Daily Digest

Daily Digest - January 17

Sunday, January 17, 2010, 10:32 AM
  • Yes, It's Okay to Walk Away from Your Mortgage
  • Inflation 101
  • Google Hackers Targeted Source Code of More Than 30 Companies
  • Big Banks Accused of Short Sale Fraud
  • The End of Retirement
  • Why are They Partying Like it's 1999?
  • The Giant Vampire Squid's Journey to the East
  • Watchdogs Warn of Haiti Relief Scams

Economy

Yes, It's Okay to Walk Away from Your Mortgage (Nickbert)

As many Americans begin to realize that it will be many years (if not decades) before their houses are worth what they owe on them, the idea of walking away from your mortgage is going mainstream. Not surprisingly, the mortgage industry is doing everything it can to prevent this, including telling homeowners that they have a "moral obligation" to pay.

Inflation 101 (Davos)

We want all our readers to understand that inflation is a disaster for society and it only benefits the elite. In fact, we will go even further by stating that inflation is a hidden tax, an insidious crime against the public. It is the easiest way for any government to confiscate the savings of the public and for generations, wealth has been transferred in this manner.

Google Hackers Targeted Source Code of More Than 30 Companies (Brian C.)

A hack attack that targeted Google in December also hit 33 other companies, including financial institutions and defense contractors, and was aimed at stealing source code from the companies, say security researchers at iDefense.

Big Banks Accused of Short Sale Fraud (Ben Johnson)

Just as regulators, lawmakers and all forms of financial oversight boards are talking about new regulations to guard against mortgage fraud and another mortgage meltdown, there appears to be yet a new mortgage fraud out there today, allegedly perpetuated by agents of, yes, the big banks.

The End of Retirement (Ben Johnson)

In his book [The Long Descent], Greer describes how civilizations tend to take decades if not centuries to descend from the pinnacle of their size to the point the last cities are abandoned to the jungle (in the case of the Mayans). Greer convincingly uses history to show that civilizations rarely if ever end by a catastrophic and instant collapse of all their systems at the same time. Instead, they experience mini-collapses followed by stasis or even some recovery.

Why are They Partying Like it's 1999? (Brian C.)

Drumming up CPI... by raising prices

The Giant Vampire Squid's Journey to the East (pinecarr)

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi’s description of Goldman Sachs as a Giant Vampire Squid which wraps itself around its victims draining them of their productivity and profits is chillingly accurate.

Watchdogs Warn of Haiti Relief Scams

U.S. law-enforcement agencies and charity watchdogs have warned that con artists may use Haiti-relief scams to take advantage of an outpouring of generosity after the Haitian earthquake to steal cash and sensitive financial information from potential donors.

19 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

"Co-founder of the Quantum Fund and Chairman of Rogers Holdings, Jim Rogers, spoke with CNBC to discuss the financial state of commodities. What's his view? Well, agricultural commodities will go through the roof and food shortages are coming."

"If the economy ever rebounds then commodity prices will go up because of increased demand. If the economy continues to slump then central banks around the world will continue to print money at vast levels, while commodities will be used as a hedge against inflation. "

 

...........If there is a food crisis make sure you have good fiends to help you out.

 

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

There is a great 1994 interview with James Goldsmith and associated links posted here:

http://solari.com/blog/?p=3309

Discussion of free trade legislation and implications for the world economy and many broader issues. Food for thought considering all that has come to pass since.

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

The LORAN navigation system used by ships and aircraft since the '50s is being shut down as a cost saving measure ($190m/5yrs). It is claimed that other radio based systems can be an effective backup in case of a failure of the satellite-based GPS system. A question I have is - it may be the case that potential backups do exist, but if the equipment and knowledge of how to use them is not widespread how effective would this really be? It seems that transportation/navigation is becoming extremely reliant on GPS and therefore very vulnerable to failure or unavailability of it. I believe the European satellite-based system will not come online for another 4-5 years, and it too would be vulnerable to solar flares, mechanical failure, or random collisions with space junk. Just another example of societies increased reliance on centralized systems that are both very powerful and at the same time vulnerable to random shocks.

Anyone still remember how to read a map? Use a sextant? LOL

http://www.capemaycountyherald.com/article/58288-federal+government+shut+down+loran+stations

rhare's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

in case of a failure of the satellite-based GPS system

Hmm, remember this going around a few months ago:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/mobile-gadgeteer/?p=1799

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4318471.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/19/gps-close-to-breakdown

 

 

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britinbe
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17
CB wrote:

There is a great 1994 interview with James Goldsmith and associated links posted here:

http://solari.com/blog/?p=3309

Discussion of free trade legislation and implications for the world economy and many broader issues. Food for thought considering all that has come to pass since.

Good find CB.

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GrouchoMarxist
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17
GregRoberts posted this the other day (15 Jan)  - I am amazed no one has commented on this - particularly considering this site encourages advertisers of ....er gold bullion.
Anyone else got anything on this story? What does Peter Schiff make of it I wonder or Ron Paul?
I'm investing all my gold in tungsten - price sure to go up if this continues.

Fake gold bars in Bank of England and Fort Knox

http://www.daily.pk/fake-gold-bars-in-bank-of-england-and-fort-knox-14477/

 

How could you explain this to a Martian (if one could find a Martian stupid enough and bored enough to want to listen to a human) how could one explain why we use tungsten-tipped drills to dig out all the gold and then .....er......hide the gold in strong underground bunkers where no one can ever see it; then gold-plate the tungsten to pretend it was gold bullion.  Isn't tungsten more useful than gold? You can do things with it - like harden drill bits or bullet tips. What's the point of digging all that gold (and permantly consuming all that oil in the process) to crush tons of rocks to extract tiny amounts of gold - which dosn't t get used for anything but is instead hidden away in vaults and where no audit is permissible?

I don't get it. Do you?

GrouchoMartian

 

 

Ken C's picture
Ken C
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17
GrouchoMarxist wrote:
GregRoberts posted this the other day (15 Jan)  - I am amazed no one has commented on this - particularly considering this site encourages advertisers of ....er gold bullion.
Anyone else got anything on this story? What does Peter Schiff make of it I wonder or Ron Paul?
I'm investing all my gold in tungsten - price sure to go up if this continues.

Fake gold bars in Bank of England and Fort Knox

http://www.daily.pk/fake-gold-bars-in-bank-of-england-and-fort-knox-14477/

 

How could you explain this to a Martian (if one could find a Martian stupid enough and bored enough to want to listen to a human) how could one explain why we use tungsten-tipped drills to dig out all the gold and then .....er......hide the gold in strong underground bunkers where no one can ever see it; then gold-plate the tungsten to pretend it was gold bullion.  Isn't tungsten more useful than gold? You can do things with it - like harden drill bits or bullet tips. What's the point of digging all that gold (and permantly consuming all that oil in the process) to crush tons of rocks to extract tiny amounts of gold - which dosn't t get used for anything but is instead hidden away in vaults and where no audit is permissible?

I don't get it. Do you?

GrouchoMartian

 

 

 

this was discussed at length Here

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/tungsten-salted-gold-investment-scam...

and it seemed that the conclusion was that it was highly unlikely that tungsten bars would have been a significant problem.

 

Ken

 

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

GM, there was this thread in the forum sometime back:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/tungsten-salted-gold-investment-scam-century/31370

There wasn't any further news coverage that I am aware of and the article Greg posted doesn't add anything new really. Most people wrote it off as similar to the bearer bond story of last fall. If it really did happen then how would we know? We can't even audit the Federal reserve books - how would anyone get permission to check Fort Knox in a meaningful fashion? We have a faith-based economy anyway, so what difference does it make if is solid gold or gold covered tungsten stored in the vault... LOL

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

 

What's the point of digging all that gold (and permantly consuming all that oil in the process) to crush tons of rocks to extract tiny amounts of gold - which dosn't t get used for anything but is instead hidden away in vaults and where no audit is permissible?

I don't get it. Do you?

Word on the street has it that Gold bullets are the only thing that works on those Martians LOL. Gold use & value still boogles my mind also. If it didn't have such a history of retaining value it probably wouldn't have near the value we are seeing.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - January 17
GrouchoMartian
  • Density of gold : 19.30 g/cm³

  • Density of Tungsten : 19.25 g/cm³

  • So a 400 oz bar would be 1.04 oz light.Wink

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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

So a 400 oz bar would be 1.04 oz light

...or 0.26% too large....

Certainly detectable, but one would have to be pretty diligent in their measurements.

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Stephen Lark
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GrouchoMarxist's picture
GrouchoMarxist
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17; Tungsten salted gold

Kenc &  CB,  thanks for the link, I hadn't seen it (hadn't bothered to search this site...)

Grouch.

rhare's picture
rhare
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

StephenLark wrote about "GPS satellite failure":

This story was debunked a few months ago.

Thanks for posting that.  I remember the original story but never saw anything more on it.  I wonder what happens if we collapse the dollar?  Will we still be launching satellites?

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

Gaddo, the purity of the gold is allowed to vary a bit, the weight of the bars varies, the tungsten bars are covered with some amount of gold - I think this technical argument does not hold water - so to speak. There are a number of reasons that this might be difficult to accomplish, but I don't believe that producing bars that appeared legitimate is one of them.

As for potential problems with the GPS system - while the news item insinuating that the system was about to fail may have been a ploy to ensure funding maintaining the system is not a trivial task and it is vulnerable to natural forces. Being completely dependent on such a system is a two edged sword. Ever been in a retail establishment when their credit system goes down and they can't even do cash transactions?

Gado's picture
Gado
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

Gaddo, the purity of the gold is allowed to vary a bit, the weight of the bars varies, the tungsten bars are covered with some amount of gold - I think this technical argument does not hold water - so to speak. There are a number of reasons that this might be difficult to accomplish, but I don't believe that producing bars that appeared legitimate is one of them.

CB

As I haven't been able to get my hands on too many of these 400 oz bars to play with, I will concede that the counterfeiters probably have a lot of expertise that is currently unknown, that would enable them to get away with it . Having played with tungsten and tungsten carbide I can assure you they wont be backyarders.

Farmer Brown's picture
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"Mainstream" investment expert warns of Peak commodities

and from CNBC, no less:  http://www.cnbc.com/id/34879248/

How to Deal With the Coming Economic Crisis

Published: Friday, 15 Jan 2010 | 12:25 PM ET
Text Size
By: Sheyna Steiner, Bankrate.com

 Investment expert and author Stephen Leeb believes we're entering the beginning of the end when it comes to the commodities that hold our modern world together. Resources such as oil, copper and iron are being rapidly depleted -- and with the needs of developing countries, demands are only increasing.

 The economic fallout from the end of technology as we know it today will be enormous, he says. Many of the resources used in manufacturing today are interconnected. Oil powers much of the world: It fuels our cars and is used in the mining of other materials -- for instance iron ore and copper, each of which is a finite resource that is vital to manufacturing. The depletion of natural resources will have a profound effect on the way things are made.

Bankrate talked to Leeb about his perspective of the world and how investors could protect themselves.

Q; You make some pretty dire predictions about natural resource shortages. Why is that, and when will they begin?

A: I think they're starting already. Oil is over $80 a barrel and you have 10 percent unemployment in the country -- you're already seeing it. With U.S. demand for energy down, energy prices -- except for natural gas, which is a domestic commodity -- have gone very high. 

And the same thing is true with copper and other commodities. It's quite exceptional to see commodities rise to the extent to which they've risen. In the context of a pretty sharp recession in the developed world, I think you're already seeing this.

The tragedy of it is that we're going to see it more and more because what we haven't figured out, what has not occurred to so many people, is that the green movement or avoiding resource scarcity -- whatever motivates you -- whatever gets you to green, is necessary.

Whether you're an environmentalist or someone who's looking at peak energy or peak other things, green is an answer but green itself is very resource intensive.

That is a quandary that we haven't faced up to in any way, shape or form. We just don't get it. There are a lot of major dots that have to be connected and we haven't started that. We are really far behind.

And really far behind the Chinese, for that matter -- way, way, way behind in switching to green technology. In 2010 they're already the leading producer of hydroelectric and solar power and by 2011 will be the leading producer of wind power. They are literally outspending us on their smart grid by 200 to one. They have allocated $670 billion to their smart grid expenditures, their electric grid. We're spending about $3.5 billion.

This is not good.

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Re: Daily Digest - January 17

Sheesh. Couldn't Peter of picked a less noisy place to talk?

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