Patterico's Pontifications

10/10/2008

On The Bright Side — Oil Closed Below $78 A Barrel Today

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:38 pm



[Posted by WLS]

Recall that back in July when President Bush lifted the Executive Order banning off-shore drilling, oil was trading near $145 a barrel. Today’s price is nearly a 50% reduction off that high.

It clearly reflects a belief in lessening demand for oil in the coming months/years as fear of a world-wide slowdown in manufacturing and consumption begins to take root.

Or does it?

The fact is that speculation had been a huge catalyst for the run-up in oil prices, and so long as there was no prospect for increased supply to pop the oil price bubble, the price rise continued to defy gravity. Once the air started to come out of the balloon, it came out in a hurry.

So, what does this portend for the economy? Well, it’s like a huge tax cut. The price of a gallon of gas in my neighborhood dropped $0.25 overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning. I know, I filled up Wednesday night at $3.74 a gallon, and when I went past the same station the next day they had re-set the price at $3.49.

A couple months ago it cost me nearly $70 to fill up my tank. On Wednesday I did so for $49. That’s $20 a tank, about a tank a week, for $80 a month, $960 a year — assuming the price doesn’t continue to drop, which it will.

Because petroleum is so pervasive throughout the economy, this price drop will begin to get priced into all manner of things that have seen nothing but price increases lately. All of that works to put money back into a consumer’s pocketbook.

And not just the “rich” — but at all income levels. This money is better than a $600 check from the government because it involves no loss of tax revenue to the government to make it happen.

— WLS

87 Responses to “On The Bright Side — Oil Closed Below $78 A Barrel Today”

  1. Yeah, there’s actually a lot of pluses to this whole economic “crisis.” For example, with so many people in a complete financial panic, with no idea what the future holds, unable to trust their government, their stockbroker, or their banker, I actually feel normal for a change.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  2. It has good international repercussions, too, because it means less money for nations like Russia and Venezuela that don’t share our global interests.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  3. DRJ — check your email. Thanks.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  4. Will do.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  5. Thanks Nancy!

    Thanks Harry!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  6. Phil – I actually feel normal for a change.

    Another example of good news – the price of meds has decreased.

    WLS – It’s also a huge revenue gain to the government. The cost of 50c+/gallon in California in taxes is fixed. Lower prices for gas means more consumption = more revenue for the government.

    Lower taxes = more revenue.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  7. I know he is considered a maniac, impetuous, immature, and perhaps unserious, but as oil was climbing in the 140s, and before the high (147) was reached, Fox Business’ Cody Willard was absolutely adamant that oil would be back down to 80 within a year. At that time, he was alone in this.

    Listening today to Sir Richard Branson speak to the need to guarantee interbank loans in order to unlock liquidity was to finally hear about getting at the actual root problem of liquidity. The bailout that passed served only to buttress individual financial institutions, who have 100% predictably, refused to lend the billions they have borrowed from the Fed.

    Ed (8d1569)

  8. I had the pleasure of meeting Branson, shortly after he had sold his record label and was attempting to drum up business for his fledgling airline. No dummy, he.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  9. Does that mean I was smart too ? I fear it may also be an indicator of how serious the bear market will be.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  10. The fact is that speculation had been a huge catalyst for the run-up in oil prices

    That’s very, very far from a consensus position. In fact, IIRC the consensus among economists is the opposite: the rise in prices reflected actual demand.

    jpe (5320bf)

  11. Brilllllllllllllllyunt.
    Oil prices are down because the presidential leader of the world announced that we Americans should drill more for off-shore and save pennies in the next decade.
    It had nothing to do with the fact that the un-regulated economy that let wealth-building free-wheeling-marketeers build something on our chump backs has totally tanked.
    Totally.
    Your serious economic analysis, methinks, escapes serious people. Our oil producing enemies, to whom we ship so much money in return for, uh, oil, are freaking out right now because we’re so bankrupt that we can’t afford their oil. And they can’t afford us not being able to afford it.
    You say that Bush et al. just talking about off-shore drilling caused this price drop?
    That’s why this little room is, in fact, a sheltered work shop.
    Here’s a towel for your drool. Drool, baby, drool!

