Daily Digest

Shutterstock: 185939546

Daily Digest 5/29 - Stronger Economy Lets ECB Kick Back, A City Built on Sand, Bleaching of Coral Reefs

Sunday, May 29, 2016, 10:31 AM

Economy

Oil Pessimists Exit Market as Supplies Seen Closer to Balance

The oil market doomsayers are beginning to capitulate.

"If you’ve been short since February this has been a very painful ride," said Kyle Cooper, director of research with IAF Advisors and Cypress Energy Capital Management in Houston. "There are always a few die-hards but otherwise you’d want to get out. This is indicative of the improving fundamentals."

Stronger Economy Lets ECB Kick Back, Let Stimulus Work

FRANKFURT, Germany — Europe's economic recovery is finally showing signs it might be the real deal, after years of sluggishness and false starts.

And that means the European Central Bank likely won't have to step up its ongoing 1.74 trillion-euro ($1.93 trillion) stimulus program when it meets this week.

What it's like to sue the government for data

It started out simply: Quartz's David Yanofsky was reporting a story about the number of Brazilians who visit Disney World each year. He needed data about who was entering the United States, and when, where, and why. When he found the information he was looking for, he got some bad news: he'd have to buy it.

The days are numbered for price-matching

Price-matching has been in the news this week: Amazon customers criticized the retail giant for ending its practice of matching cheaper prices. Amazon soon shot back it never had such a policy, except for TVs.

Now Wal-Mart is ending price-matching in 500 of its stores. Customers have traditionally been able to come in brandishing a cheaper rival’s ad – and get refunded the difference. As of June 9, they’ll be able to price check on an app and get a gift card back instead of cash.

A Worrisome Pileup of $100 Million Homes

One of the latest symbols of the overinflated luxury housing market is a pink mansion perched above the Mediterranean on the French Riviera.

The listing is part of a global pileup of homes listed for $100 million or more. A record 27 properties with nine-figure prices are officially for sale, according to Christie’s International Real Estate. That is up from 19 last year and about a dozen in 2014.

Along the new Silk Road, a city built on sand is a monument to China’s problems

This city is supposed to be the “diamond” on China’s Silk Road Economic Belt — a new metropolis carved out of the mountains in the country’s arid northwest.

But it is shaping up to be fool’s gold, a ghost city in the making.

Energy

European Natural Gas Prices Collapse

Oil and natural gas producers cannot catch a break of late it seems. A few years after the onset of the natural gas glut, Europe is experiencing a similar phenomenon with Russia and Norway using tactics akin to those used by the Saudis with oil. The result is rock bottom prices on natural gas that are benefiting utility companies across the continent. The effective result of these actions is also hitting LNG terminal development economics in the U.S. and minimizing growth of imports from Qatar.

Environment

Bleaching May Have Killed Half the Coral on the Northern Great Barrier Reef, Scientists Say

SYDNEY, Australia — Mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in the past three months has killed as much as half of the coral in the north but left large parts of the southern reaches with only minor damage, scientists in Australia said on Sunday.

The current bleaching is the third to strike the roughly 1,400-mile-long reef in 18 years and the most extreme scientists have recorded.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM End of Week Market Commentary: 5/27/16

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."

14 Comments

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1714
German woman despairs as 3E's impact social decay

http://vladtepesblog.com/2016/05/29/anon-open-letter-translated-from-pi-news/

She's just one person, and so an anecdote.  However, what she has to say is revealing and depressing.  On the bright side, if we could find her email we could invite her to join us here at PP.com.  She'd love it!!

Inner Immigration

(Résumé of a German woman)

I am almost 50 years old, I have a University degree, and was – out of love for nature – always a trusted voter for the Green Party. I never felt much interest for politics. In Germany everything seemed to always go its natural regular course. I had trusted our parliamentary democracy, I thought our administration would hardly make mistakes, because it is controlled by the opposition. Never, absolutely never did I think that I would lose all my trust in the State. It’s unbearable that I am afraid of the future. Preferably I’d just like to leave. But I feel to old to leave Europe.

What country would even take me anymore? I am not a shameless African that just seats himself in a refugee boat. I would properly apply to the respective immigration authority. But my chances are close to zero. I am – like most Europeans – damned to impotence as I see this invasion happen...

I do not have much power. But there are a few things that are within my might:

1. I will dedicate my time to look over my income tax very in depth, and I will not give away another cent of my money to this robber government.

2. I am seriously thinking of leaving my church, because the church is not fulfilling their mission duty. With this action, I can save another 1,000 Euro.

3. I will do nothing that stimulates consumption. Only buy the very necessary things. The finance minister will in the future only collect the absolutely unavoidable consumption taxes.

4. I will not leave any money on bank accounts, instead I will invest it in foreign currency and gold, and keep it stored in my house.

5. I will only vacation in non-EU countries.

6. I will in the coming year, two times for six weeks each of my free time, devote to the AfD and hand out flyers. When I read the preamble of the AfD program  I had to cry because it is so beautiful. I will share this program wherever my feet will take me.

See the whole article.  And can someone tell me why so many of the "refugees" are males in the 15-30 year old age range?

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2039
The refugee pictures and numbers are frightening

Tom, the article you linked from the Daily Mail paints a picture and offers numbers that are frightening to me.

Twelve thousand (12,000) migrants have been rescued from people-smugglers' boats off the coast of Libya and heading for Italy in the past week alone. And more – maybe a million more – who come from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia will soon be on their way there, too.

[L]arge numbers of those coming ashore in Sicily were not refugees fleeing persecution or war. Many were economic migrants, who may have come from countries run by despots, or live on less in a year than most in the West get paid in a week – but who have now slipped into Europe illegally with few questions asked.

On Italy's mainland, the southern port of Salerno yesterday received more than 1,000 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who had been recovered by a Norwegian ship[, the Siem Pilot].   As soon the Siem Pilot docked, those most unwell were taken on stretchers to makeshift medical tents set up on the quay.  Among them, 173 were found to have scabies.   The arrivals, including tens of pregnant women and at least 107 children...

Though we might intellectually know that:

  • Collapse happens from the outside in.
  • Those in unsustainable area will attempt to migrate to the more sustainable thereby converting the "more sustainable areas" into unsustainability.
  • The Earth is far beyond her carrying capacity (far into population overshoot)
  • May human beings will die before any kind of equilibrium is possible.
  • In an era of declining energy reserves and natural resources, it is reasonable to expect this will escalate.

Seeing it playing out is very frightening and heart breaking.

 

 

 

 

debu's picture
debu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2009
Posts: 237
Wicked Problem?

This refugee/migrant issue seems to be an example of a wicked problem.

Ilargi at Automatic Earth every day accuses the EU of being morally bankrupt for failing to accept with open arms all from the MENA region that wash up on its shores.  I have not seen him address possible reasons for the EU not being able to do so, whether they be a matter of logistics or the ability of countries/societies to assimilate large influxes of people from divergent cultures .

The PC orthodoxy that reigns in Europe (and Canada, too, btw, regarding Syrian refugees) makes it difficult to suggest in polite company that the problem is only beginning and that there are simply limits to what we in the wealthy developed countries can do. But polite company typically has no truck with finite world realities and so one appears at best heartless, or worse racist for stating what should be the obvious.

I am really at a loss at how to think about and discuss this situation. It would be a start if US/NATO desisted from its "interventions" in the ME but even that wouldn't address the climate change-related causes of the great migration presently underway.

Are there any approaches or solutions that would be both humane and realistic, hard-headed but not hard-hearted?

Apologies for the slightly incoherent rant but I would dearly like to know what others make of this impossible situation. I'm stumped and like sand_puppy find it frightening and heartbreaking.

 

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5693
a migration story

A long time ago, the Mexican government encouraged migration into one of their provinces known as "Texas."  A large number of Americans responded.  In time, the 5000 Mexicans were outnumbered by the 20,000 American migrants.  Belatedly, the Mexican government decided to stop immigration.  They sent the army, but given the huge size of the country and the tiny army, that didn't work so well.  Pretty soon, the 30,000 American migrants outnumbered the Mexicans.

A few years later, a Mexican general staged a coup, replacing the Mexican republic with a dictatorship.

