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  • Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 8/27 – Credit card debt surpasses $1 trillion, Old Farmer’s Almanac Winter 2019 Forecast Says

    by DailyDigest

    Monday, August 27, 2018, 2:47 PM


Credit card debt surpasses $1 trillion in the US for first time (Thomas R.)

U.S. consumers’ total credit card debt exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, according to a new study by the personal finance website WalletHub.

Consumers took on an additional $92.2 billion in debt last year, the highest single-year amount since 2007. The average U.S. household owes $8,600 on credit cards, WalletHub found.

Life expectancy drops in the US and the UK, rises in Australia, a new study finds (Paul D.)

Life expectancy fell across the majority of high-income countries, signaling a collective and simultaneous decline among affluent nations for the first time in decades, a new study finds.

Among 18 high-income countries — including Spain, Sweden, Japan, Australia, the UK and the United States — most countries saw declines in life expectancy between 2014 and 2015, according to the study, published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal.


Oil Prices Jump On Major Crude Draw (Thomas R.)

Crude oil prices jumped on Wednesday following the Energy Information Administrations’ latest weekly petroleum status report, with the authority confirming a draw in crude oil inventories of 5.8 million barrels for the week to August 17.

Ford recalls 50,000 car charging cables over fire risk (Thomas R.)

Ford is recalling just over 50,000 charging cables for its plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles out of concern that they could lead to a fire, the company announced today. The 120-volt cables being recalled — which allow the cars to be plugged into a standard home outlet — were sold with certain Ford Focus Electrics, Fusion Energis, and C-Max Energis from the following years and assembly plants.


If the world ate the USDA-recommended diet, there wouldn't be enough land to grow it (Paul D.)

If everyone in the world followed the USDA-recommended diet, there wouldn't be enough agricultural land to grow all the food, a new study has found.

The researchers from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, both in Ontario, said an additional gigahectare of fertile land — roughly the size of Canada — would be required to feed everyone, highlighting the fact that dietary guidelines should be based on more than just nutrition.

Climate change denial strongly linked to right-wing nationalism (Paul D.)

"Two strong groups have joined forces on this issue – the extractive industry, and right-wing nationalists. The combination has taken the current debate to a much more dramatic level than previously, at the same time as our window of opportunity is disappearing."

This is the analysis of Chalmers researcher Martin Hultman, Associate Professor in Science, Technology and Environmental studies, and research leader for the comprehensive project: "Why don't we take climate change seriously? A study of climate change denial", which is now collecting the world's foremost researchers in this area.

Salt Lake County reports first fatal case of West Nile virus for 2018 (Thomas R.)

A person has died due to West Nile virus, the Salt Lake County Health Department announced Wednesday.

According to a press release from the health department, the deceased is an individual over the age of 65 who suffered from other health concerns and was diagnosed with “neuroinvasive West Nile virus”, which is a more severe form of  the disease.

Old Farmer's Almanac Winter 2019 Forecast Says It Will Be Warm and Wet (Thomas R.)

"This winter, we expect to see above-normal temperatures almost everywhere in the United States, except in the Southwest, where we're predicting a colder-than-normal season," the OFA forecasts.

"Our milder-than-normal forecast is due to a decrease in solar activity and the expected arrival of a weak El Niño, which will prevent cold air masses from lingering in the North," it continues.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/24/18

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  • Tue, Aug 28, 2018 - 8:22am



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1837

    When many rush for the exit at the same time

    Over a Billion Frozen As Investers Pull Money from Multi-Billion Dollar Bond Fund
    At the start of August we reported that Swiss multi-billion asset manager, GAM Holdings announced it has frozen withdrawals at some of its bond funds after a surge in redemptions from clients who sought withdraw their money following the suspension of manager Tim Haywood….
    In other words, over a billion in investor funds will be indefinitely frozen in a GAM side pocket due to “illiquid” conditions, which is strange considering the S&P just rose above 2,900 and if there was ever a market that was liquid, it is now. One dreads to imagine what would happen to fund that had to satisfy redemption requests when asset prices were falling

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  • Tue, Aug 28, 2018 - 10:32am



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2011

    Posts: 101


    So, who to believe, an “old farmer” or just a “farmer”.  Nothing like being prepared, regardless.

    Winter is coming! And according to the Farmers’ Almanac’s famous long-range weather outlook, it’s going to be a “teeth-chattering” cold one, with plenty of snow.

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  • Tue, Aug 28, 2018 - 2:03pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    21 day Ebola outbreak update from WHO

    UPDATE: Today’s Ebola box score (with figures from WHO 8/24 report):
    117 Ebola cases
    73 dead
    3,421 contacts.
    So the metric to watch is to see what that looks like in 21 days.
    I.e., From 8/3-8/24, they went from 33 deaths to 72, so it’s doubling a bit faster than expected. Not good.
    On or about 9/14, if they have 144 deaths, they’re on track for nocontrol on the outbreak.
    The first batch were the people infected largely before the outbreak was detected, because you’re always behind the curve with this disease.
    The 40 or so who’ve died since 8/3 are the second wave.
    The 72 probable between now and 9/14 are the next wave.
    If the dead count is less than 144 then – assuming the counting is accurate (because Africa) – that means vaccinations and so on are slowing the spread. That would be hopeful news.
    If it’s 144 or more, that’s very, very bad.
    That the contacts they need to trace have already quadrupled in three weeks is the reason epidemics become pandemics.
    One other note on the panel on Wikipedia:
    IGNORE their published CFR.
    They’re doing it wrong.
    Allow me to explain:
    The death rate isn’t the number dead now vs. the number infected now
    Ebola isn’t a lightning bolt. 
    In 2014, Duncan, with first-world ICU care, took 10 days to die. 
    He’d been sick several days before that.
    In Africa, a week, or two, or more between obvious infection, and death, is not uncommon.
    So if you’re going to be honest, look at how many cases they had 21 days ago (that time span being the rough average of 5-42 days between contraction and appearance of Ebola) and how many dead people they have now
    21 days ago, there were 76 cases. Today, there are 72 dead.
    That’s a CFR of 95%. 
    So unless they’re going to publish survivor numbers, this thing is doing what you’d expect it to do in Africa: it’s killing 95% of the people who catch it.
    It’s like scoring bowling. With strikes and spares, you know you have to go a frame or three back, to get the correct current score.
    You can shorten the time frame to the average number of days an infected person lives in a Congolese Ebola clinic, or you can tell us how many of the people infected  two week ago are dead now, and how many have recovered; those are both statistically honest options. Anything else is with numbers, and purely dishonest.
    And whatever mook at Wikipedia is skewing the percentage should know that (and either isn’t savvy enough to grasp this simple epidemiological concept, or someone there is holding their thumb on the scale). It’s a coin-toss there; you can guess which option, stupid or evil, is more likely. Neither one makes them look very good. If they plead “we’re just re-posting the numbers from WHO”, which are the numbers from DRCongo, that’s fine, but it simply underlines the biggest problem with Ebola: Africa wins again.
    Unless this either 
    a) crosses an international border, 
    b) appears in a major (pop. > 1M) city, or 
    c) some modern Thomas Duncan gets through an airport and brings it outside DRCongo,
    d) something really major happens, internationally
    we’re still keeping an eye on this, but won’t be talking about it much, if at all, for the next three weeks. Anything other than that, grim as it may be, will just be Africa being Africa.
    Which it does just fine whether we watch, or not.
    I brought it up at all, because it’s moved into being a thing, and mainly – since neither you nor I can affect what’s happening 6000 miles away – as a reminder to make sure (or start making sure) you could ride things out at home if this goes as sideways as – or, God forbid, worse than – it did in 2014. Which is well within the possible likely course of action.

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  • Tue, Aug 28, 2018 - 4:27pm



    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 16 2018

    Posts: 4

    Winter Forecast

    Guess we can choose what weather forecast to hope for  🙂


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