January 20, 2015

Bits Bucket for January 20, 2015

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-20 02:40:09

Glad the three day weekend is finally over so I can get back to work! 2015 is going to be a productive year.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 03:49:33

Thanks for the update Jingle_Fraud. How are the Gamblers Anonymous meetings?

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-20 07:43:39

Work? What’s that?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-20 08:37:06

Three-day weekend? What are you talking about? Did I miss something?

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 08:47:12

It was a three-day weekend if you work for the government or the banks. The rest of us, not so much.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:11:06

Corporate America (Fortune 500) typically observes MLK Day. I got the day off.

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Comment by Muggy
2015-01-20 13:36:41

I work for the government, and I had to work yesterday. Late even.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 14:25:55

I work for the government

Are you here to help us?

Comment by Muggy
2015-01-20 15:06:22

Wow, I’ve never heard that before. Did you just think of that?

Comment by Muggy
2015-01-20 15:21:18

I haven’t been able to read much lately. Can someone get me up to speed. Is A-Dan some sort of Elitist Lawyer super troll, kinda like Twinkie from D.C.?

Comment by oxide
2015-01-20 18:05:53

Muggy, we are starting to think so. A-dan has always been pro-natural gas and knowledgeable about fossil production. I figured him for a former gov employee who leveraged his regulatory knowledge for higher pay in the private sector. (not uncommon)

Then he suddenly started cutting pasting pages of pro-China business news; 7.5% GDP growth and stuff. it simply doesn’t follow. We can only figure that he’s being paid in some fashion.

Comment by jane
2015-01-20 17:02:07

you are sick.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 17:09:09

Most fraudsters are.

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2015-01-20 03:52:14

What a thing to say…

Good riddance, MLK memorial, Jingle Male’s got more important things to do then remember a truly great man.

Nice sentiment.

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-20 08:10:13

Seems like there was an awful lot of assassinatin’ going on during LBJ’s time. First JFK, then Bobby, then MLK. Hmmmm…. People forget that MLK was also quite an anti-war activist and had plenty to say about LBJ’s pet war.

A lot more to LBJ than people realize, I think.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-20 19:29:59

I admire Martin Luther King. I honor him. When I was 10 years old, my father took me the bus station in California, to support the people going to Selma on chartered busses.

The fact I like my job and I like to work has nothing to do with my feelings about Dr. King. It is funny how so many people on this blog claim to know so much about me, yet they could not be more wrong.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-01-20 05:49:58

Bahahahaha … and the leading headline on Yahoo is …

(drum roll)

“Duchess Kate Says She Can Feel Baby Kicking”


Bahahahahahaha … of all the important news stories that could lead this is the one that is chosen to lead by Yahoo. And the most-likely reason for this is this is what the dumbed-down population of Yahoo readers want to read about.

Bahahahaha … dumb ‘em down, and prosper.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 06:01:12

Green shoots

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 06:08:09

It’s not so much the real value of stocks going up as it is the value of the currencies in which tbey are denominated going down.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-20 06:17:12

lets make everyone rich by devaluing the currency!

printing lots of currency will put folks back to work.

I have to imagine there a re lot of people who don’t own stocks and homes.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:19:02

Before Mexico lopped 3 zeros off the Peso some years ago (when 1 USD was worth about 12000 pesos.) Mexicans used to joke that “everyone was a millionaire”

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:09:08

I was a Vietnam currency millionaire when I visited a few years back. $60 was all it cost to purchase 1,000,000 Dong (yes, that is the name of their currency unit).

As of this evening, it would only set you back $46.70 to become a Dongionaire.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-01-20 06:19:05

Here are a thousand words that help describe what is going on with the USD:


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 06:38:55

How did it get so strong so fast? Did the end of QE3 do it?

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Comment by Combotechie
2015-01-20 07:26:52

“How did it get so strong so fast.”

Maybe it’s because Russia and China have decide to abandon the dollar and use other currencies.

Oh, wait; That can’t be it.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 08:17:05

How did it get so strong so fast.”

Because we are trying to push it up and all the other countries are saying sure you can price your goods out of the market if you want to. Fiat currencies are easily manipulated for a while. The Swiss were able to keep their currency down for a long while until they could no longer pay the price. Certainly, we can manipulate the dollar higher if we want to, but eventually the cost of manipulation becomes too high.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 08:58:42

Where is the manipulation?

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 09:41:20

Here’s another question. What is manipulation?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 10:06:22

QE is like a hot air balloon. The moment you stop blowing, it heads down.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 10:47:09

You should be paid for your metaphors. They’re that good.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 11:01:25


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:05:08

Sounds more like a Lola metaphor to me.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-20 06:40:16

Isn’t the strong dollar basically cause everyone else that it is measured against is weak?


I wonder if the rise in the franc was offset by a lower euro when the snb depegged?

So a stronger dollar is better for imports buy bad for exports.

Dan thinks the dollar spiking was on purpose to tank oil prices.

Most of the other currencies we are compared to have serious issues.

Are the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry?

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:12:11

The dollar is the best smelling dog in the animal shelter.

Comment by jane
2015-01-20 23:29:19

Apologies in advance for policy disagreement, here. IMHO the oil crash is going to ripple through the economy vis-à-vis layoffs. The 60% small companies in the oil patch have levered up big. They’re going to go bust, which has a ripple effect on bank balance sheets.

(OK, I’ll give you that one - we have seen that the banking system is fraudulent and has nothing to do with balancing the books). However, it IS vindictive. None of those companies is going to be able to start up again with bank loans (only the TBTF get multiple mulligans).

With the buck this high, even if oil prices reverted to mean, there’s no boost to the economy from exports. Nobody’s going to buy with an 8% currency premium. I do agree we should not be mimicking 3rd world commodity export-based economies, so on net that’s good (in my view - but my emotions here undercut my argument).

Net is, nationwide liquidity is undermined. Unemployment goes up. There’s going to be credit tightening for a ?20% slice of the economy (the bad smell will spread to gas as well).

I’m tellin’ ya, inflection points happen at the margins. I believe this constellation will have an impact on M3 that will be recession-inducing. I’m huddling in my bunker (not literally, of course) waiting for the other shoe to drop. IMHO, the Eurozone will get out of its funk long before we norteamericanos get out of ours.

On the positive side (for the rest of us great unwashed): once the you have first hand experience with getting by with very little, you learn the knack of it and become personally unfettered from the machine. My grandmother told me that after living through the depression and two ground wars in Northern Europe, she never feared anything again.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 06:35:43

Opinion: Crude reality: Oil prices are going to stay low — for now
By Satyajit Das
Published: Jan 20, 2015 6:01 a.m. ET

Weak demand, oversupply and little inflation will keep roiling oil markets
Getty Images

Oil demand over the near-term is likely to remain lackluster, given slow economic growth in most of the developed world and emerging markets. Meanwhile, conservation measures and environmental pressures are reducing long-term oil demand. Oversupply is also likely to persist, at least for the foreseeable future.

Some argue that the oil prices have entered a new range of $20 to $60 per barrel. Others see the fall as temporary, seizing the opportunity to purchase assets cheaply.

Saudi Arabia and OPEC are unlikely to adjust production significantly. Oil minister Ali al-Naimi has pointedly stated that Saudi Arabia will not cut production even if oil prices fall to $20 per barrel. It is a historical shift, emphasizing market share rather than high prices, by controlling supply. Underlying the strategy is the focus on allowing low cost, efficient oil producers to increase their market power.

Comment by azdude
2015-01-20 06:46:01

I wonder how many speculators got holding the bag?

With the dollar rise from the middle of last year what kind of price impact does that reflect in a barrel of oil sold to us by lets say a country in s. america?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 08:24:32


Now, he may have been wrong about 2012 but he may have nuanced his prediction exactly like I did in my prediction for $150 oil for 2012. I said that if Libyan production did not come back on line oil prices would hit that price. Of course, to the surprise of most people it did reach levels almost as high as before the revolution during that year. However, as subsequent years have shown that was quite the aberration since Libya did not become a stable nation which would allow stable oil production. Stability in Libya, in 2012, was very much a black swan event for oil.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 08:34:27

China cannot get enough of the cheap crude because it knows it will not last. If we were not engaged in warfare against Russia, we might be filling the SPR with cheap crude and thereby saving the shale oil drillers. Every war comes at a price, and this one is probably costing the country in treasury as much as either the Iraq or Afghanistan war on a daily basis. No blood yet but since the war is not achieving the aim of making Russia back down in Ukraine, that cannot be ruled out. Of course, taking on a nuclear power entails much more risk that taking on sheep herders:

BEIJING/YANGON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - A crude oil pipeline and a deep sea port meant to secure an alternative route for Chinese imports overland through Myanmar are set to open at the end of January, but an affiliated refinery in China is months away from completion, sources said. The finished development should help ease China’s reliance on shipments via the narrow and potentially risky Malacca Strait. Although that route, through which some 80 percent of China’s oil imports now pass, would still be used for the vast majority of overseas purchases. PetroChina, the main investor in the facilities, has built 60 percent of the refinery in Yunnan province that borders Myanmar, designed to process the crude shipped via the pipeline, a spokesman for the state energy giant said on Monday. Completion is slated for later this year. Until the 200,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Anning refinery opens, the new pipeline can only be used to pump oil into tanks, providing limited near-term support to China’s crude oil imports, which expanded by nearly 10 percent in 2014 to 6.2 million bpd. The pipeline has a capacity of 440,000 bpd. A company official at China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) subsidiary Southeast Asia Pipeline Co. Ltd., which is in charge of building and managing the pipeline, said the 2,400-km (1,500 miles) line would open at the end of this month. The planned opening was confirmed by an energy official in Myanmar. “Things are ready to launch the oil pipeline and it’s tentatively scheduled for January 30,” said the official, who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media. Before the launch of the new refinery, oil will be stored in tanks in Guangxi, a region east of Yunnan. CNPC also has up to a dozen storage tanks in Myanmar, and could have even more in Yunnan, according to a Chinese media report. CNPC had said in 2013 that the pipeline was 94-percent complete and would be finished that year. An adjacent natural gas pipeline opened in 2013, carrying 1.87 billion cubic metres of gas in its first year. (Additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Joseph Radford) - See more at: http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/136843/Sources_Oil_Pipeline_Through_Myanmar_to_China_Expected_to_Open_in_Jan#sthash.y5OdD10s.dpuf

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 09:08:00

7000 high paying jobs cut, I guess they can get two part time jobs which together will give them half the income, Obama can count them as creating 14,000 jobs. Thus, we have a net of 7000 jobs, isn’t Obamanomics wonderful?


Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 09:10:07

“we might be filling the SPR with cheap crude and thereby saving the shale oil drillers”

Why would the crude be cheap? You’re arguing that higher prices will keep the shale oil producing. Cheap prices are what’s slowing production.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 09:16:32

You think that the minute we start buying for the SPR the price will jump to a $100 a barrel? No, it will not. However, we might cause it to go to the average production cost of $68 a barrel which would save about half the industry.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 09:31:10

So you’re arguing for government intervention to help an industry?

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 09:33:17

That’s what rent-seeking is, for those who are confused.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 09:34:55

It was our government’s intervention that caused the price to fall so much to begin with, undoing some of the damage hardly repudiates a belief that free markets work best.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 09:44:21

What is the intervention that the government is doing, specifically?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 09:49:15

Read my past posts it is all there azdude has part of it his post today.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 09:57:27

So you can’t be bothered to specifically explain the manipulation, but you’ll otherwise post about it all day? That doesn’t pass the smell test.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:11:25

I am not going to waste everyone’s time repeating the same posts. You can find the whole thing explained over and over during December and the early part of January, just look. Back to a new point, the Chinese have certainly hacked into most oil companies, they probably have read the e-mails of the top people. By buying massive amounts of crude they are clearly indicating which way they think oil is heading. I would call them the smartest of money.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 10:12:20

“specifically explain…”

It’s too complex for ordinary people to understand. It starts with an unlikely assumption which ultimately is the shocking conclusion.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-20 10:21:20

‘I would call them the smartest of money’


Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 10:21:50

“I am not going to waste everyone’s time…”

In other words, you can’t back up your assertion of manipulation.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:23:40

No like always I mean exactly what I said, I have explained it over and over.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-01-20 11:10:10

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:21:45

There is a dead cat bounce for gas prices in my neck of the woods. Nothing drastic, just some stations in Longmont have raised their prices from say 1.65 to 1.70.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 12:39:37

Oil is off 5% plus again today. Can you delay your next gasoline purchase by a week?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:02:59

Another day spiking the dollar to drop oil prices. Brent was up 2 cents a barrel, this is price that sets the price both for gasoline in this country and the price the Russians receive for their oil. With their costs set in rubles and the dollar becoming increasing valuable, they are far more competitive than U.S. shale oil. BTW, the stronger dollar not only is hurting shale oil producers, indirectly, it is hitting U.S. high tech companies competing with Asian rivals. Poor Tesla having to deal with both lower gasoline prices and the higher dollar while dealing with Chinese competition:


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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-20 13:06:43

Do they have the asbestos option?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:09:31

Probably, just like the Ford Pinto exploding gas tank and the GM cars that shutdown if you put too many keys on the key chain.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:27:14

Oil is off 5% plus again today.

Even with the spiking of the dollar, WTI is going to close only half as much as that.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:56:04

Russia steps up its actions in the Ukraine and the dollar spikes which could be perceived as an attack on oil prices. I am sure it is a coincidence. (not):


Comment by taxpayers
2015-01-20 13:37:23

my state just grabbed 5 cents more tax

Comment by Rental Watch
2015-01-21 00:06:17

I like Das. Smart dude. A couple of other applicable quotes for a complete picture:

“In the present low-price environment, investment in more expensive or marginal projects will be delayed. Lower production costs can allow for further price declines. The ability to absorb low oil prices is not infinite, but based on past cycles the limits are large and have not yet been reached.

But price forecasts could easily be wrong. The structure of the oil market entails fine margins between demand and supply. The current oversupply is around 2 million barrels a day, less than 2% of global consumption. Price elasticity is also low, especially in the short run. Key uncertainties include weather conditions, unanticipated supply disruptions and geopolitical factors”

“In the medium- to long-term, market forces, production costs and required economic rates of return on investment will assert themselves. Lower prices will increase demand and reduce supply. Investment losses will reduce production capacity, limiting the ability to respond to increases in demand. But these factors will take time to work through the market.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-21 11:11:05

“Complete picture”.

That would be crude prices down 65% in 6 months Rental_Fraud.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-20 06:56:50

You can ring my bell - just keep one eye on the exit door.

The obama GMAC (now Ally Financial) bailout cost the US Taxpayer $17.2 billion.

Phase II now in full swing.


Honda Warns Against ‘Stupid’ Auto Loans Driving U.S. Sales Gains
Craig Trudell - Jan 20, 2015 - Bloomberg

A top U.S. executive at Honda Motor Co. (7267) said competitors are doing “stupid things” to boost auto sales, including making seven-year-long car loans that harm buyers.

Automakers are increasingly selling vehicles with 84-month loans that reduce monthly payments while making it tougher to repay faster than cars lose value, John Mendel, Honda’s U.S. sales chief, said in an interview. The Tokyo-based company will avoid longer-term loans even as Nissan Motor Co. (7201) tries to supplant it as the fifth-biggest automaker in the U.S., he said.

“You’re ringing the bell on a new-car sale, but that customer is saddled — they’re stretched so thin,” Mendel said at the North American International Auto Show last week. Extended-term loans are “stupid not just for us, but for the industry.”

“We’ve seen this movie before, we know how it ends, and it’s not pretty,” Webb told reporters at an event before last week’s show. “But I say that it has longer to run, and we have already paid the price of admission. So we might as well stay to the end. You just keep your eyes on the exit door.”

“It can have some negative impact on the market in creating a vicious cycle of negative equity if the consumer doesn’t hold onto their vehicle long enough,” Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive finance for Experian, said by phone. “Something has to be done to keep the market affordable, or consumer buying is going to have to change and we’ll have to return to less frequent purchases.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 07:24:41

Whoops there it is!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-01-20 07:32:00

“Automakers are increasingly selling vehicles with 84-month loans that reduce monthly payments while making it tougher to repay faster than cars lose value, John Mendel, Honda’s U.S. sales chief, said in an interview.”

Bahahahahaha … the jokes just write themselves.

“Extended-term loans are ’stupid not just for us, but for the industry.’”

Maybe it’s stupid for the automobile industry but it’s not stupid for the lending industry.

Bahahahahaha … dumb ‘em down, and prosper.

And prosper, and prosper, and prosper …

Comment by azdude
2015-01-20 07:44:02

I think a lot of people are doing leases now.

50,000.00 truck * .08 = 4000 in taxes just to drive that new truck.

With a lease only the payments are taxed.

Comment by Puggs
2015-01-20 10:58:46

It’s not a deal until they are willing to dump it at wholesale.

Comment by taxpayers
2015-01-20 13:38:48

wow ,last time I looked I thought 72 months was insane

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-20 15:51:16

Stupidity should be painful.

Comment by whirlyite
2015-01-20 17:55:00

It is, just to the wrong people…

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Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 08:43:56

“Automakers are increasingly selling vehicles with 84-month loans”

“What does that mean? After six years, you’ve paid almost $33,000 for a $26,000 car, which is now worth maybe $6,000. Not a good deal.”

The Truth About Car Payments

You can live without a car payment!
from daveramsey.com on 22 Mar 2010

Here’s the deal. Recent statistics show that one-third of car buyers sign up for a six-year loan at an average interest rate of 9.6%. Among these buyers, the average price of the car is just over $26,000. This means that one-third of the cars you see on the road are dragging a $475 payment behind them.

The car dealer won’t tell you that your awesome new car loses about 25% of its value the instant you drive it off the lot. After four years, your car has lost about 70% of its value!

Here’s a new plan. What if you bought a cheap $2,000 car just to get around for 10 months? Then you take that $475—the average car payment—save it every month, and pay for a new car (with cash!), instead of giving it to the bank.

After 10 months of doing that, you’ll have $4,750 to use for that new ride. Add that to the $1,500–2,000 you can get for your old beater, and you have well over $6,000. That’s a major upgrade in car in just 10 months—without owing the bank a dime!

But the fun doesn’t end there. If you keep consistently putting the same amount of money away, 10 months later you would have another $4,750 to put toward a car. You could probably sell that $6,000 vehicle for about the same price you paid 10 months before—meaning you now have $11,000 to pay for a car, just 20 months after this whole process started.

The bottom line with this exercise is simply this—what could you do with that $475 if you weren’t paying for the car every month? Anything you wanted!

Think about it this way: If you were to invest that $475 (remember, this is the average car payment in the U.S.) into a good mutual fund with a 12% rate of return, you would have over $100,000 in 10 years! At 20 years, you would have made $470,000. And at 30 years? That mutual fund would be worth $1.6 million!

The numbers will make your head spin, but it really just comes down to simple math. The less money you are spending on your car every month, the more money you have to put into other more important things: your kids’ college fund, your retirement, and paying off any other debt you might have.

If you’ll just follow this simple plan, your life could be dramatically different 10 years from now. You can live without a car payment!

http://www.daveramsey.com/…/the-truth-about-car-payments/lifeandmoney_automobiles/ - 128k -

Comment by dwkunkel
2015-01-20 09:27:27

You could just pay cash for a good used car, put some money into things like brakes, tires, and a tune up, and drive it for the next five years. CarFax is a big help in finding used cars worth buying.

Other savings come from lower license fees and insurance.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 09:44:32

A lot of people could should also be able to get rates much lower than the 9.6% cited by Ramsey.

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Comment by oxide
2015-01-20 10:53:25

Anyone who can’t get less than 9.6% has no business buying a $28K car. That’s a new loaded Camry.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:07:14

Anyone who can’t get less than 9.6% has no business buying a $28K car.

Dealing with people with that type of credit is the “business” of auto companies these days. Without those types of buyers Government Motors would be back before Congress asking for a handout.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:38:49

A lot of people could should also be able to get rates much lower than the 9.6% cited by Ramsey.

Isn’t 9.6% a subprime rate?

Comment by spook
2015-01-20 10:00:09

Here’s a new plan. What if you bought a cheap $2,000 car just to get around for 10 months? Then you take that $475—the average car payment—save it every month, and pay for a new car (with cash!), instead of giving it to the bank.

The problem with that plan is emission standards have been raised at the same rate new car prices have risen.

The days of buying an old beater for $2000 and driving it into the ground are long since over.

To sum up, the repairs to pass emissions are often greater than the value of the car.

Comment by dwkunkel
2015-01-20 10:09:01

A used car in reasonably good condition won’t have any problems passing emission testing.

I have 2 cars - one is 13 years old with 100K miles and the other is 15 years old with 135K miles. I keep up the maintenance on both and they have always passed California’s bi-annual smog check.

The 13 year old car is worth about $2k and the 15 year old car is worth about $4k.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 10:13:57

Hows the cratering housing going in CA?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 10:15:22

I have almost 300,000 miles on my beater and it still passes all inspection tests.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-20 11:04:26

Even when an older car fails a smog test or has a check engine light the repair is often easy and inexpensive to do, like an oxygen sensor for example. A simple scanner to read the OBD2 fail code is about $60 and in many cases the code is very specific and accurate as to which part needs replacing..

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 13:20:48

I think the potential bigger problem with an older beater is if something big breaks, like the transmission. Another issue with a beater is death by a thousand cuts. It seems that for any clunker, there is a point when everything starts to break.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:31:11

Planned obsolescence is real.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-20 21:07:01

Very true on older cars getting to an age where they nickle and dime you to death. My GF’s car has got to that point…belts, cooling system parts, motor mounts, suspension links etc. failing on about a monthly basis. I have the tools and do the repairs so it is not so bad on a parts only basis but would get very expensive if it had to go to the shop regularly. Am hoping she buys a new(er) car next year ;-)

Comment by Puggs
2015-01-20 11:03:47

Debt IS dumb!

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:33:48

The car dealer won’t tell you that your awesome new car loses about 25% of its value the instant you drive it off the lot. After four years, your car has lost about 70% of its value!

That might have been true in 1970. A quick look on cars.com shows that even humdrum American cars are still worth 60-70% of their initial price after 4 years, while the more desirable Japanese models hold their value even better. A quick looksie also showed that to get 70% depreciation on something as vanilla as a Chevy Impala it needs to be 9-10 years old.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 12:32:15

“A quick look on cars.com shows that even humdrum American cars are still worth 60-70% of their initial price after 4 years,”

It doesn’t get anymore humdrum than the Chevy Impala LS and it isn’t holding it’s value anywhere near 60-70% of initial price after 4 years.

Roger Dean Chevrolet (866) 495-3387 15.7 mi
2014 Impala LS Vehicle Photo in West Palm Beach, FL 33409

2014 Impala LS

6 speed automatic
Interior: Jet Blk/dk Titan Prm Cloth
Exterior: Ashen Gray Metallic

MPG 21 City / 31 Hwy

MSRP* $28,120
Kelly Blue Book private sale good condition

2010 Impala LS


2010 Impala LS
No Price Analysis

Price: $8,999 $131/mo

Mileage: 103,606

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL 55 mi

Dealer rating:
[Certified Pre-Owned]
2010 Impala LS
No Price Analysis

2010 Impala LS
No Price Analysis

Price: $8,550 $124/mo

Mileage: 94,123

Location: Miramar, FL 66 mi

Dealer rating:
[Certified Pre-Owned]

2010 Impala LS
No Price Analysis

Price: $7,500 $109/mo

Mileage: 96,528

Location: Hialeah, FL 76 mi

Dealer rating:

2010 Chevrolet Impala LS For Sale - CarGurus
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2010-Chevrolet-Impala-LS-t35571 - 241k -

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 13:24:55
Comment by Puggs
2015-01-20 13:44:42

$28,000 for a NEW IMPALA?!?!?!? 28K to drive a RENTAL CAR?!?!?!?!?! INSANE!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 14:10:14

There are no 4 year old rusted Impalas or any other make of car in SE Florida that I know of but you must have a ton of legally stoned people in Colorado willing to pay that kinda money for a 4 year old POS Impala.

I put in 06870 Old Greenwich Ct. and like SE Florida came up with 70% off of $28,120 for a 4 year old Impala.

2010 Impala LS
Good Deal

Price: $7,995 $116/mo

Mileage: 79,573

Location: Brooklyn, NY 32 mi

Dealer rating:

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 14:24:28

Just for kicks, I looked around the country. I found plenty of places that have similar resale prices to Colorado, though they were all in the west.

I would think that with such a price discrepancy that wholesalers would just ship cars out here, but since they don’t I suspect there must be a reason.

Comment by Dman
2015-01-20 15:57:20

I drove a rented Impala all over Texas and I thought it was nice myself. Comfortable with good power. But I have never rented a Nissan that wasn’t a complete waste of metal. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Toyota to my sister or grandmother, but I prefer a Ford if I can get one.

People complain about “Government Motors,” but the money spent on GM and Chrysler is nothing compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars the Japanese government has spent to keep the Yen weak. Without that, their car companies couldn’t afford to compete. And it looks like they’re going to keep it up until the bitter end, which won’t be pretty.

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Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 07:25:34

I thought this was an old phony scandal.

Generals Conclude Obama Backed al-Qaeda

Obama runs guns to terrorists

by Jerome Corsi | WND | January 20, 2015

The Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded in its interim report.

In WND interviews, several members of the commission have disclosed their finding that the mission of Christopher Stevens, prior to the fall of Gadhafi and during Stevens’ time as U.S. ambassador, was the management of a secret gun-running program operated out of the Benghazi compound.

The Obama administration’s gun-running project in Libya, much like the “fast and furious” program under Eric Holder’s Justice Department, operated without seeking or obtaining authorization by Congress.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-20 07:42:24

obtaining permission from congress - that is so cute!

I have a phone and a pen!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-01-20 07:55:57

“that is so cute!”

Ain’t it da trut!

Jokes that write themselves.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 07:48:23

All wars are, oh forget it.

Gold, Oil, Africa and Why the West Wants Gadhafi Dead

By Brian E. Muhammad -Contributing Writer-
Last updated:
Jun 7, 2011 - 7:59:09 PM

“Gadhafi’s creation of the African Investment Bank in Sirte (Libya) and the African Monetary Fund to be based in Cameroon will supplant the IMF and undermine Western economic hegemony in Africa,” said Gerald Pereira, an executive board member of the former Tripoli-based World Mathaba.

The moves are also bad for France because when the African Monetary Fund and the African Central Bank in Nigeria starts printing gold-backed currency, it would “ring the death knell” for the CFA franc through which Paris was able to maintain its neocolonial grip on 14 former African colonies for the last 50 years.

“The idea, according to Gaddafi, was that African and Muslim nations would join together to create this new currency and would use it to purchase oil and other resources in exclusion of the dollar and other currencies,” said political analyst Anthony Wile in an editorial for The Daily Bell online.

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/World_News_3/article_7886.shtml - 60k -

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-20 08:03:14

2014 was a great year to buy gold and silver.

And hide the coins “behind the oatmeal.”

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-20 08:12:05

And it’s great that my cost basis is lower than the price on GDXJ finally. A slam dunk deal is to buy when it’s depressed and all the people are ridiculing gold. Like some people on this blog of course.


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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:06:57

Had a lot of call options expire a few days ago. I thank all those that bought them for contributing to my wealth. Being the contrarian, today, I wrote on a small part of my position in GG. Wrote 30 calls Jan. 16 received 2.15 a share. Just posting this since I was told earlier, I should have told people when I wrote on oil drillers last June.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-01-20 13:05:53

Wow! $2.15 a share! Congrats! That’s for sure a hold.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:25:44

I think that the fact that the option buyers are so willing to pay a fat premium bodes well both for gold shares and gold prices.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 14:34:54

BTW, it appears that the break even point for the mines in Zimbabwe is $1300 an Oz. Added fun is Zimbabwe is another example of a leftist country that cannot keep the lights on, Obama’s “father” is having renewed problems:

Reuters | 20 January 2015 15:54

Zimbabwe’s gold mining firms are making losses due to weak bullion prices and could collapse unless the government reduces royalties for producers, the Chamber of Mines said.

Gold is the single largest export earner in the southern African country, whose economy is flatlining as a result of lack of investment, electricity shortages and high cost of capital.

Spot gold rose 1 percent to its highest since early September to $1,292.20 an ounce on Tuesday, having plunged to 4-1/2 year lows late last year.

In November, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa reduced royalty fees on gold to 5 percent from 7 percent in the 2015 budget but the mining body, which represents all major mines, said it wanted a further reduction to 3 percent.

In a report issued in December the mining chamber said that mines were making losses of up to $100 an ounce due to weak gold prices and high electricity charges.

Mines are charged higher electricity tariffs to ensure continuous supplies but this is not always the case in a country that produces 1,200 MW against a peak demand of 2,200 MW.

In the report by the mining chamber seen by Reuters on Tuesday, the group said lower power tariffs and uninterrupted supplies would save gold mines up to $55 an ounce.

“The above measures would have ensured the gold mining companies operate on a cash break-even basis and avert gold industry from collapse,” the chamber said.

Chinamasa could not be reached for comment.

Chinamasa said in November the mining sector, which brings in more than half of Zimbabwe’s export earnings, shrank for the first time in five years in 2014 due to low metal prices.

The government has set an ambitious target of 28 tonnes of gold in the next five years, to match a record set in 1990. Chinamasa has forecast that gold output could rise to 16 tonnes this year from 14 tonnes in 2014.

“If no immediate measures are taken, the likelihood of production reaching 1990 levels is very slim and in the extreme mines will go under care and maintenance to preserve assets,” the mining chamber said. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia)

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 14:47:47

Who is Obama’s “father”?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 14:53:38

Gold is great, just don’t take it as payment for oil or the IMF will arm al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias to take your @ss out.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:17:17

Who is Obama’s “father”?

I tried to answer you about an hour ago but it did not post. So I guess it is a state secret.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 11:36:03

2014 was a great year to buy gold and silver.

And hide the coins “behind the oatmeal.”

I was once told to hide them in cans of paint. Since the paint is so viscous the coins wont clatter in the can.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 08:43:28

Everyone Must Check In

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 08:57:29

“If people want to do it as a sport than they could go to a shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there.”

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 09:04:52

We recalled a few state senators who tried pulling that sh*t in this Region


Comment by jane
2015-01-20 23:39:05

Darn fine exercise of populist power, that!

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Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-20 09:28:54

Region V

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 12:57:47

Region IV

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 13:39:25

Hey now, let’s try not to get regionist about this

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 08:46:45

For those that have studied WWII and all the beheadings the Japanese carried out both of allied civilians and U.S. troops, there is some irony in this, however, the Japanese at least used swords and not dull knives:

(IraqiNews.com) On Tuesday, the terrorist ISIS organization published a video showing two Japanese hostages it held, demanding the Japanese government a ransom of 200 million dollars in exchange for their release, otherwise they will be beheaded. The Japanese Foreign Ministry expressed its disapproval to the threat and considered it unacceptable.

The news agency ‘Reuters’ said in a report followed by IraqiNews.com “The terrorist ISIS organization published a video showing a masked man dressed in black, raising a knife before two Japanese hostages dressed in orange and standing in a desert area.”

According to the video, the masked man gave the Japanese people 72 hours to put pressure on their government to stop its support for the U.S.-led coalition forces to launch a military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, demanding a ransom of $200 million in exchange for the release of the detained on Monday.

For its part, the Japanese Foreign Ministry stated that, it will investigate the authenticity of the video to see whether it’s real footage, and stressed that, “Such a threat—if its validity is proved—is unacceptable and we are very displeased.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 08:56:25
Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-20 09:19:03

Recall my question of a couple of days ago - Haliburton?
Well the brown stuff is hitting the fan now…..

Halliburton’s report on fourth-quarter results and 2015 projections will likely include announcements about layoffs, economist Loren Scott said Monday.

Then this…..

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-baker-hughes-to-lay-off-7000-staff-as-oil-prices-slump-2015-1#ixzz3PNYQxLkI

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc said it expects to lay off about 7,000 employees, days after industry leader Schlumberger Ltd said it would cut jobs as drilling activity slows due to a steep fall in oil prices.

Comment by Larry Littlefield
2015-01-20 09:22:35

Look at things from Obama’s point of view. The plunge in oil prices is:

a) Bad because it discourages conservation and alternative energy, while making the U.S. most dependent on supplies from a part of the world he desperately wants to see the back of?


b) Good because it helps his middle and working class constituents in swing states, while giving an economic kick in the ass to Red States whose politicians claimed they were great but were actually just lucky?

I tend to think a). But I think that Obama has learned that being in favor of short term pain for long term gain is a big loser for Democrats, one the Republicans have used against them for 35 years (even though Democrats stopped caring about the future decades ago).

So I think he’ll go with b.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 09:43:59


If you look at this list, you will see a few rigs that will be stacked and a few rigs that are headed to other drilling sites. Most of the companies have not committed. However, the drillers in ND need about $68 a barrel for WTI which translates to about $51 at the wellhead. So if they do not receive that price by the time they are done drilling their present wells, they will be stacked and immediately about 100 jobs per well will be lost, about 21-30 days later the production of about 500 barrels per well will not come on line and if the drills do not come back on the line the oil production lost will compound through out the year. Poof goes the “glut” which is about 1.5% of production world wide. I find it hard to describe that as even a glut since you expect to add to inventories when demand is still increasing to maintain the same amount of days of demand stored.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 09:45:08

New police radars can ’see’ inside homes

Brad Heath, USA TODAY 9:39 a.m. EST January 20, 2015

WASHINGTON — At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

By then, however, the technology was hardly new. Federal contract records show the Marshals Service began buying the radars in 2012, and has so far spent at least $180,000 on them.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/01/19/police-radar-see-through-walls/22007615/ - 105k -

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:22:00

A lot of my posts do not seem to posting today but this backs up my post about the dangerous “game” we are playing with Russia:


Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 11:19:25

Of course. We are shuttering our own oil production in order to hurt Russian oil production. It is so obvious.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:31:16

The market is shuttering the shale oil wells not the government. The MSM had all kind of stories on why that would not happen due to selling futures etc. Maybe Obama actually believed them, the only type of drilling he knows about occurs in Chicago bathhouses.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 16:24:28

Stay on theme dan. Obama control global oil prices, period. Right? Oh, and the dollar, he makes it go up and down, like pins in a Putin Voodoo doll.

Well, he did whisper in Putin’s ear that he could do more in his second term.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:31:51

The Federal Reserve can easily increase the value of the dollar in a world where virtually everyone wants a cheaper currency. The president’s power is strongest in matters of national security. By claiming that it is in the nation’s security interest to hurt Russia with lower oil prices just about any action can be justified including intervention in the foreign exchange markets or commodity markets with or without Federal Reserve involvement.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 16:55:19

You’ve got nothing there but imagination.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 17:09:00

Funny because its the MSMs explanation which makes no sense but believe it if it brings you comfort:


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 17:49:32

What is insane is the belief that a market that is over supplied by 1% would fall over 50% without manipulation. Sure oil is inelastic in the short term but this has never occurred in the history of the oil markets. Maybe you could find a decline with a 3 to 5 % over supply which is similar but even those would be hard to find. People just tend to store for small surpluses.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 18:29:41

“this has never occurred in the history of the oil markets…”

Lost you are. There has never been a Ponzi credit expansion and stupid building boom like china has undertaken. Train falls off the tracks and you can’t consider the Ponzi might have stalled. Must be the wizard of Ozbama pulling levers.

It’s because you are invested in the mania.

BTW, we crashed in the novel oil markets in 1980 something. I tried to tell you about it as a first hander but you had paraffin in your ears.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 18:42:58

Not with a 1 to 1.5% surplus. That is the key point you keep missing. There is no large glut of oil to justify this decline. That makes it different from the other declines which had a reason.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 19:10:13

Bhi was up 70 cents a share today despite oil’s drop. Wall street knows this glut is going to last about as long as a Pelosi Botox treatment.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:18:17

The Fed has an independently constituted board which does not answer to the President. Don’t believe a word of the BS AlbqDanEsq posts on this topic.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:19:45

Another day, another 5% down in oil prices (yawn…)

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-20 10:27:22

Saudis may be thinking ahead on oil production

“To stay within the two-degree limit of climate warming, climate change theory suggests the Earth can burn only 20 per cent of its booked fossil fuel reserves, hence the owners of the reserves at the bottom of the cost curve should insist their reserves be burnt first. The Saudis have figured out that their oil, being the cheapest to extract, will be part of that 20 per cent.” R. Fletcher, letter to FT.com

I agree this is part of Saudi’s thinking. As climate change worsens, the risk increases that world leaders will reach agreement on oil extraction limits, thus stranding oil assets underground. It can’t be coincidence that the Saudis opened up the oil faucets around the same time as the Peru climate conference and the U.S.-China climate agreement. This theory that Saudi is cashing in while they can makes more sense than complex conspiracies about US-Russia-Iran economic warfare.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:38:10

Yes, the Saudis are giving up billions of dollars of revenue due to an agreement that does not exist and has no chance of being ratified by the Republican congress. The fact that both the U.S and the Saudis have motive and opportunity to wage a war against Iran and Russia and both countries have publicly called the U.S. out for waging the war should be ignored. We should believe the MSMs story that global warming concerns are motivating Saudi Arabia. Of course, we should also ignore “Twilight in the Desert” which clearly shows that Saudi Arabia will be a minor producer by the time any restrictions on the burning of fossil fuels would be implemented.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-20 12:44:43

It’s not politics, it’s economics. If you’ve got a warehouse full of VCRs in a DVD world, you slash prices and liquidate your assets while you still can.

” in November, former BP chief executive Lord John Browne said many oil and gas companies were still in denial about climate change because “they do not want to acknowledge an existential threat to their business.”

Oil is in a double bind, says Lewis. If prices are low, then opening up new reserves is unviable; if prices are high, then many customers will switch to alternatives, or simply invest in energy efficiency. Fossil fuel investments could become the “sub-prime assets of the future,” warned British energy secretary Ed Davey.”


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:07:30

It’s not politics, it’s economics. If you’ve got a warehouse full of VCRs in a DVD world, you slash prices and liquidate your assets while you still can.

Finite resources are nothing like manufactured goods, unless you understand that you cannot understand anything about oil. A manufacturer can produce an unlimited amount of his goods and each widget manufactured does not diminish his future ability to produce.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 13:24:33

Now you are projecting friend. I am not in the boat with you, nor do I desire to be.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-20 18:19:33

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 10:47:18

China thanks the world for cheap copper. Note that copper in China is trading at a premium in China due to strong local demand. Hardly the sign of a collapsing economy:

Updated: 2015-01-20 09:52

Record investment in China’s state power grid is set to boost copper consumption in the power sector this year by around 9 percent, a state-backed research firm said on Monday, a positive piece of news for a metal languishing near 5-1/2 year lows.

The forecast by research firm Antaike comes after state media reported on Friday that the power grid plans to invest 420 billion yuan ($67.6 billion) in 2015, up 24 percent from last year.

The power sector accounted for nearly half of an estimated 8.7 million tonnes of refined copper consumption last year in the world’s top consumer and producer of the metal.

“It definitely matters for your outlook on (copper) demand growth, given they are the largest consumer,” said Citi analyst Ivan Szpakowski.

Analysts are divided over whether China’s grid completed all its planned 14 percent spending increase last year, given graft investigations hindered payments to grid suppliers.

Grid investment this year should push copper consumption in the power sector up 8.7 percent to 4.62 million tonnes, picking up from 7.6 percent growth in 2014, said Yang Changhua, a senior analyst at Antaike.

While Antaike had anticipated strong growth in demand from the power sector, where copper is used in transmission cables and transformers, Yang said the plan beat expectations.

It could also help ease worries over China’s copper demand this year, which has weighed on prices, traders said.

Copper traded on the London Metal Exchange edged off last week’s lows after the grid plan was revealed on Friday, hitting $5,762.5 a tonne on Monday.

The investment should also lift demand for aluminium used in overhead power cables and zinc used to galvanize power pylons, Yang said.


“It’s not an area of infrastructure that’s just being built just to boost GDP - it’s not bridges to nowhere,” said Citi’s Szpakowski.

“It’s very much a fundamental tenant of China’s environmental push, moving away from coal power, shifting power generation inland away from the coast and towards renewables,” he said.

Low prices have boosted spot refined copper purchases in China, traders said, with imports also rising including refined metal in bonded warehouses in Shanghai and forward shipments from Chile.

Reflecting the demand, premiums for bonded copper in Shanghai have risen to about $70-$90 a tonne over the LME cash prices since late last week, from $55-$75 at the beginning of the year. CU-BMPBW-SHMET

Bonded stocks stand at about 400,000 tonnes currently, versus about 500,000 tonnes in early January, traders estimated.

Copper demand is also likely to pick up further after the February Lunar New Year holidays as factories restart production and rebuild inventories, said an executive at a copper producer.

($1 = 6.2145 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 11:12:51


The world thanks China for cheaper copper. The biggest credit mania in history pivoted around highly leveraged holdings of the red metal by Chinese speculators. While there is no shortage of BS happy news from the Opaque Empire, speculators have turned to sellers as the engine of debt built ghost cities grinds down.

Also iron, coal, oil, condos and cotton.

Welcome to deleveraging.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:19:08

Hope is not a strategy. You may hope that you will get another opportunity to buy a house like 2010-2011 due to an imminent Chinese crash but facts are stubborn things and do not support your hopes.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-20 16:21:35

So true. You hope there will not be a collapse of that particular Ponzi. I don’t have to hope either way. A house at 2011 prices, LOL, you really are living in the koolaid.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:22:45

I don’t often find myself on the same side of an argument as Goldman Sachs, but they nailed this one!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-20 23:24:10

Goldman Sees Downside Risk to Copper on China Property Weakness
By Bloomberg News
Jan 20, 2015 8:08 PM PT

Copper prices will face downward pressure over the next 12 months as a slump in the property sector persists in China, the world’s biggest consumer, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The weakness in the nation’s real-estate market, which accounts for half of China’s copper usage, has weighed on demand for industrial metals in the last year and the downturn is unlikely to end in 2015, analysts including Roger Yuan wrote in a report dated Jan. 20. The bank sees risks “highly skewed to the downside” for its 12-month price forecast of $6,000 a metric ton, according to Yuan.

Copper fell to a five-year low Jan. 14 amid an oil-led rout in commodities as investors turn away from raw materials on concern that supply would exceed demand. The International Monetary Fund this week joined the World Bank in cutting global growth forecasts as lower energy prices and an improving U.S. economy fail to offset a slowdown in Europe to China. The metal is down 9.9 percent this year after falling 14 percent in 2014.

Property is still the key copper driver and it remains soft,” the analysts wrote. “We expect construction activity to remain relatively weak over the next 12 months.”

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 11:13:26

New York bank expected to offer half-price homes to cops, firefighters, teachers

As long as they live in them for at least five years…

by Tim Knauss | Syracuse.com | January 20, 2015

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank is expected to announce a new program Tuesday that will allow Syracuse police officers, firefighters and school teachers to buy land bank houses in the city for half price as long as they live in them for at least five years.

The land bank’s board of directors is expected to approve the new policy during its meeting Tuesday, said Katelyn Wright, executive director. The board’s governance committee has already signed off on the idea, she said.

The board of directors will hold its annual meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington St.

Wright said the land bank developed the discount program in response to a suggestion from several city councilors, who bemoaned the fact that many cops, firefighters and teachers live in the suburbs, far from the neighborhoods they serve.

Comment by Karen
2015-01-20 17:38:58

FYI, a Land Bank isn’t an actual bank. I tried to think of a quick, accurate, and snarky way to describe them while typing this, but you could probably just google the term.

They are quasi-governmental, aka fascist organizations.

Comment by rms
2015-01-20 18:25:49

“New York bank expected to offer half-price homes to cops, firefighters, teachers. As long as they live in them for at least five years…”

So the folks playing the shell-game with our economy will now decide who gets to live in a house?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:14:54

From Iafrica, Obamacare seems to be working well in Africa too:

A Kenyan school bus driver died after drinking a potion brewed by a “witchdoctor” to prove he had not stolen books, sparking angry protests from villagers, a report said Tuesday.

The school directors in a village in Kenya’s southwestern Kisii district hired a witchdoctor to seek out the thief of school books, with the driver volunteering to drink a potion to prove he was innocent.

“The driver was dared… to prove his innocence by drinking the mixture,” local police chief Simon Kiragu told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper.

“The 33-year old collapsed and died immediately after the drink.”

Furious villagers then took revenge on school leaders by torching the school bus and the deputy director’s house.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:37:58

If you like your witchdoctor you can keep your witchdoctor. All other doctors fall outside your bronze plan.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by rms
2015-01-20 19:44:39

Those suggested salaries would leave you house-poor, IMHO. Who the heck wants to live that close to the edge?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 11:41:38

From the Chinese investing in U.S. real estate to the Chinese investing in U.S. oil wells:

(Global Times)
Updated: 2015-01-19 08:50

The slump in oil prices has triggered a flurry of Chinese investment in oil wells, in a bid to get a high return from the black gold.

Global House Buyer, a Beijing-based services provider to Chinese overseas investors, said on Saturday that the company now has presented an investment opportunity in oil wells in Texas, US, to Chinese investors.

According to the company, the project, involving six oil wells in an area of 2,240 acres, is located in Crockett County in Texas. Cooperating with local developers, the project is expected to attract a total of $4 million investment at the first stage, with the minimum investment of $100,000 each.

The annual return could reach more than 12 percent, the company said.

“The return is based on our prediction of future oil prices,” Liu Bin, general manager responsible for the US investment at Global House Buyer, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Liu predicts that the current oil price still has room to rise, which will generate higher profits for the project.

Oil prices rose from nearly a 6-year low at around $45 per barrel on January 12 to $48.30 per barrel on Thursday.

On Friday, the price of New York crude oil futures closed at $ 48.69 a barrel. It is widely believe that the oil price could rise to $70 or $80 per barrel this year.

According to Liu, the oil wells have been in operation since 2012. Currently, the total output per day is about 170,000 barrels, and they still have more than 10 years of drilling capacity with a stable output.

“Investing in the oil wells could be read as another sort of real estate investment,” Shi Ruixue, CEO of Global House Buyer, said.

Investing in oil well is a market-oriented activity, and it is understandable why investors are flocking to the oil sector, as the oil prices are still at a low level, Han Xiaoping, chief information officer at energy portal china5e.com, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“Chinese investors have gained more experience about risks after the financial crisis in 2009. It is a good timing to invest in oil projects as the prices are still low. But if the prices move further down, it will pose risks to oil investment,” Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

He Shaohua, a potential investor who has invested in housing projects in the US, told the Global Times that he planned to invest $100,000 in the oil wells, as it is good to diversify his investment.

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2015-01-20 19:30:27

“The annual return could reach more than 12 percent, the company said.”

“The return is based on our prediction of future oil prices,” Liu Bin, general manager responsible for the US investment at Global House Buyer, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Lol. Inveterate gamblers. You have to love every one of them.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 12:03:58

Media Hype Davos Climate Change Focus as 1,700 Private Jets Fly In

By Mike Ciandella | January 19, 2015 | 3:50 PM EST

As media outlets focused on the World Economic Forum’s plans to address climate change it ignored the hypocrisy of the huge number of private jets flying world leaders and celebrities to that conference.

Roughly 1,700 private planes will head to Davos, Switzerland for the 2015 World Economic Forum. That doesn’t include commercial air travel or any other method of transit to the conference. Ironically, the top article featured on the “Agenda” section of the World Economic Forum website on Jan. 19, boldly stated that “[d]ecarbonising the global economy in a matter of decades is the number one priority.”

According to Newsweek, former vice president Al Gore will be speaking at Davos “to stress the importance of tackling climate change.”

USA Today hyped the global gathering and specifically mentioned climate change as one of the “global wounds that require bandaging.” There was no mention of the huge carbon expenditures the trip would require or the number of private jets flying to Davos.

The Huffington Post noted that “it’s a bit ironic to discuss climate change at Davos, a remote location in Switzerland that requires a tremendous carbon footprint to even get to,” but didn’t call out attendees for hypocrisy. Huffington Post chair, president and editor-in chief Arianna Huffington will attend the conference.The left-wing website also hyped highlights from last year’s climate change discussions at Davos.

It was CNN Money that reported, “Roughly 1,700 private flights are expected over the course of the week, which is twice as many as normal.” That article also noted that “[t]raffic is expected to rise 5% compared to last year’s event.” Ninety spaces will be reserved for private jets at two major airports in Switzerland, and increased travel was also expected at two more airports.

In addition to all those private flights, there will be many helicopter rides between the Zurich Airport and Davos. CNN reported that last year helicopter traffic from that airport increased from five flights a day to “54 flights on a single busy day.”

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2015/01/19/usa-today-huffpo-hype-davos-climate-change-solutions-1700-private#sthash.lLSaCroD.dpuf

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-20 13:02:04

Nothing but a collection of f….ing charlatans and philistines!!!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:11:52

Come on R.J. tell us what you really think. :)

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-20 15:03:02

Just smiling my friend - the truth shall set you free!! snark,snark, snark and more snark -
My life has become a cynical mess!!!!

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:15:57

One of the inconvenient truths is Europe saddled itself with high cost alternative energy projects which help make its manufacturing uncompetitive. Add in high taxes for the welfare states, excessive regulation and national debt through the roof and you see economies which cannot compete with China. Thanks to Obama we are much more European and will soon join Europe’s list of countries that cannot compete in the world.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 13:48:21

The European countries with the highest taxes and the biggest welfare states are found in Scandinavia. Those countries have some of the highest standards of living on the planet.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 15:16:33

With the exception of Norway, due to oil, they are in debt up to their eyeballs both private and public. Their high IQs have allowed them to live well for many years but the IQs cannot save them from a major haircut to their lifestyles which is coming.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 16:11:07

There you go again - another reference to IQ scores and a doom and gloom prediction.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:20:33

IQ matters.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:26:54

BTW, if you are looking for the optimists site this is not it. First clue, virtually everyone believes there is a housing bubble. I include myself in that group although I think that the bubble will be addressed by general inflation increasing faster than the nominal prices not by a severe drop in housing prices. Governments have to print fiat money if they are given a chance. The reason why our forefathers demanded that the government mint gold coins.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-20 16:48:09

I’m an optimist. Is there a bubble or not; pretty academic question. But I’m optimistic about the future post/bubble. Back in the day, I used to have people write me and say, “I’m making 70k a week shorting homebuilder stocks.” Economics is just a way of looking at reality. So turn that frown upside down and be glad we live in interesting times.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:58:34

Those countries have some of the highest standards of living on the planet.

Except for the bottom ten percent, if you consider the high taxes, Americans live far better with much greater disposable income even after paying for medical and educational expenses.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 17:05:39

The external debt tells the tale, this list does have an error of listing Sweden twice but the second listing is clearly a mistake:


Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 18:08:24

Except for the bottom ten percent, if you consider the high taxes, Americans live far better with much greater disposable income even after paying for medical and educational expenses.

That sounds unlikely.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 18:39:31


Pick yourself up off the floor and cheer up. Falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels is positively bullish and good for the economy.

Did you really think wages were going to double to meet grossly inflated prices?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 13:43:10

Warmists gonna warm

I can’t afford to fly to Switzerland like those warmists but I did drive 500 miles last weekend to ski one day at Wolf Creek

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 13:51:47

We all do what we can do. Every little bit we can do to destroy the planet is appreciated by the cockroaches which will be one of the species to survive man.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 14:02:56

BTW Goon, better get your skiing in over the next week. The West is about to have a hot spell while the East freezes.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 14:53:51

“a hot spell”

I’m looking forward to driving around with all my windows down and the air conditioning on full blast burning $1.79 gasoline

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-20 14:10:45

Did you remember to roll your coal?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-20 14:58:28

It’s not often in life that you get to say “I rolled coal on my way to the Glory Hole”


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Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 14:24:56


Django Unchained and Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio says he is planning to take a significant break from filming and concentrate on his environmental campaigning.

“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment,” added DiCaprio, in comments published in German.

Comment by rms
2015-01-20 20:36:27

“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment,” added DiCaprio, in comments published in German.


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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 14:38:49

I think I lost another post today. Getting your skiing in soon the West is about to turn really hot, while the East gets really cold. Sorry HA, the worse of the cold is heading right at you.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-20 14:33:42

Woman pays $164,000 a year to live on luxury cruise ship

Amanda Weindel | @AmandaWeindel

4 Hours Ago CNBC.com

After her husband died, an 86-year old widow decided to sell her 10-acre Florida estate and permanently live on a luxury cruise ship.

Lee Watchtstetter, or Mama Lee as the ship’s crew calls her, has been aboard the Crystal Serenity for nearly seven years, reports the Asbury Park Press. She estimated that living on the Serenity this year will cost her $164,000. This includes cost of her stateroom, meals, gratuities and Broadway-style entertainment and other daily activities.

Mama Lee went on 89 cruises during her 50-year marriage with her husband and has lost count of how many countries she has since visited after she hit the 100-country mark.

One important factor sold her on the Crystal Serenity: its host dance program.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 15:38:24

A strong dollar starting to hit high tech earnings hard:


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 15:47:13

Interestingly, the article tries to claim that the results were not as bad as expected but this part of the article totally contradicts that spin:

Shares of IBM, which announced earnings after the close, were down 19 cents to $156.95. In after-hours trading, shares fell nearly 3%.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-20 15:57:01

When Obama bloviates about “inequality” tonight, you can be certain he won’t mention the role of the Fed and central banks in concentrating wealth in the hands of the .1%.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:33:29


Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-20 16:58:37

What will constitute bloviating about inequality? Will you say that three or four sentences on the topic is bloviation?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-20 19:54:16

Even one word on the topic is empty puffs of air from the President who presided over the biggest ripoff of the middle and working classes in US history with his bailout of Wall Street and the Fed’s debasement of the currency and endless QE for the benefit of the .1%.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:04:18

Another Obama administration foreign policy success in Yemen. Maybe all those drone strikes were counterproductive.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-20 16:12:46

We effectively supported the Iran based Shiite rebels against the Sunnis by attacking Al Qaeda terrorists with our drone strikes, cue the North Korean quote:


Comment by samk
2015-01-20 18:03:51

Biden sez “It’s gonna be good!”


“Everything the President proposes tonight is ambitious, but doable — like two years of free community college for everyone who will go there and work hard, better high speed internet access for more Americans, making homeownership more accessible and affordable, and more of the things we’ve always wanted to achieve.”

That always works.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-20 18:15:36

Question for our resident hope ‘n change lemmings: are you going to swallow Obama’s empty SOTU rhetoric about his devotion to the middle class hook, line, and sinker? Or are you going to grow a brain at some point and see right through the snake oil he’s selling?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by azdude
2015-01-20 20:13:36

Its funny to hear people talking like the problems have been fixed when in fact they have only been postponed by papering over issues.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 20:43:58

By God those federal politicians are bonafide crooks and liars. Just when I thought they couldn’t get any more more like used car salesmen/saleswomen.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-20 20:58:42

Some oil news out of Colorado for Potsy.

“Hash Oil Linked to Dozens of Home Explosions in Colorado”


Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-21 07:43:19

phony scandals

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