Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/7 - Polar Vortex Hits U.S., Detroit Pensions Frozen, Thawed

Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 9:58 AM

Economy

Polar Vortex: Temperatures Fall Far, Fast (jdargis)

That cold air, a giant cottony blur on the weather maps, drove temperatures down to 32 degrees below zero in Fargo, N.D., on Monday, and 25 below in Comertown, Mont. Weather watchers recorded some of the coldest temperatures in years in places as far south as Nashville, where the temperature was 8 degrees at 6 p.m. and was expected to fall to 4 overnight.

In New York, Monday was a day of rapid change. Last week’s snow melted, or was chased away by early-morning rain. Thermometers that began the day in the 50s dropped through the 40s and kept sinking.

The Swedish bank boss who likes to do things differently (westcoastjan)

"Sweden was very good for me. It was like total freedom after my regimented boys' school [in Zimbabwe]," says Mr Bouvin. "As a Swede who didn't speak Swedish I was quite an exotic figure."

Silver, Gold and S&P: Trend Change Due (GE Christenson)

The fundamentals for these markets did not change from normal to fantastic to terrible in a short time. It is clear that High Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithms, speculators, momentum players, the Fed, and others pushed the markets higher or lower to unsustainable levels and then reversed those markets.

Detroit Pensions Are Frozen, Then Thawed (jdargis)

“Time is running short, and the city’s financial status remains dire,” Mr. Orr said in a statement. “An additional delay without the prospect of a mediated solution threatens to further erode essential services and public safety.”

Mr. Orr has estimated that the city has about $3.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities that it cannot afford. Representatives of the pension funds have argued that the liabilities are considerably less.

Nuclear Fuel Storage Remains Safe, Panel Members Say (jdargis)

Nuclear fuel is barely radioactive when it is put into a reactor, but when uranium is split, the fragments, materials like strontium and cesium, are unstable and seek to return to stability by giving off energy, or subatomic particles, for as long as centuries. The particles continue to produce heat so they must be stored under water for a few years.

Dirtiest coal’s rebirth in Europe flattens Medieval towns (westcoastjan)

“It’s absurd,” said Petra Roesch, mayor of Proschim, a 700-year-old village southeast of Berlin that would be uprooted by Vattenfall’s mine expansion. “Germany wants to transition toward renewable energy, and we’re being deprived of our land.”

Robust network of insect pollinators may collapse suddenly, study finds (Arthur Robey)

The scientists of Wageningen University show, with the help of mathematical models, that the implications of a further deterioration of conditions for pollinators, is strongly influenced by the way in which interaction networks are put together. Due to the structure of these networks, pollinator species support each other under difficult circumstances. Pollinator species that live in the same area may therefore maintain themselves under more difficult conditions.

Permafrost Farming: It’s Possible! (jdargis)

“Farming’s easy,” Meyers says, half joking. “I till, I plant, everything’s growing.” So why aren’t there more farms? “No one’s ever taken the time to try to do it out here. It’s exciting, there’s lots of potential.”

And why stop there? Along with feeding his region, Meyers has a second lofty ambition: a farm school, where he can share what he’s learned. All he needs now are a few dedicated students.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/6/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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