Daily Digest

Daily Digest - November 3

Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 10:50 AM
  • The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex
  • Geithner "Burned Billions," Shafted Taxpayers on CIT Loan, Prof. Bill Black Says
  • The Social Management of Foreclosures
  • IMF Sells Gold to India, First Sale in Nine Years
  • It is Japan We Should Be Worrying About, Not America
  • $2.3 Billion CIT Loss Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
  • FHA Will Be The Next Giant To Tumble
  • Treasury May Block Goldman Sachs, Fannie Mae Deal
  • Monthly Business Bankruptcy Filings Rise 7%
  • House Health Bill Totals $1.2 Trillion
  • What Are The Stakes In The U.S.-China Yuan Tussle?
  • Fed's Path To Higher Interest Rates Begins To Take Shape 
  • Vladmir Putin's Deputy Visits London Seeking Financial Relief For Russia
  • Powering a Green Planet: Sustainable Energy
  • Energy Seminar (2008-2009) from Stanford University (Video)
  • Meeting The Energy Crisis With Potatoes
  • Everybody In The Pool Of Green Innovation
  • Snow Cap Disappearing From Mount Kilimanjaro

Economy

The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex (Claire H.)

Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making." This talk by Larry Wilkerson was the keynote speech given at an event sponsored by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, American University History Department, American University's Nuclear Studies Institute on Oct 21, 2009 at American University in Washington DC.

Geithner "Burned Billions," Shafted Taxpayers on CIT Loan, Prof. Bill Black Says (SolidSwede)

"If that's true we've got to get rid of capitalism," he warns, "because if we can't recognize losses in a capitalist system we have no future."

The Social Management of Foreclosures (David M.)

Government, lenders, and various lender-sponsored "help" agencies have acted in unison, using fear mongering tactics and shame to manage the housing crisis for the sole benefit of lenders. Thanks to Brent T. White at the James E. Rogers College of Law and the Sacramento Bee and for a fascinating called article called Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis.

IMF Sells Gold to India, First Sale in Nine Years (Livio S.)

The International Monetary Fund sold 200 metric tons of gold to the Reserve Bank of India for about $6.7 billion, its first sale of the precious metal in nine years. The transaction, which involved daily sales from Oct. 19-30 at market prices, is in the process of being settled, the IMF said in a statement yesterday. The average price in the sales to India was about $1,045 an ounce, an IMF official said on a conference call with reporters. Gold for immediate delivery rose in Asia, approaching a record $1,070.80 an ounce. “The most important thing is that people want gold even at these prices,” said Ghee Peh, head of mining research, with UBS AG in Hong Kong. “There’s good support for prices for now” from the IMF’s disposal of bullion, he said.

It is Japan We Should Be Worrying About, Not America (pinecarr, nncita)

Japan is drifting helplessly towards a dramatic fiscal crisis. For 20 years the world's second-largest economy has been able to borrow cheaply from a captive bond market, feeding its addiction to Keynesian deficit spending – and allowing it to push public debt beyond the point of no return.

$2.3 Billion CIT Loss Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg (M.W.)

Eight banks that are behind on their dividend payments have at least $100 million in Treasury loans, and there are 32 other TARP recipients that missed their quarterly dividend payments due in August.

FHA Will Be The Next Giant To Tumble (M.W.)

To illustrate the disaster that is potentially pending, 34% of the loans guaranteed by the FHA in 2007 have already gone into default, and the FHA has already begun to ask the Federal Government for more money. The FHA’s portfolio is near $1 Trillion and while we cannot expect all of those mortgages to fail, according to Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, the FHA will end up costing taxpayers $100 billion.

Treasury May Block Goldman Sachs, Fannie Mae Deal (M.W.)

Goldman is reportedly in talks with Fannie to buy millions of dollars in tax credits, but Treasury stands in the way of the deal. While the deal would help Fannie Mae improve its precarious financial state, it could also trigger more political criticisms about the close ties between Goldman Sachs and Treasury.

Monthly Business Bankruptcy Filings Rise 7% (M.W.)

Through the first 10 months of the year, 74,832 businesses filed for bankruptcy, a 16% increase from the same period last year. The total number of October bankruptcies, including both personal and commercial filings, increased 20% from the same month last year.

House Health Bill Totals $1.2 Trillion (M.W.)

The health care bill headed for a vote in the House this week costs $1.2 trillion or more over a decade, far higher than the $900 billion cited by President Barack Obama as a price tag for his reform plan. When asked about the higher estimate, [Nancy] Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said the measure provides critical health insurance reform in a way that is fiscally sound. "It will not add one dime to the deficit."

What Are The Stakes In The U.S.-China Yuan Tussle? (M.W.)

China's reluctance to let markets play a freer hand in setting the value of the yuan, also called the renminbi, is a festering irritant that both the United States and China want to keep from getting out of hand.

Fed's Path To Higher Interest Rates Begins To Take Shape (M.W.)

Federal Reserve officials are thinking about how to unwind the unprecedented stimulus they've pumped into the economy. Eventually that will mean raising interest rates. The contours of what a rate-boost cycle could look like are beginning to come into focus as the Fed's next policy meeting approaches Tuesday and Wednesday.

Vladmir Putin's Deputy Visits London Seeking Financial Relief For Russia (M.W.)

The Russian government is to announce an £11bn bond issue in London this week in an attempt to draw Western investment into its crisis-hit economy.

Energy

Meeting the energy crisis with Potatoes (David M.)

The coming decades are going to result in lower energy availability per capita. Though there is plenty of energy, how much is affordable, procurable per unit time, in a form that our culture has become dependent on, is an open question. Our current integration of oil, transportation, and food systems, is highly mechanized and efficient, but not without risk. Given the many possible post-peak trajectories, my caloric shortfall risk is not only reduced somewhat by having local access to food, but the % of food I eat that is non-processed has improved as well. So, by devoting these 60 hours to this one root crop, I've done a tiny amount of meeting energy descent part-way by netting some few hundred thousand calories from potatoes.

Energy Seminar (2008-2009) from Stanford University (Video) (E.S.)

Powering a Green Planet: Sustainable Energy (M.W.)

Two Scientists offer a radical plan to achieve 100% clean energy in 20 years. This Web-only article includes an interactive infographic to illustrate the plan.

Environment

Everybody In The Pool Of Green Innovation (M.W.)

Several major corporations have taken inspiration from the open-source software movement and are experimenting with forums for sharing environmentally friendly innovations and building communities around them.The concept is straightforward: Companies pledge environmental patents to the commons, and anyone can use them — free.

Snow Cap Disappearing From Mount Kilimanjaro (M.W.)

Some 85 percent of the ice that made up the mountaintop glaciers in 1912 was gone by 2007. The African mountain's white peak — made famous by writer Ernest Hemingway — is rapidly melting.

18 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

 

"BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- The state health department has pegged a midyear deficit in Louisiana's Medicaid program at $308 million. Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine gave formal notification of the problem to lawmakers Monday."

"Rounds expects the stimulus money to run out this year, leaving next year’s projected expenses about $170 million higher than anticipated revenues."

"Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department cut its estimate for government borrowing in the current quarter by 43 percent largely because of reductions in a program for helping the Federal Reserve manage its balance sheet.

Borrowing will total a net $276 billion from October through December, compared with a previous estimate of $486 billion, and it projects borrowing of $478 billion in the three months to March 31, the department said in a statement today in Washington."......

"Today’s estimates include $15 billion for a special program for helping the Fed finance its operations. The so- called Supplementary Financing Program for the Fed was cut back to $15 billion outstanding from $200 billion in September, in order to avoid approaching the debt limit."

"But Missouri's latest cuts mean some 700 state employees will lose their jobs, with 200 of them being full-time positions."

  • 5) strategic defaults (Walking away when home values are much lower than the loans on them)

"The mortgage unit of Citigroup says one in five borrowers who defaults does so willingly, even though they're able to pay the mortgage. "It's a very large number, and it's a very, very significant risk to the housing recovery," says Sanjiv Das, CEO of CitiMortgage, adding that new government programs to curb strategic defaults may be needed."

"DES MOINES, Iowa -- The State of Iowa Monday released preliminary plans to lay off 792 state employees."

"Despite Los Angeles County's already record high unemployment, the job outlook is likely to get worse as the number of businesses planning layoffs has more than doubled since last year, according to a new poll to be released today.

A survey by the Los Angeles County Business Federation says 33 percent of respondents said they would lay off workers in 2010, up from 14 percent who were asked last year."

"ATLANTA, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Commercial bankruptcies among the

nation's more than 25 million small businesses increased by 44% from the third

quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009, according to Equifax Inc. (NYSE:

EFX), which analyzes its comprehensive small business database for the

on-going study."

"The cutbacks and fare increases in the Municipal Transportation Agency's budget may have hurt but the pain didn't produce enough gain, as the MTA board will hear this afternoon.

The MTA is on track to produce a $45.1 million deficit with revenues lower than expected and expenses higher. So the agency is recommending a plan to eliminate 250 positions, alter drivers' schedules, reduce overtime, and transfer some federal stimulus money from equipment and projects to operations.

But that only saves $25.5 million, leaving the MTA with the challenge of figuring out how to come up with the other $19.6 million."

"Vallejo may be in bankruptcy, but there is no deficit when it comes to residents who are texting. That may explain one of the more unusual measures on Tuesday's ballot, which would tax text messages."

"Lisa Dooley, executive director of the West Virginia Municipal League, has said the total unfunded liability spread among 53 plans in Class I and II cities, and 15 others in Class III towns, stands at $650 million."

"With the state of Maryland facing a $2 billion budget shortfall, school leaders here are already braced for cuts. Superintendent David Cox and other superintendents from across the state met with Gov. Martin O’Malley in Annapolis recently and heard a bleak economic assessment, with O’Malley urging schools to go so far as to save money by buying furniture made by state prison inmates.

The budget for Allegany County schools has already been squeezed fairly tight. Most recently, the school system took a $250,000 hit when county government, facing a $2 million budget shortfall of its own, reduced its allocation to the board."

"The financial picture is grim. Though UC's retirement plan is currently 95 percent funded and employee contributions will be reinstated in April 2010, funding for the pension plan is predicted to decline to 61 percent by 2013. Costs for retiree health insurance are also expected to rise. Out of its operating revenue, UC currently pays approximately $225 million each to year to provide health insurance for retired employees. Costs are projected to rise to $373 million a year by 2013, and to $610 million by 2018."

"Nokia Siemens Networks could lay off more than 4500 of its workers as part of a cost-cutting drive"

"J&J cutting 7000 jobs; no word on Mass. impact"

  • ..........

Demand for gold is up too.

printfaster's picture
printfaster
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2009
Posts: 52
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

Actually the snow cap disappearing on Mt Kilamanjaro may be due to climate cooling.  In a cooler climate there is less precipitation.  A drying out of high altitute precipitation due to cooler upper atmosphere temperatures is what one would expect.

There has been a cooling in upper atmosphere temperatures observed in this sunspot cycle minimum.  This whole alarmism over global warming is simply silly.  A house floods in Iowa and suddenly we need to put in cap and trade.  Talk about manipulating public opinion for the gain of the few.

dcm's picture
dcm
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2009
Posts: 205
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

"A house floods in Iowa and suddenly we need to put in cap and trade.  Talk about manipulating public opinion for the gain of the few."

 

don't confuse the validity of cap and trade with the validity of global warming

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

Actually the snow cap disappearing on Mt Kilamanjaro may be due to climate cooling.  In a cooler climate there is less precipitation.  A drying out of high altitute precipitation due to cooler upper atmosphere temperatures is what one would expect.

 

...rigghht.

 

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

yep, all the ice in the last ice age was a mirage.....

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

There has been a cooling in upper atmosphere temperatures observed in this sunspot cycle minimum.  This whole alarmism over global warming is simply silly.  A house floods in Iowa and suddenly we need to put in cap and trade.  Talk about manipulating public opinion for the gain of the few.

Yeah...stupid alarmist. They should know that the reason Lake Victoria is drying up is because there is too much rain.

spinone's picture
spinone
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 12 2008
Posts: 49
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

There should be no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  Burning fossil fuel increases the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The question is if this amount of CO2 is significant enough to increase global temperatures.  I believe it is, and the evidence from polar ice melting, high altitude ice and melting permafrost in other areas is conclusive in my opinion.  There are also other factors that influence climate, such as solar activity.  Also, as more energy is trapped in the atmosphere, this does not mean that all temeratures everywhere on the globe will go up so many degrees.  More energy is being trapped in the atmosphere, and the atmosphere is getting more energetic.  This may change weather patterns, making some areas cooler. Overall, we can expect warmer temperatures, stronger storms and changing weather patterns over time.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

printfaster

Welcome to the CM site.

Quote:

Actually the snow cap disappearing on Mt Kilamanjaro may be due to climate cooling.  In a cooler climate there is less precipitation.  A drying out of high altitute precipitation due to cooler upper atmosphere temperatures is what one would expect.

Actually the disappearance of the snows of Kilimanjaro is a part of a decades (maybe century) long decline of glaciers worldwide.  It turns out that melting of tropical glaciers is a bit more complicated than the ongoing melting of temperate climate glaciers, but they are all ultimately the result of global warming.  If you're interested in climate change, there is a long thread devoted to the subject:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/global-climate-change-it-worth-brushing/5895

Specifically, here's a long discussion of Kilimanjaro and other tropical glaciers:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/tropical-glacier-retreat/

Doug

ernie's picture
ernie
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 39
Re: Daily Digest - November 3
Doug wrote:

Actually the disappearance of the snows of Kilimanjaro is a part of a decades (maybe century) long decline of glaciers worldwide.  It turns out that melting of tropical glaciers is a bit more complicated than the ongoing melting of temperate climate glaciers, but they are all ultimately the result of global warming.  If you're interested in climate change, there is a long thread devoted to the subject:

 

There is a lot more to it than that.

Snow is a moisture proxy not a temperature proxy.

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=554

 

 

jdm2's picture
jdm2
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 25 2009
Posts: 3
Re: Global Warming

Hey -

My first post... it could be a repeat, but obviously some of you haven't seen Lord Christopher Monckton's 1hr. 35 min. speech on Global Warming.  This is the guy who was invited to address Congress on the same day VP Gore was supposed to speak about Global Warming, but somehow they managed to turn him away just before he arrived in Washington... All of you need to see this, whether you believe Global Warming is real or not.  You can see it here (the last video at the bottom of the page):

http://teapartynewswatch.com/category/teapartyvideos/

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

While everyone is arguing about Global Warming/Cooling/Melting, the real action is over in the Insider area, where Chris was doing a literal play by play of today's dramatic moves in the gold price. If your not a subscriber, you are missing out!!

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

goes211's picture
goes211
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1114
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

I started to watch the Stanford Video on energy but after 6 minutes I gave up!

"It's the CO2 that is the problem.  Ken Kaldera points out that in its lifetime in the atmosphere, each molecule of CO2 traps 100,000 times more heat than was released during combustion at the moment of its creation."

He then explains how that this means that running a 1000 watt hair dryer is equivalent to a 747 engine at time of take off.

I Call BS!!!

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

Don't know if this was posted.

Treasury invites bloggers

dcm's picture
dcm
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2009
Posts: 205
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

thanks for the tip off Davos. No big surprises and nothing encouraging:

"There was also a bit of a disconnect between the remarks various Treasury officials have made in public forums and what was said at the meeting. Last Thursday, for example, Bloomberg reported that Treasury Secretary Geithner spoke to the Economic Club of Chicago and said:

“You can say now with confidence that the financial system is stable, the economy is stabilized....You can see the first signs of growth here and around the world.”

Yesterday, however, a number of those present clearly acknowledged that things could (still) go wrong and said such fears kept them awake at night. While that is not unusual in and of itself, at the very least it adds to doubts I and others have expressed about the true state of the financial system and the economy.

 

  • Finally, the meeting seemed to confirm the strong grip that Wall Street has on the levers of legislative power.
Nate's picture
Nate
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 5 2009
Posts: 573
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

On October 24, Evelyn Garriss was on Financial Sense Newshour and spoke of the increase of the thinning polar ice cap.  In fact, there was much more thin ice because the total cap increased to an area 1.4X the size of Texas.  Currently we are in a long term cooling cycle.

On another note, CO2 is a strong IR absorber.  In fact, all photons with wavelengths in the CO2 absorption bands are absorbed.  Zero are transmitted and reflected back into space.   What does this mean?  If we increase the CO2 level 10X, no more warming will take place. Is global warming peaking also?   A real inconveniet truth.

 

idoctor's picture
idoctor
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 4 2008
Posts: 1731
Re: Daily Digest - November 3

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
Re: Daily Digest - November 3
printfaster wrote:

 ....manipulating public opinion for the gain of the few.

.......

printfaster,

I can hardly believe that you are serious.  Not sure what your definition of "manipulating" and "few" is, but someone needs to speak up for the future generations on whom we are dumping the effluent of our excesses on.

Too many people use climate denial to justify selfish behaviour- that is the problem.

 

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