Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SAR #10152

Welcome to the end of the Oil Age.

Usual Suspects:   BP cut corners, certainly.  BP was/is interested only in profits.  BP this, BP that.  BP was only trying to satisfy our endless thirst for oil.  BP may be responsible for the oil spewing into the Gulf,  so are we.   Too bad carbon dioxide isn't black – maybe then we'd realize what we're doing to the world.

Alternate Universes:  The top earning hedge funders got over $18 billion from their hedge funds in 2009.  That works out to be a tad under a million an hour each.  Elsewhere, 150,000 teachers will lose their jobs this year – largely because of the things these financial geniuses did to our economy.  Under the financial reform legislation these poor hedgies will have to pay as much as 15% of their earnings in taxes.  The teachers may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Ambushed: Israel is complaining that the blockade busting activists fought back when rifle toting commandos rappelled down onto their ship.... Duh?

Replay?  From 1929 to 1955 house prices in the US remained essentially flat.  Today's housing 'imbalance' may take at a decade – if not 26 years – to resolve.  There are 26 million houses directly or indirectly for sale today and another 20 million ready to come on the market as soon as it seems they might be salable.  Who, pray tell, is going to buy all these existing houses?  Between the 35 million underwater homeowners, the 12 million unemployed, and another 15 million underemployed, plus the aging Boomers, who's left to buy all these houses?

Evidence:  BP's Chief Evasive Officer, Lyin' Tony Hayward, says there are no subsurface oil plumes and they can't be traced back to the BP leak anyway.   Scientists say there are at least two (now three) enormous underwater plumes, stretching hundreds of feet beneath the surface and meandering for miles.

Congressional Deficit:  Congress is headed towards reduced unemployment benefits and less financial assistance to states and local governments, chanting the mantra of deficit reduction.  The cuts will reduce GDP by $50 billion, throwing more people out of work and increasing the demand for social programs at a time when tax revenues at all levels will be falling.  The result will be an increase in deficits.  Watch what they do – not what they say.

Porn O'Graph:  The most jobs lost since...


Eric Hacker said...

re: Usual Suspects

Take a walk on any beach in the country and I'm sure you will find oil washed up on the beach. The fact that it is processed into plastic matters little to the animals that it kills, and it does kill. Either directly though physical effects or indirectly through the chemical breakdown into elements with biological effects.

ibilln said...

Excellent housing overview!

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Eric - it's not just 'any beach in the country', it's any beach, anywhere. I lived on a sailboat in the Bahamas for a couple of years and no matter how remote, how small the island, the beches were littered with plastics. And sneakers.

VC - It's not so much a housing overview as the view from a overhanging cliff. Why are any new houses being built? (I know, Iknow, the winners need trophies.)


kwark said...

RE: Congressional Deficit. I liked this line in the piece "Projections from both the Congressional Budget Office and the White House show that it will be more than 5 years before the unemployment rate returns to a more normal level." RIGHT, and they've been sooo good at projecting the course of the economy so far. Even stoned, pot heads are more realistic than the propagandists writing this drivel. Idiots.