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Daily Digest 12/4 - How Not To Erase Student Debt, Does OPEC Need An Exit Strategy?

Monday, December 4, 2017, 11:25 AM

Economy

How Not to Erase Student Debt (Yoxa)

In 19 states, those who fail to repay loans can lose their professional license to work. At risk are nurses, teachers, social workers, engineers, beauticians, small business owners, and nearly anyone else who relies on a state certification.

In South Dakota, those who fall behind without entering a repayment plan can lose their driver's license, making travel to work difficult if not impossible. There is no reliable data on the number of Americans who have had their licenses suspended for failure to repay their loans, but even one is too many. Other than bringing back debtors' prisons, it's hard to imagine a more counterproductive idea.

Even a $1 million retirement nest egg isn't enough anymore (Adam)

For most Americans, there's been a serious lack of proper investment income and planning, Avallone said. That, coupled with inflation, a looming pension crisis and longer life expectancy, is "a toxic formula for successful retirement," he said — one that will result in a dramatic drop-off in lifestyle for retirees.

"Today's generation of working people grew up in an era where their parents went to a mailbox, and a check appeared. But pensions are almost extinct," Avallone said. "People have to self-fund their retirement, and the enormity of that challenge is underestimated."

Would You Take Out a Loan for a Pair of Jeans? (Yoxa)

Critics say Affirm promotes the worst consumer behavior: carrying high-cost debt for unnecessary goods. Affirm loans don’t just allow but entice you to buy something you can’t afford in one lump sum. But the loans aren’t Affirm’s real product — they’re a means to building and perfecting a new underwriting system to determine consumer creditworthiness, powered by machine learning and your personal data.

The War on Gold Intensifies: It Betrays The Elitists’ Panic And Coming Defeat – Part 2 (goldrunner1)

Some of the most powerful Life Forces on earth are the “isms.” One of today’s most rapidly evolving “isms’ is crony communism, the national operating system now metastasizing throughout western nations to replace its dying predecessor, crony capitalism. In this expanding system of crony communism, the cronies loot the capital that was produced by the dying capitalistic system, while the masses descend into communistic impoverishment, entrapment and despair. Crony communism is a system in which the forces of diabolism, greed and evil usurp and exploit state power for their own enrichment, empowerment and dominance, at the direct expense of the communized masses.

The Suited Cryptocurrency Virgins Are Coming... (James W.)

Crypto-currencies have attracted a huge amount of interest in the last year with the most well known crypto, bitcoin, surging to new heights on the global exchanges. For a long time as I was a sceptic, convinced that it was a 21st century version of the tulip craze and not based on any fundamentals. However, in the last few months, I have been engrossed in this exciting new sector and am now cautiously optimistic that it has a promising future.

Nobel winner says bitcoin 'ought to be outlawed' (Dana T.)

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told Bloomberg that the currency serves as "a vehicle for perpetrating fraud." Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on CNBC that it "seems like a bubble."

The digital currency previously attracted the derision of JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon, who called it a "fraud" that would "eventually blow up." Warren Buffett has warned of a "real bubble."

Rig For Stormy Weather (GE Christenson)

Official inflation statistics show that consumer price inflation is low – supposedly in the two percent range. However, if you pay for health care, hospital bills, prescription drugs, Obamacare, beer, cigarettes, college tuition, fresh vegetables, processed food, auto insurance, and many other necessities, you know better. The Chapwood Index agrees with your experience. Their statistics show consumer price inflation is much higher than official numbers.

Sonnen, Pura Energía build solar systems in Puerto Rico as utility woes continue (jdargis)

Three of the panel-and-battery pairings have been installed at lavendarías (laundromats) in La Perla, Loizia, and Morovis. The La Perla and Morovis installations both have 8kW, 16kWh batteries, and the one at Loiza received a 4kW, 8kWh battery. The microgrids are "used to power community washing machines, refrigerators, and some basic electrical outlets," Sonnen said.

Does OPEC Need An Exit Strategy? (Michael K.)

However, if it took some arm twisting to keep Russia on board for an extension this time around, it will be exceedingly difficult to extend again in a year, when the oil market is much tighter. As of now, OPEC and Russia don’t see global inventories falling back into the five-year average until the second half of 2018—seasonally lower demand during winter months suggests that the destocking process will take a breather in the first quarter.

Where corn is king, the stirrings of a renaissance in small grains (jdargis)

The majority of conventional farmers leave their soil barren for nearly half the year, exposing it to erosion in a state where some townships see as many as 64 tons of soil per acre run into waterways each year. Along with that soil come the remnants of fertilizer applications, in the form of nitrates and phosphorus, which foul drinking water, choke out aquatic life, and spur toxic algae blooms. Des Moines Water Works, the state’s largest water utility, spends an estimated $1.2 million per year to remove nitrates from drinking water to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safety levels.

President Trump Expected to Shrink Bears Ears by as Much as 90 Percent (jdargis)

In April, the president ordered the current Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to review 27 national monuments created since 1996, something he said would “end another egregious use of government power.” In August, Mr. Zinke delivered a report to the president suggesting that Mr. Trump change the boundaries of six of those monuments.

Gold & Silver

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