Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/30 - How Wall St. Plundered Greece's Banks, L.A.'s Water Woes

Monday, November 30, 2015, 11:22 AM

Economy

Tensions With Russia Add to a Chill in Turkey’s Economy (jdargis)

Yet despite the prosperous appearance, a chill has already settled over Eskisehir’s economy, and Turkey’s, as exports to China and the Middle East falter. And as Russia has halted most tourism to Turkey and threatened to stop food imports from the country after Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down a Russian combat jet along the Syrian border last Tuesday, the risk of further economic trouble is clear.

How Wilbur Ross And Other Hedgies Plundered Greece’s Banks (richcabot)

The country’s stake in the National Bank of Greece dropped to 24 percent from 57 percent, and in Eurobank it fell to 2.4 percent from 35 percent, while its stake in Alpha Bank was reduced to 11 percent from 64 percent and in Piraeus Bank it dropped to 22 percent from 67 percent. This translates to a loss of almost $44 billion that Greek taxpayers gave to bail out the banks over the past three years.

Be Careful Out There (Nate)

“The high recent valuations in the stock market have come about for no good reasons. The market level does not, as so many imagine, represent the consensus judgment of experts who have carefully weighed the long-term evidence. The market is high because of the combined effect of indifferent thinking by millions of people, very few of whom feel the need to perform careful research on the long- term investment value of the aggregate stock market, and who are motivated substantially by their own emotions, random attentions, and perceptions of conventional wisdom.”

Why You Better Stop Terrorism and How To Do It (richcabot)

If you take a close look at pictures from the Boston Marathon bombing, you will see that when those pressure-cooker bombs exploded, both sides of the street were lined with police officers.

So even if you manage to “have a police officer every place,” that won’t protect you.

How a secretive elite created the EU to build a world government (richcabot)

When growth did happen, it did not come from the EU. From Ludwig Erhard's supply-side reforms in West Germany in 1948 to Thatcher's privatisation of nationalised industry in the Eighties, European growth came from reforms introduced by individual countries which were were copied elsewhere. EU policy has always been either irrelevant or positively detrimental (as was the case with the euro).

Erdogan, Busted! The ISIS Oil Pipeline Through Ceyhan (richcabot)

On November 16, in a highly publicized effort, US warplanes destroyed 116 ISIS oil trucks in Syria. 45 minutes prior, leaflets were dropped advising drivers (who Washington is absolutely sure are not ISIS members themselves) to “get out of [their] trucks and run away.”

VW Making Progress On Diesel Fix, Employee Probe (Tom K.)

“Volkswagen is finding its financial footing more quickly than expected,” Dudenhöffer wrote in an email to The New York Times. But he stressed that its costs still could rise steeply, especially with stiff fines likely to be imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as from lawsuits expected to come from company shareholders and customers.

Climate Watch: L.A.'s Water Woes (richcabot)

Ahead of the Paris climate summit, WhoWhatWhy presents the first part of the series, which highlights the dependence of Los Angeles on fresh water. In “Mulholland’s Dream” the past and present challenges the city faces are combined into a compelling narrative that shows that the effects of a changing climate are not decades away. They are already here.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 11/27/15

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."

15 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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World's Biggest Pension Fund Loses $64 Billion Amid Equity Rout

Gov't eyes record Y73 tril FY 2016 budget excluding debt servicing

Japan Today-16 hours ago
And the entire budget for the year starting next April 1 is expected to total a record 97 trillion yen, when debt-servicing and other nondiscretionary costs are ...
 

World's Biggest Pension Fund Loses $64 Billion Amid Equity Rout

Bloomberg-5 hours ago
The fund lost 8 trillion yen on its domestic and foreign equities and 241 billion yen on overseas debt, while Japanese bonds handed GPIF a 302 billion yen gain.

Emerging-Market Defaults Rise After Asia's Debt Pileup

Wall Street Journal-10 hours ago
While emerging-market corporate debt globally has risen fivefold over the past decade, totaling $23.7 trillion in early 2015, according to the Institute of ...
 

South Korea's Household Debt Grows Fastest in 3Q

KBS WORLD Radio News - ‎15 hours ago‎
The country's household debt might be even higher than the central bank announced. Some loans taken out by the self-employed are classified in South Korea as a corporate loan, but in fact, many of them are used for the same purpose as household loans.

INTERVIEW-Russia risks higher budget deficit, must make choices ...

Reuters UK-2 hours ago
At current oil prices, budget revenues will fall short by some 1.2 trillion roubles ... selling a stake in the oil major Rosneft , or try to tap foreign debt markets.

Flash cars tempt Brits into biggest debt binge for 7 years

Mirror.co.uk-2 hours ago
Brits borrowed £1.2billion in October, and we're stacking up the debt at the fastest levels since the financial crisis in 2008. That's not even including our ...

Brazil posts biggest ever primary deficit for October

Reuters-2 hours ago
The primary deficit jumped to 11.530 billion reais ($3.00 billion) in October from a ... net debt rising to 36.3 percent of GDP from 35.4 percent and gross debt up to ...

Budget faces $38 billion blowout (Australia)

NEWS.com.au - ‎18 hours ago‎
Mr Richardson, an economist at Deloitte Access Economics, said 90 per cent of the deterioration — that will see the 2015/16 budget deficit alone blow out to $40.3 billion from the $35.1 billion estimated at the time of the May budget — was due to the ...

Saudi Borrowing Rate Soars in November as Bank Deposits Drop

Bloomberg-4 hours ago
S&P lowered the country's credit rating in October, citing a budget deficit that it ... Demand deposits in Saudi Arabia declined 50.5 billion riyals ($13.5 billion) in ...

Illinois SURS in danger of running out of money to pay retirees, CIO ...

Pensions & Investments-10 hours ago
“Investment policy alone cannot close the SURS plan deficit. ... SURS' certified contribution for fiscal year 2016 is $1.6 billion, Mr. Allen wrote in the memo.

Illinois stops mailing out vehicle renewal reminders

WGN-TV-1 hour ago
CHICAGO — The Illinois Secretary of State's office has suspended mailing out notices that your vehicle ... The move is blamed on the state's budget impasse.

Bond defaults signal moment of truth for China ...

Reuters-3 hours ago
"China is still experiencing an onshore debt boom," said Mervyn Teo, credit ... the local agencies to downgrade the bonds of companies like them, which in turn ...

Private College Strains Growing as Emmanuel Joins Muni Defaults

Bloomberg-56 minutes ago
Western Asset Management Co. holds $7.9 million and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. has all $2.5 million of the taxable debt that's in default.

 

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Population Watch: L.A.'s Water Woes

To site climate change as the primary reason for L.A.'s water problems is absurd.  It is first and foremost an overpopulation problem.  We have built massive cities in the arid Southwest.  

This is not the first drought that has hit the Southwest, nor will it be the last.  Whether it was caused by climate change or not is a side issue.  

Put simply the population it the Southwest was allowed to expand to the point where it can only be sustained under good conditions.  Any serious deviation from good conditions makes it clear that we have a population problem.

Brazil has similar numbers of people in the same situation.  20 million people in Sao Paulo and 10 million in Rio de Janeiro are virtually out of water.  There is a drought in Brazil as well.  The drought is attributed to reduced humidity and therefore reduced rainfall as a direct result of cutting down the rain forest.

What we are seeing here is evidence that 7.4 billion people on a planet with a diameter of 7,900 miles, probably isn't a well thought out plan.

Population on the planet = 7,384,567,659.  Earth habitable land surface (excluding water, deserts and mountains) in square miles = 24,642,767 square miles.  People per habitable square mile = 300.

Over emphasis on climate change is distracting us from a much more serious problem.

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Not so simple

LesPhelps said: To site climate change as the primary reason for L.A.'s water problems is absurd.  It is first and foremost an overpopulation problem.

Which is a statement I can certainly agree with. Climate change is simply moving up the day of reckoning for a problem which has long been in progress.

Population on the planet = 7,384,567,659.  Earth habitable land surface (excluding water, deserts and mountains) in square miles = 24,642,767 square miles.  People per habitable square mile = 300.

Over emphasis on climate change is distracting us from a much more serious problem.

Blaming climate change for distracting us from the human population problem is misguided, however. Almost no one has seriously addressed human population growth as an issue since Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb in 1968 and pressed the issue through the 1970s. It is definitely the elephant in the room for every problem on the planet but climate change debates have done nothing to distract anyone from discussing this critical issue. Much in the opposite, it may finally be bringing the subject up again for debate, first regionally, then perhaps globally.

The carrying capacity of the planet is debatable but it is quite likely that we have already exceeded it by quite a bit. Human populations need to come down but the question is how much lower they need to go and how fast we need to get there. What climate change does is lower that carrying capacity further and faster than we had already managed to do in our mismanagement of the global environment and its resources. Everyday that we continue in our consumption-driven madness means that the future will be able to support fewer and fewer people living more and more simply.

Therefore, we have a two pronged problem. We desperately need to initiate a long period of 'negative' growth rates (oxymoron?) for our populations and we need to stabilize or improve the potential carrying capacity for our population on this planet (or rapidly move off it like Arthur recommends!). Managing just one end of this problem will not be enough, you need to address both or we fail.

That said, there are lots of lunatic fringe ideas out there for rapidly depopulating the planet but they will all fail to accomplish anything other than buying more time unless we can learn to also intelligently manage our population growth rate. If we somehow annihilated half the human population through war or pandemic we would simply be back where we are now within 30-50 years depending on how our procreation habits responded with the next postwar/disaster baby boom. Increasing the carnage to 70, 80, 90% of the current population only adds time until the next reckoning.

Mark

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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This would buy a lot of Thanksgiving Turkeys

The Daily History of the Debt Results

Historical returns from 11/01/2015 through 11/27/2015

The data for the total public debt outstanding is published each business day. If there is no debt value for the date(s) you requested, the value for the preceding business day will be displayed.

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
10/30/2015 13,060,656,874,967.53 5,092,324,810,779.99 18,152,981,685,747.52
11/02/2015 13,259,598,054,673.03 5,232,493,066,160.96 18,492,091,120,833.99
11/03/2015 13,304,633,454,176.57 5,227,704,637,534.91 18,532,338,091,711.48
11/04/2015 13,304,149,781,522.19 5,228,704,601,299.55 18,532,854,382,821.74
11/05/2015 13,378,296,644,134.99 5,231,503,426,193.74 18,609,800,070,328.73
11/06/2015 13,378,216,906,933.97 5,231,637,478,501.25 18,609,854,385,435.22
11/09/2015 13,377,810,384,459.45 5,236,958,832,253.39 18,614,769,216,712.84
11/10/2015 13,378,011,403,562.54 5,227,381,025,379.64 18,605,392,428,942.18
11/12/2015 13,422,684,032,364.47 5,226,340,763,474.31 18,649,024,795,838.78
11/13/2015 13,422,581,915,969.67 5,230,925,444,603.77 18,653,507,360,573.44
11/16/2015 13,425,314,364,061.11 5,235,175,789,217.14 18,660,490,153,278.25
11/17/2015 13,425,228,384,871.25 5,244,785,636,642.50 18,670,014,021,513.75
11/18/2015 13,425,424,978,902.16 5,232,907,291,279.17 18,658,332,270,181.33
11/19/2015 13,486,033,195,851.99 5,232,175,397,988.78 18,718,208,593,840.77
11/20/2015 13,487,491,924,393.72 5,233,308,167,077.60 18,720,800,091,471.32
11/23/2015 13,487,562,419,580.15 5,235,184,163,537.88 18,722,746,583,118.03
11/24/2015 13,488,216,384,736.74 5,242,028,842,477.55 18,730,245,227,214.29
11/25/2015 13,488,002,707,948.97 5,231,610,566,944.54 18,719,613,274,893.51
11/27/2015 13,551,155,021,821.40 5,231,296,245,984.64 18,782,451,267,806.04

 

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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People can debate anything.
Mark Cochrane wrote:

Blaming climate change for distracting us from the human population problem is misguided, however.

The distraction is blaming South California's water problem on climate change.  The implication is that if climate change is addressed the problem will go away.  In this case, the man behind the curtain is population density in excess of local carrying capacity, except in times of plenty.

What I'm opposed to here, is that every problem that is identified these days is attributed to climate change, with little or no scientific justification.  

I see the human impact on climate as a symptom of over population, not the primary problem at all.  To reduce anthropogenic issues, reducing anthropos would be a good place to start.

Granted, no one has made a headway in convincing the world that we are headed for disaster, but others have talked about the population problem since the late 1960s.  The Club of Rome comes to mind as well as Al Bartlett.  I'm sure there are others.

When I think about population issues, I don't envision drastic measures to remove existing population.  I'd be satisfied running into fewer or no young couples with 4 or 5 kids in tow.

Mark Cochrane wrote:

The carrying capacity of the planet is debatable but it is quite likely that we have already exceeded it by quite a bit.

People can debate anything.  Some debate is responsible, some less so.  

I argue today, that the only way you can maintain the feeling that the planet's current population is sustainable is by ignoring the evidence right in front of you.  I could list some obvious issues in addition to water problems and environmental issues, but I know you are as aware of them as I am.

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Uncletommy
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Unintended consequences?

I'm curious if all the truckloads of mono-cropped lettuce headed north could possibly be a contributing factor?

http://www.wnyc.org/story/landfill-of-lettuce-what-happens-to-salad-past-its-prime/

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Not so simple... so true.

Mark wrote:

That said, there are lots of lunatic fringe ideas out there for rapidly depopulating the planet but they will all fail to accomplish anything other than buying more time unless we can learn to also intelligently manage our population growth rate. If we somehow annihilated half the human population through war or pandemic we would simply be back where we are now within 30-50 years depending on how our procreation habits responded with the next postwar/disaster baby boom. Increasing the carnage to 70, 80, 90% of the current population only adds time until the next reckoning

and if we add the resource depletion factor? This could maintain population 's growth rate at almost zero (or even go negative in a Mad Max type world). 

We can see ourselves like our loved acidophilus and bifidus bacteria: to make the next yogurt batch, 90% of the current batch are eaten (carnage) and the remaining 10% makes the next batch. The loop is closed the next day. But... the determining difference for us is that there will be no new gallon of milk the next day, So the 10% survivors will have tough choices to make to continue the specie.

 

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Actually it is quite simple

It's just uncomfortable so no one wants to face it or talk about it, but it is not an issue that will quitely go away, nor is it an issue that will resolve itself to our satisfaction if ignored.

Compared to climate change, overpopulation is much easier to identify and quantify.  It doesn't require data that is not available to the masses, or computers more powerful than most can afford, in order to properly model the problem.

The solutions are quite simple to identify as well.

The problem lies in the fact that none of the solutions that remain to us are palatable.  We waited too long for a soft landing on this.  Dr. Bartlett managed to address this issue with some humor.  He made two lists, one of things that reduce population and another of things that increase population.  Everything on the population reducing list is considered "bad" by humanity.  Everything on the population increasing list was considered good.

He also pointed out that if we didn't choose something off the bad list, the choice would eventually be taken away from us by circumstances.

So what I am seeing today is that, if WWIII doesn't happen, world wide famine is predicted by the World3 model around 2045.

It's looking to me like WWIII is a real possibility at this point.  It's also looking to me like famine is going to hit large parts of the human population prior to 2045.

Reducing C02 emissions at this stage of the game, without reducing population will, in the short run, have little impact on problems that are population related. Reducing C02 emissions will also require lower energy consumption per capita, making it more difficult to sustain 7.4 billion people.  That's simply the situation we have allowed to develop... as I see it.

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"Either" famine "or" war?

both ,baby, no "either, or" here. better get your mare settled.

 

gotta love Soren, he turned my head 30yrs ago.

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Reducing population

As mentioned above, war, famine and disease are the "natural" reducers of population.  Some combination is probably inevitable.

War generally results in both disease and famine as the means of producing food is destroyed, sources of medical care are curtailed and the carnage creates conditions ripe for the spread of disease.  

Famine generally leads to war as people fight over food and disease as malnourished bodies are less able to ward off germs.

As the anthrax threats of 2001 amply demonstrated, our government has an active germ warfare program.  It can be expected to provide another source of disease.

Given our government's demonstrated immorality, it is not beyond contemplation that their continued interest in such things is tied to preparation for global scarcity.

God save us from the people we elected to protect us.

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Water lily

Water lily

French children are told a story in which they imagine having a pond with water lily leaves floating on the surface. The lily population doubles in size every day and if left unchecked will smother the pond in 30 days, killing all the other living things in the water. Day after day the plant seems small and so it is decided to leave it to grow until it half-covers the pond, before cutting it back. They are then asked on what day half-coverage will occur. This is revealed to be the 29th day, and then there will be just one day to save the pond. (From Meadows et al. 1972)[3]

In the example above out of Limits to Growth, after waiting until day 29 you need to kill off half of the pond's lily pads every day for eternity just to avoid losing the entire pond. This is the lesson of exponential growth.

Human population problems are the exact same thing. 'Killing' off people with war, famine or whatever else, will accomplish very little other than treading water for another day on the pond. The only solution, short of extinction, is to manage the rate of population growth. Side stepping mathematical formulas, this simply means balancing the numbers of people born against the number dying over time, long periods of time. Right now, after millennia of always having the impetus to have more people born than are dying we need to learn to do the opposite, globally. This is occurring regionally (e.g. Japan, Italy) but is nowhere near the case everywhere.

Incidentally, tying to Chris article today, war and famine do kill people but this generally leads the survivors to have more children and repopulate quickly. In carpet bombing the MENA region we are likely setting off a demographic time bomb that will haunt us for centuries. Countries want this regrowth to have soldiers and manufacturing capacity but our entire economic system absolutely requires the exponential growth in human population so that consumption grows rapidly enough to support our insane monetary system etc.

We desperately need to reduce human populations but there is no easy fix. It requires changing everything if we are do do it in a way that will last.

Mark

P.S. Great analogy Blackeagle

richcabot's picture
richcabot
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violent agreement

Mark,

I  understand and agree with what you wrote.

I posit that the financial elite prefer the war/famine/disease path over the stabilize population path.

The disconnect comes from the people in control who require growth to keep their monetary system functioning and to insure their continued ability to live off everyone else.

Outlandish as it is, the bankers benefit by the a boom and bust system despite its obvious detriment to society.  They can't survive in a zero growth environment.

War makes them money through arms sales and by loaning the warring governments the funds required for the war.  Similar arguments can be made for profits to be made off disease if you happen to own pharmaceutical companies.  War increases demand for weapons and medicines and sometimes reduces supply.  Ask the survivors in Iraq.  Recall what supply and demand does to prices and profits.

War, famine and disease prevent people (and corporations) from paying off their debts.  Assets get destroyed, debts don't.  (how many corporations can you name that are debt free?)  The financial elite then forclose on the underlying assets.  Though they may lose some assets, hard times are more survivable by those with deeper pockets and less leverage.  The ability to print money out of thin air gives infinitely deep pockets.

When the dust settles, those at the top remain at the top with most of the damage occurring at the bottom.

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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My yogurt always turns out well when I watch the temperature.

After several decades working in the dairy industry, I can only smile when I read Black Eagles' analogy as a template on our current population predicament. I would urge, those concerned, to review the basics of bacteriology to enhance their knowledge of what we are in store for. If any of us think we will be able to do an "end run" around this, think again. There are not too many examples that deify these realities. Our chief concern will be to minimize the pain or to endure it. To reference thermodynamics , again, "we all long to break even, but we never do"!

http://textbookofbacteriology.net/growth_3.html

1. exhaustion of available nutrients; 2. accumulation of inhibitory metabolites or end products; 3. exhaustion of space, in this case called a lack of "biological space".

 

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Agreed

Richcabot,

Yes, there are those who always profit from the continual churning of boom/bust. There is a lot of money to be made in war for those producing and distributing the weapons/bombs but the attendant destruction also sows the seeds for another boom in construction, and DEBT, as everything that got blown up needs to get rebuilt again. An utter waste of resources and lives but some see nothing but dollar signs in every explosion. Just take a look at those before and after pictures in Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria that Chris posted today. How horrible, but then again, somebody gets to profit when they are rebuilt and refinanced yet again. The bankers are the ultimate winners as always since they make money no matter which way the winds blow so long as their monetary system and associated debt survive. I would like to see bankers, politicians and their kin all on the front lines of every battle. If there is true belief in the need for the eternal war machine then let their blood grease the wheels...

Mark

richcabot's picture
richcabot
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Smedley Butler

If memory serves me (Its been a while since I read his book War Is A Racket) one of General Smedley Butlers solutions to war was to require politicians that voted for it to actually serve in the front lines of the infantry fighting it.  I think he also suggested that the industrialists and bankers should be paid exactly the same wages as the infantry and that they forgo profits on any goods manufactured for the war and any bonds sold for the war.  I expect if these things were done war would disappear overnight.

I read a biography of Teddy Roosevelt a few years back.  He was a huge war monger during the Spanish American war but when his son died in WW1 he was devastated and had a significant change of attitude towards war.

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