Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 6/19 - Spain's Mortgage Crisis Lingers, Student Loan Debt Has Doubled

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 8:39 AM


Spain's mortgage crisis lingers on as bad loans soar

Spain's real estate crisis continues to rankle as bad bank loans skyrocketed in April. Although institutions are dumping their toxic assets into bad banks, defaulting customers might force them into higher bailout debt.
The total from dubious loans held by Spanish banks rose to 167.1 billion euros ($222.9 billion) in April from 162.3 billion euros in March, according to figures released by the Bank of Spain on Tuesday.

Spain's high-speed trains and abandoned stations

Ximo Puig, the head of the Socialist opposition in Valencia, says the station is likely to become yet another white elephant in a country where dozens of airports, train stations, motorways or cultural centres built during a decade-long property boom are under-used or have been abandoned.

Defense cuts 'hollowing out' European armies: U.S. envoy

Most European allies are "hollowing out" their armies as they slash Defense spending, casting doubt on whether Europe can remain a viable military partner of the United States, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Monday.

Many Western European countries have slashed Defense spending in response to austerity induced by the 2008 financial crisis and the United States now accounts for nearly three-quarters of total NATO Defense spending, Ivo Daalder said.

U.S. Mint Sales of Silver Coins Reach Record in First Half

Sales of silver coins by the U.S. Mint are heading for the best start to a year since at least 1986 as prices slumped.

Sales in 2013 have reached 24.03 million ounces, according to data on the mint’s website. That’s the highest for the first six months of a year since records begin. Demand reached a monthly all-time high of 7.5 million ounces in January.

China Wrestles With Banks' Pleas for Cash

The concern about a credit crunch comes at a time when Chinese officials also are trying to combat the opposite: a credit binge that dates from the stimulus spending of 2009. The two are linked, analysts say. By trying to rein in the long-term credit surge, the PBOC may have produced a short-term credit crunch.

Spain's credit squeeze thwarts small companies' export plans

Smaller Spanish business loans - defined as loans under 1 million euros - have fallen steeply. Last year banks made 139 billion euros of such loans, half of what they lent in 2008, and the trend has continued in the year to date.
Banks say demand has fallen for loans during a brutal recession which has pushed bankruptcies up to record levels. But the fall in demand is coupled with a reluctance among banks to expose themselves to more loan defaults.

Argentina Province Slaps Hefty Tax on Embattled Mining Companies

Last week, the Santa Cruz congress passed a bill slapping a 1% annual tax on mine resources in the province as the local government struggles with a wide spending deficit.

While the percentage seems small, it will cost mining companies in the province $100 million in new taxes next year, said an executive from one of the province's leading mines who requested anonymity. In effect, the tax amounts to about 8% of the total resources of a mine with a 15-year life, considering that it must be paid annually, he said.

Spanish Families Squat In Unfinished Buildings Out Of Desperation

There are at least 700,000 empty homes in Andalucia, according to the regional government.
"We were paying 225 euros a month, which is the cheapest rent you can find. But since I'm not earning and neither is my partner, they were going to throw us out" of our previous home, says Toni.

"We saw all the doors open here and realised there was no one in the houses. These houses were just going to fall to pieces," she says. "So we moved in."

130,000 leave Germany due to failing economy, lack of business opportunities

Recent government data has shown that unemployment in Germany climbed by 21,000 in May – four times more than economists forecast. At the end of May, the Federal Labor Office published unemployment statistics showing that 2.96 million Germans (3 percent of the country’s population) are currently jobless.

This, combined with mounting economic problems, has forced some Germans to look for career opportunities elsewhere, with Switzerland, the US, Australia and Canada among the top destinations.

Student loan debt has nearly doubled in last five years, report says

Student loan debt has nearly doubled in the past five years, according to a congressional report released Tuesday, less than two weeks before interest rates on federally backed student loans are set to jump to 6.8% from 3.4%.

EU car sales hit 20-year low for May as recession hurts

New car sales across Europe fell to their lowest level in two decades for May as the deepening recession hurt demand.

Registrations dropped 5.9% to 1.04m in May, compared to a year ago, according to the industry body, the ACEA.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 6/18/13

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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Rick Santelli Rages: "What Is Bernanke So Afraid Of?"

A short but priceless video clip on ZH... to see someone give such clear and unadulterated expression to their anger over the Fed's policies is so refreshing I found myself clapping at the end!

Per ZH:

The following three minutes of absolute perfection uttered by CNBC's Rick Santelli is dangerous for anyone living in Kyle Bass' "intellectually dishonest" alter-world of denial and "unicorns and rainbows" as the Chicagoan goes off on the ignorance of everyone in these so-called markets. When every talking head is bullish and the world is going so great that we should all "buy stocks," Santelli demands we ask Bernanke - "what are you scared of," that keeps you pumping this much money into the system for this long? Simply put, Santelli's epic rant is the filter that every investor (or member of the public) should be viewing financial media and the Fed today (or in fact every day).



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SCOTUS continues the erosion

"In a major loss for individual rights vis-a-vis the police, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that prosecutors could use a person’s silence against them in court if it comes before he’s told of his right to remain silent."



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Denninger's response sounds

Denninger's response sounds right but I am  not an attorney.....and I am not anti-law enforcement 




"You must tell the police (or any arm of police) if you are not yet under arrest that you are invoking your 5th Amendment right to remain silent or your actions, including silence, are not protected.

So it's really quite simple -- refuse to talk to the cops -- period.

Is there any reason to communicate with any member of law enforcement for any reason whatsoever, including through mere silence, from this point forward?

Nope, other than to say the following: I invoke my 5th Amendment right to remain silent and Am I free to go?"



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Am I being detained or am I

Am I being detained or am I free to go?

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That sounds more reasonable

to me.


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Talking to the police


Not talking to police: Does that include me? If you want to make a political statement, you can follow Denninger's advice. However, consider some important issues.

1. Depending on the context and why the police are talking to you, the Supreme Court (and state courts) have ruled that police are entitled to basic identifying information about you (correct name, date of birth, address). I'm assuming here that the officer has reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you in the first place. (Without going into great detail, an example of reasonable suspicion would be: police receive a radio call of an armed robbery in progress involving a suspect whose basic features are close to yours (age, gender, race, clothing). While enroute to the robbery location, police receive an update that the suspect has gotten into a black Ford Explorer and drove west from the scene. Imagine that the first responding officer sees you in your black Ford Explorer driving west 5 blocks from the scene of the robbery and what little he can see of you matches the broadcast description of the suspect. That officer has reasonable suspicion to stop and investigate you for the robbery. An example of probable cause would be: in response to multiple complaints about cars speeding through a school zone, the police assign an officer with a radar gun to watch the school zone at opening and dismissal times. The officer sees you coming toward her concealed position in your black Ford Explorer, hits you with the radar and sees that you are travelling 34 mph in a 15 mph school zone.  That officer has probable cause to stop you for the speeding violation she observed and whether she writes a ticket or not is partly department policy and partly her discretion. In both these circumstances, you are required to provide name, date of birth and address.) In both cases, you could accomplish the minimum by silently giving the officer your driver's license.  There is no legal requirement for you to say anything else. On the other hand, if the officer has neither reasonable suspicion nor probable cause, any conversation or contact he has with you is considered a "mere encounter" and citizens are not bound to stop, talk or in any way interact with the officer. You are at all times during a mere encounter free to leave.

2. Police are entitled to detain you against your will for any "reasonable" time necessary to complete their investigation and take whatever enforcement and administrative actions necessary. Ultimately, a judge or jury will decide what a "reasonable" time is in your situation if you make an issue of it. In the armed robbery scenario above, the police can detain you (and frisk you and your car for weapons) until they can bring a witness or witnesses to the location you are stopped at to see if the witness identifies you as the armed robber.  It does not matter how late you are for something or how urgent your business is. You have to wait, and whether you wait in handcuffs or not, or in the back of the police car or in your own car, is totally at the discretion of the officer. In the speeding scenario above, the police can detain you (technically you're under arrest for the violation for the duration of the stop) as long as necessary to confirm your identity, find out if there are any warrants for your arrest, write traffic tickets, and complete police paperwork.

3. You'll have to weigh how much your political statement of refusing to speak to the police means to you, because it will almost always raise the officer's suspicions and result in a longer street detention. Imagine the officer's reaction to your refusal to speak in the robbery investigation above.  He'll quickly suspect you are the robber, his pulse will quicken and he will want to make sure you don't try to harm him or escape during the investigation. You'll be frisked thoroughly, handcuffed (tightly) and placed in the back of the police car.  Once the witness is brought to the scene and says you're not the one who robbed the store at gunpoint, the officer will rightly begin thinking you must guilty of something else besides the robbery (why else be so uncooperative?).  Before he lets you go on your way, he will do everything he can to make sure he's not missing something and letting a juicy arrest slip through his fingers. For instance, if the officer has the slightest reasonable suspicion to think you might be a drug addict or dealer (with drugs on your person or in the car) he may call for a canine officer to respond to the scene to give you and your car a good sniff.  That could take a while.  And God forbid the dog "hits" on your trunk or some other part of your car.  There's a good chance you and your car will be transported to police headquarters, you will be placed in a holding cell and the police will attempt to convince a judge to give them a warrant to search your car for narcotics. Even if you are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, this will be very inconvenient and you can forget suing the police department because everything I just described would be ruled "reasonable" under the circumstances (as it has many times before). I'm not sure how this Supreme Court ruling is going to change anything, but I do know that law enforcement has always used people's verbal AND non-verbal communication and behavior during investigations. If you seem nervous and fidgety, or calm and relaxed, all that goes into the mind of the investigator who is trying to solve a crime and evaluate people as witnesses, victims, and suspects.

4. On the other hand, if two FBI agents knock on your door and ask, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Libertarian Party," you could slam the door in their faces.  That's what I'd do, followed by calling the local FBI office and speaking to a supervising agent about what the heck that was all about.

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should I talk to police? a video answer

I would agree that providing basic information to the police and remaining as friendly as possible is the best policy.  These guys are just doing their jobs, and there's no need to make their life any more difficult.  And I'm definitely not in favor of making "political statements."  Lastly, these guys don't want to send innocent people to prison.

At the same time, the more things you say, the more risky it is for you as a potential suspect.  Here's an interesting video from a law professor and a police officer that suggests talking with the police may be quite risky for you.  The video is long (48 minutes) but I found it quite convincing.  Some of the police interrogation (sorry, "interview") techniques were fascinating.  Torture - not required.  Turns out most people just can't help themselves from talking.

Summary for busy executives:

* the number of laws you could unwittingly be breaking is absurdly large, and you have no idea if one of them is in play when you talk to the police.  what's more, they are not required to tell you the truth in an interview, while any answer you give that is a lie - or even just an honest mistake - can crucify you at trial.  playing field: not level.

* these guys interrogate people every day, they're really good at it.  this is likely your first time.  you will come up the loser if they feel you are the guy.  Would you go 12 rounds with a professional boxer?  problem is, you don't know if they think you are the guy or not, and they aren't required to tell you.

* nothing you say to an officer can help you at trial; its hearsay

"One of the 5th amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who might otherwise be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances." -- Supreme Court

And that's the point of the video.  Its the ambiguous circumstances (or possibly mistaken evidence) you want to save yourself from.  And when you are being interviewed, you have no idea what the actual set of circumstances you are confronting, because they are not required to provide you with the information.


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Another takeaway from the video

Another takeaway from the video above is that what the officer hears you say and what he remembers you saying may be worlds apart. Semantics matter in court and communicating with another person is challenging in everyday life, much less than in a stress situation.

Polite, agree to cooperate fully and make a statement through an attorney (or third party).

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The Anti Terrorist on

 talking to the police part1



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Context is key

The context is a key point in discussing whether you should talk to the police, and what you should say if you are going to talk. Your approach to the police will be very different depending on whether you're in some of the below situations:

1. You're the victim of a crime (or a witness) and the police are gathering information from you to solve the crime and arrest the perpetrator. Anybody here think you should NOT tell the police everything you know about THIS incident so they can arrest the perp?

2. You are a suspect in a crime. Don't say anything. Contact a lawyer immediately.

3. You are the focus of an officer's "fishing expedition". That is, for whatever personal reason the officer has, the officer has decided to talk to you (a "mere encounter") hoping during the conversation to develop reasonable suspicion or probable cause against you for something, anything.  The reason you get targeted could be something as simple as the officer's boredom, nothing else substantial to do. Or it may be a "hunch" without articulable facts to back it up. Or it may be the officer's personal prejudice against people like you. For instance, it is common in some jurisdictions for police who have stopped you for a traffic violation to engage you in conversation hoping to find something more important than the traffic violation for which to investigate you further. After the officer has returned to you your driver's license, registration and insurance card (with or without a ticket) he may then ask to search your trunk. Your detention ended when you received your documents back so anything you say or do after that is purely voluntary and unrelated to the reason for your traffic stop. Never give police permission to search anything. If they have probable cause, then they can get a warrant. If not, you've got better things to do. If a seemingly pleasant officer strikes up a conversation with you about the weather, sports, or something like that, maybe that's all it is.  Maybe you could talk to the officer just like any other decent human being you might meet on the street. (You have the right not to speak to the officer even in this situation.) But if he steers the conversation toward a subject that begins to sound like an interrogation or "fishing expedition" you might want clam up and walk away.

4. The officer has encountered a situation which is not clear at first.  He doesn't know who did what and he's trying to find out: a) was a crime or crimes committed, b) by who against who, and c) what evidence exists to support his initial conclusions. A powerful example of this would be a self-defense shooting: police get a report of a person shot, go to the location, and find a man laying on the ground shot, and you standing there with your pistol in hand. There are strong opinions and feelings about this situation in the "gun culture" but I'm of the opinion you should give the first responding officers enough information to understand you are the victim who shot a criminal in self defense, where the evidence is, and who the witnesses are (if any). The first responding officer(s) will most likely make an initial decision on the street as to who the victim/complainant is and who the criminal is, and the basic outline of the event. If you say absolutely nothing, most of the time you are going to end up being treated (at least in the beginning) as the law breaker.  Massad Ayoob is the recognized expert in this field I trust the most.  Here's a short video in which he outlines what you should say and how.

George Zimmerman (vs. Trayvon Martin) is the poster boy for saying too much to the police (and the media!!), and now he's paying the price. If he had followed Ayoob's advice, it's probable in my mind he wouldn't have even been charged with a crime.

Guilty people commonly talk themselves into an arrest in situations where the police lack enough evidence to arrest them. Some of these guilty people believe that by talking to the police they're clever enough to get the police focus off of them as suspects. This almost never works, no matter how clever they are. Other guilty people just give up and tell the truth, implicating themselves. Where I work, this week we responded to a home burglary-in-progress call, took a brief 30 second statement from a witness who said she saw a man taking a box out of the burglarized house, and knocked on the door the man with the box went into (which was next door to the burglarized house). When the man came to the door and saw the officers, he said in a dejected tone of voice, "Come in. I'll show you where the stuff is." The officers, who hadn't said a word, wisely kept their silence and followed the man into his house and let him point out the stolen merchandise from the burglary! Duh!

The sad and unnecessary fact is that innocent people sometimes talk themselves into a lot of trouble they could've avoided by not talking to the police. If the police have enough evidence to arrest you, they will present a probable cause affidavit to a judge without even talking to you, get an arrest warrant, and then arrest you. (Or they'll just arrest you on the street based on witness statements and a brief look at the evidence.)  In that situation they don't need a statement from you.  However, if the situation is unclear but you are somehow a "person of interest" only (not quite a suspect), that means they hope to get information from you during an interview which, combined with what they already know, will allow them to arrest you. Don't think you can throw their suspicion off of you.  You're not playing on a level field and you're not as clever as you think. This is especially true if you are a genuinely highly intelligent person and you sense that the detective is not nearly as smart as you.  Generally, experienced and successful detectives are very skilled at getting what they want from people, and you thinking you're smarter than they are plays right into their hands.  (Remember Det. Columbo on the old TV series?)

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awesome summary

Thanks for the summary thc.  It all makes sense.  And your video was helpful too.  It nicely threads the needle between setting the tone for the scene and providing important information to police while avoiding saying something unwittingly incriminating in the stress of the moment.


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Thank you all for such thoughtful repsonses

I truly want to cooperate where appropriate and I appreciate the lengthy and thoughtful responses here.

I do not want to make political statements in a situation where I would interfere with any police investigation. I am law abiding and respect LE's mandates. I am still surprised by the supreme court ruling that silence can be interpreted as admission of guilt in an early investigation which is what originally concerned me here.

So there is a lot to think about.



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