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Daily Digest 12/31 - Health Insurance Penalties To Rise, What Really Happens At Fed Meetings

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 10:45 AM


Greece comes back to haunt eurozone as anti-Troika rebels scent power

The upset opens the door for the hard-Left Syriza movement, which has vowed to tear up Greece’s hated ‘Memorandum’ with EU-IMF Troika creditors “on its first day in office”, and threatened to default on up to €245bn of rescue loans unless the EU grants debt relief.

Caution: Pulling Plug on Traffic Cameras Leaves Municipalities in the Red

Nassau County on Long Island ended its program after speed cameras led to the issuance of more than 400,000 tickets in less than two months, opening a $90 million budget hole over the next three years. In Ohio, Dayton is cutting in half its number of police cruisers, and Linden, New Jersey, is shelving plans to hire more cops after both states effectively ended camera systems following a backlash from motorists.

As Medicaid rolls swell, cuts in payments to doctors threaten access to care

The Affordable Care Act provided a big increase in Medicaid payments for primary care in 2013 and 2014. But the increase expires Thursday.

No health insurance? Penalties to rise in 2015

For 2014, the fine is the greater of $95 per person or 1 percent of household income above the threshold for filing taxes. It will jump in 2015 to the greater of 2 percent of income or $325. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures.

Why Illinois may have little chance of overturning ruling on pension reform

The state of Illinois will likely find it difficult in 2015 to get to grips with its crippling $105 billion unfunded pension liability for government workers, pension and legal analysts warned. Judgments in another state, Arizona, are one of the reasons for their pessimism.

Ukraine warns of martial law if fresh peace efforts fail

International leaders will gather next month for talks on Ukraine’s conflict, the country’s president has said, declaring that he wants to end a separatist insurgency peacefully but will impose martial law “immediately” if rebels relaunch hostilities.

Petrobras Bondholders Urged by Aurelius to Declare

Under rules governing $53.6 billion of outstanding debt, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer had until today to report third-quarter results, New York-based hedge fund Aurelius said in the letter obtained by Bloomberg News.

Brazil cuts pension, jobless benefits to prop up finances

A rapid deterioration of Brazil's finances after years of heavy public spending and hefty tax cuts has put pressure, however, on Rousseff to introduce austerity measures to avoid losing its coveted investment credit grade.

Ukraine in ‘full-blown financial crisis’ – National Bank head

Ukraine’s GDP shrank by 7.5 percent from January till November 2014, as foreign exchange reserves fell to their lowest level since 2009, and inflation jumped to 21 percent by November, admits the head of the Ukraine’s National Bank, Valeriya Gontareva.

Teacher retirement bailout may derail local school budgets (San Diego)

A state-mandated sched-ule for replenishing California’s cash-strapped teachers’ retirement fund means school districts will see their pension contributions triple by 2021 and remain high for decades, according to budget forecasts released this month by several local districts.

Japan monetary base tops central bank's target

Japan's monetary base surged 36.7 percent from a year earlier to JPY 275.88 trillion (USD 2.31 trillion) at the end of 2014, achieving the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) target of JPY 275 trillion (USD 2.30 trillion), the central bank said Tuesday.

Russian company debt contaminates sovereign dollar bonds

As Russia confronts financial crisis, investors in its sovereign dollar bonds are braced for things to get worse before they get better, even though few expect a full-blown sovereign default.

Bernanke reveals what really happens at Fed meetings

“They get lots of attention ... and most of them are deadly boring,” said Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman from 2006 to early 2014, in an interview with the BBC. “They are very scripted. The staff do all the work and they write the communique in advance of the decision making.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/30/14

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."


jonesb.mta's picture
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Ukranian Martial Law

What could martial law accomplish that civil war hasn't? The only reason I can imagine for him doing this is because a majority of the population is turning against him.

sand_puppy's picture
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Wanna cow?

I was surprised to be bringing in the new year with an article by hedgeless_horseman on the joys of adding a cow to ones homestead.  :-)  I enjoyed the story.

Want to eat well today and hedge for the apocalypse? Try a family milk cow!

It sounds like a lot of work.  You need a couple of acres of pasture, water, $2,000 to buy the cow just before she gives birth to a calf, hay bales, and most, 365 days a year worth of interest in milking morning and night.  Depending on climate, maybe a barn, maybe a silo to store feed.

I am not a prepper focused on some unpredictable future event (thank you Nassim Taleb), but rather a man focused on living well today. and God willing tomorrow, with an eye to practicing disintermediation wherever and whenever possible.

[Consider] a triple-purpose heritage-breed cow such as a Milking Shorthorn! 


A cow is a proven way to convert sunlight, water, and pasture into a usable surplus of protein, fat, calories, leather, and horsepower.  I believe that in many ways having a family milk cow is both easier and more reliable than raising crops, although it is pretty darn easy to grow potatoes or yams.


robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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funny to read

the family milch coo before going to milk our family coo.

thank you Sand Puppy

KennethPollinger's picture
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Won't a goat do the same thing

and be cheaper.  Plus you can easily rent it out for lawn mowing.  Any thoughts here?

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
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I agree Ken, We're planning

I agree Ken, We're planning on a adding a few goats this year. A cow would produce more milk than my family can use, but not enough to sell. A couple of nanny goats will keep our blackberries and thistle in check and provide a lot of the same benefits of a cow.  If I had more land or a bigger family though I think a cow would be a great choice.

earthwise's picture
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Go goaty!

Goats are definitely the much wiser choice for the typical homesteader. A cow is just too disproportionately large for a single family, unless you've got ten kids or something. When Ol' Bossie's in milk, you'll get gallons and gallons; way more than you can use. And when she's not----nuthin', until she calves again. A couple of goats on the other hand will give you enough milk for drinking with plenty left for cheese making. I have found that with four Does, breeding two at a time and staggering the breedings, I always have at least two in milk. Two goats on a staggered breeding would probably be enough for most folks, but I've got three young, growing boys so I need the extra firepower of a larger herd.

The smaller size of the goat is easier to handle and feed. Also, with a five month gestation and an eight month grow out period, all the little goatlings are table ready in a year or so, giving you a steady supply of excellent meat. With a cow, it's a long wait for butchering day and then a whole lotta meat, and then start the cycle over again.

There's a lot more to be said but you get the idea. Hope that helps.

sand_puppy's picture
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How much pasture for 4-6 goats?

Dear goat farmers,

How much space would a family sized goat heard require?

Can you rotate them--like slaughter one every 3 months or so?


Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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goats and geese

While I have a neighbor who has a little under an acre and a herd of 6-8 pygmy goats, we only have 1/3 acre (albeit with a huge forest behind it  - forest we've planted with various permaculture things).  Much as we'd like goats. we have no room for them. I'm considering geese, or ducks, to go with the chickens. No milk but we can trade for it.

I understand ducks are gentle with most plants,  but certain things need ot be protected. And then there are weeder geese. Eggs, meat - and geese make good "watchdogs."

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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goats die on pasture

unless you've alota 'ectins. geese and ducks have a fair to poor feed conversion,


we milk goats,sheep,cows (and my children milked their mama) can't beat a cow. there is a HUGE market for raw cow milk (esp. if ALL grass) i don;t like to type so i'm not gonna argue with any whove anthropomorphized their animals or speak without experience. show up here any early am and we'll talk while i milk..


ducks and geese are much harder to pluck and to skin 'em is to loose all the wonderful fatty acids ducks and geese synthesize.


we've raised thousands of goats over hte years, however, since our "cutover" is clear, its sheep and cattle who have MUCH higher feed conversions.

here is a quote froma university of Maryland small ruminant page

iSo far, the top-gaining goat in the test is a "South-East Cross" buck, jokingly referred to as the "SEX" goat (South=S, East=E, and cross=X). In total, there are four of these goats on test, consigned by Robie Robinson and Jim Hannah, from Virginia. They are averaging 0.37 lbs.per day; while the test average is 0.29 lbs. per day.

The South-East Cross is a three-way cross between Boer, Kiko, and dairy (Saanan and Alpine). According to Robie Robinson, "the quest started years ago when the Boer goat was the only meat goat in town." To improve the hardiness of the goats, Robie crossed the Boer with the dairy goats his family kept for personal milk production. This cross improved hardiness, but more progress was needed.

Kikos were added to the cross after Robie went to his first IKGA (International Kiko Goat Assocation) meeting. The three-way crosses that resulted (in the right order, with the right percentages) were line bred to create the South-East Cross. In recent years, dairy bucks from Jim Hannah have been used to improve the cross.

In creating the South-East Cross, Robie's goal is "to get a kid to the highest market value as quickly and inexpensively (least inputs) as possible." The target weight is 60 to 80 lbs.

To learn more about the South-East Cross, contact Robie Robinson at [email protected].

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