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Author Topic: The Sad Truth in America
ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2008 17:07      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
May 23, 2008 08:12
Are there any Fatwas issued against Obama's life?

No.

The basic concept is that as president, Obama would do something (it doesn't matter how insignificant) to piss off Islamic extremists, and then they play the "apostasy card" (like make claims how Westerners drive faithful Muslims from Islam). Depending on the local culture, a Muslim leader might find the political backlash of associating with "THE apostate" too risky, or his security personnel might "fail to provide adequate protection" (a euphemism for turning a blind eye to attacks by hostile entities).
 
quote:
How much greater is the likelihood of being suicide bombed compared to US Presidents who are not apostates?
The problem comes from this (extremist) Islamic law: No Muslim may be punished for killing an apostate.

Depending on the local culture, attempting to investigate or prosecute assassins, their co-conspirators, or extremist groups involved in assassination, could be viewed as proof of "the anti-Islamic agenda of the West."
 
 
quote:
Regarding Obama's statement about fuel economy and your about low gas costs, they are both valid. But your response doesn't counter Obama's.
From what I know of gas prices outside of the US, I'd say non-Americans agree that low US gas prices are exactly what caused the American oil addiction.

Meanwhile no US politician (including Obama) wants to tell Americans to quit their oil addiction; therefore, decade after decade the politicians insisted that fuel-efficient cars were the solution. Everywhere else, gas prices were much higher -- these places now use far less oil (notice how they _bought_ fuel-efficient cars instead of just talking about them), even if they were close to American oil use (per capita) 30 years ago.

Now (upon "having to pay the piper"), US politicians whine "if only the previous politicians had developed the special technology" ... what a load of BULL-CRAP, the #1 "special" technology is called "public transportation" (and it's not secret).

I do believe OPEC is "price gouging" (Cartels do that kind of thing), but here's some commentary on suing OPEC (edited with a hatchet):
quote:
Back to this whole suing OPEC farce. This is a joke on many different levels.

First, reciprocity. If the US can demand that foreign oil producers increase their output, what's to stop them from demanding that we produce more of what they want?

Let's say Saudi Arabia loves American wood. They love it so much, that their purchases start to drive the price higher. But Saudi Arabia feels like they have a God-given right to cheap wood. Therefore, they demand that we increase production of our wood to bring prices back down. They demand that we overproduce our resources in order to meet what they would prefer to pay, so they threaten to sue and take us before the world court.

Why not sue the Dutch to make them produce more beer? I like Heineken.

The other problem ... blatant hypocrisy. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska probably has 10 billion barrels of oil. We tell OPEC to pump more oil -- then we refuse to touch our own, even to save ourselves.



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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 23, 2008 17:22      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<laughing-till-my-abdominal-muscles-invent-faster-than-light-travel-and-fly-off-to-conquer-the-klingon-empire>

Please ASM, entertain us some more.

Tell us all about how Dumbledor led 3 shiploads (The Nina, The Pinto, and The Santa Barbara) of your genetically-engineered Daleks to found a new settlement at Salt Lake City.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 25, 2008 18:28      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ASM Obama Islamist terrorists yadda yadda - yeah yeah whatever

On oil, I believe you are misinformed. OPEC does not of course set prices, though of course it exerts great influence by setting supply levels. However OPEC have not throttled back supply, and they claim to be baffled at the sudden price rise this year. There are various theories that attempt to explain what is happening, some believe that these price rises reflect real changes in the market, the rise of demand in China and India, that we may be approaching "peak oil". Others believe this is a result of the current volatility of the financial markets, that vast amounts of money that was invested in the equity market has moved into commodities, creating a speculative bubble. There was an interesting programme about this on Radio 4 today. Well worth a listen.

I sincerely hope it is the latter possibility, as the markets will right themselves. Otherwise we are heading for very difficult economic situation indeed, as in the short and medium term oil demand is fairly inelastic. If bananas become too expensive, we can eat other fruit, but you have to make your daily journey to work whatever the price of gas, so your spending elsewhere will be reduced, leading to a stagnant economy with significant inflation, or "stagflation" as it was called in the '70s. In this situation the central banks will not be able to set low interest rates to stimulate the economy, as this would conflict with their overriding duty to control inflation.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 25, 2008 18:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
There are various theories that attempt to explain what is happening, some believe that these price rises reflect real changes in the market, the rise of demand in China and India, that we may be approaching "peak oil". Others believe this is a result of the current volatility of the financial markets, that vast amounts of money that was invested in the equity market has moved into commodities, creating a speculative bubble.

If you have a look at the graph ASM helpfully provided, you'll see that the previous spikes in oil prices coincide with wars in the middle east. Much of the blame for the current oil price lies with the neo-cons who thought the invasion of Iraq was a good way to secure a reliable source of cheap oil for the west.

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 01:53      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
May 25, 2008, 18:28
There was an interesting programme about this on Radio 4 today. Well worth a listen.

I don't have time to listening to news; I read instead, so I used Google to find news related to what you mentioned about Radio 4.

quote:
RE: Oil Prices
There are various theories that attempt to explain what is happening. ... Others believe this is a result of the current volatility of the financial markets, that vast amounts of money that was invested in the equity market has moved into commodities, creating a speculative bubble.

Short summary: Financial institutions are the cause of the 300% (and more) rise in oil prices.

Futures trading created demand and at the same time lowered supply through contracts where oil can't be bought directly because the "right-to-buy-the-oil" was bought.

The (illusionary) demand created by "index speculators" almost equals China's oil demand increase in the same five years.
 
from an assortment of places:
quote:
"...There is substantial evidence that the large amount of speculation in the current market has significantly increased [oil] prices."
    -- U.S. Senate Staff Report, The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices, June 27, 2006

Hedge fund director Michael Masters points to data showing that over a five-year period, China's demand for oil has increased by 920 million barrels, while over the same period, index speculators' demand has increased by 848 million barrels.

Michael Waldron, (a bank chief oil strategist) was quoted in Britain's Daily Telegraph on Apr. 24 as saying: "[Oil supply] is outpacing demand growth."

Futures Trading Commission allow speculators to buy a crude oil futures contract on the Nymex by paying only 6% of the value of the contract. ... This extreme "leverage" of 16 to one helps drive prices to wildly unrealistic levels....

 
quote:
May 25, 2008, 18:28
I sincerely hope it is the latter possibility (commodities creating a speculative bubble), as the markets will right themselves.

[ohwell]   Hmmm ... that reminds me of Enron....
 
quote:
September 17, 2007

LEVIN INTRODUCES BILL TO CLOSE ENRON LOOPHOLE AND PREVENT MANIPULATION AND EXCESSIVE SPECULATION IN ENERGY MARKETS

    (WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, today introduced legislation to help prevent price manipulation and excessive speculation that are leading to high energy prices for U.S. consumers.

The bill targets energy commodity markets that are currently exempt from government oversight under the "Enron loophole," a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders, without debate, into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The "Close the Enron Loophole Act" would subject those energy markets to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight to prevent price manipulation and excessive speculation.

FYI: The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, or CFMA, was passed by the United States Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in December 2000, so blame Clinton if you like.



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spungo
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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 07:29      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Clearly ASM is right -- the recent oil price hike is due to Monica Lewinsky successfully beating back the armies of Roger Rabbit at the siege of Stalingrad.

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 08:51      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, ASM is half-right in this case.

When a market sees a large influx of buyers and money, prices get driven upwards by buyers outbidding each other. For those who buy early on and then resell at a higher price to the next buyer, it's easy money. Eventually you run out of buyers who will pay more, however, and the market either stabilizes (assuming the last buyers didn't overextend themselves buying on credit/margin) or collapse (if they did).

We've seen this process happen in the housing market and, as it collapses, the smarter, greedier investors are moving to what they see as more profitable investments. The dumber ones (i.e homebuyers who overextended their credit because they believed real estate would never go down and they could resell in a couple of years) were left holding the bills. Now that they can't pay, our economy is trashed. Yay for the free market! Let's deregulate some more shit and see how our economy fares, shall we?

The same thing is happening in the oil market, although the results won't be as severe. The war with Iraq helped trigger it by causing an initial increase in prices. Investors, looking for something more secure than real estate, saw a market that would offer good returns, so they jumped in and drove the prices higher. As the prices increase, more investors are attracted driving the prices higher at ever faster paces.

(this is all disturbingly familiar)

<crystal ball>
2007 was a record setting year for oil company profits. 2008 will be almost as profitable if not more so. We will hit the point where prices are a burden to a large enough percentage of the buyers, however, and demand at the pump will drop some. This won't happen soon enough to scuttle 2008 profits, but it will reduce 2009 profits.

Like most companies, however, oil companies like to compare their profits one year to the previous year and not to historical trends. Because of the dip, in mid 2009, the oil companies will start crying about lost profits. They'll have still made mountains of money, mind you, but they'll be focused on how much more they could have made. I fully expect the oil companies to be asking their well-paid congressional representatives to pass some tax relief measures for them in the 2010 budget.
</crystal ball>

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 09:54      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is a lot of speculation in all markets at this time. It is a rolling bubble. the housing bubble was actaually a manifestation of a global credit bubble. Now that it is crashing the players are looking for the next big thing, which has turned out to be commodities. Wheat, corn, oil. Oddly enough it is a death dance for the housing bubble. As the price of what people NEED rise (food,gas, heating oil,diesel) the amount left over to pay on the debt (credit card, mortgage, car payments,boat payments) which leads to more financial distress, more defaults, more forclosures. One other point about housing and how it ties into oil is commutes. Many people decided to buy an 'affordable' house one, two or more hours away from their work center cuz gosh n golly it is a nobrainer, real estate never goes DOWN! (ha) check out Maricopa AZ or Queens Creek AZ for the ex-urb nightmare, shoot look at the entire Inland Empire of California.


The problem with the skiyrocketing price of oil is separating how much is pure speculation driving the price up, how much is demand outstripping supply and how much is peak oil. There are two wild cards here regarding demand: China and India. Both have massive populations that the govt and the well educated are trying to pull up from subsistence level living to middle class, as defined by western societies. Cars, refrigerators, central air and heat etc for such a massive population will consume larger and larger portions of commodities.

I guess it will come down to decoupling. Some believe that the level of business and commerce around the world will not be affected too severely if the USA goes into recession/depressoin, others are of the opinion
that if the usa economically swirls around the bowl that it will take alot of worldwide production with it. Decoupling would not lead to much demand destruction while if we are all coupled and yoked together it will.

Also remember the banks, hedgefunds and brokerages are ALL facing billions and trillions of losses on the credit/housing implosion and are desperately trying to fill the coffers anyway they can, from fire sales of assets to gearing back up in the 'new' moneymaker bubble. It is also global. look at UBS losses, look at HSBC losses, look at china. China was one of the biggest investors in morgage backed securities, almost 12 billion i think is the figure thrown out. Iceland was burned, small towns around USA were burned.

(Small digression---Want to see fear? look at springfield mass that was rfunded their entire investment after Merril Lynch steered them to CDO;s that were inappropriate and the investmenst lost over 95 precent of value, look at Jefferson County ala getting ready to default on sewer debt funded by Auction Rate Securities sold to them by greedy brokerages)

I firmly believe that the days of cheap oil and cheaper gas are over. Even if demand destruction occurs say at 150 or 160 per barrel, what if it stabilizes for a longterm platueau of 100 per barrel?

Oh one more thing about the price of oil. The value of the dollar is steadily ereoding. It is a race to the bottom, the more those nice men bernanke and paulson devalue the dollar the less our debt costs. Oil is priced in dollars however so the less a dollar is worht the more of those devalued dollars it takes to purchase the same amount of oil. ha, strong dollar policy my butt.

so currency fluctuaions, speculation, surging demand, possible supply diminshmentand political and physical turmoil----taken together a pretty grim situation.

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 10:36      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nice post, YaYa. I already knew most of it, but it helps seeing it all put together.

