Monday, November 07, 2011

17 Positive Trends in the U.S.

On his blog, Scott Adams (creator of the "Dilbert" comic strip) lists 17 positive trends and news items in the U.S., see the opening paragraph and first item below:

"Let's see how much good news we can put in one blog entry.  For today only, skip the usual negative comments and leave only optimistic thoughts based on real trends and actual news items. I'll start. Remember to suspend skepticism for just one day. My examples focus on the United States because I know it best. Feel free to expand.

Energy: Amazingly, some say the United States is well on its way to being energy self-sufficient, thanks in part to huge new oil fields in North Dakota and hundreds of other developments in conservation and green energy. One good example is a recent discovery that the United States has far more geothermal potential than anyone predicted."


11 Comments:

At 11/07/2011 9:02 AM, Blogger David J said...

He also said social security is well funded for decades...

 
At 11/07/2011 11:20 AM, Blogger rjs said...

@ david j:

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/investheld.cgi

thats a listing of $2.654 trillion in US govt bonds in the SSA trust fund...they're just as good as the bonds you have in your 401-k, the bonds held by pension funds & investment grade mutual funds, the bonds held by china, the saudi's, & the brits, & the bonds held by the TBTF banks as part of their Teir 1 capital...
.

 
At 11/07/2011 11:28 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/07/2011 11:31 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"thats a listing of $2.654 trillion in US govt bonds in the SSA trust fund...they're just as good as the bonds you have in your 401-k, the bonds held by pension funds" -- rjs

Sorry, pal, but there is no money in the SS "trust fund", only IOUs which are not transferrable. In order to redeem these IOUs the government will have to raise taxes. That means that you will have the privilege of paying for your SS check twice - once in the form of payroll taxes and then again in the form of income taxes.

And the childish, left-wing douche bags at OWS scream about Wall Street. Pathetic.

 
At 11/07/2011 4:04 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

rjs: "thats a listing of $2.654 trillion in US govt bonds in the SSA trust fund...they're just as good as the bonds you have in your 401-k, the bonds held by pension funds & investment grade mutual funds, the bonds held by china, the saudi's, & the brits, & the bonds held by the TBTF banks as part of their Teir 1 capital..."

Umm...You forgot to mention that they aren't negotiable. They can only be redeemed by treasury, not bought and sold on the open market like all those others.

They are an accounting mechanism only. Calling them bonds makes them sound more respectabile than calling them IOUs.

 
At 11/07/2011 6:01 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

He also commends the OWS idiots.

 
At 11/08/2011 4:02 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Amazingly, some say the United States is well on its way to being energy self-sufficient, thanks in part to huge new oil fields in North Dakota and hundreds of other developments in conservation and green energy.

Really? Who are these people? What is their record of prediction? And on what basis do they make their predictions?

 
At 11/08/2011 6:26 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>>>>>> some say the United States is well on its way to being energy self-sufficient, thanks in part to huge new oil fields in North Dakota

>>> Really? Who are these people?

If you're too clueless to stay abreast of developments in these areas then I suggest you need to do some heavy duty research on your own, as there's been info readily available here on CD as well as other places.

There has been substantial development in ND, as well as in western Pennsylvania, leading to extensive reductions in our fossil fuel imports.

 
At 11/09/2011 2:47 AM, OpenID eh1mnwy said...

@OBloodyHell, I'm not VangelV so I'm only guessing here, but I believe that VangelV is actually just asking for citation (see also: http://xkcd.com/285/), and to me this relatively new requirement on the part of the general public to require such information is actually the very greatest best most positive trend.

 
At 11/09/2011 10:00 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

If you're too clueless to stay abreast of developments in these areas then I suggest you need to do some heavy duty research on your own, as there's been info readily available here on CD as well as other places.

I have paid attention. What I read is a lot of hype and hear the same promoters over and over again. What I don't read or hear are reports of sustainable free cash flows that can finance future operations. Instead all we get are companies that are being hyped up even as they chew through capital and are getting near the end of their financing limits.

There has been substantial development in ND, as well as in western Pennsylvania, leading to extensive reductions in our fossil fuel imports.

But no profit for the producers. How long can companies hope to attract financing that will allow them to increase production even as they lose money on each unit that they produce?

 
At 11/09/2011 10:10 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

@OBloodyHell, I'm not VangelV so I'm only guessing here, but I believe that VangelV is actually just asking for citation (see also: http://xkcd.com/285/), and to me this relatively new requirement on the part of the general public to require such information is actually the very greatest best most positive trend.

Actually, I do not dispute the production data or the fact that the analysis shows demand destruction due to the economic contraction.

What I am asking for is analysis to piece together the data points into a coherent picture. The promoters want to sell their companies so they have no problem hyping cash-consuming production growth just as dot-coms hyped cash-consuming eyeball growth. What I want is a look under the hood to the accounting. And that is where the problem appears for the optimists because the industry can't make money on shale production. Almost all of the companies that I have looked at are showing that they are chewing through cash and can't increase production without financing. Many have used cash flows from conventional operations to finance money losing shale production.

So the question is why do it? Well, if you are a promoter you can make a lot of money by selling money losing shale plays to bigger companies. But why would those companies want to buy shale plays? After all, they know the problems and can see the cash flow issues as well as anyone. Well, there is a big benefit to buying shale reserves. First, you don't have to prove them. There is NI-43-101 equivalent in the US that forces companies to do a lot of work before they can book reserves. On top of that there is the 6:1 boe conversion factor even though the price ratio is north of 20:1. The big players can keep their share prices up by hiding the fact that they have reserve depletion issues.

And that is the memo.

 

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