Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SAR #8155

Planning should consist of more than extrapolating
a trend line indefinitely into the future.

Pot/Kettle: S&P, although still blindly in love with Ambac and MBIA, anticipating further losses and writedowns, lowered the credit ratings of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan/Chase and Citigroup missed the woodshed but were given "negative outlooks." Not quite a frown, that.

Man Men Without A Country: In addition to loaning out detainees to torturers at a number of black sites around the world, the US is also using as many as 17 boats as prison ships on which to house detainees out of sight and, hopefully, out of mind.

Behind The Curve: Energy analyst John Westood told the All Energy Conference in Scotland that the "peak oil scenario" is approaching "far more quickly than anybody expected." Except for Hubbert, Campbell, Dffeyes, Simmons, the crew at The Oil Drum and tens of thousands of others. Go read Jeff Brown's latest.

Fly Away: The International Air Transport Association says the industry is in a "desperate" situation and will lose over $6 billion this year. Membership dues will be held to a modest increase.

Now It Can Be Told: After delaying over four years and fighting in the courts, in a sudden burst of reality-based honesty, Bush & Co. released the USDA's view of climate change. No surprises: human-caused global warming will produce stronger hurricanes, more severe droughts, resource wars and a competition to be the last polluter standing..

Big Brother Bill: Advertisers are putting cameras in billboards so they can gage the reaction of customers - and to get their picture. And transmit their pictures to 'a central database.' And run facial recognition software to identify the customer by age, sex, race, name and address, outstanding warrants...

Stubborn and Blind: Exxon and the others are rebuffing shareholders' calls for investment in alternative energy. The companies insist they like their 19th Century business model and are lacking the skills or the will to become energy sources for the future. But if they cut back the dividends to invest in the future, the stockholders will complain about that, too.

Your Mileage May Vary: Credit Default Swaps were supposed to insure against defaults on various derivatives. Now that they are being tested by defaults it turns out that - like health insurance - they don't really cover what you thought and there's this high deductible and half a loaf is better than less.

Surprise! Having used the WTO, IMB and World Bank to bludgeon third world farmers into competing with Monsanto and Cargill, we are surprised they couldn't compete and stopped growing food. Having built more and more engines, large and small, we are astounded to find we are short the energy to run them.

Twenty Fourteen Questions: The usual prize goes to the first to explain what Iran is doing with 14 full VLCCs sitting off-shore. Do not use the words 'war' or 'invasion' or 'bombing' in your answer.

Porn O'Graph: Libor, before and after chart.

No comments: