Thursday, July 9, 2009

SAR #9190

The drug industry is about selling drugs, not curing people.
Fed Up: The Fed's failures are many and obvious. Many wonder if the Fed's next move will be too soon or too late, too much or too little - no one expects it to do the right thing at the right time. Yet Washington seems inclined to give the Fed even more powers over the economy that it has mismanaged for so long. Its failures demand its demise, but letting banks play with the scissors is unacceptable. No suggestion has yet floated to the top of the pond as to what might be a next step.

Two, Tangoing: Mortgage fraud takes two parties, one committing the fraud and one willing to look the other way. The FBI says both groups are busy - seizing every straw that may give them a few more months of feeling rich. There are builder/bailout schemes, short-sales, faked prices, and the foreclosure prevention cons. It's the American way.

Where Have All the People Gone? Apartments stand vacant in the largest numbers in 20 years, even while foreclosures tumble on. Did everyone move back in with Mom and Dad?

Oh, Ship: Globally, 27 million fewer containers will be shipped this year than last - a 10% drop. That's the same as simply shutting down the 5 largest US ports for a year. 2010 is expected to be about the same, with a possible return to 206/7 levels "in several years."

Too Much, Too Late: Ignoring global climate change hasn't made it go away. Carbon trading is but a way to enrich a few without changing overall emissions. Nearly all the "green" stuff is a scam. The carbon already in the atmosphere has given global warming too much inertia for the puny cuts proposed by governements to do any good. If we don't stop global warming, global warming will stop us.

Optimist: "We're halfway through a secular bear market in equities."

Deal 'em In. Or Out: While France joins Russia, China, Brazil and India in calling for review of the world's currency practices, South Korea appears to be seeking safety in gold.

Peak-a-Boo: On July 11, 2008, oil reached its all-time high. Since then the global economy has collapsed, petroleum consumption has fallen, world output and trade have slowed, the auto industry collapsed, unemployment is exploding and the housing industry is comatose. It may or may not have been the actual date of 'peak oil', but everything that has happened since fits into most post-peak doomster predicitons. So let's commemorate 7/11 each year as Peak-a-Boo Day; the day it all fell apart.

Porn O'Graph: Synchronized diving.


Anonymous said...

RE: Peak-a-Boo

Nobody ever talks about peak oil in investing terms. People always assume that what has happened before will happen today forgetting that each event or cycle has elements of the past but also has its own unique features. Peak oil is what will make this bear market different from the 1930's and what will make this economy be chock full of booms and busts.

Real cigarettes, booze and ammo are the investments of the future!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Ship: Globally, 27 million fewer containers will be shipped this year than last - a 10% drop. That's the same as simply shutting down the 5 largest US ports for a year. 2010 is expected to be about the same, with a possible return to 206/7 levels "in several years."

Thanks for that notice. I'm going to stock up on food, water and a year's supply of CRAP I don't need.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony - You could have a Preparedness Party, with your guests given 30 minutes to largest variety of under $9.99 totally useless crap from the local Wal Mart. Me, I'm stocking up on rope, tar, and torches.

geparry said...

I love your work but I am concerned about your stance on global climate change. I strongly believe in reducing energy usage across the board. However, I am afraid that the CO2 warming models may become the next cold fusion scientific boondoggle.

I have developed mathematical models and understand how susceptible they are to bias, especially in trying to model the incredibly complex nature of the Earth's temperature. In addition, data input is absolutely critical and the land-based temperature readings may very well be biased towards an upward trend.

My scientific judgement says that we cannot in anyway assume that controlling CO2 release is going to lessen global warming. The cost to contain CO2 will be enormous considering the great uncertainty that CO2 levels are really a critical factor.

Imagine what will happen to scientific credibility if temperatures start cooling as we spend billions fighting a boondoggle. Don't assume the global warming theorists are correct, especially when dissenting voices are being pushed aside without thought.

CKMichaelson said...

geparry - I am part of the reality based world. I did not arrive at an acceptace of global warming casually. My undergraduate major was physics. Of my four children 3 are PhD scientists; the 4th is a wayward PhD math maven. It takes a fair level of proof to get all of us to agree around the dinner table. There is no scientific basis to challenge the overall global warming concepts.

It is an essential foundation of this blog and I believe it is the most serious long term threat facing us.

A second foundational belief is that peak oil is a more immediate and equally serious challenge to our civilization.

And the third boogeyman in this corner is the absolute conviction that there are too damned many people on the earth and a great many of them are going to be asked to leave.

geparry said...

I agree that energy is the single greatest challenge that this world faces and one that has been ignored to the great detriment of us all. We need an immediate, massive program to start conserving energy.

I also agree that there are too many people on this earth for all of us to enjoy the expected standard of living and something is going to give.

I have told my children that life is going to change and that our standard of living will fall. I commend you for sharing your views to try and prepare others for the enevitable.

Nevertheless, I see holes in the global warming theory and I am therefore skeptical, but at the same time open minded enough to admit it may be correct. I think we will know for sure within the next 5-10 years and like I said, this will be a tragedy that will set back public acceptance of science if the global warming theory falls on its face.

CKMichaelson said...

geparry - We're pretty much in agreement - except what public acceptance of science are you talking about? I just read a Pew survey today that said only 32% of Americans accept Evolution - the most rigidly tested scientific theory we have. Only 40% accept global warming - and it too is very tested and accepted by at least 85% of the scientific community (and 99.6% of those in the relevant fields).

Save us from the great unwashed - the best argument against democracy are its practicioners.

I know, scientists have been wrong before. That's the beauty of science - it makes progress by being found to be wrong. Unlike me.

Jim said...

I believe AGW is real, but obviously it is too complicated an issue to know with certainty. But there must be some truth to it, otherwise it wouldn't be an issue.

The real issue is risk management. It's a lose-lose situation. If the GW proponents are wrong (and we commit to stopping it), then there are huge time/money losses and loss of credibility for science. If GW denialists are wrong (and we make no commitment), well......