Eventually, the American migrants decided they didn't really want to be a part of Mexico any more.  More Americans flooded into Texas.  After some fighting, a new nation was born.

Moral of the story: uncontrolled migration by people from another culture can be problematic.  As in, existentially problematic.

Australia fixed the problem on their terms.  Boats are intercepted and sent back.  Its a very tough job for the Australian Navy, I am sure.

My guess is, the "Green Meme" culture won't survive sustained migration.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2039
Refugee Response: Confused and Conflicted

Debu, there is little posting here on PP.com on this subject, I notice.  I expect that that is because all responses are horrible and we can't even begin to cope yet with what is about to happen.  We are sitting around holding our breaths praying what we see developing does not in fact develop.

The PP crowd is smart enough to know that both an open borders approach and closed borders approach have terrible, terrible costs.  We understand that all 8-9 billion of us will not be living together in love in the resource diminished, polluted world of the next decades.

1.  We leave borders open and welcome immigrants:  Millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions come into the first world communities making them into third world slums.  Then the armed conflict starts inside the borders of the formerly first world countries on the streets of our towns and cities, social structures and infrastructures are destroyed, shrinking the pie suddenly and catastrophically.  Then hundreds-of-millions to multiple-billions die.  And it is happening right in our own towns and we are among those who die.

2.  We seal the border keeping refugees out:  Refugee's die at the borders by the millions and in the areas that were first to collapse.  The first world loses any ability to claim humanitarian values (the hypocrisy cost of turning away refugees) as the first world's defense of its borders causes refugee drownings, starvation and deaths by gunshot as our soldiers defend "the wall."  Our hearts are torn.  We have a world of terrible inequality like Matt Damon's movie, Elysium.  But, we, the privileged, can keep enough privilege to garden, collect rainwater, and defend our homes and streets.

Am I seeing a false dichotomy?  Please show me that I am.

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1714
Who will make the tough decisions?

It seems no one has the courage to make the tough decisions required when there are no easy, painless choices left.  For those inclined to allow large numbers of "refugees" in, no one seems willing to try to calculate how many can reasonably be let in without capsizing the lifeboat and taking everybody with it. Instead, they appeal to humanitarian values and fling open the doors without a sensible plan to save as many as possible without creating a new, bigger disaster.

And of course a taste of that kind disaster (as Europe is already tasting) is enough to cause an over reaction in the opposite direction in which "refugees" are attacked and all the doors are slammed shut without even considering who and how many could be allowed in.  The only possible way to mitigate this overreaction is to have a rational plan accepted by the majority in the nation about what can be reasonably be done and to strictly limit the "refugees" according to the plan.  But no one has the stomach for that.  Triage is a bitch.

Then, of course, there are those who see the refugee situation as an opportunity for personal gain (e.g. perhaps some American politicians see most refugees as a future voting bloc for their party). So they disregard what's best for those in and out of the lifeboat, and focus on their short-term political/economic goals.

So I imagine we'll drift along like this making the decisions which are the easiest to make until we've created an even bigger disaster than we already have.  And then someday when it erupts in my city, I'll get tapped on the shoulder and ordered to wade into the mob with my officers and subdue the rioters (outnumbered at least 100 to 1).

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2890
Nah na na nah, nah na na nah...
thc0655 wrote:

It seems no one has the courage to make the tough decisions required when there are no easy, painless choices left.  For those inclined to allow large numbers of "refugees" in, no one seems willing to try to calculate how many can reasonably be let in without capsizing the lifeboat and taking everybody with it. Instead, they appeal to humanitarian values and fling open the doors without a sensible plan to save as many as possible without creating a new, bigger disaster.

Food for thought

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 268
Not with a bang but a whimper

Back in my undergrad days I read a novel (I think it was The Last Western by Thomas S. Klise) where the ending had a group of third world refugees landing on the shores of southern France with no one there to stop, question, or otherwise challenge them.  The implication being that the West had become so mixed up, had lost all social ideals and coherency, to the point that new barbarian invasions had begun and no one even cared or realized there was an issue.

The immigration issues in Europe the past year have many times frighteningly reminded me of that story.  The West is in such political, social and moral decay that we are paralyzed. No will to welcome, no determination to turn back, no idea as to how to come up with a comprehensive plan.

Debu and Sand-Puppy are right.  It is both heartbreaking and frightening. Thc0655 is also correct. If those of us in North American do not, or cannot, come up with some reasonable response to what is occurring in Europe we will in the not too distant future see the boats arriving on our shores.

Knowing what I know  of the current state of the US and Canada I have little hope that our response will be any better than the Europeans.

JT

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 160
HALF RIGHT!

Aloha! Mexico had to win its independence from Spain. Yet more European Empire builders ravaging the planet! We forget about the brutal European Monarchies that destroyed entire cultures with their lust for land and gold and silver. It's the classic human condition that still runs global governments today.

It was not Mexico that let the Texans in originally it was Spain in 1820 when Stephen F Austin's father Moses Austin with the help of Baron de Bastrop were given a land grant from the Spanish government for 300 families. But who did Spain take Texas from? 

Go back to 1689 and the French had a colony there first that failed. So it was France and Spain who were in Texas taking land from the Indians, mainly the Lipan Apache. Other tribes like the Comanche, Tonkawa, Karankawa and Hasinai were there before France or Spain.

What was Spain doing so far from Spain? The con job goes they were there to establish Catholic Missions. Hmmm, the Pope? Who knew?

Where did the Indians in North America come from back before the Pope?

According to genetic research conducted by the University of Michigan, the ancestors of today's Indians and Eskimos moved to America from northeast Asia through the so-called "Bering Bridge," an ancient wide strip between America and Asia on the Bering Strait that disappeared over 12,000 years ago.

So who let who in first?

 

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1221
I believe the book is

"Camp of the Saints" Jean Raspail.....a very prophetic read and not PC

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 268
Tricks of Memory

Robie:  I don't recall reading "Camp of the Saints" but I do recognize Raspail's name.  I used to read non-stop and probably have forgotten half of the titles of things I read.

I will check it out.  Thanks for the reference.

JT

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5693
missing the point

So who let who in first?

Eh, point was about migration, Kaimu, not about who let who in first.  Nor was my post an attempt to figure out who was right, or wrong, evil, or good, in the context of the greater struggle for the American continent.

The point was how migrants can, if you invite them to come in, end up changing the country to suit themselves if you let too many in at once.  Something that Tom mentioned too.

Texas was a particularly easy-to-make (limited) case, because it was owned by Mexico, and then suddenly it wasn't, more or less as a direct result of migration which was invited by Mexico - according to my source anyway. 

A history of the New World population movements wasn't my goal.  A simple point about migration - that's all I was after.

 

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 160
POINT-COUNTERPOINT!!

Aloha! 

"The point was how migrants can, if you invite them to come in, end up changing the country to suit themselves ..."

Dave, what were Asians doing in Texas 12,000 years ago? Whether you invite them or not all humans change the country to suit themselves. That's what humans do. I am sure the buffalo were not happy to see their first humans! Look how that turned out for those hapless buffalo! One of my points. 

 " ...direct result of migration which was invited by Mexico - according to my source anyway." 

Those 20,000 Texan migrants that displaced the 5,000 Mexicans started off as 300 families in 1820 under Spanish rule. Spain wanted the Texan migrants first! In 1821 Mexico inherited them! That was another one of my points.

 

 

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5693
sigh

The point, Kaimu, is that if you INVITE migrants in, and they end up swiping your country from you, you only have yourself to blame.  We might want to draw a lesson from Texas history and consider the policy implications.  This is more for the Europeans than America, but this should be food for thought for us too.

Dave, what were Asians doing in Texas 12,000 years ago? Whether you invite them or not all humans change the country to suit themselves. That's what humans do. I am sure the buffalo were not happy to see their first humans! Look how that turned out for those hapless buffalo! One of my points.

We, unlike the buffalo 12000 years ago, do have a choice.  We can choose who we let in.  We, unlike the buffalo, have an immigration policy!

Australia had a choice too.  They constructed a policy.  As a result of their policy, they were able to affect the outcome.  Unlike the buffalo.

Likewise, we can allow in 300 families, but draw the line there.  Size (and numbers) do matter.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments