Thursday, November 11, 2010

SAR #10315

1981 – the last year we we discovered more oil than we consumed.

Angels on a Pin:  Representative John Shimkus, expected Republican chair of the House Energy Committee insists that we should not worry about global warming because  “The planet won't be destroyed by global warming because God promised Noah” it wouldn't happen again.  Nope, it's the fire next time.”

Squeaky Wheel:  Goldman Sachs expects oil prices to be “substantially higher” by 2012 as demand rises as the global economy recovers and Asian consumption expands while stockpiles shrink and production drops.  The flood of dollars released by the Fed's quantitative easing will also chase commodities higher, including petroleum.  Studies continue to warn that oil supplies will progressively fall short of demand (global production of crude oil peaked in 2004) long before substitutes for it are viable – especially as a transportation fuel.

Opinions Vary:  China's leading financial rating agency has downgraded the US from 'AA' to 'A+', citing “serious defects” in the US economic model and fear of a long-term US recession.  It also cited a “drastic decline” in the US government's intention to repay its debts. Some agree.  Others pointed out that interest rates show that US debt is considered to be among the safest investments in the world., which isn’t saying much these days.

Things to Worry About:  Global Warming,  Peak Oil,  Population Growth,  Resource Depletion, and Coronal Mass Ejection.  That's right, coronal mass ejection.  And read the comments.

Banking on Bankruptcy:  Ambac, which went bankrupt making bad bets, is suing to prevent the IRS from seizing $700 million from the company.  It does not argue that it does not owe the money, just that paying the taxman would be an inconvenience.   Try that at home – tell the IRS you can't pay them because you have other uses for the money.  Let me know how it works out.

Rush to Judgment:  The Republicans have announce they intended to eliminate the TANF Emergency Fund - which was designed to expand state level work-focused programs. They claim this will save $25 billion over the next decade.  Okay, but the program ended a while back.

Breaking it Gently:  “The unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long, bleak winter.”  Zillow reported an “unprecedented decline in house prices, no hints of stabilization...”  A record 23.2% of mortgages are now underwater.  Rather than a double dip, housing is “entering an unprecedented free-fall.”

Voo Doo Too:  The Bush tax cuts (and most of the rest of his economic policy) were a complete failure. They did not work then, they will not work now, and – according to the CPO – they will not work in the future. S o of course the Republicans will try to extend them .  Permanently.

Porn O'Graph:  Sisyphus.


lineside said...


re "opinions vary": "others (i doubt you are among them) believe low interest rates show US debt is considered to be among the safest investments in the world." Hmm. I would rather have thought they are a product of the Fed's massive support of the curve. Anyone think rates will stay as low if/when the Fed gets out of the market?

re "voodoo too": the author of the linked article forgets that correlation and causation are not the same. his arguments are akin to, and as valid as, hemline lengths explaining stock market movements.

you could identify many factors that might explain the anemic growth of the bush years, e.g., too many resources devoted to expensive wars, the exporting of manufacturing, the sharp rise of competitive economies (where was china during the carter years?), etc., etc. yet somehow the author pins it exclusively on tax cuts. sorry, but his "analysis" can't be taken seriously (and it's sad to see that so many over at HuffPo do...another example of ideology impairing cognition).

cheers and hope you're well.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Thanks, lineside. Sometimes the prejudices I imbibed in my childhood swamp out reason and I, too, forget my bias towards people and against property.

Certainly the whole of human endeavor outside the home - social economy - is far too complex for any sureness of cause and effect. But it is comforting now and then to pretend I know...

lineside said...

we all pretend (although many don't know it and fewer will admit it)'s one of the defense mechanisms by which we try to preserve our sanity.-