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    Daily Digest 4/11 – Robot Truck Platoons Move Forward, Good Banker vs. Bad Banker

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, April 11, 2013, 2:31 PM


“Giant Bet” Could Trigger “the Mother of All Debt Crises” in Japan: Neil Irwin (Dana T.)

"The new government under Abe and Kuroda is trying to print money and really go for the fences,” says Washington Post columnist Neil Irwin, author of The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire.

KPMG resigns as Herbalife auditor after insider trading (westcoastjan)

Herbalife is based in Los Angeles. The other company has not yet been confirmed. KPMG is the smallest of the Big Four global accounting and audit firms. It reported 2012 revenue of $23-billion, up 1.4% from the year before. The other three firms are PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. All are U.S.-based and operate affiliate networks around the world.

Good Banker, Bad Banker (goldrunner1)

The restrained banker loads up the debt serfs with debt up to their Plimsoll Lines or credit limits. Then he stops. He knows that if he keeps loading more debt onto them, they may go bankrupt, and he wants to avoid the mess and losses that come with that.

The unrestrained banker has a completely different skill set. He will make high-interest loans (Payday Loans) to insolvent borrowers. He is not afraid of bankruptcies; bankruptcies are part of his business model. He knows how to take advantage of borrowers who are desperate, ignorant, or impulsive (or all three). He knows all about asset stripping. He knows how to unload bad loan paper on suckers. He thrives in an environment of chaos and desperation, where his customers are often at the end of their ropes.

Portuguese finding pain hard to endure as prime minister says more austerity is around corner (Christophe M.)

"I've never seen so many people in such a precarious situation, lacking so many basic necessities," she said. That includes families living in homes with no electricity or natural gas for cooking because the supply has been cut off due to unpaid bills.

Bailed-Out Banks Used Billions Meant For Small Business Aid To Repay TARP Funds: Watchdog (westcoastjan)

Congress created the small-business lending fund in 2010 to encourage banks with less than $10 billion in assets to expand their lending to small businesses. At a time of economic distress, the aim was to help small businesses get capital that had become difficult for them to obtain. The loan program charged the community banks lower interest rates if they used the money for loans to small businesses.

Rise In Foreign Temp Workers Questioned By Labour Groups (westcoastjan)

"You look down this list and what you see is McDonald's, Tim Hortons, and Subway. This list goes on. It stretches the bounds of credibility that all of these employers have been using temporary foreign workers to hire skilled workers," said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, on CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

Cyprus And Gold – Noise vs. Facts (Taki T.)

Suppose Cyprus would sell 400 million euro’s worth of gold. With a gold price near 40,000 euro’s per kg, the total amount of gold would be 10,000 kg, which equals 10 tonnes. Figures are rounded to make the point. Now let’s put this figure into perspective to get an idea of its potential significance…

Pharmaceutical sales reps regularly misinform doctors about drug side effects: study (westcoastjan)

“Laws in all three countries require sales representatives to provide information on harm as well as benefits,” said principal researcher Barbara Mintzes of the University of British Columbia. “But no one is monitoring these visits and there are next to no sanctions for misleading or inaccurate promotion.”

Robot truck platoons roll forward (westcoastjan)

This technology aims to create semi-autonomous road trains, where convoys of vehicles enter a snaking train of vehicles under the command of the lead vehicle. The drivers of the “drones” are then free to do whatever they like – read a book, take a nap or just sit. When they are ready to leave, the driver takes back control and exits the train. In theory the technology offers several benefits, such as cutting down on accidents and improving fuel efficiency.


Slow to arrive, but will Australian high speed rail be worth the wait? (Arthur Robey)

At the very lowest the cost of high speed rail between Newcastle and Brisbane could be $20 billion, and as high as $40 billion. For $20 billion you could give Brisbane its cross river rail project. You could give the Sunshine Coast its first ever fixed public transport network. You can quadruple the size of the light rail on the Gold coast, and you could still have $10-30 billion left over. Read more at:

Study: The coal industry is in far more trouble than anyone realizes (Ben Johnson)

Here’s some bleak news for the coal industry: As much as 65 percent of the U.S. coal fleet could find itself under threat in the years ahead, thanks to cheap natural gas and stricter air-pollution regulations.

That’s according to a new peer-reviewed study by three researchers at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, who take a detailed look at the costs of operating both coal-fired power plants and natural-gas plants around the United States.

‘Irreparable’ safety issues: All US nuclear reactors should be replaced, ‘Band-Aids’ won’t help (Suzie G.)

According to the former chairman, US reactors that received permission from the nuclear commission to operate for an additional 20 years past their initial 40-year licenses would not likely last long. He further rejected the commission’s proposal for a second 20-year extension, which would leave some American nuclear reactors operating for some 80 years.


NOAA: Area of land larger than Manhattan disappearing of Louisiana coast each year (westcoastjan)

"Storm surge—the water from the ocean that is pushed toward the shore by the force of storm winds—takes advantage of the problems caused by subsidence and global sea level rise. Because much of the Louisiana coast is very low in elevation and gradually converting to open water, entire neighborhoods, roads, and other structures are vulnerable to even small storm events," the agency said in an article posted to NOAA's website.

Gold & Silver

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