Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/6 - Gas Exports May Fall Short Of High Hopes, 12 Ways To Skin A Potato

Sunday, January 6, 2013, 1:42 PM

Economy

Big Banks Systematically Hiding Potential Losses: Report (westcoastjan)

Particularly useful is Partnoy and Eisinger's deep dive into the latest annual report of a supposedly staid, conservative bank, Wells Fargo. The authors discover that the bank is not simply lending money and giving away toasters, like banks used to do. Based on the authors' accounting, it looks like nearly $20 billion of Wells Fargo's $81 billion in revenue in 2011 came from one kind of trading or another.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little (westcoastjan)

Some 30 years ago, my grandfather began a tradition that has meant more since it ended than it did during its heyday. Twenty years prior, he founded a family business that had my mother, her two sisters and three brothers as shareholders. The business actually become somewhat profitable in the 1980s and my grandfather distributed some of those profits to his children in a manner that was arguably controlling, but undoubtedly invaluable.

Greek Tax Scandal Distracts From a Collection Shortfall (jdargis)

Greek officials agreed to the targets as part of an international lending pact last year, but there is no penalty for missing them. In recent weeks, however, two reports by Greece’s foreign lenders have found that Athens pulled in less than half of the additional tax income that it expected last year and performed fewer than half of the expected audits.

India Aims to Keep Money for Poor Out of Others’ Pockets (jdargis)

The nation’s finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, described the cash transfer program to Indian news media as a “pioneering and pathbreaking reform” that is a “game changer for governance.” He acknowledged that the initial rollout had been modest because of “practical difficulties, some quite unforeseen.” He promised that those problems would be resolved before the end of 2013, when the program is to be extended in phases to other parts of the country.

Energy

Exports of American Natural Gas May Fall Short of High Hopes (jdargis)

Even the terminal operators acknowledge that probably only a lucky few companies will export gas because it can cost $7 billion or more to build a terminal, and then only after a rigorous federal regulatory permitting process. The exploratory process to find a suitable site for a new terminal alone can take a year and cost $100 million, operators say, and financing can be secured only once long-term purchase agreements — 20 years or more — are reached with foreign buyers.

Environment

12 Ways To Skin A Potato (jdargis)

All of these recipes are based on about two pounds of potatoes, roughly four medium to large spuds. You can peel the potatoes in these recipes or not; thin-skinned potatoes, especially, are just fine with a good scrubbing (use a brush). And remember the salt and pepper.

Japan bluefin tuna fetches record $1.7m (westcoastjan)

This year's record-breaking fish was caught off north-eastern Japan and weighed in at 222kg (489lbs), some 47kg lighter than last year's prize-winner, which fetched 56m yen.

The prices do not necessarily reflect quality or size and are more linked to publicity and setting the tone for the business year.

Rinks in Canada’s Arctic Turn to Cooling Systems (jdargis)

“We used to have natural ice in the arena in October, but that hasn’t happened for a long time,” said Mike Hayward, a Cape Dorset town official. Now the ice isn’t fit for hockey until mid-January, he said. That is why a cooling system is being installed in the building.

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