Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 5/13 - The U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis, Where Have The Insects Gone?

Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10:36 AM

Economy

Moody’s downgrades credit ratings of Canada’s Big Six banks (Uncletommy)

“Expanding levels of private-sector debt could weaken asset quality in the future,” said David Beattie, a Moody’s senior vice president, in a statement. “Continued growth in Canadian consumer debt and elevated housing prices leaves consumers, and Canadian banks, more vulnerable to downside risks facing the Canadian economy than in the past.”

Making Sense of the “Super Fuse” Scare (yogmonster)

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just a decade ago only 20% of US SLBMs were HTK capable. Now, with the ‘super-fuse’ 100% of US SLBMs are HTK capable. What these super-fuses do is very accurately measure the optimal altitude at which to detonate thereby partially compensating for a lack of accuracy of a non-HTK capable weapon. To make a long story short, these super-fuses made all US SLBMs HTK capable.

Are You Ready To Die? (yogmonster)

I supported Trump because he, unlike Hillary, said he would normalize relations with Russia. Instead he has raised the tensions between the nuclear powers. Nothing is more irresponsible or dangerous.

We currently are in the most dangerous situation of my lifetime, and there is ZERO AWARENESS AND NO DISCUSSION!

Every U.S. County Has an Affordable Housing Crisis (jdargis)

UI has also created a neat interactive map, which is an update from a previous version. It lets users explore the gap between the demand and supply of affordable units in every single U.S. county. (The National Low Income Housing Coalition released a similar report for states and metros this year, based 2015 one-year American Community Survey data. The UI report is based on 2010-2014 five-year estimates, which is better for a county-level analysis.) The UI map also lets users toggle the impact of assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Banks Are Failing Again in America (jdargis)

In 2016, banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported $171.3 billion in profits. Only five banks failed last year—“the smallest number of bank failures in a year since three FDIC-insured institutions failed in 2007,” the FDIC noted. What’s more, the banks that failed were truly marginal, counting just 18 branches and a mere $277 million in assets between them. In 2015, seven banks in the continental U.S. failed; they had combined assets of $826 million.

Taking Down Terrorists In Court (jdargis)

In Brooklyn, Cheibani’s lawyers, public federal defenders, had requested a suppression hearing, hoping to quash some of the prosecution’s evidence on constitutional grounds. Such hearings are a chance for the defense to get a preview of the government’s case. The preview that Cheibani and his lawyers got was discouraging. “They know Zainab’s reputation,” a federal prosecutor who has worked with Ahmad said. “They know their chances are not good.”

Seeing With Your Tongue (jdargis)

A decade ago, Weihenmayer began using the BrainPort, a device that enables him to “see” the rock face using his tongue. The BrainPort consists of two parts: the band on his brow supports a tiny video camera; connected to this by a cable is a postage-stamp-size white plastic lollipop, which he holds in his mouth. The camera feed is reduced in resolution to a grid of four hundred gray-scale pixels, transmitted to his tongue via a corresponding grid of four hundred tiny electrodes on the lollipop. Dark pixels provide a strong shock; lighter pixels merely tingle. The resulting vision is a sensation that Weihenmayer describes as “pictures being painted with tiny bubbles.”

Where Have All The Insects Gone? (PaulJam)

Over that time the group, the Krefeld Entomological Society, has seen the yearly insect catches fluctuate, as expected. But in 2013 they spotted something alarming. When they returned to one of their earliest trapping sites from 1989, the total mass of their catch had fallen by nearly 80%. Perhaps it was a particularly bad year, they thought, so they set up the traps again in 2014. The numbers were just as low. Through more direct comparisons, the group—which had preserved thousands of samples over 3 decades—found dramatic declines across more than a dozen other sites.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/11/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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3 Comments

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 698
80% Reduction in Insect Biomass

Insects are disappearing in Europe as well as the US. An 80% reduction is simply scary.

It's late spring in Wisconsin and I've swatted exactly one mosquito!

This is starting to scare me more than the risk of nuclear war.  I'd even argue that this may be a more near term and compelling problem than climate change.

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 379
Take what solace you can, where you can!

Perhaps things are starting to come full circle or perhaps we're being played, but I'll take whatever assistance is offered. When technology bites us in the ass, it's time to start repairing the damage when and where you can. I've enrolled in my little part of the world. How about you?

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2189
Wouldn't it be ironic

...if the black swan was bugs?  And the unintended (negligent) consequences of our indiscriminate extermination of them?

   One of our friends was a conservationist for a time, and used to teach school children about the web of life.  I am afraid we are in for a harsh reminder of that lesson.

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