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  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, January 5,2016  [View instapost]
    The discussion about demand for various elements often centers around topics such as we see in the case of dy. Reductions projected based upon lower amounts needed per unit produced...

    In the case of electric cars, for instance, this discussion can be deceptive if one fails to quantify that last bit, i.e., how many units will GM, for example, be producing in the near future. Cut the use of rare earths per unit 50%, but up increase the production of finished units 100fold... And things change.

    Note the plans at Tesla to increase production to 500000 cars per year. Note the market reaction for GMs new low end electric car. Will the overall demand be much smaller than in the past, or larger?
    Feb 10, 2016. 08:39 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    I agree with the oil glut observation. One way for the glut to expand and worsen, however, is for demand destruction to occur such as would be seen in another major recession. Unlike last time, China would participate fully, and in fact looks to be a likely trigger. Global central bank ability to amelliorate the severity of such an event is also running at historic lows.

    I suffer from congestive heart failure because my heart was attacked by two consecutive severe bouts with the flu. An opportunistic bacterial infection attacked my heart as a result.

    It's time to start reviewing what back to back severe recessions could do to the world as we know it.
    Jan 11, 2016. 09:05 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    The case for fuel cells tends to be a skyhook affair. Sourcing the hydrogen production from copious amounts of valuable electricity plus even more copious amounts of natural gas means that the combo has not been as economical/efficient as simply utilizing the ng directly in a conventional power plant.

    In science fiction they mine enormous gas giants, literally using the skyhook I mentioned.

    Until hydrogen production becomes cheaper than natural gas production as a source of power, it will remain an answer for a very specialized list of applications, only.

    I know this is harsh, but it's a similar story to corn ethanol. Only by creating a direct link to the treasury and the taxpayer does it work. The Corn Lobby is very powerful. I do not see a similar political force behind fuel cells.
    Jan 10, 2016. 07:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    The prevailing opinion has long held, including just before the recent fracas, that the yuan was being maintained at an artificially low exchange rate. This includes the period where the door/yuan pair were both gaining in value, with the yuan moving ahead of the dollar. Xperts very recently were still calculating that the yuan would need to rise at least another 10%, so it was still the place to be, according to them.

    It should shock none of us that the cold breeze of the coming recession has China choosing to support market share instead of the yuan.

    We are also hearing from the same crowd that China really can't afford to do otherwise. Well, well, it appears that their debts are a lot higher than were thought, their deficits much higher and much older, and their reserves much smaller-and shrinking.
    Jan 8, 2016. 03:59 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, January 5,2016  [View instapost]
    NEO will be part of the auction as a component of MCP.

    Lynas is largely a possession of its creditors now, so using it to pursue the same strategic objectives that those worthies were chasing when they backed Lynas could well be all the motive they need.

    I find the auction interesting primarily as a mechanism to show the true value of established businesses like NEO, though I suspect we will also learn the true state of affairs of the many wild promises and claims made by MCP management. The problem may be that NEO and other potentially sound portions of the company will enter the auction weighted down with toxic baggage rather than with a clean slate. We will see.
    Jan 8, 2016. 03:43 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    The move to include the yuan came without the usual strings, and of course just reflects the odd double standard China operates under. As has happened repeatedly with China, their enemies and supporters alike are operating from the opinion that they can encourage China to change its spots by giving them the rewards which would logically flow from good behavior BEFORE insisting on the good behavior first.

    Any parent that has tried this knows just how damaging this reversal of common sense can be.

    HTL, perhaps the more important question should be what effect a massive currency tantrum on the part of a key component of the basket will have on the world economy?

    A lot of attention has shone upon the $, but one has to wonder how this will affect the euro, pound, and yen. Europe, Japan and the US were already looking at a stark lack of growth. This should toss any plans for growth right into the trash bin.
    Jan 7, 2016. 09:21 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    Lots of distractions, but keep an eye on China.

    Not very long ago the xperts would squash anyone attempting to warn against betting that China would keep increasing the value of the yuan, particularly in situations where they see a strong reason to create a cheap yuan. I believe we have already seen the pundits switch sides, with the same nimrods who laughed at the idea last year abruptly seeing powerful international traders threatening much larger reductions in the yuan... My viewpoint has changed little over the past few years, and I believe we could well see a large swing to something well over 7.0. The ability of the Fed to fight this huge increase in the relative/objective value of the US $ is just about zero. In fact, they appear committed to boosting the value of the dollar, just at a very awkward moment.

    As we see wilder and wilder gyrations in the currency/economic wars, it would be wise to remember that the identities of precisely who controls cause and who is simply reacting to effect is of paramount importance.
    Jan 7, 2016. 04:58 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    Mobile is much smaller, so my ref was wired. The glass ceiling tends to be much lower for mobile.
    Jan 6, 2016. 08:00 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    I too have been contemplating NFLX. I have been expecting changes in their business model, as offerings of more hd shows and movies, along with more popular long running series, start taxing even broadband contracts between 150 and 250gb per month. Truly unlimited plans are increasingly a rarity, and it's now easy to go through 50gb plan extensions in just a few days...

    The reaction of panicked parents, suddenly looking at a tripling of their broadband monthly fees, could well be to pull the plug on NFLX. The hunger for massive amounts of digital bandwidth is still growing like mad, but I sense a glass ceiling is near.
    Jan 6, 2016. 03:57 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014  [View instapost]
    New concentrator here
    Jan 5, 2016. 10:46 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014  [View instapost]
    Sorry to be mysterious. Just health problems and family emergencies, i.e. "Life".
    Jan 5, 2016. 09:46 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 286  [View instapost]
    HI everyone, and a belated Happy New Year to all.

    We have been really battling health problems and other demons all of 2015, so we are hoping that 2016 will be a turnaround for us. Nancy is finally starting to recover from major surgery and her second bout with scary health problems in the last 8 months. I am doing better, though not to be confused with "good".

    As for any comments on the interesting news being discussed here...

    The Middle East is indeed a powder keg, but Europe should now be grouped with those located within the immediate blast zone. The violence in France is just a foreshadowing of much more to come. Oil prices are more geopolitically tethered than ever.

    The next recession, which I believe will begin before we finish this voting season in November, will be accelerated and strengthened as the Fed stages interest rate increases even as they seek to jawbone the planet into believing they actually control the value of the $. It's possible that they might reassert the primary mission they have so long abandoned, but I have doubts. The role played by domestic politics is yet to be determined.

    I refilled a large PSEC position about the same time several others did, between $6.50 and $6.70. Ditto the various comments, I agree with the gestalt' stake on PSEC.

    I have been shifting into residential and commercial rental properties, and am doing well there. I figure if the markets fool me and go up, and we avoid a near term recession, the underlying property values will go up. I also figure that rentals will maintain if we do see a setback, as folks have to settle for renting as they pull back from buying plans. Of course, I have been bottom feeding on properties, so my downside risk is hopefully fairly low, but, who really knows?

    Otherwise, I have been largely out of the markets for quite some time.

    Good move, Mercy, moving out of the yuan. Very disturbing prospects, there.
    Jan 5, 2016. 06:55 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quickchat 283 November 1 2015  [View instapost]
    Explanation. Disaster, wrack and ruin, pretty much. Currently on the mend.

    Much more to follow...
    Oct 25, 2015. 05:15 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 282 July 28 2015  [View instapost]
    New chat
    Oct 25, 2015. 05:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015  [View instapost]
    New chat here
    Jul 28, 2015. 11:55 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment