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    Daily Digest 2/28 – Rome Close To Bankruptcy, Emergency Order To Avoid Oil Train Wrecks

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, February 28, 2014, 3:57 PM

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Economy

Rome days away from bankruptcy (Adam)

"Rome has wasted money for decades. I don't want to spend another euro that is not budgeted," Marino said, following criticism from the Northern League opposition party which helped shoot down the bill for Rome in parliament.

The draft law would have included funding for Rome from the central government budget as a compensation for the extra costs it faces because of its role as the capital including tourism traffic and national demonstrations.

The Scandal in America That Is Hidden In Plain Sight – Privilege Blindness (Adam)

We are acting like a poor nation John, even a third world nation, with widespread corruption, declining press freedom, a crumbling infrastructure, and an alarming concentration of power in a few hands, a few powerful families. Both political parties are owned by the same elite class and are essentially the same corporate sponsored products; they are just different brands with different target markets.

Debt Default Will Kill the Dollar-Brandon Smith (pinecarr)

What about talk that the Fed is ‘tapering’ QE to intentionally cut the legs out from under the market? Smith explains, “Ultimately, the Fed is not pulling back from QE because the Fed wants to cut the legs out from under the market. I think the market is losing its legs regardless. They are pulling QE back because what happens if we have a stock market implosion while stimulus is running? I am saying the Fed is removing QE as part of the equation because it knows an implosion is going to happen, and they don’t want to be blamed.” Smith predicts that another $10 billion of QE, or money printing, will be cut at the next Fed meeting. Smith says, “The Fed is looking to end this by the end of the year, but maybe even faster.”

Gold Will Be Worth Much More Than $1,300 per Oz (Taki T.)

His successor is committed—at least for now—to continuing the tapering. Since the Fed has quadrupled its balance sheet without triggering worrisome inflation, that component of Fed policy should easily survive a gradual return to normalcy.

But the zero interest-rate policy (ZIRP), as our friend John Mauldin recently noted, is having serious effects on the economy and should be scheduled for early abandonment.

Mystery surrounds massive die-off of oysters and scallops off B.C. coast (Northernlights)

“It’s hard to say without having somebody there monitoring what’s going on. It could be food related. Maybe there were too many oysters and there was not enough food and they just starved – or something else [is happening] in the water like the acidity level,” he said. “To be frank, we don’t know a lot about it and that’s what’s scary.”

Having lost $468 million in bitcoins, MtGox files for bankruptcy protection (jdargis)

In an odd twist, according to Reuters, “Karpeles told the news conference that Mt. Gox wanted to file a criminal complaint against what he said was a hacking attack, but had no specific means of doing so.”

Tsutomu Okubo, now a member of the Japanese parliament and a former banker at Morgan Stanley, told Ars that he had begun discussing new bitcoin-related regulation with the Financial Services Agency, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bank of Japan a year ago.

Simple Tree Branch Filter Removes 99 Percent of E. Coli from Water (Suzie G.)

At least, those were the results reported by MIT mechanical engineers in a paper published yesterday in PLOS One. "I listened to this talk about how water flows through plants, and it occurred to me that the flow of water has to pass through these membranes in xylem," said Rohit Karnik, coauthor of the study. Xylem is part of a plant's vascular system, which transports water and dissolved minerals throughout its body. "We tried freshly cut sapwood and found that it actually works," Karnik says. "We were able to show that it can filter."

Emergency Order to Avoid Oil Train Disasters (James S.)

US federal regulators on Tuesday issued an emergency order for tougher testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine sensitivity to potential explosion and fire.

The new federal order follows some 10 derailments of trains carrying crude in North America during the past year.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/27/14

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