Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/20 - Food, Health Costs To Rise In 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 1:01 PM


Italian bank lending drops to record low

Loans to families and companies dropped by record amounts in January, Italy's banking association ABI reported Tuesday, adding that it expected the country's economy to contract even more than it previously forecast.

Bad loans at Italian banks reached US$167b at end 2012

Bad debts at Italian banks rose to around 125 billion euros (US$167 billion) at the end of last year and lenders further cut loans to households and businesses, data showed on Tuesday.

Obama warns Congress over spending cuts: 'People will lose their jobs'

"FBI agents will be furloughed, federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go, thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off," he said. Obama warned "hundreds of thousands will lose access to primary care".

More baby boomers facing credit-card quandary

'I guess I'm going to have to work until I die at my desk'.....According to new figures from the New York City-based policy research organization Demos, Americans over 50 are struggling with a surprising amount of credit-card debt. Low- and middle-income households of older Americans who owed credit-card companies for three months or more have racked up an average of $8,278 in debt, according to Demos.

Bee shortage may increase some food prices (California)

Paramount Farming Company Bee Biologist, Dr. Gordon Wardell said 1.6 million bee hives are needed to pollinate California's almond crops. With 400,000 colonies in the state, there just aren't enough to do the job. Wardell said, "Every almond has to have a honey bee to pollinate to set a nut."

Over the past six years, California's bee population has dropped drastically, causing growers to look elsewhere.

Foods Raising Your Grocery Bill in 2013

Look for food prices overall to go up as much as 4% in 2013, about a percentage point higher than 2012's annual increase. Some products will see even sharper price spikes. For instance, the shortage of soybeans is helping to push the price of vegetable oils up 5% to 6%, on average. A one-pound tub of soft margarine has risen 33%, to $2.08, since 2010, when the nation's persistent drought began.

Dalton’s tuition hikes will cost $5K for new out-of-state students

Dalton Public Schools officials say they “know nobody is thrilled to pay more money on anything,” but tuition costs are going up, especially for new out-of-state students.

Last year, new out-of-state students paid $1,000 a year. Starting July 1, they will pay $5,000 a year.

Tuition to increase at state universities and colleges (Connecticut)

The Board of Regents’ finance committee is expected to vote Tuesday to recommend the boost in 2013-14 annual tuition and fees at the state’s 12 community colleges by about 5.23 percent, from $3,598 to $3,786. Tuition and fees for in-state students attending Southern, Western, Central and Eastern Connecticut state universities, meanwhile, would go up an average of 5.1 percent, from $8,556 to $8,990.

Student Health Costs to Rise (California)

The report released by the consulting firm in January also recommends student premiums be increased by an average of 25 percent for the 2013-14 year.

Other options also include cutting services, such as dental and vision care, as well as reducing “unnecessary emergency room visits” and encouraging students to utilize UC facilities.

Gasoline Pump Prices Soaring on Refinery Repairs, Oil Rally

U.S. consumers facing the highest gasoline pump prices ever for February may see further increases as global crude oil futures climb and breakdowns and seasonal maintenance at refineries reduce fuel supplies. Gasoline futures have surged 11 percent this year, making the fuel the top performing commodity in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index. Prices at the pump are up 14 percent this year and have risen 33 straight days, according to AAA data.

Energy watchdog Ofgem chief warns of bill rises (UK)

Consumers are being warned they face higher energy bills as the UK becomes more reliant on energy imports. The warning comes from Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan, who says falls in the UK's power production capacity are likely to lead to more energy imports and price rises.

Marriage: now even more taxing

There are plenty of money matters for couples to consider before tying the knot, from figuring out how to pay off debt to where to spend all their hard-earned cash. Starting this year, many higher earners can add one more discussion to that list: taxes.

Japan Delays Naming New Leader for Central Bank

Mr. Abe has demanded aggressive action from a new governor, who is scheduled to be appointed by the end of March, prompting expectations that he would favor a candidate willing to undertake radical policies to lift Japan out of years of deflation.

Some government officials are concerned, however, that a governor promoting radical policies could upset financial markets.

2013: Higher gas and food prices, smaller paychecks (Video)

How are your finances so far this year? Higher prices and smaller paychecks mean less money for a lot of people.

Young adults facing higher health insurance costs

Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini invoked the term at his company's recent annual investor conference, cautioning that premiums for plans sold to individuals could rise as much as 50 percent on average and could more than double for particular groups such as the young and healthy.

Health law's backers fear higher costs

The provision that will prevent insurance companies from charging older consumers more than three times what they charge young consumers has generated particular concern among regulators.

The requirement is designed to make insurance more affordable to a group that often most needs insurance. But as rates come down for older people, they may increase for consumers in their 20s, regulators worry. If that happens, young, healthy people could elect not to get health insurance and pay the small penalty.

Local businesses feel pinch from higher prices at pump (Ohio)

The cost of shipping products to the store combined with customer delivery has tipped the extra costs onto the consumer.

"When we started getting hit with our increase in freight and the fuel surcharges, then diesel went up and filling up our own gas tanks here at Sheely's, it really hurt in the pocket book," said Sherry Sheely, Chief Operating Officer of the store.

Red Light Cameras Make Millions

In the city the Dallas Cowboys call home, some red light cameras write checks as big as an NFL salary. One camera at northbound Cooper and Pioneer Parkway in Arlington dished out $2.5 million in red light tickets in just four years.

In the City of Fort Worth, records show cameras have generated $23 million. The top money maker is on the West Freeway Frontage Road at Ashland Avenue, bringing in $1.7 million since 2008.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 2/19/13

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."


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Spain Said to Impose Yield Ceiling on Bond Sales by Regions

ECB better crank up the printing machine to combat the panic this will cause with current Spanish debt holders.

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How Much Energy is too Much Energy - podcast



Vermont editor Tom Butler says no matter how energy efficient we become, there’s a limit to our consumption, even with renewable green sources. Instead, he says, we must recognize the true costs of our relentless search for resources to power perpetual growth. We’ll look at this idea and others presented in a sweeping new book called Energy.

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