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    Daily Digest 3/30 – The Cancerous U.S. Dollar, State Budgets Show More Cuts, Vacant Homes Reach Record Number

    by saxplayer00o1

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 2:40 PM

  • The U.S. Dollar Has Cancer
  • Portugal to Revise Figures in 2010 Budget
  • Bloomberg: State Budget Means More NYC Cuts
  • U.S. Property Taxes Fall by Most Since Housing Market Crash
  • Vacant Homes In South Florida Nearly Double Over Past 10 Years
  • Nevada’s Boom Ends In Record Number Of Empty Homes
  • In Sacramento, Lots of Empty Homes
  • Brazil’s Lula to Portugal: Don’t Take Bailout
  • Japan Tax Increase Unavoidable After Quake-Given Debt Load, Lawmakers Say
  • Madera County Zeroes In On Fiscal Emergency
  • Ireland Draws Down Over 20% Of Bailout In Q1
  • Gas Prices Fuel Big Rise In Spending
  • Food Prices Rising, Few Items Immune

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Economy

The U.S. Dollar Has Cancer (adam)

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LniuUT0XSYo]

Historically this has happened throughout pockets of the world. Weimar Germany and recently Zimbabwe are two obvious examples, but in these particular currency crisis, the US dollar was a way out. This upcoming monetary crisis will be different.

Portugal to Revise Figures in 2010 Budget

Portugal’s statistics agency said it plans to make “accounting changes” in a report to be submitted to the European Union’s statistics agency by week’s end, a revision that could indicate a wider 2010 budget deficit and which would further undermine the credibility of the country’s embattled government.

The country’s statistics office has been reviewing its 2010 accounts after the EU’s Eurostat agency observed that Portugal hadn’t included a €2 billion ($2.8 billion) cash injection into Banco Portugues de Negocios.

Bloomberg: State Budget Means More NYC Cuts

“The agreement restores tens of millions of dollars in additional education aid, millions to keep senior centers open, and millions to protect the homeless,” said Vlasto, who also argued that increased city revenue and a $300 million city reserve put the city in a good position. City officials say they’ve already used projected tax revenue to close anticipated budget gaps, and the reserve is required by law and can’t be used to fund programs. A $2 billion reserve to pay for retiree health care has already been drained too far, city budget director Mark Page has said. “You cannot go into a year on the verge of bankruptcy,” Bloomberg said.

U.S. Property Taxes Fall by Most Since Housing Market Crash

U.S. state and local property-tax collections dropped in the last three months of 2010 by the most since home prices peaked more than four years ago, slowing the overall growth in government revenue.

Real-estate-tax collections, a main source of income for cities, slid $5.3 billion, or 2.9 percent, from a year earlier to $177.1 billion, the Census Bureau reported today. The drop exceeded a 2.5 percent decline in the first quarter of 2010, the data show.

Vacant Homes In South Florida Nearly Double Over Past 10 Years

The number of vacant homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties nearly doubled during the past decade, as the devastating housing collapse led to record foreclosures.

Nevada’s Boom Ends In Record Number Of Empty Homes

The Ackerly’s home is now among a swelling number of abandoned houses in Nevada. There were 167,564 empty houses in the state last year, according to newly released U.S. Census data, more than double the number in 2000. The number of vacant homes represents about one out of every seven houses across Nevada.

In Sacramento, Lots of Empty Homes

Daniel Robinson has lived in Oak Park for 10 years and has seen the changes first hand. ”Property sales were going up,” he said, “Now all of a sudden you see there’s a lot more vacancies and less activity.” In fact Oak Park’s vacancy rate goes anywhere from 12.5% to almost 50% in some neighborhoods.

Brazil’s Lula to Portugal: Don’t Take Bailout

But Silva said even though Portugal is on the verge of financial collapse it should refuse assistance from the European bailout fund and the International Monetary Fund because that would only increase austerity measures and reduce growth. Portugal has already enacted pay cuts and tax hikes that have triggered a wave of strikes, including a Lisbon subway strike Tuesday, and lowered living standards.

“The IMF won’t resolve Portugal’s problem, like it didn’t solve Brazil’s,” Silva said during a trip to Portugal. “Whenever the IMF tried to take care of countries’ debts, it created more problems than solutions.”

Japan Tax Increase Unavoidable After Quake-Given Debt Load, Lawmakers Say

The government estimates that rebuilding the northeastern area after the March 11 quake could cost as much as 25 trillion yen ($306 billion). The magnitude-9.0 temblor and an ensuing tsunami have left more than 27,000 people dead or missing.

Nakatsuka has suggested a two-percentage point increase in the sales tax rate, currently at 5 percent, to secure about 5 trillion yen a year.

Madera County Zeroes In On Fiscal Emergency (California)

Faced with ongoing money shortages, Madera County supervisors will discuss declaring a fiscal emergency for the third straight year.

Supervisors will decide whether to make the declaration effective July 1, the start of the new budget year, said Eric Fleming, the county administrative officer. In the past year, the county’s property taxes — its major source of revenue — have stopped falling, but they are equal to last year, when revenues hit bottom, he said.

Ireland Draws Down Over 20% Of Bailout In Q1

Ireland drew down just over 20 percent of its 85 billion euro ($120 billion) EU-IMF bailout in the first three months of the year, the country’s financial regulator said in a note published on its website on Tuesday.

Ireland asked for the emergency loans last November after it was frozen out of debt markets and has so far drawn down a total of 18.4 billion euros.

Energy

Gas Prices Fuel Big Rise In Spending

U.S. consumer spending rose last month at the fastest pace in four months, according to the federal government.

A big portion of the increase went to cover rising gasoline prices, which has economists worried that if energy costs continue to climb, consumers will have less money to spend on other items.

Environment

Food Prices Rising, Few Items Immune (Tucson)

It seems we are paying more for just about everything these days. First it was the pain at the pump and now, more than ever, we are paying more for food. Last month, shoppers saw the greatest jump at their grocery stores in four decades.

The reasons for the hike ranges from cold winter weather, which put a damper on many fruit and vegetable crops, to high gas prices, which increased shipping costs. Whatever the cause, expect to pay more on almost anything you buy at the store.

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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