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    Daily Digest 11/22 – Quantitative Easing Truth, Widespread Silver Shortages, Farmland Preservation Trends

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, November 22, 2010, 4:00 PM

  • The Truth about Quantitative Easing
  • Widespread Silver Bar Shortages
  • Exxon Sells Gulf of Mexico Stakes for $1.01 Billion
  • Lack of Hiring to Restrain U.S. Economy in 2011
  • 45 ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ Call for Bush-Era Tax Cuts to Expire
  • Crude Oil Flat After Ireland Accepts Bailout
  • Farmland Preservation: A Growing Trend

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Economy

The Truth about Quantitative Easing (james knight)



Governments have been “manufacturing” money for as long as there has been cash. Since 1950 the amount of money in circulation has doubled every 15 years or at a rate of 5.7% per annum. The excuse for this has always been that the extra money was needed to accommodate growth and inflation. However, what it did was to provide the State with a regular source of new money year on year. The first organization that gets to use any new money is the State. After it has passed into circulation most new cash flows back to the Exchequer through the taxation system. Having the ability to create another 5.7% of money every year was a considerable boost to the Government.

Widespread Silver Bar Shortages (adam)



As of today, there are no longer any regular wholesale supplies of the 1 ounce through 100 ounce silver rounds and bars available for immediate delivery.  It may be possible to locate incidental quantities of some product, but most wholesalers are now promising two to four weeks delivery to allow time for the silver to be fabricated. As a result of the shortages, premiums have started to rise.  So far, the increases have been modest, on the order of 0.5-2%.  However, if the shortage grows, expect to see further and larger premium increases in the coming weeks.  We could see a repeat of the late 2008 gold and silver buying frenzy, where product availability got as slow as 1-4 months after payment.

Exxon Sells Gulf of Mexico Stakes for $1.01 Billion 



The assets currently produce about 20,000 net barrels of oil per day, about 53% of which is oil. The properties are estimated to contain net proved and probable reserves of 66 million barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, 61% of which is oil. Proved reserves are estimated at 49.5 million BOE, 68% of which are proved developed. The properties include nine fields on the Gulf of Mexico continental shelf, generally located between Energy XXI’s existing core South Timbalier and Main Pass operations. The six largest fields account for 89% of the net production.

Lack of Hiring to Restrain U.S. Economy in 2011 



Gross domestic product will increase 2.6 percent next year after growing 2.7 percent in 2010, according to the median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4. “Growth is expected to be moderate,” Richard Wobbekind, president of the group and associate dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, said in a statement. “Panelists remain concerned about high levels of federal debt, a continuing high level of unemployment, increased business regulation and rising commodity prices.”

45 ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ Call for Bush-Era Tax Cuts to Expire 



Forty-five people have signed a letter to President Obama asking him to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of this year. The president gets many letters like that. But what was unusual about this petition was who signed it — including the Grammy Award-nominated DJ, MOBY, as well as Jerry Cohen of Ben-and-Jerry’s-Ice-Cream fame. All the signatories happen to be millionaires — who stand to lose financially if they get their way.

Energy

Crude Oil Flat After Ireland Accepts Bailout 



Crude futures were flat Monday, paring earlier gains as the dollar strengthened following Ireland’s decision to accept bailout money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Light, sweet crude for January delivery was down 2 cents, at $81.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange rose 29 cents, or 0.3%, at $84.63 a barrel. Ireland over the weekend applied for an aid package from the EU and the IMF, bringing an end to unease over whether the debt-ridden country would accept the assistance. The news initially served to prop up broader markets, including the euro. But the euro zone currency slipped in early morning trading, lifting the dollar. A stronger dollar typically weighs on oil prices as the dollar-denominated commodity becomes more expensive in other currencies. The euro was down at $1.3642 from $1.3673 recently and the ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was higher.

Environment

Farmland Preservation: A Growing Trend (joemanc)



Since 1978, when Connecticut began its Farmland Preservation Program, the state has purchased the development rights on 280 farms, which means that farmers can continue to farm the land or sell it someday, but never for development. The total amount of acreage saved for farming has been more than 36,000 acres. This represents about 28 percent of the state’s ultimate goal of protecting 85,000 acres of crop fields on 130,000 acres of farmland.

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