Daily Digest 3/15 - Central Banks Souring On The Dollar, The Petro Business Cycle
Central banks souring on the dollar (Nervous Nelly)
"This analysis looks at the optimal allocation for emerging market central banks as they continue to reduce their allocation to dollars and euros," said Ashish Bhatia, manager for government affairs at the World Gold Council. In its study, the council assumes that central banks hold 65% of their reserves in dollars and euros, the second-largest reserve currency.
Census: Record 1 in 3 US counties are now dying (Nervous Nelly)
The growing attention on immigrants is coming mostly from areas of the Midwest and Northeast, which are seeing many of their residents leave after years of staying put during the downturn. With a slowly improving U.S. economy, young adults are now back on the move, departing traditional big cities to test the job market mostly in the South and West, which had sustained the biggest hits in the housing bust.
Census data show that 1,135 of the nation's 3,143 counties are now experiencing "natural decrease," where deaths exceed births. That's up from roughly 880 U.S. counties, or 1 in 4, in 2009. Already apparent in Japan and many European nations, natural decrease is now increasingly evident in large swaths of the U.S., much of it rural.
The business sector is sitting on vast sums of cash but needs policy clarity. That cash has remained stranded on the sidelines, as business leaders remain cautious regarding the uncertainty over taxes, government debt, and policy. The business sector remains financially healthy but lacks transparency from government. Washington has become business unfriendly, and it isn’t quite clear where the next crisis will appear. So we’re stuck with subpar economic growth, high joblessness, and various explanations as to why policy isn’t working.
Kyle Bass, founder and principal of Hayman Capital Management, LP, will describe why he sees a looming economic crisis for Japan. Bass has previously predicted and profited from the collapse of the subprime real estate market and the rise in precious metals starting in 2009.
This event is part of the Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) and is generously sponsored by Myron Scholes.
“We have no lights, no buses, poor streets and now we’re paying millions of dollars a year on our debt,” said David Sole, a retired municipal worker and advocate for Moratorium Now Coalition, a Detroit group that fights foreclosures and evictions. “The banks said they need to be paid first. But there is no money.”
How London’s gold and silver prices are ‘fixed’ (westcoastjan)
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has engaged in “a couple” of conversations about whether the daily setting of gold and silver prices in London is open to manipulation, Commissioner Scott O’Malia said on Thursday, although he said the situation is “fairly immature in its development.”
The executives made top dollar even as the bank agreed to pay $1.5 billion to settle allegations of Libor rigging. That's a different approach than that taken one year before, when UBS clawed back bonuses of its top-paid investment bankers after the unit posted a $1.32 billion loss thanks to a $2.3 billion rogue trading scandal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bixi Toronto Stats And Cars In Canada (westcoastjan)
The infographics below illustrate bike sharing statistics in Toronto and Millennial attitudes toward cars. It was produced by Amelia Brown, a student in Ryerson University's School of Journalism, in partnership with The Huffington Post Canada. It originally accompanied her piece on bikes and fashion.
Greenspan said the current stock run is due to reduced fears that the European sovereign debt crisis would crash economies around the world. He also seemed to dismiss the idea that the Federal Reserve's asset purchase program is responsible for driving stocks higher.
Greenspan said that the recent rise in both stock and home prices has done a great deal to protect the economy from the damage many expected to see after payroll taxes rose at the start of the year.
Consider this month’s Special Report by the Bank Credit Analyst: “Human Intelligence And Economic Growth From 50,000 B.C. To The Singularity.” Wedged right next to their forecast of 10-year Treasury yields and the impact of Chinese monetary policy on commodities is a discussion of humanity’s coming “phase transition” through the “widespread use of genetic technologies and implantable neural chips.”
Thieves Blight Nigeria's Swamps with Spilt Oil (westcoastjan)
The impact on the environment of such so-called "bunkering" practices - and on the largely subsistence fishing communities who live around the pipelines in the creeks and swamps of the Niger Delta - is devastating. Decades of oil spills from a combination of theft and poor environmental management by oil majors has ravaged this fragile wetlands environment.
'Carmakers manipulate emissions tests' (westcoastjan)
According to the official figures, average CO2 emissions from cars in the European Union fell from about 180g/km to less than 150g/km between 2001 and 2011. By comparison, real-world emissions fell from more than 190g/km to about 180g/km, according to data that German motorists fed into a comprehensive study by the International Council on Clean Transportation, cited by Transport & Environment.
Bee deaths: EU delays action on pesticides ban (westcoastjan)
"Bee health is extremely important but decisions must be based on sound scientific evidence and rushing this through could have serious unintended consequences both for bees and for food production," she added.
Gold & Silver
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