Saturday, October 10, 2009

SAR #9283/Weekender

The market doesn't really care what you think.

Inquiring Minds: President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. How many troops do we have in combat?

Newspeak: The AP headline read 'US forces leave isolated Afghan base after attack.' to describe what might have been mistaken for a retreat. Or a strategic withdrawal.

Up Front: Mortgage bankers don't care if you make your house payments, they've long since passed the paper on to Fannie or Freddie or some other quasi-government agency. All they want to do is originate the mortgage, lay on 12 to 20 strange fees, pocket about $1,100, quickly wash their hands, yell 'Next!' and do it all again.

Green? Shoot: Too bad the green-shoots cheerleaders didn't make it to Louisville for the gathering, when 10,000 people showed up to apply for 90 jobs paying $27,000 a year - $13 an hour.

Correction: It seems McChrystal only wants 40,000 new soldiers, but he's asked for more than 60,000, under the theory that this way Obama can cut back the number and not look like the military is playing him – and the American public - for fools. McChrystal says that the US mission in Afghanistan will fail if he doesn't get his way, and wants to make sure voters know who to blame.

Content: Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, Goop, features beauty tips a collection of articles on investing. Quite worth the read.

Past as Prologue: During the Miocene Climactic Optimum, 15 million years ago, the global temperature rose high enough to cause sufficient ice melt to raise the oceans more than 80 feet. CO2 levels then were between 390 and 430 ppm. We're at 387 ppm and headed well over 430 within your childrens' lifetime.

Half a Million Modifications: The Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program has made over 750,000 modification offers and hopes that at least 500,000 turn into actual modifications. They also hope that less than the expected 2/3rds of them don't re-default within 6 months.

Weakness, Explained: Why is the dollar under attack and loosing value? Look at it this way: the issuer is broke and cannot pay its debts, which are guaranteed by its citizens, who cannot pay their debts. Next?

A Quote: "The stress is moving from residential mortgages that are still in deep trouble, to commercial real estate, where they are just starting to recognize that they're going to have massive, massive losses,” said Nouriel Roubini. He went on to predict another 10% fall in house prices.

Beneath Contempt: A golf course in Hong Kong is claiming to be the worlds first “green golf course” because it uses solar-powered golf carts. Golfers would do better for themselves and the environment if they walked and carried their bags.

Am Bush-ed: In a reversion to the good old days, Justice Department officials have refused to testify under oath before the House Intelligence Committee investigating the CIA's role, if any, in shooting down American missionaries over Peru in 2001.

>All Opposed: Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo didn't get the memo. He thinks it is easy to overstate the current upturn while the employment situation is dismal, the percentage of the working age with jobs is at a 25 year low, bank lending is still declining and capital markets are dysfunctional.

Nose on Face: No one thinks the bailouts were fair. Some think they were necessary. Only a piddling handful think they've done the least bit of good. But the folks at Goldman Sachs and AIG are getting bonuses, so something's going right for some.

Bigger, Biggest, Boom? Shell plans to build a ship “larger than an aircraft carrier” as a floating platform for a LNG plant, to use off the coast of Australia. The chances, they say, of an serious industrial accident converting the vessel into a fishing reef are slim. It's unsinkable, they say. Like the Titanic?

Porn O'Graph: If Treasurys are such a bargain, how come only the family's buying them?


Anonymous said...

BBC article on October 9th: What happened to global warming?

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.

Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy from the Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from the Sun.

But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences.

The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature.

And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr Piers Forster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

The global warming crowd has a problem: They've claimed for 15 years that there is simply no natural mechanism that could possibly explain a one degree change in global temperatures, so all warming must be man-made.

Now that we have a period of cooling, they're claiming there is a natural mechanism big enough to both cool the earth from its 1998 high and also wipe out the "expected" additional warming that should have occurred since then.

There is no natural mechanism to explain a degree of warming, but there's a big-ass natural mechanism you now concede to conveniently explain away the cooling?

Couldn't the 1975-1998 "warming" be explained as simply as the diminishment of the 1940-1975 cooling phase? If a cooling force abates, does not the earth warm?

It's so confusing to morons like me!

fajensen said...

The global warming crowd has a problem:

No Problem - Just serch & replace "Global Warming" with "Climate Change" and its all fixed, fixed in several ways, in fact ;-)

Anonymous said...

Please Sir can you understand this because I cannot, it makes me quiver.
Or am I going mad

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 652
Take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Deflation." As in deflationary spiral. Also, devaluation of the pound against the devaluing dollar, which brings to mind a dog chasing its tail.
Ah, to be in England, now the fall is near.