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Ferdinand E. Banks  

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  • China And India: Is Either A Good Bet? [View article]
    I dont need students or scholars or intellectuals or what-not to tell me about China. When they stopped our advance in Korea, that told me all I needed to know. What I am mildly curious about though is how that country will solve its population problem, although I do not plant to make an attempt to find out. I'm not going to make an attempt because I might not be able to sleep at nights if I found out. If, however, they do solve that problem in a manner that makes sense, then - ceteris paribus - the absolute best that any other country can hope for is second place.
    Aug 30, 2012. 10:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Profit From Natural Gas's Wild Ride [View article]
    When I want terrific articles on natural gas, I usually look at my own, but this is a very interesting and perhaps important contibution. I just hope that I have time to look at it with the care it deserves. A few of the comments are also interesting, especially the one by GUS100. Yes Gus, the fools are at work where energy economics is concerned, and I certainly can't understand it. Lies and misunderstandings are also coming thick and fast about solar, wind and the like. I can also mention that nuclear is not given the respect it deserves.

    I find interesting the comment by Michael Fitzsimmons about the huge amount of money that is sent abroad to purchase oil. That deserves to be remembered, and referred to daily by our splendid political masters, although I don't think that anything can be done about it in the short run. I don't know as much about gas as I used to know, but a lot of the talk about the plenitude of gas hardly deserves to be called nonsense. .
    Aug 30, 2012. 10:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Natural Gas 'Ponzi Scheme' [View article]
    Buffalo_Bear, the production of oil in the US did peak, and I have never heard anybody say that the peak US output will ever be reached again. As for what happened in 2008, demand outran output, and OPEC was smart enough to go along with the show. Moreove, when the price of oil collapsed, OPEC had a meeting or two in Vienna and the price escalated up again. How many times do I have to tell people that before they give up their fantasies and get the message.
    Aug 30, 2012. 03:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Natural Gas 'Ponzi Scheme' [View article]
    Interesting...very interesting. Some time ago I put on my 'leading academic energy economist in the world hat' and published an article on SA in which I said that all this talk about 'game changers' was a crock. That didn't go over too well with some of the folks in the cheap seats, as well as certain parasites and charlatans in academica, and so I concentrated on trying to show that the contention that the US has a gas supply of 100 years was dumber than stupid.

    What those folks did not understand was that while they may be burning gas in the US in 100 years, the availability of this resource will definitely be unimpessive. Incidentally, the relevant mathematics for discussing this issue involves a logistic curve.

    What's going on here? What is going on is that teachers of energy economics have failed their students, because they haven't told those ladies and gentlemen that their fantasies about gas, oil, and nuclear often lacks a modicum of scientific or economic logic. Where wind and solar are concerned it's worse.
    Aug 29, 2012. 01:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Merkel Save Germany? [View article]
    Seven or eight months ago Angela Merkel said that Germany needed more nuclear power. Then one of her stooges or somebody else told her that she needed some anti-nuc votes to win the next election, and so she came to the conclusion that Germany's nuclear sector can be dumped.

    The calculation here is interesting. Merkel and her stooges have as much desire to promote a nuclear retreat as they do to have sex change operations, but if lies and economic nonsense are necessary to stay in office, then so be it.. . However instead of expanding solar and wind - which they say they will do, but which is worse than nonsense for Germany - electric power will be bought from surrounding countries, the nuclear retreat will be made more slowly, and the gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea (Nordstream) will be operated at full capacity, etc. That should buy Frau Merkel and her stooges at least another term in Berlin.

    Of course the proposed German nuclear retreat is small beer as compared to George W. Bush's lie about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but it goes to show what Merkel and her stooges will stoop to in order to keep the TV cameras turned in their direction. After all, they noticed what happened to Sarkozy in France.
    Aug 26, 2012. 10:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Is So High When The World Economy Is So Low [View article]
    Gee, what a disappointment. Nobody likes my above comment. It received the same grade as the Dean of Engineering gave me at IIT after my first year at his institution of higher learning. But these days I provide similar comments all the time at conferences and seminars, and if folks find them repulsive, my lecturing style has a way of telling them that they should keep their mouths shut.

    What many of the friends and neighbors want to believe is that shale gas and oil, and oil and gas located somewhere around the center of the earth, will save their energy bacon. 'It never hat-chee GI', as certain young people outside the gates of my regiment in Japan liked to say.

    I have a suggestion for you-all. Look at the work of Professor James Hamilton of the University of California, San Diego. Argue this business with him, because he probably has more patience than Yours Truly.
    Aug 23, 2012. 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Waiving The Biofuels Mandate, Part I: Impact On Corn Prices [View article]
    Interesting and perhaps important article, as well as some of the comments. And Mr Brown, don't pay any attention to - or worry about - the (insinuated) suggestion of Mr HayekvonFriedman that you should abandon subjective analyses for so-called "dynamic" models. There is already enough junk science in circulation in the faculties of economics, and this topic may be too important to justify more.
    Aug 22, 2012. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Is So High When The World Economy Is So Low [View article]
    I really like the comment by John Eickholt because it deserves some thought by Yours Truly. One part of it however I didn't like, and that was the bit about Wall Street traders playing games with the oil market in 2008.

    At the time in 2008 when the oil price looked as if it would move off the Richter scale, I was presenting a song and dance at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. THE OIL PRICE AT THAT TIME WAS EXPLAINED BY THE DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL OIL OUTRUNNING THE SUPPLY OF PHYSICAL OIL. I had been watching the oil price since that time in 1999 when it was about $10/b, and all sorts of so-called oil experts were swearing that it would be going lower. Please let me explain to you what happened: THE OPEC PEOPLE LOOKED AT THAT $10/b, and it told them that they were fools for PLAYING GAMES WITH EACH OTHER, AND IT WAS TIME TO GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!

    If Wall Streeters made any money in the ensuing years, they also understood that, and made the right bets, just as I would have if I had possessed any spare cash, and had stayed out of those restaurants and jazz clubs in Paris.

    But, what happened during that wonderful summer when I was enjoying Paris was not the thing that showed the power of OPEC. What showed their power was what happened when the oil price turned down and looked as if it would go into the can. OPEC had a meeting or two in gorgeous Vienna, and despite the macroeconomic meltdown that was underway, got the oil price moving up again.

    Is there any reason that people cant understand that? Well yes. It's because it is so simple.
    Aug 21, 2012. 10:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Is So High When The World Economy Is So Low [View article]
    Imagine that, but two things I tell my friends and neighbors here in Sweden is that I am the leading academic energy economist in the world, and OPEC - with a modicum of assistance from BIG OIL - determines the oil price. That's what it is, that is what it has been since early in this lovely century, and that is definitely what it is going to be.

    In my new energy economics textbook ENERGY AND ECONOMIC THEORY - which should be available soon according to my publishers - I cite some findings of MIchael Fitzsimmons, and they together with my own glorious research make it clear that many persons in the US are going to be very disappointed if they really and truly believe that enough oil is going to be produced in North America to change the present situation.

    One thing I especially liked in this contribution was the reference to Energy Secretary Chu. That gentleman is not agnostic - he is just incompetent.
    Aug 20, 2012. 09:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Is So High When The World Economy Is So Low [View article]
    Excellent article, and some excellent and important comments. Of course, a short observation might be useful. The statistics do NOT indicate that wind and solar are going anywhere at the present time, unfortunately, and SPECULATION IS AT BEST OF MINOR IMPORTANCE IN THE OIL MARKET! The problem with the latter is that e.g. the mechanics of the futures market is not taught as well as it should be taught, given how easily it can be understood by anyone who wants to understand it.
    Aug 18, 2012. 10:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today In Commodities: Recent Crude Highs Are Not Sustainable [View article]
    Well, I have just finished some important research, and so this might be an opportunity for the leading academic energy economist in the world - ME - to say a few words about oil.

    As Donald Trump and others point out, OPEC has a lot to say about the oil price. As I point out whenever I get the opportunity, OPEC collected about a trillion dollars for their oil exportsl last year, and as far as I can tell they might agree to accept the same amount this year. The average price of oil at the present time (WTI and Brent) is about a hundred dollars, and looking at the structure of the oil market, that should give them what they want.

    But they might take less, though not a lot less. Once I had considerable contact with OPEC, and they seemed to like me because I understood that where oil was concerned, they were as smart as their customers, and a lot smarter than the academic charlatans who misunderstood them so grandly. Put another way, they comprehend that they have nothing to gain by raising the average oil price another ten or twenty dollars a barrel, given the condition of the global macroeconomy. At the same time the evidence from 2009 shows that even if the global econom goes into the can once more, our OPEC friends are capable of protecting their interests

    I can recall a time when OPEC suggested that suppliers and consumers of oil should attempt to work together. That's not a bad idea, although the mechanics of such an arrangement is largely unknown to my good self at the present time, and I am not particularly interested. I might suggest however that the realities of the global oil market should be studied a little more thoroughly by our political masters and their experts, because there is NOT as much 'easy' oil in the crust of the earth as certain know-nothings believe.
    Aug 18, 2012. 09:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Met Coal Falling Fast [View article]
    Many thoughts/ideas here, and most of them are for the birds. I dont know the purpose of this article, but as with the work of Mr Yergin and his half-baked colleagues at CERA, it might be to tell friends and neighbors what they want to hear most, which is that China will soon be on the skids. I side with the groovy yblarrr: the Chinese know how to play the energy markets.
    Aug 17, 2012. 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strong Earnings At Schlumberger Suggest Oil Field Services Industry In Midst Of Up-Cycle [View article]
    Excellent discussion, and for those who feel that they don't need "voluminous dissertations", let me insist once again that the state of knowledge concerning oil (and natural gas) is nothing short of pathetic, thanks largely to the charlatans who garner such a large amount of attention.

    I was especially glad to see the expression "the end of easy oil". in this article, since some self-appointed experts still haven't gotten the message where that issue is concerned. I'm not in the mood to discuss that today, but try to remember the following. Regardless of the "vast quantities of oil and Nat Gas" supposedly being discovered, if the global economy does not go deeper into the can, OPEC is making plans to collect a trillion dollars for its oil this year. I'll go into what that means in terms of the oil price when ( or if) I start teaching energy economics next week.
    Aug 16, 2012. 09:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alternative Energy Will Never Achieve Widespread Use In Our Lifetime [View article]
    Yes, it is actually true that I am the leading academic energy economist in the world, and a brilliant teacher of energy economics. What I can't understand however, as hard as I try, is why people who want to know important things about energy economics - readers of important newspapers and journals as well as some students - put so much faith in the parasites and charlatans who sell them nonsense about serious energy matters.

    Take a good look at the future, please. Don't you know that the demand for energy resources later in this century is going to be enormous, and if the right decisions are not made, they are going to cut our civilization off at the knees. I remember how amazed I was 30 or 40 years ago when the director of ASEA - which is now unfortunately ASEA- Brown Boveri - said that we can do anything if we get enough energy. That was my line, wasn't it, and there was a corporation big-wig mouthing it. Well, he was correct, and we got the energy we needed, and we did a lot in the past 30 or 40 years, thank you. But as for the future...just try to make something out of wind and solar and other green things that they cant deliver, and see how things will be in the 30 or 40 years to come for you and your children.
    Aug 15, 2012. 08:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alternative Energy Will Never Achieve Widespread Use In Our Lifetime [View article]
    Earlier today I was a lunch guest of a _______ researcher, and I explained to him in detail that the energy economics researchers in this country - Sweden - are for the most part parasites and charlatans, and as a result they find it politic to produce and accept all sorts of unscientific nonsense about energy issues.

    But at the same time it should be understood that at the present time the engineers and managers in Sweden are in no mood to accept the ignorant energy ventures proposed by various high-ranking politicians and half-baked journalists. They know, as I know, that the anti-nuclear crusade proposed by Angela Merkel in Germany is preposterous, and its purpose is to garner enough environmentalist votes to give Frau Merkel another term in the German parliament. They also understand that in the promised land of wind energy, Denmark, only their access to coal and electricity imports keep the lights burning in wonderful Copenhagen.

    This does not mean however that all enterprises associated with renewables should be dumped. In this country some wind and some solar make economic sense as long as nuclear enjoys its present eminence (supplying in Sweden about 45% of capacity and more than 50% of electric energy). The same thing is probably true in many other countries, to include the United States.
    Aug 14, 2012. 01:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment