Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Redefining Bad

A few postings ago I predicted that analysts and other market participants that gauge corporate results would switch from "better than expected" to "not as bad as expected", in their efforts to sugarcoat dismal performance. That's exactly what an article in the NY Times now makes clear:

For now, at least, some investors seem to have become so inured to the bad news that results that would have once been viewed as disastrous are now seen as good, or even great. The sober phrase often used on Wall Street to describe solid corporate results — “better than expected” — has been replaced by “not as bad as feared.”

Hiding behind this development is the expectation that "surely, things can't get any worse", which goes a long way to explain the various relief rallies going on in the financial sector. Unfortunately, this expression of hope is not founded on solid fundamental evidence but on irrationality (at worst), or uninformed mechanistic cyclical analysis (at best).

Two observations:
  1. I'll pay more attention when the attitude shifts to "it's bad and it's going to get much worse", i.e. when even the professionals reach the capitulation phase and abandon all hope. That won't be the point to jump in, mind you, but it will be a sign to stop fishing and get back to work(*).
  2. This is not a garden variety recession. It is not caused by cyclical excess inventory accumulation that can be reversed within a couple of quarters, but a most pernicious credit contraction. It's not only that banks are less willing to lend; it is borrowers that are retreating from debt because their incomes can no longer support the heavy burden accumulated over the past decade. Household debt as a percentage of personal income now stands at 115% versus 79% in 1998. This ultimately acts as a drag on consumption and won't go away quickly or painlessly.

(*) A famous market speculator once said: "There are times to be long, times to be short and times to go fishing".


71 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Hell.

    I profit of my fuse to comment early.

    I have some questions: do you think that Fannie/Freddie can muddle through this crisis?
    With which consequences for the economy? I mean: if they survive in their present form, will this make a difference or not, and will this be good or bad (as far as the amount of money-debt they may still generate in the future is concerned)?

    Regards

    JJ

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just wonder, how people in the USA intended to pay off their debts. I think it is OK to take mortgage against one's house, but only if one has the income to serve the debt. If not, then one has to sell the house and move to a cheaper one.

    I just cannot see how a whole nation failed to see this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fishing is too much work.

    Debt repayment is currently seen as optional as debtors increasingly claim "victim" status.

    Will the pendulum swing back to the era where debtors were seen as criminals?

    ReplyDelete
  4. By the way I just read via ml-implode an article on Bloomberg about the Fannie/Freddie bailout been signed by the Congress.

    A trillion here and a trillion there... I never figured out that USA were so rich :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Right, I am leaving for a three month trip to India-Nepal, all cash.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Re: Fannie/Freddie surviving in their present form.

    No, I don't think they can keep going as they did in the last 10-ish years. The go-go years are over and from now on they will focus on keeping their heads above water, as opposed to growing their balance sheets.

    Real estate and mortgage lending is no longer a "growth" business.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nothing has changed folks, except, evidently, some people's minds, and those I assert, only temporarily. I would like to be wrong, But when I ask myself if conditions are such that any of the trends now in place, housing and banking debacles energy crisis have any reason to reverse, the answer is no. Pauses to refresh, absolutely, cessation, no.

    The authorities have nothing but incredible rhetoric and duct tape with which to keep the rickety financial structure from complete collapse. That's all, and it won't work. In the meantime, I hate bear market rallies.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hanky Panky Paulson just wants to put it off until Jan. '09. After that they can scream "A Democrat was elected and look, the system came crashing down because of it!"

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hel,
    I see you fixed the clock, I'm still optimistically (naively?) hoping for a clue. Were you posted overseas? & Might not foreign exposure color one's perspective on the ocean of dollars overseas that could come flooding home if the dollar continues to depreciate?

    The Fed's actions are constrained by foreign blow-back in the credit and commodity mkts and can no longer ignore the FOREX as in the past. Russ Winter has suggested that the Pentagon is the biggest determinate of the exchange rate pegs vis-a-vis oil producers a la Iraq and may not be able to maintain its grip indefinitely.

