Daily Digest

Image by eviltomthai, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 2/7 - China Turns Against Official Extravagance, World Aquatic Dead Zones

Thursday, February 7, 2013, 10:34 AM

Economy

Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why (Dana T.)

Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.

10 signs Wall Street’s soul sickness grows worse (Thomas C.)

Profits, profits, profits: Godin warns that our obsession with profits is infecting the entire American culture. Godin is onto something. Ask yourself: Has the decline of America’s GDP something to do with our addiction to profits backfiring? Has our obsession with profits come at the expense of our nation’s humanity? Are GDP, profits and capitalism now America’s “moral compass,” the false god Jack Bogle, Vanguard’s founder, wrote about several years ago in his classic, “The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism”?

Credit Supernova! (Nate)

There may be a natural evolution to our fractionally reserved credit system which characterizes modern global finance. Much like the universe, which began with a big bang nearly 14 billion years ago, but is expanding so rapidly that scientists predict it will all end in a “big freeze” trillions of years from now, our current monetary system seems to require perpetual expansion to maintain its existence. And too, the advancing entropy in the physical universe may in fact portend a similar decline of “energy” and “heat” within the credit markets. If so, then the legitimate response of creditors, debtors and investors inextricably intertwined within it, should logically be to ask about the economic and investment implications of its ongoing transition.

What Time Is the Next Crisis? - An Historic Warning From John Hussman (adam)

As long as the Fed can keep printing money and delivering it to the Banks and the one percent, and not to the real economy, through its purchases of their (fraudulently) mispriced financial assets, this could keep going, while maximizing the damage. While it does give the financial engineers some feeling of control, it really does nothing constructive except to delay the essential reforms.

Michael Lewis and the Heart of the US Economic Policy Failure and Crisis (adam)

I had hoped that Obama might have risen above that as an 'outsider' with a mandate for change, but that notion was quickly dispelled in his first 100 days in office. He has pursued a policy of subsidy and appeasement and failed leadership that is killing the legacy and effectiveness of his administration, but enriching many participants in the process. And it works, because the US has become a culture of personal greed.

Canadian consumer debt hits record high as car loans rise: survey (westcoastjan)

“Increases in personal debt are not surprising during the final quarter of the year as consumers tend to spend more during the holiday season,” said Thomas Higgins, vice-president of analytics and decision services at TransUnion, in a release. “The rise on a year-over-year basis should be more concerning as Canadians’ debt loads increased by more than $1,500.”

Sitting In Traffic Cost Americans $818 On Average In 2011: Report (westcoastjan)

The institute, part of Texas A&M University, uses 30 years of traffic data, and its annual reports are one of the key tools used by experts to solve traffic problems. Researchers study how commuters adapt their travel plans when they have urgent appointments in highly congested areas based on data gathered from state transportation agencies, private companies and academic entities that monitor traffic issues.

How I Reached My Breaking Point 10 Years Ago (westcoastjan)

As destructive as these politicians are, though, they’re easy to defeat. Individuals who take action early have plenty of options to buy precious metals, move a portion of their savings abroad to a stable banking jurisdiction, and scout out locations overseas in case they ever need to get out of dodge.

These steps make sense no matter what. It’s hard to imagine that you’ll be worse off for shipping a few physical ounces of gold abroad, having some savings stashed away in a healthy foreign bank, or taking control of your retirement account.

What Can We Learn From Expensive Chicken Wings on Super Bowl Sunday? (westcoastjan)

So what will it take? A combination of age-old methods like better mulching and crop rotation, together with improved water and livestock management, more accurate weather forecasting and crop insurance, and new crops like scuba rice that survive longer under water, and drought-tolerant maize that thrives despite erratic rainfall.

China Turns Against Official Extravagance (westcoastjan)

"It is very normal to have a banquet with over 10 courses. Some have 15 to 20. I've seen one where there were so many dishes they had to be stacked three-high."

And he disapproves not just of the large quantity of food consumed but its superior quality too.

Allodial Title on Precious Metals? (Chris F.)

Cases like MF Global, among others, whereby companies essentially stole investors’ money from their investment accounts and placed risky bets and lost everything when things went sour, are a consequence of our current, over-leveraged paradigm. Any investment that is not in your hands is subject to third-party risk. Going forward, this will be evermore important to take into consideration. Just as we should not put all of our eggs in one basket, it is equally advisable not to hold a a large amount of your money in investments that you would not have full control over during an economic crisis.

Virginia Coin Moves Closer To Reality (Nervous Nelly)

So far, only Utah has approved a law recognizing nontraditional currency. Four other states have bills pending this year. Marshall said he is unsure of his proposal’s prospects in the Virginia Senate. One Democrat derided it as a descent into “la-la land.”

The Indian Women Pushed Into Hysterectomies (westcoastjan)

Sunita says she was reluctant to have the operation straightaway and wanted to discuss it with her husband first. She says the doctor said the operation was urgent and sent her for surgery just hours later.

Woes pile up for Cash Store as Ontario aims to revoke licence (westcoastjan)

The dust-up comes on the heels of other issues for the Edmonton-based payday loan company. Last year, the firm had to restate financial results for two quarters, and was hit with a proposed class action lawsuit in four provinces that seeks a refund of money paid by consumers in excess of the loan principal.

Why "This Time Won't Be Different" For Japan In Two Charts (westcoastjan)

As we wrote previously, not even three full months into Abe's latest and greatest reflation experiment the prices of gas and various other non-staple products has soared. This will only get worse as energy import costs explode in the coming weeks and months, putting the Japanese consumer - now with just one (and almost zero today) nuclear power plant and thus entirely reliant on outside sources of energy - into a spending vice, where the rise in costs far outweighs the "wealth effect" from the stock market.

Energy

The pirate ninja gold miners who are going to war with the world’s mining giants at Oyu Tolgoi (westcoastjan)

Ninja miners are constantly shoved onto smaller pieces of land by mining giants. Most recently locals have been protesting Oyu Tolgoi, a copper-and-gold mine that is the biggest foreign-investment project in the country. The mine is being developed as a joint venture between Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources, formerly Ivanhoe Mines, Rio Tinto and the Government of Mongolia.

Northern Gateway Pipeline Poll Reveals Rift Between B.C. And Alberta (westcoastjan)

There is general consensus that the NGP will bring some benefits to both Alberta and British Columbia: 83 per cent or more of Albertans agreed that the NGP would create new jobs, support economic growth, create new capital investment, lead to stronger relationships with countries in Asia, and increase tax revenue for the provincial government. Residents of B.C. were more skeptical, but a majority nevertheless agreed that the pipeline would bring all of these benefits.

Iran 'seeks foreign help after platform accident' (Michael F.)

An official with Pars Oil and Gas Company, Sepehr Sepehri, earlier told Mehr that crisis groups had been set up on site and in Tehran and that steps to recover the giant structure could begin when the weather and sea conditions improved.

Watch Iran's $40m oil rig disappear into the deep (Michael F.)

A structure in Iran's South Pars gas field sank into the Persian Gulf in mere seconds, while workers were still on it.

Environment

2 Great Lakes Hit Record Low Water Levels (Mike K.)

Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation.

Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918, and the lakes could set additional records over the next few months, the corps said. The lakes were 29 inches below their long-term average and had declined 17 inches since January 2012.

The other Great Lakes -- Superior, Erie and Ontario -- were also well below average.

Aquatic Dead Zones (Arthur Robey)

These parts of the Oceans of the world have too little oxygen to support life.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 2/6/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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."

9 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1763
How I reached my breaking point

The article by Simon Black, above, was very interesting to me.  Sometimes I post things on facebook about what I see happening in the world.  Mostly, I am met with deafening silence from my FB "friends."  However, if I post a joke or cute animal picture, everyone is there.

I do believe that people seem to require a "conversion experience" of some kind to open their thinking up to a radically different understanding of what is really happening in the world.  (I use the term "really" here with trepidation, as I know that I may have another conversion experience and come to view my current view as false.)

