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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Greece, Spain, Italy and now France


Thomas Pascoe

Thomas Pascoe worked in both the Lloyd's of London insurance market and in corporate finance before joining the Telegraph. He writes about the financial markets. His email is thomas.pascoe@telegraph.co.uk

Why France is on the road to becoming the new Greece


This is France, not Greece
The euro is headed south today against all comers except The Great British Krona (as FT Alphaville calls sterling) which is engaged in a nosedive of its own. The reason this time? Spanish 10 year debt is yielding 7.5pc, half of what it ought to yield but enough to spook markets not yet ready to face the inevitable deflation of what has long been a bond super-bubble.
This bubble is particularly evident in France. The debt levels which the country has are as unsustainable as Britain’s, yet its policies are more irresponsible and its remedies more restricted. Although it is considered a core country in the eurozone, France’s economic profile now bears more resemblance to Greece’s the Germany’s.
Public debt in France is at 86.1pc of GDP (146pc if ECB liabilities and bank guarantees are included). The projected budget deficit this year is 4.5pc, with France having exempted itself from the EU’s instruction to bring deficits down to 3pct by the end of the year.
These numbers are not unusual in the context of eurozone economies in general. What distinguishes France is the lack of political will to address them and, as a consequence, a projected debt to GDP ratio which would place it firmly amongst the PIIGS grouping,
2010 paper by the Bank of International Settlements – cited by economist John Mauldin in his brilliant recent dispatch on ‘hidden lions’ – sought to model the likely effects of three separate policy paths by European governments. These range in severity from governments essentially carrying on as they are, to the most extreme austerity the authors believe to be politically possible, a gradual downwards movement in government spending while age related entitlements are frozen.
The results are captured in the graphs below, which show public debt/GDP projections:
At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking that the authors had simply copied and pasted the French graph into the Greek column:
Even under the most savage of these austerity models, French public debt reached 200pc of GDP within 30 years. Using the baseline scenario, debt reaches 400pc of GDP in the same time frame thanks to an aging population, relatively high structural unemployment and perpetual over-spend in government.
The worst case scenario is not unique to France. Of the eurozone countries both the Dutch and Greece would fare as badly as France were the base case to turn out to be correct. Unlike France, the Dutch are able to exert significant control on their own destiny through austerity measures. The best case scenario sees Dutch debt under 100pc of GDP.
The figures also outline the extent of the British problem. Not only will current spending and demographic patters leave Britain facing a similar debt to GDP ratio to the French 30 years down the line, but interest payments alone would reach 26pc of GDP.
That said, the British and the Americans both have two options not open to eurozone France. Firstly, they can continue to print paper to honour their debts and thus sustain otherwise impractical debt payments. I suspect both will do this, although it will devalue the savings and wages of their citizens.
Secondly, both have the option of cancelling the bond issues purchased by their central banks using Quantitative Easing. In a stroke, this would reduce public debt back to less than 50pc of GDP. This is politically impossible for the eurozone given that costs and benefits would be felt very differently across the different sovereigns.
Japan, the other vitally important debtor state in the global economy, also has a get out which is closed to France. While its debt levels are out of control, its borrowing costs are low thanks to Japanese pensioners investing their life savings in government bonds. Irrespective of global demand, domestic appetite for debt will keep rates low.
France has access to none of these remedies – it must therefore rely on making cuts domestically. This is why the euro arrangement is so difficult for many eurozone countries – Germany will not allow them to 'cheat' in the way that Britain and the US are doing by debasing their currencies.
Enter stage left Monsieur François Hollande. At a time when France is in dire need of a plan to re-invigorate private industry, reduce spending and encourage the return of capital, the French have elected a man committed to driving capital from the country and increasing government spending still more.
Mr Hollande’s attempts to rectify the French problem have so far involved the following:
These reforms may have had some chance of working in the 1960s, when there were sufficient exchange rate and immigration controls in Europe to prevent the mass exodus of people and capital overseas. They have not the slightest prospect of working now.
Britain discovered, when it raised taxes on what it termed the ‘super-rich’, that these do not raise any additional income. The very wealthy now are too footloose to submit to any taxation regime they decide in iniquitous. Those who get hammered tend to be the mid-level operatives nearing the end of their career. The really big catch often gets away.
As it is, Hollande’s policies rely on the political view that Orwell believed he discerned in Dickens, the notion that rich people should be nicer and more amenable to taxation, and that were this the case all would turn out for the best.
This is not likely to happen soon. France’s economic course makes bankruptcy under the present system likely, her political course makes it inevitable. She is too large to be bailed out, but will eventually need to print currency to honour her debts. To do that she will need to leave the euro.
France's economy can and will survive for some time yet in its present form. The sharks are circling other bodies in the water, and until the bond markets make borrowing costs today's problem and not tomorrow's, the issue can be deferred. The time will come, however, when France's domestic inaction will translate into a break-up of the currency as a whole. The hour is not yet known, but the course seems set.

117 comments:

  1. Moody’s has lowered its outlook for triple A-rated Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable, in a move that highlights the dangers the core of the currency union faces from the eurozone debt crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You really do go broke slowly and then all at once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :)

      I didn't tell you so, Ernie did.

      Delete
    2. Why France is on the road to becoming the new Greece

      If we don't get a sane man in the White House, we won't be far behind.

      We're still in 'the slow' stage.

      Romney 2012!

      Delete
    3. And we're not 'too big to fail'.

      Delete
    4. Romney is an expert at creative use of credit and bankruptcy.

      He'd bankrupt the country ...
      ... to save it.

      GST Steel: a “Profitable Failure”

      Romney and Bain made millions from a steel plant that went bankrupt after Bain dramatically increased the company’s debt. Workers lost their jobs and promised health and retirement benefits. Because Bain underfunded the company’s pension fund, a federal agency was needed for a $44 million bail out.

      In 1993, Romney’s Bain Capital purchased a steel company and renamed it GS Technologies. To gain control of the company, Bain put up $8 million and quickly had the company take on new debt in order to distribute dividends back to Bain and cover new expenses – helping Bain earn back part of its initial investment.


      In 1995, Romney’s Bain had GS acquire another firm, adding over a hundred million in new debt. By then, Bain had forced the company to hold $378 million in debt, which was ten times the annual income of the company and “the company was not on a sustainable course.”

      At the same time, Romney’s firm was ordering changes that undermined safety and productivity at the company and installing people who knew little about the steel industry. A worker remarked, “When Romney and Bain came in, it was painfully obvious that they didn’t have a clue about anything to do with a steel mill.”

      From 1997 to 1999, losses at the company increased by 300% and it was clear the company could not survive.
      By the time the company legally filed for bankruptcy, Romney and his firm had made at least $9 million in profit. Former company officials said the mill, which had been operating since 1888, could have dealt better with market fluctuations if Bain had not forced the company to take on unsustainable debt.
      A finance professor remarked that using debt to pay large dividends to Bain left the company less prepared for a downturn.


      No clue as how to run a steel company, or a country.

      Delete
    5. "You've got to give Mitt Romney credit," ...
      ..."He is a job creator--in Singapore, and China, India. He's been very good at creating jobs overseas."

      Delete
  3. Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

    FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- The 17 countries that use the euro on Tuesday reiterated a pledge to maintain the stability of the euro zone after Moody's Investos Service lowered its outlook on Germany and several other countries with triple-A credit ratings. The decision "confirms the very strong rating enjoyed by a number of euro area member states, as supported by sound fundamentals which these and other euro-area countries continue to enjoy," said Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker, in a statement. "Against this background, we reiterate our strong commitment to ensure the stability of the euro area as a whole," he said.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Political will is all very well but balance sheets are very real and not the slightest bit amenable to King Canute type remonstrations by elite politicians.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What could possibly go wrong?

    (CNSNews.com) - By the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the new debt accumulated in this fiscal year by the federal government had already exceeded $1 trillion, making this fiscal year the fifth straight in which the federal government has increased its debt by more than a trillion dollars, according to official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury.

    Prior to fiscal 2008, the federal government had never increased its debt by as much as $1 trillion in a single fiscal year. From fiscal 2008 onward, however, the federal government has increased its debt by at least $1 trillion each and every fiscal year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. i got the popcorn...

    another pro-palestinian nation is burning down...

    cool

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here's the deal; two things must be available to have growth - available credit, at a reasonable rate, and affordable energy.

    Due to years of steadily increasing taxes on energy, most especially, petroleum products, Europe can no longer afford the gasoline/diesel needed to grow.

    They're hosed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having a decent work ethic would also help

      Delete
    2. Actually, Gag, if you looked into it you'd find that the S. Europeans work just as many hours as We, or the Germans.

      Delete
    3. Only because 22% 0f them are unemployed.

      The Germans won the war.

      Delete
  8. Add affordable food. Damn the ethanol subsidies. Damn the farmers. People gotta eat.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/end_the_ethanol_madness.html

    We need to turn 'big oil' loose to do what big oil does best, provide cheap energy to the masses.

    (this will get Rufus all stirred up - I can smell the ethanol fumes from here)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mr. Obama stayed away from any discussion of alternative energy at the fundraiser, except to say that his re-election would ensure that the government promotes “smart regulations … that are going to deal with issues like climate change.”

    Good plan.

    Fundie was attended by some of the Solyndra 'big wigs'. You know, the boys that brought you the 535 million dollar disaster.

    Reporters traveling with the president saw Mr. Westly juggling lemons, entertaining kids at the party.

    There is an apt image, if there ever was one. Perfect.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/24/solyndra-figures-attend-swank-obama-fundraiser/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $535 MILLION DOLLARS.

      One days worth of funding for the fiasco in Iraq.
      Not enough money to wad a shotgun.

      It's to bad that the solar industry has been left to the Chinese to exploit.

      Delete
  10. "juggling lemons, entertaining kids at the party"

    !!

    Bbwwaaahahahahaaarrrrgh

    ReplyDelete
  11. "The new energy revolution

    Margaret Wente
    The Globe and Mail
    Published Tuesday, Jul. 24 2012, 2:00 AM EDT
    Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 24 2012, 9:16 AM ED

    ...

    "The energy revolution is happening at lightning speed. We haven’t noticed yet because we’re so transfixed by all the bad news. The good news is that thanks to an astonishing array of recent oil and gas finds – which can be tapped by new technologies – the United States is becoming an energy superpower, capable of supplying far more of its own needs than before. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Green River Formation alone in Colorado and Utah contains more than a trillion barrels of recoverable oil. That amount is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves. Everything you’ve ever heard about peak oil is obsolete.

    This development is transformational. It will change the face of geopolitics. Abundant energy will also refuel economic growth. And the industry is already creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in rustbelt states that need them the most.

    Canada is part of the revolution. Our oil sands contain as much or more oil – recoverable with existing technology – as Saudi Arabia. Huge shale gas finds in northeastern British Columbia could supply the market, at current volumes, for a hundred years.

    ... "

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/the-new-energy-revolution/article4436783/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why bother? I respond, and a week later someone posts the same idiocy.

      Delete
    2. Vaclav Smil likes nuclear. Wind, and Solar are cheaper w/o the Fukushimas, and Chernobyls, and Three Mile Islands.

      He lights in on ethanol, and overlooks that the mathematicians tell us that at present Unsubsidized Ethanol is saving U.S. consumers over a dollar a gallon at the pump. That would be in the neighborhood of $130 Billion/Yr.


      He's just a Slovakian asshole that's constantly jabbering about stuff of which he knows dick.

      Delete
    3. .

      He lights in on ethanol, and overlooks that the mathematicians tell us that at present Unsubsidized Ethanol is saving U.S. consumers over a dollar a gallon at the pump. That would be in the neighborhood of $130 Billion/Yr.

      Rufus, please don't do that.

      That study you put up regarding ethanol saving us $1.09 per gallon was the absolute stupidest thing I have ever seen. Peer reviewed? It was worse than Mann's hockey stick.

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      He's just a Slovakian asshole that's constantly jabbering about stuff of which he knows dick.


      And once again, you miss the point of the article. The author wasn't taking on ethanol or any other of the alternative energy types. He was taking on people like you and anonomo-dr who like religious fanatics have lost all perspective on the subject and oversell the advantages and disregard the disadvantages of alternative energy, guys who actually believe there is something called free energy, who buy in to anything no matter how ridiculous (i.e. saving $1.09 per gallon) as long as it is printed in Clean Technica or Corndog Monthly but reject any sources that offer caution regarding or object to those claims put out by the various alternative energy industries or the people who depend on them, in fact, guys who reject or ignore data put out by the actual companies that they have just been praising, guys that cite sources like EIA when it suits them but then condemn the same source as idiots when they don't, guys who pull numbers out of their ass doodle some shit on a page and offer it up as proof, guys who take numerous small examples and imply they are a raging torrent, guys who promise miracles this year or next but then (ignoring all other issues, the economy, technical issues, commercial issues, speculation, geopolitical issues, political issues, NIMBY issues, culteral issues, and on and on) in a paranoid frenzy blame everyone and his brother including the government, farmers, the GOP, big oil, subsidies (except those on alternative energy), and the 'stupidest people on earth' as part of a grand conspiracy when the promises don't happen, guys who have one answer to all the problems in the world, guys who depict anyone who disagree with them or offers caution about cost or timing as boobs, crackpots, or paid-for-hire liars.

      Basically, the author was taking on those evangelicals who having rejected traditional religion but have found a substitute and guard its orthodoxy jealously, the guys who blindly follow anything offered up by their priesthood and categorize anyone who offers objection as ignorant, agnostic, or heretic.

      .

      .

      Delete
    5. No, Q; the difference is, I've studied this stuff, and he hasn't. He's just a journalist cum blowhard.

      And, yes, I sometimes use EIA Data; but I use it in knowledge of its weaknesses (eg Oil/Gas Production in Texas.)

      Delete
  12. Hang on Ash, the wrath of Rufus approaches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the peakers new mantra is mot a shortage of supply bit rather the cost.

      Delete
    2. It's both, dumbshit.

      But, for a grown-up to write about "Oil" from the Green River Formation is just plain stupidity (or, disingenuousness.)

      Delete
    3. Just because you say it doesn't make it true. Try offering up an argument supporting you assertion of fact.

      Delete
    4. Good God, man, we've been over that a dozen times. Just google Green River Formation for Christ's sake.

      Delete
  13. Tar sands mining operations involves clearing trees and brush from a site and removing the overburden soil that sits atop the deposit. As you can see in Figure 1, in Alberta this results in significant destruction of the boreal forest. The mining process also requires vast amounts of water, although much of it is recycled. However, Environment Canada found in 2010 that water quality monitoring in the region was lacking. Some scientists have raised concerns that the tar sands may be causing aquatic life deformities downstream. Kelly et al. (2010) found a number of pollutants downstream of the tar sands.

    "Canada's or Alberta's guidelines for the protection of aquatic life were exceeded for seven [priority pollutants]—cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc—in melted snow and/or water collected near or downstream of development."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There goes the fly fishing.

      Delete
  14. (Reuters) - Switchgrass, a crop touted by venture capitalists and environmentalists alike as a next-generation ethanol feedstock, yields about five times more energy than it takes to grow it, making the plant a far more efficient fuel source than corn, a new study said.

    In addition, the life cycle of the switchgrass ethanol -- which includes growing the crop, making the fuel, and burning it in vehicles -- emits about 94 percent less of planet-warming carbon dioxide than the life cycle of gasoline, said the study, published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yield of dreams

    In the hard, shallow soil of southern Alabama, Dave Bransby is turning cotton fields into swatches of grassland. Some Alabama farmers joke that there's no soil in Alabama to farm—two centuries of King Cotton and steady erosion haven't left much behind. Yet Bransby, a forage scientist at Auburn University, has found a crop that thrives there: Among the 19 research sites in the Eastern and Central United States raising switchgrass for the BFDP studies, Bransby's site holds the one-year record at 15 tons per acre. Those are dry tons weighed after all the moisture's been baked out.

    Convert that into ethanol, an alcohol that can fuel vehicles, and it equals about 1,500 gallons per acre. Bransby's 6-year average, 11.5 tons a year, translates into about 11,500 gallons of ethanol per acre. An added bonus is the electricity that can be produced from the leftover portions of the crop that won't convert to ethanol.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Back to the future

    At the turn of the last century, America's transportation system was fueled by biomass: 30 million horses and mules, give or take a few million, pulled buggies, hauled wagons, dragged plows. According to Ken Vogel, a U.S. Department of Agriculture forage geneticist helping develop and test switchgrass for the BFDP, replacing animal power with machine power freed up 80 million acres of U.S. land—land that had been used to grow grass and other feed for these millions of animals. Now, at the dawn of the next century, the wheel could begin to turn full circle. On millions of acres of farm land not needed for food crops, fast-growing energy crops of switchgrass—harvested and converted efficiently to clean-burning, affordable ethanol, methanol, or diesel—could once again supply vast amounts of horsepower.

    In short, biomass could bring back a 21st-century version of the prairie. And along with the prairie, it could bring a new crop to America's farms, a boost to U.S. energy independence, and brighter prospects for a clean, sustainable future. According to BFDP and its research partners across the country, that's a future worth cultivating.

    For more information, contact:
    Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    P.O. Box 2008
    Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6422

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cumulatively, USDA paid $10.6 billion—almost one-fourth of total direct payments from 2003 through 2011—to producers who did not, in a given year, plant any of the crop for which they had base acres.

    Specifically, during this period, producers cumulatively did not plant more than 633 million acres with the crops associated with their base acres in a given year.

    This amounted to an average of 70 million acres each year, or 26 percent of the 268 million base acres on average that are annually eligible for direct payments.


    $42 billion in direct payments to farmers NOT TO GROW crops.

    Makes $535 million to Sylantra peanuts by comparison.
    70 million acres lay fallow, enough to fuel the nation if the proper ethanol feedstocks were planted.

    The Farmers lobby is into being paid Federal dollars, not producing ethanol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      70 million acres lay fallow, enough to fuel the nation if the proper ethanol feedstocks were planted.



      Why aren't they planted?

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      The Farmers lobby is into being paid Federal dollars, not producing ethanol.

      The Federal Government has mandated that we use 30% of the corn crop for ethanol. It appears you have been been drinking more than your share.

      .

      .

      Delete
    3. The Federal Government has done no such thing. They have mandated the use of 15 Billion Gallons of Ethanol. The ethanol can come from Iowa corn, Brazilian Sugarcane, or grannies bloomers; it doesn't matter.

      What that has to do with farmers being paid not to farm I don't understand.

      Delete
  18. According to GAO’s analysis,

    ... about 2,300 farms, or about 0.15 percent of the 1.6 million farms receiving direct payments in 2011, reported all their land as “fallow,” that is, producers did not plant any crops of any type on this land, for each year of the last 5 years (i.e., 2007 through 2011), as allowed under the farm bill. These producers received a total of about $2.9 million in direct payments in 2011…

    In addition, according to our analysis of USDA data, 622 farms reported all of their farm’s acreage as fallow for each of the previous 10 years, from 2002 through 2011.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Farmers are, currently, being paid Not To Plant 30 Million Acres.

    That could be 30 Billion Gallons/Yr of home-grown fuel.

    Bob doesn't like this idea, however. He'd rather just go to the mail-box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tut, tut, haven't you read this is an ad hominem free zone you old geezer? Beides, you have even this wrong, I'm on direct deposit thanks.

      Delete
    2. How many Casinos does the Cherokee Tribe operate?

      I think at least eight, but am not sure.

      Do Cherokees get their cut in the mail, or direct deposit?

      Delete
    3. They must have "mailed" mine.

      Delete
  20. Looking to the future of renewable energy, it's clear that the world's most abundant organic compound, cellulose, offers the most promise. It provides the cellular structure for trees, grass and all things organic. It can also provide the energy to fuel our cars.

    Cellulosic ethanol's potential is enormous. With over 1.3 billion tons of biomass available in the U.S. for ethanol production, it's possible to replace millions of gallons of gasoline. The environmental and economic benefits will be equally impressive – and Project LIBERTY is just the start.

    According to the Department of Energy, 10,000-20,000 jobs are created for every one billion gallons of ethanol production capacity. Using this benchmark, we estimate POET's plan could create an additional 35,000-70,000 jobs.

    Biomass is available in all 50 states. We believe that cellulosic ethanol has the potential to be a 50-state solution to our energy problems. Further, biomass is available around the globe. Cellulosic ethanol has enormous potential to improve the economies of agricultural areas worldwide.

    Poet's first cellulosic facility will be producing in late 2013. It will be turning corn stalks into ethanol, and the left-over lignin will power the cellulosic plant, and provide most of the power for the adjacent 55 Million Gallon per Year Corn Ethanol Plant.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Poet's Project Liberty


    This is how we'll achieve energy independence - not through some idiot kerogen from marlstone (Green River Formation) nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Replies
    1. Well he's convinced me with that one. I have longed to have my electric bill skyrocket. I mean, shyrocket! I like the sounds of that. I'm not voting for some punk politician that just advocates any old usual rate increase, nope indeedy, I want my bank account busted!

      Join Rufus and I, and all other thinking Americans, in voting for Obama in 2012!!!! You too will learn the good life lesson of going cold in the winter, and O how it toughens the soul.

      (If it don't kill you)

      Delete
  23. If you go

    Here

    you will see that, while Global oil production was flat from 2005 to 2010, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and the OPEC Nations were increasing their oil consumption by Over 10 Million Bbls/Day.

    It had to come out of "Somebody's" ass; would anyone care to guess "whose?"

    ReplyDelete
  24. Obama cheated on his taxes. See details here -

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/did_barack_obama_underreport_his_income_to_irs.html

    Doubt AG Holder will prosecute, however.

    Seems like a simple cheat, not much to it, just don't report income.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Worked for Geithner, until it didn't

    ReplyDelete
  26. Le dialogue de la duplicité


    MikenPA

    The latest in a long line of exploding cigars for Team Zero.....no wonder Pelosi suggested dropping this whole tax return thing.



    shipley130

    Hahahahahha, Obama got a Leadership Stipend...Hahahahaha, now that is a waste of tax dollars!

    Crawdad64

    Since he leads from behind, would that be paid in arrears?

    gimmeliberty

    LOL! LOL! That may just be the funniest line on here...


    Fear+The+Voices

    Typical leftist... A tax for thee, but not for me! I thought it was "patriotic" to pay more in taxes..... I guess this is only true if you love this country and aren't a hypocrite hellbent on destroying it!


    Jim

    Just wondering what SSN he ran it under?


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/did_barack_obama_underreport_his_income_to_irs_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz21bTz5lIQ

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hot time in the old town tonight department -

    It was a warm and lazy night, the music slow and sad, not much goin' down -

    http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19094816/man-sets-head-on-fire-during-bar-bet

    Dude!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Jim

    Just wondering what SSN he ran it under?

    Like
    Reply

    Yesterday 01:37 PM
    10 Likes

    Tonyb

    Exactly Jim, he is being sued in Ohio for using a fraudulent SS#. The number was flagged numerous time before the Social Security Admin. shut the reporting of his number down. The SS Admin also said they never issued the number to Barack Hussein Obama yet the number appears on many of his Income Tax Returns and on Real Estate deals in Chicago. It also appeared on his fraudulent registration with the Selective Service. This guy now has three fraudulent documents and missing Passport information in which a man was murdered for looking for the Passport information.

    So Douglas Thompson, the questions should be about the Social Security number itself. All those fraudulent documents point in ONE direction, we have a Usurper in the Oval Office sitting next to the "nuclear football

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/did_barack_obama_underreport_his_income_to_irs_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz21bz3A4vx

    ReplyDelete
  29. More Hemingway quotes:

    All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened.
    Ernest Hemingway

    All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.
    Ernest Hemingway


    I think both of these are true, though the second only in a way. They are some stories that seem to come 'from heaven' do they not, as if the author simply transcribed what was already existing in someway, somewhere. Huck Finn certainly qualifies, as does The Old Man and the Sea. It was there to be taken and written, and someone finally did, when the time was right. And there are some experiences that can't be gotten anywhere else but in books.

    These are odd attitudes for a 'commie sympathizer' to have about books. You'd think such a guy would be spouting 'soviet realism' or some other such shit.

    All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
    Ernest Hemingway

    All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
    Ernest Hemingway


    These are both interesting too. Who hasn't felt that words these days have lost their meaning from loose use? But he says he has had the ability to always see them 'for the first time', in a manner as ancient humans may have looked at the world, naming the animals, for the first time. And at his best it certainly shows in some of his descriptions of landscape, circumstance, situation, emotion.


    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/ernest_hemingway.html#oFd8zf1m1x893SJD.99

    ReplyDelete
  30. Rufus II Tue Jul 24, 11:40:00 PM EDT

    "Good God, man, we've been over that a dozen times. Just google Green River Formation for Christ's sake."


    OK, did that. On firts Bing I got stuff that confirmed the size of the oil shale deposits as stated in that article I earlier cited and a bunch of stuff about fossils. Adding "oil" to search I narrowed it down to just the shale oil. Most all the articles I read also confirmed the size of the shale oil deposit in the Green River Formation and some talked about the environmental risks due to the aquifer below it.

    In summary the search confirmed the facts as stated in that article. You peakers are "moving the goal posts" ratching back the claim that there we have "peaked in oil production and are now in inevitable decline" to "it is more expensive to extract the oil therefore the world is doomed".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did your article mention that there is no "Oil" in the Green River Formation? That what you have there is a wax-like substance called Kerogen that requires intense processing to turn into anything resembling fuel?

      Also, did the article explain that the Green River Formation is NOT "Shale," but is a much harder rock that CANNOT BE FRACKED?

      Did the article mention that Shell and Chevron have been trying to figure some way to get that kerogen loose for 40 years with absolutely Zero Success?

      Did your article mention ANY of these things?

      Delete
    2. The bing search suggested that most development has not been undertaken because of regulation and environmental concern.

      A recurring theme in many of the articles is:

      "The Green River Formation contains the largest oil shale deposits in the world. The 213 billion tons of oil shale contain an estimated 3 trillion US barrels of shale oil, up to half of which is estimated as recoverable or about equal to all the entire world's proven reserves.[11] [12]"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_River_Formation

      It seems many think the oil is recoverable. They are currently recovering oil from the tar sands in Canada. The main point in all this is that the Peakers claim that the maximum rate of oil extraction has been reached is not true - there is much more oil that can be extracted.

      Delete
    3. There is NO Oil in the GRF. It is Kerogen. The processing to turn kerogen into anything remotely resembling "oil" is incredibly expensive, and energy-intensive.

      On top of that, no one has figured out how to get that kerogen out of the marlstone in which it's trapped.

      1/3 of the GRF is under Private Land. And, the Government will give you a lease on the Public Land for the asking.

      Delete
    4. Finally, it's not about Reserves; it's about Flow-Rate. And, the Flow-Rate of the World's oil fields has Not incresed since 2005 (despite a DOUBLING of the World Price for Oil. Don't be an idiot. I expect better from you.

      Delete
    5. It is you being the Idiot. There are many explanations for Flow Rates not increasing besides the Peak Oil Theory.

      Delete
    6. Not at $100.00/bbl there isn't.

      Delete
    7. .

      More nonsense.

      Today's prices are a matter of supply and demand, but not the supply and demand of actual oil, but the supply and demand of oil futures contract. The large banks control 25% of the futures market on oil. They don't do it to fuel their fleet. In fact, they will never take possession of a drop of oil. They do it as an investment and in doing so drive up the price.

      Of course there are plenty of other reasons, the relative value of the dollar, geopolitical issues, etc.; however, if banks were not allowed to hold commodity contracts the price of oil would drop dramatically.

      .

      Delete
    8. And, your proof of that last statement is . . . . . ?

      Delete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ash you are making some real sense. Feels good, doesn't it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jut remind Ruf once in a while that all he is doing is:

      juggling lemons to entertain the kids

      Delete
  33. Ash may be the only one here, well, Sam too, not being spied upon -

    http://rt.com/usa/news/nsa-whistleblower-binney-drake-978/

    NSA is spying electronically on everyone, article says. NSA whistleblowers confirm it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me


    [I]f you're still operating under the assumption that the earth's petroleum--or at least the cheap stuff--is about to run out, you're not going to thrive in the new oil era. Technology is making it possible to find, produce, and refine oil so efficiently that its supply, at least for practical purposes, is basically unlimited.

    --BusinessWeek, December 14, 1998

    That was the industry's story right before a decade-long climb in oil prices that ended with an all-time high in 2008. Only the oil industry would now have the audacity once again to peddle a story that it has gotten wrong for more than a decade as if it were brand new. Enlisting the media and its army of paid consultants, the industry is once again telling the public that oil abundance is at hand. And, what is doubly audacious is that it is promoting this tale as oil prices hover at levels more than eight times the 1999 low. Clearly, the industry is counting on collective amnesia to shield it from ridicule.

    The industry's purpose is transparent: To ensure that the world remains addicted to fossil fuels by convincing all of us that our energy sources--more than 80 percent of which are fossil fuels--don't need to change. It's a winning strategy even if the industry's premise is wrong since the oil companies still have huge inventories of fossil fuels underground that they want to sell at top prices. And, they are only going to get those top prices if government, businesses and households fail to convert to alternatives and thus remain hostage to fossil fuels.

    In a stroke of public relations genius, the industry recently sent one of its own, Leonardo Maugeri, an Italian oil executive, to moonlight as a "research fellow" at Harvard. It's hard to imagine a more prestigious name to use to propagate the industry's consistently overly optimistic pronouncements about oil supplies--even though we are told in italic type at the bottom of Maugeri's policy brief that "[s]tatements and views expressed in this policy brief are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs." Guess how many media outlets printed that disclaimer.

    Fool Me Twice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "or at least the cheap stuff--"

      remember when Plasma TVs cost 15k each?

      Delete
    2. Remember when Gold was $34.00/ounce?

      Delete
    3. .

      It's hard to imagine a more prestigious name to use to propagate the industry's consistently overly optimistic pronouncements about oil supplies--even though we are told in italic type at the bottom of Maugeri's policy brief that "[s]tatements and views expressed in this policy brief are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs." Guess how many media outlets printed that disclaimer.

      A perfect example of your myopic view of the subject.

      On the one hand, you excoriate members of the opposition for publishing 'research' out of well-known universities and decry the fact that Harvard stated the study did not imply endorsement on their part. Then you turn around and post here, numerous times, studies that do the same thing but support your side of these arguments.

      Even though I have called you on it before, you continue to bring up that completely flawed study (see your and my comments about it above) put up out of the University of Iowa that stated that without ethanol our gas prices would be $1.09 higher per gallon, a study that any college freshman that took Statistics 101 would know is bullshit, a study that was reprinted by the Department of Energy even though they hadn't reviewed the study and said they couldn't endorse it.

      The big difference, in your opinion, on the one side you have propaganda put out by the villains of 'big oil' merely designed to fool the 'stupidest people in the world' and on the other side, enlightened studies by eminent, what was your word above, oh yea, eminent mathematicians trying to bring light to a benighted world.

      As I pointed out in my post above, this stuff is your religion. You proselytize with the same fervor as the evangelistic Jesus freaks, and have the same tolerance for those who dispute your views as the Islamists.

      But take heart. If you keep eating that apple a day all of these 'benefits' you project may actually come about while you’re still alive, and as you are celebrating your centennial birthday you can look back and smugly murmur, "See, what I predicted back in '05 albeit a little late has come true."

      I mean given enough subsidies, mandates, and such, of course.

      .

      Delete
    4. Scares you to death, don't it Q?

      Delete
    5. .

      More nonsense.

      I have said right along that we will need every energy source available in the future.

      What I have dismissed is the optimistic estimates of how soon these technologies can come on line and produce the volumes we need, the bellyaching and blame games promoted by the advocates of alternative energy as excuses for it not happening fast enough, the faux science similar to some of the stuff we got with the global warming debate that is thrown out there and accepted without question by these people, and the pompous intellectually arrogant way in which these doofus characterize anyone who questions their assumptions.

      .

      Delete
    6. .

      Me bitch?

      Good lord, Ruf. Who is here every day complaining about the stupidest people in the world.

      Lordy.

      :)

      .

      Delete
  35. Meanwhile, in that Commie, Welfare Nirvan we call Germany:


    Solar is taking an increasingly prominent role in the German electricity grid, accounting for more than 40 per cent of energy produced on some sunny days, and matching well with wind, as these graphs from Bruno Burger of the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany below show.

    The first graph shows how Germany sources more wind and less solar in the winter months, before the tables are turned in summer. The second graphic shows the production of wind and solar compared to the production of conventional energy over the first six months of the year.


    Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1iUG9)

    Solar overtaking Wind in Germany

    ReplyDelete
  36. The GAO reports that the Federal government is paying for 70 million acres to lay fallow.
    Rufus says that it is 30 million acres.

    It is a substantial amount, regardless of which number is most accurate.

    Up stream Q asks why are those acres not cultivated...

    $40 billion in Federal payments to Welfare Farmers is the answer.

    ... the top four districts receiving the largest ag payments are represented by conservative Republicans.

    1. 3rd district of Nebraska (Rep. Adrian Smith - Republican) - $1,736,923,011 in subsidies go to 51,702 recipients.

    2. 1st district of Kansas (Rep. Jerry Moran - Republican) - $1,315,979,151 in subsidies go to 75,802 recipients.

    3. 4th district of Iowa (Rep. Tom Latham - Republican) - $1,288,622,912 in subsidies go to 35,696 recipients.

    4. 9th district of Texas (Rep. Randy Neugebauer - Republican) - $1,227,192,312 in subsidies go to 21,290 recipients.


    In Texas, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska Federal welfare payments to farmers are big incentives for the reelection of incumbents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buying votes, with taxpayer dollars and/or Chinese credit lines is good politics.
      Bad economics, but since when did politicians concern themselves with economics?

      Delete
    2. The GAO, and I, could both be right. I'm looking at the Conservation Reserve Program; they might be looking at a broader set of parameters.

      Delete
    3. .

      Nonsense, rat.

      It was only a couple of years ago you were telling us you could grow switchgrass anywhere, even on highway medians, etc. Rufus wants an ethanol plant in every county. You have government land throughout the west. If switchgrass is such a great deal, why aren't farmers, hell, why aren't the 13 million people currently unemployed out there growing switchgrass. Who the hell needs farmland?

      It's one excuse after another with you guys.

      The same government you decry for paying people not to farm are also mandating that 30% of the corn crop go to ethanol production.

      Get back to me when we actually start getting all our ethanol from switch grass and, as Rufus put it, other biomass and stop destroying food for gas.

      .

      Delete
    4. Production starts in 2013, Q. Although, I think BP's Florida facility will get there before Poet's Iowa facility.

      Delete
    5. Just because the "Powers that be" dislike change, does not mean there are not better ways of getting a superior result than those prescribed by the politicos in DC.

      The farmers lobby likes corn, likes to be price supported on the product it grows and likes to be paid not to grow it.

      ethanol from corn is not really economically viable.
      1.4 btu output for every btu needed to produce the product.

      Switchgrass produces 5 btu for every one needed to produce it.

      Which is one reason Argentina is moving to utilize it.

      The US is behind the curve, because of politics, not economics.
      The Socialist reach of the Federals grabs both of our major political parties.

      Delete
    6. It is ironic Anon, errr Rat, that you say:

      "The US is behind the curve, because of politics, not economics.
      The Socialist reach of the Federals grabs both of our major political parties."

      Yet you bemoan the Argentinians moving to utilize switchgrass while the US POLITICIAN do not. The implication of your stance is the you approve of the socialism (i.e. top down dictation) of the US pols but you simply do not like their choice.

      Delete
    7. I do not think so, ash.

      I am saying that there is a cleaner alternative to strip mining the "West" for oil, from shale.
      I am saying that the Argentines are beginning to develop switchgrass as a fuel source.

      I do not bemoan that the Argentines are doing so. I cite them in response to Q's remark about someone actually utilizing the switchgrass for fuel. I think that ethanol is 95% cleaner than oil from shale, especially on a carbon footprint basis.

      I do bemoan the Federal government paying $40 billion a year to Welfare Farmers for not growing crops.

      Delete
  37. The agency has already approved 17 large-scale solar energy projects on public lands that are expected to produce nearly 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 1.8 million homes. The department estimated the resource potential of the newly identified development zones at 23,700 megawatts, enough to power seven million homes, by 2030.

    Solar industry and environmental advocates reacted favorably to the announcement, saying it would mean jobs and renewable power for years to come.

    Interior Names Solar Hotspots

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Government estimates.

      Like excuses and assholes, everyone has one.

      .

      Delete
  38. Now the average Congressional District has...

    As of the 2000 census:

    Average population per district: 646,946 people


    Figure a little more than half are children or folks ineligible to vote.

    That brings US to 300,000 voters per District at the high side.
    The average farm receiving Federal largess has a multiple of voters concerned with maintaining the Federal cash flow.

    Let's put that number at three. It could well be higher

    In the 1st District of Kansas, that'd figure to be 225,000 voters, out of the 300,000 estimated.
    3rd of Nebraska, 150,000 voters.

    You get the idea....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Of course we do.

      One more excuse. When it comes to Kansas and Nebraska, they are enlightened utopias when it comes to producing ethanol. When farmers receive susidies for not growing corn, they are lazy stinking socialists.

      If it's not one excuse it's another.

      .

      Delete
    2. Not much corn grown in Texas.

      The complaint is that the Federals are paying folks to do nothing.
      When, if left to the market forces, they'd be doing "something".

      Just as Mr Romney was paid $100,000 per year at Bain, in 2000 and 2001, for doing nothing as CEO.
      It is a mindset. A cultural norm that is foreign to most of US normal taxpayers.

      Delete
    3. .

      Two different things.

      I am for doing away with all subsidies especially farm subsidies. When a good portion of the world is hungry, I should think farm prices could be maintained at a reasonable level while still producing as much as possible without negatively affecting the land.

      The big difference is that many who bemoan the farm subsidies readily accept the need for alternative energy subsidies.

      And you still have not answered my question about why people aren't out there busting the butt growing switchgrass.

      .

      Delete
    4. They are. BP is growing 20 Thousand Acres, I think it is, in Florida.

      You get into a real chicken/egg thing, here.

      Tremendous "Political Risk" with Republicans fighting you hammer and tong every day, and banks afraid to lend a farthing on a new technology that's going up against the most powerful industry (politally, And financially) the world has ever known.

      Delete
    5. .

      Thanks, Ruf.

      I'll add that one to the list.

      .

      Delete
  39. Ms Bachmann, a once a future candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination often decrees the "Socialism" that is permeating the United States.

    She forgot to tell US that she is a beneficiary of "The Socialist System".

    Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate her stake in the Wisconsin farm is worth up to $250,000. Her income from the farm has grown from $2,000 a year a few years back to as much as $50,000 for 2008.

    Bachmann's family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006.

    The farm had been managed by Bachmann's recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn.

    Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized — or "socialized" — businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls.


    Funny, that is one small family business that, as Mr Obama noted, didn't "do it" on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good news is that with the higher corn prices the last few years government subsidies to corn producers are down about 60%. What's left is, mostly, help with the "crop insurance" premiums, and that is being cut in the current farm bill.

      Delete
  40. This one is really going to piss some people off.

    youtube 3 1/2 minutes

    ReplyDelete
  41. Aw Gawd, Sunny, an original Obama support, is now living in her mom's basement, cause she can't find a job. O well, it's better than nothin' at all.

    http://houseofsunny.tv/2012/07/25/my-video-collaboration-with-republican-party-animals-will-knock-your-socks-off/

    ReplyDelete
  42. This election is starting to look like it could be the inverse of 2000 - Romney wins the popular vote, but Obama squeaks out the Electoral Vote.

    Romney looks to have maybe pulled slightly ahead in the "National" polls, but the "electoral" map is still looking problematic for him.

    It looks like "Ohio, Ohio, and Ohio."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does look like Ohio again as being of great importance. Rasmussen has Obama up by 2 there now. But Romney will pull it out, and go on win in a landslide.

      Delete
    2. There will be no "landslides" this election.

      There's more sunshine in Larry Kudlow's anal cavity than there will be between these two candidates.

      Delete
  43. There's a tsunami of gasoline headed for the U.S. Europe's been sending us about 700,000 bbl/day, but that's about to jump to maybe 1,500,000 bbl/day for the next month or so.

    I don' know "who" did it, or "how" they did it, but I detect a "whiff of Chicago." :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am for doing away with all subsidies especially farm subsidies.
    Quirk

    Of course you are, you and every other city slicker in the entire United States. But the Ag budget goes about 80% of it to food stamps and food aid assistance of all kinds, but you city shit kickers don wanna do away with THAT cause you don't want to starve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In short, Ruf is fine with ethanol subsidies and a casino cut, Quirk is cool with free lunches, and I want direct deposit for mine.

      Delete
    2. What "ethanol" subsidies? You must be thinking about oil.

      After all, newer cars are mandated to use 85% Gasoline, and older cars are mandated to 90% Petroleum product.

      Delete
    3. .

      More silliness from the two rubes.

      There is no federal mandate on gasoline other than that it contain 10-15% ethanol.

      As for the silly sod from Hicksville, ID, he offers up no objection to food stamps other than that someone other than himself is getting them. In other words, the "farmer" is telling us is "Don't mess with the farm subsidies. I want to continue to sit on my lazy ass and collect my baksheesh from the government."

      Priceless.

      .

      Delete
    4. Got it wrong, again, Mistuh Deetroit. There is no ten, or fifteen percent mandate. There is only a mandate for fifteen billion gallons (actually, the mandate for this year is a bit less - thirteen point one IIRC.)

      However, there is a mandate that newer cars, unless they're flexfuel, use a product that is at least eighty-five percent petroleum, and that older non-flexfuel cars use a product that is at least ninety percent petroleum.

      Delete
  45. Think back to 1999. The Dow is 14,500, or thereabouts, and the global oil price is around $13.00/bbl.

    Now, let's say someone tells you that in 2012 the Dow will be at 12,,700, but oil is

    $105.00/bbl.

    What would you say?

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'd say things go up and down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, I'd say "you're not thinking it through."

      Delete
  47. Here's a Cellulosic Facility that is supposed to begin production this year


    Unfortunately, I'm very skeptical of this particular company. It smells a bit "scammish." (some very strong companies have tried to do this very thing, and failed.)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Even with almost 13 million Americans looking for work and 8 million more settling for part-time jobs, almost half the 1,361 U.S. employers surveyed in January by ManpowerGroup say they can’t find workers to fill positions. At the same time, American employers are less likely than their counterparts overseas to invest in training, the Milwaukee-based staffing company reported last month.

    Companies have reported more than 3 million job openings every month since February 2011, according to the Department of Labor.

    To narrow the skills gap, employers are teaming up with philanthropies, governments and community colleges to develop a ready resource: their existing workforce. The practice, known as upskilling, builds on the “up from the mailroom” idea, the management philosophy that . . . . .


    3 Million Unfilled Positions


    Of all the things Republicans do, fighting, relatively inexpensive, retraining programs is, to me, the most inexplicable.

    ReplyDelete
  49. You've said that before and it's b.s.

    Here I sit in the most republican of all states and I can walk to retraining programs right over at LCSC a few miles away.

    There may not be a job when you get out however, unless you are in nursing.

    Speaking of retraining programs, reminds me to get a car we have signed up for the LCSC auto repair workshop. They take cars there, and I think ours will qualify, and the students and instructor go over them, labor free, you pay the parts. Done it three times, and been happy each time. Takes little time though, like weeks, not an overnight job

    Thanks, Rufus, for tickling my poor old brain on that!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Just because LCSC has a few retraining programs doesn't mean the Republicans haven't been fighting hard against those programs. Hell, they held the Colombia/S. Korea Free Trade Agreements up for years over the retraining provisions. It's okay to be a partisan, but don't be a blind one.

    ReplyDelete