“Glencore competes with GS Commodities but has a broader business mix, including significant production, refining, storing and transport activities,” Goldman Sachs executives said in a presentation that month to the bank’s board later made public by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “May be model for evolution of commodities trading.”
The Echo Bubble in Housing Is About to Pop (richcabot)
Let's start with the basics: demographic demand for housing and the price of housing. There are plenty of young people who'd like to buy a house and start a family (a.k.a. new household formation), but few have the job or income to buy a house at today's nosebleed level–a level just slightly less insane than the prices at the top of Bubble #1.
All Bad at 0%? (Aaron M.)
At first blush, it may appear great for business to have access to cheap financing. But what may be good for any one business is not necessarily good for the economy. When interest rates are artificially depressed, it can subsidize struggling enterprises that might otherwise be driven out of business. As a result, productive capital can be locked into zombie enterprises. If ailing businesses were allowed to fail, those laid off would need to look for new jobs at firms that have a better chance of succeeding. As such, the core tenant of capitalism: creative destruction, may be undermined through ZIRP. In our assessment, the result is that an economy grows at substantially below its potential.
The DM central banks are in an even worse predicament. They have held interest rates at the zero bound for seven years and bought up a fair share of the public debt via the fiat central bank credit of QE. But while drastically inflating financial asset prices, these radical maneuvers haven’t levitated the main street economy. Consequently, central bank credibility is evaporating fast and policy confusion, indecision and incoherence are mounting visibly.
But now, John M. Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science, talked of sending a spacecraft in the 2020s to one of these regions, perhaps with experiments to directly look for life.
“I can’t imagine that it won’t be a high priority with the scientific community,” he said.
Terrestrial life has been shown to be very resilient. Microbes are found in almost every nook and cranny of this planet, even the driest and hottest parts. Earth’s microbes survived nearly two years stuck on the outside of the International Space Station. All probes that land on Mars are cleaned to be sterilized of life but no one yet knows how strict you need to be to ensure that bacterial life cannot form viable, self-sustaining colonies on Mars.
Low oil prices, however, are dampening activity in the country. YPF’s Miguel Galuccio said in April that, with oil prices so low, some wells are not profitable. “It is not profitable with an $11 million well and prices at $50 per barrel. We drilled our vertical wells with the expectation that they would be profitable at $84 per barrel and with wells that cost between $6.5 or $7 million,” he said. YPF has succeeded in bringing down the cost of drilling, but it is still shy of its target of $4 to $5 million per well, which would be much closer to the drilling costs in North America.
The deal in jeopardy involves a commitment he made, when he was secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, with the Russians to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium, the long-lived ingredient in nuclear weapons. There are 34 metric tons of the stuff that the United States is bound, by treaty with Russia, to dispose of by integrating it into nuclear fuel and burning it in civilian power plants. This is known as mixed oxide fuel or MOX.
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