Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Because there just aren't enough peen pictures on the internet.

The non-profit organization sent college students 55,000 QR coded condoms.

I told you - one day QR codes are going to be big. Here and here. I just didn't imagine they would be stuck on condoms. Is this on the wrapper? Or the condom itself, I wondered. Because guys don't need a QR code to show you their peen.

I'm curious though, if it's all crooked - does it screw up the QR code?

This is the craziest shit I've ever heard. And, I've heard a lot of crazy shit.



We all know Stockton California is preparing for bankruptcy, right? I wasn't even going to comment about it, because it isn't news that governments over promised benefits. Yet, when I heard this last night - I actually had to center myself. I took a shower and just stared into space I was so stunned. And, I live not all that far from Stockton, so, it surprised me that I hadn't heard this information before. Good job on keeping secrets Stockton!

At a minute twenty, the reporter says "Among it's financial mistakes, the city only required one month of service to be eligible for retiree health benefits for life".

Yes. For life.

The city deficit is about 35 million, but the liability for retiree health benefits in 450 million.

Her skin is paper thin.



Welcome Cappy readers! Make yourself at home. There is enough here to satisfy absolutely no one. But, hopefully you will find something that at least piques your interest.

If I'd known I could get a Cappylanche by just posting unnecessary close up's of bunny parts, this blog would be completely different.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

"Abound Solar, given a $400 million Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a project expected to create 400 permanent jobs, receives private financial backing through an investment firm founded by a fundraising bundler for President Obama." Source.

Oooooooh wait. Correct that. Instead of "create 400 new jobs" - it should read "lays off half of staff".

"LONGMONT —Abound Solar on Tuesday cut 180 jobs — nearly half of its workers — at the company's production facility along the Interstate 25 Frontage Road near Firestone. " Source.

Almost like clockwork I tell ya.

Feb. 27, 2012, 12:03 p.m. EST
Investors eye renewable energy as oil prices rise
Jefferies Clean Tech Conference attendance up; crude tops $107.


With crude oil topping $108 a barrel and average retail gasoline costing nearly $4 a gallon at the pump, analysts and clean technology company executives said renewable fuel is becoming more cost-competitive.

Maybe they will be able to save some of them. Maybe.

The consumer is next.



This morning when I saw these headlines, I had to ask myself - if headline 1 and 2 are true, how can headline three be true? Headline 1 and 2 should be making the consumer feel anything but confident.

After the market crash in 2008, I absolutely grew to respect the consumer confidence numbers. If consumer confidence is down, basically, the market goes down. If I trust the numbers on the way down, I have to trust them on the way up. Right?

The other market indicator I grew to fear is the Baltic dry index. Most directly, the index measures the demand for shipping capacity versus the supply of dry bulk carriers. From Wiki. During the 2008 crash, we had all these ships floating around filled, with no place to offload them.

So at the beginning of the year when the Baltic dry index fell for 27 days in a row, those of us who watch this stuff felt a little panicky. Source.



Here is a longer horizon chart, because I hate those guys who just provide a small snapshot to reinforce their position. You can see we have seen a small uptick in the last couple of weeks.



Some people say that new ships have come on line and this is why the index is down. It takes roughly 2 years to build a new ship. However, with durable goods now falling so sharply - you can see that if it takes them a month or two to compile the data, it would roughly coincide with the fall from December to January. What becomes frightening is January to February.

So, I would expect to see by next time the consumer confidence numbers comes out, who is right. I think the consumer is lagging this time, and good weather is making everyone feel happier than they should be.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Can that be legal?



My newest obsession.



Ramen.

A few weeks ago we were trying to find a breakfast place in San Mateo. A block before we'd gotten to the one we'd chosen - we saw they had just opened an Ajisen Ramen house. Every time we made it up to San Fransisco we'd go to the one in the mall.

Now I will go to pretty much any crappy event on the peninsula, because there is an Ajisen near by.

Oh, no, he, didn't.

Santorum says he doesn't believe in separation of church and state.

"WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Sunday that he doesn't believe in the separation of church and state, adding that he was sickened by John F. Kennedy's assurances to Baptist ministers 52 years ago that he would not impose his Catholic faith on them."

I'm sure all of the other religions are going to be completely fine with this. /sarc

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ron Paul supporters crash GOP Event.



A few years ago, you would have never found me at a Ron Paul rally. I would have rolled my eyes. But today I found myself at such an event. I'm calling it that because I didn't know this was a GOP event until last night. I wouldn't even call myself a Ron Paul supporter, except for the fact that the GOP candidates are just about the most demoralizing group of misfits I've ever seen.

Mitt Romney - the Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican. Santorum - WTF Santorum? I'm an atheist - so...the whole party loses me with Santorum. It isn't that he is religious - every one pretty much is. I respect other peoples religion, but he doesn't respect my lack of it.

Newt - that guy isn't serious. He is a tool.

So where is someone like me suppose to go? I don't really fit into any of the groups. Mr S. has been telling me for years that I am a "small l" libertarian. I consider myself conservative, but I don't align with them either. There is a lot not to love with Ron Paul too.

Unlike the tea party who just wants you to get off their lawn and leave them alone, I align more along the lines of - get off my lawn unless you have weed. And then only if you have a responsible job. Otherwise, get the EFF off my lawn. I just don't care what people do in their personal lives. At all. As long as you aren't affecting me -it's none of my business.

So when I heard there was going to be a Ron Paul rally - I had to go. Not to participate, but to see what the turn out would be.

Turns out, there were almost as many Ron Paul supporters than conservatives. Which is not saying a lot. This is California. Yet, there were much more of them than a lot of the tea party rallies I went to.



Oddly, I wasn't the only misfit. When I saw this guy with the International ANSWER sign, I thought there was going to be some conflict. Normally I trash these guys to no end. His whole presence confused me. And him, apparently. Mr S. talked to him outside and he seemed fairly clueless. He was a socialist on one side, and a Ron Paul supporter on the other. I'm not sure if he knows even what international answer is all about. You can see the youtube video here.



They really outnumbered Newt supporters. (The Newt supporters are the ones holding the signs with gas pumps.)



The hotel even called in the police to make them go outside. They weren't really being disruptive - but they were being loud, and this was a hotel after all.



One of the event-coordinators told Mr S. that she thought the Ron Paul "supporters" weren't even really Ron Paul supporters, that they were instead Occupy Wallstreeters carrying Ron Paul signs just to disrupt the event. But Mr. S and I saw no actual evidence of that.


Eventually they decided to go stand on an overpass in highway 101. You can see them in this video with a little commentary from me. If I would have been didicated enough I would have gotten you shots of Newt, and Cain - but I wasn't. So I didn't.


Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm in a phase.



I haven't talked about this in a while. My hatred of my photos. It's honestly psychotic. I can go, fill up a card - download them and hate every single one. Things ease after a couple of hours. Usually.

For instance I was at a car show this weekend, and the guys aggravated me so much. They cram these cars in there so tight. And the lighting is effed up. They have two colors of lights in the ceiling! Apparently.

A guy was talking to me about a boat with a pretty nice paint job. He seemed unhappy they didn't have the other set of lights on. I assumed he was talking about the white lights - because I was already in a shitty mood over the yellow lights. Outside he said - this boat is beautiful! With the right kind of cars - it doesn't matter much. The show this weekend seemed to have all the wrong sorts of cars.

So, you guys didn't get any photos. Then if I wait too long, it isn't new stuff any more.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seen.

No duh. Yes people still say that.

Germany says solar energy is path to bankruptcy, yet Obama doubles US down on it.

"One of the biggest national investors in green energy, Germany, is coming to the realization that green energy is the path to bankruptcy. This is nothing short of blasphemy in the green world to even make a partial admission that solar power is not the panacea it was promised to be."

It's a funny game of chicken.



I had to talk about gas prices again. Not because I have to pay more, but because I am shocked at how complacent people are being about the rise in price.

Yesterday I talked to someone I'd known for a really long time who has been dreaming about buying a 50 thousand dollar truck. This is a guy who lost his house in the first phase of the housing market shake out. I guess he must be a good credit risk now.

He'd been talking about it for a while now, so yesterday I cornered him. Are you still going to buy that truck with gas prices this high - I asked. Prices go up, and prices go down - he said.

Now, while this is a true statement, there are a lot of thing going on geopolitically that can make the distance from high and low prices quite long. I did find it interesting how he felt the high prices would be quite transitory. For the record, I also believe this - but for different reasons.

Why are gas prices so high? It isn't because we are using a lot of oil. All month I have been shocked at the rise in price because stockpiles have been rising almost all year. Just look through google. Most weeks have clocked a stockpile rise.

So, maybe the economy is doing much better than I think. Maybe. I would expect if that were true, the volume in the stock market wouldn't be so paltry. Most of the traders don't seem to leave until the "sell in May go away" point. Even for summer trading, the market is pretty dead. If the economy was indeed that much better, traders would be the first in line to capitalise on that. And really - if the rise in oil is due to an improving economy, hold onto your hat - because some of that money we have been printing will enter the stream and cause inflation. Yes, eventually it will come. I just doubt it is now.

Let's move on to the speculators.

When I hear traders say "5 dollar gas, 7 dollar gas, people still have to drive to work" - it makes me laugh. I will always believe that 4.50 a gallon gas tipped us into recession. To be sure - we were a very over extended economy. Which is why gas prices made such a difference. I continue to believe we will never see 5.00 a gallon gas. Every time gas passes 4 bucks a gallon, people pull back on everything. Except driving to work of course. Traders can be right-ish.

And anyway, you can't really blame the traders when our administration is stirring the pot. I personally never believe in sanctions, but, they apparently are making Iran quite agitated. If it can be believed, our sanctions collapsed the Iranian currency. Some say by 80%, others by only 50%. Read the The Stunning Collapse Of Iran's Currency.

"The collapse of a currency is typically a well-publicized event that reverberates throughout the world's equity markets. The domino-like capitulation of East Asian currencies in 1997, for example, sent equity markets hurtling downward, leading to one of the largest single-day drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Index in history. And the 1998 devaluation of the Russian ruble triggered the demise of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, immortalized by Roger Lowenstein in When Genius Failed.

Yet this didn't happen when the Iranian rial collapsed at the beginning of this year. And the question is why? National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon shed a slender ray of light on this question in an interview with Charlie Rose last week. In it, Donilon tacitly implied that the collapse was anything but a mistake. And this would make sense, of course, as the United States is currently using economic measures to pressure the Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear program."


Iran has even threatened to execute currency speculators. Here.

I don't know why all of a sudden Iran is a big threat, but Isreal is making a lot of noise. Probably because Iran parked a couple of military ships off the coast of Syria. Iran Moved Warplanes to Protect Nuclear Sites before the inspectors tried to come in. Which is funny, because I haven't heard of the inspectors trying to get in the whole time Obama has been in office. Now all of a sudden they want to get in to inspect?

I honestly suspect this whole thing is more about Syria than it is about Iran. When gas prices started creeping up, I thought it was directly because of Syria. The Asad government has bombed oil pipelines twice since the beginning of the year. Disrupting a pipeline anywhere - will spike oil prices temporarily.

So, why wouldn't the speculators run wild? Our administration isn't going to do anything. Presumably they think this will invigorate their very troubled green energy sector. I think it will crater the economy before that happens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whatever.

I have to admit, today I am feeling a giant disconnect with the world. It's like I am living in a completely different universe than.....well - everyone in California.

No one seems concerned about gas prices. Construction has picked up. And everything seems as it always was. So, why worry? I mean, that Greece thing is completely solved now. Right?

Except for that part where "some" people are going to be at least 50% poorer. That will not reverberate around the world at all.

I am curious though - are hedge funds going to be some of the poorer ones, or not? I mean, it changes everyday, but I thought banks were the only ones not taking a hair cut. Because apparently pension funds (specifically CALPERS, but I'm sure not limited to) has a little investing pool in Greece.

"CalPERS's primary role in Greece is through its financial partner Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. CalPERS has invested at least a half-billion dollars with the New York-based hedge fund. Och-Ziff is one of a selected group of hedge funds and private equity firms in which CalPERS entrusted large pools of money because these Wall Street insiders promise rates of return far exceeding index averages." Source.

The article goes on to say:

"There's still another angle to CalPERS's role in the Greek crisis. According to figures taken from the fund's 2010 Annual Investment Report (the most recent available), CalPERS has invested more than $245 million in Greek corporations. The largest such holdings were with the National Bank of Greece ($67 million), Alpha Bank ($35 million), EFG Eurobank ($27 million), Hellenic Telecommunications ($25 million), and Piraeus Bank ($21 million). CalPERS was exposed to at least 26 other Greek corporations through direct equity investments as of 2010."

Oh, what a relief! No worries then. They should have no problem hitting that 7.75% return on investment target. My bad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In a world void of rules.

"With the tax man breathing down his neck, Ohio farmer Tony Rohrs is scrambling to figure out how much money he made last year in an account at MF Global.

Thousands of former clients of the failed brokerage, including farmers, cattle ranchers and investors, have not yet received tax forms that detail their profits and losses, preventing them from preparing accurate returns for the Internal Revenue Service ahead of a rapidly approaching deadline."
Source.

Honey badge doesn't give a shit that tax forms are suppose to be out by the end of January. It falls under - that is your problem, not mine. Of course, maybe these guys could get the John Corzine deal.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's a mediocre world.



Over the weekend I went to the San Fransisco International Gift Fair.

The first time I went, they let me pay to get in. It was the first year of the recession, and you weren't suppose to be able to do that apparently. You are suppose to work in the field to be granted access. Which now that I think about it - what field is that? Master of trinkets? Now you have to have some level 5 security clearance to get in. You have to provide pay stubs and everything. It is completely ridiculous, and I declare these people are way to absorbed with themselves. Their stuff just isn't that amazing.

Now I just get in out of spite. Who are you to tell me I can't get in because I don't work in your sector?! Which is stupidly passive aggressive because the past couple of years have sucked.

The first couple of years I went, there was some interesting stuff. Like these splat balls. Piperoid figures. And Answer me Jesus.

This year they were clearly signaling that the vendors didn't expect to world to get appreciably better. In previous years, they had art - this year was filled with stationary, and stuff you would find at a hallmark store.

I did sort of like these LED bonsai tress from Arcliteinc.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mmmmm.



I don't eat breakfast or lunch during the week. This is why my weekends are consumed with finding good breakfast restaurants. I love breakfast...so...much.

When we moved to my little suburb, we quickly found out that people here couldn't cook. This is why we often go some place else. Whatever we are doing for the weekend, we will try to find a place in that town. You can really learn a lot from a town by the selection of breakfast restaurants they have. Towns with crappy breakfast options are dead to me.

However, we've found that when we go to Sacramento - the thing to do is hash out old timey burger places. The kinds of burgers you can't get closer to the valley. Greasy, cheesy, huge, and will most probably kill me. That is how we wound up at Nation Wide Freezer Meats today.

I've already done the Squeeze Inn, and have loved it. The old one, the new one, and the one in Galt. But there are quite a few other burger places in Sacramento that need trying. One has a Burger with peanut butter on it. You have to try it at least once! Right? I think so.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Most useless international body on the planet.

UN sees possible crimes against humanity in Syria.

"BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accused the Syrian regime of committing "almost certain" crimes against humanity Thursday as activists reported fresh violence and the arrest of several prominent dissidents, including a U.S.-born blogger."

He says "We see almost certain crimes against humanity."

Look Ban Ki-moon. You don't even have to get out of your ass groove to find this shit out. Just look on youtube. Type in the words "Homs, Syria". This is where you will be greeted with a multitude of posts labeled 18+. AND THEY MEAN IT.

It's some of the most horrible stuff I've seen since the beheading videos of years ago. Like this one. YOU ARE WARNED THAT THIS LINK HAS EXTREMELY DISTURBING CONTENT. I can not emphasise it enough. It is not safe for work. They are not images you want to be in your head. At all. However, it is reality. And I can't believe everyone in the world is turning a blind eye to it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Half time in America?



It was about a year ago I started noticing the homeless were being pushed to the edge of freeways in San Jose. Most people probably don't notice them as they zip by on their commute to..... where ever.

Like this camp. I had to make 5 tries to try and get this shot. I almost gave up. They were placed really well so people who might just pull off the side of the road - couldn't because of the on ramps and off ramps.

For the longest time, you would see just a bunch of junk and a mattress. Ya know, stuff that you could just leave if you were hassled. Now it seems they are turning into permanent "campers". I mean, look at how much crap this camp has! Right in the middle of a spaghetti string of freeways.



And why did it take the occupy movement to show them that they could use tents? For as long as I can remember, the homeless were in fact homeless. Now they all have tents and crap? I read that in Sacramento, in their tent community, some homeless have two tents! One for them, and one for all their crap. The homeless!

It makes me wonder - did the price of tents come down? Or did every foreclosed house have one sitting in the garage? It's just unusual to see them all of a sudden with things that most people used to call a fun weekend.

In all areas outside of San Fransisco that I travel to, most beggars have bikes. They have also started hauling around chairs to sit on when they beg. And in the suburbs they carry around rolling luggage. It is the weirdest thing. Some are even rich enough to buy crappy old campers. I mean.... where have all these 1970's campers been stored?! You used to never see these things. Now they are everywhere. You will see them sitting in store parking lots. Then a man will get out, walk straight to the car entrance, and start begging.

It makes you wonder if they will ever return to normal life. Or is all of this other stuff just so cheap and expendable now. I don't know what to make of it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Go where the road takes you.



The past couple of weekends Mr S. and I have been basically free styling it. There hasn't been much tech, and I haven't been feeling like being around people lately. The whole world has been frustrating me.

Usually free styling amounts to a lot of dry holes. Nothing interesting. Mostly due to gentrification and sameism. You can go to any town anywhere in California, and they have exactly the same things in every strip mall. Cookie cutter to the nth degree. One town looks virtually the same as the next. I even noticed this when I had to track down Jasmine. I was an hour and a half inland, and everything still looks new. Not a rusted broken down barn to be seen anywhere. No real charm anywhere.

Anyway.

Last weekend, we'd made it up to Antioch - where my car broke down again. So, we had to turn around and come right back. But, not before wondering if Antioch always smells like a tired fire. We were going to have breakfast there, but the whole tire fire ambiance put us off.

This weekend we decided to stay closer to home and found this little valley to explore near Castro Valley.



Now, all I can think about is trying to find some money so I can buy a house in this little hidden crack near Fremont and gentrify it. It's like living in the mountains, but really it's just a tree covered wedge that cuts through the rolling hills.

Saturday, February 11, 2012



Interesting marketing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Totally not news to anyone.

Frankfurt is latest to see First Solar production reduced.

But wait! Marketwatch was just telling me a couple of days ago that Solar had a bright future. Bright I tell you!

"In order to help balance our EU production with regional demand, which we expect will be negatively impacted by ongoing policy changes and restrictions on ground-mounted solar systems, First Solar will be idling half of our production capacity in Frankfurt (Oder) effective 1st of March 2012," says Brandon Mitchener, the company's European communications director. "

What if facebook withdrew its IPO?

"State Controller John Chiang issued a report Friday showing that tax receipts in January were $528 million lower than the governor assumed in the budget he released a few weeks ago. That budget already assumed a $9 billion deficit." Here.

The article goes on to say:

"With Facebook and other Internet companies poised to rake in billions of dollars in IPOs, and a range of data showing the economic recovery starting to accelerate, Democrats have been hesitant to make the cuts that Brown has urged to close the projected deficit. They argue that the administration is being too gloomy."


The first issue - if the "economic recovery is accelerating" why is California's revenue still decelerating on numbers that have been revised downward something like 5 times?

The second issue - It is becoming an extremely uncomfortable spot to be placing an IPO for anything right now. It doesn't matter that the entire finances of California apparently depends on you. The world doesn't care about your finances California. They have a few problems of their own.

A company that is suppose to have such a strong market position will certainly be embarrassed if the market takes a dive, and the IPO doesn't go well. It hurts your brand.

On one hand I want to feel protective of our Silicon Valley companies. Well, that is until they get into bed with government. Then I feel a lot less sympathy when the teachers union starts trying to boss you around. An entity that instead of thanking their lucky stars that a Facebook is there to bail them out, instead wants to run the company.

I mean, what kind of a stake does the government/teachers union have in Facebook?

Thank you professor obvious.

Fed chief Bernanke says weak housing market is leading Americans to spend less.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

When people mistake parity for collapse.

China polysilicon firm reportedly files for bankruptcy

"The rapid price drop of polysilicon has caused close to 80% of polysilicon firms in China to halt production. "

A few months ago Trina Solar came out and said that by 2015, most solar manufacturers will vanish. The CEO of Trina predicted that only 5 companies may survive to 2020. Here. This is the CEO of one of the largest Chinese manufacturers! However, the contraction is coming from every point on the globe.

I only point these things out because the green energy chearleaders/hacks/shills are back out in force. Even Fisker had to come out and defend the company today. These people are in a panic. As well they should be. I would have to add the companies up, but the announced layoffs for this sector have to be close to 5000 since the beginning of the year. And as you can see - China is having a few of their own problems if they are halting 80% of production.

From Marketwatch.

"In describing grid parity here, I am referring to the cost for new energy from utility-scale projects. Many analysts compare the cost of newly built solar vs. existing utilities. That is an apples to oranges comparison however. For new energy needs, construction and financing costs must be considered for all potential power sources, not just solar's. When comparing on a new-new basis, building and operating a solar power plant is roughly on par with building and operating a coal plant in many locations now. Given this reality, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that solar has a sunny future. "

Honestly, that bit made me laugh.

The article goes on to say:

"In China, grid parity is occurring over the next few years as their energy needs continue to increase and fossil fuel prices increase. The Chinese have made enormous commitments to solar and will install about three gigawatts of solar capacity in 2012. There are several Chinese solar companies likely to benefit from the build out. The Chinese commitment to expanding their domestic solar usage will also reduce the supply glut facing the industry at the moment. "

Then, the best part:

"With solar currently producing just under 1% of global energy, but with a growth rate over 35%, big money is pouring into the sector. The question to be asked is whether you will follow their lead and be the long-term buy-low investor you claim to be or will you wait until share prices have doubled or tripled then declare: "Oh, look. Solar is going up. I guess I'll buy some now."

It seems to me that things are happening much more rapidly than anyone could have predicted. Likely they have been selling this stuff for less than market value because the governments make up the difference. That is not reality. Companies die when that happens because governments can not support them forever.

The things conspiracies are made of.



I would like to start out by saying - I am not prone to conspiracy theories. I believe the simplest answer is probably the correct answer. Do not dismiss as a conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence, is what I try to live by.

Having said that - last night as I was watching Vestas Wind Systems report a four times larger than predicted loss, it dawned on me that all the big trading houses had invested so largely into green energy companies. They were also the same people who had the capability to "speculate" oil prices to infinity. They really got to win on both sides of the game. Oil futures went through the roof, and green energy really started to take off.

But the world got away from them, and now green energy companies are in a full blown panic. A death rattle panic. They didn't expect the recession to last so long. No one did. They didn't expect it to be so deep. No one did. And they never expected the pocketbook of the government might dry up. No one did.

As I was researching another just announced bankrupt solar company Suntricity (I wanted to see how much money they had thieved us of) I was truck by something their partner Timmothy Sutherland of Pace Global said in an interview last year. After the Solyndra bankruptcy and following screams of this isn't a problem in the industry - it was bad management. Of course, anyone who paid attention at all, knew it was the industry.

This was in an interview of Timothy Sutherland, CEO of Pace Global Energy - who was asked if we were in a solar bubble. Pace has also apparently been sold to Siemens this year. Which also makes it hard to find out which company was getting the subsidies. Anyway.

"Actually, at this point in the evolution of the solar industry, any attempt to gauge enterprise value based on competing energy prices is misguided; although I’m sure it’s done. This is due to yet another aspect of the “bubble” phenomenon. The solar market is largely a creation of national governments around the world. There are competitive dynamics internal to that market, as we’ve seen with the recent failures of Solyndra and Evergreen Solar in the face of overwhelming competition from Chinese manufacturers as formerly high-tech premium products become commoditized. The retail market for photovoltaics, however, is largely the creation of national governments; any estimate of future market share and profitability of a private manufacturer of solar panels is critically dependent on assumptions about subsidy levels and continuity."

This one paragraph basically says to me - these companies can not exist without government intervention. Now anti oil people will complain that oil companies get subsidies - but oil companies actually make a profit as well. The government doesn't support them a hundred percent like they do these green energy companies. So far none of these green energy companies have achieved that at all. As a matter of a fact, most are ratcheting down their operation by roughly 40%. If they aren't outright dying.

Fascinatingly, the only way we are finding out out how many cockroaches there are - is because of the massive amounts of fallout.

One has to wonder if - when the pain becomes so great, and enough of these companies fail - oil prices will actually come down. Our stockpiles keep increasing. And the only viable reason oil should be so high right now is because of fear of the Middle East. Some might blame inflation, but money just isn't moving around the system enough to be a big enough contributor.

Monday, February 06, 2012

This is what a recovery looks like.

Nearly half of California jobless workers considered 'long-term'.

"Not only does California have more than 2 million unemployed workers, but nearly half of them have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, according to new data assembled by the state Department of Employment Development.

"Between May 2007 and February 2011, the number of people who were jobless 27 weeks or more in California rose an astounding 620 percent," says the EDD report.

Those who are called "long-term unemployed" grew from 15.9 percent of the jobless population in late 2007 to 46.8 percent last March, remaining over 46 percent in December."


Of course, this data is nearly a year stale. Oh, it was just released - but it's Feb of 2012 now. That is how the government rolls.

It makes you realize why the gment acts as if it never knows what is going on. They are looking backward. Sometimes a year backward. I guess next year we will get to find out how bad it got this year.

Most awesome investment ever.

Fisker lays off workers in Delaware, Calif.

"A cash crunch has forced Fisker Automotive to lay off some employees at the former General Motors plant near Newport that is being refurbished as its U.S. manufacturing base."

The long and short of this is - Fisker is required to sell a certain amount of cars to get the next tranche of funding from the government. Only - they have been revising down how many cars they are going to be able to sell. Here.

And now they are laying off people. So presumably they will die. I mean, eventually there has to be a point where the government can't continue funding them. Right?

Friday, February 03, 2012

This blog is a reflection of what entertains me. When it is not getting updated, I am not being entertained.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Interesting for facebook to go IPO now. US market is fully saturated and probably soon on the decline. At least it will help bail out California.

Intense.

(WFAA)--Sources tell News 8 in Dallas that police have been placed on standby as American Airlines readies to announce layoffs, which could be a significant number, according to sources. Here.
 
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