Mark to Stupid Accounting – without an accurate set of numbers, any projections about the US economy going into Recovery are a lie – the experts said there wasn’t a Recession every day last year and now they simply want people to spend money – so they are lying

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‘Crazy Turtle Woman’ transforms graveyard into maternity ward

CNN Story

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 – ]

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/05/28/cnnheroes.suzan.lakhan.baptiste/index.html

***

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.

– cricketdiane

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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.

[ . . . ]

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1901446,00.html

***

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

GM, Ford and Chrysler took DOE money to retool their plants for fuel-energy-efficient cars and trucks – so where is that money now? They were not financially viable long before today – why did they get the money?

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GM, Ford and Chrysler took DOE money to retool their plants for fuel-energy-efficient cars and trucks – so where is that money now? They were not financially viable long before today – why did they get the money?

[from]

November 6, 2008

Fact Sheet: Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program

* On November 5, 2008, the Department of Energy issued the Interim Final Rule and accomplished writing the rule for Section 136 of EISA 2007 in approximately half of the 60-day expedited timeframe mandated by Congress. Historically, rulemaking at DOE takes 18 months.
* The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVMLP) was authorized under Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140). Section 136 is under the sole management and responsibility of the Department of Energy.
* The FY09 Continuing Resolution authorized up to $25 billion in direct loans to eligible applicants for the costs of reequipping, expanding, and establishing manufacturing facilities in the U.S. to produce advanced technology vehicles, and components for such vehicles. These vehicles must provide meaningful improvements in fuel economy performance.
* The Interim Final Rule is effective immediately and allows DOE to begin accepting applications.
* Upon publication of the rule in the Federal Register, the Department will open the window to receive applications for the loan program. Evaluation of substantially complete applications can begin as soon as those applications are received.
* The rule protects the taxpayers and provides specific loan parameters for automobile manufactures to develop advanced vehicle technologies – a win, win for all parties.
* As demonstrated by the early issuance of this Interim Final Rule, DOE is committed to moving expeditiously to implement this important rulemaking. DOE will also work expeditiously to comply with all Federal, State and local laws, regulations and permits necessary to process and finalize applications.
* The timing for the issuance of funds will depend on when applications are submitted, application thoroughness, and attainment of any required permits or approvals.
* This program was created by Congress to help automakers get the financing needed to retool older plants and equipment to produce energy-efficient vehicles – DOE is doing everything Congress has authorized it to do.
* DOE encourages the automakers and other eligible companies to apply for these loans so that qualifying projects can produce more fuel-efficient vehicles which consumers are demanding.
* The law that Congress passed had many restrictions that would have prevented financing from flowing quickly to the auto companies. DOE has done its best to accelerate funding within the confines of the law Congress passed.
* The Department’s job is to implement the legislation that Congress passed. DOE is acting consistent with the purposes and with the amount of flexibility provided for in the legislation.

Applications:

* In accordance with the statutory language, the Interim Final Rule identifies qualifying elements for the loan program and application requirements.
* Applicants will be allowed to make multiple loan requests in a single application.
* Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted and considered in tranches. The deadline for the first tranche is December 31, 2008.
* Following a 30 day public comment period on the Interim Final Rule, DOE will evaluate the program and determine when to issue a Final Rule.

Eligibility:

* Congress set forth the criteria for projects and costs eligible to receive direct loans. The key criteria for qualified advanced technology vehicles or qualified components require:
o Manufacturing facilities be located in the U.S.;
o Engineering integration be performed in the U.S.;
o Costs be reasonably related to the reequipping, expanding, or establishing a manufacturing facility in the U.S.; and
o Costs of engineering integration be performed in the U.S.
* Loans will not be available on a retroactive basis; past advanced technology investments are ineligible.

Baseline:

* The Interim Final Rule established the “base year” to be vehicle model year 2005.
* To identify vehicles with substantially similar attributes, DOE grouped vehicles by classes previously defined by EPA for the purpose of fuel economy ratings, as well as additional subclasses created by DOE for performance vehicles (e.g., sport cars).
* In accordance with the statute, in order to qualify as an advanced technology vehicle under the Interim Final Rule, an applicant must demonstrate that a vehicle has a fuel economy performance at least 125% of the average MY 2005 fuel economy of the appropriate class.

For more information visit DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program website.

Media contact(s):
Healy Baumgardner, (202) 586-4940

http://www.energy.gov/news/6709.htm

***

My note –

This was not the only pool of money that the automakers accessed last fall in loans, grants and subsidies exclusive of the bailout moneys and loans that have been made. So what happened to fuel efficient vehicles, hybrids and electric cars? We paid for them to retool the factories which they are now closing because these companies are going out of business apparently.

Of course, once GM separated from the loan and financing arm of its business – bankruptcy became an option, but they had to have known along with the DOE that they were not financially viable when they took the DOE money last fall to retool for fuel efficiency. Or, in January this year when they applied “officially”.

But they were the ones after the money in the first place and lobbied to get it available – so where is it? What did they do with it when most of their plants are being closed and workers laid off?

– cricketdiane, 04-26-09

I’m thinking of writing some about “Strange Lies” since that seems to be such a common and surprising occurrence. It isn’t those who don’t look good or who act erratically that have to be “watched out for”. It is apparently those who look good and act in every way perfectly acceptable who are doing it to hide the fact that they are psycho. The ones like Madoff and the Anthony woman in Florida that looks so perfect and acts so sane.

Those are the ones just like recent murder suspects – the med student and Sunday school teacher, who also look so good that are the danger to us all. And the college professor that walked up to his ex-wife, and two men in Athens, Ga. today or yesterday who shot them.

And, the good-looking military guys stationed in North Carolina who killed their pregnant girlfriends, even beating them to death. The guy up in fancy world Virginia that killed himself in his $900,000 home after 16 years on the job at Freddie Mac.

And, the umpteen previous killers and psychos over the past ten years, who never once mentioned to anybody that “oh, by the way, I killed my wife today because I didn’t want to deal with a divorce and have to pay her alimony.”

It never ceases to surprise me that people think that, “if this person owns a house, has a family, goes to church and looks good, then they are dependable and trustworthy.” Who told you that?

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