Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SAR #8045

In a perfect world there would come a day of reckoning.
Some, like Mr. Bush, are hoping this is not a perfect world.

Paperback Writer: GM reported a loss of $38.7 billion for the year, promised to get rid of 174,000 workers, and GM stock goes up! GM explained that if it hadn't have lost $38.3 billion it would nearly have broken even. The capitalists were far more impressed by getting rid of the workers.

Kindergarten: The US and Canada claim 'seabed rights' to overlapping areas of the Arctic Ocean that are thought to contain "vast" oil deposits. Straight lines won't do because no one knows where the prize lies. Mom! Billy's on my side. He keeps touching me!

Hat Dance : Mexico, the third largest supplier of petroleum to the US, is looking to import gasoline from India in the second half of 2008. Of course under NAFTA, they'll just have to send it on to us.

Sieg Heil! British Olympians are being forced to sign contracts saying they will not criticize China's human rights record on pain of being banned from attending the Beijing Olympiad. It's enough to glue you to the screen this summer, waiting for it to happen.

Peek-A-Boo! EIA’s current International Petroleum Monthly reports OPEC's output is now down 1.4 million barrels a day from the peak in 2005. The entire world's daily production for 2007 averaged 600,000 barrels a day less than in 2005. Supply continues to fall as demand continues to rise. Where do you think this road goes?

Neither/Nor: A study in Science reports that biofuels take more energy to produce than they deliver and are much dirtier to burn than gasoline. Curiously, in Iowa in November there is still a positive return on biofuel investment.

Nothing Up My Sleeve: The Earth is not about to run out of oil. There's plenty left. So says Hess Oil's CEO, who adds that we're out of $50 oil and running short of $90 oil, but have lots of $500 oil left. But because there is a shortage of $500 a barrel customers, "the globe faces shortages, price spikes and political instability in the next decade or so," he said.

Planning to Begin: 62% of Americans expect to receive pensions when they retire. Only 41% either have private retirement plans or are covered by one at work. This is even more disturbing in light of the rapid demise of traditional employer-sponsored pensions.

Viva Vegas! Lake Mead is drying up. Bookies in Las Vegas list the odds at 50/50 that it'll be dry by 2021. Scientists agree. Lake Powell is not far behind. Together they supply most of the southwest's electricity and nearly all of its water. A dozen years. Two more election campaigns. Ready or not. Gives 'getting ready to run' new meaning.

Snow Day! George the Compassionate canceled DOE's Weatherization Program - “this country’s longest running, and perhaps most successful energy efficiency program” (in their own words). Right at the coldest winter with the highest fuel prices in history. Say what you will, he does have a sense of timing.

Fast Food Franchise? UBS, facing a lack of interest in CDOs and other credit derivatives, has a new structuring technique for Alt-A hybrid deals, which involves carving out "ultra high-quality super duper senior bonds out of the super senior triple-A classes." That's what they said: "Super Duper Senior Bonds." Want fries with that?

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