Thursday, September 3, 2009

SAR #9245

Decline is a process, not an event.

Scorecard: So far our investment in Those Too Big To Fail have resulted in a net loss of $148 billion in TARP funds (you, personally, are out $1,200) and a couple of trillion still at risk on the wider bets. And we're not even being picky about the unacknowledged billions the bankers got through AIG that they are not acknowledging.

The New Normal: What if rotten retail sales are the new normal? Will they have an end-of-season sale on rose-colored glasses?

Keep Your Shirt On: The oil patch is a'twitter with news of Tiber, BP's 'giant find” in the Gulf of Mexico. Giant, these days, seems to be about 1 billion barrels. Or maybe 3. But BP didn't say how much was recoverable nor at what cost. What they did say was “Appraisal will be required to determine the size and commerciality of the discovery.”

Nothing New: The majority wants to save the planet, but are unwilling to do so.

Ouroboros : Firing as many employees as possible and putting the fear of god – or at least unemployment – into the remaining wage slaves raised productivity-per-worker by 6.6% in 2Q09. If you cut the pie into fewer pieces, they tend to be bigger. Makes the quarterly report look good, but doesn't enable the consumer (which is what we call the worker when he goes to the store) to buy all that “extra” production.

Teenagers Flock to Church: The Catholic church as developed a prayer to be said before sex. Not all prayers get answered.

A Note from Sermilik Fjord: Last Fall, Arctic temperatures were a record 5C above normal. The Greenland ice sheet continues to flow – in some places as much as an inch a minute – and is annually dumping the equivalent of a hundred billion elephants into the ocean, which makes the sea level go up.

Sin Taxes: Billions of shares, options, contracts are traded every day – there's no way most of these can be considered investments, they are simple bets. Why not put a piddling tax on each share, option, contract traded? A sales transaction tax of one tenth of one percent would raise needed money and might even get the gamblers to consider seeking help.

Holy Grail: Here's a strangely titled (Healthcare Rationing Is Good) article that discusses the issues rationally and dispassionately. Now that it seems there'll be no public option, maybe being informed isn't usefull. But it's interesting.

On Your Mark: WHO reports that H1N1 is now the world's dominant flu strain. Fortunately it has not mutated to a more deadly version, but there is a severe strain which directly attacks the lungs of younger people, with up to 15% of hospital cases requiring intensive care. The threat is the effect of the strain on available medical resources.

Fair Shares: Here's a surefire strategy: Pool your allowance with a bunch of relatives. Draw up an agreement that lets you take the gains while the relatives take the losses. Pretend you are “private equity” and the family is the FDIC. Buy a failed bank. Feed at the trough.

Nothing to Sneeze At: Massachusetts' legislators, not wanting the public to panic over swine flue, has done it for them, passing a bill to permit “authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens” who do not comply with health officials' orders.

The Missing Link... Scientific models of CO2 emissions plotted against predicted temperature rise fail to duplicate the extent of global warming seen at the “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” 55 million years ago. It seems that something besides CO2 was involved and it seems likely that at some point CO2 triggers another, yet unknown, warming effect that drives global temperatures beyond those predicted based on CO2 emissions alone. Grab a cold beer, it's getting warmer.

Patriots All: Even though the government has mortgaged America's collective future and that of its children and grandchildren, it is not enough. If the country is to rise out of the current doldrums, the patriotic American must increase consumer spending. And most assuredly, it would help if the consumer would charge it, buy it on credit, get a bigger mortgage. Sound familiar?


TulsaTime said...

The BP oil find is even deeper than the oil off the coast of Brazil. So we will have at least some supplies when oil goes to $300 a barrel just before the Aztec asteroid hits in 2012.

They sure are making a fuss about this mild flu, what with all the forced vaccinations, and secure detention camps. I think there is something they are trying to hush up. It must make people smarter if they survive.

So we have the 12 monkeys flu, global climate fritz, economo-terrioristic meltdown, the new serfdom, and political normalism.

I'm headed to the closest catty-lick church and preying on some teenagers for a good flocking!!


K Ackermann said...

This articleTalks about the opium crop in Afghanistan. It says the value of it is off 40% to $438 million this year.

It also says 1.6 million farmers are involved in growing it. My calculator is showing that comes out to just under $274 dollars per farmer this year.

It says the Taliban impose a tax on it in exchange for safe passage of the crop. It doesn't say what percent, but lets call it 1/3. That would be $145 million dollars.

The Taliban also get roughly $1 million each month from Pakistan, and some unknown (to me) amount from other various crimes, or legit means.

Let's say they get $500 million and apply it all to fighting NATO troops. It's probably very optimistic, but I want to try and make us look as good and smart as I can.

The cost of the war to the US taxpayer is, say, $100 billion for the year.

This means the US is getting much better at fighting these wars in terms of efficiency.

When we were fighting at a standstill in Anbar providence, the US was outspending the 'enemy' 1000:1. Now we are down to 200:1

If we only wanted to spend 10 times the amount of the Taliban to fight them, the war would only cost $5 billion.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay them to stop fighting? It worked in Iraq. Is it possible they forgot that?

Is there any possible explaination other than a deliberate ripoff? It simply is not possible to be so stupid - they would have died a long time ago just crossing the street, or using a power tool. There is no way the outward display of being hopelessly moronic, no matter how convincing, can be real in the presents of so many weapons.

I'm looking for that whistleblower hotline. I'm going to make me some money. Obama is going to be furious when he finds out what is going on. I'm going all the way and telling him that it wasn't even the Taliban that attacked us, and that the real Al Qaida could possibly be doing anything it wants because nobody is checking up on them.

I also thing a formal complain should be lodged against Afghanistan for not telling us Al Qaida left the country. They might think it's funny, but everything is funny until someone loses an eye.

fajensen said...

So we will have at least some weeks of supplies when oil goes to

There, fixed it for ya ;-) Be wary of the exponential function less it rises and smite you ....

The flu scare is maybe a beta test for something much worse - it answers questions like: "can we really induce people to move into concentration camps and get them to pay for being injected with god-only-knows stuff" - Well, Yes We Can!!

We presently get about 75% of our calories indirectly from fossil fuels. So, what are "they" going to do with the 4/5'th of the population that, in the long run, simply cannot be fed?

Gather them together and render them into eco-friendly biofuel for the politicians armour-clad mercs perhaps.