Daily Digest

Daily Digest 3/20 - The End Of QE2, Long-Term Investing Charts, Possible New Oil Spill In Gulf

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 10:48 AM
  • Mauldin: The End of QE2
  • Interview With Charles Ferguson: Inside Job
  • Liberty Dollar Creator Convicted In Federal Court
  • Long-Term Investing Perspective: Five Charts
  • Bahrain Hospitals Under Siege As Soldiers Maintain Manama Crackdown
  • Oil Markets Cope with Libya and Japan Crises
  • Oil Spill Reported Near Deepwater Drilling Site in Gulf
  • Possible New Oil Spill 100 By 10 Miles Reported in Gulf Of Mexico
  • Nuclear Meltdowns 101

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Economy

Mauldin: The End of QE2 (JRB)

The Fed committed to buying $600 billion of Treasuries between the beginning of QE2 in November and the end of June. June is 3 months away. What will happen when that buying goes away? The hope when QE2 kicked off was that it would be enough to get the economy rolling, so that further stimulus would not be deemed necessary. We’ll survey how that is working out, with a quick look at some recent data, and then we go back and see what happened the last time the Fed stopped quantitative easing.

Interview With Charles Ferguson: Inside Job (woodman)

Come hear from the filmmaker of this year's Academy Award-winning best documentary feature film. Could the global economic meltdown of the last few years have been prevented?

Liberty Dollar Creator Convicted In Federal Court (Jamie D.)

Charges remain pending against William Kevin Innes, an Asheville man who authorities said recruited merchants in Western North Carolina willing to accept the “barter” currency, according to court records. Innes was indicted along with von NotHaus in 2009.

Long-Term Investing Perspective: Five Charts (pinecarr)

Every picture tells a story, and so does every chart. Some readers press on to the next blog as soon as they see a chart here, while others patiently wade through the wordy ravings in hopes that the next entry will bring the refreshing clarity of some charts.

I earnestly recommend that even the chart-phobic glance at these five charts. There is a big story told here in these representations of data.

Bahrain Hospitals Under Siege As Soldiers Maintain Manama Crackdown (pinecarr)

Doctors arrested or prevented from working as martial law in tiny Gulf state approaches second week.

Energy

Oil Markets Cope with Libya and Japan Crises (guardia)

Clear price signals from spot markets have allowed oil supply to be allocated efficiently. Refining capacity has either been turned down in the Mediterranean or turned up in Asia in response to the different crises. Nascent markets such as LNG, which promises to make natural gas trade global, can learn much from how the oil market has responded. Oil is, physically, an extremely flexible substitute for other forms of energy. It can be stored and easily transported. And, beyond its physical characteristics, oil is traded in large enough spot market volumes to allow strong price signals to determine where supply should go.

Price signals encouraged Saudi Arabia to boost production and partly offset the loss of more than 1.2mn b/d of light sweet Libyan crude exports because of civil war. Roughly 200,000 b/d of extra Saudi loadings are going west this month compared with January, according to consultancy Oil Movements. Price signals quickly encouraged Mediterranean refiners to cut runs or bring forward maintenance to limit demand.

Environment

Oil Spill Reported Near Deepwater Drilling Site in Gulf (pinecarr)

The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico not far from the Deepwater Horizon site. According to a knowledgeable source, the slick was sighted by a helicopter pilot on Friday and is about 100 miles long. A fishing boat captain said he went through the slick yesterday and it was strong enough to make his eyes burn. According to the Times Picayune, the Coast Guard has confirmed they are investigating a potentially large 100 mile slick about 30 miles offshore. They are going to a site near the Matterhorn well site about 20 miles north of the BP Deepwater Horizon site, according to the paper. The Matterhorn field includes includes a deepwater drilling platform owned by W&T Technology. It was acquired last year from TotalFinaElf E&P.

Possible New Oil Spill 100 By 10 Miles Reported in Gulf Of Mexico (pinecarr)

As if earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns and war was not enough, the Examiner now discloses that a replay of the BP oil spill could be in the making, sending WTI to the (super)moon, the economy collapsing, and Ben Bernanke starting the printer in advance of QE 666. To wit: "The U.S. Coast Guard is currently investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen about 20 miles away from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion last April."

There are no definitive reports yet, but we should now for sure within hours, if the Keppel FELS built TLP is indeed the culprit: "According to Paul Barnard, operations controller for the USCG in Louisiana, a helicopter crew has been dispatched to the site of the Matterhorn SeaStar oil rig, owned by W&T Offshore, Inc." And if preliminary reports are correct, BP will have been the appetizer: "Multiple reports have come in of a sheen nearly 100 miles long and 10 miles wide originating near the site."

Nuclear Meltdowns 101 (pinecarr)

I am no nuclear expert, and that is probably a good thing. I did do a lot of reading about Chernobyl back when it happened. And now I am, as I was then, and as I am sure many of you are, getting really fed up with incomplete, inaccurate, misleading and generally unsatisfactory explanations that are being offered for what is going on at Fukushima. Either information is not available, or it is a flood of largely irrelevant technical minutia designed to thrill nuclear nerds but bound to bamboozle rather than inform the general reader. And so, for the sake of all the other people who aren't nuclear experts and have no ambition of ever becoming one, here's what I have been able to piece together.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

9 Comments

ericg's picture
ericg
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 23 2010
Posts: 101
Nuclear Meltdowns 101

There is no way fuel rods enriched to 3 or 4 % can cause a fusion reaction. FSN did a great interview on this subject over the weekend... go here to learn the truth about the Japanese reactors http://www.financialsense.com/financial-sense-newshour/big-picture/2011/03/12/02/david-miller-keith-barron/nuclear-energy-part-1-tragedy-hope-and-reality

Eric

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Nuclear Meltdowns 101 Article Meltdown

pinecarr -

I know your intentions are good, but the linked article is probably one of the most inaccurate articles I have read to date.  I thought I was reading the hit parade of errors that the media has put out over the past 8 days. 

Anytime an author starts an article titled "Nuclear Meltdowns 101" with "I am no nuclear expert" you should probably stop reading.  It was really pretty bad.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4168
Japanese villagers advised by government not to drink water

"TOKYO — Japan’s Health Ministry says it has advised a village near a crippled nuclear plant not to drink tap water due to elevated levels of radioactive iodine.

Ministry spokesman Takayuki Matsuda said Sunday that radioactive iodine three times the normal level was detected in Iitate, a village of about 6,000 people 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. That’s still one twenty-sixth of the level of a chest X-ray and poses no danger to humans, he said."

 

.......................Note: Feel free to flame that last sentence.

 

"The pressure increase meant plant operators may need to deliberately release radioactive steam, prolonging a nuclear crisis that has consumed government attention even as it responded to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that savaged northeast Japan on March 11."

 

rocketgirl1's picture
rocketgirl1
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 230
Consider the last sentence

Consider the last sentence FLAMED :D

Can you say "CUMULATIVE"????

I sincerely hope the population of this planet will learn to look at these unfolding events as cumulative rather then the right now, in this moment, best we can figure based on the assumption that you all can't really handle the truth (A Few Good Men moment there) type of information.

I'm already considering purchasing only locally grown food from now on.  I'm also considering purchasing more canned meats and dehydrating additional fruits and vegetables for consumption later when even locally grown food may become suspect.

IMHO, we are at that moment that we've all talked about and prepped for and given years of the forementioned, I still can't believe we're at this moment where it's actually happening.  I'll still move at a snails pace given the fact that this may all turn out to be not so bad for us here in the USA, but then again, sometimes snails turn into escargot.

I look forward to the usual highly valued information from this site in the coming days and beyond. 

Thanks all

 

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Targeted flaming....
saxplayer00o1 wrote:

"TOKYO — Japan’s Health Ministry says it has advised a village near a crippled nuclear plant not to drink tap water due to elevated levels of radioactive iodine.

Ministry spokesman Takayuki Matsuda said Sunday that radioactive iodine three times the normal level was detected in Iitate, a village of about 6,000 people 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. That’s still one twenty-sixth of the level of a chest X-ray and poses no danger to humans, he said."

 

.......................Note: Feel free to flame that last sentence.

 

"The pressure increase meant plant operators may need to deliberately release radioactive steam, prolonging a nuclear crisis that has consumed government attention even as it responded to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that savaged northeast Japan on March 11."

 

sax -

The last sentence is accurate, but as rocketgirl pointed out it must be understood in the proper context.  As long as no further releases occur (venting, explosions, fires, etc.) the radionuclides of concern (I-131 and Cs-137) won't be released and what's out in the environment now is all that is going to be released - so at least that dynamic is over.

The I-131 will essentially be gone in 5 half lives or around 41 days.  (97% of the activity is gone after 5 half lives).  The Cs-137 is the issue in that plants will uptake the particles which can then be consumed by humans or animals and cause several levels of exposure concerns.  Once inside a human being you have what is known as a biological half life, the effective half life, since the body has natural processes to remove wastes.  Cs-137 ingested in food or in water can be eliminated by urination and defecation.  The concern becomes the exposure to the various organs used in these processes (colon, bladder, kidneys, liver, etc.)

The other risk is grazing animals that can uptake the Cs-137 that can be passed along in the milk or meat.  The presence of the Cs-137 itself probably doesn't present a risk from the radiation levels from the contamination.  It is the methods by which Cs-137 enters the food chain that increases the likelihood of being exposed.  You could walk through a field of greens with Cs-particles in the plant leaves and in the soil, but as long as you didn't eat the plant or ingest anything kicked up into the air, your risk is very, very small.

The warning to not eat the plants and drink the milk and water is valid one, but the detected material is most likely the material that has been deposited "on" the plants and not transported from the soil, into the root complex and into the leaves.  I can't speak to the rate of material being picked up by a grazing animal and how fast it shows up in milk (we didn't have any dairy herds on my submarine), but it seems a little too early - that said, I just don't know, and those reports could be 100% on the mark.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2247
Nuclear Meltdowns 101

Hey DIAP (as well as Ericg),

   I know that this is your field of expertise, and so defer to your judgement on the quality of the material in the article. 

   I do try to be careful in the choice of articles I suggest for the daily digest, but still occassionally get bit when I am dealing with a specialized area, like this, where being an expert (or at least very knowledgeable in the area) is important to assess the quality of the material you are dealing with.  So when I find articles in an area like that, I do try to stick with sources I have a level of confidence in.  In this case, the story was from Dmitri Orlov's site, and I have a lot of respect for Orlov's work.  I did, however, make the mistake of assuming that Orlov had written the article, and in looking back, I see that assumption was incorrect.  So that is something I need to be more careful of in the future.Embarassed

   Thanks for being decent in how you pointed it out, tho'! Smile

  -pinecarr

  

  

NewzGuy's picture
NewzGuy
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 2
Wesley Clark exposes plan to take out 7 countries in 5 years

Even before entering Iraq, Wesley talks about a plan to take out Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Iran.  Interesting part is at 1m:02s:

vital's picture
vital
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 11 2009
Posts: 7
New oil spill update

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/03/20/US-Reported-Gulf-slick-may-be-silt/UPI-46061300654788/

A feared new oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico probably is a plume of silt from dredging on the Mississippi River, the U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday.

Does anybody have any more certain news about it?

 

Dorrian's picture
Dorrian
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 15 2009
Posts: 28
http://www.reuters.com/articl

Substance in Gulf of Mexico likely sediment, not oil

An analysis found only trace amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons, oil and grease -- all at levels well within the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's clean water standard.

Sediment carried down the Mississippi River and possibly agitated by dredging is believed to have caused the dark substance, according to a Coast Guard news release.

You should consider an analysis and press release of the Coast Guard as certain.

And as it's not on The Oildrum, it's probably just alarmism. Please keep in mind that Zero Hedge (who hyped this story yesterday) tends to be very negative on any kind of rumors. They simply love "black swans" so much... ;)

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