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Two More >5.9 Earthquakes For 2006

MAP 6.0 2006/12/27 20:15:40 -5.735 154.440 369.9 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

MAP 5.9 2006/12/26 15:19:46 48.463 154.694 10.0 KURIL ISLANDS

Are Polar Bears At Risk?

U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened By Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post.

Northern latitudes are warming twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe, according to a 2004 scientific assessment, and by the end of the century annual ocean temperatures in the Arctic may rise an additional 13 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, researchers predict that summer sea ice, which polar bears use as a platform to hunt for ringed seals, will decline 50 to 100 percent. Just this month, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research outlined a worst-case scenario in which summer sea ice could disappear by 2040. (emphasis added)

No word about differing opinions except this:

“This proposal is sort of like a scientific hypothesis. You put this out there and say to the world, ‘Tell us, is this right or is this wrong?’ ” the official said, adding that Interior will hold several public hearings about its proposal. “We’re projecting what we think will happen in the future, not just what’s happening at this moment.”

I googled “Are Polar Bears at Risk? And article after article says yes Polar bears are at risk of extinction. Then I happened upon the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)

a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. The NCPA’s goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector.

They have a report out entitled Polar Bears on Thin Ice, Not Really!

A new NCPA study by Dr. David Legates, director of the University of Delaware’s Center for Climatic Research and state climatologist, examines the claim that global warming threatens to cause polar bear extinction and finds little basis for fear. By and large, the study finds that polar bear populations are in good shape.

I know all you global warming hoaxsters won’t believe this but the report says

Legates finds that their claims of an impending, human-induced Arctic meltdown are not supported by the evidence. For example, the Arctic Assessment proclaimed that Arctic air temperature trends provide an early and strong indication that global warming is causing polar ice caps and glaciers to melt. However, current research suggests that coastal stations in Greenland are instead experiencing a cooling trend, and average summer air temperatures at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet have decreased at the rate of 4°F per decade since measurements began in 1987.

Sure makes you wonder where everybody gets their funding.

My grandaddy always said when everybody is going one way go the other. Buy when they are sellin’ and sell when they are buyin’. You’ll have less problem of getting trampled when they do a 180!


The SEC and Amendments to Reg SHO

Back in August of 2005, I posted about “fails to deliver” in The Problem of “fails to deliver”.

If you were to short a stock, generally your broker must be able to borrow the stock before you can short it. Some brokers allow clients to short stock without finding shares to borrow. That is a naked short. The rules state that shares must be “settled” (delivered) in three days. There has been a massive problem, amounting to about 1.5% of daily trading or $6 Billion daily, of “fails” (failure to deliver), so the SEC stepped in with Regulation SHO. Naked shorts were such a massive problem that Regulation SHO included a “grandfather clause” to fix the FTD problem.

“The SEC, wanting to avoid short-squeezes in dozens of stocks caused by the closing out of naked short positions, opted to ‘grandfather in’ any failed deliveries before Jan. 3. of 2005.

Many have criticized the “grandfather” rule so the SEC proposed a rule change eliminating the clause. On July 14, 2006 the SEC proposed an amendment to Regulation SHO and directed comments must be received by September 19, 2006. Recall that FTDs that were grandfathered still represent almost half of all fails.

Wall Street doesn’t want to see any changes says a Forbes article:

The Securities Industry Association (SIA), Wall Street’s lobbying group, told the SEC in a 17-page comment letter that the agency should take care not to institute changes that would increase market volatility, constrain stock and options market makers’ ability to trade, and mandate disclosure of market data that could be misinterpreted.

If the grandfather rule is eliminated, those FTDs would have to be eliminated and some stocks will rise substantially.

As of December 27th, 2006, no amendment has been passed to eliminate the grandfather clause.

Reg SHO fails to deliver grandfather SEC Mover Mike

Tidal Forces and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

From a press release of the British Antarctic Survey

New research into the way the Antarctic ice sheet adds ice to the ocean reveals that tidal motion influences the flow of the one of the biggest ice streams draining the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.[…]

And what influences the tidal motion? Why the variations in flow … are related to the vertical motion of the ocean caused by the gravitational effects of the sun and moon.

So much for human caused alleged warming of the temperatures in the antarctic!


Photos of the “Hot Spot”

I received this email from Jim and Tom George:

We hiked to the hotspot (in the Dick Smith Wilderness in the Los Padres) on 12/24. Here are a few photos of it.
I should probably write the geologists and ask for an update since I have not seen any new information out of them for a year. Certainly the samples and gasses were analyzed by now and they have some more ideas.

Near the top of the slide in the Los Padres National Forest where the “mysterious” hot spots have occurred.


Two Major Sevens!

MAP 7.0 2006/12/26 12:34:14 22.023 120.539 10.0 TAIWAN

MAP 7.1 2006/12/26 12:26:22 21.818 120.534 10.0 TAIWAN REGION

The quake hit on the second anniversary of a massive earthquake off Indonesia that triggered a powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean which killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.The quake was felt throughout Taiwan. It swayed buildings and knocked objects off the shelves in the capital, Taipei, in the northern part of the island.


Merry Christmas

For me this was the best Christmas ever. We spent the holiday with children, grand children, my Mom, Dad and his wife Louella, my wife’s parents and brothers and sister and all their children and Ralph the dog. I missed my sister who is in Seattle, but will be here to celebrate our birthdays. Bev and I opened presents on Christmas Eve and I gave her a Christmas card that contained my pledge to take ballroom dancing lessons with her. Since life is a wonderful dance, I realized that my loving wife and I didn’t dance enough.

Two Oregon Quakes

MAP 2.6 2006/12/24 23:39:30 44.911 -122.628 19.9 13 km ( 8 mi) N of Mehama, OR

MAP 1.2 2006/12/22 22:09:16 43.756 -120.801 0.0 52 km ( 32 mi) ESE of Deschutes River Woods, OR

UN Votes Sanctions!

From the BBC,

The United Nations Security Councilhas unanimously voted to impose sanctions against Iran over its failure to halt uranium enrichment.

The sanctions ban the supply of nuclear-related technology and materials and impose an asset freeze on key individuals and companies.

Surprise, surprise. I didn’t think Russia or China would vote for sanctions. It must mean that these sanctions don’t have teeth if Iran doesn’t comply!


Oil Standard To A Gold Standard???

Interesting reading this morning. First, Michael Kosares of
Centennial Precious Metals, Denver writing for USAGold.com analyses the recent trip to China by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Kosares says,

If China is going to more or less allow its currency to decline in purchasing power in concert with the U.S. dollar (which seems to be the final outcome of the meeting), the other major trading nations will take their cue from this policy and force their currencies to depreciate as well. Essentially, they have no choice.

This week we saw Thailand react to its currency, the Baht, rising 16% against the USD by restricting inflows of hot money causing all sorts of turmoil in the Thailand stock and bond markets. Kosares goes on,

The net effect of these policies will be international inflation and in some places, most notably the United States, double-digit inflation — at least in the beginning.

Kosares refers to the James K. Galbraith piece Paulson and Bernanke were clueless in China. Galbraith says Paulson and Bernanke had the following goals:

1) China’s currency strategy has helped produce rapid growth for 30 years; therefore it should be abandoned.

2) China’s high savings rates have been a key to this success; therefore they should be reduced.

3) China, a country emerging from communism, should spend more on public health and social security, so that ordinary Chinese can save less.

4) The United States, a capitalist country, should spend less on social security and public health, so that ordinary Americans will be forced to save more.

5) Somehow, all this will reduce the deficit in the US-China balance of trade, a goal whose importance everyone agrees on but that no one can actually explain.

Are we trying to export to China our failed policies?

Second, I noticed in the Galbraith article a link to http://www.cambridgeconferences.com/ch_jan2007.html and found myself at the 2007 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference site and the list of speakers. Glancing down the list I saw that James Turk, Founder & Chairman, of GoldMoney.com was a speaker and clicked on his link and saw a link to his 2004 book “The Coming Collapse of the Dollar” . At that site I saw Mish Shedlock had written an article on 12/21 Monetary shock therapy and 12/19 November PPI, CPI. The 12/21 article gives a great synopsis of the Thailand situation along with a possible crisis between Scotland and England.

Third, the 12/19 article opened my eyes. Mish analyses the CPI and PPI and has some interesting charts. This weekly chart of Oil looks weak:

As does this chart of Copper and Lumber.

I asked the other day, in PPI up 2%, if November PPI is up 2%, why were 10-year treasuries unaffected? By the looks of the yield curve, Oil, Copper and Lumber, the econony looks weak. Gold on the other hand does not look weak and shouldn’t with competitive devaluations of currencies looming. We have been on an “Oil Standard” for some time. Are we now going to be on a Gold Standard? After all, if the USD drops in half, Gold would double! (See Gold chart)

Update:


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