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  12. Thankfully, with the fall in gasoline prices, those seized by the financial panic can now fill the tanks in their cars, drive home and close the garage doors, and end their misery (Phil).

    Another Drew (e6d3fc)

  13. JPE – I agree it is not a fact. However, oil consumption is down about 4-5%. There is considerable evidence that traders were manipulating legitimate supply/demand problems into something well beyond such.

    Look at the current, across-the-board, drastic P/E reductions. Justified by the health of these companies? No way. Everyone is getting blitzed in a panic. It is not a stretch to believe that the opposite, panic buying, was the catalyst for the surge in oil to $147.

    Ed (8d1569)

  14. See, Another Drew, the difference between being crazy like me, and being crazy like you, is that I don’t have masturbatory fantasies about my ideological opponents committing suicide.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  15. the un-regulated economy

    Only some good little troll who has never excercised any entrepeneurial tendencies, would think that we exist in an un-regulated economy.

    Perhaps next Summer, Mary can try her hand at a Lemonade Stand?

    Another Drew (e6d3fc)

  16. jpe — so demand today is 1/2 of what it was in July?

    WLS (26b1e5)

  17. And I Phil, don’t have masturbatory fantasies about you – please contact Sully, I’m sure he would be receptive to your kinks!

    Another Drew (e6d3fc)

  18. Oh don’t lie, Another Drew. It’s obvious. Your denial only makes it more obvious.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  19. Yeah — a 4-5% drop in consumption equates to a 50% drop in price.

    Next thing you’ll tell me is that there was no “terror premium” priced into oil by those speculating on a conflict in the Middle East closing the Strait of Hormuz to tanker traffic.

    Just what was it about the supply/demand equation that took the price of oil from around $30 a barrel in 2004 to $145 a barrel in 2008?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Brent_Spot_monthly.svg#filelinks

    WLS (26b1e5)

  20. Yes, it’s better than a tax cut, or a stimulus check, but the government cannot manipulate us as well so I’m sure the Pelosi Stimulus2 is still on the table. Whoopee! Free government cheese!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  21. Patricia-
    *raspy voice* I’m lactose intolerant!

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  22. Yo, Drew.
    I threw out the lemonade and am selling a bridge to credit default swaps. Make a lot of money on the bridge, but huge, huge, huge money on the swaps. The fence around my gated community is 30-feet high. That should suffice when we get to Mad- Max-style social dynamics in a year or two. Right?
    You say that ain’t entrepreneurial? I suppose you feel all manly about going for a Subway franchise.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  23. $2.89 here in central Pennsylvania! Woo-hoo!!

    RB (18f503)

  24. Larry – That should suffice when we get to Mad- Max-style social dynamics in a year or two.

    There’s no guarantee that Obama will win.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  25. Wow, Bush wants the ban on offshore drilling lifted and the price of a barrel of gas goes down. Wait a second, it did the same for GM stock, and AGI, and Lehman………………..

    that Bush is magical.

    For the past 8 years every Republican has blamed gas increases on “Supply And Demand”……… more people want gas, price goes up……..”has nothing to do with President Bush” they said.

    Check the facts guys………… The demand for gas started in January, long before Bush demanded lifting the ban on offshore drilling.

    but hey…………. nice try.

    Oiram (429e3f)

  26. ………… or rather the lack of demand for gas.

    Oiram (429e3f)

  27. Oiram — again, a 4-5% reduction in the consumption of gas has oil traders heading for the exits as the price craters?? A 50% decline in value?

    WLS (26b1e5)

  28. Obama opens double-digit lead:

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iYqw59nPTJqs77AnBBwWDbw34BVA

    Why are McCain and Palin doing so poorly in comparison?

    Metacom (b8c7e2)

  29. Unfortunately, Metacom, I suspect that the poll changes have nothing to do with anything either candidate has actually said or done.

    It’s the story of this election — Obama won the nomination because he wasn’t Hillary. If he wins the presidency, it’ll be because he wasn’t Bush. And if McCain wins, it’ll be because he wasn’t Obama (that’s pretty much his whole platform now).

    Phil (3b1633)

  30. “I am a woman seeking truth in a beautiful world ruled by a deceitful society. I am not who I was, nor who I will be… I know more than I want to, but not nearly enough.”
    Come throw rocks with me at Starbucks, Meta. Let’s destroy the patriarchy together and let’s watch Battle of Seattle dressed only in our colonialism fighting kaffiyehs as we make hot dissident monkey love to each other baby.

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  31. Phil, still fighting for those “blacks” you care about so much?

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  32. as we make hot dissident monkey love to each other baby.

    Of all of the posts you’ve made mocking Metamucil, THAT ONE’s the best so far – congrats, JK.

    Come throw rocks with me at Starbucks, Meta.

    Silly me – and here I thought Wal – Mart had replaced the eviiiil bastard son of Howard Schultz.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  33. Meta and her dissident comrades are like fish in a barrel.

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  34. Klompus, here’s a nice piece that sums up the situation you’re mocking.

    Phil (3b1633)

  35. “Check the facts guys”

    What facts have you presented Oiram? Demand trends? Supply trends?

    Where?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  36. And the Palin “investigation” is so bad that it may well turn out to be a good thing.

    And thee is this:
    http://www.electoral-vote.com/index.html

    Compare the 9th to the 10th and tell me what all means.

    Larry Sheldon (86b2e1)

  37. *raspy voice* I’m lactose intolerant!

    Do not fear, this is the day that the oceans began to recede, that we began to take care of our sick, and that the lactose intolerant became, well, tolerant! Because everyone will be tolerant about every living thing. Except Republicans. We will kill Republicans.

    But back to the hopenchange: It will all begin soon after the new year comes, Grasshopper. And then I think we all will eat free government cheese without stomach upset or unsightly hives and make hot monkey love, too.

    (Jack Klompus, great one, LOL!)

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  38. I skimmed the Palin findings – real show stoppers – Heh!

    Oil prices drop – Women and minorities hardest hit!!!!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  39. the need to guarantee interbank loans

    Yes, but opening up the balance sheets and prosecuting the liars would also do a lot to help banks trust each other.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  40. Yeah, she’s a bad person for attempting to get rid of a complete scumbag. How dare she go against the all – powerful police union?

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  41. “How dare she go against the all – powerful police union?”

    How dare she continue complaining about a shitty situation once she becomes an elected official! What abuse!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  42. The fact is that speculation had been a huge catalyst for the run-up in oil prices,

    Yep. In fact, this kind of speculation is capable of causing macroeconomic crashes all by itself. It’s the same fundamental margin-chasing that lied behind the infinite housing bubble, and as we’re learning and will continue to earn, it’s highly destructive. The oil bubble didn’t cause this recession all by itself, but it certainly played a role in boosting the number of foreclosures, along with food inflation and various other price increases further down the product chain stemming from high energy prices. And foreclosures are driving the credit crunch and the coming depression.

    Speculation is a function of excess liquidity. And for that you can thank, among other things, tax policies in this country that funnel wealth overwhelmingly towards the top 1%. Societies with vastly unequal distributions of wealth inevitably suffer from this kind of excessive liquidity. And we’re just getting a taste of it. We have yet to see currency devaluation or massive capital flight.

    All of the above, of course, demonstrates why regulation- both to contain these effects and to change the conditions that encourage them – is so important. Which is why voting Republican in this climate is like explicitly getting in line to say thank you sir, may I have some more?

    glasnost (a6ffe0)

  43. glasnost is a mental midget. Though I will give it credit. It spells correctly, does not use ALL CAPS, and even uses paragraphs.

    JD (f7900a)

  44. “And for that you can thank, among other things, tax policies in this country that funnel wealth overwhelmingly towards the top 1%.”

    Absolutely, we need confiscatory tax rates so people send their money offshore and corporations locate elsewhere. Sheer brilliance!!!!!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  45. The American Dream will end with Comrade glasnost!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  46. regulation- both to contain these effects and to change the conditions that encourage them – is so important.

    Of course glasnost would never dream of regulating government. Everybody knows that government can’t be held accountable for anything, and when people aren’t held accountable, only private sector people misbehave.

    Yes, excess liquidity is the entire problem, and the solution is to restrict liquidity. Just like after the crash of ’29, right?

    How about breaking up the biggest monopoly the world has ever seen – the Government? How about some oversight and accountability for our bureaucrats, overseen by non-bureaucrats, with complete transparency?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  47. We have yet to see currency devaluation or massive capital flight

    The strange thing is that capital around the world is fleeing into U.S.Treasury Notes, not away from them. This is strengthening the Dollar against other major currencies, bringing the price of both Gold and Oil down.
    And, in case you haven’t noticed, currencies are in a world-wide floating market, so revaluation/devaluation is a constant thing responding to market demand.

    Another Drew (e6d3fc)

  48. Linking tax policy to speculation in any market is complete nonsense. We had a global speculative bubble in oil this summer, not just an American one. We had a global speculative bubble in gold in late 1979 and early 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president, and the top Federal marginal income tax rate under Carter was 70%, not 35% as it is today. Global means the whole world, where there are wide variations in tax policy.

    Official Internet Data Office (b87509)

  49. “How about some oversight and accountability for our bureaucrats, overseen by non-bureaucrats, with complete transparency?”

    I would like to know why Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid have not been prosecuted for their statements. Chuck caused a run on a bank and therefore, it’s being taken over bye the feds and Harry made the comment about how “a major insurance provider, one you all will recognize” is going to collapse which caused most insurance companies to lose between 13% and 25% drop in value overnight. These statements by “respected political leaders” caused very real damages in the billions of dollars. Why are they not being held accountable for ethics violations as a minimum and treason as a preferred charge. What they did is no different than a theater manager yelling fire in a crowded theater.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)

  50. Yet another high-profile, lifelong Republican condemns the seething hate and bigotry being driven by the McCain/Palin campaign:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.mccain10oct10,0,7557571.story

    It was very, very classy today when the crowd at the rally BOOED your candidate for President when he said that Obama was a decent man.

    You must have been particularly proud of the woman who said that she doesn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab.

    The Republican Party is running itself into the ground – and for what?

    What exactly is it that you think you’re protecting by behaving this way?

    You *say* that you’re interested in saving the country – yet you appear to be doing everything within your power to destroy it.

    Metacom (b8c7e2)

  51. You *say* that you’re interested in saving the country – yet you appear to be doing everything within your power to destroy it.

    How projective of you.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  52. Oh, and that lifelong Republican?

    From your link:
    Frank Schaeffer is the author of “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.”

    Any more lies?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  53. Industry says that speculation is heavily contributing to a “false” price of oil. Congress disputes such is happening, does nothing but hand out verbiage while fattening personal pockets. Even though “swimmer” felt that $5 bucks a gallon was fine by him, trust fund baby that he is, promptly got ill and bowed out of any further action in congress.

    Ya know if somebody who basically no longer has to purchase their own fuel, or say has a few million in cash available within hours, says that doubling the cost for those that do have to purchase their own and does not have daddy’s booze bucks in a bank, is fine? Something is very wrong!

    Bush said “yes” to offshore drilling, and IIRC to drilling everywhere we possibly can drill!

    Result was a dip in oil prices.

    Bailout happens, stock market falls off the scale, (something the bailout was designed to prevent), oil tanks!

    The oil bubble in reality is no different than the dot com swindle! Sans there is a real product being traded. But commodities are way too easily manipulated by a few, for their own personal gain.

    Oil is NO longer a commodity in the USA!!!

    Has not been since the 70’s when the oil companies themselves told us outright, “A nation that runs on oil, can’t afford to run out”.

    For some reason we have, as a nation, no guts dealing with the oil industry. We KNOW that their costs are in the hood of 2-9$ a barrel, give them a decent profit, pay the shippers the same and it arrives at our shores for under $40.

    If they can sell it for more somewhere else today?, fine, sell it there, NOBODY consumes more than the USA! If the USA says $40 is it, delivered, then like WallMart, you will deliver it in quantity or you can sit your ass on it!

    Oil producers need to continue to sell a product every day! If they stop 100% of their revenues as well stop. When that happens, they will deal because they already know what they need to make a profit.

    The lesson to the world market? DO NOT EVER PISS OFF YOUR #1 CUSTOMER! EVER!

    Make no mistake, the lower cost of oil is directly related wall street speculation and greed! The sudden decline in price just proves it!

    BTW, WallMart boasts they employ the most people sans the govt. Goody for them, they do NOT pay anywhere near Govt wages either. But they do know how to manage “GLOBAL” suppliers. Hand them the oil biz!

    Currently all I’m seeing is a vivid reason why the govt should NOT have spent another trillion dollars, (that they do not have), to bail out wall street!

    Face it, it did not work!

    TC (0b9ca4)

  54. Metacom – Baracky, in fact, is of more Arab descent than black. But it is also racist to state his middle name, I get that. It is a distraction, that does not help Michelle keep fresh fruit in their house for their children.

    JD (f7900a)

  55. “You *say* that you’re interested in saving the country – yet you appear to be doing everything within your power to destroy it.”
    Meta we’re too busy trying to fight the oppression of Thanksgiving right now.

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  56. Jack – Hysterical. The National Day of Mourning, or something like that, if I remember correctly.

    JD (f7900a)

  57. yet you appear to be doing everything within your power to destroy it.

    Metamucil, why so shy suddenly regarding Jack’s romantic overtures? How can you turn down his offer of “making hot dissident monkey love?” Why, Metamucil, why?

    I don’t know why, but that particular phrase really slays me.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  58. JD, you’re in favor of Turkeycide, just denounce yourself and move on.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  59. Metacom, McCain’s wrong. “Decent” people are not political proteges of terrorists like Ayers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. I’m always amused by people who look at “wealth” as this giant amophorus “blob” that sort of lays, quivering, in the middle of the country and people just kind of herd pieces of it around. And those dirty, cheating rich guys just have bigger bulldozers and take an unfair share.

    If one wants to see true greed (see Exodus 20:17) in action, then one just needs to look at those whining about the “thieving rich” who refuse to learn what wealth, and its creation, is all about.

    Darleen (187edc)

  61. WLS, I don’t believe that the prospect of off-shore drilling has anything whatsoever to do with the current price of oil.

    I think CNN has it right:

    The decline comes as oil prices get roiled by anxiety over weakening demand and as the end of the economic crisis appears to be quite a ways off.

    Gasoline prices had surged during the highly traveled summer season and as a series of hurricanes battered oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. But with hurricane season nearly over, prices began their slide.

    Oil prices also have been moving sharply lower amid fears that the economic crisis, which has deepened globally, will have a severely adverse effect on demand.

    Nope – no mention of off-shore drilling there.

    Psyberian (37b2ae)

  62. Meta we’re too busy trying to fight the oppression of Thanksgiving right now.

    Oh, fine. Just ignore the horror that is Columbus Day. RACIST!!!

    Pablo (99243e)

  63. I admit to not understanding the economics of oil. Ok, the libs want higher gasoline prices to support algore’s agw carbon credits swindles and to assert greater governmental control over the industry. So we should stifle domestic exploration and even increase taxes, because we all know that the government is better at spending our tax dollars more prudently thanw e ever could.
    Higher oil prices are also providential to the Chavez and Putin despots of the world. Btw, my belief is that Obama, in tandem with a rubber stamp liberal Congress, will assuredly turn this country into a Venezuelan-type shithole. And a McCain presidency in itself would contribute to the opening of legalization of hordes of ill-educated underclass Hispanics from the south. Should help grow the liberal-socialist base to further solidify dem gains.
    US Oil producers are bad actors and should be subject to windfall profits and greater government controls. The Fed and Treasury are doing yeomens jobs of screwing up the banking industry. Surely Reid and Pelosi couldn’t f**k up domestic oil and that non-fossil fuel natural gas? Ridddle me this? Why are oil prices for the Euroweenies so high with North Sea production so close by? Yes, I know oil is fungible and the market is world-wide. If various countries are nationalizing oil, why can’t they supply oil at lower prices for domestic use? I know the taxes on oil are quite high for the Euroweenies and yet the price for oil products within socialist regimes such as Venezuela are very low. And I’m sure speculators have been one concern even though it is demand/supply that actually makes prices well above those dark days in Texas around 1980 when the price was in the hopper.
    So let’s wonder how many tax dollars will find their way into the pockets of those lobbying for a Manhattan type crash program for alternative energy. If solar and wind were so damn viable, one might think that private industry would have invested big time decades ago and we’d be seeing some results. Look at the supposedly unintended consequences of ethanol production on prices for consumer goods.
    That great conservative McCain is buying into the AGW hysteria and will further erode America’s competitive standing in the world. Yes, let’s give the Feds even more control over our lives.
    My concern is that clueless dickwad Obama will leave a legacy that long outlasts his term in office. Would a filibuster proof Senate not exacerbate the pain liberals will force on the rest of us? We live in interesting times.
    Nobama- Bend over America

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  64. Oh, fine. Just ignore the horror that is Columbus Day. RACIST!!!

    Comment by Pablo — 10/11/2008 @ 9:12 am

    LOL +1

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  65. Indubitably- Columbus Day is not at all PC. Look at the insensitivity of it and how it insults the “feelings” of others. I have hopes that the made-up BS Kwanzaa holiday will be enshrined under Obama as a National Holiday, wherein we get the day off to sing Kumbaya and We ARe The Children.

    Btw, when them Italian tires go flat, dago wop, wop, wop. FIAT- fix it again tony.

    Time to rid our national consciousness of Sicilian crime bosses and implement more representative peoples, such as illegal alien Central American gangbangers or New Black Panthers.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  66. The strange thing is that capital around the world is fleeing into U.S.Treasury Notes, not away from them.

    I know. I wish I understood more about currency.

    Pablo, Jack Klompus, I denounce you jointly and severally! I am outraged at your insensitive comments against victims of the patriarchy, humankind and animalkind as well.
    One word: tofurkey

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  67. John McCain: Who is the real Barack Obama?
    Crowd : “Terrorist! Arab! Off with his head! Kill Him! Arab!…
    John McCain: No, ma’am. He’s a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
    John McCain: Who is the real Barack Obama?
    John McCain: I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.”
    Enough said.
    Vote for Barack Obama. Say no to fear.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  68. Btw, when them Italian tires go flat, dago wop, wop, wop.

    *gasp* :) Didn’t think that joke – a former favorite of a, shall we say, offbeat, family member who shall remain nameless, rest his soul – was still in circulation.

    Comment by Patricia — 10/11/2008 @ 9:58 am

    Mmmmm, tofu (not). But quote at link is priceless: Vegetables are not food. Vegetables are what food eats.

    Mary Katharine Ham knows the score, and it’s Humans 1, Dinner 0.

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  69. Comment by madmax333 — 10/11/2008 @ 9:54 am

    As someone who can trace my family back to the hills of Italy, and as a foreign car mechanic for most of my adult life, I would like to update your syllabus on the word FIAT:
    Fucking Idiotic Attempt @ Transportation.

    That pretty much describes about 80% of what they have produced, with some notable exceptions.
    And, pretty much describes why they were never very successful in the American market.

    …Patricia…You’re a hoot!
    tofurkey?????? Ugh!

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  70. 69- it was meant to be ironic, given that all the old standards are being attacked as un-pc or racist. Xmas is bad- Muslim holidays good. So we look at the warts of a Christopher Columbus or Thomas Jefferson and beliitle their achievements.

    A jerkwad like Obama (in my opinion) can make a speech and be compared to Lincoln. Acquaintances of mine insist Obama is a literary giant and fabulous orator. I see and hear a horse’s ass and now there is speculation that Ayers actually wrote an Obama auto-biography. President and Mrs. Barack Hussein Obama- how utterly delightful. The world will be so ecstatic. I cannot wait to start paying a tithe to the UN and Africa. Going to stock up on KY jelly and practice getting limber for my impending sodomization by Obama’s thugs. Yes, I know some of you relish Obama as POTUS with those patriots Pelosi and Reid taking America to a new level of Greatness. Indeed. I foresee much of the country eventually being much like life in Caracas or even Havana. Hopefully we’ll be spared Zimbabwean hyper-inflation. And if we do have any woes, it will be due to racism.
    Amazing that even an Alec Baldwin recognizes what Barney Franks and that crew wreaked in the sub-prime mortgage industry. Of course most -people will blame the evil BusHitler. Amazing that liberals can “compromise” on financial industry bailouts, but not on other issues.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  71. I wonder how far gasoline prices have actually risen when inflation is factored in? When I started out working, the minimum wage was $1.25 an hour and gas was around 30 cents a gallon. Rent a room for $40 a month, eat at a diner for under a buck a meal, new Corvette was around $4000. Seems to me the minimum wage has badly trailed inflation.

    If the USA were really Imperialistic, why haven’t we benefited from Iraqi oil? Or even managed a sweetheart deal from the Saudis over Gulf War I?

    AD- had a honey whose dad was an ace Fiat mechanic and he talked her into buying a new 124. I think the concept later turned up as Yugos.
    I recall driving a friend’s sewing machine 850 Fiat Spyder from Philly to Ct . and back for a couple of bucks in gas.

    I did enjoy my Alfa however and would not turn down a Ferrari or Lamborghini. My preference being an Anglophile would be an Aston Martin.
    Italians are great artisans and Germans more mechanical geniuses. I think Mercedes and BMW are here in America as revenge for Third Reich losing war. People are only too happy to pay outrageous prices to purchase or maintain them. But seriously, I believe the Japanese make the best autos.
    FORD- fix or repair daily/found on road dead/first on race day

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  72. A jerkwad like Obama (in my opinion) can make a speech and be compared to Lincoln. Acquaintances of mine insist Obama is a literary giant and fabulous orator. I see and hear a horse’s ass

    Exactly. What’s up with that? The longer this campaign goes on the creepier the cult-of-personality adulation gets, esp. re: children. These two videos made my blood run cold. “Alpha/Omega (a name for Jesus in the Bible) ??” The ecstatic look on that choir leader’s face? Whatever he is, he’s just a man.

    Used to think “Messiah” was an exaggeration of the satire. I don’t think so anymore.

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  73. then one just needs to look at those whining about the “thieving rich” who refuse to learn what wealth, and its creation, is all about.

    But that would require………….hard work????? Surely you jest!

    Meta we’re too busy trying to fight the oppression of Thanksgiving right now.

    Heh. I’m an Amer Injun and I’ll be eating my tofurkey and mashers with delectable zeal but I’ll be keeping mind what the touchy-feely left has determined,

    “For many Indian people, ‘Thanksgiving’ is a time of mourning … a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.”

    I denounce you all! :)

    Dana (658c17)

  74. Nope – no mention of off-shore drilling there.

    People who run oil-extraction businesses want to be certain that the price of oil remains above a certain level before drilling for new wells.

    Some oil wells may very well stop pumping.

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  75. Wait a second, it did the same for GM stock, and AGI, and Lehman………………..

    GM’s woes are of their own making.

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  76. The strange thing is that capital around the world is fleeing into U.S.Treasury Notes, not away from them. This is strengthening the Dollar against other major currencies, bringing the price of both Gold and Oil down.

    And to think people were complaining about the dollar getting weaker a few months ago…

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  77. I hang my head in patriarchal shame and sentence myself to multiple viewings of Manufacturing Consent, beatings with rolled up copies of Mother Jones, and will donate my evil capitalistic profits to Guerrilla News Network where Meta and I can undermine the dominant paradigm and then dine on fair trade vegan flambe while attending a super hot pro-Hizbollah performance art piece. How ’bout it Meta, baby?

    Jack Noam Klompsky (b0e238)

  78. If the USA were really Imperialistic, why haven’t we benefited from Iraqi oil? Or even managed a sweetheart deal from the Saudis over Gulf War I?

    Because, depending on the issue, we are either imperialists or incompetent boobs. Or maybe it depends on what day it is. Whatever. We are bad!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  79. Of course glasnost would never dream of regulating government. Everybody knows that government can’t be held accountable for anything, and when people aren’t held accountable, only private sector people misbehave

    As soon as you can convincingly explain how volatility in private sector financial markets, leading to a private-sector economic collapse, can be solved by “regulating government”, than, yeah, sure, I’m willing to listen to your suggestions on the subject.

    Whether or not some government-related individuals misbehave in some manner, at some time isn’t particularly relevant as to the cause of our current macroeconomic crisis.

    glasnost (a6ffe0)

  80. Linking tax policy to speculation in any market is complete nonsense. We had a global speculative bubble in oil this summer, not just an American one.

    The rarest of all things around here – an interesting argument. Ok, you can have speculative bubbles despite high marginal tax rates. Of course. Despite said rates, wealth distribution can still be highly unequal. However, the gold market bubble in 1979 did not create a major recession. The size of the bubble, the extent of liquidity, matters. And marginal tax rates absolutely have an effect on wealth distribution, and thus liquidity, because the percentage of someone’s net worth than can be used to speculate rises along with their total net worth, over a given baseline of real consumer spending.

    The point is that speculative activity, unless penalized effectively, and therefore volatility, increases in lockstep with liquidity, which your data does not dispute.
    Thus, since highly unequal wealth distribution leads to greater liquidity for any given net collective wealth, unequal wealth distribution makes bubbles bigger. And very big bubbles create very big problems.

    Tax policy doesn’t make bubbles go away, but if it successfully equalizes wealth, it makes them smaller. And the ‘global’ argument is a canard – our GDP is double the size of #2. We set the agenda.

    glasnost (a6ffe0)

  81. Whether or not some government-related individuals misbehave in some manner, at some time isn’t particularly relevant as to the cause of our current macroeconomic crisis.

    And I present to you the primary reason that glasnost is not taken seriously.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  82. “…the gold market bubble in 1979…”

    Strangest explanation of the Ford/Carter Stagflation I’ve ever heard…
    It was all caused by too many people in the market trying to buy Krugerrands.
    Who Knew?

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  83. Pablo, Jack Klompus, I denounce you jointly and severally! I am outraged at your insensitive comments against victims of the patriarchy, humankind and animalkind as well.
    One word: tofurkey

    Patricia, I accept and embrace your denouncement. Likewise, I offer you one word: Turducken

    Pablo (99243e)

  84. LOL! That is one piece o’ poultry!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  85. ” . . marginal tax rates absolutely have an effect on wealth distribution, and thus liquidity, because the percentage of someone’s net worth than can be used to speculate rises along with their total net worth”

    No, glasnost, you’re spouting more nonsense. In California, people with a net worth of zero–or even a negative net worth–speculated massively in the real estate market through 2007. They used nothing-down, interest-only loans, or even negative-amortization loans. There was a famous story of a fruit-picker making $14,000 a year buying a $700,000 house with nothing down in the Salinas area. Although his marginal Federal tax rate was probably zero, he managed to speculate by leveraging himself up with debt. That’s what you’re missing. The biggest speculative endeavors don’t involve after-tax money so much as they require huge quantities of borrowed money, aka debt.

    Official Internet Data Office (ec4069)

  86. As soon as you can convincingly explain how volatility in private sector financial markets, leading to a private-sector economic collapse, can be solved by “regulating government”, than, yeah, sure, I’m willing to listen to your suggestions on the subject.

    If a sector of the economy is producing things not enough people are willing to pay for to cover the costs, why should it not collapse?

    The American stagecoach industry collapsed about eighty years ago, and yet we are better off for it.

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)


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