Table On-Topic Summary - 02-Nov-2002
A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 44443 to 44476

Post  44443  by  lkorrow       Reply
Pace, I hope so too, re: last time to Iraq and the Middle East. We really need to get off oil, it's running out and will get increasingly costly due to supply and demand issues and we're under the thumb of the countries with the oil and that's OPEC and Russia. There could be a dip in prices, since we're close to a temporary oversupply with Russia coming online. They will buy us years. I have said too that it needs to be a gradual conversion, since industries must be transitioned.

I hope something else comes along like Decomposed's clean fusion. I need to learn a bit more about that, like if it's really clean or if that's another figment of Decomp's imagination like clean nuclear power, :-) how far off it is, what's the fuel, and how much it will cost.

Yes, developing countries are going for the gusto on solar. In India, they are wearing masks when they go outside in some cities the pollution's so bad. Pollution's much worse in developing countries than here. As far as here, bring on the fusion, Decomposed, we can't wait forever!

What we really need to do is tell the utilities they must comply with pollution guidelines rather than let them trade credits and continue spewing stuff from dirty plants. What a ridiculous policy.

What I can't for the life of me figure out is why we aren't going for solar and fuel cells in a big way as a new industry. We're letting a lucrative market get away from us, there's a huge global market for this stuff. Our companies are twiddling their thumbs while we get aced again. Our economy could use the boost, to say the least. Third world countries are going solar, so oil sin't going to have the leverage it once did in many places. Water will. Developing countries will be a gradual too, but they say it's a trillion $ market so we have to get with the program and make some money off this! jmho, after all, it's happening with or without us. That's my current thinking, always learning. . . . I have had good and bad moments picking stocks too. This year is a mess. I was doing well for awhile, then listened to a service and blew 25% in one morning. I'm letting gold ride for a bit. Thank goodness AU and NEM are offsetting KRY!

Post  44444  by  lkorrow       Reply
Decomposed, I didn't know Alec Baldwin & Co. had something going out there. While I concede the breast cancer may or may not be related to the radioactive contamination from Brookhaven, that would have to be proven, I am most concerned with the ground water, a. k. a., the radioactive plume. I'll post the story if I can dig it up. This is real, the source was Brookhaven.

That's interesting info on coal. Is it the same kind of radiation? My Navy friend says I (used to) get more radiation exposure walking through Grand Central terminal than I'd get from a nuclear plant. I know granite has some, but I was surprised by that! I'd be happier with nuclear if the waste didn't kill you, it couldn't get stolen, and the plants and waste weren't a terrorist target. Too many issues, imho.

Post  44445  by  lkorrow       Reply
Jeff, I know the story, I'm not referring to the Shoreham plant, though. The leakage in question is from a reactor or reactors at Brookhaven Labs. It's not part of the grid, it's a research reactor(s).

Post  44446  by  lkorrow       OT: Decomp, Jeff, didn't find the original story,
Post  44447  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Decomposed!

Post  44448  by  lkorrow       Reply
Decomposed, Solar's not a Boondoggle!

Yes, the 12 year solar payback includes incentives. I heard many startups all bringing the price down considerably, it's an emerging technology, by no means mature. Just the fact that there IS a payback shows it's saving quite a bit of money. The companies presenting at the NREL conference are making some amazing advancements that will bring costs down, such as new materials, adding hot water heating, etc.

According to the Long Island Power authority, New York is a good candidate for solar. Did your friend put one of the new Photovoltaic (PV) systems on his roof? I wonder if the house was a good candidate or not, things like roof pitch come into play. LIPA has some energy bill savings calculations in their FAQ:

I realize you're reacting to the article with the Manhattan-sized solar arrays in space, but considering solar as a nuclear or other plant replacement is an apples-to-oranges comparison. There is an enormous cost to dirty power that is often ignored. Solar's not a replacement technology today, but solar electricity generation and hot water has the potential to:

- improve business productivity and profitability and U. S. competitiveness by reducing power and heating costs, inflation-proofing some percentage of energy costs, reducing health care and life insurance costs, reducing absenteeism, etc.

- offset overall CO2, etc., emissions, which just keep getting worse with population growth and, thus, improve health and reduce mortality rates and quality of life for everyone by reducing air pollution

- reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help insulate us somewhat against the impacts of terrorist attacks on power plants by dispersing power generation

- extend the life of non-renewable fuels like oil and coal, for future generations and offset the peak energy needs of power companies

- possibly help mitigate the increasingly violent weather impacts of global warming associated climate change

Nuclear cost is around 3 times gas (1996). That surprises even me!

Fuel Levelized costs (cents/kWh, 1996)

Wind (with PTC) 3.3-5.3
Gas 3.9-4.4
Wind (without PTC) 4.0-6.0
Coal 4.8-5.5
Hydro 5.1-11.3
Biomass 5.8-11.6
Nuclear 11.1-14.5

Federal and state solar incentives:

Post  44449  by  uponroof       Reply
Debt reaches moon...1 thin buck at a time

"Corporate Moon Shot – The $3 Trillion Bomb

As I was reading through the news, one article on Bloomberg hit me right over the head! “The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed that U.S. companies be required to disclose an estimated $3 trillion in off-balance sheet debt, a reaction to Enron Corp.’s collapse.” The off-balance sheet debt is carried by SPE’s (special-purpose entities), which are usually partnerships, trusts or corporations controlled by the parent company. The article went on to say, “These SPE’s help corporations get more favorable terms on loans while keeping the debts off their books.” HELLO!!! Don’t you think investors would want to know how much debt their companies are holding? We’re talking $3 trillion. To put it into perspective the article said, “By comparison, the size of the U.S. corporate bond market is about $2.3 trillion, according to Lehman credit indexes.” By admission of the SEC, the hidden debts of Corporate America exceed the entire U.S. corporate bond market.

We flippantly throw around these big numbers of billions and trillions. Bear with me to get a minds-eye for what a trillion dollars looks like. A fresh bundle of a hundred, one-dollar bills is roughly a half-inch thick. With 24 bundles you get a stack one-foot tall. A mile is 5,280 ft. x $2400/ft. = $12,672,000 per mile. Now take $1,000,000,000,000 divided by $12,672,000 = 78,914 miles. A stack of one trillion dollars would be 78,914 miles high! Stack up $3 trillion in hidden corporate debt, and those paper-thin dollars would get you to the moon from here! That’s a BIG number to be excluded from the balance sheets."

Post  44450  by  pacemakernj       Reply
Limda, imo this MSFT ruling is huge. I've said before that this market peaked they day the Clinton Justice Dept. sued MSFT. Could the same hold true now only on the upside? It's very possible that we make look back at this ruling and say that it marked the end of this bear market. Just as the ruling in March of 2000 was the start of this bear market. Scanning this AM's headlines there is more positive news on the telco front with VZ looking to spend $5 billion over the next 5 years in building the Enterprise Advance Network. This is huge news as well because it might signal the beginning of cap ex spending. If that is so and we'll need confirmation of that than we are off to the races. Again I've said that the big issue here is whether cap ex spending picks up before the consumer capitulates. If we get corporate America to start spending that is also great news. So I guess the owrds for the day are cautious optimism. Look for a surge at the open on Monday. If the R's get both Houses of Congress and we get a rate cut on Wednesday we'll be at 9500 by Friday. Hold onto your hat this is not that far fetched. BTW, I am buying on Monday. Pace.

Post  44451  by  lkorrow       OT: Decomposed, Waiting for fusion could be a mist
Post  44452  by  lkorrow       OT: Sorry, forgot the CO2/temp chart link:

Post  44453  by  lkorrow       Reply
Pace, actual debt is more than twice what is reported, wow. This is really out of control. I like reducing government, but not out of existence. After all the hubba hubbas, nothing has been fixed. What a story. :-(

Post  44454  by  lkorrow       Reply
Pace, MSFT and the corporate debt posts, I guess corporate debt will be ignored in business as usual. The telecom spending is good, but it's half what it's been. I guess that's reasonable given the massive build-outs that were done. Perhaps there will still be some fallout. Should make a major difference to LU, CSCO, etc. Yes, I guess it will be touch and go on the timing of cap-ex spending vs. consumer spending presumably dropping. Cars seem to have had it, probably layoffs coming there. Hope capex does see us through it, we're close to the start of a new budget year, which might help a bit. Agree on 9500 too, although a week might be pusing it! I think you're making a good investment Monday; good luck, all!

Post  44455  by  ljpit       ot: stockman, hrw
Post  44456  by  ljpit       ot: stockman,
Post  44457  by  Decomposed       ot: Lkorrow, Breast Cancer, California
Post  44458  by  pacemakernj       OT: Decomp, I have been to both places and I can t
Post  44459  by  ljpit       ot: lkorrow,

Post  44460  by  tinljhtkh       Reply

That debt is really no problem at all!

The people at the website listed at the end of this post will take care of that for you! One of their representatives was on CNBC on halloween and made the statement that the refinancing boom could go on and on, financed out of the approximately 7.5 trillion in unborrowed real estate equity still remaining in the United States today!

I looked through a part of their website and couldn't find that figure but just thought that I would link one of their economic reports anyway! We don't need to worry about Greenspan and the Fed needing to lower rates or start printing more money--our residences are hatching it faster than we can put it to use! At least that is my appraisal of the situation!

". Bear with me to get a minds-eye for what a trillion dollars looks like. A fresh bundle of a hundred, one-dollar bills is roughly a half-inch thick. With 24 bundles you get a stack one-foot tall. A mile is 5,280 ft. x $2400/ft. = $12,672,000 per mile. Now take $1,000,000,000,000 divided by $12,672,000 = 78,914 miles. A stack of one trillion dollars would be 78,914 miles high! Stack up $3 trillion in hidden corporate debt, and those paper-thin dollars would get you to the moon from here! That’s a BIG number to be excluded from the balance sheets.""

I feel so much better now that we have gotten back to the moon once again! With all of our obligations combined, I'd bet that we've even made it to Mars! Was all of this just to build a better mousetrap? If that is the mousetrap that we've constructed, however, I hate to think of what the cat looks like! :0)




Post  44461  by  Decomposed       ot: Lkorrow, radiation from coal
Post  44462  by  Decomposed       ot: Linda,

Post  44463  by  pmcw       Reply
roof, Thanks for sharing the good news. Wow, debt is down from the September 1997 high of $3,806,516,000,000*. Actually, they mistated the current debt figure. It's really $3.4T now, but that's still down by over 10% from the '97 high and hey, what's a few hundred billion between friends. ;o)

*Non-financial sector corporate US debt. Does not include Federal, State or local Government Debt.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44464  by  ljpit       ot: decomposed, in it's right proportions radiatio
Post  44465  by  Decomposed       OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Nov 1, 2002
Post  44466  by  lkorrow       OT: Decomposed, I mentioned I wasn't sure where th

Post  44467  by  maniati       Reply
Decomp: Yes, I was joking about "flying off towards Pluto," but I would think it's still a factor that has to be taken into account. Maybe not. But, the surface area to mass ratio of this beast would be orders of magnitude greater than anything we've ever put up there. I'm fuzzy on the details, but I remember reading about solar sails 25 years ago, and it seems this thing would make a solar sail look like a rock.

I don't claim to be an expert, so I'll defer to you on this, but why would a solar array have to be thick, or even made out of metal? There wouldn't be any stresses on it in space. Why does it need any more structural integrity than a piece of cardboard with occasional reinforcement?

Also, if it's rigid, then if a piece of space debris hits it (which I would think would happen, given the surface area), then the whole thing would move, but if it's thin and flimsy, then the debris breaks through it, causing less movement.

Considering you're talking about something 15,000 square miles in size (I think you said 660 x the size of Manhattan?), I think you would want it to be pretty damn thin, otherwise that's one phenomenal amount of material (mass) to have to manufacture.

And, btw, you still have to get the material up there. I always assumed that something like that would be manufactured in space, not on earth, but you still need to get the raw materials up there. So the cost of boosting a pound of cargo is still pretty important - unless you mine the asteroid belt or the moon.

Post  44468  by  lkorrow       Reply
ljpit, Good points. On the worse pollution in developing countries, take a peak at the NASA map link below, it all seems to go south of the equator. I was also thinking of a story on India, where they're wearing masks to breath in some cities versus here where we haven't reached that point yet (India and China are, interestingly, exempt from pollution controls by the Kyoto agreement too, that's nuts).

Global Carbon Monoxide map (tab down to Oct 1994!):

Hydreogen does seem to have a lot of potential. I think it will be islands of use for cars, much like we saw with ISDN deployment in the telecom world, it was deployed where it made business sense. The challenge is infrastructure for Hydrogen distribution and storage. There was a speaker from GM at the conference who pointed us to this site (interestingly, the Freedom car is a joint effort between DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors):

Thanks for the hydro link that's a good one!

There were are a lot of good slides in Dr. Peter Brewer's presentation on CO2, here's a few. One shows the high U. S. CO2 contribution:

Growth in Greenhouse gases:

Northern hemisphere average surface temperature:

Ocean absorbtion, U. S. contribution, etc:

Impact of atmospheric CO2 on coral reefs:

Post  44469  by  lkorrow       OT: Decomposed. Interesting list. I don't have the
Post  44470  by  lkorrow       OT: Decomposed, that's what I like about CA, great

Post  44471  by  lkorrow       Reply
pmcw, howd they get it down, borrow from social security. :-) Just kidding . . .

Post  44472  by  pmcw       Reply
lk, That's just corporate debt. Federal (Public Debt) is still growing. Corp debt has been reduced by reorganization and companies actually paying down debt. As I've stated many times, it is moving in the right direction, but there is still some pain to come. This is one reason to keep interest rates down and lower them a little more. Regards, pmcw

Post  44473  by  tinljhtkh       OT: I'm not sure that

Post  44474  by  lkorrow       Reply
ljpit, doesn't that announcement make ya feel warm and fuzzy? How close to home? What kind of security?


Post  44475  by  lkorrow       Reply
pmcw, OH! I was an advocate of lower rates, but, selfishly, I hope it happens after my company sets the MM rate in my 401K. I think they will do so begrudginly to keep some powder dry for when sentiment drops. Maybe that will happen next quarter. Seems like we're heading down, not up on profit expectations and RE and cars are softening . . .

Post  44476  by  lkorrow       OT: Tin, that was entertaining. And a good time to