Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SAR #8324

The saying is "In God we trust."

It doesn't mention bankers.

Questions Before Answers: What's the goal in bailing out the auto industry? To save the stockholders? To keep manufacturing big things that use a lot of fuel? To lose more money turning raw materials into junk? To keep people working at doomed jobs? To prop up a broken economic system for a while longer? Because we can't think of a good alternative?

Warming Regards: In 2007 the IPCC reported man-made global warming everywhere but in Antarctica. Wrong. Research now shows that Antarctica is warming, just at half the rate the Arctic is. Great stretches of Antarctic coastline is undergoing "substantial warming" and this will continue even if we begin reducing our CO2 emissions. How big's a cubit?.

No Shows: The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that industrial production in October was down 6% from the previous year, double September's 3% drop.

Waste Makes Waste: Unappreciated by those who don't live nearby, underground coal fires are a fact of life in many coal mining areas. The one under Centrallia, PA has burned for 40 years or more. China's underground coal fires produce as much CO2 as all of Germany does. Bad enough we're killing ourselves with power plants.

Preaching to the Choir: The energy crisis is not over. Oil is $60 a barrel not because huge new supplies were found but because the high price of peak oil destroyed demand. The cupboard is bare and if we don't lay in some alternative supplies and go on a diet, the economy will continue to beg on street corners.

Tea Leaves: The consensus estimate from 59 economists is that the current 'downturn' will be the steepest and longest in over 30 years, the economy will continue to shrink well into 2009, consumer spending will enter the worst drought ever and foreclosures will continue to increase. Not called the dismal science for nothing.

Pudding: Congressional wimps, especially the Democratic castrati, politely allowed Paulson assure them they did not know what the laws they wrote said and that he wasn't about to pay any attention to them anyway. And he wasn't going to tell them where he spent the money and he certainly wasn't going to rescue a single homeowner. Just banks. Big banks.

Reminder : The IEA's recent World Energy Outlook cited a 6.7% depletion rate for existing giant oil fields. That's a drop of about 5 mbd a year. How long before we need a new Saudi Arabia? A new Middle East? Enjoy the $25 fill-ups.

Garage Sale: US airlines are stuck with nearly 300 surplus planes. Make an offer.

Step Back: Bernanke and Paulson insist that their cheerleading has worked and that rain will soon fall on the parched earth and their rescue of Wall Street has "already been demonstrated." You have to stand back a ways to see it. And squint.

A Forest Full of Trees: What'll it be today? Global warming? Credit crunch? Economic collapse? Peak Oil? Oh, wait, peak oil's sooo yesterday, right? Wrong. Industrial civilization depends a lot more on energy than it does on credit, and without energy there's not going to be a lot of civilization around to cause global warming. The population problem will be self-correcting.

Pick a Number, Any Number: Non-financial US corporations need to repay or refinance $4 trillion in the next 2 years, in a market where the US government will be sopping up about $5 trillion. Out at second?

Porn O'Graph: Confident Un-confidence.

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