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Daily Digest 8/1 - Ebola Toll Rises In Africa, Gold Prices In 3 Waves

Friday, August 1, 2014, 12:48 PM

Economy

“The people causing the crisis are the ones who stand to gain the most from it” (June C.)

The financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics because a very unhealthy one-sided relationship exists between the political system and the financial industry. Let’s take a closer look: How does a government fund itself? It collects taxes, and it sells government bonds. Who buys these government bonds for the most part? Banks and insurance companies! So who holds the reins here? It’s the creditor, of course, who gives the commands and who says which laws can and cannot be passed against him. This is also the reason why nothing has changed since the crisis in 2008. The hand that gives is always above the hand that takes. Moreover, the financial industry has succeeded in establishing structures outside of the law and saturating itself with cheap money from the central banks. This has made them even bigger, more powerful and, most importantly, more systemically important, which has only increased their ability to coerce governments and citizens when the next crisis comes.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Into the Storm: Sharknado II (June C.)

Doesn't this whole thing with Russia seem about as weird as the sudden push for war in Iraq that we saw in the Bush Administration? Its pretty clear what the motives were then in terms of making the most of a phony crisis. I wonder what they are up to now?

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Don't Worry Baby (June C.)

Stocks dropped about 2% today. It seems like a lot because we have not seen such a thing in quite a while. But the market's underpinnings were made of highly compressible foam, which I had warned about a few times.

The 'tell' was the selling of gold and silver along with stocks today. This was no flight to safety of cash on geopolitical jitters.

Gold Prices 1971 – 2014 in 3 Waves (GE Christenson)

Gold prices will continue rising, erratically of course, within the green “megaphone” pattern shown above. In my opinion this option is the most likely unless we descend into a global deflationary depression and/or nuclear winter, which the politicians and bankers will do “whatever it takes” to avoid.

Energy companies keep taking on debt to finance new projects (Tall)

The lion’s share of that cash has gone to new equipment and projects. Capital expenditures are typically the largest use of cash and have accounted for most of the increase in spending, the report stated.

“A lot of these smaller guys have to get the rigs and the wells in place and have had to increase their debt to help pay for that,” Barron said. “If you were to take some of these companies and look at their net change in debt, that’s been a positive number for the past couple of years.”

Emergency Efforts in Africa to Contain Ebola as Toll Rises (jdargis)

The stepped-up effort is long overdue, according to some analysts. They say the initial response was inadequate on both the national and international level and allowed the disease to mushroom from a local outbreak to an international threat.

Investing in Nutrient Dense Food: Vitamin A (Eric G.)

Liver is by far the cheapest means of meeting a daily allowance of 900 μg RAE of Vitamin A, costing the consumer only eight cents per day. Eggs offer a modestly priced source of Vitamin A, but beyond this the cost of meeting a daily allowance rises rapidly. Sweet potato, kale and spinach are also fairly cost effective sources, although these are plant foods that provide only precursor carotenoid pigments and as any researcher in the field of carotenoid bioavailability and conversion will attest our understanding of how these pigments are converted into Vitamin A remains in its infancy. I recorded data on Vitamin A content for plant foods as presented by the US Department of Agriculture, but I’m not confident that it accurately represents how much actual Vitamin A the average person can get from the plant foods listed in the graph above.

Hydropower no longer majority of renewable energy in the US (jdargis)

Despite that caveat, the growth has been impressive. The non-hydro output had never been more than half the renewable total before late 2012, but it had already started its eight-month run just a year later. The high variability of hydro output (which has seasonal and other water availability limitations) caused it to bounce back above half in May, but the EIA expects that, on the whole, it will be below half of the annual generation for the year. And given current trends, it's unlikely to ever dominate renewable generation again.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/31/14

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