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Reading on a Saturday Morning

How much are you askin' for that BTU?

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 06:57


Gregor Macdonald's fine site is a new and welcome addition to our list of places we hang out at in the middle of those nights we have failed to take our medicine.

Gregor provides outstanding analysis of the sources and markets for energy and conveys that analysis in short and simple articles.


As always, click the chart for the entire work.


For A Million BTU

The price differential for a million btu is blowing out once again, between Global oil and North American natural gas. The extraordinary discount has persisted for some years. But today, with West Texas Intermediate (WTIC) oil above $100 and Brent oil above $110, the spread has reached new highs. The energy content of natural gas is trading at an 83% discount to WTIC Oil, and at an 85% discount to Brent oil. 


And we're paying the Saudis and Hugo Chavez mas o menos a hundred bucks a barrel because?


Reading on a Sunday Morning ..... most of the night actually

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 07:46


First from Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine via Chart Porn via Katie (who is now somebody's Grandma) a side by side comparison of Federal Subsidies for Food Production and Federal Nutrition Recommendations, niether of which would exist at all were it up us.  

This is followed up by a three para story on how U.S. government food policy became as screwed up as U.S. government everything else.

I'll sum up ...... politics as usual.

You should read it anyway.



Next from Zero Hedge via the U.S. Energy Information Administration which also would not exist were it up to us.



I'm feeling charitable this morning and feel like you need to gain the conclusion drawn within this article so I've cut and pasted it below.


There are no data-supported broad-based drivers for dramatically lower gasoline consumption other than austerity and lower economic activity.

The code-word for "austerity and lower economic activity" that is verboten in the Mainstream Media is "recession." Indeed, if you examine the EIA data, the only causal factor that has backing in the data is recession--or if you prefer, austerity and lower economic activity.


Then there is the price of fuel.

People have to go to work, pick up the kids, get their meds, etc., and few urban centers in the U.S. have mass transit systems that are up to the task of replacing autos. So most Americans have what we might call non-discretionary driving. But as the price of fuel rises, people find ways to lower their discretionary driving by combining trips, shopping less often, shortening or eliminating vacations, etc. Enterprises reduce costly business travel with teleconferences and other digital technologies.


Data supports the notion that high oil prices lead to recession.

For example, Chris Martenson recently made a compelling case for this in Why Our Currency Will Fail ("Note that all of the six prior recessions were preceded by a spike in oil prices.")

Household income doesn't rise just because oil is climbing in cost, and so the extra money spent on fuel is diverted from other consumption or saving (capital accumulation). Higher fuel costs lower household capital formation and reduce consumption/economic activity.

Oil has been elevated for months, kissing $100 and rarely dipping below $90/barrel. Do higher oil costs explain the decline in gasoline consumption? Once again, they undoubtedly influence consumption, but that cannot explain the 40% drop in consumption. After all, when oil spiked in 2008 to $140/barrel, deliveries only dropped by a few million gallons: from 58.8 MGD in July 2007, before the spike, to 54.8 MGD at the point of maximum pain in July 2008.

The cost of oil has declined sharply from mid-2008, yet consumption has tanked from 54.8 MGD in July 2008 to 42.4 MGD in July 2011. That's a hefty 21% decline.


What other plausible explanation is there for the decline from 42.4 MGD in July 2011 to 30.9 MGD in November 2011 other than a dramatic decline in discretionary driving? 

That 27% drop in a few months in unprecedented, except in times of war or sharp economic contraction, i.e. recession.

If we stipulate that vehicles and fuel consumption are essential proxies for the U.S. economy, then we can expect a steep decline in economic activity to register in other metrics within the next few months.

Such a sharp drop would of course be "unexpected" given the positive employment data of the past few months. But as the data above shows, employment isn't tightly correlated to gasoline consumption: gasoline consumption reflects recession and growth.

In other words, look out below.



Indian Gold for Iranian Oil

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 01/28/2012 - 06:32


From Debkafile one of the better sources for actual news anywhere.

As opposed to opinion dressed as news most everywhere.

Yes of course, the picture ... click on it.


India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil.

Oil and gold markets stunned.



India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in gold instead of the US dollar, DEBKAfile's intelligence and Iranian sources report exclusively.  Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran's total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets.

By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank's assets and the oil embargo which the European Union's foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran's oil exports.

The vast sums involved in these transactions are expected, furthermore, to boost the price of gold and depress the value of the dollar on world markets.


You should be listening to your Uncle Roany here ..... buy gold!!!!!




To quote Keith Neumeyer, President and Ceo of First Majestic Silver Corp.

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 11/27/2011 - 18:52


The following was taken from an interview with Ron Hera of Hera Research that was published at Seeking Alpha this past weekend.

Keith Nueman's resume' was too heavy to cut and paste.

One must take into account that Mr. Neumeier has silver for sale so keep that thought in mind when considering his opinions on the price of silver going forward, but this is a man with tremendous experience dealing in futures markets as both a supplier/hedger and an investor/broker/dealer.

When he tells you the deal is rigged you have to take it seriously.

Click anywhere below for the entire interview.



Keith Neumeyer: The job of the regulators is to protect the retail investor. That’s their only job. It’s not to protect the banks or the brokerage firms. The little guy is the primary taxpayer. Why were the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the CFTC put in place? They were put in place to protect retail investors. Prior to regulation, the banks controlled the market. Today, the banks control the market again. Who should control the market? Retail investors. Who’s protecting them? No one.

HRN: Are you saying that the CFTC does nothing while the COMEX caters to banks and brokerage firms?

Keith Neumeyer: Yes.

HRN: And the COMEX doesn’t serve retail investors?

Keith Neumeyer: No. Absolutely not.

HRN: Do you foresee a return to a free market in the future?

Keith Neumeyer: I’m an optimist. I believe one day that governments will rewrite the rules and force the regulators to protect investors. That’s where we were back in the ‘70s and that’s where I think we have to be again to correct the problems that have arisen over the past 40 years. Silver is being revalued. It’s going to affect a lot of people along the way and it will change the financial system. Ultimately, we’re going to have a new financial system and, hopefully, we’ll go back to natural markets, completely driven by supply and demand. It may take another 20 years but I think it will happen.

HRN: A new financial system?

Keith Neumeyer: If I’m wrong, the banks will run the world, even more so than they do today, 10 or 20 years from now. God forbid that we ever get there because that’s a one currency, one government world that would absolutely be a disaster for the human race. There would be no freedoms at all to move or to invest. It would be like having shackles on our ankles. There is a movement to go in that direction, unfortunately. There are a number of very wealthy people that want to see that. I hope that we can find the politicians to prevent that type of world from coming to pass.


Instructive in light of the following quotes.

Don't you think?



Watching video on a Saturday morning .... actually much of the night

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 10/29/2011 - 08:04


For some reason, it's been an incredibly rich week for video.

Here is some of the better short video we've either subscribed for or had sent our way.

Thanks to Somebody who sent us the Battle for Brooklyn stuff and didn't want to be identified in any way.

We figure he/she's embarrassed to associated with us.


Wealth disparity in China is far more profound than it is in America.

The following thought has been spreading across the length and width of China

If one percent of American people own 90% of the wealth, one ten-thousandth of the Chinese people own 90% of the wealth.

Who should be occupying what?

The phrase "Occupy ......." has been banned on all search engines across all of Communist China.



If you feel compelled to mess with the banks any way you can, this kid ... don't be offended, I've attained that age where damn near everybody's a kid to me ... has an extremely clever, nonviolent idea.



The following is an interview from the makers of and some bits of a trailer for the movie Battle of Brooklyn, a documentary on the acquisition of the land for and subsequent construction of Barclays Center and one of the more eggregious examples of the use of eminent domain for private profit you will encounter.



Unfortunately, around here Christmas comes with winter.

We're giving this one some serious thought.



Serve ..... Volley

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 14:49


"The way I think about it is this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn't have that same competitive edge we needed over the last couple of decades."    President Barack Obama



"Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he's lecturing us about how America's gone 'soft'?   Really?"    Jonah Goldberg


Reading in the middle of the night

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 08:30


Most days our serious reading begins with McMaster Online which unfortunately offers neither free content nor the occasional means to pilfer, as it is completely hidden away behind their paywall.

All three quotes below were offered within R.E. McMaster's daily newsletter.

We may well live to regret having said this, but McMaster Online is one of the three of four sites we take that we don't even ask how much it's costing us.

We would have probably stumbled across the other two quotes sooner or later anyway as we haunt both Zero Hedge and Casey's Daily Dispatch on a regular basis.

Anyway, the McMaster quote below links up to his homepage, the next two quotes will link you up to the specific piece from which it was taken.


The US is attempting to do financially to Switzerland what it did militarily to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and supported clandestinely in the Arab Spring countries by Clinton.

Most people are unaware that Switzerland is the only country in Western civilization that does not have the modern rendition of the "divine right of kings", which is Hegel's "the state is god walking on earth"  top-down form of government.  Instead, the Swiss have a constitutional confederation of 26 sovereign cantons, where the governmental power lies, not in the centralized government.

The Swiss balance of power is between the three distinct different languages and cultures of the German, French and Italian speaking cantons. Moreover, the Swiss can reverse anything their central government does through a referendum system.

For a nation without any natural resources, is it any accident that the Swiss consistently express the greatest satisfaction with their lives, as well as one of the world's highest per capita incomes? Not in the least. The best politics and economics are run at the local level, not at the parasitic bureaucratic federal level. And certainly not with an empire.  R.E. McMaster


"The specific path of our lives is very much in our control. Yet most people don't give the matter much thought at all, and therefore are blown here and there like dried leaves in the wind.

And even when people do take the time to reflect on the scripts of their lives, they tend to resist plot lines that move them outside of the rut of the status quo. For instance, provided you were looking to live an interesting and fulfilling life - and who doesn't want that? - it's only logical to look to the lives of others who have lived successfully to guide in your script-making. The examples of people who have lived truly fascinating and wonderful lives are abundant in the history books, and even among contemporaries who live life large and lively. Yet most people find it impossible to envision such a life for themselves. Instead, they dismiss such people as overachievers and exceptions while resolving themselves to hunkering down in a ditch of their own making, hoping against hope to muddle through until the passage of time fills the ditch in, with them in it...

Put another way, most people cast themselves as walk-on characters even in their own lives, and not as the lead."  David Galland, Casey's Daily Dispatch, 09-23-11


As previously disclosed, we really like Zero Hedge and especially like Tyler Durden who is really, probably 6-8 different guys all of whom would probably, really give up their left testicle to indeed look like Tyler Durden.

It is frequently a difficult read as it is not a jargon free zone.

It is also a colossal pain in the ass to subscribe to as they clearly, sincerely don't care if you subscribe or don't.

Having said that, someone from around here is hanging around there every day.


"...the transition of America from a government 'on behalf of the people' to one 'in control of the people' catalyzed, as Bill Buckler, put it simply, by one simple event: the confiscation of America's gold, and the ushering in of the welfare (or 'promise') state, the same welfare state that now is supported by a system that no matter how hard one denies, is nothing but a ponzi scheme.

...just like in the time of FDR, for whom the creation of a 'mild' inflation was a prime prerogative to offset the depressionary deflation gripping the land, the moment for a brazen gold revaluation by none other than the US government has arrived. Unfortunately, it likely also means that any scheme in which the government opens a buy/sell gold window at a substantially higher price point, will mean that very soon, either by guile or by force, the US government will once again be the prime and sole owner of all the gold.

As Coxe says, 'The gold bugs have long proclaimed their own version of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules." By that standard, Barack Obama could become the leader of the world overnight.'... in summary, Coxe's point is that the time for a government 'LBO' of the gold market, one in which every last ounce is extracted from the skittish public, in exchange for pseudo-equivalent assets such as gold-backed bonds, has arrived. The only question is what the acquisition price of the risk-free alternative to fiat would be, and hence how much higher will investors push the price in anticipation of the inevitable 25% take out premium. Once the public realizes that this is the endgame, and that the buyer of only resort will be none other than Uncle Sam... then look out above.

As for the context of Executive Order 6102.2, Coxe notes: 'When nearly all OECD economies are running huge deficits at a time of near-zero interest rates, and nearly all governments are looking for ways to raise revenues without imposing economy-unfriendly taxes, why don't the big holders revalue their gold to, say, $2,200 an ounce and declare themselves willing sellers at that price—in bars or in bonds backed by gold—and willing buyers at, say, $2,000? Roosevelt revalued gold from $20.67 an ounce to $35 and declared that the US was a buyer and seller at that price. He also made it illegal for US citizens to own gold. By the end of the Depression, most of the world's visible gold reserves were in Fort Knox.'

Most importantly, Coxe observes that 'now is a good time to lock in the gold bull market by monetizing the nation's holdings through various strategies and vehicles forty years after Nixon uncapped gold and 78 years after Roosevelt boosted it 70%. Why don't the governments bring out their gold and use it to back their bonds? Obama should, in our view, try to find one non-Keynesian economist who understands gold to advise him. We’re sure he could get an old-fashioned scholar from the University of Chicago to help him out if he made a few calls.'" - Tyler Durden,, 09-22-11


Most people aren't aware of the fact that I used to look a great deal like Tyler Durden ... before the operation.


Reading on a Saturday Morning, Again .... Finally

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 08/27/2011 - 11:08

Life is Magnifique

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 07:45



You might have heard that International Monetary Fund President and likely 2012 Socialist Party candidate for the French Presidency, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was pulled out of his first class seat on an Air France flight from New York to Paris and indicted for the rape of a chambermaid in his $3000 a night suite at New York's Sofitel Hotel.

He wasn't indicted in the $3000 a night suite, the alleged rape took place in the $3000 a night suite.  I just wanted to make that point perfectly clear.

So anyway, I'm going to have to look into this Socialism stuff.

It seems to pay a hell of a lot better than I thought it did.



From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.


Sometime a couple charts is all you need

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 05/07/2011 - 07:20


From Agora Financial, publishers of The Daily Reckoning and Whiskey and Gunpowder, two of my favorites among their many titles, here are the two charts that tell me that QE3 is inevitable.

Announced or otherwise.





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