Is the U.S. economy steamrolling toward another recession? Will 2014 turn out to be a major “turning point” when we look back on it? Before we get to the evidence, it is important to note that there are many economists that believe that the United States never actually got out of the last recession. For example, data compiled by John Williams of shadowstats.com show that the U.S. economy has continually been in recession since 2005.
Autumn Radtke, the young CEO of a small Bitcoin exchange, was found dead last week in her home in Singapore. The circumstances or her death are still unknown.
Radtke, 28, joined First Meta as CEO in the beginning of January 2012 to help build a "next generation" exchange for virtual currency. The company posted a statement on its Web site regarding Radtke's death.
Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, on Wednesday said he was concerned about "eye-popping levels" of some stock market metrics, and said the central bank has to monitor the signs carefully to make sure another bubble isn't forming. In his speech in Mexico City, Fisher said some indicators like the price-to-projected forward earnings, price-to-sales ratios and market capitalization as a percentage of GDP, are at levels not seen since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. He noted that margin debt is pushing up against all-time records.
The Obama administration and the hotheads in Congress are threatening to hit Russia with “economic sanctions” for moving troops into Crimea. Yes, those sanctions would sting a little bit, but what our politicians should be made aware of is the fact that Russian officials are promising “to respond” if economic sanctions are imposed on them. As you will read about below, one top Kremlin adviser is even suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt.
One advantage to the government in allowing the current restrictions to persist is that the costs of smuggled gold are not added to ‘official’ figures when calculating the Current Account Deficit, giving the impression that it is dropping, when the reality is that it is not.
But the second reality is that the restrictions are not keeping much more than 10% of demand for imported gold back. In itself this is a defeat for government. Hence, there is little point in maintaining restrictions on gold imports.
Nearly half a billion dollars has gone missing, and nobody knows how. Some say there was outright theft. Others suspect fraud. Many blame lax controls, poor oversight and, above all, a reckless, globe-spanning, Wild West culture — a culture that everyone agrees is ripe for wholesale reform.
I’m not talking about Bitcoin. I’m talking about Citigroup, which disclosed last week that its Mexican banking unit lost $400 million in a contracting swindle involving a shaky oil services company.
How much faith can we put in our ability to decipher all the numbers out there telling us the US is closing in on its cornering of the global oil market? There’s another side to the story of the relentless US shale boom, one that says that some of the numbers are misunderstood, while others are simply preposterous. The truth of the matter is that the industry has to make such a big deal out of shale because it’s all that’s left. There are some good things happening behind the fairy tale numbers, though—it’s just a matter of deciphering them from a sober perspective.
The U.S. solar industry had its best year ever in 2013, growing 41% from a year earlier. A new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research show that a record 4,751 megawatts of photovoltaic solar power were installed last year.
Solar energy was the second largest source of added capacity in 2013, with only natural gas installing more generation. Wind energy accounted for most renewable energy installations in years past, but 2013 may have marked a point at which the market switched over to solar. As it stands, the U.S. has over 12 gigawatts of installed solar power.
The crisis in Crimea is heralding the rise of a new era of American energy diplomacy, as the Obama administration tries to deploy the vast new supply of natural gas in the United States as a weapon to undercut the influence of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, over Ukraine and Europe.
The crisis has escalated a State Department initiative to use a new boom in American natural gas supplies as a lever against Russia, which supplies 60 percent of Ukraine’s natural gas and has a history of cutting off the supply during conflicts. This week, Gazprom, Russia’s state-run natural gas company, said it would no longer provide gas at a discount rate to Ukraine, a move reminiscent of more serious Russian cutoffs of natural gas to Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
On March 5th China’s Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution, outlining significant steps the Chinese government will take to improve air quality. China has suffered from truly epic smog over the last two winters, choking its cities’ inhabitants and cutting off visibility. The pollutants in the air have surpassed hazardous levels, at times jumping beyond the index that measures particulate matter.
"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," Li Keqiang told the legislature, according to Reuters. The central government’s top concern has always been social stability, and the Premier’s announcement that China will take some drastic measures to improve the environment indicates that the government is beginning to worry that air pollution may spark unrest around the country.
One way to clean harmful bacteria from river water is to pump it through costly man-made filters. But scientists may have discovered much more affordable technology, fully developed and ready for use, beneath the bark of an ordinary tree.
President Barack Obama, who has vowed to make fighting global warming a focus of his remaining years in office, yesterday unveiled initiatives to mitigate what aides say are the effects of an already changing climate.
The proposals, spread throughout Obama’s 2015 budget blueprint to Congress, include an overhaul of the way the government pays for fighting wildfires, more money for satellites to track extreme weather and a $1 billion resiliency fund to help communities deal with heavier rainstorms, higher storm surges or more intense droughts.
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