Daily Digest

Daily Digest - June 22

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 9:45 AM
  • Monetary Mark-Up – China Floats the World!
  • China Sends Mixed Signals on Currency
  • How White-Collar Criminals Exploit Your Vanity – Beware of Compliments
  • Cameron Bets on Growth From Austerity as U.S. Delays
  • India Targets Double Digit Growth In 2012
  • Jim Rickards – G20 & Revaluation of Gold
  • China Rare Earth Limits Said to Be Targeted by U.S.
  • The BP Oil Spill May Be Bad, But This Cover Up is Far More Deadly
  • Oil Threatens Key Gulf Algae And Its Ecosystem


Monetary Mark-Up – China Floats the World! (Ilene)

Despite the rhetoric, there was no change in the official Yuan peg (but the currency traded higher) and, of course, the timing of making the announcement right before the G20 meeting (next weekend) is to take the issue off the table as things were really coming to a head with the US on the currency issue.

China Sends Mixed Signals on Currency (jdargis)

Early Tuesday, China’s central bank set a key daily reference rate for the renminbi at its highest level in five years, up 0.4 percent from Monday and in line with that day’s gain in over-the-counter trading. It was a closely watched move that suggested Beijing was open to a further rise in the exchange rate.

But by midday, financial news agencies were quoting unidentified currency traders saying that large state-owned banks were buying dollars for renminbi. The news spooked investors and suggested that the Chinese central bank was trying to limit any gains in the currency.

How White-Collar Criminals Exploit Your Vanity – Beware of Compliments (Ilene)

White-collar criminals use a combination of charm and deceit to achieve their objectives. The more likable and charming that I was as a criminal, the easier it was for me to successfully lie to my victims and deceive them. People are far less skeptical of people who they like and the white-collar criminals know it and exploit it.

Cameron Bets on Growth From Austerity as U.S. Delays (SolidSwede)

“There have been mountains of evidence in which cutting government spending has been associated with increases in growth, but people still don’t quite get it,” Alesina said in an interview. He made a presentation to European finance chiefs on the topic during their April meeting in Madrid.

India Targets Double Digit Growth In 2012 (pinecarr)

India is back on a high growth trajectory," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a presentation here Monday to the Institute of International Finance, a global association created by 38 banks of leading industrialized countries in 1983 in response to the international debt crisis of the early 1980s.

Jim Rickards – G20 & Revaluation of Gold (pinecarr)

There's a growing sense that the current global economic "Plan A", i.e. substitute public debt for private debt and use fiscal stimulus to keep economies afloat until private demand kicks in, has failed. Not surprising to many of us; it was destined to fail, but now the reality of that is becoming undeniable so leaders are scrambling for plan B.


China Rare Earth Limits Said to Be Targeted by U.S. (jdargis)

China controls 97 percent of production of the materials, known as rare earth elements, giving it “market power” over the U.S., the Government Accountability Office said in a report in April. China restricts exports of the elements through quotas and export taxes of as much as 25 percent, the GAO said.


The BP Oil Spill May Be Bad, But This Cover Up is Far More Deadly (gallantfarms)

Ji has brought together a good deal of toxicological information, all research-based, about the environmental impact of using oil dispersant chemicals, particularly the agents BP has chosen, which are the WORST possible dispersants for the environment. Our very planet is in peril, as a result.

Oil Threatens Key Gulf Algae And Its Ecosystem (jdargis)

This Sargassum algae - sometimes called sea holly or Gulf weed - is key to hundreds of species of marine life in the Gulf. Now, the oil is threatening to suffocate it, dealing a blow to fisheries and the ecosystem that scientists say may take years to recover. And as the algae dies in the Gulf, less of the vital plant will reach the Sargasso Sea -- some 3,000 miles away through the loop current -- potentially harming that ecosystem as well.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]


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Re: Daily Digest - June 22

"MADRID (Dow Jones)--Shares in Spanish banks were lower Tuesday after credit rating agency Standard & Poor's warned that more of the country's real-estate developers are likely to fail, leading to higher credit losses on lending to the sector.

S&P in a report Monday raised its credit loss assumptions for the banking sector to EUR99.3 billion between 2009 and 2011, up EUR17.7 billion from an earlier estimate in September last year. The increase is mainly due to a rise in the agency's loss assumptions for the banks' real-estate loan portfolios, as well as more pessimistic forecasts for economic growth in the next few years."

"SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Spain will need to narrow its budget deficit to retain its Aaa sovereign credit rating, a Moody's Investors Service analyst said Tuesday, underscoring pressure on European countries to fix their public finances.

Moody's Investors Service Sovereign Risk Unit Managing Director Bart Oosterveld said the ratings firm discussed with Spain last year the need to bring its budget deficit "back down" and that need remains a key consideration in its view on the country's rating. "

"Takahira Ogawa, director of sovereign ratings at Standard & Poor’s in Singapore, said that while the strategy is “better than nothing,” the country’s credit quality is “still eroding slowly” and it would be difficult to earn investors’ confidence with the plan. He said Standard & Poor’s maintains its “negative” outlook on Japan’s AA credit rating."

"OAKLAND, Calif.—Oakland city council members are proposing to lay off up to a quarter of the city's police officers to help close a severe budget shortfall.

Four members released a budget proposal Monday asking their colleagues to choose one of two options to close a $31 million budget deficit, including releasing up to 200 officers from the 776-officer department."

"Four days before the end of the school year, Elgin Area School District U-46 was looking at a $58.4 million deficit, school board members heard Monday.

The district's three major operating funds - education, transportation and operations - had a collective $83.9 million deficit.

Staggering as those numbers might be, it's no great surprise for the 41,000-student district, given Illinois' current $1.3 million backlog of bills to schools across the state.

According to an "outstanding state revenue" list obtained by the Daily Herald, the state now owes U-46 more than $29 million.

Some missing payments stretch as far back as October.

For instance, the state has not made a payment toward the district's free breakfast and lunch program for impoverished students since Oct. 13. U-46 is missing $48,000 in program funds."

"Thousands of brides and grooms-to-be planning a beach wedding in Florida have been forced to cancel their arrangements due to the oil spill which is affecting much of the Gulf coastline.

The Panhandle area of Florida has been a popular choice for beach weddings in the States for many years. In fact, this part of the coastline has hosted so many beach nuptials that it’s been dubbed “the Las Vegas of beach weddings.”

However the US oil spill is having a detrimental effect on the wedding business on the Gulf Coast this year with some wedding industry suppliers reporting a 50% drop in the number of bookings for the peak wedding season."

"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Resales of U.S. homes and condos fell 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million in May despite the boost from a federal tax credit for home buyers, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting sales to rise about 6% to a 6.11 annual rate, theorizing that the expiration of the tax credit at the end of June would force some buyers to rush ahead. "

"LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Russia decreased natural-gas supplies to Belarus by 30% on Tuesday, deepening cuts put in place the previous day and escalating the two countries' dispute over unpaid debt, according to media reports.

State-controlled gas firm Gazprom reduced deliveries to Minsk by 15% on Monday and said the reduction may eventually reach up to 85%.

The two sides have been unable to resolve a dispute over unpaid debts. Gazprom says that Belarus owes it $192 million for gas it has already consumed, while Belarus says that Gazprom owes it $260 million in gas transit fees, according to reports. "

  • Other news and headlines:

Central Banks Show Euro Losing Appeal as Loonie Gains

More homeowners exit Obama's mortgage aid program

San Jose police, firefighters tell Mayor Reed 'no' on pay cut (hundreds of layoffs)

Bond Risk Rises in Europe as Bank Funding Concerns Resurface

Another $72 million short, Colorado's budget nears the edge

BP Oil Disaster Costs US State Pensions $1.4 Billion in Value

Romania: Moody's concerned on banks' asset quality

City facing $100 million deficit (Miami)

Lithuania c.bank warns of rising debt service costs

Obama to warn U.S. health insurers against rate jumps

TARP would end up costing taxpayers $105 billion (Geithner)


....................Shorter news post today, mainly because Google news (sorted by date) doesn't seem to be picking up news from the last 24 hours as well as usual. Example: Use this search and scroll down  on page 2. News that is a little more than 1 hour old isn't being picked up.

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Damon Vrable, our Strabes on Economic Edge

Excellent article Damon!  And your take on the issue is exactly as I took it when the "charity giveaway" was announced.  I will say, I had no idea this was kicked off at a dinner with Rockefeller present!  That's actually really funny (in a sick way).  I'm going to have to do some more research on this dinner to see if anyone I know was there.....maybe get some scoop!haha

Great article again Strabes!



Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are acting as if they’ve discovered the fountain of youth as they are now telling other billionaires they don’t need to spend their lives addictively pursuing and hoarding wealth. On the surface this is noble, even though most people learned such things from their pet as a kid. They’re inspiring other billionaires to follow their lead. So we’re supposed to cheer right? Many people are cheering. The comments range from “thank you!” and “bless you Warren!” to the more worshipful “you are a hero!” and “this proves Microsoft’s commitment to humanity!”

Wow—the power of corporate PR. It’s unfortunate that snake oil has always been a bestseller. So rather than cheer, I’ll give a different perspective on what this billionaire PR campaign might be all about.

The real reason Gates and Buffett are doing this in the media now is because they’re still doing what they’ve done their whole adult lives—serving their bosses, the moneyed establishment behind Wall Street. While the exponential growth machine was inflating, the establishment wanted them addictively pursuing EPS and share growth, and they dutifully did so better than most. But now that the machine is shutting down, the fact is that billionaires won’t be able to pursue wealth—the game is over for a while. And now that we’re headed for a major dose of deflation that will cause a lot of pain for a lot of people, the establishment wants Gates and Buffett on TV talking about charity. Why?

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Re: Daily Digest - June 22

Kuwait's population growth rate is 2.4%


Kuwait cuts working hours to save power
James Calderwood, Foreign Correspondent

Kuwait's minister of electricity and water, Bader al Shuraian, says the power shortage is a `national crisis'. Gustavo Ferrari / AP Photo

KUWAIT CITY // Parliament approved a recommendation by several members of the House yesterday to cut the working day for public sector employees during the summer in order to conserve energy, as Kuwait faces major electricity shortages.

Employees, who usually finish the working day between 1pm and 2pm, will begin at 7am and finish at 12pm.

"The power crisis is a national crisis," Bader al Shuraian, the minister of electricity and water, told the National Assembly during the session. "Citizens need to understand all aspects of the problem, realise their part, and take part
in the solutions."

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Re: Daily Digest - June 22

Mercola presents  a rather sobering explanation on the use of Corexit by BP.

This is approved by the EPA??????????

Let me see EPA- Protect environment ...................not

                      FDA- Protect food and drugs.............not

                      DOE- Devise long term strategy for energy needs......................LOL

                      USDA- Subsidize corporate farmers ..................yep

                      etc. etc. etc. etc

I just love our gov. it just keeps looking after us.


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Re: Daily Digest - June 22

A US judge has overturned the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The moratorium was put in place in response to the massive BP oil leak, and put a stop to drilling at 33 exploratory wells.

Now a New Orleans judge has overturned the six-month ban, saying the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasons for it.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says president Barack Obama strongly believes that drilling at such depths does not make any sense and puts the safety of workers at risk.

The court order was a big victory for offshore energy producers including BP, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, whose operations have been hamstrung by the ban.

The companies have been considering relocating their giant drilling rigs to other basins, like Brazil.

The Obama administration says it will appeal against the judge's decision, and offshore oil operators say they will wait until the outcome of that appeal before they restart drilling operations.

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Re: Daily Digest - June 22


One thought that I haven't seen a lot of discussion about in worsening economic times and post-collapse civilization.

Exacerbation of mental health issues, increases in the number of mental health patients, including acute conditions, and the inability of systems to cope:

Desperate psychiatric patients wait
Some wait days in ERs, get no help

"Just since April, more than 230 patients committed to Georgia psychiatric facilities — nearly one of every five — have been forced to wait 24 hours or more before being admitted. At least two waited in emergency rooms for seven days, state records reviewed by the AJC show, and three others spent more than six days in limbo. Many are psychotic or suicidal, a threat to themselves or others — a volatile group of people not getting the psychiatric care they need."

How will transition movements handle mental health issues amongst their own, including people who turn psychotic or violent or suicidal due to the mental, emotional, psychological, economic, societal stresses? A lot of people are fragile already.



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