There has been speculation for a long time, that the FED doesn’t actually have much gold, that it has either sold it off, lent it out, or used it as collateral for borrowings. Either case, there are many claims that the gold that is being stored on behalf of many nations, doesn’t actually exist.
And nobody, other than FED staff, have actually been permitted inside the vaults to see or inventory any of the gold. There is no evidence that the gold actually exists, other than the word of the FED.
Neil Macdonald: The secretive world of printing money (Nervous Nelly, westcoastjan)
The plain fact is that these central bankers, Canada’s Mark Carney among them, are executing what is perhaps the most profoundly important public policy of our time — an unprecedented printing of money and lowering of interest rates — with little in the way of public debate.
The Unofficial Inflation Rate (Taki T.)
By year 8, in this simple example, the cost increases overwhelmed your income and you were forced to withdraw from savings. Of course, in the real world, there are more variables and adjustments. We cut back on expenses, increase credit card debt, take a second job, win the lotto, file for bankruptcy – whatever. But the critical point is that your personal inflation rate is important, and a few percent over a decade can make a huge difference.
Lasers, microwave deployed in high-speed trading arms race (westcoastjan)
Perseus Telecom kept quiet last October when it flipped the switch on its London to Frankfurt network, which trimmed several thousandths of a second, or milliseconds, off the time needed to complete a trade. The privately held firm based in New York only showed its hand when European telecoms provider Colt Group SA launched a rival service in February.
That amount is expected to rise in the tax year ahead as the IRS extends the use of data mining to include the personal data of millions more taxpayers. Its sophisticated data-matching and pattern-recognition technology, largely developed by IBM over the past decade, will reach up the income ladder to include more middle-income and small-business filers who itemize deductions, although it is unlikely to have any impact on the complicated filings of high-net-worth taxpayers in the top 5 percent of income earnings, say tax experts who have studied the IRS plans.
Fed holds steady on stimulus, worried by fiscal drag (Nervous Nelly)
Until recently, analysts had expected the Fed to buy a total of $1 trillion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities during its ongoing third round of quantitative easing, known as QE3, with expectations the Fed would start to take its foot off the accelerator in the second half of this year.
Now, things are looking a bit more shaky.
With the Fed now openly warning that there may actually come a time when the ‘flow’ stops; the most recent Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (TBAC) report has some concerning statistics for those change-ridden hopers who see a smooth Fed exit, deficit-reduction, and blue skies ahead. While they are careful not shout ‘sell’ in a crowded bond market; hidden deep in the 126 page presentation are two charts that bear significant attention. The first shows what TBAC expects (given the market’s expectations) to happen to interest rates in the US as the Fed ‘exits’ its QE program (taper, unwind, hold) – the result, the weighted-average cost of financing for the US government will almost triple from around 1.6% to around 4.3% over the next ten years. But more problematic is that even with CBO’s rather conservative estimates of the growth in US debt over the next decade the USD cost of financing will explode from around $205bn (based on TBAC data) to over $855bn. Still convinced the Fed can exit smoothly?
What Is YOUR Inflation Rate? (GE Christenson)
We all know that our cost of living in increasing, but how much?
The official government statistics assure us that inflation is running around 2% per year. It reminds me of the line attributed to Groucho Marx, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”
Smart cites: Sustainable solutions for urban living (westcoastjan)
One of the problems with city infrastructure and architecture is that they are designed without much flexibility. They need to meet certain structural and safety standards, to withstand worst-case weather and seismic challenges, for example, but not necessarily to operate effectively in the majority of circumstances. For buildings like lighthouses, this may not be a concern, but for most buildings and urban spaces, liveability under a range of weather conditions is also important. We adapt our clothing – why not our buildings?
Muzzling Science: How Tories Control The Message (westcoastjan)
A survey of 290 media requests for interviews with scientists at the National Research Council (NRC) between June 28, 2010, and Sept. 19, 2012, found that communications staff rank each request according to the expected tone of the article, using designators of “positive,” “informational,” or “negative.” (The NRC is a Canadian government agency that conducts scientific research and development, and partners with industry to bring new technologies to market).
Both Marx on the left and Schumpeter on the right long ago predicted the end of capitalism. And recently fund manager Jeremy Grantham said: “Capitalism… is totally ill-equipped to deal with a small handful of issues. Unfortunately, they are the issues that are absolutely central to our long-term wellbeing and even survival.”
Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage — household trash, industrial waste, even toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals and drug arrests — has a problem: it has literally run out of garbage to burn. The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply.
What If We Never Run Out of Oil? (Jason C.)
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911. With characteristic vigor and verve, he set about modernizing the Royal Navy, jewel of the empire. The revamped fleet, he proclaimed, should be fueled with oil, rather than coal—a decision that continues to reverberate in the present. Burning a pound of fuel oil produces about twice as much energy as burning a pound of coal. Because of this greater energy density, oil could push ships faster and farther than coal could.
Running Out of Planet to Exploit (Brian B.)
There are some very smart people — not least, George Soros — who believe that we’re in a commodities bubble (although Mr. Soros says that the bubble is still in its “growth phase”). My problem with this view, however, is this: Where are the inventories?
“The water keeps increasing every minute, no matter whether we eat, sleep or work,” said Masayuki Ono, a general manager with Tepco who acts as a company spokesman. “It feels like we are constantly being chased, but we are doing our best to stay a step in front.”
GM joins call for US action on climate change (Arthur Robey)
The declaration warns that climate change is a real threat and urges action so that the United States can “remain a true superpower in a competitive world,” although it does not endorse specific proposals.
President Barack Obama has vowed new efforts by the world’s largest economy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for the planet’s rising temperatures and increasingly frequent disasters.
Gold & Silver
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