Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/29 - FATCA Invades Canada, Why The French Turn To Fast Food

Friday, November 29, 2013, 11:57 AM

Economy

How Gold Price Is Manipulated During The "London Fix" (Phil H.)

That much is known. What is certainly known is that any process that involves five banks sitting down (until recently literally) and exchanging information using arcane methods (such as a telephone), on a set schedule that involves a private information blackout phase, even if temporary, and that does not involve instant market feedback, can and will be gamed. "Traders involved in this price-determining process have knowledge which, even for a short time, is superior to other people’s knowledge,” said Thorsten Polleit, chief economist at Frankfurt-based precious-metals broker Degussa Goldhandel GmbH and a former economist at Barclays. “That is the great flaw of the London gold-fixing."

FATCA Invades Canada (Chris F.)

Once again, less privacy, bigger government, and greater economic inefficiencies. Complying with FATCA will surely be expensive bureaucratic work and this expense will be pushed onto the consumer. I would not be surprised if banks start charging higher fees– fees that will rob the savings of the middle class, in addition to inflation. Of course, if you pertain to any of the criteria listed above, you may be under scrutiny by your bank and may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on US source income.

Shell Produces Gas at Record Low Cost in China (James B.)

Xu Li, Shell’s general manager of the field said that Shell will drill more wells at different depths in the second phase. Test production from the second phase could start in late 2014 or early 2015 based on test results and government approvals.

When Money Is Corrupted (Thomas C.)

This episode serves as an ideal primer for those waking up to the monetary matrix around them, as it clearly shows the history of true money and why it so important to our freedom. The quality of a society is directly proportional to the quality of its money. Debase a currency for long enough, and you end up with dangerous deficits, debt driven disasters, and eventually…delusional dictators. History proves this to be true.

Growing pains of nation's first high-speed rail line, in Calif. (Thomas C.)

If California succeeds, Americans could experience at home the kind of travel widely available in Europe, Japan, and China. A 475-mile, L.A.-to-San Francisco train ride is slated to take two hours and 40 minutes, three hours less than the 380-mile car trip.

Sears Christmas Catalog from 1969 Shows Holiday Gift Inflation Is for Real (Dana T.)

In fact, unlike the vast majority of goods and services that have risen in price by an estimated 273% over the past 44 years, TVs have come down by 96% --- and even then, Colas says, that’s only from the early ‘80s when the government last ‘’quality adjusted’’ its calibration of TV pricing.

Why the French are turning to fast food (Nervous Nelly)

"We are not your normal sandwich shop," he adds hurriedly. "We do cook a lot of things on site - today it's pork fillet from Pays Basque - and all these cheeses are carefully chosen.

"But it's good quality food - at low prices. In the beginning the majority of our customers were assistants, trainees, the lower paid - nowadays we get the middle managers, the 'higher-ups' who come here whenever they are not entertaining."

How To Make A Garbage Can Smoker (outlive)

Next, you need to build supports for the grating. Using a 3/8″ drill bit, drill three holes approximately 8″ below the top of the garbage can, equidistantly placed around the circumference of the can. Then slide three 3″ x 3/8″ bolts through those holes and secure with a corresponding washer and nut. This will be used to hold the grating up while allowing the grating to be easily removed.

Gangster scarecrows keep robbers away from Detroit home (westcoastjan)

"A car will come by and they pick my place because I keep it nice," said the man, who remains unnamed for security reasons. "They'll slow down, see the dummies and take off. They come back around and look again. Eventually if they figure out they are dummies they are also figuring out that now they're being watched. They keep moving. They don't stop."

Today's student loan sell-off is just the tip of the iceberg (westcoastjan)

In reality, it is likely that the government is doing much more than “considering” the privatisation of all student loans, if Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s, statement to Parliament in June of this year is anything to go by.

The Government's Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained (westcoastjan)

How does a kill switch work? There isn't any kind of big red button the Obama administration can push to turn off the wireless networks in the United States. Instead, there are a few ways the federal government could exercise its power to shut down and restore internet and cellphone service (see below). It's also unlikely that a "kill switch" would cause a nationwide blackout. Instead, the government is explicitly authorized to target a "localized area"—such as a bridge—or potentially an "entire metropolitan area," according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. (Both DHS and the White House declined to comment for this article.)

How we save, spend and invest around the world (westcoastjan)

Case in point: some governments, such as France, fund generous plans for retirees through taxes on wages and purchases. Other nations, such as the United Arab Emirates, turn to the massive revenues from natural resources to fund such benefits. Even with a pot of communal money to fall back on, saving and spending habits can differ widely. Yet, in the United States, health care and retirement are for the most part paid for by citizens themselves, which means saving and investing should be higher priorities.

International fruit growers up in arms over Canadian-designed GM apple that cannot brown (westcoastjan)

But as the Arctic Apple wends its way toward final approval in both the United States and Canada, genetic-engineering alarmists and entrenched apple interests alike are increasingly framing the new fruit as a profane creation of perverted science.

Living Large on a Little: Campgrounds Go Residential in Germany (westcoastjan)

Inside his motorhome, it's cramped and warm. The cozy sitting area around the table is piled with fluffy blankets and surrounded by dark wood paneling and green crocheted curtains. In the bedroom, a row of glasses for serving wheat beer lines a shelf above the bed. When Moser's girlfriend visits from Munich, she sleeps in the guest bed across the room.

Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance (Mike K.)

Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.

An Open Letter to the FOMC: Recognizing the Valuation Bubble In Equities (Nate)

In hindsight, the crisis ended - precisely - on March 16, 2009, when the Financial Accounting Standards Board abandoned FAS 157 “mark-to-market” accounting, in response to Congressional pressure from the House Committee on Financial Services on March 12, 2009. That change immediately removed the threat of widespread insolvency by making insolvency opaque. My impression is that much of the market’s confidence and oversensitivity to quantitative easing stems from misattribution of the initial recovery to QE. This has created a nearly self-fulfilling superstition that links the level of stock prices directly to the size of the Fed's balance sheet, despite the absence of any reliable or historically demonstrable transmission mechanism that relates the two with any precision at all.

Reading between the lines on the IEA’s mix of hype and warnings on oil (Craig S.)

Beginning in 2005 and running through 2011, the IEA issued a number of progressively dire warnings about supply that grew increasingly strident as time passed: The 2005 WEO concluded that oil production in non-OPEC countries would reach maximum production “right after 2010,” and that global demand should be reduced urgently. The 2006 WEO issued what the Financial Times called “an apocalyptic warning” about supply disruptions. The 2007 WEO called for “an electroshock,” and emphasized a need “to act immediately and boldly” to reduce the world’s oil demand.

Nicole Foss : Where the Rubber Meets the Road in America (Thomas C.)

There is a great deal of variety in the financial health of states and municipalities, so the crunch will be very unevenly distributed both spatially and temporally. The process has already begun in many places, however the long rally has distracted from the realization of local government in crisis that was dawning in 2010, and has postponed, but not prevented, the day of reckoning. The fundamentals have continued to deteriorate, but the perception of the situation has changed in the direction of far greater optimism, in line with the prevailing sentiment peak.

Ron Paul vs Paul Krugman: Who Is The True Prophet, Who Is The False? (Taki T.)

Hammond’s book “Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian Economics in the Financial Crisis“ reviews the records of Ron Paul and Paul Krugman on the question of the housing bubble. Who correctly predicted it? Who has offered the more reasonable explanation as to its cause? Who has offered the more sensible response to the bursting of the housing bubble and the financial crisis its precipitated? Most importantly, whose admonitions should we now be regarding as we move into the future? In short, who is the true prophet, and who the false?

Mind-reading skateboard gets cues from neuroheadset (Arthur Robey)

Austin, Texas-based Chaotic Moon Labs made a splash earlier this year with a high-tech Kinect-controlled skateboard moving by the rider's hand signals. Now they are showcasing another skateboard that moves beyond Kinect power and hand signals, over to a board that moves by just reading your mind. Think where you want to go and your board takes you there. From their Board of Awesomeness, their newest Board of Imagination is designed to show another twist to skateboard inventiveness and also to what travel might involve with enough technical ingenuity and creativity at play.

Nuclear engineer creates novel skateboard propulsion (Arthur Robey)

The system currently reaches speeds of at least 20 mph, can travel uphill and has a range of several miles. That makes it both fun for boarders … and useful as a no-impact, environmentally sound commuting machine for those without the skill, quadriceps, calves or motivation for kicking.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 11/27/13

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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