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Daily Digest 8/17 - Gold And The Middle East Crisis, High Frequency Trading As Wall Street's Doomsday Machine?

Friday, August 17, 2012, 12:22 PM

Economy

This Could Change Evertything (Rich B.)

"Money is the most powerful and pervasivesecular force on the planet. Yet for most,it's a source of mysticism and mystery."

Steal a little, but don't loot- Indian minister sparks outcry (westcoastjan)

Uttar Pradesh, which is bigger than Brazil by population, was earlier governed by 'Dalit Queen' Mayawati. She has been criticized for spending millions of rupees on building statues of herself and buying diamond jewelry despite widespread malnutrition and poverty in her state.

Yatav's nephew is Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh's chief minister, who came to power earlier this year proclaiming an end to corruption in the state.

Economist Caution: Prepare For 'Massive Wealth Destruction' (Jason W.)

Faber points out that this bleak outlook stems directly from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policy decisions, and the continuous printing of new money, referred to as “quantitative easing” in the media.


Faber’s pessimism is matched by well-respected economist and investor Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. Schiff remarks that the stock market collapse we experienced in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash. The real crash is coming.”

Gold and the Middle East crisis (Taki T.)

The past decade has indeed been one of near constant strife and turmoil. Starting with 9/11 and the U.S.-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan, and later Iraq, the 10 years between 2001 and 2011 were characterized by ceaseless warfare. The military invasions in the Middle East have been followed by civil and military uprisings in Egypt, North Africa and elsewhere in the region. By contrast, 2012 might be styled a “quiet” year for the Mideast. A withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq began in mid 2009 and formally ended in late 2011.

Look For The Silver Lining: Silver Swan Ready For Takeoff (Taki T.)

The bears disagree and claim that silver will be pushed back beneath this level as silver plunges to new lows as the Fed continues to keep its trigger off of the QE3 bazooka and wait until after the election. Silver is holding the line making a rounded bottom. Notice the rounding bottom signaling a potential breakout as sellers become exhausted.

Social Security Administration To Purchase 174 Thousand Rounds Of Hollow Point Bullets (Dana T.)

It’s not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest. Social security welfare is estimated to keep around 40 per cent of senior citizens out of poverty. Should the tap run dry in the aftermath of an economic collapse which the Federal Reserve has already told top banks to prepare for, domestic disorder could ensue if people are refused their benefits.

No One Will Charged With a Crime for the MF Global Collapse (Thomas C.)

The company placed a grossly outsized bet (more than $6 billion worth) on the health of the European debt market last year and when it went south, the firm "borrowed" money from the accounts of its customers to try and salvage its own losses. Most of the blame for those trades fell on its CEO (and ex-New Jersey governor) Jon Corzine, and while his reputation and firm are ruined, it seems he will escape any legal sanction. He could still face massive civil lawsuits or fines from regulators who have a lower standard than a criminal prosecution, but jail isn't in the cards.

Glenn Greenwald: Two-Tier Application of Justice Undermines Legitimacy of American Political System (Jaime)

The history of Rule of Law in America: The founders anticipated that there would be all sorts of inequality, but believed that equality before the law would be necessary for legitimacy. In reality the founders breached those principles in many ways, but they consistently maintained it as a principal. America continuously enshrined equality under the law and affirmed it over the following two centuries. In doing so, it became an ideal; it became aspirational. There is a real value in affirming principles even if they are not perfectly applied; those aspirational principles become guides to what progress means and how it is achieved.

Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions (Alan W.)

Behind this worry stands the transition to renewable energy laid out by Chancellor Angela Merkel last year in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Though the transition has been sluggish so far, Merkel set the ambitious goals of boosting renewable energy to 35 percent of total power consumption by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 while phasing out all of Germany's nuclear power reactors by 2022.

High Frequency Trading: Wall Street’s Doomsday Machine? (Nervous Nelly)

High frequency trading is a catch-all term that describes the practice of firms using high-powered computers to execute trades at very fast speeds – sometimes thousands or millions of trades per second. These systems have developed over the past ten years, and began to really dominate Wall Street over the last five. For example, a high-frequency trader might try to take advantage of miniscule differences in prices between securities offered on different exchanges: ABC stock could be offered for one price in New York and for a slightly higher price in London. With a high-powered computer and an “algorithm,” a trader could buy the cheap stock and sell the expensive one almost simultaneously, making an almost risk-free profit for himself.

Insight: Goldman independent research arm dies, shunned by clients
(Rich B.)

The settlement followed accusations by Spitzer and other regulators that securities analysts at some major banks were glorified shills for companies' shares, instead of providing the objective advice they claimed to offer. Analysts often got bigger bonuses if their positive ratings, or help on sales calls, allowed a bank to win investment banking business.

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."

5 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
$16 trillion national debt

First please scroll to my previous post above and look at #5. You might also note that at about the same time we will pass $51,000 per citizen and $140,000 per taxpayer.

==========================

Treasury Direct Link:

The Daily History of the Debt Results

Historical returns from 08/05/2012 through 08/16/2012

The data for the total public debt outstanding is published each business day. If there is no debt value for the date(s) you requested, the value for the preceding business day will be displayed.

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )

 

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
08/03/2012 11,121,816,561,855.34 4,782,812,086,240.78 15,904,628,648,096.12
08/06/2012 11,121,617,834,221.06 4,787,081,691,707.40 15,908,699,525,928.46
08/07/2012 11,120,600,690,794.37 4,791,461,552,430.39 15,912,062,243,224.76
08/08/2012 11,122,338,169,886.65 4,781,603,222,549.65 15,903,941,392,436.30
08/09/2012 11,132,675,901,932.02 4,783,138,555,987.44 15,915,814,457,919.46
08/10/2012 11,132,489,250,370.28 4,782,484,148,992.25 15,914,973,399,362.53
08/13/2012 11,131,954,707,899.86 4,783,592,682,240.06 15,915,547,390,139.92
08/14/2012 11,132,186,945,483.10 4,787,301,064,959.67 15,919,488,010,442.77
08/15/2012 11,165,408,618,916.94 4,779,461,066,977.98 15,944,869,685,894.92
08/16/2012 11,175,825,918,961.79 4,782,133,736,225.44 15,957,959,655,187.23

 

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Louisiana Sinkhole - Fears of Gas Explosion

Louisiana Sinkhole - Fears Of Radioactivity And Gas Explosion As Sinkhole Gets Bigger (August 16, 2012)
"Boiling bubbles in the waters of Bayou Corne, in Assumption Parish, about 50 miles south of Baton Rouge in Louisiana, US, concerned residents in mid-May. Then, suddenly a massive sinkhole appeared on August 3. It forced the closure of nearby highway 70 after a gas line along that route bent and led to fears of an explosion. Officials believe the sinkhole could give off radiation or cause explosions that would harm local residents. Nearly 150 residences were asked to evacuate their homes on August 13 after the sinkhole swallowed nearby trees."
http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/08/16/louisiana-sinkhole-fears-of-radioactivity-and-gas-explosion-as-sinkhole-getting-bigger/

Video clip on the sinkhole, via YouTube:

Also, an interesting, semi-related story from 31 years ago...

Lake Peigneur
"On November 20, 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (36 cm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a chain of events which turned what was at the time an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Peigneur

Video on the 1980 Lake Peigneur disaster, via YouTube:

Poet

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
Moody's: More Calif. cities at risk of bankruptcy

"One of the nation's top credit rating agencies will begin a wide-ranging review of municipal finances in California because of what it sees is a growing threat of increased city bankruptcies and bond defaults.

Moody's Investors Service issued a report Friday saying that the growing fiscal distress in many cities in the nation's most populous state was putting bond holders at risk.

It noted that some municipalities were considering bankruptcy as a new strategy to address budget deficits and avoid obligations to bond holders. That emerging dynamic could have ripple effects throughout the investment community.

Three California cities have filed for bankruptcy this year: Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes.

Moody's says it expects "more bankruptcy filings and bond defaults among California cities reflecting the increased risk to bondholders ...""

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
Louisiana sinkhole

Poet,

We've been following the Louisiana sinkhole story over in the Deep South Group. Here's a very local news source down in that region with credible information - the Assumption Parish Police Jury blog http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/

Please note that the slight radiation is from tailings from drilling, not nuclear waste. Please also note that the big worry not mentoined on the above source is mentioned here: http://sincedutch.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/8112012-louisiana-sink-hole-explained-possible-huge-catastrophe-in-the-making/

I don't always agree with Dutchsince, but this story bears watching. A huge salt dome full of Butane 1600 ft from the sinkhole? Scary explosive power.

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