Daily Digest

Daily Digest - May 24

Monday, May 24, 2010, 10:52 AM
  • Whatever Germany Does, The Euro As We Know It Is Dead
  • China Finds a Policy Job for Forex Reserves
  • Hedge Funds Bet Big On The Falling Euro
  • Michael Ruppert: Confronting the Peak Oil Crisis

Economy

Whatever Germany Does, The Euro As We Know It Is Dead (mhoop)

By any legitimate measure, Greece was unworthy of eurozone membership. That it achieved card-carrying status was down to the sleight-of-hand skills of its Brussels fixers and the acquiescence of central bank bean-counters. Now we know the truth, jet-hosing it with yet more debt makes no sense. Another dose of funny money will delay but not extinguish the need for austerity.

China Finds a Policy Job for Forex Reserves (Claire H.)

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) is leading a policy adjustment that taps China's huge stash of foreign reserves for overseas loans through commercial banks.

Hedge Funds Bet Big On The Falling Euro (Ben Johnson)

There is evidence that bets against the euro are being placed by important investors around the world, which last week took the euro to four-year lows on fears Greece, Spain and Portugal may be forced to leave the single currency. In Tokyo, the powerful Kokusai Asset Management has reportedly sold down euro assets in its $60bn (£41bn) Global Sovereign Open fund in favour of safer investments.

The fund, which had been the biggest investor in Greek bonds in 2009, sold its entire holding in the troubled asset class in December. According to the latest data from America’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission, there were over 100,000 more contracts from traders betting that the euro would fall rather than it would rise.

Energy

Michael Ruppert: Confronting the Peak Oil Crisis (Elsur)

Los Angeles based Michael Ruppert, author of Confronting Collapse, speaks on the tangible steps that must be taken to confront the grave global reality of our oil dependence.

 

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

22 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

"May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Investment banking fees in western Europe are falling victim to the Greek debt crisis, as companies from London to Dusseldorf pull stock and bond offerings and put takeovers on hold."

"European stock markets struggled on Monday, with investor sentiment hit by renewed eurozone debt concerns following the weekend bailout of Spanish bank CajaSur, dealers said."

"The rescue of Spanish regional savings bank CajaSur, which was taken over by the Bank of Spain over the weekend, could cost up to 2.7 billion euros (3.4 billion dollars), business daily Expansion reported on Monday."

"Undermined by longer life expectancy and higher unemployment, France's state pensions will post a deficit of 10.7 billion euros ($13.45 billion) this year, up from 8.2 billion euros last year and 5.6 billion euros in 2008, the government estimates. The shortfall will rise to 14.5 billion euros in 2013 and 50 billion euros in 2020, the Budget Ministry said this month.

The official retirement age in France was cut from 65 in 1983 by then President Francois Mitterrand. Life expectancy in France is 81, according to the World Bank."

"May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Defaults on apartment-building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter, almost twice the year-earlier level, as more borrowers failed to repay debt approved near the market peak, said Real Capital Analytics Inc. in a report.

Defaults on so-called multifamily mortgages rose from 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter and from 2.4 percent during the same period in 2009, the New York-based real estate research firm said today. Commercial-mortgage defaults also rose in the first quarter for loans against office, retail, hotel and industrial properties, Real Capital said."

"Because Medicaid reimbursement already was low before the new cut, hospital officials said Floridians should expect to see more cost-shifting and higher rates for insured patients. Right now, the average medical spending for a family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization already has increased $1,303 over 2009 to $18,074, according to data released May 12 by actuarial firm Milliman Inc.

Adding even more fuel to the fire, the cut also comes as local hospitals are seeing more Medicaid patients due to the recession and high unemployment rates.

Florida had 2.7 million Medicaid recipients as of Feb. 28. That’s up 300,000 people from 2.4 million last year, according to Florida Agency for Health Care Administration data. "

"The City could face another $100 million in cuts if the state follows through with its latest budget proposal, which includes eliminating welfare and other social service programs that would affect thousands of San Francisco residents.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently unveiled his revised budget plan, showing that California’s deficit had grown, with revenue down $6.1 billion. The state is now projecting a more than $17 billion shortfall next fiscal year.

Mayor Gavin Newsom had already estimated a $40 million cut from state funding as he worked to close a $483 million budget gap for San Francisco. Now, it appears cuts will go much deeper under the state’s most recent budget proposal, said Greg Wagner, Newsom’s budget adviser."

"The LADOT recorded $7.8 million in positive revenue in 2009-2010, but has a projected budget shortfall of more than $20 million in 2010-2011, according to a recent inter-departmental correspondence headlined "Final Recommendations for City Transit Reductions and Fare Increases."

The deficit is projected to grow to $350 million over the next decade if additional revenue does not come in, according to Department of Transportation General Manager Rita Robinson."

"May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Corporate bond sales are poised for their worst month in a decade, while relative yields are rising the most since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse, as the response by lawmakers to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis fails to inspire investor confidence.

Companies have issued $47 billion of debt in May, down from $183 billion in April and the least since December 1999, data compiled by Bloomberg show."

...................8A) Libor for Dollars Climbs Above 0.50% to Highest Since July 16

"May 24 (Bloomberg) -- The rate banks say they pay for three-month loans in dollars rose above 0.5 percent for the first time in 10 months amid concern that the creditworthiness of financial institutions is deteriorating. "

  • Other news stories and headlines:

Tens Of Thousands Protest NJ State Budget Cuts

Fiscal deficit snowballing (Korea)

US, Greece, Spain Are in Debt Risk 'Ring of Fire,' Pimco Says

Fiscal deficit to widen by Rs105 billion (Pakistan)

Fiscal crises threaten Europe's generous benefits

Surge in middle class bankruptcy (Australia)

Mortgage Defaults Hit 18-Year High (New York commercial real estate)

Persian Gulf Property Likely to Worsen on Supply, Moody's Says

Dallas could sell a city park to help balance budget

Pennsylvania's roads barely passing

gregroberts's picture
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Schiff gets shafted at Republican Convention

that1guy's picture
that1guy
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Re: Schiff gets shafted at Republican Convention
gregroberts wrote:

 

man, I wish i could help out..........

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Funny but so true.....things seem to be leaking into MSM more and more

http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/05/20/2905304.htm

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Ruppert

Thank you for including this excellent video from Michael Ruppert.

As he was making his predictions about the ramifications of the gulf oil spill, I could only wonder:  what WILL those residents (that live in the gulf states) do for a living?

The one thing I didn't hear him mention was the impact from the storm season this fall.  Obviously magnified.

I ordered 10 copies of his DVD to give to my contacts. 

I can only say so much.  Perhaps they will listen to an outsider.

Regards,

tomadkins

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Has anyone noticed that all these local (state, county, city, school district) budget shortfalls and pension funding shortfalls aren't getting the major mainstream media attention because they're all localized - but when you add up all the little drops of news - especially thanks to all the hard work of our Daily Digest folks - it's a rainstorm?

Everywhere you look, it's tens of millions, hundreds of millions, billions and tens of billions. It all adds up.

The Market Value of Public Sector Pension Deficits
http://www.aei.org/outlook/100948

"States report that their public-employee pensions are underfunded by a total of $438 billion, but a more accurate accounting demonstrates that they are actually underfunded by over $3 trillion."

And this $3 trillion is just for the states, not the county or local governments. These benefits are protected by state constitution or law in most states.

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Ruppert Video

I hope nobody paid money for a lecture of self-boasting and name-dropping.

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Re: Ruppert Video

I wasn't at the lecture, but I did make a small donation and have his two books.

I think he brings up important points, whether you like his delivery or not.

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Re: Ruppert Video

I'm with JAG on this one, hard to take this guy seriously.  He didn't know who John Michael Greer was and referred to him as just another johnny come lately in the PO discussion, which he founded.  I also have to say that JMG is more convincing in his argument for slow collapse vs the overnight zombie hordes Ruppert forsees.

I had Ruppert's movie, Collapse, on my Netflix list.  After watching this video, I might just take it off.

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Re: Ruppert Video
JAG wrote:

I hope nobody paid money for a lecture of self-boasting and name-dropping.

Ain't none of us perfect.

My first view of Michael Ruppert, based on that, I respect the man for passionately sharing what he believes.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

The Ruppert video offers a fairly basic introduction to the state of affairs, but I thought it was well worth the listen.  The second half was far better than the first half.

While it bugs me, I think the name-dropping is simply a defense mechanism to establish his creds and is likely automatic from a lifetime of being challenged and criticized.  I'm not going to fault him for that.

However, I'm turned off by his embracing corporate culture with his new venture--now hiring for a new CFO and a personal assistant.  Using the tag CEO and planning on substantial revenue from his site within the first week of launch, with all the international travel expectations and "VIP" encounters (see his blog).  It seems entirely inconsistent with his message of imminent industrial collapse, sustainability, and relocalization.

Still, I thought the second half of the presentation was worth the time.

 

Eye's picture
Eye
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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Supplemental Liquidity Providers no longer playing along?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Regulators-probe-firms-role-apf-3505324874.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=8&asset=&ccode=

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Learning from the Bank of Dad, Paul McCulley
http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/john_mauldins_outside_the_box/arch...

I'm not sure I agree with his conclusion that the Fed or the government could regulate banking, but I think he offers a pretty clear description of the shadow banking system.

Samuel

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Yeah Ruppert comes across a bit arrogant in that video, but that's close to the exasperation I feel to given how much I've tried to raise awareness with little to no response from most folks indicating they take this seriously.

Tom

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Re: Ruppert Video
JAG wrote:

I hope nobody paid money for a lecture of self-boasting and name-dropping.

I don't think it was devoid of value, but I do agree the constant tooting of his own horn seemed over the top.  On one hand I can probably get the gist of the frustration he must have experienced over the years, but who wants to keep hearing "See I was right!  All those who mocked me, you can suck it! Yeah!"  Undecided

I also disliked his blatant "screw 'em" attitude towards the 'zombies' as he puts them.  I understand not wasting excessive time trying to convince those who don't want to hear, and the need to place more of your energies in helping your family and other like-minded people getting through the trials ahead.  But that's a far cry from the "let 'em rot" attitude he was copping.  Maybe he thinks he's being purely pragmatic, but I'd argue it's seldom practical to restrict your options.  You never know, maybe some of those who didn't "get it" earlier turn out to be invaluable sources of help later on.  Nothing wrong with preparing oneself to make hard decisions, but it seems foolish to me to make that decision prematurely before the cards are laid out on the table.

As I said I saw some value in what he had to say, but thought his message somewhat diluted or tainted by his self-promotion and sometimes negative attitude.  Makes me appreciate Chris' work a little more... even though the content of the message may be similar, the way one expresses it can make a huge difference. 

- Nick

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

I saw a frustrated man in Ruppert.  His message is a strong one and needs to be understood by all, obviously.  But I think that the years of beating his head against a wall, not getting listened to, losing everything more than once, and now having worked his butt off over the past 2-3 years and not seeing a penny have made him calloused.  In everything he did, from his body language, to his intonation, to the name dropping, and to the "screw you" attitude, shows a man in full defensive stance.  But his message is still one to listen to and take note.  

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Re: Ruppert Video

The way he comes across will turn off a lot of people, but there is a certain shock value. It was a down and dirty, in the trenches kind of talk. Hearing Ruppert alone would be a bit of a scare, but it does set the stage for hearing others. I happened to hear Chris and Jim Kunstler in a panel in Boston a couple years ago. Kunstler's brash style and blunt messages contrasted with Chris's well organized and clear presentation. Chris came across as a skilled educator, Kunstler, well... I'd much rather hear Kunstler than Ruppert but their content is similar.

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

Here is Ruppert's explaination of his attitude from his May 19 post at his blog.

