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    Daily Digest – July 17

    by Davos

    Friday, July 17, 2009, 3:00 PM

  • Ratigan and Riholtz Discuss Goldman (Video)
  • The Chinese Equity Bubble: Ready to Burst
  • Social Security spends $700,000 on Phoenix conference
  • NYC: 57% Tax for Top Earners
  • California tax officials: Legal pot would rake in $1.4B
  • Foreclosures rise 15 percent in first half of 2009
  • Poor in Colorado may get free phones
  • Cash-poor Connecticut may sell land, buildings
  • Hedge Fund Buys 5 Billion in Gold Bullion
  • What’s the Real CPI? (H/T SuziG)

Economy

Ratigan and Riholtz Discuss Goldman (Video)

The Chinese Equity Bubble: Ready to Burst

[Chart on page] Amid the current financial crisis, there has been one equity index beating all others: the Shanghai Composite. Our analysis of this main Chinese equity index shows clear signatures of a bubble build up and we go on to predict its most likely crash date: July 17-27, 2009 (20%/80% quantile confidence interval).

 Social Security spends $700,000 on Phoenix conference

PHOENIX — A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.

Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.

A spokesperson outside the SSA’s Phoenix office declined to comment.

A spokesperson from the SSA’s regional office said the conference was essential, that teleconferencing was not an option, and that all 675 managers needed to meet in person.

NYC: 57% Tax for Top Earners

Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state’s top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers.

New York’s top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent — rates not seen in three decades — to pay for the massive health coverage proposed

California tax officials: Legal pot would rake in $1.4B

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California tax officials say a state proposal to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue.
A State Board of Equalization report released Wednesday estimates marijuana retail sales would bring $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes.

The bill introduced by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in February would allow adults to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana.

Foreclosures rise 15 percent in first half of 2009

The mushrooming foreclosure crisis affected more than 1.5 million homes in the first six months of the year, according to a report released Thursday by foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.

The data show that, despite the Obama administration’s plan to encourage the lending industry to prevent foreclosures by handing out $50 billion in subsidies, the nation’s housing woes continue to spread. Experts don’t expect foreclosures to peak until the middle of next year.

Foreclosure filings rose more than 33 percent in June compared with the same month last year and were up nearly 5 percent from May, RealtyTrac said.

"Despite all the efforts to date, we clearly haven’t got a handle on how to address the situation," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president for marketing.

More than 336,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in June, according to the foreclosure listing firm’s report. That works out to one in every 380 U.S. homes.

Poor in Colorado may get free phones

Thousands of low-income Coloradans reliant on public assistance could get a free cellphone under a plan before the state Public Utilities Commission.

If approved, the plan by TracFone Wireless in Miami would make Colorado the 17th state it has settled into with free cell service for the indigent, a form of wireless welfare that proponents say taps into one of the last untapped markets for the telecom technology.

 Cash-poor Connecticut may sell land, buildings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Connecticut, one of a handful of states that missed its budget deadline, on Wednesday began drawing up a list of assets to sell, from buildings to a seaside site, to help close a two-year $8 billion deficit.

Though Republican Governor Jodi Rell and Democratic lawmakers agreed not to disclose their budget talks after she vetoed their proposal, Rell in a statement said "the concept of raising revenue from the sale of state assets has been embraced by all those involved in negotiations."

Hedge Fund Buys 5 Billion in Gold Bullion (Video as seen on www.thecomingdepression.com)

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHA8rADsCxY&feature=player_embedded]

What’s the Real CPI? (H/T SuziG, Shadow Stats Chart on page)

 

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