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Daily Digest 12/31 - No Fiscal Deal On Final Day, Did Big Oil Kill Off Green Energy?

Monday, December 31, 2012, 10:36 AM


Court Rules Unrecorded Mortgages Received Through The FDIC Receivership Of WaMu Are Voidable (Thomas C.)

The Michigan Supreme Court in their 4-3 ruling states that the mortgages are currently unenforceable because JPMorgan Chase can not claim operation of law. The court ruled JPMorgan Chase did not acquire Washington Mutual as a corporate entity. Instead they acquired assets of the company through a third party. Therefore a chain of ownership must be recorded with the Register of Deeds where the property is located. However, the courts ruling did leave open the possibility that JPMorgan Chase could go back and record a mortgage assignment. However, JPMorgan Chase faces two major obstacles in doing so. The first being if when the FDIC has concluded the liquidation of Washington Mutual and damages owed to homeowners they may have already illegally evicted from their homes.

2 Sides in Talks Inch Closer but No Fiscal Deal on Final Day (jdargis)

Both sides were already close Sunday on the central issue surrounding whether Congress would intervene before the nation careened off the so-called fiscal cliff: What would be the income threshold for the families that would absorb tax increases beginning Tuesday? Barely a week after House Republicans refused to vote to allow taxes to rise on income over $1 million, Senate Republicans proposed allowing tax rates to rise on income over $450,000 for individuals and $550,000 for couples. Democrats countered with a proposal to extend expiring Bush-era tax cuts for up to $360,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. For both sides, that meant major movement. Mr. Obama has been holding firm at a $250,000 threshold.

Experts Forecast the Cost of Failure to Compromise (jdargis)

Mr. Obama has pushed to preserve Bush-era tax rates on income below $250,000 a year but Republicans have held out for a higher threshold, perhaps in the neighborhood of $400,000 a year. Republicans also favor deeper spending cuts to curb long-term budget deficits — a move many Democrats oppose.

Merkel warns Germans of tough economic times ahead (westcoastjan)

Germany - Europe's largest economy - has been the paymaster in the eurozone crisis, a move unpopular with many German voters and some conservative MPs in Mrs Merkel's coalition.

Analysts say most Germans remain wary of eurozone bailouts but generally approve of Mrs Merkel's handling of the crisis.

75 Facts Revealed – How Is America Really Doing? (Taki T.)

Obviously, for the government everything is running fine, as the talks of the day are about the fiscal cliff. Indeed, this is what the talks are about. Their signal is clear. Looking at the time and effort they spend on the fiscal cliff debate they clearly consider it more important than all of the above issues.

Hendrik Hertzberg: After Newtown, rising to the challenge of gun control (jdargis)

“We reached out to all thirty-one pro-gun-rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on this subject this morning,” David Gregory, of NBC, told his “Meet the Press” audience. “We had no takers.” The National Rifle Association, which had instantly deactivated its Facebook page and silenced its Twitter feed, refused all interview invitations and issued a statement explaining—admitting?—that it was shutting its big mouth “as a matter of common decency.” When it finally opened that mouth, a week later, out came a demand for N.R.A.-trained guards in every single American school: a hundred thousand schools, a hundred thousand guards, a hundred thousand guns, a hundred million dollars in new business for the N.R.A.’s “corporate partners” in the gun industry.


Bolivia takes over Spanish-owned energy suppliers (westcoastjan)

He added that his decree was in line with the South American country's constitution, which says that the public interest is above private interests when it comes to the supply of energy.

"We were forced to take this measure," he said, describing the electricity charges as "unfair and unequal".

Why does World Coal Consumption continue to Grow? (James S.)

Apart from the international trade /industrialization issue, there is another issue that is helping to keep coal consumption rising. It is the fact that oil supply is in short supply and high priced, and this means that economies of countries that disproportionately use a lot of oil in their economies are at a competitive disadvantage. Countries coming “late to the party” are in a good position to develop their economies using little oil and much coal, and thus keep overall energy costs down. This approach gives the developing countries a competitive advantage over the developed countries.

Did Big Oil Kill Off Green Energy? (James S.)

In September, Feldman said the federal government was embracing policies that could jeopardize some of that private money by throwing up roadblocks to domestic oil and gas development. In a global market, rules that target only the U.S. energy sector aren't conducive to growth. When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a higher biofuel mandate for 2013, API sued the regulator, arguing the mandate was "unworkable."

North American Rotary Rig Counts (anton95)

Canadian rig activity is down 180 at 204 for the week of December 28, 2012 and is 17 (7.7%) lower than last year's rig count. The number of rigs drilling for oil was down 157 at 104 and is 6 (6.1%) higher than last year. Gas directed rig count was down 23 at 100 and is 23 (18.7%) lower than a year ago. Canadian drilling falls rapidly in the spring to avoid environmental damage moving drilling equipment during the spring thaw and rainy season. With wide weather related seasonal swings, even year-over-year comparisons can lead to incorrect conclusions.

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Predictions for 2013


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U.S. Treasury takes new step to avoid debt limit

"Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said late Monday that he was suspending investment in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund in a effort to delay the day the government will exceed its $16.4 trillion legal borrowing authority. This is one of the series of measures that Geithner said last week would help put off hitting the debt ceiling until late February or early March. Without the actions, the government would have hit the debt limit Monday. Geithner's disclosure came in a letter to congressional leaders. He said that Federal retirees and employees will be unaffected by the actions"

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Liberals upset by emerging fiscal-cliff deal

Liberals upset by emerging fiscal-cliff deal


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