the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Archive for January, 2009

Peak oil speculation…

Posted by ecoshift on January 12, 2009

Another gift from our innovative financial markets…

Those of us who may have had some difficulty distinguishing between the speculative run up in oil prices and the effects of increasing demand on the advent of “peak oil” — and that recognize the need for stable energy prices to encourage investment in renewable energy technology and development — will find the following two you tubes interesting. Though not necessarily definitive…

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60 Minutes – The Price of Oil, part 1 of 2



60 Minutes – The Price of Oil, part 2 of 2


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the black hole

Posted by ecoshift on January 3, 2009

This is a metaphor. Don’t get carried away…

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U.S. Debt Increase May Test Ability to Borrow

Posted by ecoshift on January 2, 2009

U.S. Debt Set to Soar in This Year – washingtonpost.com
$2 Trillion Increase May Test Federal Ability to Borrow

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 3, 2009; Page A01

With President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats considering a massive spending package aimed at pulling the nation out of recession, the national debt is projected to jump by as much as $2 trillion this year, an unprecedented increase that could test the world’s appetite for financing U.S. government spending.

For now, investors are frantically stuffing money into the relative safety of the U.S. Treasury, which has come to serve as the world’s mattress in troubled times. Interest rates on Treasury bills have plummeted to historic lows, with some short-term investors literally giving the government money for free.

But about 40 percent of the debt held by private investors will mature in a year or less, according to Treasury officials. When those loans come due, the Treasury will have to borrow more money to repay them, even as it launches perhaps the most aggressive expansion of U.S. debt in modern history.

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Milk glut?

Posted by ecoshift on January 1, 2009

As Recession Deepens, So Does Surplus of Milk – NYTimes.com
By ANDREW MARTIN
Published: January 1, 2009

FOWLER, Calif. — The long economic boom, fueled by easy credit that allowed people to spend money they did not have, led to a huge oversupply of cars, houses and shopping malls, as recent months have made clear. Now, add one more item to the list: an oversupply of cows.

And it turns out that shutting down the milk supply is not as easy as closing an automobile assembly line.

As a breakneck expansion in the global dairy industry turns to bust, Roger Van Groningen must deal with the consequences. In a warehouse that his company runs here, 8 to 20 trucks pull up every day to unload milk powder. Bags of the stuff — surplus that nobody will buy, at least not at a price the dairy industry regards as acceptable — are unloaded and stacked into towering rows that nearly fill the warehouse.

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Stimulus Won’t Include Earmarks

Posted by ecoshift on January 1, 2009

Biden Says Stimulus Won’t Include Earmarks – WSJ.com
By JONATHAN WEISMAN

Vice President-elect Joe Biden released new details on the incoming administration’s planned stimulus package, saying 85% of the three million jobs to be generated would be in the private sector and that no pet projects of lawmakers would be accepted.

Mr. Biden met Tuesday with the Obama administration’s economic team as they closed in on a final price tag and set of programs for what will be the largest economic-stimulus proposal since the Depression. The Obama team has been releasing details for a week, in an apparent bid to appear engaged as the economy deteriorates. Senate Democratic leadership aides said the package should be unveiled on or around Jan. 1.

“Without substantial policy action, we would almost certainly face the worst economic downturn since the Second World War,” Lawrence Summers, who is slated to head the National Economic Council, said ahead of the meeting. “That’s why it is imperative that we take action to maintain demand, to maintain jobs, to maintain incomes.”

President-elect Barack Obama has said the package — estimated to cost between $675 billion and $775 billion — will include a middle-class tax cut, large infusions of aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, and spending on bridges, roads, water projects, schools and energy programs.

Melody Barnes, director of the Obama Domestic Policy Council, said Tuesday that some of the funds would be used for preventive health care and health-insurance programs, to ensure that “those who are losing their employer-based health care are supported.”

Messrs. Biden and Summers said the stimulus plan would have measures to track spending on the Internet and ensure funds are spent effectively.

“There will be no earmarks in this economic recovery plan,” Mr. Biden said, referring to pet projects that are often slipped into spending measures by members of Congress. “I know it’s the Christmas season, but President-elect Obama and I are absolutely determined that this economic recovery package will not become a Christmas tree.”

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