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Daily Digest 12/22 - Uncertainty Looms Over 2016, Obama Plans Summit on Migrant Crisis

Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 10:28 AM

Economy

Congress earns praise for permanent R&D tax credit, extended solar ITC (richcabot)

“A permanent R&D credit is a huge win for the semiconductor industry,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “No industry invests a higher percentage of revenue in research than the U.S. semiconductor industry. Sustained, long-term research and innovation have been the foundations of the U.S. semiconductor industry’s leadership in the world marketplace for semiconductors. By making the credit permanent, this legislation will enhance the ability of the U.S. semiconductor industry to innovate and continue to improve our daily lives.”

Uncertainty Looms Over Global Markets In 2016 (Tom K.)

The pace of China easing may sway things and seems the biggest swing factor in 2016. But valuations are still in the 90 percent of historical P/Es, which doesn’t bode well for returns nor does tepid EPS growth overall for U.S. companies. However, for investors, it has paid to follow Federal Reserve policies in determining asset allocation over the past seven years, buying riskier beta equities in technology/biotechnology and short commodities. The recent rate rise has changed that somewhat as it signaled the Fed has pulled back from the easy money that fueled the asset bubbles the past decades.

Professor Fekete About Gold And The Debt Society (Taki T.)

“There were two instances of default, one in 1933 under a Democratic president and again one in 1971 under a Republican president. Both were fraudulent in the sense that the U.S. Treasury did possess the gold in question that should have been paid out to meet claims. In particular, in 1933 the U.S. defaulted on its gold bonds. As a result, people were denied the facility of converting income into wealth and vice versa through buying and selling gold bonds. They still are.”

Silver: May the 100 Year Force Be With You (GE Christenson)

If defaulting on the national debt and raising taxes can’t or won’t happen, governments are left with more of the same – add more debt, pretend it will be repaid, increase consumer prices, and hope the financial system does not crash. This will lead to ugly consequences such as much higher inflation, a deflationary crash, and/or a hyperinflationary depression.

Obama Plans Summit on Migrant Crisis (jdargis)

The country admits about 70,000 refugees from all over the world each year, but it has taken very few Syrians since the start of the conflict there. In large part that is because of lengthy requirements intended to screen for security risks.

Bringing an Extinct Tortoise Species Back to Life (jdargis)

George was the last saddlebacked tortoise from Pinta Island, found wandering alone in 1972 and taken into human custody. Scientists hope to capture and separate tortoises with high levels of similar DNA to breed tortoises genetically closest to the original species, then release them back to Pinta and Floreana Islands in an effort to help restore their lost ecosystems.

The Benefits of Dry-Farming Wine—For the Palate and the Planet (jdargis)

Over the years, however, commerce eclipsed custom. Irrigating vines, American farmers found, invariably increased yields. And more grapes per acre meant more profits per acre. (Once the connection with yield had been established, many U.S. banks began refusing loans to vineyards that didn’t promise to irrigate.) Today, the majority of California wineries irrigate their vineyards even in years, and areas, with plentiful rainfall.

The Only Way to Save Your Beloved Bananas Might Be Genetic Engineering (Merle2)

The finding seems to confirm every banana grower's worst fear: that the Cavendish will go down the same way our old favorite banana did. A century ago, Americans ate only Gros Michel bananas, said to have more complex flavor and a heartier composition than today's Cavendish variety. Then, the monoculture fell prey to the fungal disease Tropical Race 1, or "Panama disease," which wiped out the crop around the globe. There was nothing anything could do to stop it.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/21/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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5 Comments

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Arbitration as shield against class action suits

A debt collector had garnished his bank account after suing him for about $4,500 the company said he owed on an old debt.

Yet when Mr. Cain brought a class action in 2013 against Midland Funding, the company successfully fought to have the lawsuit dismissed.

... banks, car dealers, online retailers, cellphone service providers and scores of other companies have insulated themselves from challenges to illegal or deceptive business practices. Once (the potential for) a class action was dismantled, court and arbitration records showed, few if any of the individual plaintiffs pursued arbitration (due to cost of representation).

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/23/business/dealbook/sued-over-old-debt-and-blocked-from-suing-back.html

 

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1216
US wild bee numbers decline as land is converted for biofuel

Alas, I live in a wild bee desert...

US wild bee numbers decline as land is converted for biofuel

The results show that numbers of wild bees likely declined by 23% between 2008 and 2013 in key agricultural regions in California, the Midwest, in Great Plains states and in the Mississippi river valley.

The study also showed that 39% of US croplands that depend on pollinators are suffering a significant mismatch between the demand for pollination and the supply of bees.

----

 

"If you look at the maps, the places that show the lowest abundance is essentially a map of intensified agriculture in the US," said Prof Ricketts.

"That's a footprint of agriculture's effect on bees, and its a habitat loss thing and it's also a chemicals and pesticides thing for sure."

 

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 3 2014
Posts: 476
Correlation or causation ?

Lots of bees in my back yard. But then I grow dandelions and clover and don't use atrazine.

 

map-atrazine-us-usgs.gif

Atrazine use in the U.S.

Mono-cropping doesn't help either. Diverse crop mix lengthens honey flow and nectar variety. Many counties spray ditches where weeds never get a chance to bloom. Connection?

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
correlation - at least

Atrazine is widely used in row crop agriculture, particularly corn.

Row crop monoculture displaces native bee habitat.

"Small family farms with several different crops have largely given way to large, single-crop fields, and pesticide use has increased dramatically. At the same time, undeveloped natural areas that might have harbored wild bees are shrinking or disappearing. "

http://www.xerces.org/2010/07/21/beauty-and-the-bees/

 

 

I have not found reports that atrazine itself is toxic to bees.

KennethPollinger's picture
KennethPollinger
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 653
Bernie's my man!

Here's a guy who agrees with us.

"To Rein In Wall Street, Fix the Fed," NYTimes, 12/23  Op-Ed page.   Ken  Worthwhile and to the point!!

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