Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SAR #9308

I much preferred the "invisible hand"

when it wasn't so obviously up Goldman's sleeve.

Democratic Progress: In a scene reminiscent of of Bush vs. Gore, the Afghan Election Commission ruled that Hamid Karzai intimidated enough officials and stuffed enough ballot boxes to become the democratically elected president.

Have Your Stopped Beating Your Wife? Barney Frank says there should be no more secret bank deals. All right, but no fewer, either

Trendline: If you take a 20-year time line and assume that prices will revert, eventually, to the trend, then housing has another 40% to fall. If, as is traditional and logical, house prices are determined by the ability to pay – income – then the price level must revert to a level that matches incomes – which have been essentially stationary for decades, except for the top 1%.

Deal Breaker: Developing countries, long since having learned not to trust the wealthier nations, want any climate change agreement to come with legally enforceable provisions. You'd almost suspect that Big Coal and Big Oil paid them to say that.

Promises: Obama has announced he will not 'micro- manage' the generals screwing up our excellent adventure in Absurdistan. Okay, but how about macro-managing some of them into retirement?

My Ball, My Rules: As Saudi Arabia runs out of light sweet crude and pumps more and more sour oil, it finds that “WTI as delivered at Cushing, OK” not very representative of their product. Yes, the world isn't represented accurately by the price set in the middle of nowhere, but the real deal is that the Saudi's want to rig the price of oil in their favor.

Understatement: On Friday, consumer spending was reported to have dropped the most in the last nine months of slowing down. “Retailers may not take well to this trend.”

Talking Mirror: Putin told the EU to stop being greedy and lend Ukraine “at least a billion” to help Ukraine pay their gas bill. It would, he threatened said, help prevent supply disruptions to Europe this winter.

Reminder: The newly bankrupt CIT is one of the most widely held reference CDOs in Europe. It also held markers on many US retailers, especially clothing stores, which now need new financing, fast. The game is over, please retain your tickets while winners are determined. Please enter our new game, early and often.

Safety? Ten percent of the assets of America's 500 largest companies are in cash. How much do you have squirreled away?

Field Work: Before an economist – or a energy cornucopian – can assert that higher prices in a free market will cause the production of an increasing supply of oil, they must explain why companies like Shell and Exxon and countries like Mexico and Norway had a decrease in production from 2003 on, even though prices climbed from $30 to $150 a barrel.

The Quote: “Afghanistan has no bearing on our national security or vital national interests.” Remember this point, there will be a test.

Oil is Food: Farmers in Zambia have told President Jarvis Zimba that if the shortage of fuel in the country is not soon resolved, there will be a shortage of food next year, as without fuel the crops cannot be planted, tilled, or harvested.

Zero Sum: The land cannot continue to produce if the farmer does not return to the land what was taken from it. The profit, if any, can be in selection and taste, but there cannot be much, if any, long term profit from farming. Those who make profits year after year are simply mining the land and will leave it stripped and barren. This has always been true, but every new civilization believes it can beat the system.

Porn O'Graph: Three Two Little Piggies...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zero Sum: The land cannot continue to produce if the farmer does not return to the land what was taken from it....

Not only the land is mined but, in some places like the US Midwest, the water too:

"The Ogallala Aquifer is being both depleted and polluted. Irrigation withdraws much groundwater, yet little of it is replaced by recharge. Since large-scale irrigation began in the 1940s, water levels have declined more than 30 meters (100 feet) in parts of Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. In the 1980s and 1990s, the rate of groundwater mining , or overdraft, lessened, but still averaged approximately 82 centimeters (2.7 feet) per year."


Then again, there are probably lots of Ogallala Aquifer Depletion Deniers.