"There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current
administration has committed war crimes. The only
question that remains to be answered is whether those
who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Major General Antonio Taguba
Most Excellent Question: If your investments are being managed by a company that has lost billions and billions of dollars, isn't it time to ask yourself "If this is the best they can do for themselves, why should I pay them for advice?"
Hi Yo Silver! Politicians want to open the US coastline to drilling for oil. A world-wide shortage of off-shore and deep-water drilling rigs makes this harmless pandering, for there are no deep-water rigs available. The existing fleet is booked solid for the next five years. Nearly all of the 75 deep-sea rigs scheduled for completion by 2012 are already booked until 2015 and some until 2020. So exploration off the US coast might start by 2015 or 2020. Assuming the US companies outbid the rest of the world for use of the rigs we could see gasoline from this effort by 2025.
Clues: Two Bear Stearns investment managers have been arrested for being silly enough to put into emails the truth about some dogs they were peddling. The crime is not in fleecing the customers, but in leaving the evidence around.
Hide And Seek: Iran has withdrawn $75 billion from European accounts and hidden them where the US cannot impound them.
Help Yourself: The European Central Bank (ECB), is trying to get banks to place newly created asset-backed derivatives with investors, instead of continuing to dump them on the ECB. It seems banks now design securities solely to park them with the ECB. Of €208 billion of recent securities, only about 3% have been placed with investors, the other 97% have gone straight to the central bank in exchange for perfectly good Euros.
Non-Starter: US coal producers claim they can power the world, but... But they fear a boom-bust cycle and won't invest in new projects. But they face more stringent environmental rules on mining. But US railroads cannot handle an increase in coal shipments. And the US has no spare port capacity to handle the coal if the railroads could get it there.
Mission Accomplished: There may not be gold in them there hills, but there's soon to be Exxon in those sand dunes. In Iraq. Finally the spoils of war will go to the invasion's sponsors..
Blackmail: When KBR was confronted with a billion dollars in overcharges for supplies and services in Iraq it simply said "Fine. Do without." and said if the bill wasn't paid the toops wouldn't be fed. The Army paid because "We could not let operational support suffer because of some other things.” Privatizing the Military was such a good idea.
Sledding : The US Energy Department's Hirsch Report said that peak oil was a fact, that the deline from peak oil would be a sudden, steep and scary ride. It claimed that efforts to get ready for these changes should start 10 years before the peak and might take 20 years of "accelerated effort" to attain alternative fuels. The report was issued in 2005. The process of getting ready should have started in 1995 to avoid “major economic upheaval”.