Search This Blog

Loading...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Drop Dead Date

The UN has released the “drop dead” date for CO₂ emissions to be zeroed: 2070. CO2 emissions must be zero by 2070 to prevent climate disaster, UN says in The Guardian:
‘Negative emissions’ are needed globally by second half of century to stave off dangerous climate change, say UN scientists.
The world must cut CO₂ emissions to zero by 2070 at the latest to keep global warming below dangerous levels and prevent a global catastrophe, the UN warns.
By 2100, all greenhouse gas emissions — including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as CO₂ — must fall to zero, the United Nationals Environment Programme (Unep) report says, or the world will face what Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists have described as "severe, widespread and irreversible" effects from climate change.
The Unep report published on Wednesday is based on the idea that the planet has a finite ‘carbon budget.’ Since emissions surged in the late 19th century, some 1,900 Gigatonnes (Gt) of CO₂ and 1,000 Gt of other greenhouse gases have already been emitted, leaving less than 1,000 Gt of CO₂ left to emit before locking the planet in to dangerous temperature rises of more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Jacqueline McGlade, Unep's chief scientist, told the Guardian that scientific uncertainties about the remaining carbon budget had diminished and the real uncertainty now was whether politicians had the will to act. "The big uncertainty is whether you can put enough policies in place from 2020-2030 — in the critical window — to allow the least-cost pathways [to lower emissions and temperatures] to still stand a chance of being followed," she said. "The uncertainties have shifted from the science to the politics."
All scenarios in the Unep report now require some degree of ‘negative CO₂ emissions’ in the second half of the century, through technologies such as carbon capture and storage or, possibly, controversial, planetary wide engineering of the climate known as geoengineering. Unep is "extremely interested" in the subject and is planning a report in the months ahead.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. T expirations next week will making the equity market interesting.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Big Oil Investors Beware

Paul Farrell writes 15 Big Oil sell signals warn of a 50% stock crash:
Big Oil investors beware: "The day of the huge international oil company is drawing to a close," warned the Economist last year. Since then, Big Oil sell signals have gotten louder, more frequent, confirming fears of a crash in Big Oil, in the entire energy industry, rippling through Wall Street stocks, the global economy. When? Before the new president is elected, in 2016. Scenario like 2008, when McCain lost.
Yes, the overhyped shale boom was supposed to make America energy independent, investors happy. Wrong. Risks are rocketing, volatility increasing. Why? Big Oil is vulnerable, they're running scared, making bigger, costlier, deadlier and dumber bets that threaten the global economy. Worse, Big Oil is in denial about their high-risk, self-destructive gambles.
Main Street's also in denial. Yes, we're in a rare historical event now. Two bulls back-to-back, with no bear market in between. Makes investors feel it'll go forever, like 1999. True, stocks have been roaring since March 2009 when the bottom hit at 6,547 on the Dow after a 54% drop from the October 2007 high of 14,164. Since, a steady climb to a recent DJIA record at 17,279, with gains over 250%. But now our Double Bull has stopped roaring.
Market cycles follow well-known patterns: As Investors Business Daily publisher Bill O'Neil explained in his classic, "How to Make Money in Stocks," for the past century the bull cycle runs for an average of 3.75 years. Then falls into a bear an average of nine months. Yes, the pattern skipped 2013, creating today's Double Bull.
But market giants are warning, bye-bye bull. Jeremy Grantham, founder of the $117 billion GMO money-management firm, predicts another megatrillion dollar crash, repeating the bears of 2000 and again in 2008. Wall Street lost roughly $10 trillion each time. Graham says the next bear will hit around election time 2016. The third $10 trillion stock crash early in this new 21st century.
Read more here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Our best leading indicator has started ticking toward an equity market top.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

ERCOT: Clean Power Plan Will Raise Costs, Lower Reliability

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, has studied the EPA plan to lower CO₂ emissions from power plants across the nation. They find that implementation of the plan will result in higher costs to consumers and lowered reliability of electrical supply in the State of Texas (read details here).

This is pretty much what we expected—after all, the politicians in Texas are demanding a political response to anything the EPA would propose. But, if ERCOT is right, consumers should be looking to install their own private microgrids and provide their own form of “energy independence.” Here, independence is defined as being free from higher prices and lower reliability—and politically-motivated decisions.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Batteries Are a Crucial Component of Our Energy Portfolio

Lisa Salley writes:
People take batteries for granted, typically worrying about them only when they fail in the electronic devices they carry or in the cars they drive.
But batteries are a crucial component of many modern conveniences, from medical devices to industrial machines. They help power other, less commonly seen, facets of modern life, in particular, the electric distribution system.
Today, two-thirds of electricity production comes from fossil fuel burning, with another fifth coming from nuclear power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Yet the environmental hazards produced by these means, along with the finite supply of fuel for these technologies, means the production of power for the electric grid must be increasingly produced by sustainable energy sources.
Yet nature's changeability means there will always be fluctuations in the energy produced by these methods at any time, with production rates that bear little relation to societal electricity demands. Developing better ways of efficiently harnessing water, solar and wind power will always be a priority, but the reliability of renewable energy sources must be supported by the increased use of batteries and storage strategies.
Batteries Can Sustain Sustainable Energy
Batteries optimize the management of electricity generated from sustainable energy sources. Because the demand for energy and its production vary significantly and independently over time, the efficient operation of the electric grid depends on adequately supplying electricity from non-primary sources to meet ever-changing demand instantly.
Power storage in batteries serves a two-fold purpose for solar energy systems. By storing energy, batteries can supplement photovoltaic cells during a peak demand period and can bolster electric output at night or at other times sunlight is blocked.
The same is true for wind power. Batteries capture and retain excess power when the wind is strong but power demand is weak, then make it available for mid-day peak periods.
Batteries—storage in general, for that matter—are essential to transforming our insecure, 19th century electrical grid into a power structure where microgrids make it impossible for terrorists and superstorms to destroy out civilization.

DOE Loan Guarantee Program Vilified by Republicans Turns a Profit

Yes, they said it was shameful that the US Government would be so foolish. It turns out that the fools turned out to be very savvy investors. In fact, many are calling it a great example of how government can turn a profit while helping entrepeneurs earn their fortune. Renewable Energy World reports:
NEW YORK --- The U.S. expects to earn $5 billion to $6 billion from a federal loan program, bolstering President Barack Obama's decision to back low-carbon technologies.
It's the first time the Energy Department has released an estimate of the potential gains for the loan guarantee program, designed to back clean-energy projects when venture capital or financing from banks and other investors is unavailable. The department expects a loss rate of about 2 percent on $32.4 billion set aside for loans to spur energy innovation, according to a report today.
The loan program, which opened in 2009, was targeted by Congressional Republicans who charged taxpayer money was wasted on startups including Solyndra, the solar manufacturer that closed its doors in 2011 after receiving $528 million. Jonathan Silver resigned as director in 2011 after repeated congressional inquires. "People make a big deal about Solyndra and everything, but there's a lot of VC capital that got torched right alongside the DOE capital," Michael Morosi, an analyst at Brentwood, Tennessee-based Jetstream Capital LLC, which invests in renewable energy, said in an interview. "A positive return over 20 years in cleantech? That's not a bad outcome."
The program's biggest success story has been Tesla Motors Inc. The Elon Musk-backed electric carmaker paid back its $465 million federal loan nine years early. Abengoa SA, which received a $132.4 million guarantee, opened in October a biofuels plant in Kansas.
The successes didn't stop Republican representatives John Shimkus of Illinois, California's Darrell Issa, and Fred Upton of Michigan who focused on the program's failures in a series of hearings on Capitol Hill.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Report Finds

The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power. CONTINUE READING...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Government Banks on Stocks

Government Banks on Stocks

By Elliott Wave International

The following article was adapted with permission from the November 2014 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a publication from Elliott Wave International, the world's largest market forecasting firm. Follow this link for the complete article.

Here's a key principle concerning the role of government in bull and bear markets, as outlined in The Elliott Wave Theorist in 1991:

Government is the ultimate crowd, every decision being made by committee. It is always acting on the last trend. (For example, the Federal government passed securities laws to prevent the 1929-1932 crash...in 1934.)

The Federal government repealed that law, known as Glass-Steagall, in November 1999. [A major peak in stocks] occurred within a matter of weeks, in January 2000. Government's effort to bring back the old bull market started in 2001 with a bailout of Argentina. Citing a critical difference from prior bull market rescue efforts, the September 2001 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast asserted that the stock market would fall straight through the effort to shore up that country. It did, as the Dow declined 30% through October 2002.

A similar short-term market plunge through a government-sponsored bailout initiative occurred on October 2. That's when Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, announced a quantitative easing program under which the central bank will buy $1.3 trillion in loans and mortgages, "including some junk-rated assets from Greece and Cyprus."

Draghi pulled the trigger even though the Euro Stoxx 50 Index has rallied for almost three years and, at the time of the announcement, was within 5% of its June high.

In 2012, Draghi's bold "whatever it takes" ad-lib was "seen as a masterstroke that halted the downward economic spiral that had gripped the continent." This time he fired live rounds in the form of a long-awaited "U.S. Federal Reserve-style QE" program. But the blue chip European stock index gave him no respect; it fell. The Euro Stoxx 50 is still down 3% from its October 2 close.

The performance is similar to what happened in November 2007, when a consortium of banks organized by the U.S. Treasury created a fund (called M-Lec) to rescue the hemorrhaging market for subprime loans. At the time, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast explained that the difference between bailouts in a healthy bull market and those in a major bear market is that in a bull market the bailouts invariably come near major lows, when the market is ready to turn up anyway. In bear markets, however, pessimism is more persistent, and the stock market ultimately falls through even the most aggressive bailout efforts.

The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast also stated that the "fascinating thing about the bailout attempt is that it was needed before the stock market even headed down. As we said in April [2007]: Chrysler and Continental Illinois were 'too big to fail,' the unfolding crisis will be 'too big to bail.'"

Click here to continue reading about how the ECB's latest scheme is already failing, and how global governments' even more pronounced infatuation with stocks suggests an even more dramatic decline ahead >>


Historic US-China Climate Deal Is a Sign of Clean Energy’s Growing Political Strength

Greentech Media examines the historic US-China Climate Deal this week in Historic US-China Climate Deal Is a Sign of Clean Energy’s Growing Political Strength:
"The non-fossil commitment may be the most important piece of the puzzle," said CAP's Melanie Hart. "The amount of renewable and nuclear energy China will have to deploy by 2030 to hit that target is absolutely breathtaking. It will require Chinese leaders to set even harder limits on coal."
China already has plans to get 50 gigawatts of nuclear, 70 gigawatts of solar, 150 gigawatts of wind and 330 gigawatts of hydro installed in the next few years. The new target, while not groundbreaking, would open up the opportunity for China to support nearly a terawatt of additional nuclear and renewable energy capacity.
Seven years ago, when China became the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, there were few signs that the country would slow its rate of coal-burning. The country is still by far the world's largest user of coal, accounting for roughly 50 percent of global consumption.
But a confluence of factors has shifted China's outlook on coal. Domestic backlash against air pollution, growing water scarcity problems, international political pressure and the competitiveness of renewables have all come together to make China more willing to wean itself off coal. In August, China's coal consumption dropped for the first time in a decade.
Some analysts believe Chinese demand for coal could peak this year, though the International Energy Agency says the peak will come closer to 2019.
Coal will still be a core piece of China's growing economy, but the country's leaders are becoming increasingly bullish on non-fossil energy every year.
"You can bet China's coal sector is already starting to sweat," said Hart.
The agreement would also create more cooperation between China and the U.S. on clean energy trade issues --- a track that China sorely needs to pursue after its domestic solar producers were slapped with large tariffs for uncompetitive business practices supported by the government.
One of the differences between China and the US is that top-level leaders in China not only understand that humans are creating Global Warming, they are committed to clean energy to help fight Climate Change. Contrast that with ‘dumb as mud’ US politicians who are science deniers. Clearly, China is far better on climate policy than the USA.

How To Destroy Tesla Motors

The suits are at it again. That is, they're trying to tear Tesla Motors down. Their latest bit of imbecility is to suggest that Apple Computer could buy Tesla Motors and cut production costs like they did with the iPhone.

That not only can't happen (Elon Musk would never allow it), but it would be a disaster for both Apple and Tesla investors.

Green Cars Don't Suck has the right take on this ridiculous notion in If Apple Buys Tesla, It Could Ruin Elon Musk’s Vision:

Few businesses have managed to become as culturally relevant as Apple has in the past decade, and having pioneered and conquered the smartphone space, the tech giant is looking for new places to invest. One repeated suggestion among stock and technology analysts is that Apple should buy Tesla Motors, and such a move might end Tesla Motors as we know it.
This suggestion was made yet again by Business Insider writer Jay Yarow, who demonstrates his ignorance of auto manufacturing within the first few paragraphs of his piece. The crux of his arguement is is that because Apple can manufacture millions of iPhones are a (relatively) low price, then they could do the same thing for Tesla Motors, which is experiencing something of a production bottleneck.
Forget for a moment that Apple outsources most of the manufacturing of its products to China's Foxconn, which has had to put suicide safety nets up so its workers won't kill themselves. Building a phone and building a car are two *very* different things, and there are more regulations related to taillight placement and dimensions than Yarow can even imagine. Apple also works a tremendous amount of profit margin into each of its iPhones, with an estimated 49% to 58% gross margin on each phone it sells. That's more than twice the profit margin Tesla makes on its top-end Model S sedans; if Apple had set the pricing of the Model S, it would have started at $100,000 instead of $70,000. Imagine what that would do for sales.
How does Apple do it? Primarily underpaying its workforce, as the people building iPhones make less than $300 a month. Apple has also been accused of profiting from child labor, something I can't ever recall associating with any part of the auto industry. Meanwhile, Tesla has the highest revenue-per-employee in the industry, pays some of the highest wages and best benefits, and doesn't pertain to the cult of secrecy and scare tactics that has evolved at Apple.
To be sure, a Tesla-Apple technology alliance could be of great benefit to both companies, though I would argue with Yarows assertion that Tesla's software needs that much work (nothing is perfect, and Apple has had plenty of iOs problems of its own). Apple CarPlay is positioning itself as the infotainment solution for certain luxury automakers, though Google and Microsoft are making a go at it as well. There's little doubt that Apple wants to get into the automotive technology world, and buying Tesla would be an easy way to take a big step into an all-new market. But a company like Apple may not be able to leave well-enough alone, and that could undermine the powerful but delicate momentum electric cars (and especially Tesla) are building.
It would be a lot smarter if Apple created their own electric car company and tried to compete with Tesla. Maybe they will?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. We have definite time targets for this ‘Cruisin' For A Bruisin'’ market.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Grid Defection in Hawai'i

Hawai'i has the highest electricity prices in the nation. So, it's not really surprising that some are defecting from the grid. Bloomberg reports that Getting Off-Grid Power Becomes a Family Affair:
David Greene woke up one day and fired his power company. It wasn't that hard to do. Greene, 48, is neither a hippie nor a survivalist and his environmental leanings are middle of the road. He runs an air conditioning repair service out of his home and lives in the suburbs, not the woods.
It's just that his three-bedroom house near Honolulu is in a place with America's highest electricity rates — 38 cents a kilowatt-hour compared with the 13-cent national average. Fed up, Greene put solar panels on his roof and batteries in the garage to store the excess juice. He told his utility to come get his power meter. "I enjoy being off the grid," Greene said. "It's an independence thing. It's cool to say you don't have an electric bill."
HECO, the local utility, recognizes the threat and promises to lower electric rates 20% by installing solar panels on rooftops themselves. Time will tell whether grid defection becomes a tsunami or not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Rocket engineers visit a comet today and lands on it. Financial engineers prepare to tear society down.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Black Tuesday, the War Party Won

In Black Tuesday—–The War Party Won, David Stockman writes:
The robots and day traders greeted last Tuesday's Republican election sweep with another kneejerk rally because the GOP's new Capitol Hill dominance will allegedly be good for investors. Would that there were any real investors left—-but, in any event, what the election really did was populate the Imperial City with a huge new phalanx of neocons and hawks.
In a word, the War Party won. This means that the Warfare State will prosper, the budget deficit will again soar, more government shutdowns will materialize and the day of fiscal reckoning will come that much sooner.
Stockman goes on to conclude:
Yet with the War party firmly in the saddle owing to last week's election results, and the "peace President" in utter retreat and capitulation owing to the oppressive bipartisan consensus in the Imperial City on the Potomac, that is exactly what we have.
That is the ultimate irony. In a world where America has no remaining industrial state enemies capable of doing it military harm, Washington is now locked in a state of perpetual war. That ultimately bankrupted Rome. Why should this time be any different?
The Empire is falling... just like Rome. We are a bankrupt country living well beyond our means. The day of reckoning is coming sooner than most expect.

Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths

Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part IX)
Interest rates, oil prices, earnings, GDP, wars, peace, terrorism, inflation, monetary policy, etc. -- NONE have a reliable effect on the stock market

By Elliott Wave International

You may remember that after the 2008-2009 crash, many called into question traditional economic models. Why did they fail?

And more importantly, will they warn us of a new approaching doomsday, should there be one?

This series gives you a well-researched answer. Here is Part IX; come back soon for Part X.


Myth #9: Inflation makes gold and silver go up.
By Robert Prechter (excerpted from the monthly Elliott Wave Theorist; published since 1979)

This one seems like a no-brainer. The government or the central bank prints more bonds, notes and bills, and prices for things go up in response. Gold is real money, so it must fluctuate along with the inflation rate.

Once again, it doesn't happen that way. Let's examine the history of inflation and the precious metals since the low of the Great Depression.

Inflation occurred relentlessly from 1933 to 1970, yet gold and silver remained unchanged over the entire time. True, the government fixed the price. But markets are more powerful than any government, and if the market had wanted precious metals prices higher, it would have made them go higher.

The government still fixes the price of gold. The official, legal price today is $42.22 per ounce. If you were to ship gold overseas, and it got lost, a domestic insurer would have to pay you only $42.22 per ounce to cover it. But investors in 1970 began forcing gold beyond the official price. They could just as well have done so anytime between 1933 and 1970, but they didn't. Had you held gold for that period, you would have held the worst investment on the board. Investors in the stock market were making 20 times their money through capital gains alone and 30 times their money assuming a 4% (non-reinvested) dividend. Bond investors made nearly as much money through compound interest. Yet your investment -- based on one-to-one, mechanical causality -- was dead in the water.

Inflation continued from 1970 to 1980, and gold and silver soared. Inflation was all in the news, so people credited inflation for making these prices rise. They also predicted that the rise would not stop, because inflation was not going to stop. They were right about the inflation part.

Inflation continued from January 1980 to April 2001, too. But gold and silver lost 83% of their combined value during these 21 years, as shown in Figure 19.

Investors who held these precious metals during that time were once again stuck in the worst investment available, but this time it was far more devastating. It was the only major investment that lost dollar value during those decades. Real estate went up, stocks went up, and bonds had a positive return. At the end of this period, a basketful of gold and silver was worth 17 cents, in inflated-dollar terms, for each full dollar that it was worth in January 1980. In terms of CPI purchasing power, the value of this investment fell to about six pennies per 1980 dollar. Stock prices, over the same period, rose 13 times in terms of dollars and 45 times in terms of gold.

Inflation continued from 2001 forward, and gold and silver rose four-fold into 2008-2009. So for eight years, this investment was once again profitable. Thus, out of a total history of 76 years of inflation, gold and silver rose for 18 of them. For 58 of those years, they went sideways or down.

However you look at it, the "basic physics" model failed to deliver. According to that model, gold and silver would have adjusted to the amount of inflation month by month, year after year. But nothing even remotely like that scenario happened.

(Stay tuned for Part X of this important series, where Prechter examines another popular investment myth: Namely, that "Central banks and government policies control the markets.")


Free Report:
"The Biggest Lie in Stock Market History"

Dear Reader,

We believe risks and opportunities even larger than those of 2007-2009 lie ahead in a bear market of epic proportions.

Only problem is, this bear market is silent right now. It's not visible to the public, because the government and the Federal Reserve inflate the credit supply and the U.S. dollar to hide its impact.

But make no mistake about it: There is a Silent Crash going on right now in the stock market, and it's having a very real impact on your spending power.

Read this special report now, free -- and see 15 eye-opening charts >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part IX). EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

We Need To Stop Subsidizing Big Oil

According to Rich countries are still wasting billions on subsidies for fossil fuels:

Five years ago, at one of their annual meetings, the G20 countries — the biggest economies in the world — pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

So naturally, today, the G20 countries are spending $88 billion a year subsidizing exploration for new fossil fuels. Sigh.

That’s the I-wish-it-were-more-shocking conclusion of a new report from the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International.

Keep in mind, that isn’t all the fossil fuel subsidies — not even close. “Globally, subsidies for the production and use of fossil fuels were estimated at $775 billion in 2012,” says the report. (“By contrast, subsidies for renewable energy amounted to just $101 billion in 2013.”) The new report is specifically about subsidies devoted to finding new fossil fuels, beyond the stuff we already have, which is enough to fry the planet thrice over.

Those subsidies come in three basic forms: investment by state-owned enterprises, direct national subsidies and tax breaks, and public finance.

What's to be done: drop as many of those subsidies as possible and let renewable energy win the day. Without subsidies, fossil fuels will have no legs to stand on. And, with solar and wind energy actually dropping in price, the winner will be all of us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Which index will break trend first?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Will the corporate buybacks continue to levitate stock prices? Yes. Will they be imprisoned for financial crimes?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

What The Mid-Term Elections Really Mean For Peace and Liberty

By Ron Paul

Did the election last week really mean that much? I took to my Twitter account on Tuesday to point out that the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.

Some were critical of my comment that, “Republican control of the Senate equals expanded neo-con wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming!”

But unfortunately my fears were confirmed even sooner than I thought. Shortly after the vote, President Obama announced that he would double the number of US troops on the ground in Iraq and request another $5.6 billion to fight his war in the Middle East.

The President also said on Wednesday that he would seek a new authorization for the use of force in Iraq and Syria. He said that a new authorization was needed to reflect, “not just our strategy over the next two or three months, but our strategy going forward.”

That sounds like boots on the ground in an endless war.

Senate Democrats had been competing with Republicans over who would push a more aggressive foreign policy. This may explain their miserable showing on Tuesday: it is likely the honest, antiwar progressives just stayed home on election night. But with the Republican victory bringing to leadership the most hawkish of the neoconservatives like John McCain, the only fight over the President’s request to re-invade Iraq will be Republican demands that he send in even more soldiers and weapons!

Likewise, the incoming Republicans in the Senate have expressed a foolhardy desire to continue resurrecting the Cold War. They demand that Russia be further sanctioned even as the original reason for the sanctions – claims that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 – has been shown to be false. They want to send weapons to the US-backed government in Ukraine even through it will result in more civilians killed in east Ukraine. Their dangerous Russia policy may even turn the new Cold War into a hot war, which would be catastrophic.

On the domestic front, I do not hold out much hope that the next Congress will give more than lip service to reducing spending. What is more likely is Republicans will support dramatic increases in welfare spending as long warfare spending is increased by an equivalent, or greater, amount. That is what is called “compromise” in Washington.

One positive development from Tuesday is the slightly improved chance for a roll-call vote on “Audit the Fed.” Most of the Senators who are likely to assume leadership roles next year are co-sponsors of the bill. However, special interests that benefit from Fed secrecy are very influential in both parties, so it will be up to the people to continue to pressure Congress for a Senate vote.

Elsewhere, there may also be some rollbacks and reforms of some of the worst parts of ObamaCare, but a full repeal of the bill is unlikely. This is not just because there are still not the votes to override an inevitable veto. The insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies that benefit from ObamaCare are equally influential in both parties and have very deep pockets.

I ended my comments on election night by pointing out that while it may have been an important election, it was not most important ever. Ideas are what really count. And that is where we are winning!

This article originally appeared as What The Mid-Term Elections Really Mean For Peace and Liberty on the Ron Paul Institute website.
Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Energy Department Announces $15 Million to Integrate Affordable Solar Energy into Nation’s Electrical Grid

WASHINGTON – Supporting the goals of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department has announced $15 million in available funding to help integrate distributed, on-site solar energy systems into the nation’s electrical grid. With more solar power installed in the United States in the last 18 months than in 30 years prior, solar is shattering records. Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than thirteen fold – from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 15.9 GW today – enough to power the equivalent of 3.2 million average American homes. As more solar comes online, the Energy Department is working to address the challenges of solar power, such as the variability of available sunshine during the day, and developing solutions to better integrate solar photovoltaics (PV) with electric power systems throughout the grid.

To further spur widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar energy for all Americans, this funding is specifically aimed at supporting projects that enable low-cost, flexible and reliable solutions that successfully integrate solar PV power plants and energy storage. The funding opportunity will tackle the challenge of creating cost-effective and reliable distributed PV and energy storage solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with increased amounts of renewables. Eligible projects include solutions that will help revolutionize distributed PV and energy storage through:

  • Advanced operation in conjunction with smart loads and demand response,
  • Incorporation of solar and load forecasting,
  • Innovative uses of smart components and functionalities, and
  • Easily interoperable hardware, software and firmware technologies.

This funding builds on SunShot’s work to drive innovations in systems integration technologies that support the deployment of solar energy and the reliability and efficiency of electricity generation, delivery, and use. Find more information about this funding opportunity, including application requirements, HERE.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality and economic vitality. EERE’s SunShot Initiative works to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.

Corporate Management Is Creating The Next Recession

The actions of corporate leaders are hurting the economy. They are buying back their companies' shares at inflated prices and ballooning their own pay via bonuses which are based upon share prices. This is hurting not only their companies' long term health, but also hurting the economy. Clearly, we have a capitalism-based problem. What's good for the corporate leaders' pocketbooks is definitely not good for the economy.

In the near future, when the US economy hits the wall and enters recession (it may have already done so, by the way), just remember: it was corporate management which pushed the country into recession. We need to revise the tax laws to account for this problem with capitalism by taxing individual compensation for management which is due to inflated share pricing and lower overall corporate tax rates. Corporate leaders are not only taking unfair advantage of the stock market, they are pushing the problems they cause onto taxpayers. When the recession hits, it will be government which has to help heal the economy and that's going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. It's yet another case of the big fish eating the small fish in our messed-up form of capitalism. And, it's time that individual taxpayers contacted their congressional representatives to demand that they punish those corporate leaders who are stealing from the public treasury to bolster their wealth.

Andrew Smithers details this subject in Buybacks and the parallel universe of bankers.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Major turn in equities and government bonds is here.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Friday, November 07, 2014

US economic growth is all an illusion

John Crudele writes in US economic growth is all an illusion:
As voters were coming out of the polls on Tuesday, pesky reporters were asking why they voted the way they did — and what was going through their heads?
The most popular response — from 45 percent of the voters — was the economy.
Indeed, the whole idea that the US economy is doing well is simply a hoax perpetrated by government figureheads.

Crudele gets it right:

The economy isn't really doing what the statistics say it is doing.
Our nation's economic statistics are nipped and tucked, massaged, managed, fabricated and dolled up.
In short, our statistics are wrong and Main Street folks know it.
Read more here.

The Boom In Solar Is Here To Stay

In the past, you've read our forecast: solar will become the predominant source of energy in the next decade. We're beginning to see that others (especially investment bank analysts) are recognizing just how strong this trend is becoming.

Bloomberg reports:

Grid Parity to Reach 36 States in 2016
After years of struggling against cheap natural gas prices and variable subsidies, solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states --- in 2016, according to a Deutsche Bank report published this week. That's assuming the U.S. maintains its 30 percent tax credit on system costs, which is set to expire that same year.
Even if the tax credit drops to 10 percent, solar will soon reach price parity with conventional electricity in well over half the nation: 36 states. Gone are the days when solar panels were an exotic plaything of Earth-loving rich people. Solar is becoming mainstream, and prices will continue to drop as the technology improves and financing becomes more affordable, according to the report.
The chart below shows how far solar will come out ahead in each state in 2016, assuming a worst-case scenario of lower tax credits. The blue bars show the anticipated cost of solar energy (assuming a conservative 20-year lifespan for the panels) minus average electricity prices. Positive numbers indicate the savings for every kilowatt hour of electricity.

This chart should be a wakeup call for consumers. Electricity prices continue to fall in America and the decline is due mostly to solar. Fossil fuel prices are falling, too, but the long term trend there is for higher prices. Only solar will be able to counteract this long term inflationary trend.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Enough with the Range Anxiety Already

Some electric car owners, or potential owners, have what is called “range anxiety.” Well, it's time to put such matters to rest.

The technology of batteries is advancing rapidly and range anxiety is about to disappear. Cars with enough battery power to go many hundreds of miles are on the horizon. Currently, most electric cars are range-limited to a few dozen miles (Tesla being a major exception, which is one reason their cars are so much in demand). But, new battery technology will be here soon such that a car with a thousand-mile range will be entirely feasible, although manufacturers may limit range to about 500 miles, about the distance an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle can attain.

Stay tuned and read about it first right here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Can Oil Prices Bounce Back?

The public doesn't believe lower oil prices will stick. As a contrarian, that's good news because the crowd is always wrong at major turns.

This position is backed by Gail Tvberg's latest, No Good Way Out:

If we could somehow fix the world’s debt problems, a rise in the price of oil would seem to be much more likely than it looks right now. As long as the drop in demand is related to declining debt, and the potential feedbacks seem to be in the direction of deflation and the possibility of making defaults ever more likely, we have a problem. The only direction for oil prices to go would seem to be downward.

I know that we have very creative central banks. But the issue at hand is really diminishing returns. Prior to diminishing returns becoming a problem, it was possible to extract and refine oil cheaply. With cheap oil, it was possible to create an economy with low-priced oil, inexpensive infrastructure built with that low-priced oil, and factories built with low-priced oil. Workers seemed to be very productive in such a setting, in part because low-priced oil allowed increased mechanization of production and allowed cheap transport of goods.

Once diminishing returns set in, oil became increasingly expensive to extract, because we needed to use more resources to obtain oil that was very deep, or in shale formations, or that required desalination plants to support the population. Once we needed to allocate resources for these endeavors, fewer resources were available for more general uses. With fewer resources for general activities, economic growth has become inhibited. This has tended to lead to fewer jobs, especially good-paying jobs. It also makes debt harder to repay. History shows that many economies have collapsed because of diminishing returns.

Most people assume that of course, oil prices will rise. That is what they learned from supply and demand discussions in Economics 101. I think that what we learned in Econ 101 is wrong because the supply and demand model most economists use ignores important feedback loops. (See my post Why Standard Economic Models Don’t Work–Our Economy is a Network.)

We often hear that if there is not enough oil at a given price, the situation will lead to substitution or to demand destruction. Because of the networked nature of the economy, this demand destruction comes about in a different way than most economists expect–it comes from fewer people having jobs with good wages. With lower wages, it also comes from less debt being available. We end up with a disparity between what consumers can afford to pay for oil, and the amount that it costs to extract the oil. This is the problem we are facing today, and it is a very difficult issue.

We have been hearing for so long that the problem of “peak oil” will be inadequate supply and high prices that we cannot adjust our thinking to the real situation. In fact, the two major problems of oil limits are likely to be shrinking debt and shrinking wages. The reason that oil supply will drop is likely to be because customers cannot afford to pay for it; they don’t have jobs that pay well and they can’t get loans.

In some ways, the oil prices situation reminds me of driving down a road where we have been warned to look carefully toward the left for potential problems. In fact, the potential problem is in precisely in the opposite direction–to the right. The problem gets overlooked for a very long time, because most of us have been looking out the wrong window.

For more on this subject, read my last two posts:

WSJ Gets it Wrong on “Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True”

Eight Pieces of Our Oil Price Predicament

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

LED light bulbs keep improving in efficiency and quality

Improvements in lighting technology for light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs have increased lighting efficiency, or efficacy, as well as color quality. In September of this year, several manufacturers released ENERGY STAR®-qualified bulbs surpassing 100 lumens per watt. For comparison, traditional incandescent bulbs, which do not meet current light bulb efficiency standards and are no longer sold, provide 13 to 18 lumens per watt.

When first introduced, LED bulbs were far more expensive than other bulbs, but their costs have since come down dramatically. Even now, however, they are often the most expensive bulbs on the shelf, but their much longer lifetimes and lower power draw can economically justify the higher initial cost

Costs to consumers have also been reduced by dozens of energy-efficiency programs that offer in-store or mail-in rebates, discounts, or other incentives. The ENERGY STAR program estimates that from 2011 through 2013, energy efficiency program sponsors spent $400 to $470 million annually to encourage the adoption of ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting products. These products include certain LEDs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), ceiling fan light kits, and other luminaires. More information about these state, local, and utility programs can be found at ENERGY STAR's rebate finder website and at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

Shipment data collected by ENERGY STAR show that LED bulb shipments have increased from about 9 million bulbs in 2011 to more than 45 million bulbs in 2013, reaching an estimated 2.3% market share of general service lighting. Shipments of CFLs have been about 300 million annually since 2011, with an estimated market share of 15% to 20%.

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program has encouraged research and development of solid-state lighting, primarily LEDs, and promoted consumer education as the market evolves. The Lighting Facts label that appears on almost all light bulb packages provides information on the brightness (in lumens), power draw (in watts), efficacy (lumens per watt), assumed lifetime, and estimated annual energy costs.

Read more here.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

U.S. gasoline prices move with Brent rather than WTI crude oil

The EIA (Energy Information Administration, an agency of the US Government) reports that U.S. gasoline prices move with Brent rather than WTI crude oil:
Recent increases in U.S. crude oil production have sparked discussion on how this increase in supply will be used by U.S. refiners given current limitations on exporting domestic crude. On October 30, EIA released a study that explored the relationships between crude oil and gasoline prices.

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • Prices of Brent crude oil, an international benchmark, are more important than the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), a domestic benchmark, for determining gasoline prices in all four U.S. regions studied, including the Midwest.
  • The effect that a relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports would have on U.S. gasoline prices depends on its effect on international crude prices, such as Brent, rather than its effect on domestic crude prices.
  • Gasoline is a globally traded commodity, and prices are highly correlated across global spot markets.
  • Gasoline supply, demand, and trade in various regions are changing; one effect is that U.S. Gulf Coast and Chicago spot gasoline prices, which are closely linked, are now often the lowest in the world during fall and winter months.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

It's Not Too Late

Some have given up on keeping a habitable planet. But, the UN says there's still time to act:
The most sophisticated, comprehensive and succinct scientific account of the accelerating impacts of human activity on the world around us, from warming and rising oceans to the growing toll of heat stroke, was published Sunday by a United Nations panel. The picture that emerged from the 116-page synthesis of three blockbuster climate change reports was alarming. "The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen," it reminds us, warning that warming caused by carbon dioxide pollution "is effectively irreversible."
But the report was not an ode to a dying world. The synthesis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fifth assessment since 1990 was brimming with advice and guidance. It quantified and explained difficult measures that governments and industry would need to take to prevent the disastrous levels of warming that would be assured if the globe's current fuel-burning and forest-felling trajectory remains unchanged.
"We have the means to limit climate change and build a better future," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during a press conference as the IPCC released the report Sunday. "We must act quickly and decisively if we want to avoid increasingly disruptive outcomes."
Scientists and international delegates spent the past week meeting in Copenhagen crafting and fine-tuning the report, which synthesized the findings from more than 30,000 scientific papers.
It comes at a critical time, with nations preparing to convene for climate treaty talks in Lima, Peru, next month. Those talks will be a prelude to negotiations in Paris a year later, when the first global climate treaty since the Kyoto Protocol is due to be finalized, promising to shape humanity's future for countless generations to come.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. They save the biggest bombs until the finale. Once the finale is over, the blowups will happen!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Midterm Elections Likely To Disappoint

Some Americans think that midterm elections this month will change the face of politics in DC. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, chances are that the midterms will actually make things worse.

Peter Morici writes in Electing a Republican Senate Won’t Fix What’s Broke that:

Voter discontent across the United States is very likely to give the GOP control of the Senate, but Americans quickly will become as dis-enamored with a new cast on Capitol Hill.

Most Americans’ paychecks are stagnant and health care and many other things too expensive. And yet, Americans won’t accept what fixing those problems requires – and then pressure politicians to act accordingly.

Managing globalization badly

The United States manages globalization badly. It has opened its markets to cheap imports, while China and other Asian nations maintain high barriers to competitive U.S. exports. Washington has not compelled reciprocity through specific actions to sustain American jobs.

Americans can’t seem to accept that putting everyone to work—and most folks getting higher pay—would more than offset paying a bit extra for a coffee table or cell phone. Hence, Obama and the GOP do no more than talk about these problems.

New technologies make life easier, but have dramatically changed the workplace. Large organizations once employed batteries of white-collar workers.

Train for jobs, not general citizenship virtues

Many were liberal arts college graduates having no great skill in finance or management. Essentially, they were there to faithfully implement the policies, plans and requirements of more senior, skilled decision makers.

In the private sector, computers and software have eliminated many of those jobs, but Americans keep sending about half of graduating high school seniors to college.

Far too many of them get degrees in political science, psychology and the like — and many end up jobless, underemployed and, because of the high cost of college in the Untied States, terribly in debt.

Yet, vast new opportunities for folks with a technical high school diploma or a few additional years of training in information technology, manufacturing and other technical specialties go unfilled.

Colleges need a diet—fewer students and a lot less money for their administrator bureaucrats—and both need to be redirected into a new system of vocational education.

Most young people would spend fewer years in school, get better jobs and have less debt, but parents won’t accept that most children should not go to college and politicians don’t act.

America’s sub-par health care

Health care in America is far from the best in the world. The Germans and Dutch have mandatory insurance systems, pay a third less for medical expenses overall, are healthier and face fewer hassles seeing a doctor. What’s not to like?

In the United States, politics interferes far too much. Republicans keep preaching vouchers and competition, and Obamacare imposes a new IRS-like tyrant into American life.

The voters, meanwhile, are all too willing to believe the ill-reasoning of politicians from one party or the other — and then get frustrated when things don’t get better, only more expensive.

Until voters recognize the inferior quality of American health care and demand that American performance and prices are benchmarked to superior northern-European systems, things are not going to get better.

Americans are correct to demand change, but at all levels the parade of incompetency will continue until Americans reckon with the changes they need to accept.

In fact, Americans will soon find that the broken government in DC will be unable to deal with the next recession, which is upon us now—despite the lies issued from government.

This Week in Space: Tragedy, But Success As Well

The space community experienced both the highs and lows of space travel this past week.

The lows were the death of a Virgin Galactic pilot aboard Spaceship Two on Friday and the explosion of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket shortly after liftoff from Wallops Island, VA earlier in the week.

But, there were positives as well. The Russians successfully launched a Progress supply spacecraft to the International Space Station shortly after the Antares mishap. The Chinese sent a spacecraft around the Moon and landed it back on Earth on Saturday morning. And, SpaceX successfully returned science experiments conducted on the ISS via its Dragon spacecraft.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Signs are appearing which are consistent with this being the last rally in the equity market.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why are equities bummed out today? The Fed, of course!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

It's Time To Stop Using Ancient Rockets

Two years ago, Elon Musk said this about Orbital Sciences' use of Russian rocket engines to ferry cargo for NASA to the International Space Station:
One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the ’60s. I don’t mean their design is from the ’60s—I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.
Yesterday, the third flight of Orbital's rocket which was to deliver supplies to the ISS blew up shortly after lifting off. While we don't yet know that a rocket engine on the first stage failed, we do know that an identical engine blew up on a test stand in May. The cause of that explosion has not been disclosed yet.

Orbital's competitor to deliver supplies to the ISS is, of course, Musk's SpaceX, which builds and fully-tests its own rocket engines. One of them failed on an earlier flight, but because the Falcon 9 rocket is designed to safely get to orbit even if one engine fails, the mission was a success for NASA. Orbital not only uses 50-year-old rocket engines purchased from Russia, it uses only two engines on the first stage of the rocket. So, if one fails, the mission itself is a complete failure.

It's time to re-examine the logic behind Orbital's use of half-century-old rocket technology before they have another failure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. It's a critical time for stocks as a key indicator is at a turning point.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Dueling trendlines, but only one is likely to win out in the end.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Portfolio Risks Due To Climate Change

The Bank of England has started asking financial firms to assess their risks from Climate Change. According to the Financial Times “The Bank of England has written to dozens of insurance companies to assess the risk that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings, in a sign of regulators’ concern about the potential financial fallout of global warming.”

With the IPCC due to release a major report next week on the rising risks from climate change, it appears that the money crowd is finally getting the message.

Elon Musk Jumps the Shark

Elon Musk has jumped the shark.

While Musk has been very successful at going up against the perceived wisdom, he's now clearly getting delusional. Just read what he said at MIT last week:

Musk: I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.

I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and he’s like — Yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out. [audience laughs]

Q: So I’ll take it there’ll be no HAL9000 going to mars?

Musk: Heh. HAL 9000 would be easy [to deal with in comparison to the AI he’s talking about]. It’s way more complex… it’d put HAL9000 to shame. That’s like a puppy dog.
When did he first show signs of delusion? We date it to the gigafactory. Betting $5 billion on a decade-old technology like Lithium-Ion batteries is a very risky bet—and will end up losing investors much money. New battery technology will make the gigafactory obsolete even before it opens.

Investors pay heed: Jumping the shark is going to lose lots of investment cash for Musk.

Another Reason Why Texas is the Armpit of the USA

Over the years, we've seen many instances of idiocy in Texas (the current idiot-in-charge is Rick Perry), but the new Texas Voter ID law has to be the most insane law of all. Years ago, Texas had a poll tax whose only purpose was to disenfranchise poor people. It worked very well in keeping the poor from voting. But, then, the Supreme Court ruled, surprisingly, that requiring a voter to pay for the privilege was illegal.

Today, the Texas Voter ID Law has replaced the poll tax. And, the law has been upheld in court (so far). It keeps the poor, who disproportionately do not have the right kind of identification, from exercising their right to vote. The supporters of the law, the current ruling class in Texas, claim that voting fraud is being prevented by this law. In truth, they are the ones committing voter fraud by keeping the poor from voting. Eventually, the Supreme Court will rule this law is as unconstitutional as the poll tax. But, for now, the law is in effect and will help the ruling class maintain their iron grip on Texas.

Does a 93-year-old veteran get to vote in the current election? No, according to the law, his driver license has expired and therefore he's not eligible to vote anymore. What they're saying is that he lost his rights when his driver license expired? Are you kidding? Why isn't an expired license just as valid for authenticating his identity? He certainly didn't become a different person when the license expired, did he?

The ruling party of Texas (they were once called “carpetbaggers” after the Civil War, by the way) is simply daring true patriots to eliminate them at the polls or in the courts in coming years. It will be a turn for the better for Texas.

In the meantime, we have the prospect of a crashing economy in the State of Texas to look forward to in 2015 and 2016. Guess who will get the blame? Yes, indeed, the ruling class is going to come crashing down with the economy. And, rightly so.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

UN: Some Effects of Climate Change Are Irreversible

The latest report from the IPCC paints a very bleak future for the human race, as Reuters reports:

Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the report, meant as the main guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

They will publish the study on Nov. 2.

European Union leaders on Friday agreed to cut emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, in a shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energies, and urged other major emitters led by China and the United States to follow.

"The report will be a guide for us," Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who will host a U.N. meeting of environment ministers in Lima in late 2014 to lay the groundwork for the Paris summit, told Reuters.

He said the synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), drawing on three mammoth scientific reports published since September 2013, would show the need for urgent and ambitious action in coming years.

Many governments want the 32-page draft to be more clearly and punchily written in warnings of more powerful storms, heat waves, floods and rising seas. The United States said some tables "may be impenetrable to the policymaker or public".

In a paragraph summing up the risks, the draft says that a continued rise in world greenhouse gas emissions is "increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."

It adds that "a combination of adaptation and substantial, sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit climate change risks."

ALL AFFECTED

Among more than 2,000 comments on the text by governments, the European Union said the IPCC should add that "all regions are affected, regardless of wealth".

The United States called for clarification of the meaning of "irreversible". Jonathan Lynn, spokesman of the IPCC, said that the meeting would take account of all comments.

Past reports have warned that warming could, for instance, trigger impacts irreversible on human time scales such as a runaway meltdown of Greenland's ice that would raise sea levels and swamp coasts from Florida to Bangladesh.

Two artists were to unveil 100 tonnes of ice on Sunday in 12 massive blocks brought from near Nuuk, Greenland, outside Copenhagen's City Hall to remind delegates of the risks.

"We can save the ice by burning less coal, conserving electricity, and driving better cars," Danish Climate Minister Morten Helveg Petersen said of the Ice Watch exhibit.

The IPCC says that it is at least 95 percent certain that human activities, led by the burning of fossil fuels, are the main cause of climate change since 1950, up from 90 percent in the previous assessment in 2007 and 66 percent in 2002.

Opinion polls indicate many people, especially in the United States, are unconvinced and suspect that natural variations in climate are to blame. That gap between public and scientific opinion is a big complication for work on the Paris accord.

What Percentage of Americans Are Idiots?

Newsmax conducted a poll of Americans, asking whether they think Global Warming is a hoax. Fully three-quarters of respondents said, “Yes, global warming is a hoax.” The other quarter said, “No, it is a real threat.”

What does this say for America? It says the country is going down the drain very quickly now. Being unable to recognize an obvious threat to our survival means that we have lost our ability to survive as a species on one of the best planets in the Universe. It won't be a habitable planet much longer if the idiots get their way, which it appears they are doing.

Is it the fault of the government that so many idiots exist in America today? After all, the government operates most of the schools in this country and if anyone is responsible, it's the government. Perhaps we should require global warming denialists to attend special schools to learn the facts. We should certainly require those in school to take tests assessing their ability to distinguish fact from fiction.

The most frightening conclusion is that in a representative democracy, three-quarters of the voting public simply is too moronic to be allowed to vote.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Where are the big returns setting up in stocks and bonds?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Viable Battery Storage For the Grid: Two Years Away?

According to Bloomberg, Viable Battery Backup for Rooftop Solar Still Years Away, it will be two years before battery-backed home solar will be cost-effective for homeowners:

That means homeowners who add solar panels to save money on utility bills will continue to lose electricity during blackouts, even after an 80 percent decline in battery costs over the past decade.

Residential solar systems typically send power to the grid, not directly to the house, and don’t run the home during a blackout. For batteries to save consumers money, stored energy must be drained daily, said Jamie Evans, who runs the U.S. Eco Solutions unit for Panasonic Corp., which supplies lithium-ion cells for Tesla Motors Inc.

Solar will need storage for grid stability,” Evans said yesterday in an interview at the Solar Power International convention in Las Vegas. “Battery costs need to come down and regulatory structures have to change to really scale up.”

As residential solar becomes more common from California to New York, utility grids will increasingly become stressed without storage to ease supply and demand imbalances, he said.

For now, that means battery storage only makes economic sense for large businesses that get hit with extra fees when their power usage exceeds utility expectations.

These so-called demand charges can add up to half of a company’s utility bill, said John Carrington, chief executive officer of Stem Inc., a storage supplier backed by General Electric Co. that offers three-year leases on battery systems for customers including hotel chain Extended Stay America Inc.

“Residential solar plus storage isn’t ready yet,” Carrington said in an interview. “Lithium batteries cost too much to be used for just back-up power in an emergency.”

That’s why rooftop solar developers and battery companies are working with regulators in California and New York to change utility rate structures so that batteries in a home can get paid to supply power to the grid when needed, said SolarCity Corp. CEO Lyndon Rive.

“Storage will have to provide additional services besides backup power, like voltage and demand management,” Rive said. “When you start to see gigawatts of solar deployed the grid will need this.”

But, are industry experts going to be surprised when new battery technology bursts upon the scene in the year ahead? Yes, indeed, they will be!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Dirty Secret Big Oil Wants To Hide

Oil is not only a major contributor to global warming when it's burned, it's now the main source of revenue for the Islamic State (IS). The terrorist group which masquerades as a sovereign nation earns an estimated $1 million per day from selling oil it obtains in occupied regions of Iraq and Syria.

It's bad enough that the oil is mainly burned for transportation, upping the CO₂ load on the planet higher than anytime in the last 800,000 years. That's a load that we humans should have eliminated a long time ago by use of renewables. It's even worse that murderous IS is profiting from the crimes it commits—including selling oil which is mainly burned for energy.

There's no technological reason we can't eliminate fossil fuels we have today. It's a matter of paid-off politicians preventing the widespread adoption of renewables who are greedy and being bribed by Big Oil to stand in the way of progress. And, now those politicians are caught on the same side of the road as IS terrorists. They may not personally like or approve of IS, but they are definitely fellow travelers on the wrong side of the road.

As for the global warming denialists? Are they visibly-distinguishable from IS? They'd better wake up and smell the coffee!

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Will we retest last week's lows? One indicator holds the key to that.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Is the rebound rally over? We look at what could really stop the rally quickly.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Climate Change Deniers Are Certifiable

We realized that deniers have something wrong in their heads a long time ago. Now, a respected psychologist, Doug Craig, agrees:

As a psychologist for nearly 30 years, it has been my experience that not everyone understands mental illness. People who have had direct experience with severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, suicide, bipolar illness, schizophrenia or extreme despair and hopelessness get it. They understand because of their own life experience or from their connection with a loved one who has suffered significant pain as a result of their mental or emotional difficulties.

On the other hand, there are many who mistake their good luck or positive genetics as a message that mental illness is a myth. Just because they are not depressed or anxious, they cannot relate to those who struggle with these serious disorders on a daily basis. We have all seen or heard from these individuals. Contemptuous, condemnatory judgements drip from them like toxic sludge. They have no compassion or understanding as they spew their hateful views on people they do not know or care to know.

How quickly this changes, of course, when the course of their own life turns. The good fortune they enjoyed shifts for some reason and they find themselves suddenly down, out or disabled by inner demons they never knew were there. When life kicks us from the inside, we become humble, open and receptive to help wherever we can find it. We no longer have the luxury of our ignorance and prejudice. Our survival depends on facing our truth and discovering the right combination of medicine and therapy that enable us to regain our balance, peace and joy.

Similarly, it is hard to deny the climate is changing when the evidence of your lived experience says otherwise. If you live on an island or in a coastal community, for example, you are more likely to have personally felt the cold, wet hand of climate change.

It is both comic and tragic that so many believe that the Earth’s rising temperature cannot be described as global warming. What is it then? It is laughable and cruel how our conservative friends buy the lie that billions of tons of human-generated, heat-trapping gases are somehow not responsible for our steadily warming planet, even though this is the consensus view of nearly every climate science study and scientist on Earth in the last 25 years. It is odd and sad that they cannot connect a hotter world with melting glaciers and melting glaciers with rising seas and rising seas with devastated communities in all nations where land meets sea, including our own.

Like someone who must confront the truth of their mental illness as they fight suicidal thoughts; severe, chronic pain or crippling panic attacks, the island nations are forced to face a reality that will inevitably and permanently remove their nations from the maps of the world. They cannot play denier games. They cannot pretend the cruel lies of the contrarians contain any credibility worth their children’s futures or their precious, diminishing time. Instead, they must speak out as you would if you stood in their wet shoes, their eyes trained on the rising seas threatening their homes and all they hold dear.

There's a part of the United States which will sink beneath the seas in a relatively short period of time. Did you know that South Miami, Florida is doomed by rising seas? That's why they are petitioning for secession from the climate change deniers of Florida. Read on....

Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping Housing Bust is Already Starting to Appear

Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping Housing Bust is Already Starting to Appear

By Elliott Wave International

Editor's note: With permission, the following article was adapted from the October 2014 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a publication of Elliott Wave International, the world's largest market forecasting firm. You may review an extended version of the article for free here.

In February, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast discussed the great boom in New York City's residential real estate and its keen resemblance to what happened in 1929, when the demand for luxury housing also spiked to previously unseen heights. At 133 East 80th Street, we found this plaque commemorating the earlier era's brick-and-mortar monuments to a Supercycle degree peak in social mood.

The plaque went up in 2010, demonstrating the strength of the bullish echo from the end of Supercycle wave (III) to the final after-effects of Supercycle wave (V). Another link to the prior manic era is that many of Rosario Candela-designed apartment towers from the 1920s have become "some of New York's most coveted addresses." As architectural historian Christopher Gray puts it, Candela is now Manhattan real estate brokers' "name-drop of choice. Nowadays, to own a 10-to 20-room apartment in a Candela-designed building is to accede to architectural as well as social cynosure."

Of course, the most brilliant stars in the New York skyline are those that sell for the highest prices, and that honor belongs to the brand new penthouses that the Financial Forecast talked about in February. Most are popping up along the rim of Central Park, forming a ring of cloud-topping towers that will be so pronounced it is already called Billionaires' Row.

Here is a short video that shows two of them as they were topped off in February.

The video helps illustrate our point from February: "As in the 1880s, the views and proximity to Central Park drive development, but the new buildings rise so high that the park's presence fades away."

As the Dow rallied to its September high, prices for space in these buildings also entered the stratosphere. According to Forbes, a penthouse apartment on the 89th and 90th stories of One57 (building at the end of the clip) sold for $90 to $100 million, a new record. In another building, 520 Park Avenue, owners are asking a record high $130 million for a penthouse, which will cap its top three stories. If they sell it soon -- and they will have to if they hope to land that price -- the developers should demand a big down payment. The Greatest Depression has yet to begin, but the evidence of another even more sweeping housing bust is already starting to appear. Bloomberg notes, for instance, that in the immediate vicinity of One57, three copycat buildings are "rushing" toward completion, and "some real-estate experts warn of an oversupply of luxury dwellings." Across the river in New Jersey, the story is the same: "Real estate officials are predicting the [market] is heading toward a glut" (NorthJersey.com, Sept. 21).

Meanwhile, the first whiffs of a renewed decline in single-family housing are also appearing. U.S. home prices increased at the slowest pace in 20 months in July. In the housing bellwether of Southern California, sales plunged in July and August. In fact, at less than 18,800 units sold, they were down 18.5% from a year earlier, the lowest total in four years.

The September Financial Forecast noted a similar August cratering for home sales in London, another global pacesetter. The top line on the next chart shows that the timing is about right, as British home prices have traced out a nice five waves in a rise that dates back to the early 1970s.

The lower panel on the graph shows inflation-adjusted prices in Britain and an even more pronounced rise in Canadian home prices. Now look at the red lines, which show the trend in Japan's home prices. These are the most important lines on the chart, as the Financial Forecast has long held that "Japan leads the way." Home prices in Japan have been falling steadily since the early 1990s. The chart shows that deflationary forces have come a long way but also have a long way to go. In due time, every major real estate market in the world should fall in with the downtrend in Japan.

Editor's note: For a limited-time, Elliott Wave International has unlocked an extended version of this article for non-subscribers to read completely free. Please follow the link here to read the rest of EWI's commentary about deflation spreading worldwide. Get the extended version of the article here - it's free.