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Alex Kaplan  

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  • Pioneer Natural sinks 2.5% as Einhorn slams PXD, other frackers [View news story]
    In this case the financial return might be consistent with the environmental return - fracking is bad all around. Also ironically, environmentalist and traditional oil drillers might be on the same side finally; because anyone who has any interest in clean drinking water (and that should be everyone by the way) should want all fracking to end now. Not to mention the geologic implications. Yeah, that's right I am an investor in oil and a human being...who appreciates the value of clean water and terra firma.
    May 4, 2015. 05:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Crude Oil Slump Is Also Temporary From A Demand Standpoint [View article]
    Great article and great comments...I will add one factor that has not explicitly been mentioned (and which many of course will disagree with) and that is that fracking/shale oil is unsustainable due to environmental impact. When the facts and scientific research is acknowledged and proper regulations are put in place to protect our right to clean air and water, fracking/shale oil will be non-existent. We can and should benefit from technological advances in oil and other energy exploration but it should not be at the expense of water...what would you rather have cheap gas or cheap water? Water is becoming commiditized.

    Oh and by the way, a very large percentage of my investments are in oil. It is not going away anytime soon...but dirty oil should.
    Jan 15, 2015. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The EPA reaffirms test results that linked tainted water in Pavillion, Wyo., with hydraulic fracturing. Encana (ECA), the company that leases the natural gas field there, continues to maintain the pollutants are naturally occurring and not the result of drilling. The December draft report was the first U.S. government finding to link water contamination with fracking. [View news story]
    This is a no brainer. We don't need any study to show this but certainly it is nice to see the fda recognize the obvious; the obvious that the industry does not want to recognize.

    We get clean water from a complex but natural ecosystem filtering process. Hydraulic fracking ruptures and contaminates this process.

    This is not a political issue but is a common sense issues that affects all of us. We all need clean water and air. We cannot live without clean water or air. The one thing that trumps any energy imperative is access to clean water, air, and food sources.

    We are jeopardizing free access to clean water and air...likely "they" want to commoditze that too. We should be very worried.
    Oct 11, 2012. 09:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Consumer And The Fed: A Relationship Based On Trickery Or Understanding? [View article]
    I appreciate the simplicity yet often overlooked argument that consumption is indeed a factor of wealth.

    Less obvious but certainly widely agreed upon is that one of the ramifications of this is that wealth creates conspicuous consumption (Thornsten Veblen) and that is what creates bubbles. Some would agrue that this is a natural phenomenon but would normally be kept in check by two other socio-economic phenonomenon: Scarcity and Risk Aversion.

    Scarcity, the fundamental economic problem of unlimited wants and needs in a world of limited resources, however real is often veiled. Risk aversion appears to be a learned behavior through negative reinforcement.

    The question using these terms then becomes, will the conspicuous consumption of the last bubble return or does risk aversion now prevail? Since risk aversion clearly prevails the fed must create an environment which promotes risk and borrowing and thus lower interest rates.

    So, I am not sure where the trickery is, most people understand the dynamics of this game. The fed is relatively open about its direction, decisions, and policies. Any investor, fund manager, or individual must factor this into their approach. Among other things homeowners should be refinancing to lowers rates. Anyone with disposable income (a dubious term for sure) in this low rate environment should consider borrowing against it for investing in quality of life (education, housing, infrastructure). And fairly quickly this will indeed jump start the economy...until the next time.
    Aug 1, 2012. 09:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan: Estimating Q2 Numbers And The Whale Trades Impact, Part 1 [View article]
    "The problem was, after the ECB implemented its LTRO lending program, systematic risk fell (i.e. the odds of correlated defaults fell). When systematic risk falls, then senior tranches tighten quickly. It's not terribly likely that 30% of the index defaults anymore. So, if JPM was short the top tranche, the ECB kind of screwed up this trade for it, taking correlation down, and causing some pain here."

    I wonder if the issue with some of these risk models is the inability to factor in govt and/or central bank intervention. I would think that it would seem pretty basic to do so. Would you be able to describe what reaction should have been taken in this case. Thanks.
    Jul 11, 2012. 04:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $120 Oil: The Breaking Point [View article]
    An apt reference...yes, I think humans should be able to change their minds for expediency sake and otherwise. We can hold an ideal opinion and use another one for practical sake. To paraphrase Whitman, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."

