nakedcap: Announcing (Confirming) Our Focus on the CBO’s Dubious Models and Political Bias.
“Republicans plan to mandate that the CBO use something called dynamic scoring, which has the effect of making tax cuts look far more beneficial to the economy than they are, by effectively claiming that tax cuts boost growth, which then boosts tax receipts. It would effectively institutionalize the Laffer curve, which has been widely and repeatedly debunked.” The Laffer Curve’s been a laughingstock since Reagan’s first term. A tragic, maniacal laugh. As in, something like Heath Ledger’s Joker laugh.
NY Times: In Texas, Hunkering Down for the Oil Bust.
You know, there was a huge uptick in “tourin’ Texans” in Santa Fe over the holidays. Last ‘whoop-it-up’ before the crunch? Might explain it. More international tourists at present.
SF New Mexican: After 6 decades, Garrett losing historic inn.
The lowest-cost inn with best access to downtown, will be no more. End of an era. This place will be *missed*. Terribly missed. Not posh, but a short walking distance to everything you wanted to see.
naked cap: Money Dries Up for Oil and Gas, Layoffs Spread, Write-Offs Start.
“Their hope rests on cutting operating costs and capital expenditures, and coddling every dollar they get, while pushing production to maximize cash flow, which ironically will contribute to the oil glut and pressure prices further. They’re hoping to hang on until the next miracle arrives.” Good luck with that.
The Economist: Energy - Seize the day.
“The plunging price of oil, coupled with advances in clean energy and conservation, offers politicians around the world the chance to rationalise energy policy. They can get rid of billions of dollars of distorting subsidies, especially for dirty fuels, whilst shifting taxes towards carbon use. A cheaper, greener and more reliable energy future could be within reach.” Unfortunately, right when we have a dirty-energy majority serving in Congress. Nice dream, Economist.
AskReddit: What do insanely poor people buy, that ordinary people know nothing about?
This should be read by every politician.
Mashable: GoPro stock plummets after Apple granted patent for mounted cameras.
Pulling the rug out from under, if Apple decides to compete. GoPro is pretty mature at this point; it’s a big leap from nothing to marketshare for Apple. GoPro has lots of competition, none have knocked it off yet. Color me skeptical.
OilPrice: Could The Oil Bust Last?
Doesn’t really tell us much we don’t already know, but: “We will learn more about the state of the U.S. oil and gas industry over the next few weeks as fourth quarter earnings are released. For the energy sector as a whole, profits are expected to fall by 19.1 percent. Some companies will be in worse shape than others, which could give us an indication of where production levels are heading, and with them, how long oil prices will stay low.”
Truthout: Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses.
“It has been estimated that the six largest ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts, those same gambling instruments that brought us the 2008 housing collapse. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.” This one’s going to hurt bad, if it breaks. Folks have no financial padding left.
naked cap: The Real Cause Of Low Oil Prices: Interview With Arthur Berman.
People keep asking in social situations, conversations. Here’s one take.
Guardian.UK: Methane plume over western US illustrates climate cost of gas leaks.
“The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near the desert trading post of Cuba, New Mexico, may be colourless and odourless, but it’s not invisible. It can be seen from space.” And encroaching Chaco. This cannot stand.
NY Times: Recent History in One Chart.
“Recovery,” hah. HAH.
FT: Opec leader vows not to cut oil output even if price hits $20.
“‘It is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production, whatever the price is,’ he told the Middle East Economic Survey. ‘Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant.’ He said the world may never see $100 a barrel oil again.” I plan to remember that quote.
ArtDaily: Disgruntled Italian entrepreneur Marcello Di Finizio climbs St Peter’s Basilica - again.
Automatic Earth: Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion.
Of note. “Anyway, this is what we have on offer: the oil industry faces a triple whammy. Oil prices are down 50%, oil company share valuations are also down 50%, and their production costs are rising, in quite a few cases exponentially so. That’s what they, and we, face while slip-sliding into the new year. Do I need to explain that that does not bode well?” My italic emphasis.
The Luminous Endowment.
The Luminous Landscape looks to give back. With some help. Great idea.
Archaeology News Network: Taxes and costs, 70 Italian castles on sale.
I need to win a lottery.
INET Economics: Joseph Stiglitz - Economics Has to Come to Terms with Wealth and Income Inequality.
“What has happened repeatedly in recent years is that we’ve had monetary authorities allowing — through deregulation and lax standards — banks to lend more, but not for creating new business, not for capital goods.” Interesting read. Take the time.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Payback’s a Bitch.
“Most other industrialized countries offer free college enrollment because it is an investment in their future, and, in some cases, because it is considered a basic citizenly right. [snip] In the United States, we have turned this essential social good into the cruellest of debt traps.”
MarketWatch: Americans are 40% poorer than before the recession.
“The net worth of American families — the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a new report released on Friday by the nonprofit think-tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.” Ms Warren, your move.
naked cap: Elizabeth Warren - Remarks on Citigroup and its Bailout Provision in the Cromnibus Bill.
“Think about this kind of power. A financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is a reason enough for us break them up. Enough is enough.”
naked cap: Oil Price Drop Not Affecting US Drilling Much.
“How low can the price of shale oil drop before it becomes too expensive to extract? The conventional wisdom is that the threshold is $60 per barrel.” Is it me, or does the number keep dropping?
NY Times: Why I’m Giving Up My Passport.
GMO/White Paper: The World’s Dumbest Idea.
Shareholder Value Maximization. Marked for reading tomorrow. Thought others would like a shot first.
Later: Site went down, link went dead. Site’s back up, paper’s at a different URL, here. Read it quick.
Bloomberg: Why Elon Musk’s Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company.
“‘The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose’ comes from systems that include storage ... [snip] ... ‘That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide.’” (Rubs hands together in glee ...)