Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/28 - S. Korea Clamps Down On Bitcoin, Puerto Rico's Power Struggle

Thursday, December 28, 2017, 9:29 AM

Economy

North Korean Soldier Had 'Anthrax Antibodies,' Raising Concerns Over Pyongyang's Biological Weapons Plans (TS)

Anthrax can infect human beings through either ingestion, inhalation or skin exposure, and it affects the normal functioning of the body’s immune-system cells. While ingestion or skin exposure to anthrax can sometimes be treated, inhalation is highly fatal, with a mortality rate of at least 80 percent, according to the FDA.

South Korea Clamps Down on Bitcoin Trading Amid Market Frenzy (jdargis)

Until recently, markets for Bitcoin and its competitors barely existed in the country. But a dramatic spurt of interest has swept up ordinary people from students to retirees. Trading has become so popular that some South Korean exchanges have set up physical storefronts where the uninitiated can learn more and buy in.

Ukrainian government, rebels carry out landmark prisoner swap (TS)

A simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russia-backed separatists and government troops has killed more than 10,000 since 2014. A truce signed in 2015 stipulated an exchange of all prisoners but both sides are believed to keep dozens, if not hundreds, captive for use as bargaining tools.

From Bitcoin to Belize, Here Are Best and Worst Assets of 2017 (jdargis)

It wasn’t a good year, however, to have bet on stocks in Qatar and Pakistan. The Persian Gulf country was thrown into chaos mid-year when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties. In Pakistan, the index was coming from a high base, but also suffered from foreigners pulling money out of the market. (NOTE: We excluded the Venezuelan stock exchanges 3,865 percent gain this year because it’s almost entirely due to the effect of a rapidly devaluing currency.)

Death in an Amazon dumpster (jdargis)

This has added resonance in San Francisco, where the economy hinges on the noncorporeal – algorithms, the cloud and the flows of venture capital – yet some 4,500 people sleeping outdoors still struggle each night for the basic physical necessities of existence. They subsist in the interstices of the new paradigm, or in some cases off its waste.

Apple, Amazon In Talks To Set Up Shop, Invest In Saudi Arabia (jdargis)

In terms of specifics, Reuters reports that a licensing agreement for Apple stores with SAGIA is expected by February, with an initial retail store targeted for 2019, said two sources familiar with the discussions. Amazon’s talks are in earlier stages and no specific date has been set for investment plans.

The new "investment" will only solidify the two companies' presence in the oil rich country.

Puerto Rico's Power Struggle (jdargis)

That battle began long before two devastating hurricanes hit the island last year, and the seeds of disaster had been sown long before as well. Puerto Rico’s state-owned power company, the Puerto Rican Power Authority (PREPA) has been in crisis for years, and its crumbling electricity grid—with a fragile transmission scheme, little basic maintenance, extraordinary pollution, and out-of-date infrastructure—made the threat of power shortages and blackouts even for critical infrastructure a common one for millions of Puerto Ricans for years as a humanitarian crisis brewed.

It’s Been One of the Worst Years Ever for Billion-Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters (jdargis)

Among the most devastating events were hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and wildfires in northern California. The killer storms caused economic losses of more than $210 billion in the U.S. and across the Caribbean, and about $100 billion in insured damages, according to Mark Bove, a senior research scientist with Munich Reinsurance America in Princeton, New Jersey.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/27/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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3 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4060
2018 to be another rough year for Chicago taxpayers

2018 to be another rough year for Chicago taxpayers

Chicago Tribune-22 hours ago
City property taxes are going up another $63 million — the fourth and final increase in Emanuel's plan to boost city contributions to pension funds for police ... The money will be used for emergency services costs and technology upgrades, freeing up about $30 million in general city funds for the city to spend as it sees fit.

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4060
Report: Only One US State Pension has Funded Level Above 50%

Report: Only One US State Pension has Funded Level Above 50%

Chief Investment Officer-2 hours ago
“Based on these revised investment return assumptions, we report on total unfunded pension liability, unfunded pension liabilities per capita, and the funding ratio of these plans,” said ALEC. The report said that unfunded liabilities of public pension plans continue to loom over state governments, and that if pension assets ...

Cases could open door to pension cuts for California workers

ABC News-22 hours ago
... schools, fire districts and other local bodies facing a sharp rise in their pension costs, and for the workers who earn pensions from them. The ballooning costs are an issue that Gov. Jerry Brown will face in his final year in office despite his earlier efforts to reform the state's pension systems and pay down massive unfunded ...

 

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2237
Scary stuff, Saxplayer.

People have so much blind trust in their state pensions being there for them when they retire... In some ways, I envy them their ignorant bliss.  Except for the knowledge that the crisis they're heading into is still there, whether they see it beforehand or not!

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