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Daily Digest 9/20 - The Looming DROP Apocalypse, Bye Bye Bugs?

Thursday, September 20, 2018, 11:15 AM

Economy

The Looming DROP Apocalypse (thc0655)

The loophole that allowed elected officials to get in on the fun has since been slammed shut by the state. But in 2011, in the wake of all the public outrage, City Council could have ended the entire DROP program for good. After all, the problem with DROP has always been bigger than a few pols walking out with wads in their pockets. Reporting I did in 2010 showed that DROP was costly — and draining the city’s flagging pension fund. In fact, in the wake of my report, then-mayor Michael Nutter proposed a bill to end DROP for all city employees. It never even made it out of committee. Instead, in a 15-2 vote in June 2011, City Council decided to keep DROP but “reform” it.

Cuomo's Win: It's All About the Money (Dan M.)

The Cuomo-Nixon race went according to an increasingly common pattern. One candidate takes all the money and is not just substantially supported by the very industries he or she is charged with overseeing, but also may have a corresponding lack of grassroots financial support.

Call this candidate the pole-sitter. He or she will start the race with a massive war chest, but will face the not-insignificant challenge of converting a few big chunks of money into many votes.

No more bailouts: The lawmakers behind Dodd-Frank say that taxpayers won’t foot the bill the next time a bank fails (Thomas R.)

“What we didn't do well enough, and I blame the administration for a lot of this here, it always should have been a consumer, bottom-up approach to this thing,” Dodd said. [It’s] about consumers and the country. “The language was always about stability of the institutions, and consumers kind of came in last.”

Frank added that the people in charge of pushing through TARP, like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, didn’t do enough to help people facing foreclosures.

31 Percent Of U.S. Households Have Trouble Paying Energy Bills (Thomas R.)

"We only conduct the Residential Energy Consumption Survey every 4-5 years," survey manager Chip Berry told NPR by email. "This is the first time in the history of the study (goes back to late '70s) that we have [measured] energy insecurity across all households, so there's not much in the way of historical comparison."

Market Tops Take Time (GE Christenson)

When High-Frequency-Trading (HFT) machines control most volume and humans are not involved, exaggerated moves higher and lower are likely. The stock markets have moved higher since 2009, thanks to Quantitative Easing, $ trillions in corporate buybacks, rock-bottom interest rates, a new housing bubble, massive central bank liquidity flows into stocks, international purchases of stocks, HFT, and managed data, statistics and press releases.

Prepare for an onslaught of spam calls next year (Thomas R.)

In a company blog post, First Orion said it’s “carefully analyzed over 50 billion calls made to … customers over the past 18 months. By combining specific call patterns and behaviors with other phone number attributes, First Orion now predicts that nearly half of all calls to mobile phones will be fraudulent in 2019 unless the industry adopts and implements more effective call protection solutions.”

Dollar Traders See the Fed’s Next Rate Hike as a Big Sell Signal (Thomas R.)

“We have a turning point where the dollar is going to weaken’’ said Momtchil Pojarliev, deputy head of the currencies team at BNP Paribas Asset Management, which manages $653 billion. The dollar is “at the maximum positive point” and could weaken to $1.25 per euro in the next six to nine months from around $1.1770 Thursday. It’s also a good time to short the U.S. currency against the yen, Pojarliev said.

Amazon might open thousands of its grab-and-go stores over the next three years (Thomas R.)

That many new stores could change people's expectations for convenience stores, forcing other retailers to adopt a cashier-less model. It would also change Amazon's business, putting more focus on its physical stores. That would be a turnaround for Amazon, which helped popularize online shopping and is blamed for the closure of hundreds of retail stores on Main Streets throughout America.

Big Death:  How Kuhn Was Wrong And Foucault Was Right (J.S.A.)

Two smallish points before we start, the first is how in neolithic times even small scale production can have semblances of mass production (Mycenean wares are another one I have noted before, much like terra sigillata of the Romans are mass-produce), second this first point presupposes a rationality at work (more perhap in terms of technique than in terms of numbers-crunching) a kind of rationality I see as not very modern but instead as timeless. This could segue into the notions of text as explanatory of history.

Slow-speed driver-less shuttle service set to begin testing in Columbus next week (Thomas R.)

With sensors all around the vehicle, the route that will only consist of right hand turns, and a relatively low speed limit on all of the roads it will operate on, give the director of Smart Columbus at the Columbus Partnership Jordan Davis a good feeling about the project’s success.

10-year Treasury yield hits 4-month high as bond market sells off (Thomas R.)

Some investors fear China will use other means than tariffs to retaliate against the U.S., with some suggesting the second largest economy could sell its Treasury holdings to push the U.S.’s borrowing costs higher. According to the widely-watched Treasury International Capitol report, China’s holdings of U.S. government paper fell to a six-month low of $1.17 trillion in July.

Oil Prices Inch Higher On Crude, Gasoline Draw (Thomas R.)

Earlier this month, in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA reported preliminary production estimates suggest the United States had overtaken Russia as the world’s top crude oil producer, pumping 10.9 million bpd on average in August. Next year, the EIA estimated, daily production will hit an average of 11.5 million bpd, up from this year’s estimated 10.7 million bpd.

Hog manure is spilling out of lagoons because of Hurricane Florence’s floods (Don R.)

All these animals produce feces and urine, which can contain pathogens and dangerous chemicals. Around large farms, this waste is often contained in anaerobic lagoons. These are pits usually about 8 feet deep and lined with clay to limit leaks. The animal waste in the lagoons undergoes anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms break down many of the substances into carbon dioxide and methane. The treated waste is then used as crop fertilizer.

How slick water and black shale in fracking combine to produce radioactive waste (Paul D.)

The study, detailed in twin papers appearing in Chemical Geology, is the first research that characterizes the phenomenon of radium transfer in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas. The findings add to what is already generally known about the mechanisms of radium release and could help the search for solutions to challenges in the fracking industry.

Climate Change May Mean Abandoning Our Coasts Forever (Paul D.)

When you look at South Florida, you’re looking at 4 million people who have to get out. They’ll be climate refugees. We’re talking about a really major upset to our society. There will be a lot of unhappy people, of course. But we can’t go back to just building seawalls. We have to go against the grain. If we don’t go against grain we’re going to lose it all.

Mosquitoes are eating plastic. Why that's a big problem. (Thomas R.)

“The implication is that you can have plastics at the bottom of the pond that are now going up into the air and being eaten by spiders and bats and animals that normally wouldn’t have access to that plastic,” author Amanda Callaghan at England's University of Reading told the Independent.

These Nearly-Extinct Animals Would Fit on a Single Subway Car (Paul D.)

Species include the Javan rhino, which is critically endangered, the vaquita, also critically endangered with about 30 wild individuals remaining, and the Guam kingfisher, which is extinct in the wild. Whittling the species down from a list of 20 animals was difficult, but she had to be sure to include a wide range of types of species—from birds to marine life to reptiles.

Bye bye bugs? Scientists fear non-pest insects are declining (Adam)

Several scientists have conducted their own tests with windshields, car grilles and headlights, and most notice few squashed bugs. Researchers are quick to point out that such exercises aren't good scientific experiments, since they don't include control groups or make comparisons with past results. (Today's cars also are more aerodynamic, so bugs are more likely to slip past them and live to buzz about it.)

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/19/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

7 Comments

Wendal's picture
Wendal
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2013
Posts: 25
Wrong link

Note that the last story ("Bye Bye Bugs") has the wrong link address attached to it.

jeaninedargis's picture
jeaninedargis
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 13 2009
Posts: 30
Fixed, thanks for the heads

Fixed, thanks for the heads up! 

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 443
"No more bailouts: The

"No more bailouts: The lawmakers behind Dodd-Frank say that taxpayers won’t foot the bill the next time a bank fails"

LOL! Sorry! Every depositor is a tax payer. All they are doing is re-arranging deck chairs. Second recall Benanke's comments: March 2008 (Bear sterns collapse): "There will be no bailouts" Sept 2008 (Leheman collapse) "Fed will bail out all banks and financial institutions. Once Depositors start losing money. they all will empty bank accounts and force the Fed to bail them out, just like they did in Sept 2008. 

 

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 900
The more Kavanaugh stinks of eau de swamp

The more I wonder, who suggested to Trump the additional five that were added to the short list of potential Supreme Court nominees?

Anybody know?

They seem to be counter to the suggestions by the Heritage Foundation.

Somehow I suspect that knowing who gave Trump the additional five... might be extremely important.

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 331
The Federalist Society

Is responsible for drawing up the list..Amy Coney Barrett may be next on deck...

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 900
Not necessarily the federalist society

According to

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_Supreme_Court_candidates
(see also source 15, How Trump got to YES on Gorsuch)

The Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society helped draw up to original list of 11, and the second list of 10. Following that, he added a list of 5 that has no identifiable source, and includes Kavanaugh.

Edwardelinski's picture
Edwardelinski
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2012
Posts: 331
The Last Five

Were submitted by Leonard Leo,White House Council Don McGahn and conservative activist Ed Whelan.Combine that with dark money supplied by names like Mercer,Koch,etc you can be sure special interests will be satisfied down the road.Every aspect of the Govt is tainted from the top down.We all loose.Big time.... 

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