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Bruce Enberg's Commentary

Coloring between the lines, and only using the red crayon

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The stock markets in the US dropped 1.5% today from the renewed sturm und drang over the potential Greek bond default. The Euro zone is trying to force a 50% haircut on the holders of Greek bonds in order to avoid their default, but the catch is that it has to be “voluntary”. If it’s not, it becomes an “actual” default and those CDOs (credit default swaps) start kicking in.

The problem with these insane contract arrangements is that they can be triggered by any significant down turn, not just by a major default. A down grade in a credit agency’s rating of a bank or a nation state will do it. They’re all done in secret, so we have no real idea what the risk really is It was a cascade of derivative failures tied to consumer debt, mostly home mortgages, that brought us within a hair’s breadth of ending civilization in 2008.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 22:45 Read more...

Everything you wanted to know about sex, at the gas pump

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Gasoline began its career as a leftover waste product from the refining of crude oil to get kerosene for lamps. A hundred years ago, refiners still burned most gasoline just to get rid of it. Today, things really haven’t changed that much, except that we now have the perception that gasoline is something precious. In a barrel of sweet crude, the gasoline content is on average about 51%, and that‘s a lot of waste to get rid of every day.

Demand for gasoline has dropped sharply in the last few years to the point where we export 117,000,000 gallons of gasoline and other fuels every day. Actually, this was the 2011 average, the surplus is still going up. In dollar value, this is now our largest manufactured export.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 February 2012 22:30 Read more...

The Cost of Ignorance is $26,000

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The Dow touched 13,000 today on news that the Greeks will be bailed out with another $140 billion, of course that money really goes to the big banks, not Greece. The new so-called bailout will only be delivered if the Greek government complies by the end of the month with a long list of austerity measures that will ensure the continued decline of their economy.

The Greeks must also prepare two state industries for handover to the pirates by June, and the banker appointed to be in charge of their government plans to literally loot the entire country. Absolutely every public asset of value is being sold off for a pittance to the corporate robber barons. The Communist Party of Greece is on the rise, their slogan could simply be, “We told you so.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 22:12 Read more...

SQUAWK! SQUAWK!!!

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The most powerful man on the planet dropped into visit the people in Iowa who helped launch his climb to power. No, I don’t mean President Obama, I mean Vice President Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping). In a year he will ascend to the Presidency, or as he’s known in China, Comrade Chairman of Communist Party Central Committee.

Despite a heavy diplomatic schedule, Comrade Xi insisted on stopping to visit the farm family in Iowa who put him up in their spare room for two nights in 1985. He was a minor party official from a remote agricultural province back then, seeking to improve pork production in China. He succeeded, and next year he will begin overseeing a five year plan that will leapfrog the People’s Republic past the United States as the world's dominant economic power.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 22:31 Read more...

It's only 8 month till October

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The evening news starts almost every day with a scary story about the price of gas going to $5.00 by Memorial Day, and how bad that would be for the economy. They usually follow with a story about Iran threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, or maybe that will be lead story today.  They don’t mention that that currently the largest manufactured export from the US is gasoline.

The oil companies are even closing refineries because they can’t get rid of enough gasoline to justify running them, but still the corporate media dutifully report that the “shortage” of gasoline is driving up the price.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 23:38 Read more...

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