Daily Digest

Daily Digest - March 6

Saturday, March 6, 2010, 11:50 AM
  • Europe's New Debt Solution: Create Their Own Ratings Agency That Only Gives Friendly Ratings
  • Real Unemployment Rises 0.3% To 16.8%, Non-Seasonally Adjusted Number Near All Time Highs
  • Credit Union Pays Savers to Close Their Accounts; Deposit Insurance Makes Saving Accounts a Losing Proposition for Banks
  • Iceland is voting on referendum that will shape future
  • Cash-Strapped States Delay Paying Income-Tax Refunds 

Economy

Europe's New Debt Solution: Create Their Own Ratings Agency That Only Gives Friendly Ratings (mhoop)

Now European Union governments are planning to take measures to break the dominance of the main rating agencies, according to a report in the Wednesday edition of the German business daily Handelsblatt. The newspaper reports that euro-zone finance ministers are pushing the European Central Bank (ECB) to set up its own sovereign rating scheme for the 16 members of the euro zone so that it no longer has to rely on private rating agencies, such as Moody's.

Real Unemployment Rises 0.3% To 16.8%, Non-Seasonally Adjusted Number Near All Time Highs (mhoop)

With economic optimism back over the U-3 data, which was "surprisingly" not impacted by mid-winter snow (but as Art Cashin says, a horrible number would have been seen as a buying catalyst due to the "non-recurring" nature of snow in February), many seem to have missed that real unemployment, or the BLS' U-6 series actually climbed by 0.3%, to 16.8% from 16.5% in January. Additionally, the Non-Seasonally Adjusted U-6 number was barely changed, and was flat at 17.9%, just a hair away from January's record 18%.

Credit Union Pays Savers to Close Their Accounts; Deposit Insurance Makes Saving Accounts a Losing Proposition for Banks (mhoop)

Nevada Federal Credit Union has too much money and does not know what to do with it. Worse yet, sitting in cash is costing the credit union money.

Insurance premiums are the culprit. On top of any deposit premium paid to customers, insurance runs .4%. Yet short term treasuries yield .25%. Nevada Federal sees no good lending opportunities so it is paying customers to close accounts.

Iceland is voting on referendum that will shape future (Nickbert)

Britain and the Netherlands say they are due the money following Iceland's financial meltdown in 2008. But Icelanders say the terms of the repayment are too onerous and look set to reject the package in its current form.

Cash-Strapped States Delay Paying Income-Tax Refunds (Nickbert)

These are states that are explicit that there might be some delay," said Kim Rueben, a senior fellow and public finance economist at the Tax Policy Center. "Others are slowing down the process but are being more quiet.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

13 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

"Last year was a far bigger disaster for the California economy than first believed.

California lost 338,000 more jobs in 2009 than originally reported, state officials said Friday, releasing the results of their annual recount of the previous year's job figures.

The revision brings last year's total statewide job loss to 836,000, or nearly 50 percent more than previously thought. It's further evidence that California is a long way from full recovery even though the economy has probably bottomed out.

"The bottom's at an even lower place," said Jeff Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific."

"TOPEKA | Kansas motorists will have to get used to more potholes and cracked highway pavement — they’re the latest price for patching the gaping holes in the state’s budget.

Gov. Mark Parkinson on Friday canceled nearly all state highway repair projects for the next year, part of an $85 million plan to balance the current year’s budget."

"After figures are adjusted for inflation, Kansas now spends less on highway construction than it did in the 1970s."

"The decision was easy for Gov. Charlie Crist and legislative leaders as they watched the economy sputter and voters seethe in an election year.

On the first day of session, the Legislature passed, and Crist signed, a bill that delays for two years a massive unemployment compensation tax hike for nearly a half-million Florida employers.

But the relief is only temporary and it comes with a hefty price tag.

The interest on federal loans to keep benefits flowing will cost $540 million by 2012."

"The CalSTRS board may cut its investment earnings forecast, a small move that could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the current $4 billion annual shortfall needed for full funding.

The nation’s second largest public pension fund, with assets valued at $131 billion at the end of January, began to consider the issue last month and may act in September or even sooner.

Amid predictions of slower economic growth, several CalSTRS board members said they would support lowering the annual earnings forecast of 8 percent to 7.75 percent, the first change in 15 years."

Banks Shuttered in Fla., Ill., Md., Utah

Closing Down of Two Hospitals in Miami Due to Shortage of Funds (4,487 job losses?)

Los Angeles County courts to lay off hundreds of employees

RT facing major service cuts (Sacramento)

If Greece falls, euro is pointless: Sarkozy

pslater's picture
pslater
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

Re: CalSTRS funding gap may widen, how about CalSTRS and EVERY other state, county, city, and municipal retirement fund liquidate all their assets, send each employee's IRA their proportional balance, and CLOSE/END ALL PUBLIC SECTOR DEFINED BENEFIT PLANS FOREVER?

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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

They're more like to roll it into a mandatory savings plan invested in U.S. Treasuries, instead.

 

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/ArticlePrint.aspx?id=521423

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6
wmarsden wrote:

They're more like to roll it into a mandatory savings plan invested in U.S. Treasuries, instead.

 

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/ArticlePrint.aspx?id=521423

401's and IRA's account for 2-7 trillion of "wealth". IMO they will attack these - for if they don't they can't stop QE, for if they do the deficit then equates to default.

700 to 1 opposition. It'll pass. Democracy is a fairy-tail akin to Santa, Easter Bunny, Cupid and the Tooth Ferry. 

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Hotrod
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

This is an interesting article comparing counterfeiting to bank money printing, and guess what?  There is no difference.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/7280559/Our-world-balances-on-a-sea-of-debt.html

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Hotrod
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MikeJE's picture
MikeJE
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

Electric vehicles- ae they a good use of our current resources???:-

 

Here's a post from a respected BB'er from a forum I read....

 

"I simply cant believe the nonsense talked about when the subject of transport and the environment is raised. People take an opinion, jump to a conclusion then make the facts fit their feelings.

I was thinking about this, someone mentioned that the Ford Focus EV that is being touted has a 24kWh battery pack.

Using the power of wiki-pedia, I have done some maths - please check this out.

Petrol has energy of 34.8MJ/l and diesel 38.6MJ/l

If you average that at 36MJ/l, and convert to kWhrs you get 10 exactly.

So the energy stored in the battery pack of the new electrical Focus at 24kWhrs is equivalent to a whopping 2.4l of normal fuel.

However, on the plus side, the efficiency from battery to motion is pretty good in an EV – say 70%, compared to an ICE with probably more like 25%. So lets say an EV is 3 times more efficient than a traditional car. This means that if you buy an electric car, it’s a bit like having a fuel tank that is 7.2litres – ie just over 1.5 gallons !

My next door neighbour has a 3 Series BMW tdi estate that on his commute gets over 60mpg – a real world range of 90 miles on the equivalent energy capacity of an EV with new batteries. And I wouldn’t mind betting that the real world range of a focus electric wouldn’t be much different. In fact I’m pretty sure it would be less at the same motorway speeds, and with a heater on in the winter / aircon in summer.

Ah-ha, I hear the environmentalists say – but the Focus is more efficient ! CO2 is zero from the Focus and 130kg/km from the BMW. But, if the electricity is generated from a hydrocarbon based source – like most is, then its not a fair comparison. Around 50% is lost from fuel to battery, (generation loss, transmission loss and conversion to chemical energy in the battery lost as heat). So you multiply the %loss of the EV with the %loss to get the energy into the EV batteries – say 50% x 70%, you get 35% total efficiency which is a lot better than the ICE – but not THAT much better. The equivalent affect on hydrocarbon use is probably that the EV maybe does an equivalent of 70mpg, 80mpg at best.

The environmental equation also has to factor in the battery replacement – probably 3 times per vehicle. I don’t know the energy overhead of that.

So just to think about the size of the battery, my laptop battery is roughly 5000mAhrs at 11.4V. Because Watts=amps*volts that means one laptop battery = 57 Whrs = 0.057 kWhrs. Which means the focus battery pack is roughly equivalent to 420 laptops. (24/0.057) So three battery changes per vehicle life = well over the equivalent of 1000 laptop batteries - a thousand !

Ah-ha, I hear the EV loby say, but EV’s are really targeted at city driving, and the Focus is not as efficient as say a G-Wiz. Well, if we were to take a G-Wiz body, and put a very small, efficient diesel engine into it, I would have thought it could get up to a 100mpg, especially if it could only do about 50mph and had the same safety standard. MMmmm, a GWiz with a small engine – sounds rather like a Nano !

I wouldnt mind betting that the overall environmental impact of a Nano not much different to a G Wiz type vehicle - but with effectively unlimited range and no chargin time when you cant use it.

My view is that until 50% of our energy is produced without carbon, and batteries have 10 times the capacity then the environmental and practical argument is extremely weak.

Even the ecomonic argument is a bit pants. Yes it would cost only £2 to "fill up" the Focus with its 1.5 gallons worth of energy. Cheap as chips. But look at this - 1.5 gallons = 6.675 l = £7.68 at £1.15 per litre. According to petrol prices.com, fuel duty is about half the cost of fuel, meaning the cost is £3.84 for a fill up. The tax would have to be paid elsewhere in the economy !

So to me, seeing so many people jump on the EV as being the solution to our enviromnetal woes doesnt stack up."

 

 

Mike

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Damnthematrix
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Wild weather across Australia

St George cleans up after record flood

St George in Queensland's southern inland is preparing for a massive clean-up after its biggest flood in more than a century.

Wild weather hits Adelaide's south

Businesses were flooded and trees brought down during a burst of wild weather in Adelaide's southern suburbs late yesterday.

Flood warning as storms set to return Photo

Victorians warned they could experience possible flash flooding with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for today.

Crews mop up drenched Melbourne Photo

Emergency crews are mopping up after thunderstorms battered Melbourne with heavy rain and large hail stones.

 

We are not even 2 1/2 months into 2010, and we have already almost matched our entire rainfall quota for the year!

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Rustyrayl
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

Good for little Iceland standing up to the Thug Banksters!

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61P21D20100306

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Re: Daily Digest - March 6

Icelandic referendum

Yes 1,6%

No 93,5%

empty 4,8%

60% of the nation attended though the primeminister told them to stay at home.

Say NO to transfer private debt to the public.

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GrouchoMarxist
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Re: Iceland

Yes, quite right Icelanders. Don't give the bastards a cent.

Why were the Dutch and British puting 'their' money into Icelandic banks in the first place? Greed combined with financial blindness?

Here's what a few Icelanders have to say (BBC video)

GrouchoCantPayWontPayMarxist

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Iceland

Iceland votes against deal to repay debt

check out the photo!!

The anger of the people on the recession-hit island has only grown.

The anger of the people on the recession-hit island has only grown. (AFP: Olivier Morin, file photo)

Icelandic voters have vented their fury at bankers and politicians who ruined their economy, overwhelmingly rejecting a $5 billion deal to repay overseas debts.

The outcome of the referendum had not been in doubt since Iceland had recently been offered better repayment terms than those contained in the deal on which residents were voting.

Partial referendum results from around a third of the cast votes showed 93 per cent opposed the deal and less than 2 per cent supported it. The rest cast invalid votes.

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guardia
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Re: Daily Digest - March 6
IceViking wrote:

Icelandic referendum

Yes 1,6%

No 93,5%

empty 4,8%

60% of the nation attended though the primeminister told them to stay at home.

Say NO to transfer private debt to the public.

Wow! Way to go vikings! :) Teach'em banks :)

Samuel

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