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Ferdinand E. Banks

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  • Coal Substitution Is Temporary [View article]
    Neither Bill Gates or anyone else is going to have a Gen 4 reactor ready next year, regardless of where it is built. But the Chinese will probably have one toward the end of this decade, and when they do their competitors might find out the value of energy.
    Jun 28 09:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement: Doom With A Healthy Dose Of Despair [View article]
    The US is the world's richest nation the man says.

    Size matters, but my statistics and visits cause me to believe that Norway is the richest, although Norwegians refuse to believe it because they want that honor to belong to stone age countries in the Third World. But my favorites are Switzerland and Singapore. Why is that? When I lived and worked in them It was (and maybe still is) the sound of gunfire in the morning, and in Singapore young men double timing through the streets. And when I told one of my students in Singapore that I hadn't seen a policeman in months, he told me not to worry, because there were plenty of them around the place.
    Jun 28 09:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Europe Pull Germany From Fantasy Land? [View article]
    Lovely, except for one thing: there shouldn't be an EU. No matter what fools say, different cultures have different ways of doing business. I'm not talking about Germany and Greece, because the Greeks living in Germany apparently fit in fine, but the.....
    Jun 28 08:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is An Oil Shock Coming This Summer? [View article]
    The oil price escalation in 2008 was not a shock, It was a lot more serious than that, and what happened to the global macroeconomy was a meltdown. But the really interesting thing was not a Leeb ratio, but the way OPEC managed a recovery of the oil price. Think about it.
    Jun 27 08:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • OECD Analysis Suggests That Electric Cars Are Not Ready For Prime Time [View article]
    Thank you Zelaza for mentioning Mr Reagan and his debts. I pointed this out in my textbook GLOBAL FINANCE AND FINANCIAL MARKETS, which resulted in my becoming an object of some gutter language. I said that he/his government had borrowed more money than had been borrowed by American governments since the founding of the republic, to include the heavy bread required to pay for the wars.

    Speaking of gutter language, I am genuinely touched by John Petersen's belief in the OECD and the economic talent at their disposal. They could be right of course, but then again they could be wrong. The thing that would make them right in this case would be energy policies like the ignorant Angela Merkel and her foot soldiers are formulating.
    Jun 22 09:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany Vs. Greece: More Than A Game [View article]
    This article is easy to read, but essentially meaningless. One thing however was nice to know, and that concerns the Greek military and its size. That has to do with Turkey, and perhaps also the possibility of oil or gas somewhere in the water between those two countries. I remember one of my students telling me that if a large amount of oil or gas was found close to those Greek islands that are very close to Turkey, it would mean war.
    Jun 22 09:14 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: The Buy Of The Decade [View article]
    atk, the biggest lie is that on the basis of present reserve statistics, the US has a 100 year supply of natural gas (at unchanged or even increasing consumption).

    Yes, they may have a thousand years, but not with the numbers I have seen and with present or increased consumption. Of course, where energy is concerned, people are in the habit of making mistakes and believing lies. This is why Frau Merkel may be able to get away with the preposterous (nuclear) agenda she has proposed
    Jun 18 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: The Buy Of The Decade [View article]
    I know of no subject in the world that is characterized by more lies and misunderstandings than natural gas. So many in fact that I intend to stay away from it for a while, because what we have been seeing in that market for the last few years is not the kind of economics that I teach - or for that matter understand.
    Jun 16 08:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • German Timetable Radically Different From Wall Street's [View article]
    So the brilliant Angela is worried about Germany's capacity, is she. Well Ms Merkel, your energy intentions will cut Germany's macroeconomic capacity off at the knees. Personally I don't give a damn about that, but since the secret intention in Germany is not to bet the farm on wind and solar, but to purchase electricity from neighbors who are too dumb to ban electricity exports to Germany, I guess that I am also going to be in trouble.
    Jun 16 08:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Italy Borrows High To Lend Low: The Fallacy Of The Spanish Bailout [View article]
    I taught international finance for about ten years, and I used words like stupid and silly all the time. The thing is that the stupidity and silliness were not on the scale that we are seeing now, and will probably see in the future. The EU and the European Monetay arrangement should never have come into existence, and now Germany has decided on a nuclear aussteig that will make everything that is bad in this part of the world worse.

    However, maybe this is exactly what is necessary to get the voters and politicians to see the light. Not in the short run, of course, but eventually. I've always believed that economic issues/considerations in Europe were relatively simple, but evidently I was wrong. Therefore, they will have to be made simpler for the dumb electorate and their political masters, and the sooner the better.
    Jun 15 08:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Look Overseas For Growth In Coal [View article]
    Excellent article, and some important comments too. Thanks everybody. This business with US coal reminds me of something one of my energy economics students once said about the reserves of low grade uranium in this country (Sweden): that uranium was an asset - he called it an "energy reserve" - that someday might be tremendously valuable.

    Needless to say, for this to be true, the movers and shakers should be thinking along these lines today, however where energy is concerned, ignorance (and maybe a little stupidity too) still rules the roost.
    Jun 15 08:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Shale Gas Ever Be Profitable? [View article]
    Tree-33, mboe means million barrels of oil equivalent. m means million in my textbooks, although recently in Paris a gentleman told me that it should be MM, which meant that shortly after I gave him a lesson in energy economics that he did not want or like. But, as I sometimes point out, you can use whatever you want if you explain it to the folks in the cheap seats.
    Jun 14 10:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Shale Gas Ever Be Profitable? [View article]
    The Arps formula reminds me of something. It reminds me of the speech that the Dean of Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology gave me just before he told me to leave his school and never come back. He told me that I was hopeless.

    Anyway, the correct formula for dealing with this kind of issue is a jazzed up logistic. I think that I have one in my forthcoming energy economics textbook, and I happen to be convinced that it is the only correct 'theoretical' approach. As for shale gas, every time I hear that term the words 'lies and misunderstandings' come out of my mouth.This is NOT to say that shale gas not valuable, but it is not as certain liars and charlatans claim.
    Jun 14 10:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unavoidable U.S. Reality: The Upcoming Economic Collapse [View article]
    One thing I liked here: your belief that Krugman is a wise man because he has written books. I have published probably twice as many as that gentleman, and the morons I have to work with hate me for it. I also like the arrangement that, although I am an American citizen, veteran, and brilliant teacher, Princeton never answered my humble request for a short term teaching position. Now I know that I should have headed for North Korea when I had the chance.

    I wish the U.S. the best of luck, but I hope that Princeton goes bankrupt. (And did you see the Nobel lecture by Princeton professor Christopher Sims. If I gave a lecture like that anywhere they would be after me with bull whips.)
    Jun 13 08:48 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Oil Prices May Collapse Even If Europe Stabilizes [View article]
    China economically weak, the US economically strong, and Mr bin Laden not around any more to bedevil residents of the White House, and plot the.....

    Hmm. Swedish TV is running an American documentary just now about the Korean War, and as far as I can tell, it is almost worthless as history or entertainment, except to me of course. But that was 60 years ago, and even PhDs in history with that era as a specialty can no longer be expected to know what they should know about an event of that nature.

    As for the present situation in China and the US, the oil market, and a few other things, I don't see how anybody could get those wrong, but this article convinces me that it can happen. As for that other item...
    Jun 12 09:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment