9 meals away from anarchy?

Nothing Left to Steal

Nothing Left to Steal

Michael Betancourt is an intellectual: he uses words like semiosis and actually knows exactly what they mean. Speaking on The Keiser Report, he made some interesting points about the pile of digital ephemera that the global financial system, and much of the economy with it, has devolved into. From 20:52 on, Michael has this to say on the current action in the financial markets around the world:


The hexayurt is an update on Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome and is a sturdy, affordable, easy-to-build temporary shelter. The geometry has been adjusted slightly to make it easier to build domes from materials like plywood, insulation, plastic, cardboard and more. The hexayurts are made from only one kind of triangle: an 8' x 8' isosceles triangle, rather than the strangely-shaped triangles which are standard for Fuller-style geodesic domes. They are not strictly geodesic, either, but it doesn't seem to matter much in practice. The slightly stiff, angular lines look a lot like any other dome.

The most common place to see hexayurts is at Burning Man. The first one was built there in 2003, and was only a little bigger than a tent. There now range in size from 50 to nearly 500 square feet. A typical year at Burning Man will see a hundred or so of the silver huts lined up on the playa.

“Anonymous” Whistleblower Charges BofA With Large Scale Force Placed Insurance Scheme With Cooperation of Servicers

“Anonymous” Whistleblower Charges BofA With Large Scale Force Placed Insurance Scheme With Cooperation of Servicers

Ooh, this is ugly.

THE DUBAI WASTELAND: 40% Of Buildings Are Vacant And Prices Keep Falling

THE DUBAI WASTELAND: 40% Of Buildings Are Vacant And Prices Keep Falling

Forty percent of the buildings in Dubai are vacant, according to Arabian Business.
For comparison only 28 percent of homes are vacant in America's ghost town, Detroit.
Now here's the scary part. Dubai hasn't stopped building:
As many as 48,000 homes will be completed in the next two years, increasing current supply by 12 percent, Landmark Advisory estimates.
Around 12 million sq ft of commercial space probably will be completed in Dubai this year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Real estate values have already fallen by over 60 percent since the Dubai crisis, according to Arabian Business. New properties coming online are expected to push prices down by another 10-15 percent, in a slump lasting another 18 months.

The Oil Drum | Wikileaks on Peak Oil

Wikileaks on Peak Oil
Posted by Leanan on February 8, 2011 - 7:48pm

From today's Guardian:

WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices

The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show.

The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.

The "senior Saudi government oil executive" in question is Dr. Sadad Ibrahim al-Husseini, a familiar name to those following the peak oil issue. He has been speaking about oil depletion since at least 2002.

Canada’s banking system: Solid as a rock?

Canada’s banking system: Solid as a rock?

Canada’s big 5:  The global darlings

There’s no doubt that our banks have been the darling of the world over the past two years.  The world has been quick to heap praise on our banks, while our politicians have been quick to direct that praise back to their own oversight of the system.

Interestingly, our big 5 escaped the financial crisis largely unscathed, though not without a massive dose of assistance on the part of our government.  The boys over at Sprott Asset Management wrote about this back in November 2009 when they noted that the leverage ratio of our big 5 banks exceeded that of the top 10 US banks.

Let the Bad Times Roll

I listened to John Boehner’s victory speech. The best I could tell from our next Speaker of the House is that the Republicans stand for small government, cuts in government deficit spending, and “accountability” in government. The last part I can understand; the Republicans are going to initiate endless investigations into Barack Obama, his wife, the cabinet members, and any federal government minion who captures their eye as a potential scandal target. This will be part of their publicly stated campaign pledge to destroy Barack Obama and ensure he is a one term President – this being about the only thing the Republicans have admitted to in the past 30 years that hasn’t been hypocritical or disingenuous. They really are determined to kill off Obama’s career as a politician and end his presidency in disgrace.

Peak Oil is History

The marketing blurb on the back cover of the first edition of myfirst book, Reinventing Collapse, described me as "aleading Peak Oil theorist." When I first saw it, my jaw dropped—and remained hanging. You see, if you run through a list of bonafide leading Peak Oil theorists—your Hubberts, your Campbells,Laherrères, Heinbergs, Simmonses and a few others worth mentioning,you will not find a single Orlov among them. In vain would you searchthe annals and conference proceedings of the Association for theStudy of Peak Oil for any trace of your humble author. But now thatthis howler is in print and circulated in so many copies, I suppose Ihave no choice but to try to live up to the expectation it set.

Marc Faber: Anything Less Than $1 Trillion From Bernanke Will Trigger A Market Correction

Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report, discusses the potential impact of further quantitative easing (QE2) by the U.S. Federal Reserve in a Bloomberg interview on Oct. 26 (clip below).

Correction Triggered by QE2?

Faber sees Democrats--"sadly enough"--would get a shot at still retaining the majority, which would mean the monetary and fiscal policy will most likely stay on its current course.

Equity has done well in Sep. and Oct months; however, Faber thinks the markets are stretched in the inflation trade, and weak dollar, high commodity and precious metal prices, along with high equity valuations, all suggest a correction is overdue. 

The 'C' word

Now A Warning From The Bank of Canada

OTTAWA—The Canadian economy likely suffered the worst quarter since the recession during the summer months, and still faces risks ranging from a global currency war to a collapse in the housing market, the Bank of Canada said Wednesday.

The bank’s latest quarterly outlook estimates the Canadian economy advanced a snails-pace 1.6 per cent during the third quarter, following gains of two per cent in the second quarter and 5.8 per cent in the first quarter.

Home prices have been stable or increased in most markets but sales activity has come off its peak, and a sudden deterioration in the price of homes could deliver a blow to household wealth and confidence.

“If there were a sudden weakening in the Canadian housing sector, it could have sizable spillover effects on other areas of the economy, such as consumption, given the high debt loads of some Canadian households,” the bank states Link

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