Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/15 - Ignorance By Consensus, America's Water Mirage

Thursday, November 15, 2012, 11:31 AM


Baby boomer retirement glut poses risk, CIBC says (westcoastjan)

A wave of retirements among business owners over the next few years could pose a significant risk for the Canadian economy as the country undergoes the biggest transfer of economic control in its history, according to CIBC World Markets.

Treasuries See U.S. Falling Over Cliff as Yields Converge (ES2)

The biggest Treasury rally in five months is underlining market concern that President Barack Obama and House Republicans will fail to avert $607 billion in mandated spending cuts and tax increases starting Jan. 1.

Marc Faber: Prepare for a Massive Market Meltdown (ES2)

Marc Faber: I think the point is i don't think markets are going down because of greece or the fiscal cliff because there won't be a fiscal cliff.

Ignorance By Consensus (Thomas C.)

A consensus becomes established out of the persistence of what it attempts to describe. It is inherently retrospective. It tends to assume that what has been, must continue. A couple of decades of low interest rates and stable global economic growth, and well, it becomes the natural order of things. Here’s Ben Bernanke in 2005:

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize….”

The IRA | Basel III, Fiscal Cliffs and Economic Mysticism (anton95)

For several decades now the US and other industrial nations have been engaged in a collective delusion. The fantasy says that public and private debt can be employed to maintain nominal economic growth without any downside effects such inflation or falling real incomes. The corollary to this democratically agreed escape from reality is that global financial institutions can be managed in a safe and sound manner even as the governments which regulate (and sponsor) them behave more and more recklessly when it comes to fiscal policy.

REPORT: The Federal Housing Agency Is Running Out Of Money And May Need A Bailout (adam)

The Obama administration has previously said that the FHA would only turn to the Treasury in an extreme scenario. Officials are expected to either raise mortgage-insurance premiums or finish up settlements with banks as an alternative.


India's thorium-based nuclear dream inches closer (Ivo M.)

The rhetoric is familiar: for decades, thorium has been repeatedly held up as a cheap, clean way forward for nuclear power. Compared with the uranium-based fuel cycles, thorium produces far smaller amounts of radioactive waste elements - including plutonium, which remains dangerous for tens of thousands of years.

Chronic flaws hobble utility in storm's path (mobius)

The Times' examination shows that the authority has repeatedly failed to plan for extreme weather, despite extensive warnings by government investigators and outside monitors. In fact, before Hurricane Sandy, the authority was significantly behind on perhaps the most basic step to prepare for storms — trimming trees that can bring down power lines.


The Oddball Farmer (Coley H.)

Luckily by some mystery of the universe I realized in my mid-40s that I actually knew less than I did in my self-assured 20s and called up my childhood friend to see if he’d be interested in a partnership – I’d provide the funding, he’d provide the permaculture expertise.

World 2011 CO2 emissions up 2.5%: report (westcoastjan)

It reiterated this suggestion, adding that there was no consensus on trying to cap CO2 because such proposals exposed big emitters to criticism and put pressure on politicians to defend the threatened competitiveness of their macroeconomies.

African Teenagers Develop Pee-Powered Generator, Debut Device At Nigerian Innovation Fair (westcoastjan)

Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen. The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder. The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas. This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator ... 1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity.

America's water mirage (Ben Johnson)

Americans operate under an illusion of water abundance. That fiction makes the reality of water scarcity a particularly hard concept to get across. From California to Florida, freshwater aquifers are being pumped so much faster than they recharge that many parts of the country can no longer rely on groundwater to supply future populations."

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