Monday, July 7, 2008

SAR # 8189

What kind of denial shall we try today?

Piggy Banks: The Swiss Federal Banking Commission is reported getting ready to require UBS raise $39 billion in new capital, and Credit Suisse $29 billion.

Define "Profitable": GM wants Pontiac, Michigan to grant it a 25 year 100% exemption from local taxes, "to help create a cost-efficient car." Cars are more cost-efficient when you don't have to pay all the costs.

Review: The rights of Americans were once thought to be "god-given". It used to say so in the Declaration of Independence, back in the days before the Unitary Executive revised the quaint old-timey wording.

Down To The Sea In Ships: Freighters are leaving Asia with partial loads. Container ships have slowed 3 knots to save on fuel. Traffic on the Asia to Europe routes is down 6% this year. Freight rates for coal, corn and grains fell 23% last month.

Just In Time Becomes Just In Case: The British government has asked supermarkets to stockpile emergency food reserves “in case the infrastructure of the country breaks down”.

Cautionary Note: When reading about the causes and cures of the current oil crisis, demand actual numbers, actual dates, actual locations. Specifics, not generalities. It's not enough to say "there's untapped oil reserves offshore." How much, where, and when will it be on line and at what cost? How do you know this? Or: "alternative energy is rapidly developing". Ask how much output per year at what energy input cost, what percent of demand does it meet? Data, please.

Report Card: BP reports global oil production fell in 2007 for the first time in at least six years, while demand continues to rise.

Protection Money: Shell has recruited 4,000 people from the local population to help protect oil pipelines in Nigeria. Protection is spelled b-r-i-b-e-s. They got the idea from General Petraeus.

Number Two?: The papers are full of speculation about the possible bankruptcy of General Motors. Does that mean that Chrysler has already been written off?

And Then... Mexican oil production has dropped 20% from its peak in 2004, while internal consumption has risen. By 2014, Mexico will export no oil. By 2015 they will begin trying to buy oil on the open market. Key word: trying.

Remembering the Future: Peak oil. The credit crash. Economic turmoil. Resource grabs. Will this be the year we look back on as when it all started? Or ended.

One Down: Last week's report that 62,000 jobs were lost brought the total for the first half of the year to 438,000 jobs. Add in the 125,000 new jobs we need each month just to keep even with population growth, and we are a million jobs short so far this year.

Squeeze Play: The Democratic big wigs, this report claims, are pushing for $11 a gallon gasoline. They - being rich white limousine liberals - can afford it, while their voters - the poor - won't feel any difference. But the middle class, the Republicans, will be destroyed. It's all a plot.

Share the Pain: Goldman Sachs claims European banks have lost $900 billion in market value in the last year, while global equity markets have made $11 trillion in asset value vanish. Makes Lehman and Citibank look better, doesn't it.

Tea Leaves: Unfortunately, the relationship between oil prices and recession is unfolding according to the script.

Porn O'Graph: Humor, Very Dry Humor.

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