Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/22 - Good News Friday: Engineer Revives Paralyzed Limb, When Will Self-Driving Cars Be A Real Thing?

Friday, January 22, 2016, 11:21 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Talented engineer revives paralyzed limb using scrap metal (richcabot)

Wayan Sumardana, a welder known as 'Tawan', created a self-made bionic arm in his workshop in a village near Bali. The 31-year-old Indonesian suffered a stroke six months ago, which left his left arm paralyzed. Sumardana developed a bionic arm from scrap and used metal parts, to help him keep working as a welder. The bionic arm functions by using signals from electrodes connected to Sumardana's scalp. The welder managed to create it using knowledge acquired during studies at a vocational school as well as searching on the internet.

Blast from the past: 140 years later, strange tree frog rediscovered in India (richcabot)

Most tadpoles feed on plant material. However, The Verge reported that a female Jerdon’s tree frog will return to her tadpoles and feed her young unfertilized eggs. The biologist who led the expedition, Sathyabhama Das Biju, told National Geographic that “It is very clear that [the tadpoles] are feeding purely on their mother’s eggs.”

When will self-driving cars be a real thing? (jdargis)

In less than two or three years, you will see some American car dealership advertising “driverless cars,” but in a gimmicky way. You’ll still have to sit at the wheel and…drive them. But they’ll park themselves and have super-duper cruise control and the like.

No Parking Here (jdargis)

We are, they say, on the cusp of a new era, when cities can begin dramatically reducing the amount of parking spaces they offer. This shift is being driven by a one-two punch of social and technological change. On the social side, people are increasingly opting to live in urban centers, where they don't need—or want—to own a car. They're ride-sharing or using public transit instead.

Is Energy The Next Big Investment? (Francois V.)

The seasoned investor holds dear the motto: buy low, sell high. In that light, is energy the next big investment?

In my opinion: yes.

But not yet.

The World Is Not Running Out Of Storage Space For Oil (Josh O.)

Oil analysts have closely watched storage levels as an important barometer of where the markets were heading. The thinking was that inventories would rise as the supply overhang persisted, but storage facilities would then drawdown relatively quickly as production slowed. But in early 2015 a funny thing happened: Inventory levels surged to their highest levels in 80 years in the U.S., pushing oil prices down into the $40s per barrel.

California sees boost in vaccination rate ahead of ban on opt-outs (jdargis)

Despite the improving vaccination rate, Californians aren’t out of the woods yet. In 2015, 13,000 kindergarteners started school unvaccinated thanks to a personal belief exemption. And about half of the state’s 58 counties reported a vaccination rate lower than the approximately 95 percent that’s needed to maintain herd immunity—a threshold of vaccination levels that effectively prevents diseases from spreading.

Sugar Warning Label Is Much More Effective Than You Might Expect (jdargis)

The results are pretty interesting: The labels about sugar-sweetened beverages, regardless of wording, had a much larger effect on the parents, causing them to decrease their selection of drinks with those warnings, than any of the other options. And parents were also quizzed after the survey about their understanding of sugar-sweetened beverages, and it looks like the parents actually read the warnings, because they proved much more concerned about sugar-sweetened beverages and less likely to purchase them in the future.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/21/16

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."


saxplayer00o1's picture
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Stimulus..... again

European stocks set to break weekly losing streak on ECB stimulus hopes

MarketWatch - ‎6 hours ago‎
European stocks jumped Friday, poised to break a weekly losing streak, as they extended a rally founded on the possibility the European Central Bank will enact more stimulus measures for the eurozone economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +3.46% leapt ...

Spanish Bonds Rise With Italy's After Draghi's Stimulus Signal

Bloomberg - ‎6 hours ago‎
Spanish and Italian government bonds rose for a second day, cementing a weekly advance on the prospect of more stimulus from the European Central Bank. Benchmark German 10-year bunds dropped, pushing yields up from a three-month low, as the rally ...

Nikkei jumps 5.5 pct on oil price bounce, stimulus hopes

Reuters-11 hours ago
TOKYO Jan 22 Japanese stocks soared more than 5 percent on Friday afternoon helped by a weaker yen, bounce in oil prices and a hint of more stimulus from ...

ECB's Coeure says quantitative easing is working

Reuters-4 hours ago
On the same panel, UBS chairman and former Bundesbank chief Axel Weber said central banks were tempting fate by pushing interest rates deep into negative ...

Brazil inflation reaches 12-year high in mid-January

Reuters-4 hours ago
Most Brazilians have endured bouts of hyperinflation until the creation of the real currency in 1994. Although the current spike is not nearly as severe as previous ...

Britain is now £1542000000000 in debt as George Osborne blows ...

Express.co.uk-4 hours ago
... over the current financial year to reach a staggering £1.542TRILLION. ... The monster debt is above the £68.9bn target for the entire fiscal year, which ends in ...

Scary Pension Math: Even After Bull Market, Governments Still Owe ...

Investor's Business Daily-17 hours ago
Now, with markets down more than 12% since summer, new pension debt is piling up ... 27% (2009) and 32% (2013), debt has now swollen to at least $1 trillion.

Stock market tumble could keep pension funds behind

WRAL.com-10 hours ago
... stock market losses led to a $268 billion increase in pension fund debt across the country, bringing the total to $1.7 trillion. He said he believes a strong end of ...

Nearly $8 trillion wiped off world stocks in January, US recession ...

Reuters-2 hours ago
"This pales in comparison to $36 billion during the August 2015 sell-off, $90 billion during the August 2011 debt ceiling sell-off, $85 billion during the 2008 great ...

Battered Emerging Markets Race to Stem Outflows

Wall Street Journal-19 hours ago
... a swollen debt burden is a major question hanging over the global economy. ENLARGE. Trillions of dollars flowed into emerging markets in the years after the ...

Emerging Economies Lack Tools to Fight Capital Flight: Chile Finance Minister

Jakarta Globe - ‎20 hours ago‎
Emerging markets last year saw their first annual capital outflows since 1988, according to the Institute of International Finance which earlier this week estimated the total as $735 billion and said another $450 billion would flee in 2016. Most reckon ...

S&P downgraded debt of 165 companies in fourth quarter

The Boston Globe-19 hours ago
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it downgraded the debt of 165 U.S. companies in the fourth quarter of 2015, representing $1.5 trillion, led by the oil, gas, ...

'The situation is worse than 2007'

NEWS.com.au-14 hours ago
Mr White said the European banking system already has about $US1 trillion in ... Global public and private debt has hit all-time highs, currently at 185 per cent of ...

US Treasury to Auction $167 Billion in Debt

Wall Street Journal-18 hours ago
The Treasury Department will auction $167 billion in securities next week, comprising $133 billion in new debt and $34 billion in previously auctioned debt.

Alberta Hit With Debt Ceiling Warning, Pipeline Snub

Huffington Post Canada - ‎1 hour ago‎
That budget calls for ramped up infrastructure spending in years to come, along with no drastic cuts to service levels or staffing and with a projected bottom line of almost $48 billion in debt by the end of the decade. "Today has been a very tough day ...

Investors Pull $4.9 Billion From Corporate Junk-Bond Funds

Bloomberg-2 hours ago
About $4.9 billion was pulled from speculative-grade debt funds in the week ended Jan. 20, according to a Bank of America Corp. note to clients, citing EPFR ...

Junk Bond Market Braces for What Could Be a $117 Billion Logjam

Bloomberg-14 hours ago
Some $117 billion of the securities maturing in 10 years or more could be cut to ... Investors have been happy to buy long-term debt from all kinds of companies ...

Detroit and Flint, sister cities in misery

MSNBC - ‎5 hours ago‎
After waves of school closings and layoffs, the city's schools remain more than $3 billion in debt. “We're on our fourth emergency manager here,” Craig Thiel, a senior research associate for the Citizens Research Council told the New York Times. “They ...

Italy's Padoan says talks with EU on bad loan management going well

Reuters-5 hours ago
Italian plans for a vehicle to take more than 200 billion euros ($216.62 billion) of bad ... sheets have been held up partly by arguments over how to price the debt.

Nigeria Plans $1 Billion Eurobond Sale to Fund Record Deficit

Bloomberg-1 hour ago
Nigeria plans to sell as much as $1 billion of Eurobonds to help fund a record budget deficit, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said. Officials from Africa's biggest ...

Canada calls on countries to run deficits at Davos

CTV News-20 hours ago
The Liberals promised not to run a deficit of greater than $10 billion this year and next, part of an infrastructure spending program designed to kick-start the ...

Sustained low oil prices could push state deficit higher than $3.5 ...(Alaska)

KTUU.com-21 hours ago
... the department's estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit will end up being even ... how large the actual deficit could end up being depending how low the price ...

Oil's Collapse Hurting States That Were Counting on $50-a-Barrel

Bloomberg-1 hour ago
... are a driver of the projected $1.9 billion deficit for the year that begins in July. ... revenue drawn from oil, lost its AAA rating from S&P this month after its deficit ...

Soros Says China Hard Landing Will Deepen the Rout in Stocks

Bloomberg-14 hours ago
The former hedge fund manager turned philanthropist joined a chorus of top ... China had about $843 billion of capital outflows in the 11 months through ...

NYC's Jobs Boom Fuels Revenue Growth for Bill de Blasio

Bloomberg - ‎19 hours ago‎
Pension costs will increase about $600 million a year, boosting expenses to $10.1 billion in 2020 from $9.3 billion this year, partly because of longer life expectancy and also because the stock market and other investments earned less than anticipated ...

Easton's employee pension funds are in trouble

WFMZ Allentown-19 hours ago
The unfunded pension liability increased from $9.1 million in 2009 to $28.2 million in 2013 as Easton's annual pension contributions more than tripled from ...

Illinois governor backs 'Democratic' state pension-cost plan

Reuters-22 hours ago
... called a Senate Democratic approach to curbing the state's $111 billion unfunded pension liability. But Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, ...

US public pensions may need to hike contribution rates as markets ...

Reuters-19 hours ago
State and local pension funds saw their unfunded liabilities jump by $268 billion to a staggering $1.7 trillion from June to September, according to the latest data ...

Next CPS budget will have an even bigger hole to fill: $800 million

Chicago Tribune - ‎22 hours ago‎
And CPS is expecting to net another $170 million after teachers begin paying 7 percent of their salaries toward pension costs — an expense currently covered by the district. Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said, "There'll be a ...

Moody's puts 175 energy and mining companies on downgrade watch

Financial Times-5 hours ago
Several of the world's biggest oil and gas groups — including Royal Dutch Shell ... fall in oil prices is putting pressure on many groups that led the US shale boom. ... struggle to maintain dividend payouts and refinance debt as revenues are hit.

Schlumberger Lays Off 10000 More People; US Land Activity ...

Natural Gas Intelligence-2 hours ago
The number of land rigs exploring for oil and gas in the United States was down ... on technology acquisitions, while increasing our net debt by only $160 million.

EconomyIMF sees Venezuela inflation at 720% this year

Financial Times-2 hours ago
Analysts are increasingly warning that Venezuela could default on its debt this year. With about $10.5bn of external debt due for repayment over the next 12 ...

Puerto Rico Sued by Third Bond Insurer to Halt Revenue Raid

Bloomberg - ‎21 hours ago‎
FGIC asked the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico to block Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla's administration from diverting revenue that's pledged to repay debt issued by some agencies, according to a Jan 19 lawsuit. The governor's decision last month ...

Time to freak out: 4 reasons the global economy is screwed

LA Daily News - ‎22 hours ago‎
A fresh blast of cold air swept across global financial and commodity markets on Wednesday, raising fears that the world economy could be heading toward a recession — one perhaps even bigger than the last one. Further falls in crude oil prices were ...
pinecarr's picture
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Milkweed for monarchs

From http://www.nwf.org/Pollinators/Monarch/Milkweed-Resources.aspx

Milkweed for Monarchs

Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline.
Indeed, eradication of milkweed both in agricultural areas as well as in urban and suburban landscapes is one of the primary reasons that monarchs are in trouble today.

Plant Milkweed



The good news is that planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs. There are several dozen species of this wildflower native to North America, so no matter where you live, there is at least one milkweed species naturally found in your area.

Planting local milkweed species is always best. You can collect your own seed or purchase seed or plants to add to your garden, or any landscape in your community. Three species have particularly wide ranges and are good choices in most regions: common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and butterflyweed (A. tuberosa). The latter two are highly ornamental and widely available via the nursery trade.

Note:  Tropical milkweed available at many retail nurseries is not native to the U.S.  However it has naturalized in the Southeastern U.S. Science is discovering that its long bloom time may have some detrimental effects on monarch migration and possibly be a source to spread disease within monarch populations.  If you do have tropical milkweed in your garden, it is recommended to cut the plant back in the winter months to encourage monarchs to move on to their natural overwintering sites.

Other related sites:




Uncletommy's picture
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Thou shall not be smug

Sometimes, as a PP groupie, it is hard not to feel somewhat secure, especially, if you are on a little piece of ground with no debt, raising your own food, with none of your kids in jail and none of them in politics or the legal profession, living within your means and trying to contribute to your neighbor's or community's well being. As I read Saxplayers's recap for the day, it is apparent that the great wealth transfer is in full swing and showing strong signs of continuing down the financial slope. With a bullish finish this week, I would expect to see another correction coming in the middle of next week, again, signaling a "battening- down-of-the-hatches" as investors begin to come to their senses and realize that we all can't be big winners. Talk to any experienced and realistic broker and he'll tell you to 'hunker-down" and hang on to your cash and liquid assets and prepare for the new "slow-money".

The impending weather system, set to knock the buds off the cherry trees in Washington may be a telling indicator of the need for restraint to those who wish to listen (or is that the echo of Bernie's voice reverberating off the marble) . Consider:


  • Monsanto's sales of Roundup is down 34%(great news, eh, Pinecarr?)
  • Saudi's SALIC investing in land in Sudan, California, Canada, Poland, etc., as they see their ability to grow wheat lasting, maybe, a couple more years (talk about water shortages!)
  • Gold poised to become the new "Pet Rock" for all those who hope it will weather them through the next financial crunch (especially those with paper Gold)
  • India facing a 13.7% loss in yield due to the recent drought

As for me, I best not be smug about my position, but plan to sit back and enjoy the company of those that see the abundance we, here in North America, have and pray that sanity and a sense of thankfulness influences our future decisions. You know, it is a Good News Friday! 





pinecarr's picture
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re: Monsanto's sales of Roundup is down 34%

It IS a good news Friday! devil

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Another reason to plant Milkweed is the beautiful flowers! It's one of the best-smelling flowers there is.

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David Huang
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Posts: 77
Common Milkweed is a food for you too!

Growing milkweed for Monarchs is great.  Growing it for beautiful flowers is wonderful too. I've been letting it grow in my garden for both reasons.  Late this past year though I got Samuel Thayer's books on wild edible plants.  I've researched wild edibles for quite a few years, reading many different books on the topic.  Thayer's are in a class by themselves WAY beyond any others I've seen!!  In "The Forager's Harvest" he covers common milkweed, the edible parts, and discusses the often repeated myth that it's bitter, which it isn't.  It's a wonderful food plant that I started more actively harvesting last year after reading his account of it.  This coming year I plan to actively cultivate it's growth and increase its numbers on my property as food for both the monarchs and myself.  Lately I've been studying permaculture ideas and looking to raise more perennial food plants on my property.  Common milkweed is a perennial providing edible parts at multiple times throughout the year, and it's good food!  I'm pretty excited about this plant now. 

Here's a link to an essay Samuel Thayer has published on his website.  It's not nearly as in depth as what is in his book, but it gives a good account of common milkweed.  http://foragersharvest.com/milkweed-a-truly-remarkable-wild-vegetable/

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Arthur Robey
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Another variety and skin cancer.

Can't say cures (shhh. Big Pharma)



pinecarr's picture
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Posts: 2262
Beautiful milkweed photo, Wendy! And BTW...

How are you guys doing weather-wise, with the big blizzard hitting the area?  I remember you're in the Carolinas, which I believe are in the path of the storm.

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Posts: 4261
Kuroda Advises China to Impose Capital Controls to Defend Yuan

Kuroda Advises China to Impose Capital Controls to Defend Yuan

Bloomberg-5 hours ago
China's stockpile plunged $513 billion last year to $3.33 trillion, the first ... pivot from debt-fueled investment and exports toward consumption and services.

-IMF's Lagarde says markets need clarity on China currency

Reuters-4 hours ago
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, speaking on the same panel at the ... The Chinese central bank has been generous with liquidity, pumping a net 315 ...

Desperate in Davos: policymakers struggle for answers

Reuters - ‎2 hours ago‎
Last January, in a bold sign of policy activism, the European Central Bank unveiled its hotly anticipated stimulus, or quantitative easing (QE), program in a bid to kick-start growth and inflation in a euro zone still reeling from financial turmoil and ...

China's banking stress looms like Banquo's Ghost in Davos

Telegraph.co.uk-Jan 22, 2016
The more China burns through reserves to offset capital outflows and hold the line on the yuan, the more it tightens internal monetary policy - a variant of the ...

U.S. Steel lawyers focus on when former Stelco 'unable to meet its debts'

Hamilton Spectator - ‎19 hours ago‎
The trial is to decide if the $2.2 billion the American parent company claims from U.S. Steel Canada is really debt or injections of equity into a struggling subsidiary. If Superior Court Judge Herman Wilton-Siegel decides the claim is truly a debt ...

Peabody sells stake in Illinois power plant for fraction of investment

Belleville News-Democrat-18 hours ago
Peabody announced Thursday that it would sell its 5 percent stake in the Prairie State Energy campus for $57 million. It originally invested nearly $250 million in the 1,600-megawatt facility, which opened in 2012.

India's Exports Shrink 15% In Dec, Trade Deficit Widens On Gold ...

South Asian Link-11 hours ago
Imports shrank 3.88% to $33.96 billion in December on yearly basis. Gold imports jumped almost three-fold thereby pushing up the trade deficit to a 4-month ...

Hong Kong's Chan Says City's Economic Growth to Slow From 2015

Bloomberg-9 hours ago
Hong Kong's GDP is estimated by economists to have grown 2.3 percent in 2015, the most sluggish since 2008 amid rising concerns about China's slowdown ...

Bond Traders Tell Fed Optimism on Growth, Inflation Is Misplaced

Bloomberg-13 hours ago
He said a slowdown in the Chinese economy is contributing to global deflation. Futures traders assign about a 24 percent chance that the Fed will boost ...

Looming downgrades point to turmoil in 2016 for mining, energy

The Globe and Mail-19 hours ago
The slowdown in China's economy has wreaked havoc on the natural-resources sector. Minerals such as iron ore and metallurgical coal have declined more ...

Fearing default by Atlantic City, S&P slashes rating

Philly.com - ‎19 hours ago‎
"The city is currently vulnerable to nonpayment on its obligations and we believe it is likely to default without an unforeseen positive development," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Timothy Little. The downgrade of Atlantic City's general ...

S&P slashes Atlantic City credit rating four notches deeper into junk

Reuters - ‎20 hours ago‎
Atlantic City, New Jersey's distressed gambling hub, had its credit rating cut four notches deeper into junk territory on Friday on the likelihood of a debt default in the next six months. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services issued the super-downgrade ...

Venezuela opposition rejects Maduro's 'economic emergency' decree

Stabroek News - ‎9 hours ago‎
CARACAS, (Reuers) – Venezuela's opposition refused yesterday to approve President Nicolas Maduro's “economic emergency” decree in Congress, saying it offered no solutions for the OPEC member-nation's increasingly disastrous recession. Underlining the ...

Brazil economy shed 1.5 million jobs in 2015

Arab News - ‎21 hours ago‎
Brazil is set to have both the worst recession and the third-highest inflation rate among G-20 economies in 2016, according to Reuters Polls. The government, whose popularity has sunk to near record lows, has sent erratic signals about economic policy, ...

Brazil's Rousseff signals tapping foreign reserves possible: media

Reuters - ‎19 hours ago‎
Most in her economic team share that view, but with Brazil in its worst recession in decades and with a growing fiscal deficit to boot, Rousseff is under pressure from her leftist Workers' Party to ditch austerity and spend more, including some of the ...

Market tumble puts quake in pension funds

Jacksonville Journal Courier - ‎9 hours ago‎
“For the most part, we are in it for the long haul,” said Christine Radogno, the Republican state Senate leader in Illinois, which faces the nation's largest unfunded pension liability, at more than $100 billion, and is in a tough spot because the ...

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