Friday, February 15, 2008

SAR #8047

Once peak oil sets in, our worries about global warming
won't matter. The reverse is also true.

Ugo Bardi

Self Help: Atorney General Mukasey: "The question of conflict between the president’s Article II powers and statute is one that I think has been, to a large extent, overblown. Let’s assume that the president wants, despite a finding of illegality under law, to have water-boarding done, who is it precisely that he’s going to get to do it? He would virtually have to do it himself." To himself, one would hope.

Essay Question: The headline read: "Justice rules Waterboarding not currently legal." First to even come close to making this understandable, wins the usual prize.

Wish List: Citi has barred investors in one of its hedge funds from withdrawing their money after it lost 30% of its value; meanwhile its new leveraged fund lost 52 % of its value in its first three months. Would this be a bad time to bring up privatizing Social Security?

Plain Text: The Defense Science Board released its research study on energy futures. It was titled: "More Fight - Less Fuel". A quick read.

Variation On A Theme: The eternally optimistic Wall Street Journal reports: "Mexican oil output has declined steadily from its peak of 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004 and is expected to fall to 2.8 million barrels a day by the end of this year. If that continues, Mexico will likely stop exporting oil within seven years (2015)." I figure 5 years, but why quibble.

Field Report: "It's not often that I am accused of being too optimistic, but I am beginning to wonder if the debt markets are basically on their way to virtually disappearing. IMO, there is simply not enough exported energy out there to enable most borrowers to pay off their loans." Jeffery Brown, petroleum geologist.

Perception & Interpretation: Of the two sentences below, what is the primary difference between the concepts discussed?

(1) Leading banks are being advised that it would be cheaper to walk away from big buy-out deals than incur further losses on their funding commitments, increasing the chances that more high-profile private equity transactions will collapse.

(2) Homeowners are being advised that it would be cheaper to walk away from big mortgages than incur further losses on their household budgets, increasing the chances that more high-end real estate transactions will collapse.
For extra credit, which was most likely published in the WSJ?

Elevator Music: Downey Financial, with about $13 billion in assets as of today, filed its 8-K with the Feds today. "As of today" and "about $13 billion" because each month their non-performing loans increase by a full percent or more. January's decline brings the total to 9.2%; their $13 billion is now worth abut $11.9.

Time To Buy! It's a good time to buy a house, in South Dakota, the only state where year over year home sales increased last year. Clearly the real estate bust is a local affair, contained to just 49 states.

Pot / Kettle: Once upon a time, last August when this all started, there was much concern that hedge funds would fail and endanger their sponsoring banks. Now the hedge funds are worried their banks will collapse and take some hedge funds with them.

Clarity: Pakistani President Musharraf says that "Pakistan is more important than human rights " and it's pretty clear that by "Pakistan" he means the country he plans on remaining dictator of for as long as he can keep lawyers, judges, and human rights locked up. He's one of our essential allies.

No comments: