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Daily Digest 7/31 - States Hidden Jobless Woes, Drought Stalls Energy Production, Raises Wheat Prices

Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 12:27 PM


Taibbi and Spitzer on Sandy Weill, Romney, LIBOR and Geithner (Thomas C.)

Geithner and his apologists are the credibility trap in action. He epitomizes Obama's failure to reform and address the great financial crimes. While it is is interesting that LIBOR may have been manipulated going back to 1991, what is more alarming is that market manipulation still being committed on a broad scale today. This reminds one of the shocking murder of Kitty Genovese.

The Fed On Gold Price Manipulation (Thomas C.)

Zero Hedge has recently presented several declassified documents from the pre-1971 "Nixon Shock" days, that endorse the case for gold as a major historical factor in US monetary and foreign policy, as demonstrated by State Department and CIA disclosure. Gold's special status in policy and administrative decision-making was a direct factor in Nixon's choice to abolish the gold reserve at a time of an exploding budget deficit.

Drought Strains U.S. Oil Production (safewrite)

"We're having difficulty acquiring water," said Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas, an oil company with operations in many of the new shale regions including Bakken in North Dakota and Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

States' Hidden Jobless Woes (Tall)

According to Labor Department figures released late last week, California and Nevada are struggling not just with high unemployment, but also severe under-employment. California's average unemployment rate from July 2011 through June 2012 was 11.2%, but its broader under-employment rate was far higher, at 20.3%.

Hundreds Of Millions Without Power In India (ScubaRoo)

Anil K Gupta, the chairman of the state's power company, called for "further investigation to ascertain the real cause".

Also on Tuesday it was announced that Mr Shinde had been promoted to the post of home minister, in a widely anticipated cabinet reshuffle.

Report Shows the US has Nearly 200,000 GW of Solar Potential (James S.)

Texas boasts 14% of the entire countries rural solar potential and about 20% of the concentrated solar power potential. The Lone Star State could change from a fossil fuel powerhouse to a renewable energy icon, and with that change could also see massive increase in economic growth.

Peak Minerals: Shortage of Rare Earth Metals Threatens Renewable Energy (James S.)

Underpinning the above political agenda, a list of "endangered elements" has been published in a new report, including the rare earth elements (REEs), in particular neodymium, production of which, it is reckoned, will have to increase five-times to build enough magnets for the number of wind-turbines deemed necessary for a fully renewable future. Nonetheless, my rough calculations indicate that this would still take 50 - 100 years to implement, depending on exactly what proportion of the renewable electricity budget would be met from wind-power, and if the manufacturing capacity and other resources of materials and energy needed for this Herculean task will prevail.

Soup to nuts off-grid living for under $160,000? (Coley H.)

What follows certainly isn’t scientific, and I’m going to caveat the hell out of it as I’m sure there are expenses I’m leaving out, but it should at least get the gears spinning on possibilities and costs. And for those out there who already have expertise in off-grid living, please feel free to poke holes in my analysis.

I’ll include a budget graph at the end.

Panic, Drought, Massive Gains For The Grains (David B.)

Two of the biggest jumps have been seen in corn and soybean futures, as the two foods have jumped by about 50% and 35% respectively in the past month and a half. But despite the issues at hand, the Fed doesn’t see the temporary price spike as an inflationary event that needs to be combated. “It’s kind of like a transitory oil price spike. We get good rains next year and it’s gone, it isn’t something that the Fed will fight as inflationary,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. But consumers beware, the full impact of this price spike may not be felt until the first half of next year, making this issue a year-long affair.

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