Thursday, October 31, 2019

EIA Natural Gas Weekly Update, October 31, 2019

While the morning storage report gets the headlines, the afternoon Weekly Update has the detail.
And some informed commentary as well.
From the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

In the News:
Futures prices signal cheaper mid-winter natural gas in most regions in 2020
The current outlook for natural gas prices at key hubs reflects market expectations for lower prices in mid-winter (January and February), except in New England. Two factors account for generally lower prices: lower natural gas futures prices at the Henry Hub and lower regional differentials to the Henry Hub (the basis). The Henry Hub price is lower because of higher-than-average natural gas storage inventories and strong production. Regional prices at many key trading hubs have lower premiums to the Henry Hub price because natural gas pipeline constraints have eased.

Average, forward natural gas prices for January and February 2020 at key regional natural gas trading hubs—Algonquin Citygate, Henry Hub, Chicago Citygate, Southern California Gas Citygate (SoCal Citygate), and Sumas—currently reflect lower overall prices compared with this time a year ago. Except at Henry Hub, these forward prices are a combination of the Henry Hub futures contract and the basis futures contract (the regional component of the overall price).

Algonquin Citygate – The Algonquin Citygate price is a good proxy for the wholesale price of natural gas delivered to New England. The Algonquin price is typically at a premium to the Henry Hub price throughout mid-winter because of constraints on key natural gas pipelines. The premium to Henry Hub this mid-winter is expected to average $6.07 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). The average January and February 2020 natural gas futures prices in New England is 11¢ higher than last year despite the lower Henry Hub futures price for those months. This higher price differential is the result of expectations for high utilization on natural gas pipelines such as Algonquin Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Average spot prices month-to-date in October averaged $1.75/MMBtu, 47¢ lower than Henry Hub.

SoCal Citygate – Forward markets indicate a narrowing basis price for Southern California. The average SoCal mid-winter price this year is $1.33/MMBtu higher than the Henry Hub price compared with last year’s mid-winter price difference of $3.32/MMBtu higher than Henry Hub.
Key factors contributing to lower SoCal Citygate mid-winter prices include;
  • Increased overall pipeline capacity associated with repairs to Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Line 235-2
  • The return of 270 million cubic feet per day of capacity at Topock and Needles (supporting access to lower cost natural gas supplies in the San Juan and Permian Basins)
  • The California Public Utilities Commission granting SoCalGas more flexibility this winter to withdraw from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility
During the past few winters, Aliso Canyon was only available for withdrawals as a last resort. Average spot prices month-to-date in October averaged $3.56/MMBtu, $1.34 higher than Henry Hub.
Sumas – The basis price has narrowed as the region recovers from an October 2018 pipeline explosion in British Columbia, which elevated natural gas prices in the Pacific Northwest. The average mid-winter basis price this year at Sumas is $0.73/MMBtu higher than the Henry Hub price compared with last year’s mid-winter price difference of $1.93/MMBtu. According to Genscape, average October flows through Sumas in 2019 have increased 22% compared with average flows last October, but they are still down 27% compared with average flows in October 2017. However, Natural Gas Intelligence reports that Westcoast Transmission updated its maintenance calendar, which shows that flows through Sumas are set to return to near normal capacity in November. Average spot prices month-to-date in October averaged $3.41/MMBtu, $1.19/MMBtu higher than the Henry Hub price.

Chicago Citygate – According to forward markets, the narrow basis price that occurred in mid-winter 2019 should further shrink in mid-winter 2020. In mid-winter 2019, the basis was $0.68/MMBtu The mid-winter 2020 basis has shrunk to just $0.38/MMBtu as higher volumes of low-cost natural gas from the Appalachia Basin are expected to continue flowing into the Midwest. Average spot prices month-to-date in October averaged $1.97/MMBtu, 25¢/MMBtu lower than the Henry Hub price.
(For the week ending Wednesday, October 30, 2019)
  • Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations this report week (Wednesday, October 23 to Wednesday, October 30). Henry Hub spot prices rose from $2.28 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) last Wednesday to $2.67/MMBtu yesterday.
  • At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the November 2019 contract expired Tuesday at $2.597/MMBtu, up 32¢/MMBtu from last Wednesday. The December 2019 contract increased to $2.691/MMBtu, up 26¢/MMBtu from last Wednesday to yesterday. The price of the 12-month strip averaging December 2019 through November 2020 futures contracts climbed 14¢/MMBtu to $2.498/MMBtu.
  • Net injections to working gas totaled 89 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending October 25. Working natural gas stocks are 3,695 Bcf, which is 18% more than the year-ago level and 1% more than the five-year (2014–18) average for this week.
  • The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 2¢/MMBtu, averaging $5.27/MMBtu for the week ending October 30. The price of isobutane and butane fell by 7% and 1%, respectively. The price of natural gasoline, ethane, and propane rose by 3%, 2%, and 1%, respectively.
  • According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, October 22, the natural gas rig count decreased by 4 to 133. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 17 to 696. The total rig count decreased by 21, and it now stands at 830.

Prices/Supply/Demand: Prices rise at most locations with the onset of cold weather. This report week (Wednesday, October 23 to Wednesday, October 30), the Henry Hub spot price rose 39¢ from $2.28/MMBtu last Wednesday to a high of $2.67/MMBtu yesterday. Temperatures were cooler than normal across most of the country and warmer than normal on the eastern seaboard. At the Chicago Citygate, the price increased 40¢ from $2.29/MMBtu last Wednesday to a high of $2.69/MMBtu yesterday.....MUCH MORE
The futures are trading down a bit from where they were when we posted "EIA Natural Gas Storage Report: Time for a Short" this morning, 2.635 last.

Hey, At Least You Don't Have To Move A 40-Ton Fatberg... hand.

For years we've use this painting as an example:
I Do Not Want to Hear How Tough Your Job Is, Ever
I used to use this painting to illustrate a lousy job:
That's Barge Haulers on the Volga by Ilya Repin. You really have to look at the zoomed view to understand just how awful work can be.

Bad as that depiction is, I have a new example of what some people have to do to earn their daily bread.....
Here's another bad job, from The Register:

Aw, bad day at your air-conditioned, somewhat clean desk? Try shifting a 40-tonne fatberg
With your hands
Workers at Thames Water have shifted a 40-tonne fatberg – slightly more than three double-decker buses – from a sewer in south London.
For the uninitiated, fatbergs are the glossy miracles that occur when fat, grease and oil meet wet wipes and nappies to congeal into an impenetrable lump of sewer-based deliciousness.

Thames Water said the 'berg was broken up using high-pressure water jets but many of the resulting globules had to be removed by hand. At some points the fatty orb was occupying 80 per cent of the sewer. If left, it would have continued to grow until the sewer was completely blocked.

Matt Rimmer (yes, really), Thames Water's head of waste networks, said: "This was a massive and disgusting blockage that took a great deal of effort and teamwork to clear and get the sewer working well again.

"We'd urge everyone to help fight the fatberg by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper – as well as disposing of fat and oils in the bin, not the sink."...MORE
And another lousy-way-to-make-a-living story, from 2012.

EIA Natural Gas Storage Report: Time for a Short

The injection was 89 Bcf, putting the amount in storage at 3,695 Bcf,  up 17.8% over last year and 1.4% higher than the 5-year average. Here's the report.    

The expectations were all over the place:
...Fundamentally, a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts showed a median build of 85 Bcf. A Reuters poll of 18 market participants had a range from 66 Bcf to 94 Bcf, with a median of 85 Bcf. Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) projected a 93 Bcf injection.
Adjustments are being made due to the forecasts, I am now seeing some predictions of 47 Bcf. Last year, the EIA reported a 49 Bcf injection, while the five-year average build stands at 65 Bcf.
Given the wide range of injections, the EIA report is likely to be the source of heightened volatility today.
FX Empire
Here's the chart, that gap looks tempting:

The market is trading off the cold snap and the cold snap is not going to last. Front (December) futures 2.686  -0.005 after jumping as high as 2.738.

Property Heavyweight Simon Says Retail Industry ‘reaching the bottom’ of bankruptcies (SPG)

From CNBC, Oct. 30:

CEO of biggest US mall owner says retail industry is ‘reaching the bottom’ of bankruptcies
  • The CEO’s comments come on the heels of Forever 21 and Barneys New York, among other retail chains, filing for bankruptcy this year.
  • The level of bankruptcies is rivaling the pace of 2017, and there have been thousands of store closures announced.
  • Simon Property Group CEO David Simon says the company will be OK as it finds new tenants and makes numerous investments to better understand e-commerce.
The CEO of the biggest mall owner in the U.S., Simon Property Group, says the retail industry looks to be “reaching the bottom” of a tumultuous wave of bankruptcies.

“We are having a high bankruptcy year. ... There’s no denying that,” David Simon told analysts during a post-earnings conference call on Wednesday morning. “But I think we’re kind of reaching the bottom in ... 2019 on that stuff. It’s rivaling what happened in 2017. So, it’s not like something that we haven’t experienced before. But we know [what] we have to do.”

Simon shares were last down about 3.5% Wednesday afternoon, having fallen about 12% this year.
The CEO’s comments come on the heels of Forever 21 and Barneys New York, among other retail chains, filing for bankruptcy this year. So far in 2019, U.S. retailers have announced 8,993 store closures and 3,780 store openings, compared with 5,844 closures and 3,258 openings in all of 2018, according to a tracking by Coresight Research. The consulting firm expects closures could still hit a record 12,000 by the end of this year.

“As we put together our plans for next year, I think we’ll be OK,” Simon said. “We’re hustling. We’re finding new tenants.”....

"‘The lunacy of Blockchain’ drove commodities veterans to launch new technology association"

From AgFunder:
A new international non-profit association has launched to improve the trading process for the commodities industry through the adoption and standardization of technology.
The Global Commodity Technology Association (GCTA) is now open to participants in the global commodities supply chain involved in ocean-bound agricultural trade. This includes growers, processors, logistics providers, and trading houses, who will form a working group to support the industry’s ongoing efforts to achieve greater efficiency through digitization. Association membership, which will incur a typical fee, will be limited initially to selected entities in order to create a small but functional cross-representation of the industry’s interests. Fees will go towards selecting technology vendors, providing software, and other costs associated with its mission.

For GCTA founder Julie Lerner, the idea for a new tech-driven association was born out of frustration.

“For me, the impetus was the lunacy of blockchain. You see digital asset holdings and so many others talking about how they will save the world with blockchain, save billions, end poverty, fix food security. But when you read it as a commodity trader, you think what do you mean when you say ‘put it on the blockchain?’” Lerner tells AFN. “All of us who trade know that when you load a vessel at port, you are loading documents, usually shoving them into an envelope and sending them to the end buyer.”

The Grim Reaper of Blockchain
Lerner describes herself as bullish on the theoretical concept of blockchain, but believes that we are more than a decade away from effective implementation in physical commodities due to the severity of the industry’s antiquated practices.

“We don’t even have one document that is standardized and ready for digitization,” she says. “Today, we can do blockchain but only for PDFs and I question the benefit of that if the destination buyers still demand hard copy documents like a certificate of origins.”

Blockchain has been touted as a critical piece of ag’s digital future, with Alibaba and Bayer recently announcing that they are teaming up to create a blockchain-based ag tracking system, while GrainChain is using blockchain to link up Honduras’ disjointed coffee industry. In the livestock industry, Wyoming is hoping blockchain can help ranchers using sustainable management practices on their ranches can get a premium for their beef.

Unsurprisingly, many people began referring to Lerner as the ‘Grim Reaper of Blockchain,’....

"Six scary charts to spook investors this Halloween"

From Bond Vigilantes, October 31:
Financial markets can be a scary place for investors. The US economy is now in its longest expansion on record, the world is seeing record level of total debt and now even some corporate bonds have negative yields.

If you’ve carved a pumpkin, got your Halloween costume and been to see the latest scary movie, there’s only one thing left to do: take a look at the Bond Vigilantes team’s 2019 Scary Charts. 
If you’re searching for some decent yield right now, high yield must be a good place to start, right? Year-to-date, investors have seen double-digit returns in high yield: around 12% and 9% in the US and EU index respectively. In our yield-deprived time, many who would normally be holding investment grade bonds have been willing to sacrifice credit quality and take a trip into high yield.
But watch out: when there has been the slightest sign of trouble in some large household names this year, these high yield tourists have wanted out at any price. Some high yield bonds have taken a plunge this year, even where the bonds have not defaulted.
So if you’re dipping your toes into high yield, make sure it’s based on a deep understanding of issuers and that there’s nothing lurking in the depths…
If you thought that bonds were the safe and boring part of your portfolio, think again. Take a look at these two bonds, the Argentina 8.75% 2024 and Austria 2.1% 2117.
After Argentina’s relatively market-friendly President Macri was trounced in the primary elections by populist Fernandez, Argentinian bonds were decapitated, with more than half their value chopped off. They now trade at around $40 per $100 par value.
Meanwhile, investors in Austria’s AA-rated 2117 bond this year will be patting themselves on the back for the trade of a lifetime. With a duration of over 50 years, downward pressure on bond yields this year saw the bond almost double in value....

"Global wine output falls this year after bumper 2018"

From Reuters Oct 31
Global wine production fell about 10% this year, with major producers France, Italy and Spain hit the most by unfavourable weather conditions, according to a leading international body. In its first estimate for this year's wine production, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) said on Thursday global output was 263 million hectolitres (mhl).

But the news is not all bad for wine lovers: the fall, from 294 mhl in 2018, merely brought production back to around average after exceptionally large output in 2018. France and Italy, the two largest producers in the European Union, recorded 15% falls in production and Spain suffered a 24% drop.

Production in all three countries was below their five-year average, the OIV said. "This can be explained mainly by aleatory weather conditions, notably a very cold and rainy spring followed by an extremely hot and dry summer," it said....MORE
This spring found us thinking about the year 1315, here's a post from May 7, 2019:

One of the Scariest Sentences In the English Language: Crop Progress Report Edition
The weekly crop progress report was released yesterday but first a quick diversion:
In the spring of 1315, unusually heavy rain began in much of Europe. 
The story continues:
Throughout the spring and summer, it continued to rain and the temperature remained cool. These conditions caused widespread crop failures. The straw and hay for the animals could not be cured and there was no fodder for the livestock. The price of food began to rise. Food prices in England doubled between spring and midsummer. Salt, the only way to cure and preserve meat, was difficult to obtain because it could not be evaporated in the wet weather; it went from 30 shillings to 40 shillings.
Related, April 30:
Some French Vinyards Suffered 60% Losses in April

We'll be back with more when either Drinks Business or Modern Drunkard get to the story.

China's 2019 Q3 Electricity and Energy Statistics

From the China Energy Portal:

Published on: October 24, 2019
Original title: 2018年1-9月全国电力工业统计数据一览表
Links: Source document (in Chinese) (link). Same statistics for (Q3 2018) (Q3 2017) (Q3 2016) (Q3 2015) (Q3 2014) (Q3 2013) (Q3 2012) (Q3 2011) (Q3 2010) (Q3 2009).

[Note graph is Q3 2019 year to date versus Q3 2018 year to date. *Thermal includes coal, gas, oil, and biomass]


IndicatorUnitYear to dateYoY change (±, % or % point)
National total power productionGWh5,296,7003.0

Of which: HydropowerGWh893,8007.9

Thermal powerGWh3,802,0000.5

Nuclear powerGWh253,80021.1

Wind powerGWh291,4008.9
National total power consumptionGWh5,344,2004.4

Of which: primary industry power cons.GWh58,1004.7

Secondary industry power cons.GWh3,585,7003.0

Of which: industrial power cons.GWh3,520,1002.8

Tertiary industry power cons.GWh899,4008.7

Household power cons.GWh801,0006.3


"Citadel offers weather hedging capacity on weatherXchange"

If this ends up being nothing more than prop bets I don't think I want to play. Having Citadel on the other side of every bet sounds like a tought way to make a living.

From Artemis:
Citadel Energy Investments Ltd., part of the giant Citadel investment organisation, is set to provide weather risk transfer capacity through the Speedwell Weather operated parametric weather risk transfer platform weatherXchange.

Citadel invests and allocates capital across a huge range of asset classes, one of which within its commodities business is the energy sector and within that it appears so to is the weather exposure that energy companies tend to carry.

weatherXchange helps any company access index-based, or parametric, weather protection and hedging products more easily, being able to request quotes from a number of leading capacity providers including reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) firms.

Citadel Energy Investments Ltd. will join weatherXchange as one of these Protection Sellers, able to provide quotes in response to price requests received through the platform and provide weather risk protection capacity directly, or indirectly through an intermediate broker.

Speedwell launched its weatherXchange platform last year, as an online technology based weather trading platform enabling protection buyers and sellers to meet and transact parametric or index based weather risk transfer contracts.

David Whitehead, Co-CEO of weatherXchange, said, “We are delighted to have Citadel Energy Investments Ltd. join weatherXchange as a Protection Seller.  The addition of Citadel to our platform is the latest milestone in the continued growth of the weather derivatives market and a reflection of growing demand for weather-focused risk management solutions among non-traditional Protection Sellers....

Capital Markets: "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"

From Marc to Market:
Overview: The equity and bond rally in North America yesterday carried over into today's session. With some notable exceptions, like China, Taiwan, Australia, and Indonesia, most bourses in Asia Pacific and Europe traded higher. US shares are little changed in early Europe after the S&P 500 rose to new record highs. The US 10-year Treasury yields fell six basis points yesterday, and benchmark yields eased in Japan, China, and South Korea. HSBC cuts Hong Kong's prime rate for the first time in eleven years, and several Middle East countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain) cut also cut key rates today. In Europe, bond yields are mostly 3-4 bp lower. The US dollar has softened against most of the major currencies but the Canadian dollar. The South Korean won, and Chinese yuan lead the emerging market currencies higher today. The South African ran, Turkish lira, and Mexican peso nursing small losses. Gold and oil are firmer but within recent ranges.

Asia Pacific
China's official October PMI disappointed.
The manufacturing PMI slipped to 49.3 from 49.8, and the non-manufacturing PMI fell to 52.8 from 53.7. This translated into a composite reading of 52.0, down from 53.1. Economists project a further slowing in the world's second-largest economy and see the pace falling below 6% next year. Separately, Hong Kong reported that Q3 GDP plunged 3.2% quarter-over-quarter, which is around five-times worse than economists forecast.

As protests that were initially sparked by a CLP30 (four-cent) increase in subways fares roiled Chile, next month's APEC meeting has been canceled
. Of course, it can be held somewhere else. The Chilean government has reversed itself and boosted pensions and minimum wage. In terms of the US-China trade deal, it does not matter in the short-term. China is buying for US agriculture products and granting more exemptions from the tariffs it imposed. The test of how real these talks are is December 15 tariff that the US has threatened. Until this is off the table, the tariff truce has not been secured.

The Bank of Japan met market expectations. It did not change rates but adjusted its forward guidance and reduced growth forecasts. The BOJ shifted for date-linked guidance (spring 2020) to one tied to its confidence that there is momentum toward its inflation target. It shaved its core inflation forecast for FY21 to 1.5% from 1.6%.

Japan's Justice Minister Kawai resigned after a magazine article alleged his wife made an illegal campaign contribution. This is second such resignation in the past week stemming from reports in Shukan Bunshun. Economic Minister Sugawara resigned after his secretary improperly gave the equivalent of less than $250 to a constituent in mourning. Following yesterday's news of a surge in retail sales (ahead of the Oct 1 tax increase, Japan reported industrial output jumped 1.4% in September, more than three times what the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey forecast. It entirely offset the 1.2% decline in August, and the year-over-year rate jumped to 1.1% from -4.3%.

South Korea's industrial output jumped 2% in September, and this was four times stronger than the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey.....

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"Apple is laying the groundwork for an iPhone subscription" (AAPL)

Because of course they are.
From CNBC:
  • Some investors want Apple to sell its iPhone on a subscription basis to shift more of Apple’s revenue from transactional sales to recurring revenue.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t shoot down the idea during a conference call on Wednesday and suggested that Apple is working on new ways to pay for iPhones on a monthly basis. 
  • “We’re cognizant that there are lots of users out there that want a sort of a recurring payment like that,” Cook said.
Apple investors have speculated for years about the possibility that Apple could sell hardware, like the iPhone, on a subscription basis.
It’s been a hot topic of conversation among analysts because investors tend to value the predictability of recurring revenue.

Under the argument for an iPhone subscription, which some people call Apple Prime after the Amazon program of the same name, Apple would bundle hardware upgrades with services like iCloud storage or Apple TV+ content and hardware for a single monthly fee. This would let it switch iPhone sales from a transactional model to a subscription model, potentially driving the stock price up without having to increase product sales or prices dramatically.

During Wednesday’s earnings call, when analyst Toni Sacconagi asked about the idea of a prime subscription, Apple CEO Tim Cook did not shoot down the idea. In fact, he suggested that something like it was already in effect.

In terms of hardware as a service or as a bundle, if you will, there are customers today that essentially view the hardware like that because they’re on upgrade plans and so forth,” Cook said during an earnings call. “So to some degree that exists today.”

Cook went on to say that Apple sees it as a major growth area, using bullish language....

The resemblance of the nuclear cloud in the post immediately below to Apple headquarters is purely coincidental.
On the other hand, the similarity of Apple H.Q. to Jeremy Bentham's baby...

Saaay...Has Anyone Mentioned The Circular Resemblance Of Apple's Headquarters To A Panopticon? (The New Surveillance Capitalism)
So there's this $5 Billion building in California: 

Which, without too much effort, evokes this in Illinois:
The linked article used a photo of Illinois' Stateville Prison which reminded me of this from Alex Wellerstein, historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

I like the idea of Santa as Panopticon. Bummer kid, ho, ho, ho...
That's from November 2016's "Can your city change your mind?" (Jeremy Bentham does a cameo).

And here's the [Surveillance Capitalism] headline story from Prospect Magazine, a major, major piece:
 How the internet controls you

Oops, Almost Forgot It's the Anniversary Of the Detonation Of the Most Powerful Bomb In History

If you've ever wondered about this picture:

It is real.
Here is the short version of the detonation:

And the longer, archival footage version:

The National Interest had a story earlier this year about the October 30, 1961 event.
It's already the day after on Novaya Zemlya.

I think I read that the camera that filmed the first video was about 50 miles from the explosion, and it still got shaken pretty good by the shock wave.

"The U.S. Just Doubled Its Natural Gas Exports"

We've mentioned, a few times, the effect LNG exports are having on the weekly storage reports, and thus on prices:
October 17
LNG has become more of a factor in the Thursday storage numbers, to the point that the timing of just one or two ships will change the injection/withdrawal numbers.
It makes life interesting.

And speaking of interesting, Senator Elizabeth Warren has stated she will, if elected President, halt all U.S. LNG exports. We have a few trades for that and for equities in general, not just for a Warren presidency but for the possibility the Senator is the Democrat nominee.
There is opportunity everywhere, every day....
September 28
TL;DR: An uptick in LNG shipments was not enough to offset lower demand and higher production.
September 12
We'll be back with more after the Weekly Update is released. In the meantime, today's Today in Energy happens to be on natural gas and highlights one of the reasons to be cautious. There is a lot of gas around.
Even just one-or-two tanker loads of LNG that get delayed or postponed could shake up the storage numbers:... 
From OilPrice:
The United States saw its net natural gas exports in the first half of 2019 more than double from the same period last year, thanks to more liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity coming online in recent months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.

Between January and June 2019, U.S. net natural gas exports averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), more than double the average net exports in 2018, data from EIA’s Natural Gas Monthly showed.

The United States, which exports natural gas via pipelines to neighbors Canada and Mexico and exports LNG to several other countries, became a net natural gas exporter on an annual basis in 2017, for the first time in nearly 60 years.

A large part of the recent increase in U.S. natural gas exports is due to a growing number of LNG facilities coming online. U.S. exports of LNG jumped by 37 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018, according to EIA data.

As of June this year, the U.S. had a total LNG export capacity of 5.4 Bcf/d across four facilities and nine liquefaction trains, and two additional export facilities have come online in the second half of this year so far—the first train at Freeport LNG in Texas and the first ten trains at Elba Island in Georgia....MUCH MORE 
I can't look at the location of the Georgia facility without hearing the teacher quoting the old (supposedly about Napoleon) palindrome:
Able was I ere I saw Elba
And me thinking "I like the Panama one better."

Can This Be Right? Uber, Lyft To Spend $90 Million Fighting Califonia Gig Worker Law

It's almost as if raising driver pay threatens the very existence of the companies.
The question in the headline is because the first mention of the $90 million figure is in a September 11 PYMNTS article that didn't link to their source.
From, October 30:

Uber, Lyft Back Ballot Measure To Fight California Gig Worker Law
Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are backing a ballot initiative to exempt themselves from California’s landmark law that re-classifies gig economy workers as employees, the companies announced in a press release on Tuesday (Oct. 29).

The ballot measure — Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act — includes a guarantee that drivers would make 20 percent above minimum wage and get 30 cents per mile. It also proposes an ACA-comparable healthcare subsidy and accident insurance.

“I do rideshare because the flexibility is phenomenal and it allows me to be there for my family while making extra money to supplement my retirement income from the Navy,” Lyft driver Llewellyn Holloway said in the release. “I’m supporting the ballot initiative because it’s going to allow me to keep my flexibility, and that’s the most important thing to me. For all the people who think we’re better off as employees, they’re wrong, they’re dead wrong.”

Critics, however, counter that the promise of earning more than minimum wage doesn’t cover the time drivers spend between trips.

“Their wage floor suggests if If I’m a cashier, I’m only paid while there’s a customer in my line, not when I’m waiting for the next customer,” California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who introduced the state legislation, told CNN. Further, she said the proposed mileage reimbursement is about half of the IRS rate of 58 cents per mile....MORE
That Sept. 11 article: "Gig Economy Could See Overhaul Under New California Bill"  was followed on September 12 by: "California’s New Labor Bill Gets Pushback From Uber"

Fed Rate Cut: Analysts React

Equities will be going higher into year-end.
And of course, take that, and the opinions below with a few grains of salt.
From Bloomberg via ZeroHedge: 

"It Won't Be Suffient": Wall Street Reacts To Powell's Final "Insurance Cut"
The Fed's widely anticipated, 3rd and final "insurance" rate cut is now in the history books, and with it comes the question is the Fed's "mid-cycle adjustment" done, or is the easing only set to accelerate heading into 2020/2021 recession. The problem, of course, is that as a reminder, in the past 30 years, the Fed has never cut more than three times without the economy contracting thereafter.

So will "3 cuts and done" be enough? As Rabobank's Philip Marey notes, "we still expect a US recession in 2020 that will force the Fed to cut rates all the way to zero before the end of next year." And, as Bloomberg economist Andrew Husby notes, the market seems to agree: "as the 2-year yield reprices higher and the 10-year holds steady, flattening the curve, markets aren’t convinced the 75 bps of easing will be a sufficient mid-cycle adjustment."

Below is a handful of kneejerk responses from Wall Street strategists laying out their views on today's "hawkish cut" 

Jon Hill, interest rate strategist at BMO Capital Markets
  • "The Fed cut rates 25 bp and removed ‘act as appropriate’ from the policy statement. This isn’t to say that the Committee won’t cut if needed in December, but this is a clear signal that the bias is not as skewed toward additional easing as it has been in recent months", said Hill summarizing the consensus "hawkish cut" take.
  • "The general characterization of the economy was nearly unchanged; look for Powell to exert a more patient bias as the lagged impact of the mid-cycle adjustment works its way through financial conditions and economic activity."
Andrew Husby, economist at Bloomberg:
  • "In removing “will act as appropriate” the statement shows members are attempting to move away from an active stance, putting more emphasis on monitoring."
  • However, as Husby notes, "as the 2-year yield reprices higher and the 10-year holds steady, flattening the curve, markets aren’t convinced the 75 bps of easing will be a sufficient mid-cycle adjustment."
Win Thin, head of FX strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman:
  • The "subtle Shift" in the Fed’s language reduces December rate cut odds; the Federal Reserve’s omission of its pledge to “act as appropriate” reduces the odds that the central bank will cut again this year.
  • "I think the Fed is saying it will wait for new information before cutting again,” Win says in an emailed note. "I don’t see another cut in December unless the data really fall off a cliff." That will be "dollar-positive."
Ira Jersey, interest rate strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence:
  • "Although the Fed’s statement was basically in line with our expectations, the market appears to be taking the news a modestly less dovish than expectations. The same two dissenters should not be a surprise."
  • "We don’t expect any major rate market response from this, but as has been typical of late, the press conference may be more market moving."...

Going forward, keep an eye on Fed liquidity operations, repo etc.

"Terrorists Give Directors of Irish Business Empire ‘Final Warning’ After Torturing Executive"

From Sputnik:
Sean Quinn was Ireland's richest man and his company, Quinn Industrial Holdings, employed 8,000 people on both sides of the Irish border. But he lost control of the company and its American owners are now being targeted by dissident republican terrorists.
Irish republican paramilitaries have given a “last warning” to the five directors of US-owned Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), only weeks after an executive, was abducted and tortured.

The Republic of Ireland’s Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the latest threat was “a most chilling and sinister development.”....

"Volkswagen profits soar in third quarter despite industry malaise"

From CityAM:
Volkswagen has powered ahead of the gloom engulfing the global car industry, with rising summer profits driven by sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales.

Despite this, the German giant warned that the global car market would “contract faster than previously anticipated in many regions of the world”.

Volkswagen reported a more than 43 per cent year-on-year rise in pre-tax profit for the third quarter to €5bn (£Xbn), bringing the total cars it has delivered in the first nine months of the year to 8m....MORE
I guess the ad campaign paid off.

"GDP shows U.S. economy's growth tapers to 1.9% in 3rd quarter"

Definitely not overheating and not a reason for the Fed to be shy about a rate cut.
From MarketWatch:
The U.S. economy expanded at a mild 1.9% annual pace in the third quarter, decelerating slightly from the spring owing to a decline in business investment and smaller increases in consumer and government spending. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast gross domestic product to slow to 1.6% from 2% in the second quarter. Consumer spending, the main engine of growth, rose a healthy 2.9%, but it was down from 4.6% in the spring....MORE

Iraqi Shepherds Find ISIS Loot Worth $25 Million

From Sputnik:

Iraqi Shepherds Find Daesh Stash of Money and Gold Worth More Than $25 Million - Report
Daesh used to be the richest terrorist group in the world, raking in revenues from oil sales, extortion, kidnapping, and taxes imposed on the people living in the territories the terrorists controlled.
Iraqi shepherds have discovered Daesh* treasures, including money, gold and silver worth more than $25 million, Al Arabiya reported citing a close confidant of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, former leader of the Daesh terrorist group, killed by US forces in Syria last week. In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya, Mohammed Ali Sajet has revealed how Daesh militants hid their treasures in Al Anbar Governorate, later discovered by the shepherds.

At its peak, when Daesh controlled territories stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq, the group earned billions of dollars with the wages of fighters ranging from $300 to $1,400.

Mohammed Ali Sajet also revealed details about the last days of the group’s leader Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi. He said the number one terrorist lived comfortably in an underground tunnel, which was 8 metres long and 6 metres wide and had lights and a library with religious books....MORE
There is reputed to be another hoard in Syria and up to a couple billion in various banks.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Deals: "Igor Sechin looks to India for funding of grand Arctic oil project"

India is definitely in the market for supply.*
From the Barents Observer, October 28:

Russian state oil company Rosneft invites Indian companies to invest in the far northern Vankor area and the construction of a pipeline to the Arctic coast.
Rosneft leader Igor Sechin presents the development of the Zvezda Yard to Indian
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. Photo:
The Indians are from before well represented in northern Siberia [the translations can get a bit choppy- India has companies in Siberia]. Companies ONGC Videsh Ltd., Oil India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation и Bharat Petroresources own 49,9 percent of the joint venture Vankoneft and the latter three also control a major share of  the Taas-Yuryakh Neftedobycha, a company that extracts oil in Yakutia.

Now, Rosneft and its leader Igor Sechin pushes for an expanded engagement of the Indians.
The energy cooperation was high on the agenda during the recent top meeting between Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Few days later, Rosneft leader Sechin paid a visit to New Delhi.

«Both parts confirmed their interest in a possible participation of Indian partners in the project Vostok Oil,» Rosneft informed following the talks.

In late October, Sechin welcomed an expanded Indian delegation in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. In the lead of that delegation was Indian Minister of oil, natural and steel Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan.

The talks took place at the Zvezda Yard, the major shipbuilding facility built by Rosneft. In the delegation were top leaders of several of India’s biggest industrial companies, among them ONGC and Tata Steel....MUCH MORE
*A couple posts that make the point, top one is July 2019.
Energy key to luring India into US Indo-Pacific strategy
Way back in 2010 we posted "India Orders Firms to "Scour the Earth" for Energy Supplies as President Obama Heads Over". For India, energy really is the key.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, October 29, 2019

From the USDA's Econ, Stats and Market Information Systems:

HIGHLIGHTS October 20 – 26, 2019
Highlights provided by USDA/WAOB
Cold air blanketed the Rockies, Plains, and upper Midwest, while warmth returned across the East and Far West. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal at scattered locations across central and southern sections of the Rockies and Plains. In contrast, readings averaged more than 5°F above normal in the southern Atlantic region and coastal California. Dry, breezy weather accompanied California’s warmth, leading to an elevated wildfire threat. In Sonoma County, CA, the Kincade Fire was reported on October 23 and within 5 days had charred more than 66,000 acres of vegetation and had destroyed nearly 100 structures.
Several smaller fires affected other parts of California. Farther east, however, heavy rain fell in conjunction with the interaction between Tropical Storm Olga and a cold front. Olga, a short-lived system that became a post-tropical storm before arriving along the central Gulf coast, contributed to rainfall totals that reached 2 to 4 inches or more in the Tennessee Valley and lower half of the Mississippi Valley, slowing fieldwork and soaking cotton that had not yet been harvested.

The remainder of the eastern half of the country received light to moderately heavy rainfall. In the Southand East, the rain slowed fieldwork but generally benefited pastures and fall-sown crops. In the upper Midwest, however, precipitation maintained a sluggish pace of corn and soybean harvesting. Elsewhere, an early-season snowfall affected Texas’ northern panhandle on October 24, while two rounds of heavy rain—totaling 4 inches or more in many locations—soaked the southeastern Plains. In the latter region, early-week thunderstorms resulted in local wind, hail, and tornado damage....
....MUCH MORE (30 page PDF, charts maps, tables)

The FT's Colby Smith: "US Federal Reserve rate decision: 4 things to watch"

I'm a reasonably astute talent spotter, which pays dividends when dodging the entreaties of the Ponzi peeps, and said this about Ms Smith back in February:

The FT's Colby Smith Is Doing Actual Financial Journalism: China, China, China
A quick tour of finance media shows so many of the players becoming nothing more than opinion platforms. I won't name names but our astute (and surprisingly attractive in so many ways) readers could infer their identities by our lack of linkage.

Who needs opinions in biz news? Readers want facts from which they can form their own opinions because, let's face it, OpEds have the lowest barriers to entry of any genre. Everybody can do it.

And that's my opinion.
Previously in fanboi, one example among many....(after the jumps)*

Here's Colby via FT Alphaville's sidebar:...