"This is my first real large talk since 2005. I held nothing back. In it, I say things that are certain to tick off almost everybody out there. That was intended. What I want now is for anybody to challenge me to back up anything that I said here on mainstream media."

"What you will see here is explosive and controversial. I guess you could say I'm really back now. It's time to bring this to a head because there is no more time to waste. From now on I will refer to the Peak Oil/Sustainability movement only as the Lifeboat Movemement, because that's what it is. It belongs to all mankind."

http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/

He may drive away more than he brings in with this attitude, but then he's been out there doing it for years and we haven't.  If he toned down the name dropping and and chip on his shoulder I think he'd be more effective, as this just gives people an excuse to dismiss him and discredit his message.  From his perspective it's too late to play nice and people need to be shocked into action. 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

I know I haven't posted here often, but I am an active lurker in many places.

(Please note that English is not my native tongue and self tought so it may be full of grammar and spelling errors)

I think EVERYONE should listen to what he says about the so called "cliff event" (end of the bumpy plateau of peak oil) , and the coming social unrest wich he says will come due to the halting of social welfare for the unemployed. He pinpoints the cliff event at  "no later than summer 2010"

In Ruppert's defence:

I have followed his work for a long time and know that his predictions are SCARINGLY accurate. I guess his attitude is therefore only a way to cut to the case for the people ready to take immidiate action. In other words, his bargainingwith "Optimists" (read:  everyone who thinks SHTF is more than a year away) is over. And he feels he cannot afford to spend more time trying o convince people.please understand that the "screw you" and the name dropping may be his final attempt. Also,

The way he is constructing his lifeboat movement, like "normal" company. with himself as CEO and employees on payroll seems only natural since we're still in the old way of doing things, Doing otherwise would only slow him down for now.

My personal thoughts are simple:

He was right FAR too often to be ignored.

I sadly do not know who I am quoting (regular poster on there forums)

"In matters of critical urgency, the merits of an idea should not be influenced by how you feel about the person stating it, nor how deeply it may conflict with your established sense of right and wrong, but rather how well it holds up under scrutiny"

I urge everyone to listen the vid twice and triple check his facts for accuracy.

Good luck to all the fine peolple on this forum,

TheDutchGuy.

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24

LogansRun-

I think you hit it right on the head; ordeals like the ones that he has been through are likely to leave their mark.  That being said, I hope he can work past that because I think he could reach more people if he can let some of that angst go.  I still appreciate his contribution to increasing awareness of Peak Oil and will readily listen to what he has to say... I just see a lost opportunity for him to reach a wider audience.  Chris and a few others manage to raise more awareness by bringing a positive attitude (admittedly hard to do on this topic) and a focus on the things we CAN change even if some of these are just small things, all without watering down their core message or selling out.

- Nick

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24
TheDutchGuy wrote:

I think EVERYONE should listen to what he says about the so called "cliff event" (end of the bumpy plateau of peak oil) , and the coming social unrest wich he says will come due to the halting of social welfare for the unemployed. He pinpoints the cliff event at  "no later than summer 2010"

In Ruppert's defence:

I have followed his work for a long time and know that his predictions are SCARINGLY accurate. I guess his attitude is therefore only a way to cut to the case for the people ready to take immidiate action. In other words, his bargainingwith "Optimists" (read:  everyone who thinks SHTF is more than a year away) is over. And he feels he cannot afford to spend more time trying o convince people.please understand that the "screw you" and the name dropping may be his final attempt.

Interesting observations, TheDutchGuy.  It makes me want to take a look at Ruppert's video after all, after being turned-off from wanting to see it earlier, by what I read earlier on this thread.

By the way, impressive job with your self-taught English! 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 24
pinecarr wrote:

Interesting observations, TheDutchGuy.  It makes me want to take a look at Ruppert's video after all, after being turned-off from wanting to see it earlier, by what I read earlier on this thread.

That's another advantage for people like me with symptoms in the autism spectrum... I'm quite insensitive to how the message is being delivered :)

Samuel

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