With mortgage debt creeping back up and student debt ballooning, American families are in the midst of a debt crisis. While we needlessly fret about overconsumption and hyperconsumerism, we miss a bigger picture: rising housing, medical, and education costs. Here are five charts that show the extent of the country’s debt problem.
Trouble In Saudi Arabia (Aaron M.)
Political instability is rising in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king has fired his longtime Secretary of Energy and the head of the central bank has been replaced. The royal family is now fighting to sustain power.
In the US, bank reserves are held as FRB (Federal Reserve Bank) credit in FRB accounts, regardless whether the reserves are required or excess reserves beyond the Federal Reserve requirement. The definition of reserves (and by extension excess reserves) are monies not lent out to customers to satisfy Federal Reserve set requirements. One would think holding $2.4 trillion in excess reserves at 0.25% interest during one of the greatest bull market periods in history would be an opportunity cost as higher risk-adjusted interest could have been earned by putting these funds to use elsewhere. Strange banks were seemingly disinterested in the misallocation of their funds? Are there new or different requirements placed on the banks regarding reserves?
Don’t Make The Great Estate Mistake (Tiffany D.)
If you have more than a bank account, a home and a few personal possessions, a will is critical to ensure some control over how those assets are handled after you’re gone. For example, if you own a business and your heirs can’t agree on whether to keep it running or cash it in, a probate judge may order it sold so it can be divided according to state law.
In my case, ownership of properties in more than one country, various investments and a collection of valuable musical instruments makes a will a no-brainer.
Once upon a time, the Fed’s balance sheet and banks Excess Reserves were used as a means to artificially manage (manipulate) interest rates. The Fed would typically hold short term bills and notes (though relatively little long term bonds) and use this capability to remove or introduce more or less excess reserves…in this manner, banks overnight lending rates were affected and the whole chain of interest rates whipped up or down.
“We’ve got to go to transparency, and it’s going to be a very painful process for the American people. It’s not going to be pretty. The game of musical chairs is upon us. It’s not coming, it’s here.”
Asked if Nigeria was “fantastically corrupt”, in an echo of the prime minister’s comments, Mr Buhari responded: “Yes.”
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Buhari said what the new Nigerian government found when it came to power proved Mr Cameron was right.
“He was telling the truth. He was talking about what he knew,” Mr Buhari said.
OPEC Is Dead, What’s Next? (Josh O.)
The Saudis have all but said outright that their national priorities in energy would always trump OPEC priorities. The country has repeatedly used its influence as the largest producer in the organization to dictate the energy policies of smaller producers, which has been harmful for the latter. And these policies, which can be summed up as “pump as much as you can, don’t let the shale boomers get a breather” have not led to a clear victory. They have not led to a sharp rise in prices, which was expected to take place after the shale producers throw in the towel. But U.S. shale companies have lasted much longer than expected.
The weather pattern known as El Niño has been pumping a huge amount of heat from the ocean and into the atmosphere for more than a year, and scientists say that could also have played a role in setting the conditions for this year’s fires. Temperatures in parts of Alberta were as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the weeks before the fires began, desiccating the landscape.
Depth Of Field (jdargis)
From 1958 to 2001, there were major changes in the vegetation growing near the Boreal Mountains. While the more recent photo may look more verdant, it shows that shrub tundra is being overtaken by white spruce forest, signifying the ecosystem is changing from a sub-alpine environment to a boreal one. Such drastic and rapid changes in ecosystems can be harmful to biodiversity.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
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