Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/29 - Mortgaging Our Children, 500 Hot Showers From One Pile Of Compost

Thursday, November 29, 2012, 10:02 AM


The Curse Of The Reserve Currency (adam)

What, exactly, is a reserve currency? It is an international money that is used to pay for imports from abroad and is then subsequently held in ‘reserve’ by the exporting country, as it does not have legal tender status outside of its country of issuance. In the simple case of two countries trading with one another, with one being a net importer and one a net exporter, over time these currency ‘reserves’ will accumulate in the net-exporting country. In practice, as reserves accumulate, they are invested in some way, for example, in bonds issued by the importing country. In this way the currency reserves earn some interest, rather than sit as paper scrip in a vault.

Diversify Some Of Your Fiat Money Into Gold Before It Is Too Late (Taki T.)

Since the middle of October the price of gold has been building some solid support above the $1700 an ounce level. However, it continually came into selling resistance at the $1720 an ounce and then again at the $1740 an ounce. All of this selling pressure can be attributed to the action of traders and especially those on Comex, meaning none of the selling was for hedging purposes and none of it had anything to do with an increase in the supply. Nevertheless, traders were able to influence prices using massive sell orders in this paper market.

Flash Crash In Gold: Whodunit? (Thomas C.)

Rising concerns about whether Democrats and Republicans can find common ground between tax increases and entitlement spend reduction remains to be seen. More importantly, the US reaches its law-enshrined debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion early to mid February 2012. That promises fireworks again as it did in August 2011 when gold hit an all time high of $1922 as the market stares into the abyss of a possible US debt default.

Ex-Olympus CEO: Japan is Dysfunctional (ES2)

Michael Woodford, author of Exposure and former CEO of Olympus, talks to CNBC about the Olympus fraud and the larger challenges of working in Japanese companies.

Hong Kong’s latest investment craze – parking spots (westcoastjan)

There are “a lot of speculators in the market, especially for car parks,” said Buggle Lau, senior analyst with Midland Realty. A bubble is “definitely forming.”

Over the weekend, a developer sold about 500 parking spots at a new suburban apartment complex at prices of up to 1.3-million Hong Kong dollars (US$167,000) per space.

New technology could reduce dependence on economies-of-scale model (westcoastjan)

The rapidly evolving field of DF is doing for manufacturing what the Internet did for information-based goods and services. DF turns traditional, volume-based manufacturing economics upside down. In the conventional “subtractive” production model, the existence of scale economies means that it costs much more money to produce one unit than it does to produce say 100,000 units. When DF technologies and approaches are employed, it now becomes cost effective to manufacture much smaller batches of customized products on demand, while shortening the cycle time between design and production.

The Rise Of Mexico (westcoastjan)

The first place where Americans will notice these changes is in their shopping malls. China (with more than 60 mentions in the presidential debates) is by far the biggest source of America’s imports. But wages in Chinese factories have quintupled in the past ten years and the oil price has trebled, inducing manufacturers focused on the American market to set up closer to home. Mexico is already the world’s biggest exporter of flat-screen televisions, BlackBerrys and fridge-freezers, and is climbing up the rankings in cars, aerospace and more. On present trends, by 2018 America will import more from Mexico than from any other country. “Made in China” is giving way to “Hecho en México”.

Mortgaging Our Childrent (westcoastjan)

Current public borrowings — government bonds sold to the public — are much bigger than we typically think. Public borrowing also includes public pension liabilities, government guarantees and other forms of public commitments. Currently, total government financial liabilities net of financial assets (including assets held in the Canada Pension Plan) are over $850-billion. But still other important borrowings are not included, such as the future liabilities associated with the social security system.

California school districts face huge debt on risky bonds (Nervous Nelly)

CABs, as the bonds are known, allow schools to borrow large sums without violating state or locally imposed caps on property taxes, at least in the short term. But the lengthy delays in repayment increase interest expenses, in some cases to as much as 10 or 20 times the amount borrowed.

The practice is controversial and has been banned in at least one state. In California, prominent government officials charged with watching the public purse are warning school districts to avoid the transactions.

Oakland Crime Rate Soaring As City Loses Officers (Thomas C.)

“The fact that we haven’t been able to address some of the proactive things that we should be doing as an agency is really hampering our efforts to address some of the crime problems,” he said. “But with that being said, what I’ve been tasked to do and asked my commanders to do is look at some of the ways for us to free up officers in order to give them time to be proactive. I’m also reducing some of the positions in certain administrative functions in the department so that we can add more staff to our street level enforcement teams.”

Oil sands producers could feel squeeze as pipeline capacity tightens (westcoastjan)

Space will be substantially smaller than demand in December, when Enbridge Inc. will “apportion” space on a number of its key pipelines – Line 5, Line 14, Line 6B, Line 6A/62, Line 4/67, Line 4. Kinder Morgan Inc. is apportioning space so that only 30% of producers’ hoped-for volume gets into its regularly oversubscribed TransMountain pipeline in December.

500 Showers From One Pile Of Compost! (NorthernLights)

The concept is simple: Decaying organic matter generates heat, and a lot of it. If you’ve ever stuck your arm deep into a big pile of wood chips or compost you’ll know exactly what I mean. Heat is generated, not as a result of sun exposure, but rather due to the chemical reactions and aerobic microbial activity taking place inside the compost pile itself.

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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thc0655's picture
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Changing the rules

Talk about changing the rules!  The Philadelphia School District, which is having terminal financial "issues," decided on its own authority not to pay the 3% raise they negotiated with the school police officers union.  However, they did give much larger (%) raises to the non-union managers in the school police force.  Shades of Hostess and the Baker's Union?


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The City That Ended Hunger

In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life’s essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States—one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps—these questions take on new urgency.

“I knew we had so much hunger in the world,” Adriana said. “But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.”
Adriana’s words have stayed with me. They will forever. They hold perhaps Belo’s greatest lesson: that it is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes—if we trust our hard-wired fellow feeling and act, no longer as mere voters or protesters, for or against government, but as problem-solving partners with government accountable to us.


saxplayer00o1's picture
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Mots's picture
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"In writing Diet for a Small Planet"

You argue that hunger is solved by "democracy" but you do not speak for the unpopular or minority.  "Democracy is when two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner"

Try Liberty


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I don't see any democracy in

I don't see any democracy in this plan. Where do all the people vote? They don't, a city manager created a committee. The committee then used coercion to get what they wanted. If the farmer wanted a good spot to sell his goods he HAS to give some away for free to poorer neighborhoods. This is not democractic, more like socialism.

I do like how they cut out the retailer's as much as possible. This helped to make it more of a free market, which is partly why things improved so much. Fewer big companies using econimies of scale to syphon money off of someone elses hard work. Local production and distribution are the future of our food production, heck all production.

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