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    Daily Digest 2/7 – Farm Belt Bankruptcies Soaring, Is $136 Million In Crypto Stuck or Missing?

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, February 7, 2019, 7:04 AM


Updated: Secrecy Reigns as NERC Fines Utilities $10M citing Serious Cyber Risks (Thomas R.)

The fines come as the U.S. intelligence community is warning Congress of the growing risk of cyber attacks on the U.S. electric grid. In testimony this week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats specifically called out Russia’s use of cyber attacks to cause social disruptions, citing that country’s campaign against Ukraine’s electric infrastructure in 2015 and 2016.

A Crypto-Mystery: Is $136 Million Stuck or Missing? (Thomas R.)

Stockholders in a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange say about $136 million worth of customers’ holdings are stuck in an electronic vault because the company’s founder, and sole employee, died without sharing the password.

How fake news spreads, sowing distrust ahead of Nigeria’s elections (tmn)

This false information covers many topics and takes different forms. On the subtler end of the scale, there are examples such as Buhari’s aide saying that Atiku only avoided arrest on his US visit because of diplomatic immunity; or the opposition official posting news that “800 companies shut down” even though the story pre-dated Buhari’s term. On the wilder end of the scale, there are the claims that President Buhari has been replaced with a Sudanese clone; or that Kim Jong Un wants to re-colonise Nigeria.

4 dolphins have died within 2 years at an Arizona facility. Now it’s closing. (Thomas R.)

“Immediately after Kai started showing signs of health decline two weeks ago our team made every effort to save his life, including bloodwork testing, ultrasounds, x-rays, and engaging external specialists and submitting diagnostic samples to outside university veterinary laboratories,” said Schaeffer. “After the veterinary team administrated hours of critical care, including providing him oxygen, medicine and x-ray testing, Kai’s condition continued to decline. We made the extremely difficult decision to humanely euthanize Kai ensuring he would pass peacefully.”

AAA confirms what Tesla, BMW, Nissan electric car owners suspected — cold weather saps EV range (Thomas R.)

Some EV drivers — including this correspondent — recently found that range can drop by half when the mercury tumbles into negative territory. The AAA study appears to be the first to have used standard, repeatable methodology to confirm the problem and compare the effect of winter temperatures on different models.

Climate change was the subtext of the State of the Union. It should’ve been the headline. (tmn)

The recent bankruptcy of PG&E, California’s largest utility, is a case in point. The company is facing upward of $30 billion in liabilities since its equipment was blamed for starting some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history. That the state became such a tinderbox is due in part to ongoing changes in the climate.

MAGA and Government Myths (GE Christenson)

To be money something must be a store of value. Dollars have lost value—or purchasing power—since 1913 when a corrupt congress dumped the Federal Reserve upon the United States. Measured against gold—true money—the dollar has lost about 98%. Why does a Ford pickup that cost $2,000 fifty years ago cost $45,000 – $50,000 in 2018? Dollar devaluation! This shows a compound increase of over 6% per year for fifty years. Hundreds of other examples demonstrate the loss of purchasing power of the once mighty dollar.

Disney/Fox Merger Will Result in at Least 4,000 Lost Jobs (Thomas R.)

The Hollywood Reporter has an in-depth piece about Disney’s impending acquisition of most of Fox’s assets and how it will affect Fox employees. The short answer? One analyst says “there will be bloodshed” in the process, referring to the thousands of employees who will be laid off in the aftermath of the merger. This excerpt paints an especially grim picture:

Exxon Mobil and Qatar greenlight $10 billion project to export natural gas from Texas (Thomas R.)

The plan to export LNG from Exxon’s Golden Pass terminal speaks to the renaissance in U.S. energy production. The facility was originally built to import LNG, but the surge in U.S. natural gas production over the last decade means American drillers are now looking overseas for buyers.

Oil prices pare losses after EIA reports a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. crude supplies (Thomas R.)

The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that domestic crude supplies rose by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 1. That was smaller than the 3.7 million-barrel rise expected by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. American Petroleum Institute data on Tuesday showed an increase of 2.5 million barrels, according to sources. Gasoline stockpiles edged up by 500,000 barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles were down 2.3 million barrels, according to the EIA.

Venezuela’s Collapse Is A Window Into How The Oil Age Will Unravel (Mark)

So how does a country like Venezuela with the largest reserves of crude oil in the world end up incapable of developing them? … we’ve shifted into a new era. The world has moved from largely extracting cheap, easy crude, to becoming increasingly dependent on unconventional forms of oil and gas that are much more difficult and expensive to produce.

Farm Belt bankruptcies are soaring (Don R.)

The rise in farm bankruptcies represents a reckoning for rural America, which has suffered a multiyear slump in prices for corn, soybeans and other farm commodities touched off by a world-wide glut, made worse by growing competition from agriculture powerhouses such as Russia and Brazil.

Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record (TS)

The average global temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or a little over 1 degree Celsius, since the 1880s. That puts us more than two-thirds of the way to the warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius that was set in the Paris climate agreement.

Climate Change Will Alter the Color of Half of Earth’s Oceans by 2100 (tmn)

Using computer models, the team projected that some blue regions of the ocean, including subtropical gyres, are likely to become bluer in the coming decades due to a reduced phytoplankton presence in the warmer waters. Meanwhile, phytoplankton blooms will become common in the water around Earth’s poles, suggesting those regions might have an emerald shade in the coming decades.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/6/19

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