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    Daily Digest 1/4 – Alarming Decline in Bees, Fed May Add Treasury Market Dealers, Flood Concern for Coal Prices

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 4:00 PM

  • China BRICS up Africa
  • Manipulated Monday – New Year Starts with a Bang
  • The Oil – Employment Link, Part 1
  • Researchers Find “Alarming” Decline In Bumblebees
  • Fed Likely To Add New Treasury Market Dealers
  • Overheating East to Falter Before the Bankrupt West Recovers
  • Australia Flood Is Concern For Coal Prices, A Commodities Lesson

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Economy

China BRICS up Africa (pinecarr)



There can be no two opinions that Beijing made a smart move. Its decision to anoint South Africa as a new member of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will be projected as based on economic grounds, but there are any number of other dimensions. The decision was hugely significant politically, and its announcement showed delightful timing – Christmas Eve. It also has vast geopolitical potential and it is undoubtedly based on strategic considerations. The choice of South Africa can even be spotted as a gutsy move to disprove a prediction from Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and guru of the BRIC concept, that Nigeria was better placed to make the grade

Manipulated Monday – New Year Starts with a Bang (ilene)



The good news is though, that that will also make Billions of more dollars available to terrorist and that will give us a great justifications to keep spending $1,000,000,000,000 per year on the military without any cutbacks at all while we strip-mine all those horrible social safety-net programs that dare to give downtrodden Americans hope.  Of course the stock market futures are loving this and the Dow, at 7:45, looks like it will open up 100 points as the combination of a weak dollar and a weak President is the investing class’s fondest wish for the New Year.  

The Oil – Employment Link, Part 1 (bill)



From what I can see, oil consumption and employment are very closely linked. It is this link that seems to be contributing to the unemployment problems we have now in the US. Going forward, we know that the US is heavily dependent on oil imports. If these drop, either because world oil production is dropping, or because world oil production is close to flat, and the US is being outbid for the oil, then it seems likely that employment in the United States will drop even more.

Researchers Find “Alarming” Decline In Bumblebees (adam)



In recent years, experts have documented a disappearance of bees in what is widely called colony collapse disorder, blamed on many factors including parasites, fungi, stress, pesticides and viruses. But most studies have focused on honeybees. Bumblebees are also important pollinators, Cameron said, but are far less studied. Bumblebees pollinate tomatoes, blueberries and cranberries, she noted.

Fed Likely To Add New Treasury Market Dealers (pinecarr)



After a hiatus of more than one year, the Federal Reserve is likely to expand a select group of dealers to help with hefty Treasury debt sales and the central bank’s monetary-policy operations, according to traders and dealers familiar with the matter. Demand for safe-haven Treasurys has eased over the past couple of months as optimism over the economic outlook sparked more buying interest in riskier assets such as stocks. That means dealers need to play a bigger

Overheating East to Falter Before the Bankrupt West Recovers (pinecarr)



The East-West trade and capital imbalances that lay behind the Great Recession are as toxic as ever. Surplus states are still exporting excess capacity with rigged currencies — the yuan-dollar peg for China and, more subtly, the D-Mark-Latin peg within EMU for Germany. Dangerously high budget deficits of 6pc, 8pc, or 10pc of GDP in countries with dangerously high public debts near 100pc may have prevented an acute depression, but they have not prevented the weakest rebound since World War Two, and they cannot continue, whatever the assurances of New Keynesians and pied pipers of debt.

Energy

Australia Flood Is Concern For Coal Prices, A Commodities Lesson (terry)



There is a significant coal shortage in China, and there is no immediate relief for the problem. China is a major consumer of coal just as its is of crude oil. Demand from the world’s second largest economy by GDP will push up prices. The cost of coal to industry in China is underwritten by the central government. That means China will either have to take larger losses or pass prices on to the private sector. The coal mine problem in Australia could have an immediate effect on steel prices. The island nation produces about half of the world’s coking cola for the steel industry.

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