Daily Digest

Daily Digest - December 25

Friday, December 25, 2009, 11:20 AM

Merry Christmas from the PeakProsperity.com team! There are some good news stories near the end, enjoy! 

  • Gilts Sell-Off as Britain Joins Italy in Debt House
  • U.S. Uncaps support for Fannie, Freddie
  • Significant Chance Economy Will Contract In 2010
  • Eleven Metro Areas Where Jobs Are Increasing
  • MVPs Of 2009: Making A Difference In Washington
  • Don't Overlook India's Consumer Market For China's
  • Reaction To Senate Passage Of The Health Care Bill
  • For Their Next Trick
  • The Hospital That Could Cure Health Care
  • 2009: The Year The Cubicle Died
  • Goldman Deliberately Bundled And Sold Bad Debt, Then Bet Against It To Profit
  • $40 Million In Bonuses Paid To Fannie And Freddie, Approved By Treasury
  • Fed Buys $15 Billion More MBS; 2009 Total At $1.102 Trillion
  • Congress Raises Debt Ceiling To $12.4 Trillion On Christmas Eve
  • Post Office Hostage-Taker Was Angry At The Feds
  • Builders Zero In On Goal Of Energy-Neutral Housing
  • He Works So Others Are Not Homeless
  • Mysterious Man Sneaks In To Help
  • A Painting Worth A Thousand Hearts
  • Modern Day Medicine Woman Helps World's Orphan Children
  • A Most Meaningful Gift Idea
  • Now Boarding: Flight 1225 To The North Pole
  • Mystery Pair Spark Cascade Of Giving
  • Meet The Hardest Working Santas In America
  • War Veterans And Shelter Dogs Healing Together
  • Christmas Around The World
  • Across The Globe, Heroes Among Us

Economy

Gilts Sell-Off as Britain Joins Italy in Debt House (SolidSwede)

The yield on 10-year gilts spiked Wednesday to 3.97pc, 46 basis points higher than costs on French bonds. Britain and France were neck and neck as recently as last month, before Labour’s pre-Budget report raised deep concerns among Chinese, Arab, and Russian investors about the credibility of British state.

U.S. Uncaps support for Fannie, Freddie (joemanc)

The U.S. Treasury said it would provide capital as needed to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next three years, effectively opening its checkbook to the government-controlled companies in a bid to reassure investors in their debt.

Treasury announced the moves in a Christmas Eve press release, a week before its authority to change the terms of its agreements with the companies was set to expire. After Dec. 31, Treasury would need the consent of Congress to make such changes.

Significant Chance Economy Will Contract In 2010 (M.W.)

Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz warns that there’s a “significant” chance the U.S. economy will recede in the second half of 2010. “The likelihood of this slowdown is very, very high. There is a significant chance that the number will be in the negative range. If you don’t prepare now, and the economy turns out to be as weak as I think it’s likely to be, then you’ll be in a very difficult position.”

Eleven Metro Areas Where Jobs Are Increasing (M.W.)

The MetroMonitor examines trends in metropolitan-level employment, output, and housing conditions to look “beneath the hood” of national economic statistics to portray the diverse metropolitan trajectories of recession and recovery across the country. The aim is to enhance understanding of the particular places and industries that drive national economic trends, and to promote public and private-sector responses to the downturn that take into account metro areas’ unique starting points for eventual recovery.

MVPs Of 2009: Making A Difference In Washington (M.W.)

I have, with wise counsel from colleagues, Washington watchdogs and grassroots activists around the country, worked up a year-end list of Most Valuable Progressives. The project initially highlighted dissenters against unnecessary wars, unfair economic policies and assaults on civil liberties, and has now expanded to recognize social and cultural interventions.

Don't Overlook India's Consumer Market For China's (M.W.)

As a percentage of GDP, Chinese consumption is the lowest of any major economy in the world, at less than one third. In fact, almost all of China's impressive economic growth this year has come from infrastructure spending, as well as investment speculation in assets such as property. Instead, it is India that could provide the greater pot of treasure at the end of the rainbow for multinationals targeting Asian consumers.

Reaction To Senate Passage Of The Health Care Bill (M.W.)

Remarks on the Senate's passage of health care legislation Thursday.

For Their Next Trick (M.W.)

Look for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.

The Hospital That Could Cure Health Care (M.W.)

