Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/18 - 'Collapse Of Civilization' Warning, What Is The World’s Scarcest Material?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:52 AM

Economy

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'? (RoseHip)

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades (westcoastjan)

Using his Handy model to assess a scenario closely resembling the current state of the world, Motesharri found that civilisation “appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among the Masses that eventually causes the collapse of society”.

A Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction (George A.)

A large number of explanations have been proposed for each speci c case of collapse, including one or more of the following: volcanoes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, changes in the courses of rivers, soil degradation (erosion, exhaustion, salinization, etc), deforestation, tribal migrations, foreign invasions, changes in technology (such as the introduction of ironworking), changes in the methods or weapons of warfare (such as the introduction of horse cavalry, armored infantry or long swords), changes in trade patterns, depletion of particular mineral resources (e.g. silver mines), cultural decline and social decadence, popular uprisings, and civil wars. However, these explanations are speci c to each particular case of collapse rather than general. Moreover, even for the speci c case where the explanation applies, the society in question usually had already experienced the phenomenon identi ed as the cause without collapsing.

Russia 'planned Wall Street bear raid' (westcoastjan)

"And so when I went to Congress and asked for these emergency powers [to stabilise Fannie and Freddie], and I was getting the living daylights beaten out of me by our Congress publicly, I needed to call the Chinese regularly to explain to the Central Bank, 'listen this is our political system, this is political theatre, we will get this done'. And I didn't have quite that much certainty myself but I sure did everything I could to reassure them."

Insurance Companies and Systemic Risk (westcoastjan)

Another major problem is that it’s not clear that insurers are prepared for those insurable events. For example, insurers are not prepared for a global pandemic, just like they weren’t prepared for large-scale terrorist attacks prior to September 11, 2001.

Tourism Dollars Dry Up, Alongside Crimea’s Bank Funds (Mike K.)

“Ukraine can quite easily cut off Crimea,” said Oleksandr Zholud, an economist with the International Center for Policy Studies in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. “From an economic point of view it looks like a sinkhole.”

Brave New Deviant World (GE Christenson)

The Federal Reserve has, over the past 100 years, debased the dollar, produced inflation, and substantially increased the profits for the financial industry mostly at the expense of the American people.

Air Canada suspends flights to Venezuela as protests continue (westcoastjan)

Air Canada says that affected travellers can obtain refunds if they have not already begun travelling, and those who have already started their trip may be re-booked on other airlines at no additional cost or obtain a refund.

Prior to the suspension, Air Canada was operating three return flights weekly between Toronto and Caracas.

What is the world’s scarcest material? (westcoastjan)

Some of our most cherished devices – smartphones, computers and medical equipment, for instance – rely on a rich list of elemental ingredients. Mobile phones alone contain a whopping 60 to 64 elements. “Many of these metals are present in only minute amounts, a milligramme or less,” says Armin Reller, a chemist and the chair of resource strategy at Augsburg University in Germany. “But they are very important for the function of the device.”

This is the Pallet Emergency Home. It Can Be Built in One Day With Only Basic Tools. (Amanda)

The house comes with “IKEA-style assembly instructions” so anyone, even those without experience, can build their own home.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/17/14

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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New, Shocking, Third Largest Foreign Holder Of US Treasury Bonds

"Meet The Brand New, And Shocking, Third Largest Foreign Holder Of US Treasurys"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-18/meet-brand-new-and-shocking-third-largest-holder-us-treasurys

Something hilarious, and at the same time pathetic, happened earlier today: at precisely 9 am the US Treasury released its delayed Treasury International Capital data (which was supposed to be released yesterday but was delayed because it snowed) which disclosed all the latest foreign Treasury holdings for the month of January. Among the key numbers tracked and disclosed, was that China's official holdings increased from $1.270 trillion to $1.284 trillion, that Japan holdings declined by a tiny $0.2 billion, that UK holdings increased by $7.8 billion to $171 billion, and that holdings of Caribbean Banking Centers, aka hedge funds, declined by $16.7 billion. Here is Reuters with the full data summary (save it before this article is pulled).

So why is it hilarious and pathetic? Because just three short hours later, the Treasury -that organization that has billions of dollars at its budgetary disposal to collate, analyze and disseminate accurate and error-free data - admitted that all the previously reported data was in effect made up!

Of course, it didn't phrase it as such. Instead, what TIC did was release an entire set of January numbers shortly after it had released the "old" numbers, which differed by a small amount but differed across the board - in other words, not a small typo here and there: a wholesale data fudging exercise gone horribly wrong. For example:

  • Instead of a $14 billion increase, China's revised holdings were only $3.5 billion higher.
  • Instead of unchanged, Japan's holdings suddenly mysteriously increased by $19 billion in January.
  • Instead of plunging by $17 billion, the Caribbean Banking Centers were down by a tiny $1 billion.
  • And instead of the previously reported increase of just under $1 billion, the all important Russia was revised to have sold $7 billion, bringing its new total to just $132 billion ahead of the alleged previously reported dump of Fed custody holdings in mid-March.

That this glaring confirmation that all TIC data is made up on the fly, without any real backing, and merely goalseeked is disturbing enough. For what it's worth, the latest TIC data is here. Feel free to peruse it before it is revised again

However, what was perhaps more disturbing than even that was the revelation that as of January, the US has a brand new third largest holder of US Treasurys, one which in the past two months has added over $100 billion in US Treasury paper, bringing its total from $201 billion in November, to $257 billion in December, to a whopping $310 billion at January 31.

The country? Belgium

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