Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/10 - Incurable American Excess, Turning Cow Poo Into Power

Monday, August 10, 2015, 11:29 AM


Incurable American Excess (jdargis)

To return from Europe to the United States, as I did recently, is to be struck by the crumbling infrastructure, the paucity of public spaces, the conspicuous waste (of food and energy above all), the dirtiness of cities and the acuteness of their poverty. It is also to be overwhelmed by the volume and vital clamor of American life, the challenging interaction, the bracing intermingling of Americans of all stripes, the strident individualism. Europe is more organized, America more alive. Europe purrs; even its hardship seems somehow muted. America revs. The differences can feel violent.

Keynesian Fallacy and Collapse (Wilson S.)

It is unclear why the error has remained undetected for so long. Perhaps it is the awesome reputation of Keynes. But in my school days, many of the students who were relatively weak in mathematics went to the C classes and studied business, commerce and economics. If this is a general reflection, it may explain the low level of technical skills among professional and academic economists. The mathematics on display in economic journals is generally not pretty.

U.S. Stocks Rise Amid Berkshire Deal After Shares in China Rally (jdargis)

China’s stocks posted their biggest gain in a month amid speculation the government will accelerate mergers of state-owned enterprises to bolster economic growth. Investors also speculated China will act to prop up growth following a wider-than-expected drop in exports.

Chinese Reaction to the IMF Announcement to Delay SDR Basket Review (pinecarr)

The statement from the IMF that they have decided to "extend the current SDR basket by nine months until September 30, 2016" has created quite a stir. The initial reaction by many was to assume this meant that the IMF was going to delay making a decision on whether or not to include the yaun/renminbi in the basket until Sept 2016.

A more parsed reading of the statement however led others to point out that the IMF did not say they have moved back the decision date for a new basket. Instead the statement just said that the current basket would be kept in tact until Sept 2016 and noted that "the proposed extension... would not in any way prejudge the timing of conclusion or outcome of the review."

Labels Like ‘Alternative Medicine’ Don’t Matter. The Science Does. (jdargis)

There are many other forms of nontechnological medicine that have the weight of scrutiny behind them. In a meta-analysis published just a few years ago, researchers looked at all the accumulated randomized controlled trials examining how acupuncture fared in treating people with chronic pain. They found that not only did acupuncture work better than no-acupuncture control groups, but there were also significant differences between acupuncture and sham acupuncture. This suggests that not all of the benefits are placebo effects.

For Norway, Oil at $50 Is Worse Than the Global Financial Crisis (jdargis)

Oil is losing value just as investments in the petroleum industry are heading for the biggest drop since 2000. To cope with the shift, companies such as Statoil ASA started restraining spending more than six months before Brent crude started to tumble.

Tesla lost money on every Model S sold in the last quarter (jdargis)

With just one model on sale to support all its R&D, it's understandable why a share sale might be on the horizon. When you look at Tesla's finances the same way that GM and Ford report theirs (generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP), the company lost nearly $15,000 per car this last quarter. Although Tesla says this number is more than covered by income from EVs it leases direct to customers, designing and developing cars is neither cheap nor simple, and the company will need cash to grow into a multiple-model lineup.

This Week In Energy: Depressed Oil Market Still Sees Production Gains (Tom K.)

The Permian Basin in West Texas remains one of the few bright spots compared to other shale basins in North America. Drilling there is still profitable, with low costs and existing infrastructure. A series of pipelines have come online in West Texas over the past year, eliminating the discount that Permian oil traded at compared to the WTI benchmark. The Wall Street Journal notes that RSP Permian (NYSE: RSPP), a Permian driller, successfully sold new equity, a sign that investors are still keen on drillers in the basin. RSP sought to raise funds to complete acquisitions and the company raised $157.5 million by selling new stock this week. There is a lot of speculation about when and to what extent lenders and equity investors will pull out of the shale sector, but RSP’s successful offering demonstrates that there is still an appetite for shale companies among investors.

Turning cow poo into power is profitable for US farm (Arthur Robey)

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated last year by Homestead and the 246 other US livestock farms which have installed biogas recovery systems.

That's equivalent to taking more than 630,000 cars off the road.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/7/15

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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All of the G-7 policy makers are virgins when it comes to


  1. All of the G-7 policy makers are virgins when it comes to raising interest rates
  2. Bad loans at China banks surpass 1 trillion yuan
  3. China’s Economic Data May Point to Hard Landing
  4. Negative Yields on $1.5 Trillion of Euro Bonds Show Flat Economy
  5. Major shipbuilders to rack up record losses this year
  6. Euro zone sentiment index dips in August: Sentix
  7. China Disinflationary Pressures May Worsen: HSBC's Wang
  8. Chinese dragon losing its shine for foreign firms
  9. Global stock markets see grim Chinese data and decide it's good news
  10. Malaysian ringgit plumbs 17-year lows after FX reserves fall
  11. Japan Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest in Six Months in July
  12. Japan Consumer Sentiment Is Bad News for Central Bank
  13. Russian Authorities Step in to Avert Ruble Slide
  14. Russian GDP Plunges 4.6%
  15. Brazil Analysts See Faster 2016 CPI for First Time in 20 Weeks
  16. As Economic Malaise Grows, Brazil Budget Deficit Hits All Time Record
  17. Taiwan’s Bond Yield Falls to Two-Year Low on Easing Speculation
  18. Moody's: Indonesia struggles for economic recovery
  19. Japanese Dump Most Treasuries in Two Years as Fed Liftoff Looms
  20. Dollar trims gains after Fischer says Fed won’t hike until inflation picks up
  21. S&P Flouts History in Break With Bonds That Often Ends Badly
  22. Good times over for Japan teachers fund, now seeking to avoid losses
  23. With Public Hospital Cuts Looming, Where Will Hawaii's Elderly Go?
  24. Aussie devaluation fails Economics 101 as export income slides
  25. Moody's: Declining Chinese coal demand exacerbates pressure on Australian miners
  26. Japan's Ghost Towns
  27. Venezuela patients resort to pet medication
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Stimulus Headlines Everywhere

Search Results

  1. Story image for china stimulus from TODAYonline

    China and Buffett fuel Wall St. rally, dollar steady

    TODAYonline-46 minutes ago
    SAN FRANCISCO - Wall Street rallied on Monday after a major M&A deal and on weak data out of China that boosted hopes for fresh stimulus from Beijing, ...
  2. Story image for china stimulus from Telegraph.co.uk

    Chinese Shares Surge on Stimulus Hopes, Europe Falters

    Infinite Path-50 minutes ago
    U.S. stock futures were higher Monday, while the Shanghai index surged on hopes for new stimulus measures following weak Chinese economic data.
  3. Story image for china stimulus from Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Rebound With Commodities as Treasuries Fall

    Bloomberg-1 hour ago
    Commodities advanced from a 13-year low, with a surge in Chinese imports ... rebounded, while investors speculated on the possibility of Chinese stimulus.
  4. Chinese stocks soar with anticipation of further stimulus

    CCTV-America-1 hour ago
    Chinese mainland markets bucked the broad cautiousness in Asian equities on Monday amid expectations of another round of policy stimulus. The Shanghai ...
  5. FTSE LIVE: London shares open higher on China stimulus hopes

    This is Money-1 hour ago
    16:00: The Footsie turned up in late afternoon trading - boosted a strong opening on Wall Street - in what has so far been a lacklustre session in London.
  6. US stocks climb, breaking losing streak for Dow industrials

    Quad City Times-1 hour ago
    Stocks rose in China after weak trade figures led investors to hope for new economic stimulus measures from the Chinese government. The Dow gained 155 ...
  7. China's growth engine tipped to rev up

    Courier Mail-2 hours ago
    China should not yet be written off as a significant source of economic growth, ... ability to stimulate the economy through infrastructure investment and stimulus.
  8. Stocks rise, led by surge in Chinese shares amid stimulus hopes

    Stockhouse-2 hours ago
    Global stock markets were moderately higher Monday led by a surge on the Shanghai index on hopes for stimulus measures following weak Chinese economic ...
  9. World stock markets rise, led by surge in Chinese shares on ...

    Vancouver Sun-2 hours ago
    TOKYO - Global stock markets were moderately higher Monday led by a surge on the Shanghai index on hopes for stimulus measures following weak Chinese ...
  10. Wall Street rises as Berkshire deal points to M&A endurance

    Buenos Aires Herald-2 hours ago
    Adding to the positive sentiment, poor data out of China boosted hopes for additional stimulus from Beijing. Greek banks could get a first capital injection soon ...
  11. Banking on China - Ahead of Wall Street

    Nasdaq-2 hours ago
    The major indexes appear poised to start today's session in the positive, likely reflecting greater odds of Chinese stimulus following overnight weak economic ...
  12. Grim China data keeps stimulus hopes alive

    Naija247news-2 hours ago
    A deepening slowdown in demand in China took center-stage on Monday, boosting some stock markets on hopes of more policy stimulus even as it knocked ...
  13. Global markets rise, led by Chinese surge on stimulus hope

    New Zealand Herald-5 hours ago
    TOKYO (AP) " Global markets turned higher on Monday after Chinese shares surged on hopes for new stimulus measures. KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 ...


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The Pension Crisis at Public Universities


"The crisis in Illinois is in some ways extreme because of how drastically the state mismanaged its pension system. But the problem is playing out across the country. States are collectively on the hook for nearly $1.4 trillion in pension promises and retiree health care, according to the Pew Center on the States. Other estimates put the total debt at as much as $3 trillion. "

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Incurable America Excess
Roger Choen wrote:

Americans, in their majority, don’t want to increase taxes on fossil fuels or tax sugar-sweetened drinks because they see such measures as a regressive encroachment on individual freedoms — to drive an automobile and consume what you want. They won’t go the German route of promoting renewables like solar and wind power by guaranteeing higher fixed prices for those who generate it because higher electricity costs would result. Whether it comes to food or fuel, they don’t want measures where “voting-age adults are being coerced into a lifestyle change.”

I already conserve fossil fuels and control my sugar intake.  To pay extra for gas or a coke, simply as a universal measure to try to coerce others to conserve energy and eat right would be adding insult to injury. 

If you want to really change peoples habits, then add an extra tax on gas for everyone who drives a fuel inefficient car.  If someone currently getting 15 mpg has to pay $1 extra per gallon, vs fuel efficient cars, then perhaps they will make a better buying choice the next time they replace their cars.

If you want to reduce obesity, charge obese people higher health insurance rates.  Don't charge thin people extra to enjoy a coke.

I live in Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker has had a law passed charging a premium for hybrid car annual registration.  I own two hybrids and I am offended.  The logic used was that hybrid cars don't pay as much tax per mile because of their fuel efficiency.  Therefore, they are not paying their fair share for road maintenance.  My logic is that, first, it is stupid to penalize people for trying to reduce their energy usage and, second, my hybrid cars weight half of what a large pickup truck or SUV weights, therefore, they are only putting half the strain on the roads per mile that a larger car does.  I shouldn't have to pay as much for road maintenance as a Suburban, Expedition or H2.

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An Ox for the Tribe.

There was an old common law amongst my people that a fat person was fined an Ox. I wonder if the ancient law has been repealed or if one of our Lawyer members can find it?

I gather Scott Walker is a wealthy man?

Edit: Bear in mind that some gut biomes are very demanding. If you have the wrong bugs in your gut they will control your appetites. The old joke about teenagers feeding their tapeworm has a kernel of truth. 

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Jobs Vacant

Sax, from your piece, (I went there for a contrary view)



Mr Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council up until last year, said he agreed with forecasts that China could continue to meet its targeted 7 per cent growth rate for the next 10 to 15 years

Let me try the maths. 70/7=10 year doubling time. And he says that it will continue for a minimum of 10 years. He is saying that China's economy is going to be double what it is now, at a minimum.

And he was the Director of the White House Economic Council?

I wonder if the vacancy is still open?

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Arthur Robey wrote: ...And he
Arthur Robey wrote:

...And he was the Director of the White House Economic Council?

I wonder if the vacancy is still open?

You mean between his ears? I think we all know the answer there.

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watch the horsemanship



there is more hydrocarbon use than i would like but they're well trained and handled hosses

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China moves to devalue the yuan

China moves to devalue the yuan


Published: Aug 10, 2015 10:12 p.m. ET



BEIJING — China’s central bank moved to devalue its tightly controlled currency Tuesday as the world’s second-largest economy continues to sputter.

In an apparent effort to blunt criticism over China’s exchange-rate policy, the People’s Bank of China took the step with an eye toward making the yuan’s value more market-based: the midpoint, or fixing, will now be based on how the yuan closes in the previous trading session. Until now, the fixing had been entirely determined by the central bank itself.

As a result, the yuan’s fixing was lowered 1.9% Tuesday from the previous day.

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Big deal?
saxplayer00o1 wrote:

China moves to devalue the yuan

Is this a big deal?  It seems like it might be. Thoughts?

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Global axis shifts as China reserves dwindle

"China's massive foreign currency reserves are dwindling at a more than half-trillion-dollar annual pace, a trend which may tighten global credit conditions.

China's central bank said its reserves fell by $43 billion in July to $3.65 trillion, in the first ever monthly report on the figure."

"Singapore slashed the upper end of its growth forecast for 2015 after the economy shrank last quarter, signaling a softened outlook even as the government prepares for a general election. The currency slipped to its lowest in five years."

"BMW AG said earlier this month that a sharp slowdown in Chinese demand may force it to revise its profitability goals. General Motors Co. reported a 4 percent drop in July deliveries, while Ford Motor Co. predicted industrywide sales may decline this year for the first time since at least 1998.

Others like Mazda Motor Corp. and PSA Peugeot Citroen have warned looming price wars in China, as a surfeit of brands compete for buyers amid a slowing economy and volatile stock market.

Even Great Wall Motor Co., the biggest sport utility vehicle maker in China and a beneficiary of the shift in demand to budget models, has stumbled. Its July deliveries slid 1.7 percent, led by its most popular model, the H6."

"China has devalued its currency to boost flagging exports in a move that risks deepening the global currency war"

"A series of interest rate cuts have failed to kickstart the economy, which has also been hit by turbulence on the country’s stock markets after more than a year of unprecedented rises.

But it could trigger copycat devaluations by central banks across the region as those countries attempt to maintain their own competitiveness against China.
Australia, Korea and India are among the leading Asia Pacific economies where central banks have cut interest rates to force local currencies down and boost exports hit by flagging world demand.

“The yuan had become relatively expensive as other Asian currencies weakened against the dollar. With fears of an economic slowdown mounting, devaluing the yuan was the only thing China had not tried after implementing monetary, fiscal and equity-boosting policies,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, senior strategist at Monex in Tokyo.

“Devaluation of the yuan likely won’t end here. Currencies like the Singapore dollar, South Korean won and Taiwan dollar, which stand to compete with China, are falling, and today’s move could generate headlines heralding the start of a devaluation war,” he said."

"We've been in a competitive state of easing all year, excluding the U.S., and China's announcement today means the easing wars are a spiral that won't end until global economic growth picks up," Teo warned.

"The country is breaking records in all the wrong ways: The real skidded to a fresh 12-year low amid heightened volatility last week. Inflation is running at a 11-and-a-half year high. Interest rates, at 14.25 per cent, are among the highest in the world's major economies. Meanwhile. the economy is expected to contract nearly 2 per cent this year, make it the country's deepest recession since 1990."

Fiscal probe for Brazil's Rousseff poses impeachment threat

CPS' $5.7 billion spending proposal relies on $480 million from Springfield (Chicago)

Chicago Public Schools Announces More Than 450 Layoffs

Say it with Winona: Beetlejuice....Beetlejuice.....Beetlejuice


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Re: China moves to devalue the Yuan

Errr....let me guess...it goes without saying that gold will be smashed, yes?

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Just in. Lazer above unity experiment

Heat release of a few W is observed, at up to 50% higher energy than the total laser input thus a gain of 1.5. This is uniquely high for the use of deuterium as fusion fuel. With a slightly different setup, a thermal gain of 2 is reached, thus clearly above break-even for all neutronicity values possible. Also including the large kinetic energy which is directly measured for MeV particles leaving through a small opening gives a gain of 2.3. Taking into account the lower efficiency now due to the suboptimal fusion process, previous studies indicate a gain of at least 20 during long periods.


It is not initiated by heat.

Instead, the process is a laser-induced transfer to the spin state s = 1 which has a d-d distance of only 0.56 pm.3 From this distance, fusion is spontaneous. This type of process is described more in detail in Ref. 19.

A bit more on why spin is important. 

When combined with the spin-statistics theorem, the spin of electrons results in the Pauli exclusion principle, which in turn underlies theperiodic table of chemical elements.


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Chinese response?

For what it is worth,

I'm sitting in the Jakarta airport and just saw the reports of China's devaluation of the Yuan. The follow on story was showing Chinese people in Guangzhou buying gold. That's a good hedge if they believe that more devaluations are coming.

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All fall down.

And it looks as though the Australian $ is tied to the Yuan, not the US$.


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Kardasian rabbit named Bruce

Just before we go to some new news I thought that this might amuse.


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