Daily Digest 2/11 - The Myth Of "Saudi America," The Big Mac Index
Even with those programs, growing old has not been easy. Cohen struggles with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. And as the ranks of the elderly begin to swell, it's not at all clear that the community will be able to maintain the level of care and resources Cohen has come to appreciate.
The Big Mac Index: Bunfight (Nervous Nelly)
At market exchange rates, the Canadian version of the burger costs $5.39, compared with an average price of $4.37 in America. By our reckoning, then, the Canadian dollar is roughly 24% overvalued relative to its American counterpart. In Mexico, by contrast, a Big Mac is just $2.90 at market exchange rates, suggesting the peso is 33% below its long-run value relative to the dollar. The greenback buys much more Big Mac south of the border than north of it.
Gold - Weekly Buy Signal (GE Christenson)
The highs in 2006, 2008, and 2011 reached that trend line. A price of $720 in 2006 was just as extreme as the $1,900 price in 2011 and a possible $3,500 price within the next two years. Will gold prices spike that high? Time will tell, but before you dismiss such a price as unlikely, consider the following:
Diane Francis: How The Senate Became Canada's National Joke (westcoastjan)
The importance of this reform cannot be overlooked. Regional-based representation counterbalances the domination of politics and policies by the populous. It would prevent another National Energy Program raid on Alberta's oil revenues by the federal government. It would prevent the west from always being trumped by the east in general. It would help nation-build by forcing collaboration and confrontation.
Maker's Mark Reduces Alcohol Content To Stretch Low Supply (westcoastjan)
"I just think that's a cheap business practice," Erik Lane, a bartender in Brooklyn, told The New York Post of watering down Maker's Mark. "Usually you're going to notice [an alcohol reduction like] that."
The Myth Of "Saudi America" (cmartenson)
The popularity of the abundance narrative waxes and wanes, and its current ascendance comes primarily on the heels of a report by Leonardo Maugeri, a former oil-industry chief and currently a fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center. When his cornucopian fantasy came out, I smelled a rat (or at least a not-too-deeply buried fish). But the International Energy Agency jumped on the bandwagon with breathless, and equally fishy, forecasts of the coming “Saudi America.” Most of the media swallowed the story hook, line, and sinker, with even the usually sober Economist rising to the bait.
Shale oil is no threat to oil producers (cmartenson)
February 4, 2013 reporting about a “growing school of bullish analysts believe that booming production in the US will put energy independence within reach.” And “With oil production from shale rock, oil sands and deep-sea drilling booming in the US, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere, worries about Middle East-based oil cartels and vulnerable Gulf supply lines are close to becoming things of the past.”
The strategy for most of the majors now is to replace their reserves with something called “barrels of oil equivalent.” In essence, this means natural gas on an energy equivalent basis. (Approximately 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas contain the same energy as a barrel of oil.) But to admit the ongoing decline in their oil production capacity and then also to admit that there is little chance of turning that trend around would be tantamount to corporate suicide—at least if the objective is to collect the largest possible quarterly bonus and stock options payoff.
Now that BP has been suspended—after two long years—who will pick up the Pentagon pace? So far, it looks like Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE: RDS.A) The former has won over some of BP’s contracts, and the latter is shaping up to become the Pentagon’s biggest fuel contractor—at least as of 2012. Shell’s defense department earnings are now at about $2.64 billion.
Though the survey’s results weren’t broken up by country, Munro said he has a good idea what kinds of conversations are happening around boardroom tables in downtown Calgary.
Gold & Silver
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