• Blog

    Daily Digest – February 2

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 3:49 PM

  • Summers: ‘Statistical Recovery and Human Recession’
  • The Population Crash
  • U.S. Housing Bubble v2.0
  • Miami Leaders Fear A Financial Meltdown
  • Hedge Funds Speculate on Greek Debt
  • The Treasury Is Soliciting Your Feedback Regarding The Proposed Annuitization Of 401(k)
  • PBS Frontline – Wizards of Consumer Lending
  • How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created
  • A Majority Of States Are Now Insolvent: Quantifying The Disastrous Unemployment Situation
  • Double Dip Risk Rises After Inventory Blowout
  • Wealthy Face Tax Increase
  • U.S.-China Relationship Sours Over $6.4 Billion Weapons Sales To Taiwan
  • U.S. Bank Bailout Encourages Risky Behavior
  • Analysts’ View: 2010 Budget Deficit To Hit Record
  • CIA Officers Moonlighting on Wall Street
  • Is Nuclear Power The Future? Obama Calls For More Plants
  • The Great Uranium Stampede
  • Scientists Set For Nuclear Fusion Fuel Switch-On
  • The Next Big Thing
  • Lithium Batteries Tapped For Community Storage
  • ‘Growth Fetishism’ Talk by Clive Hamilton
  • In Portland, Growing Vertical
  • Investing in Natural Gas: The Most Important Source in the World

Economy

Summers: ‘Statistical Recovery and Human Recession’ (mooselick7)

Key Obama economic adviser Larry Summers coined a telling way to look at the current American economic state of play. He said the U.S. is experiencing a “statistical recovery and a human recession.”

It is a phrase that should resonate through much of the industrial world, where high and long-standing unemployment is increasingly becoming a huge domestic political issue.

The Population Crash (Ben Johnson)

Across Europe, we are having fewer babies. In many places, such as the deserted town of Hoyerswerda in east Germany, the falling birth rate is already taking its toll.

U.S. Housing Bubble v2.0 (Ben Johnson)

Here’s one thing that the Sigtarp’s quarterly report to Congress, released on Saturday, made very clear: propping up house prices is now an explicit goal of the US government.

Miami Leaders Fear A Financial Meltdown (Ben Johnson)

Facing a widening financial crisis, Miami leaders are already projecting a $45 million budget shortfall this year that could force the city to deplete its reserves and sell key assets to stay afloat.

Rising costs, slumping property tax collections and ever-growing pension obligations are feeding a meltdown that’s now forcing administrators to look for drastic new sources of income not needed since the state took over Miami’s books 14 years ago.

Hedge Funds Speculate on Greek Debt (Ben Johnson)

Bailing out Greece with taxpayers’ money would be deeply unpopular and difficult to sell to voters, but if euro zone countries abandon Greece, economic imbalances within the euro area would grow, and hopes for closer European integration would be dashed.

The Treasury Is Soliciting Your Feedback Regarding The Proposed Annuitization Of 401(k) (Davos, Brian C.)

Yes, slowly but surely it is happening. In a federal notice filed earlier, the DOL and Treasury are soliciting a response on what has been on many investors’ minds, namely the process of converting 401(k)s into annuity-like products.

PBS Frontline – Wizards of Consumer Lending (Davos)

 

 

How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created (Brian C.)

To understand the looming deficits, The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office projections of the budget surplus or deficit for the years 2009-12, President Obama’s current term. The budget office has been making estimates for these years for nearly a decade now. The numbers that appear below are the average annual deficit or surplus for this four-year period.

A Majority Of States Are Now Insolvent: Quantifying The Disastrous Unemployment Situation (Brian C.)

Zero Hedge recently highlighted the ever increasing Federal outlays on unemployment insurance, leading to questions on whether the true unemployment rate, as indicated by actual cash outlays, may be materially higher than indicated in increasingly dubious governmental reports.

One proposed alternative has been that the Federal government is directly subsidizing standalone states’ depleted unemployment insurance trust funds. Using data provided by ProPublica we have been able to confirm that indeed standalone states are for the most part now bankrupt and have no reserves left in their coffers when it comes to funding ever increasing insurance benefits.

Double Dip Risk Rises After Inventory Blowout: Kevin Hassett (Brian C.)

U.S. GDP increased 5.7 percent at the end of last year, with more than half of that growth – 3.4 percent – attributable to changes in inventories. This astonishing impact of inventory has ample historical precedent, and the bottom line has terrible implications for 2010.

Wealthy Face Tax Increase (Nickbert)

President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget for the coming fiscal year raises taxes on businesses and upper-income households by $2 trillion over 10 years and cuts spending on programs with considerable political support, but will still leave the nation with $8.5 trillion in added debt over the next decade.

U.S.-China Relationship Sours Over $6.4 Billion Weapons Sales To Taiwan (mooselick7)

The already strained relationship between US and China is took a turn for the worse when US announced $6.4 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

U.S. Bank Bailout Encourages Risky Behavior (mooselick7)

The U.S. taxpayer-funded rescue program set up to save banks from collapse during the financial crisis makes future reckless behavior more likely, the government’s bailout watchdog said in a quarterly report.

Analysts’ View: 2010 Budget Deficit To Hit Record (mooselick7)

Following are analysts’ comments after U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday projected in his budget for the fiscal year to September 30, 2011 the U.S. budget deficit would soar to a fresh record of $1.56 trillion in 2010.

CIA Officers Moonlighting on Wall Street (mooselick7)

Active-duty CIA officers are moonlighting as corporate spooks for the big Wall Street firms. One of the companies pimping out these officers even calls themselves “Business Intelligence Advisors,” or “BIA.” Clever, huh?

Energy

Is nuclear power the future? Obama calls for more plants (mooselick7)

Is nuclear power ready for a resurgence? President Obama received standing applause, from both sides of the political aisle, when he called Wednesday in his State of the Union Address for a “new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants.”

The Great Uranium Stampede (mooselick7)

After decades as a forgotten commodity, uranium, the radioactive element used as the primary fuel for nuclear power, is hot property again. Agents for companies, many of them government-controlled, are fanning out across the globe to gain access to the powdery, radioactive ore.

The scramble has been set off by the comeback of nuclear power. In the past couple of years countries that for decades had shunned it as an expensive, pariah technology have embraced it anew.

Scientists Set For Nuclear Fusion Fuel Switch-On (mooselick7)

Scientists have spent decades chasing the dream of fusion power, which holds out the promise of producing unlimited amounts of clean energy from hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. 

The Next Big Thing (mooselick7)

High Country Fabrication of Casper hopes to have plenty of coal-related work in the years ahead, but not necessarily from the extraction end of the industry. “One of the biggest things we’re looking at that’s on the horizon is not so much coal mines as the coal-gasification technology,” company sales manager Jim Jackson said.

Lithium Batteries Tapped For Community Storage (Nickbert)

A smart-grid project in Ohio will test whether the electricity business will follow the history of computing, with storage moving from center to the edge of the network. Start-up International Battery on Monday said that it has been chosen to supply lithium ion batteries for a community energy storage pilot project run by utility AEP set to go online by the middle of this year.

‘Growth Fetishism’ Talk by Clive Hamilton (Video) (Ben Johnson)

Professor Clive Hamilton explores the balances being struck between environmental protection and economic growth in the context of the current advice from climate scientists. He also argues that our preoccupation with economic growth is inconsistent with protecting the Earth from severe damage due to global warming.

In Portland, Growing Vertical (jeaninedargis)

As part of a $133 million renovation, the Portland General Services Administration is planning to cultivate “vegetated fins” that will grow more than 200 feet high on the western facade of the main federal building, a vertical garden that changes with the seasons and nurtures plants that yield energy savings.

Investing in Natural Gas: The Most Important Source in the World (Ben Johnson)

Until just three years ago, the Marcellus was an obscure name for an obscure rock formation in the backwaters of geological research. Not anymore… The tipping point came when Penn State professor Terry Engelder demonstrated that the Marcellus holds as much as 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – the equivalent of total US gas consumption for 25 years.

Please send article submissions to: [email protected]

Related content
» More

No Comments