    Any thoughts you'd care to share? because a bail out on the requisite scale looks almost certain to destroy the dollar and its reserve status. If those pegs are broken then the ECB can allow the Euro to float freely against the dollar without destroying EU exports ex-USA.

    ReplyDelete
  10. re: the dollar

    The dollar's global reserve status is one of the most important enablers of America's Imperium. It is not to be squandered in order to support a few thousand super-rich investors and speculators, foreign or domestic.

    This realization is slowly dawning on everyone concerned, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Welcome back, it's nice to have some more Sudden Debt :-0

    "The dollar's global reserve status is one of the most important enablers of America's Imperium. It is not to be squandered in order to support a few thousand super-rich investors and speculators, foreign or domestic.

    This realization is slowly dawning on everyone concerned, I think."

    That sounds very portentous and presumably implies things about where this crisis is heading next. I don't suppose that you could expand upon it a bit, could you?


    Peter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If the GSE paper held by FCBs is not honored, that in itself will threaten the dollar's acceptance as much of that paper was bought at the behest of US officials. If the US govt peddled fraudulent paper and then refuses to stand behind it that will have almost the same effect on foreign confidence as a default of govt debt and will also severely erode the exchange rate as FCBs liquidate any GSE paper they still hold.

    Politically, the govt won't be able to guarantee only some of the debt (especially FCB holdings) and financially a full bail out will crater the $. Either way the $'s reserve status will be eroded. I don't see how you envision the $ maintaining its status as the US economy collapses and Americans default on their foreign debts. Nuclear blackmail can get you only so far in a world of multiple arsenals and as Sonia Gahndi said during a prior food shortage; "The mushroom is no substitute for the onion".

    BTW Hel,
    Is your past experience classified that you won't share a tidbit?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hell, I had an idea I thought you might like.

    I know you want to build a new currency called the greenback.

    Have you ever just thought about building your greenback model and then posting instantaneous updates on the value of the greenback relative to other nation's currencies just like bloomberg?

    Put your instantaneous greenback quotes it in the right upper corner of your blog. Just 'give away' your currency information-- keep your model open source and let the market point out the model's flaws.

    You can even suggest that bloggers contact friends in environmental organizations like Greenpeace, etc... and that these environmental organizations start using the greenback for business contracts, etc...
    Good ideas move fast in blogger land.

    There is no reason why one needs government to do this.

    If the idea really works, it should catch on.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just read that Sheila Bair of the FDIC is talking trash about the financial blogosphere because it spreads "misinformation".

    Frightening implications racing through your minds too?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dink, what is she going to do???? Think about it a little more.

    It was yet again another example of when a politician should just keep their mouth shut (which is why I am not a politician).

    If she opens her mouth again, all she does is draw more attention to the bank balance sheet problem.

    She does not want to get hundreds of thousands of 'chatterboxes' angry and I am sure that someone more level headed at FDIC knows it, even if she does not.

    ReplyDelete
  16. yoyomo, I am often awake at all hour of day and night becasue of my job runs 24-7-365.

    So to help you with your "where's Waldo?" quest, based on when I have logged onto my email and noticed new postings, I would guess Hell is in London. Either that or he just keeps very odd hours.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Thai,
    but the original time stamp indicates the Mid-East/Moscow time zone, London is only +5 not +7/8. Dubai would be a good guess but that's +9. Don't you just luv it when Hel is being coy?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Has anyone seen the Karl Denninger video on Youtube? I just watched it and its put together really well.

    We really cannot have capitalism for profits and socialism for losses, in my view. Its a disaster under economic theory.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Karl Denninger is quite knowledgeable on financial matters, for example, but he's far from infallible, and more often than not, he seems, quite frankly, a bit bonkers. The constant petitions were/are silly, and clearly, fruitless, little more than a monument to the man's vanity.

    KD, as his acolytes like to call him, is the sort of dogmatic, retrograde character who likes to toss out the epithet pinko upon the slightest whiff of Liberalism, and as such, believes, despite evidence to the contrary, that The Mayflower Pact was responsible for all the disaster's that befell the early Pilgrim's.

    I've seen the video, and while it has its good points, Mr. Denninger loses the plot when he starts bloviating about how the nation we have all loved for the last two plus centuries is about to disappear. I wonder what nation, other than the purely fictional one that exists inside his head, he thinks he is talking about since the U.S. bears little resemblance to what it was a mere fifty years ago, let alone one hundred and fifty years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know why I made Pilgrims and disasters possessives since they clearly aren't. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Edwardo,
    The best point that I picked up on market-ticker is the notion that default insurance can't cover defaults over long cycles if the insurance premiums are less than the risk premiums on the credit instruments. IOW it only works during prosperity and fails during downturns.

    If risk is properly assessed and priced, then risk premiums and insurance premiums must be equal.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This funding of the Mays & Macs will be the easiest way to re-inflate the economy, all in the name of saving the financial system. "We saved the Banking system"

    a look at the flip side is that 1) It will only cost 50% of your dollar value. 2) the Fed originally created this mess to begin with

    ReplyDelete
  23. A trillion here and a trillion there... and soon you are talking about real money. I read this joke somewhere about Fannie-Freddie bailout.

    I always thought that this was not real money, indeed. The problems set in when this superleveraged debt tries to come back to the real world to buy real stuff. The inverted piramid of money a la Friedman is crushing and rushing for the exit, but the exit is soooo tiny. It is just as large as the real world commodities. Hence 140$ a barrel oil, 1000$ a ounce gold...

    We need a different concept of money, power money, sound money, un-leveraged money, no-debt money, already-earned money, whatever.

    So Hell, come up with this greenback money soon.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yoyomo wrote:

    IOW it only works during prosperity and fails during downturns.


    That's the definition of a scam, it only works if you don't use it. The U.S. has always been a nation of grifters, and this is one of the great grifts in the nation's history.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Eduardo:

    Thanks for the context.

    As a student of history, I think it a bit harsh to criticize anyone as "bonkers" when they point to monetary policy and economic system management as a potential downfall for a nation-state.

    Most people would be surprised, in the end, of just how little it takes to fall off the the social compact. Look to the folks in N.O. after the hurricane for the reassertion of a state of nature in a hurry.

    Another observation might be that the individual finds a bit of hyperbole to get ordinary Americans to pay attention. Most of them, alas, are more interested in this week's American Idol than anything of substance.

    With kind regards.

    ReplyDelete
  26. OK, (I took my ritalin this morning) to to stay on topic. Looks like more examples of news that was 'less bad' than 'we' expected.

    @Edwardo-- you write very well. I don't know if I always agree with everything you write, but I really do enjoy reading it.

    @Anon 10:31-- amen

    ReplyDelete
  27. How About " today financial stocks rise on lower then expected bank failures"

    ReplyDelete
  28. Itd be great to come up with a new currency, but didn't the Fed make it illegal? It seems when I was on that conspiracy jag I saw something like that.

    "A trillion here and a trillion there... I never figured out that USA were so rich :)"

    We're numb. In shock. I don't recall even Carl Sagan using the word "trillion"

    ReplyDelete
  29. Goldie
    We would have a nonvoting middle class. They are the ones who have credit. Lower class people can't get credit cards and rich people don't need credit.
    After the Revolution there were mass bankruptcies and migrations in America because of a credit cruch. The poor were simply not involved. We are going through something on this scale again.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dink
    The US put in restrictions on private money during the Civil War because the dollar was off the gold standard. Bearer bonds were outlawed because of tax evasion. The other regulations are newer and have to do mostly with the dollar and the current (for forty years) currency crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Karl Denninger is quite knowledgeable on financial matters, for example, but he's far from infallible, and more often than not, he seems, quite frankly, a bit bonkers. The constant petitions were/are silly, and clearly, fruitless, little more than a monument to the man's vanity."

    Will he does appear to be off his rocker for time to time, I think he also displays something that is lacking in America and in particuliar since the Iraq conflict and that is public outrage. In this case it is widespread Congressional corruption
    and the influence of the financial sector within the political sphere.
    Americans probably would be better off and have a less corrupt political system with some good quality street demo's from time to time that lasted longer then Sat or Sun afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great quote from Mike Whitney:

    Paulson is discovering that deceiving investors is not as easy as duping the public about fictional WMD or Niger uranium. Sometimes even the dullest person can grasp the most complex matters when it comes to his own money.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the kind words, Thai. Better that we not agree on some number of topics so as to keep the conversation interesting.

