Friday, December 11, 2015
Easy Come, Easy Go: Back in 2009 the fracking industry persuaded the SEC to let them count reserves that wouldn't be drilled for years as assets, provided they were recoverable at prevailing prices, on the condition that the reserves be tapped within 5 years.. These putative reserves were a significant part of the basis for valuing these producers. At $80 or $100 a barrel this was good fun. But the five years will be up next year and the price is now $40 and tens of billions of “reserves” that were created by the accountants' pencils will be erased just as easily. It won't be as much fun.
Daycare For Adults: First Santa Claus turns out to be just another overweight white guy with diabetes and now the tell us that the No Fly list only provides “the illusion of security.”
Another Shoe: The world's second largest copper miner, Freeport McMoRan has suspended its annual dividend, saving $240 million “to enhance liquidity during this period of weak market conditions.”
Privacy, You Don't Need No Privacy: The FBI continues to claim that they can't protect your right to be secure in your home from unreasonable searches if they can't read your email...
Cream: In 2013 at least $1.1 trillion in “illicit financial flows” moved from developing and emerging economies. Look at it this way: In 2013 over a trillion dollars was sucked out of poor countries and squirreled away in various banks – each of which skimmed a little off the top while providing laundering services for dictators, tyrants, crooked politicians and drug lords.
Precisely: The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank expects the growth in the US economy will be “fairly persistent” next year. Well, you wouldn't want it to be "unfairly persistent", would you?
Dreams of Glory: Erdogan (and Turkey, they are essentially interchangeable these days) has some modest religious motivation in supporting the Caliphate against Assad in Syria, but far more important is his imperialist drive to recreate the Ottoman empire – at least in the Middle Easern areas adjacent to Turkey. He, and many of his fellow citizens, do not accept the boundaries drawn by the Allies after defeating the Ottomans in WWI. Geography and history suggest a southward expansion to the area between Homs in Syria and Mosul in Iraq (which was Turkish until 1917 and would bring with it Iraq's northern oil fields and large oil and gas fields in Syria). The people in this area have been living Turk-free for a century and may not welcome a new set of masters with open arms.
Exceptions: If gaining college admission via affirmative action based on the color of one's parent's skin is wrong, why isn't gaining admission just because dad graduated 25 years ago just as wrong?
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:12 AM