congress protesting the bill. Here's how it happens:

US Agency Sees More Health Spending With Reform (M.W.)

U.S. healthcare spending would rise by about $234 billion over the next decade under the overhaul bill and some of the proposed savings might never be achieved, a U.S. agency said in a report released on Friday. It was the latest in a series of reports that cast doubt on some of the savings claims made by Democrats.

Angry Crowd Of Protestors Throw Torches At Home of UC Berkeley Chancellor (M.W.)

Eight people were in custody today after a crowd of angry protesters broke windows and threw burning torches at UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's campus residence in protest of fee hikes and budget cuts. As many as 75 people surrounded the mansion.

Number Of Fatally Shot Police Officers Is Up 24% In 2009 (M.W.)

"There's an increasingly desperate population out there," said Eugene O'Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "Other than in rare cases for ideological reasons, we really haven't seen people taking on the cops head-to-head. Something is amiss. It should be cause for grave concern."

AIG Pays Bonuses With Endorsement From The Fed (M.W.)

Kenneth Feinberg, the government’s paymaster for bailed-out companies, concluded that the 2009 awards should be paid after AIG refused to trim them.

Welcome To Obamaville( M.W.)

Someone has put a lot of thought into a large welcome sign in front of a 'tent city.' "Welcome to Obamaville, Colorado's Fastest Growing Community." No one knows where it came from.

Fewer Gifts And Frills Expected This Holiday Season (M.W.)

Whatever you’re expecting to find around the tree or the menorah this season, expect a little less. The new frugality not only means fewer gifts, it means less costly ones, recycled ones and handmade and home-baked gifts. "Dogs and pets are winning in this recession,” said consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow. “The things that nurture us and make us feel cared for, they’ve been elevated in stature lately. All auxiliary people are out.”

Missing More Than A Meal: Child Hunger--The Silent Epidemic (M.W.)

Childhood hunger is more complex than previously understood, and is unlikely to be solved by spending more money for food programs. Even when children are not hungry, slight shortages of food in their homes are associated with serious problems. Babies and toddlers are far more likely to be hospitalized. School-age children tend to learn and grow more slowly, and to get into trouble more often. Teenagers are more prone to depression or suicide.

IRS Hires Hundreds For New Wealth Unit (M.W.)

A new Internal Revenue Service unit set up to catch rich tax cheats hiding their wealth in complex business entities is rapidly taking shape with the hiring of hundreds of employees.

Fitness Industry Out Of Shape (Video) (M.W.)

As the economy continues to pull itself out of a recession, we break down the battle between couch potatoes and gym rats.

The Lure Of Store Credit Cards And The Hook (M.W.)

In all the bustle of holiday shopping, retailers will be counting on you to focus on all the benefits of these cards — and the benefits can be valuable, if you know how to use them. But you should also be considering the possible effect on your credit score. If you are looking to refinance your home, buy a new one or take out an auto loan, you may need every last point to buoy your score.

Banks And Stores Make Billions On Unused Gift Cards (M.W.)

If you do end up with an unwanted card, you could sell or swap it at websites like GiftCard Rescue or Swapagift....but we could put an end to all this waste if the givers got wise to the billions in annual giveaways to retailers and banks and just handed over cash. You’re kidding yourself if you think that loading money onto a plastic card is somehow more polite than slipping money into a paper envelope.

'Tis The Season For Shoplifters (M.W.)

As sellers work with smaller staffs during a very busy sales period, it puts them at a greater risk of losing merchandise to thieves. In supermarkets and drugstores, meat, baby formula and over-the-counter medicine are routinely among the most-filched products. Among the newest anti-theft technology are "smarter" cameras. These cameras know if within so many seconds, one or two boxes of a product were removed from a shelf or if the entire shelf was cleared.

9 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4164
Re: Daily Digest - December 13

"This is the first time local recruiters can remember having a wait list, or what the military refers to as "delayed entry," for qualified applicants.

"We're not given quotas anymore," local Navy recruiter Oliver Ventura said. "Most of the jobs in the Navy are all full."

All branches of the military met or exceeded their respective recruiting goals in the past year with the Army on top, making 108 percent of its target.

In total, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force brought in nearly 169,000 new recruits. The National Guard and Reserve forces added about 138,000.

The military is enticing right now because of the stability it offers in terms of pay, health care and other benefits that can include housing and education."

"Within the Illinois Department of Corrections, cost-saving measures have ranged from big — the proposed sale to the federal government of the nearly empty Thomson Correctional Center in upstate Carroll County — to the small, the elimination of mandatory car washes for vehicles driven by parole agents.

Another byproduct of the state's fiscal problems was Quinn's announcement this fall that 1,000 nonviolent offenders will receive early release from prison. The move is expected to save the state $5 million annually."

"Only 4 percent of sisters, priests and brothers are in orders that will have enough money to pay for projected retirement costs, according to a retirement-office study.

Retirement in Catholic orders is funded like Social Security, with income from working-age people subsidizing retirees. But the average U.S. Catholic sister is 71, and the average priest in an order is 66. By 2023, an estimated 79 percent of Catholic sisters will be aged 75 and older, according to a 2004 actuarial study performed for the religious-retirement office.

"The system worked for many years," Bader said. "But as there are fewer and fewer wage-earning members, the ends don't meet." "

"“The per-gallon tax is the same whether gas is two dollars a gallon or four dollars a gallon,” Schirripa said. “When gas prices jumped and motorists cut their fuel consumption, that had a considerable negative impact on state transportation funding.”

The trend is reflected in MDOT’s budget. The nine-county Southwest Region based in Kalamazoo had a budget of $158.8 million for road and bridge projects in 2006. This year, it was $92.5 million — a drop of more than one-third in just three years. Its estimated budget for 2010 is $72.3 million."

(Again, not meant as a political statement)

"giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19.

Today is the second straight day that Obama’s Approval Index rating has fallen to a new low. Prior to the past two days, the Approval Index had never fallen below -15 during Obama’s time in office"

"Goldman was one of 16 banks the U.S. government rescued last year after closing out losing trades that AIG had made with the financial firms.

The bank originated or bought protection from AIG on roughly $33 billon of the $80 billion of U.S. mortgage assets that AIG insured during the housing boom.

That was about twice as much as Societe Generale and Merrill Lynch, the firms with the largest exposure to AIG after Goldman, according to an analysis of ratings-firm reports and an internal AIG document, the Journal said.

In one deal Goldman acted as the middleman between AIG and banks, taking on as much as $14 billion in risk of the mortgage-related investments. But Goldman then insured that risk with a single trading partner, AIG, according to the Journal's analysis and people familiar with the trades.

The trades, mostly booked from 2004 to 2006, yielded less than $50 million in profits for Goldman, the Journal said.

But the trades added risks onto AIG's books and later came to haunt the insurer and Goldman. The trades also gave Goldman a unique window into AIG's exposure to losses on securities linked to mortgages.

When the federal government bailed out the insurer, Goldman avoided losses on its trades with AIG covering a total of $22 billion in assets."

"DUBAI (Reuters) - Heavy rain pounded Dubai on Sunday adding to the gloom of the emirate's debt woes a day before the deadline of the $3.52 billion bond by state-owned developer Nakheel, with no word on how it will be handled."

"What will happen to vacant commercial buildings as the economy begins to unwind? The Answer is right in front of my eyes. They will be destroyed."

 

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
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Re: Daily Digest - December 13

I like what he says here,

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Re: Daily Digest - December 13

I don't know if anyone else has seen this but it sure is funny. George Bush on Alan Grayson.

 

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Re: Daily Digest - December 13

Good speech Greg!  I'll look forward to seeing this in the congress come January!

gregroberts wrote:

I like what he says here,

TFGC's picture
TFGC
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Posts: 19
Re: Daily Digest - December 13

Russian Central Bank To Buy 30 Tons Of Gold This Week (M.W.)

Smart Move! Cool

I'm still trying to figure out how to ever repay the debt + interest from all the money that is being created and injected into the economy. e.g. There's never enough 'money' to repay it all. Any ideas?

Thanks!

guardia's picture
guardia
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 592
Re: Daily Digest - December 13
TFGC wrote:

I'm still trying to figure out how to ever repay the debt + interest from all the money that is being created and injected into the economy. e.g. There's never enough 'money' to repay it all. Any ideas?

default! print! The two key concepts of our economy.. :)

spinone's picture
spinone
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 12 2008
Posts: 49
Re: Daily Digest - December 13

More money must be borrowed into existance.  Then that money must be paid back with interest, so more money must be borrowed into existance, ad infinitum.

Debt based money assumes that debt will always increase.  Once it doesn't debtors can't find enought money to pay back the debt and interest, because the money hasn't been created.  So they must default.

But, the government does not want the losses of the defaults to be recognized in the system, so they are bailing out the banks and papering over the losses.  They dont like their own monetary system when it kicks into reverse.  A shrinking monetary base doesn't win votes.  They must be hoping that by buying time, things will get better, somehow.

The losses are real though, and will find a way to be recognized sooner or later.  Probably after the mid term elections.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - December 13

There's always debt cancelation.......

Mike

Headless's picture
Headless
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Posts: 363
Re: Bush Calls Out Grayson

Hilarious! Where did that guy come from?

For those who might be in need of a little venting, here is William Wallace meets Allen Ginsberg meets George Bailey. Revolutionary art!

 

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