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    Daily Digest 4/17 – The Billionaire Building a Davos of His Own, Poverty Compounded

    by DailyDigest

    Sunday, April 17, 2016, 3:08 PM


Race for Latest Class of Nuclear Arms Threatens to Revive Cold War (jdargis)

One of the few veterans of the Cold War in his administration, James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his annual global threat assessment, “We could be into another Cold War-like spiral.” Yet it is different from Mr. Clapper’s earlier years, when he was an Air Force intelligence officer weighing the risks of nuclear strikes that could level cities with weapons measured by the megaton.

Saudis warn US of asset sales if 9/11 bill passes (lambertad)

The Obama administration has, in turn, applied heavy pressure on Congress to block the bill. Top officials from the State Department and Pentagon warned Senate Armed Services Committee staffers last month that the bill could bring economic risks to the U.S.

The Saudis did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Asked if President Barack Obama would veto the legislation if passed by Congress, a senior administration official told CNN that "rather than entertain a hypothetical, we believe there needs to be more careful consideration of the potential unintended consequences of its enactment before proceeding with legislation."

The Billionaire Who’s Building a Davos of His Own (jdargis)

“There is a generation of new donors who have huge assets, and their own ideas, and think traditional think tanks are old-fashioned,” said James G. McGann, the director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania — a think tank that thinks about think tanks. In a money-fueled culture where tweets, not position papers, shape the national conversation, these kinds of philosopher-kingpins “are likely to be more influential than we are,” Mr. McGann said.

The man who uses his pension fund to fill potholes (jdargis)

"Every abandoned shoe tells a story," he says, pointing to a discarded slipper on the side of the road.

"The child was injured and some passers-by took them in their car to the hospital. Because time was crucial to save the little girl's life, they didn't stop to pick up her slipper."

Poverty, Compounded (jdargis)

Recently, the Brookings Institution published a report looking at the same idea but giving it a different name. The paper, builds on research from the British economist William Beveridge, who in 1942 proposed five types of poverty: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. In modern terms, these could be defined as poverty related to housing, education, income, employment, and healthcare, respectively. Analyzing the 2014 American Community Survey, the paper’s co-authors, Richard Reeves, Edward Rodrigue, and Elizabeth Kneebone, found that half of Americans experience at least one of these types of poverty, and around 25 percent suffer from at least two.

Oil-Freeze Talks End in Failure Amid Saudi Demands Over Iran (jdargis)

Brent crude, which sank to a 12-year low in January, has climbed almost 30 percent in the past two months as Saudi Arabia and Russia worked on the plan to cap crude production. While analysts doubted that any accord would have a significant impact on the global oil surplus, the inability to agree on a limit undermines any prospect of coordinated action to solve the oil crisis.

Saudi Arabia's Post-Oil Plan Starts April 25, Prince Says (Michael W.)

Saudi authorities are weighing measures that include more steps to restructure subsidies, imposing a value-added tax, and a levy on energy and sugary drinks as well as luxury items. The National Transformation Program will also focus on ways to boost economic growth, create jobs, attract investors and hold government offices more accountable.

Gold & Silver

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  • Sun, Apr 17, 2016 - 9:37pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 30 2008

    Posts: 109

    A Down-to-Earth Contribution

    The contrast between Mr. Berggruen (Billionaire building Davos), who spends his billions on ethereal projects of dubious benefit to mankind, and the down-to-earth practical work of Gangadhara Tilak Katnam, who spends his small pension fixing potholes, is stark.

    I know which one I would rather have as a friend and neighbor.

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  • Sun, Apr 17, 2016 - 9:38pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 30 2008

    Posts: 109

    A Down-to-Earth Contribution

    Double Post

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  • Mon, Apr 18, 2016 - 1:30pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2932

    Defaults hit highest level since '09 bust

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