I'll only add this: although the housing market is bursting (already bursted?) its bubble, it is known that over long periods (over 20 years), real estate is always a winner. Ok, let me rephrase that: most investments will show their true value when they are held over many years. It's the gambling investors, especially the amateurs ones, who lose money. Have a diversified port-folio, hold onto it, and your old days are safe.

(The rest of my post doesn't add to the discussion itself, so feel free to skip.) I've been thinking about moving out of my appartment-condo and into a house: no neighbour over to drive me nuts, no neighbour under to complain about me playing DDR! Plus, I'd like a backyard where I could grow more than a few flowers and vegetables than I can now on my balcony. And I'd like a little more living space. Well, I think I'm going to endure my cramped place a little more, and wait till the mortgage defaults get more common (although it won't hit as hard here as in the US), and buy one from the bank. Anyway, homes are still overpriced this days.

Added plus of waiting: with the price of gaz rising, it is expected that more people will look to buy close to downtown/working place, and my condo is very close to a governement building, and within 15 to 20 minutes of walk from an important office complex.

With my Smart sipping diesel, the difference of price could get me going for years. I'll be sad not to just walk to the bus stop and take one bus to work anymore, but I'd survive. Oh, and no way I'm going to buy a house with oil-heating system, unless it is so cheap I can affort to convert it. (Right, I had almost forgotten that: with a house, I'd have the opportunity to play with self-producing electricity. If only for the fun of it.)

(Well, there is another option: high-quality bigger condo with all-concrete floors and a common green roof. But those cost an arm and a leg; there is very little chance I could afford one on short- to mid-term.)

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 13:00      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
well on that buy and hold investment strategy when you look at averages over a very long time period yes it does smooth out the bumps. The troubble with that though is hitting a bump when your retirement years are approaching or have hit.

Demographics is the motor here. How many babyboomers have bought and held, invested in their 40k or roth religiously, bought the 2nd house or more house than they needed in order to fund a large portion of their retirement?

They all have the same investment strategy with the same exit plan, sell off the assets and retire with the income. Who are they going to sell to? By law when a retired person reaches a certain age their 401k must be liquidated. When an entire dmeographic herd is unloading, when the sellers outnumber the buyers, the price of said asset tumbles. Assets = physical such as house, land,etc and financial asset stocks, bonds ira's 401ks.

If the value of your investment holdings crash 2 years before retirement there is not enough time in the next upcycle to replenish it, hello working until the reaper calls you!!

Also figure in the median income of the area you live in. Historically 3x income has been the upperlimit of an affordable mortgage payment. Is your area anywhere near that? If not, it will revert to the mean, either slowly or crashingly or wages will rise to cover the gap. With globalization and outsourcing the average person's wage will not be rising that high quickly enough to make a difference.

You also need to factor in underwriting and percentage of loans in your area. If it has a high percentage of stated income loans, neg-am loans, adjustable loans or any combination of them then there will be a large dislocation within the next 3 years since credit standards are tightening and more traditional underwriting standards have come back into style, read 20 percent down payment, non-declining market, full documentation and honest appraisals. Keep working, save the difference between mortgage payment and rent now and build up a warchest. Then swoop in. wham.

Besides you also want the worst to be over so you can figure out which neighborhood tobuy in. Some look good now but are full of poser wannabes that will not be able to afford it longhaul and will wind up in forclosure, and a neighborhood full of foreclosures rapidly depreciates. Less people, less maintenance done, less value.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 14:09      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
They all have the same investment strategy with the same exit plan, sell off the assets and retire with the income. Who are they going to sell to? By law when a retired person reaches a certain age their 401k must be liquidated. When an entire dmeographic herd is unloading, when the sellers outnumber the buyers, the price of said asset tumbles. Assets = physical such as house, land,etc and financial asset stocks, bonds ira's 401ks.

Laws can be changed.
The law here in oz that's vaguely equivalent to the one you describe was changed a year or so ago, allowing retirees much more flexibility in how they manage their investments. If the phenomenon you describe becomes a problem, the government will change the law.


quote:
Also figure in the median income of the area you live in. Historically 3x income has been the upperlimit of an affordable mortgage payment. Is your area anywhere near that? If not, it will revert to the mean

 
In the last year, the market value of Casa del Druid has declined by more than I've earned working.

Am I worried about that?

Hell no.

I bought the house to live in, not as "an investment". As long as I'm living in it, the market value is purely theoretical, and I'll be living in it (or one bought in the same market I sell into) until they carry me out in a pine box. The market value is something for the druidlings to worry about after the reading of the will, assuming I don't disinherit them and leave the lot to Al Quaeda.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 15:58      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another link worth reading - Paul Krugman does not believe that speculation is the root of the problem.

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted May 26, 2008 17:51      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD the way you purchased and use your house is the very essence of sanity. If you plan on living your house for many many years and can afford the mortgage payment then yehawwww! Here in America since the early 2000 's people have been buying houses with no downpayment, stated income(they lie) and qualifying for only the teaser rate, not the fully amortizing payment. Without constant through the roof house price appreciation(hpa) there is almost no hope of sustaining home ownership after reset/recast of such a loan. Destined to fail from the moment the ink dried on the loandocuments.

On a conference call last year an analyst asked
Fitch spokespeople about their models for rating the mbs's, cdo's and other financial items. The fitch spokespeople admitted that with a level instead of rising hpa their models gave questionable results, and with negative hpa factored in the models broke down completely.

For those that can afford their mortgage until the end of their loan congrats! Others will fall to forclosure, short-sales and walk-aways.

EDIT: Here is a link to an article I started reading just after posting this. It is by James Hamilton of University of California, San Diego, titled Understanding Crude Oil Prices

http://dss.ucsd.edu/~jhamilto/understand_oil.pdf

He is also the gentleman behind the economics blog Econobrowser. Good stuff.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 05:09      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
TFD the way you purchased and use your house is the very essence of sanity. If you plan on living your house for many many years and can afford the mortgage payment then yehawwww! Here in America since the early 2000 's people have been buying houses with no downpayment, stated income(they lie) and qualifying for only the teaser rate, not the fully amortizing payment. Without constant through the roof house price appreciation(hpa) there is almost no hope of sustaining home ownership after reset/recast of such a loan. Destined to fail from the moment the ink dried on the loandocuments.

What pisses me off about it is that anyone with a heartbeat who can dress themselves in the morning saw it coming A MILE AWAY.

And it happened anyway.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 05:30      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
Here is a link to an article I started reading just after posting this. It is by James Hamilton of University of California, San Diego, titled Understanding Crude Oil Prices

http://dss.ucsd.edu/~jhamilto/understand_oil.pdf

He is also the gentleman behind the economics blog Econobrowser. Good stuff.

Blimey Yayawoman! I am in awe at the size of your brain! That link flies 30,000 ft above my level of comprehension.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 06:31      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_____________________________Callipygous & YaYaWoman, what that paper really says is that the Mrs and myself screwed up when we sold of a piece of property fifteen years ago that was surrounded by oil wells and we were mailed small checks, I imagine they are large checks now, S*&t win some lose some.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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ooby
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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 06:51      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@ASM: While speculation plays a part in the runup of oil's prices, it isn't the sole contributor. Part of oil's prices are reflected in its relative value in dollars.

Regarding Obama, if there's a way to evaluate the (suggested) added likelihood of Obama getting assassinated, then we can include that in an analysis. But for years and years, U.S. presidents have been able to anger extremist groups and 91% of them have lived to tell about it.

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 09:02      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Calli the math flies over my head, but as i read and re-read it comes closer and closer hahahaha. The parts that are good for me are between the math as he lays out (in a very educationalese) some of the pressures on oil prices, and where they come into play. I just keep re-reading and plowing along until some sinks in, but then again this is what i do for fun. This is a hobby of mine and I guess it shows when a topic like this pops up here and I keep blathering on. His blog econobrowser is good. Matthew simmons is also a very interesting read. He is an Investment Banker that has dealt with oil and oil investment over many many years. He is the granddaddy of the peak oil movement. His latest book is twilight in the desert here is a link

http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Desert-Coming-Saudi-Economy/dp/0471790184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211903453&sr=1-1

I havent read it yet, but his name comes up as one of the leading authorities on the subject in every discussion/article i read on the topic.

Drunkennewfiemidget

It was the money.Trillions of dollars flowing to and from blinded the ones who should have known, and soothed the dumb that didnt know. Real estate transfer taxes, development fees, impact fees, campaign contributions, commissions just a t the local level. Add in Wall st finding a way to slice and dice and then the Investment Bank greed steps in.

All i knew was something was very out of wack when people of my means or less were buying houses with wink and a nod. Shouldnt have been happening.

hahaha another small digression. I downloaded the trustee's report on the investigaton of Novastar financial's BK. 500 pg pdf, if anyone is interested ill share the link, but it is awesome! Slow reading, a few pages here and there but in the table of contents alone the words reckless, improper, implosion, lax accounting, and recovery of employee bonuses come up. whoohoo, figghting words in the stodgy land of accounting. Gives a good peek at the lax lending standards and shoddy oversight of the accounting firms in the housing bubble and bust. snicker

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 09:53      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
It was the money. Trillions of dollars flowing to and from blinded the ones who should have known, and soothed the dumb that didnt know.

Isn't that always the trouble? Good old greed?Manipulators cashing in, puppets paying the note. And no matter the number of laws passed, there will always be someone to find a new scheme, or a loophole in the law. People with no social consciousness are the reason anarchy won't be a viable option for a long, long time - if ever.

The new pope, based on the previous pope's work, made social abuse a sin (ecological abuse too, btw). It might be a first of a religion reacting faster than governements. When will we see an umbrella law that will make such abuse of a social system illegal? Oh! sure, it would be hard to enforce, but just to have a chance to nail those who create those schemes would bring some solace to the victims. C'mon, who wouldn't want to see the big banks pay a bit for pressuring the poors?

(Right, the big bank owners/managers have the money, and thus more weight in the political decitions. One can dream.)

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 10:12      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You should check out "The Giant Pool of Money" episode of This American Life.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 11:27      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ooby:
You should check out "The Giant Pool of Money" episode of This American Life.

Will do. I did a quick search about it (I knew nothing of "This American Life", and wanted to know what the "giant pool of money" was referring to), and it does sound very interesting.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 12:27      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ooby:
You should check out "The Giant Pool of Money" episode of This American Life.

So no one else must suffer through the horrible search on thislife.org...
This American Life - The Giant Pool of Money

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"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 14:53      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
It was the money. Trillions of dollars flowing to and from blinded the ones who should have known, and soothed the dumb that didnt know. Real estate transfer taxes, development fees, impact fees, campaign contributions, commissions just a t the local level. Add in Wall st finding a way to slice and dice and then the Investment Bank greed steps in.

I'm reminded of an office Xmas party (mumble) years ago, each department was asked to prepare a little act sending themselves up, and the accounting department based theirs on the Robert Palmer song Simply Irresistible

<sings>
♫We're simply irresponsible...

We're so blind, we don't know where the money went...♫
</sings>

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 17:22      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, so I've listen the show. Very instructive, and entertaining.

But what made me laugh was at the very end:

quote:
Suddenly, those US government treasury bonds, still near historical lows of one or two percents, are beautifully attractive because they're safe. They will never blow up like sup-prime CDOs.
Considering the state of the US debt, and that not so long ago, there were rumors on default of payments, US bonds may not be that safe. But - I have to be fair - with investors being so sheepish right now and the US economy in bad shape, there is little chance that the interest rates will go up. This could buy enough time for a new, more fiscally responsible, government to steer the ship away from the treacherous waters it's headed for.

Cross your fingers.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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Icon 1 posted May 27, 2008 17:34      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________ Stereo, I too have more than a passing interest in how markets work. So as I watched my 401K drop in value I moved the money out of stocks and bonds and into treasuries, it is growing not fast but growing, better than it was doing.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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