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  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    To remin

    Duh.

    Your linked article completely destroyed your original argument.
    Now you're agreeing with me, and engaged in providing trivial facts.

    Thanks for the link.
    Jun 11, 2015. 05:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    To 500pagesAday

    Thanks for the link. Here's a few questions:
    1.) What Electric Car Co., which failed in the 1980s, are you talking about?
    2.) Did you read the article you linked to? If you had, your assertion would be quite different, Pal.
    3.) Are you aware of how much GM has gotten from Uncle Sam? Hint, it's much much more.
    4.) Are you aware of how many subsidies are injected annually into other industries? It's pretty sickening. Seems to me we ought to end ALL subsidies if you want to end any subisidy. Otherwise, you're just picking winners, just like people such as yourself accuse Uncle Sam of doing.
    5.) Doesn't Big Oil get a huge subsidy, courtesy of the the US Armed Forces? The cost of which includes life and limb to guarantee access to cheap oil.
    Jun 11, 2015. 05:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Volkswagen Thinks It Will Undercut Tesla On Battery Cost [View article]
    To Steve Funk

    << Care to share with us how many assembly lines you draw your conclusions from? I have worked at 15. >>

    Steve,

    Conclusions? What conclusions? I'm not the one presenting myself as the expert -- you are.

    No one cares about so much expertise (because it isn't applicable) if you haven't had any experience at a Tesla factory. Funny, you could have expounded on your in-depth knowledge of the Tesla factory, but you instead choose to attack me. Presumeably that was your best choice, after careful analysis of your alternative. LOL.

    Moving along to my next point: Rumor has it that most of Tesla's employees are programmers, not traditional factory workers, which implies a level of factory automation that puts your traditional factories to shame. Say it ain't so.
    Jun 11, 2015. 02:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Volkswagen Thinks It Will Undercut Tesla On Battery Cost [View article]
    To Cecil Rhodes

    According to Mr. Funk, if you've seen one automotive assembly line, then you've seen them all ... including Tesla's.
    Jun 11, 2015. 10:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    To renim

    << BHP does not bother to process the REE out of the run of mine ore, its sent to mullock (waste) >>

    Huh? BHP doesn't 'bother'? Doesn't that negate everything you've asserted? Doesn't this latest fact mean BHP has found it uneconomical to produce REE?

    If the Rare Earth Elements (REE) are going to waste, how can you call that "production"? According to your latest comment, none of the REE "coming out of" the Olympic Dam mine is being sold to satisfy any part of world demand, because it's going to waste, which probably means it's ending up in a tailings pond.

    What? Did you mistype your comment?
    Jun 11, 2015. 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    To renim

    Great comment.
    Great link.
    Wow!
    Jun 11, 2015. 02:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    To Steve Funk

    << Nooo. Rare Earths are a column on the periodic table and has to do with how many valence electrons are in its outer shell (hence the level of reactivity). >>

    Isn't it true that NOT all the rare earths are included in that column, because some elements are called "rare earths" merely because they were often found with the "elements on the column"?

    Thus, not quite all the rare earths are eruditely defined by the number of valance electrons in the (nearly full) outer shell.

    << Nothing to do with ... physical rarity. >>

    Weren't these elements labeled "rare" because they were thought to be rare in the early days of Chemistry? If so, then the name "rare earths" did indeed have something to do with "physical rarity", even if mistakenly so.

    << Nothing to do with economic ... rarity >>

    That sounds wrong. Aren't there are some rare earths that are mined practically nowhere but China, or some other far flung location because concentrations aren't economically high enough anywhere else?

    DavDaddy said "rare compared to say iron, or sodium", which is pretty specific context. You ought to post some comparative annual production numbers to prove your point, because I think DavDaddy hit the bulls-eye square-on.

    Please prove me wrong.
    It'd be good news if you could.
    Jun 10, 2015. 09:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    To myself

    "A 25% increase in 6 years is an average annual increase of 3.8%,
    that's not massive to begin with, much less after taking out something for inflation, however you might define the appropriate measure."

    I forgot to add this:

    And afterwards, don't forget to adjust "Real Personal Income" for growth in workforce since Mar-2009, or perhaps growth in the US population since Mar-2009 ... It's unclear whether "Real PI / worker" or "Real PI / capita" would be more appropriate.
    Jun 2, 2015. 11:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    To JasonC

    <<Economists focus on the common good, achieved by the increase in overall value available for everyone. >>

    The common good includes the stability of the economic system.
    If the Middle Class is disenfranchised, then we have potential instablity.
    The common good is not served by instablity. It is disserved.
    Jun 2, 2015. 04:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    To: JasonC

    Yes, "Personal Income" is higher as can be seen in the graph. But, as you mentioned, "Personal Income" includes stuff like rents, interest, and dividends which go mainly to the upper 10%.