For me personally, my conversion experience occured while reading a book.  It was written by a retired professor and was inexorable in its presenation.  At one point, I found that I was crying.   Out and out sobbing and saying "Please don't let this be true" over and over.  I then noticed what I was doing and said, "OMG.  I am believing this!"  Then came a period of agitation and frantic reading on the subject lasting 2-3 years.  A new world view consolidated.  Retrospecitively, I can see Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' stages of dying in my psychological transformation.

I now find that I live in a different "reality" from many of my family and friends.  Friends who have not had this painful, gut wrenching opening are not too interested in my views, and in fact, have cut off my newsfeed on facebook.  Some prefer to not be around me.  It is my understanding that it is not me that they dislike, but they do not want my world view to be "true."  It can be lonely being a visionary.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Matt Taibbi Currently Answering Questions on Reddit!!

Matt Taibbi, writer for Rolling Stones magazine, who has exposed/publicised so much of the corruption and crime of Wall Street (with help from informers within the financial industry), is currently answering questions on Reddit:

I am Matt Taibbi, politics writer for Rolling Stone and internet Luddite. AMA
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/182fth/i_am_matt_taibbi_politics_writer_for_rolling/

AMA = Ask Me Anything

Poet

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
In other words.

In every instance he cites with which I am familiar, any concerns about the gross mispricing of risk were lightly dismissed, because 'the market says that everything is all right.'   As if the financial markets were some prescient, infallible instrument, and not overtaken by the manipulation of insiders and the monied interests. 

Jesse's Cafe

Or as Orlov puts it: The Invisable Idiot attatched to the Invisible Hand.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
livsez's picture
livsez
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2008
Posts: 70
Breaking the waves


livsez's picture
livsez
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 1 2008
Posts: 70
For me personally, my

 

For me personally, my conversion experience occured while reading a book.  It was written by a retired professor and was inexorable in its presenation.  At one point, I found that I was crying.   Out and out sobbing and saying "Please don't let this be true" over and over.  I then noticed what I was doing and said, "OMG.  I am believing this!"  Then came a period of agitation and frantic reading on the subject lasting 2-3 years.  A new world view consolidated.  Retrospecitively, I can see Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' stages of dying in my psychological transformation.

I now find that I live in a different "reality" from many of my family and friends.  Friends who have not had this painful, gut wrenching opening are not too interested in my views, and in fact, have cut off my newsfeed on facebook.  Some prefer to not be around me.  It is my understanding that it is not me that they dislike, but they do not want my world view to be "true."  It can be lonely being a visionary.

I had a similar experience back in 2008.  Although it continues to be a lonely path, every so often a friend or family member reaches their breaking point and moves past denial into the next stage of psychological transformation.  They come back and start asking questions and listening to the answers.  A select few have even started taking steps (very small steps) towards building their own resiliency.  Those relationships take on a very special meaning and help me remain patient.

ikiddle's picture
ikiddle
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 8 2009
Posts: 2
I don't believe the map of depleted oxygen content of the ocean.

Where is the evidence for these results. There is no reason that I know of that the ocean waters at the northern end of New Zealand would be low in oxygen.

Rodney7777's picture
Rodney7777
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 16 2012
Posts: 18
"The Long Emergency" was helpful

I always knew that our government was "screwed up". I knew that "borrowing" from Social Security, by congress, to pay "other bills" was not going to work.  I also knew that the Saudi oil fields were low because I read different accounts coming from that area, telling the world that they "could not pump any more oil" on a daily basis, that had portrayed different reasons why not.  So it occured to me that they "couldn't pump more" because they were probably already maxed out.   After reading James Howard Kuntseler"s "The Long Emergency" two years ago, I got a handle on peak oil.  From there I found several people that I could relate to, who were painting "the big picture such as, Nicole Foss (deflation), Jeff Rubin (peak oil), Demetri Orlof (the Russian crash), Bix Weir (silver), and Max Keiser (banking).

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments