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    Daily Digest 10/22 – France, Germany May Lose AAA Rating, Why More Americans Supporting OWS, Biofuels False Promise

    by DailyDigest

    Saturday, October 22, 2011, 2:46 PM

  • S&P Sees Downgrade Blitz In EMU Recession, Threatening Crisis Strategy
  • France, Germany May Lose AAA Rating, Grant Says
  • As Autocrats Are Toppled, Their Fates Grow More Extreme
  • Why a Majority of Americans Are Getting Behind Occupy Wall Street
  • Italians Leave Fears of Debt Crisis to Others
  • Kenya and Saudi Arabia Deepen Energy Ties
  • Peak Production for U.S. Oil-Producing Regions
  • Biofuels False Promise: Breakthroughs May be Tougher Than Previously Thought

Watch Chris speak at the Casey Research Center about how “without energy, the economy is meaningless.” A must see video.

Economy

S&P sees downgrade blitz in EMU recession, threatening crisis strategy (pinecarr)

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is to warn that a double-dip recession in Europe would imperil France’s AAA rating and set off a string of downgrades across Southern Europe, undermining the EU’s debt crisis strategy.

France, Germany May Lose AAA Rating, Grant Says (pinecarr, via billsimpson)

Mark Grant, a managing director at Southwest Securities Inc., talks about the outlook for resolution of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and the possibility that France and Germany may lose their AAA ratings. “Europe is up against the wall”.

As Autocrats Are Toppled, Their Fates Grow More Extreme (jdargis)

“Qaddafism was a kind of cult,” Juan Cole, a University of Michigan history professor, said in describing the last stand in Colonel Qaddafi’s hometown, Surt, as the act of fanatics. “They drank the Kool-Aid, and they were determined to die. It is their truth against the evil world.”

Why a Majority of Americans Are Getting Behind Occupy Wall Street (jdargis)

The reason for this is that inequality as an issue has never gotten much beyond moral condemnation and complaints that current levels are unnecessary and unfair. The American public has largely agreed with this critique, but it has typically failed to make a strong connection between inequality and its own prospects for getting ahead. That connection is strengthening, however, as the economic downturn drags on, while Wall Street, the banks, and the economically powerful continue business as usual. OWS is building on this dawning recognition that inequality is not just bad or morally wrong, but a huge obstacle in the way of the other 99 percent’s future. Fighting inequality has gone from option to necessity: There is now no choice but to confront the economically powerful and somehow restructure the system to promote economic mobility.

Italians Leave Fears of Debt Crisis to Others (jdargis)

“We currently pay more in interest than we spend on our schools,” says Matteo Renzi, who makes the Palazzo Vecchio his home as the mayor of Florence. Renzi, only 36, was voted into office on the strength of his reputation as a “bulldozer” — and his pledge to finally clean house in Florence. He is the youthful face of his party, the center-left Democratic Party (PD), a mayor who wears jeans and has Apple stickers on his oak desk. “Our fathers walked into the restaurant, and we inherited the bill.”

The bill — at least for his city of Florence — currently amounts to €518 million.

Energy

Kenya and Saudi Arabia Deepen Energy Ties (James S.)

Saudi Arabia is one of Kenya’s development partners and it has funded several projects through the Saudi Fund for Development at a total cost of about $140 million, Nairobi’s Daily Nation newspaper reported.

Peak Production for U.S. Oil-Producing Regions (James S.)

Figure 3 plots the annual oil production levels for Pennsylvania and New York, where the industry began, from 1862 to 2010. Production increased by a factor of 10 between 1862 and 1891. However, it is a mistake to view this as the result of application of better technology to the initially exploited fields. Production from the original Oil Creek District in fact peaked in 1874 (Williamson and Daum, 1959, p. 378). The production gains instead came primarily from development of new fields, most importantly the Bradford field near the Pennsylvania-New York border, but also from Butler, Clarion, and Armstrong Counties. Nevertheless, it is unquestionably the case that better drilling techniques than used in Oil Creek were necessary in order to reach the greater depths of the Bradford formation.

Biofuels False Promise: Breakthroughs May be Tougher Than Previously Thought (James S.)

About 40% of America’s corn crop went towards ethanol production last year, which signals the end of this boondoggle. Arable land of course should be used to grow food, not fuel. Beillo quotes J. Craig Venter, who calculates that replacing all of our transportation fuel with corn ethanol would require a farm three times the size of the continental U.S. Ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks is just a flat out failure. You can do it, but the process is slow, expensive and thus will never scale unless some miraculous breakthrough is made. As for algae, it’s worth quoting Venter again.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. 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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