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  • Avoid Shorting Tesla [View article]
    UCS is an old soviet front group. Who care what a bunch of commies think?
    Jun 1, 2015. 01:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 500K the talk in electric vehicle industry [View news story]
    "The only way that is worth bothering with for me is that it makes a "firebreather" out of an otherwise moderate horsepower ICE car. "

    That's a big plus. EV has great torque, so you can make any such car very sporty and with good 0-60 times, while still having a tiny engine. Tiny engine = lighter = better fuel efficiency.
    May 30, 2015. 04:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Next-gen vehicle strategy critical for automakers [View news story]
    "Toyota is making a mistake. "
    Yup. if you want make a short-term difference, support natgas as fuel.
    Cheaper and cleaner.
    Hydrogen is a pipedream, totally impractical.
    May 30, 2015. 04:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Share Price Means That Everyone Else Is The Winner [View article]
    "the rest of the auto industry that is not paying for their dumping of carbon into the atomsphere. They are getting a free ride for which everyone will end up paying"

    There is no 'free ride' because there is no cost to the rest of for Co2.
    Even carbon taxes of $10 a ton end up costing a lot more than the amount of mitigation they provide. The correct 'cost' of Co2 in terms of the harm it actually does is about $0.10 a ton. ie nothing.
    May 30, 2015. 03:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Medical Insurance Premium Shock Set To Continue Crushing Retail Sales Into 2016 [View article]
    That's not the experience of most people in most states, who have had to pay enormous premium increases due to ACA. For us it went from $800/mo to $1200/mo for coverage that was worse because the deductible was higher. Obamacare has made premium increases a lot worse, but for many the real kick-in-the-nuts has been deductibles that are outrageously high, making the insurance something of a joke.
    "The bottom line? In 2014, premiums in the non-group market grew by 24.4% compared to what they would have been without Obamacare."

    "ObamaCare exchange insurers in six states where 2016 rate requests have already been filed are seeking to raise rates an average 18.6% next year."
    May 30, 2015. 03:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Will Not Last [View article]
    And a #6, the error of confusing proven reserves with ultimate resources. Is the 1 trillion barrels of oil equivalent in oil shale in Green River counted as proven reserves? I doubt it, but its 4 times bigger than Saudi Arabia. It may not be economical at $60 a barrel, but shell oil knows the technology to get it out, and we would use it if we need to.

    Point is, reserves expand as technology and exploration advances. So the US having 92 years of reserves is not a limiter. Ultimate fossil resources are huge relative to current use, refracking and tight oil resources mean even more oil available than ever before, certainly enough to last at least another 100 years.

    we will likely move off fossil fuel use before then, again due to technology, eg nuclear etc.
    May 30, 2015. 12:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Will Not Last [View article]
    So many logical fallacies in this article, its hard to know where to start.

    1. "These significant reserves mean that the United State's production cannot last for long "
    huh? So more reserves mean we cant produce them? Backwards! We have more reserves of oil, gas, and coal than ever. In particular, shale oil and gas and coal. The US will not run out of any of them. The REAL question is the competitiveness of domestic reserves and production vs offshore producers, a question the oil market is deciding right now. This author has nothing pretinent to say on that.
    2. consumption and production are two different things. Emissions limits may limit *consumption* but that may only leave more reserves for later production. If we reduce natural gas or coal in power plants, it means coal is left in the ground (perhaps forever) and natural gas may be used elsewhere(perhaps in transportation).
    3. The Exxon production projections are very low on the tight oil and probably too high on conventional oil, which is declining. If indeed production does not go up 50% in 40 years (and it seems aggressive on the high side, since transport is electrifying and becoming more efficient), the conclusion is again that there will be more reserves left for later. if supply is the limiter, then high oil price. If demand is the limiter (either due to technology or emissions limits) then oil price will be lower.
    4. Global warming is overhyped, and since China emits more carbon than the US, the real driver on global emissions will be china's use of coal, not what is done in the US. US renewable energy standards has zero impact practically on global emissions.
    4b. In any case, the main hit from emissions regulations is in coal, and that hit has already been taken by the coal industry. ACI is trading like a stock in bankruptcy. And yet the article which is down on fossil fuels shows a chart saying coal consumption will be steady. If so, then ACI is a BUY, because its trading like coal use will end tomorrow. If anything, it is driving MORE use of natural gas in power generation, since it emits less CO2.

    5. The article claims that shale producers will be less competitive due to domestic focus. Then suggest buying the small ones . huh? The price will rise, but dont invest now, invest at the top. Huh?
    "At that point, I would recommend investing into smaller United States shale producers. Shale producers tend to be centered entirely in the United States meaning they will suffer more from the eventual decline."
    So the plan is to wait for exactly the wrong time to invest in exactly the worst hit of the players. Triple huh?

    Lack of quantification and confused logic make this article practically useless investmentwise.
    May 30, 2015. 12:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Volvo Makes An SUV Out Of The BMW i8 To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    That's nuts. Tesla has an interior on par with a Toyota Avalon hybrid that sells for $40k.

    If you have a $100k and want to go fast you can get a F-type jag, and feel like James Bond, or you can spend 2x the price for your Avalon equivalent.

    This Volvo has a super charger network btw, its called the local gas station. Nothing special about all-electric.

    There' nothing special about all-electric.
    May 30, 2015. 02:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why VXX Loses Value Over Time: Another Look [View article]
    "As long as futures stay the same, VXX will remain the same (ignoring interest) no matter what the spot price does."

    This is true but meaningless. Its meaningless because you have to ask what spot and future *actually* do.
    1. Spot VIX wanders around based on market fear vs complacency. can be as low as 9 or as high a 80+. But mostly in the 12-30 range.
    2. Spot VIX is mean reverting around a log-normal distribution.
    3. Because people want to hedge long portfolios with VIX futures calls and because vix can shoot up, to accoutn for that volatility of VIX and risk insurance, there is a typical premium in VIX futures.
    4. That premium, as shown in article above average about 7%/mo. But it can be higher or lower at any given point.
    5. The result is that, just as spot VIX is mean-reverting, VIX futures have a tendency to go from a premium of spot to the spot on day of expiration.

    I like how the author expressed it a VIX futures/ VIX, because the argument over what VIX does, or whether VIX moves or futures moves, is a pointless one. Either/or both can happen, and vix volatility any day or month is a lot greater than these contango effects.

    Now the real prize goes to someone explaining why the vix avg 30-day futures premium is 7% or so, and not more or less.
    May 29, 2015. 01:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why VXX Loses Value Over Time: Another Look [View article]
    Figure 2, worth the price of admission! Good article.
    May 28, 2015. 07:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Are No Threat To Tesla, Apple Or The Auto Industry [View article]
    That's a good point, hadnt considered it. Cars depreciate based on miles driven, so divvying up the car doesnt change those economics as much as presumed.

    A further consideration is that if urban driving /riding is easier and lower cost, that it would actuall expand miles used per capita and increase vehicle demand.

    Winners will be companies like ZipCar.
    May 28, 2015. 11:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Are No Threat To Tesla, Apple Or The Auto Industry [View article]
    the 'technology' will be ready is easy to affirm: There some selfdriving google cars out there today. A salesman can always claim the prediction was 'right' based on some protype out there that 'work's at some level.

    Actual selling products for general consumers is a different story. Any flaw that leads to an accident could mean a lawsuit and tens of thousands in damages, or more. 'technology works' does not equal 'product is ready'.
    May 28, 2015. 11:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Are No Threat To Tesla, Apple Or The Auto Industry [View article]
    Thanks for the compliments. I have some confidence in the technology based on what those who are developing are saying about it:

    This technology is AI (artificial intelligence) software, and, yes, someday it will replace human drivers. But we agree there are many hurdles to get there. But the linked article above from Google's head of R&D on this points to safety. If you call this 'advanced cruise control' (get on the highway and follow the cars behind) and "advanced collision avoidance' (the car decides to brake before hitting obstacles and stays in proper lanes), you have a safety enhancement. And little regulatory objections to something that will save lives. As the technology matures and gets better, only then will we get to 'hands off'. I'm more sanguine about the technology; we have lane following and collision avoidance and other features today.

    Software development moreover is a matter of development that can proceed much faster than the 5 year cycle for new car designs.

    Uber has changed economics also due to software, namely the taxi request-dispatch process. Making it seamless reduces friction. The same could be done for bus services, jitneys (imagine a button at each bus stop requesting service), etc. Software is also changing package delivery. We might get to drones, but it turns out simply improving routing and having a drone carry a package from truck to door step is a 'win'.

    Rather than think of these changes as binary, we should think of them as incremental. Marc Andreessen spoke of 'software eating the world' and software is incrementally eating the transportation sector.

    Typically short-term projections overstate trends, while long-term projections understate them. 2020 is imho too optimistic, but not because of technology, rather adoption cycles and legal issues. Transportation in 2035, 20 years from now, will be radically different, mostly due to software.
    May 28, 2015. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Are No Threat To Tesla, Apple Or The Auto Industry [View article]
    Insurance is about liability and liability is a legal matter.
    If laws dont change, you are rght - it wont happen.
    But I think eventually laws will change and we will have driverless cars.
    but it will take a long time, first to prove the technology then to change laws.

    Regulations slow progress, unregulated markets move faster. And so, technology will move fast when no change in laws are needed.
    That would be to give truckers and drivers assistance technology but making them stay with hands on the wheel or close to it. Regulated markets will catch up to unregulated ones later.
    May 25, 2015. 05:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Self-Driving Cars Are No Threat To Tesla, Apple Or The Auto Industry [View article]
    I think his timeline of 5 years is too short, and your timeline of 30 years is too long. I'm guessing 10-15 years will be the timeline for the process of driverless car introductions.
    May 25, 2015. 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment