Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/25 - A Golden Twilight Zone, The Retirement Gamble

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 9:54 AM

Economy

Falling into a Golden Twilight Zone (GE Christenson)

Kennecott copper mine landslide, although anticipated, occurred on April 10. This mine (per Bill Holter) annually produces 400,000 ounces of gold and 3,000,000 ounces of silver and is the largest copper mine on earth. It has been shut down, and that supply is temporarily not available. Gold, silver, and copper subsequently declined.

Billions flow into the hottest new U.S. housing asset — rentals (westcoastjan)

Mullen plans to spend as much as US$2 billion by 2016, joining private-equity giants including Blackstone Group LP and Colony Capital LLC seeking to take advantage of home prices 29% below the 2006 peak and rising demand for rentals from Americans blocked out of homeownership. Investors, including former bankers and bond traders, are rushing to buy and renovate properties, as well as secure Wall Street funding to turn what’s been a mom and pop business into an institutional asset class.

Sugar industry's secret documents echo tobacco tactics (westcoastjan)

"The first folder that I opened jumped right out at me," she said. "It was on the Sugar Association letterhead which is the trade association in Washington for cane and beet sugar producers. And the word "confidential" was right under the letterhead. So the first document I saw was a confidential Sugar Association memo talking about their PR strategies in the 70s."

Goldman Sachs Just Covered Its Gold Short (Jason C.)

We closed our short trading recommendation on gold We have closed our recommendation to short COMEX Gold, as prices moved above the stop at $1,400/toz. We have exited the trade significantly below our original target of $1,450/toz, for a potential gain of 10.4%. The move since initiation was surprisingly rapid, likely exacerbated by the break of well-flagged technical support levels. Our bias is to expect further declines in gold prices on the combination of continued ETF outflows as conviction in holding gold continues to wane as well as our economists’ forecast for a reacceleration in US growth later this year.

Lawmakers warn cost of federal free phone program spinning out of control (Phil H.)

"I got solicitation for a free phone at my apartment, which is certainly not a building where you're going to have people who are qualified for free phones. ... There is clearly money being wasted here."

Smartphones easily used to skim credit card data (Nervous Nelly)

The app used the near field communication (NFC) antenna built into the Galaxy SIII phone, a feature available on many phones running Google’s Android operating system. The antenna is normally used to allow two phones to talk to each other.

Jim Rogers Exclusive: It's a "Race to Insanity" (Arthur Robey)

"There are signs of worry," he said. "You do see breadth sort of changing. You do see potential problems, [like] volume problems. [Although] this is all artificial, that doesn't mean artificiality can't go on for a while," Rogers said. "Remember the dot-com bubble of the "90s ... you can look back on any bubble and things ... can certainly last longer than I expect and [longer] than any rational person can expect."

Revealed: George Osborne’s secret veto on fraud inquiries (Thomas C.)

The bank, now state-owned, is facing a civil action over claims that senior executives must have known about it perilous financial state when it launched a £12bn rights issue months before the financial crisis. If the SFO were to investigate and prove criminal liability it would force the Government to pay out to those who lost money by investing in the rights issue.

In Florida, a food-stamp recruiter deals with wrenching choices (Thomas C.)

She distributed food and SNAP brochures for three hours. “Take what you need,” she said, again and again, until the fruit started to sweat and the vegetables wilted in the late-morning heat. Just as she prepared to leave, a car pulled into the senior center and a man with a gray mustache and a tattered T-shirt opened the driver-side door. He had seen the giveaway boxes earlier in the morning but waited to return until the crowd thinned. He had just moved to Spanish Lakes. He had never taken giveaways. He looked at the boxes but stayed near his car.

The Retirement Gamble (Thomas C., Nervous Nelly)

Will your IRA or 401(k) accounts ensure a safe retirement?

As Forewarned, The Irish Savers Have Just Been "Cyprus'd", And There's MUCH MORE "Cyprusing" To Come (chm)

This is likely to be the biggest financial story of the month, a story that's bigger than Cyprus, and a story that you're not going to see in American mainstream media - not by a long shot. Let's take this from the top, for BoomBustBloggers were warned weeks in advanced. On Wednesday, 27 March 2013 I published EU Bank Depositors: Your Mattress Is Starting To Look Awfully Attractive - Bank Risk, Reward & Compensation wherein I explained that the situation of extreme loss faced by Cyprus bank depositors, savers and bondholders will not be a unique story.

HUSSMAN: The Cover Of The Latest Barron's Is A Screaming Sign Of A Stock Market Top (westcoastjan)

This certainly isn’t a criticism of Barron’s itself. I grew up on Barron’s Magazine, and will remain a devoted reader at least as long as Alan Abelson provides a worthy counterbalance to the more short-sighted views of Wall Street and the Market Lab section remains in print. Still, the Big Money Poll is most useful as a contrary indicator.

Cal Wenzel Calgary Election Video: Developer Outlines Million-Dollar Plan To Influence Ballot (westcoastjan)

"(Shane) Keating we have looked after, Diane (Colley-Urquhart) we looked after and Peter Demong," he adds, and mentions Ald. Druh Farrell and Ald. Richard Pootmans as sources of concern.

Energy

The coal-mining racket threatening Ukraine's economy (westcoastjan)

A brief stroll in the woods outside the town of Snizhne passes by three pits. But the money made from these mines does not make it into the nearby communities. Locals here have been agitating for a crackdown.

"It is excessively dangerous for men to work in these pits and no one benefits from this here," says Ira, whose children, like so many, have moved away.

"The whole region is just not functioning,"

Norway opens up arctic waters to oil exploration (Stabu)

Norway's oil production will fall to a 25-year low this year as North Sea fields mature and even a series of recent big finds, like the giant Johan Sverdrup field, which could hold over 3 billion barrels of oil, will only arrest the decline.

Environment

The Great Green Wall Of Africa: A 4,000 Mile Defense Against Climate Change (Wendy SD)

One of the most unique large-scale international climate change projects is underway in Africa. A 4,000 mile “wall of trees” is being constructed across the east-west axis of the continent as a defense against rapid, expanding desertification of the Sahara.

Brazil congestion delays export of record soybean crop (westcoastjan)

The port of Santos has tripled its capacity in the past two decades. It now handles more than 100 million tonnes of goods every year - not just soybeans but also Brazil's other top exports such as sugar, cars and fuel.

But there just have not been enough improvements.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 4/24/13

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."

4 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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MarkM's picture
MarkM
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cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5570
You are not kidding...

...about the pitchforks.

What does it mean when a very small cadre of society is granted the right to print money out of thin air and they (ab)use that privilege to turn around and buy real assets such as houses (via MBS) and stocks and bonds?

Wait, did I just say stocks?

Yep:

Central Banks Buy Equities as Low Rates Kill Yields

Apr 25, 2013

Central banks, guardians of the world’s $11 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves, are buying stocks in record amounts as falling bond yields push even risk- averse investors toward equities.

In a survey of 60 central bankers this month by Central Banking Publications and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, 23 percent said they own shares or plan to buy them. The Bank of Japan, holder of the second-biggest reserves, said April 4 it will more than double investments in equity exchange-traded funds to 3.5 trillion yen ($35.2 billion) by 2014. The Bank of Israel bought stocks for the first time last year while the Swiss National Bank and the Czech National Bank have boosted their holdings to at least 10 percent of reserves.

This is surreal.

A few questions spring to mind such as, were they bought at random times or at critical moments?  Which stocks?  Broad indexes or specific stocks perhaps representing companies with clear conflicts of interest with sitting central bank staffers?  Etc and so forth.

At any rate, the mantra 'don't fight the Fed' has just been broadened massively.  And, yes, I am a little peeved at being proven right once again after taking quite a few shots over the years for my views that central banks have been purchasing stocks.

Now I know that the Fed is technically still forbidden from buying stocks but I will go on record sayign that in a few years it will be revealed that they managed to skirt this rule either directly, indirectly, or both.

I tell you, it is hard to keep up with things these days....

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4066
Fed balance sheet grows to record again in latest week

"The Fed's balance sheet - a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system - stood at $3.276 trillion on April 24, up from $3.252 trillion on April 17."

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