Daily Digest

Daily Digest - March 27

Saturday, March 27, 2010, 9:49 AM
  • Job Losses Expected In Plan To Reduce Pollution At Coal-Fired Plants
  • Eric Sprott Is Not Optimistic
  • The Tipping Point at Zero
  • Billionaire Bill Gates' Nuclear Investment Comes To Light
  • EPA Questions Method Of Mining Uranium
  • Coal Glo: GE Scientists Use Hair Product Ingredients to Capture Carbon 
  • In Utah, a move to seize federal land
  • U.S. Governors Ask Congress To Stop EPA Rules 
  • Obama Transportation Secretary: ‘This Is the End of Favoring Motorized Transportation at the Expense of Non-Motorized’

Economy

Job Losses Expected In Plan To Reduce Pollution At Coal-Fired Plants (mooselick7)

"This puts mining jobs at risk," Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, said in an interview. The targeted Xcel plants consume 10 percent of Colorado coal mine production, and a loss that size would cost the state 2,193 mining jobs, Sanderson said.

Eric Sprott Is Not Optimistic (pinecarr)

King World News interviews Eric Sprott, who effectively melts the wires with the heat of his pessimism. Alarmingly, it is fairly hard to argue with his reasoning.

The Tipping Point at Zero (pinecarr)

The U.S. Economy is bifurcated, with price inflation advancing on the cost side while price deflation harms on the asset side, to produce a nasty storm that is unlikely to abate. When high pressure zones clash with low pressure zones, hurricanes and tornadoes occur. Calling the resulting near 0% or low 2% price inflation on a net basis a good sign completely ignores the forces pulling the national economy apart.

Energy

Billionaire Bill Gates' nuclear investment comes to light (mooselick7)

As he talked about his investment in TerraPower, Gates said the world needs to get to zero carbon emissions by 2050. TerraPower is looking to develop an alternative type of nuclear reactor that runs on natural or depleted uranium, which would also be safer and less expensive than enriched uranium.

EPA Questions Method Of Mining Uranium (mooselick7)

“Just last year (Wyoming DEQ) approved three new Class I wells in the Powder River Basin. My question is, why are they (EPA) asking now? Why is it a problem this year? Nothing’s changed in the rules and regulations,” said Wayne Heili, vice president of Ur Energy’s mining division.

Coal Glo: GE Scientists Use Hair Product Ingredients to Capture Carbon (mooselick7)

Scientists at GE Global Research have discovered that aminosilicones--active ingredients in hair conditioners, fabric softeners, and flexible high-temperature plastics--can be used to capture CO2 from the flues of coal-powered plants.

Environment

In Utah, a move to seize federal land (mooselick7)

The Utah House of Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development.

U.S. Governors Ask Congress To Stop EPA Rules (mooselick7)

Governors of 18 U.S. states on Wednesday urged Congress to stop "harmful" Environmental Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions, saying the agency isn't equipped to deal with "the very real potential for economic harm."

Obama Transportation Secretary: ‘This Is the End of Favoring Motorized Transportation at the Expense of Non-Motorized’ (mooselick7)

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that federal transportation policies will no longer favor “motorized” transportation, such as cars and trucks, over “non-motorized” transportation, such as walking and bicycling.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

17 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

Super collection today!

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saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

"Mar. 26, 2010 (United Press International) -- The World Trade Organization Friday confirmed China's pre-eminence in global markets, saying it had overtaken Germany as the world's top exporter.

China's exports in 2009 came to $1.2 trillion last year, while Germany exported $1.12 trillion in goods and services. The United States, with exports of $1.06 trillion, was third on the list, The London Times Online reported Friday."

"Berlin: This month Carl Heinz Daube, the head of Germany's formidable debt management agency, did something that would have seemed almost unimaginable — or unnecessary — five years ago.

He travelled to China and Singapore for a meeting with two of the world's biggest investors — as part of an attempt to charm a new pool of investors, such as sovereign wealth funds — who might be willing to buy German government bonds.

The trend is spreading fast. Until recently, countries such as Germany, which have long prided themselves on having a triple A debt rating — and relatively low yields — felt little need to court global investors.

Turmoil

But as government debt burdens spiral higher, and the euro zone quivers as a result of the fiscal turmoil that surrounds Greece, the pressure on debt managers to refine their sales skills is rising."

"March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Canada reported a C$265 million ($258 million) budget deficit in January, compared with a surplus a year earlier, because of higher spending on health care and unemployment benefits."

"SPRINGFIELD - A coalition of Illinois education groups says more than 20,000 teachers could be laid off from state schools in the next school year.

The coalition is surveying 944 school districts and other educational institutions in the state and said this week it has heard from three-quarters of them so far on the layoffs they're planning.

