Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » Posts tagged 'Forbes'

Tag Archives: Forbes

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It’s Baaaack – PRN.fm – PRN.fm

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It’s Baaaack – PRN.fm – PRN.fm.

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It’s Baaaack

Posted on: March 19th, 2014

Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing my concerns about shale oil.

Namely, that it’s more comparable to a Ponzi scheme than any sort of boom.

I’ve articulated the reasons for my thesis, including fast decline rates, the amount of new rigs and wells needed, and a cost of production that’s been higher than the price of sale for some time now.

I’ve also shared recent evidence that this theory is proving correct, from horrid earnings reports — citing the reasons I just mentioned — for oil majors across the board to the fact that mainstream media outlets are starting to put the dots together, running stories like:

“Big Oil Companies Struggle to Justify Soaring Project Costs” —Wall Street Journal

“Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs” — Bloomberg

“Why America’s Shale Boom Could End Sooner Than You Think” —Forbes

“What Happens When The Shale Boom Ends?” — Christian Science Monitor

After my last article on the subject, I got an email from a sophisticated investor-friend of mine worth hundreds of millions of dollars — some even say a billion. His subject line was: “Awesome Article on Shale.” Here’s what he had to say:

Read More

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It's Baaaack – PRN.fm – PRN.fm

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It’s Baaaack – PRN.fm – PRN.fm.

Nick Hodge – Peak Oil: It’s Baaaack

Posted on: March 19th, 2014

Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing my concerns about shale oil.

Namely, that it’s more comparable to a Ponzi scheme than any sort of boom.

I’ve articulated the reasons for my thesis, including fast decline rates, the amount of new rigs and wells needed, and a cost of production that’s been higher than the price of sale for some time now.

I’ve also shared recent evidence that this theory is proving correct, from horrid earnings reports — citing the reasons I just mentioned — for oil majors across the board to the fact that mainstream media outlets are starting to put the dots together, running stories like:

“Big Oil Companies Struggle to Justify Soaring Project Costs” —Wall Street Journal

“Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs” — Bloomberg

“Why America’s Shale Boom Could End Sooner Than You Think” —Forbes

“What Happens When The Shale Boom Ends?” — Christian Science Monitor

After my last article on the subject, I got an email from a sophisticated investor-friend of mine worth hundreds of millions of dollars — some even say a billion. His subject line was: “Awesome Article on Shale.” Here’s what he had to say:

Read More

Dr. Doom Roubini: ‘Another Black Swan On The Horizon?’ (And Other Quotes Of The Week) – Forbes

Dr. Doom Roubini: ‘Another Black Swan On The Horizon?’ (And Other Quotes Of The Week) – Forbes.

Is this how it starts?

The third great market crash of the 21st century?

At Ben Bernanke’s perhaps final public appearance at the Brookings Institution on January 16th, the beginnings of the 2008-2009 financial crisis were linked to the issues of a French bank in the summer of 2007, an incident little noticed at that point in time.

This time around will it be the currency problems of frontier and emerging markets? The default of a Chinese trust fund, discussed in some detail here atForbes? Or something else altogether, totally hidden at the moment? Or nothing at all?

With U.S. equity markets suffering their deepest losses since 2012, there were plenty of disparate concerns to go around this past week.

These included the fear of the Fed’s tapering ultimate timing and impact, weakening China growth, those currency devaluation jitters, a lackluster U.S. earnings season, perceived overheated equity market valuations, and that China trust fund, to mention a few. There was also the end of week concern that the selling could feed upon itself, as those market-makers selling puts on indices and calls on the VIX could get squeezed and have to hedge next week with more S&P futures selling.

On the week, the Dow gave up -3.5%, finishing below 16,000 for the first time since mid-December. The S&P 500 lost -2.6%, closing below the key 1800 level at 1790. And the NASDAQ fared the best, down “only” -1.7%, helped by the relative strength of some of its high-fliers. Notably, the VIX popped close to +46%, ending the week just above 18, although still far below panic levels.

It is a bit iffy to reconstruct the true narrative of the week, as things seemed to get rolling to the downside on Monday evening. Influential Fed watcher Jon Hilsenrath of the WSJ wrote of January FOMC tapering possibilities:

A reduction in the program to $65 billion a month from the current $75 billion could be announced at the end of the Jan. 28-29 meeting, which would be the last meeting for outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Coincidence or not, the next four trading days were all on the negative side of the ledger for the Dow, although the S&P hung in decently on Tuesday and Wednesday. But then China’s HSBC PMI numbers hit, indicating a drop in January to 49.6 from December’s final reading of 50.5, moving “below the 50 line which separates expansion of activity from contraction.” (Reuters).

This, combined with the currency devaluation news, with Venezuela, Argentina, and Turkey leading the headlines, seemed to fuel the overall“emerging market risk” theme which overwhelmed markets on Friday.

Not helping were some comments coming out of Davos. Larry Fink ofBlackRock BLK -3.95% said there was “too much optimism” in the markets. He added, according to Bloomberg , “The experience of the marketplace this past week is going to be indicative of this entire year. We’re going to be in a world of much greater volatility.”

This came on the heels of Goldman’s chief strategist, David Kostin, saying two weeks ago that market valuations are “lofty by almost any measure.”

But the real outlier came from Dr. Doom himself, NYU professor and head of Roubini Global Economics, Nouriel Roubini.  Roubini seized on yet another global issue, tweeting:

@ Nouriel: “Japan-China war of words goes ballistic in Davos” and “A black swan in the form of a war between China & Japan?” along with various comments on the emerging market issues, saying, “Argentina currency crisis & contagion to other EM – on top of weak China PMI – suggests that some emerging markets are still fragile.”

The China/Japan “conflict” story was the shocker, and apparently goes back to some comments allegedly made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abewhich compared China/Japan tensions to those found between Germany and Britain prior to World War I. (CNBC) In an interview with Business Insider, Roubini called the events of last week “a mini perfect storm,” alluding to“weak data in China, fresh currency market turmoil in Argentina, and a worsening chaotic situation in the Ukraine.”

It is a bit amusing to note that while Mr. Roubini was serving on several panels at Davos, giving press interviews, and tweeting non-stop, he also found time (or one of his associates did) to post a ranking of “top Tweeters” from the World Economic Forum, showing himself in 5th place. (See Twitter imagehere.)

Let’s take a very quick look at a few of the other notable quotes from newsmakers this week:

“I don’t think it (marijuana) is more dangerous than alcohol.” –President Obama in a New Yorker interview published last Sunday. The remark created a firestorm of controversy, including reportedly negative feedback from DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and many others. (Huffington Post)

–Apple is “one of the biggest ‘no-brainers’ we have seen in five decades of successful investing.” –Fund manager and legendary investor Carl Icahn, in continuing to tout AAPL’s undervaluation and push for stock buybacks by the company. Forbes also noted that Icahn grabbed headlines last week for now getting involved with eBay and urging a spinoff of its PayPal holding.

“Gross: PIMCO’s fully engaged. Batteries 110% charged. I’m ready to go for another 40 years” –PIMCO’s Bill Gross tweeting after the highly visible and speculation-provoking departure of Mohamed El-Erian. Mr. El-Erian reportedly said in a letter to PIMCO employees, “The decision to step down from PIMCO was not an easy one.”

“It’s a very juicy target.” –Andrew Kuchins, Russia Program Director for CSIS, in commenting on the terrorist threats at the Sochi Olympics and the need for extensive security and preparedness planning. (USA Today)

“It’s so easy to enter, a caveman could do it.” –Warren Buffett, a bit jokingly, in announcing his company’s sponsorship of a $1 billion March Madness challenge along with Quicken. (Fox Sports) The simple idea is that an absolutely perfect bracket will produce the billion-dollar winner, but the offer includes also some twenty $100,000 winners for the best, if imperfect, brackets. There is also a charity angle, but at something like 1 in 9.2 quintillion odds (we have seen varying estimates all over the place) Berkshire is likely not facing too much risk here.

Buffett also made some news in his support of Jamie Dimon’s huge pay raise to $20 million announced this week (Forbes), saying, “I think he’s worth more than that.” (NYT Dealbook)

“A lot of people got dead in that one.” –retired NYC detective and now security consultant/media celebrity Bo Dietl on the Don Imus program, commenting on the history of the Lufthansa “Goodfellas”  robbery and this week’s arrests in the case.

–And in another high profile criminal case, famed lawyer Roy Black said of client Justin Bieber, “I’m not going to make any comments about the case except to say Mr. Bieber has been released on bond and we agreed that the standard bail would apply in this case.” (CBS Miami)

“We’ve lost some of our consumer relevance.” –McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson in a call after client traffic comps greatly disappointed in the recent earnings release. This was the flipside of Netflix, which surged dramatically after their latest numbers and user figures, with NFLX stock up some 17% despite the terrible market week.

“We believe POS malware will continue to grow.”–The FBI in a statement on the troubling hacking of Target and other retailers, which was revealed in far greater detail this week, including the hacking intrusion of Neiman Marcus. (Yahoo)

–“It was so awesome!” –ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, in a slightly hard to believe remark on the antics of Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman after last week’s NFC title game. Her initial real-time reaction to the interview seemed at odds with that statement, as she stood in utter disbelief in the post-game situation. (seattlepi.com)

Let’s close it out there, as all eyes will be on the opening of foreign equity markets tonight and the U.S. futures trading. Well, maybe not all eyes, as the Grammy Awards also kicks off this evening. But the really big event of the week will be President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Presidential senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer predicted in an email of the upcoming SOTU address, according to Bloomberg:

Pfeiffer: ‘Three words sum up the president’s message on Tuesday night: opportunity, action, and optimism. The core idea is as American as they come: If you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed.’  While Obama ‘will seek out as many opportunities as possible to work with Congress in a bipartisan way,’ Pfeiffer said he ‘will not wait for Congress’ to act on some of his goals.’

Have a good week!

The U.S. Has REPEATEDLY Defaulted | Washington’s Blog

The U.S. Has REPEATEDLY Defaulted | Washington’s Blog. (FULL ARTICLE)

It’s a Myth that the U.S. Has Never Defaulted On Its Debt

Some people argue that countries can’t default.  But that’s false.

It is widely stated that the U.S. government has never defaulted.  However, that is also a myth.

Catherine Rampbell reports in the New York Times:

The United States has actually defaulted on its debt obligations before.

The first time was in 1790, the only episode Professor Reinhart unearthed in which the United States defaulted on its external debt obligations. It also defaulted on its domestic debt obligations then, too.

Then in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, the United States had another domestic debt default related to the repayment of gold-based obligations.

(Update.)

Donald Marron points out at Forbes:

The United States defaulted on some Treasury bills in 1979 (ht: Jason Zweig). And it paid a steep price for stiffing bondholders….

 

Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall Street Collapse? | Washington’s Blog

Is Homeland Security Preparing for the Next Wall Street Collapse? | Washington’s Blog. (FULL ARTICLE)

Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?

Recently revealed statements by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the height of the banking crisis in October 2008 could give some insights into that question. An article on BBC News on September 21, 2013, drew from an explosive autobiography called Power Trip by Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride, who said the prime minister was worried that law and order could collapse during the financial crisis. McBride quoted Brown as saying:

If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cash points aren’t working, and people go to Tesco [a grocery chain] and their cards aren’t being accepted, the whole thing will just explode…

 

%d bloggers like this: