Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Ferdinand E. Banks  

View Ferdinand E. Banks' Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • Chicago-Style White House Shakedown for BP's Execs [View article]
    Svanberg just joined BP - the spill is not his baby. However I agree that BP has to pay through the nose, though not enough to ruin the company. WE NEED BP, although you may not be able to understand that! Wednesday was a sad day for capitalism in America you say,author. I can't figure that one out, and I'm a very smart guy from a store-front university in Chicago.

    There was an accident in the Gulf, and there was some incometence in the way that BP reacted. And since BP has some heavy bread they will have to pay. That's all there is to it. We don't need any half-baked lectures about capitalism and socialism.
    Jun 18, 2010. 10:24 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • High Gold Prices: It's the Oil, Stupid [View article]
    A very interesting and for the most part important article. Brilliantly written. But I still can't join the gas team. When talking about Brazil, gas got some exposure. However, among other things, when they deregulated electricity in Brazil it was a catastrophe, because they thought that it would let to a heavy dose of investment in gas, which didn't happen.

    And yes, there is something strange about the energy secretary. The strangest thing is his surrounding himself with people who know absolutely nothing about energy, and thus becoming their shill. in energy matters
    Nov 24, 2009. 09:11 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • And Bernanke Didn't Think Unemployment Would Reach 10% [View article]
    Funny long_on_oil, but I make a point of telling my students that Reagan was the dumbest president in the history of the United States. He also ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands - or maybe millions of Afghans.

    And author, read some economic history. There is no relation between the 'great' depression and what we have now. And do you know something, there never will be.
    Nov 8, 2009. 09:17 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Oil and Natural Gas Cheap or Expensive? [View article]
    This is an interesting article, and the comments are even more interesting. I don't remember how many decades (or centuries) ago an American business executive in Vienna told me that I didn't have a clue about shale oil, but I listened to him and how I'm hip on that subject. It's possible - though not certain - that there is a bad misunderstanding about shale gas. As for why there might be a misunderstanding, well, you know that as well as I do. MONEY. I hope though that the US has the gas people keep talking about, because together with the coal in that country, the US would be sitting pretty where resources are concerned - which means that in the long run most of the rest of the world COULD be better off. As the author said, large amounts of fossil fuels are essential - at least for the near future.
    Nov 6, 2009. 09:43 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Back in the U.S.S.A. [View article]
    Interesting. I read someplace that the average American is - on the average - 50 percent richer than his or her parents. If that is true, then I wonder why anyone with any intelligence at all would want to label the US the USSOA.

    As for the problem with Obama, the great fear of course is that he will clean up this mess before the next election. Clean it up before the next election and polish it up before the one after that. Then we might get the 12 or 16 years of honest government that the US needs- You know, governments that don't tell lies about weapons of mass destruction, and who will not remain passive when 'swift boat captains' tell lies about Americans who served in combat zones.
    Jun 21, 2009. 10:02 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Will This Crisis Lead to? [View article]
    You are a smart guy, Mr Quinn, and believe me, that is a wonderful thing to have to have on your CV; but I'm a smart guy too, and I know a lot of things that you don't know.

    I know that 'ideally' the US could have chosen a better trio than the three shepards you mentioned, but after all the US is a democracy, which means that as far as the electors are concerned, Obama is better than the other guy, and by extension Obama's choice of Bernanke and Geithner is almost certainly better than the team the other guy would have installed.
    Let me change that: NOT ALMOST CERTAINLY BETTER, BUT DEFINITELY BETTER! Moreover, never forget that in theory at least two of these gentlemen - Obama and Bernanke - have a considerable learning capacity. They are also in this thing to win.
    Many people who read and/or contribute to this forum preferred a man who promised a hundred years of war to win a war that cannot be won in a thousand, but I doubt whether that kind of sentimentality cuts much ice with Mr Obama and his brain trust. Moreover, although I am against continuing this farce in Afghanistan, at some point in the future people as smart as you and me might come to the conclusion that abandoning Iraq while concentrating on minimizing casualties in Afghanistan might be the optimal behavior - at least for a while. Remember the expression. "A splendid little war".

    And finally, I don't like to get academic when the summer break is coming, but it is not a good idea to talk about a nuclear clash involving the US, China, and Russia. Better stick with coca-cola instead of champagne while you are doing serious work.
    Apr 22, 2009. 09:43 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Benefits of This Recession [View article]
    For the life of me, I can't see anything good about cycles that include a recession of the type being experienced in many countries at the present time. Rather than "clensing and humbling", it is going to be humiliating for many persons, in one sense or another, and later if not sooner. Instead of bringing cancer into the discussion, a venereal disease might have been better. As they explained to us in graphic detail in the US army, some effort should be made - if possible - to stay away from those situations in which VD can be contracted.

    Feb 27, 2009. 09:42 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America: Is This the End of an Era? [View article]
    "They have nothing, they build nothing...". Why stop there? What about taking the next step and saying they are nothing. I can remember when most Americans not only said that but believed it, and not just Americans. But Mr Tiwari, those days are gone forever, ______. (You can add the last word.)
    Jan 10, 2009. 08:22 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warning To Germany And France: Build A Barrier At The Alps [View article]
    A more "Anglo-Saxon" mode of living. I don't know exactly what that means, but it sounds like something that George W. Bush would endorse, which means that is not something to be left on anybody's door step.
    Nov 24, 2011. 09:57 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware the Wall Street Parrot [View article]
    I taught international finance for about 12 years. . Some of my students are the kind of people you talk about, and most of them would have been if they had taken my precious advice. You see, on the average they were smarter than just about everybody except the Wall Street crowd. Note the expression 'on the average'. Some of them were smarter.

    I remember telling my students that when you get on a plane, you ask for a Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. You do not take a local rag. So, one day I am resting easy in tourist class, which is all that I can afford, and I happened to glance toward the first or business class, or whatever it was, and I see two very blonde heads of hair with open Financial Times in front of them. Finally I couldn't take it any longer, and went up to check out the scene. Yes, it was two of my former students.who had become everything you mention, and a lot more.

    How they talk to clients is something I do not know,
    Aug 17, 2011. 09:20 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great China Jugger-Not [View article]
    Some of this article is interesting and probably true, and some of it is complete nonsense. The US has been involved in two stupid wars in the last decade, one of them started on the basis of a lie by an ignorant president, and the other continued by a dumb president, and so we are supposed to - as nonsense blogger suggested - constantly point fingers and try to find weaknesses in other countries. Weaknesses that may not exist.

    But as for nationalistic pride, I haven't seen or heard anything about that since the end of the Vietnam war, although - admittedly - I heard plenty before that, and as an American was glad to hear it. Now I hear people like Donald Trump saying that nobody respects the U.S. any more, where nobody almost certainly includes many Americans.
    Mar 10, 2011. 09:10 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $140 Oil and How to Profit From It [View article]
    Jack, I'm afraid that I am going to have to ask you to read my new energy economics book, where I explain why GS had nothing to do with the oil price.

    The Saudi minister who said that there was no oil shortage also said that his country could export 15 mb/d for 50 or more years if necessary, which was nonsense, because in l970 the king of SA said that his country would never produce more than 10 mb/d. The oil in his country was to be saved for "les enfants".

    Also, if there was so much oil in SA, but GS was the villain, why didn't George W. take a Greyhound bus to Wall Street and read the riot act to GS, instead of taking Air Force 1 to SA.

    By the way, take the word of the leading academic energy economist in the world on the following: if oil goes to 147 again, Mr Obama will be driving a taxi on the south side of Chicao in 2013. Guaranteed.
    Mar 6, 2011. 10:31 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Good Could Come for the U.S. From the Turmoil in Egypt? [View article]
    So terrorists want to take away our freedoms author - or so you believe. There was precious little discussion of a loss of our freedoms before George W. Bush started his war with a lie about WMD. For instance, if you wanted to enter the US from unstable countries like Monoco or Switzerland you did not risk being groped by a customs official in search of terrorist literature somewhere in the neighborhood of your private areas.

    I'm counting the months to the next US election, and hoping that American voters will put someone in the White House whose attention is focussed on the present and future economic needs of the American people, and not a higher level of freedom and democracy for residents of Monoco and Switzerland and other hotbeds of international terrorism.
    Jan 29, 2011. 09:49 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shale Gas Revolution: Real or Unreal? [View article]
    The US Energy Secretary was mentioned above, and so I think that we should get something straight about him. A man who wins the Nobel Prize in physics almost certainly knows what the right energy policy for the US should be. He also roughly knows or could know about how much coal, gas, uranium etc the US is liable to have access to in the coming decade, and he might know something about the cost of not having enough energy, What he apparently does not know however is how to dump the incompetents working for him, or talk to the president on the plane of leadership.

    Somebody used the expression "glut" of natural gas. If they were to double the amount of shale gas being produced there would still be no glut. If you want to understand that contention, think about the oil reserve situation in the US shortly before the output of oil peaked. However if you live in the DC area, don't make the mistake of asking one of the resident teachers of energy economics to tell you something about this, because the last one of those gentlemen I had any contact with was totally and completely ignorant, and he almost certainly deals in the kind of friendly misinformation that characterizes a couple of the above comments.
    Oct 31, 2010. 11:19 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shale Gas 'Revolution' Could Turn Out to Be Mammoth Spin Job [View article]
    Arthur Berman, I know of your work and I will cite it in my work in the future, and also the new edition of my textbook.

    Arkansan, let me tell you the sad thing here. You and the people who contribute to the discussion on gas, here and elsewhere, to include myself, have to overstress ourselves trying to dig out and analyze the facts about e.g. shale gas, when this project should be handled by the US Department of Energy. A couple of times a year it should be possible to pick up a document - just as we can pick up the BP Statistical Review - that contains the ENTIRE up-to-date story about this important resource.
    Jun 14, 2010. 02:22 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment