LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods. . . . . . . .Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tonnes annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed.
Phi Beta Iota: The peresistent refusal of the White House and Congress in particular, all governments in general, to create strategic centers that can provide unclassified decision-support in the context of a strategic analytic model that embraces “true cost” accounting and “cross-policy cost harmonization” means that the USA in particular, and all governments generally, are “dumb” and are therefore in automatic betrayal of the public trust. Current references: Intelligence for Everyone; Fixing the White House;Human Intelligence; The Ultimate Hack.
It’s not just that the wheels are coming off President Obama’s credibility; they’re also starting to come off the federal government in general.
Washington is no longer able to hide its failures behind the flag. Its mistakes are too obvious and too costly. Even ardent “my country, right or wrong” patriots are now distinguishing between America the nation, which we all rightly revere, and the political enterprise in Washington — which nearly everyone now distrusts.
The politicos in Washington have gone into business for themselves. And most folks — like newly price-conscious consumers — aren’t any longer buying the elixirs that Washington is peddling. They all cost too much, almost none of them work, and most have severe side effects.
State governments are in serious trouble now and once the federally-provided Stimulus Funds are used up in FY10 many states willhave no choice but to cut significant numbers of staff as well as marginalize social & health services programs (not to mention Corrections,compliance programs like Environmental Protection) dislocating chunks of the American population. As you can imagine, the US has manydomestic problems ahead.
Over the past two days, the popular foreclosure reporting firms released their monthly numbers and the takeaway was that the foreclosure crisis is getting worse. Indeed, the foreclosure crisis is worsening, but July’s actual foreclosure numbers do not pose much additional risk to the housing market because most of the worsening was seen in the pre-foreclosure pipeline (notice-of-default & notice-of-trustee sale). Based upon July’s results, the players that will feel most of the additional reported foreclosure pressure are the banks, mbs holders, insurers, and servicers.
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It is important to always remember that when one person gets a ‘good deal’ on a house, orders of magnitude more are thrown into a negative-equity (or deeper negative equity) position exponentially increasing their likelihood of loan default. Loan default leads to foreclosure and another ‘good deal’ on a house and so on and so on.
My bills are all due and the baby needs shoes and I’m busted
Cotton is down to a quarter a pound, but I’m busted
I got a cow that went dry and a hen that won’t lay
A big stack of bills that gets bigger each day
The county’s gonna haul my belongings away cause I’m busted.
Economic optimism is in the air — at least in rarified air of the twin palaces of Versailles On the Potomac and Versailles On the Hudson. And if you believe the newspapers, there are growing signs that the economy is turning around, and America has dodged the depression bullet.
Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment: Warren Buffet is a fraud–so is George Soros and all the other allegedly “for the people” individuals who ultimately put personal profit above the public good. Congress and the White House serve these people, not We the People, and that is the root cause of America’s demise.
When I was 14, Warren Buffett wrote me a letter.
It was a response to one I’d sent him, pitching an investment idea. For a kid interested in learning stocks, Buffett was a great role model. His investing style — diligent security analysis, finding competent management, patience — was immediately appealing.
Buffett was kind enough to respond to my letter, thanking me for it and inviting me to his company’s annual meeting. I was hooked. Today, Buffett remains famous for investing The Right Way. He even has a television cartoon in the works, which will groom the next generation of acolytes.
But it turns out much of the story is fiction. A good chunk of his fortune is dependent on taxpayer largess. Were it not for government bailouts, for which Buffett lobbied hard, many of his company’s stock holdings would have been wiped out.
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But there’s nothing fair about Buffett getting a bailout, about exploiting the taxpaying public for his own gain. The naïve 14-year-olds among us thought he was better than this.
These two guys are worth over $50billion a year to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but the U.S. Government does not seem to care about intelligence-driven revenue-collection.
These guys ROCK and represent all that academics should be in the service of their country and theircommunity.
Dr. Simon J. Pak and Dr. John S. Zdanowicz, Penn State University and Florida International UniversityOSS ’03: For their extraordinary demonstration, with a tangible value to the public of $50 billion a year in tax fraud savings, of new methods of academic investigation into public trade records, and the consequent discovery of specific instances of import-export money laundering and financial fraud, as well as weight variances associated with the smuggling of contraband and the mis-representation of cargo.
Below are their paper and slides as presented at OSS ’03. These guys should have their own investigative cell fully-funded by the IRS and ultimately in ther service of all governments (a multinational global service).