Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/27 - Economy "Still Needs Stimulus," Americans Adapt To $4/gallon Gas

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 10:35 AM


Newmont's Revenues Decline On Lower Production

Input and labor costs in the mining industry have been rising rapidly over the last few years and hence the cost of getting metals and minerals out of the ground has shot up. The cost of getting an ounce of gold out of the ground has doubled over the last five years.

Four Spanish lenders set to pass properties to bad bank

Sareb said it was issuing just over 14 billion euros ($18.5 billion) of senior bonds - effectively state debt - which it will then give to the banks in exchange for their deeply discounted assets.

The lenders can use these as collateral to get funding from the European Central Bank.

California controller pegs state retiree medical costs at $64 billion

California faces a $63.84 billion obligation to cover state retirees' medical expenses over the next three decades, according to state Controller John Chiang.

The figure, which captures unfunded retiree health care costs from mid-2012 through mid-2042, is up nearly 3 percent in the last year.

Why Italy’s Stalemate Could Mean Chaos for Euro Zone

"It was the worst possible outcome, feared by market participants and European policy-makers alike," Tobias Blattner, European economist at Daiwa Capital markets, said on Tuesday.

"Italy is facing Greek-style political gridlock and possibly new elections."

Nicholas Spiro, managing director at Spiro Sovereign Strategy, agreed the election result was the worst possible one, as far as markets are concerned.

Bernanke: Economy still needs stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday that the Fed intends to keep its easy-money policies going until the job market improves significantly.

In his semi-annual report to Congress, Bernanke also said the Fed will carefully weigh the costs of its bond-buying program, such as inflation and excessive risk-taking by investors that could led to financial instability.

Wave of Immigrants Released Ahead of Automatic Budget Cuts

In a highly unusual move, federal immigration officials have released a wave of detainees from immigration detention centers around the country in an effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington, officials said.

Bernanke's Q&A testimony to Senate Banking panel

"We are not engaged in a currency war, we are not targeting our currency. The G7 put out a statement which is very clear that it's entirely appropriate for countries to use monetary policy to address their domestic objectives, in our case employment and price stability. Our position is that our expansionary monetary policies, which are being replicated in other industrial countries, are increasing demand globally and helping not only our businesses, but also businesses in other countries that export to us. So its not a beggar thy neighbor policy."

In grim French north, worker protests seem doomed

They've been fighting for 62 months to keep the factory operating and prevent Goodyear from shifting work to China. But their efforts seem doomed as a labor model that features high wages, long vacations and short work weeks is increasingly being called into question amid a weak economy.

Fed's Lockhart:Continue QE3 Still Approp For Now Given Condtns

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart Monday night declared his comfort with the Fed maintaining its current aggressive pace of bond buying to boost economic growth at least into the latter half of 2013, arguing that the large-scale asset purchases remain appropriate for now given conditions in the jobs market.

Ecuador implements food price controls

The Ecuadorian government decreed the implementation of price controls on 46 food products to combat "speculation", it was announced Monday, a measure that was rejected by the country's main business federation.The decree was signed by President Rafael Correa last Friday, but was only made public Monday.

Tuition increase approved for 90,000 college students (Louisiana)

The University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors on Monday morning approved a 10 percent tuition hike at all nine of their campuses for the 2013-14 school year.The UL System is the largest college and university system in the state with 90,000 students at the University of New Orleans, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southeastern University in Hammond and six other campuses around the state.

St. Lawrence approves tuition hike

The St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved a 3.7 percent increase in tuition and room and board for the 2013-14 academic year.The university’s comprehensive fee for the year will be $57,900, an increase of $2,065. Tuition and fees will rise $1,640; room and board will go up $425.

Americans 'adapt' to $4 per-gallon gas

Prices at some South Florida gas stations are cracking $4 per gallon and likely will keep rising into April. This month is poised to close as the February with the highest gas prices ever, travel club AAA said.

“I don’t like it,” said motorist Susan Mohr, 54, of Deerfield Beach, as the charity volunteer grouped her errands to try to conserve gas on her rounds. “The price needs to go down.”

Italy's anti-austerity vote raises the spectre of a bailout

Political deadlock could push Italy towards a bailout, the Capital Economics thinktank has suggested. That prediction runs several steps ahead of events, since Italy's bond prices are not yet flashing red – the yield on 10-year paper is 4.8% – but it's a sharp rise from the 4.3% seen early on Monday, when it seemed voters would deliver a "market-friendly" outcome.

ECB Should Join ‘Currency War’ to Weaken Euro, Montebourg Says

The European Central Bank should weaken the euro, confronting the new “currency war” head on to help address economic stagnation in the region, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said today.

Iowans brace for bump in beef prices

The USDA reported at the start of 2013 the lowest number of beef cows in the US since 1962. The beef cow herd as of Jan. 1, 2013 was 29.3 million. The total number of cattle in the US -- beef, dairy and other -- set an even lower record. On the same date, that number was 89.3 million. That's the lowest its been since 1952.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 2/26/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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Can We Live again in 1964's Energy World?

One of the first obstacles is just the amount of quantifiable fossil-fueled power that must be replaced. Consider, says Smil, that North Americans gobbled up about six exajoules (EJ) of energy in the form of wood, animal power, coal and some oil in 1884. (The Japanese earthquake and tsunami released about two EJ of energy.)

Today North Americans happily burn our way through 100 EJ of which only 7 EJ come from renewables, such as hydroelectric dams. In other words, the U.S. would have to find 85 EJ from wind, geothermal or wind or "nearly 30 times the total of fossil fuels the country needed in the mid-188s to complete its shift from biomass to coal to hydrocarbons." That's a tall order requiring new infrastructure and massive re-engineering.


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