    Anon wrote:

    "As a student of history, I think it a bit harsh to criticize anyone as "bonkers" when they point to monetary policy and economic system management as a potential downfall for a nation-state. "

    It could be a bit harsh to employ the term "bonkers," but, for the most part, I've not formed my less than charitable view of KD on the basis of his "monetary" critique, which, as I commented previously, has its merits. What I do find grating is Mr. Denninger's reverence towards what seems to me an altogether too quaint and benign view of capitalism. And that blind spot in conjunction with what I see as his tendency towards self congratulation and grandiosity- I appreciate your point about the usefulness of hyperbole- is what informs my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ron Paul:

    "There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than the world has ever experienced...The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone: gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble; stock markets plunging; unemployment rising;, massive underemployment; excessive government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to whether we’ll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?"

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wkwillis-

    "outlawed because of tax evasion"

    Ah. But if we're being subversive enough to disobey the Fed Reserve we may as well take down the IRS too. Edwardo, any updates on states leaving the union? We here in WA/OR could just join Canada...

    You know whats sick about this 300 billion bailout? Appraisals and income verification for the FHA refinances. The pressure on the appraisers to lie is going to be higher than ever. And these borrowers all lied about their income to qualify. If you verify their income to refi you're going to have to decline them. So they'll change the policy to allow stated income which got the industry into the mess its currently in. And don't get me started on home equity liens. There is no logical way to make this work. So either we'll get illogical or it won't work.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thai,
    You were wondering about the possible size of a bail-out of Phony & Fraudy. The bill in congress also includes in it an $800B increase in the debt ceiling, that should give you an idea of the minimum damage expected. Keep in mind that FHLB also has about $1T in loans to struggling banks:
    #1) Citibank-$96B
    #2) I forget, maybe WaMu
    #3) CountryFried-$54B

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dink wrote:

    "You know whats sick about this 300 billion bailout? Appraisals and income verification for the FHA refinances. The pressure on the appraisers to lie is going to be higher than ever. And these borrowers all lied about their income to qualify. If you verify their income to refi you're going to have to decline them. So they'll change the policy to allow stated income which got the industry into the mess its currently in. And don't get me started on home equity liens. There is no logical way to make this work. So either we'll get illogical or it won't work."

    I think there are some provisions in the massive bill that address some of your concerns. Having said that, I concur with you and others who take a dim view of the "bailout" as a whole.

    No news on the secession front. I don't expect any of that to manifest for quite some time though.

    ReplyDelete
  38. yoyomo- thanks.

    Did you see this article by Satyajit Das that Yves Smith referenced on Naked Capitalsim this other day?

    By now I assume you realize I see many of society's ills as the complex consequences of integrity violations by individuals on all levels of society's socioeconomic ladder. With that in mind, I thought you might get a kick out of this story:

    I was at a suprise 40th birthday party for a friend last night when I was introduced to a women who promptly launched into a tirade of "what dogs men are".

    Apparantly she is a very high level manager at Freddie Mac (still is) and a few years ago, while pregnant with her third child, her now ex-husband, who is a VERY high level manager at Freddie Mac (still there... in fact he is amongst the very highest people in the entire company), had an affair with another employee at Freddie Mac.

    Apparantly the pregnant woman's entire division knew about the affair (her husband and the other woman were oddly very open while about there affair while she was on maternity leave).

    You can guess how the story ended... a few months after she returned from maternity leave, the woman learned of the affair. And as she learned more details and marriage counciling failed (apparantly there had been other episodes at work prior to the most recent, which again, everyone but her knew) they divorced.

    I remember when conservatives were so mad at Clinton over his affairs, and at the time I kept thinking "what is the big deal, this has nothing to do with how he runs the country".

    Then a friend one day said "if he will cheat on the person closest to him in the whole world, what would he do to you and me?"

    It was a marker for him as to how trustworthy Clinton is. Obvioulsy if he did not trust him, he did not want him as our leader.

    While I still do not totally agree with my friend's analysis of Bill and Hillary, this is mostly because it does not seem to bother Hillary nearly as much as it does others. The Clinton marriege seems to have come to some kind of arrangement around his affairs such that it does not seem to be the same kind of integrity violation to Hillary that it might represent in another (say my friend's) marriage.

    Yet clearly this was not the case with the woman I met last night. Her ex-husband's lack of integrity on this issue was clearly violating something very important to her. And to the extent he knew this, he is untrustworthy in both her eyes, and mine.

    And if he could do that to his wife (assumed to be noe of the closes people in the world to him), what is he capable of doing to taxpayers and investors?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Here is a show coming to a Cinemark theatre near you August 21, 2008:

    I.O.U.S.A.: LIVE with Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson & Dave Walker

    I figured that the readers of this blog would be interested in this event.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thai,

    Please take a look at this thread from nakedcapitalism.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/07/has-deleveraging-even-begun-not-for.html

    It gives numbers for many questions that you were asking the other day regarding debt/GDP ratio, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks Greenie.

    Maybe Dink is right, we'll all be living in yerts soon.

    If you come across a good review of goatherding, let me know

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I ordered a brochure from yurts.com a few days ago (<1/2 will undoubtedly flip out, but a buddy of mine is slowly buying into the idea so I must be getting more convincing).

    I found a place in OR that teaches hydroponics (microfarmsustainable.org). I'll suggest a weekend trip to further enrage <1/2. Too much calm is bad for a marriage :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. And if he could do that to his wife (assumed to be noe of the closes people in the world to him), what is he capable of doing to taxpayers and investors?

    I'd never thought of it that way, but it has merit.

    ReplyDelete
  44. :-)

    You'll understand me yet, even if we never agree...

    By the way, I assume you realized my statement: "assumed to be noe of the closes people in the world to him" is loaded with typos.

    It should read "assumed to be one of the closest people in the world to him"

    ReplyDelete
  45. Remember Dink, if it really does come to yurts, 5 billion people will die

    We all have a vested interest in solving this problem.

    @Hell, did you read the naked capitalism link Greenie left?

    Do you agree?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Changer le disque. This post has been on so long even les raconteurs can't remember what it's about.

    ReplyDelete
  47. "Remember Dink, if it really does come to yurts, 5 billion people will die
    We all have a vested interest in solving this problem."

    I don't like the idea that other creatures (including humans) will suffer, but I do worry that humanity has basically backed itself into a corner. Too many people with too great an ability to affect the planet (due to technology) and not enough logic to extrapolate the consequences. The part of the equation that most urgently needs fixing is the psychology, but then you start crossing that controversial area into "free will". What can one do but formulate a belief on the most reasonable way to live under the circumstances presented, walk the talk, and hope others envy the results and start to adopt your beliefs and behaviors?

    ReplyDelete
  48. KD is a nut case. His financial knowledge is not as good as it sounds from his videos or posts. Put your guards on, when to deal with him.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hell is probably from France or UK. He does not sound American, and his knowledge of the world centers around Europe. So, he can't be from Asia or Africa. And he is a commie. So, he can't be from Russia or Eastern europe.

    ReplyDelete
  50. greenie said . . .

    “Hell is probably from France or UK. He does not sound American, and his knowledge of the world centers around Europe.”

    Hell! Maybe he’s a “goddamn commie”!

    After eight days this post has collapsed into a collection of trolls yacking to each other. It’s almost as bad as what you expect from Clusterf**knation.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thai,
    Earth's carrying capacity before fossil fuels was around 1B and will probably go back to less than that after FF because of soil erosion, not a lovely thought for anyone with young children but it's a possibility that can't be safely ignored. People who think like Dink might have the edge on those that can't contemplate global catastrophe.

    I read the Das link (thanks) and Mike Hudson has the same thesis on CounterPunch (July15). Hel seems to think that the US can still salvage the $ but I don't see how. Bailing F&F would tank the $ and stiffing foreign creditors would accomplish the same result via different route. Just like peak pop, the only way for peak $ is down. Nobody loves a deadbeat.

    WRT infidelity, obviously a big violation of integrity but not always comparable to fraud because the motivating factor can be so different. A cold or cruel spouse can drive an otherwise decent partner to look for comfort elsewhere and for some divorce is even more devastating (BTW, I'm not channeling personal experience). That said, persons of low integrity are far more prone to cheat on their spouses.

    Greenie,
    The cars on his route to work are 95% single occupant and the buses are half empty, doesn't sound like Europe. He goes to the beach for the weekend & goes sailing so he's near the coast and the weather permits 10m of biking so that rules out S.Cal, Gulf or SE (too hot). He's mentioned trams so maybe SanFran or PacNW (does Seattle have light rail?) Anyhow, I'm not interested in his current whereabouts, I just want to know if he's had experience in international finance and how much. That would most likely color one's view of the world and the US' position in it.

    jacques,
    lighten up, you want daily posts? there's always SAR, Jesse's Cafe, AutomaticEarth, NakedCapitalism, TheBigPicture, Mish, RussWinter, etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dink,

    I am on Greenie's side on this one.

    The world has been in peak oil since the day oil was discovered, the world will always be in peak oil.

    Think about it before you respond...


    Hell, I have noted there has been a lot of talk about how we are in a paradox of debt repayment vs. economic growth; even a small reduction in debt/small increase in savings, will bring recession.

    But I ask you to then point out to me the fallacy of the following opposing view: if investment productivity improves, can't we have continued permagrowth even without debt reduction?

    And if that is true, might we be able to reduce debt AND improve investment productivity simultaneously (say by giving our money to people/businesses/governements who are: 1. More trustworthy, 2. Less 'selfs serving', 3. Using the money for businesses that actually make sense (no crazy internet start-up ideas, etc...).

    Then mightwe get a period of 'flat' economic activity without actually recession?

    I still get the sense from your posts that you fail to recognize just how important issues of trust and faith in our fellow men really are when it comes to economics. (At least to me) you still seem to underappreciate the power of teamwork.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thai,
    If Earth's future salvation depends on motivated altruists like Dr. Doom (who's been voluntarily conserving and re-cycling for 30yrs) then we haven't got a prayer. Most people are like the monkey with his fist stuck in jar but won't let go of the copra.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thai & Yoyomo,

    (I swear I have thought before I responded)

    So there was this psychologist named William Perry who came up with "stages of knowledge" or some such thing. He studied undergrads. The basic concept seemed to be that being unsure of something was uncomfortable.

    100% Sure(belief)=data and logic path sound (intellect)= happy (feeling)= energetic pursuit of goals (behavior)

    Probable= data imperfect, logic path hazy, but seems fairly reasonable= nervous= laissez faire functioning

    Coin Toss= data difficult to find, trust source, experts contradicting each other, no logic path= hostile, bleak= frozen in headlights

    So simple voters liked simple Bush since he was 100% sure so they could be 100% sure. Kerry was complicated; it didn't make them feel happy. Obama is smart and learned from Kerry. Give simple happy speeches, but secretly think like an intellectual so you can actually run the country. Kind of Machiavellian.

    To get a society this complex you need serious division of labor. You have to trust that the guys in the other cogs of the machine are clever and have integrity.

    But to sum up these streams of thought, a) I had some beliefs that the other cogs were fine and I was content, b) some data was swirling around that made me unsure, c) the more I delve into any area the more squirrely I get. So I'll hedge my bets and prepare for a spectrum of possibilities. Nice that Dr. Doom has found his own inner peace, but he doesn't seem to take the CO2 atmospheric level data into his logic path. Or nuclear waste.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Dink, for the record, I am a bit concerned about global warming (in fact, I kind of think it is a foregone conclusion-- though I doubt anyone has any idea what it really means).

    But peak oil and global warming are different issues (albeit related). I do not buy the implications many doomers in the Peak Oil camp make.

    Also, please pop by
    London Banker for a chat from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
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