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  • Felix Zulauf: Bottom isn't in yet [View news story]
    Maybe the issue was that Iraq was on the verge of benefiting from much higher oil prices pre-fracking, and at least some of that money would have made it into creating a nuclear deterrent, which would make all our prepositioned conventional forces irrelevant.

    So, given 911, the war hawks decided to help themselves to $2 trillion of our tax dollars, and pulled the trigger on Iraq, and since that was going so well, introduced the American way to Afghanistan as well, thereby enlarging the top line.

    In retrospect, maybe Saddam in control of a strong, nuclear armed Iraq wouldn't have been the end of the world, as eventually the unprecedented higher price of oil would have drawn in investment into fracking, and thus the low price of oil, bringing Iraq, Iran, SA, Russia, Brazil down to the humble pie table.

    But just as high prices are the cure for high prices, low prices are the cure for low prices.

    Seems like the world can live with a stable oil price in the $70 range, although some despotic places like Russia and SA are going to be facing some economic and political turmoil eventually at that point.
    Aug 29, 2015. 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Betting Big On A Global Recovery? [View article]
    I think there was a fair amount of candy in there too.
    Aug 28, 2015. 11:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Normal Valuations Are The Real Worry, Not China [View article]
    Funny, it spends like real money.
    Aug 27, 2015. 11:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A High-Yield, Low-Price Stock That's Traded In A Tight Range For 5 Years Is Great For My Immediate Income Stream [View article]
    Those that live in rural areas will eventually get wireline/fiber based Internet access, which is the only real technology that can deliver scalable and consistently ever larger amounts of transfer required by technology change. Forget wireless, its for mobile, or only as a stopgap solution.

    The people in the rural areas will get this essential utility because all states have two Senators, and because most thinking people agreed long ago that having universal service across our country of utilities and communication is a benefit to all.

    The vehicles for this service are companies like FTR and CTL. Will they be wildly profitable? No. But they will be profitable and very stable. Count on the FCC to make sure that they are. Failure is not an option.
    Jul 11, 2015. 05:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is There A Dividend Bubble: Kinder Morgan Edition [View article]
    They own something that is finite and in infinite demand; spectrum.
    Jun 9, 2015. 11:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shell declares interest in returning to Iran, discusses $2B debt payment [View news story]
    Praise Jesus we did. Let Israel do crazy all by its lonesome. Maybe they'll wake up and put on their thinking cap instead of just reaching for the gun.
    Jun 4, 2015. 02:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Ok, get rid of intellectual property. Now, where is the incentive to create? Now reform of the existing system would be good...
    Jun 1, 2015. 11:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    All the young working folks of CA should rise up and strike that one down.  Anyone that rents or has bought property in the last 10 years is carrying all the water for everyone else. 

    The problem is that everyone that comes to CA comes to dig for gold, then get the heck out, and thus has a short time perspective. And anyone that spends any significant time there and acquires RE gets invested in the status quo. Ergo the staying power of Prop 13, and it's effects on education.

    As to the woes of the CA education system, perhaps it's time to change not only the engine in the car, but perhaps the whole car, or the very need for a car in the first place.  I don't know how anyone else continues their education these days, but I'm updating myself via the Internet daily.   This physically oriented stand and deliver nonsense is not only unnecessarily expensive, but perhaps not all that effective.  Perhaps a fall back position would be online gurus in various subjects continuously rated by their target audience like on Amazon, eligible for a really good teachers buildings, buses, parking, utilities, or upkeep needed.  And perhaps no need for such high property taxes on such a narrow part of the tax base.
    Jun 1, 2015. 11:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    I'll bet that Whirlpool product line is highly automated. And I suspect a machinist touches more keyboards and screens than metal parts. More what we might consider white collar than blue collar. And such a career might have legs as long as said machinist keeps upgrading his or her's skill set to stay ahead of ROW.
    Jun 1, 2015. 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    We are going through another step change in technology driven productivity.  There are losers and winners in these changes.  Printing presses and gunpowder were hard on the Lords, and good for everyone else.  The spinning mills were hard on the Luddites, and good for anyone that needed clothes, now attractively priced.  IT engenders robots, software, and a globe spanning Internet that has put globalization on fast forward.  Good for ROW, good for capital, hard on Western workers.  Probably based on just the numbers, good for humanity as a whole.

      There isn't any going back, just like the previous technology step changes, just adaption to the new order.  Will all the money end up at the top?  Sure looks like it.  But what then?  Will it be stable?  Probably not.  For one thing, businesses, the basis of all this 1% wealth, need customers, and when hackers from ROW can break into the IRS and soon ISIS will have drones too,  consider that this step change has symmetrical aspects.  And don't count governments out.  Better to tax global capital heavily than loose the whole pie in a new French Revolution.
    Jun 1, 2015. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Southern Co. Subsidiary Faces Possible Credit Downgrade, But The Mothership Is Still A Buy [View article]
    All SO and energy complex investors would be well served to read these articles. Especially interesting was how the Sierra Club was able to fight more coal plants in its Beyond Coal campaign with quite a bit of help from various business and 1% allies, even when coal was ascendant. Of course the rise of cheap gas from the fracking revolution was key.

    Where SO fits in this technological move away from heavy CO2 energy sources is key to how well the company fares in the future. They don't seem to be opposed to it although how they got themselves roped into the clean coal boondoggle is a headscratcher. I don't think it's a good bet that rate payers will be carrying the burden for those cost overruns.

    In the significant transition to low carbon power generation technologies that even China seems to be getting behind, SO seems to be trying to at least keep up. But this problem with Kemper is probably indicative of the bumps in the road for utilities as low CO2 requirements kick in. Watch out for distributed power as well...presenting a challenge to the business model of the industry perhaps on par with the Internet's effect on telcos.
    May 31, 2015. 12:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economics Of A Shale Well - Chesapeake Energy [View article]
    Hmm. Read again, slowly. Bottom line, CHK, at current hydrocarbon prices is no pot of gold.
    May 29, 2015. 09:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lessons Learned From The Grand Canyon [View article]
    Oh, I'm part of the thundering herd, etfs and individual stocks. 100% invested. Probably too much international exposure...should have stayed with the US indexes during the great run up since 2009. My favorite for global diversification: VT. You?

    But on top of all that, wary.
    May 24, 2015. 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lessons Learned From The Grand Canyon [View article]
    Big Sur is an amazing place. I try and go there once a year to fly a paraglider from the Wild Cattle launch (which has to be one of the best dry camps in all of CA...but 4x4s only) down to Sand Dollar beach. And the lack of cell phone service is an opportunity to give up on all of what will seem after several days, unnecessary distractions.
    May 23, 2015. 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lessons Learned From The Grand Canyon [View article]
    And your dad, having probably formed that opinion during the 1930's was simply expressing his life experience. Stocks and investing are awfully popular these days. After the 30's, not so much.
    May 23, 2015. 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment