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Bruce Enberg's Commentary

Youse girl friend could be bacon real easy

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The President signed a new law this week overturning a right-wing court ruling banning the Obama Adm from bringing trade cases. At the ceremony he announced an official action before the WTO to force China to resume the sale of rare earth metals. These exotic metals are required to produce anything more advanced than what might be made by a 18th century blacksmith. The US was a major producer of rare earths until the Bush Administration allowed China to purchase, close and strip all the mining and refining facilities in America. China did this worldwide and now controls 97% of the supply.

Obama did slap China with 99% tariffs on tires and steel pipe early in his administration. He’s been blocked from similar actions since then by the corporate dominated courts. Enough Republicans were publicly shamed during this election year into supporting today’s law allowing Obama to resume these trade actions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 22:33

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

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

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


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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

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