Thursday, January 14, 2010

SAR #10014

Complexity assures instability.

What Goes Up, Goes Up:  How much is gasoline at the station nearest your house? Is it up from last month? Ah, thought so.   Demand is on its way up – Chinese imports alone rose by 4.7 mbd in December, which is a 5% increase in world demand caused by just one consumer.  There's only so much oil production to go around – more or less 86 mbd.  If you want to get gasoline from one of the last of those barrels, be prepared to bid for it.

Lifelines:  The Obama administration says that continuing to protect our access to petroleum will cost $741 billion next year – if we don't have to go slap Iran around.

Wait, Wait... The SEC is suing BofA for not disclosing that Merrill Lynch was losing $15.3 billion when it asked shareholders to approve the merger.  Anybody else think their defense will be that Timmy boy told them it was okay?

Just Sayin'...  China claims it has a say in the value of the dollar, and that the dollar has hit bottom. No wonder the Chinese are buying anything it can stockpile and that can't be devalued by Tim Geithner.  Last year, China imported 14% more oil and 41% more iron-ore than in 2008. Some recession they're having.

Pitchfork Prevention:  In an attempt to defuse the public's growing disgust and anger at Wall Street and Washington, Obama plans to levy fees on the 20 largest recipients of government largesse.  It is just a PR move, but the public will be quieted. For a while.

Needs Spinach:  Despite “strong” 3Q growth, Germany's 2009 output plunged 5%, which is hardly the sign of a strong recovery.

Report Card:  Monsanto's GMO crops are fine as long as you don't need your kidneys or liver, and don't mind a little 'hepatorenal toxicity.' (Hepatorenal syndrome is a life-threatening medical condition that consists of rapid deterioration in kidney function - Wikipedia).   Monsanto is currently seeking unemployed smoking/global warming deniers to assist in further research.

Now It Can Be Told:  In what will come as an immense shock to people who used to live outside Crawford, Texas, a Dutch study has found that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an illegal war of aggression which lacked legitimacy under international law.

Danger Zone:  There is a growing danger that the myth of equal opportunity, the myth of upward mobility, and the myth that wide screen TV with surround sound will bring happiness are all in danger of collapse.  People may even try to live a bit below their means and set some money aside for future wants, strange as such behavior may seem.  After 30 years of treading water, those now entering the workforce will make even less in real terms than their grandfathers did in 1972.  That's if they manage to get a job. And that job will pay 6% less for every percentage point the unemployment rate climbs.  Visit your Army recruiter today.

A Quote:  “I’ve always seen the war on terror as being in large part a war on liberals, a way to change the conversation away from things like competence in governing toward the undoubted conservative superiority at talking tough and striking heroic poses.”

The Talking Cure:  Obama has set loose his minions to mislead the public into thinking he actually is going to tax the Wall Street banks for their ill-gotten gains. Sounds good, but show me the money, show me the money!

Rolling Along:   The worst drought in 50 years is shutting down Venezuela's biggest hydroelectric plant, as the rivers dry up.  Electricity will be cut for four hours on alternating days, in an attempt to keep the grid from collapsing.  For once, it does not seem to be Chavez's fault.

Porn O'Graph: Bench-warmers fall off bench, the unemployed become ghosts.


Anonymous said...

@Danger Zone:

Hey waittaminute.. what happens when unemployment climbs by 17%?

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 738 - Starting with a 10% unemployment rate, 17 iterations of a 6% decline in wages for each 1% rise in unemployment would lead to a 27% unemployment rate with wages cut to 37% of the starting level. Seems about right to me, it's called deflation. (Think of it as 1.00 x .94 reiterated.)

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Danger Zone - Through a combination of circumstances, spouse and self, though no longer young*, are already living the lifestyle of the future - i.e. outgo less than input.

The danger zone I'm currently struggling with is - where to put the unspent dollars until we need them, in the hope that approximately the value stored can be retrieved, though it be ten or twenty or even more years from now, should we live so long ?

What strategy would you suggest?

*Adulthood age groups - 4 categories, forced choice:

a)Young adult
b)Still young
c)Not so young
d)You look wonderful!

Missus charley, m.d. and I are currently in category c.

CKMichaelson said...

m. charley: Being a 'c' along with thee and facing the same dilemma, my first conclusion, back in '95, was that I was as well prepared to forecast the future as any paid adviser. That part has turned out right.

I'm far more concerned with next month and maybe next year. Long term planning for me is 3 to 5 years out. I don't think there is any way to put your assets in a particular pile, leave them there 20 years and expect to be successful.

My plan is to make it through this year with most of my pennies, then do the same thing next year. Be nimble, flexible, and wary. Especially wary.


kwark said...

RE: "Report Card" Monsanto's response to the study is eerily familiar to the American Chemical Society's response to Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" back in the 1960's. One would think that global scale experiments involving the environment would be avoided as a matter of principle. But then, if one doesn't think the evidence supports the elephant in the room full of global experiments we're conducting - anthropogenic-influenced climate change - then cancer in a few rats eating foods incorporating GMOs is clearly a non-issue? We never learn.

fajensen said...

Now It Can Be Told:

But the precedence was set already with the forced breakup of Yugoslavia to support the secession of Kosovo!

An illegal war is A-Ok if Clinton (whom we like) and a Social Democrat Government contributes, whereas it is a BIG PROBLEM if Bush (whom we hate) and a Conservative government does the same thing later.

I absolutely hate that double-standards crap; that the only importance is WHO does or says something not WHAT they do or say!

CKMichaelson said...

fajensen: Amen. I, for one, never quite understood why NATO (at US behest) was doing in the Balkan adventure. Sure, Slobodan Milošević was not a nice man and there were some reasonably nasty things going on there - but a lot of places are run by nasty men and there are a lot of nasty things going on lots of places.

I really think Camp Bondsteel had nothing to do with it.