Bad Time to Be an Individual; Global Energy Subsidies Pose Inflation/Debt Risk; Education Figures

May 7, 2012

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"The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower 

"Under socialism there will be no economic or social question that would not be political questions." — F. A. Hayek

Freedom:

71% of Top Companies Could Drop Insurance Under Obamacare ~ Scotty Barnes

  • Companies could save a total of $28.6 billion in 2014 alone if they stopped offering health insurance.
  • To review: Unlimited cheap credit for banks and large companies from the Fed courtesy of an inflation tax on the people; proposals for lower corporate taxes as proposals boost taxes on individuals; companies encouraged to stop providing health insurance courtesy of the healthy, individual taxpayer who will pay to make up for it. 

Massachusetts has the second highest per care spending on healthcare at $9,278 up 3.9% ~ WSJ – yes, great model

Pentagon report shows government whistleblowers face reprisals including: threatened or actual discharges, demotions, firings, prosecutions + mental health referral ~ Washington Post

What online social networks know about non-members ~Universitat Heidelberg

  • “Using simple contact data, it is possible, under certain conditions, to correctly predict that two non-members know each other with approx. 40 percent probability.”

Research:

Jeff Forshaw: quantum computers are leaping ahead ~ Guardian

Central Banking:

Policymakers Claim Inflation Overstated—CPI Revision in the Works ~ Financial Sense - trillions of guv debt is linked to the CPI inflaton

"The Price of Rice is Going Up"..price up 40% YoY ~ Barrons

Official figures show aggregate inflation between 2001 and 2011 was 27%, the dollar lost 21% of its purchasing power over that period. If inflation were calculated using previous inflation calculations, the devaluation would be 50%.

"Rents soar" ~ Calculated Risk 

Commercial real estate buying has led to a debt bubble in some US property groups, say Starwood Hotel’s Barry Sterlicht operationnewbubble

US:

Tuition and fees have risen 184% in 20 years, while wages for college grads have risen just 9%, says Labor Department ~ WSJ

"The last decade has seen $5.55 of debt taken on for every $1 increase in economic output." ~ irrelevant to our Keynesian brethren

Fiscal Cliff: "We’re also expecting next year to be negative growth, and we don’t believe that’s in the market currently." ~ Golden Tree’s Steven Tananbaum clip_image001

World:

IMF’s Olivier Blanchard pushes "Eurobills" -similar to US T-Bills, says "a very good first step" toward common Euro bonds – what is good depends on your vantage point

Nicolas Sarkozy becomes the 11th European leader to be swept from power during the economic crisis

10 Largest Foreign Claims of Banks to PIIGs Countries highlights French Exposure ~twitter  – explains France’s strong desire for more printing

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Italy is reducing maturities, now auctioning 8-10 yrs versus issues of 30 years ~ Rogoff & Reinhart: average duration/maturity shrinks before default

Fitch doubts Dutch AAA as property slump reaches ‘coma’ ~ Telegraph

The UK is in its first double dip recession since the 1970s

HSBC CDS +70% are up YTD, UniCredit +221%, Intesa Sanpaolo +221%; couple winners: CB -30%, ACE -27%

The yen has appreciated 50% versus the dollar since 2007. $USDJPY

"Waning price controls have household bills jumping" ~ Korea Times

  • Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) plans to raise electricity charges by a whopping 13.1 percent 

Oil and gas prices are heavily subsidized in places like China, pose risk to government finances and inflation stats:

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China:

What are the various collapse scenarios for China? ~ Quora

China Iron Ore Spot has fallen -20.0% since Sept. 7th of last year. 

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