Nate Hagens on "The Reality Report" with Jason Bradford at Noon EST

Nate and Jason will be discussing the evolving credit crunch and its impact on our energy situation. (you can listen live...)

I think I'll have decaf before the next show...;)

The show got off to a bit of a slow start, but I thought you did very well. Since the radios station is geared towards a very small and local audience, it doesn't translate too well to a worldwide internet audience. But I enjoyed it.


The studio was freezing cold and I had to keep from chattering my teeth.

But...have already had excellent feedback from the program.

I'll get it on Global Public Media soon as possible.

Thanks again.

Gentlemen...outstanding show....I listened to the whole thing and really appreciate how the issues were tied together. I must admit however the notice or time between notification on The Oil Drum and the actual show might be longer next time...Respectful regards TG80

Thanks. Two weeks from today I will be on again discussing addiction, habituation and energy consumption - kind of a rehash of the ASPO talk. I will also have a post on this topic on TOD before that time.

This is the summary I prepared and read at the beginning of the program:

The basic premise for our show is that the U.S. and global economy will contract in the near future. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is a crisis of credit as a result of huge debt levels in the U.S., many of which are looking poor, including mortgage backed securities linked to declining real estate markets. Being bitten by defaults following cheap credit, banks will develop more stringent lending criteria, and likely require higher interest rates on loans needed to attract investment capital. At the same time, the Federal Reserve will probably work very hard to ease credit by lowering the interest rates it controls, such as the overnight lending rate of banks. However, lowering the cost of money by the Fed will probably lead to higher inflation through weakening of the U.S. dollar, which may also put a break on the economy since the U.S. has such a large negative trade balance. Thus, the Feds hand is somewhat tied compared to other historical crises. Furthermore, as more banks fold, solvent banks will be reluctant to take on the risk of debts from banks needing capital, effectively forcing cut backs in the number of loans being made. In summary, there is a real possibility of loss of market liquidity by either deflation, or an expanding money supply with inflation rapidly eating away its purchasing power.

The second reason for an economic slowdown is higher energy costs. It looks as though oil has peaked and so the price is unlikely to decline significantly absent an economic contraction. Historically, economic growth is highly correlated with energy consumption. Energy is literally the motive force behind economic activity, such as mining, manufacturing, transportation, residential and commercial heating and cooling, and food production. While efficiency gains have cut down on the energy required per unit of economic activity, there is no precedent for an economy responding to energy contraction in any other way besides economic contraction. The rate at which prices increase or shortages develop is critically important: slow and steady price increases that are foreseeable will be more manageable than rapid and unforeseen increases and shortages. In terms of the global economy, it looks as though current energy price increases have been unexpected by governments and businesses. Until recently, for example, the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy were anticipating ample supplies and low prices for oil and natural gas.

When the economy does contract, demand for oil may reduce. If demand reduction is greater than the depletion rate of oil supplies, prices will decline. This cheaper oil will signal to the market that alternatives to oil are not currently needed. On top of this, a contracting economy is a difficult environment in which to raise large sums of capital for sustainable alternatives.

When the economy does contract, demand for oil may reduce. If demand reduction is greater than the depletion rate of oil supplies, prices will decline. This cheaper oil will signal to the market that alternatives to oil are not currently needed.

This is my big concern about the interplay between our financial woes and peak oil -- that the economic downturn will mask peak oil, and interfere with the widespread public perception of it which is needed for any kind of sensible policy response.

For example, if the $100/barrel mark is reached in the coming weeks, I suspect it will be attributed to the weak dollar more than to resource depletion.

Jason, this is a very interesting question. The first thing to mention is that the world economy grew pretty quickly in the early 80's while global crude output fell. There was a lot of substitution and some significant efficiency gains.

In terms of total energy, there is still a lot of coal, lots of natural gas, lots of nuclear going up and Three Rivers Gorge as well, so I'm not sure that energy shortages will cause a global contraction in the near term. Down the road??

The most interesting thing I have read on the credit crunch is Ben Bernanke's book on the Great Depression. Theoretically, if A defaults on a loan to B, there is no net contraction in the economy just a transfer of wealth from one party to another (especially if the loan is nonrecourse or is discharged in BK). The question is why did the defaults of the early 30's cause real effects, i.e. people out of work and standing in bread lines? Bernanke's conclusion was that it was due to the failure of the financial institutions which served valuable intermediation roles in the economy.

The obvious conclusion one draws from the book is that Bernanke is just not going to let any major US banks fail, he views any such failures as too dangerous to the economy.

And the point is an interesting one, how do consumer loans really increase consumption if one person has to not spend to provide the money that is loaned? It seems that what is coming is more spending by the oil producing countries (look at what is happening in the Gulf and Russia) and less spending by the oil importers (except on oil), together with more spending by the Chinese and less lending by them to the US.

Perhaps this is wishful thinking. A global Great Depression will be most unpleasant.

I'm looking forward to the show being on GPM as I enjoy all your broadcasts.


The one-on-one borrowing/lending relationship you describe exists only on In the wonderful world of fractional banking, banks lend huge multiples of their capital bases. On top of that, you have off-balance sheet lending in the form of Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs) that add another layer of leverage. The best estimates are that the major bank' and investment banks' unmarketable, off-balance sheet assets ("Level 3") at Citicorp, Goldman Sachs and the other majors is double their capital bases. The Fed has no way to inject liquidity into these off-balance sheet funds. That's why Paulson is desperately trying, so far unsuccessfully, to create his Master Liquidity Enhancement Conduit. But the ultimate problem is beyond liquidity: It's solvency. The assets backing all the short-term paper that is now frozen are NINJA mortgages, credit cards with 18% APRs and seven-year car loans. Financial historian Martin Hutchison estimates the ultimate losses on these assets in a bear market at $1 trillion, or 7% of GDP - at the very least a deeply recessionary event. I wouldn't be surprised as this unfolds to see Helicopter Ben hovering over my house and the sky raining money, but I doubt it will help.



At the risk of sounding somewhat ridiculous, let me say , "Solvency is an accounting fiction."

You have two very nice ties. I like one of them and would like to wear it. I offer you one million dollars for the one I like, financing the transaction with a no doc loan with zero down, secured by a trust deed on the tie. This loan is bundled, sliced diced, and some of the best resulting tranches are placed in a SIV.

You take the million dollars in proceeds and realizing that your remaining tie, similar in all respects, is also now worth a million dollars, feel you can spend the million from the first transaction. You do so and benefit the economy.

Unfortunately, I experience difficulty making the payments on my million dollar tie when the teaser rate expires and my payments go from $2 per month to $6000 per month. Ouch. Plus, they are selling similar ties down the street for $50. All, in all, I decide to place the tie in the mail and sent it to the bank who is servicing my tie-purchase loan. Even Steven.

The marketplace of high-quality inexpensive ties is causing many people who also overpaid for their tie to do the same. The SIV investors get wiped out, and maybe the purchasers of the commercial paper issued by the SIVs also loose money.

But what difference does it make? Except that I now no longer own a million dollar tie, and you realize your remaining tie is only worth $50 not 1M. We feel poorer, but in reality nothing has changed except that you got to spend some of the money that formerly belonged to some poor schlubs who invested in a hedge fund that invested in an SIV. Their loss, your gain.

The real economy did not contract or expand as a result at all.

Moral of the story: a lot of people in these pages talk about how our economic system is founded on debt and that without ever expanding debt it will all collapse. I don't think that is true. The only thing that allows society to consume more is an improvement in productivity. Consumer debt is in virtually all cases nonproductive (compare: the vehicle that allows a worker to get to a factory). As a result, lending just transfers consumption in the present from one person to another at a price, and with a certain risk of default.

Of course, we Westerners have as a society taken debt financing to unsustainable levels and our lenders (China, Saudi Arabia) are about to cut us off. We will inevitably default. But what we don't consume in the future, they will.

PO is a problem, because it causes a dramatic decline in our productivity as a global economic system as what was once produced easily becomes difficult and expensive to obtain. That and we may end up nuking one another, which would result in a rather significant decline in productivity as well.

The problem occurs when people really begin to mistrust the whole system because of the kind of bizzarities you explain.

Without trust, liquidity breaks down, and without liquidity all kinds of transactions become difficult.

High transaction costs can result in low productivity as people a lot of time figuring out if the trade in goods via pieces of paper or IOUs is viable.

If oil has actually hit peak all time production, the price should be far above $100 per barrel. FAR ABOVE, and the "substitution" fuels such as nat gas and propane should be double where they are if not more. Pure and simple.


Jason, thanks so much for your summary, I appreciate the information.

RC, can you explain a bit about your statement? I'd like to understand your viewpoint better.


My logic follows as such:

Would we still have $100 dollar oil per barrel if:

(a) Iraq was at optimal production
(b) Iran was at optimal production
(c) Nigeria was politically stable and at optimal production
(d) Venesuala was politically stable and at optimal production
(e) Saudi Arabia was investing fully in maintaining optimal production, and had not been caught late in the 1990's on investment due to the givaway oil prices.
(f) Mexican development and production was being well managed.

So, now on top of all that, take off the 30% percent drop (more by now, I can't keep track) in the value of the dollar in the last several years which puts us back at $70 oil all by itself...

In other words, there are enough above ground old fashioned logistical issues to explain away the current oil price, with no need to resort to peak as an explanation. Likewise, the two cleanest fuels in the world, natural gas and LPG. By historical standards, they are high, but there has been NO effort to substitute them into the transportation mix, indicating that no one as of yet sees an emergency that justifies substitution. And again, if you take out the commodities increase/dollar decrease into account, they are simply not that high in price. In the 1970's, there was more effort to substitute LPG than we have seen now.

People often say "Price has gone up XXX% since the 1990's, a huge amount, that must mean peak!" And then in the next breath remind us that oil was massively underpriced in the 1990's! Think about that for a moment. Would some of the increase in price be simply to get back to what could be viewed as a rational level?

Now, time for the disclaimer: All of the above is NOT proof that we are not at peak. People often use price and production level as indicators either for or against peak oil. These are NOT reliable indicators. When the U.S. peaked in 1970, the price was at an almost all time low in the post war period.
In the late 1970's, production spiraled downward at a dizzying pace, one that makes the current "plateau" look like nothing more than measurement error.

When we get to true geological peak, on top of all the above ground and economic factors we have mentioned above, it is only logical to assume that the price will break to the upside to such an extent it will wash out the above ground/economic factors.

Rough guess would be a spike to $200 per barrel, falling back to about $160.

Then we would just have to see what the combined demand destruction/alternatives/substitution effect would be. We could also be sure that all of production that was possible would be fully funded and come online, but with about a 5 year delay, given lead times, even in an emergency push. We would finally get to see what max production would look like.

All the numbers above are nominal. If the dollar collapses more, they would have to adjusted.

That is why the high oil prices per se are causing some pain, but have not impacted demand greatly. If you take into effect the rising incomes since the 1980's, the rising prices in all other sectors of the economy, and the explosion in personal wealth due to the 1980's/1990's investment bubble, oil at $160 plus will be needed to seriously cut into demand, with one possible exception: If technical improvements enhance efficiency at a very rapid pace, we get "accidental" or "transparent" demand destruction, that is, for the same size/performance/comfort vehicles, the fuel economy increases, thus reducing demand. Don't laugh, it could happen.

Oh, one more see why you have to be cautious about asking me to explain my thinking! Sorry to go so long.....:-)


Demand destruction appears to be happening in some places already, though perhaps not in our neighborhood. How else could it not be since population has risen for 2 years while oil supply hasn't budged.

It is interesting to ponder what price level would cut use in the U.S., though Stuart has looked at travel data suggesting it may have just begun in the U.S.

I agree fuel is very cheap here, although given the income disparity in the U.S. even these "low" prices are causing low wage earners to cut back in other ways.

Though my circumstances have changed, I try to imagine myself as a college student to understand what it might feel like for the poor. I was really cheap because I had very little money in my bank account. But then again, I didn't have kids and felt sure my family would bale me out if I got in trouble.

The poor in the US are not going to college. They're riding a decrepit bike to their job where they do heavy physical labor for 10-12 hours. then riding home. Eating what prepared food they can ingest before they fall asleep on their plate. A shower generally follows right after work, since they're generally stinky and filthy from the work. If they get any college classes in, it's night classes which are as much a struggle to stay awake as one to get grades. The night class curriculum is generally less thorough than the daytime one, but accelerated so they're learning less stuff, but with a heavier workload. They're wirey and can lift their own bodyweight with ease, after all they do it or close to it all day. They're angry at a deep level, but are not sure why so they supress it.

I speak from personal experience. I try to know what I'm talking about.

This huge sector of the US populace will be the motive force in the coming Revolution. What can I say? Arm up!

Sorry, bit unclear....I was trying to recall what my life was like financially as a college student to understand how increasing gas prices cut into other expenses, not to imply that poor folks are going to college.

I was in great shape in college (wrestling) and am in pretty good shape again (farming manually). I too take my showers in the evening and during the main work season usually fall asleep soon after dinner.

"True geological peak" is only a theoretical possibility, i.e. in an ideal world, which provides an upper limit. Since we do not have an ideal world, the actual peak will be the logistic peak, which will always be lower than the theoretical maximum.

The idea there is a single point where all hell breaks loose is a myth. In reality the transition from cheap oil to expensive oil is a continuous function.

very succinctly put

In other words, there are enough above ground old fashioned logistical issues to explain away the current oil price, with no need to resort to peak as an explanation.

Roger, there always have been above ground factors affecting the supply of oil and there always will be. When oil reaches its very highest peak in production ever, if it has not reached that point already, there will be plenty of above ground factors keeping this country or that country from producing at their full potential.

I really don't understand why you think the fact that above ground factors, affecting the production of oil, indicates that we cannot be at peak oil. Be honest, do you really think all the factors you listed must disappear before we can possibly be at peak oil. That would be strange indeed!

Peak oil will be, or was, at that point where world oil production reaches it highest point ever, regardless of above ground factors.

However I agree with you on one point: Price is no indicator of peak. The price will only spike upward when the world becomes fully aware of peak oil. The fact that the market is in backwardation indicates that the market does not believe peak oil is anywhere in sight. There will be denial of peak oil, by both the people and the market, long after the peak in world oil production.

Ron Patterson

Well, it sure looks like oil production hasn't increased for a couple of years. And since oil is priced at the margin, most oil traders don't think very far ahead, and there is no government or business mechanism for pricing in future scarcity, don't we get the price at which demand is forced to match supply?

Anyhow, hopefully soon you can hear the whole program and see if you disagree with the details.

I'll put my 2c in and say I think most of the credit problem is sort of "underwater out of sight". My own creditors don't seem to have put 2 and 2 together and realized I'm now a bum who's never going to be able to repay their principal and interest, especially with the interest at 30% and more now. In fact I'm getting credit card offers!

I called on one to get my motorcycle, we got as far as myself saying "No, I don't have a cell phone, I don't believe in them" and that was that. I'm surprised the gal stayed on the phone through the no job etc parts lol. This shows how desperate the banksters are to keep money moving. I finally got the bike on a "handshake" loan which is thus utterly inviolate and will be paid by playing guitar (badly, sad to say) in front of Wal-Mart with a tin cup if I can't swing it any other way. But the bike prevents OTHER spending on gas, car insurance (which skyrockets if your credit is horrible) and so on, and in a way represents a contraction in the economy in itself.

I'm (not) proud to say that I'm a non-homeowner, and yet am responsible for "destroying" as many dollars as a lot of people in mid-America have to lose a house to do. Because I'm not a homeowner, I don't think I'm showing up in the stats. I'm going to venture to guess there are at least 50 million like me, all of those with huge college loans who can't get a job, types who went to "chef school" or art school for obscene amounts of money, those who started small biz's and ran 'em for 10 years without paying themselves first and tanked them, and so on. We're boomerang kids and the newly homeless and that new barista with age lines, and so on. And while we're not being counted, we are here. :-(

They can't stop sending you credit cards-- if they do the pyramid will crumble.
This is a superstition based economic model, and will only survive if everyone believes. As in Plato's Cave, some still believe the shadows are real. Some have come into the sunlight and we are starting to hear their screams.

Can a wood stove be modified to burn plastic?

If oil has actually hit peak all time production, the price should be far above $100 per barrel. FAR ABOVE, and the "substitution" fuels such as nat gas and propane should be double where they are if not more. Pure and simple

I disagree. At Peak Oil we start a permanent decline. However we do so from a point that is the highest production ever. At that stage of the game, small drops in demand would offset smaller decline rates and prices could decline, potentially a great deal. And if there is a recession or worse post peak, prices will drop, even years after the peak. (because its unlikely that people will admit publicly to peak until its well beyond the date - perhaps 5-10 years.)

We do so from a point that is the highest not only in oil produced, but also in the number of people supported by the oil-dependent infrastructure.

I humbly disagree with 710's statement. Peak people will probably occur 10 to 20 years after peak oil. A lot of things must happen before the human population starts to drop. People must get very hungry and that will not happen until many years after peak oil. Also there will probably be resource wars.

There is simply no way of predicting when the population will begin to drop but we know for sure that drastic things must happen to cause it, such thing as famine, war and perhaps even large scale diseases like cholera.

I know, such things are already happening in some places in Africa. But nothing is happening right now, on a large enough scale, to reverse the world’s population growth. Slow it slightly yes, but not reverse it.

All I am saying is there will be a delay between peak oil and peak people. How many years delay I could not even venture a guess.

Ron Patterson

I humbly disagree with your statement as well. :)

No, the 6.6 billion on this planet don't rely solely on oil. Coal, natural gas, nuclear are the other major players, but they mostly produce electricity, and some heat, and minor amounts of specialty fuels and industrial products.

In our interdependent energy system, oil is used for most of our transportation, trucking, flying, and shipping fuel, including fuel for the processes that enable the mining and transport of coal, the pumping of natural gas, the processing of uranium.

Oil is used for pharmaceuticals that treat everything from depression to disease.

Oil is used for cosmetics, pesticides, lubricants.

Oil is used for nearly everything made of plastic.

Oil is used for the asphalt the maintain an acceptable level of service on roads for transport and maintenance of everything we use, want, and need. The electric grid, food distribution, and servicing the water pumps and sewers all rely on drivable roads.

There are myriad points of failure in this complex, interdependent system, all due to shortages of oil.

Yes, there will be a delay between peak oil and peak people. I will venture a guess that it will be less than a decade. It will start among the billions of poor people who have few or no options when they are priced out of their cheap energy, or priced out of the necessities supplied by cheap energy (food, water).

On this topic, you might find interesting the post I've just made (as "RealThink") at Nouriel Roubini's blog, under the entry "Liquidity and Credit Crunch in Financial Markets is Back to Summer Peaks, Only Much Worse and More Dangerous" at

I just couldn't help doing that when I saw the advice being offered by a prestigious economist (Summers) who evidently is utterly unaware of the fact that the world is now hitting the physical limits to growth and of the impact that fact has on the economy, and thinks the keynesian recipes of 1933 can be used now just as then.

I might just be preaching in the desert, but who knows.


Professor Roubini wrote:

"This worsening of the financial markets turmoil has occurred in spite of the hundreds of billions of dollars and euros that have been injected in the financial system by the Fed, the ECB and other central banks and in spite of the 75bps cut in the Fed Funds rate by the Fed. This massive easing of liquidity – both its quantity and price - has miserably failed to stem a severe liquidity crunch "

However, it has admirably succeded in taking oil to $99 without any particularly bad news from Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, etc. It has also succeded in taking gold to above $800. Both outcomes being easily predictable if one is aware that the world is hitting the physical "limits to growth": in this new environment, "liquidity injections" serve only to increase the price of the critical limiting resource (oil) and to encourage the shifting of assetts to "harder" currencies (i.e. currencies that cannot be printed: gold).

Professor Summers conceptually wrote (from the summary in the spotlight "The dangers of a deepening crisis"):

"Maintaining demand must be the over-arching macro-economic priority"

For oil at least, the IEA October monthly report suggests that the problem is supply, not demand.

World oil total demand (actual and projected):
1Q06 2Q06 3Q06 4Q06 2006 = 85.4 83.4 84.3 85.6 84.7
1Q07 2Q07 3Q07 4Q07 2007 = 85.8 84.6 85.5 87.6 85.9
1Q08 2Q08 3Q08 4Q08 2008 = 88.3 86.7 87.4 89.4 88.0

World oil total supply (actual):
1Q06 2Q06 3Q06 4Q06 2006 = 85.4 84.9 85.5 85.3 85.3
1Q07 2Q07 3Q07 4Q07 2007 = 85.4 85.1 85.1

While the November report has slightly lowered the overall yearly demand projections from 85.9 to 85.7 for 2007 and from 88.0 to 87.7, it remains painfully clear that if world oil production does not experience a "surge" in 2008 (which alas no liquidity injection can bring about), the convergence of demand to supply will take place via much higher oil prices. I touched on this issue in

Sure enough, it is possible to still achieve economic growth in the face of stagnant oil supply via efficiency improvements. But even if tomorrow the government implemented draconian measures such as banning sales of all vehicles having mpg lower than a very high threshold, the timing involved in the turnover of the automobile fleet ensures that at least a decade would be necessary to see the results. And the oil supply/demand imbalance is next year, not next decade.

"Maintain housing demand to maximum extent possible"

Hubbert's Peak-aware economic analysis suggest the very opposite: further suburban and exurban construction whereby even more people become dependent on long commutes for everything (and further arable land is lost, which becomes a critical issue due to biofuels) is a real tragedy that must be stopped for its own reasons.

When our dollars wear out their welcome lots of people are going to move to the mines, farmlands, and the forests that are rapidly going to become balks and boards and pastures.
You think that the mortgage problem is going to go away with just inflation? What's going to happen when the people who are investing your retirement funds realise that some of those houses in the coastal suburbs are only good for people who don't have to commute to work? Who will be shopping once a week when their welfare or child support or social security or disability or (if they are lucky) their pension money comes in? When total rent and utility cost is the only varible that counts?
That's the bottom. When houses go for the cost of collecting rent and are abandoned when the roof needs replacing.
Kind of like the neighborhood I grew up in.
Ah well, our kids will think it's normal. I thought all the abandoned farmhouses and fields full of saplings were normal when I was a kid in upstate New York forty years ago, before my parents got divorced and the family moved to the rapidly abandoned neighborhood in a small upstate deindustrialising city. Before all the houses on our street except us, the McGues, and the Terrys, were abandoned and left for the junkies to strip.
Thank god that New York City was around to support the upstate area. If we had had to run our schools on only the taxes we paid, upstate New York would have been Michigan if we were lucky and West Virginia if we weren't.

Sounds a lot like Hamilton County. My dad said the house lasted just one year after the roof fell in from the snow. He was proven correct many times. The houses profoundly disappeared into their basements in just one or two seasons.

You can destroy almost any house or barn by cutting a 18" square in the roof--
Just sit back and watch it collapse in a few years.

I read the book (and interviewed the author) The World Without Us and it is full of yarns about how things fall apart absent people being around to maintain them.

The stories about petrochemical plants and nuclear power plants were the most frightening.

Hope this interview comes available soon too.

I know places where there are cement stairways all overgrown with forest, old foundations with nothing but leaves sitting on them, etc.

I guess we've all seen these places, really.

That's a great book from the sound of it, and I like the positive comment from Jim "Kuntsler" lol!

Great Book and also available from as an mp3 download.

I'm awaiting the show in MP3 format.

It's interesting that this week The Financial Sense Newshour is calling for a total collapse of the world fiat fueled economies.
Nov 23, 2007

Could it be that bad?

Has rampant capitalism, devoid of morals and ethics, brought about both a complete destruction of the commons (air, water, soil) while maximizing short term profits and consumption of materials necessary for our civilization? Is it just a coincidence or is this what rampant capitalism naturally results in?

My answer to "Could it be that bad?" is "Perhaps."

This is all so complex. The risks and uncertainties are horrific.

With respect to your second question "is this what rampant capitalism naturally results in?" I think the answer is more clearly "Yes."

Short-term, private interests leading towards greater wealth disparity will naturally lead to a destruction of the real wealth--ecological services, social cohesion, a sense of stability and security regarding basic needs.

Social cohesion will no longer mean the working class believing the oligarchs are their buddies. There will be more social cohesion, but it will be along class and tribal lines.

Yes, it can get that bad. Blaring in the top headlines on the Drudge Report is the fact that CitiBank, the largest bank in the US, has sold out to the Arabs. Now, you know how the rank and file in the US feel about the Arabs. There are demonstrations in front of Countrywide Financial offices, mainly by Hispanics wanting a handout because they're "minorities" so that's a double whammy - first anger at Countrywide, then anger at the handouts some groups get that some others do not.

It's all building, slowly building, into one hell of a head of steam. By now most of us know that in the US it's customary to pay people off about 5 days after Christmas and maybe if they're lucky they can get a job again in March or April. I forecast heavy layoffs this year. All this stuff just builds and builds......