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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Top Economist Says #Bernienomics Great for America

#BERNIENOMICS: Shot in the Arm


Leading economist argues that Sanders' bold economic agenda would 'deliver standards of well-being for the overwhelming majority of Americans in ways that we have not experienced for generations.'



Economist Argues 'Pie in the Sky' Sanders Will, in Fact, 'Make Economy Great Again'

Photo published for Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again
As the Democratic primary race tightens, Hillary Clinton has been trying to cast opponent Bernie Sanders as unrealistic and "pie in the sky," but a leading University of Massachusetts economist says such criticisms are "dead wrong" and, in fact, the Vermont senator's proposals are precisely what will "make the economy great again."


In a column published at The Nation on Tuesday, Robert Pollin, distinguished professor in economics at UMass Amherst and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), examines the major policy items under Sanders' economic agenda. These include a single-payer healthcare system; increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; free tuition at public colleges and universities, to be financed by a "Robin Hood" tax on Wall Street transactions; and large-scale public investments in renewable energy and infrastructure.





Railroad Stocks Hit Hard By Oil And Coal Collapse 
“Applying sound management reforms to global fisheries in

 our dataset could generate annual increases exceeding 16 

million metric tons (MMT) in catch, $53 billion in profit, and 

619 MMT in biomass relative to business as usual,” the 

authors explain in their study. “We also find that, with

 appropriate reforms, recovery can happen quickly, with the 

median fishery taking under 10 [years] to reach recovery

 targets. Our results show that commonsense reforms to

 fishery management would dramatically improve overall fish

 abundance while increasing food security and profits.”

Already, the downsides of such single-minded investment are

 becoming visible in Portugal's property market where prices

 in lucrative locations especially in the capital Lisbon have 
  
gone through the roof, fuelling a mounting speculative 

bubble. In addition, the cheap ECB money has also caused 

public debt to start rising again,



Barter systems often emerge from monetary societies after 

unforeseen events make money scarce, historians say: After 

Rome fell, for example Europeans used barter as a substitute 

for Roman currency.


New Green Challenge: How to 
Grow More Food on Less Land 



For researchers trying to figure how to feed a world of 10 billion people later in this century, the great objective over the past decade has been to achieve what they call “sustainable intensification.” It’s an awkward term, not least because of conventional agricultural intensification’s notorious record of wasting water, overusing fertilizers and pesticides, and polluting habitats. But the ambition this time is different, proponents say: To figure out almost overnight how to grow the most food on the least land and with the minimal environmental impact. The alternative, they say, is to continue plowing under what’s left of the natural world. Or face food shortages and political unrest.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

China's New "Solidarnosc" Hits Streets


China on Strike


China's workers have driven the explosive growth of its economy in recent decades. Now, with record numbers of strikes across the country, the government views them as an existential threat, and it may just be right.

(CNN)The eight migrant workers gazed out at the crowd as the verdict was read out.
Flanked by two guards apiece and watched over by armed police they listened as the judge sentenced them to between six and eight months in prison.
Their crime: protesting for unpaid wages.
The scene looked like something out of the Cultural Revolution.
Hundreds of local residents massed in the public square, under banners denouncing the "crime of severely obstructing social-administrative order" and urging people to pursue "rational efforts in seeking unpaid wages", as judges and prosecutors gave those gathered what they called an "education in the law," according to state media.
But this was Sichuan province in March 2016, and a dark sign of how far labor relations have worsened in Communist China as economic growth has slowed to its weakest in a quarter of a century.
READ MORE



 Even Utilities Are Starting To Get Behind Community Solar  

http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Even-Utilities-Are-Starting-To-Get-Behind-Community-Solar.html
Last year was a record year for the solar industry and the momentum is set to continue. In 2016, the EIA expects the U.S. electricity market to see 26 gigawatts of new capacity installed. Utility-scale solar is expected to capture 9.5 GW of that total, or more than one-third. If that comes to pass, it would be triple the rate of installations of utility-scale solar compared to 2015, and would also equate to more than the combined total of installations from 2013 to 2015. 

In addition, the FTC is asking for an injunction against VGoA. In a complaint filed in the Northern California District Court (PDF), the FTC writes, "Consumers have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial injury as a result of Defendant Volkswagen USA’s violations of the FTC Act. In addition, Defendant has been unjustly enriched as a result of its unlawful acts or practices. Absent injunctive relief by this Court, Defendant is likely to continue to injure consumers, reap unjust enrichment, and harm the public interest."

What we need for this decade, instead of a Misery Index, is an Insanity Index based on measures than indicate how out of balance, crazy, unsustainable, and dangerous our current fiscal and monetary world has become.




Suicide rate of Indian farmers rise as country faces urgent water crisis


RTX27Z5U


Bone-dry India’s water crisis seems to bringing the 2015 blockbuster film “Mad Max” to life. Apart from a deteriorating quality of life, countless diseases and loss of economic opportunities, India’s lack of water is also causing a plethora of social ills.
Two successive years of droughts have resulted in India’s water crisis worsening by the minute, with a whopping 75.8 million Indians -- five percent of the country’s population -- currently lacking access to clean water.
Here’s another horrifying fact -- almost all of India’s water is contaminated by sewage, which means those cut off from clean water have two options: purchase water at the high price of 72 cents for 50 litres; or use supplies contaminated with sewage and chemicals.
READ MORE
http://www.ibtimes.com.au/suicide-rate-indian-farmers-rise-country-faces-urgent-water-crisis-1510457#.VvqWTyepMKQ.twitter


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

U.S. Drug Prices Out-of-Control; Doctors Demand Action

Just Don't Get Sick


"A prescription drug can only be as effective as a patient’s ability to access it and adhere to the medication as prescribed. Year after year of rising costs is clearly a burden for many patients that ultimately impacts their health and quality of life."

ACP President 
Dr. Wayne J. Riley. 



US Doctor Group Demands Price Controls for Out-of-Control Drug Industry

American College of Physicians publishes policy paper on getting skyrocketing drug prices under control




The American College of Physicians (ACP), a group of 143,000 internal medicine doctors, on Tuesday published a position paper calling on the government to do more to regulate the skyrocketing costs of pharmaceutical drugs.

The article, written by the ACP's Health and Public Policy Committee and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, notes that the U.S. is one of the only economically advanced countries in the world that does not have any government regulation of drug prices.

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New Basel rules aimed at reducing the leeway banks currently enjoy on how they account for risk will come into effect over the next two years. The regulations imposed after the global financial crisis already require banks to set aside more capital for every dollar they lend, depending on a borrower's credit standing. The trouble is, global regulators left the decision on creditworthiness mostly to the banks themselves. A 2013 Basel study found variations of as much as 20 percent in the risk weighting attached to similar assets.

In its latest meeting, I saw a continuation of a pattern that we at The Sovereign Society have followed for some time. It’s a pattern that our investment director, Jeff Opdyke, saw as so important that he shared it with a small group of readers last weekend — and I want to share it with you today.


As crude has soared more than 50 percent since Feb. 11, the number of bets on increased prices has barely budged. Instead, the upward pressure on prices appears to have come from traders cashing out of bearish wagers at an unprecedented pace. The liquidation of short positions during the last seven weeks covered by data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission was the largest on record. 


Drilling-Induced 'Frackquakes' Threatening Millions Across Central US


For the first time, USGS includes human caused seismicity in predictive map

"Today’s report once again highlights the dangers the fracking cycle poses to our communities," declared Dan Chu, director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign, on Monday. (Photo: Owen Crowley/cc/flickr)


Oil and gas drilling has made parts of the central United States as dangerous as the most earthquake-prone regions of California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), exposing millions of people to the risk of human-induced earthquakes, known as "frackquakes."

According to new maps released on Monday by the USGS, roughly 7 million people who live and work in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arkansas face "potential for damaging shaking from induced seismicity," which the USGS notes is triggered primarily by wastewater disposal from oil and gas drilling activities.

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Monday, 28 March 2016

GOOD NEWS: EV's Spelling Certain End to Oil-Age

Bottom Line: 

Industry Survival - Auto vs Oil

BMW has announced they will release a PHEV of every core model.  The electric car community seems to be largely unimpressed with these PHEV offerings, but each one sold reduces a driver’s gas usage by about 50% and further advances the technology.
However long it ultimately takes the electric car adoption cycle to play out, it seems inevitable that the oil industry will need to stop using “Lower for Longer” and get used to “Lower Forever”.

Lower Forever: Electric Cars and the Inevitable Reality of the Oil Market


Proponents of the Electric Car are already convinced that the advent of cars with plugs will ultimately spell doom for the Big Oil companies and countries that rely on oil exports.  Meanwhile the oil industry, led by OPEC, is expecting steady growth through at least 2040.  But what will it take for the rest of the market to “see the light” and accept the fact that demand for oil will soon peak and slowly erode?
In this report I will examine the fundamentals of oil demand destruction from a markets perspective.  Using a combination of conservative estimates, educated guesses, and market insights I will quantify the amount of PEV sales needed to cause enough oil demand destruction necessary to change the long term outlook of the oil market.  Furthermore, assuming an “S” shaped growth curve I will provide insights as to how long it might take for this shift in market psychology to occur.
n late 2014 through 2015 a worldwide oversupply of crude oil existed mostly in the order of 1 to 2 million barrels per day according to the EIA.  WTI Crude Oil sold off from well over $100 in mid-2014 to under $27 a barrel in February of 2016.  As a result of the prolonged oversupply and pricing pressure, oil companies drastically slashed capital expenditures, reduced workforces and reluctantly accepted the “lower for longer”mantra.
But what would it take for the market to accept what electric car advocates already believe – that prices and demand for oil will remain Lower Forever?  To begin with, the market needs to observe enough oil demand destruction to conclude that electric cars are having a significant impact on market fundamentals.  If this can be observed in the context of an “S” shaped growth curve, market participants will quickly realize that oil will soon reach Peak Demand and then begin falling.  A huge psychological threshold will be crossed when electric cars beginning displacing about 50% of annual oil demand growth.  At that point it will be pretty obvious that oil consumption will inevitably begin a steady decline.
READ MORE

http://insideevs.com/lower-forever-electric-cars-and-the-inevitable-reality-of-the-oil-market/

In the short film, Life After Water, an interactive documentary by MediaStorm and Verse, the filmmakers utilize stunning, yet worrisome arial drone footage of Jesus’s farm to show the drought’s effect on Terra Bella’s farming community. The film grapples with the inevitable question that will arise if climate change doesn’t stop: what will we do when the water ends?
   
The Mu Sigma researchers define this in their analysis as “the power of extreme experimentation”, claiming that science can demonstrate that failure drives forward innovation. This approach is echoed by engineers working in the pharmaceuticals, material sciences and automotive industries. “Those at the forefront of technology have to fly into mountains,” explained Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale, a material-science company based in the UK, US and South Korea that works with graphene to improve the properties of everyday materials such as inks and coatings. Gibbs believes that in order to develop any successful product you must try lots of different ideas to get to that end result, learning from the failures.

The market for industrial robot installations has been on a skyward trend since 2009, and it is not expected to slow down any time soon. According to the World Robotics 2015 report, the market for industrial robots was approximated at $32 billion in 2014, and in the coming years it is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 15%.  



U.S. Concern About Global Warming at Eight-Year High




PRINCETON, N.J. -- Americans
 are taking global warming more seriously than at any time in the past eight years, according to several measures in Gallup's annual environment poll. Most emblematic is the rise in their stated concern about the issue. Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say they are worried a "great deal" or "fair amount" about global warming, up from 55% at this time last year and the highest reading since 2008.


160316GlobalWarming_1 (1)

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Friday, 25 March 2016

Rockefellers Dump Exxon Over #Climate Deceptions


TELL GOP, "EVEN BIG OIL CONFIRMS CLIMATE CHANGE"


Exxon said it now believes the threat of climate change is clear and warrants action.

In response to the divestment movement, many oil industry leaders have said millions of people in the developing world would be condemned to darkness and poverty if society were to halt the burning of fossil fuels before there is ample supply of cleaner energy sources.
REUTERS


A sign is seen at the entrance of the Exxonmobil Port Allen Lubricants Plant in Port Allen, Louisiana, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Lee Celano


Rockefeller Family Fund hits Exxon, divests from fossil fuels


The Rockefeller Family Fund said on Wednesday it would divest from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and “eliminate holdings” of Exxon Mobil Corp, saying the oil company associated with the family fortune has misled the public about climate change risks. Though only a sliver of the endowment’s modest $130 million in assets is invested in fossil fuels, the move is notable because a century ago John D. Rockefeller Sr. made a fortune running Standard Oil, a precursor to Exxon Mobil. The charity said it would also divest from coal and Canadian oil sands. Given the threat posed to the survival of human and natural ecosystems, “there is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons,” the Rockefeller Family Fund said...  

READ MORE
 www.reuters.com

According to Bloomberg, Kinder Morgan shareholders have lost $3.44 billion in dividends, followed by the second biggest losses among ConocoPhillips shareholders, at $2.42 billion. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. shareholders have lost $447 million, while Crescent Point shareholders have lost $318 million and Devon Energy shareholders have lost $276 million.

Which is bad news not so much for the Canadian Dollar, which will certainly devalue in the coming months as the market prices in what a massive surge in deficit spending means although so will all other currencies as the global debasement race accelerates once more in a few short months, but for bank depositors, because deep inside the budget announcement, in the section discussing "tax fairness and a strong financial sector", we have official confirmation that Canada has just become the latest country to treat depositors as the bank creditors they are, and as such, they too will be impaired, or "bailed-in" the next time a Canadian bank needs to be rescued.

Currency and debt swaps, market interventions, global currency devaluation, and are windfall taxes coming on gold and silver? The rules are going to be changing! Burack lays out how you can educate yourself to rise above the herd and see the signs ahead of the coming critical events that you need to prepare for now. Get ready for an eye-opening and information-packed deposit of unconventional wisdom - don't miss it!




Mercury Rapidly Spreads to Land Foods


Dartmouth-led study illuminates pollutant's movement from aquatic to land food webs
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE

 





 You taste like mercury, said the spider to the fly


HANOVER, N.H. - More mercury than previously thought is moving from aquatic to land food webs when stream insects are consumed by spiders, a Dartmouth College-led study shows.
The findings, which appear in the journal Ecological Applications, shed new light on the influence of dissolved organic carbon in the spread of mercury contamination. A PDF is available on request.
Mercury concentrations in aquatic environments have increased globally, exposing consumers of aquatic organisms to high mercury levels. Exposure to mercury depends on their food sources as well as environmental factors influencing mercury's bioavailability. The majority of the research on the transfer of methylmercury, a toxic and bioaccumulating form of mercury, between aquatic and terrestrial food webs has focused on land carnivores that primarily eat fish. But a gap exists in our understanding of the factors regulating methylmercury bioaccumulation by other terrestrial predators, specifically consumers of adult aquatic insects.
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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Drunken Sailor's Budget Should Start Canada's Downward Path

 No Business Strategy Budget Doomed to FAIL


Trudeau to Squander Canada's Fiscal Success 

"I think he should strike while the iron’s hot and go big on the spending side,” Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. Chief Economist David Rosenberg said by e-mail Monday. On growth, Rosenberg -- who has called for C$50 billion in stimulus -- said he hopes the Liberals are “committed to growing the pie, not just changing the size of the slices.”


Bloomberg

Trudeau Will Push Canada Into the Red With Unsexy Debut Budget  

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will put the Canadian government back in business when he introduces a debut budget Tuesday that reverses a decade of restraint.
Trudeau, whose popularity has swelled since his majority victory in October’s election, will push the country deeper into deficit as it grapples with sluggish economic growth. The shortfall will finance new benefits for families and what the Liberal prime minister bills as “unsexy” infrastructure spending, among other programs.
The deficit is expected to be in the range of C$30 billion ($22.9 billion), up from C$2.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends March 31. That amount of red ink will test three decades of fiscal restraint in Canada and underscore the contrast between Trudeau and his predecessors. Stephen Harper, the Conservative who governed from 2006 to 2015, aggressively pursued a balanced budget in recent years while cutting taxes and shrinking the role of government.
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The 300 largest global oil and gas companies have also seen $2.3tn sliced from their stock market value over the same period, a 39 per cent slide since oil began its decline, an analysis by the Financial Times has found.


China is studying a Tobin tax as a new policy tool to curb capital outflows, an official at the country's foreign exchange regulator said on Tuesday.

Brazil to rescue states, cities as debt 
costs soar, Barbosa says 
Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa said at a news conference in Brasilia the plan could cost taxpayers about 37 billion reais ($10.2 billion) within three years, because it would stretch out debt maturities for some liabilities by as much as 20 years and concede grace period on some of them.



High-Flying Nike Gets Grounded 


Not even the high-flying Nike can be perfect every time.

Nike (NKE) threw up a bit of an air ball late Tuesday by saying sales jumped "only" 8% last quarter. That failed to meet Wall Street's lofty expectations and sent Nike stock dropping almost 5% on Wednesday.
The "miss" was a sign of rising competition from Steph Curry and the Under Armour (UA) brand as well as the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar. Nike had been on quite the hot streak until this week, with its stock besting not only Under Armour but virtually every Dow stock.
Nike, which recently reached a lifetime sponsorship deal with NBA superstar LeBron James, warned investors it won't always be operating on all cylinders. "Not every dimension of our portfolio will have the same level of momentum in each and every period," Andrew Campion, Nike's chief financial officer, told analysts during a conference call.
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