Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:57 pm

stabilised lately at about $2.10 a litre.

$4.19 a gallon in Honolulu. Oil actually does have some supply and demand issues pushing up the price, and there is a fear premium too.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:32 pm


I understand CPI... none of which ameliorates or reflects the pain of rising food and gas prices affecting the lives of average Americans


I'm in complete agreement with you. It's possible, even likely, we could see a rise in price for energy and food without a corresponding rise in inflation. The reallocation of our budgets does effect us though--for some it may mean less fine wine and imported fruit, for others it could be a substantial hardship. I haven't been trying to make the case all is rosy. And the latest from the BLS shows worrisome numbers. Clearly the demon we must confront is oil.

I'm wondering if a tighter monetary policy would result in a stronger dollar and lower oil prices.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby jamiebk » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:57 am

Giant Communist Robot wrote: Clearly the demon we must confront is oil.


And yet, everyone scoffs at our attempts to replace it with alternative energy...sun, wind, water.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:44 pm

And yet, everyone scoffs at our attempts to replace it with alternative energy...


Alternative energy is in the future. Here in the present we need to deal with the cost of oil. Off the top of my head I'd say a stronger dollar and more drilling look good. We can do this now. Alternative energy is still a concept--not bad, but just not too practical yet.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:47 pm

Did anyone see those CPI numbers? The core has dropped and the headline risen. What a headache.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:45 pm

Six months ago ECRI said we were "tipping into a recession". Now they say we'll know in another six months. I would say there seem to be too many things heading in the right direction for this to happen. It's a deeply troubled economy, but getting better, not worse. I'm paying attention; the first thing I'll watch is spending.

I'll go out on a limb and say their model is being fooled by this unprecedented economic situation.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby BigJon » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:00 pm

jamiebk wrote:
Giant Communist Robot wrote: Clearly the demon we must confront is oil.


And yet, everyone scoffs at our attempts to replace it with alternative energy...sun, wind, water.

Because the attempts have been expensive, dismal and even laughable.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby dai bread » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:34 pm

We in the "West" need alternative energy sources because we are financing our enemies. Or at least American enemies, which comes to much the same thing despite our differences with Washington over nuclear weapons, Iraq and, to an extent, Afghanistan.

Marine turbines are the answer for electricity, although placement poses several problems, some quite serious. There is no answer on the horizon for heavy truck fuel, or aircraft fuel, although experiments with biofuel are promising.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:54 am

BigJon wrote:
jamiebk wrote:
Giant Communist Robot wrote: Clearly the demon we must confront is oil.


And yet, everyone scoffs at our attempts to replace it with alternative energy...sun, wind, water.

Because the attempts have been expensive, dismal and even laughable.


And I was trying to be nice about this. Sun, wind, and water will never play anything more than a minor role, a kind of curiosity, but biofuels may be important in the future. It looks like a distant future.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:24 am

I've been making a big deal about the difference between headline and core CPI. I've been reading the BLS Handbook of Methods to learn about their methodology, and they don't care about it. There are scads of information they publish; you take your pick which one you want to see. The reason I stress core is because this is where the Fed places it's target. If you're worried about inflation you should watch the core because headline can rise to the stratosphere and no one will do anything until the core gets too high.

In the real world, then, whichever other measure you choose will be irrelevant when considering inflation because no action can take place as a consequence of those indices.

Here's an analogy: you have two thermometers. They use different scales. One tells you it's hot, the other is a thermostat and turns on the air conditioning.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Shapley » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:12 am

"And yet, everyone scoffs at our attempts to replace it with alternative energy...sun, wind, water."

I, for one, scoff at the attempts, not becuase it is not a noble goal, but rather because the approach - government spending and regulation to force us in a direction we're not yet ready to move, is wrong-headed.

Water is a viable means because it is, for the most part, a 24/7 souce. We've been using it for about as long as we've been using electricity - building dams all over the country. It's actually the environmentalists that put most of the roadblocks to new dam constuction, although the landowners who stand to lose their homesteads to the flooding needed to create the kind of lake that will generate a reliable source of hydro power are also complaining a bit.

Wave and ocean power are workable, as well, but the bugs are not yet worked out. Given that most of our population lives along the coasts, and the waves and currents are ever-rolling, it seems like a no-brainer. But building massive electrical power generating stations in a sea-water environment presents it's own set of problems, and building one that isn't unsightly, doesn't present a navigation hazard, and permits the transfer of large amounts of electrical power safely from offshore generating plants to the shoreside population centers is complex.

The Sun shines, at best, 12 hours a day in most locations, making solar power no better than 12/7. That's problematic for a world that needs power 24/7. The wind blows even less often in most regions. And, wheras we know when and where the Sun will shine (for the most part) in any part of the world, we can't reliably predict wind patterns. Solar and wind power have some promise for auxiliary sources, but they are never likely to replace oil in any signifcant quantity. We'd have to build a solar field or wind farm the size of Texas to generate the kind of power that will make a real dent in our oil consumption.

And, of course, none of this addresses the lack of portability of all three types of power. Wind power can move ships, as it has for centuries, and solar power can charge batteries, but it's difficult, at best, to lug a dam, a solar field, or a windmill around in the back of a pickup truck. Fossil fuels remain the only reliable source of portable power we have for the near term.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Water is a viable means


Of course it is; I wasn't thinking
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:36 am

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
Water is a viable means


Of course it is; I wasn't thinking


Well, Jamie lumped it in with Wind and Sun, though it's really a different animal. I don't see the government pushing for large-scale hydro-power projects these days, although they are probably still funding ocean-power research.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:19 pm

Coverage on Treasuries, while still high, has been coming down. Implies there is less fear in the markets.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:29 pm

and solar power can charge batteries, but it's difficult, at best, to lug a dam, a solar field, or a windmill around in the back of a pickup truck.


Thirty years ago metallic hydrides piqued my interest. I thought this was the future. Apparently inefficiencies in converting solar to hydrogen and poor mileage resulting from high weight of the metals doomed this idea.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:Thirty years ago metallic hydrides piqued my interest. I thought this was the future. Apparently inefficiencies in converting solar to hydrogen and poor mileage resulting from high weight of the metals doomed this idea.


I remember when they were talked about, and then they weren't. I have not thought to research the latest, if anything, in that regard.

I noticed that Jamie didn't mention nuclear in his list of ideas that we scoff. Mr. Obama talked nuclear back in the early part of his presidency, but the Tsunami in Japan has altered a lot of people's thinking in that regard. Even nuclear proponents are now pretty quiet about it.

Nuclear Power has proven itself 'portable' in the sense that it can power big ships and boats. No so much for airplanes and dirigibles.

Even if we developed small nuclear plants capable of powering automobiles, I think America would shudder at the idea of the equivalent of some 30,000,000 dirty bombs criss-crossing the nation on her freeways.

So, as I say, fossil fuels remain the best source of portable power we have available.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby dai bread » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:25 pm

Evey time there's a crash, radiation would escape unless the containment vessel was prohibitively strong, and therefore heavy. I don't like hydrogen for a similar reason- mini-Hindenbergs at crash sites.

The trouble with nuclear power is that it's perfectly safe until something goes wrong, when it becomes catastrophic. There's no intermediate phase, if you like; it's either safe or disastrous.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:30 pm

I don't like hydrogen for a similar reason- mini-Hindenbergs at crash sites.


With metallic hydrides the hydrogen is atomically bound to the metal and is safe.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Higher nominal Treasury yields point to growth expectations. Bond forecasts for inflation run about 2.15%; over target.
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Re: Healthy economy equals quiet bulletin board

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:38 pm

Interesting jobless numbers; continues a multi-year trend.
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