Daily Digest

Daily Digest - May 14

Friday, May 14, 2010, 9:42 AM
  • Market Edge: Debt Crisis Enters Second Phase
  • Volcker Sees Risk Greece to Cause ‘Disintegration’ of Euro Area
  • U.S. Faces Same Problems As Greece, Says Bank of England
  • Oil can rise to over $100 per barrel: Mukesh Ambani

Economy

Market Edge: Debt Crisis Enters Second Phase (Video) (Saxplayer00o1)

The global debt crisis is in its second stage as governments deal with the debt absorbed from the private sector, and record gold prices have been reflecting these worries, according to SCM Advisors strategist Max Bublitz. Laura Mandaro reports.

Volcker Sees Risk Greece to Cause ‘Disintegration’ of Euro Area (Saxplayer00o1)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said he’s concerned that the euro area may break up after the Greek fiscal crisis that sparked an unprecedented bailout by the region’s members.

“You have the great problem of a potential disintegration of the euro,” Volcker, 82, said in a speech in London yesterday. “The essential element of discipline in economic policy and in fiscal policy that was hoped for” has “so far not been rewarded in some countries.”

U.S. Faces Same Problems As Greece, Says Bank of England (Hugh Betcha)

It isn’t often one has the opportunity to get such a blunt and straightforward insight into the thoughts of one of the world’s leading economic players. Most of this stuff usually stays behind closed doors, so it’s worth taking note of. And I suspect that while George Osborne will have been happy to hear his endorsement of the new Government’s policies, Barack Obama and the European leaders will have been far less pleased with his frank comments on their predicament. The transcript and video are online at the Bank’s website.

Energy

Oil Can Rise To Over $100 Per Barrel: Mukesh Ambani (Deepak)

Crude oil prices can rise to more than $100 a barrel due to sluggish refinery growth and high costs of new discoveries and production, chairman of Reliance Industries said on Friday.

"By most analyst accounts crude oil prices are well above the $70 mark and in the foreseeable future in the worst case we have to be prepared to again see a three-digit oil price," Mukesh Ambani told a conference.

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16 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

NIA Announces Release of 'Meltup' (Scroll down to where I list headlines for the link to the video)

 

"French president Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to pull his country out of the euro if other EU countries, especially Germany, did not agree to help rescue debt-laden Greece.

The French president made his startling threat at a Brussels summit of EU leaders last Friday, at which the deal to bail out Greece was agreed, according to a report in El País newspaper quoting Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Zapatero revealed details of the French threat at a closed-doors meeting of leaders from his Spanish socialist party on Wednesday.

Sarkozy demanded "a compromise from everyone to support Greece ... or France would reconsider its position in the euro," according to one source cited by El País."

.................1A) Euro Slides to Less Than $1.25 for First Time Since March 2009

"“I would doubt that Greece over time will be in a position to come up with the economic potential” to pay back what it owes, Mr Ackermann told Germany's ZDF television. "

...............................2A) Moody's Says 80% Chance Greek Credit Rating Will Be Cut Again

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Moody’s Investors Service said there is a “greater than” 80 percent chance it will cut its rating on Greece’s debt again as the government struggles to push through measures to reduce its budget deficit.

“A multi-notch downgrade is likely,” Moody’s said in a statement. The rating company cut Greece to A3 from A2 on April 22 and said today that an upgrade is “unrealistic in the foreseeable future.”"

................................2B) Greek 2010 tourism revenues seen down 7-9 pct -industry

"May 13 (Bloomberg) -- A Senate panel unanimously passed a $59 billion war-funding bill that would bring total spending on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than $1.1 trillion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 30-0 for the measure, which would provide $33.5 billion for military operations, including President Barack Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan."

....................3A) Obama wants $80 bln to upgrade nuclear arms complex

"The companies also face lawsuits brought by fishermen, restaurants, charter boat companies, hotels and rental property owners. Gulf Coast states could also sue, as could municipalities, for lost tax revenues, and shipping companies if traffic into major ports or the Mississippi River is disrupted.

"You're talking about the entire economic structure of five states and all their ancillary businesses," said Tim Howard, a Tallahassee lawyer who last week filed one of Florida's first class-action suits over the oil spill.

"You're talking maybe about close to a half a trillion dollar economy here," Howard added. "This is why you do not mess around and play around with something toxic.""

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- China plans to expand settlements of international trade using yuan to as many as 18 more provinces and cities to meet rising demand from companies, two bankers involved in the program said.

Cross-border transactions using the currency have been allowed in Shanghai and Guangdong since July last year, to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar."

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank stripped out details of its bond-purchase plan from a daily report on euro-region liquidity conditions, disguising the size of its market activity.

The ECB said in a market notice today that asset purchases were excluded from the category titled “Outstanding Open Market Operations.” A central bank spokesman declined to comment. Executive Board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo said yesterday the ECB won’t say how much it bought when it announces details of how it plans to sterilize the purchases next week."

"ING Groep NV said today European central banks bought about 18 billion euros ($22.5 billion) of bonds this week, citing its own estimates."

"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Federal Reserve had lent $9.2 billion in U.S. dollars to foreign central banks as of Wednesday, after reviving its swaps program over the weekend in conjunction with the European Union's rescue plan, the Fed reported Thursday. Under the swaps program, the Fed swaps dollars for euros, yen, pounds, Swiss francs or Canadian dollars to give five foreign central banks access to U.S. dollars demanded by banks in their countries. At maturity, the dollars will be returned, with interest."

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- China failed to draw enough bids for a 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) offering of 273-day bills for a second time in a month on speculation banks were seeking higher returns in longer-maturity debt."

"Numerous California businesses are packing up their bags and trading in the blue skies and hot weather to head east.

The Courier obtained a copy of the businesses leaving California this year. "

(They list 99 companies)

"The list will grow as Sacramento considers more measures that will increase corporate taxes, increase workers' comp costs, increase regulatory reporting requirements (along with higher fines for minor infractions), increase gasoline and diesel-fuel taxes, increase water rates, increase electric-power rates, and increase assorted fees that will cause services to become more expensive."

"SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - For 35 years, frail senior citizens in southern Illinois could turn to the Shawnee Development Council for help cleaning the house, buying groceries or any of the chores that make the difference between living at home or moving to an institution.

No more. The council shut down the program Thursday because of a budget crisis created by the state of Illinois' failure to pay its bills.

Paralyzed by the worst deficit in its history, the state has fallen months behind in paying what it owes to businesses and organizations, pushing some of them to the edge of bankruptcy.

Illinois isn't bothering with the formality of issuing IOUs, as California did last year. It simply doesn't pay.

Plenty of states face major deficits as the recession continues. They're cutting services or raising taxes or expanding gambling to close the gap. But Illinois is taking the extra step of ignoring bills.

Right now, $4.4 billion worth of bills, some dating back to October, are sitting in the Illinois comptroller's office waiting to be paid someday."

"A new report that showed the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s deficit could swell to $34 billion in the next 10 years has sparked fresh debate as to whether a multibillion-dollar infusion of taxpayer cash will be required to keep the agency afloat.

“The realistic option is that Congress will have to provide a bailout,” James Keightley, a former PBGC general counsel who is now a partner at the law firm Keightley & Ashner LLP, Washington, said in an interview."

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators are exploring possible conflicts of interest for banks that sold municipal bonds and bet the securities would fail, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state authorities opened a preliminary probe into municipal credit- default swap trades by banks, the newspaper said. The inquiry seeks to determine whether banks used their own capital to bet against bonds they sold and if the practice was disclosed properly to buyers, the newspaper said."

'If Euro Fails, So Will the Idea of European Union'

"In a dramatic appeal for Europeans to come together to address the common currency crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that if the euro collapses, so will the idea of European unity. She also described the current euro crisis as Europe's greatest test since the collapse of communism."

"Now that the homebuyer tax credit has passed into history, many are starting to wonder whether many buyers were tacking the value of the credit onto their sales price. Prices now are falling in many markets and had buyers waited until the credit expired, they could have bought the same house without Uncle Sam’s help."

 

  • Headlines, video, blogs...:

Meltup (Video)

New Crisis, Record Yen Still Possible After Bailout, BTM Says

Banks In Peril from EU Debt Shell Game: Economist

Europe's fiscal Fascism brings British withdrawal ever closer (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)

Euro Breakup Talk Increases as Germany Loses Its Currency Proxy

China continues oil sands shopping spree

April budget gap quadruples on debt costs (Turkey)

German municipalities struggle with record deficits

Assembly backs food stamps for drug felons (California)

Illinois Spends $2.5 Million for Jobs Requiring a Fourth-Grade Education

Huge San Diego shipbuilder planning 900 layoffs

Chevron Cuts Over 900 East Bay Jobs (California)

Fiscal crisis hits Delaware River bridges

Thai troops battle protesters as crisis deepens

Millions of jobs lost during recession will never come back

EU to Extend Government Guarantees on Bank Bonds Beyond June 30

Stockton Gang Task Force On Budget Chopping Block

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Stocks down, gold down, bonds down, oil down, euro down...

...dollar up.  Is it that simple?

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Whoever's trying to hold down gold...

...is losing their grip.  It's rallied ~ US$18 in the last hour.  Man, it's gonna be weird being off-grid (at a wedding in the boonies) all weekend...  

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

"Over the past three years, Pfizer Inc. was an earner without profit in its own country.

The maker of cholesterol medication Lipitor, the world’s top-selling prescription drug, reported almost half its revenues in the United States for 2007 through 2009, while booking domestic pretax losses totaling $5.2 billion.

Abroad, it was another story. A Dutch subsidiary more than made up for New York-based Pfizer’s American losses. It reported pretax profits totaling $20.4 billion in 2007 and 2008—with a tax expense of 5 percent, a seventh of the top U.S. rate. Overseas tax savings increased the drugmaker’s net income by $1 billion last year, according to Robert Willens, a tax consultant in New York.

Pfizer is one of thousands of American companies that bolster their profits by attributing income to subsidiaries in countries with lower income tax rates, legally cutting their tax bills. Indianapolis based Eli Lilly and Co. and Oracle Corp. were among other big companies that helped drive a 70-percent increase in accumulated earnings abroad that weren’t taxed in the U.S. from 2006 to 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

"U.S. companies amassed at least $1 trillion in foreign profits not taxed in the U.S. as of the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That cumulative total, based on filings by 135 companies, increased 70 percent over three years, from $590 billion in 2006."

"NPR's Richard Harris has learned that much more oil and natural gas, 70,000 barrels a day or more than ten times the official estimate, is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon pipe, based on scientific analysis of the video released Wednesday.

That's the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez tanker full every four days.

The U.S. Coast Guard has estimated that oil was gushing into the ocean at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day. But, again, NPR has been told that estimate is very low. " 

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund urged governments to cut public debt to prevent higher interest rates and slower economic growth, saying the fiscal crisis in Europe shows such risk “cannot be ignored.”

Debt in developed economies will expand to about 110 percent of gross domestic product by 2015, from 73 percent in 2007, the IMF said in a fiscal review released today. For the Group of Seven countries, the ratio is the highest since World War II, it said. "

"Educators across the state continue to push for a tax hike.The Illinois Federation of Teachers says a tax increase could be the only way to offset the loss of federal funds for education. Nearly one and a half billion dollars in stimulus money is running out. Right now, lawmakers aren't supporting Governor Quinn’s income tax hike or borrowing plan.

Officials say as many as 20 thousand teachers could lose their jobs if new funding isn't secured."

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- The euro fell to its lowest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. on concern that the 16-nation currency may be headed for disintegration. "

Treasuries Advance on Speculation Debt Crisis Will Sink Euro

Growth, rate worries drive euro near 4-year low

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

Is 70,000 barrels a day a possibility for oil spill - NPR is now reporting that the oil spill could be 70,000 barrels of oil a day, which is considerably greater than the estimate of 5,000 barrels per day currently being reported. What is the view of Oil Drum readers regarding the likelihood of the higher estimate being accurate? According to the story: The analysis was conducted by Steve Werely, an associate professor at Purdue University, using a technique called particle image velocimetry. Harris tells Michele Norris that the method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent. That means the flow could range between 56,000 barrels a day and 84,000 barrels a day.Another analysis by Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 20,000 barrels a day and 100,000 barrels a day.

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Re: Whoever's trying to hold down gold...
SagerXX wrote:

...is losing their grip.  It's rallied ~ US$18 in the last hour.  Man, it's gonna be weird being off-grid (at a wedding in the boonies) all weekend...  

 

Better luck holding down the oil in the "spill" (gusher).

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25437.htm

Financial Chaos And The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning

By Peter Ewart

May 13, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- What in God’s name should we make of it all? On Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange had its most severe plunge in history - nearly 1000 points, before it recovered minutes later. On Monday, it shot up 400 points, one of the biggest spikes in memory. All told, the variance was around 1400 points over the period of a couple of days.

The context for this, of course, is the financial turmoil that has spread from Greece and is sweeping across Europe, threatening the very existence of the European Union and the Euro as a common currency. Last week alone, it is estimated that global stock markets lost $3.7 trillion of their value as a result of this crisis (1). According to the Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty, not even the Canadian economy is immune from the financial contagion.

There is no doubt about it – the global financial sector is still in a period of extreme volatility and instability despite massive and unprecedented bailouts from the coffers of governments around the world a year ago. Now the European financial sector is to receive “the mother of all bailouts” amounting to an astounding $1 trillion more.

But there is a troubling feature of this situation - a “financial war”, so to speak – that is not getting the attention it should. As Anders Borg, Swedish Finance Minister has put it, one of the main contributing factors to the extreme volatility in the financial sector is that “wolf packs” of speculators are roaming around Europe looking to feast upon the economic carnage (2). These include bond and currency speculators, as well as hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions.

The situation has become so grave that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that “the [financial] speculators are our adversaries” and that financial markets have become “perfidious” (3). What she does not clarify, of course, is that German financial institutions, along with U.S.-based Goldman Sachs and others, have played a big role in precipitating the turmoil, including that which is currently unfolding in Greece.

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

Published on Energy Bulletin (http://www.energybulletin.net)
http://www.energybulletin.net/52788
________________________________________
Peak soil: it's like peak oil, only worse
Published Thu, 05/13/2010 - 07:00
by Peak Generation

Resource collapse is bigger than peak oil, and bigger even than the projected depletion of natural gas, coal and uranium – it encompasses each and every natural resource extracted, exploited or otherwise processed on an industrial
scale.

This is not to deny peak oil, or the subsequent decline of all the other hydrocarbons that are essential to our lives and economies; the point is that even if we switched to renewable energy tomorrow, we would still not be out of
the mess that we're in. We're experiencing problems with our living environment – climate, soil and water – that are more than just energy issues.
Once again, Hubbert's model can be applied to any finite resource we extract from the Earth. If it's tragic that we are burning through all available resources with no thought for future consequences, it's worse still to think that the payback will likely happen all together. We will probably find ourselves dealing with a widespread hydrocarbons collapse right when we have to face a greatly reduced global capacity to grow crops and find people enough water to drink.
The peak debate, although on the surface about energy security, comes back to food supply. So here I'm going to look at peak soil, peak water and peak phosphorous.

<MORE> http://www.energybulletin.net/52788

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

 

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats will likely skip the annual task of writing a budget for the U.S. government this year amid lawmakers’ unwillingness to endorse a plan sure to include huge deficits.

With the midterm elections looming and primary results showing voters in a sour mood, Congress will probably forgo laying out tax-and-spending plan for the fifth time in the last 12 years."

"10-Year Deficits

The government is projected run $10 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, with interest payments on the debt forecast to quadruple to more than $900 billion annually. Moody’s Investors Service has said it might eventually cut the government’s bond rating if the fiscal outlook doesn’t improve.

“Failure to adopt a budget resolution when fiscal resolution is needed most would send the worst possible signal,” said Bob Bixby, head of the Washington-based Concord Coalition. “It would say to investors in Treasury securities, foreign and domestic, that the federal government is still in denial about its fiscal problems and has no plan to address the situation anytime soon.”"

"The $83.4 billion plan calls for $12.4 billion in spending reductions, $3.4 billion in additional federal aid and $3.4 billion in fund shifts, fees and assessments, according to the governor’s budget. This year’s budget was $86.4 billion.

“California no longer has low-hanging fruit, in fact we no longer have any medium-handing fruit nor any high-hanging fruit,” Schwarzenegger said. “We have to take the ladder away and shake the whole tree.”"

"The proposals include dismantling the state’s main welfare program for families, known as CalWorks, as well as reducing subsidies for county-level mental health programs and in-home care for the elderly and the disabled.

The plan also calls for an almost 10 percent wage cut for state workers, elimination of child-care subsidies for all but preschoolers, and a 4.8 percent surcharge on home and commercial insurance policies to finance firefighting.

Revenue Losses

The governor and legislators have spent the last two years trying to redraw the budget fast enough to keep up with revenue losses as unemployment rose. The jobless rate reached 12.6 percent in March, compared with 9.7 percent across the U.S.

Schwarzenegger’s new deficit-cutting proposals set the stage for a possibly protracted battle with lawmakers. A stalemate last July pushed California close to insolvency and forced the state to pay some bills with IOUs instead of cash."

