Who’s buying all those shares?
Supersized! First it was thought to be leaking 1,000 barrels a day. Then 5,000. Now the guestimate is up to 25,000 barrels a day. That's a million gallons a day – 9 million so far. The Exxon Valdez was 11 million gallons. We have a winner!
All You Can Afford: Deepwater Horizon is an object lesson in why the argument over peak oil does not matter. Whatever oil is left is hard to get at –miles into the ocean floor under a mile of water or in the Arctic (if, if... ) It is hot, acidic and under immense pressure. That's today. It'll be harder and more expensive tomorrow. And that's the key word: expensive. As in bankrupt the economy that 's based on it expensive. Doesn't matter how much oil there is if we can't afford it.
Enough, Already: Yet another study shows that Canadians lead longer, healthier lives than Americans. Mostly to spite the Republicans.
Thin Ice: First quarter GDP growth was 3.2% (annualized) following the 5.6% growth in 4Q 2009. The growth was based on personal consumption and for all the cheer leading was a pretty lackluster performance. Private inventory investment and exports fell, as did residential fixed investment, along with a large decrease in state and local government spending. Simply put: The economy still hangs on consumer over-reach and the government's stimulus spending.
Been Here, Done That: If you take the lead-in to the Current Whatever back in 2007 or so when it was all sub-prime and contained and then became Alt-A and Option ARM and Lehman and AIG – that script – and substitute Greece for 'sub-prime', then Spain,Portugal, Italy... well, the names have changed but the tune's the same.
Quoted: NYC Mayor Bloomberg warns that the US "is committing national suicide." State by state, city by city.
Square Peg, Round Hole: The IMF (Bailouts R Us) has a beak/belly problem. It can help Greece for a while, but as the dominoes add up, the PIIGSy bank needs $2 trillion over the next three years and the IMF's only got $700 billion, tops. They made the pants too short.
Soapbox: Off-shore leases must include a 'no-contest' clause that makes the lease holder financially liable for every cent it takes to clean up every bit of damage done by drilling and production on its lease, plus posting, say, a half-billion cash bond against such an event. What is the ecosystem really worth?
Worth Noting: About two-thirds of corporations operating in the United States did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005.
Your Lyin' Eyes: Reports say Iraq is hoping to nearly double its oil output from 2.4 mbd to 4.5 mbd by 2014. That's wresting a half million barrels a day from mature oil fields that have been producing for decades. Me, I'm hoping to win the lottery.
The Future, Annotated: International firms continue to improve profits by cutting personnel costs. IBM, for one, intends to fire 3 out of 4 employees worldwide and then re-hire an absolute minimum for specific projects as contract employees. No building costs, no healthcare costs, no pension costs, not even any coffee breaks or football pools.
A Positive: In March, hotel 0ccupancy increased 2.4% y/y. If this wasn't all due to social services finding temporary housing for the evicted and homeless, it's good news.
Strategy & Tactics: About 12% of current foreclosures are the result of conscious decisions on the part of the borrowers to simply walk away from a bad investment. They could keep making the payment, and they are making their payments on $10,000 or more in credit card debt. Times change.
Just One of Those Things: The question is, why did we (try to) save the financial system? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Big If: House Republican Leader John Boehner has said that his party will repeal the new health care law if the GOP gains a congressional majority in November. Actually, they'd need a filibuster-proof 61 in the senate to over-ride Obama’s veto.
Boycott! Hawaii is a step closer to joining a small group of other states in allowing same-sex civil unions. Those that object can go vacation in Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, places like that.
Here's the Plan: Greece will increase taxes, freeze government wages and eliminate the large semi-annual bonuses, the retirement age will increase significantly, and the IMF will insist they sell off any government agency or function that foreign banks can loot. Pay attention – this is a take-home test.