Friday, July 25, 2008

SAR #8207

Peak oilers have physics on their side.

Gone Fish'n: The experts (you know who they are) are now proud that profits and the market are - as Mom used to say about my grades - "not as bad as expected". Given the general herd mentality, I'm waiting until they all are wearing sack-cloth and ashes.

Splash: The collapse of IndyMac and Fannie and Freddie's death spiral are being ignored, while the market votes to believe that the US taxpayer is going to rescue Wall Street.

Essay Contest: In 500 words or less describe events surrounding Washington Mutual without using the phrase 'run on the bank'. Usual prize, or 10 WaMu shares, whichever is less.

Without Comment: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning to cut the pay of about 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour until a budget is signed, according to a draft of the governor's order obtained by The LA Times."

Atheists In Foxholes: PIMCO's Bill Gross thinks about a trillion dollars in US mortgages are going to be written off. Bill's an optimist.

Sunny Side: The National Safety Council reports that traffic deaths are dropping as the price of gasoline rises, with a 9% drop so far this year compared to last.

Pick A Number: Over the next 5 years, Fitch Ratings expects US house prices to decline: (a) 8%, (b) 25%, (c) 33%, (d) 47%, (e) all of the above.

Why A, If B? (A) Natural gas prices have plummeted in recent days. (B) Merrill Lynch (among others) predict that a “brutal winter (is) coming for utility bills.” ...“This is going to be huge.” A combination of natural gas shortages and the consumers increasing inability to pay for it is already leading to problems that can only get worsen as time passes.

Check's In The Mail: As the government prepares to use taxpayer's pocketbooks to bail out Fanny n' Freddie (and Wall Street, soon), their efforts have lead to an increase in mortgage rates. That'll stimulate the heck out of home construction.

Wells, Reasoned: Discussions of drilling in ANWR and on the OCS are often more emotional than rational. It's nice to see a calm, reasoned article that is neither panic nor platitude; "the oil won't flow from these areas for perhaps a decade, but by then we are likely to be in very bad need of it."

Stop Me If You've Heard This One... Housing sales fell "more than expected" last month while house prices dropped further.

Divorce Is Inevitable: There's getting to be a steady background buzz to the effect that Uncle Sam's indulgent creditors may be becoming a bit less credulous. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the music stops and there are nowhere near enough chairs to go around.

Wrong Question: Over At Economist's View the question is "Why Is Airline Service So Bad?" The real question is "Why do Americans put up with being treated like children?"

Porn O'Graph: Its the demand, stupid!

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