Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/16 - Water Table Dropping All Over The World, Falling Stocks Squeeze Pension Funds

Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 11:47 AM

Economy

Warning With A Capital "W" (Aaron M.)

Given our focus on historically-informed, value-conscious, full-cycle investing, I generally don’t place much attention on short-term technical factors or specific patterns of price action. However, the current setup is one of the few exceptions. In a market return/risk classification that is already the most negative we identify, where a sustained period of speculation has given way increasing risk-aversion, the position of the market relative to very widely identified “support” (about the 1820 level on the S&P 500) is of particular note.

Falling stocks squeezing pension funds (thc0655)

Since Philadelphia is already paying about $600 million a year - one-sixth of the city budget - to keep its deeply underfunded pension system from evaporating, weak returns keep city pension subsidies high for years to come. Montgomery County says its smaller plan is in better shape.

Bill Holter: Global Collapse And The Mark Of The Beast (pinecarr)

And Bill says, the cashless society is coming into view as increasingly desperate bankers seek to keep humanity chained to dying criminal banking institutions. “We are headed toward the Mark of the Beast,” Bill says. If the Bankers are allowed to get their way, “You’re not going to be able to do business without some kind of card, or some kind of chip.”

Larry Summers Launches The War On Paper Money: "It's Time To Kill The $100 Bill" (PBD)

Well, not even 24 hours later, and another Harvard "scholar" and Fed chairman wannabe, Larry Summers, has just released an oped in the left-leaning Washington Post, titled "It’s time to kill the $100 bill" in which he makes it clear that the pursuit of paper money is only just starting. Not surprisingly, just like in Europe, the argument is that killing the Benjamins would somehow eradicate crime, saying that "a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place."

Death and hunger stalk Venezuela (pinecarr, signup required)

In a hospital in western Venez­uela, the economic crisis took a grim toll this month: six infants died because there wasn’t enough medicine or functioning respirators.

In the capital, Caracas, the crisis has turned ordinary life into an ordeal. Chronic blackouts prompted the government to begin rationing electricity, darkening shopping malls. Homes regularly suffer water shortages.

U.S. Closing a Loophole on Products Tied to Slaves (jdargis)

“Step by step, I do really think we’re making progress, and there is a growing awareness of how much we need to get more control over the world’s oceans and the range of crime that happens out there,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview on Monday. He added that he hoped to build on the momentum in the fall during a global meeting, called Our Oceans, that he will host in Washington.

Utilities Just Declared War On Solar (HughK, Josh O.)

In 2015, the U.S. saw 16 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity installed, which accounted for two-thirds of the total. Solar alone accounted for about one-third of new capacity last year. Natural gas only captured 25 percent of the newly installed capacity despite several years of incredibly low prices. The banner year for clean energy occurred while 11 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity came offline as old plants were retired amid rising costs and stricter environmental regulation. The clean energy transition is very much underway.

4 Billion People at Risk as 'Water Table Dropping All Over the World' (PBD)

Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, and had found that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people. The new study, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, assessed water scarcity on a monthly basis, more fully capturing the specific times of year when it could be an issue.

"Water scarcity has become a global problem affecting us all," stated study co-author Arjen Hoekstra, a professor of water management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/12/16

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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5 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4167
Illinois

Illinois governor readies FY 2017 budget despite political impasse

Reuters - ‎58 minutes ago‎
The ongoing stalemate is deepening the fiscal woes of the fifth-largest U.S. state. The state's backlog of unpaid bills, currently at $7.2 billion, could reach $12 billion by June 30, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger warned recently. Illinois ...
 

Broken Illinois and the AFSCME gambit

Chicago Tribune - ‎19 minutes ago‎
We don't know what the governor will say during his budget address Wednesday, but we know he's got a couple of key facts at his disposal: Illinois has a $111 billion unfunded pension obligation. It has a pile of unpaid bills. And by pushing this ...
 
 

Illinois state budget crisis at a glance: Revenue down, spending up, no one in control and no end in sight

Reboot Illinois - ‎18 hours ago‎
Rauner vetoed all but one of the 20 budget bills (he signed legislation to fund elementary and secondary education, ensuring that schools statewide would open on time), saying he wouldn't discuss the budget until Democrats pass some of the business and ...
sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1926
Being played by pro's

Coming off a night of reading about Leo Strauss' views how the intellectually superior are entitled to dominate the intellectually inferior through cunning, deceit, and the skillful application of social science principles, I find this headline on my Yahoo page:

So here we have a play in the battle between the state and the individual over privacy rights.  Apple gets to participate in the drama as a heroic resister.  The near-universial distrust for government (FBI) intrusion gets juices flowing and,  .... wait ...  best of all, our sympathy for those poor murdered souls is elicited and we WANT the state to intrude into the phones of citizens "for our own safety!"  Without unrestricted access to our private electronics how can the government "keep the children safe?"

Snowden says that particular bridge was crossed long ago: the NSA already has back door access to all personal electronics. 

This is just a play in the consensus mind-space.  How stupid are we willing to be?

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2840
Pretty stupid it would seem

Why $100 bills and €500 notes may soon be killed off (CNN Money)

 

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1227
How Far Will The U.S. Go If Turkey Invades Syria?

A nice if worrisome description of the situation. The US needs another war to distract everyone from the collapsing economy...

 

How Far Will The U.S. Go If Turkey Invades Syria?

The Government of Turkey has now put itself in a position whereby it must act rapidly and precipitously to avoid moving to an ultimately losing strategic position in the war against Syria, which could result in being forced back to fight a full-scale civil war to prevent the break-up of the State into at least two compo-nents, one being a new Kurdish state.

Turkey’s leadership, in insisting — in 2011-12 — on sponsoring a proxy war to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has already led to a refugee crisis of irreversible strategic damage to Europe, but Turkish Presisdent Reçep Tayyip Erdogan, the Saudi Arabian military-political leadership, the U.S. Barack Obama administration, and the Qatari Emir now find themselves with nowhere to go except to escalate further in the hope that the Syrian revival, backed by Russia and Iran, will collapse.

Clear indications are emerging in Washington, DC, that the Pentagon is preparing to support a direct mili-tary invasion of Syria by Turkish Armed Forces, despite the Munich accord in the week ending February 13, 2016, which was meant to bring about a ceasefire in Syrian fighting. US officials have been actively en-gaged with those of Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia in the preparations for ground force attacks on Kurd-ish military formations inside northern Syria, and U.S. Air Force Fairchild A-10 strike aircraft have deployed over northern Syrian territory in early February.

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1227
Quite the strategy

Similar math can be done no matter what the currency. "If a drugs gang collects up to £1m in twenties from its clients on street corners, those notes will weigh more than 50kg - about 50 bags of sugar," the BBC reported five years ago. "The equivalent in 500 euro banknotes weighs just over 2kg."

So the strategy seems to be one of stopping the drug trade by increasing money-toting induced hernias in drug gangs.... Maybe the health plan increases will kill the cartels?

Great approach! Now the drug king pins will just have to go back to the banks with their illicit funds to avoid the inconvenience of lugging cash... Central bankers get tough on crime!

Then again, removing the high-denomination bills may not be motivated by monetary policy at all. According to the Financial Times, ECB governor Mario Draghi has said that killing the €500 has nothing to do with reducing cash, and everything to do with fighting criminal activity.

Anybody remember this headline from 2014?

Banks Launder Billions of Illegal Cartel Money While Snubbing Legal Marijuana Businesses

Bank of America, Western Union, and JP Morgan, are among the institutions allegedly involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, HSBC has admitted its laundering role, and evaded criminal prosecution by paying a fine of almost $2 billion. The lack of imprisonment of any bankers involved is indicative of the hypocritical nature of the drug war; an individual selling a few grams of drugs can face decades in prison, while a group of people that tacitly allow -- and profit from -- the trade of tons, escape incarceration.

Beware of bankers claiming to 'protect' you from criminals...

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