Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/18 - Middle Class Retailers Dying Slow Death, Why Food Prices Are About To Start Soaring

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 1:29 PM

Economy

One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society (westcoastjan)

Looking up at him from an elegant dinner of rack of lamb and foie gras were many of the most famous investors in the world, including executives from nearly every too-big-to-fail bank, private equity megafirm, and major hedge fund. AIG CEO Bob Benmosche was there, as were Wall Street superlawyer Marty Lipton and Alan “Ace” Greenberg, the former chairman of Bear Stearns. And those were just the returning members. Among the neophytes were hedge fund billionaire and major Obama donor Marc Lasry and Joe Reece, a high-ranking dealmaker at Credit Suisse. [To see the full Kappa Beta Phi member list, click here.] All told, enough wealth and power was concentrated in the St. Regis that night that if you had dropped a bomb on the roof, global finance as we know it might have ceased to exist.

ASX, BoC in yuan payment venture (HughK)

National markets operator ASX group is set to take a significant step in internationalising the Chinese currency with a joint venture with the Bank of China to launch a payments platform for the yuan in Australia.

In a move that could broaden the market for the currency in Australia and advance ambitions to make Australia a trading hub for the currency, ASX has reached an agreement with the Bank of China to provide a service settling yuan trade.

Middle class retailers dying a slow death (westcoastjan)

My family comes from very modest means," says Era. "I was the kid that bought things at [defunct discount store] Bi-Way and Wal-Mart. My mom is the very frugal typical Filipino mother who likes to save her pennies, because she knows what it's like to be in an immigrant household."

Gold And Silver Shorts Were The Real Demise For Bear Stearns (Taki T.)

Something negative did hit Bear Stearns in the first quarter of 2008; although there are remarkably few details of what went wrong. Since Bear had a significant presence in sub-prime mortgages and that market was in distress, it is assumed the fall of the firm was mortgage related. That may be true, but there was no general stress in the stock market through mid-March 2008 reflecting a credit crisis. Was there instead some specific trigger behind the company’s sudden collapse?

Margin Call: Ted Butler Wonders About the Real Cause of Bear Stearns' Collapse (westcoastjan)

At the time of the MF Global collapse it appeared that JPM had their fingerprints all over the squeeze and margin call that put them down. JPM, In the City of London, With a Margin Call.

But I had never thought about it happening in the case of Bear Stearns.

Reaching Limits to Growth: What Should our Response Be? (westcoastjan)

Appreciate what you have now: We have been privileged to live in a society where transportation is readily available and where most of us can live in homes that are comfortably heated and cooled. At the same time, we can still enjoy many of the benefits of nature—clear skies and plants and animals around us. Life expectancies in the past were generally 35 years or less. Most of us have already lived longer than we could have expected to live in the past.

Silver: 50 Days and 100 Years (GE Christenson)

Official national debt was $2.92 Billion in 1913 and nearly $17,000 Billion in 2013. The compounded annual increase since 1913 has been 9.04% while the increase since 1971 has been 9.31%. National debt increases, on average, quite consistently. Given that consistent exponential increase in national debt, are you surprised that the prices for gold, silver, crude, gasoline, food, and housing have also substantially increased, on average, every year?

Where's the Real Cost of Climate Change? (James B.)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says it's time to have a frank conversation about climate issues, putting the matter on the same footing as weapons of mass destruction. The real threat, however, may be in the form of recession fatigue. "Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction," Kerry said Sunday from Jakarta.

Reasons Why Your Food Prices Are About To Start Soaring (Wendy SD)

Just consider the following statistics regarding what percentage of our produce is grown in the state (drought-stricken CA)...99 percent of the artichokes, 44 percent of asparagus, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, 95 percent of celery, 90 percent of the leaf lettuce, 83 percent of Romaine lettuce, 83 percent of fresh spinach, a third of the fresh tomatoes, 86 percent of lemons, 90 percent of avocados, 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, 97 percent of fresh plums.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/14/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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