Friday, December 28, 2007

SAR #7363

Most ideas, like many children, would not stand up to a paternity test.

A Day Late and A Dollar Short: On December 28th the New York Times headlined an article: Credit Crisis? What if it's not just subprime? The article suggests that if the problem is more than poor people defaulting on houses they shouldn't have tried to buy, we may be in for bigger problems, and that could lead to "a tragedy on the grand stage." Who knew? Must be true, it was in the Times. Finally.

Blackstone : Men now need six different 'looks' in their wardrobe: work clothes, aperitif clothes, dinner clothes, sport clothes, casual clothes, plus something 'trendy' for the clubs. Would you be shocked to learn that source was a clothing designer?

Strategy : Research shows that the best time to buy a stock is when at least 90% of the stock analysts have put out a 'Sell' rating on it. Over 50% of oil analysts predicted oil to close 2007 under $90. Today it's near $98.

Gold Rush: The important thing to know 10 years after Kyoto is that we have done nothing to stop global warming. Nothing. Emissions are up, up up! 383 ppm! The nations of the world are going to get together 3 or 4 years from now to talk about making a plan to undertake some reductions, sometime, later. The simple, understandable line in the carbon dioxide is at 350 ppm. That is balance point that between tolerable but difficult future, and something far, far tougher. 350ppm. We've got to go back! Put it on a tee shirt. 350ppm! Bumper sticker. Politician's forehead.

Fantasy Worlds: Pakistan, like Iraq, is a made up country of competing tribal, ethnic and linguistic groups. It is a failing state that cannot supply electricity, food, petroleum or much public order. What it has lots of is pissed off people with different loyalties and religions and social practices and goals. Some of them have nukes.

Chip In : The EPA estimates that the nation's water and wastewater systems need an investment of up to $1.2 trillion over 20 years. 60 billion a year. 1.2 billion per state per year. Think it will happen?

One Plus One: At least 10 banks have rescued their money market funds with a collective injection of $3 billion. Many more rescues have occurred quietly. Holding funds at $1 par value is hard to judge, when there are no buyers for their investments. In a garage sale they'd have "Make An Offer" tags.

Dance Card: Global warming is usually thought of as being a problem for many years away, but the Georgia drought may turn out to be a consequence of global warming sooner, not later. If the drought in the southeast continues much longer, Atlanta may be the first large city in the U.S. to be abandoned.

New & Improved: Sales of new homes plunged last month to their lowest number in more than 12 years and an annual decline of 34.4%, the biggest yearly drop since the recession of 1991. [Insert humorous observation here.]

Home on the Range: Bush&Co are moving to quickly certify 2 million acres of public land in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah for tar shale mining with "acceptable environmental impacts." Under the regulations, tar shale exploitation would supersede all other present and future uses of these public lands; such as recreation, forestry, grazing or even other oil and gas activity. Deer and antelope need not apply.

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