Saturday, May 1, 2010

SAR #10121/Weekender

Who’s buying all those shares?

Supersized!  First it was thought to be leaking 1,000 barrels a day.  Then 5,000.  Now the guestimate is up to 25,000 barrels a day.  That's a million gallons a day – 9 million so far.  The Exxon Valdez was 11 million gallons. We have a winner!

All You Can Afford:  Deepwater Horizon is an object lesson in why the argument over peak oil does not matter.  Whatever oil is left is hard to get at –miles into the ocean floor under a mile of water or in the Arctic (if, if... ) It is hot, acidic and under immense pressure.  That's today.  It'll be harder and more expensive tomorrow.  And that's the key word: expensive.  As in bankrupt the economy that 's based on it expensive.  Doesn't matter how much oil there is if we can't afford it.

Enough, Already:  Yet another study shows that Canadians lead longer, healthier lives than Americans.   Mostly to spite the Republicans.

Thin Ice:  First quarter GDP growth was 3.2% (annualized) following the 5.6% growth in 4Q 2009.  The growth was based on personal consumption and for all the cheer leading was a pretty lackluster performance.  Private inventory investment and exports fell, as did residential fixed investment, along with a large decrease in state and local government spending.  Simply put:  The economy still hangs on consumer over-reach and the government's stimulus spending.

Been Here, Done That:  If you take the lead-in to the Current Whatever back in 2007 or so when it was all sub-prime and contained and then became Alt-A and Option ARM and Lehman and AIG – that script – and substitute Greece for 'sub-prime', then Spain,Portugal, Italy... well, the names have changed but the tune's the same.

Quoted:  NYC Mayor Bloomberg warns that the US "is committing national suicide."  State by state, city by city.

Square Peg, Round Hole:  The IMF (Bailouts R Us) has a beak/belly problem. It can help Greece for a while, but as the dominoes add up, the PIIGSy bank needs $2 trillion over the next three years and the IMF's only got $700 billion, tops.  They made the pants too short.

Soapbox:  Off-shore leases must include a 'no-contest' clause that makes the lease holder financially liable for every cent it takes to clean up every bit of damage done by drilling and production on its lease, plus posting, say, a half-billion cash bond against such an event.  What is the ecosystem really worth?

Worth Noting:  About two-thirds of corporations operating in the United States did not pay taxes annually from 1998 to 2005.

Your Lyin' Eyes:  Reports say Iraq is hoping to nearly double its oil output from 2.4 mbd to 4.5 mbd by 2014.  That's wresting a half million barrels a day from mature oil fields that have been producing for decades. Me, I'm hoping to win the lottery.

The Future, Annotated:  International firms continue to improve profits by cutting personnel costs. IBM, for one, intends to fire 3 out of 4 employees worldwide and then re-hire an absolute minimum for specific projects as contract employees.  No building costs, no healthcare costs, no pension costs, not even any coffee breaks or football pools.

A Positive:  In March, hotel 0ccupancy increased 2.4% y/y.  If this wasn't all due to social services finding temporary housing for the evicted and homeless, it's good news.

Strategy & Tactics:  About 12% of current foreclosures are the result of conscious decisions on the part of the borrowers to simply walk away from a bad investment.  They could keep making the payment, and they are making their payments on $10,000 or more in credit card debt.  Times change.

Just One of Those Things:  The question is, why did we (try to) save the financial system?  Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Big If:  House Republican Leader John Boehner has said that his party will repeal the new health care law if the GOP gains a congressional majority in November.  Actually, they'd need a filibuster-proof 61 in the senate to over-ride Obama’s veto.

Boycott!  Hawaii is a step closer to joining a small group of other states in allowing same-sex civil unions.   Those that object can go vacation in Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, places like that.

Here's the Plan: Greece will increase taxes, freeze government wages and eliminate the large semi-annual bonuses, the retirement age will increase significantly, and the IMF will insist they sell off any government agency or function that foreign banks can loot.  Pay attention – this is a take-home test.


Anonymous said...

RE: The Future, Annotated

While a disconcerting model, it could well become a more profitable model for highly skilled workers if many corporations do it. Forcing corporations to bid for limited talent will drive the price of labor up.


Degringolade said...

Bud: I love ya and read you daily, but I think that you should review your math on your first note.

Best I can pencil, even assuming an order of magnitude underestimate is 1-2 million BPD...Still a disaster, but lets stict to the facts here.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Bud - I don't see where you get the 1 - 2 mbd figure from. The largest guess I've seen is from WSJ/NYTimes at 25,0000 bpd. At 42 gallons a barrel, that is 1,050,000 gallons a day...


Degringolade said...

Coulda swore you said a million gallons a day...No more reading before coffee.


Dink said...

"Yet another study shows that Canadians lead longer, healthier lives than Americans. Mostly to spite the Republicans."


TulsaTime said...

Paradigm Shift - We got one goin on. The hole (haha) debt based economy was based on being able to borrow some from future earnings to finance present needs. It worked great for 150 years, but that game is over now.

Can you say steady state? Oops, there is a gottcha in there, we have to correct for overshoot first. Die off anyone? War of the ages? Dystopian outlook?

CKM, have you been reading the Oil Drum article on network collapse, with the funky S curve graphs for catashtrophic bifurcations? Watch that first step, it's a real doozy!!!


Anonymous said...

Supersized! ...

This drilling disaster must also raise questions regarding all the assurances given that fractured gas drilling will not pollute/destroy water aquifers and supplies. Another perfect example of how we take the benefits from Technology and leave the liabilities for someone else to deal with. Exactly the same as Mining Mortgages for Fun and Profit, if you are the Miner.

Hey what about that Cern Collider, what's the backup on that one?

Anonymous said...

Soapbox: ... What is the ecosystem really worth?

Good idea. Let's say we do this also for Nuclear Plants, say that one above NYC. How much would such a bond be, how much would it cost? How do you pay people who are DEAD?? Same for all the rest of the BIGs who now run the World and with their Technologies can destroy it. BIG OIL is simple but the more dangerous Technologies are not.

The answer is that Technology will destroy the Biosphere. Technology expands and becomes more dangerous day by day. If you can't regulate Derivatives, how you gonna regulate all the rest of it??

Anonymous said...

You folks need some perspective.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 2.45

Perhaps it is you (and your cited blog-source) that needs "some perspective", for the spill is now being confidently reported as 25,000 barrels a day, which makes the dismissive trivialization of this spill pathetic.

If we are lucky and they are able to cap off the leak with an intercepting well it will take at least three months - according to BP. And 3 months leakage at a the 25,000 bpd rate will make this 2,250,000 barrels - not the 150,000 cited by your source.
This would make it the 2nd largest GOM spill - not 37th on the list.

And according to that site's 2nd chart, this will easily be the third largest spill in history.


Anonymous said...

Hey pal, there's no need to call people pathetic. And I haven't yet come across any news organization confirming the 25k figure.

The link I provided didn't trivialize the spill; rather, it offered some perspective. But perspective apparently doesn't fit into your apocalyptic world view.

If anything in the link was factually incorrect, please let me know. But calling it pathetic doesn't cut it.

kwark said...

Anonymous 7:36: OK, call it perspective if you like. But if you find this site "doomer" then, sorry, but the blog you linked to is on the Pollyanna side of the spectrum. I'm afraid that his comment at the end ruined his credibility: "In essence, one could fit the environmental consequences of every spill in the history of the hydrocarbon era into one small forest fire, out of the 10,000 we have every year. Nice try but his spiffy graphs do not even begin to support such a wild assertion.

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