Aug. 10, 2012

FEDERAL RESERVE

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren wants the Fed to start an “open-ended” quantitative easing program of “substantial magnitude”.
  • Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said that just doing more doesn’t solve the problem….We keep applying ‘monetary Ritalin’ and there’s now a problem of over-prescribing.
  • The Republican national convention starts August 27thand they are considering calling for a full audit of the Federal Reserve. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls this his “nightmare scenario”.

AGRICULTURE

  • Expectations are the US and Russian grain yields will experience deep cuts this year, however Argentina, Brazil and China have increased their estimates.
  • Overall grain supplies for 2012 – 2013 are about 13% above the levels in 2006 – 2007 and prices are about 6% above 2008 peak levels.
  • The price of chicken in Iran has risen to the point that officials are worried it could lead to social unrest.
  • Scientists in Canada and the Netherlands say the world is depleting underground water reserves faster than they can be replenished due to over-exploitation. This problem is most prevalent in Asia.

TIDBITS

  • Ottawa will allow Alberta to use its own greenhouse-gas rules rather than federal regulations.
  • Coal prices have dropped 25% since the end of June to their lowest level this year. China is shifting supply contracts to Mongolia from Australia.
  • US consumer credit expanded 3.1% YoY in June as a result of student loans which are now guaranteed directly by the federal government. Student loans are now the largest component of household debt and stand at approximately $900 billion.
  • Japan has finalized the legal framework to double their sales tax from 5% to 10% by 2015. Protestors are stating that “99% of the public will have to cut back on what they buy”.
  • Russian has once again placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Russia’s only foreign naval base is in Tartus, Syria.