Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SAR #8659

Last Minute Christmas Gift !

A Word: Bring joy to yourselves, me, and others by putting the cursor right here and clicking. It'll take you to Second Harvest, where you can make a donation - at 10¢ for each day of the year you read SAR, call it $30. Thank you; you can take the rest of the day off.

Americans, a people with massive debts and no practical skills.

Progress Report: Pemex announced that crude oil production fell 6.5% in November from the prior year, Cantarell's output fell faster than expected, and exports fell 20% - all a little steeper than the Export Land Model predicts.

Ripley's: Japan's Mikuni credit rating firm says the US dollar will fall by half without some form of debt relief and recommended that Japan write-off its entire holdings of US Treasuries to help the US dig out from under its crushing debt. Japan is the 2nd largest foreign holder of US Treasuries.

2 Little 2 Late: Fitch sees "imminent default" for GM and Chrysler. A stocking stuffer.

Things Left Unsaid: The head of the Bank of Spain warns that the world faces a total financial meltdown. He didn't get the talking points memo.

Identity Theft: As the economy recesses, the American consumer will be less and less of a consumer. In a culture based on shopping and consumption, what happens to all the addicts when they can no longer play the only roles they know? Panic? Depression? Social unrest?

Freed Markets: The Office of Thrift Supervision allowed IndyMac bank to back-date receipt of $18 million from its parent company so it would appear healthier than it was. It failed two months later. Similar back-dating has been discovered at other banks 'regulated' by OTS. Lies, damned lies, and Government assisted lies.

Deflation Defined: Ten percent of US employers are lowering wages in 2009, another 10% are cutting their matching contributions to 401ks. Eat your gruel and be happy.

Should'a Could'a: Shell's UK chairman says that the North Sea has long since produced over half its reserves. He also pointed out that it would have been better to have conserved the resource for later when more problematical sources begin to dry up. Drill There, Drill Now.

Rumors of the Fall: Harvard admits to losing $8 billion from its $36 billion endowment fund. "Sources" are whispering that the losses were close to half - $18 billion - at the end of October. The end of year report card will be interesting.

Multiple Choice: November's existing house sales were down 8% from October and 10.5% from a year ago. 45% of them were facing foreclosure or sold for less than the mortgage. This is described as (a) a decline (b) a plunge (c) a collapse (d) expected.

New Jargon: Climate scientists are using 'ACC' more and more often. It stands for Abrupt Climate Change - as opposed to the gentle, gradual, old fashioned "by 2100...." predictions. The US is now expected to suffer abrupt climate changes within the next couple of decades. For example, seas will rise rapidly if melting of polar ice continues to outrun recent projections, and the ongoing drought in the US west may be the start of permanent regional drying.

Seasoned Greeting: Russia's Gazprom is reusing last year's Christmas card to Europe - the one that said their present may be delayed or diverted by those nasty Ukrainians who paid part of the overdue gas bill but 'restructured' the balance for payment in February.

Good Riddance: Finally Milton Friedman's Chicago School of Economic Thuggery is being chucked in the trash. What took so long?

Suçlu: The financial crisis was caused by the liberal press - according to Limbaugh, O'Reilly & Rove. Reminded me that the Turkish word for the accused, 'suçlu', and the word for the guilty, 'suçlu', are conveniently identical.

Porn O'Graph: Gingerbread houses.


Anonymous said...

Turkish word for accused is "zanlı", distinct from the word for guilty which is infact "suçlu". Nevertheless, I was suprised that you knew the word "suçlu" at all.

Thanks for a fantastic blog -- I wait for it with excitement every day.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Well it's been over 35 years since I was in a Turkish jail & was doing this from memory. I'm pretty sure in may case the fine distinction wasn't made...

Anonymous said...

"ongoing drought in the US west may be the start of permanent regional drying."

Too many "may be"'s when speaking of global warming.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Yes, global warming has a lot of 'may' 'as much as' and such qualifiers. My son the biochemical engineer specializing in environmental remediation tells me that it's just another scientific hoax, like heliocentrism, the old-earth theory, Darwinian evolution, quantum mechanics and peak oil. No point in planing for contingencies. He suggests we turn to astrologers, Senator Inhofe and Rush Limbaugh for our science. And goat entrails, don't forget the goat entrails. - ckm.

Anonymous said...

I just find it hard to believe that Global Warming is settled science and I shudder whenever I read an article where a warming supporter starts saying about an event that "this MAY BE a sign". It either is a sign or it isn't. Let's face it, the press could also be pushing stories that all of the snow through out the US this year is the beginning of a new ice age.

Global Warming is too political and the dogma around it is stifling proper debate.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Dear Anonymous - Trained as a scientist myself, father to an environmental engineer, a physicist, a mathmetician (all PhDs & all university professors) and an MD, I tend to get my science from scientists and scientific journals and articles, not the popular press.
There is debate in both circles. In the popular press, politicians and energy companies debate whether or not there is GW and if there is is it man-made. In the scientific community the debate is soley over how bad it will be, how soon. The politics is about money, as always.
Peer reviewed science has settled the yea/nay question and is not persuing the how much, how soon and could this be minimized so as to let civilization as we know it continue.
If you prefer, skip the CC/GW articles, shut your eyes and repeat whatever Peabody Coal is peddling.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

That whould be "now persuing" not "not persuing" ckm