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    Daily Digest 1/14 – How To Build Wealth, New Ocean Measurements Are Bad News

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, January 14, 2019, 7:41 AM


Worried about the economy? Watch bank earnings (Thomas R.)

Concerns about whether the economy can continue expanding have gripped investors in recent weeks, and spurred erratic swings in global markets. Such fears threaten to weigh on banks this year, because their performance is closely tied to the health of the economy.

Bank profits suffer when the economy stumbles and businesses are scared to borrow. They become especially vulnerable when a recession hits and some customers aren’t able to pay back loans.

What the government shutdown means for your mortgage (Thomas R.)

Most mortgages are considered conventional loans, meaning they aren’t backed by the federal government. However, they are facilitated by government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

As private companies, Fannie and Freddie aren’t directly affected by the shutdown. Mortgage processing is continuing as usual, except in cases where the federal government provides information required for underwriting.

An early retiree who quizzed 100 millionaires about their money found there’s a 4-step process to building wealth (Adam)

“Investing in real estate seems like a natural result once the basics are covered and excess cash is generated,” John, who retired early at the age of 52 with a $3 million net worth and writes personal finance blog ESI Money, wrote in a blog post.

John would know — he spent the past few years interviewing 100 millionaires. Here, he breaks down the four-step process many of the millionaires he spoke with used to build wealth:

Industry wary of alternatives tries to protect a word: meat (Thomas R.)

Farm groups have found an unusual ally in state Sen. Carol Blood, a city-dwelling vegetarian from the Omaha suburb of Bellevue. Blood, who grew up on a farm, said she introduced the measure because agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry and needs to be protected for the good of the whole state.

The Yellow Vests Get it Right, by Robert Gore (thc0655)

However, just because something has monetary functions doesn’t mean it’s money, anymore than using a hairbrush to brush your teeth makes it a toothbrush. While there are some metaphysical questions about the notion of intrinsic value (that term was chosen because it’s shorter and more convenient than saying, “Something to which most people would assign a value apart from its potential value as money,” every time) the important point is that by SLL’s definition, using debt as money, including the debt in your wallet known as Federal Reserve Notes, doesn’t make it money.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Says It Is Laying Off 10 Percent of Its Workforce (Thomas R.)

The cuts will be felt across the company, which employs roughly 6,000 people. But as the Los Angeles Times noted Friday, cuts have been intermittent at SpaceX. Musk reportedly fired at least seven people last summer over disagreements about the performance speed of the company’s Starlink satellite program; all were reported to have been senior management staffers. SpaceX also in 2014 laid off a significant number of workers, with two former structural technicians later suing the company over claims that SpaceX violated labor laws by failing to properly notify them beforehand.

Trade war’s wounded: Companies improvise to dodge cost hikes (Thomas R.)

The higher costs resulting from Trump’s tariffs have yet to inflict much overall damage to a still-robust American economy, which is less reliant on international trade than most other countries are. Fueled by lower taxes, the economy grew at an impressive 3.4 percent annual rate from July through September after having surged 4.2 percent in the previous quarter. And employers added 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 2015.

Hacker who took down entire nation’s internet is jailed (Thomas R.)

Kaye, 30, had been hired to carry out the attacks by a senior employee at rival operator Cellcom, Britain’s National Crime Agency said in a statement, although there is no suggestion that Cellcom was aware of the activity.

He pleaded guilty to creating and using a botnet, a series of computers connected in order to attack systems, and possessing criminal property last month. Kaye was sentenced on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court in central London to two years and eight months in prison.

PG&E May Give Bankruptcy Notices to Staff on Monday (Thomas R.)

California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Thursday that his office would be making an announcement related to PG&E within the next few days and that the issue was at the top of his agenda. He said in a later interview that the announcement would involve appointments to the California Public Utilities Commission, the state’s grid operator and to a commission established by legislature to explore wildfire issues.

After a boom year for new natural gas plants, renewables set to retake the lead (jdargis)

2019 will look quite different, according to the EIA. Wind power alone, at 10.9GW, is currently scheduled to come online before the end of the year, likely spurred by the phase-out of an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on newly built large wind projects that expires at the end of 2019. (Small wind projects, with turbines smaller than 100kW, can still take advantage of the ITC for some years to come.) In addition, 4.3GW of solar photovoltaics are set to come online in 2019.

GM will make Cadillac its ‘lead’ electric vehicle brand (Thomas R.)

For a few years Cadillac sold an ELR hybrid coupe that was criticized for being overpriced at $75,0000 — $35,000 more than the Volt that shared its powertrain. Its follow-up CT6 Plug-In Hybrid hasn’t fared much better. The “flexible platform” referred to is called BEV3, a replacement for BEV2 (Battery Electric Vehicle 2), which the Bolt is based on.

2018 Was A Record Breaking Year For Energy Markets (Michael S.)

Natural gas prices have been depressed for several years, but natural gas inventories opened the year lower than normal. I was originally going to predict that natural gas prices would spend the year trading in a range of $2.50 to $3.00 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) — which they did for the most part — but I decided to make the prediction a bit more aggressive than that. Primarily on the basis of lower inventories, I predicted that the average price would be over $3.00/MMBtu.

Saudi energy minister concerned about oil price volatility (Thomas R.)

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced it has 268.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, a figure 2.2 billion barrels higher than previously known. The kingdom’s Energy Ministry also revised upward the country’s gas reserves by around 10 percent, to 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet as of the end of 2017.

New Ocean Measurements Are Bad News (Thomas R.)

Oceans are heating up about 40% faster than previously measured, scientists say—which only seems to confirm the world’s biggest headache. Published Thursday in Science, a review of recent studies says ocean temperatures are more in sync with dire climate model simulations than scientists knew. The new measurements confirm that oceans could warm 1.5 degrees Celsius and rise almost a foot by 2100 from warming alone, with melting ice caps adding more, Scientific American reports.

Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? (tmn)

Sure enough, when he exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen, their nitric oxide levels went up and their blood pressure went down. Because of its connection to heart disease and strokes, blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death and disease in the world, and the reduction was of a magnitude large enough to prevent millions of deaths on a global level.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/11/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]om. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - 8:35am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1938

    More on the yellow vests (as the pie shrinks)


    ...We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities. 
    But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people. Think of the ‘deplorables’ evoked by Hillary Clinton. There is a similar view of the working class in France and Britain. They are looked upon as if they are some kind of Amazonian tribe. The problem for the elites is that it is a very big tribe.
    The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore. 
    Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism. 
    A lot has been made of the fact that the yellow vests’ demands vary a great deal. But above all, it’s a demand for democracy. Fundamentally, they are democrats – they want to be taken seriously and they want to be integrated into the economic order...

    Similar thoughts from Victor Davis Hanson:

    I wore my new yellow vest on a brief trip outside this morning. No one asked about it.  We'll see.  I'll keep stirring the pot.

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - 2:19pm



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2283

    Resilience in an ice field. Building an igloo

    Talk about resilience and building shelter with found resources.  Blocks of ice are cut with a big knife and arranged in a spiraling structure.  I am sure that this takes major practice!

    Short video of the building process:  https://www.facebook.com/nextobserver/videos/1216823005131980/
    The first layer is the key.

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - 3:16pm



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2013

    Posts: 606


    I’m always amazed at how people do things like this. I know it probably just takes practice, but still...

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - 3:38pm



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1938

    Different strokes for different folks

    An igloo also requires perfect snow/ice conditions and if conditions are just right you’ll be out of the wind and achieve an “indoor” temperature in the 20’s Fahrenheit. If it gets too warm inside it starts dripping water on the occupants. And not being an Inuit I don’t understand why they left the canine warming units outside. It sure looked like a 3-dog night to me. 
    Given the chance to prepare I’d much rather have this much more versatile system:

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - 8:11pm



    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 534

    Policy or tactics? What's the goal?

    Tragic heroes are forgotten, as Victor Davis points out. The bigger question remains, "Did we come through it in better shape than when we started?" To the victors go the spoils.

    “It doesn’t matter if I burn my bridges behind me; I never retreat.” Fiorello LaGuardia

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