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Daily Digest 12/24 - Drowning Nation Faces Extinction, What Has Changed In 2013?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 12:34 PM

Economy

Should We Raise the Minimum Wage? 11 Questions and Answers (jdargis)

Ah, good place to start. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which means that depending on the city you're in, 60 minutes of work will just about buy you a Chipoltle burrito (without guac). By historical standards, it's fairly low. Thanks to inflation, the minimum today wage is worth a few dollars less than when its real value peaked in 1968.

PBS Drops a Bombshell on the Federal Reserve’s 100th Birthday Party (RW)

Professor Sylla adds more fuel to the fire, stating: “The Fed seems to have, I think almost deliberately, is trying to push the stock market up. I’ve watched this stuff for 40, 50 years now and this is the first time in my memory when it seemed to be official U.S. government policy that the stock market goes up. And the Fed likes this because it thinks that when the stock market goes up, people who own stocks feel richer, they’ll go out and spend more money, and the unemployment rate will come down.” You can watch the full program here.

Money, Gold And Liberty - What Has Changed In 2013? (Taki T.)

A few weeks ago, while having dinner in Zurich I had a conversation with a conservative Swiss Banker, working for one of the oldest private banks in Switzerland. When I told him what we do at Global Gold he said: “So you work with the real stuff – dealing with real money!”. He went on to tell me that he holds physical gold as his own personal insurance. His remarks highlight the most important aspect why someone should hold physical precious metals. Gold is not a speculative vehicle, but rather an insurance policy against the collapse of the financial and monetary system. Neither my clients nor I know exactly when the collapse will take place, however we are all convinced that it is long overdue and will happen eventually due to the unsustainability of the current system. What has changed since the price decrease of more than 700 USD since the peak in 2011? Absolutely nothing!

Christmas Wishes (GE Christenson)

Price fixing, such as in the markets for LIBOR, currencies, bonds, gold, silver, and crude oil damage the integrity and credibility of markets and hurt the lower 95% with a higher cost of living. However, price fixing enhances banker bonuses. Santa: please help the 95%!

Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By 44%, Wiping Out Ford’s LatAm Profit (Time2Help)

Ford announced last week that it was expecting to lose $350 million because of this devaluation in Venezuela, basically wiping out all of its profits from the whole of Latin America. In short, Ford, like many international companies, has over $700 million trapped in bolivars that they have not been able to repatriate or exchange, as the Government will not give them the dollars and it is illegal to use the black market (which would also mean an even greater loss).

Thyroid Cancers Surge Among Fukushima Youths (pinecarr)

Tetsuya Ohira, a professor of epidemiology at Fukushima Medical University, disagreed. It was not scientific to compare the Fukushima tests with cancer registry statistics, he argued. Scientific? Or not politically feasible for a prime minister who is desperate to restart domestic nuclear power plants, since Abenomics is getting monkeyhammered thanks to soaring energy and food import costs (and, among other factors, leading to a crash in Abe's popularity rating), and any reality leaking, pardong the pun, from Fukushima will end both that ambition, and his political career prematurely.

Drowning Nation Faces Extinction (jdargis)

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati looks like a paradise but its days are numbered. As global climate change causes the oceans to rise, these low-lying atolls are losing ground with each passing year...but Kiribati faces a more immediate crisis: the encroaching saltwater is poisoning the freshwater supply, which could turn Kiribati’s mostly impoverished citizens into refugees within a few years. The remarkable images and facts about Kiribati.

This Court Ruling Could Raise Natural Gas Prices (James B.)

The decision comes at a crucial juncture for natural gas prices. Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale is today the biggest driver of growth of in U.S. natgas production. Output here continues to soar, while other big shales like the Haynesville are actually declining. Even production from go-to drilling acreage in the Eagle Ford play has been growing much more slowly of late.

That could change if the new shift in rules causes a drilling slowdown in Pennsylvania.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/23/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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