Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Light Goes on for Ben Stein About Goldman Sachs
"Goldman has a fascinating culture. It is sort of like what I imagine the culture of the K.G.B. to be. You always put the firm first. The long-ago scandal of the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation, which raised hundreds of millions just before the crash of 1929 to create a mutual fund, then used the fund’s money to prop up stocks it owned and underwrote, was a particularly sad example. The fund, of course, went bust.
Now, obviously, Goldman Sachs does many fine deals and has many smart, capable people working for it. But it’s not the Vatican....(Ed:??)
...Should Henry M. Paulson Jr., who formerly ran a firm that engaged in this kind of conduct, be serving as Treasury secretary? Should there not be some inquiry into what the invisible government of Goldman (and the rest of Wall Street) did to create this disaster, which has caught up with some Wall Street firms but not the nimble Goldman?"
Paulson Finds Bush's Treasury No Career Enhancer Like Goldman
Gulf Pegs to Dollar in Question
BBC on Sino/U.S. Economic Warfare
NY Times Series on Global Warming Trends
Ice Free Passage Possible in Arctic by 2010
Algae Emerges as Potential Fuel Source
It works particularly well if you don't have to breathe at the same time.
Manhattan Turns to New Jersey to Fulfill its Need for Electricity

19 comments:

BuckDevlin said...

Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring

Workers in China strike over rising food costs -- officials

What Will We Eat as the Oil Runs Out?

Fertiliser at a price – if you can get it

Low lake levels drain suppliers' resources

The Great Atlanta Desert?

Tyler Havlin said...

Russia increases local gas prices

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7127073.stm

In October, Russia's largest food producers signed an agreement with the government to freeze prices on a range of basic foodstuffs.

The agreement, due to run until the end of January next year, is aimed at curbing high food inflation hitting millions of low-income families.

Tyler Havlin said...

Warships head to Mediterranean in Russian show of strength

http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0%2C%2C2222581%2C00.html

The ships would conduct three tactical exercises with real and simulated launches of sea- and air-based missiles and make nearly a dozen port calls, he added.
"The expedition is aimed at ensuring a naval presence and establishing conditions for secure Russian navigation," said Serdyukov.

The naval expedition is the latest effort by president Putin to breathe new life into Russia's armed forces. Earlier this year, he ordered the resumption of regular long-range flights of strategic bombers.

Rice Farmer said...

Algae as potential fuel source -- Well, every little bit helps, I suppose. The problem is, people are being given false hopes that ethanol, algae, biodiesel, hydrogen, wind, solar, and what have you are going to replace oil. There are already insane discussions by people who think we're going to build while new fleets of PHEVs and stay on the road. I have seen no discussion on where the resources and energy will come to build a whole new fleet of motor vehicles, let alone repair crumbling roads and bridges.

A couple of posts I left the other day in that vein seem to have vanished into cyberspace, so I'll sum them up by saying that large-scale biofuel is going to die an early death because the industry will be starved for feedstock.

BuckDevlin said...

The CIA's Destroyed Interrogation Tapes and the Saudi-Pakistani 9/11 Connection

New Document Provides Further Evidence That Owner of Crashed Cocaine Jet Was a U.S. Government Operative

Water top concern for half million people in China's drought-hit areas

World faces food shortages

Cattle farmers cope with hay shortage

Tyler Havlin said...

I've been up here in Salem, Oregon the last few days and I managed to snag my uncle's recent copy of The Economist. Check out the cover:

http://www.economist.com/printedition/

Get those gardens started.

gaelicgirl said...

Here's a front page NYTimes article confirming the 'Export-Land Model' often written about at the Oil Drum:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/business/worldbusiness/09oil.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

FTW admin said...

nov 22 sent this link concerning a former italian pres' comments on 9/11

http://www.bostonnow.com/blogs/pitbullpimple/2007/12/04/exitalian-president-intel-agencies-know-911-an-inside-job

Rice Farmer said...

Major U.S. Airports Offering Flu Shots
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hcu5lPeSRWYygBUvYMfBv3fcwJOQD8TBG42O0

Tyler Havlin said...

Mortgage Bailout Will Hurt Homeowners in Long Run

http://www.smartmoney.com/home/buying/index.cfm?story=bailout&afl=myyahoo

Once upon a time in America, before the FHA, we didn't need the government to intervene in the decision about whether we should buy, or continue to own, houses. Amazingly, most Americans who bought houses at that time didn't need mortgages to do so. That's because prices were much more reasonable. Buyers who did borrow typically put 40% down and borrowed for five years. Those terms are unaffordable for most today, because while things like clothing, cars and food have grown more affordable since World War II, houses have become a bad deal.

Rice Farmer said...

Iran, China finalise two billion dollar oil contract
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iitKVhppHvh3Ny8YKJXxmFNbPtCw

Rice Farmer said...

It Looks Like Corn Ethanol Producers will be Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place in 2008
http://energytechstocks.com/wp/?p=614

Well, looky here. Again it comes down to the high cost of fertilizers, which is EXACTLY what I predicted. Along with the high cost of fuel, this will kill off modern agriculture. Get down to the garden center and buy your hand gardening tools now.

jwfearman said...

Ok so with food prices rising and the apparent inevitability of an economic crash, what is the best source of extended shelf life food that can be obtained on a low-income budget? Any ideas?
Possibly something that can be done sporadically as funds allow.

Tyler Havlin said...

Housing Charts: Genesis of a Crisis

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2007/12/housing-crisis.html

As this chart reveals, starting in late 2001, the price ratio of renting vs. buying broke out of a multi-decade range. Cheap money, and an apparent lack of lending standards put millions of renters into houses that, based on today's foreclosure levels, they could not service (i.e., afford).

Hence, the massive unwind as these home owners return to renting status...

Rice Farmer said...

You have various choices. Some that come to mind immediately are grains, canned foods, foods preserved by drying (if you can keep them dry), and pickled foods (if they can be kept in a cool place). I leave my rice in the unhusked state until just before eating. It keeps very well that way. If grains are kept dry and in a reasonably cool place, they will keep very well. Beans are also good. If kept dry, they can be preserved for a long time. Whole grains and beans are also nutritious. And how about miso?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso

Butch said...

Regarding the "teaser freezer" plan-- such as it is-- you have to wonder how the markets are going to like this. Those mortgages have been bundled into bonds, CDOs, etc. If mortgage rates are frozen, one of two things will happen:

a) The government will be robbed, again, the way it was in the S&L crisis. Why would anybody care about holding bad debt if Uncle Sam(e) is paying th piper?

b) Financial markets will be unhappy, to put it mildly, at the news. If a bank has built is costing around rate increases, anything that prevents those rate increases from happening will squeeze the bottom line. You will therefore get less credit because the bank either has to eat its losses post hoc, or because it will rein in future credit expansion to offset losses it anticipates as a result of legislation.

Then there is the whole question of contract law and transparency...

D! said...

Since we are all concerned about Peak, I have been researching opposing view points just to see if we are out of our minds. The most intelligent rebuttal towards Peak is the "Abiogenic petroleum origin" theory. The only catch, and what makes it seemingly a joke to me is that:

"There is no direct evidence to date of abiogenic petroleum (liquid crude oil and long-chain hydrocarbon compounds) formed abiogenically within the crust, which is the essential prediction of the abiogenic petroleum theory."

I mean, I had to make sure that Mike wasn't an undercover agent from the Club of Rome...

Rice Farmer said...

D! -- Abiotic oil has little going for it. Recently William Engdahl switched over to the abiotic camp, apparently on the strength of materials written by some Russians. But the proof is in the pudding, and AFAIK, abiotic oil gushers have yet to be seen. Further, hydrocarbons tend to break down at the depths and pressures cited as the source of abiotic oil. Richard Heinberg wrote something on this, although I can't find the link now.

D! said...

rice farmer - thanks for the feedback. i have been wondering about that theory due the abundance of material on it, and yet the lack of PROOF to support it. i will look for the heinberg paper.