Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 6/19 -Argentina Hurting Over Bondholder Fight, The Death Of The American Mall

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 10:44 AM

Economy

Ukraine Faces Backlash as Devaluation Ravages Foreign-Currency Borrowers (cmartenson)

Six months of political turmoil have rocked Ukraine’s finances, turning the hryvnia into 2014’s worst performer versus the dollar and prompting the government to sign a $17 billion bailout with the International Monetary Fund. Already battling an insurgency in the nation’s east, officials must now decide between placating the borrowers and further undermining the nation’s fiscal position or antagonizing them by doing nothing. Svitlana Miryanova, a 40-year-old mother of two who works as a product manager for a cosmetics distributor, says her dollar mortgage now swallows 70 percent of her monthly pay check, up from 45 percent before.

WHITEHEAD: Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America’s standing army? (Phil H.)

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

Argentina dealt double blow over bondholder fight (nimsdf)

Argentina argues the funds bought most of the debt at a deep discount after the default, and has since tried to impede the country's efforts to restructure.

Investors holding more than 92% of the defaulted debt agreed in 2005 and 2010 to write off two-thirds of their pre-crisis value, providing Argentina with time to re-build its economy.

Price Index for Meats, Poultry, Fish & Eggs Rockets to All-Time High (Phil H.)

Each month, the BLS employs data collectors to visit thousands of retail stores all over the United States to obtain information on the prices of thousands of items to measure changes for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The CPI is simply the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for a market basket of goods and services.

Google and Facebook can be legally intercepted, says UK spy boss (James Knight Chaucer)

Charles Farr, director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, told PI that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and web searches on Google - as well as webmail services such as Hotmail and Yahoo - were classified as "external communications", which meant they could be intercepted without the need for additional legal clearance.

Internal communications between citizens can only be intercepted when a targeted warrant is issued. Warrants must be signed by a minister and can only be issued when there is suspicion of illegal activity.

Our opinion: Welcome to Plantation America (cmartenson)

The wealthy and powerful are free to abuse employees, break laws, destroy the commons, and crash the economy -- without ever being held to account. The rich flaunt their ostentatious wealth without even the presence of humility, modesty, generosity or gratitude.

In addition, the military/industrial complex consumes 60 percent of our annual treasury and the police are given the training necessary, not to serve and protect, but to subdue and suppress.

The Coming Crash Of The Financial And Monetary System (Taki T.)

Even the USD became the world currency reserve because it used to be a property title for a certain amount of gold, now it is just a debt security. The Dollar as well as all other currencies worldwide have transformed from an “I-own-something” to an “I-owe-you”. Because we believe that history rhymes we are certain that the Dollar and all the other paper-money systems are going to collapse eventually.

Strong words from Marc Faber: Cheap gold, biased media, Fed insanity (Herman J.)

“We have everywhere a colossal asset inflation. Nothing is particularly cheap. Now I can say, gold is relatively cheap compared to equities at the present time…The media doesn’t like gold. Nobody at CNBC owns gold, nobody at Bloomberg owns gold, none of the Fed members own gold. Gold is constantly being talked down by the media and Fed officials and economists who also don’t own any gold.”

40 maps that explain food in America (Wendy SD)

The broad message of the map, though, is right at the top: America's strength as a nation was substantially derived from its strength as an agricultural power. The huge expanse of American land and the vast number of climates across the country allowed the US to grow a more diverse set of crops and raise more kinds of animals than our competitors. "The United States is the most self-sustaining nation in the world," Armour and Co brag.

Infertility in Spanish Pigs Has Been Traced to Plastics. A Warning for Humans? (Suzie G.)

When investigators examined the sows and the semen that had been used to artificially inseminate them—it had been collected from different boar studs and refrigerated—they couldn't find anything wrong. The sperm cells weren't misshapen. None of the sows were diseased. No microbes or fungal toxins were detected in their feed or water.

Only one factor was common to all the farms and studs: The plastic bags used for semen storage all came from the same place.

State asks judge to reject pension suits (June C.)

n Wednesday's filing, the state said the pension cut was justified because of a constitutional requirement to balance the budget. It also said the governor had the power to protect the "health, safety, and welfare" of the people of New Jersey, as well as to freeze spending or place money in reserve.

By early May, only $6.2 billion in unspent funds remained for fiscal year 2014 out of a budget greater than $30 billion.

American Imperialism and Non-Conventional Warfare in Iraq: Premeditated Covert Operations and the ISIS Insurgency (Ivo M.)

To achieve sound conclusions, we must first eliminate the white supremacist ideology that permeates the majority of western political commentary: the idea that the western empire, led by the United States, is an inherently altruistic force, begrudgingly acting as global arbiter for the good of all mankind. Simple history proves this twisted ideology to be nothing other than a (white) bourgeois invention. Monopoly capitalism – imperialism – is the never-ending search for profit and domination at the expense of competing productive forces; the fundamental contradiction of capitalism at its highest stage. For imperialism to survive, it must consciously subsume, devour, and dominate all the productive forces in competition with it.

The death of the American mall (Michael W.)

Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, often in middle-class suburbs wrestling with socioeconomic shifts. Some, like Rolling Acres, have already succumbed. Estimates on the share that might close or be repurposed in coming decades range from 15 to 50%. Americans are returning downtown; online shopping is taking a 6% bite out of brick-and-mortar sales; and to many iPhone-clutching, city-dwelling and frequently jobless young people, the culture that spawned satire like Mallrats seems increasingly dated, even cartoonish.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 6/16/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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