The Cleveland Clinic is a model of high-quality, cost-efficient medicine in action, that has miniaturized robotic tools that can repair a heart valve, a computer system that allows doctors to read patients' charts from anywhere in the world, and the last word in networked, interactive supply closets. A century after Henry Ford began building cars on an assembly line, the hospital has brought that technique to medicine, updated to reflect the latest thinking on "continuous-cycle improvement."

2009: The Year The Cubicle Died (M.W.)

Two years of the Great Recession have done more to liberate workers from their offices than a decade of stressed-out employees pleading to telecommute. Dilberts worldwide are losing their cubes. When executives at Unilever noticed that much of their office space was unused, they took away 36% of their employees’ personal space. The offices now feature “agile” space: a largely open office where workers rearrange themselves throughout the day depending upon their tasks. They can collaborate with one another while sitting at a table, take a break in a curvy “vitality” space or concentrate alone in a small individual work area.

Goldman Deliberately Bundled And Sold Bad Debt, Then Bet Against It To Profit (M.W.)

Goldman’s own clients who bought them, however, were less fortunate. Pension funds and insurance companies lost billions on securities that were marketed as solid investments, according to former Goldman employees with direct knowledge of the deals. Goldman was not the only firm that peddled these complex securities — known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs — and then made financial bets against them. How these disastrously performing securities were devised is now the subject of scrutiny by investigators in Congress.

$40 Million In Bonuses Paid To Fannie And Freddie, Approved By Treasury (M.W.)

The taxpayer-backed mortgage giants disclosed Thursday that they could pay out as much as $40 million to their top 10 executives for work in 2009.The CEOs - Fannie's Michael Williams and Freddie's Charles Haldeman - are in line to receive as much as $6 million apiece, on an annualized basis. That's a nice chunk of change for running two companies that together lost $72 billion in the first nine months of 2009 and have received $112 billion in Treasury aid. Treasury approved the payouts.

Fed Buys $15 Billion More MBS; 2009 Total At $1.102 Trillion (M.W.)

The Fed bought $15.0 billion net of agency mortgage-backed securities in the latest week, the New York Fed said on its website Thursday.

Congress Raises Debt Ceiling To $12.4 Trillion On Christmas Eve (M.W.)

The Senate's rare Christmas Eve vote, 60-39, follows House passage last week and raises the debt ceiling by $290 billion. The vote split mainly down party lines, with Democrats voting to raise the limit and Republicans voting against doing so. 

Post Office Hostage-Taker Was Angry At The Feds(M.W.)

A man accused of taking three people hostage in a Virginia post office told them he was angry at the federal government because his son had died in Afghanistan and his beloved truck was about to repossessed.

Builders Zero In On Goal Of Energy-Neutral Housing (M.W.)

The green building movement is targeting a goal once thought virtually unattainable: zero net energy use. Dozens of "net zero" and "near net zero" developments -- projects designed to use only about as much power from the public grid as they can save or produce on their own -- have sprung up across the U.S. over the past five years. To reach zero energy use, a building needs to produce its own power such as through solar or wind. With energy costs more than doubling across the U.S. in the past decade, energy-savings measures have become more attractive to builders.

He Works So Others Are Not Homeless (M.W.)

At age 54, Ed Pierce, a former stockbroker, thought his income from rental properties would provide sufficient income to retire. When his tenants told him they couldn't pay their rent, he could have started the eviction process. Instead, he went back to work at a local Walgreens. "These are stand-up guys. Family men. Proud. They paid me before, when they were working. You don't show your faith in words. You do it in deeds."

Mysterious Man Sneaks In To Help (M.W.)

The latest chapter in a two-decade-old story of Christmastime goodwill has played out again at an Indiana disability rehab center. Since 1990, the anonymous benefactor, who gives only his first name, has donated nearly $65,000. Almost all of the gifts have been preceded by a phone call and hint that a package is waiting somewhere on the center's property. "It's really just the perfect example of the spirit of the season -- giving without expecting recognition in return, giving from the heart, and also making it fun."

A Painting Worth A Thousand Hearts (M.W.)

A North Carolina artist is using his gift for painting to honor homeless people across the state while raising much-needed funds on their behalf.

Modern Day Medicine Woman Helps World's Orphan Children (M.W.)

Dr Jane Aronson is a modern day medicine woman. A caretaker not only to her patients here, but also an ambassador to thousands more overseas. "I've spent the last 20 yrs travelling to orphanages all over the world, to see the conditions that these kids grow up in. So I know when they arrive here how hurt, sad and empty and how yearning they are to love." In this holiday season, families who have already given light to an unwanted child say there is no greater gift.

A Most Meaningful Gift Idea (M.W.)

This time of year I’m always barraged with inquiries about well-run charitable groups doing effective work. In this column, I’m putting aside the larger, well-known aid organizations. They all do fabulous work, but today I want to bring to show-and-tell some organizations laboring in obscurity.

Now Boarding: Flight 1225 To The North Pole (M.W.)

Thanks to the efforts of airline employees and an army of secret Santas, plane loads of seriously ill and/or disadvantaged children have been taking off for the North Pole from Spokane, Chicago, San Antonio, Phoenix and a sleigh-load of other cities around the country. What happens up there? Embedded as an elf, I was able to tag along on Flight 1225 organized by Spokane Fantasy Flight, a non-profit group that invites area shelters and community programs to pick a group of kids who could use “an evening of wonderment and surprise” — and a pile of presents.

Mystery Pair Spark Cascade Of Giving (M.W.)

It played like a scene from a holiday movie — a mystery couple walked into a restaurant, finished their meal and then set off a chain reaction of generosity that lasted for hours. “It was magical. I’ve been here for 10 years, and I’ve never seen anything like that.” The couple started the chain reaction by paying double for their own meal and for the tab of the next table of diners. For the next 5 hours, dozens of patrons paid the favor forward. It’s a true holiday story that proves how a small gesture of kindness can create some magic.

Meet The Hardest Working Santas In America (M.W.)

This is no part-time gig for these St. Nicks. They've carved out a profession warming kids' hearts during the coldest time of year.

War Veterans And Shelter Dogs Healing Together (M.W.)

One of the goals of Pets2Vets is to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder. "Instead of you focusing on yourself and your battle wounds, you focus on the dog. I talk to her. I tell her how I feel. She looks at me like, `Don't worry buddy, everything's going to be all right, and then she licks my face." Dave Sharpe's goal is to extend the program to victims of other traumas. While helping the estimated 10 to12 million cases of PTSD in this country, he says, "Imagine saving the lives of that many dogs and cats, but it is not just the animals who are being saved."

Christmas Around The World (M.W.)

Everyone may celebrate the holidays differently, but the most important part is that they are celebrating. Indeed, when it comes to Christmas, many are the ways that people mark the holidays around the world. Whether it's dressing up like Santa Claus, covering your house with lights, or eating a special meal, the holidays are all about traditions, family, and, hopefully, happiness.

Across The Globe, Heroes Among Us (M.W.)

The year 2009 marks CNN's third annual global search for everyday individuals changing the world. The network has aired weekly profiles of CNN Heroes, chosen from more than 9,000 nominations submitted by viewers in 100 countries. Efren Peñaflorida, the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, had this to say in his acceptance speech: "Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry, Each person has a hidden hero within. You just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need."

7 Comments

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Re: Daily Digest - December 25

you got a ..com (double dot) in your link to the nation url...(MVP's)

Montana Native's picture
Montana Native
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2009
Posts: 162
Re: Daily Digest - December 25

Thanks for your work on Christmas.

jeaninedargis's picture
jeaninedargis
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 13 2009
Posts: 28
Re: Daily Digest - December 25

Link fixed!

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Is it all just a Ponzi scheme?

If you've ever wondered who bought all the treasury debt that was issued this year you will want to read this.

Another great post from FOFOA

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/Sprott%20December.pdf

 

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 160
He Works So Others Are Not Homeless

What a mug!

Why don't his tenants go and get a job at Walgreen?

rocketgirl1's picture
rocketgirl1
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 230
Re: Daily Digest - December 25

Thanks for the DD today, especially the Christmas stories (the United flight to the north pole got me to tear up just a bit)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

bikemonkey's picture
bikemonkey
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2008
Posts: 45
Re: Daily Digest - December 25

Thanks for working on Christmas, you lords of information!

Regardless of our government, the future is starting to look like your latter posts today...local communities, working together, person to person.  This seems to be the basis of much of our country's history.  I see a resurgence of this more each day here in the Pacific Northwest. 

Happy Holidays all...wishing you, yours and your communities a hopeful new year.

Namaste

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