Friday, May 14, 2010

SAR #10134

What's gone up will go down.

You Ain't Herd Nothin' Yet:  Independent researchers have calculated that the leak shown in the BP video is ten times higher than BP claims – 50,000 barrels a day, and possibly 70,000.

Some Summons:  NY AG Andrew Cuomo is subpoenaing 8 TBTF banks over their incestuous relations with the rating agencies.  Paying for pay for play.

Toast:  Mervyn King says that the US faces the same problems that the other PIIGS do, and that kicking the can down the road – as Europe has done – is not the solution.  But what would the chief British banker know about debt and overspending?  Meanwhile,some EU policymakers are upset that former US Fed Chair Paul Volker has cast aspersions on their efforts to save the euro.

Law and Order: The blowout preventer that didn't prevent the blowout was out of batteries and hadn't been properly tested.  Ooops.  It seems likely heads will roll and prosecutors prosecute.  Criminal penalties could ignore the $75 million cap and impose a doubling of the true cost for environmental and economic damages.  Criminally negligent behavior is what they call it on TV.

Molehill:  The Labor Department reported that initial unemployment claims had dropped 4,000 last week.  They also said that the previous weeks numbers were revised up 4,000.  A confidence builder.

Fool's Gold: All the financial press hoopla about gold reaching new highs is... hoopla. Yes, in nominal terms $1245 and climbing is a record. But in real, inflation adjusted dollars, gold is still 47% below the record $2309 it hit 30 years ago.

A Dollar Here, A Dollar There: The Afghan war (including presumably its wholly owned subsidiary, the war in Pakistan) costs $6.7 billion a month. Killing Iraqis still costs $5.5 billion a month.

The Fine Print: The document that forms the basis for the coalition government in Great Britain includes this gem:  "This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour."   Used to be 51%.  The big deal?  The Tories have 47% of the votes.  That means they can survive any challenge by the other two parties.  Ah, the minority rules rule, just like the US Senate.

Three Wishes: The IMF wants Greek spending cut to the point that unemployment rises to 15% and stays there for five years, wages fall throughout the country, and thus overall growth “stunted”.  This is not going to happen.  If you don't get what you wish for, wish for something else.

Courtly Behavior: A federal judge has blocked New York's plan to reduce 100,000 state employees' work-week and pay 20%.  The judge said that this would cause irreparable harm to the employees.  He also said it seemed likely the unions would prevail in court.  Ah, contract law.

Home Fires:  Rumor claims that France and Germany agreed to give money to Greece only if Greece would give it right back in the form of arms purchases.  I thought only the US did that.

Left Behind:  The millions of long-term unemployed are doomed to be unemployed for very long times because the jobs they held are never coming back and the new skills in demand are evolving faster than these former workers can retrain.

Asked & Answered: Were the rating agencies duped rather than dumb? Both, why would the one preclude the other?  And what about 'duplicitous'?

Statecraft: Boeing and Exxon have told Washington that tighter sanctions against Iran are not needed and would cost the US $25 billion in exports and expose re-election PAC's to budgetary shortfalls.


john patrick said...

Thanks again, CK. I appreciate the work you do. Enjoy reading your column every day.

john (chicago)

Dink said...

"Boeing and Exxon have told Washington that tighter sanctions against Iran are not needed and would cost the US $25 billion in exports and expose re-election PAC's to budgetary shortfalls."

Laugh or cry, laugh or cry???

Anonymous said...

You Ain't Herd Nothin' Yet:

That analysis is hyperbolic BS. Consider for a second that the wells for BP Thunder Horse produce only 50,000 bbls/day.

The project also had to deal with reservoir temperatures up to 270º F (132° C), pressures up to 18,000 psi (124 MPa), and reservoir flow rates of up to 50,000 b/d of oil per well.

I find it extremely unlikely that this well is producing 50% more than a fully completed reservoir, especially considering the state of the obstructions in the well bore such as the cement that had yet to be removed.

In fact, the dopey scientist who made the claim is already walking it back.

NPR should be ashamed: one guy who has no evidence other than watching a video and punching some numbers into a simulation, comes up with some numbers and NPR takes him at his word.

Sounds all too familiar.

It’s funny how when some argue for more drilling we are told that there really isn’t that much oil out there and we shouldn’t bother exploring or drilling.

But now that there has been an accident and a leak, there are untold sums of oil out there.