Jun 302012
 June 30, 2012  Posted by at 2:52 pm Finance Comments Off on Wait a minute! What day was Friday?
Wait a minute! What day was Friday?

Wait a minute. Last Friday, June 29th, was the last trading day of the month. It was also the last trading day of the 2nd quarter. AND it was the last trading day of the first half of 2012. Plus, in the days leading up to Friday, markets were suffereing quite badly, so the smart bet must have SEEMED to be, to be – or stay – short the market. So how many people were short exactly, and how many

Jun 302012
 June 30, 2012  Posted by at 2:37 pm Energy Comments Off on Retrospective #9: Draft Avoidance
Retrospective #9: Draft Avoidance

This is number nine in a series of articles documenting the principles and practice of eco-thrifty renovation written by Estwing of the ETR Blog for the Wanganui Chronicle. After writing about debt aversion and monster mortgage avoidance last Saturday morning, I was interested to hear on the radio that very afternoon about the record number of mortagee sales in New Zealand during the first quarter of the year. My heart goes out to those families losing their homes. Part of

Jun 292012
 June 29, 2012  Posted by at 2:57 pm Finance Comments Off on Angela Merkel is Playing You For Fools
Angela Merkel is Playing You For Fools

  Picture Angela Merkel Upside Down by ciscaix for FreakingNews.com Oh come on, leave the girl alone already. First off, all those people talking about a solution for the eurozone need to finally understand there ain't no such thing. And whatever slim chance of a solution the most optimistic – delusional – among them may be so desperate to cling on to, at least they should recognize that Angela doesn't hold the keys to the city. She herself knows it:

Jun 272012
 June 27, 2012  Posted by at 3:13 pm Finance Comments Off on Rant: On Deception
Rant: On Deception

It’s Wednesday… the middle of yet another week… in which yet another round of European wealth extraction (bloody rape) is underway… and yet another gaggle of speculating geese prove that they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about or what the hell is going on around them… so… I’m just gonna take this opportunity to rant a little bit. When the politicians, media pundits, corporate analysts and others start squirting out their verbal diarrhea about the economy, the

Jun 242012
 June 24, 2012  Posted by at 1:30 pm Finance Comments Off on Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn
Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn

It has long been our position at The Automatic Earth that North America is collectively dreaming with regard to unconventional natural gas. While gas is undeniably there, the Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI) is dramatically lower than for conventional supplies. The critical nature of EROEI has been widely ignored, but will ultimately determine what is and is not an energy source, and shale gas is going to fail the test. As we pointed out in Get Ready for the

Jun 232012
 June 23, 2012  Posted by at 11:17 am Finance Comments Off on This Is Not America
This Is Not America

  Unknown Al Capone Arrested 1931 Over the past few days, Henry Blodget at Business Insider posted a number of graphs, here and here, which depict something about the US economy that everybody knows to some extent or another, but that most of us won't have let thoroughly sink in. For some because the consequences are too opaque, for others because they are too scary. But make no mistake: we can only continue to ignore or misinterpret them at our

Jun 212012
 June 21, 2012  Posted by at 8:38 pm Finance Comments Off on Spanish Cook Books
Spanish Cook Books

  Léuké Recipes for Survival Spanish cookbook The results of the "independent" Spanish bank stress test by Oliver Wyman Ltd, just out, indicate that the banks will need €62 billion ($78 billion) in a worst case scenario (a 6.5% GDP shrinkage and a 60% home price plunge). Since €100 billion was the number the EU said would go towards the bank bailout announced last week, what's the problem, right? Well, there are plenty. In a nice aside, the Bank of

Jun 202012
 June 20, 2012  Posted by at 2:38 pm Finance Comments Off on Better down that ouzo real fast
Better down that ouzo real  fast

Yay! Greece has a new government. Well, you'd better down that celebratory ouzo real fast. We've now had two instances in just the past week, the €100 billion Spain bank bailout and the Greek elections, where market euphoria died in nanoseconds. Who would wager that the (re-)election of the guys who pushed Greece over the edge will have a longer effect? And besides, we need to get rid of the notion that in today's economic climate rising markets mean something

Jun 182012
 June 18, 2012  Posted by at 8:16 pm Finance Comments Off on Capital Flight, Capital Controls, Capital Fear
Capital Flight, Capital Controls, Capital Fear

Ben Shahn Nickel Inn August 1938 "Quick lunch stand in Plain City, Ohio" The ending of extend-and-pretend is ushering in a new era of fear and uncertainty which is rapidly evolving into the next phase of the on-going credit crunch. It is becoming clearer to many that the problems run much deeper than they had perceived, and more people all the time are realizing the systemic nature of the risks we are facing. Fear leads to knee-jerk reactions. In financial

Jun 182012
 June 18, 2012  Posted by at 4:15 pm Earth Comments Off on The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On?
The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On?

We're gonna get a bit controversial on the TAE blog today. I know for a fact that some people will be very offended by this posting, written/compiled by Surly of the Doomstead Diner. Therefore, I'd like preface it with a disclaimer, so to speak. I am going to introduce the issues involved here and give you a few of my thoughts on why they are so important to be considered at this point in time. The long and short of