    No body needs to worry about the upper 10% (unless they decide to start their own country in perhaps Mexico or Norway, ala "Atlas Shrugged"), so what we're rightfully worried about is the Middle Class.

    Most of us seem to be worried about "whether or not" the Middle Class is being slowly starved. A healthy Middle Class spends a lot (which is a big part of the economic engine), but on the other hand, if the middle class becomes disenfranchised, then we have political instability, which is never good for economic performance.

    << It cannot change massive facts like a 25% increase in incomes in 6 years >>

    Massive? Starting from the low-point of The Great Recession? No one could have cherry-picked better than that. And yet, it's not much of a cherry, even if it supposedly includes the benefits of "the recovery":

    A 25% increase in 6 years is an average annual increase of 3.8%,
    that's not massive to begin with, much less after taking out something for inflation, however you might define the appropriate measure.

    But if the Middle Class is what we're worried about, then Personal Income is the wrong statistic. We should be looking at wages and salaries, of the lowest 70%, 80% or 85%.

    Occupy Wall Street scared the heck out of me. Any disaffected portion of the population, which is large enough to create a national movement, is a demogogue's delight, and an anarchist's opportunity.

    Let's NOT worry about the upper 10% ... they're smart-enough to NOT "follow Ayn Rand" and create a "new country" with an obviously over-idealized economy, in which everyone is a venerated chief, and there are no 2nd-class citizens, aka workers, employees, etc.
    Jun 2, 2015. 04:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    I think Lawrence J. Kramer was talking about the 2nd or 3rd definition of "metaphysics" which is roughly the set of "underlying assumptions" (or "self-consistent beliefs", etc. ) about how & why macroeconomics works.

    Please indulge me in this example:

    In the 1970's, Keynesians assumed that the Money Supply (no matter how it is defined) does NOT matter ... they implicitly assumed that all one needs to do is focus on the interest rate(s). Their theory was self-consistent, but wrong, because the "real economy" did not react as Keynesians imagined the "imaginary economy" would react.

    The Keynesians' mistake is based on this (widely accepted) truth hammered home by Milton Friedman: 'If interest rates are held constant, then the money supply would move up and down in what might appear to a random walk at times, or a concerted increase in supply.' Or, we just say "the money supply is uncontrolled."

    A concerted increase in the supply turns out to create inflation (that is, in an economy exhibiting 'healthy' aggregate demand). Not surprisingly, the Keynesians slowly changed their tune, but it took 3 bouts of stagflation during the 1970s and early 1980s before they accepted the importance of the money supply.

    In 2008-2014, QE mislead a lot of people into (erroneously) believing that the money supply doesn't matter simply because inflation failed to appear. They forgot that aggregate demand was weak. Why was it weak?

    The Great Recession was caused by the Commercial Banking Industry, and that sort of shock can create both "Demand Shocks" (which reduce people's willingness to spend because they become fearful when they see businesses fail) and "Supply Shocks" (because many firms could not operate when bank loans dried up.)

    When the Fed stepped-in as "Lender of Last Resort", the "Supply Shock" was minimised, but still created "Demand Shocks" which are often based on the psychology of market participants, or what might be termed "herd instincts", just like a "stampede" is a herd instinct for the closest exit.

    If Supply Shocks had created inflation, such inflation would have been labeled "Stagflation".
    Jun 2, 2015. 02:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    Let me add this to my May 31 10:45 PM post:

    Another reason the recovery seems so slow is (in my opinion) that the pre-2007 economy was "turbo-charged" by unsustainable banking practices, which boosted the housing market unsustainably, which boosted the entire economy unsustainably, which boosted GDP unsustainably.

    So, when we reach "full recovery" we shouldn't expect to re-visit the "wonderously high" levels of GDP achieved prior to 2007 because those pre-2007 levels were unsustainable, because the banking practices were unsustainable.

    (I should clarify that I'm talking about GDP on a "per capita" basis. I'm vaguely aware that we've already surpassed 2007's GDP, but not on a per capita basis.)

    I don't believe in "secular stagnation" (because we've not yet become a socialistic state like France), but the situation we find outselves in will "look and feel" like secular stagnation for an intolerably long time.

    Not only must misallocations of capital (both human and physical) be re-allocated, the markets need to figure out where that capital belongs. Our economy spent a lot of time building up the Real Estate Market (i.e., careers in sales, supply, construction, etc.) and a significant portion may need to be reallocated somewhere else.
    Jun 1, 2015. 11:55 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Just Doesn't Seem To Want To Grow [View article]
    To John M. Mason

    << This is not just a typical cyclical recovery and it is time that we all accepted that fact. >>

    The Great Recession wasn't caused by the Fed as many people seem to believe.

    It was caused by self-inflicted wounds in the Commercial Banking Industry, and because the Commercial Banking industry is so interconnected with virtually every company in the economy, any recession caused by the Commercial Banking Industry will be difficult to recover from. Self-evident is the Subprime Mortgage Market, which is just a small slice of the "Total Mortgage Market Pie" -- How could that little slice reek havoc in a strong industry?

    Because the industry was not financially strong for several varied reasons including "House prices never fall", NINJA mortgages, no due diligence, relaxed underwriting standards, captured Ratings Companies, low bank capital ratios, CMOs that slowed the foreclosure process, and a TBTF reliance that muted the ethics of Moral Hazard, and a general lack of "economic comprehension" that what they were doing could endanger the entire world economy and the livelihoods of billions of people, with no exaggeration.

    But that's not all. Once the Great Recession was initiated by the Commercial Banking Industry, the Investment Banking Industry compounded the Great Recession because they had done some fancy footwork selling securities that they had made bets against (which is clearly a conflict of interest which they got away with) and (previously, in about 1990?) sold derivatives to Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Greece et al which allowed each of these countries to literally (but "legally") circumvent the Maastricht Treaty rules, which required prospective members of the EU to reduce their (current and future) annual deficits to 3% of GDP or less, and reduce their (current and future) National Debt to 60% of GDP before membership would be granted.

    No wonder we had the "Sovereign Debt Crisis" in the EU, which will surely continue to haunt the world-economy's recovery for the foreseeable future. In 2008, no one should ever have entertained the notion that the Great Recession would be followed by a "typical" recovery, and after the "Sovereign Debt Crisis" came to light, the "recovery timer" should have been restarted with some extra time to boot.
    May 31, 2015. 10:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is The U.S. Economy Still Depressed? [View article]
    To Fred Beyers

    << ... if one assumes that Mr Bernanke and the entire Open Market Committee and staff were blind, deaf, and on a three year vacation. >>

    For the Fed to be responsible for delving into the business of banks to the extent you advocate necessary to properly regulate them, is the opposite of what a free market is.

    And I still don't know how the Fed could have gathered the facts necessary to know or suspect based on a couple hundred hints ... Hints like "this is too good to be true"?

    And if the Fed were to have had knowldege or suspicion of banking stupidities, what power did the Fed have to fix it? Did the Banks break any laws? No, I just think they were simply incompetent, and that's not against the law.
    May 31, 2015. 03:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is The U.S. Economy Still Depressed? [View article]
    To Fred Beyers

    I agree, the collateral damage was pretty steep. But if you trust the eggheads in the ivory tower to do the right thing according to the models that vaguely mimic reality, and have faith that any unintended consequences can be adeqeuately dealt with more interventions into the weakest economy on record since 1929, then you will sleep better at night, which is what the gov't wants you to do, both day and night.

    I'm not happy with the Fed either, but given that what they did was pretty dramatic (and hopefully not to become traumatic), I thought I throw-in my two-cent opinion on what the Fed were really trying to do, whether they were right to do it, or wrong. I'd have preferred that they intervene as little as possible, because I believe we'd have a stronger recovery, though it'd have taken longer ... or so they say.
    
    << Please give an illustration of a shortage of cash available in 2013 and/or 2014. >>

    The "shortage of cash" was within the banks, who had lost all their capital, or impaired it so much that it stirred-up fear, which rendered the Federal Funds market practically frozen because banks weren't willing to lend to one another. But that's not the reason for QE, I don't believe.

    Most of the cash created with QE is sitting idle, literally. The increase in the velocity of M1 and M2 is evidence of that. Also the amount of reserves parked at the Fed is evidence as well, albeit weaker evidence.

    You might be interested to read my article of May 2013 that has shares your opinions on the dangers of QE, however, it's kinda tedious.
    May 31, 2015. 01:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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