Economics and Investing:

If nothing else, we’ve all learned to look at the hand that is not waving in today’s politics. So what is the hidden hand doing while the attention is on the terrorism in California? S&P Downgrades Every Major US Financial Institution – Link sent in by J.C.
Back that information up with this link sent in by A.L. which shoes the economy’s recovery in just eight charts.

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Silver: We Need It!

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

U.S. News

Puerto Rico Dodges Default But Faces Deteriorating Liquidity Situation (Washington Examiner) Commentary: There is little relief in this news, only a brief and fleeting victory for creditors collecting debt service payments from Puerto Rico, which owes more than $70B, has seen an exodus of the population, is on the edge of serious liquidity problems, has requested approval to proceed forward in bankruptcy, and sees little hope of resolving its financial crisis without the restructuring of its debt which will require sacrifice on the part of creditors unwilling to consider it. It is worth understanding the value of debtor bankruptcy protection as it pertains to the willingness of lenders to lend. When lenders benefit from protections too great, their lending decisions may be careless, even reckless. Risk-reward decision making models are misaligned… and when they are lending money based on reserve requirements rather than “real” assets, the potential for adverse consequences to all of us is orders of magnitude greater. None of this is to bypass or forego the responsibility of borrowers for the debts they accrue, which is an equally important subject. It is an unsustainable cycle and a story repeating itself around the globe affecting many from individual households to entire nations.

Credit Card Data Reveals First Holiday Spending Decline Since the Recession (Zero Hedge)

EPA Gave Employee $9K in Bonuses After Less than Three Months on the Job(Washington Free Beacon)

TSA is a Symbol of Waste and Incompetence (Waste Fraud and Abuse)

International News

More Global Deflation — BRIC Manufacturing PMIs Down in November (Contra Corner)

Putin to Turkey: More Sanctions are Coming to Turkey than Just “Some Measures Concerning Their Tomatoes” (Business Insider) Warning: When nations are greatly interdependent, by way of political alignments, treaties and trade agreements, indebtedness or other factors, those nations risk suffering consequences by way of sanctions (or embargoes) that are as significant as any other form or act of war.

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Holiday Scams and How to Protect Yourself (Market Watch)