Monday, January 17, 2011

SAR #11017

The collapse of the oil-fueled economy will produce full employment.

Endgame:  How many times are we supposed to sit and nod our heads when OPEC tells us they have lots of oil and that $65 $80 $100 a barrel is a reasonable price? We are not supposed to notice they are pumping as fast as they can.

Running Hot and Cold:  Current research indicates that the Atlantic ocean can undergo radical changes in circulation patterns on timescales as short as decades. Not to say it will, but it could.

Fuel to Fire:  Adding some statistical support to the argument over whether oil prices helped cause the Current Mess (as opposed to blaming it all on sub-prime or poor credit judgments or simple greed), a study of oil market 'disruptions' and economic downturns since WWII showed that all but one recession was preceded by an increase in oil prices and vice versa, every oil market 'disruption' (except one) was followed by an economic recession. “Contributing factor” seems a safe description. And look out, here comes $4.00 gasoline.

Never Say Never:  The S&P 500 index has not closed below its 10 day moving average once during the past 30 days.  "This has never happened before, in 82 years of history."  Cue offstage thunder.

Travel Voucher:  The Obama administration plans to ease restrictions on “people-to-people” travel to Cuba to increase contacts between Americans and Cubans, and to allow more US cash into the country. Just like the Batista days, when Americans went to Havana for hookers and gambling. Of course Bush started this with his free trips to Guantanamo Bay.

For Sale By Owner:  Those who have sold enormous amounts of precious metals that they do not own may have to settle up pretty soon. Either JPMorgan is covering up a naked silver market shorts in its own dealing, or fronting for China. The 'China version' is full of twists and turns, with China trying to put the US in an untenable position. Or some other facts are needed to explain the current silver market. I vote for greed at JPMorgan.

More Is Better:  Taking 10,000 steps a day is better than taking 3,000, but taking 3,000 is better than nothing – vis a vis obesity and diabetes. Excuse me, I gotta go walk.

What's It Mean, Ollie?  Russian state oil firm Rosneft, with a £10 billion share swap, now has a 5% interest in BP. Americans, naturally, do not trust Putin and are upset – especially those who know that BP is the largest petroleum supplier to the US military. Did no one stop to wonder if this wasn't Rosneft admitting it needed help, or BP recognizing it did?

Let Me Count The Ways:  New York is eliminating 20 percent of state agencies. New Jersey skipped a $3.1 billion payment to the state's pension system and is cutting public workers' benefits. Illinois raised its income tax 75%. Texas has an estimated $27 billion shortfall in its two-year budget. South Carolina plans to end funding for museums and arts programs, cut college budgets and drop state workers' pay 5%. And that's before the states start paying the interest ($1.3 billion a year) on the $41 billion they've borrowed to pay unemployment benefits. And then there's the $41 billion...

Early Call:  The Greenland ice cap has melted enough so that the sun rose two days early from its winter darkness.

Scary Thought:  Globalization's proponents say that those “trapped on the wrong side of globalization” - like the long-term unemployed in the US - and claim it “is a passing phase until rising wages in Asia restore balance to East and West.” Or falling wages in the West balance the East; works either way.

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