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    Daily Digest 2/14 – Avoid The Financial Circus, Why Saudi Aramco May Come To An Oil Field Near You

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, February 14, 2019, 4:51 AM


Is it love? Nope. Romance scams proliferate online, now the largest consumer fraud reported, FTC says (Thomas R.)

The number of romance scams jumped from 8,500 in 2015 to more than 21,000 in 2018. And the amount lost by victims has quadrupled over that period — reaching $143 million last year, the FTC reported. The median reported loss was $2,600, about seven times more than other fraud tracked by the FTC.

Here’s what it takes to pick, pack, and ship 150 million Valentine’s Day roses from Colombia to your local florist (Thomas R.)

The tremendous growth of the Colombian floral industry is thanks to a slew of US policy changes, an excellent local ecosystem, a location that’s actually more convenient to export from than former floral hub California, cheaper labor, and a transportation network that includes everything from airplanes to massive refrigerated warehouses to modest carts.

Employers need to hire more people than ever (Thomas R.)

Job openings have outpaced hiring since December of 2017, which shows that employers are having a difficult time finding enough workers to fill all the positions they have available. There have been more open jobs than unemployed people since March 2018.

12 Months. Nearly 1,200 Kids Killed By Guns. (blackeagle)

Over the summer, more than 200 teen reporters from across the country began working together to document the children, ages zero to 18, killed in shootings during one year in America. The stories they collected go back to last February 14, the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, when at least three other kids were fatally shot in incidents that largely escaped notice. As the weeks went on, the stories came to include children lost to school shootings, as well as to armed domestic violence, unintentional discharges, and stray bullets.

A record 7 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans, and even economists are surprised (Mark U.)

People often prioritize car loans because many need to drive to get to work and earn a paycheck, The Washington Post’s Heather Long reported. The fact that a record number of Americans aren’t making those payments is “usually a sign of significant duress among low-income and working-class Americans,” Long wrote.

Asymmetrical Warfare and 4GW: How Militia Groups are America’s Domestic Viet Cong (Alex)

The most direct way of discussing 4GW is to say that it describes any war between a state actor and a non-state actor. This is also known as asymmetrical warfare, but it’s not the only difference between 4GW and other, earlier forms of conflict. Asymmetrical warfare does, to be sure, blur the lines between combatants and civilians. This is in part what made the Bush-era “war on terror” so difficult and complicated: The war was against a set of ideas rather than a nation or even an extra-national army.

Germany narrowly escapes recession after flat growth in the fourth quarter (Thomas R.)

The flat fourth quarter data shows that Germany has narrowly avoided a recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of declining growth. It does not bode well for Europe, however, which sees Germany as a traditional growth driver in the region.

Death And Valor On An American Warship Doomed By Its Own Navy (jdargis)

The successive incidents raised an unavoidable question: How could two $1.8 billion Navy destroyers, protected by one of the most advanced defense systems on the planet, fail to detect oncoming cargo ships broadcasting their locations to a worldwide navigational network?

Avoid The Financial Circus (GE Christenson)

The Federal Reserve is supposed to maintain the value of the currency and encourage full employment. They proclaim their importance while they extract wealth from savings and transfer that wealth to the financial and political elite. Lobbyists and congresspersons are supported by the Fed, so the Fed is protected.

Former Apple lawyer charged with insider trading (Thomas R.)

“Levoff’s alleged exploitation of his access to Apple’s financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing the company’s insider trading compliance policy,” Antonia Chion, associate director of the SEC’s division of enforcement, said in a statement.

Lower gasoline prices restrain U.S. consumer inflation (Thomas R.)

The Consumer Price Index last month was held down by cheaper gasoline, which offset increases in the cost of food, rent, healthcare, recreation, apparel, motor vehicles and household furnishings. In the 12 months through January, the CPI rose 1.6 percent, the smallest gain since June 2017. The CPI increased 1.9 percent on a year-on-year basis in December.

Oil Rises Despite Rising Oil, Product Inventories (Thomas R.)

Crude oil pries have been rising this week, especially today, after yesterday Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the Kingdom continues to cut deeper than the OPEC+ latest agreement stipulated, with daily output seen to fall to 9.8 million bpd by March and exports to decline to 6.9 million bpd. That’s down from a production level of 11 million bpd in November and exports of 8.2 million bpd. OPEC’s total for January fell by 800,000 bpd, Reuters reported earlier today, to 30.81 million bpd.

Here’s Why Saudi Aramco May Be Coming To An Oil Field Near You (Thomas R.)

It might seem counterintuitive to some for Aramco to produce oil outside of its home country. After all, Aramco has exclusive rights to Saudi Arabia’s reportedly huge oil reserves—268.5 billion barrels of oil in the ground—and the geological properties of the Saudi reserves allow Aramco to produce at between $2 and $10 per barrel. This is the cheapest cost of production in the world. Aramco also enjoys relatively few regulatory constraints compared to what it would face abroad.

Union leaders warn Green New Deal may lead to poverty: ‘Members are worried about putting food on the table’ (Thomas R.)

Added Yvette Pena O’Sullivan, the executive director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA): “We will never settle for ‘just transition’ language as a solution to the job losses that will surely come from some of the policies in the resolution.”

E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce came from California farms, FDA report says (Thomas R.)

The lone positive E. coli test was found in sediment in a water reservoir on an Adam Brothers farm in Santa Maria. The agency stated it did not know how the reservoir became contaminated but provided possibilities, including that the water was “most likely” not properly treated with sanitizer and extensive wild animal activity nearby, such as animal grazing.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/13/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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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  • Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - 8:02am



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2954

    U.S. Budget Deficit Widens to $319 Billion Amid Flat Revenue

    U.S. Budget Deficit Widens to $319 Billion Amid Flat Revenue

    The growing budget deficit is concerning for fiscal hawks, who say it risks economic growth and U.S. credit quality. Net interest payments on the national debt jumped 19 percent to $99.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
    Read more at:
    Copyright © BloombergQuint

    The growing budget deficit is concerning for fiscal hawks, who say it risks economic growth and U.S. credit quality. Net interest payments on the national debt jumped 19 percent to $99.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

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  • Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - 12:18pm


    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4661

    Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

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  • Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - 3:52pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 224

    Who was this Valentine, anyway?

    On the 14th of February, 1966, Australia converted from sterling (£sd) to decimal currency. St Valentine’s Day then was almost completely unknown. Some strange American custom…
    Now it’s a big deal, providing an excuse for people, yes, to express tender feelings towards others, but also, yes yes, to buy and sell more and yet more stuff.
    Same with Halloween BTW. Only in the last 3 years or so have the barriers to that weird celebration fallen, and now the country has yet another excuse to buy and sell stuff and more stuff.
    How about we institute a day of no trading in trinkets, but in real neighbourly concern and connection? How would we name it? When would we observe it? And I don’t mean Xmas!

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  • Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - 6:43pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 524

    Isn't it called Black Friday?

    No trinkets allowed!

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  • Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - 11:33pm

    Reply to #4


    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 224

    The 10th

    Even if you’re not a Christian, doesn’t the above picture illustrate perfectly what the 10th Commandment is all about: You shall not covet !

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