tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera August 27, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EDT
share your story on tv and online. hi, my name is jonathan betz, and i'm from dallas, texas, and i'm an anchor for al jazeera america. i started in a small television station in rural arkansas. it's a part of the country that often gets overlooked. but there are a lot of fascinating people there, a lot of fascinating stories there. i like that al jazeera will pay attention to those kinds of places. what drew me to journalism is i like the idea that we are documenting history. al jazeera documents it like none other. and to be a journalist, and to be part of a team like that? that's an incredible blessing. ♪ a new development monday at
america's once mighty retailer jcpenney. bill akman is dumping his shares in the company, 39 million of them. last week i told you how he used his influence to bring in ron johnson to remake jcpenney. now it's stock is down more than 30% this year alone. ron johnson is long gone, and akman has pie in his face, so he is selling his shares. so the saga of one of america's great retail icons continues. let's talk about water. the battle over water is forcing some communities to make tough choices with real financial effects, and there's no industry with a bigger target on its back than agriculture. it accounts for a whopping 80%
of the nation's water use. "real money" traveled to colorado where there's an old saying that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. we found terrible drought, rich energy companies, and thirsty cities. we promised to define the term acre foot. two acre feet are the amount of water in an olympic swimming pool. david shuster has the shorry. -- story. >> as you can see out here, this is what ground that does not have water looks like. barren, dry, the weeds don't even hardly grow here right now. >> reporter: in a normal year his fields are filled with the cantaloupes the region is famous for. but with only an inch half rain in the last two years, he has
seen his income cut in third. >> we have a lot of people that count on us every year. >> reporter: casper is no stranger to dealing with doubt. in the last year alone the agriculture sector took a hit of more than $70 million in lost economic activity, but pressures from growing cities, oil and gas interests, mean a threat to the survival. >> colorado is always going into or coming out of a drought. that's the way it works here. >> reporter: the director of the colorado water institute at colorado state university says the state's rampant population growth is the biggest menace facing farmers today. quality of life has helped make colorado's population growth twice the national average, much
of that is in the denver area, but experts say urban sprawl means less water for agriculture, which uses 85% of the supply. the colorado river will face a shortage of a billion gallons of water as the population doubles. >> people's values have changed around where they want to see water. we want to see our rivers flowing free and vibrant, and that means we need more water. where it is going to come from? probably agriculture. >> reporter: thirstiys are drying up agricultural demands to quench a blooming land. >> it's sad. there are several acres -- thousands of acres in rocky ford that has been dried up, and you see all of these
productive acres of farm ground and it is gone. the water is in the cities, and everywhere. >> michael farms 900 acres in rocky ford. >> we're trying to get our voice out there to say hey, help us with our water situation because we are local farmers and agriculture is the background of the united states. >> we're not hiring as many people or spending as much money at the parts stores, so this is having a huge trickle down effect. >> reporter: that's an argument familiar to this man. >> we have seen the consequences of communities where the water has been transferred from the farms and we ended up with -- kind of an economic and environmental disaster, and so for colorado to be great economically, it's important
that those rural communities also do well. >> reporter: but frac-ing has joined the already crowded water fight in colorado. as resources dry up, deep pocketed oil and gas interests have driven the problem far beyond the farmer. no area has seen more activity than weld county, home to kent's farm. with a potential payoff of 2 billion barrels of oil, and 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas on the line, companies have invested billions. >> farmers may pay 30, 40, $50 an acre foot. cities are willing to pay -- put another zero on that, oil and
gas, two zeros. so long term, farmers may not be able to stay in this market. >> there are many misconceptions around frac-ing in colorado. >> reporter: he says many people exaggerate frac-ing's impact on state water resources. >> the oil gas use 1/10th of 1% colorado. >> reporter: he says the industry has created 10s of thousands of jobs. big numbers agriculture cannot hope to match. facing a dry future, this farmer fears more than will be lost than just the economic bottom line. >> rural america supplies something socially. we are the morality and work great. jazeera.
>> while it's true that the frac-ing industry isn't using a lot of water today, it's clear that the industry's presence in the water market is driving prices higher. i would like "real money" to be your water source so to speak, bringing you stories that explain how this pressure comity is creating financial pain and gain. i want to hear what you think about the competition for water. tweet me @ali velshi, and house the hashtag, water. you know what a bit coin is? yeah, i didn't think so. i'll take care of that on the other side of the break.
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♪ okay. i have been asking the question for a while. what the heck is a bit coin? a new currency that everybody is buzzing about. bit coin experts went to washington to explain it to the feds today. but let's start with what bit coin is. you can't hold one. they are entirely virtual. it's a digital wild west currency, but according to we use coins.com, there is no denying bit coins are in fact currency.
>> you can purchase gifts, songs, servers, and alpacka socks. >> you buy with bit coins on several websites. you can trade them or hold on to them and hope they increase in value. but bit coins are entirely unregulated. when a nation's currency is about to crash, a central bank steps in. if bit coins start to crash, and they have, you are out of luck. when you acquire bit coins they go into a digital wallet that looks like this. and if you lose your pass word to your wallet, you are out of luck again. >> bit coins are transferred from person to person via the net without going through bank or clearing house. >> you can buy services and use them some small businesses around the world, or you can speculate that they will
increase in value. there are about 8 million bit coins in circulation today, and the maximum that can be generated is $81 million. the supply of bit coins grows steadily, but demand for the coins and their prize has been volatile. one bit coin has been worthless than $10 for most of its history, but in april it surges to more than $200 and then plunged only to rise to about $140 again. so joining us now to discuss this controversial currency is adam levine, not that adam levine, he joins us appropriately via skype. adam try not to make me sound like too much of a moron, was my
explanation, did it bare any resemblance to reality. >> i actually think you did pretty good ali. >> why do we need bit coin? >> well, we need bit coin -- if you had asked somebody 30 years ago, why he need email, i think you would see a lot of similar looks to what people do when asked if use bit coin. but it is cheaper, and less vulnerable to tampering. >> what is the implication of bit coin not being regulated. no one will prop up bit coin. what keeps it safe? >> the market keeps it safe. people think bit coins are going to rise in price over time.
but really there's nothing saving -- except for the market itself. i think that bit coin has a greater belief in markets and decisions. >> you seem like a relatively normal fellow, but there are lots of people involved in bit coins who are conspiracy theorists who think regular money will be worthless and less and less, and bit coins will hold value better. >> with money like u.s. dollars, the way we issue money is a small group of people decide what actions are going to be taken and then those actions are performed. with bit coin all of those rules are set in advance, and then there are just self adjusting mechanisms in place so when stuff happens other stuff -- it
balances out, but there's no one concern or one group or even one large group that's actually in charge of bit coin. >> adam you have helped me at least understand this better. thank you for joining me with your explanations. i appreciate it. adam levine, the editor and chief of "let's talk bit coin." okay. don't forget our question for the today. what big ticket purchases have you made lately? all right. my final thought, since i started the show talk about durable goods, i'll end by talk about the ultimate consumables, food. mcdonald's announced that the whole country is going to be able to buy mighty wings. the wings will be rolled out in september, and it will be a two-month national trial for now. if you like them, maybe they'll keep them.
why am i telling you this? other than the fact that i am clearly a fast-food aficionado. i saw something that said wings are the biggest hoax of all time. wholesale chicken wings are under a dollar a pound. one analyst things that mcdonald's could push that up to $2 a pound by january. that's our show for today. on tuesday i'll take a look at how fees on your 401k could put a crack in your nest egg. ♪
♪ ♪ >> make no mistake, president barack obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons. >> tough talk on chemical weapons as the u.s. edges closer to military action against syria. ♪ hello. welcome to doha with the world news from al jazeera. also in this program, palestinians call off talks with israel after soldiers shoot dead three palestinians at a refugee camp. a huge wildfire rages