Daily Digest

Daily Digest 2/21 - The Nuclear Reactor In Your Basement, How Much Energy Is Too Much Energy?

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:41 AM

Economy

Investing In A Low-Growth World (Nate)

This quarter I will review any new data that has come out on the topic of likely lower GDP growth. Then I will consider any investment implications that might come with lower GDP growth: counter intuitively, we find that investment returns are likely to be more or less unchanged – a little lower only if lower growth brings with it less instability, hence less risk. Finally I will take a look at the reaction to last quarter’s letter, specifically about my outlook for lower GDP growth.

Alberta Budget Deficit Forecast Quadruples From Last Year (westcoastjan)

The government is also reducing the number of public-sector managers by 10 per cent, or about 480 positions, over that same time period, he said. While some positions are vacant and won't be filled, there will be some people who lose their jobs.

He blamed falling oil and gas revenue. Premier Alison Redford has coined the term bitumen bubble to refer to the difference between the benchmark prices for oil in North America and the lower price Alberta receives for its land-locked oilsands bitumen.

Canadian Unretirement Index: Most Say They Won't Stop Working After Age 66 (westcoastjan)

For the first time in the five years Sun Life has tracked retirement trends, the number of Canadians expecting to be retired at 66 (27 per cent) nearly equalled the 26 per cent expecting to be working full time at that age. Another 32 per cent imagined they’d be working part-time at that stage.

The provinces are broke, and we’re all on the hook (westcoastjan)

Next door in Alberta, voters are discovering that budgets are merely aspirational – a finance minister dreaming a dream. The cold splash of reality arrive Tuesday with word that falling oil prices have transformed a projected deficit for this year of just under $900-million into one of around $4-billion.

Fed may halt QE3 before job market heals (westcoastjan)

“A number of participants stated that an ongoing evaluation of the efficacy, costs, and risks of asset purchases might well lead the Committee to taper or end its purchases before it judged that a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market had occurred,” the Fed revealed in its minutes.

The Missing $20 Trillion (westcoastjan)

The archetypal tax haven may be a palm-fringed island, but as our special report this week makes clear, there is nothing small about offshore finance. If you define a tax haven as a place that tries to attract non-resident funds by offering light regulation, low (or zero) taxation and secrecy, then the world has 50-60 such havens. These serve as domiciles for more than 2m companies and thousands of banks, funds and insurers. Nobody really knows how much money is stashed away: estimates vary from way below to way above $20 trillion.

China's 'Leftover Women', Unmarried At 27 (westcoastjan)

State-run media started using the term "sheng nu" in 2007. That same year the government warned that China's gender imbalance - caused by selective abortions because of the one-child policy - was a serious problem.

National Bureau of Statistics data shows there are now about 20 million more men under 30 than women under 30.

The 40 most unusual economic indicators (westcoastjan)

Some of the more unusual ones we’ve come across include the Guns-to-Caviar Index, Tylenol usage, and the Mosquito Bite Indicator.

Review team: Detroit faces financial crisis, has no plan to fix it (Phil H.)

"The city doesn't have more time," Dillon said. "They have limited cash right now, limited ability to access capital markets. I kind of think they've got one more bite of the apple to get it right."

In a sobering report to Snyder, the review team found Detroit has: A cash-flow deficit of more than $100 million without "significant spending cuts" by June 30, on top of an accumulated deficit of $327 million.

Iceland Foreshadows Death of Currencies Lost in Crisis (ScubaRoo)

Offshore investors have about $8 billion in kronur locked behind the controls. That compares with Iceland’s total economic output in 2012 of $13 billion. A slump in the krona would drive inflation higher and hurt households in the Atlantic island, where loans linked to the consumer price index made up 83 percent of all borrowing as of September 2012.

Sterling hits near 16-month low before Bank of England minutes (ScubaRoo)

"The inflation report has given sterling weakness another dimension and markets are going back to the drawing board in terms of where they think sterling is heading," Ali said.

Sterling traded at $1.5437, just above Tuesday's seven-month low of $1.5414. Traders said strong demand to buy the pound before it hits a reported options barrier at $1.5400 could slow its fall, though offers were reported at $1.5450 up to $1.5500.

North Carolina lawmakers move to slash unemployment help (Phil H.)

Despite having one of the nation’s highest jobless rates, North Carolina’s government took steps to enact some of most severe benefit cuts in the country. The measure would shrink the maximum period of time someone could receive state jobless benefits to 20 weeks from 26 weeks and reduce the maximum weekly benefit to $350 from $535. The state Senate gave preliminary approval to the proposal on Tuesday, and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has promised to sign it into law, which would take effect July 1.

Are You About to Lose Your Savings in the Currency War? (Arthur Robey)

James Rickards, senior managing director of Tangent Capital Partners, and author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, thinks this battle is about an effort to get economies going by importing inflation rather than attempting to boost exports.

Fed minutes show concerns about bond purchases (Nervous Nelly)

In the end, the Fed voted 11-1 last month to keep its bond-buying program open-ended and at the same size. It said in a statement that the purchases would continue until the job market improved substantially. The bond purchases are intended to keep interest rates down to encourage borrowing and spending.

Why So Many Russians Have Dashcams (Thomas C.)

Here is the reason why. Russian roadways are like some libertarian wet dream. Except the people seem rather lightly armed.

Gold & Silver Prices Drop Into Severely Oversold Area (Taki T.)

First, the gold and silver price drop is significant. We would say it is out of proportion, although the latter does not matter (it is an opinion, like so many other opinions out there). The fact of the matter is, the gold and silver price charts reveal a waterfall decline over the past two weeks, that’s a fact. Although they are oversold, they can go even lower.

Gold - In Your Self-Interest (GE Christenson)

So what is the problem? The bankers create and manage the money, politicians are enabled to borrow and spend to excess, average Americans borrow and spend, and business continues. We all think we get what we want, meet our self-interested goals, and continue with our lives.

Really? So why does gasoline currently cost nearly $4 per gallon when it was priced under $.20 in the 1960s? Why does a pack of cigarettes cost about $6 when it used to sell for about $.25? Practically speaking, it is the same gallon of gasoline and the same pack of cigarettes. What about gold? It cost a bit over $40 per ounce in the 1960s and now it costs about $1,600 per ounce. It is still the same ounce of gold.

Energy

How Much Energy Is Too Much Energy? (woodman)

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.

The Nuclear Reactor In Your Basement (Arthur Robey)

The sun and all the other stars use nuclear fusion, in which two light nuclei (such as those of hydrogen) fuse together in an environment of very high temperature and pressure which overwhelms the mutual repulsion of their positive charges. Again, energy is released in the process—even more than in fission. We know how to use fusion in hydrogen bombs, but so far we lack the technology needed to harness it for more civilized purposes.

Why China Will Miss Its Shale Gas Production Targets (westcoastjan)

Missing targets to develop the world’s biggest reserves of shale means China’s imports from foreign gas markets will be greater than anticipated. Such purchases might benefit suppliers of liquefied natural gas from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., while bolstering nations like Turkmenistan that pipe gas to China.

Energy watchdog Ofgem chief warns of bill rises (westcoastjan)

The BBC's John Moylan says that, while we have heard such warnings before, the difference with this one is that the process is already underway. Plants are already closing, and although planning permission for new ones is out there, nothing is actually being built.

Environment

Improved-yield dandelions prepped for tire production (Arthur Robey)

According to reports, Apollo Vredestein has joined KeyGene in a collaborative dandelion development effort. A prototype tire has already been produced. "Although first impressions look very promising," according to a company statement, "the tires with the alternative natural rubbers will first undergo extensive testing over the coming months before being taken into production."

Frustrated businessman challenges Chinese official to swim in polluted river in exchange for $32,000 (westcoastjan)

The challenge, made Saturday, reflects growing frustration among the Chinese public over widespread pollution and lack of governmental action. It quickly inspired at least one other offer: A posting Tuesday under an alias on an online forum offered a 300,000 yuan ($48,000) cash prize to the environmental protection chief in the nearby county of Cangnan if the official swam in polluted rivers there.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 2/20/13

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 (Offline)
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Posts: 4167
saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4167
In hard-hit Spain, bartering becomes means of getting by

In hard-hit Spain, bartering becomes means of getting by

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4167
Another $36 billion in debt

 

 

Treasury Direct link

 

The Daily History of the Debt Results

Historical returns from 02/01/2013 through 02/20/2013

The data for the total public debt outstanding is published each business day. If there is no debt value for the date(s) you requested, the value for the preceding business day will be displayed.

