Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SAR #10097

History is not a morality play.

That Was Then:  Saudi Arabia, which only a week ago said that $70-$80 a barrel oil was “as close to perfect as possible” has raised its official selling price for light crude oil for US and Asian customers. Oil is up 10% since then.

Market Farces:  The US Court of Appeals for DC has decreed that 'net neutrality' interferes with internet providers' Constitutional right to drain as much money out of their customers as possible, and is thus illegal. Expect higher prices.

Part Time Slavery:  The Labor Department says there are 9.1 million people who are working “part time for economic reasons”.  That is, they can't find full time jobs or their hours have been cut.  They are the working poor, your neighbors.

Motive:  America's leaders know (even though they would deny it) that soon it will become progressively harder for the US to obtain the energy it needs from conventional sources.  That explains the opening of the offshore areas, the Navy's plan to power its ships, planes and vehicles using a mix of 50% alternative fuels, the Army's development of combat vehicles that will run on ethanol and biodiesel, and the DoD spending nearly $3 billion a year to improve energy efficiency.  Not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan.

How Big's the Pie?  Hedge funds now control $1.6 trillion dollars and may reach $2 trillion by year's end.  How much greed can the system accommodate?  If every hedge fund is trying to achieve above average returns, do they all end up in Lake Woebegone?

The Lady and The Tiger:  Our highly interconnected global economy is the tiger.  Things have become so complex that the radical simplification we need to do to save the system will destroy it.  For example, the biggest banks must become smaller, simpler.  But they won't, for it would collapse the system.  We need to cut back on our use of oil, but won't, for it would collapse the system.  We are doomed.

That's All, Folks!  Here's a flip-book showing the progress of US unemployment from 'before' to January 2010.

The Enforcer:  Moody's, in its role as leg-breaker for the shylocks, has told Iceland to ignore its citizens and start paying at least the vig to Britain and the Netherlands, or else...

Privacy, What Privacy?  Illegal Warrantless wiretaps didn't start with W. They didn't even start with Gerry Ford, since a newly disclosed memo shows that Ford's order was simply to “re-affirm and renew” an ongoing disregard for Constitutional rights.  Not only does the America I grew up in no longer exist, it apparently never did.

The Daily Petard:  Several GOP Congresspeople [Clintock (CA), Rohrabacher (CA) and Duncan, Jr. (TN)] say that now everyone in Congress “almost all of us think that [invading Iraq] was a horrible mistake .”

Them That Can't, Teach:  Larry Summers, who pretty much single-handedly destroyed Harvard's endowment fund with his remarkable economic insights, predicts the economy is improving and that job creation is well underway.  Maybe at Harvard two wrongs makes for tenure.

Do You Believe?  According to the EIA's Glen Sweetnam,the world's total liquid fuel supplies will fall between 2011 and 2015 if adequate investment in new capacity is not forthcoming.  There is a marvelous chart in which the EIA depicts all current oil reserves that we now have the technology to extract. It then shows us the gap between that and our projected needs.  There is an enormous and widening gap that the EIA calls simply "unidentified projects."  How much faith do you have in “unidentified projects”?

Porn O'Graph:   Should'a kept 'em down on the farm.


Anonymous said...

"Summers...pretty much single-handedly destroyed Harvard's endowment fund.."

Ummm, are you sure about that? Didn't he leave Harvard in 2006? And the loss didn't occur until 2008? And what about the huge gains made since 2001, easily offsetting whatever was lost in 2008 anyway?

Anonymous said...

The Lady and The Tiger:

"We have reached a level of institutional complexity which renders radical simplification impossible, short of outright collapse."

And the Complexity grows every day and our inability to manage that Complexity is also revealed every day. And we are proud that we increase the Complexity every day; it is our objective.

If we cannot even manage something simple like Finance, we cannot manage Nanotech, Biotech, and other advanced technologies that have the capacity to destroy the Biosphere as acknowledged by many expert Futurists.

It's not the Economy, STOOPID, it's the Complexity.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 12.22: Opinions vary as to Summer's culpability for the whole $1.8 billion loss, but certainly he gets credit for the first $1 billion or so. See How Larry Summers lost Harvard $1.8 billion at


Anonymous said...

RE: The Enforcer

Wait till the rest of the Sovereigns realize they don't have to pay back either. Iceland is the beacon not Greece.