DrumBeat: March 16, 2008

Deffeyes: Seven Deadly Sins

1. Thou shalt not drive an SUV at 70 miles per hour on the freeway, with the air-conditioner running, just to pick up a half gallon of milk at the grocery store.

2. Thou shalt not waste energy and water by enjoying long hot showers.

3. Thou shalt not vote for a presidential candidate who does not speak up about peak oil.

4. Thou shalt not read the writings of Michael Lynch, Daniel Yergin, Jed Mouawad, or ExxonMobil. Pray that they may soon recognize the Truth.

5. Thou shalt not oppose sainthood for M. King Hubbert. He'll be St. Marion.

6. Thou shalt not have more than four grandchildren. Blessed are they that leave no more than two grandchildren. (The Vatican has yet to approve this one.)

7. Thou shalt not grant priority to those who preach about climate change. Their hearts are in the right place, but their minds are focused on a lesser issue. Change is where it's at.

Change in gasoline consumption habits bigger story than oil prices

In today's environment, where headlines scream "Oil at historic highs" or "OPEC to leave production unchanged," we continue to believe that rising gasoline inventories should actually be the big story of the day.

Over the past six weeks the nation's gasoline consumption has decreased an average of 1.1 percent from last year's levels. The Wall Street Journal reports this is the most sustained demand drop seen in 16 years. We've noted weak demand figures from the United States numerous times and generally speaking, we feel this is a trend that will continue for sometime.

State Inc.

In the past five years, governments around the world have been transforming themselves into deal makers and business players on a scale never seen in the modern era. In China, state-owned oil giant PetroChina has become the largest company in the world, worth more than $1 trillion. In Russia, state-owned Gazprom has grown into the world's largest gas company. States are also wielding influence by directly buying into major private firms: The investment fund run by the Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi is now the world's largest, and recently spent $7.5 billion to become the top shareholder of the American financial giant Citigroup. Singapore's state-controlled wealth fund, Temasek Holdings, sank $5 billion into Merrill Lynch, the largest US brokerage. By 2015, according to an estimate by Morgan Stanley, such state-owned funds will control a staggering $12 trillion, far outpacing any private investors.

UAE says no extraordinary OPEC meet planned: TV

DUBAI (Reuters) - OPEC has no plans at the moment to hold an extraordinary meeting before the next scheduled meeting in September, the OPEC governor of the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday.

"Until now the (next) meeting is set for September. Before that there is nothing planned so far," Ali al-Yabhouni told Al Arabiya television.

Cheney to Mideast with 'rich agenda' on oil, peace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney left on Sunday for the Middle East to raise concerns about high oil prices, push Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and seek support for Iraq, where war began five years ago this week.

Shortages of energy, food worry Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The line for cooking oil was nearly a block long, just a few miles from the Parliament building. Saida Bibi elbowed her way to the front of the angry crowd shoving its way into the government food shop. more stories like this

She had waited in the line seven times for seven hours over the course of a week and left empty-handed every time. But with the price of cooking oil at most markets nearly double what it was at government-subsidized food shops, she had to wait.

'Higher gold price will minimise job loses'

Mining group Gold Fields, which last month said the energy crisis could cut long-term production by up to a fifth and may force it to shed nearly 7 000 jobs, has welcomed the higher gold price.

The company's spokesperson Andrew Davidson says the price is good for exports, employment and the economy in general and will minimise job losses.

Party celebrates book about fictional Washington County town

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Dozens of well-wishers crammed into the lobby of The Lofts Thursday night to celebrate the release of the new novel by Saratoga Springs-based author and urban design guru James Howard Kunstler.

"World Made by Hand," a 317-page novel takes place in a fictional Washington County town that he calls the prettiest corner of upstate New York.

"It's about what happens in a world after it runs out of oil," said local businessman Gordon Boyd, who is better known, perhaps, for his political run for city mayor in 2007. "Being an energy consultant, I figure I'd check it out."

State Seeks to Regain Recycling Momentum

Faced with mounting garbage and limited landfill space, state lawmakers have recently passed a series of measures intended to revitalize recycling.

“There is no question that New Jersey is poised for a recycling renaissance,” said State Senator Bob Smith, a Democrat of Piscataway and the chairman of the Senate Environment Committee. “We are very hopeful that two years from now we’re going to see New Jersey as the nation’s leader in recycling as it once was.”

Biodiesel may help the planet, but the price won't help you

Anyone thinking that the rising price of gasoline might make this a good time to convert to a "green" fuel such as biodiesel might want to think again.

The price of biodiesel has been rising along with the price of petroleum fuel.

Taiwan: EPA urges the recycling of food oils for bio-diesel fuel

Used food oils can be turned into bio-diesel fuel and alleviate energy shortages, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday, urging families and small businesses to join the fight against the energy crisis.

Oil Tank? More Like a Subterranean Monster

HOUSES, like people, tend to live double lives. They, too, have a visible existence and an invisible existence, a seen life and an unseen life. In the latter are those hidden systems, the pipes in the walls, the wiring, all that lies concealed between the sheathing and the Sheetrock. At our house, the most ominous of these unseen features is the oil tank buried just out past the porch.

Climate change confuses migrating birds

The swallows' return to British shores each year symbolises the passing of winter and the approach of summer.

But in a sign of the blurring of the seasons brought on by climate change, one of the birds has this year shunned migration to Africa and instead spent all winter in Britain.

Property plan's 'low carbon' goal

Improving the environmental performance of buildings in North America can cut the region's carbon emissions more than any other measure, a study suggests.

The rapid take-up of current and new technologies could save the equivalent of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by transport in the US, it concluded.

Shell to write off half of last year's reserves

Shell is to slash reserve figures from last year by more than half, taking about 1.3 billion barrels of oil off its books, equivalent to about a year's production.

Chief executive Jeroen van der Veer is also expected to say that production growth will be zero or near zero until 2010 when he gives the oil giant's annual strategy presentation tomorrow.

Hawaii: Rising oil prices spread beyond gas

"I think basically we need to get used to the fact that the days of cheap oil ended," Simmons said in a telephone interview. "I think we're basically in for some very dramatically different energy costs."

Oil dependency fuels crisis

Things are likely to get worse before they get better

Imagine the most hopeful scenario for increasing global oil supplies to keep pace with anticipated demand over the next few decades, and you'll likely still fall short of projected consumption.

The world oil price hit a new high of $110 (U.S.) a barrel last week, an 11-fold increase over the past decade. In the energy crisis of the 1970s, a soaring crude price spurred the discovery of new reserves and prodded consumers and industry to slash their oil consumption. The oil price collapsed and spent the last two decades of the century in the doldrums.

It's very different this time.

Record oil divorced from fundamentals-OPEC delegate

DUBAI (Reuters) - The weak dollar and the flow of investment money into commodities have pushed oil prices to a fresh record so more pumping from OPEC would have done little to stop the surge, a senior OPEC delegate said on Sunday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) left its output steady at a meeting earlier this month despite calls from consuming countries for more oil to halt the record rally. The price hit a fresh peak of $111 a barrel on Thursday.

"What can you do?" the delegate told Reuters. "Prices are completely ignoring the fundamentals of supply and demand. Even if we had increased (at the meeting), I don't think it would have changed anything. It is financial speculators, the weak dollar and funds driving the price."

Going after the oil companies still targets average taxpayers

As the Oscar-nominated film "There Will be Blood" chronicles well, the discovery of oil in Kern County in the late 19th century triggered a rush of greed, chicanery and, sometimes, violence in the region. Oil made the world go 'round, and the people chasing after it were not always the most savory of characters.

A century later, oil still gets Californians' blood boiling. Having built a society that is utterly dependent upon the stuff, we still hate it. Oil is dirty, ugly and bad for you. When burned, it pollutes the air and, best we can tell, is warming the earth. Our thirst for oil has entangled us in Middle East affairs we would be better off avoiding.

But oil also has made us fabulously mobile, transforming our society from a difficult agrarian existence to one in which we can drive across the state or fly around the world in a day. That mobility has helped create a dynamic economy that few of us would want to trade for a hard, monotonous life on the farm.

Iraq’s Insurgency Is Running on Stolen Oil Profits

The sea of oil under Iraq is supposed to rebuild the nation, then make it prosper. But at least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s largest refinery here is diverted to the black market, according to American military officials. Tankers are hijacked, drivers are bribed, papers are forged and meters are manipulated — and some of the earnings go to insurgents who are still killing more than 100 Iraqis a week.

“It’s the money pit of the insurgency,” said Capt. Joe Da Silva, who commands several platoons stationed at the refinery.

Protest against oil profits and war at Chevron's gate

RICHMOND -- More than 300 people marched from downtown Point Richmond to the Chevron refinery Saturday to protest the company they say is profiting from the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Twenty-four demonstrators were arrested for trespassing late in the afternoon after removing a police barricade, entering refinery property and linking arms, said Lt. Mark Gagan, a Richmond police spokesman. He said they cooperated with the arresting officers.

War's price tag

The war in iraq, which will enter its sixth year this week, is turning out to be the most expensive conflict since World War II, and the cost will fall especially hard on Californians. By the end of 2008, the federal government will have spent more than $800 billion on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (government accounts make it hard to separate the two). On top of that comes a mountain of future costs: caring for war veterans (to date, more than 1.6 million troops have been deployed), replacing the military hardware that is being used and worn out in Iraq and paying interest on the enormous sums of money we've borrowed to finance the war. All told, we estimate that the cost of the war will easily reach $3 trillion in today's money.

Cruise operators upbeat despite stormy economy, rising oil

MIAMI - THE global cruise industry is putting on a brave face as it sails into seas darkened by a faltering United States economy, a weak dollar and record oil prices, major cruise ship operators said at their annual convention.

The triple threat represents serious risks for the industry which has been blessed with dramatic growth over the past decade.

But cruise representatives are confident that the powers of globalisation and the opening of new cruise destinations such as Asia and South America can help them weather the storm.

The $16bn renewal of Lord Browne

Lord Browne, BP's former chief executive, was one of the oil industry's early advocates of the need to tackle climate change and invest in alternative energy; to go, as the mantra has it, Beyond Petroleum.

There is much talk about whether Browne's successor, Tony Hayward, is abandoning the Beyond Petroleum mantra. Browne, however, continues to bang the drum.

Mexico leftist seizes oil reform to drive comeback

A firebrand Mexican leftist whose 2006 presidential bid sent jitters through Wall Street is back, leading protests against energy reforms after a year in the political wilderness. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador jammed Mexico City with protest camps for weeks after the July 2006 election, claiming his defeat was rigged, but he then fell from the radar screen as President Felipe Calderon took power, pushing through laws and battling drug cartels.

‘World made by hand’ offers a glimpse into future

“World Made By Hand,” a new novel by James Howard Kunstler, is a view into the near future where the kind of lives we live in America today are only dim memories. I recommend you read it. It may even change your circumstances in that future world.

Edible landscape likely to become a U.S. paradigm

When a bus or train ride takes only a little longer time than driving, my extra productivity on public transit more than makes up for the longer travel time. Earlier this month, however, my ongoing experiment in traveling without my private car dragged a potential two-day trip out over three days, pretty much wiping out productivity gains.

Power cut closes down Iraq's biggest oil refinery

Baiji: A power cut shut down operations at Iraq's largest oil refinery on Sunday, officials at the plant said, adding it was unclear when work would resume.

A senior official at the refinery said, "This morning at 8:15 work at the refinery was stopped completely because of the shutdown of electricity."

The Russian dilemma

Investing in developing countries has its perils and as the Russian presidential elections put the former Gazprom chairman in the Kremlin, investors are beginning to notice that it is not only Stoli and caviar that Russia exports.

Over the last decade, Russia has increasingly exported resource nationalism, and Russia's political class has developed questionable under-the-table arrangements with politicians in other countries. These deals put Western companies at a disadvantage.

BP request for new air permit gets support at public hearing

HAMMOND, Ind. -- More than 1,000 people attending a state Department of Environmental Management public hearing on a permit for BP's planned $3.8 billion Whiting refinery expansion were told the permit will be granted.

Malta: Solar heating study at energy-saving apartments

In 2005, the Housing Authority launched a pilot energy-saving project at Tal-Ftieħ, Birkirkara. The aim of the project was to achieve better energy performance in building while promoting innovative measures that make the best possible use of natural resources without harming the environment.

Researcher: Discovery could end energy crisis

A Tifton agricultural researcher says he has found the solution to the world’s energy crisis through genetic modification and cloning of bacterial organisms that can convert bio-mass into hydrocarbons on a grand scale. The local researcher believes his groundbreaking discovery could result in the production of 500 to 1,000 barrels of hydrocarbon fuel per day from the initial production facility. The hydrocarbon fuel — commonly known as oil or fossil fuel when drilled — will require no modification to automobiles, oil pipelines or refineries as they exist today and could forever end the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, he said.

"Major emitters" tag upsets poor nations at G20 talks

MAKUHARI, Japan (Reuters) - Developing countries urged rich states on Saturday to be clear about funds to fight global warming and said the label "major emitters" for nations like India and Brazil was unfair.

Glaciers melt 'at fastest rate in past 5,000 years'

The world's glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began, threatening catastrophe for hundreds of millions of people and their eco-systems.

The details are revealed in the latest report from the World Glacier Monitoring Service and will add to growing alarm about the rise in sea levels and increased instances of flooding, avalanches and drought.

My coworkers sometimes debate whether or not to increase exploration and drilling activity in areas currently restricted.
I have explained that our generation is so wastefull and has been such a poor steward of natural resources that I believe we should continue to restrict drilling in areas currently off limits. Many understand what I mean when I use the "save some oil for our children and grandchildren" argument.

I agree with one exception. We should consider exploratory wells in ANWR before the pipeline freezes or is shut dond for other reasons. Onne the pipeline closes the ANWR oil, if any, will be lost forever.

"We should consider exploratory wells in ANWR"

I can't wait; I'm planning to go up there and chain mice elf to a drilling rig.


Joe Sixpack: "Oh hell no! By the time we're done with all that oil in ANWR, they will have come up with something to replace oil! It's them damn hippies holdin' us back!"

Or, "They've got it figgured out how ta screw us workin' folk into the ground!"

I've noticed that it's 99 percent always they, as in someone else -- someone else to blame, or someone else to solve the problem. Our society consists mainly of blame shifters. No one is responsible for their own actions, the fault is always externalized (and then litigated).

Too bad. We had so much potential...

Joe Sixpack is too easy a target, but the Corps are grateful that we give them this human shield..

We still have potential. (It may be all we've got, though)


NYT: Young urbanites, learning that dirt can also be soil, are using their overalls as originally intended

But the growing market for organic and locally grown produce is making it possible for well-run small farms to thrive, said Ken Meter, 58, who studies the economics of food as an analyst at the Crossroads Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy group for local food initiatives that is based in Minnesota.

“A lot of people in our 20s went to the land and wanted to farm and had a lot of enthusiasm, but not many resources,” he said. “It has only been the last five years where the payment from working your fingers to the bone and supplying urban markets with high-quality produce has been enough where you could imagine making a living.” Whether young, first-generation farmers constitute a flood or trickle is difficult to say. But many long-time observers of small farms say they have noticed an increase in recent years among college graduates who want to farm, even if they intern at established farms or rent tiny parcels.

ELP Plan (April, 2007)

I would especially recommend that you consider buying, perhaps with a joint venture group, a small farm, either currently organic, or that can be converted to an organic farm. In the short term, if nothing else you could lease it out to an organic farmer. Longer term, you might consider building or moving a prefab, small energy efficient house to the farm. If nothing else, this plan may provide a place of work for your unemployed college graduate.

I foresee real problems ahead for people trying to make a living off their investments--especially non-food and non-energy investments. Simply put, there doesn't appear to be nearly enough exported energy available to generate the economic activity to pay off the mountain debt in the US or to generate the projected stock market earnings. And if we ultimately end up in hyperinflation, what will be value of "cash?" Perhaps the best investment that many of us could make would be to buy and then lease land out to organic farmers, and then do a sharecropping arrangement--taking a share of crops as a lease payment (which could be sold on your behalf by the Lessee).

Perhaps the best investment that many of us could make would be to buy and then lease land out to organic farmers, and then do a sharecropping arrangement--taking a share of crops as a lease payment (which could be sold on your behalf by the Lessee).

My family has made a living doing this.

And being the bank, providing credit and selling on their behalf.

Call me crazy, but it seems to me
that would make a good key post !?

Bear in mind the possibility of non-linear climate change. Learning from history, I suggest any proposed land isn't the same area where the dust bowl occured - unless you want to produce solar electricity instead of food.

Another good post would be on PASSIVE SOLAR, instead of alllllllll the posts we get here on solar/wind electric power techno-fixes and gadgets, which will all accelerate oil depletion and only give us useless electric power.

"..only give us useless electric power"

Useless HOW!?

How, Cliff? Useless because people can safely post unbacked assertions on their electric computers, again and again? You just listed COUNTLESS the ways we use electricity in your MASSBLOCK of text yesterday. You seem to mean 'Doomed'.. but it's surely not useless.

If the grid is down (as you predict), but you have some electric tools, vehicles, refrigeration, communications.. and some local generation capacity.. does it not stand to reason that you would be using those tools to get to work solving the various problems you've got before you? Beyond that, Generators, Motors and PV panels all have track records that attest to their endurance FAR beyond ICE equipment, which means the effort put into making them was not likely wasted.

Passive Solar is great, as is direct solar heating, solar refrigeration, etc, and they do get mentioned from time to time here, but I haven't seen any suggestions for ways that Passive Solar could help us directly with transportation, save that it leaves fuel that 'would' have been in a furnace possibly available for a truck.. but that is 'Negawatts'. As I said, it's great, but it doesn't actually move the truck or the bus, while this 'USELESS' electricity CAN.

I don't actually object to your business aspirations, and don't necessarily agree with those who snark at you about consulting. I think that's fine. But your comments are getting down to 'junk' status as long as you insist on casting these broadsides and not sticking around to reinforce your point. It's become entirely trollish.


Crickets.. Crickets, I get.

only give us useless electric power.

Yea. You just keep thinking that.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy light, water pumping and communications with that 'useless' electrical power, Mkaytnksbi.

Aye. Me too. And transportation via my very cool (all-right call it geeky if you like) electric scooter.

Woah, and the price of oil is starting up again. Real shocker. On the back of a rates cut. Hmm. This fed thing is getting pretty predictable.

which will all accelerate oil depletion

how do they acclerate depletion? that's nonsense. very little oil is used in manufacturing and solar companies of all companies are the one's who have the energy. we should use the 50% of the oil we have left and use it as a multiplier like solar energy.


"So where's the funding scheme for Alt energy?"
first make the case that it is in fact a problem.

Seems like you have the alt energy 'case' all figured out.

Are you sure that very little oil is used in all steps to manufacture, sell, and maintain. Would you like to make a $1000 wager, with an independent referee as judge, that we both agree on. Seriously, are you ready??? I need some fast cash, and I don't mind taking it from arrogant types like you.

manufacturing is like 2.2% of oil use. at most we're talking maybe 15% of oil use to get it manufactured good's to people's houses. all that can cut through conservation or an economic downturn. meanwhile regular transportation uses about 40% of our oil. successful alt energy companies will have no problem manufacturing panels or wind turbines and etc.

Some use 100% renewable energy for manufacturing...

