Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/23 - NYC Raises Fast Food Wage To $15, How To Win The Hunger Games

Thursday, July 23, 2015, 10:04 AM


New York Plans $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers (jdargis)

Flavia Cabral, 53, a grandmother from the Bronx who works part-time in a McDonald’s for $8.75 an hour, pointed out the scars where fry baskets had seared her forearms. “At least they listened to us,” she said, referring to the panel. “We’re breathing little by little.”

In America, mass incarceration has caused more crime than it’s prevented (jdargis)

There are five times as many people in prison today—nearly 5% of the population will be imprisoned at some point—as there were in the 1970s. The increase in crime during the 1960s and ’70s motivated Americans to get tough on crime, which took several forms. The most striking of these was putting lots of people in prison. Imprisonment is supposed to reduce crime in two ways: it takes criminals off the street so they can’t commit new crimes (incapacitation) and it discourages would-be criminals from committing crime (deterrence).

Missing Gold, Unpayable Debts, Financial Crises, Bail-Outs and Bail-Ins… There Must Be a Better Way (GE Christenson)

To Congress and the Administration: Give Bail-UPS and Bail-DOWNS a chance. Clearly bail-outs and bail-ins have been problematic, so let’s progress in a new direction that benefits taxpayers and debtors.

How to Get a Second Passport on a Budget (Tiffany B.)

By economic citizenship, which involves an investment in the country or payment of a fee. Some countries, particularly island nations, offer this in exchange for investment in real estate, a business, or in a government development fund. They include St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Cyprus, Malta and (rarely granted) Austria. The least expensive of these is Dominica, which costs $100,000 plus processing fees. None of these citizenships are automatic; all involve a due diligence process and subjective evaluation by an immigration board.

Greece Clears Final Reform Hurdle Before New Bailout Talks (jdargis)

The number of disaffected Syriza lawmakers, who see the reforms as a betrayal of the anti-austerity platform that brought their party to power in January, shrunk slightly compared to last week's similar vote — from 38 to 36. But that is still roughly a quarter of all party lawmakers.

Addressing parliament before the vote, Tsipras said the reforms were a necessary price to pay to keep Greece alive after stormy talks with its creditors nearly collapsed earlier this month.

New Weather Software Could Be A Game-Changer For Solar and Wind (Tom K.)

“By continuously training itself using historical records from thousands of weather stations and real-time measurements, IBM’s system combines predictions from a number of weather models with geographic information and other data to produce the most accurate forecasts – from minutes to weeks ahead,” said Dr. Siyuan Lu, an IBM researcher.

Economic slump, not natural gas boom, responsible for drop in CO2 emissions (Arthur Robey)

Between 2007 and 2009, when U.S. emissions plummeted by 10 percent, there were changes in how much Americans consumed, what types of products they consumed, the balance of manufacturing and service industries, and the quantity of energy used per dollar of products produced. Together, these changes account for more than three-quarters of the decrease in emissions between 1997 and 2013, with changes in the mix of fuels used to generate energy accounting for just 18 percent, Davis said.

Davis and his co-authors conclude that without new policies that limit CO2 emissions, it may be difficult to keep emissions down as the U.S. economy continues to recover. And in fact, U.S. CO2 emissions rose in 2013 and 2014.

This Time Is Different: Chesapeake Energy Scraps Dividend Amid Oil And Gas Plunge (Michael W.)

“We believe this decision is prudent as we continue to invest and redirect as much capital as possible into our world-class assets,” Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler said in a statement. The company paid out 35-cents on an annualized basis, or approximately $240 million, funds that now can be plowed into revenue producing oilfields.

Winning the Hunger Games: Tom Wallace on How to Choose Successful Agriculture Investments (Kevin J.)

“The fundamentals that support growth in agricultural commodities are different from those of other commodities for a number of reasons, the main one being that people have to eat. You don't need gold bullion. It's great to have some to protect yourself from the actions of central bankers, but you don't need gold to live. Everybody needs agriculture, so agriculture tends not to correlate with other assets like stocks or bonds. Those considerations are important.

“You can protect yourself relatively easily through diversification by location and by subsector. When it comes to agriculture, definitely don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you're buying farmland, for example, don't just buy in one location. Do some research and find out where land is still reasonably priced, because many markets have experienced dramatic valuation increases in agricultural land in the recent past.”

Plant that can cause third-degree burns popping up in Canada (westcoastjan)

While reports in Canada have been minimal, a woman in Renfrew, Ontario was recently told she would have to avoid direct sunlight for three years after being badly burned by wild parsnip, a close relative of giant hogweed.

Wild parsnip looks similar, but is smaller and has yellow flowers.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/22/15

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."


Tall's picture
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US world leader in use of air-conditioning

Not something to be proud of:


What are low energy alternatives that PP readers are using?

Trun87114's picture
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Posts: 80

Yeah, I admit it: I am too soft to live without air-conditioning. 

However, my air is cooled and circulated by my geothermal heat pump, which is primarily powered by my grid-tied solar PV system.  We had a record warm June here in northern Nevada, my house was relatively cool and my power bill was $40 (half of which is the monthly hookup fee.)

More on geothermal in case anyone wants to research it.




Nate's picture
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shade trees
Tall wrote:

Not something to be proud of:


What are low energy alternatives that PP readers are using?

Shade trees.  Live in California's San Joaquin Valley and have not run the air conditioner this summer despite >100F temperatures.

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4237
Debt everywhere, Risk everywhere....Warning

Look at headline #31. Think China's market might be in a slight bubble?

Eurozone borrowing at a record, Japan's out of control debt, Brazil nearing a debt crisis, Puerto Rico debt crisis, US record debt, China's slowing economy.

All of this and much more, much of it reflected in the headlines below.

While stock and debt markets are looking fairly steady, there is too much risk to not issue a personal warning. There are too many ways for this to get out of control and too many places for the debt crisis to spread. While I still see the chances of getting through the rest of 2015 without a major event (think 2008) as the more likely result, I also see too many ways for this to catch us off guard.

For the record I gave one other warning at the peak of the European debt crisis, when yields spiked on sovereign debt.




  1. Central banks dump up to $260 billion FX reserves in second quarter: Citi
  2. Fitch Sees Risk in Japan Relying on Growth for Debt Reduction
  3. Japan’s Debt Risks Surge to Triple GDP Without Change, IMF Says
  4. Eurozone borrowing rises to record as recovery remains weak
  5. No Respite for Korean Economy Even as MERS Patients Recover
  6. Russia is boosting its gold reserves as prices plunge
  7. Medical Tourism Market Will Reach USD 32.5 Billion by 2019
  8. N.J. pension investments miss their mark
  9. Chicago Worth the Risk to Pimco, Wells Capital as Deficit Swells
  10. Puerto Rico power company rejects bondholders' debt plan
  11. Distressed-Debt Market Upended Amid Deepening Commodities Rout
  12. Indian banks opt for offbeat tactics to tackle $49 billion of bad debts
  13. Brazil notes linked to unpaid state taxes face risks, Fitch says
  14. Brazil Cuts Budget Goal as Shrinking Economy Erodes Revenue
  15. Brazil Economy: Primary Surplus Revised Downward, Form 1.1% to 0.15%
  16. Brazil launches tax settlement plan amid budget goal concerns
  17. Brazil's Central Bank to Meet Next Week Amid Escalating Inflation
  18. Pension Funds Hunting Yield Return to Bonds Tied to Risky Loans
  19. Add Bigger Deficits to Already Tricky Fed Hike, Wells Fargo Says
  20. French farmers vow to step up protests
  21. Federal government to run $1-billion deficit: PBO (Canada)
  22. Rauner, legislative leaders continue budget stalemate (Illinois)
  23. Algeria cuts spending as energy revenue forecast falls 50 percent
  24. Social Security projected to hit insolvency by 2034
  25. Date for Medicare's insolvency remains 2030
  26. Social Security disability fund to run dry next year
  27. VA hospitals across the country could close without bailout
  28. China's consumers embrace credit cards as regulators rebuff new industry entrants
  29. ADB Chief Economist: Chinese slowdown to have 'noticeable effect' on global growth
  30. Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens
  31. China’s Stocks Advance in Longest Winning Streak in Two Months (Trailing PE at 73!!!! Margin debt at $150 billion)
  32. Venezuela's currency is tanking so fast 'everything is an obstacle' for mothers
  33. Greek store closures spike as recession, austerity return
  34. Malaysia reserves drop to five-year low on sign of intervention
  35. Mining bond yields surge to record highs
  36. Opinion: The newest Obamacare fail: penalties of$36,500 per worker
  37. Snyder confirms Wayne County in financial emergency
  38. Giant Hedge Fund Bridgewater Flips View on China: ‘No Safe Places to Invest’
  39. How the Presidential Candidates Would Confront $18.6 Trillion of U.S. Debt


Yoxa's picture
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Also consider awnings

Shade trees are wonderful, when you've got them.

For a quicker fix, consider awnings for windows, which can also be a nice visual accent and add curb appeal to your house.

Also consider plants to shade the windows and walls, from tall plants like hollyhock or sunflowers to climbing plants like morning glories, sweet peas, scarlet runner beans, or even cucumbers on a trellis.



Afridev's picture
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High ceilings, well aerated space between ceiling and roof, avoid corrugated iron, painting roof white, good throughflow of air, accepting some fluctuations of temperature. building into the soil; using stone/ water mass as heat/ cold sink. Also found some interesting ideas under https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_cooling

Outside: in one place overseas I saw a system of ventilators blowing a fine mist. Only works in dry hot climate, but very effective in cooling (yet wasteful in water...).

A hot motorbike or car seat of fake leather/ rubberised material, put a little bit of water on it (take some in your mouth, squirt it over the area you want cooled cool), enough that you have a very thin film of water after you have wiped the water all over it. The water will evaporate almost instantly and leave the seat pleasantly cool.

HughK's picture
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More on awnings

Great ideas, Afridev.  Some of them remind me of when I drove from California to North Carolina in August several years back with no AC.  A combo of open windows and regular ice water dousings made the trip quite pleasant, if a little loud at times.

To expand on Yoxa's point about awnings, here's a bank of images that show the two-pronged summer/winter strategy of configuring windows, awnings, and a south-facing orientation (in the N. hemisphere) to best get the lower angled winter sun's energy and provide shade in the summer, and one of the best is below:

Just one of so many examples of how a little forethought in terms of design can save a lot of energy and provide a lot of enjoyment down the road.

This "maison ecologique" in Switzerland uses vines to shade the passive solar windows; their leaves provide shade in the summer, but in the winter the leaves have fallen and allow more sunlight to pass through the glass.

and finally,windcatcher + qanat air conditioning, a design from the ancient Middle East:

David Huang's picture
David Huang
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Posts: 77
alternative to airconditioning

For my home I actually found that super insulation has kept the interior of my home from heating up to point where air conditioning would be wanted.  Massive earth sheltered walls has also done the trick for another small building I've built.  Both techniques also help with heating in the winter. 

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4237
Beijing estimated to have spent 10% of GDP to support market

"All together, Chinese authorities are estimated to have mobilized as much as 5 trillion yuan, almost 10% of the gross domestic product, to halt panic sales, Reuters reported.

But such drastic tactics, while effective in the short term, could discourage foreign investors’ participation in the stock market and challenge China’s aspirations of becoming a global financial power."

KugsCheese's picture
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Posts: 1469
Play that sax its all we got!

Play that sax its all we got!  Blow baby blow!

KugsCheese's picture
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Posts: 1469
Re: You cannot draw a conclusion using one model of led light.

True story: I was in Chicago about ten years ago to see a show.  I was in the theater district.  I walked outside to enjoy the air and ran into a man in wheel chair wearing expensive glasses.   I asked him how much those cost.  He said $600.  I ask how he paid for the glasses and he said the government paid for them.   He didn't look disabled to me so I said "I bet you are playing the system" to which he said "Yes, its sweet" as he stood up!  Chicago the SH.

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4237
No growth burst on the horizon (currency wars)

“Overall, there are few signs that the world economy is poised for lift-off: progress made in one region appears only to be matched by retreat elsewhere, a likely consequence of currency wars,” noted Stephen King, chief global economist at HSBC.

“As such, the world economy remains in a fragile state, ill-prepared to cope with future negative shocks.”


"Italy may yet become another Greece. Aside from the recent uptick in growth, its numbers are grim. The global financial crisis of 2008-09, followed by the euro debt crisis, triggered the deepest and longest recessions in Italy’s postwar history. Its €2.3 trillion debt, more than 132 percent of GDP, is second only to Greece in the euro area. Italy has lost a quarter of its industrial output, and GDP has contracted by 9 percent since 2007. As a member of the euro zone, Italy can’t counter falling foreign demand by devaluing its currency, as it often did when the lira was in use. Unemployment is 12.5 percent, and 45 percent among youth—many of whom flee abroad. “Some of my best pupils, who speak English and other languages, have had to move to the U.K. or Germany to find jobs and a better future,” says Ivo Pezzuto, who teaches economics at Università Cattolica in Milan."

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4237
China manufacturing activity hits 15-month low

"It was much lower than expected," said Jacqueline Rong, an economist with BNP Paribas. "It means that the industrial sector has not yet found its footing."

The State Council, China's cabinet, unveiled policies to support trade, including restating a pledge to widen the narrow trading band within which the Chinese currency, the yuan, trades against the dollar.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Latent Heat.

Several years ago du Pont reviewed thousands of compounds for their suitability as a phase change material. Last I heard was that long chain carbons were as good as it gets. (Cheap, calibratable etc.)

They chose a compound that melts at your favorite temperature (21°C). During the night it freezes, releasing heat. And during the day it melts, absorbing heat. Latent heat. Therefore your house temperature has a certain "stickyness" around 21°C.


Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Cold Fusion

Here is an interesting chart of the various energy yields that I borrowed from Alain's site.


Look where the great hope wind is.

Note the log scales.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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To the Moon Alice.

My Daughter found this site with a pdf link that Is now my homework. NASA says that they can get to the moon for 1/10 the price.



Then they want to go get an asteroid.  All steps in the right direction.  Let them go to Mars if that is their want, but the real prize will be the la Grange points. 

The most important event of the last 2000 years was the discovery of water on the moon.

Watch this space.

BTW. The minerals in the asteroids are not for the Earth. We have other plans for them.

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