"Explosions echoed through streets emptied of shoppers and tourists, plumes of black smoke rose amid skyscrapers and hotels, and the deteriorating security raised concerns that Thailand — a key U.S. ally with Southeast Asia's second-largest economy — was teetering toward instability because of the two-month political crisis."

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the government may conduct raids on people linked to currency websites in the “coming hours” as part of an investigation into the unregulated foreign exchange market.

Chavez, speaking on state television, said he’s investigating websites that publish the exchange rate of the bolivar in the parallel market and that “speculators” are to blame for surging consumer prices.

“We’re investigating some people that publish a page called Dolar Paralelo,” Chavez said. “Don’t be surprised if there are raids in the coming hours.”"

"May 14 (Bloomberg) -- The euro’s longest series of weekly declines in three months versus the dollar signals the 16-nation currency may erase half of the seven-year rally that took it to a record, according to BNP Paribas SA.

The shared currency has fallen 2.9 percent this week to $1.2398, approaching the low of $1.2330 set in October 2008 after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The slump will probably take the euro below the $1.2134 Fibonacci level that represents the 50 percent retracement of its rally from 82.30 cents in October 2000 to $1.6038 in July 2008, said Andrew Chaveriat, a technical analyst at BNP Paribas in New York. "

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

Not that long ago, we had a reference to a very nice paper (or website) on inverse exponential curves one going to infinity and the other going to negative infinity.  Can anyone help me find that paper / website again?  Please answer me using dstudin at yahoo dot com.  Thanks … dons

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

RE: Oil Gusher

What amazes me about all the confusion regarding the volume of oil expelled by the pipe. I assume they know the diameter of the pipe since they built it.  Once you know certain constants it should be pretty simple. If I can look up flow rate measurement methods on Wikipedia why can't BP???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_measurement#Open_channel_flow_measurement

How would they know how to set the rig unless they understood the flow dynamics?

After that , it is simple mathematics, just plug in the number of days the thing is gushing.

Such nonsense.

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14
VeganD wrote:

RE: Oil Gusher

What amazes me about all the confusion regarding the volume of oil expelled by the pipe. I assume they know the diameter of the pipe since they built it.  Once you know certain constants it should be pretty simple. If I can look up flow rate measurement methods on Wikipedia why can't BP???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_measurement#Open_channel_flow_measurement

How would they know how to set the rig unless they understood the flow dynamics?

After that , it is simple mathematics, just plug in the number of days the thing is gushing.

Such nonsense.

I am sure that it is not certain what the pressure is coming out ot the pipe. Rate of flow will be dependent on pressure as well as pipe diameter.

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14

 

At the Oil Drum, there has been a lot of people working on sizing the leak by analyzing the flow velocity

(from the released video) and pipe surface area.

 

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6464?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=fee...

 

John

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - May 14
VeganD wrote:

RE: Oil Gusher

What amazes me about all the confusion regarding the volume of oil expelled by the pipe. I assume they know the diameter of the pipe since they built it.  Once you know certain constants it should be pretty simple. If I can look up flow rate measurement methods on Wikipedia why can't BP???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_measurement#Open_channel_flow_measurement

How would they know how to set the rig unless they understood the flow dynamics?

After that , it is simple mathematics, just plug in the number of days the thing is gushing.

Such nonsense.

 

It's not that simple.  Fluid dynamics is one of the most imprecise aspects of mechanical studies.  The constants you refer to are found only through experimentation and specific parameters and only in laboratory settings.  I'd guess non Laminar flow, viscosity, temperature gradients, ambient pressure, local current, convection, damaged pipe irregularities.  Not to mention this is a leak from a source within the earth, and this is crude.  People imagine oil, like what they put in their car, crude can be just about the consistency of mud, or extremely liquid.  The very source itself is not a pump, it is not a finely controlled delivery rate.

As an engineering student and the son of a life long halliburton employee, I can tell you that the rate of flow out that pipe is not as simple as wikipedia and knowing some constants.  If you have a background in science you should look up the units some of the fluid constants are in, for every unit you see there you have an assumption made based on controlled experimentation.

I would like to believe the particle velocity anemometry the professor from purdue mentioned would work reasonably well for the ball park estimates we are looking for.  And if he says 70k with +/- 20% I'd say he's probably about covered the info we need to know.  Which is that the previous estimates are less than the error of his, or the amount is significantly larger, no matter what, than anticipated.  Which leads me to favor, slightly the comment by BP, that the focus is on stopping it, not measuring it.   You kind of have to agree, regardless of how poor their response to fixing it has been.

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