Daily Digest

Daily Digest - November 15

Sunday, November 15, 2009, 11:06 AM
  • Home Builders Get A Gift
  • Bob Janjuah: the Great Bear of Scotland
  • Trading Places With The Dollar
  • Bubble Fears Surface At APEC Gathering
  • Chicago Fed's Evans: Accomodative Policy Likely Beyond 2010
  • FED May Cause Next Crisis, Hong Kong’s Tsang Suggests
  • Japan Faces Fear Of New Downturn
  • China Quashes Talk Of Letting Yuan Strengthen
  • Add 3 Million Jobs A Year Starting Now
  • The Prospect Of Pay Cuts As The New Normal
  • Changes In Mortgage Lending Coming In 2010
  • Commercial Real Estate Woes Are Deepening
  • Food Fight
  • What Saved Bear Stearns' Managers From Jail?
  • Who Will Hold Goldman Accountable?
  • French Bank Robber Becomes National Antihero
  • China: A Superpower Stirs
  • Japan Eyes Solar Station In Space As New Energy Source
  • Can Alternative Energy Save The Economy And The Environment?
  • “Smart Appliances” On Their Way To American Households
  • Wireless Protocols Vie For Smart Grid
  • An Eco-Friendly Exit
  • Tuna In Peril As Catches Reach Triple The Limit

Economy

Home Builders Get a Gift (Joemanc)

ON Nov. 6, President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 into law, extending unemployment benefits by 20 weeks and renewing the first-time homebuyer tax credit until next April.



But tucked inside the law was another prize: a tax break that lets big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The tax cuts will generate corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate.

Bob Janjuah: the Great Bear of Scotland (Paul L.)

Bob Janjuah is back, and dude, he's not happy about what you've done to the stock market. Then again, Janjuah is never really very happy.



But now the great bear of the United Kingdom -- the chief market strategist at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS, news, msgs), to be exact -- is quite sure that stocks' bender over the past eight months is about to come to a terrible, concussive, tragic end. He's like a cop who wants to slap a DUI on your portfolio.

Trading Places With The Dollar (M.W.)

ETF Securities last week launched a platform allowing investors to bet on the value of the 10 most traded currencies, which it refers to as the G10 currencies, including the euro, Japanese yen, sterling and the Australian dollar, against the US dollar.



It is the first ETF to track currency in Europe and is the largest in the world in terms of the number of currencies it allows investors to bet against — the latest sign investors are increasingly keen on taking advantage of fluctuations in currency.

Bubble Fears Surface At APEC Gathering (M.W.)

The U.S. has limited ability to stop the dollar's recent decline, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Friday, as he and several Asian leaders expressed concern that global stimulus measures could be inflating asset bubbles.



The sagging dollar and the declining Chinese yuan has been a constant theme of this week's APEC meetings, which culminate this weekend with a summit of the 21 nations' leaders.

Chicago Fed's Evans: Accomodative Policy Likely Beyond 2010 (M.W.)

Inflation is underrunning and the economy is underperforming, so an accommodative policy is likely to continue to be appropriate, I would say well into 2010, most likely beyond,” Charles Evans told media on the sidelines of a central-banking conference in Paris.

FED May Cause Next Crisis, Hong Kong’s Tsang Suggests (M.W.)

The Fed's policy of keeping interest rates near zero is fueling a wave of speculative capital that may cause the next global crisis, Hong Kong’s leader said. “I’m scared and leaders should look out,” said Donald Tsang, chief executive of the city. “America is doing exactly what Japan did last time,” he said, adding that Japan’s zero interest rate policy contributed to the 1997 Asian financial crisis and U.S. mortgage meltdown.

Japan Faces Fear Of New Downturn (M.W.)

Japan's new government faces a dilemma in trying to prevent a double-dip recession, with recent stimulus efforts due to wane, debt soaring and the economy likely to begin losing steam by early next year.Talk of new stimulus measures to respark the growth is pushing up long-term interest rates, threatening to limit any impact of fresh spending. That, in turn, is forcing officials to look for cuts to offset any new expenditures -- moves that could undermine a recovery in demand.

China Quashes Talk Of Letting Yuan Strengthen (M.W.)

"Our long-standing view on this issue remains un-changed," Mr Wang said. "While we believe an exit from the current regime of a de facto peg against the dollar may occur in the second half of 2010, any subsequent yuan appreciation against the US dollar is, in our view, likely to be modest and gradual.".

Add 3 Million Jobs A Year Starting Now (M.W.)

We would need about 15 million new jobs over the next five years just to get back to where we were when the recession started, plus the 8 million and rising jobs we've lost. That amounts to 250,000 new jobs a month every month for five years. And we are still losing more than that number every month. What would it take to get back to 5% unemployment? Add 3 million jobs a year starting now.

The Prospect Of Pay Cuts As The New Normal (M.W.)

A mere one in 10 consumers said their household income had risen in the last 12 months, the lowest reading in the survey's 63-year history. "For many adults, in their entire lives the idea that nominal wages would fall was not a possibility," said Paul Harrington, associate director at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. "This is a completely new issue.".

Changes In Mortgage Lending Coming In 2010 (M.W.)

For the first time in more than 30 years, the housing arm of the government, known as HUD (short for Housing and Urban Development), has released the details of the new mortgage reform that will help families shop for the lowest-cost mortgage available and avoid costly and potentially harmful loan offers from predatory lenders.

Commercial Real Estate Woes Are Deepening (M.W.)

A survey by Foresight Analytics found that 53 percent of commercial real estate mortgages due by 2014 -- or some 770 billion dollars -- were "underwater," meaning the borrowers owe more than the value of the property.

Food Fight (M.W.)

Restaurants, especially fast-food chains, have been slashing menu prices because of the poor economy. Burger King franchisees sued the hamburger company this week over its $1 double cheeseburger promotion, saying they're losing money on the deal and the company can't set maximum menu prices.

What Saved Bear Stearns' Managers From Jail? (M.W.)

White-collar crime is not the stuff of high drama in the courtroom, but many defendants, convinced they can impress a jury with their authority, sincerity, and intelligence, take the stand. There were the grand pooh-bahs of Enron, Jeffrey Skilling and (RIP) Ken Lay. There was the awful performance of Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski. There was Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom, who lost the trial with a 25-year sentence. All of them decided it was best that a jury should hear their story their way, and all of them went to jail.

Who Will Hold Goldman Accountable? (M.W.)

One thing is clear. The public is ready for banks like Goldman to be held accountable. And if Congress and the Administration don't have the stomach to take them on, the rest of us should.

French Bank Robber Becomes National Antihero (M.W.)

Before last week, Tony Musulin was a single 39-year-old man who drove an armored bank security van in Lyon, France. Then on Nov. 5, when two co-workers briefly left him alone to run an errand, he allegedly vanished with more than $17.2 million in unmarked bills. On Monday, police recovered about $14 million of the loot stashed in a storage unit in Lyon, but Musulin remains on the run. Now he not only tops the French police's most-wanted list, but he's also quickly becoming one of the nation's most popular antiheroes.

China: A Superpower Stirs (M.W.)

At the dawn of the 21st century, the world is looking to China to assume an unfamiliar role of global leadership. At a time when American prestige is fading, China's status is rising.

Energy

Japan Eyes Solar Station In Space As New Energy Source (M.W.)

The Japanese government has just picked a group of companies and a team of researchers tasked with turning the ambitious, multi-billion-dollar dream of unlimited clean energy into reality in coming decades. With few energy resources of its own and heavily reliant on oil imports, Japan has long been a leader in solar and other renewable energies. The challenge -- including transporting the components to space -- may appear gigantic, but Japan has been pursuing the project since 1998, with some 130 researchers studying it under JAXA's oversight.

Can Alternative Energy Save The Economy And The Environment? (M.W.)

The "new energy" economy rolls forward even as hopes for an international deal to combat climate change at Copenhagen shift into reverse.

“Smart Appliances” On Their Way To American Households (M.W.)

This month, GE began distributing a type of hot water heater that can link into the smart electric meters being doled out around the country — the first such “smart appliance” sold in the US. The water heater contains a port resembling an Ethernet port that can plug into a converter box that connects to the utility’s meter. At times of high electricity use, such as late afternoons, the consumer or the utility will be able to switch to a different, electricity-saving mode.

Wireless Protocols Vie For Smart Grid (M.W.)

The market for ’smart appliances’ is inrapid development, and wireless companies want to make sure they get a piece of the pie.

Environment

An Eco-Friendly Exit (M.W.)

It's hard to always be ecologically correct - especially when you're dead. In the Bay Area, however, it's getting easier to die green.

Tuna In Peril As Catches Reach Triple The Limit (M.W.)

Times are tough for tuna. The guidance of scientists that advise groups that manage tuna stocks is falling on deaf ears. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas meets this week in Brazil to set catch limits. ICCAT's scientific advisers have told it that stocks of tuna are plummeting towards collapse. Catches in 2008 were at three times the ICCAT limit, which is itself more than what its scientific advisers consider sustainable.

15 Comments

wmarsden's picture
wmarsden
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Posts: 38
Black outs

Somehow I missed the story about major cities blacking out in South America until I saw this story:  http://blogs.aljazeera.net/americas/2009/11/11/brazil-blackout

But I *really* missed the story about cyber attacks disabling critical infrastructure that I saw on this 20 minute video clip that aired on 60 Minutes three days before this blackout:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5578986n&tag=contentBody;housing

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
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Banks to pre-pay 3 years worth of FDIC "insurance"

Friday, November 13, 2009, 1:33pm EST

http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2009/11/09/dail...

 

Banks nationwide will prepay about $45 billion in insurance premiums to help replenish the fund that covers deposits when banks fail.

The board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. late Thursday approved a measure to require banks to prepay a little more than three years worth of insurance assessments to help bolster the fund, which has run into the red this year under the weight of the nation’s banking crisis.

The move was expected and the board approved the measure unanimously. The Deposit Insurance Fund – the security blanket that insures deposits of up to $250,000 – has had to cover the fallout of 120 bank failures nationwide this year, with more expected.

The cost of the failures nationwide has been $28 billion this year. Earlier this year, the FDIC levied a special assessment from member banks that replenished the fund by an estimated $5.6 billion.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Black outs
wmarsden wrote:

Somehow I missed the story about major cities blacking out in South America until I saw this story:  http://blogs.aljazeera.net/americas/2009/11/11/brazil-blackout

But I *really* missed the story about cyber attacks disabling critical infrastructure that I saw on this 20 minute video clip that aired on 60 Minutes three days before this blackout:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5578986n&tag=contentBody;housing

This is so typical of the ever growing fragility of the ever growing complexity of civilisation.  When I last explored this many days ago, I was met with howls of derision.......

Mark my word, you will remember these posts...!

Mike

dickB's picture
dickB
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yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
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Posts: 271
Re: Black outs
Damnthematrix wrote:
wmarsden wrote:

Somehow I missed the story about major cities blacking out in South America until I saw this story:  http://blogs.aljazeera.net/americas/2009/11/11/brazil-blackout

But I *really* missed the story about cyber attacks disabling critical infrastructure that I saw on this 20 minute video clip that aired on 60 Minutes three days before this blackout:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5578986n&tag=contentBody;housing

This is so typical of the ever growing fragility of the ever growing complexity of civilisation.  When I last explored this many days ago, I was met with howls of derision.......

Mark my word, you will remember these posts...!

Mike

 

While I agree that the infrastructures are vulnerable, the report was in error, this blackout in particular was due to poor maintenance, not hackers:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/11/brazil_blackout/

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Black outs
yoshhash wrote:

While I agree that the infrastructures are vulnerable, the report was in error, this blackout in particular was due to poor maintenance, not hackers:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/11/brazil_blackout/

Actually, there were TWO different stories of two different blackouts, and one was caused by hackers while the other was lack of maintenance.

As our civilisation matures and continues growing, we reach the stage, like now, when we not only have to start replacing some of the older infrastructure (and someone else somewhere on this site mentioned sewerage falling apart in LA?), but SIMULTANEOUSLY have to build brand new ones to accomodate the growth.  THAT I believe is the killer, eventually it becomes impossible to keep up with doing it all.... in fact it is already starting to occur IMO.

Mike

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Re: Black outs
Damnthematrix wrote:

(and someone else somewhere on this site mentioned sewerage falling apart in LA?),

 

It was me that mentioned the problems in LA but it was not sewers it was water supply pipes. In the past month or so we have had about 5-6 breaks in major water pipes in the LA metropolitan area. Whether water supply or sewers the point is still that much of  the infrastructure is now very old and needs replacing.

Ken

 

Mr. Fri's picture
Mr. Fri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 220
Re: Black outs

Wow, power failures and water mains breaking with no funds in the future to repair them.  This sure adds fuel to the theories of the Mad Maxers. :-)

 

mistral53's picture
mistral53
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Posts: 4
Re: Black outs

Not enough money to maintain the infrastructure? Nonsense!! All this country has to do is to stop the insane expenditures for the military industrial complex - there simply is no money to sustain the US imperialism, but more than enough money for civilian projects.

wmarsden's picture
wmarsden
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 6 2008
Posts: 38
Re: Black outs

Watch the year: the blackout they're blaming on soot was in 2007.  The blackout that is from unknown causes was two days AFTER this story.

ejanea's picture
ejanea
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Posts: 53
Re: Daily Digest - November 15

Until recently,  I have had a hot water heater that only heats at night when demand is low.  This has been common for many years in Australia.

I have now replaced it with a solar hot water heater.

alcatwize's picture
alcatwize
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 24 2008
Posts: 78
hot water heater???

don't you mean water heater or better yet, cold water heater?  If the water was already hot, why would you need to heat it?

 

Tongue out

 

 

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 602
Re: hot water heater???
alcatwize wrote:

don't you mean water heater or better yet, cold water heater?  If the water was already hot, why would you need to heat it?

 

Tongue out

 

 

alcatwizeazz

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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Posts: 846
Re: Daily Digest - November 15

 

From Mistral53

Not enough money to maintain the infrastructure? Nonsense!! All this country has to do is to stop the insane expenditures for the military industrial complex - there simply is no money to sustain the US imperialism, but more than enough money for civilian projects.

And while we're at it, stop all the fascist bailouts and socialist wealth redistribution schemes as well. We'd probably have more than enough to rebuild the infrastructure and have enough left over to restore a strong middle class once again after all that.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - November 15
earthwise wrote:

 

From Mistral53

Not enough money to maintain the infrastructure? Nonsense!! All this country has to do is to stop the insane expenditures for the military industrial complex - there simply is no money to sustain the US imperialism, but more than enough money for civilian projects.

And while we're at it, stop all the fascist bailouts and socialist wealth redistribution schemes as well. We'd probably have more than enough to rebuild the infrastructure and have enough left over to restore a strong middle class once again after all that.

To me, this epitomises everything that is wrong with the Matrix.  We are doing just about EVERYTHING wrong, and we need to change EVERYTHING. I first explored some possibilities on this site nearly a year ago (yes.... I;ve been here since the year dot!!) in a thread called "what if" (http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/what-if/9651) where I suggested a reboot...... oh and a completely new operating system to reboot with!

  • cancel all debts
  • close all banks
  • everyone work for free
  • convert all car factories to building renewable energy systems
  • re-allocate all energies from the current wasteful Matrix to a sustainable new deal

Obviously, the military don't get a look in...  I'm not saying I have all the answers, I'm just saying we all need to take the red pill...

Mike

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