Daily Digest

Daily Digest - December 7

Monday, December 7, 2009, 12:06 PM
  • Ethics Rules For Congress Have Glaring Loopholes
  • Stock Rally-- Rest Or Recharge?
  • Get Ready For The Dubai Shockwave
  • Requiem For The Dollar
  • The "Too Big To Fail" Debate
  • Selling The Kitchen Sink To Try And Save The Roof
  • BIS Sounding The Alarm About Low Interest Rates
  • The New Gold
  • Jobless Professionals Desperate For Holiday Work
  • Quarter Of Workforce Could Could End Up Becoming Temps
  • China Turns To Madison Ave For An Image Makeover
  • Will Big Business Save The Earth?

Economy

Ethics Rules For Congress Have Glaring Loopholes (M.W.)

Despite changes intended to curb Congressional junkets, some lawmakers and even their families continue to take trips hosted by private groups and companies that revel in their access to Washington power brokers. Rules enacted with great fanfare after scandals involving the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff still have glaring loopholes.

Stock Rally-- Rest Or Recharge? (M.W.)

Signs that the battered labor market is starting to heal lifted stocks last week. But with Wall Street at 14-month highs, the advance could be set to stall out.

Get Ready For The Dubai Shockwave (M.W.)

Trillions of dollars now counted as assets on balance sheets of banks worldwide and the US are actually liabilities. What do you think is going to happen to stockmarkets and the stock prices of these banks when the world wakes up and acknowledges this reality - when the shockwave hits? Small wonder the charts for Goldman and J P Morgan look very like the market charts before the '87 crash, but that was "small potatoes" compared to what is coming down the pipe this time.

Requiem For The Dollar (M.W.)

Ben Bernanke doesn't know how lucky he is. Tongue-lashings are one thing. The hangman's noose is another. Section 19 of this country's founding monetary legislation, the Coinage Act of 1792, prescribed the death penalty for any official who fraudulently debased the people's money. Was the massive printing of dollar bills to lift Wall St off the rocks last year a kind of fraud? Not even Ron Paul is calling for the Fed chairman's head.

The "Too Big To Fail" Debate (M.W.)

The issue of breaking up banks deemed "too big to fail" has been discussed for months as lawmakers and regulators look to reduce the chances of a meltdown like the recent financial crisis, which cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and hobbled major financial institutions.

Selling The Kitchen Sink To Try And Save The Roof (M.W.)

Deputy Aviles was there on behalf of Wells Fargo to evict the homeowners. Every cabinet, sink, toilet, light fixture and even light-switch faceplate was gone. Later, the daughter explained, "We've sold cars, furniture, everything we could to put food on the table." It's one of many stories deputies have heard as the recession continues its forlorn sweep through America.

BIS Sounding The Alarm About Low Interest Rates (M.W.)

The Bank of International Settlements is taking a more public stand on a matter it took up with central bankers privately prior to the crisis, namely, that overly low interest rates stoke asset bubbles.

The New Gold (M.W.)

Across the globe, savvy investors are snapping up loose diamond stones to shore up for the future.

Jobless Professionals Desperate For Holiday Work (M.W.)

The pay is low, the jobs temporary. And the work is hardly equal to their experience or expertise. Yet the nation's unemployment crisis left these people jobless so much longer than they'd expected that many count themselves fortunate to have anything.

Quarter Of Workforce Could Could End Up Becoming Temps (M.W.)

Temporary workers could constitute up to 25% of the workforce in a few years. Contract employees who sign on with a firm for several weeks or months constitute about 8% of the workforce. Temps can easily be let go and can cost up to 30% less than regular employees because they don't receive benefits such as health insurance or unemployment – a key selling point in a fragile economy.

China Turns To Madison Ave For An Image Makeover (M.W.)

Plagued by recalls of toxic toys, poison pet food and other products, and facing rising trade barriers for its exports, China has hired a NY ad agency to help burnish its image. In Beijing's first global ad campaign, a TV commercial now airing on CNN in the U.S., Asia and Europe, portrays satisfied consumers enjoying Chinese-made goods.

Will Big Business Save The Earth? (M.W.)

The embrace of environmental concerns by chief executives has accelerated recently for several reasons. Lower consumption of environmental resources saves money in the short run. Maintaining sustainable resource levels and not polluting saves money in the long run. And a clean image — one attained by, say, avoiding oil spills and other environmental disasters — reduces criticism from employees, consumers and government.

18 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

"Under the deal, the Detroit Federation of Teachers would not get a pay cut, but $250 pre-tax from most paychecks -- or about $150 after taxes -- would go into a Termination Incentive Plan (TIP) account. The pretax $10,000 withdrawal would look like a $6,000 take-home reduction. The full $10,000 would be returned when the employee leaves.

The proposed 3-year contract would save the district $62.8 million and there would be no need to declare bankruptcy, according to DPS. The district had a $219-million deficit as of June 30."

 

"Johnson warned the union that rejecting the agreement could lead DPS into bankruptcy, which would put the union in danger of losing 1,500 jobs, seniority, longevity pay, yearly increases and other benefits."

 

"Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com is predicting that foreclosure sales will pick up again in the New Year and as a result property prices will resume their decline."

 

"Across the city, monthly bulk trash pickups are now done every other month. In some places, they may not come at all.

Houston is facing one of the most difficult budget sessions in its history. Five years of deficit spending have largely depleted reserve funds and left the city vulnerable to rising expenses and falling tax revenue.

Controller Annise Parker, who's also a mayoral candidate, projects spending for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, will outpace revenue by almost $146 million, while the city's finance department estimates the gap is closer to $131 million, according to last month's finance report."

"Houston won't solve its budget problems without first solving its pension problems, but that's a daunting task.

Much of the past progress on pension funding was wiped out by last year's market declines. As of Oct. 31, the city still had more than $1.8 billion in unfunded pension liabilities benefit costs continue to rise.

Closing the shortfall means making difficult choices: raise revenue, cut spending or both."

"Taxpayers in the county may want to buckle their seat belts for the 2012-13 school year.

That's when the Public School Employees Retirement System's employer contribution rate is projected to soar nearly 25 percent for school districts across the state.

The contribution rate for school districts now is 4.78 percent. It is projected to rise to 29.55 percent in the 2012-13 school year."

"Nebraska businesses will be hit with a sharp increase in their tax bills next year to replenish the state's unemployment fund after a year in which state jobless benefit payments more than doubled to $190 million."

"Big Island contractor Hinchcliff Drywall Construction will see a more than six-fold increase in its payroll taxes next year, which will soar from the current $18,500 annually to $116,350.

The tax hike is a result of lingering unemployment that’s caused a quicker than anticipated drain on the state’s jobless fund, as well as the legislatively mandated resetting of payroll taxes to pre-recession levels."

"Employers all over Texas, including those in Waco, may want to watch their mail deliveries closely this week. News about how much more they will pay into the state’s unemployment trust fund will be arriving.

Most employers have been paying $23 per employee annually, “but that will at least double,” said Ann Hatchitt, a spokeswoman for the Texas Workforce Commission.

That means a company with 100 employees that has been paying $2,300 into the fund each year will see that figure rise to $4,600 or more. That’s not a huge amount, but every little bit counts during lean economic times."

"Business owners could bear the brunt of yet another fiscal problem facing Connecticut, state and community leaders said.

On Oct. 13, the state’s unemployment trust fund, money used to pay benefits to the growing number of laid-off Connecticut workers, went bankrupt. Since then, the state has been borrowing money from the federal government — so far $80 million — to make those unemployment payments.

It’s estimated the state may end up borrowing upwards of $900 million through 2010. The money will have to be repaid, possibly at the expense of the state’s business community through increased unemployment taxes assessed to employers."

"The unemployment fund, severely burdened by the dramatic rise in jobless workers, is now desperately underfunded.

Business leaders are concerned that employers will have to contribute more next year so that the fund can pay the required benefits."

First-timers cram homeless shelters

City Declares Emergency, Opens Up Additional Homeless Warming Shelters

Morris County shelters see growing number of white-collar professionals ...

Funding issues cause concern for homeless shelters

Local Homeless Shelters Fill Up Due To Winter Weather

Homeless shelters expecting overflow

Cold sparks another church to open for homeless

Freezing temps drive homeless shelters to capacity

Packed shelters prepare for cold snap

Long lines for area's homeless shelters

(Reposting after dillonlisa1  posted it earlier)

"Once again the U.S. mint has had to suspend sales of all its one-ounce gold coins, and some fractional ones too, as its supplies of physical gold cannot meet the demand.

Author: Lawrence Williams

Posted: Monday , 07 Dec 2009

LONDON -

"The United States Mint has depleted its inventory of 2009 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion Coins. ... No additional inventory will be made available. As additional information becomes available regarding 2010-dated American Buffalo One Once Gold Bullion Coins, you will be notified." So said a memorandum issued Friday to authorized purchasers of U.S. Mint gold coins and reported by Jim Sinclair."

 

...........On the news gold is down again quite a bit today. Crazy market these days.

Just noticed this one on youtube. Marc Faber has a 7 part presentation from October. The parts that I've listened to are quite good. This one is worth your time to listen to.

From part 4 he talks about inflation vs deflation. One quote: "Inflation is defined as an  increase in the quantity of money and of credit"

Talks about peak oil in part 6 (without using that term)

Again: This is an excellent presentation and shouldn't be missed!

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

In relation to the "Hacked" Emails: FOI2009

Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

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Marc Faber

Yep I listened to the whole thing yesterday. It is worth the listen. Watch out though, I spent the rest of the day walking around the house doing my best Marc Faber impression.

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Gold is not going up...

 GOLD IS NOT GOING UP – PAPER MONEY IS GOING DOWN

http://matterhornassetmanagement.com/2009/12/07/gold-is-not-going-up-paper-money-is-going-down/

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

Congressional Ethics, Quiet Riot, Silent Scream, Clean Coal - it's all the same

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

You can tell how despeerate the deniers are getting by measuring their point size.

Shouting your shrill, hysterical message doesn't make it any more accurate.  I don't think many thinking readers would get much further than "greatest scientific fraud in history,"  Don't know much about history, do you?

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
from ASPO-USA's PO Review
7 Dec 2009
 
The Natural Gas Bubble

With the recession reducing world-wide demand for natural gas by some 5 percent this year,
production increasing in some regions, and storage facilities brimming, natural gas prices have fallen
markedly in the past 18 months. Reaching a high of $13 in the summer of 2008, spot prices fell as
low as $2.41 this fall. Unlike for oil, there has not yet been a significant price rebound for spot natural
gas. The Paris-based natural gas association, Cedigaz, forecasts that increasing supplies and the
construction of 57 billion cubic meters of liquefaction capacity will outpace demand over the next five
or six years, keeping prices low.
Last week natural gas in US storage facilities increased by 2 billion cubic feet at a time when
inventories normally drop by 43 bcf due to colder weather. Natural gas storage in the US is now 15
percent above the five-year average. This report sent prices as low as $4.43 per million BTUs. 
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum will meet this week to discuss ways of “stabilizing” (read
increasing) natural gas prices. This may be more difficult to achieve as most gas is still delivered by
pipeline or under long-term contracts. The European utilities take most of their gas under contracts
that are tied to oil prices, and include a minimum annual purchase. The problem comes with the
rapidly growing LNG market that is more closely tied to the unusually low spot prices. The gas
exporters argue that they sell a clean fuel that should sell at a premium. 

The major tool for balancing supply and demand is to increase underground storage which now
amounts to 10.7 percent of annual world consumption at 683 sites. Storage capacity for natural gas
will grow slowly, however. An additional 200 storage projects are under construction which will
increase world-wide capacity by 25 percent over the next five years.
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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
green_achers wrote:

You can tell how despeerate the deniers are getting by measuring their point size.

Shouting your shrill, hysterical message doesn't make it any more accurate.  I don't think many thinking readers would get much further than "greatest scientific fraud in history,"  Don't know much about history, do you?

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
green_achers wrote:

You can tell how despeerate the deniers are getting by measuring their point size.

Shouting your shrill, hysterical message doesn't make it any more accurate.  I don't think many thinking readers would get much further than "greatest scientific fraud in history,"  Don't know much about history, do you?

Hey Here's a new idea, how about both sides just yell insults at each other,

....................Who cares about discussing the rather unimportant issue of what really constitutes proper scientific method when claiming the the science is settled...................... P.S. Dang how do you get a "enter" to work in here now ???

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

Scientists create paper batteries

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/08/2764845.htm?section=justin

Ordinary paper could one day be used as a lightweight battery to power the devices that are now enabling the printed word to be eclipsed by e-mail, e-books and online news.

Scientists at Stanford University in California report they have successfully turned paper coated with ink made of silver and carbon nanomaterials into a "paper battery" that holds promise for new types of lightweight, high-performance energy storage.

The same feature that helps ink adhere to paper allows it to hold onto the single-walled carbon nanotubes and silver nanowire films.

Earlier research found that silicon nanowires could be used to make batteries 10 times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries now used to power devices such as laptop computers.

"Taking advantage of the mature paper technology, low cost, light and high-performance energy-storage are realised by using conductive paper as current collectors and electrodes," the scientists said in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This type of battery could be useful in powering electric or hybrid vehicles, would make electronics lighter weight and longer lasting, and might even lead someday to paper electronics, the scientists said. Battery weight and life have been an obstacle to commercial viability of electric-powered cars and trucks.

"Society really needs a low-cost, high-performance energy storage device, such as batteries and simple supercapacitors," Stanford assistant professor of materials science and engineering and paper co-author Yi Cui said.

Professor Cui said in an email that in addition to being useful for portable electronics and wearable electronics: "Our paper supercapacitors can be used for all kinds of applications that require instant high power."

"Since our paper batteries and supercapacitors can be very low cost, they are also good for grid-connected energy storage," he said.

Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, said the technology could be commercialised within a short time.

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
Ncrs wrote:

In relation to the "Hacked" Emails: FOI2009

Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

IMHO this was a well written explaination of why the MWP was to be glossed over and minimized in the discussion of the so-called AGW.  Thank-you NCRS for the link

 

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

This guy is coming out with some great articles!

http://rawstory.com/2009/12/taibbi-obamas-big-sellout/

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
Ncrs wrote:

In relation to the "Hacked" Emails: FOI2009

Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

Ncrs, thank you for taking the time to register to CM and post this link.  Welcome.

db

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page34?oid=94091&sn=Detail

The Marc Faber was a great watch THANKS!

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
Ncrs wrote:

In relation to the "Hacked" Emails: FOI2009

Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

Haha, thanks for the good laugh... it's funny watching people going to such lengths trying to straighten errors of not more than 1 C when we are talking about 2~6 C increases in the future...

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

"It's going to be years until we get back to where we were in 2007, but this report is a clear sign that the labor market is improving," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.

So now we see that an 11,000 drop in employment is taken as an improvement in the labor market. At best, it can be taken as a clear sign that the labour market is deteriorating less quickly than previously. I guess that is good news, of sorts, but it is not a clear sign of an improvement in the labor market. That will only happen when jobs are gained, not lost.

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sofistek
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Re: Daily Digest - December 7
gtazman wrote:
Ncrs wrote:

In relation to the "Hacked" Emails: FOI2009

Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline

IMHO this was a well written explaination of why the MWP was to be glossed over and minimized in the discussion of the so-called AGW.  Thank-you NCRS for the link

 

The blog post assumes that the MWP was at least a hemisphere-wide event, or even a global one. If it wasn't, then the analysis breaks down. The idea that temperatures have risen alarmingly, since the industrial age started, has been supported by multiple studies. A single blog post, no matter how eloquently written, does not prove a conspiracy of almost unimagineable proportions, and does not rubbish decades of peer reviewed research.

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Re: Daily Digest - December 7

Government 'Out of Bullets,' Consumers in Trouble: Whitney

http://www.cnbc.com/id/34325134

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