Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/8 - Northeast Deep Freeze Lingers, The End Of The Beginning For Bitcoin

Monday, January 8, 2018, 11:20 AM

Economy

Yes, But At What Cost? (jdargis)

The status quo delights in celebrating gains, but the costs required to generate those gains are ignored for one simple reason: the costs exceed the gains by a wide margin. As long as the costs can be hidden, diluted, minimized and rationalized, then phantom gains can be presented as real.

Bitcoin: The End Of The Beginning (Tiffany D.)

Coinbase replaced YouTube as the most downloaded app on iTunes. With a few swipes and taps, investors can now swap their dollars for bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. You can buy bitcoin from the comfort of your couch or while watching your 8-year-old’s soccer game. The market is open 24/7/365.

‘It Can’t Be True.’ Inside the Semiconductor Industry’s Meltdown (jdargis)

Prescher was one of at least 10 researchers and engineers working around the globe -- sometimes independently, sometimes together -- who uncovered Meltdown and Spectre. Interviews with several of these experts reveal a chip industry that, while talking up efforts to secure computers, failed to spot that a common feature of their products had made machines so vulnerable.

Trump plan to expand oil and gas leasing in West draws, for the most part, a big yawn from industry (jdargis)

In March, Trump issued an executive order to unshackle the energy industry from "regulatory burdens" and dispatched Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to accelerate and expand the scope of federal oil and gas lease auctions. It was a major part of the president's plan to re-establish "American energy dominance."

Vietnam energy executives stand trial on corruption charges (tmn)

Some of the former executives, who are alleged to have caused massive losses at PetroVietnam, could face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious offences.

Trump Proposes Most Aggressive Offshore Drilling Plan Ever (Michael K.)

Needless to say, the proposal is being met with some pushback. Opposition from environmental groups is expected – a joint letter from 64 environmental groups blasted the decision, arguing it will inflict “severe and unacceptable harm” to U.S. publicly-owned oceans, coastal economies and marine life. "This radical offshore drilling free-for-all is a clear example of politics over people, ignoring widespread local and state opposition," Diane Hoskins, a campaign director Oceana, said in a statement.

US east coast hits record lows on Sunday as deep freeze lingers (jdargis)

A 3ft tidal surge brought on by the nor’easter along the Massachusetts coast was the highest recorded in nearly a century. Residents of Boston and its suburbs were cleaning up after the tide that came in on Thursday, flooding streets and forcing some residents to be evacuate as the water started to freeze.

Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer (jdargis)

>Timo Vihma, head of the polar meteorology and climatology group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, explained that warmer air in the Arctic reduces the temperature difference between it and lower latitudes and weakens the polar vortex.

“When we have a weak temperature gradient between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, the result is weaker winds,” he said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/5/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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2 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4042
Italy's Target 2 liabilities hit new record high in December

Italy's Target 2 liabilities hit new record high in December

Reuters-2 hours ago
MILAN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Italy's debt with the European Central Bank rose to a new record high in December, data from the Bank of Italy showed on Monday. Italy's net debt towards the ECB's Target 2 payment system, which settles cross-border payments in the euro zone, stood at 439.02 billion euros ($526 billion) in ...

Saudi could issue $20bln of bonds in regional debt boom, predicts ...

ZAWYA-12 hours ago
DUBAI - Gulf states are expected to embark on a debt-raising spree in 2018, with Saudi Arabia taking the lion's share of issuance that could top $50 billion, according ... Raising debt is a key part of the Kingdom's strategy to finance its budget deficit, forecast to reach SR328 billion ($87.5 billion) in the recent budget for 2018.

Ballooning pension costs affecting recent education financial gains

Monterey County Herald-Jan 7, 2018
MPUSD is not the only district that used savings to balance its budget this year. At the Salinas Union High School District, administrators used some of their nearly $21 million in savings to cover their $2.2 million in deficit spending. That savings account is expected to shrink to $14 million for the 2019-20 school year – still ...

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1502
Clever new way for insolvent pensions to kick the can

This one may have legs.  Keep an eye on it.

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/termination-pay-philly-schools-backlog-20180107.html

Patricia Randzo gave 34 years of her life to city kids, retiring as principal of the school system’s Philadelphia Military Academy in April.

Randzo didn’t like to spend much time away from the students she worked with, so she had plenty of unused sick, personal, and vacation days when she left the district: roughly $69,000 worth. She was going to use the money to buy a house.

But nearly a year after Randzo left the system, she hasn’t bought the house because she’s still waiting for her money. And she is not alone: The Philadelphia School District is sitting on a years-long backlog of unpaid termination payouts, some dating to the early 2000s.

One recent retiree was told she would have to wait for two years to get the funds she is owed, despite union contracts that say employees are entitled to the payments in a timely manner – most within 90 days of leaving the district.

“It’s ridiculous,” Randzo said.

Terms vary for the various labor unions that work within the district, but typically, School District employees are paid out for 100 percent of their unused personal time and 25 percent of their unused sick time during their tenure. The reasons behind the struggle to promptly pay them are complex, blamed on old back-office systems that make it tough to do the needed verifications before checks are cut and an unusually heavy workload for the district’s human resources and payroll departments.

The effects of the 2012 doomsday budget also still linger. That year, the school system laid off thousands of employees, including half the staff devoted to processing the payout checks. New labor contracts for most unions also meant a crush of new work for already overburdened departments, officials said.

Uri Monson, the district’s chief financial officer, said the problem is improving. An August report by then-City Controller Alan Butkovitz identified a backlog of $6.6 million in payouts owed to more than 5,000 former School District workers; Monson said that, as of November, the number was closer to 4,000 workers, despite the departure of 1,200 staffers who retired or resigned at the end of last school year.

The average wait for a check, Monson said, is down to 14 months from 17, and the total owed is also less.

Think of the possibilities.  The FDIC guarantees your bank deposits (up to $250,000, today anyway) but there's literally NO GUARANTEE about how fast your deposit that went to money heaven will be replaced.  3 months?  6 months? 12 months?  The fed.gov "nationalizes" your 401(k) or IRA and replaces it with federal bonds, which you can't access for 3 months?  6 months? 12 months? During the next financial crisis you try to withdraw your ETF funds, but they won't give them to you for 3 weeks? 6 weeks? 9 weeks?  Gold goes to $2,500/oz. and you try to withdraw your guaranteed physical metal, but the bank refuses to give it to you for 3 months?  6 months? 12 months?  They'll have reasons for their delay, and vehemently deny they are defaulting on their promises and guarantees.  And the rules will be adjusted to let this happen with impunity.

Rickards' "ice-9" scenario appears to be creeping up on us a little at a time, though he thinks it will go global all of a sudden during the next crisis. In fact, he explains that for it to work it has to be implemented across the board in a matter of hours or at most days, otherwise people will rush to successfully remove their assets from The System.  That is what cannot be allowed to happen to maintain the status quo in The System. This is what didn't happen in 2008, but is part of the "ammunition" The System still has at its disposal.  Don't listen to those reassuring words about The Fed being out of ammunition for the next crisis.  Maybe they are out of their customary ammunition (eg. room to drop interest rates significantly), but they have some asymmetrical weapons waiting in the wings.

https://dailyreckoning.com/ice-nine-plan/

If you don't have it in your possession, you may find you don't actually own it.

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

 

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