Here's her Financial Times page
*Nov. 16, 2018
Big Money: Consider The Humble Soybean
I'm tellin' ya, this Colby Smith is one to keep an eye on....
... If a business/finance writer can get a grounding in the boring bits, the nuts and bolts of the matrix of connections, they can bring more and more value-added to the keyboard if and when they switch gears and pursue a flight of fancy....
...So if someone who is doing the grunt work says en passant "beans may have bottomed" it may behoove the consumer of data/information/knowledge/wisdom to take note and be aware something might have changed and the game may be afoot:...
And how did that one turn out?
Just fine thank you for asking

"Tesla stock cut to sell at Roth, margins 'unsustainable'" (plus VW does a drive-by) TSLA

The stock is down $9.12 at $318.59  and VW is going to buy them.
(sorry, got carried away, thinking about the AAPL rumors that used to get floated by the so-called 'knowledgeable')
From MarketWatch:
Analysts at Roth Capital on Tuesday downgraded Tesla Inc. TSLA, -2.84% shares to sell, from their equivalent of hold, saying that they see the Silicon Valley car maker's margins as "unsustainable." Third-quarter filings show warranty adjustments and other one-time items as "a large driver of perceived strength," said the analysts, led by Craig Irwin. "We expect decelerating deliveries growth in 2020 to drive multiple compression....MORE
 Although VW's CEO, Herbert Diess, said some nice things about Tesla the other day, he's a PhD engineer and a fine example of something mentioned in 2010's "Berkshire May Be Required To Post Up To $8 Billion In Collateral" (BRK.A; BRK.B)":
...I think it was Boston University's Zvi Bodie* who, shrugging off the restraints of his MIT PhD, pointed out to the "expected return" crowd that if it were true that the risk of negative returns decreases as the time frame increases, the cost of long-term puts should decrease the farther out you go.
Kind of an Emperor has no clothes thing to say....
*William Bernstein (No slouch either, M.D. Neurologist, PhD. Chemistry, dabbler in Modern Portfolio Theory, Bestselling Author, etc.) in one of his Efficient Frontier pieces, "Zvi Bodie and the Keynes’ Paradox of Thrift" described the professor as "Academician, raconteur, and all-around good guy Zvi Bodie...".

Then he rips his lungs out. Very typical in the academy:...
That said, if VW were to make a move on TSLA it would probably be as much for batteries as for cars. The Germans are looking at having to make some hefty investments if they are to reach their electric vehicle goals
This post is from 2016:
Volkswagen To Invest Up To 10 Billion Euros In New Battery Factory

The most recent post we have is June's "Batteries: Volkswagen Leads €886 Million Investment in Northvolt" which followed May's "Volkswagen to Reshuffle $56bn Battery Push as Samsung Deal at Risk"

(... ARPANET @ 50 The first two letters sent that day were 'L' and 'O' – what should the third have been?)

From The Register:
L... O... what have we done?
It is 50 years today since the first message was sent on the ARPANET, a precursor of the internet as we know it today.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) can trace its roots back to 1962 and MIT computer scientist Joseph Licklider's "Galactic Network" concept. Around the same time, Leonard Kleinrock, also at MIT, published an early paper on packet-switching theory (PDF).
Licklider went on to head up the Information Processing Techniques Office at ARPA in 1962 and, during his two-year stint there, impressed his vision upon his successors, Ivan Sutherland and Bob Taylor, and a researcher called Lawrence Roberts.

Convinced by Kleinrock of the feasibility of sharing communication using packets rather than dedicated circuits, Roberts joined DARPA. He spent 1967 working with other engineers and scientists to come up with a design for the network to authenticate users, deal with errors and retransmission before presenting it as the ARPANET plan at the Association for Computing Machinery conference in Tennessee.

At the same conference was a paper from Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury on the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) network, a packet-switching network which had been piloted in 1967. Paul Baran and other academics at the RAND group had also written a packet-switching paper, also independently of the others.

Roberts stirred the ideas regarding packet-switching into the ARPANET pot and added input from Kleinrock to come up with a complete plan for the network by mid-1968. A key facet was that rather than the hulking mainframes of the time (which would be the nodes), minicomputers known as Interface Message Processors (IMPs) would be used to interface to the packet-switched network....
....MORE (including the answer to the headline questuion) 

Do You Want To Know Why Intel Said They Would Never Build Another Factory In California?

It's partly the regulation, we've looked at that over the years, links below and it's partly the cost of electricity, ditto on the looks and links. California has the highest electricity prices in the contiguous United States.
And now they seem to have something of an intermittancy problem as well.
From the U.S. Energy Information Administration (scroll down):
Data for August 2019  |  Release date: October 24, 2019  

Residential Commercial Industrial Transportation All Sectors
Census Division
and State
August 2019 August 2018 August 2019 August 2018 August 2019 August 2018 August 2019 August 2018 August 2019 August 2018
New England 20.77 20.19 15.91 16.14 12.61 13.02 8.40 8.18 17.57 17.40
Connecticut 21.29 21.27 16.73 16.39 13.41 13.78 12.14 10.13 18.55 18.36
Maine 17.90 16.91 12.38 12.17 8.90 9.24 -- -- 13.88 13.26
Massachusetts 21.54 20.80 16.24 16.96 13.97 14.62 5.41 5.59 18.14 18.19
New Hampshire 19.47 19.32 15.55 15.25 12.76 13.04 -- -- 16.80 16.57
Rhode Island 21.76 18.70 15.49 15.79 14.61 14.88 17.03 16.93 18.21 17.06
Vermont 16.68 17.96 15.77 15.06 10.92 10.65 -- -- 14.96 15.09
Middle Atlantic 16.09 16.24 12.94 13.03 6.62 6.93 11.26 10.78 12.99 13.15
New Jersey 15.79 15.25 12.75 12.56 10.80 10.43 8.97 8.91 13.95 13.60
New York 18.39 19.02 15.22 15.50 5.69 6.08 12.54 11.54 15.43 15.73
Pennsylvania 13.83 13.95 8.49 8.81 6.38 6.71 6.33 7.51 9.83 10.06
East North Central 13.42 13.32 10.07 10.12 6.93 7.06 6.86 6.86 10.25 10.26
Illinois 12.51 12.52 8.85 9.14 6.53 6.78 6.67 6.66 9.46 9.72
Indiana 12.25 12.53 10.72 10.61 7.19 7.29 10.45 9.98 9.84 9.87
Michigan 16.53 15.40 11.46 10.92 7.44 6.91 8.22 10.82 12.13 11.39
Ohio 12.45 12.90 9.31 9.90 6.14 6.92 7.94 7.76 9.54 10.05
Wisconsin 14.80 13.99 11.15 10.75 8.07 7.62 14.09 14.31 11.20 10.74
West North Central 13.14 13.28 10.56 10.57 8.13 7.92 10.27 10.91 10.78 10.75
Iowa 14.73 14.18 12.21 11.37 8.59 8.14 -- -- 11.29 10.73
Kansas 12.96 13.95 10.51 11.10 7.29 7.62 -- -- 10.60 11.21
Minnesota 13.91 13.78 11.00 10.75 8.16 7.76 9.46 9.94 11.05 10.81
Missouri 12.71 12.92 10.29 10.44 7.63 7.72 11.10 11.96 11.05 11.15
Nebraska 11.83 11.98 9.44 9.36 8.10 8.21 -- -- 9.78 9.75
North Dakota 12.06 11.80 9.47 9.62 8.55 7.96 -- -- 9.53 9.35
South Dakota 12.72 12.62 10.03 10.09 8.28 8.16 -- -- 10.57 10.55
South Atlantic 12.11 11.71 9.28 9.08 6.74 6.49 8.04 8.02 10.21 9.87
Delaware 12.24 12.21 8.98 9.35 7.30 7.96 -- -- 10.30 10.34
District of Columbia 12.39 12.56 11.12 12.34 7.82 8.53 8.66 9.46 11.32 12.25
Florida 11.90 11.33 9.32 8.86 7.58 7.61 8.12 7.78 10.62 10.14
Georgia 12.38 12.60 9.97 9.89 7.10 6.38 8.29 6.36 10.52 10.33
Maryland 12.46 13.05 9.59 10.11 7.75 7.92 7.51 7.66 10.80 11.30
North Carolina 11.71 11.29 8.96 8.71 6.56 6.54 7.83 7.90 9.78 9.46
South Carolina 12.56 10.36 10.17 8.08 6.11 5.32 -- -- 9.94 8.10
Virginia 12.36 12.27 8.10 8.38 6.81 6.94 8.62 8.03 9.63 9.76
West Virginia 11.56 11.40 8.74 8.99 5.99 6.46 -- -- 8.51 8.70
East South Central 11.40 11.19 10.66 10.43 5.89 5.90 -- -- 9.63 9.39
Alabama 12.83 12.32 11.68 11.19 6.35 6.26 -- -- 10.35 9.91
Kentucky 10.62 10.60 9.70 9.50 5.34 5.45 -- -- 8.58 8.44
Mississippi 11.22 10.84 10.34 9.99 5.97 6.18 -- -- 9.39 9.21
Tennessee 10.80 10.85 10.65 10.61 5.79 5.73 -- -- 9.87 9.73
West South Central 11.26 10.96 8.42 8.31 6.76 5.64 6.49 8.10 9.15 8.63
Arkansas 10.08 10.01 8.70 7.59 6.39 5.83 13.43 11.68 8.51 7.95
Louisiana 9.57 9.92 8.55 8.83 5.20 5.66 8.76 9.34 7.82 8.10
Oklahoma 10.61 10.87 8.38 8.60 5.24 5.50 -- -- 8.43 8.66
Texas 11.80 11.27 8.37 8.24 7.51 5.62 6.32 8.01 9.61 8.82
Mountain 12.18 12.16 10.02 9.97 6.94 7.17 9.53 9.51 10.06 10.08
Arizona 12.52 12.83 10.89 11.18 7.05 7.66 10.43 11.29 11.21 11.52
Colorado 12.70 12.43 10.68 10.44 7.53 7.52 8.84 8.89 10.60 10.36
Idaho 10.18 10.48 7.80 8.14 6.65 7.17 -- -- 7.99 8.40
Montana 11.91 11.29 10.55 9.87 5.35 6.29 -- -- 9.14 9.07
Nevada 11.79 11.40 8.59 8.16 8.50 8.10 10.27 9.05 9.92 9.55
New Mexico 13.00 13.48 10.51 10.69 5.37 5.81 -- -- 9.60 10.01
Utah 11.17 10.85 8.78 8.43 6.37 6.80 10.69 10.47 8.98 8.83
Wyoming 11.97 11.75 9.59 9.55 6.90 6.60 -- -- 8.27 8.02
Pacific Contiguous 17.21 17.51 16.31 16.34 11.38 11.14 9.59 9.18 15.57 15.68
California 19.86 19.85 19.05 18.74 15.27 15.17 9.64 9.19 18.64 18.55
Oregon 11.18 11.12 8.72 9.43 6.37 5.74 9.13 8.98 8.95 8.86
Washington 10.06 9.93 8.70 8.62 5.43 5.20 9.36 8.70 8.19 8.00
Pacific Noncontiguous 28.57 28.92 24.94 24.94 22.88 24.01 -- -- 25.33 25.81
Alaska 23.56 22.51 19.96 18.50 16.30 17.69 -- -- 20.09 19.48
Hawaii 31.16 32.39 28.93 30.00 25.21 26.23 -- -- 28.18 29.27
U.S. Total 13.30 13.26 11.00 11.03 7.44 7.25 9.71 9.50 11.10 11.01

Table 5.6.A. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector,
by State, August 2019 and 2018 (Cents per Kilowatthour)


For a manufacturer like Intel (or data center operators like AMZN; GOOG; FB etc) there is no way they will ever build in Cali.
Previously on California Dreaming::
January 2019  
"Intel to Invest $10.9 Billion in New Israeli Fab" (INTC)
Intel has publicly stated they will never again build a new factory in California. In fact, when they closed Santa Clara's D2 fab in 2008 it was painted as the last Intel manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley.
It was, in fact, the last Intel manufacturing facility in the entire state of California.
Though still headquartered in Santa Clara they do their manufacturing in Oregon and Arizona and now Israel....
August 2015
The California "Energy Miracle" (not) 
This is a subject we've explored a few times from slightly different angles.
This study looks at electricity usage per person whereas our preferred measure was electricity usage per dollar of GDP generated. We also looked at total BTU's including natural gas and gasoline. More after the jump including one of the better songs about solar.
December 2007 (9 months before the financial crisis)
The California Miracle: Ain't
This is just a peek behind the curtain. As the truth that California's economy was based on ever-escalating real estate prices becomes clear, the myths of supremacy will be shown to be just that.
Just one example: it's easy to be energy efficient if you make your living swapping paper.
But that activity should not be confused with wealth creation, it's more of a greater fool or musical chairs type of game....
There's more but I don't remember the links offhand, use the search blog box if interested.
I do remember the song was by some guys who didn't seem to get out in the sun very much.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Ramones: