Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 10/16 - Hydrofracking FAQs, Eight Ways China Is Changing Your World

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 10:11 AM


Canadian construction slowdown in the cards; Catch-22s everywhere; Montreal the next shoe to drop (westcoastjan)

There's no question that builders will be forced to slow their pace of construction if sales trends don't reverse course in short order. What this means for the job market is up for debate, but consider this: In order for construction jobs to realign with their long-term proportion of all Canadian jobs, it would mean a loss of 200,000 positions. If the "unthinkable" were to happen and Canada were to experience a US-style construction slowdown, it would result in closer to 400,000 jobs lost.

21 Signs The Global Economic Crisis Is Headed To A Whole New Level (David B.)

#7 The government debt to GDP ratio in Italy is expected to hit 126 percent this year. In Greece, it is expected to hit 198 percent. In Japan, it is expected to hit a whopping 237 percent.

When Credit Bites Back: Leverage, Business Cycles, and Crises (westcoastjan)

This paper studies the role of leverage in the business cycle. Based on a study of nearly 200 recession episodes in 14 advanced countries between 1870 and 2008, we document a new stylized fact of the modern business cycle: more credit-intensive booms tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. We find a close relationship between the rate of credit growth relative to GDP in the expansion phase and the severity of the subsequent recession. We use local projection methods to study how leverage impacts the behavior of key macroeconomic variables such as investment, lending, interest rates, and inflation. The effects of leverage are particularly pronounced in recessions that coincide with financial crises, but are also distinctly present in normal cycles. The stylized facts we uncover lend support to the idea that financial factors play an important role in the modern business cycle.

Eight Ways China Is Changing Your World (westcoastjan)

This transformation has changed the way the world does business. Cheap Chinese labour has helped dampen prices in the West for everything from moccasins to mops to mobile phones. It is now the biggest investor in Africa, promising to shift the continent's focus away from Europe and the US for the first time in two centuries. And China is now the biggest foreign holder of US government debt - a threatening stick, or a foolhardy bet?


FAQs: Hydro-fracking (westcoastjan)

Hydro-fracking wells can be drilled vertically, vertically and horizontally or directionally, i.e. on a slant. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wells can be anywhere from 300 metres to 2.5 kilometres deep and extend for hundreds of metres horizontally from the well site.


Reduce Animal Unemployment: Hire A Goat (Sally O.)

The homesteading movement hearkens back to a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle that includes growing one’s own food, reusing greywater, and keeping livestock. Allowing animals to maintain the lawn makes a lot of sense. Instead of spending money on gas that pollutes the air and pesticides that poison the ground, homeowners can keep the grass trimmed while also feeding their animals.

Indonesian farmers reaping social media rewards (westcoastjan)

There's even talk of a Silicon Valley-style boom taking place in Jakarta's suburbs, with the likes of US tech giant Yahoo snapping up an Indonesian start-up.

But while urban Indonesians are considered to be as plugged-in as their counterparts in Singapore or Seoul, out in the countryside, it's a different story.

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013 (Tina S.)

Prices of main food crops such as wheat and maize are now close to those that sparked riots in 25 countries in 2008. FAO figures released this week suggest that 870 million people are malnourished and the food crisis is growing in the Middle East and Africa. Wheat production this year is expected to be 5.2% below 2011, with yields of most other crops, except rice, also falling, says the UN.

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."


saxplayer00o1's picture
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Time2help's picture
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Slowest. Train. Wreck. Ever.

Tall's picture
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When Science is a Conveyor of Bad News

I predict an increasing drumbeat of scientists pointing out limitations to our ambitions. It’s not because that’s what’s “in” right now. It’s where the mountain of evidence is leading us.

This all makes me very worried. I cherish the scientific institution for its ability to transcend petty human shortcomings: actually building on those weaknesses to create a strong approximation of Truth. Science is a pursuit of luxury, borne by the citizenry out of a sense of goodwill, curiosity, and promise. It has served as a catalyst to economic growth not only by paving the way to a world full of gizmos and new capabilities, but also through the development of sophisticated methods for locating underground resources in the form of energy and materials. As long as science keeps it up, everyone is happy. But as the century wears on, the words “can’t,” “won’t,” and “shouldn’t” will likely appear more often in connection with science. Not so popular with the peoples.

Will funding for science wither as a result? Will we decide to stop paying for more bad news? Will scientists feel political pressure to stay away from “downer” topics after people get fed up or the dire news is deemed to be bad for morale and therefore a psychological impediment to economic growth? I hope we will always keep the door open to truth, even when it’s not music to our ears. But I am not so certain this will be the case—especially when money is on the line.


Whether dealing with predictions of global warming, limits to growth, ecosystem collapse, pollution, crop failure, aquifer discharge, fisheries depletion, or any number of similar warnings—when the anticipated fate befalls us, will our reaction be to blame the institution that brought awareness? Will we burn the observatory, shun science, and close our ears to further cautions? I hope we can be smarter than that. Meanwhile, keep a lookout for signs that science is waning in popularity—as I suspect it will in the decades to come. In fact, I sense that it has already started. 




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Greece aid talks break down after Athens rejects further cuts

Greece aid talks break down after Athens rejects further cuts


The Daily History of the Debt Results

Historical returns from 10/11/2012 through 10/15/2012

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
10/11/2012 11,317,140,908,153.51 4,841,129,958,793.69 16,158,270,866,947.20
10/12/2012 11,317,167,763,621.39 4,840,375,198,761.73 16,157,542,962,383.12
10/15/2012 11,343,774,321,918.19 4,847,204,946,848.48 16,190,979,268,766.67


phecksel's picture
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Time2Help wrote: Slowest.
Time2Help wrote:

Slowest. Train. Wreck. Ever.

no kidding.  If obama is relected, will he be able to smoke and mirrors for four more years?  How long before reality begins to impact the real world and not this fiat fantasy world?

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AB 1234

What is Bill 1234?

California Senate Bill 1234 creates America’s first state-sponsored and state-managed retirement program for private-sector workers. Because the scheme creates new pensions for nonunion workers, however, it escapes the wrath of private unions and powerful corporations who would rebel if government grabbed at existing plans. The bill has already been signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown.


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