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Ferdinand E. Banks  

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  • The Economics Of Syngas-To-Liquids, Part II [View article]
    This interesting (and perhaps important) paper requires serious study by Yours Truly before the start of the next school year, and if the weather had not turned reasonable in this country (Sweden) I would start tomorrow. I would start because I am NOT convinced that you are completely correct about coal. And by the way, I hope that you are not one of those people who - on the basis of existing evidence - believes that there is a 100 year future for natural gas at today's gas output.
    Aug 13, 2012. 09:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Biofuels And The Shale Gas Revolution [View article]
    This is an important article. I must have been drunk or sleeping when it first appeared. I'll bring it to the attention of my students.
    Aug 13, 2012. 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Modern Portfolio Theory Dead? Come On [View article]
    "Internet startups construct.....". "The efficient frontier is...."

    I wonder what I would have done, when I was teaching internationa finance, if I had picked up an examination that contained pseudo-scientific sentences that began like those cited just above. I probably would have had a heart attack or suffered tennis elbow on the spot, and if I made it started teaching energy economics on a full time basis.

    As things worked though, when the ignorant decision makers took away my elite students, I didn't protest but quit teaching international finance and concentrated on energy economics. That was a beautiful decision I'm glad to report.

    "The efficient frontier is..." Come on now.
    Aug 12, 2012. 02:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Endgame: A Book Review [View article]
    John, you say that the authors go out of their way to be non-judgmental. Well, in that case, if anyone planned to send me a copy of this book next Christmas, send me 'geld' instead. Incompetent Sarkozy gives a half-baked lawyer - Christine Lagarde - the finance minister job in his country, and the next thing we know she is the boss of the IMF and sprouting all kinds of half-baked/irrelevant trivialities over CNN. Isn't there room for some judgementalism somewhere in this farce?
    Aug 12, 2012. 01:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon: Out Of Favor, But For Your Portfolio? [View article]
    Excellent article, and for a change some wonderful (= knowledgeable) comments about nuclear. Of course, I want to continue giving myself credit for knowing as much about the economics of nuclear energy as any and everybody, which leads me to say that the lies and misunderstanding now prevalent about nuclear - and about substitutes for nuclear - are not going to go away, and may become even more grotesque. But I ignore these because in the long run WE HAVE NO CHOICE!
    Aug 12, 2012. 03:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Chesapeake's Shares Could Double With Natural Gas By Winter [View article]
    Wrynot says that Carl Icahn may be a billionaire, but he's not perfect. Isn't he? I can remember giving a lecture when the oil price was down in the dumps, and emphasizing that Icahn, Richard Rainwater and a couple of other lowly millionaires were saying that the oil price had to rise. All of them probably became billionaires. That's good enough for me. And where the present subject is concerned, although I am positive to this article for its pedagogical value, I don't remember hearing Icahn or any of his ilk saying that natural gas is what a lot of self-appointed experts claim that it is.
    Aug 7, 2012. 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Chesapeake's Shares Could Double With Natural Gas By Winter [View article]
    This is a valuable article. I don't make a point of recommending articles in Forbes, but the one mentioned in this article ('We're headed to $8 natural gas') is worth looking at. The comments of Michael Phillips are also important. As far as I am concerned it might be a mistake to believe all of the good news being circulated about the supply of natural gas in the US.
    Aug 6, 2012. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mythbusting: How Presidential Elections Affect Markets [View article]
    I taught international finance for about a dozen years, and according to my students I was a brilliant teacher - which is an opinion I agree with completely. But even so II doubt if I gave more than a dozen lectures on stock/share markets. I may have said something about these markets in my finance book, but I hope not, since according to the efficient markets hypothesis I don't know any more about them than Joe Blow from Kokomo.

    But I do know a few things about how this old world works, and as a result I want Mr Obama out of the White House as soon as possible. Of course, folks tell me that Mr Romney is no shining star, but in a world where just about everything is relative, he will have to do until the right Democrat comes along.
    Aug 4, 2012. 02:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Perfect Investment Portfolio'? [View article]
    "That Frank Sinatra guy" somebody said,. Sinatra was the best male singer of the 20th century. A genius. And unless you are a genius, don't try to put together the "perfect" investment portfolio.
    Aug 3, 2012. 11:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • August: The Gathering Storm [View article]
    Interesting article for the most part, and a more than interesting comment by RP McMurphy: thre are larger demographic forces at work that will continue to support energy prices, with a little help from OPEC of course.
    Aug 2, 2012. 09:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP: Unpopular But Undervalued [View article]
    Excellent article about an organization that deserves more respect than it has received since...that accident. If you know anything about the modern history of the oil industry, then you probably also know that BP has played a key role in raising the standard of living in many countries.
    Aug 1, 2012. 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    If you think that Japan is in (relatively) good shape now, wait untile they are finished with the nuclear agenda that a Japanese insider told me about twenty or so years ago.
    Jul 31, 2012. 08:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China's End Game - The Dark Side Of A Great Deleveraging [View article]
    Well, it seems that I am not the only person to recognize that Madame Lagarde doesn't know any economics. What about passing that information to the ignoramuses who will give her a professorship at Harvard or Princeton after she finishes her tour at the IMB.

    As for China, the dream that they will collapse is getting a little tiring. This article has is completely wrong, because if the Chinese economy begins to go off the rails, the Chinese government does not depend on the market to straighten things out. They step in and take charge, and if anyone doesn't like it, they can post their complaints on the bloggosphere..

    And Ben Gee, the Chinese rebirth did NOT take place in l949. It came a couple of years later when they stopped our advance in Korea.
    Jul 30, 2012. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's Giant Catch-22 [View article]
    Purestock, the reason for people making the illogical assumptions you mentioned is because these are the assumptions they want most to come true. It's something like this business with natural gas. Folks want the US to have a 100 year supply, and if you tell them that with luck - with luck - the present numbers indicate that it might be fifty - or for that matter 99 - then they call you unamerican and a dirty communist.

    In case you have forgotten, the great American tennis player Bill Tilden said "always change a losing game; never change a winning game". World-class economic thinking has made China (and OPEC) winners, and anybody with anything upstairs would accept that fact and, if possible, learn to profit as a result of it.
    Jul 29, 2012. 11:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's Giant Catch-22 [View article]
    Thank you, John. Yes, the Chinese have a demographic cliff in front of them, and I too wonder how they will handle that. I remember attending a conference in Hong Kong once in which a very smart American told me that to think about the likes of demographic cliffs was a waste of time. Then what about immigration cliffs, or maybe a combination of the two.

    I wonder who will win the super-bowl this year?
    Jul 29, 2012. 04:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment