Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/21 - A Primer On Honesty, The Next Big Panic

Friday, September 21, 2012, 10:28 AM


A Primer On Honesty: Are You A Better Liar Than The Chairman? (Thomas C.)

Human beings basically try to do two things at the same time; on the one hand we want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves - ego motivation from honesty, and on the other hand we want to benefit from dishonesty.

Neil Macdonald: Why a U.S.-style housing nightmare could hit Canada (westcoastjan)

So I ran that thesis past Robert Shiller, of Yale University, probably the foremost authority on real estate in America. He co-founded the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and predicted the American collapse in 2005, a year before it happened.

"I worry," he told me, "that what is happening in Canada is kind of a slow-motion version of what happened in the U.S.".

Belize wins 60-day reprieve after partial debt payment (westcoastjan)

"The government's decision on the coupon payment was taken in consultation with the [bondholder] committee and we consider it a material and good faith step in the right direction," said AJ Mediratta of Greylock Capital Management, co-chair of the committee.

What happened to America's community spirit? (westcoastjan)

America, a nation we associate with rugged individualism, is actually - at least in its suburban guise - a nation of rules and conformity, a nation of community spirit, enforced where necessary by law. You may not say and do what you like in America, whatever the constitution says. You are expected to play nice. And you are all - every American - "in this together".

The Next Panic (westcoastjan)

After World War II, Japan built a financial system modeled on those of Europe and the United States. Financial intermediation is an old and venerable idea—connecting people with savings to other people wanting to make investments. Such a sensible use of savings was taken to a new level in Japan, the U.S., and Europe in the decades following 1945—helping to fuel un­precedented growth for entrepreneurs and a genuine accumulation of wealth for the burgeoning middle class.

QE3 – Pay Attention If You Are in the Real Estate Market (Thomas C.)

On one hand, you could let them all default. The problem is the criminal liabilities would drive the global and national leadership into factionalism that could turn violent, not to mention what such defaults would do to liquidity in the financial system. Then there is the fact that a great deal of the fraudulent paper has been purchased by pension funds. So the mark down would hit the retirement savings of the people who have now also lost their homes or equity in their homes. The politics of this in an election year are terrifying for the Administration to contemplate.

DHS Purchases 200 Million More Rounds of Ammunition (Dana T.)

A series of new solicitations posted on the FedBizOpps website show that the DHS is looking to purchase 200 million rounds of .223 rifle ammunition over the next four years, as well as 176,000 rounds of .308 caliber 168 grain hollow point boat tail (HPBT) rounds in addition to 25,000 rounds of blank .308 caliber bullets.

Government and gold confiscation: tips to protect your assets (Taki T.)

Confiscation is already here. I am not talking about outright confiscation of assets, but the confiscation of the buying power by inflating the money supply. If you keep your money in a bank account or “invest” it in bonds, you are actually losing money in real terms (i.e. after inflation). The decrease of your wealth basically results in an increase of the wealth of governments and banks, hence fulfilling the definition of confiscation.

Violence In Kenya: Election Fighting (jdargis)

The death toll since August has been unprecedented. Survivors of the tit-for-tat clashes describe terrifying slaughter; villages surrounded, people massacred by gangs of youths armed with guns, machetes and spears. Many locals have blamed the severity of recent fighting on politicians whom they believe have stoked the violence for their own gain.

Oil Prices Dive 5% on Speculation and Mystery (James S.)

All of these factors have driven the speculation leading to this week’s drop in oil prices, but to varying degrees. The FedEx news had only a short-lived effect on the oil prices, for instance, as did the European Central Bank’s announcement that it would implement more monetary easing measures, while announcements coming out of Saudi Arabia that the country intends to keep production high in order to suppress prices has a more lingering effect on the market.

Is the Can Worse Than the Soda? Study Finds Correlation Between BPA and Obesity (VeganD)

“This is the first association of an environmental chemical in childhood obesity in a large, nationally representative sample,” said lead investigator Leonardo Trasande, who studies the role of environmental factors in childhood disease at NYU. “We note the recent FDA ban of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, yet our findings raise questions about exposure to BPA in consumer products used by older children.”

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."


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Community can not be forced
Justin Webb wrote:

a nation of community spirit, enforced where necessary by law.


Community must be voluntary.  What he describes as community is repression, thuggery, and statism.  I believe we still have fairly strong community spirit in this country.  It's when neighbor helps neighbor, when people voluntarily contribute, charity.  It is not rules or theft (involuntary) performed by government with the threat of violence.

Want more community, encourage individualism and voluntary contribution not forced participation.


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‘Currency war’ boost for risk could run out

‘Currency war’ boost for risk could run out

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More 3E related Links, Resources and Cartoons

http://www.3es.weebly.com/  Blaze of Glory Edition

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Brazil may fire up tax artillery in 'currency war'

"Brazil threatened on Friday a further clampdown on speculative foreign capital, firing a warning shot in a "currency war" its finance minister blamed on money-printing by Western central banks.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Brazil would not allow its currency, the real, to strengthen as a result of aggressive monetary stimulus by the United States and other developed nations.

"If necessary ... we have (the option) of short-term capital taxes," he told reporters on the sidelines of an Economist conference in London.

Mantega's comments reflect growing tension between the South American nation and the United States over its lax monetary policy, which Brazilian officials blame for an avalanche of cheap imports crippling local producers."

"Mr Zhou criticised the flood of cheap money as an inflexible and orthodox approach, although he stopped short of naming the Fed. Chinese authorities have long expressed their displeasure at US quantitative easing policy measures, which have eroded the value of the Chinese holding of US dollar-denominated assets such as Treasury bonds. Beijing is the largest holder of US government debts.

Mr Zhou compared the role of a central banker with that of a gatekeeper of a dam during a drought. He said the gatekeeper should not flood the entire field when only selected patches needed water."

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California Debt Higher Than Earlier Estimates, a Task Force Repo

"They also pointed out many of the same unpaid bills from previous years that the governor had brought to light, like $8 billion in delayed payments to schools and community colleges, and $250 million that was raided from a fund dedicated to transportation and treated as revenue.

The task force estimated that the burden of debt totaled at least $167 billion and as much as $335 billion. Its members warned that the off-the-books debts tended to grow over time, so that even if Mr. Brown should succeed in pushing through his tax increase, gaining an additional $50 billion over the next seven years, the wall of debt would still be there, casting its shadow over the state. "

"Illinois' largest public pension fund o n F riday dropped its long-term assumed investment rate of return to 8 percent from 8.5 percent in a move that will lower its funded ratio and require more money from the cash-strapped state.

The funded ratio for the Teachers' Retirement System will fall to 42.4 percent from 45.2 percent and the state's fiscal 2014 payment to the fund will rise to $3.36 billion instead of $3.07 billion under the previous rate of return, according to a spokesman for the system."

"Spain’s economic slump has frayed nerves across the country, much as it did before the Civil War in the 1930s. Unemployment has risen to 25.1pc and may go higher as the delayed effects of austerity bite deeper.

Citigroup expects the economy to contract by 3.2pc next year and 0.8pc in 2014, pushing public debt to 100pc of GDP.

Chief economist Willem Buiter said the mix of austerity and reform will not restore Spain to “fiscal sustainability”, even if EU loans keep Spain going for another couple of years. He expects “debt restructuring” in the end. "

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Having Trouble Keeping Up?


Three New Findings Change Our View of the Brain

Sep 21st, 2012
| By Michael A. Robinson

Breakthrough No. 1: A Prosthetic Device For Impaired Minds

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you certainly know what it’s like to try and function when your mind is impaired.

No, science doesn’t have a cure for that. But in what I think is an amazing find, a team from three U.S. colleges just made a prosthetic device that can correct for bad brain signals brought on by disease or injury.

It’s still in the early stages, but this could be big. See, primates tested with the system did well at correcting their decision-making skills after having their brains compromised with cocaine.

To make the system work, the team used what they describe as an “electronic prosthetic system” to tap into the prefrontal cortex of test monkeys. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain involved in judgment and decision making.

After getting the cocaine, the monkeys showed a 13% decline in their thinking ability. But when they were tested with the prosthetic system, the monkeys had judgment that climbed to 10% above normal, even while still under the effects of the drug.

Team Leader Robert E. Hampson of Wake Forest University said he foresees the day when this system or something similar could work on people.

My Bold. Source.

My comment: We only have one Superpower. (Forget what DC Comics says.) The evolutionary competition just got a lot tougher. Either you boost your Power or .  .  .

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BPA and Obesity.

I do believe that the article on bisphenol-A is right in Chris's field. Endocrine disruptors and plastic intrigue me.

(It is all in the Limits to Growth report, under Pollution.)

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Homer Votes 2012

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Ok. You can panic now.

"If you think things are bad, they are a lot worse." McAlvaney Report.

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