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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Faces of the Enemy

The enemy is running scared. They are appealing to the basest of emotion and it's really hard to think that anyone would see their ads as anything other than a capitulation to the fact of Global Warming and Climate Change. Here are the ugly faces of the climate deniers, funded by the Koch brothers in large part:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Rallies in bear markets are great, cover a lot of price ground and are great for traders.

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

Free Report on Oil

By Elliott Wave International:

Today, there is no shortage of opinions about oil.

So why should you bother reading this one?

Because 99% of oil forecasts out there are based on so-called fundamentals. The same "fundamentals" that back in June, when oil cost $107 a barrel, promised even higher prices due to:

  • The rising threat of Islamic State in Iraq
  • Weak U.S. dollar and
  • Strong U.S. job growth

Now that oil has fallen to $54, the same sources are giving you "reasons" why it should fall even more.

You can see what's happening: Too many analysts simply extrapolate yesterday's trend into tomorrow.

That's like saying that because it's sunny today, expect sun tomorrow, too. That's not forecasting.

Elliott Wave International prides itself on being bold with its forecasts. They have just released a new report from their in-house Energy expert giving you a unique look at the trend in Crude.

Special Report: "Oil: What's Next?"

EWI's Chief Energy Analyst, Steve Craig, has lived the oil market for close to 30 years. In this free report, Steve shares his take on where oil has been -- and where it's going.

Access your free oil report today and get a fresh perspective on crude oil.

Bonus: On Thursday, December 18, we will expand the report to include a clip from Steve's brand new video forecast for crude oil.

U.S. household gasoline expenditures in 2015 on track to be the lowest in 11 years

By EIA:

The average U.S. household is expected to spend about $550 less on gasoline in 2015 compared with 2014, as annual motor fuel expenditures are on track to fall to their lowest level in 11 years. Lower fuel expenditures are attributable to a combination of falling retail gasoline prices and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks that reduce the number of gallons used to travel a given distance.

Household gasoline costs are forecast to average $1,962 next year, assuming that EIA's price forecast, which is highly uncertain, is realized. Should the forecast be realized, motor fuel expenditures (gasoline and motor oil) in 2015 would be below $2,000 for the first time since 2009, according to EIA's December 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

The price for U.S. regular gasoline has fallen 11 weeks in a row to $2.55 per gallon as of December 15, down $1.16 per gallon from its 2014 peak in late April and the lowest price since October 2009. Gasoline prices are forecast to go even lower in 2015. Gasoline prices are falling because of lower crude oil prices, which account for about two-thirds of the price U.S. drivers pay for a gallon of gasoline.

EIA's latest STEO forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $68 per barrel (bbl) in 2015, with prices up to $5/bbl below that annual average early in the year. The forecast for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spot prices averages $63/bbl in 2015. However, the current values of futures and options contracts show high uncertainty regarding the price outlook. For example, WTI futures contracts for March 2015 delivery traded during the five-day period ending December 4 averaged $67/bbl. Implied volatility averaged 32%, establishing the lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the market's expectations of WTI prices at the expiration of the March 2015 contract at $51/bbl and $89/bbl, respectively. Last year at this time, WTI futures contracts for March 2014 delivery averaged $96/bbl and implied volatility averaged 19%, with only a $30/bbl spread between the corresponding lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval.

Increases in fuel economy are also contributing to lower motor fuel expenditures, as cars and trucks travel farther on a gallon of gasoline. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the production-weighted fuel economy of cars has increased from 23.1 miles per gallon (mpg) for model-year (MY) 2005 cars to almost 28 mpg for MY2014, an increase of about 21%. Similarly, the fuel economy for trucks has increased 19%, from 16.9 mpg to 20.1 mpg in the same time frame.

In recent years, gasoline expenditures have accounted for about 5% of household expenditures. In the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Price Index, gasoline accounted for 5.1% of consumer spending, as of October 2014. Reductions in the gasoline price ultimately impact the relative weight of gasoline compared to other expenditures (shelter, clothing, food, entertainment, and so on) in price indices compiled by BLS and the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The demand for gasoline is very price inelastic over short time periods, meaning changes in price have little impact on the number of gallons used. Falling gasoline prices allow households to spend their income on other goods and services, pay down debt, and/or increase savings.

Principal contributors: Tom Doggett, Russ Tarver

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Bellwether Tesla has confirmed its bear market trend.

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, December 15, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Will oil rebound here? Could be a gusher of a rally!

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. What happens when oil stops crashing?

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, December 12, 2014

Tesla’s Stationary Storage Strategy: ‘Everywhere We Look, There’s an Opportunity’

This week's Energy Gang podcast looks at storage and Tesla's plans to sell batteries for use not only in Tesla's electric cars, but also for storing electricity for use on the grid:

Tesla is just beginning to expand beyond EVs and move deeper into grid-scale storage, behind-the-meter storage and solar-battery combination systems, potentially making it more than just a boutique automobile producer.

“Everywhere we look, there's an opportunity for storage,” said Mateo Jaramillo, Tesla’s director of powertrain business development, speaking on this week’s Energy Gang podcast.

In this week’s podcast, we’re live at Greentech Media’s Solar Market Insight conference. Tesla’s Jaramillo and California Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Picker join us to discuss the emerging markets for battery storage, including synergies with the solar industry.

Thursday, December 11, 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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The Dollar Index may be the key to one last rally in equities this month.

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

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Energy prices are controlling the market now, and are heading lower.

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

Gasoline Prices

The government's EIA has released the following projection for gasoline prices:
Driven largely by falling crude oil prices, U.S. weekly regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.78/gallon (gal) on December 1, the lowest since October 4, 2010. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are projected to continue declining for the remainder of the year, averaging $2.61/gal in December. EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.51/gal in 2013, to average $3.37/gal in 2014 and $2.60/gal in 2015.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. As December unwinds, successive tops end individual bull markets.

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

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Why Batteries Pose a Threat to Electric Utilities

Bloomberg explains Why Elon Musk's Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company:
Here's why something as basic as a battery both thrills and terrifies the U.S. utility industry.
At a sagebrush-strewn industrial park outside of Reno, Nevada, bulldozers are clearing dirt for Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)'s battery factory, projected to be the world's largest.
Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, sees the $5 billion facility as a key step toward making electric cars more affordable, while ending reliance on oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At first blush, the push toward more electric cars looks to be positive for utilities struggling with stagnant sales from energy conservation and slow economic growth.
Yet Musk's so-called gigafactory may soon become an existential threat to the 100-year-old utility business model. The facility will also churn out stationary battery packs that can be paired with rooftop solar panels to store power. Already, a second company led by Musk, SolarCity Corp. (SCTY), is packaging solar panels and batteries to power California homes and companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) "The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose" comes from systems that include storage, said Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Snowmass, Colorado-based energy consultant. "That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide."
Ah, but there's a bigger threat than that. And, it's coming soon to sign the death warrant for electric utilities.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. The bear market has begun in some sectors, but not all.

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, December 06, 2014

Is Feudalism the Natural Social Order?

David Brin asks Is feudalism the natural social order?
We know that bullying cabals of cheaters have conspired to dominate others and steal and wreck markets across 99% of societies for at least 6000 years and probably 250,000. Across all continents and wildly varied cultures, this universal pattern perfectly "correlates" with Darwinian advantage to the bully-cheaters. It is the broad fact known about human societies ... and those who would shrug it off — in favor of following incantatory gurus — are in no position to lecture us about "science."
An honest libertarian — even a "theorist" would recognize and accept the burden that this long and lamentable pattern lays upon our feet. If 99% of societies were feudal pyramids of hierarchy and inherited status, it suggests that our own — with its emphasis on individualism, rights and competitive creativity is a rare exception. Not an outgrowth of "natural law" but instead an invention, spectacularly clever, complex and needing perpetual maintenance, lest it slump back into older, more entropic ways.
...
Only one society ever systematically evaded this attractor trap. Its methodologies included moderate regulation to keep competition flat, open and fair. Not perfectly! But vastly better than any other society... by orders of magnitude. We moderate Smithians know that this revolution is the best thing that ever happened...
...beyond engendering vast wealth and science and reducing ancient mistakes like racism and sexism, it also made more libertarians than any other society ever!
It was not built by platonist theoreticians whose incantation mantras pile high "logic" that is endlessly refuted by actual human experience. Nor will it be extended by indignant, simplistic snits, or raging counterfactuals like "all government is bad and no concentration of wealth is ever toxic." That mantra is exactly what oligarchs want sock-puppets to recite, as they rebuild a feudal order.
We've got an opportunity to escape a trap that may have held back hundreds of other sapient species out there, perhaps millions. In the main article I ask what possible societies might arise from descendants of — say — pack carnivores, like wolves? Or solitary hunters, like tigers? Or solipsistic omnivores (bears), or herd herbivores? Or ants? But here's a funny thing. Not one of them seems guaranteed safety from the feudal attractor-state.
...
We seem to have found a way if we don't blow it, by betraying the pragmatic enlightenment invention—experiment in favor of theories. But so many are pushing to abandon the experiment! So many yearn — even in fantasy tales and films — for a return to old ways.
In the end, we may be kept from the stars by a simple flaw — our habit of delusion and self-hypnosis.
Read the main article here.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Historic overvaluation and falling earnings could be a toxic brew.

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

Is Clean Energy Vulnerable To the Oil Price Plunge?

Historically, clean energy has been vulnerable to falling oil prices. But, that's not the case this time, as OPEC Oil Price Squeeze To Leave Renewable Energy Unscathed reveals:
Lima, Peru — While OPEC is helping drive down global prices for crude, it's having less success squeezing the $250 billion clean power industry.
Green energy will receive almost 60 percent of the $5 trillion expected to be invested in new power plants over the next decade, according to the International Energy Agency. That's because the U.S., China, Japan and the European Union are all pushing for global limits on greenhouse gases and promoting alternatives to fossil fuels.
The effort has resulted in local and national incentive policies for renewable power around the world, effectively insulating the industry from market fluctuations such as the almost 40 percent plunge in crude oil since June. So while drillers clamp down on spending, developers are on track to invest more than $250 billion this year on wind, solar, geothermal and other types of renewable power, the first gains in two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "Renewables are supported by policies, and that is not something that will be amended quickly just because oil prices fall," Takashi Hongo, a senior fellow at Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute, which advises the Japanese government on energy policy, said in an interview in Tokyo. "There will be hardly any impact."

Dirty Oil, Dirty People

Well, well, caught with their pants down, it appears. Leaked Internal Presentation Details the Oil Industry's Campaign to Stop Clean Energy reveals what we've always suspected:
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) — whose members include Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP, and others — was caught red-handed late last month when a leaked internal presentation revealed a coordinated campaign to stomp out climate and clean energy progress in California, Oregon and Washington by propping up over 15 front groups that purport to represent the views of concerned citizens and the broader business community.
The leak comes on the heels of NRDC's report released this month, which unmasked eight of the front groups that are campaigning against California's climate and clean energy laws, as having direct ties to the oil industry.
This war between fossil fuels and clean energy is serious. If the fossil fuels people win, life on planet Earth is doomed. That's just how important this war is to the future habitability of our environment really is. Burning up all the oil we can extract from the planet will change the climate enough to make survival impossible for virtually every species, including humans.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Two leading sectors are due to top this week, followed by more next week.

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

Another Financial Crisis Is Coming

The financial crisis of 2008 is about to repeat itself. So says Michael Lewitt, editor of The Credit Strategist newsletter who correctly forecast the financial crisis of 2008. He recommends a cautious approach to stocks going into 2015.

“The U.S. stock market is overvalued both in terms of current corporate earnings as well as the economy’s potential future growth,” Lewitt writes in his December issue. “Investors would be wise to hedge their portfolios both to protect their gains and defend against systemic instabilities that are increasing.”

Given the pattern of 50%+ drops in the stock market twice this century, the next drop could be killer:

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Turnaround Tuesday took the Dow Industrials to new highs today, in line with expectations.

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

Wanderers

A short film by Erik Wernquist, narrated by Carl Sagan

Wanderers is a vision of humanity's expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available. Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds - and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.

http://www.erikwernquist.com/wanderers

Monday, December 01, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The indices are lining up for tops throughout the month of December.

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis PDF have been updated on the website. They do ring a bell at the 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.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sky Power To the People

Unlimited free energy as sky power will rule the planet in this TEDx talk that puts solar power into perspective:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Risk is rising for a very long term top in stocks.

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 24, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Lack of weakness in the broad market says this market is not topping yet.

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes and the #WeekendAnalysis PDF 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

Our Changing Climate

Jennifer Francis explains why we are seeing our climate changing so drastically now:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Google Gave Up On Stopping Climate Change

Google thought they could solve the Climate Change problem by use of renewables. But, for reasons which aren't exactly clear, they gave up on that goal.

Well, it turns out that Google was wrong and The coming era of unlimited — and free — clean energy should solve all of our energy problems.

Sometimes Google just doesn't get it.

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.