Archive for March, 2011

Not There Yet

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Japan: clearly not in control of the nuclear problem.

And that’s why nuclear power has zero future anywhere.

Although the death toll may be less than 1 percent of what it costs to get oil and gas, perception is everything, and the perception is that those who build and regulate nuclear power don’t understand it at all.

Gorilla says: “What radiates is fear, and fear is in control!”


Melting Down

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The problem with Japan is that they seem not to know what’s really going on with their reactors.

It’s not a serious threat to anyone outside Japan, but the sense ordinary citizens have is (yet again) that what people in authority keep telling us isn’t actually true.

Gorilla says: “No surprise there, then!”


Cacao Is Not Oil

Friday, March 25th, 2011

One million people displaced in Ivory Coast, a democratically unelected leader refuses to give up power, so where’s the firepower?

The answer: unless we’re buying oil and/or selling arms, most of the world is of no interest!

Gorilla says: “When chocs start to matter, maybe we’ll do something!”


Quote Of The Day

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan: “I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in [Libya’s] direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on.”

Gorilla translates: “There’s a frog in my eye!”


Tawny Old Confidence Fairy

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Well, it’ll screw you if you’re Portuguese, but if you’re a German, Dutch, Spanish, or French bank, so much the better!!!

The shambolic EU and its equally ridiculous Central Bank continue to believe in nonexistent confidence fairies, the ones who will be so impressed if you promise to cut spending and guarantee your electorate a decade or so of grinding deflation and high unemployment!!!

Gorilla says: “The only piper you pay in Oporto is the one in denial who yells Achtung!”


Failure Moves North And South

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The utterly pointless war on drugs, still going strong in Mexico and Colombia, is now working its way into Central America.

This is happening not because we’re having any great success against the cartels, but because the cartels are branching out to places where it’s even easier to operate.

And of course we’re only providing paltry aid to these overmatched countries, while massively financing the cartels.

Gorilla says: “Time to legalize before it all goes to pot!”


Going Nowhere

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

It’s not Libya, but the US economy continues to suffer from very high unemployment and very low demand.

Yes, claims remain below 400,000/week, which is marginally good news, but durable orders are down again.

In DC, as usual, there’s no sense of urgency except about starting wars where we have zero national security interests.

Gorilla says: “The Great Recession remains depressin’!”


The Bust Goes On

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Housing, of course!!!

And house prices (not everywhere, but on average) are still at least 10-15% too high relative to the long-term trend.

It’s hard to see a sustained, strong recovery without the housing market contributing.

Gorilla says: “We need to get moving on more moving days!!!”


No Porto In A Storm

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Portuguese government looks like falling on the eve of yet another EU summit to deal (or not deal) with sovereign and bank defaults.

The answer from Frankfurt, as usual, is that Portugal can borrow more money, engage in crippling austerity, and see what happens in another 5-10 years.

The problem in this case is Spain, whose banks have a big stake in Portugal and are not adequately capitalized. If markets aren’t impressed, it will be a big problem for Chancellor Merkel, because Spain is a much larger economy.

Gorilla says: “Extend and pretend in a world without end!”


French Farce

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

As each day goes by, it becomes clearer that the entire Libyan operation is a poor conceived mess.

Going to war, even against an easily defeated foe, without a clear idea of what outcome you’d like is a recipe for disaster.

Doing so to enhance your reelection prospects, as is clearly the motive of France’s President, is both cynical and foolhardy.

There’s no agreement apparently on who exactly will be in charge once the no fly zone is established, or on whether regime change is the desired outcome, or on whether the rebels will be armed or even on what regional figleaf will be put in place to disguise what looks like yet another Western invasion of Arab lands for the purpose of seizing oil.

Gorilla says: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, then as France!”