    To those who would ideally hold to consistency I refer them to a quote of Emerson's "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Another words, let's not hold the line when it's not practical.

    So yes, I am a treehugger and an investor, a socialist and a capitalist....we're all hybrids nowadays in any case...
    Apr 30, 2012. 12:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • $120 Oil: The Breaking Point [View article]
    “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. ”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    “It is impossible to hold (suppose) the same thing to be and not to be (Metaph IV 3 1005b24 cf.1005b29–30).” Although this version is ambiguous as it stands, it is best understood as the claim that it is impossible to hold the same thing to be F and not to be F &c. On this view, it is not that one cannot believe that x is F and not F &c, but that one cannot rationally do so.
    Aristotle’s Principle of Non-Contradiction and some 20th Century commentary
    Apr 27, 2012. 03:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are You Freakin' Kidding Friday: Still No Deal? [View article]
    Phil, great stuff. I know I can count on Phil when I want to confirm my world view and when I don't feel like reading some pathetic attempt at an "objective" view...because there is no such view or media. When it comes to politics (which this issue is clearly a part of) I would rather read a viewpoint that does not attempt to couch itself in an "objective" or scientific rhethoric (and by the way, Economics is NOT a science). Ya know in the same that way FOX news is objective. It's not subjectivity or strong opinion that bothers me, it's the guise of objectivity.
    Jul 29, 2011. 12:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $120 Oil: The Breaking Point [View article]
    I think Obama is as pro business and oil as anyone, he is really a conservative in liberal clothing...somehow he has fooled right wing into thinking he is a socialist (I wish) but he has not fooled the left...

    Anyway, I would advise everyone (regardless of political party) to buy oil. When it was trading at $30 a barrel back in 2008 I loaded up the truck caused I figured electric cars are not here yet and even if the world ends we are going to need oil to light our lanterns and stoves at night.

    And you know what...the world did not end, which I am happy to report...and you know what, things are looking pretty much as usual, which is those in power rule.

    So I still think greens and renewables are the way of the future and so is socialism but I also have to live in the present so I am long oil as well.
    Jan 19, 2011. 11:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crude to Bust Through on Supply Concerns [View article]
    Good stuff, agree on all counts, only thing perhaps dampening a bigger bounce in oil is the dollars recent uptick against other currencies.
    Jan 10, 2011. 02:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Not Just for Sirius Investors: Goldman and Merrill Implicated in Manipulation Scam [View article]
    Author Dude, you are a genuis, pure genius. Who knows how many other companies out there who threaten the status quo were also brought down by illegal naked shorting....I can think of a few who threaten big energy (SATC, BCON, VRNM). Probably countless more.

    Genius, pure genius. Just great analysis. Who know what will come of it but this is great stuff.
    Dec 22, 2010. 05:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Highlighting Key Alternative Energy Companies [View article]
    Me thinks the big players (GE, SunEdison, National Grid, PG&G etc.) can easily become greener and diversify by buying up all the alt plays in these troubled VC times.

    I am looking for GE or Grid to buy BCON while their flywheels spin silently below the radar...
    Oct 25, 2010. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Highlighting Key Alternative Energy Companies [View article]
    Me thinks it will be very easy for big companies like SUN, GE, National Grid, PG&G to be innovative by simply buying up the small upstarts in these difficult times. I am looking for GE or Grid to buy BCON for a steal while their flywheels are still running silently below the radar...
    Oct 25, 2010. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will QE Lead to Class Warfare? [View article]
    Geez I hope so...although I doubt it since there is enough bread and circus in the US to keep the 80% happy sitting in a dirt hole watching NASCAR while the rest of the world catches up

    The powers to be put the necessary mechanisms in place along time ago to prevent anything like class warfare. People would sooner vote against their own self interests in the name of free markets and sell off their mother than to protest in the street in the name of equitable distribution. Also, remember, most of the 80% play the lottery and so they have a long term plan...
    Oct 13, 2010. 09:51 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • October EPA Decision and the Impact on Ethanol Demand Outlook [View article]
    good article and discussion...and remember there are other sources of ethanol besides food grade, e.g. bio-mass. Yes, it is not in full scale production yet but many companies are closing in. VRNM was one of them, although they sold their production facility to BP they still own the underlying technology and will likely license the enzymes that turn biomass into ethanol with various producers. We shall see...
    Sep 21, 2010. 12:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment