Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/13 - U.S. Oil Glut May Cut Prices, Why Do American Students Have So Little Power?

Friday, March 13, 2015, 9:38 AM


China’s Growing Middle Class Chafes Against Red Tape (jdargis)

To get a license plate for a new car, for example, a resident of Beijing must win a pass in a lottery in which the odds of success are less than 1 percent. Women often obtain permits allowing them to give birth after they wed, but they usually expire after two years. Unmarried women are ineligible for them. Applying for a student loan can require as many as 26 official seals on more than a dozen documents. Just starting a new job and registering for public benefits can mean amassing a small mountain of documents, including a certified background check by the police in one’s place of birth. And no, you cannot get that by mail.

Democratic Senator: Obama Administration Is Failing On Domestic Spying (jdargis)

Even in cases where the public has been informed of government practices, Wyden warned the government still collects far too much information on millions of citizens with virtually no accountability. “You have all of this data and you can tell whether somebody called the psychiatrist three times in 24 hours, once after midnight? You can’t tell me that that doesn’t tell you a whole lot about somebody,” Wyden said.

Ici Londres: How the Euro killed democracy (thc0655)

Why Do American Students Have So Little Power? (jdargis)

To date, Fielder and her fellow students have testified before lawmakers, written op-eds, consulted attorneys, and collected piles of research. When a snowstorm threatened to keep them from traveling to appear in front of a committee last week, they asked if they could sleep on the floor of the Capitol rotunda. (The answer was no; they stayed in a nearby hotel.) As of today, the bill appeared in danger of dying a sudden death.

Chaos in Congress is about to get a lot crazier (jdargis)

The Hill reports this morning that another “tense standoff,” one similar to the chaos that erupted around Department of Homeland Security funding, is likely to unfold around the need to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run low on funding this spring. Business groups — and the Obama administration — are warning of disaster if funding for ongoing infrastructure projects evaporates, while conservative groups are insisting Republicans agree to devolve infrastructure back to the states. Yet John Boehner is already on record saying he wants to replenish infrastructure funding. He just hasn’t said how it should be paid for. Sound familiar?

Record U.S. Oil Glut May Fill Storage, Cut Prices (jdargis)

“The market moved lower on the back of the report,” Ole Hansen, an analyst at Saxo Bank A/S, said by e-mail from Copenhagen. “Continuing inventory builds are keeping the focus on whether storage may fill up. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, barring any major geopolitical event, the risks are pointing to lower oil prices.”

Big Changes Needed For Big Oil To Survive (Evan K.)

In the 1990s, the oil industry focused its efforts on extracting as much oil as possible, regardless of the difficulty or risk of a given project. Fast forward to 2015 and the industry is beset by falling prices, increased competition from renewables and an ever-strengthening climate change movement. While many in the industry have tried and failed to reassess the overall model, it is now sink or swim for fossil fuels in a new energy price era.

Starving Sea Lions Washing Ashore by the Hundreds in California (jdargis)

Experts suspect that unusually warm waters are driving fish and other food away from the coastal islands where sea lions breed and wean their young. As the mothers spend time away from the islands hunting for food, hundreds of starving pups are swimming away from home and flopping ashore from San Diego to San Francisco.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/12/15

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."


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Isis are not the only ones committing great acts of vandalism

The magnificent buildings at Nimrud and Hatra and the precious sculptures and friezes they held were, to Isis, nothing more than deviance. Marvels that have persisted for thousands of years were levelled in hours with explosives and bulldozers. These people have inflicted a great wound upon the world.


The clearing of forests and savannas, the trawling or dredging of coral reefs and seamounts and other such daily acts of vandalism deprive the world of the wonders that enhance our lives. // But while the destruction of those ancient citadels in northern Iraq has been widely and rightly denounced as a war crime, the levelling of our natural wonders is treated as if it were a sad but necessary fact of life.


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Sea Lions

The sea lions are not starving because of warming, but because of outrageous over fishing:


 In 2010 two NOAA scientists (Zwolinski and Demer 2012) published a paper predicting the collapse of the Pacific sardine population. The authors concluded in the abstract:

"alarming is the repetition of the fishery’s response to a declining sardine stock - progressively higher exploitation rates targeting the oldest, largest, and most fecund fish."
Though the paper was subject to a great to deal of controversy and debate within the agency, the scientists’ predictions came true. The Pacific sardine population has collapsed.
The 2014 sardine assessment found that the “spawning biomass” is at the lowest levels in over 15 years (Hill, et al., 2014). The current population  assessment estimates the spawning biomass at 306,237 metric tons, which is far below the “critical biomass threshold” (or the minimum amount of fish that should be in the ocean before fishing should occur) of 740,000 metric tons identified in the Zwolinski & Demer 2012 study. Since 2007, the sardine population has declined by 74 percent (1.05 million metric tons) and it continues to decline with no clear signs of recovery (Hill, et al., 2014). Over the most recent seven year period the fishery has removed 715,000 metric tons of sardines. Therefore, while we can only speculate what the decline would have been in the absence of fishing, over two thirds (68 percent) of the recent seven-year decline are attributable directly to fishery removals. In other words, any fishing on sardines right now is overfishing, as the population is not even replacing itself, much less providing a surplus. 
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Perhaps Why The Swiss Peg Ended

The Real Reason The Swiss Peg Ended

In order for the Swiss franc to be considered for the SDR, which it would have to be based on the above metrics and conditions, it had to end the peg to the euro and free float like the ones above. This also means the RMB will end its managed peg to the USD in the coming months and become more market oriented before being added to the basket.

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SWIFT Gives Russia a Seat on the Board

Kick who out? SWIFT Gives Russia a Seat on the Board

If Vladimir Putin is remotely capable of laughter (the jury is out on that one…) then he’s probably doing so right now.

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US Asks Vietnam to Remember the Good Times

US Asks Vietnam to Remember the Good Times and Block Russian Bombers from Flying

The United States has asked Vietnam to stop letting Russia use a former U.S. base to refuel nuclear-capable bombers engaged in shows of strength over the Asia-Pacific region.
The request, described to Reuters by a US State Department official, comes as U.S. officials claim Russian bombers have stepped up flights in a region already rife with tensions between China and U.S. ally Japan.

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I suspect that giving Russia a vote was an attempt to stop the spread of the Chinese equivalent to SWIFT.  The former VP of SWIFT / chief systems analyst has been married to a Chinese citizen for the last 15 years.   

Given her domineering nature I would expect that the Chinese already have the keys to the SWIFT kingdom. 

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Starving sea lions

No doubt, as the article states, global warming is the prime reason for starving sea lions.

Do you suppose, however, a minor additional problem is that sea lions are competing with 7+ billion humans for their primary food source?  Some of the fish they eat may have left for cooler water, but many of the fish simply no longer exist in significant numbers.

As always, I'm concerned that mono-cause environmentalism has the potential to do as much harm as good.

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