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Robert Keyfitz  

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  • The Future Of Electricity In America - Clean Power [View article]
    SDNS: I think you're exactly right. We have a problem that advanced technologies can help to solve. Let's see where they take us.
    Apr 17, 2015. 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Electricity In America - Clean Power [View article]
    C. Calder: There's a case for subsidizing emerging technologies in order to demonstrate their feasibility, or move them down the cost curve where there are scale economies, e.g. in manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels. It's harder to justify massive subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear, which include not charging them for water use and waste disposal and disregarding public health impacts of air pollution.
    Apr 17, 2015. 09:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Electricity In America - Clean Power [View article]
    Nelson g: In fact, I guess you could argue that everything we use is solar. Coal, gas, wood are all storage technologies for solar -- inefficient, but plentiful. You're right, we can do better.
    Apr 17, 2015. 08:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Electricity In America - Clean Power [View article]
    PawnPower: We need to think carefully about both where we're going and how we'll get there. Where we are now is not a good place, Without better storage technology 100% renewables is impossible, but we can certainly go some distance in that direction and we'll be better off if we do.

    Comparing electricity costs in states with RPS is complicated because of the falling price of gas. You might want to think about risk as well as price, and risk is lower for renewables because they are less subject to unpredictable fuel costs.

    The falling price of gas is also what's killing coal, not the laughable clean power plan. 50%+ of coal plants are fully depreciated anyway.
    Apr 17, 2015. 08:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Electricity In America - Clean Power [View article]
    alphaRAJU: I'm not familiar with either of these, but I see they're both down 90% from their peaks. Unfortunately, that's not unusual early in the life of an emerging technology. Some bets will pay off, some won't You need nerves of steel. Good luck.
    Apr 17, 2015. 08:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Congress Owns These Stocks, Should You? [View article]
    grifbos: Even if members of Congress know only the public information in E-B A's article, they'd still conclude they most likely own these shares and therefore would want to see these companies do well. Maybe a better rule would be to put all their money in SPY.
    Mar 25, 2015. 08:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Congress Owns These Stocks, Should You? [View article]
    Good for you. Some time ago I read that GE was the top holding and I had in mind to find out the rest and write this article myself (provisional title: Can You Afford Not to Own These Shares?) Thanks for doing the research.
    Mar 24, 2015. 12:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audit The Fed? [View article]
    The ranks of the 10 dumbest congressmen have been swelling. It's no longer the exclusive club it was in Al Capp's day. But, to give them their due, you're sort of missing the point. The audit isn't to prevent unscrupulous regional presidents from stealing the office furniture. Rather, it's to establish some accountability to taxpayers.

    The Fed is a private organization belonging to the TBTF banking sector, with an unlimited line of credit from taxpayers. There's very little accountability. Sheila Bair (in her very nice book, Bull By The Horns) documents how the Fed and Treasury colluded under Tim Geithner's leadership (in both cases) and used that line of credit to keep Citibank afloat through the crisis. At outlandish expense.

    I don't agree with those who argue we don't need the Fed at all. It performs a necessary function. But without meaningful regulation and oversight of the banking sector it can get up to any sort of mischief. I imagine that's what the 'Audit the Fed' set are arguing for -- lifting the rock. But, bear in mind that any misbehavior by the Fed is more a symptom than a cause of the general problems of the banking sector.
    Feb 14, 2015. 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forget Beaten Up Utilities, Buy This 7.1% Clean Energy REIT [View article]
    Brad: Thanks a lot for writing this up. I wish I'd heard about it before the 3-1/2% bump today, but hey -- that just says your advice is usually good. I want to invest in the area and it sounds promising. One question (maybe it's obvious), why was HASI set up as a REIT instead of a joint stock company (Clean Energy Inc) and what difference does that make to investors?
    Feb 13, 2015. 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Love The Irreplaceable Assets, But I Need A 5% Dividend Yield To Excite Me [View article]
    The ownership structure makes me uncomfortable. With little need to raise further equity, it would seem like an obvious way for insiders to raise their returns would be to expropriate the non-voting shareholders. Why pay a higher dividend on A shares? Or any dividend? Also, are the net insider purchases new shares, hence diluting ownership?
    Feb 2, 2015. 10:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Learning To Live With Cheaper Oil In The Middle East [View article]
    It appears more like 55% to our allies in the Middle East whose currencies are pegged to the dollar.
    Jan 23, 2015. 07:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Learning To Live With Cheaper Oil In The Middle East [View article]
    The marginal cost of fracking output at around $70 a barrel sets a price ceiling for oil for some time to come. No MENA oil producers can balance their budgets at that rate so some adjustment is unavoidable. The only question is whether it will be before or after they crash. My guess is the latter.
    Jan 23, 2015. 08:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Energy Sector - Risk Or Opportunity? The S&P 500 2015: Part 2 [View article]
    Chuck: It's a good story, but we've been here before. After the price crashed in 1986, it stayed low for 20 years. It turns out the best medium term price forecast for oil is today's price, whatever it is. To the extent you're taking a position on the global business cycle, is there a better way to do that? I'll wait and see what you have to say about the rest of the market.
    Jan 16, 2015. 01:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why You Should Hold Foreign Stocks Now [View article]
    I hope you're right (and sooner or later you will be), because I've been holding on to my globally diversified portfolio since 2009 on just this logic. It was doing fine until the downturn, but now I have some catching up to do. One thing you might clarify is whether you're measuring in US$ or local currency terms. Don't forget the dollar is likely to strengthen as interest rates start to rise.
    Dec 27, 2014. 08:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ghosts Of LTCM And 2008 Collide - Putin Is Crushed [View article]
    Catchy title, but where are the ghosts? Bad macro management isn't the same as ill advised financial speculation even if both involve arrogant hubris and end in tears.
    Dec 23, 2014. 08:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment