Daily Digest

Daily Digest - October 6

Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 9:59 AM
  • State tax reform panel blew its opportunity 
  • Unemployment to Rise Through Most of 2010: Roubini 
  • U.S. Suffering Permanent Destruction of Jobs
  • HSBC Chief Warns of Second Downturn
  • Stiglitz Urges Tax on Finance to Make Economy’s ‘Polluters’ Pay
  • World Bank Could 'Run Out Of Money' Within Twelve Months
  • It's Tough Turning Forty 
  • Two Beers With Steve Podcast
  • Is Bernanke's plan to inflate away our debt on the "reserve currency" about to be foiled?
  • The Demise Of The Dollar 
  • Coastal oil drilling backers aim to sidestep state's barrier
  • A Year in the Life of an Herbalist 
  • How Food Shapes Our Cities (Video) 
  • My Rocky Mountain Winter Garden

Economy

State tax reform panel blew its opportunity (Livio S.)

Yet, in the judgment of many tax experts, by rendering so many currently exempt goods and services taxable, the new business tax would load back onto poor- and middle-income Californians all they might gain from the income tax cut, and then some. Its real impact would be hard to judge, however, because it won't be paid directly by individuals but by businesses. They'll pass it though to customers via price increases if they can. That means consumers will have no way of knowing how much they're truly being taxed -- murkiness within which lots of costly mischief can be hidden.

Unemployment to Rise Through Most of 2010: Roubini (Vinny A.)

High unemployment and a lack of stimulus for private demand by countries like Japan and Germany could slow down the world recovery, famous bear Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor, told CNBC Monday. "I see the unemployment rate rising through most of 2010," Roubini told CNBC. "Not just is going to go above 10 percent but the risk is it's going to stay above this level and return to more normal only more gradually and that's going to be one of the important sources of weakness for an economic recovery," he added.

U.S. Suffering Permanent Destruction of Jobs (Vinny A.)

The chief economists for Wells Fargo Securities, John Silvia, says: Companies “really have diminished their willingness to hire labor for any production level,” Silvia said. “It’s really a strategic change,” where companies will be keeping fewer employees for any particular level of sales, in good times and bad, he said.

HSBC Chief Warns of Second Downturn (Vinny A.)

HSBC Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan is cautious about "growing too fast" because he fears a second economic downturn could force the bank to make write-downs, he said in an interview with the Financial Times. Geoghegan told the FT he thought recovery would be W-shaped rather than V-shaped. Geoghegan said that if he is right, "we have to be very careful we don't grow the balance sheet so far before the recovery has come, only to write it back into the impairment line later on. I'm cautious about growing too fast," the FT quoted him as saying. The FT said another senior executive told it that he expected HSBC to make medium-sized acquisitions a priority, with troubled banks' subsidiaries an area of interest. He highlighted "bits of Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland," the FT said.

Stiglitz Urges Tax on Finance to Make Economy’s ‘Polluters’ Pay (Vinny A.)

Financial markets should be subject to new taxes that will discourage “dysfunctional” trading and help pay for the damage the global crisis inflicted on poorer countries, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said. “The financial sector polluted the global economy with toxic assets and now they ought to clean out,” Stiglitz told reporters today in Istanbul, where he’s attending the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings. He said a tax is “much more feasible today” than in the past.

World Bank Could 'Run Out Of Money' Within Twelve Months (Damnthematrix)

The Bank, whose job it is to support low-income countries, has had to hand out so much cash in the wake of the financial crisis that its resources could run dry within 12 months. “By the middle of next year we will face serious constraints,” said its president Robert Zoellick, as he launched a major campaign to persuade rich nations to pour more money into the Washington-based institution.

It's Tough Turning Forty (David M.)

There have been twenty eight episodes of hyperinflation of national economies in the twentieth century with 20 occurring after 1980....In his most recent book, Monetary regimes and Inflation; History, Economic, & Political Relationships, Peter Bernholz analyzes the 12 largest episodes of hyperinflation - all of which were caused by financing huge public budget deficits through money creation. His conclusion: The tipping point for hyperinflation occurs when the government's deficit exceeded 40% of its expenditures. According to the current OMB projections, US federal expenditures are projected to be $3.653 trillion in FY 2009...These projections imply the US will run deficits equal to 43.3% of expenditures in 2009.

Two Beers With Steve Podcast

Pat Carmack, producer of the film The Money Masters, joins us for a discussion on how the film came into existence along with his thoughts on the banking industry and the Federal Reserve.

Is Bernanke's plan to inflate away our debt on the "reserve currency" about to be foiled? (David M.)

The Independent has released information that Arab States, along with China, Russia, Japan and France are about to end the dollar's hegemony. While snippets like this have been previously discussed, usually accompanied by lots of posturing, nothing firm had ever materialized. If the latest overture turns out to be real, that would be a dramatic hit to Ben Bernanke's attempt to inflate trillions of debt on the back of a rapidly devaluing reserve currency. Ironically, the end of the dollar's pain may now become Bernanke's new sad reality as with the loss of its reserve status, perpetual dollar devaluation becomes a moot point. Oh, and a side effect, first oil, and soon all other commodities, will soon stop being priced in USDs.

The Demise Of The Dollar (Ben J., SolidSwede, nncita, damnthematrix)

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

 

Energy

Coastal oil drilling backers aim to sidestep state's barrier (Livio S.)

Both advocates for more drilling and opponents agree that even a limited lifting of the state's 15-year-old ban on offshore oil production could lead the way to more extensive exploitation of California's potentially large petroleum reserves. "California has some of the lower-hanging fruit on the outer continental shelf," said Bob Fryklund, a vice president with IHS-Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an international energy consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass. "It seems to me we're cutting our noses off if we don't access places within the United States where there is a high probability of finding oil that we can deliver cheaper than imported oil."

 

Environment

A Year in the Life of an Herbalist (David M.)

This virtual herb walk is intended to take the reader through the seasons of the year and give witness to the harvesting and preparation activities of an enthusiastic herbalist who spends much time a-field. I live in the Upper Midwest in Zone 3, and have access to diverse ecosystems of deciduous forest, farms, marsh, river, and pockets of prairie. I will attempt to profile useful plants and wild foods and give lots of how-to information on harvesting, medicinal uses & preparations, nutritional values, and recipes.

How Food Shapes Our Cities (Video) (C. Watcher)

Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world. Understanding the flow of food will help us reconnect with what we eat.

My Rocky Mountain Winter Garden (David M.)

On a cold and rainy mid-September day last year, I planted tiny seeds in a patch of muddy earth and embarked on a seemingly contradictory journey of winter gardening in the Rocky Mountains, in Woody Creek, Colorado. Crouched over my new garden — a 6-by-24-foot raised bed surrounded by 24 bales of musty hay, I felt skeptical that it would succeed, despite reassurances from my father, Eliot Coleman. A long-time proponent of winter food production, he assured me that my winter garden would not only work but would amaze me with the simplicity of its care and the perseverance of its plants.

28 Comments

crash_watcher's picture
crash_watcher
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Carolyn Steel's talk on TED illustrates to me how fragile the present food supply chain to cities has become. 

 Her book, Hungary City, looks like an interesting read: http://www.hungrycitybook.co.uk/blog/?page_id=15

When it comes to food, what we waste, and why we waste it, is a direct product of our attitudes: the degree to which we understand or value what we eat. It’s part of our gastronomic culture – and the fact that British households throw away a third of the food they buy tells you everything you need to know about ours.

 

Our industrial past in Britain has disconnected us with food, and despite the recent so-called ‘foodie revolution’, the majority of us neither understand food nor care about it much. We waste 10 billion pound’s worth of food every year because we don’t see food for what it is: the most important thing in our lives.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

The "Demise of the Dollar" piece is absolutely the most significant news item today, imho. Although such a system is not yet complete, it looks like there is a good chance that a transition will be initiated in the near future to paying for oil in a basket of currencies or in gold.

Gold responded today by reaching new highs that exceeded the intraday highs of 2008. The inverse head and shoulders appears to be complete and the shorter term ascending wedge seems to as well. I don't have long term experience trading or investing, but to me it seems like both the technical and fundamental factors are working together to provide a reservoir of fuel to the precious metals rally. It is interesting to note that this is taking place in the relative absence of a wholesale commodities boom as oil is at ~50% of its all time high.

I would be very interested to hear everyone's thoughts on the possibility of a new oil payments scheme I'd be very interested to hear any input Chris might have on this, however brief his time constraints might require.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Arab's Dropping the Dollar for Oil
"In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar."

"Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars." (The Independent Article)

Australia Raising Interest Rates
"Australia on Tuesday became the first G-20 country to raise interest rates since the start of the financial crisis, breaking the ice for other relatively healthy economies to follow suit. The surprise move -- which came earlier than markets expected -- is a signal that the great global monetary loosening is beginning to reverse." (
Wall Street journal Article)

 


Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

In the quest for truth, I should point out this newly released bit: http://www.cnbc.com/id/33185885

CNBC is quoting the Saudi Central Bank Chief as saying this story is false. However, he doesn't seem to deny that he's losing confidence in the dollar. For now, the markets have moved greatly on the side of the Independent's story. I've heard tons of pro-gold propaganda and rumors ranging from this sort of story to COMEX defaults in the past year or so, but I can't remember a single time the markets moved off the rumor in such a definitive manner.

We have to admit, shifting away from the oil-dollar standard would certainly be in line with the statements and national interests of many of the nations involved. And I hope I'm not too cynical in saying that the rapidly deployed, but somewhat unconvincing CNBC article reeks of a MSM propaganda coverup designed to soothe and placate...Don't worry, our dollar standard ship is absolutely unsinkable.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

IMHO we have imported a worthless dollar syndrome abroad. The "We have a strong dollar policy," lip service isn't jiving with health care, massive government and cap and tax and deficits and quantitative easing. 

Who knows if this will become a reality or not. IMHO the gig is up. Sooner not later they are going to have to re-value a new dollar.

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

I feel I've taken up more than my fair share of the posts thus far, but today seems like a big one. Apparently the UN is rattling once again for a new reserve currency: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.e272eaa74dccc30f21c6ff7638b0...

This, on the same day as the oil-dollar rumor/news makes the jump in precious metals unsurprising.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Well, things must be OK since the UK's FTSE was up nearly 2% today, this following on from Production figures being negatively well adrift from the forecasts. Utter madness.

DavidC

 

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

I'll never forget the story of the Chinese students laughing at Timothy when he jawboned our "strong dollar policy." I wish I had a video of that one.

Regardless of whether or not these things come to pass, the worldwide perception of the dollar has shifted permanently. As I think Chris pointed out, when a paradigm shifts, the first instinct of many seems to be to try to go back to "the way things were." That is certainly what the politicians in America are attempting and the international talk regarding the dollar seems to be a scathing condemnation of any government sponsored health plan that would add deficits.

I am positive that 1 gallon of middle eastern crude oil would harvest more crops and propel more cars than 1 gallon of FRNs would.

Still, the sun is shining today, the rivers run, and the crops grow. It's not where we are that bothers me, it's where we are headed. And it seems to be a destructive retreat into deeper denial.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

1) Arab Gulf Officials Deny Plan To Ditch USD Oil Trade

    1A) Max Keiser says it's true though. Please see the video and other info at Nathan's Economic Edge.

   1B) This guy on youtube is getting the news out on this and also about a number of store closings(click on "more    info").

2) Apartment vacancy rate hits 23-year high: report

3) Dow Will Fall to 6,300 by Year End: Portfolio Manager

4) The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System needs larger payments to make up for losses.

5) Oregon Public Employees Retirement System has largest loss since 1945

6) Asian Central Banks Step Up Forex Intervention

"SINGAPORE -- Several Asian central banks intervened in the foreign exchange market Tuesday to curb the rise of their currencies, reflecting an effort to keep their exporters competitive as the U.S. dollar swoons.

The interventions by South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines -- reported by currency traders, but not confirmed by the authorities -- came as Asian currencies soared, with some hitting 12-month highs against the dollar and exacerbating worries about the outlook for the U.S. currency among traders.

The dollar has tumbled against a broad range of major currencies in recent months"

7) Dropping Rents Will Drag House Prices Down with Them

8) Dollar Living on Its Reputation and Borrowed Time

==================================================================

Just to make things easy, here are the links for spot gold, for the U.S. dollar and for long term treasuries

so that they can be followed more easily  through the rest of the day.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Apparently the UAE is also denying the change in the dollar-oil payment scheme: http://www.reuters.com/article/wtUSInvestingNews/idUSL620079420091006

However, the unnamed UAE "central bank source" that is cited simply states that "we've always used dollars and it would be too difficult to change."

Somehow, this doesn't leave me convinced and is clearly a "news" story designed to soothe the masses. Regardless of whether or not a change in oil payments is on the horizon, it is difficult for me to be fully convinced that the Reuters and the CNBC articles are truly helpful. It is difficult to try to read between the lines and speculate as to who is telling the truth, but I've always fould it helpful to consider the points of view of the articles and the reason they are being written while keeping in mind the broad, long term interests of each of the economies mentioned. This story will be on my radar screen until I get more definitive proof one way or another.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Re: Stiglitz Urges Tax on Finance to Make Economy’s ‘Polluters’ Pay

While emotionally this idea may make sense to many people, it will in fact hurt those on Main St far worse than those on Wall St.  This tax would cripple our entire economy, and make getting loans far harder than it already is.  Our financial systems would crumble as liquidity dried up to 1/3rd or less than it is now, and all that hits mom and pop more than the financial institutions.  If financial institutions are taxed like this, 100% will be passed on to the end user:  all of us.  If that is not possible, the financial institution will stop providing that service or business which dries up liquidity.

Also, when considering how much money this tax might raise, no one seems to acknowledge the dramatic impact it would have on the dollar amount of transactions.  In other words, by adding this tax, there will be a resulting dive in transactions and therefore all estimates of what this tax would bring it are dramatically too high.

I realize that growth is an issue over the long term, and that slowing down growth is perhaps a good thing,  But, we must be careful in the unintended consequences of emotional driven tax ideas like this one - as it may increase the rate of change and through things into chaos far faster than is managable.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

rickets: I agree with your concerns. Any pollution, energy, or food tax is inherently regressive and unfairly serves to impoverish those that are already marginalized.

However, taxes like these, are what governments are best (worst??) at. This is the inevitable result of a status quo oligarchy that strengthens its grip over our government with each passing boom-bust in the credit driven business cycle. In my opinion, these taxes tend to benefit well connected industries because the tax plunder can be redistributed to them for whatever "services" they might render. Of course, Joe Taxpayer is not usually a beneficiary.

Taxes are also a simple, mindless approach to controlling the public. The reason that I think this site, and Chris's Crash Course, has so much value is because its purpose is pretty much just to educate. I don't ever recall hearing Chris supporting any specific solutions or showing a partisan bias that would betray a hidden agenda. I agree with Chris wholeheartedly in that I believe changes must come from the grass roots and they must come from a point of education and understanding.

D.C. is not behaving very intelligently now, to say the least. This must change, but electing the "right" representative will likely do nothing. The value of the vote you (might) cast is far, far lower than your value in reaching out to your friends and neighbors.

It's been a long, long time since the status quo was last modified in this country. I think most of us can safely say that it's not working and it certainly isn't leaving us satisfied. True, meaningful change of the status quo - of any sort, in any place - will send a signal to me that we have reached a point where we are capable of discussing solutions. Until then, I keep planting seeds in minds.

 

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Mike here is some laughter....

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

I agree with Chris wholeheartedly in that I believe changes must come from the grass roots and they must come from a point of education and understanding.

 

When the government took over public education, the battle was won. Talking to my friends and neighbors is like beating my head against a wall. They just can't accept that the government might be lying to them. Green shoots!

Unfortunately, the long term solution is to homeschool or private school our kids. This takes a lot of work and sacrifice and I don't think people want to do that work. It's very hard.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

4Gs: Welcome! and thank you

I don't think it's completely impossible for some sort of public schooling system to function or at least function a lot better than ours. But as you've hinted, things are going to have to take place on a much smaller scale at a much morelocal level. Standardized tests, psychiatric testing, and mandatory vaccinations that are pushed in public schools expose impressinoable children to the whims of the political and corporate elite. For now, the only solution seems to be homeschooling. But I don't really view that as a bad thing. Interestingly enough, I am finding more and more people that agree with me on this. With homeschooling, I'm reasonably confident that my kids could work a whole lot less and be a whole lot smarter.

In addition, separating families when the kids are such a young age does not really increase social stability in this country. In my experience, homeschooled children are more mature, smarter for their age, and have stronger families. It's not rocket science: keeping a family close is much more difficult if everyone is constantly engaged doing their own thing. I want my children to be able to think for themselves, not simply be mindless tools plugged into the Matrix.

Thanks for the post.

 

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Just wanted to brighted up our day a little LOL....

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1286323604&play=1

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Apartments: Rents Plunge, REITs Soar

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33194681

What Happens to Stocks When Economic Stimulus Fades?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33180474

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Australia Raising Interest Rates

RBA gets it wrong again

Posted by Cassander in Debtwatch
6 Comments

The RBA has put rates up now on the belief that the financial crisis is behind us, and it has to return to its established role of controlling inflation..

That this decision was likely was flagged by the speech by Anthony Richards last week, which implied that the RBA, having ignored the house price bubble created by private credit growth in the preceding two decades, was worried about the renewal of the bubble initiated by the Government’s First Home Vendors Boost (I refuse to call it by its official name, since the money clearly went to the vendors, while the buyers copped only higher prices).

Needless to say I am all for trying to contain the house price bubble, which I regard as a disguised Ponzi scheme that has sucked Australian households into unsustainable debt levels. It is quite possible that the increase in interest rates (which is sure to be fully passed on by lenders and will add $20 a week to the servicing costs of a now commonplace $400,000 home loan), combined with the phasing out of the Vendors Boost, will be enough to prick the bubble–especially if it is followed by another rise next month.

But the RBA is doing this in the belief that the economy will return to normal after the recent mild recession–normal meaning growing at about 3% per annum in real terms, and faster than that as it rebounds from the recession.

Unfortunately “normal†in our post-War experience has  also involved a return to a rising private debt to GDP ratio. Every recession has involved a fall in debt-driven demand, and every recovery has involved a return to debt rising faster than income. As the global financial crisis has made many people realise, this is simply a formula for avoiding a crisis now by having a bigger one in the future.

I doubt that the RBA appreciates this even today. It is still mired in a neoclassical way of thinking about the economy, which myopically ignores the impact of debt-driven demand on the economy. This is why it can put up rates now in the belief that this will merely fine tune the economy’s performance–reducing the likelihood of inflation in the future.

I think it is likely that the RBA will achieve far more than it intends. The last time the RBA put rates up to attempt to control an asset price bubble that was already out of hand was back in 1989. That exacerbated the economic downturn that was already in train as the debt bubble of the 1980s started to collapse. I expect the outcome of this rate rise will be similar: a downturn that is already in train as a debt bubble bursts will be made worse by this increase in rates at a time of greatly heightened financial fragility.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

1) Gerald Celente-Dollar Is Finished

(The quote is actually "demise of the dollar")

2) Peter Schiff Demise of the Dollar

(Good explanation)

3) Robert Fisk on the Gulf 'ditching the dollar' in oil trade (video)

(Note: Robert Fisk is the guy who wrote the article yesterday)

4) Jim Rogers on the dollar and inflation

5) Where did the Billions in Bank Bailouts Go? - Sand, Dirt, Fines & Ghostowns

 (Watch the tour he gives)

6) Marc Faber, Total Collapse Will Come, Economic Armageddon, Dollar Crash

7) #7 is in honor of the fine economic wisdom and predictions of Ben Bernanke, of Tim Geithner, of

Hank Paulson, of George Bush. One more for Ben.....Ben before and two weeks after.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

DamntheMatrix,

Great post, thanks.  It seems to me we are on the 'out of control speeding train' as represented in the awesome movie, 'the end of empire: what a way to go'.  So what if the food car just put up the price of a sausage roll? 

I cant even count the ways we are F#*%ed.  I suspect you have trouble with this too... how do i know?  by the size of your garden!

The Oz governement ought to face a class action suit from every person lulled into purchasing a house with the First Home Vendors Boost... but they wont.  

I played the crash course to the most cynical and smartest friend i have over the weekend [he lives in remote tasmainia from his garden and fish and shellfish he collects] and even he stopped the video at the 'banks create money' section and refused to accept that this happens, painting the course as a 'conspiracy'... even after i printed the graphics from the Feds own site!

My sister worked for the airlines, Qantas; she was flying out of Moscow and approaced the hostess and asked her why she hadnt followed Aviation guidlines by providing the manditory talk on seat-belts and oxygen masks dropping from overhead in the case of an emergency.  The hosteses answer, "We crash, you die".

Mate, it aint complicated.

Stewart, Brisbane.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

I watched What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire again the other night and offer these links:

News.com.au - House prices 'need US-style collapse'

my personal blog - BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOMBOOMBOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The Age - Sports car boom points to recovery

We watched the tragedy unfold
We did as we were told
We bought and sold
It was the greatest show on earth
But then it was over
We oohed and aahed
We drove our racing cars
We ate our last few jars of caviar
And somewhere out there in the stars
A keen-eyed look-out
Spied a flickering light
Our last hurrah
And when they found our shadows
Groups 'round the TV sets
They ran down every lead
They repeated every test
They checked out all the data in their lists
And then the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed
But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left
This species has amused itself to death
No tears to cry
No feelings left
This species has amused itself to death

Roger Waters - Amused to Death

straight's picture
straight
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Ahh Stephen, I am still laughing.... but as i often find, laughter is often just and easier way of crying.

Two friends just bought sports cars. 

"As long as the Government, the public and the media remain in denial, and self-congratulatory rhetoric continues that Australia has cleverly avoided the housing market correction it needed to have, there is little chance that matters will improve."

No matter what angle i approach the many crises unfolding on this earth i come back to the one same conclusion. 

We are fighting our true nature as a species.  The animal that is a human has a nature, human nature, and, yes, denial has unfolded as a direct consequence of not coming to terms with that nature.

Many groups have emerged as proxies, mainly religions, however whilst we continue to deny our nature [i.e. deny that we are good and evil at the same time...deny that the original sin was becoming self aware] we alow those that purport to have the answers to control the agenda.

I have previously posted this link, but i found it invaluable in understanding the present crisis. http://www.humancondition.com/ASpeciesInDenial.html i recommend the whole book [available as a free download, or you can buy it at most good bood stores] or the first chapter as an overview.

without the refuge of denial we would all suffer such anxiety at the plight of the planet, our fellow humans and of ourselves that we would either go into depression, suicide, or stand up and demand a humane system.  

once again, it doesnt seem that complicated to me.

Stewart, Brisbane.

ps. Stephen, are you aware of tittytainment? 

from wiki.

The word "tittytainment" was coined for the first time in 1995 by the neo-liberal ideologue Zbigniew Brzezinski, member of the trilateral commission and ex-national security adviser of United States President Jimmy Carter, during the conclusion of the first "State of the World Forum", which was hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in the city of San Francisco. The objective of this meeting was to determine the state of the world, suggest desirable objectives and principle activities to achieve them, and to establish global politics to match them. The attendees to this meeting (Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Václav Havel, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, etc.) arrived at the conclusion that a 20:80 society is inevitable. This means that the work provided by 20% of the world population would be sufficient to sustain the world economy, while the other 80% would be without work or opportunities, nourishing a growing frustration.

This is where Brzezinski's concept came into play. Brzezinski suggested that "tittytainment," a mix of physical and psychological methods, be used to control people's frustration and predictable protests. He then explained the term as being a portmanteau fused from titty and entertainment, alluding to the sleeping and lethargic effect that is produced when a baby is breastfed.

 

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Damnthematrix
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gold hits record high

edit - accidental double post

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Damnthematrix
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gold hits record high
 

By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch

6 Oct 2009

TOKYO (MarketWatch) -- Growing speculation over the potential end to dollar-based trading in the oil market may be part of the reason gold prices have rallied beyond $1,020 an ounce to stand near their highest level in 18 months.

And the strength was kept even as several top officials, including Saudi central bank chief Muhammad al-Jasser, denied the report.

Gulf Arab states, along with China, Russia, Japan and France, are planning to put an end to dollar-based trading in the oil market, according to an exclusive report published Tuesday in the U.K. by The Independent.

"News on gold's expected future role in oil transactions between these trading partners has sent the price past $1,020," said Peter Spina, chief investment analyst at GoldSeek.com.

In place of the greenback, the nations plan to use a basket of currencies, including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar, the report said.

The Independent said the plans were confirmed by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong.

Several top Gulf central bankers immediately dismissed the talk, and the vice chairman of China's central bank made no mention of such a move in a speech.

The report is "absolutely bullish," for gold, said Peter Grandich, a metals writer at Agoracom. "I've not see gold's fundamentals this bullish in years."

The December contract for gold, the most-active on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, closed Monday with a gain of $13.50, or 1.3%, at $1,017.80 an ounce. By the morning in London, December gold was up $2.80 to $1,020.70.

In mid-September, futures prices had climbed past $1,025 to hit a fresh 18-month high. The record intraday price for a front-month gold contract is $1,033.90, set on March 17, 2008.

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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

From Briefing.com

Fed's Hoenig: Too soon to pull support as U.S. recovers - Reuters

Reuters reports a Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday that while the U.S. economy is clearly rebounding, it is too soon to begin to withdraw the Federal Reserve's massive support. "I see nothing that conflicts with the widely held opinion that we are in recovery," Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig said at an economic conference. "I would not support a tight monetary policy in the current environment," Hoenig said in his written remarks. However, he warned that it will be important for the Fed to pull back from its ultra-low interest rates and withdraw the vast amounts of cash it has put into the financial system before igniting inflation.

Fed frets about commercial real estate - WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports banks in the U.S. "are slow" to take losses on their commercial real-estate loans being battered by slumping property values and rental payments, according to a Federal Reserve presentation to banking regulators last month. The remarks suggest that banking regulators are girding for a rerun of the housing-related losses now slamming thousands of banks that failed to set aside enough capital during the boom to cushion themselves when the bubble burst. "Banks will be slow to recognize the severity of the loss -- just as they were in residential," according to the Fed presentation, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A Fed official confirmed the authenticity of the document, prepared by an Atlanta Fed real-estate expert who is part of the central bank's Rapid Response program to spread information about emerging problem areas to federal and state banking examiners throughout the U.S. In another sign that many U.S. financial institutions are inadequately protected against potential losses on commercial real-estate loans, banks with heavy exposure to such loans set aside just 38 cents in reserves during the second quarter for every $1 in bad loans, according to an analysis of regulatory filings by The Wall Street Journal. That is a sharp decline from $1.58 in reserves for every $1 in bad loans from the beginning of 2007. The Journal's analysis includes more than 800 banks that reported having more half of their loans tied up in commercial real-estate, ranging from apartments to office buildings to warehouses.

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Is it April Fool's Day? Geithner says something truthful

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33206698#

Geithner Says Americans Will Have to Save More

Americans will have to save more in the future, transforming the global economy, and Europeans and Japanese must work to boost domestic demand, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

"Everyone is going to have to come to terms with the fact that we are going to save more in the United States," Geithner said in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit, conducted on Sunday in Istanbul, and due to appear on Oct. 8.

"If the U.S. starts saving more, that changes the whole world's economic reality," he said, according to the German text of the interview.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

clearly, then, the best way to induce savings is to maintain negative real interest rates!

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dcm
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Re: Daily Digest - October 6

Geithner has his own savings plan

he avoids paying for things he doesn't need

like  taxes

 

 - D. Mason

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