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    Daily Digest 4/1 – Life Without Banks In Rural China, Israel Taps Offshore Gas Field

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, April 1, 2013, 2:40 PM


US news media has devolved to ‘carnival act’ – Hedges (goldrunner1)

I’ve watched, especially on the airwaves, the deterioration of news. I would argue that at this point commercial networks don’t even do news. But if we had to point at a particular moment when this process was accelerated it would be Clinton’s decision to deregulate the FCC. And that, of course, allowed these corporations to buy … I think Clear Channel owns about 1,500 stations in the United States — and that was a kind of consolidation into a very small number of corporate hands, and diminished the capacity for alternative forms of information and independent forms of information to reach the American public.

As Banks in Cyprus Falter, Other Tax Havens Step In (jdargis)

Similar unsolicited offers have originated in well-known havens like Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, as well as in a host of other locations, including Dubai and Singapore. Even the northern part of Cyprus, controlled by Turkish Cypriots, has joined the feeding frenzy, promoting its own banks as a stable alternative to those run by Greek Cypriots in the crisis-racked southern part of the divided island.

China Releases New Measures to Restrict Housing Sales (jdargis)

The announcements came weeks after China’s State Council, or cabinet, said the government would take stronger action to ensure that property prices do not continue to soar, fueling what many analysts believe is a real estate bubble that could seriously damage the economy and exacerbate social tensions between the rich and the poor.

Ancient Kingdoms in Land of War (jdargis)

One overlooked fact is that Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt, in places like Nuri and Bijrawiyah, though they are smaller and not as old. In the town of Sedeinga in northern Sudan, for instance, Mr. Rilly and others excavated 35 small pyramids in the past few years, a discovery that points to what he called an ancient “democratization of pyramids.”

“Anyone who could afford it built one,” he said. “It was for social distinction.”

For China’s Rural Poor, Life Without Banks (jdargis)

Informal service providers like Shen Xiaoyang help fill the gaps left by formal financial institutions by offering gao li dai. In the absence of formal credit ratings, gao li daidepend on the borrower’s reputation, almost always forming along the lines of existing relationships. Family relationships are at the heart of the strongest networks. Second-order connections through an individual’s hometown are almost as strong. In these locally-based trust networks, community members have a good sense of the trustworthiness and social capital of others, allowing them to enter into service relationships like gao li dai with fairly predictable outcomes.

WTI Oil Falls First Time in Six Days as Exxon Shuts Line (jdargis)

The 96,000 barrel-a-day Pegasus pipeline will need to be excavated as Exxon determines what caused the breach, Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for the company in Irving, Texas, said yesterday. Pegasus, a 20-inch (51-centimeter) line that runs to to Nederland, Texas, from Patoka, Illinois, serves refineries near the Beaumont, Texas, area close to the Louisiana border, Jeffers said.

There are four plants near Beaumont able to process about 1.4 million barrels a day of crude, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Israel Taps an Offshore Natural Gas Field (jdargis)

Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources says that the Tamar field will supply 50 to 80 percent of Israel’s natural gas needs over the next 10 years. About 40 percent of electricity in Israel has been generated from natural gas in recent years, and the rate of natural gas consumption is expected to rise to 50 percent by 2015, the ministry said.

The Tamar field went into production as a smaller natural gas reserve, known as Yam Thetis, at a site farther south, began to run out.

Total Dumps Canadian Oil Sands Project for $1.65bn Loss (James S.)

Not only does the Total divestiture raise questions about the long-term viability of Canadian oil sands investments, it also raises questions about whether the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project is really in the US’ interests—at a time when US oil output is rising and Canada’s oil sands are becoming less strategically advantageous.

Gold & Silver

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