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )

 

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
02/01/2013 11,598,372,554,293.94 4,835,407,359,586.40 16,433,779,913,880.34
02/04/2013 11,626,337,288,025.30 4,848,711,110,140.49 16,475,048,398,165.79
02/05/2013 11,625,727,190,868.48 4,855,183,465,735.48 16,480,910,656,603.96
02/06/2013 11,625,346,979,571.39 4,854,607,678,532.18 16,479,954,658,103.57
02/07/2013 11,629,141,154,310.54 4,858,423,143,581.49 16,487,564,297,892.03
02/08/2013 11,629,086,187,262.76 4,859,822,660,565.49 16,488,908,847,828.25
02/11/2013 11,628,591,907,992.80 4,861,338,742,601.35 16,489,930,650,594.15
02/12/2013 11,628,648,227,429.31 4,865,719,111,994.35 16,494,367,339,423.66
02/13/2013 11,668,602,027,147.93 4,855,702,571,931.11 16,524,304,599,079.04
02/14/2013 11,684,037,184,012.31 4,856,763,106,135.15 16,540,800,290,147.46
02/15/2013 11,690,221,227,952.85 4,858,705,577,176.51 16,548,926,805,129.36
02/19/2013 11,690,986,523,097.68 4,861,832,619,109.72 16,552,819,142,207.40
02/20/2013 11,726,900,735,373.96 4,861,850,299,932.41 16,588,751,035,306.37

 

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 2 2010
Posts: 1449
Canada

Is Canada's housing bubble popping yet?  And will it not spill over into the broader economy?

AndyG's picture
AndyG
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Joined: Feb 29 2012
Posts: 33
saxplayer00o1 wrote: Currency

Thanks for the article about Egypt. I was there a few months ago for a cruise on the Nile and see the sites [well worth the trip]. I spent a lot of time talking to our guide, a Coptic Christian, about Egypt and it history and future.

What the article reminded me was that Peak Everything [debt, environment, oil, water, etc] will very much hit different countries/communities in different ways and each culture will respond differently. There is no one formula for how things will play out. What I appreciated on seeing Egypt was how much is desert and the narrow strip of fertile soil available for agriculture - 3%. with a population going from 25million to 80 million in 2012 explains why feeding their nation requires imports ad infinitum. Our guide could see the future - and it was going to America! Ok, part of that was the Muslim aspect and their crushing of minorities, but also the economy in free fall and prices on the up. This was paid for with oil, but now they use all their oil and are no longer next exporters. With the currency at its lowest every exchange rate to the $ things are worsening.

It is a bit like watching a slow motion train crash. In Egypt, but also here [I'm in the UK] in Europe with Greece and Spain. The UK is now looking to continue QE to the tune of £175 Bn.

In the USA at least you have land. In the UK during the second world war we had a 'dig' to victory champaign. Being surrounded by German U-boats meant we could hardly get any imports of food in. We just managed to feed 40 million people. Now we have 65 million. It would be tough 'next' time around...time to plant that garden!

Tall's picture
Tall
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Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Are oysters doomed?

We don’t yet know who the ocean’s winners and losers will be in the more corrosive world (of higher CO2). Jellyfish and some seagrasses may thrive under more acidic conditions. On the other hand, calcifiers—organisms that make calcium carbonate shells and skeletons, such as shellfish and corals—appear to be in trouble. In the United States, scientists have seen dissolving clam larvae in Maine, corroded oysters in Washington state’s hatcheries, and mussels with thinned shells off the Pacific Northwest coast.

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/animal_forecast/2013/02/ocean_acidification_and_oysters_shellfish_are_already_suffering_1.html

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4167
U.S. Fed balance sheet grows for third straight week

"The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet expanded for a third straight week to another record size in the latest week, due to its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed's balance sheet, a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.077 trillion on Feb. 20, compared with $3.056 trillion on Feb. 13."

 

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 2 2010
Posts: 1449
Rossi of E-Cat Fame - The Nuclear Reactor In Your Basement

"Rossi isn’t the best ambassador for a field with credibility problems, though. In the ’80s, he invented a machine that magically transformed household garbage and industrial waste into oil—only it didn’t create a drop. Leaky storage tanks at Rossi’s “poison factory,” as one Italian newspaper called it, contained 77,000 tons of toxic sludge that cost $50 million to clean up. While under investigation for environmental crimes, Rossi was also charged with gold trafficking; he went to jail for six months and was later acquitted. As it happens, his engineering degree is from Kensington University, a notorious diploma mill shut down in 1996 by the state of California."

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-10/andrea-rossis-black-box?single-page-view=true

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 3936
Holding my breath.

This link will get you as close as you can to the truth of Rossi's e-Cat. I hold my breath.

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