Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SDS Daily Briefing for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Doc on Fluoride

Formed deep within the preparedness and holistic medicine community, a movement to take the fluoride out of our water continues to gain traction.  I never thought much about it until a few years ago, when I started exploring some of own medical issues.

Since I hear and read about this subject in so many places, I decided to ask Doc - my father, the dentist - for his thoughts on fluoridated water.  He says the fluoride in the water "absolutely" helps promote oral health. 

"When I started practicing in 1966, 90% of the children had at least one cavity. 50% of the children had abscessed teeth.  After the fluoride was put in the water, we're down to maybe five percent of the children even have a cavity and only two percent will have an abscessed tooth.  And this is in families where there has been absolutely no dental care whatsoever; they're not going to the dentist."

Meridith - Way Off or Way Early?

Meridith Whitney, who correctly predicted the fall in Citigroup's stock price in 2007, continues to take a lot of criticism for her yet-to-materialize/flat out wrong prediction that we would see a wave of municipal bond defaults in 2011.  Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of her legendary prediction. 

Without going into a lot of detail as how she reached her prediction about municipal bonds, suffice it to say she concluded that in a faltering economy, state and local governments who pay off bonds with tax dollars will have, arguendo, fewer tax dollars to pay off those bonds.  That, in turn, will cause massive defaults and bond values dropping.

Now - why should you, the Suburban Dads/Moms/Grandparents, care about whether she is wrong or right?  After all, Wall Street is full of pundits with gloom and doom filled predictions. 

I would submit that if she's right, we will feel pain - and a lot of it - in the coming months.  This is the "she's right, just too early in her predictions" camp.  Municipal bonds make up huge chunks of retirement plans and pensions.  Should these falter, a lot of retirees will be looking to their former employers or to the government - the "they" I blogged about last night - to do something.  The problem is that there would be simply too many people affected for "they" to do anything effectively.  Further, an increase in bond defaults would make it harder for state and local governments to issue bonds which in turn require them to raise their interest rates in order to attract investors.  That move, in turn, would cause other interest rates to rise.

And if she's wrong and the municipal bond market is on solid footing, that could mean we've seen the worst of the storm.  It would mean the collective belt tightening of state and local governments really paid off.  And to be sure, there's evidence out there that some cities have actually improved their credit rating in the last year. 

I tend to be in the "she's just too early" camp.  I don't know if her prediction will be right for the reasons she stated, but she may just get "lucky" in making the right call.  As one commenter on a website wrote, "a broken watch is correct twice a day."

Bracing For Impact On Sale Now!

I just picked up my complimentary copies of my new (and first) book - Bracing For Impact: A Practical Guide For Preparing For DisastersWritten primarily for law offices and other small businesses, BFI can help someone go from no plan to having an incident response and business continuity plan in short order.

All proceeds go to benefit the State Bar of Texas.  I don't receive a dime for it.  If you read it and have feedback, I'd be honored if you shared it with me.

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