Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/19 - Cryptocurrency On Trial, We Are In A Financial Meltdown

Monday, January 19, 2015, 11:06 AM

Economy

We Are in a Financial Meltdown: Nomi Prins (pinecarr)

On gold, Prins contends, “This shift to the dollar going down, I think, will be more gradual. For the same reason the dollar stays strong is the same reason gold has done okay very recently but hasn’t had this major outbreak... Gold will increase this year–also gradually for the same reason the dollar will not dump but could decrease gradually as QE and all these maneuvers play out. I don’t really think this is going to be that breakout year.

Richest 1% Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016, Study Finds (jdargis)

“Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 percent own more than the rest of us combined?” Ms. Byanyima said. “The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering.”

Obama Will Focus on Wealth Inequality—Not Just Income (jdargis)

Under current tax laws, America's highest earners pay income tax of 39.6 percent. Capital-gains taxes, even after Obama's shift, cannot exceed 23.8 percent. The Center for American Progress characterizes this difference as a government subsidy for investment income, and an expensive one at that. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this subsidy amounts to $1.34 trillion over the next ten years. Sixty-eight percent of that went to the top one percent. Given this situation, it comes as no surprise that the country's 400 top earners, or 0.0003 percent of the taxpaying population, earned 12 percent of capital gains benefitting from lower rates.

Cryptocurrency On Trial (jdargis)

In an internal email to other DHS staffers at the time, Deryeghiayan acknowledged writing: “We’ve built up quite a large list of information to lead us to this.” By August 2012, Deryeghiayan believed strongly enough that Karpeles was involved in the Silk Road that he advised DHS officials not to visit any of the websites controlled by Karpeles for fear of tipping him off to his investigation. At some point he also began receiving information from a confidential informant close to Karpeles, though Deryeghiayan didn’t offer details about that source in court.

Red States Are Reinventing Medicaid to Make It More Expensive and Bureaucratic (jdargis)

Take, for example, Arkansas—the state that got the ball rolling for red states seeking GOP twists on Medicaid expansion with its privatized version known as the “private option.” Last month the state got approval for a byzantine new program, called Health Independence Accounts, that imposes co-pays on some beneficiaries unless they pay a small monthly fee. Those who have paid their fees are eligible, under certain conditions, for up to $200 to pay for the costs of private health insurance if their income goes up and they transition off of Medicaid. To run the program, the state will pay a third-party administrator about $15 million annually (covered by the feds as part of the cost of expansion).

What to Do With a Dying Neighborhood (jdargis)

Sales stalled in 2007 with only 50 homes sold and 79 built, though the roads and infrastructure had been installed for hundreds more. Developer Timber South went bankrupt, leaving eight different banks the titles to 160 empty lots and abandoned homes. A map of who owned what in Walker’s Bend at the time looks like a Monopoly board—there were lots owned by Bank of North Georgia, United Community Bank, The People’s Bank, and Enterprise Bank & Co.

Oil Industry Withdraws From High Cost Areas (Evan K.)

The oil industry is pulling back from some marginal areas of operation, slashing jobs and spending, and retrenching in the face of the ongoing slump in oil markets. Signs of a shrinking footprint are beginning to pop up across the globe. Norway’s Statoil has let three of its exploration licenses expire in Greenland, an acknowledgement that exploring in frontier lands no longer makes sense with oil at $50 per barrel. Not too long ago, Greenland was hyped as an unexplored and pristine new oil region. The excitement was enough to fuel a bit of an independence movement within Greenland to pull away from Denmark. However, drilling in Greenland would be highly technical, expensive, and would present geological and environmental risk. Statoil has decided to shelve its plans for now.

Statoil also put an end to negotiations with Lundin Petroleum over building an oil terminal in Norway’s far north. Building an Arctic terminal would aid the development of several offshore oil and gas fields in the Barents Sea, where the companies each have made several discoveries.

BMW Sees Cheap Gas Making Electric Cars a Harder Sell (jdargis)

Gas for less than $2 a gallon has made a comeback. U.S. pumping at the fastest rate in more than three decades, combined with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ refusal to cut supply, helped drive the price of oil down 40 percent in the past 12 months. Consumers are turning from more expensive eco-friendly vehicles with hybrid or electric powertrains toward bigger models with conventional motors.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/16/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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ECB (QE) May Deliver $635 Billion

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A surprise Bundesbexit perhaps?  Now that would be interesting.

Some oldies but goodies headlines:

 

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