Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lost in the Shuffle

Asia stock markets at 2 year lows.  American markets teetering.  Fannie & Freddie collapsing.  Oil is still $120 per barrel, double last year's price.  Unemployment and new jobless claims at rising.

Yet the U.S. Dollar has been rallying, and not just against other terrible currencies, but against the precious metals as well.  GO FIGURE.  Actually, I have been figuring, and it appears to me that the Euro has peaked (and that could change quickly), that the next ECB move is a cut (which is what I thought 8 months ago, and I was wrong).

Still, my money will continue to be on Oil, Gold, Silver, Corn, and rentable, productive agricultural property, though nothing is working at the moment.  Gold and Silver could come under further pressure.

I would like to say "don't fight the trend" but holding U.S.$ is not an answer as a store of value.

There are no good answers at the moment...

Good Luck!

Mentatt (at) yahoo (d0t) com 


Anonymous said...

"Banks' overall discount window borrowings averaged $16.51 billion per day in the week ended July 23, up from an average $14.30 billion per day the week before." from

Could the Fed giving away 17 billion dollars every day have anything to do with the crazy behavior of the markets you talk about?

Anonymous said...

Too bad we can't we can't invest in this. This guy is right. It isn't a short term fix, there is no short term fix. But, using nuclear power to turn coal into liquid fuel is dead on, and will keep us rolling for a good 300 years at present consumption rates.

All the technology and chemical processes exist. The process actually adds energy to the coal as it is turned into liquid fuel. At present oil prices, this would be very profitable. If it weren't for the Government, this could be under construction today.

Check out

We can't afford or have primary energy sources that stop when the wind stops blowing, or the sun goes behind a cloud, or cause mass starvation on a global scale. Unless destruction is what you are looking for.

The left in this country WANTS us to be poor. Much poorer than we consider poor today. Barack's speech about turning our thermostats down, etc. is the tip of the iceberg.

For all the movement our country has made to the left, the US still stands in the way of worldwide socialism. But, many in our govenrnment wouldn't mind worldwide socialism...

Here's who picked Barack Obama. The folks from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and their ilk who now have control of the Democrat Party.

Check out:

Look at the list of members! And, to be in the Progressive Caucus, you have to be member of this organization:

Check out:

Read especially the "Where we stand" page. Their stated goal is world wide government control of all industry, credit and natural resources. We'll all get an equal share ( about 200sq ft of living space per person and lots of cabbage and potatoes ). Our new masters, of course, will be much more equal than the rest of us.

Look at our economic trajectory today. Listen to their impotent solutions. Are our present difficulties just part of the plan?

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dear Coal proponent:

Ever hear of Dr. Al Bartlett? Go listen to his famous lecture on the exponential function, you can find it all over the web. "current rates of consumption" is the fly in that ointment.

Do you really think the U.S. has enough coal to last 300 years as liquid transport fuels? None of the data I have seen support that contention. Feel free to email me what you have.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Regarding the Fed.

Nothing that I can SEE that they have done would lead me to understand anything at the moment.

When you can't understand it, get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Richard Heinberg also has some very good recent pieces on the 'coal sham'.

There sure seems to be a lot of shills and/or nutters out there.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the left, and I don't want you to be poor. I want you to be smart. Keep trying. ;)

Anonymous said...

No matter what, we've got a bad 5 to 10 years ahead of us. Mr. Jeffers is correct and Jeffery Brown's Export Land model is correct. If we don't replace the oil we are presently importing, we'll soon be trying to run our economy on less than 5,000,000 Barrels of oil per day. As Mr Jeffers has pointed out, the delivery trucks won't make it to the grocery store.

The US has approximately 270,000,000,000 tons of recoverable coal in the ground. If we can turn each ton into 4BBL of liquid fuel, that's about a quadrillion barrels, enough to last 135 years at present consumption rates. (Sorry about the 300 year number. Next time I'll do my own math.)
This also assumes that we replace coal in our requirements for fixed power with nukyaler.

Given the alternative, holding US consumption where it is sounds great! Our trade deficit ( and not coincidently, the Federal deficit ) runs about $2000 per person per year. We can't keep financing worldwide economic development on borrowed money. It will stop of its own accord. We'll be broke. Well, we are broke, but until someone notices, maybe we can improve things for the longer term.

I'm not against solar power, or wind or geothermal or fusion, or anything that replaces what we're buying from overseas. I'd love to see us run on renewable fuel. None of the above are really yet practical and we just can't wait.

But, we do know how to mine coal, generate nuclear power and to convert coal to oil. The other needed process for thermal extraction of hydrogen from water is known. All of these technologies have existed since the 1950s or before. The product of this will run our present day vehicles.

Rome is burning, Nero is fiddling.

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that a trillion barrels, not a quadrillion.

Coal Guy

fallout11 said...

The coal left in the US is 'crap coal', brown, nasty, high sulphur sub-bituminous solid slag, with atrocious energy densities. In fact, the US is presently IMPORTING hard anthracite coal from South Africa. Go read Heinberg's papers.

Liquefying, processing, and refining what we have left and turning into a usable high density liquid transport fuel (i.e. methanol) results in a massive net loss in terms of available energy. Total process is less than 15% efficient, total energy in vs. usable energy out.

Not only that, you cannot convert 2000 pounds of coal at 15-20 MJ/kg energy density = 1344 pounds of diesel (your 4 barrels=168 gallons) at 32 MJ/kg, I call your bluff, math is clearly not your forte!
Even assuming 100% conversion efficiency and no external inputs, you managed to actually create extra energy in the process, and defied the laws (both #1 and #2) of physics simultaneously. Nice.
Call Einstein and let him know.

Based on Sasol's real world experience (the largest coal to liquids outfit in the world) and assuming anthracite coal is used in the first place, the best one can hope for is 42% conversion efficiency (discounting all other inputs).

Further, USGS 1996 figures show estimates of total US coal reserves were approximately 17.6 billion metric tons, a mere fraction of what you claim to start with.
Thus, assuming complete conversion, we'd have exhausted our entire coal supply in just 6 years!! (17,600,000,000 tons * 2000 lb/ton * 42% conversion / 8 lb/gal / 42 gal/barrel / 20,000,000 barrels/day consumption / 365days/year)

We would be better served by simply burning it for electricity (at roughly 40% efficiency).