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  • Natural Gas And Commercial Transportation: States Act While Feds Mull [View article]
    After the financial crash, it was reported that investment bank officials feared a rise in populism would affect their business model. Henceforth, and if that is what it takes, imapopulistnow.
    Apr 21, 2013. 04:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And Commercial Transportation: States Act While Feds Mull [View article]
    And, the implications go far beyond long haul trucking. Trains as you pointed out, maritime uses, mining, oil and gas extraction, perhaps even agricultural applications. So much of what we consume is in fact produced through the consumption of massive quantities of diesel fuel. Shifting to domestically produced natural gas, not could, but would be a paradigm-shifting game changer that potentially could restore the national economy to its pre Great Recession prominence. And I do not think I am resorting to hyperbole in saying so.
    Apr 21, 2013. 12:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And Commercial Transportation: States Act While Feds Mull [View article]
    Incidentally, with or without action by Congress and the States, the private sector just may have come up with a way to accelerate this process.

    GE's "LNG in a Box"
    Apr 21, 2013. 12:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And Commercial Transportation: States Act While Feds Mull [View article]
    This is a case where the ideologues on both sides are harming the economy. (Tree huggers and tree cutters - good one btw)

    Yes, industrial policy and "picking winners" usually is not efficient or effective public policy, as was clearly shown with Solyndra. But, while it oftentimes is not appropriate, it sometimes is and subsidizing the development of infrastructure to use natural gas for transportation is one of those times.

    As you commented, using natural gas for transportation results in a direct reduction of petroleum imports. It directly substitutes domestic economic activity for imports. It has national security implications. It lowers the cost of doing business in the USA thereby enhancing our global competitive position, reducing inflation, improving living standards, etc.

    But to do all of this, it requires a large investment in new infrastructure that currently does not exist and its implementation (and benefits) will be rapidly accelerated if that infrastructure is subsidized through rational public policies and, yes, subsidies.

    This is little different than the obviously successful mercantile economic policies of developing nations who subsidize currencies and foreign direct investments in order to establish a manufacturing base where one did not exist beforehand.

    We should be subsidizing natural gas transportation in order to establish a domestic transportation energy base. Unlike solar, the cost-benefit of natural gas as a fuel source is abundantly clear.

    If Washington were in the control of reasonable and rational moderates, this would be an obvious deviation from the normal skepticism with industrial policy because the national benefits both economically and security-wise are so abundantly clear.

    Given the current ideology-driven political atmosphere, I won't hold my breath until when, if ever, they figure this out.
    Apr 21, 2013. 11:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • California May Never Collect the Amazon Tax [View article]
    It is only a matter of time. Politicians looked the other way when internet retailers were nascent industries. Amazon now is large enough to bring on appropriate challenges both from a level competitive playing field and tax fairness perspective. Soon enough States will have passed laws and will demand federal action. Amazon's days of receiving a sales tax subsidy are clearly numbered.
    Jun 30, 2011. 08:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fully Confident in Wal-Mart's Plan to Boost U.S. Sales [View article]
    First it was "Always the low price"

    Then came "Low prices, always"

    Now it is "We will match the low price"

    Do not for a minute think that Walmart's formerly loyal customers haven't picked up on these (less than) subtle changes.

    I recall years ago when K-Mart was the leader in discount shopping. One never had to price compare. One simply went to K-Mart and bought everything that they needed. You new that the price would be the lowest in town.

    Then K-Mart took the same path that Walmart is taking today. How did that work out for them?

    Walmart's formerly loyal shoppers have moved on to other stores (Dollar General anyone?) If they are like me, they went back a couple of times when Walmart "stated" it was returning to the low price strategy only to learn in was a ruse.

    Walmart is in a death spiral. If they lower prices sufficiently to regain their high spending formerly loyal customers over time, then profits will tank and management will be fired. So instead they play various deceit-based strategies to lure customers back while still charging high prices thus continuously losing market share to low cost competitors.

    I on occasion shop at Walmart only because it is the closest store when I have to buy something immediately such a printer cartridge. it amazes me how empty the store has become. Further they have cut costs to the bone such as turning off every fourth light. I suspect there is little more they can do in this regard.

    But all I need to do is walk past the garden section and see the downsized peat moss bags that sell for roughly the same as the full sized bags at Home Depot. Nope, no real change at Walmart. Management is just intent on driving it into the ground until they can cash in enough stock options to live large in their next lives.
    Jun 2, 2011. 11:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vanity Fair's 8,000-word profile of the Vampire Squid: "One of the biggest disconnects on Wall Street today is between the way Goldman Sachs (GS) sees itself (they're the smartest) and the way everyone else sees Goldman (they're the smartest, greediest, and most dangerous)."  [View news story]
    If these blood suckers were so smart, they would realize that a parasite thrives when it does not kill off its host.
    Dec 3, 2009. 01:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More Goldman Outrage [View article]
    I would like to live in a nation that does not have to worry about the corruption of investment banks. Lets abolish these parasites.
    Oct 26, 2009. 10:17 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Our Credit Crunch Mirrors the Weimar Hyperinflation from 1919-1923 [View article]
    I think you could lose a lot of money by following this line of reasoning. The dollar will devalue but hyper-inflation will not occur. The demand side of the equation is gone - in Japan, Europe and the USA - simple demographics.

    Supplies will be in excess of demand until the domestic economies of China, India and Brazil expand fill the demand void. This may happen sooner than many expect, particularly in China. The result will be a devalued dollar, stagflation but not hyper-inflation, wealth transfer to emerging markets, much higher energy and commodity prices, lower standards of living in the USA and the end of the USA as the dominant superpower. For this outcome we can thank the investment banks, hedge funds and compliant policy makers who have mismanaged and manipulated our economy.

    For hyper-inflation to occur, the global economy would need to abandon the dollar as a reserve currency, creating an Iceland-like crisis and a near collapse of the dollar. If we are not careful, it could happen at some time in the future - perhaps 10 years out. Ultimately the value of our currency will represent the underlying value of our investment, intellectual, resource and legal system capital. We are failing on all fronts at the moment.
    Apr 12, 2009. 09:38 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama economic advisor Larry Summers recently earned millions advising for hedge funds and speaking to banks, according to a White House disclosure released Friday. Not surprising, perhaps, but Bloomberg and WSJ wonder if his deep ties to power and money won't contaminate his views. More from HuffPo.  [View news story]
    They "wonder"? This is criminal. If Summers is not fired then we will know that Obama is not different, just very clever. I have lost so much respect for this nation. We are a nation of thieves. All power is with the elites. We are a democracy in name only. What is shame.
    Apr 5, 2009. 03:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment