Daily Digest

Daily Digest - June 3

Thursday, June 3, 2010, 9:56 AM
  • Is Mickey Mouse Missing Mortgage Payments?
  • Is Total Financial Meltdown of the U.S. Economy Still Preventable?
  • Warning Signs Of Full Spectrum Collapse Are Everywhere
  • Want Ad: Unemployed Need Not Apply
  • As Economy Heals, Families Go Hungry
  • Caja Madrid Said To Ask For 3 Billion Euros Of Support
  • World Currency Unit Intended To Rival U.S. Dollar For Supremacy
  • The Euro Is Washed Up — But the Dollar Is No Better
  • PIGS - Less Euro At The Door
  • Spillonomics - Underestimating Risk
  • Our Fix-It Faith and the Oil Spill
  • Presenting A Dutch Proposal To Stop GoM Oil Spill "Within Days"
  • UN Urges Global Move To Meat And Dairy-Free Diet
  • Nigeria's Agony Dwarfs The Gulf Oil Spill. The US And Europe Ignore It
  • Feds Hit Farm For Pollution


Is Mickey Mouse Missing Mortgage Payments? (Ilene)

Euro Disney still has €1.9bn (£1.6bn) of the debt used to fund the park’s construction on its books. The company made a €26.4m operating profit on revenue of €1.2bn in the year ending September 30 2009 but paying €89.2m of financial charges on the debt left it with a €63m net loss.

Is Total Financial Meltdown of the U.S. Economy Still Preventable? (elsur)

“Meltup” was released last month by the National Inflation Association, and it is a phenomenally important film. If you haven’t yet watched it in its entirety, I suggest investing an hour to do so. It explains in no uncertain terms that the U.S. economy is teetering on the edge of a currency crisis that will lead to hyperinflation.

Warning Signs Of Full Spectrum Collapse Are Everywhere (Jamie D.)

All eyes have been focused on the Greek situation for the past month, but we cannot let this one storm of the financial crisis distract us from the other threats that lie just beyond the horizon. There are many far more pressing concerns than insolvency in Southern Europe, though we’ve been drowning in “Greek Contagion” rhetoric 24/7 and it is difficult to think of much else. The idea that instability in Greece is somehow responsible for instability in the rest of the EU is simply unfounded. Most nations in the EU were on the verge of bankruptcy long before the sovereign debt crisis in Greece began.

Want Ad: Unemployed Need Not Apply (Ben Johnson)

During a phone conversation with Atlanta station WXIA, Howard Lawson, of "The People Place," refused to discuss the Sony Ericsson listing specifically, but he did say that he has seen a trend of employers looking to hire employed applicants.

Recruitment experts say many companies are opting out of so-called passive job seekers for a number of reasons. First, it could take longer to get them up to speed in professions that require constant training. They also say people who have not been laid off are believed to be the best in the fields, therefore more valuable.

As Economy Heals, Families Go Hungry (Steve M.)

Last year's unemployment high for the Wichita area was about 29,000, double what it was the previous year. While there are signs the local economy is improving, there are many who are just now reaching the end of their resources after being laid off or having their hours cut. The Kansas Food Bank, which serves 85 counties in the state, has seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in demand for food from last year, said Brian Walker, the nonprofit's president and CEO.

Caja Madrid Said To Ask For 3 Billion Euros Of Support (tomadkins)

A string of downgrades hit the caja sector from S&P and Fitch The savings bank said last Friday it was in talks to merge with several regional cajas -- Caja de Avila, Caja Insular de Canarias, Caixa Laietana, Caja Segovia and Caja Rioja.

More bad news emerged for Caja Madrid when Standard & Poor's placed its A/A-1 long and short-term ratings on the savings bank on CreditWatch negative, saying it expects "pronounced pressure" on its operating profit this year and into 2011.

World Currency Unit Intended To Rival U.S. Dollar For Supremacy (tomadkins)

Its value is determined as a derivative of the exchange rates of the world's top 20 currencies, as measured by GDP, in order to reduce the risk associated with exchange rate fluctuations. The new currency is similar to the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights (SDR), which the IMF uses as a reserve asset to supplement the currency reserves of its member states.

The Euro Is Washed Up — But the Dollar Is No Better (pinecarr)

You’ve likely read in the press about debt to GDP figures like 200 percent for Japan, 115 percent for Italy, 113 percent for Greece, 85 percent for the U.S., 76 percent for France, 73 percent for Germany, or 70 percent for the UK.

These are dangerous levels, although not outrageous ones. But government officials don’t tell the whole story; they sugarcoat the real dimension of the over indebtedness.

PIGS - Less Euro at the Door (tomadkins)

My forecast made since January was that Germany would not aid Greece, but would say all the right things. Their leaders did occasionally show human tendencies, like when some critics claimed Greece possessed innate specialty in dance, drink, and song. My longer standing forecast is that all PIGS nations would revert to their former currencies, the Greeks to the Drachma, the Italians to the Lira, the Spanish to the Peseta, and the Portuguese to the Escudo.


Spillonomics - Underestimating Risk (jdargis)

For all the criticism BP executives may deserve, they are far from the only people to struggle with such low-probability, high-cost events. Nearly everyone does. “These are precisely the kinds of events that are hard for us as humans to get our hands around and react to rationally,” Robert N. Stavins, an environmental economist at Harvard, says. We make two basic — and opposite — types of mistakes. When an event is difficult to imagine, we tend to underestimate its likelihood. This is the proverbial black swan. Most of the people running Deepwater Horizon probably never had a rig explode on them. So they assumed it would not happen, at least not to them.

Our Fix-It Faith and the Oil Spill (jdargis)

“Americans have a lot of faith that over the long run technology will solve everything, a sense that somehow we’re going to find a way to fix it,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. He said Pew polling in 1999 — before the September 2001 terror attacks — found that 64 percent of Americans pessimistically believed that a terrorist attack on the United States probably or definitely would happen. But they were naïvely optimistic about the fruits of technology: 81 percent said there would be a cure for cancer, 76 percent said we would put men on Mars.

Presenting A Dutch Proposal To Stop GoM Oil Spill "Within Days" (hucklejohn)

The Netherlands has experience with controlling water: 2,000 miles of dykes preventing the sea from flooding the country's nether regions have taught the Dutch a thing or two about hydroisolation and spillover control. Unfortunately, as the last 40 days or so demonstrate so amply, neither the US nor the UK have the faintest clue how to stop the GoM oil spill which is now entering into the realm of the surreal. Which is why it may be time to learn from those who do know something about the matter. Zero Hedge has received the following proposal from Van Den Noort Innovations BV, which asserts it can get the GoM oil spill under control within days, and it doesn't even involve nuking the continental shelf.


UN Urges Global Move To Meat And Dairy-Free Diet (SteveW)

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: "Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels."

Nigeria's Agony Dwarfs The Gulf Oil Spill. The US And Europe Ignore It (Samuel A.)

On 1 May this year a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Community leaders are now demanding $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood they suffered. Few expect they will succeed. In the meantime, thick balls of tar are being washed up along the coast.

Feds Hit Farm For Pollution (lastboyscout)

Melvin Petersheim owns and operates an egg-laying operation with approximately 36,000 hens. His brother, Moses, runs a dairy farm on the same property with about 80 dairy cows.

The inspection determined that pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus from animal manure from both operations, were discharged into an unnamed tributary of Chiques Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, according to EPA.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]


saxplayer00o1's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4281
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

"June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Refinery Ltd., the world’s largest gold-smelting facility, raised production of Krugerrand coins to a 25-year high as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis boosted investor demand for bullion.

Output last week jumped 50 percent to 30,000 ounces of blank coins for minting by SA Mint, Debra Thomson, Rand Refinery’s treasurer, said by telephone from Johannesburg today. That was the highest weekly production since 1985, she said."

............................1A) Dubai's gold trade rises 12.6% in Q1

"House Democrats kill a $24-billion fund to help cash-strapped states cover costs. States are lobbying hard to have it restored, warning of further devastating cuts to healthcare and social services."

"WASHINGTON — US debt has reached 13 trillion dollars for the first time in history, the Treasury Department has said, stoking a political furor over government spending.

Amid vast government outlays designed to end the economic crisis, the debt reached a record 13,050,826,460,886.97 dollars on June 1, according to official figures.

The debt has more than doubled in the last 10 years and now stands at just under 90 percent of annual gross domestic product."

"The debt has risen by around 2.4 trillion dollars since Obama took office in January 2009 and rose 4.9 trillion dollars in the eight years George W. Bush spent in office."

"June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Overnight deposits with the European Central Bank rose to a record yesterday as the sovereign debt crisis made banks wary of lending to each other.

Banks lodged 320.4 billion euros ($394 billion) in the ECB’s overnight deposit facility at 0.25 percent, compared with 316.4 billion euros the previous day, the Frankfurt-based central bank said in a market notice today. That’s the most since the start of the euro currency in 1999. Deposits have exceeded 300 billion euros for the past five days.

Banks are parking cash with the ECB amid investor concern that a 750 billion-euro European rescue package may not be enough to stop the crisis from spreading and spilling into the banking sector."

"In a sign of how hard hit municipal finances have become, school funding in the state—including taxes and state and federal sources—fell to $66.7 billion in the 2009-10 school year from $71.1 billion in the 2007-08 year, according to EdSource, a Mountain View nonprofit group that tracks education issues."

"Fresno County's retirement board adopted a more conservative set of financial assumptions Wednesday, adding an estimated $34 million to the annual cost of a pension plan that already is in deep trouble.

As a result, the county can expect its contribution to the retirement plan to balloon to $188 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2011 -- a doubling of costs over four years.

The increase comes as declining revenue and other cost increases have forced Fresno County to slash budgets and lay off hundreds of employees.

"I don't know where we're going to find the money to pay this," said Supervisor Phil Larson, a retirement board member."

"June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Insurers are charging 50 percent more for policies covering oil rigs in deep waters after an explosion on a BP Plc-leased platform in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the worst spill in U.S. history, Moody’s Investors Service said.

The price to insure rigs in shallow waters has risen as much as 25 percent since the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in April, the ratings company said today. Insurers may pay out as much as $3.5 billion in claims from the U.S. spill, making it the industry’s costliest accident since the Piper Alpha rig fire in the North Sea in 1988, Moody’s said. "

"Unemployment, not just lack of equity, is driving foreclosures, Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac, the leading source of data on foreclosures, told a gathering of real estate editors. Processing of so many foreclosed properties has slowed down and the so-called “shadow inventory” has grow so large that it will take until 2013 to work them through the system, he said."

"Pressures continue to drive up commercial mortgage defaults. The economic downturn has choked off demand for retail and office space, with vacancy rates rising and prospects of new occupants limited by the duress of today’sjob market. At the same time, commercial real estate (CRE) values have dropped more than 40 percent in some markets, pushing a growing number of property owners severely underwater."

"A separate study released this week by Trepp LLC shows that the share of past due loans held by investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), including those already in foreclosure and REO, jumped 40 basis points in May to 8.42 percent – the highest in the history of the CMBS industry.

For seven of the last eight months, the rate of increase in CMBS delinquencies has been between 37 and 49 basis points in Trepp’s study. The only exception was February of this year when the delinquency rate nudged up only 22 basis points.

To put the delinquent CMBS universe into perspective, Trepp says that just six months ago, the delinquency rate was 5.65 percent. One year ago, it was 2.77 percent."

"Production of United States Mint American Eagle Silver Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins. Currently, all available silver bullion blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Program, as the United States Mint is required by Public Law 99-61 to produce these coins “in quantities sufficient to meet public demand . . . .”

The United States Mint will resume the American Eagle Silver Proof and Uncirculated Coin Programs once sufficient inventories of silver bullion blanks can be acquired to meet market demand for all three American Eagle Silver Coin products.

Update: Due to the continued, sustained demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins, 2009-dated American Eagle Silver Proof Coins will not be produced."

"Production of United States Mint American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins. Currently, all available 22-karat gold blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Program, as the United States Mint is required by Public Law 99-185 to produce these coins “in quantities sufficient to meet public demand . . . .”

The United States Mint will resume the American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coin Programs once sufficient inventories of gold bullion blanks can be acquired to meet market demand for all three American Eagle Gold Coin products. Additionally, as a result of the recent numismatic product portfolio analysis, fractional sizes of American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coins will no longer be produced.

Update: Due to the continued, sustained demand for American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins, 2009-dated American Eagle Gold Proof Coins will not be produced."

  • Other news and headlines:

Debt Crisis May Cause Run on Europe Banks: Strategist (CNBC)

Public debt up at 42.39 pct of GDP (Thailand)

French bid for euro zone "government" gains ground

China's Stocks Fall to 13-Month Low; Banks, Coal Producers Drop (Down 22% this year)

Brazil Canceling Debt Auctions Delays Longest Bond

Russia taps Reserve Fund to cover budget deficit

Sen. Corman: State Budget Shortfall Will Likely Hit $2 Billion (Pennsylvania)

Moody's analysts: we were bullied for rosy ratings

Record property value drops leave governments' budget holes even deeper (Florida)

French Gov To Sell 6% Property To Cut Deficit

Business tax receipts down 10 percent -- so far (Texas)

Tax halts Xtrata Australia projects (Reuters video)

Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

Hard to believe that so soon after BP's oil well blowing out, Americans would be eager to buy "gas guzzlers" but the following story says it all. The entire story can be found at.........


"General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted U.S. sales increases in May that topped analysts' estimates as higher consumer confidence and inexpensive gasoline spurred customers to buy more sport utility vehicles.

GM's deliveries rose 17 percent from a year earlier to 223,822, the Detroit-based automaker said today in a statement. GM was expected to report a 5.9 percent increase, the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Ford sales rose 22 percent, topping the average estimate of a 16 percent gain.

Chrysler Group LLC, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. also topped analysts' delivery estimates in May as U.S. auto sales rose to 1.1 million, the eighth straight monthly increase, the longest streak in almost a decade, according to Bloomberg data. Gas prices that have stayed less than $3 a gallon boosted sales of Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Edge sport utility vehicles.

"There's definitely a truck and SUV market -- they've done really well," Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for researcher Edmunds.com, said today in an interview. "There have been incentives on both of them, and some of these
sales are going to commercial and daily-rental fleets. People have gone so long without buying, there's a lot of pent-up demand."

The annualized industrywide sales rate in May increased to 11.6 million, topping the 11.2 million average estimate of eight analysts."

jamesdvetter's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 51
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

Never underestimate the ignorance and stupidity of the American public.

kemosavvy's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 254
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

I thought I would mention on this Daily Digest thread that we conducted an interview on Two Beers With Steve with Erik Townsen, who is very much a regular around here.

Download the podcast here.

If you don't know about Two Beers With Steve it is a podcast that formed out of teh forums of the Chris Martenson site and you can subscribe directly through Itunes here.


macro2682's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2009
Posts: 576
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

That idea from the Netherlands probably wouldnt work in this case because the riser is too large.  It would have to be cut off at the base and cleared away before doing this.

nickbert's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1210
Re: UN urges Meat and Dairy-Free Diet

Seems to me that the UN recommendation for vegan diets would result in many locations relying heavily on certain foods being imported (my own state of Alaska for example).  Many parts of the world aren't ideal for some types of agriculture, and in the absence of using local meat sources you would need to transport food to those locations.  The energy needed to transport that food may negate any environmental benefit gleaned from ending meat and dairy consumption, and would make those locations susceptible to supply-chain interruptions.  This recommendation doesn't seem very worthwhile IMO, at least not as the one-size-fits-all, all-or-nothing type of approach that is presented.  I would argue that a better notion would simply be focusing on more moderation of meat/dairy intake where appropriate and an emphasis on whatever food sources are most viable and abundant in the local area. 

- Nick 

plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
Re: Daily Digest - June 3


" These take the total number of departures from the unit to 14 worldwide, after Reuters reported that five fuel oil traders in Singapore and four support staff quit last Wednesday, following the resignation of global fuel oil head Quek Chin Thean a week before that.

When contacted, a BP spokeswoman in Singapore declined to comment. The reason for the resignations was not immediately clear.

The fuel oil traders in the United States and London resigned over the past three to four weeks, the sources said.

"Most of BP's fuel oil team, including the global head and the heads of the three trading centers, have left in the past month," a U.S.-based source said.

BP has been a major player over the past 15 years in the fuel oil market. In Asia, it regularly trades 500,000-600,000 tonnes of physical cargoes monthly.

The departures in the U.S. of fuel oil leader, Tim Gawne, another physical trader and the third who traded derivatives, left the team with one derivatives trader, the sources said. "



 Being cynical...

 If Matt Simmons is right and the televised BOP leak is only the minor part, I can see a strong incentive to trade on that information and ignore/downplay the truth... while insiders exit, or exit + short...

 Another argument in favour of the US Gov't taking over management of the operation (using BP staff). No conflict of interests... or would the moral hazard just shift to government insiders.... gah!!!

 Suspend trading in BP until full information known ?


VeganDB12's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 763
Re: UN urges Meat and Dairy-Free Diet


You know I have this issue near and dear to my heart so I am responding.  In reading the UN article they are really suggesting that those of us in the  rich countries  cut back on meat consumption, i.e., fewer big macs, etc...

"As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management"

It is generally cheaper to feed people fruits, nuts and vegatables.  However, I do not see this article recommending that poor people in starving nations avoid meat. It really is about those of us in the US and China, etc...who are consuming the most beef. For Example:

Source:   http://blog.fortiusone.com/2008/10/23/dataset-of-the-day-holy-cow/ 

Dataset of the Day: Holy Cow!

October 23rd, 2008by William Benjamin

So who’s producing the most beef in the world? Who’s consuming the most beef in the world? After uploading world production and consumption data into Finder from the FAOSTAT (Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations) website, I was able to reveal where most of the world’s beef is being produced and eaten:


To view the data sets: Consumption, Production

As you can see in the above map, both China and the United States are the leading consumers and producers of beef followed by a close Brazil. In 2004 alone, China recorded consuming 71,822,537 tons of beef— China, United States, and Brazil combined, consumed 122,606,297 tons of beef. What else is evident from the map, is that most countries that are consuming the most beef are producing their fair share making them presumably self sustainable.

While on my data search endeavor, I was interested in finding out some of the impacts that production and consumption of beef has on global populations and the environment. In particular, the effects from the three leading beefed-up countries: U.S., China, and Brazil.

By first considering the U.S., Jamais Cascio came up with the “The Cheeseburger Footprint” theory, which he claims the total process it takes to produce, and make a cheeseburger, is one of the major contributing factors of carbon emissions in the U.S. The map below reveals global carbon footprints and the U.S. as the leader:


In Brazil, cattle production has had a major impact on deforestation. Cutting down rainforest to farm soybeans, and creating more grazing land for cattle, has significantly raised carbon emissions.

Something else to consider about massive cattle production is that cows are rudiment animals, belching and releasing up a methane gas storm—one cow emits more than 100kg of methane annually.


Even as a vegan I understand starving people have to eat and should eat whatever they can get.  The problem is that cow farming requires cutting down a lot of trees and cows eat a lot of grain and grass. It is an inefficient use of the grain calories,etc....which could be fed directly to the people farming the cows for us (for example).  So the argument goes.

Just my interpretation of the article. Be Well and thanks for listening. :)


edited for content

barrt's picture
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2008
Posts: 171
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

UK Government opens up books on public spending for first time



One for the data hounds, or info scouts, you can now download the raw data of all of the UKs gov spending


taxed2death's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 24 2010
Posts: 22
Re: Daily Digest - June 3

I am an omnivore,and will not give up eating meat ever.At the same time, the way we industrially churn out meat is disturbing.I feel rather than telling people what they should and should not eat,just educate them on how their food is produced and where it comes from(my meat is all wild,mostly fish,some elk,deer,birds).One day I passed a slaughter house/feed lot while on a roadtrip,I can't enjoy a burger from a restaurant anymore.

nickbert's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1210
Re: Daily Digest - June 3


I'm in general agreement with what you're saying.  My criticism of the article is that they don't argue simply for reducing meat consumption like you describe, they flatly argue for a straight-out global vegan diet.  I don't argue with the data (large scale meat production has higher environmental impacts) so much as I argue with that conclusion the article draws from it.  Yes, a reasonable interpretation of the article would be simply 'reduce meat consumption'.... I just wonder why they didn't say that straight out.  The stated conclusion smacks a little of extremist measures and a desire to force a personal agenda on others.  Perhaps you should have written the article instead  Smile

- Nick

nickbert's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1210
Re: Daily Digest - June 3


Well put.  I actually eat less meat than the average American and have never been a heavy meat-eater, but I don't like the idea of excluding it entirely from my diet.  My wife, who comes from a country where dairy and meat consumption has been predominant for many centuries (lots of pasture ill-suited for farming and very cold winters), likes the idea even less (in another thread I described my wife's reaction to the concept: "Vegetarian? What do you think I am, a goat?" Wink).  But anyway I agree, I would much rather eat less meat where the meat is not factory-farmed than eat more meat that is mass-produced.  In a couple weeks I'll be going halibut fishing, and later this summer I'll be doing some salmon fishing and possible go moose hunting.  Hopefully I'll have a freezer full of halibut, salmon, and moose meat by this winter... much better than having to buy fish or beef from the store.

- Nick

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments