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    Daily Digest – Apr 19

    by Davos

    Sunday, April 19, 2009, 2:40 PM

  • Financial Sense Newshour – Chris Martenson, The Crash Course (Audio, Great topics, Including China and copper)
  • Obama pushes for high-speed rail (H/T JoeManC)
  • Figures on government spending and debt (56+ trillion of off balance sheet obligations not included)
  • Weekend #17, Bank Failure #24
  • Weekend #17, Bank Failure #25
  • Hybrid Hummer Promises 100 Miles per Gallon
  • Test Ride: Even in New York, the Aptera Stops Traffic (Video embeded on page)
  • IMF: "worrisome parallels" with the Great Depression
  • Bank Stress Tests Now Officially a Garbage In, Garbage Out Exercise
  • FSN Hour 3 Part A (Audio, 31 Minutes ETF Ponzi, 44 Min Wheeler)
  • FSN Hour 3 Part B (Audio, 41 Minutes Taxes)
  • CM Users on Skype with KemoSavvy

Economy

Financial Sense Newshour – Chris Martenson, The Crash Course (Audio)

Obama pushes for high-speed rail (H/T JoeManC)

Obama envisions a network of short and longer-haul corridors of up to 600 miles plied by trains traveling up to 150 miles per hour. Acela service operated by Amtrak only reaches 150 mph over a short stretch in New England.

Freight railroads, which own much of the rail infrastructure outside the Northeast, would also play a key role in facilitating high-speed. The biggest freight lines include CSX Corp, Union Pacific Corp, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp, and Norfolk Southern Corp.

Figures on government spending and debt (56+ trillion of off balance sheet obligations not included)

Total public debt subject to limit April 16 11,125,587
Statutory debt limit                                     12,104,000
Total public debt outstanding April 16           11,183,899
Operating balance April 16                               257,351
Interest fiscal year 2009 thru February              148,762
Interest same period 2008                                198,518
Deficit fiscal year 2009 thru February                 764,525
Deficit same period 2008                                  264,541
Receipts fiscal year 2009 thru February             860,877
Receipts same period 2008                              967,153
Outlays fiscal year 2009 thru February            1,625,402
Outlays same period 2008                             1,231,694
Gold assets in March                                         11,041

Weekend #17, Bank Failure #24

American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, Missouri, was closed today by the Office of Thrift Supervision, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Metcalf Bank, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to assume all of the deposits of American Sterling Bank.

As of March 20, 2009, American Sterling Bank had total assets of approximately $181 million and total deposits of $171.9 million.

Weekend #17, Bank Failure #25

Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, Nevada, was closed today by the Nevada Financial Institutions Division, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver.

As of December 31, 2008, Great Basin Bank of Nevada had total assets of $270.9 million and total deposits of $221.4 million. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Nevada State Bank agreed to purchase approximately $252.3 million of assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

Hybrid Hummer Promises 100 Miles per Gallon

All together the battery packs have a combined capacity of 40 kilowatt hours and total weight of 600 pounds. Raser claims a recharge time of between 3 and 10 hours, depending upon the voltage of the outlet the batteries are plugged into.

For the sake of comparison, the Volt uses a 16-kWh pack that weighs 375 pounds, while the Tesla Roadster has a 53-kWh pack weighing 992 pounds.

Test Ride: Even in New York, the Aptera Stops Traffic (Video embeded on page)

IMF: "worrisome parallels" with the Great Depression

The global economy is experiencing the deepest downturn in the post-World War II period, as the financial crisis rapidly spreads around the world. A large number of advanced economies have fallen into recession, and economies in the rest of the world have slowed abruptly. Global trade and financial flows are shrinking, while output and employment losses mount. Credit markets remain frozen as borrowers are engaged in a drawn-out deleveraging process and banks struggle to improve their financial health. Many aspects of the current crisis are new and unanticipated. Uniquely, the current disruption combines a financial crisis at the heart of the world’s largest economy with a global downturn.

Recessions associated with financial crises tend to be unusually severe and their recoveries typically slow. Similarly, globally synchronized recessions are often long and deep, and recoveries from these recessions are generally weak. Countercyclical monetary policy can help shorten recessions, but its effectiveness is limited in financial crises. By contrast, expansionary fiscal policy seems particularly effective in shortening recessions associated with financial crises and boosting recoveries. However, its effectiveness is a decreasing function of the level of public debt. These findings suggest the current recession is likely to be unusually long and severe and the recovery sluggish.

Bank Stress Tests Now Officially a Garbage In, Garbage Out Exercise

The bank will run the tests themselves, using the same risk models that caused the mess. With only ten examiners on average per bank, and most of the banks having very diverse businesses (mortgages, complex structured credits, credit cards, consumer loans, commercial real estate, large corporate loans, small business lending, foreign operations, credit default swaps, other derivatives exposures, foreign lending and FX exposures), their ability to probe the results, from a skill and manpower basis, is dubious, particularly in the capital markets exposures.

FSN Hour 3 Part A (Audio, 31 Minutes ETF Ponzi, 44 Min Wheeler)

FSN Hour 3 Part B (Audio, 41 Minutes Taxes)

CM Users on Skype with KemoSavvy (I only had time to catch the impending RE bust discussion, it was good)

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