Hi john,

I agree w. the general direction of your comment. This topic would be worth looking at with detailed stats.

re: "regular transportation uses about 40% of our oil."

Regular transportation would be the way workers get to their jobs (manufacturing jobs) - and is your stat for manufacturing a global one?

Regular transportation would also include supplying and installing parts.

The larger point is that the economy depends also on people's wages, i.e., their having jobs...

There comes a tipping point when the input of renewable energy makes up for the loss in available non-renewable energy. It's not all of a sudden going to disappear. It's just going to begin to grow scarce and so people will have to turn to efficiencies and alternatives. If people need to, they'll carpool first, use public transport, or even bike. There are also some pretty useful all electric scooters available now.

I agree on your analysis.
The local farmers markets here in Marin are packed, with mainly young farmers, often well educated and making lifestyle decisions. They have become vibrant social gatherings, with music and art also, along with prepared food.
Sharing of good farmland with a arranged benefit for all is a model that will work.
I'm off to one this morning----


I didn't know that you are in Marin.

We're starting the process of getting a local peak oil taskforce going, as well as some other local initiatives. Please drop me a note at aangel ( a t ) inspiringgreenleadership ( do t) com and we can have a coffee together and compare notes.

Leanan, is there a reason the "contact other users" page (via private messages) is turned off? Was spam a problem at one point here?


Leanan, is there a reason the "contact other users" page (via private messages) is turned off? Was spam a problem at one point here?

I don't think that has ever worked.

There's a lot of features that we haven't enabled for one reason or another.

I encourage people to put their e-mail addresses in their profiles if they want other users to be able to contact them privately. I can't even contact anyone privately if they have not put their e-mail address in their profile.

Ok, thanks. If you are so inclined, you can turn on private messaging here:

Just click "Enable personal contact form by default." People then have individual control via their account page if they don't want a contact form available to the public.

It's a very handy feature...would you mind passing along the request to have it turned on? I don't see an email address to send this sort of request.

I have another question, but I'll send it to tech support.



While I don't necessarily disagree with your suggestion of buying land, I really believe that people have to make the effort to develop a "realistic" future scenario. We all recognize the risk in this since it is difficult/impossible to "know" the future. Yet, it has to be done. To me, it is not that much more difficult than preparing a business risk management plan. This can be as simple as playing a "what if - then what" game or as complex as including error bars.

Dimitry Orlov (sp) certainly offers insights as well some other writings on the Internet as to what happened in Argentina. There are also fictional works such as Jim Rawles' excellent book Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse that contains really useful information unlike Kunstler's crap (mentioned up top).

In addition, it may make more sense for many people with limited funds to invest in their own survival via reducing their energy needs while producing their own food. I've suggested the 1979 book, The Integral Urban House, on several occasions.

Finally, I'd also suggest that people take a look at Jeff Vail's Rhizome series. http://www.jeffvail.com


'Perhaps the best investment that many of us could make would be to buy and then leese land out to organic farmers, and then do a sharecropping arrangement--taking a share of crops as a lease payment (which could be sold on your behalf by the lessee).'

I like the idea WT but see a problem with it. All governments will soon be strapped for revenues and an easy tax target is property. Taxes will be increased to the breaking point for many farmers and small land holders. Making mortgage payments will become problematic. The large farm operations will probably be given preferential treatment (if they still exist), as they are now, by tax collectors. Home owners and commercial renters in many parts of the country are already feeling extreme tax pressure. Of course portablity is another issue. What if GW causes current rain fall patterns to shift and the currently productive farms are short of water?

I believe that better stores of wealth are to be found in commodities. Once economies stagnate and stabilize, commodities will retain value and not be as subject to price volitility and taxation if properly shielded from tax collectors. Of course there will be no revenue stream from stored commodities except on the sale or barter of the commodities. As an option I propose one store commodities now and use them as a bridge to the future, a bridge over troubled waters, when they will be useful in the purchase of a busines as opportunities are identified. The sought after future revenue stream might very well be a farm/sharecropper arrangement but storage of commodities now will provide more options in the future. By 'commodities' I mean those that can be held and transported by the owner, and shielded from tax collectors.

Re: property taxes: Most states have enacted some form of "use value" tax policy for lowering property taxes on farmlands. Farmland in Wisconsin pays pennies on the dollar compared to non-farmland. Minor increases in the tax due to higher "use values" (driven by ag commodity prices) could relieve pressure from non-farmers to eliminate this tax benefit (plus big ag supports the benefit, so it is unlikely to go quietly). Community land trusts are another vehicle for non-profit sharecropping- see:

Wisco, I realize the current tax structure is what it is...but, the tax structure is not chiseled in stone. Even if it were set in stone there are plenty of stones left to chisel a new tax code onto.

As various governments become more desperate for tax revenue collections they will change tax codes as they feel necessary. It certainly is not beyond belief that tax code can become confiscatory... it has happened in the past and forces more efficient land use. At least, that is the spin that the confiscators put on their actions.

As various governments become more desperate for tax revenue collections they will change tax codes as they feel necessary. It certainly is not beyond belief that tax code can become confiscatory... it has happened in the past and forces more efficient land use. At least, that is the spin that the confiscators put on their actions.

Look for an increase in the number of lawsuits by homeowners against county governments suing to have taxes lowered in proportion to property values.

In fact, look for the courts to be totally clogged with lawsuits of every kind as we waltz into the scapegoat finding phase of this 'project' we call the world economy.

With a little further thought, it may come about that county governments will be so strapped that there will be no realistic way they can administer the confiscation of land for taxes, much less doing anything with said land. The county government is already, in some cases, becoming the 'repository of last resort' for mortgaged property 'gone bad' that the banks don't want or can't handle. I could easily see situations developing where people continue to live in their houses without paying taxes because a dysfunctional county can't do much about it (can't even answer the phones...).

Wisco, as an addendum to my above post regarding changing tax codes...I have a couple of rental properties on beachside. I have been put up against the wall by increasing taxes in the last few years, and once I was the beneficary of low taxes. Once I made a small profit on rentals, now I am fortunate to break even. I am at the point where rents pay for repairs, taxes and insurance...if I do any needed repairs myself. If my properties suffer storm damage, as they have in the past, I will have to pay the large insurance deductable out of pocket. I am not whinning, simply pointing out how quickly tax collections can be changed by governments and place owners at risk. Perhaps my real world experience has caused me to favor the commodities stategy?

River - About the "store of wealth" thing.

IMO there are 3 main drivers for the wealth storage fallacy , health, education, security in old age (not necessarily in that order).

Storing wealth does not insure protection on those issues.

A focus on family and community does.

The elusion of storing personal wealth particularly isolates one from both family and community. (please don't dish altruism here as it has been debunked in other posts I believe. I have personally seen wealth break up families more often than not).

IMO we need to recognize this as another one of those detrimental messages that has been circulating through society and reexamine.

Few are willing to think of it this way as it implies giving up something (not true) and as peaknikers understand all too well nobody is going to give up an ounce.

This is why I'm a souper doomer.

Souperman2...If you had a family like mine you would not depend on them for anything. To say that they are dysfunctional is a huge understatement (excluding my wife, myself and our children). Anything that I have was gained by working my way through school on the GI Bill and very hard work for many years thereafter. I traveled the world working on HS Rail systems, mostly acceptance testing, for a large rail signal company in the US. I worked is some very tough environments, lived in places where cockroaches and centipedes were the norm, and carried a hand gun to protect the crew from bandits. I am 63 now and do not plan to throw myself on the mercy of 'community' for survival in my remaining years. My life experiences include a couple of communes back in the late 60s...Fun, but not survivalists. My childhood community were hard shell protestants that were narrow minded and selfish and I have no use for such people. In fact when I graduated from HS I was outta there and into the Navy for 4 years.

I am a biker and my community is the biker community. We participate in many charitable activities, raising money for the Conklin Center For Blind Children, handicapped children, down bikers, etc. We are a close knit group and when push comes to shove we look out for each other.

Because of where I live I have prepared for hurricanes for many years and have built up a store of supplies. There is little that you could mention that I have not accumulated, including a couple of years food supply. If need be me, my wife and my community can protect what we have without being dependent on each other. Coming to the aid of a biker that needs help is done without question but long term charity is not in the mix. Everone in my community understands the rules.

I do not want or have 'luxury' in my life and believe in being as independent as possible. I was riding bikes and saving gas, and collecting gold coins, before most on this board were born. I will not hand over what I own to enter some mystical nervana...But the thought of such a move gives me a good chuckle. Perhaps if you were my age, or were beneficary of my family and life experiences, you might have a different take on things. We all arrived where we are by different paths.

Hello River,

I mostly echo your comments above regarding commodities--Recall my earlier posts on various speculative methods for hoarding I-NPK before FF-depletion and I-NPK depletion gets too severe forcing the inevitable growth O-NPK recycling, hopefully by my speculative SpiderWebRiding Networks.

Basically, Farmland without I/O-NPK is like an SUV without gasoline.

Unfortunately, we can't just pour a ten-year supply of NPK into the topsoil: the soil is chemically overwhelmed; it can even be toxic to the plants. But the I-NPK can be safely stored.

If conditions change, the fertilizer can be moved to where it can be more productively used. In the olden days, millions of tons of organic bird & bat guanos, human bones, burned-tree potash, and Atacama Desert nitrates were laboriously hand-processed, then moved globally on sailing ships. I have posted many links on this earlier. If memory serves: Britain alone was importing 300,000 tons/year of guano at their importation peak before the discovery of I-NPK [No Pananma Canal shortcut either!]. Who knows how many additional tons of human bones were imported for soil nutrient replenishment?

Recall my earlier posts on instinctive animal territoriality: very simply, a lion pride has keystone title to their land, but they welcome the migrating and edible commodities of prey species, and the ecologic benefits they bring. Farmers may be considered the same in this loose context: because of their expertise, they may desire to retain title to assert principal control and decision-making over the land, but may welcome future-oriented I-NPK storage and their defense-oriented investors as outlined by my prior postings.

If the aquifer goes kaput [think Ogalalla], or the long-distance water supply breaks down [think Colorado], or regional drought sets in [think '30s Dustbowl, maybe the current SE?]: any farmer would agree that it is pointless to waste the NPK; just let the land go fallow and use the NPK elsewhere.

IMO, the govt or future warlords/thugs; basically those with no interest in farming/gardening due to their laziness and stupid, high future discount rates: they will be seeking any available food, not the NPK because of it bulkiness, growing time-dependencies, and huge labor inputs.

Yet, the timing window for this potential grain-grab is remarkably small; most of the growing season, before the grains headout and ripen, there is nothing worthwhile to eat. The farmers and associated I-NPK investors need only to repell those detritovore invaders long enough from the biosolar habitats to prevent them from gaining access to the grain silos.

Yep, it will be bloody, but then those deprived of food will quickly dieoff. If the biosolar areas have a prepared postPeak decisive advantage by the early stockpiling of wheelbarrows and bicycles for postPeak troop and supply movements, this can serve them well: recall my earlier posting where the Chinese leveraged this 'secret weaponry' into 300 year military dominance against those that did not have these human effort leveraging tools. Makes sense to me that they killed those who might have spied upon these behind-the-frontlines supply trains.

Skilled Earthmarine snipers can control huge swaths of land from the tops of grain silos and other highpoints. I believe the current global record for a confirmed sniper kill is 1.55 miles by a Canadian in Afghanistan. Most detritovore city gang-bangers, trying to cross a field to loot a grain silo or chicken farm, won't stand a chance in hell against a platoon of dug-in defensive snipers on the high ground. 'One shot, one kill' is the most fearsome weapon ever devised for face-to-face exosomatic combat once planes, tanks, and artillery are forever silenced by FF & mineral depletion.

Ok, enough for now--I live in fear of Leanan deleting my postings for length.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

High Bob, I want to thank you for putting me wise to how underpriced fertilizer was. I bought some stock in a couple of fertilizer companies and they have done well.
Recently the wife and I finished selling all stocks except the fertilizers and GE. We got out in the nick of time for we had about 18% of holdings in financials.
As you know from our previous discussions I used to shoot bench rest rifle competitions. It has been about 30 years since I did the bench rest thing but I still have a few rifles that are tack drivers. I sold my reloading equipment long ago but have lots of hand rolls left. I am not into shooting people and don't want to think about what it would be like. I suppose if my family were at risk there would be little choice but I don't see someone as a threat when they are hundreds of yards away. I don't have chickens but if I did I would probably give them a chicken or two before doing anything rash. I do have lots of canned chicken soup, chicken broth, chicken cubes, canned chicken...you name it. BTW, you are welcome to stop by for chicken any time. :)

Hi Jeffrey,

Thanks and...

1) Just a "pro-forma" counterpoint, before my questions...the President appears to have the power to actually take over just about anything, as per this article, (which I believe was originally posted here on TOD - but I can't find the link.)


Bush Makes Power Grab - And Response
posted May 24, 2007

President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive," with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

2) I like your idea, and I posted questions a while back that maybe you didn't see (or...?)

Question #1: It must be the case there are large tracts of farm land slated for the "conversion-to-suburbia" process, where developers have already purchased and are "on hold" just "waiting for the market" - to pick up. (In fact, I happen to know of at least one parcel - I guess it would be considered small-to-medium-sized - where the developers are doing exactly this.)

It seems parts of CA (Central Valley, for eg.) and TX are potential good locations to look for land in this category.

Likewise, given the stats on small farmers selling, there must be many conventional farms for sale (though haven't researched this lately.)

So, it seems like the first major requirement is there.

My question is: Where does one find potential investors?

From among the peak-oil aware? Or...?

Would it require convincing these example developers (see above) that their plans are for naught and they'd best go in an entirely different direction? But it's one with less immediate "pay-off" - yes?

And...attempting to *convince* people about the facts and/or economic implications of peak oil...? A questionable undertaking (in my experience), which seems like a tough pre-requisite for selling investors on an idea.

It also seems to me that people with sufficient funds to invest would have already done so - and/or have the capability to simply hire someone to do their own looking around - no need for other investors, etc. (?)

2) Where and how does one go about also finding the organic farmers who are educated, willing to move, and with a track record - to do this conversion?

Or, would you try to find investors (again, from where?) and then find, perhaps, a farmer willing to do the setting up and conversion process and not permanently re-locate?

3) If not too personal a question, is this something you've actually done or know of others who have done?

yes'em mam. I is a farmer an kan work hard fo you on your dirt.

please be responding az I needs to feed ma fambly and are willing to start workin all day and nigh fo u.

please tell me.

Hi soup,

Well, I thought of that, too. But thought I'd stick to WT/Jeffrey's idea and ask for perhaps more explanation. "Sharecropping" doesn't sound really appealing, does it?

(i.e., no need to get all sarcanol on me. Really. I got it before. Honest.)

"Sharecropping" doesn't sound really appealing, does it?

The better 'economic deal' is buying food items in bulk, then processing them yourself VS the effort that goes into making ones own food.

Yesterday someone was projecting 1 million Barrels/day ethanol production in 5 years.
I doubt that Corn Ethanol production will much exceed 500 thousand barrels per day this year, and not much more than that ever.
Current corn prices are $5.60 to $5.70 per Bu.
Ethanol yield of 2.72 Gal/Bu.
Current ethanol futures April at $2.47 and in Backwardation

N Gas cost is 35 cents/Gal based on $7 per MM Btu’s @$10 that becomes 50 cents/Gal
Non corn costs 23 cents/Gal
Chemicals 14 cents/Gal
DDG price is currently $160/ton with a yield of 17 pounds/Bu
117Bu/ton or 51 cents per gallon
Corn cost is $2.07/Gal

That provides @243 a 6 cent margin!
$6 corn will break ethanol production.

The US has already exported 2 billion bushels of corn this year and may export 3 billion a record even at these elevated prices. This years crop acreage is expected to be less than last years 93 million acres and may not reach 90.(USDA). What about a drought maybe and a lower than normal yield?
500 thousand barrels per day will require 2.8 billion bushels. So where do the hog, cattle, and chicken farmers get their grain? They bid up the price.

7.66 billion gallons requires 383 billion Cu Ft of N gas. Don’t expect NG to Avg. less than $10 this year.
The Ethanol investors need to pray for higher gas prices and a big crop yield.

How will Minnesota maintain its mandated and increasing bio-diesel blend?

Soy beans $14 and 60 pounds per bushel
Soy meal is $353 per ton 3-13-08

Meal is 44 pounds per bushel
Meal is 45 bushels per ton
Oil is 18% by weight
Oil is 11 pounds per bushel
SB Bio-diesel is 8.8 pounds per bushel 80% yield
SB Bio-diesel is 1.3 gallons per bushel

SB meal is $5.97 per gallon
At $14 beans are $10.77 per gallon
Add 50 cents for processing, facilities, labor etc.


Can you sell Bio-Diesel for $5.30? Not when the pump price for #2 diesel is $4
Perhaps another oil crop can be found. Burger grease is in short supply.
I suspect all grain price increases to rise faster than oil in the future. It sure has in the past 12 months.

Corn ethanol (negative EROEI) is the hole, the fossil fuel energy (wasted in producing ethanol) is the donut. Reality or illusion, take your pick.

On the subject of ethanol, I watched U.S. Farm Report yesterday morning and found the weekly commentary by host John Phipps to be quite an eye-opener. He's a farmer himself, but in reference to the increasing costs of fertilizer that is coming more and more from overseas, he referred to ethanol's promise of energy independence as a game of "economic whack-a-mole." He mentioned, in particular, the cost of DAP (diammonium phosphate). Some relief is in sight, however, as a huge new plant will soon add about 10% to world DAP supply. Where is this new plant that will help feed the ethanol boom and keep us moving towards "energy independence?" Saudi Arabia.

here's a link to additional commentary and details:

"I suspect all grain price increases to rise faster than oil in the future. It sure has in the past 12 months."

And when we say something is negative EREOI, the above is exactly what we mean:

The Inputs on neg EROEI will always cost more than the finished product.

When a critical mass see this is when the Non Linear New Paradigm
kicks in.

500,000 barrels of ethanol per day is about 21 million gallons per day as 42 X 500,000=21,000,000.

21 million times 365.25 days per year = about 7.67 billion gallons per year.

Federal law requires some 36 billion gallons of ethanol production by 2022 and of that they cap corn ethanol at 15 billion gallons per year starting in 2015. With recent ethanol production reported to be about 6 billion gallons per year taking 1/5 of the national grain harvest the new law might force almost half of the grain harvest to be converted to ethanol causing worldwide financial panic and a need for massive grain imports from a world where the United States provided 40% of the corn exports.

All these articles about inventors claiming to have technology to make cellulosic ethanol are not the same as large scale production projects. Most of these technologies have not made it out of the labratory and there is no large scale cellulosic technology in use, nor any that has been proven to be profitable without government handouts. Grain ethanol requires government subsidies in order to be close to ocmpetitive and there have been rumors of losses at ethanol plants as the cost of natural gas and corn were rising. Some new plants might be canceled. Ethanol law should be repealed and free market economy dictate whether or not biofuels are the solution.

If the United States alone were involved the current situation would be like a nightmare. As it is the E.U. has drafted legislation requiring renewables to be used and if they turn to biofuels by mandate, they might be hungry, but obeying the law.

I agree.


It's starting. First cellulosic ethanol plant with a capacity of 100 million gallons per year now under construction.


That's like 6,523 barrels a day...

It's the first plant of many...

The average size of a corn ethanol plant is 80 million gallons per year.

Think of it as a well that produces 6,523 barrels per day.

Aw shucks. Just for some more fun...


10 commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants (5-100mgy) under construction with 12 more in the pilot size (500k to 1.5mgy).

And the feedstocks vary from switchgrass, to biomass, to straw, to corn cobs, to citrus peels, to wood waste, to corn stalks. Pretty diverse feedstock base, wouldn't you say?

Most of these will begin operation in 2009, 2010.

Cellulosic ethanol isn't 5 years out anymore...

OK, I'm thinking now. :-)

Let's say C&C production has an 8% depletion rate annually and current output is at 73.5 mbpd. So we are talking about 5-6 million bpd to be replaced yoy. That means roughly 1,000 such 'wells' to be built each year worldwide. Aside from capital investments and building times, what are the input needs of 1,000 factories of this kind?

Is this plan feasible, even if it turns out to be working technologically? What's the EROEI of the process?

Well, the energy inputs are not oil so you end up with a net gain in liquid fuels regardless of EROEI. As for EROEI, the estimates range well across the board. In my opinion, most are padded to reach a predetermined conclusion. In short, we can all argue about EROEI until we're blue in the face and never come to any factual consensus.

We are never going to make up all the world's depletion rate with ethanol. But even with said rate of depletion actual production is not falling, currently, anywhere near as fast as 5-6 mbpd year on year. In the US, we just need to make up for some of the lost supply + efficiency gain + whatever gain we get from other new sources.

In any case, the more liquid inputs we have short term the better we will weather the crisis.

Well... I'm not sure about that. Conservation seems to be a better choice for you guys. Even if the inputs are in energy coming from other sources than oil, if EROEI is low the whole process is questionable at best. In case it turns out to be a net energy loser you shouldn't do it. Your coal production in BTU terms is not rising and natural gas is about to go into steady decline soon enough according to my understanding of the situation.

Even if you manage to build 100 plants of this kind in 3 years' time it won't give you much more than corn-based ethanol gives currently. It hardly makes a dent in your consumption.

IMO any policy aimed towards other than conservation in the short term will be disastrous.

US fuel ethanol production in barrels per day by month through 2007-2008 (EIA figures rounded to the nearest thousand):

January: 375,000
February: 386,000
March: 384,000
April: 391,000
May: 406,000
June: 418,000
July: 421,000
August: 434,000
September: 441,000
October: 452,000
November: 478,000
December: 489,000

January 08: 500,000
February 08: 520,000

Projected production by end of 08: 590,000

According to the EIA we are already producing more than 500,000 barrels per day of ethanol.

According to the RFA (renewable fuels association) there are 57 ethanol plants under construction as of March 4 which represents over 5 billion gallons of new capacity.


As for demand -- more than 4.5 million E85 vehicles are sold every year in the US.

"January 08: 500,000
February 08: 520,000

Projected production by end of 08: 590,000

According to the EIA we are already producing more than 500,000 barrels per day of ethanol."

Where is the EIA source for this?
I'm saving all your BS for a year, but I suspect you and the OD will be in the process of a long seperation by then.

As for demand -- more than 4.5 million E85 vehicles are sold every year in the US.

Yes and about 4.45 million have never used any E-85 and Never will.

And just for fun...


Ethanol is currently about 30 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline on the futures market. The same report showed increasing demand for ethanol in US markets along with profitability increases for the period.

OOOOOO, it's the "Just for fun game"

I wanna play. Let see at $3 per gallon that saves me hmmm 10%. Wow that's nice, oh don't forget ethanol is subsidized by the government. Well anyways.

According to this: http://i-r-squared.blogspot.com/2006/04/future-of-e85.html

A Ford Taurus, for instance, is reported to get 29 mpg on the highway running on gasoline, and 21 mpg running on E85.

So I get hmmm 8/29*100 = 27% less miles on the same amount of ethanol. WHAT A FREAKIN DEAL!!!!

The only reason so many ethanol plants are going up is cause those folks want to make money. It has NOTHING to do with saving the world, helping farmers, or any other reason. As soon as they stop making money, cause people figure out how to do fractions, they will move on to something else.

I like the just for fun game.

Some ethanol blends actually get you better milage:


As for making money, well, they should continue. We'll see how the chips fall one year down the road.

In any case, you wonder what the price of gas would be without those added 500K + per day?

Shortage maybe? Inelastic demand...

Oh and as for government subsidies... The government spent 2.5 billion to get a 5.2 billion return. Now that's money well spent.

Just for fun...

Here is the latest techno-fix: "Researcher: Discovery Could End Energy Crisis"


No, it can't end the Peak Oil energy crisis. Like all techno-fixes this one will use more fossil fuel energy than it will deliver. This techno-fix is not as bad as others in that it would deliver liquid fuels, not electric power. And like all techno-fixes, even if it would work, there is little capital and time to get it off the ground. When oil production drops this year, capital costs will soar and continue to climb as the price of oil soars, forever, until the the end -- terminal oil depletion.

I love it when they claim their one innovation will end the energy crisis. Given, it may help but they're going to have to put together some serious volumes even to make a dent. It took ethanol 15 years to get where it is now.

As for your death spiral, I don't completely agree. Yes, costs will increase but the incentive to produce will also increase along with the costs. We've got a window here. Given, pretty narrow. But we have one.

Re: Shell to write off half of last year's reserves

The reserve replacement ratio is expected to fall to about 80 per cent. This means that for every 100 barrels of oil the company produced last year, it found only 80 new barrels to replace them.

They can't find it and they can't pump it any faster.

One wonders when the Saudis will "write off" half of their reserves?

E. Swanson

One wonders when Osama and the boys will get the whole bundle. I read a few weeks back that 200 rebels were rounded up in KSA. I wonder what those boys were up to? What would make these young me rebel, knowing their terrible fate if captured.

Terrible fate is not a problem, death introduces them to Paradise

It's the torture before entering the kingdom of heaven, and that could last a long time, like an eternity. This is a well known in KSA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia

What would make these young men rebel, knowing their terrible fate if captured.

Probably a sense of abject hopelessness. If you aren't a Saud (or somehow linked with the royal and money crowd) your lot is pretty miserable in SA.

They can't find it and they can't pump it any faster.

Don't underestimate Shell's directors - their job is to maximise profit in an uncertain world.

Nobody (including Shell) can prove how big Shell's reserves are - but whatever thay are they need to be exploited at maximum profit and for as long as possible.

Most people don't understand that it is flow rates that are important, quoting falling reserves is the sort of diversionary tactic a magician might use - once OPEC controls the price Shell's most profitable flow rate might not be it's maximum possible rate. The flow might be limited by above ground events in Shell's boardroom, not geology.

OPEC may just be doing Shell a big favor - OPEC takes the flak, while Shell underestimates it's reserves and says they can't pump more (nobody other than Shell can prove otherwise!) maximising profits for all and doing the climate a favor at the same time - win, win!

Shell's problem was government seizure of portions of its oil reserves, not miscalculation. Venezuela and Russia took away its reserves. Nigerian violence cut off access to properties it once had access to.

The Russian dilemma
From the article

Mongolians would benefit from highly paid jobs and the infrastructure that would be developed in parallel with Oyu Tolgoi. The world would benefit from additional supply of scarce metals and from lower prices. Everything is a plus.

Yet, if the Mongolian government kills the goose that lays the golden egg - or turns the goose into the Russian bear - the circle of people benefiting from the super-mine will narrow. It will be a small band of politicians, "mongoligarchs", and their Russian partners, feathering their nests.

From yesterday's post by the_rage http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3737#comment-316918

I have a coworker from Nigeria, and I asked him why the rebels attack the Western oil facilities, etc. in Nigeria. He replied that you don't see attacks on Chinese oil companies operating in Africa. The Chinese model is to use trade and aid for oil - e.g. they invested $2 billion in Angola's infrastructure in exchange for oil exports. The Western model is more along the lines of bribing an official or two.

Personally I never heard of highly paid jobs and the infrastructure created by western oil and mining companies, but a lot of stories about officials they bribed.

Well, you have the Sakhalin example. Shell, Exxon etc. did nothing but trash the environment and the locals got a few crumbs. The current western MSM anti-Russian campaign is of the same quality as the Nazi crap from the 30s.

And the Russian government took no royalties. come on. The worst thing is the Russians think they should be allowed to buy Western companies when they shut off their home turf. They should be told some resipricosy is in order, otherwise go to hell.

The Sakhalin PSA was being abused by Shell, which was claiming that its development costs were skyrocketing from under 10 billion US to over 20 billion. The 3rd world PSA that Yeltsin signed off on at time the Kremlin was being run by Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and the other oligarchs mean Russia would not collect any royalties until the fictional development costs were covered. So which Sakhalin royalties are you going on about?

Spare the reciprocity crap. When Gazprom tried to invest in downstream natural gas assets in the UK it was politically blocked. This happened before the alleged mistreatment of Shell. When you get your chronology and facts straight, then maybe you will have an argument.

Google search of about 42 900 000 results for PAS yeilded such entities as:
Professional Sports Authenticator
Prostate-Specific Antigen
Photographic Society of America
Production Services Associates
Public Service Announcements
Professional Skaters Association
I didn't to page two.

Hi Roy,

My guess is "petroleum service agreement", though attempting to look it up, it may also be "professional service agreement" about petroleum.

And the Russian government took no royalties. come on. The worst thing is the Russians think they should be allowed to buy Western companies when they shut off their home turf. They should be told some resipricosy is in order, otherwise go to hell.

Apparently someone in the Russian government took bribes in 1991-1994. It would be nice if Shell named who and how much was paid.
Russia was to get no royalties until 2020.

Russia is planning to buy Western companies for a fair price not to bribe Western officials and after that buy the companies for peanuts. Russia clearly don't want collect funny pieces of paper anymore.
For oil and gas these days you have to pay with something real.

they shut off their home turf

Yeah, Sachs and his buddies really screwed up in the process of privatizing the FSU. They didn't prevent nationalism. If I recall, Yeltsin made sure the spoils stayed home. Bremer was careful not to make that mistake in Iraq. The oligarchs won, but the oligarchs where their oligarchs.

cfm in Gray, ME

The current western MSM anti-Russian campaign is of the same quality as the Nazi crap from the 30s.

But of course, our current media propaganda is far worse than anything Joseph Gerbils could ever dream up.

Dissident, give us a frigging break! Such stupid hyperbole does nothing for your credibility. What is happening to Shell, Sakhalin or Russia in general is not the fault of the Western Media. Playing such a silly blame game is absurd. Of course Russia got their share of royalties, but that was not enough, they wanted it all for Russia.

To seize foreign companies is their right however, if they justly compensate those companies for their time and investment. But comparing Western Media to the Nazi propaganda machine is just down in the dirt dumb.

Ron Patterson

It is true that the Lamestream Media is much much better than anything dreamt up in the middle of the 20th century. It is much shinier and focuses on trivia, and there is no need to lie about trivia.

I come here to get real news and analysis, and excellent commentary follows more often than not. The MSM serves its corporate masters who pay their (MSM) bills. Those who read and watch the MSM are sold as a 'product' to these corporate advertisers, not customers. The Iron Triangle is very real, especially when very large corps can buy their own media outlet. How can a corporation profit by educating the sheeple? Only ignorant and uninformed folks can be convinced to buy a new SUV or some such. Follow the money.

indeed. I don't know what the Nazi's said about the FSU in the 30's, but any propaganda they came up with would have been trumped by reality.

It's important to note that the USSR and Germany maintained a very active, indeed heavy, trade relationship right up to Hitler's Operation Barbarosa. Also, Churchill took the unprecedented action of informing Stalin that Hitler was about to launch his invasion; Stalin was incredulous, and he later fully expected to be executed for his failings.

Re: Glaciers melt 'at fastest rate in past 5,000 years'

This article is an example of why people do not have a clear message about climate change. There is an inordinate amount of waffling. The current glacier melt IS the largest since the last ice age. You can tell from the sediment distribution. The current temperatures are hitting levels not seen for over 6000 years. It is time for climate researchers to apply the same standard of evidence as economists and politicians instead of "nothing can be fully proven" BS.

Economists mostly rely on hunches. Politicians rely on campaign donations, which, I understand can be a very exacting 'science.'

Concerning the Deffeyes link up top:

4. Thou shalt not read the writings of Michael Lynch, Daniel Yergin, Jed Mouawad, or ExxonMobil. Pray that they may soon recognize the Truth.

For the record it is Jad Mouawad, not Jed. At first I did not understand why Jad Mouawad was on this list, the I Googled him and found the article about the New York Times article about the Kern river project, Oil Innovations Pump New Life Into Old Wells. I remembered the article but was not aware that Mouawad had written it. This article has been discussed on TOD several times before but it is worth taking a second look at. A video has been added that I don't recall being there before. Also if you click on the oil price chart it will bring up the Kern River production profile.

This new technology which Mouawad talks about was initiated in the early 60s. Man, that's new! At any rate, the Kern River field, which began producing about 1900 and saw production drop when the natural pressure in the field declined, saw production really jump when they started pressurizing the field with steam. But as you can see from the chart Kern River is now in steep decline. I find it amazing that Mouawad would use a field in such steep decline to show how new technology is reviving old fields. It is just confirmation that most of the old fields have been revived long ago and are now in steep decline.

Incidentally the sidebar showing Saleri's estimation that Saudi Arabia has 900 billion barrels of reserves still cracks me up. If anything, this completely destroys Saleri's credibility.

Ron Patterson

I spend a lot of time up on the Kern river - and drive through the oil fields on my way up from LA - it's amazing how much infield drilling appears to be going on, new pumps etc.

and then you look at the declines and it's (not even as good as) a Red Queen exercise - and you have to laugh. Even locals who live on the Kern have said to me "yeah, but I hear with the new gas injection they are really turning production around here!" and I have to spend time explaining to them how not-new the technology is and how not-turning production around it's effects are.

question for those who work in oil - how do they (in the Kern field) create the CO2 for injection in those wells? are they cracking nat gas or crude somehow locally? I always try to spot the equipment, but don't know what I'm looking for.

CO2 is in some places found in geological formations.

Hi Ron,

That article by Mouawad prompted several friends to write me (at the time) with assurances that my concerns about oil decline were unfounded. They got one message from it and, as far as I know, that one's stuck.


War is good for business. War is America’s industrial policy. Politicians can’t change it if they wanted to.

Alter the economic consensus, that mass delusion fostered for the benefit of the few. Illustrating how the middle class was taken, as you have, could cure the delusion. Naming the criminals might be effective too, but that kind of journalism doesn’t exist anymore.

Hi Marco,

Yesterday I was listening to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast, formerly as known as the Texaco Opera Broadcast in recognition of its corporate sponsor and perhaps soon to be former Toll Brothers Opera Broadcast in light of these recent developments. As they kept mentioning the Toll Brothers name, I wondered if this is one more corporate name destined for the dust bin. Perhaps the Met could secure Campbells Soups; I understand they served a lot of their product back in the '30s.


The sea of oil under Iraq is supposed to rebuild the nation, then make it prosper. But at least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s largest refinery here is diverted to the black market, according to American military officials. Tankers are hijacked, drivers are bribed, papers are forged and meters are manipulated — and some of the earnings go to insurgents who are still killing more than 100 Iraqis a week.
“It’s the money pit of the insurgency,” said Capt. Joe Da Silva, who commands several platoons stationed at the refinery.

Yes. We need to ship that oil to the US as quickly as possible to protect it from the terrorists. We are building underground storage for it as we speak.

Those sneaky Ay-rabs suckered the USA into destroying Iraq just so the sneaky Ay-rabs could steal the oil-they are so relentlessly evil they are even bribing drivers.

Measuring Wealth By The Foot

This is the exact image and anecdote I spoke about wrt conspicuous consumption at ASPO. But as of then I was unaware of the plans for the "Eclipse". Why am I not surprised?


The 9 level Eclipse will have at least two helipads, several hot tubs, one pool, three or four launch boats, 20 jet skis and a private submarine. The sub exits the hull through the bottom, so the owner can come and go in complete privacy.

For security, the yacht will be fitted with motion sensors and a special missile-detection system

Sounds like something out of a James Bond movie.

And for the enterprising evil-doer...

Emergency Bank Holiday or St. Patrick's Day Massacre?

This on Automatic Earth:

Ilargi: The talk has changed to ”an emergency bank holiday”. By now, anything is possible. You'd have to be a fly on the wall in the talks between the Fed, the Treasury and the major banks, if you'd want to know. What's certain is that the Fed is fast running out of instruments.

It hardly has the funds to pump in the next $500 billion, no rate cut has had any effect beyond a few hours, Bear Stearns failed the day after the last $200 billion was made available, and perhaps most ominously, that $200 billion won't even really be there till March 27. They very simply and surely don't have that long. Bear went within 1 day. March 27 is 11 days away. You don't have to be that fly on the wall to understand that extreme, drastic and severe measures are being discussed right now. My question, which I don't pretend to have the answer to:

Will the doors open on Monday? All of them?

Chris Whalen, of the Wall Street consultancy Institutional Risk Analytics, said: “This is going to go all the way up the chain. There is a risk that all broker dealers are going to become an endangered species if the credit crisis is not sorted out. If they can’t fund themselves, they will have to shrink. All the other firms are in danger, too.”

He said that should the US Federal Reserve, the US Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission not devise a broad rescue plan to address the credit turmoil on Wall Street this weekend, “I would not be surprised to see an emergency bank holiday announced. That hasn’t happened since Roosevelt.”

During the Depression, 75 years ago almost to the day, Franklin Roosevelt declared a four-day bank holiday, which stemmed a frantic run on banks. Mr Whalen added that should banks such as Lehman continue to be unable to sell the billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities held, they were doomed. He said: “Broker dealers have to be able to get rid of assets. If they are illiquid, they die.”


One UK economist warned that the world is now close to a 1930s-like Great Depression, while New York traders said they had never experienced such fear. The Fed's emergency funding procedure was first used in the Depression and has rarely been used since.

A Goldman Sachs trader in New York said: "Everyone is in a total state of shock, aghast at what is happening. No one wants to talk, let alone deal; we're just standing by waiting. Everyone is nervous about what is going to emerge when trading starts tomorrow."


While the failure of one major-bracket investment bank to get funding on its own is bad enough, worse is yet to come. Broker/dealers are entirely dependent on ample short term loans and trading lines to carry their securities' inventory and to clear transactions. Any hint of trouble and counterparties pull their lines and customers pull their accounts. The end comes instantly, usually no more than a few hours: Sudden Debt, to coin a phrase*..

* Yes, hours. To provide an example, during the 1987 crash my then firm (a major bracket, too) asked that customer margin calls be satisfied immediately - as in "wire or bring a check to the cashier by 2 pm or you will be sold out". Fun, eh? When survival is at stake in the Street, noblesse never oblige.


Yeah, Yeah ... That's it. We'll announce that, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the banks will be closed until next week. "We've always felt St. Patrick's day should have been a Bank Holiday, as a matter of fact, we feel it would be most appropriate to make it a whole week so you can really enjoy yourselves."

Cid, I believe that the Fed has another scheduled meeting on 18 March. Of course they can meet or teleconference at any time. It's coming apart at the seams so fast that the Fed and Treasury have little time to react. The bureaucrats are probably upset that their weekend on the golf links have been interupted.

I thought it odd that Paulson said in his recent talk (carried on Sqeek Blab) said that he had appointed several committies to meet and determine what could be done to correct the current problems and stop them from happening in future. The committee reports are to be completed by 'this summer'... How relevant will they be 'this summer'.

They will at least see how the Bear Sterns acquisition by JP Morgan affects Asian markets. If it goes over well there, the US markets will open as normal. If the Asian markets melt down on the news....

I don't expect the markets to melt down, at least not initially. Everybody knew about Bear on friday. This is at least resolution to the issue. It could have been worse, if Bear had to just start liquidating everything they owned.

If for some reason the deal falls through, however...

Fed drops lending rate a quarter-point

Move leaves it at 3.25 percent; new lending outlet for banks created

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve announced a series of new steps Sunday to help provide relief to a spreading credit crisis that threatens to plunge the economy into recession.

The central bank approved a cut to its lending rate to financial institutions to 3.25 percent from 3.50 percent, effective immediately, and created another lending facility for big investment banks to secure short-term loans.

Good gravy. I didn't know the fed worked on Sundays.

Gah! The MSM is annoying:

Dollar Pares Decline; Fed Cuts Discount Rate, Expands Lending

There was an uptick in the Yen/Dollar ratio that lasted 4 minutes before the dollar started to drop again. It was at about 98.90 when the rate cut was announced. It is at 98.20 now and dropping.

Although on Bloomberg tv they just said "You would think the cut would be a shot in the arm but we're looking at the dollar in free-fall right now."

Wow! How does a person who thinks cutting interest rates would help a flagging dollar get on financial TV? Game show host, maybe. But Bloomberg TV?

As I've mentioned before there's a lot of dark humour on Bloomberg these days. My favourite was "assume for a moment this isn't the end of the world as we know it. What happens next?"

Currently they are talking about "smoke and mirrors" and desperation. I kid you not.

Hello Shargash,

I hope this link to a gamecard works:



Well, the Fed has it's work cut out for it. Dollar at 96.79 yen. Freefall is the right word. I wonder if Ben is on the phone with other central bankers trying to organize a currency intervention?

Dollar Slumps Below 96 Yen to 12-Year Low on Subprime Losses

``The dollar is facing a credibility crisis,'' said Koji Fukaya, a senior currency strategist at Deutsche Securities, the Tokyo unit of Deutsche Bank AG, the world's largest currency trader. ``All the markets are entering a vicious cycle.''

The dollar fell to as low as 95.76 yen, the weakest since Aug. 15, 1995, before trading at 95.97 yen at 11:29 a.m. in Tokyo from 99.09 yen late in New York on March 14. Against the euro, the dollar declined to $1.5903, the weakest since the creation of the single European currency in 1999. It slid to an all-time low of 0.9754 Swiss francs. The dollar may fall to 95 yen this week, Fukaya said.

Damn. And with the dollar at 100 yen just last week.

This isn't freefall, it's dollar Armageddon.


The latest headline on Bloomberg: "JPMorgan to Buy Bear Stearns for $270 Million After Fed Arranges Bailout."

270 Million sounds SO much better than $2/share.

The other thing that happened that hasn't got much discussion is that the Fed is now going to loan money directly to non-bank institutions. Why not? Maybe they can loan money to Ford & GM when they go belly up later this year.

"270 Million sounds SO much better than $2/share."

2 Dollars does conjure up that George Bailey thing....worked out better for them I'll wager ;-)

But from Bloomberg tv again:

Deadpanned: "It's going to be an interesting day. I hope it doesn't get too manic. Thank you for watching"

Big Ben doesn't get enough credit for honesty-he said all along he was going to do helicopter drops-all the deflation advocates said the Fed can only do this, he can't do that, what can he do? There is NO theoretical limit to what he can do if the US guv backs him up. This trip hasn't even started yet-what do you think he will be doing when the temperature is really turned up? Should be interesting.

JP Morgan willing to take Bear Stearns off of investors hands for $2 a share

JPMorgan Chase has said it is to buy Wall Street's fifth-largest investment bank, Bear Stearns, for $2.00 a share - a fraction of its previous value.

Duh! Since it closed on Friday at $26.85, down 53% of it's value from the day before.

Lets all try to hide the fact that the sky is falling!


"The transaction will be a stock-for-stock exchange. JPMorgan Chase will exchange 0.05473 shares of JPMorgan Chase common stock per one share of Bear Stearns stock. Based on the closing price of March 15, 2008, the transaction would have a value of approximately $2 per share."

bear closed at 30 on Friday!!!!

Bank Holiday anyone?

I'm a pessimist, and I didn't expect this shit till the fall.

Federal Reserve statement on latest actions:

The Nikkei isn't happy (down 420 in the first few minutes). The dollar is at 97.44 Yen and 1.5767 Euro. Some people have been expecting a currency intervention by the G7 central banks. If the dollar doesn't stabilize by tomorrow, the unwinding carry trade could be a real problem.

FRANKFURT (AFP) — The dollar's plunge has made the eurozone the world's biggest economy by one measure and has underscored shifts that are reorienting the 15-nation bloc towards Asia, Russia and oil-rich Gulf states, analysts say.

"With the euro now trading around 1.56 against the dollar, the size of its annual output (at market value) has exceeded that of the United States," US investment bank Goldman Sachs estimated last week.


Yen down to 95 now over here in Asia....

Before too long I imagine that the problems over in US banks will start to appear here, as cash-strapped consumers stop spending money, stop buying suburban style houses, perhaps default, who knows? Certainly prices of condos are heading down now in the biggest cities.

I heard Tokyo is in "turmoil" over the Bear thing and everyone is wondering (or perhaps they know)who is next over in NY to go since they're so connected. And let's not even whisper the frightening phrase "commercial real estate market plunge" which seems to be on everyone's mind here.

7. Thou shalt not grant priority to those who preach about climate change. Their hearts are in the right place, but their minds are focused on a lesser issue.

First Simmons, now Deffeyes ...

Worrying about climate change is a luxury we can no longer afford. It's a red herring the press, the candidates and the celebs love, but the Grown Ups of our culture ignore.

Worrying about climate change is a luxury we can no longer afford.

And who would "we" be? Jerks who don't care about their grandchildren, other species, the ability of the planet to sustain some kind of ongoing civilization beyond covering our own asses?

Peak oil is more imminent - maybe. And inevitable. Heating up the planet, not inevitable, just likely due to collective stupidity. So where are these "Grown Ups" in our culture and why do you think you're one of them?

Personally, I think anyone who hasn't kicked the habit of eating regularly should be worried about climate change.


Same for people with who live within a yard or so of sea-level

I'm with you on this one, Leanan. For my part, the solution to Peak Oil and climate change seem to be linked -- reduce and eventually eliminate dependence on fossil fuels.

Ah, I can hear the screams of 'it cant' be done' already. I guess I'd better duck before someone starts throwing rotten cabbage.

The solution is a bit difficult: Completely change fundamental human behavior. Hey, create Utopia while you are at it. :)

See. There are the hopeful and then there are the hopeless...

2 types: Optimistic about human nature, or pessimistic


Right. Chamberlain gave Hitler a free hand to destroy Communism, the Tories worst enemy, or so he thought:

"The Baldwin-Chamberlain establishment gave Mussolini a free hand in Abyssinia, Franco a free hand in Spain, Hitler a free hand in Austria and the Sudeten territories of Czechoslovakia. They traded armaments to Hitler, conducted anti-communist diplomacy with him at various European watering places, and very frequently announced to the world that his grievances, while often expressed in a tone regrettably lacking in reserve, were nonetheless genuine. What if--one is only asking--what if the problem were not capitulation but collusion? What if the disaster of the Second World War resulted not from an underestimate of the evils of Nazism but from a consistent attempt to cooperate with it?

"It is the argument of Clement Leibovitz's important book that the whole history of the 1930s and the whole policy of the then British Tory leadership is quite literally unintelligible unless one makes the second assumption. That is, until the last moments of the crisis over Poland, and well through the Munich agreement, the chief objectives of Hitler and Chamberlain were more or less explicitly the same: an agreed division of Europe, an immunity for the British Empire from Nazi claims, and the isolation and eventual destruction of the Soviet Union and the communist threat generally."

Thanks for the link, Karlof1,

Since I haven't had time to research this. A member of my extended family was a (US Army) veteran of this era, and a comment of his stayed in my mind: "For a long time, people (in the US) were reluctant to enter the war, and even then - they didn't know which side to join."

Not what one typically hears.

Not an apt comparison. If we listened to the pessimists, we would never have had human flight or a thousand other wonders. That said, according to the pessimists, all these were bad things anyway.

In Saudi Arabia, Cheney will discuss energy with King Abdullah as record-high oil prices strain the U.S. economy, but he was not expected to repeat the call by Bush for OPEC to increase production.

So Dick is going to drop by for some nice sweet Arabic tea, maybe a puff on a hookah, and a cosy chat?

Somehow I doubt it, Cheney never struck me as the type for small talk. I reckon he's going there to start softening up the Saudis.... sell your oil to us and no-one else, boys - and by the way that'll be at a "fair" price - or you've bought your last private jet to fly you to Monte Carlo for XO cognac and the other type of hookers.

Regards Chris

Bear Stearns just aquired by JP Morgan for Two Dollars a share.

Yeah, I just saw that. I read that it is a stock swap of 0.0543 shares of JPM for 1 share of BSC. JPM closed on friday at 36.54, BSC at 30. It sucks to be a BSC shareholder.

I wonder how that will go over on the markets in the morning? My guess is initial euphoria, followed by a reflection that "Crap! Bear Sterns went bankrupt!"

It is going to be a roller-coaster week. Bear Sterns announcement tomorrow. Fed rate cut on Tuesday. After that?

Hello Shargash,

More food for thought:

Analysts: Gov't Funds Heat Up Oil Price

WASHINGTON (AP) — As oil prices charge past $110 a barrel, analysts say government-run investment funds from oil-rich nations may be adding speculative heat to an already red-hot market.

By placing bets in futures markets, these sovereign-wealth funds are no different than hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors, with one exception: at the same time they profit by trading "paper" barrels, their governments' oil companies also reap huge sums pumping black gold for consumers worldwide.
This is like the old auction trick where they had people planted in the audience to help bid up the price.

I have posted much before on Sovereign Wealth Funds [SWFs] and their potential dangers for market distortion. Just wait until they start moving bigtime funds$$ into the grains and I-NPK markets to maximize their pirate plunder.

Recall from my earlier Barbary P-irates posting that some of the first modern corporations were to finance these ships:

...During the first period (1518-1587), the beylerbeys were admirals of the sultan, commanding great fleets and conducting serious operations of war for political ends. They were slave-hunters and their methods were ferocious. After 1587, plunder became the sole object of their successors—plunder of the native tribes on land and of all who went upon the sea. The maritime side of this long-lived brigandage was conducted by the captains, or reises, who formed a class or even a corporation. Cruisers were fitted out by capitalists and commanded by the reises. Ten percent of the value of the prizes was paid to the treasury of the pasha or his successors, who bore the titles of agha or dey or bey.[11]
P is Life's Bottleneck. ..."like a vampire she hung from the neck of Europe" ..."when Guano Imperialists ruled the Earth" ....PostPeak corporate P-irate ships flying the Mo-Rock-oh skull & crossbones?

Or this just more Wild & Crazy Speculation?

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

A pure stock swap does less than some would think unless JP Morgan merges Bear Sterns into JP Morgan or assumes Bear Stern's liabilities or injects a meaningful amount of cash.

Those holding Bear Stern's liabilities would only have recourse to Bear Stern's asset not to the higher tier / holding company JP Morgan. Otherwise, confidence / appearance ... substance other than a speculation on the part of JP Morgan with the added or perhaps the major upside of staving off a collapse in a probable counter party.

Fed Cuts Discount Rate, Says Dealers May Borrow

Hmmm....the Fed must be in a near panic if they felt they couldn't wait one day to cut rates. Of course, this is only 0.25%. They will doubtless followup with more on Tuesday. Still...

Oil, Gold ($1009+), and Silver ($20.87) all up on the news. The dollar just gave back what it had gained on the Yen from the Bear announcement.

Fixed your bad link. You were missing a quotation mark.

If you use Firefox, check out the BBCodeXtra extension. Makes it a lot easier to post links and other HTML code.

Sorry about that. I'm usually pretty careful. I don't use FF, so I do it by hand. I guess I got excited about all the news. :)

At least the Fed is doing something. Re the analogies with the 1930's the Fed sat on it's hands while the economy collapsed, keeping interst rates high to maintain the gold standard. It now seems more activist. Just hope the Presidents over the next year or two don't behave like Herbert Hoover.

If you are long commodities, the US guv is literally doing everything they can to help you, even using the sheeples' money, so it is hard to complain.

The problem is that I'm long commodities in the US Dollar. :(

The dollar is rallying a bit now. it is up 96.85. I calculated that, at the rate it was dropping, it would hit 0 Yen in about 6 hours.

At one point tonight, the dollar was down 3.5% against the Yen. Even with its recovery, it is still down about 3%. That is just an astonishing move.

Back in April, there were 124 Yen to the dollar. It is now just about 97. That's something like a 28% drop in less than a year. How many people have made 28% on their investments in the past year? How many people have had 28% raises the past year? Yes, I realize the Yen is an imperfect measure of the value of the dollar. But against many currencies, the dollar has dropped even more. The Japanese have been desperately trying to push the Yen down with dollar. They just can't keep up with the rate at which our government is debasing the currency.

It is sad and infuriating. It also probably just the beginning.

I think its nearing the end - at least in the short term. Japan and Europe central banks won't allow US dollar to freefall - it will kill their export economies. Maybe 5 years from now but not this early. I expect they wait until everyone is short then you see the special red lights on dealers forex desks flashing signaling concerted intervention to support the dollar.

You are correct in that the only thing that can support the US dollar is manipulation. IMO what people miss is that the US dollar is currently being held up (and has been for a long time)by foreign holders and accumulators of US dollars-mainly China and Japan. The dollar has been purchased for political reasons-as the US consumer market shrinks, there will no longer be any reason for this artificial subsidy of the USA. At that point the dollar truly goes into freefall, only stopping when the trade balance rights itself.

Found this about the dollar http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article3564485...

It may not be allowed to slide.

it doesn't matter. it won't be stopped because the problem that created it is part of the foundation of the system. the next puppet figurehead that will be elected will share his name with the new poor shacks and shanty towns.

Its a good thing there are no conspiracies of powerful people otherwise one would have to spend time pondering how said group backing canidate X benefits the non-existant PowersThatBe.

so you think it's false that a elected official would do the bidding of the corporations that donated to their campaigns then the people who voted for them? Even when they know that if they don't they will face a deluge of negative press from the media outlets these companies own(aka swift boating) as well as seeing them pour tons of money into their opponents campaigns in the next election? words fail the arrogance in your statement.

Now, Ron has setted the matter -there are no Conspiries. Ergo, no need for a theory about 'em.

words fail the arrogance in your statement.

Bah, you just were not paying attention when Ron Patterson settled the matter about Conspiricies here on TOD.

Re shantytowns, here's a BBC report on shantytowns popping up in Southern California:


Grapes of Wrath revisited.

Hello TODers,

"My precious, my precious, my precious....."

...``All the markets are in a real panic right now and I don't think there's anything to stop gold's rise given the flight to safe haven assets,'' Wallace Ng, chief trader for precious metals in Asia-Pacific at Fortis Bank, said from Hong Kong today by telephone.

``What the Fed did reflects how serious the situation is right now and I won't be surprised if gold gains another $100 this week because of all the financial turmoil and the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy,'' said Ng.

EDIT: Perhaps.... Thomas Covenant, Ur-Lord and Ringthane, the White Gold Wielder and Unbeliever... is more appropriate?

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Tapis is the first winner of the Three-Yergin Sweepstakes. Upstream is reporting $14.06 at 02:00~ GMT. To be fair TAPIS should have been handicapped given its trading location.

It needs to be said that yergin isn't what is was, these days 10 yergins doesn't get 30 minutes with a DC dame in a private box. Mind you, that might change.

In the good old days a yergin could buy a couple of barrels of sweet crude. Way, way back in the summer of '98, it was 4 barrels for a single yergin. Thinking back, a guy remembers how bright the future was. Today, 3 yergins for one barrel of Tapis. I remember the exact same thing happening to jawbreakers. This is a disconcerting association, and I need time to think.

On the bright side, at 3 yergins per barrel, all those commercial oil inventories, especially in the East, will probably be brought to market, applying a downward price pressure. That's a promise that you can take to the bank.

It's also surely the case, that the great swing producer, Saudi Arabia, has already anticipated this three-yergin-threshold flow from inventories, and will decide to reserve a sizable part of its productive capacity to stabilize the markets.

I think I can go to sleep now with a sense of security.


Hello Toilforoil,

From the LATOC forum:
FYI: CNBC is on with a special broadcast right now. They usually aren't live at this time on a US Sunday evening.

Yeah, because even the cheerleaders know this is f**king bad.

There must be something in the ether; I just had a dream that I was handcuffed to a roller coaster that has been broken in two by an earthquake. I can only remember hurtling downward, through ring after ring of hell, yellow piles of sulpher on each layer, a bitterly sour smell, billions of green notes feeding the abiotic furnace, Dick Cheney in drag with horns and pitchfork. I think I'll head for the cabinet to self-medicate.

"Over the past six weeks the nation's gasoline consumption has decreased an average of 1.1 percent from last year's levels."

But gasoline prices went up 66% in one year, according to This week in Petroleum. That equates to a demand elasticity of less than 2%. Not good. In order to improve on this, the leadership of this country needs to convince people that this is just the beginning. I don't know whether pollyanna Obama is up to it.

8. Thou shall not quote CERA as a reputable source.

9. Thou shall question making the three huge tax cuts, predominantly for the very wealthy, permanent, because they increase debt, devalue the dollar, causing the price of oil to rise even faster.

10. Thou shall not gape at the business channel flip signs that show oil topping 111 bucks or gold surging past 1,000 bucks an oz.

11. Thou shall not laugh when gas stations and pawn shops are combined so people can sell their goods out of their vehicles while fueling up. "Ok, whatcha got today?"

12. Thou shall not jeer at your neighbor for growing staple fruits and vegetables in his yard.

13. Thou shall check your groceries before leaving the store to make sure the bagger didn't pilfer part of your expensive haul.

14. Thou shall hold one's tongue when the neighbor is filling up his ATV's, Toy Truck, Speed Boat, RV, Harley's, and Big Foot trucks all the same day with high test fuel.

15. Thou shall not watch the fuel pump money counter streak while the gallons counter strolls.

16. Thou shall not ask a realtor the value of one's home and then compare it to the mortgage.

17. Thou shall not question the country sliding hundreds of billions of dollars farther into debt, because Reagen already proved that deficits don't matter, Cheney.

18. Thou shall not demand that OPEC allow an outside investigative force onto their oil fields to assess accurate reserve counts, because the real information would make people drop to their knees and puke.

19. Thou shall block ones view with one hand as you drive by the fuel station numbers increasing.

20. Thou shall not daydream of the days from childhood when a gallon of supreme gas was 28 cents, they washed the windshield and checked the oil with a smile, and your Father grinned with joy through the whole experience.

Clever additions to Deffeyes' Sins! Loved #18-- we probably would be retching.