banking, credit default swaps, Depression economy, employment, foreclosures, gdp, GDP numbers are faulty, gnp, green shoots, Inventing Solutions For America, Money, recession, the difference one person can make, unemployment, US dollar value, US economic crisis, US Economy
‘Crazy Turtle Woman’ transforms graveyard into maternity ward
MATURA, Trinidad (CNN) — With its white sand and clear, blue water, Trinidad’s Matura Beach looks like a postcard. It’s a far cry from its recent past, when leatherback sea turtle carcasses littered the ground and kept tourists away.
“Twenty years ago, this was a graveyard,” Suzan Lakhan Baptiste said of the six-mile stretch of beach near her home.
“The stench was horrendous. You could smell it for miles,” she said.
Saddened and frustrated, Baptiste launched a crusade to help end the slaughter of the gentle giants. Today, she and her group are succeeding: What was once a turtle graveyard is now a maternity ward — one of the largest leatherback nesting colonies in the world.
[there’s more – its a great article – ]
My Note –
This lady in Trinidad proves an individual can make a difference. She didn’t have to be the richest, the best educated at the best university, the most well-connected to the rich and powerful in the community, to make a difference. She simply had to make a choice to participate in a constructive way and do it. Amazing.
Oil Is Plentiful, Demand Weak. Why Are Gas Prices Going Up?
By Vivienne Walt / Paris Friday, May. 29, 2009
Storage tankers across the globe may be brimming with oil that no one is buying because of the global economic downturn, but the traditional laws of supply and demand don’t always apply to oil prices.
[ . . . ]
Prices had rocketed to a record level of $147 a barrel last July before plummeting to $30 just five months later and beginning a new climb. (See pictures of South Africa’s oil-from-coal refinery.)
[ . . . ]
Oil demand in rich countries has crashed since the onset of the economic crisis last year, and is now at its lowest level since about 1981, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. U.S. oil inventories — the stored surplus — this month reached their highest level since the 1980s. And about 2.6 billion barrels are currently stored in commercial tankers around the world.
“There is some risk we will run out of storage space in the next four to six weeks,” says Simon Wardell, director of global oil at IHS Global Insight, an energy-forecasting company in London. To oil-rich countries that possibility evokes grim memories of 1998, when the Asian economic crisis sent demand plummeting, driving world oil prices down to $10 a barrel. “If we run out of storage it could prompt a collapse in the price,” says Wardell. Oil producers might then choose to dramatically cut output in order to run down the surplus. (See pictures from Azerbaijan’s oil boom.)
Despite such dangers, investors and oil producers are betting that global demand will roar back, apparently hoping that the recession has already hit bottom. Over the past two months, investors have plowed billions of dollars into oil futures.
[ . . . ]
My Note –
This proves that the oil futures speculators are the fundamental that drives the price of oil and other commodities rather than demand. That means there are natural dynamics in the marketplace which are being undermined by this method of price setting.
Specifically, when demand is low and profits have been at 300% for many months – maybe even for years, the basic sense of business would be that the price would come down to meet the demand at the level where it exists now and those precious profit dollars would cover the operating difference until demand returns. But, not the way its being done in this unnatural market manipulation by speculators, it won’t.
It looks like the prices of gasoline in the US during the summer months is actually based on the numbers from Memorial Day travel. If there are many people who took off on trips for the Memorial Day holiday, then the prices skyrocket for the summer. If people stayed home and mini-vacationed nearby, then the summer prices only increases by a smaller percentage.
I think that the analysts and speculators that appear on tv / cable / news and talk about “green shoots” ad nauseum are the same ones who told us last year that there would never be enough oil to meet demand and that’s why it had to be $4.11 per gallon as people in the US took vacations last summer.
The same analysts, economic experts, tv news producers, stock market experts and news shows paraded across every news broadcast nearly the entirety of last year telling the American people that there wasn’t a problem, not an “R” word going on (Recession), not any real deep contraction of the economy, not anything but a little “bubble” . . . hmmm.
Either they were lying or they were incompetent because even I could see it was already a deep Recession, maybe even a Depression occurring in the economy, not because I’m a “bear or bull” but because the facts were evident throughout the economy. And, if I could see it – intellectually, academically, factually, accurately – based on economic factors that were (and are) obvious to anyone who looked at them, then those experts had to know or they are doing something very wrong.
And, now aren’t they the same ones telling the news anchors whether there are “green shoots” or not, could we have seen the bottom already and be on the way up, are there signs of recovery, is the confidence restored in the market, – but let’s ignore what the dollar is doing, the multitude of bankrupt companies being liquidated, the personal bankruptcy numbers, the continuing high rates of foreclosures, the commercial property disasters and the unemployment figures that are becoming chronic numbers with long term unemployment for many families and individuals.
It seems these financial and economic “experts”, stock brokers and news producers simply want everyone to go on vacation, spend all their money, max out their credit cards and the hell with whether they come home and lose their jobs with no resources to use to cross that period of time in front of them. But, they will have had a good vacation, and everything (according to news sources) is going to be out of this Recession or whatever little downturn they are calling it this week – by fall of this year. Well, I wish that were true – don’t we all.
Why I know what they are saying is basically a lie, is because the GDP keeps having to be adjusted later to account for inventories that are backed up and unsold, which means the percentage of contraction in the economy actually turns out to be greater than originally thought each quarter.
The buying power of many markets, not only in the United States but around the World – I mean, the actual dollars of buying power is diminished.
Projections made from sales figures two years ago, or last year or even during the last Recession cannot accurately predict what that buying power is today, or this summer or later this year in the fall and Christmas season.
And, I know the projections from “experts” on the news about our economic outlook is a lie because the governments of many countries including the US are only propping up what is a failing proposition, not capitalism – but rather the biased, favored, subsidized, manipulated game that has been passing for a “free market capitalist system” when it wanted and bailed out by those governments whenever there has been difficulty or lowered profit ratios.
The other thing that has been done to favor these corporations and commercial property bondholders that is manipulating the real numbers has to do with the marking the values of those assets as it suits them. From the time that change in the accounting rules away from mark-to-market occurred, there has been no real transparency nor accuracy to those values. As long as that is so and the same grading / rating agencies are continuing to rate things as Triple AAA, which aren’t based on their real debt to income using real costs and real returns and real liabilities, there will continue to be fractures in the foundations of the US economy.
– cricketdiane, 06-01-09