Health, Myths, Fraud and the Crisis

Archive for August, 2010


Target long-term bond yields :

“So what then might the Fed do if its target interest rate, the overnight federal funds rate, fell to zero?”
“One relatively straightforward extension of current procedures would be to try to stimulate spending by lowering rates further out along the Treasury term structure–that is, rates on government bonds of longer maturities.”

A more direct method, which I personally prefer, would be for the Fed to begin announcing explicit ceilings for yields on longer-maturity Treasury debt not only would yields on medium-term Treasury securities fall, but (because of links operating through expectations of future interest rates) yields on longer-term public and private debt (such as mortgages) would likely fall as well.”

“Of course, if operating in relatively short-dated Treasury debt proved insufficient, the Fed could also attempt to cap yields of Treasury securities at still longer maturities … The most striking episode of bond-price pegging occurred during the years before the Federal Reserve-Treasury Accord of 1951. Prior to that agreement, which freed the Fed from its responsibility to fix yields on government debt, the Fed maintained a ceiling of 2-1/2 percent on long-term Treasury bonds for nearly a decade.”

“To repeat, I suspect that operating on rates on longer-term Treasuries would provide sufficient leverage for the Fed to achieve its goals in most plausible scenarios. If lowering yields on longer-dated Treasury securities proved insufficient to restart spending, however, the Fed might next consider attempting to influence directly the yields on privately issued securities.”

Former Fed Governor Mishkin was paid $124,000 to write glowing report on Iceland before its Collapse

Mishkin never disclosed he was paid.
Former Fed Governor Frederic Mishkin was paid $124,000 in 2006 to write a glowing report on Iceland. He never bothered to disclosed that fact.

Moreover, the title of his report has since been change from “Financial Stability in Iceland” to “Financial Instability in Iceland”. What’s up with that?
Watch Mishkin squirm in this interview:

Seven cups of green tea a day could cut heart disease risk death by a massive 75%

Certainly too much for me  …

A new study in Japan, appearing in the Annals of Epidemiology, shows that drinking seven cups of green tea a day could cut heart disease risk death by a massive 75%.

The study followed over 12,000 people between the ages of 65 and 84 over five years. In comparison to people who drink less than one cup of green tea per day, those who drink seven show, in addition to the impressive heart benefits, a 55% lower risk of death from other diseases.

For example: Their risk of death from colorecta cancer shows a massive 31% drop.

Now, the researchers say these strong effects may be due to a lifetime of heavy green tea drinking.

But, given all of the other benefits of green tea – protection against Alzheimer’s, lower risk of prostate cancer, and help with weight loss – I say there’s no such thing as “too late” for green tea.

Especially when you look at some recent work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. There, scientists have reported the cells of regular tea drinkers (an average of 3 cups per day) may actually have a younger biological age than the cells of people who don’t drink tea. At the Chinese University of Hong Kong. There, scientists have reported the cells of regular tea drinkers (an average of 3 cups per day) may actually have a younger biological age than the cells of people who don’t drink tea.

Supplements could help protect your sight

Age-related macular degeneration or ARMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for those 65 and older. Now a recent study is providing some hope, along with a protocol that may halt or slow ARMD’s progression. The study, which appears in the Archives of Ophthalmology, shows a regular supplement programme including antioxidants and zinc (500mg vitamin C, 400IU of vitamin E, 15mg beta carotene, 80mg of zinc oxide and 2mg of cupric oxide); could reduce the progression of AMD by as much as 25%. The study specifically monitored people who already showed signs of ARMD and found evidence that this combination of supplements could stop or slow the path of this disease.

A Jellyfish may have truly discovered the fountain of youth

A species of jellyfish known as Turritopsis nutricula can do something no other animal can pull off: It can regenerate its body. And it can do this over and over again, apparently sustaining its life indefinitely.

Some animals can regrow certain limbs and organs, but Turritopsi nutricula can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.

Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They’re now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters.  “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion,” says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.

U.S. Underemployment at 18.3% in Mid-August

Unemployment at 9.1% — up slightly from 8.9% at the end of July

by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist

PRINCETON, NJ — Underemployment, as measured by Gallup, is 18.3% in mid-August, essentially unchanged since the end of June. Underemployment peaked at 20.4% in April but has not been able to break below its current level this year.

U6 “Household Survey ” shows 16.8% for July, NSA.

German Producer prices July +3,7% y/y, 1,7% m/m

Deflation … where the hell are you ? I am getting impatient …

Andy Xie : Deflation prophets in the West are in for a rude awakening

IMO a brilliant analysis from Andy Xie :

American pundits, Nobel laureates included, are predicting Japan-style deflation for the U.S. and Europe. …On the other side of the world, consumer prices are surging. Emerging markets as a whole now have an inflation rate of more than 5 percent … Deflation prophets in the West are in for a rude awakening. Eastern fire will turn Western ice into a mess, and 2012 looks like it will be the year of melting. The fuel for the fire is coming from deflation-fighting stimulus programs, such as that of U.S. President Barack Obama.


The latest from Pimco´s McCulley – hypocrisy at its best …

Excerpts from When Unconventional Becomes Conventional

“The central bank has a profound duty to meld itself with the fiscal authority, until the fat risk of deflation is eliminated.
And as a practical matter, there is nothing magic about the zero line for inflation. Inflation that is too low implies similar pathologies as actual deflation, just not as severe: Incentivizing private sector deleveraging, even while making it more difficult to achieve, generating negative animal spirits and a chronic shortage of aggregate demand relative to aggregate supply potential.

In such circumstances, fiscal policy restraint is not a virtue but a deflationary vice. What is actually needed is yet greater leveraging of the fiscal and monetary authorities’ balance sheets.Thus, I believe the argument for the Fed to explicitly commit to print money to fund increased fiscal expansion is growing by the day.”

No matter how hard I look,  so far there are  no signs of deflation, quite to the contrary, living expenses for the average citizen are only going up. What I find particularly insidious in his article is his claim “Inflation that is too low ” is allegedly  ” generating negative  animal spirits .”

So,  may I assume, since inflation was higher before the crisis, the infinite greed and hybris of Wall Street banksters who brought about this crisis, were actually positive spirits ?

May I also assume your funds would do better with a little more inflation Mr. McCulley ?

Nanoscale coating for surgical equipment and hospital surfaces kills MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections, poses a serious problem in hospitals, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public. In a move that could significantly reduce this risk, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates MRSA.

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