Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/4 - The Capitalist Network That Runs The World, Huge Gas Lines Continue In NJ

Sunday, November 4, 2012, 11:30 AM


Stock certificates feared damaged by Sandy (VeganD)

"At this point, it is premature to make an accurate assessment as to the full impact of the water damage nor would it be helpful to project on what specific actions need to be taken with respect to our vault," said DTCC Chief Executive Michael Bodson in a statement. "We are aggressively working on this situation to minimize disruption to our clients and will provide additional updates as more information becomes available."

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world (Arthur Robey)

The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What's more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world's large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the "real" economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

Noam Chomsky: "The Emerging World Order: its roots, our legacy" (Arthur Robey)

On September 17, 2012, Noam Chomsky held a public lecture with the title "The Emerging World Order: its roots, our legacy" at Politeama Rossetti in Trieste.

B’klyn bat man: Run, looters! (Thomas C.)

Another Coney Island resident, Roberto Aviles, brandishing a rusty 3-foot machete and warning he has a gun, who has lived in Coney Island since 1995 with his wife, says he’s ready to take on phony burglars posing as Con Ed workers.

“I’m prepared inside here,” the 76-year-old Aviles said, showing off his rusted, three-foot machete and warning he had a gun.

FROM CONFIDENT TO DEVASTATED: Hoboken Woman's Facebook Updates Tell Story Of The Storm (westcoastjan)

"Evacuate? Hmmmm not leavin my house!" one Hoboken resident who lived in a ground-floor apartment posted on Facebook before Sandy struck.

Later, her status message read: "Game over! The Hudson River is in my living room." Sandy filled her entire apartment with three feet of water and sludge. The home is destroyed.


Police On Loudspeakers At Gas Stations In New Jersey (westcoastjan)

This morning in New Jersey we saw mile long gas lines and people we spoke to were thinking very seriously before driving anywhere.

Many were using gas cans to get smaller amounts for generators and also cars in order to avoid the huge lines.

IMF study: Peak oil could do serious damage to the global economy (woodman)

So how bad would it be if peak oil was really upon us? That’s a question that two IMF economists try to tackle in a new working paper, “Oil and the World Economy: Some Possible Futures.” (pdf) The authors, Michael Kumhof and Dirk Muir, don’t make any definitive predictions about how the oil supply will evolve. Rather, they try to model a number of different scenarios in which oil does become more scarce and the world tries to adapt.


Empty Promises (Tall)

ood prices are rising again, partly because of the damage done to crops in the northern hemisphere by ferocious weather. In the US, Russia and Ukraine, grain crops were clobbered by remarkable droughts. In parts of northern Europe, such as the UK, they were were pummelled by endless rain.

Even so, this is not, as a report in the Guardian claimed last week, “one of the worst global harvests in years”(1). It’s one of the best. World grain production last year was the highest on record; this year’s crop is just 2.6% smaller(2). The problem is that, thanks to the combination of a rising population and the immoral diversion of so much grain into animal feed and biofuels(3), a new record must be set every year. Though 2012’s is the third biggest global harvest in history (after 2011 and 2008)(4), this is also a year of food deficit, in which we will consume some 28 million tonnes more grain than farmers produced(5). If 2013’s harvest does not establish a new world record, the poor are in serious trouble.

'Water summit' in drought-hit South East (westcoastjan)

NFU regional director William White said: "Agriculture uses only 1% of abstracted water in the UK, yet it faces increasing pressure due to population growth and long-term climate change."

He said any further tightening of water regulations must not leave farmers and growers facing a reduction in access.

Flooding in Washington state has salmon crossing the road (westcoastjan)

Their annual trek is a struggle under normal conditions, but having to navigate through farmlands and then over a roadway is a real challenge.

Elijah Carrington and his dog Honey have been taking advantage of the situation.

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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Millions without power will become 'effectively homeless' as nor

"Temperatures drop into the 20s, with lows just above freezing, as storm bears down on New York and New Jersey
More than 2.5million still without power after Superstorm Sandy
Gov Andrew Cuomo warns that homes left in the dark will be 'uninhabitable' because of the cold weather
Storm projected to hit on Tuesday, bringing frigid winds and rain"


cmartenson's picture
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Best wishes to NJ

Yikes....the stories from NJ just continue to pile in and show that all of the preparations that we advocate here would have been immensely valuable to millions of people...even sometthing as mundane as getting cash out of the bank to use during an emergency would be a help in some areas.

Perhaps this will help a few more realize that each of us is responsible for our own well being up to a point, and that being able to help our neighbors or receive help from our neighbors is the next line of defense and that the ability of government to help, although eventually very powerful, not as nimble and fleet as circumstances sometimes dicate or require.

Lnorris's picture
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Thanks Chris

Thanks Chris,

For the short time that I've followed this website I have learned and put into practice much of what you have talked about.  Having a back up to our back up plan has led us to be in a position to help our neighbors as well as take care of our immediate family.  Cash on hand to buy necessities, gas and supplies to build a temporary shelter for our chickens got us to a much better place this weekend.

Thanks for all that you do.  




saxplayer00o1's picture
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rhare's picture
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Moronic politicians....
Chicago Gun Tax from saxplayer00o1 wrote:

A leading anti-gun campaigner has told Sky News a new tax on guns will help end "carnage" on the streets of Chicago - where firearms now change hands for as little as $20.


Let's see, a gun is being sold for $20, I'm sure that is a legitimate sale and that the seller will make sure and be good citizens and pay the gun tax. 

A little further down we get:

Chicago Gun Tax from saxplayer00o1 wrote:

Officials said nearly a third of guns used in Chicago crimes were purchased legally in Cook County.

Hmm so less than 1/3rd of the guns that are used to commit crimes will be taxed... Seem's they already know this will make no difference in crime, but it sure sounds good to gun control advocates and it's revenue!

Tall's picture
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Burning Picassos for heat

An oil executive once observed that burning oil for energy is like burning Picassos for heat. Oil is extraordinarily valuable as the basis for so many products we use every day that the thought of simply burning it ought to be unthinkable. So versatile are oil molecules that they can be transformed into substances that serve as clothing, medicines, building materials, carpet, skin care products, sporting goods, agricultural chemicals, perfumes, and myriad other products.

Increasingly, when we make oil-based products for homes and businesses, we are finding ways to reuse those products or recycle the materials they are made from (think: recyclable plastics). But, burning oil is always a one-time, irreversible act that leaves nothing of value behind and produces greenhouse gases and pollutants that harm us. And yet, because oil remains the most cost-effective and widely available source of liquid fuels, we are hooked on it for transportation with little prospect of substitutes on the scale we would require--unless we consider electricity.

It is worth remembering that electricity was a strong contender for powering automobiles at the beginning of the last century and that it ran the trolleys of the era (and still runs many today). Electricity was actually preferred over gasoline for powering cars at the time, especially cars that were used exclusively for local trips. Battery exchange was already available as a quick way to "charge" a car. But improvements in the internal combustion engine and the increasing availability and affordability of gasoline led to the extinction of the electric car no later than the 1930s.



rjs's picture
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via richard koo at the financial times...

Explain the disease to help US citizens - Today, the US private sector is saving a staggering 8 per cent of gross domestic product – at zero interest rates, when households and businesses would ordinarily be borrowing and spending money. But the US is not alone: in Ireland and Japan, the private sector is saving 9 per cent of GDP; in Spain it is saving 7 per cent of GDP; and in the UK, 5 per cent. Interest rates are at record lows in all these countries. This is the result of the bursting of debt-financed housing bubbles, which left the private sector with huge debt overhangs – notably the underwater mortgages – giving it no choice but to pay down debt or increase savings, even at zero interest rates. However, if someone is saving money or paying down debt, someone else must be borrowing and spending that money to keep the economy going. In a normal world, it is the role of interest rates to ensure all saved funds are borrowed and spent, with interest rates rising when there are too many borrowers and falling when there are too few. But when the private sector as a whole is saving money or paying down debt at zero interest rates, the banks cannot lend the repaid debt or newly deposited savings because interest rates cannot go any lower. This means that, if left unattended, the economy will continuously lose aggregate demand equivalent to the unborrowed savings. In other words, even though repairing balance sheets is the right and responsible thing to do, if everyone tries to do it at the same time a deflationary spiral will result. It was such a deflationary spiral that cost the US 46 per cent of its GDP from 1929 to 1933. Those with a debt overhang will not increase their borrowing at any interest rate; nor will there be many lenders, when the lenders themselves have financial problems. This shift from maximising profit to minimising debt explains why near-zero interest rates in the US and EU since 2008 and in Japan since 1995 have failed to produce the expected recoveries in these economies. With monetary policy largely ineffective and the private sector forced to repair its balance sheet, the only way to avoid a deflationary spiral is for the government to borrow and spend the unborrowed savings in the private sector.

cmartenson's picture
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Where economists are just ...well...nuts?

Via Richard Koo At The Financial Times...

[...] In a normal world, it is the role of interest rates to ensure all saved funds are borrowed and spent[...]

I tell ya, it's thoughts like these that drive me either to hit the weights or the bottle.

I suppose by "normal" Mr. Koo means a world that is infinite and without any limtis so it just makes sense to think of money as something that jsut has to keep expanding and the best way to do that is to borrow it and spend it.

Whatever happened to the idea of money being simply saved?

The fatal flaw of all these so-called economic experts that practice the dominant form is that they do not seem to understand that exponential money itself is botht he root of the problem and the very thing that most needs fixing!


treebeard's picture
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A bankers view of the world


As the saying goes, "it's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it".  I think that the level of abstraction that economic thought has gotten to is the result of so many years of cheap energy, it has created almost a complete disassociation from reality.  Add to that the fundemental confusion between resources and the technology to utilize those resources - where one is confused with or not differentiated from the other, and you have real problems.  Actually the problems that we are in.

Economics by itself can be a dangerous abstraction from reality if not grounded in an ecological understanding of planetary system.  I heard an interview during the drought of a western rancher on a public radio station.  The rancher made the simple comment that he was basicly selling the grass on his farm via his animal herds.  I remember the interviewer being set back a bit, not expecting something slightly profound from what modern culture thinks of as a "dumb farmer".  It's the guys who are making 7 figures and more on wall street in their $5,000 suites who are supposed to be at the pinnacle of our society.  The brightest of the bright.

Back when more of our population lived in rural communities there was an intuitive understanding of real wealth and where it came from. What savings were for and what they meant.  A connection to natural systems and the simple and profound meanings that come from authentic living.  Thanks for bringing your scientificallly trained mind to things economic and spreading rationallity in these very confused times.


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