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  • Chevron (CVX) issues an ultimatum to Argentina, saying it will not make any progress on an agreed joint venture with YPF until a court threat to its assets is lifted. "We’d like to work with them," CVX vice chairman George Kirkland tells FT, but "this is our money." The tough line hurts the government’s hopes of forming a partnership with a top global oil company to help develop its vast shale reserves. [View news story]
    Argentina has shown that it cannot be trusted to keep its word, by the pending case on its bond payment, and its continuing (and recently overwhelmingly defeated) claim to the British Falklands. Chevron would do well to stay away from investment of any money in such a country.
    Mar 13 03:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead [View article]
    Some people see the doughnut, others see only the hole. As J.P. Morgan once said, "The market will continue to fluctuate".
    Feb 23 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron (CVX) loses its appeal in Argentina against asset freezes to enforce an Ecuadorean judgment for it to pay $19B in damages for environmental pollution. Even as CVX has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud, it may need to spell out the impact of the decision in its upcoming financial statements or risk violating SEC rules. [View news story]
    The best, and perhaps only, way that an American company can safely do business in Latin America, is through separately-formed, (and remotely owned) corporations, who lease or rent their equipment in turn from out-of-the-country corporations, and who disburse their income over and above expenses promptly to banks in other countries where legal proceedings are less corrupt, and less subject to the dictatorial governments.
    Jan 30 11:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron (CVX) says a former Ecuadorian judge revealed he and a colleague let plaintiffs lawyers ghostwrite their own $18.2B judgment against it in exchange for a promise of $500K. The bribery charge is new, and the ghostwriting charge is more sweeping and better substantiated than before. But CVX isn't totally off the hook, as the judge says CVX paid him for physical evidence he turned over. [View news story]
    It appears that the Ecuadorian judiciary could greatly benefit from lessons in honesty and integrity, matters apparently sadly lacking at present.
    Jan 28 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron: Lawsuit Will Weigh Heavily On Long-Term Value [View article]
    Unless required by treaty, courts of one nation need not respect or enforce judgments of courts of another nation. Since the government of Ecuador released Texaco from further responsibility, and serious questions about corruption within the court rendering the present judgment, Chevron properly contests it. I am, however, surprised that Chevron has not formed separate corporations in every country where operations are conducted. That way, its assets in other countries would not be subject to a judgment against the .local business. As for physical assets, they could be owned by another corporation, and rented or leased to the operating business, exempting them from liability for the operator's debts.
    Jan 7 11:15 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed is reportedly discouraging the top U.S. banks from making large acquisitions as it informally uses powers it received under the Dodd-Frank Law and attempts to limit the ability of banks to threaten the stability of the financial system should they fail. Those told not to make major purchases include Capital One Financial (COF) after its $9B acquisition of ING's U.S. online business. [View news story]
    A question: Should government bureaucrats, un-elected individuals, be allowed to dictate the business practices of corporations? It is but a short step from telling a bank "Thou shalt not buy..." to telling it, "You must buy this...". There is nothing in government employment that confers superior business judgment on that individual. We have laws to prevent cartels and monopolies, as well as collusion (anti-trust), which work well. Just how far into the business decisions of companies should the government be allowed to go?
    Think far ahead as to what this means, before agreeing or disagreeing.
    Dec 12 12:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    Having looked through the article and comments above, I conclude that whatever we do will have adverse results for America. Human nature will invariably find a way to twist any theory in the wrong direction.
    Dec 10 01:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    This Truth is understood by so few, especially politicians.
    Dec 10 01:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    Mr. John S. Gordon says Scandinavians are said to be the happiest residents of he planet. By whom?
    Dec 10 01:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keynesian Depression [View article]
    What economists ignore is the perversity of human nature. It will ignore their preaching and theories and insist on acting in the perceived best interests of each individual. This often is contrary to the economists theories.
    Dec 5 01:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    If the government can print all the dollars it wants, it has no need to take dollars from the taxpayers. What the printing of money does to the worth of each dollar it prints and those in the hands of the people is dictated by the unrepealable law of supply and demand. The result is an increase in the cost of goods and services to the buyers, i.e., inflation. (Note that the government is also a buyer). I am unable to follow Mr. Kramer's reasoning, so I will continue to follow my own.
    Dec 5 01:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    On December 3, Mr. Kramer replied to my post by saying, "How is lending $1000 to the US Government for 10 years at 5% interest different from promising the US Government you will not spend $1000 for 10 years if the government pays you $50 per year?".
    Point 1: I no longer have the $1000 to spend, the government has it to spend.
    Point 2: In my hands, the $1000 would be spent on goods or services, and that transfer would result in taxable income, a portion of which is paid to the government.
    Point 3: The $1000 spent by the government is not necessarily spent on production of goods and services that result in taxable receipts to a taxpayer.
    Point 4: The corollary is that a "promise not to spend" is counter-productive to the economy of the nation.
    Point 5: The $50 per year reduces my ability to spend (per point 2) significantly.
    Point 6: Lending $1000 to the government at least provides a reasonable return. "Refraining from spending" is counter-productive to the economy, the government, and my own best interest.
    That, to me, is a significant distinction between the two situations.
    Dec 4 03:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    As a simple taxpayer, I am completely unable to follow Mr. Kramer's argument that government bonds, and money owed to foreign nations, such as China, is not "Debt", but a denial of spending for a fee. If I borrow money, it is a "debt". Why government borrowing is different, is a conclusion which I am unable to follow. Perhaps Mr. Kramer would be kind enough to give us his path to that conclusion, in detail sufficient to enable the economic ignorant to follow it.
    Dec 3 03:55 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    "The six trillion owed to China is not a debt." The obligation to repay this sum exists, whether defined as "debt" or "money in stasis for a fee". The source of the money used to repay this obligation can only come from American taxpayers. This sum must be repaid, whatever label one chooses to place on it. "The name is not the thing".
    Dec 1 01:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Key Metrics That Show Why We Can't Avoid Recession [View article]
    There are only two places to hold cash, Banks, or a can in he back yard. Neither, these days, produces an acceptable return. Therefore, the only place where money "works hard" for the owner is in an investment. The answer, then, is to invest in a business that is "relatively" recession-resistant. I wish you extraordinary luck in such an endeavor, as the common sort won't be sufficient.
    Nov 28 01:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment