Saturday, June 14, 2008

SAR #8166

The party is over. Please make other arrangements.

Headline Debate: Security Talks at 'Dead End'. The US wants the right to keep killing Iraqis, and the Iraqis thought they were going to be a real country one day.

Explain, Please: How in hell could Dick Cheney give a speech in which he asserted that China, at Cuba's invitation, was not only drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida, but was already pumping oil. Not one word of that was true. Just like Iraq.

Feedback: If Easten Siberia's permafrost stops being "perma", it will release millions of tons of CO2 annually for decades, causing more warming, which will melt more permafrost...

Encore: The Bank for International Settlements warns that the current credit crisis could lead the world into a crash similar to the Great Depression. It points out that the event was not anticipated then and will not be expected this time, either. Financial commentators, the BIS said, have not grasped the level of exposure we all face.

Happy Motoring: Petroleum inventories on the Gulf Coast have dropped 750,000 barrels a day since the first part of May. The shortfall is now over 20 million barrels. This probably reflects the 32% decline in exports from Venezuela and Mexico, as their oilfields decline.

Pay The People: NASA's Dr Hansen thinks the only way to bring down carbon emissions is levy a serious tax on the carbon content of fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) either at the first point of sale in the country, or at the consumer level, like a sales tax. And to return every penny of the tax to the citizenry in equal amounts. If it worked out that $1000 per adult was taken in in taxes, then each adult would get $1000 from the government, either in monthly direct deposits or annual checks - all based on social security numbers. The rich could buy more energy, but they wouldn't get back any more tax money than someone who used absolutely no carbon fuels. Never happen - no money for the politicians to pass around.

Out Of Gas: Exxon says there is no money to be made in selling gasoline, and is disposing of the 2,220 Exxon gas station it owns. Margins are too slim and operating profits are not worth the effort given the cost of petroleum and the low margin on both refining and retail sales of gasoline.

Connecting the Dots: Bad mortgages are forcing banks to tighten credit. Credit card losses are mounting, forcing banks to tighten credit. Commercial real estate is tanking, causing banks to tighten credit. Car loans are going bad, causing banks to tighten credit. The consumer is over-extended and needs credit, causing banks to tighten credit. The economy runs on credit, and soon there wont be any - credit or economy.

Unitary Executive: Bush was not joking when he said it would be easier if the US was a dictatorship with himself as dictator. So he made it easier on himself, and we now live in a country which appears to have no fundamental principles. You can, however, still buy unused copies of the Bill of Rights.

Evaporation: The housing-credit-energy debacle is stripping wealth and capital out of the US system. It will take a very long time, in an expensive-energy post-peak oil environment, to accumulate enough capital to permit the US economy to stagger back to its feet. It may never make it. Expect change.

Porn O'Graph: High diving stock: Shanghai.

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