Thursday, May 6, 2010

SAR #10126

These things take time.

Hero:  The hero of the Times Square bomb attempt was an immigrant. A Muslim.  Senegalese newcomer Aliou Niasse was the first to notice the smoldering car and draw attention to it. He had no time left on his cell phone and realized his English probably wasn't up to the task, so he got a passerby to call 911.  In Arizona the cops would have hauled him off to jail while the car exploded.

Office Pool:  The government of Greece will fall in __ days.  There will be __ Greek governments this year.

Grandstanding:  The White House and Congress are falling all over their microphones, promising to make BP pay more than the statutory $75 million towards the cleanup of the Gulf Coast spill.  Thing about laws in this country: we don't allow laws to be passed after the fact – or else a lot of my Nashville neighbors would be down applying for flood insurance.

Sic Transit Gloria:  Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Aramco CEO came right out and said it:  Look, folks, we're running out of oil and in just a few years you'll have to shift for yourselves.  He dressed it up with numbers and such, but that's what he ment.

Garage Sale:  The Fed's garage is overflowing with some $2.6 trillion in odds and ends it picked up at staying-in-business sales in 2008 and 2009. Things like $1.25 trillion in Fannie/Freddie MBS that are beginning to have an off odor. Make an offer – they're not expecting anywhere near what they paid. Or rather, you paid.

Herbert Hoover Redux: The IMF wants Greece to endure several years of savage austerity, with higher taxes, slashed spending, absent social services in the face of a deepening recession.  In the end they well be impoverished, indebted, resentful, and still Greek.

Probabilities:  1. The coffin works, damages are limited to a few tens of billons, cleanup takes a couple of years.  2. Coffin fails, relief well works. Damages in the hundreds of billions, cleanup takes five or more years.  3. Nothing works for a long time. Damages in the trillions, cleanup takes decades.  Chose the most likely.

Goes Around/Comes Around:  There are only two solutions to the sovereign debt crisis — raise taxes or cut spending, or a combination of both. No, no. I'm not talking about Greece.  The US of A. but the Democrats won't cut spending and the Republicans won't raise taxes and the Tea Party apparently believes in miracles, where there are no taxes and Social Security and Medicare are safe forever.

Cheap Shot:  Yes, Steve's always been a control freak, but why is the FCC harassing Apple for abusing its economic power while Goldman, JPMorgan & friends run around free?

Doggie In The Window: Where would we be without offshore oil?  That's where 2% of the world's supply comes from – about 1.7 mbd.  Without it world prices might rise a bit.  If we ignored the environment and doubled GOM production,  the price might come down a smidgen.

Herersy:  Economist Ernst Fehr isn't going to be invited to the parties any more. He's insisting that there is a deep-seated human preference for fairness that influences economic behavior.  He wrote a paper on this and every prestigious economic journal rejected it.  After all, it's obvious we are all economic automatons.


TulsaTime said...

doggie/window- with the supply and demand numbers just a smidgen in favor of supply, you can't be very dismissive of I recall a big hairy deal was made of somewhat less when the hurricanes were playing bumper cars out assured we will pillage and destroy every corner of the planet in the quest for that magic hydrocarbon elixer!

Dink said...

"The IMF wants Greece to endure several years of savage austerity, with higher taxes, slashed spending, absent social services in the face of a deepening recession."

The Greeks are creating huge protests demanding that their unsustainable lifestyle be prolonged. Perhaps they will vote to repeal the laws of thermodynamics next.

ibilln said...

"The hero of the Times Square bomb attempt was an immigrant. A Muslim. ... In Arizona the cops would have hauled him off to jail while the car exploded."

Well said. On the other hand, who would possibly care about blowing up Arizona?

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Tulsa - Before I get too beaten about the head and shoulders, I'll go make corrections. It's 2% of the world's supply and even though there is at least that much shut in spare capacity the pump price would go up noticeably - but mostly based on 'because they can' and not actual shortage on the world market.


Anonymous said...

Ah, but the disruption of that 2% will not only raise the price at the pumps and for heating oil, but will also raise the prices of lobster (which doesn't come from the gulf) and well, all fish. Cuz they can. And they will.
- Suzi

Anonymous said...

Re: Ernst Fehr's "fairness" theory. They have proved this already with chimpanzees. You could prove it watching any number of commenters on blogs. Why is the idea of justice so alien to economists? It certainly isn't to any other living thing.

Anonymous said...


Of the thousands of Oil Wells in the World, how many are owned by companies which are solvent enough to pay full Damages? Does anyone even know? Next to this well is another $5BILLION platform that could pollute ten times as much Oil and wreak much more economic destruction.

Hmmm, doe the above sound like TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL-BANKS? Many corporations today have the capacity to do far more Damage than what they can pay for, Finance has already proven that.

(Those familiar with the shipping biz will know that many ocean carriers isolate their liabilities by setting up ships as single corporations so when an "accident" (usually cost-cutting negligence) happens, all they lose is the ship. Does this happen with oil wells?)

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Anony 1.58
If the $75 million cap on damages is lifted, I'd expect oily lawyers to do some such.

I find it intersting that the oil business - like all extractive industries and most manufacturing concerns - cannot possibly operate profitably if they do not externalize most of their environmental degradation costs. If we made them reserve enough to pay for their damages (if you wanna dance you gotta pay the band) we'd be living further down the ladder. If we made them pay for the consumers and bystanders they injure, sicken, maim or kill, same thing.

And then there'd be the problem of trying to establish how much it would take to clean up after the black swan pooped. Unknown. And with corporate laws that permit dodging responsibility... Possible solution, anyone?


ventu said...

What is it about liberals that makes them unable to engage in intellectually honest discussion of an issue ?

This constant and intentional lying about what the AZ law permits and does not permit is the latest example, and it is so typical. Even Obama has joined in(but he also says doctors will intentionally misdiagnose someone for money, so....)

The AZ does not allow police to stop anyone for just any reason-- and certainly not for "looking Hispanic" as liberals are claiming.

Do you understand what "lawful contact" means in legal terms ? Do you understand what it means to have to conform to U.S. law when enforcing the AZ law ? It is right there in the bill. There is no part of that law that allows cops to stop passers-by and ask for "papers".

And Obama says parents will be harrassed when they take their kids for ice cream-- that's a disgraceful comment from our President. But he obviously has "issues" with police, as he has previously shown.

Liberals need to get acquainted with the truth, since truth is obviously a stranger to them.