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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. See the chart that proves that the rats are deserting the sinking ship!

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, August 18, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Countertrend rally continues in stocks, giving investors more chances to sell.

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, August 17, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have both 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, August 16, 2014

Power To The People

Why are the Germans so good at energy? Well, the reason is pretty obvious: they give power to the people, not corporations.

Instead of letting large utilities decide on building power plants and forcing the people to accept whatever the utilities decide they need—usually whatever creates the most revenue for the utilities themselves—the German way is to let individuals and communities decide. And, that means that Citizens own half of German renewable energy.

We could learn a lot from Germany.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Wall Street is a dry tinderbox, awaiting a stray match to set it on fire.

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, August 13, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Did options levitate stocks this week? Yes, indeed, they did.

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, August 12, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Poor breadth does not a sustainable rally make!

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

Could Hemp Outdo Graphene in Supercapacitors?

Is marijuana the next big energy thing? New research into supercapacitors is yielding a surprise finding: hemp can produce an electrode similar to, and perhaps superior to, graphene. Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor? suggests so:
The race toward the ideal supercapacitor has largely focused on graphene—a strong, light material made of atom-thick layers of carbon, which when stacked, can be made into electrodes. Scientists are investigating how they can take advantage of graphene's unique properties to build better solar cells, water filtration systems, touch-screen technology, as well as batteries and supercapacitors. The problem is it's expensive.
Mitlin's group decided to see if they could make graphene-like carbons from hemp bast fibers. The fibers come from the inner bark of the plant and often are discarded from Canada's fast-growing industries that use hemp for clothing, construction materials and other products. The U.S. could soon become another supplier of bast. It now allows limited cultivation of hemp, which unlike its close cousin, does not induce highs.
Scientists had long suspected there was more value to the hemp bast—it was just a matter of finding the right way to process the material. "We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," says Mitlin, who's now with Clarkson University in New York. "The trick is to really understand the structure of a starter material and to tune how it's processed to give you what would rightfully be called amazing properties."
His team found that if they heated the fibers for 24 hours at a little over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then blasted the resulting material with more intense heat, it would exfoliate into carbon nanosheets.
Mitlin's team built their supercapacitors using the hemp-derived carbons as electrodes and an ionic liquid as the electrolyte. Fully assembled, the devices performed far better than commercial supercapacitors in both energy density and the range of temperatures over which they can work. The hemp-based devices yielded energy densities as high as 12 Watt-hours per kilogram, two to three times higher than commercial counterparts. They also operate over an impressive temperature range, from freezing to more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. "We're past the proof-of-principle stage for the fully functional supercapacitor," he says. "Now we're gearing up for small-scale manufacturing."
And that's what leading scientists are smoking these days!

Colliding Atmospheres: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring (Video)

EIA Projects Fossil Fuel Prices

Price Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015
a West Texas Intermediate.
b Average regular pump price.
c On-highway retail.
d U.S. Residential average.
WTI Crude Oila
(dollars per barrel)
94.12 97.91 100.45 96.08
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
111.65 108.64 108.11 105.00
Gasolineb
(dollars per gallon)
3.63 3.51 3.50 3.46
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
3.97 3.92 3.89 3.87
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
3.79 3.78 3.83 3.74
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.69 10.31 11.06 11.35
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
11.88 12.12 12.46 12.69

Source: Short Term Energy Outlook

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Countertrend rally ongoing in stocks, but where will it 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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Are we in a waterfall decline 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

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Waterfall Decline in Stock Market Due

Tom McClellan has produced an eye-opening report on how the second year of a President's second term produces a waterfall decline from July to September. We are in that decline right now. Investors should have sold all stocks by now, but it's not too late. In fact, according to the pattern, a brief bounce in the market should give investors one last chance to get out of equities:
The steep drop which began from the July 24 top is happening pretty much on schedule. A brief pause in the decline is due over the next few days, and then a resumption of the decline should appear. The ideal bottom equates to around Sep. 10, although the bottom to go up out of does not appear until a month later.

Forward To the Good Old Days

Our current societal discontent will be seen by historians of the future as the Bad Old Days which preceded the Good Old Days. That's because we are living in an era of unsustainable crimes against nature. We stick straws in the ground and suck fossil fuels out of it. That's when we're not leveling mountains to extract coal. We burn those fossil fuels and expect that we can continue to do so forever on a finite planet. Maybe historians will call these days the Stupid Old Days. Humans are incredibly stupid.

What else can you say when we despoil our nest so badly? We have the technology to eliminate all burning of fossil fuels, but the rich and powerful are fighting tooth and nail to protect their “property.” Who gave them the right to decide whether their fellow humans would die of pollution? Or, in the long run, die of Climate Change? These are the people who will find themselves on the business end of the pitchforks that the people will use to exact justice.

But, this is an optimistic article. The future holds great promise of eliminating fossil fuels used in powering our society. Those fossil fuels, probably better called fossil resources since we won't be burning them, have great uses outside of energy. The reason we will eliminate fossil fuels is not because the politicians will suddenly wake up and realize the burning of fossil fuels is a suicide strategy. No, the politicians won't have anything to do with it. The reason we will stop burning fossil fuels is simply that it won't pay to do so. Alternative energy is available cheaply today and will only get cheaper because the energy is available for free. We simply need to develop the pot to catch all the free energy that's available to us.

Of course, we're talking about the free energy from that fusion reactor that's located 93 million miles away from us in the sun. As much energy as we need in one year falls on the Earth from the sun every hour. All we have to do is to create a pot to catch it. And, we know how to do that already. If we need more free energy, we simply will send more satellites into space to capture the energy that isn't going to land on Earth in the first place. The sun puts out enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for several millenia. And, it will continue to do so for billions of years. Enough time for humanity to destroy itself, of course. At least on Earth. Maybe not on Mars if Elon Musk has his way.

But, historians of the future will definitely see humanity emerging from these Bad Old Days into the sunlight of the coming Good Old Days as long as we delay our inevitable demise due to stupidity.

Friday, August 08, 2014

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. Climate

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein forcefully makes the case that:
Our economic model is at war with life on Earth.
We can’t change the laws of nature, but we can change our broken economy.
And that’s why climate change isn’t just a disaster. It’s also our best chance to demand—and build—a better world.
Change or be changed. But make no mistake… this changes everything.

The publisher says:

Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it's not about carbon—it's about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.
In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.

Non von Neumann Computer Chip Mimics Biological Brain

IBM has introduced a silicon chip which mimics a biological brain. Although it contains only 4096 synaptic cores, it emulates a brain containing one million programmable “neurons,” 256 million programmable “synapses,” and 46 billion “synaptic operations” per second per watt — simulating the function of neurons and synapses in the brain.* Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence reports:
This radical new cognitive chip architecture is also a departure from the classical von Neumann architecture — the basis of almost every computer today — which inherently creates a bottleneck limiting performance of the system.
Instead, the new "TrueNorth" chip architecture features an digital on-chip, two-dimensional mesh network of 4096 digital, distributed neurosynaptic cores.
Each core module integrates memory, computation, and communication, and operates in an event-driven, parallel, and fault-tolerant fashion.
IBM says it is planning to integrate its neurosynaptic processing into mobile devices to overcome limitations constrained by power, volume and speed.
Eventually, by 2030, chips which exceed the capacity of a human brain are expected to power the coming singularity described by Ray Kurzweil in his book The Singularity Is Near.

Coming Soon From the UK: Skylon Spaceplane Operations (Video)

Which States Will Legalize Marijuana This Decade? (Video)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. When will the next round of QE be announced? We think it won't be long.

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

Solar's Rapid Growth

Solar power worldwide is now growing faster than cellphones. This video debunks the myth that a reliable electricity supply from mostly or wholly renewable resources will need giant "baseload" power stations or a breakthrough in cheap electrical storage.

But, cheap electrical storage is coming anyway.

US GDP Growth Rate Trend: 0.7-1.0%

Most economists hope the US growth rate, historically about 3.2%, will soon return to that level. Unfortunately, it appears the trend growth rate for the USA is stuck between 0.7% and 1.0% per annum. Andrew Smithers examines the issue and finds that we are indeed on a slow growth path:
The likelihood that the underlying growth rate of the US economy has declined is shown in the data on investment and capital productivity as well as in the declines in labour supply and productivity.
Investment has fallen as a percentage of GDP. It is currently lower in total than it has been in any year since 1947 and equipment investment is similarly depressed (chart five). The rate of growth of the economy is thus likely to have declined unless investment has become more efficient.
But the efficiency of new capital investment has fallen rather than risen. This is measured by the incremental capital/output ratio ("ICOR"), which is derived by dividing the ratio of investment to GDP by its growth rate. As growth is volatile from year to year, it is usual to calculate ICORs over longer periods and in chart six I do this by measuring investment and growth over the previous 10 years. The more capital it takes to increase GDP, the less efficient it is and, as chart six shows, it has recently taken about twice as much capital for a given rise in GDP as it has on average in the past.
As both capital investment and its efficiency have fallen, a continuation of current trends points to a marked fall in the trend rate of growth of the US economy. However, provided there is no further deterioration in capital efficiency and the level of investment is unchanged, the implied trend growth rate of the US economy is rather better than that suggested by the labour data. The trend growth rate derived by dividing the current total level of investment of 19.1 per cent of GDP by the ICOR derived from the past 10 years, which is 13, indicates a trend growth rate of 1.5 per cent per annum.
Well, there's the good news. We might find GDP growth trending higher at 1.5% per annum. Far less than Wall Street economists are perenially predicting!

"The Economist" Magazine Was Hacked

You may recall that we lambasted The Economist for printing an article full of lies about how solar was inferior to other forms of energy. Now, it appears that the magazine was hacked. Amory B. Lovins explains:
That full-page article highlights a May working paper by Charles R. Frank, Jr. (economics Ph.D. 1963), a nonresident fellow at the nonpartisan and notably debate-friendly Brookings Institution. His background is in international development and finance. I daresay most experts on the economics of energy technologies and climate change had never heard of him—but they have now. As soon as The Economist featured his paper, their inboxes and Twitter feeds lit up with incredulity: could his conclusions possibly be true?
They're not (and yes, I've written The Economist a letter saying so). My detailed critique at RMI.org explains why, and cites two other reviews and a podcast. But for anyone who knows the subject, Dr. Frank's con­clu­sions don't even pass the giggle test. He finds that new wind and solar power are the least, and new nuclear power and combined-cycle gas generation are the most, cost-effective ways to displace coal-fired power—just the opposite of what you'd expect from observing market prices and choices.
How does Dr. Frank reach his contrarian conclusions? By using, apparently unwittingly, obsolete data and incorrect methods. He assumes wind and solar power half as productive and twice as costly as they actually are, gas power twice as pro­duc­­­tive as it actually is (but with no methane leakage or price volatility), and new nuclear power at half its actual total cost and con­struction time and one-fifth its actual operating cost. He also posits a need for new U.S. generating capacity and bulk electricity storage, but no efficiency oppor­tuni­ties worth mentioning. His strange method of assessing reliability suggests little under­standing of how power grids integrate, and their operators analyze, renew­ables.
So are Dr. Frank's odd findings artifacts of errors in his methodology, his data, or both? Both, but there are so many mistakes that just nine data points can carry the whole load. My colleague Titiaan Palazzi reconstructed Dr. Frank's spread­­sheets, reproduced his results, then simply updated the nine most egregiously outdated figures to those in the latest official historical statistics (not forward-looking projections) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Institute, and similarly authoritative sources.
Presto! The conclusions flipped. Instead of gas combined-cycle and nuclear plants' offering the greatest net benefit from displacing coal plants, followed by hydro, wind, and last of all solar, the ranks reversed. The new, correct, story: first hydro (on his purely economic assumptions), then wind, solar, gas, and last of all nuclear—still omitting efficiency, which beats them all.
Beneath Dr. Frank's wrong answer, however, lurks a useful question. He adopts the distinguished economist Prof. Paul Joskow's 2011 valid thesis that the way power-sector investments are chosen—lowest long-run eco­nomic cost—is incomplete, because different technologies generate power at different times, creat­ing different amounts of value. Of course value as well as cost should be con­sidered. But interestingly, this case suggests that if we use correct and up-to-date cost and per­for­mance data, the cost- and value-based calculations yield the same priorities, whether judged from the perspective of financial investment or climate-protection effectiveness. That is, adjusting for different resources' time of genera­tion, though theoretically nice, doesn't change the result; cost-benefit analysis gives the same answer as a simple cost comparison. The resulting best-buys-first sequence would also gain even more value if other hidden costs, risks, and benefits were counted too.
Making a splash—intentional or not—with a flawed analysis that doesn't survive more careful scrutiny is nothing new. My esteemed Stanford colleague Dr. Jon G. Koomey cowrote a 2002 Annual Review of Energy and the Environment paper (here) called "Sorry, Wrong Number: The Use and Misuse of Numerical Facts in Analysis and Media Reporting of Energy Issues." Its abstract says: "Students of public policy sometimes envision an idealized policy process where competent data collection and incisive analysis on both sides of a debate lead to reasoned judgments and sound decisions. Unfortu­nate­ly, numbers that prove decisive in policy debates are not always carefully developed, credibly documented, or correct. This paper presents four widely cited examples of numbers in the energy field that are either misleading or wrong. It explores the origin of those numbers, how they missed the mark, and how they have been misused by both analysts and the media. In addition, it describes and uses a three-stage analytic process for evaluating such statistics that involves defining terms and boundaries, assessing underlying data, and critically analyzing arguments." It's a bracing read, with a nice summary and update.
The diligent Dr. Frank has collected not just one wrong number but a flotilla, together driving a false conclusion that gained a prominent platform in The Econo­mist. The ana­lytic lesson: rapidly changing data quickly pass their sell-by date.
It's too early to guess whether prompt refutations will prevent the distres­sing phenomenon Dr. Koomey describes, whereby media and advocates fond of a false thesis (or who don't know any better) keep repeating it long after it's been de­cis­ive­ly debunked. Time will tell. But your ability to stay well-informed and to exer­cise your critical faculties can help build sound public discourse. If you hear a claim that sounds nutty, maybe it is. If it is, say so. As biologist Prof. E.O. Wilson wrote, "Some­times a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it's wrong."

Why the Pitchforks Came Out in the First American Revolution

David Brin explains what a lot of us only suspected. The reasons behind the American Revolution (the first one in the 18th century, that is) were not at all what the history books told us. It turns out that there are many parallels between that first American Revolution—and the upcoming one:
  1. Monopolies such as the East India Company had been granted exclusive trading rights, cutting out American merchants, crushing competition, funneling commerce through ports and markets controlled by the top one hundred British families -- the one-percent of one-percent of one-percent.
  2. The insanely destructive 1764 Currency Act, which forbade the colonies from issuing paper currency and required use only of coinage released by the cartel.
  3. Almost half of the land in the colonies was owned by absentee lords. The main reason Franklin was sent to London (around 1760) was to attempt persuading the Penn family (also later the Baltimores and other members of the aristocratic cartel) to allow themselves to be taxed, even at very low rates, so that the colonies could function.
  4. Coming in at number four, at last: taxation without representation! Yes, it is the classic. Only let's dive deeper into this one, because true history is nothing like what we’re told by the Norquist/Teaparty narrative. The British Parliament was at that time hugely "gerrymandered,” to apply a modern term. There were many Rotten Burroughs where a lord and a few dozen tenants got to elect their own MP, while the masses in Birmingham and London were steeply under-represented… and Americans had no representation at all. Reforming this mess (it eventually happened) would have prevented the explosion, keeping the colonies loyal. But it would also hurt the short-term self-interest of those lords and MPs. So, the blatantly unjust system was maintained and American grievance ignored. Did you catch the parallel? Today’s Republican Party relies utterly upon two kinds of gerrymandering. In red state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives, it is the blatant twisting of electoral districts. (Some blue states do it, too, but more of them are abandoning the foul practice; not one red state has.)
  5. British laws against settlement beyond the Appalachians. At surface, this rule was to protect native tribes. Indeed, resentment against this restriction, particularly by Scots-Irish immigrants and transports arose because they wanted to go over the mountains to grab farmland from peoples already living there. But the Crown and Lords weren't doing this to be nice to the tribes. They had a real problem on their hands. The frontier provided an easy haven to which tenant farmers, indentured servants and slaves might flee, and/or remake themselves. That escape option - unavailable in old Europe - made it very hard to maintain a bottom-caste peasantry. For all its faults, the frontier forged the deeply libertarian American soul. (Again... I am talking about older libertarianism... not the weirdly-mutated thing the movement has become.)
  6. Egalitarianism. Some historians anchor the American Revolution upon a single day, when Ben Franklin was summoned before the King’s Privy Council for a public berating and humiliation… the day that the smartest man in a century was converted from an impudent-but-loyal subject into a dedicated conspirator for independence. The colonies were already home to a new spirit and ethos - part cantankerous, part ebullient and hopeful, and part-scientific, with all those portions combining to demand one core question: “Why should I have to bow down, or be bullied, by another mere human… just because of who his father was?” The irony is rich. Those today citing the Founders most often are folks who are most vigorously helping propel us back into a world of inherited status, dominated by clans and cartels of aristocratic families.

The new American Revolution will simply reset the stage. So, get those pitchforks ready, folks, 'cause it's coming soon to North America. And, maybe this time, we'll get Canada on our side as well and join the two North American nations into one.

Get Those Pitchforks Ready

El Nino Arrival Delayed, But Still 65% Probable

The imminent arrival of El Nino was not to be. According to the Climate Prediction Center:
Over the last month, model forecasts have slightly delayed the El Niño onset, with most models now indicating an onset during July-September, with the event continuing into early 2015. A strong El Niño is not favored in any of the ensemble averages, and slightly more models call for a weak event rather than a moderate event. At this time, the consensus of forecasters expects El Niño to emerge during August-October and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index between 0.5°C and 0.9°C). The chance of El Niño has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are we ready for a dead animal bounce? Could be.

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

Banking Facts

Frank Hollenbeck in Confusing Capitalism with Fractional Reserve Banking explains some facts:
Today, capitalism is blamed for our current disastrous economic and financial situation and a history of incessant booms and busts. Support for capitalism is eroding worldwide...
Most, if not all, booms and busts originate with excess credit creation from the financial sector. These respondents, incorrectly, assume that this financial system structured on fractural reserve banking is an integral part of capitalism. It isn't. It is fraud and a violation of property rights, and should be treated as such.
When you put your money in a bank it is no longer your money. The bank can do anything it wants with it. It can go to the casino and play roulette. It is not fraud legally, and the only requirement for the bank is to run a Ponzi scheme, giving you the money deposited by someone else if they lost your money and you happen to come back asking for your money. This legalization of fraud is essentially one of the main reasons no one went to jail after the debacle of 2008.
The Federal Reserve System was created following the panics of 1903 and 1907 to counterbalance the negative impact of fractional reserve banking. One hundred years after its creation, the Fed can only be given a failing grade. Money is no longer a store of value, and the world has experienced two of its worst financial crises. Instead of a counterbalance, the central bank has fed and expanded the size of the beast. This was to be expected.
That global poll on capitalism also found that almost half (48 percent) of respondents felt that the problems of capitalism could be resolved with added regulations and reform. Janet Yellen also holds this view, and that regulation, not interest rates, should be the main tool to avoid another costly boom and bust in global finance. This is extremely naïve. We already have more compliance officers in banks than loan officers. Recent banking legislation, Dodd-Frank, and the Vickers and Liikanen reports will probably make the situation even worse. Banks will always be able to use new technologies and new financial instruments to stay one step ahead of the regulators. We continue to put bandages on a system that is rotten to the core. Banking in its current form is not capitalism. It is fraud and crony capitalism, kept afloat by ever-more desperate government interventions. It should be dismantled. Under a system of 100 percent reserves, loan banks (100 percent equity-financed investment trusts) would be like any other business and would not need any more regulation than that of the makers of potato chips.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why buying dips in one particular security has been, and is likely to continue to be, so profitable.

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 & Wildfires Explained in Less Than Three Minutes (Video)

Why Tesla Will Triumph Over Toyota

Joe Romm writes Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can’t Compete With Pure Electric Cars which exposes why Elon Musk calls fuel cells “fool cells:”
From a greenhouse gas perspective, there is no competition between pure electrics and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. EVs win hands down and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
It's inexplicable why Toyota would make such a bad mistake in choosing “fool cells” over pure electrics.

The End of Jobs

We've discussed what it means for the coming End of Jobs. Gradually, but accelerating, we are seeing more and more human jobs disappear as machines take over. What will replace jobs for humans? Vivek Wadhwa writes about the quandary in I Have Seen the Future and It Is Jobless:
There won't be much work for human beings. Self-driving cars will be commercially available by the end of this decade and will eventually displace human drivers — just as automobiles displaced the horse and buggy — and will eliminate the jobs of taxi, bus, and truck drivers. Drones will take the jobs of postmen and delivery people.
The debates of the next decade will be about whether we should allow human beings to drive at all on public roads. The pesky humans crash into each other, suffer from road rage, rush headlong into traffic jams, and need to be monitored by traffic police. Yes, we won't need traffic cops either.
Robots are already replacing manufacturing workers... It will be like the future that Autodesk CEO Carl Bass once described to me: "The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment."
How are policy-makers going to grapple with entire industries' disruptions in periods that are shorter than election cycles? The industrial age lasted a century, and its consequent changes have happened over generations. Now we have startups in Silicon Valley shaking up bedrock industries such as cable and broadcasting, hotels and transportation.
The writing is clearly on the wall about what lies ahead. Yet even the most brilliant economists — and futurists — don't know what to do about it.
In his debate with me, Kurzweil said: "Automation always eliminates more jobs than it creates if you only look at the circumstances narrowly surrounding the automation. That's what the Luddites saw in the early 19th century in the textile industry in England. The new jobs came from increased prosperity and new industries that were not seen." Kurzweil's key argument was that just as we could not predict the types of jobs that were created, we can't predict what is to come.
Kurzweil is right, but the problem is that no matter what the jobs of the future are, they will surely require greater skill and education — robots can do all the grunt work. Manufacturers who want to bring production back already complain that they can't find enough skilled workers in the U.S. for their automated factories. Technology companies that write the software also complain about shortages of workers with the skills that they need. We won't be able to retrain the majority of the work force fast enough to take the new jobs in emerging industries. During the industrial revolution, it was the younger generations who were trained — not the older workers.
At best we have another 10 to 15 years in which there is a role for humans. The number of available jobs will actually increase in the U.S. and Europe before it decreases. China is out of time because it has a manufacturing-based economy, and those jobs are already disappearing. Ironically, China is accelerating this demise by embracing robotics and 3D printing. As manufacturing comes back to the U.S., new factories need to be built, robots need to be programmed and new infrastructure needs to be developed. To install new hardware and software on existing cars to make them self-driving, we will need many new auto mechanics. We need to manufacture the new medical sensors, install increasingly efficient solar panels, and write new automation software.
So the future is very bright for some countries in the short term, and in the long term is uncertain for all. The only certainty is that much change lies ahead that no one really knows how to prepare for.
Wadhwa thinks we will shrink the work week to give everyone who wants a job a job. But, that kind of stopgap nonsense simply won't fly for long. Eventually, we will inevitably run into a limit. That limit is the day when all jobs for humans simply end because the machines can do better. We will need to transition to a jobless society. It's as simple—and radical—as that.

How To Power California With Wind, Water and Sun

Study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun:
Imagine a smog-free Los Angeles, where electric cars ply silent freeways, solar panels blanket rooftops and power plants run on heat from beneath the earth, from howling winds and from the blazing desert sun.
A new Stanford study finds that it is technically and economically feasible to convert California's all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by clean, renewable energy. Published in Energy, the plan shows the way to a sustainable, inexpensive and reliable energy supply in California that could create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in pollution-related health costs. "If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs—there is little downside," said Mark Z. Jacobson, the study's lead author and a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering. He is also the director of Stanford's Atmosphere/Energy Program and a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy.
Jacobson's study outlines a plan to fulfill all of the Golden State's transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. It calculates the number of new devices and jobs created, land and ocean areas required, and policies needed for infrastructure changes. It also provides new estimates of air pollution mortality and morbidity impacts and costs based on multiple years of air quality data. The plan is analogous to one that Jacobson and other researchers developed for New York state.
The study concludes that, while a wind, water and sunlight conversion may result in initial capital cost increases, such as the cost of building renewable energy power plants, these costs would be more than made up for over time by the elimination of fuel costs. The overall switch would reduce California's end-use power demand by about 44% and stabilize energy prices, since fuel costs would be zero, according to the study.
It would also create a net gain, after fossil-fuel and nuclear energy job losses are accounted for, of about 220,000 manufacturing, installation and technology construction and operation jobs. On top of that, the state would reap net earnings from these jobs of about $12 billion annually.
Read more ...

Monday, August 04, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Great breadth today, but is it a major Change-in-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

(Interview) Your Best Market Bets in Europe and Asia Right Now

(Interview) Your Best Market Bets in Europe and Asia Right Now
Interview: Our global markets expert Chris Carolan talks opportunities across Europe and Asia

By Elliott Wave International

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Is there life after a digaonal triangle?

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, August 02, 2014

Fossil Fuel Energy Companies Panic, Call EPA a "Terrorist"

You can tell we're winning when the representatives (Congressional puppets) take to calling the Environmental Protection Agency a “terrorist.” Their business models, based upon mining fossil fuels, burning them and destroying our planetary habitat is going the way of the dodo bird. And, good riddance to all their lot, including shareholders.

ThinkProgress reports:

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R) had choice worlds for the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule on power plant emissions Monday, moving beyond the usual "war on coal" language and likening the proposed regulations to an act of terrorism.
Kelly delivered his remarks at an event at the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that opposes the new rule. "You talk about terrorism — you can do it in a lot of different ways," he said. "But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great — and you keep them on the sidelines — my goodness, what have we become?"
When asked to clarify what he meant by that, Kelly said he used the word "terrorism" broadly, E&E News reports. "When a government can level on you taxes and regulations that makes it impossible for you to compete, then you're going to stay on the sidelines," he said.
Opponents of the rules should continue fighting them, Kelly said, because if critics give up, the EPA has "effectively won."
Kelly is the author of the Coal Country Protection Act, legislation which would halt the EPA's new carbon rule and any regulation that aims to limit carbon from power plants until various criteria are met, including certification from the Secretary of Labor that the regulation won't cause job losses. "The Coal Country Protection Act will defend hardworking Americans from the EPA's extreme overreach by stopping unfair, job-killing regulations in their tracks," Kelly said in a statement. "The ideological ambitions of a few in Washington must never be allowed to force economic pain on families across our country."
In the same statement, Kelly referred to coal as a "sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy source," and calls the EPA's new rule a "harsh new energy tax."
Like Kelly, many lawmakers from coal-heavy states have blasted the EPA's new rule, saying it will harm the coal industry and put miners out of work. Some, however, stood up for the rule in the weeks after it was announced, despite their states' sizable coal industries. "From floods to fires to beetle-killed trees, we know the consequences of the changing climate," Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said in response to the rule. "State-based solutions that limit the effects of climate change will keep these industries and our economy strong. This responsible proposal gives states flexibility to balance the needs of today with the demands of tomorrow."
The EPA is currently gearing up for public hearings on the rule, which start Tuesday in Atlanta.
It's time us terrorists did something to reverse the damage these original terrorists have been doing to the environment.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Corporate Welfare for Walgreens

It seems that Walgreens is planning to become US tax evaders:
Walgreens used to be a U.S. company that grew by competing on price and service.
Not anymore. They’ve found an easier way: Change their mailing address to Switzerland and skip out on billions of dollars in taxes.
Yes, Walgreens may soon be a Swiss company – on paper. Nothing changes except the return address. They’ll still make business decisions and operate in America. There are no executives taking crash courses in Romanche (one of the five official Swiss languages).
Walgreens is making us the suckers. While they will still deliver their freight on our roads, recruit workers we educated and use the courts we built, they won’t pay their share of taxes anymore.

The End of Work

Radio Open Source discusses a timely topic—the end of work:
The jobless economy: a fully automated, engineered, robotic system that doesn't need you, or me either. Anything we can do, machines can do better — surgery, warfare, farming, finance. What's to do? Shall we smash the machines, or go to the beach, or finally learn to play the piano?
Economists predict that 50% of US jobs could be automated in a decade or two. Big fun show with tech wizard Ray Kurzweil and the economist Andrew McAfee. We need to hear the worker's voice, too. Will a machine take your job someday? And in a world without work, what would you do?

Bear Market Expectations

John Hampson examines how fast stocks go down in his latest blog post Fire Is Lit:
Dow 1929: 3 weeks 44% declines

Dow 1937: 8 weeks 38% declines

Dow 1968: 8 weeks 18% declines

Dow 1987: 2 weeks 34% declines

Nikkei 1989: 6 weeks 27% declines

Nasdaq 2000: 3 weeks 35% declines

SP500 2011: 2 weeks 18% declines

They average out at 30% declines over 4.5 weeks.

Methane Mega-Flares Threaten To Accelerate Global Warming

Ominous news about a new source of greenhouse gases comes from Icebreaker Oden, currently cruising the Arctic Ocean:
We are ‘sniffing’ methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera … All analysis tells the signs. We are in a [methane] mega flare.

Chief scientist Örjan Gustafsson of the University of Stockholm writes:

So, what have we found in the first couple of days of methane-focused studies?
1) Our first observations of elevated methane levels, about ten times higher than in background seawater, were documented already as we climbed up the steep continental slope at stations in 500 and 250 meter depth. This was somewhat of a surprise. While there has been much speculation of the vulnerability of regular marine hydrates [frozen methane formed due to high pressure and low temperature] along the Arctic rim, very few actual observations of methane releases due to collapsing Arctic upper slope marine hydrates have been made. ¨
It has recently been documented that a tongue of relatively warm Atlantic water, with a core at depths of 200—600 meters may have warmed up some in recent years. As this Atlantic water, the last remnants of the Gulf Stream, propagates eastward along the upper slope of the East Siberian margin, our SWERUS-C3 program is hypothesizing that this heating may lead to destabilization of upper portion of the slope methane hydrates. This may be what we now for the first time are observing.
2) Using the mid-water sonar, we mapped out an area of several kilometers where bubbles were filling the water column from depths of 200 to 500 meters. During the preceding 48 hours we have performed station work in two areas on the shallow shelf with depths of 60-70m where we discovered over 100 new methane seep sites. SWERUS-C3 researchers have on earlier expeditions documented extensive venting of methane from the subsea system to the atmosphere over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. On this Oden expedition we have gathered a strong team to assess these methane releases in greater detail than ever before to substantially improve our collective understanding of the methane sources and the functioning of the system. This is information that is crucial if we are to be able to provide scientific estimations of how these methane releases may develop in the future.

The Arctic Methane Emergency Group has been warning governments about the potential for a runaway greenhouse event due to methane:

While land and subsea permafrost thaws ever faster, methane could become the dominant climate forcing agent. Emissions threaten to break through the gigaton-per-year level within twenty years. AMEG has been continuing its research into the situation. A recent paper, co-authored by Peter Wadhams, a founder member of AMEG, has used the Stern Review economic model to show that the economic cost of a 50 megaton release of methane from the Arctic Ocean seabed will cost $60 trillion. Research in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf has suggested that such a vast release of methane was possible, and continued exponential increase of methane could, within 20 years, reach a level where methane dominated over CO2 in global warming. Some researchers warn of a 50 gigaton burst being possible “at any time”.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The bear market at its 1-month anniversary.

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

From CO2 To H2O

One of the interesting facts about Global Warming is that the #1 greenhouse gas is actually water, not carbon dioxide. However, because the CO₂ humans are injecting into the air triggers evaporation of H₂O, the effect is that of an amplifier, causing temperatures to rise much faster than they otherwise would have.

The Times of India reports:

The increased level of water vapour in the atmosphere is one of the contributing factors to the increase in global temperature, according to a team of researchers from the US.
This new study, conducted by the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Maritine and Atmospheric Sciences and colleagues, shows that the rise in the levels of water vapour in the atmosphere directly affects, not only the temperature on earth, but also the human activities of it. It also brings to light how the activities by the human beings have resulted in an increase in the levels of water vapour in the atmosphere.
"The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapour in the upper troposphere," said Brian Soden, co-author of the study, and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami Rosensteil School.
Their findings showed that the greenhouse gases trap the heat within the atmosphere, and evaporates more water from the surface. This extra water vapour, they say, is stronger than most of the normal greenhouse gases, increasing the greenhouse effect manifold.
This study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, by the name of 'Upper Tropospheric Moistening in response to Anthropogenic Warming'.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The leading sectors are carrying the weight of the market now.

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

Oil Company: Taxpayers Should Help Mitigate Climate Change They Caused

Here's the ultimate hypocrisy from an oil company:
Oil companies seem to think they have the most to gain by denying climate disruption.
Why? Well, carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is a key cause of the climate crisis -- and without action, they'll be free to drill, extract, frack, refine, transport, and burn oil as much as they want. Apparently, it's easy for them to ignore the cascade of problems their polluting behavior creates when they've got profits to be made. But, as it happens, such irresponsible, deeply flawed logic eventually comes full circle.
In Delaware, severe storms are eroding the shoreline and affecting homes and businesses up and down the coast — including the business of an oil refinery. The functioning of the Delaware City Refining Company property just south of New Castle, a division of PBF Energy, is threatened by increasing extreme weather. In other words, climate disruption is hitting the doorstep of its source.
The refinery has tried to get help, submitting an application with the Coastal Zone Management Act seeking shoreline protections due to "tidal encroachment" -- which is one way of saying sea level rise. "The extent of the shoreline erosion has reached a point where facility infrastructure is at risk," says the permit application from the company.
You read that right -- an oil company feels jeopardized by sea level rise. And they're asking for assistance. That's like a cigarette company asking for help paying for ventilators for its executives after they've peddled tobacco for decades.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Climate Dragon's Breath

Jason Box warns on the danger of letting carbon heat our planet. “Dragon Breath”—a warning of catastrophic climate change ahead?
What's the take home message, if you ask me? Because elevated atmospheric carbon from fossil fuel burning is the trigger mechanism poking the climate dragon. The trajectory we're on is to awaken a runaway climate heating that will ravage global agricultural systems leading to mass famine, conflict. Sea level rise will be a small problem by comparison. We simply MUST lower atmospheric carbon emissions. This should start with limiting the burning of fossil fuels from conventional sources; chiefly coal, followed by tar sands [block the pipeline]; reduce fossil fuel use elsewhere for example in liquid transportation fuels; engage in a massive reforestation program to have side benefits of sustainable timber, reduced desertification, animal habitat, aquaculture; and redirect fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy subsidies. This is an all hands on deck moment. We're in the age of consequences.
There are still questions, of course, but the cautionary principle makes clear we have to keep this dragon in the ground.

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Government reports due out Wednesday morning are likely to trigger big moves.

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

Counting Elliott Waves From the 17th Century

The Stock Market with Elliott Wave Labels from 1693 to Present Day Reveals a Bear Market Formation Since 2000

By Elliott Wave International

The following article was adapted from Robert Prechter's June 2014 issue of The Elliott Wave Theorist, one of the longest-running investment letters in the business, continuously published monthly since 1979.

Figure 1 shows the stock market's waves from 1693 to the present. The circled Roman numerals denote waves of Grand Supercycle degree, the largest complete waves for which stock market data exist.

Wave I (circled) ended in 1720 at the peak of the South Sea Bubble in England. Wave II (circled) took the form of a zigzag, labeled (a)-(b)-(c); it ended in 1784. Third waves are usually extended, meaning they are longer than wave one and have clear subdivisions. This is exactly how wave III (circled) developed. It ended in 2000.

Wave III (circled) subdivides into five waves. Wave (I) ended in 1835, wave (II) in 1859, wave (III) in 1929, wave (IV) in 1932 and wave (V) in 2000.

Wave (V) subdivides into five waves, as illustrated in Figure 2. Wave I ended in 1937, wave II in 1942, wave III in 1966, wave IV in 1974 or 1982, and wave V in 2000.

The guideline of alternation indicates a high probability that wave IV will be a form other than a zigzag, i.e. a flat or a triangle. Triangles are more common than flats, so our working hypothesis is that wave IV will be a triangle.

"B" waves within flats and triangles often carry beyond the end of the preceding impulse wave. For instance, the S&P Composite index made new highs in 1968 and 1973, but both of those highs occurred within the triangle of 1966-1974 (wave IV), which alternated with the zigzag of 1937-1942 (wave II).

It might seem tempting to believe that wave (V) is still in progress. But there are five reasons to mark its termination in the year 2000.

1) As established in my book Beautiful Pictures, the low of wave four often occurs at a time that subdivides the duration of an entire impulse wave into a Fibonacci section. As shown in Figure 2, waves I through IV lasted 42 years, and wave V at the peak in 2000 lasted 26 years, producing a Fibonacci time ratio of 21/13. Those two durations in turn are related to the total duration of wave (V) by the Fibonacci ratios 21/34 and 13/34.

2) Wave V is best labeled as a completed five waves from 1974 to 2000, as shown in Figure 3. It adheres to a normal channel and peaks at the upper end. Labeling the high in 2000 as the "orthodox top" of wave V -- i.e. the end of the five-wave pattern regardless of ensuing higher highs -- is not just semantics. Elliott wave forms tell you which stock market advances are part of a true bull market and which are bear market rallies.

3) In the past, orthodox peaks of Elliott waves have been registered at extremes in the real value of stocks, not just their nominal value. The insets in Figure 3 show that wave b has not carried to a new high in real terms. In other words, the Dow today buys fewer producer materials, commodities and real money (gold) than it did in 2000, even though its nominal price is much higher. The Dow priced in real money -- gold -- topped in 1999 and has collapsed 84% since then, as shown in the bottom inset in Figure 3.

Had the U.S. maintained honest money, the Dow would be priced at 266 today, not 17,000. Much of the nominal Dow's progress after 1966 -- and all of its net progress since 2000 -- is due not to an increase in corporate values but to a decrease in value for the Federal Reserve's accounting unit (the "dollar"), both by deliberate central-bank policy and by the pyramiding of credit throughout the financial system, much of which has been made possible by the use of force, aka government policy.

4) The year 2000 was the end of the one-way good times. That is when the all-time high was recorded in the major averages' valuation as measured by annual dividend yield, price to book value, and the corporate bond/stock yield spread. Indicators such as Gallup's poll of Economic Confidence peaked then, too, by a wide margin. That year, economists were proclaiming a "New Economy" that would never falter. All of these events support the case that wave V, and therefore wave (V), and therefore wave III, ended in 2000.

5) Finally, even the market top of 2007 was more important than what's happening now.

The year 2007 came on the heels of the all-time high in real estate values in 2006, a time that marked both the seemingly realized American Dream of universal home ownership and its turn toward its dissolution. It was a time of major change in American finances.

The year 2014 has none of these attributes. Real estate, commodities and precious metals are in bear markets, and the economy has stalled. The only thing rising is stocks.

We can therefore make a case that even 2007 was the more important market top for the average American. But we can't credit the year 2014 with anything nearly as grand as what was happening at the tops of 2000 and 2007. This lack of importance fits the b-wave label.

A Bear Market Formation Since 2000

The rest of this report is available only to Robert Prechter's free email subscribers at Elliott Wave International. You will see Prechter's analysis of an epic stock market pattern tracing out right now that has never occurred in recorded stock market history, going back 300 years -- plus its imminent and dangerous implications for investors. Read the report now to be certain your portfolio is ready. Click here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Getting Off This Rock

Peter Diamandis thinks it's time we got off this rock.
We just celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
The fact that we went to the Moon with 1960s technology is extraordinary.
The fact that we never went back is shameful.
Should we send another mission to the Moon? Absolutely.
But it should be a private effort -- incentivized by government, but not carried out by the government.
And it should be part of humanity's expansion to Mars and the near-Earth asteroids as well.
Thousands of years from now, it will be these next few decades that are remembered as the moment in time when the human race became a multi-planetary species.
You are alive during these times and it's part of your legacy.
But this time, when we go back to the Moon, it won't be with an Apollo-style program.
Missions this complex now require the kind of cost efficiencies and risk mindset found only in today's commercial industries and entrepreneurial risk takers.
To be affordable and successful, these missions need to use the accelerating (exponential) technologies we are developing today in our labs and commercial companies.
Unfortunately, our traditional NASA approach was to use 20-year-old stuff -- or, in other words, only use technology that has been proven to work time and time again.
Did you know that Curiosity -- the pinnacle of our Mars exploration program roving around the surface of Mars today -- is using a PowerPC processor similar to that in your 1997 PowerBook G3 Laptop... 17 years ago?
The other challenge with our traditional government space programs is their "start-stop-start-stop-CANCEL" cycle. The biggest of programs take a decade to execute (and thereby span several election cycles). As such, time and time again we've seen the most audacious government ventures canceled as Democrats scrap Republican initiatives, and Republicans sideline Democratic programs. Consequently, nothing gets accomplished.
It is only with a commercial mindset and commercial technologies (supported by government incentives) that we will achieve the long-term exploration, commercialization and industrialization of space.
The systems pioneered by a company like SpaceX, with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon2 spacecraft (which allows for propulsive landing), is a perfect example of what we need to go back to the Moon and beyond to Mars.
By the way, have you ever heard Elon speak about his plans for Mars? He's publicly committed to providing round-trip human transport to the Red Planet for $500,000 per person in about 15 years.
I for one, wouldn't bet against him.
At the same time, my own company Planetary Resources has a team of 40 engineers up in Redmond, Washington building a new generation of autonomous 'space drones' called the Arkyd-200 and Arkyd-300 spacecraft. These are drones designed to find and prospect near-Earth asteroids for strategic metals and rocket fuel (hydrogen and oxygen).
Finally, I'm very proud of our Google Lunar XPRIZE, which has offered $30M (of Google's money) in purses, plus up to $30 million in additional NASA contracts, to the first private team to build a robot, land it on the Moon, send back photos and videos, and rover (or hop) 500 meters.
In success, all of these commercial projects and initiatives will spark the creation of a cottage industry of exploration companies that will help bring down the cost of accessing the Moon, Mars and the asteroids by 50-fold.
These next few decades represent the window in time when the human race is moving irreversibly off the Earth. Thousands of years from now, when humanity looks back, it will be our generation who took the bold steps beyond the bounds of Earth.
Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, the Russian scientist considered the father of modern-day cosmonautics, famously said, "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever." It's time for us to get out of the cradle and start exploring the boundless resources of space.
All of this is being made possible by exponential technologies. Ultimately we are demonetizing and democratizing access to space and near-Earth resources.
If you'd like to learn more about how this is all happening, considering joining this year at Abundance 360.
In the meantime, when you look up at the Moon at night, know that you and your children will actually have the opportunity to travel there one day soon.
Every weekend I send out a "Tech Blog" like this one. If you want to sign up, go to www.AbundanceHub.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs. And if you want my personal coaching on how to similarly drive industry breakthroughs, consider joining my Abundance 360 membership program for entrepreneurs.

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Diagonal triangles to new highs are traps!

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, July 27, 2014

Message From a Plutocrat: The Pitchforks Are Coming

Nick Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and who is a fabulously-wealthy plutocrat, mostly due to his early days investment in Amazon.com. He has an important message for his fellow plutocrats:
Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter. That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.

The oldest and most important conflict in human societies is the battle over the concentration of wealth and power. The folks like us at the top have always told those at the bottom that our respective positions are righteous and good for all. Historically, we called that divine right. Today we have trickle-down economics.

What nonsense this is. Am I really such a superior person? Do I belong at the center of the moral as well as economic universe? Do you?

My family, the Hanauers, started in Germany selling feathers and pillows. They got chased out of Germany by Hitler and ended up in Seattle owning another pillow company. Three generations later, I benefited from that. Then I got as lucky as a person could possibly get in the Internet age by having a buddy in Seattle named Bezos. I look at the average Joe on the street, and I say, “There but for the grace of Jeff go I.” Even the best of us, in the worst of circumstances, are barefoot, standing by a dirt road, selling fruit. We should never forget that, or forget that the United States of America and its middle class made us, rather than the other way around.

Or we could sit back, do nothing, enjoy our yachts. And wait for the pitchforks.

It Could Be Worse Here: It Could Be Australia

Mike Stasse's latest blog from Damn the Matrix: Money Rules reminds us that no matter how bad things are today in America, it's worse in Australia:
Over the past 15 or 20 years, society switched from being a society to being an economy. Today, everything has a price, and nobody does anything anymore unless there's "money in it". Take Universities; fifty years ago, one could go to University, for free, and just learn. that's what Universities were always for. To learn. Today Universities are all about money, and learning how to make money. I clearly remember our son, who at the time was doing his first science degree, coming home from University one night, scathing of the number of people studying business studies' or economics or any number of other money making pursuits on offer at these institutions.
Alex now has two science degrees and a Master.. and can't get work. It was, admittedly, bad timing on his part, Australia has elected an anti-science government that only believes in making money and measuring everything society, oops I mean the economy, does in dollar terms. An economy does not need scientists, it needs bean counters. so funding for Australia's premiere scientific organisation, CSIRO, is being defunded, and is now starting to sack scientists. Just when we need them most.
Continue reading Money Rules

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. One last hurrah for this cycle ahead.

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

14 Concepts That Will Be Obsolete After Catastrophic Climate Change

The Washington Post has a great excerpt from The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future:
It's 2393. A historian is recounting the collapse of Western civilization due to catastrophic climate change. In her anniversary lecture, she explains how the carbon-combustion complex and blind faith in free markets during the late 20th and early 21st centuries conspired to prevent action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, until it was too late to prevent the Mass Migration of 2093 and the inundation of the world's great coastal cities. But first, she has to introduce a few old concepts and terms that may no longer be familiar to her audience:
Bridge to renewables
The logical fallacy, popular in the first decades of the 21st century, that the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion could be solved by burning more fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. The fallacy rested on an incomplete analysis, which considered only the physical byproducts of combustion, particularly in electricity generation, and not the other factors that controlled overall energy use and net release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Read about 13 more concepts that will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change here..

Climate Deniers Now Using Bad Economics To Slow Switchover To Solar

The era when anyone could reasonably take climate change deniers seriously is quickly passing. Only educationally-deprived individuals truly believe the climate isn't being changed by mankind's burning of fossil fuels. Thus, it appears that we can get on with mitigating the problem and moving completely away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.

It seems that the deniers are now clutching at bad economics to make their case, though. Today, we read an article in The Economist which contains ludicrous attempts to deny climate change based upon economics. Now, we know economics isn't really a science—which is why the deniers love it. They've never been big fans of science, of course. But, somehow they have been able to sneak an article in the magazine which makes some obvious errors. Take this introduction for example:

Whereas the cost of a solar panel is easy to calculate, the cost of electricity is harder to assess. It depends not only on the fuel used, but also on the cost of capital (power plants take years to build and last for decades), how much of the time a plant operates, and whether it generates power at times of peak demand. To take account of all this, economists use "levelised costs"—the net present value of all costs (capital and operating) of a generating unit over its life cycle, divided by the number of megawatt-hours of electricity it is expected to supply.
The trouble, as Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pointed out, is that levelised costs do not take account of the costs of intermittency.* Wind power is not generated on a calm day, nor solar power at night, so conventional power plants must be kept on standby—but are not included in the levelised cost of renewables. Electricity demand also varies during the day in ways that the supply from wind and solar generation may not match, so even if renewable forms of energy have the same levelised cost as conventional ones, the value of the power they produce may be lower. In short, levelised costs are poor at comparing different forms of power generation.
That's the setup—did it make your eyes blur? That was its intent. They introduce the concept of accounting for costs of intermittency. Well, of course, that's pretty basic stuff. But, then they go on to ignore the obvious advent of cheap energy storage—something we've been telling you about for years here. They simply dismiss it, but it removes the whole problem of intermittency and thereby destroys their whole argument.
If all the costs and benefits are totted up using Mr Frank's calculation, solar power is by far the most expensive way of reducing carbon emissions. It costs $189,000 to replace 1MW per year of power from coal. Wind is the next most expensive. Hydropower provides a modest net benefit. But the most cost-effective zero-emission technology is nuclear power. The pattern is similar if 1MW of gas-fired capacity is displaced instead of coal. And all this assumes a carbon price of $50 a tonne. Using actual carbon prices (below $10 in Europe) makes solar and wind look even worse. The carbon price would have to rise to $185 a tonne before solar power shows a net benefit.
Yes, if you never learned how to think, that's the case. The environmental impact of carbon is, and never will be, $10 per ton. Their estimate of the cost of carbon is ludicrously insane (exactly what you expect of a denier, of course). Solar power plus storage is not just cheaper than coal, it's cheaper than every other energy source, including nuclear. It uses that nuclear power plant that's safely located almost a hundred million miles away. But, the deniers know that by making blatant lies about the cost of carbon and the omission of storage, they will keep their fossil-fuel burning plants alive. Well, it's not going to happen. The price of electricity from solar is actually declining while the price of fossil-fuel energy is increasing. And, guess what? Energy consumers can tell the difference in their utility bills.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Strange Holes Appearing in the Arctic

Large holes are beginning to appear in Siberia. They could be due to melting methane deposits creating natural gas explosions. As the Arctic warms much faster than the rest of the Earth due to Global Warming, we may be seeing just a preview of what's to come.

Russia Beyond the Headlines reports:

The strange holes in the earth found in the northern tundra on Russian territory in July could mean the beginning of irreversible changes in the climate of our planet. According to Russian scientists, the most likely reason for the formation of such holes is the emission of natural gas, which may be caused by global warming.
Over the last month, two strange holes have mysteriously opened up in tundra of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area (YNAO) in the Russian Arctic, causing great excitement among Russia's scientific community.
Researchers are now examining the giant holes in a bid to discover the reason for their sudden appearance.
According to geologist Konstantin Ranks, the emission of natural gas that scholars consider the most likely explanation for the formation of the holes may be a consequence of global warming.
Glaciologists from the sub-Arctic research and study unit in Tyumen say that permafrost temperatures are rising steadily in the region of the Bovanenkovskoye gas field on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic, near where the first hole was discovered. Forty years ago it was on average about eight degrees below zero, but now in certain areas it is only minus three. "Perhaps this is precisely why the process of releasing methane from crystalline ice traps started in the depths of the northern tundra," wrote Ranks in an article published by the Slon.ru website.
The second large funnel to appear in the last month was discovered in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area on 21 July, and the finding was subsequently announced on the Rossiya 1 television channel. The hole has a diameter of approximately 15 meters and snow is visible inside it.
Scholars noted that pieces of earth were scattered near the crater and at a distance of 328-394 feet, which indicates that rather than collapsing, rock was in fact ejected. Moreover, traces of charring, scorching, or any other evidence indicating a thermal explosion have not been found, so the possibility of a meteorite can be ruled out. Scientists believe that the frozen earth was smashed outwards by powerful pressure from below; so-called swamp gas can act in a similar fashion.
The video clip depicting the first crater near the village of Bovanenkovo appeared on the internet on 10 July.
The recording immediately attracted the attention of the public (at the moment the total number of views of various videos about the craters that have been found has reached several dozen million).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are we there yet? A: We're very close.

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, July 23, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Of our two lead dogs, which should you be watching? A: Not NDX

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

Wait To Buy a New Car

Why wait? Well, in just a few years, your new car will:
  • Be self-driving—leave the driving to it.
  • Be electric—cheap electric cars mean much more economical traveling.

So, how long will you need to wait? Looks like it will be about six years.

Geomagnetic Model Predicts Stock Market High

John Hampson's Geomagnetic Model for the stock market in 2014 is predicting a high for the stock market this week:
Source: S O L A R C Y C L E S

Russia's Achilles Heel

Russia has a huge Achilles Heel: Oil and natural gas sales accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013:
Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia's total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia's Federal Customs Service. Russia received almost four times as much revenue from exports of crude oil and petroleum products as from natural gas. Crude oil exports alone were greater in value than the value of all non-oil and natural gas exports.
Europe, including Turkey, receives most of Russia's exports of crude oil and products, as well as virtually all exports of natural gas. Asia (especially China) receives substantial volumes of crude oil and some liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia. Recently, Russia finalized a 30-year, $400 billion deal to supply China with natural gas from fields in Eastern Siberia, which will further increase Russian export revenues. North America imports some Russian petroleum products, particularly unfinished oils used in refineries.
Although Russia exports less crude oil and less natural gas than it consumes domestically, domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas are much lower in value than exports because of vertical integration of the oil and natural gas industry and subsidized domestic prices.
Many Russian oil firms are vertically integrated, owning both the oil fields and refineries that process crude oil. These firms can sell crude oil directly to their own refineries at low prices. Domestic natural gas prices are also subsidized, forcing Russian companies like Gazprom to use export revenue to fund investment in new infrastructure and projects. EIA estimates that Russian domestic sales of natural gas and crude oil were about $20 billion in 2013, based on data from IHS Energy.
Although revenue from domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas in 2013 was significantly lower than revenue from exports, Russian domestic sales of petroleum products, particularly motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, were approximately $102 billion, similar to revenue from product exports.
Oil and natural gas activities make up a large portion of Russia's federal budget. According to the Ministry of Finance, 50% of Russia's federal budget revenue in 2013 came from mineral extraction taxes and export customs duties on oil and natural gas.