Economics and Investing:

Mason jars in the backyard better than the markets for now – D.S.

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San Francisco housing mania: Badly charred home that is uninhabitable sells for $186,000 over asking price.. In the S.F. Bay Area, the Housing Bubble now includes Rubble. What madness! – JWR

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Big Banks Brace for Oil Loans to Implode (CNN Money) Excerpt: “The oil crash has already caused 42 North American oil companies to file for bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015, according to a list compiled by Houston law firm Haynes and Boone. It’s only likely to get worse.”

Top Regulator Warns that Feds’ Too-Big-To-Fail Plan is a “Gamble” (Washington Examiner) Excerpt: It is “paradoxical to suggest that the best way to manage the effects of excess leverage and financial vulnerability is to require more leverage….”

KPMG Withdraws Audit Opinions on CFTC Over Accounting Error(Reuters) Excerpt: “The U.S. regulator that polices the complex derivatives markets is struggling to keep its own books in order and has made a material error that its auditor found so significant that it withdrew nearly a decade of its financial opinions…” Zero Hedge is also developing this story: CFTC Has Decade of Audit Opinions Withdrawn After Massive “Error” Uncovered Warning: the ZH article commentary may contain bad language or inappropriate avatar images.

International News

As Greek Crisis Wears On, Times Becomes the Enemy (Deutsche Welle) Excerpt: “With the economy entering its seventh consecutive year of recession, Greece’s crisis is testing coping mechanisms to the limit and threatening even once healthy businesses.”

Recession, Retrenchment, Revolution? Impact of Low Crude Prices on Oil Powers (The Guardian) Excerpt: “A glut of oil, the demise of Opec and weakening global demand combined to make 2015 the year of crashing oil prices. The cost of crude fell to levels not seen for 11 years – and the decline may have further to go.”

Oil Can Reach $20: Saudi’s Willing to Play the Long Game (Business Insider) Excerpt: “The Saudis are willing to play the long game,” Behravesh said. “While their budget is under pressure, they still have ample forex reserves and will able to last at least another year and possibly two.”

BHP Slump Outpacing Glencore, Nearing Anglo American (The Australian Financial Review) Excerpt: “The Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns for 22 raw materials, is at the lowest since at least 1991. The Bloomberg World Mining Index of 80 stocks slumped to the weakest since 2003 as fears of slower economic growth in China and a slump in oil prices fueled a fresh bout of selling.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Bargain Stockpiles vs. Emergency Food Supply: Know the Difference, Plan Accordingly (Backdoor Survival: Prepping with Optimism) Coupon wisely! Excerpt: “Do you ever watch those programs on television about extreme couponers? I am not much of a TV-watcher, but I’ve seen a couple of these. It is astonishing to watch people load up a heaping grocery cart, then give the cashier a thick wad of coupons and walk out of the store paying $3.11 for everything. I imagine you could build an enormous stockpile of goods this way, but is it really the best way to build a preparedness supply?”

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