Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/11 - Central Banks Ignore Deflation, Bomb Explodes Outside Greek Bank

Friday, April 11, 2014, 11:29 AM

Economy

Central Banks See What They Want in Ignoring Deflation (Wendy SD)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her international counterparts are suffering from a case of what psychologists call confirmation bias: They keep insisting inflation will accelerate even as it continues to ebb. That’s the diagnosis of Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Corp. in New York. He says central bankers are seeing what they want to see by blaming subpar inflation in their countries on temporary, partly home-grown forces.

Heartbleed developer explains OpenSSL mistake that put Web at risk (jdargis)

A "heartbeat" is "a check to see if the other party is still present or if they’ve dropped off," security expert Troy Hunt wrote. "In the context of SSL, the initial negotiation between the client and the server has a communication overhead that the heartbeat helps avoid repeating by establishing if the peer is still 'alive,'" he wrote. "Without the heartbeat, the only way to do this is by renegotiation, which in relative terms is costly."

Silicon Valley attack on electric grid, fiber-optic cables unsolved a year later (jdargis)

At the time, the response from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was haphazard at best. Among other things, the agency released to federal and industry officials a document outlining exact areas where the nation's grid is susceptible to a terrorist attack. The commission's chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur told a congressional hearing on Thursday that it was taking steps so it would not make the same mistake it did following the Silicon Valley attack.

Taking a Risk, Investors Snap Up Once-Shunned Greek Debt (jdargis)

“Investors don’t look to the long-term health of economies,” said Simon Tilford, the deputy director of the Center for European Reform in London. They are looking at whether they can extract gains “without losing their shirts. At the moment, they figure they can, but that doesn’t tell us much about the sustainability of the euro zone or whether governments have taken it on a path to sounder footing.”

Bomb Explodes Outside Greek Central Bank (jdargis)

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who more than any other leader in Europe is associated here with fiscal austerity, is scheduled to travel to Athens on Friday to meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and is expected to affirm that the Greek government is on the right economic path.

How Ford Zinged GM (and Helped Urban Farming in the Process) (jdargis)

That story hinges on dirt. Murray worked in Washington D.C., lobbying for a range of environmental advocacy groups, before returning to her hometown. In Detroit, she met Greg Willerer of Brother Nature Farms. Together, they started Detroit Dirt — a company aimed at producing compost for Mo-Town’s quickly growing network of urban farms.

“To care about the environment is one thing, but it can help us personally and in our everyday jobs,” she says. “Practical sustainability is what we need to be doing for the next generation.”

Quinoa at the Heart of International Farmer Rights and Hunger Dispute (jdargis)

Given the plant’s amazing resilience, it could add substantially to global agricultural production, if only the Bolivians, who have the world’s biggest seed bank, would share it. But for both cultural and economic reasons, the Bolivians have turned into genetic protectionists. “[This] leads,” writes Hamilton, “to an uncomfortable standoff: the poor of the Andes pitted against the poor of the world.”

“The [Antiplano’s] rural villages had long been emptying out, for all the familiar reasons: lack of opportunity, meager incomes, and, increasingly, environmental challenges,” notes Hamilton. “Quinoa now allows farmers to remain in those villages; it has even enabled some emigrants to return.”

Peaks and Troughs (James S.)

As we charge through April and head first into the joys of spring, we are filled with reminders of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and regrowth. Well, we are supposed to be, but instead I just see examples of peaks and troughs. Hark, here are four such specimens. First up, peak gasoline prices. It is a seasonal thing for retail gasoline prices on the national average to bottom out at the end of the year, then gradually increase through the first quarter to peak ahead of ‘driving season’ (Memorial Day to Labor Day). According to AAA, these are the peak scores on the doors in recent years:

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/10/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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