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Daily Digest 7/5 - Private Prison Stocks Up 100% Since 2016, A July 4th Without Fireworks?

Thursday, July 5, 2018, 10:41 AM

Economy

Rife With Anxiety, Markets Are Churning at the Fastest Rate Since 2008 (Adam)

It’s a similar story for developing-nation assets at the mercy of a strengthening U.S. dollar and trade tensions. Volume on the MSCI Emerging Market index reached $1.9 trillion in the three months through June, the most since 1998 when a wave of currency devaluations and defaults ripped through emerging economies from Thailand to Russia.

The China-U.S. Power Struggle Is Just Beginning (Thomas R.)

It’s also a battle for global influence. Whereas the U.S. has long sought to spread democracy and free markets to other nations, China’s ruling Communist Party is just starting to pitch its heavy-handed growth model as an alternative for developing nations. And Xi is backing it up with hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for infrastructure projects from Asia to Europe and beyond.

Enbridge offers $11.4B in stock to buy up four subsidiaries (Uncletommy)

Enbridge said the decision hurts its subsidiaries by cutting their distributable cash flow. It also has weakened their credit worthiness and ability to raise money from investors, a process that fuels "drop-downs" of assets from Enbridge Inc. in return for cash to support its growth.

A July 4 Without Fireworks? Wildfire-Plagued Cities Turn to Drones (Thomas R.)

"It will be a fabulous alternative to fireworks, which we really think is going to be the new norm going forward,” Ms. Braun said.

While Ms. Braun would not say how much a fireworks show typically costs, she said officials expected to spend about the same amount on this year’s drone show.

Yes, your phone is spying on you and these researchers proved it (Thomas R.)

This is the kind of news headline that taps into a disaffection among tech users that’s built on such an emotional components that the facts of the matter almost don’t, well, matter. It’s the same with the recent headline about third parties reading your Gmail; Cambridge Analytica; and so many others. The average user sees in all of this, the core truth they latch on to — I’m being taken advantage of, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Imran Awan Gets Sweetheart Plea Deal; DOJ Won't Prosecute Alleged Spy Ring, Cybercrimes (lambertad)

Awan and several family members worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz along with 20% of House Democrats as IT staffers who held - as the House Inspector General called it - the "keys to the kingdom," when it came to accessing confidential information on Congressional computer systems.

And while ample evidence of potential crimes were found by the House Inspector General, the DOJ says they found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Private prison stocks up 100% since Trump's win (Thomas R.)

Both CoreCivic and Geo Group have several thousand beds currently available that could be used for undocumented immigrants, says Michael Kodesch, a stock analyst at Canaccord Genuity. Private prisons currently house roughly 8% of America's 1.5 million federal and state prison population, according to Kodesch.

Meet the Six Big Banks Keeping Private Prisons in Business (Thomas R.)

“Wells Fargo is at the top of the list,” Aguilar Shank told TakePart. “They have showed up every time GEO or [CoreCivic] was trying to sell bonds—they’ve long been a target for the prison divestment movement.”

Single Parenthood And Poverty, The Undeniable Connection (Thomas R.)

Of course, this is a worthy subject of debate. But it must be admitted that the odds of securing more money for the poor aren't good. The intense competition for government funds — for huge budget deficits, defense spending, health care and payments for the elderly — fosters an unfriendly political climate.

Some Top Crypto Investors Are Now Telling Entrepreneurs Not To ICO (Thomas R.)

ICOs raked in $1.2 billion in March, about one-quarter less than their February total, according to Token Report. That’s no small sum, but other market signals point to a cooling-off. VC firms are reportedly seeking veto power over future token sales when they invest in crypto startups.

US shale investors still waiting on payoff from oil boom (Thomas R.)

The energy sector has lagged the rally that took the broader stock market to record highs. The S&P 500 Energy Index remains nearly a third off its peak in mid-2014, when oil prices topped $100 a barrel. The broader S&P 500 index is up 39 percent during the same period.

Trump Is Fracturing OPEC (Michael S.)

Recent data suggests that Saudi Arabia already began ramping up production way more than it said it would under the OPEC+ agreement even before the meeting. The agreement called for a return to 100 percent compliance, which would translate into an increase of 600,000 bpd to 1 mb/d. Saudi officials suggested the upper end of that range was almost a formality, and the lower figure would end up being what was likely.

The tow-an-iceberg plan being floated to ease Cape Town drought (thc0655)

But the 56-year-old Zambian-South African has a reputation for taking on the impossible after he re-floated the giant Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized in 2012 off the Tuscan island of Giglio, killing 32 people -- one of the world's largest and most complex maritime salvage operations.

This company wants to tow icebergs to the water-scarce desert (jdargis)

Freshwater scarcity has been a problem in the UAE since the country’s existence. That should come as no surprise: the UAE exists in drylands where the soil is generally dry and rain is seldom. To make matters worse, almost all of the groundwater in the country is salt water, which has forced the country spend millions converting saltwater to freshwater, and enact (somewhat loose) water use restrictions. At 145 gallons per day, the UAE has one of the highest per capita water use rates in the entire world.

Tropical Forests Suffered Near-Record Tree Losses in 2017 (Sparky1)

In all, the world’s tropical forests lost roughly 39 million acres of trees last year, an area roughly the size of Bangladesh, according to a report Wednesday by Global Forest Watch that used new satellite data from the University of Maryland. Global Forest Watch is part of the World Resources Institute, an environmental group.

Gold & Silver

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