Already 17,228 layoffs have been reported.

"We expect job cuts could top 20,000 when all the final data is in," said Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, one of the six groups in the coalition.

School districts must tell employees by April 15 whether their jobs will be cut next year. The coalition broke down the planned layoffs into three categories:"

"BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is notifying hospitals and nursing homes that it will be holding Medicaid payments until the start of the next fiscal year because of a projected $27 million deficit in the program.

The state shortage will also mean a loss of $108 million in matching federal funds. No date was given for when the delays will begin. Agency spokesman Tom Shanahan says the payments will be made in full, starting on July 1.

The holdbacks will also apply to clinics, dentists, pharmacies and case workers, but Shanahan says they have not been officially notified.

Medicaid pays medical bills for 213,000 Idahoans, mainly children, the disabled, pregnant women and low-income elderly. The federal government pays about 80 percent of Idaho's $1.55 billion Medicaid budget."

"The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is planning to boost the electricity bills of its customers by 37% over the next four years as part of its effort to cover steadily rising costs.

Officials with the city utility divulged their plans Thursday as the City Council's Energy and Environment Committee debated Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan for boosting rates to help pay for renewable energy. Villaraigosa is seeking a 21% increase over the next year."

"That's an extraordinary burden on our homeowners and businesses," said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who called the four-year plan "unacceptable."

"On Thursday, Villaraigosa disavowed use of the word "bankruptcy" yet continued to warn that unless his plan is approved, the city would run out of money by June 30."

.................6A) LA City Council Rejects DWP Rate Hike

"With so many of them running for other offices, so many of them are worried what the perception is if they do the right thing," Ms. Brown said. "I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to keep this city from going into bankruptcy."

Councilman Mike Craig said the new taxes and fees have his backing, even though they would be felt painfully in his East and South Toledo district.

"I can't think of a viable alternative to raising that money, and I don't think anybody in the city wants to see what the alternative to that is, which will be massive layoffs," Mr. Craig said."

..................7A) Mayor Bell: City now facing $25 million deficit

"As recently as Thursday, Mayor Bell has used $48 million as the estimated budget deficit. However considering recent developments, that number has been slashed almost in half.

With expenditure reductions made to the original budget plan, revenue increases which can be made by the administration, council approving legislation to tow or boot vehicles for failure to pay red light camera violations, as well as concessions approved by firefighters, the deficit now stands at roughly $25 million.

"I feel more optimistic now. I'm disappointed with TPPA, but the administration I'm sure will deal with that," Councilman Mike Collins said."

"A special feature in last week’s Economist magazine. A cover story in the Wall Street Journal’s Money & Investing section on Feb. 18. A mention on Glenn Beck’s prime-time TV show a day later.

Harrisburg has become a nationally — and now internationally — known city. Unfortunately, all the notoriety is for the city’s poor financial shape and potential bankruptcy.

As The Economist wryly noted, “These days Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s picturesque state capital ... would make a poor alternative to heaven.”

Harrisburg can’t hide its $288 million debt problem from the world. Between the degraded debt and the bad national press, the city’s plights are increasingly well-known."

"GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo says the Caribbean is on the verge of bankruptcy as many countries are spending more on servicing external debt than their national revenue and has reiterated his call for urgent debt relief by the international financial institutions (IFIs)."

"NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - State regulators that seized Ambac Financial Group's toxic assets have triggered about $2.9 billion of credit derivatives that protect against the bond insurer's main unit defaulting, a trade group said on Friday.

Ambac (ABK.N) will not be required to pay out on credit derivatives that it sold, but banks that tried to reduce their exposure to the company by buying credit protection on it will be able to collect on their contracts."

"The Shenzhen New World Group has snapped up the Los Angeles Marriot Downtown for a cool $60 million. The Chinese commercial real estate development company will reportedly shell out another $13 million to renovate the 469-room hotel. Although hard to believe, that steep bill is actually a bargain.

The Los Angeles Marriot last sold in 2007 to the Namco Capital Group for $115 million."

" Government spending is on track to account for more than half of U.K. gross domestic product in 2010, while government debt is heading toward 64% of GDP next year, up from 44% in fiscal 2009.

"All in all, the budget has failed to upgrade the market's perceptions of the U.K. credit," Tullett Prebon economist Lena Komileva wrote in a note to clients this week. With the government yet to make unpopular spending cuts, "it is too early to suggest that an official downgrade of the U.K.'s AAA rating is unlikely.""

"Fishers - Indiana's unemployment rate held steady in March, but with impending layoffs at Sallie Mae, the state may not be so lucky in April.

While Congress could not come to an agreement on single-payer health insurance, it did reach a consensus - or should we say reconciliation - in the correction passed on Thursday for a single-payer student loan program.

"You basically will be borrowing from the government as if it were a bank," said Sallie Mae Senior VP Jon Kroehler.

So the private partnership version of student lending, which is the heart and soul of Sallie Mae's business, gives way to direct government lending. Sallie Mae employs 8,500 people nationwide, with 1,700 of those working in Fishers and 700 more in Muncie.

"We estimate that we will have 2,500 who will lose their jobs as a result of this. Some of those will happen almost immediately and some this summer, as the work dies down," Kroehler said."

"February tally is state's worst one-month toll of recession"

"Demand at this week's 2-year and 5-year note auctions was also lukewarm, which has raised speculation that a long-awaited boycott of U.S. debt could be near.

"The message from the bond market to Washington is loud and clear," said Mike Larson, an interest rate analyst at Weiss Research. "Get your fiscal house in order or we'll force you to do so."

Many analysts have been predicting that investors will eventually begin demanding higher yields, given the flood of Treasurys that has come to market over the last several months and the risks tied to the swelling U.S. budget deficit. "

.........................15A) Treasurys suffer biggest weekly loss this year

"TAMPA - With Florida's unemployment rate at its highest point on record, 12.2 percent, the question becomes how long Floridians will have to live with sky-high joblessness.

At least one projection says the state won't drop to 6-percent unemployment – itself a relatively high rate in Florida – until 2018. "

"(CBS) Five fires broke out in Flint, Mich., this week on the same day the city began laying off 20 of its 94 firemen. Running an $8 million deficit, Flint has no money to pay those 20 firefighters, or 46 of its 193 police officers who are also receiving pink slips. It's a tough thing for the city with the second highest crime rate in the state.

"They didn't just trim a little bit," says Flint Police Officers Association president Keith Speer. "They cut our throats."

CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports Flint is hardly alone. Some much bigger towns are deeply in the red and facing painful choices. Los Angeles and San Francisco have $400 million shortfalls; Dallas $190 million; Boston $130 million, and Baltimore $120 million. Over all, at least 41 states have mid-year budget gaps.

"It's ironic because as people's needs are rising dramatically, the resources available to the state to meet those needs have collapsed," says Jon Shure of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "

 

Albuquerque schools: 700 layoffs may be needed

Per Capita Income Falls to 5-Year Low (Korea)

New York's Public Hospital System to Cut Workforce 10% Over 2 Years (2,600 jobs)

Strikes and strife are only just beginning (UK)

gregroberts's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

Shasta County's unemployment rate crept up in February to a 20-year high of 17.7 percent, the state reported Friday.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/mar/27/shasta-county-unemployment-sets-...

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

The Sprott piece was super!

I took away many things. One being that the public sector now employs a populous equivalent to the private sector and are compensated at or better.

Even if, which they aren't, public buildings were paid for - this is an @ssine, unsustainable, moronic idea. Unless the government is selling something that we create a surplus on - there is no math to support this stupidity.

Eric Sprott is  a very, very smart man who talks so even I can get it. Who knows when - but it will happen.

Some destiny.  

And yeah, I'm having a cow - just purchased our second for 1.60# + .36 butchering = 1.96# hanging weight, so even after loss we are way ahead of super market prices, we are stocked, 3/4's lasted a year and my kid is off to school. Cholesterol is another story. 

G*d, Gold, Guns, Grub & Government will mess it up.

maaa's picture
maaa
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

Agreed re: Sprott.

Re: the cow great! We have our bee hive out there waiting for its first swarm as soon as our bee guy friend gives us a call that Spring has sprung us one. Recommended for those who have a penchant for the scary and dangerous! I am trying out my grain mill today. We are all stocked up on numerous items and out of the other stock market and looking for a deal on a couple of woodstoves now. Probably chickens next year. As you may know we are the former space  science & corporate techies who now sell guns, so we are in the right business these days.

Meanwhile your cholesterol comment is apt. We started prepping from the inside out about 3 years ago, lost a bunch of weight and then started to build up again physically - - completed our first XC ski marathon in over 20 years last month - - wahoo - - doit - - you will feel unbelievably good and will be FREE as in no meds which is very important real freedom. It can be done, but my Dr. told me last week I was the only patient she saw all day who is on this kind of healthy path. (Including herself.) So, warning: you will become very angry at the Wuss Generation who you are going to be expected to pay more and more for.

Thank you all for all the great news that we keep up with on a daily basis. Just thought I'd check in and post something rambling and encouraging.

Mary Kay at PersonalSecurityZone.com

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saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

 

"Two months ago, the DeKalb County School System feared it would need to balance a budget deficit next year of more than $50 million. Then things got worse. Much worse.

That deficit shot to $88 million last month after district officials learned projected property tax revenues were overstated. As the district scrambled to make up the difference, former Superintendent Crawford Lewis resigned and his replacement, interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson, released a series of reduction plans that reached as high as $120 million. She said she feared it could get that bad.

Well, it’s essentially that bad."

"One of the little-noticed aspects of Gov. Chris Christie's wide-ranging budget address March 16 is a 74 percent cut in aid to the state's library system, from $14 million to about $3.7 million.

Library officials are now scrambling to figure out what services they'll have to reduce or cut, and they say the results may be devastating."

"Contra Costa County probably will be struggling with more budget cuts for at least the next five years, particularly if nothing is done about ballooning employee pension costs.

Such was the grim news delivered Thursday night to 80 employees and residents by county Administrator David Twa, the keynote speaker of a town hall meeting on the budget.

"We will see budget reductions through 2015 without changes to pensions and benefits, given our commitments," Twa said.

The county will need to pay $59 million each year on top of its current pension contributions between now and 2015 for retired employees and for those who will be retiring.

Overall, Contra Costa will need $50 million in cuts in 2010-11, on top of $139 million in reductions from its $1.2 billion budget since 2008.

Economic conditions are likely to remain dire, Twa said."

 

14 percent of all mortgages were non-performing at the end of 2009

More Than Meets The Bottom Line: Are Banks Getting Crushed Due To Negative Swap Spreads And The $154 Trillion IR-Derivative Market? (Zerohedge)

 

......................Probably no time to post tomorrow, so I'll post more "green shoots" headlines on Monday.

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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

can anyone give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down on:

Sprott Gold Bullion Fund

maybe I could get out of GLD and hide my IRA here?

ao's picture
ao
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
dps wrote:

can anyone give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down on:

Sprott Gold Bullion Fund

maybe I could get out of GLD and hide my IRA here?

Why not open a physical precious metals IRA?  Or if you have to be in paper, consider the Swiss based ETF, SGOL ... lower expense ratio and no front end fee.

dps's picture
dps
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

Why not open a physical precious metals IRA?

Don't know how.  Any advice?

ao's picture
ao
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
dps wrote:

Why not open a physical precious metals IRA?

Don't know how.  Any advice?

Contact your precious metals dealer; for example, someone like APMEX.

http://www.apmex.com/

They will have you set up an account with a custodian like Sterling Trust.  You liquidate your holdings in your present IRA and transfer the cash to the custodian IRA.  Once you have the money in the account, you can buy your precious metals.  APMEX can guide you through the process.  If you have only a small amount of money in an IRA, however, the annual charges may not make it worth it.  Check into transfer fees, IRA administrative fees, precious metals storage fees, etc. to get an idea how much it will cost you on an annual basis.  For a 6 figure or greater amount, the fees shouldn't be a concern.  Under 50K perhaps, you might be better off holding a gold ETF like SGOL or the Central Fund of Canada (CEF).  You can PM me with any specific questions.  

 

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tomwil
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

Here are two others sites:

This first one is Silver only, but recommended by David Morgan http://www.silver-investor.com/

https://silversaver.com/ 

 

This one has an IRA, but I'm only in the GSAP program

http://pfgpreciousmetals.com/

 

Apmex is a great site.  I usually buy what's on sale there (great silver sale at the moment. .79 cents over spot).

--TW

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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

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plato1965
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27

excellent speech by Schiff as always.....explaining bastiat's  broken window/clunker fallacy...

 

 next in the bernanke playbook.. monetize ebay ? the fed sniping every offer with a +1$ bid.. ?

 

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Ken C
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
plato1965 wrote:

excellent speech by Schiff as always.....explaining bastiat's  broken window/clunker fallacy...

 

 next in the bernanke playbook.. monetize ebay ? the fed sniping every offer with a +1$ bid.. ?

 

Good Idea. I have some dimes that I will sell for a dollar.

Ken

 

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guardia
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
Quote:

One obvious reaction may be, "please don't let anyone who developed crash-prone Windows software get involved in nuclear energy."

ROTFLOL!! Precisely :)

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Jasenica
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
idoctor wrote:

If I was an American, I would vote for Peter Schiff.

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Mr. Fri
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Re: Daily Digest - March 27
dps wrote:

can anyone give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down on:

Sprott Gold Bullion Fund

maybe I could get out of GLD and hide my IRA here?

You might want to consider cashing out your IRA(s) and buy gold/EFTs.  Yes it's painful to take the tax and penalty but consider that the last time there was a major depression in the 1930's the upper tax rate went up over 60%.  As government gets more desperate for income, they will most likely be raising the tax rates. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if some time in the next few years they try to combine our IRAs with Social Security.

 

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