Some Real World Solar Economics

Does adding solar power make sense for a lot of Americans?  Why, certainly.

Does it add to America’s energy independence?  Obviously!

Then why are power companies trying to sneak through “connect charges” for people who want to make a bit of their own power?  (The word dickweeds comes to mind.)

This morning, we lay out some big systems, explain how they work, and continue our discussion of solar power at a higher level than in the earlier columns this week along with drawings and such.

After coffee and a look at our Trading Model…

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Attention Worrywarts: Exter Lunacy

No, simplistic, out of date theories, don’t work in a world of hypercomplexity, sorry.

This morning we’ll have some fun.  We are going to do some Myth Busting and I won’t even have to dye my hair red, wear glasses, or sign up to host a TV show.

It might even  be a relatively short discussion but you’ll get miles and oodles of information from it because we’ll not only bust a myth but also teach you a bit about the under-appreciated art of clear-thinking.

First, though, in order to rinse out some of the Friday night cobwebs in head-space, a bit of coffee and some warm-up news to savor as we come up with useful economic action plans.

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Economic Lessons from the Sports Book

It has been probably 30-years since I went to a sports book with the intent of making money.  My gambling instructor was a nationally-ranked handicapper.  He wasn’t just good, he was awesome.  I mean buy or win a new Corvette every year, or two, awesome.

How does this apply to the economy and how you invest in today’s crappy world with any chance of a return for the future?  Well, let’s try handicapping investing like the Daily Racing Form does with the nags;  let’s put some economic outlooks up and see how we’d handicap them. 

Life is a long race, with any luck, and each decision you make along the way, whether as a youngster just entering the workforce to being a grizzled oldster like Ures truly can be viewed two ways:  As a “time seed” or a “wager.” 

This morning after coffee and the Trading Model, we’ll look at what an economic version of The Daily Racing Form might look like and talk handicapping.  If you ask an economist what the www.drf.com site is, and they don’t know?  Run.  If they can’t pick ponies, what should anyone believe any of your other picks, either?  There’s a reason they call it a track record, you know…

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Surfing the Global Threat Board

Several years back, the idea occurred to me that we’d be well-advised to develop a Global Threat Board.  That was partially in response to talk of a global coastal event, and lots of other “buzz on the ‘net.”

What we were after was a simplified way to keep track of threats of all kinds, score them, and rank them in terms of what we could about them in advance. Ounce of prevention sort of thing.

This weekend, while we wait to see who else has figured out that the Swiss may be setting up a global financial crisis (more on this a sec) we will update the threats and figure out what’s really worth worrying about.

And to the snappy-thinking reader who said “At age 66, your worries aren’t so much about Russia or Global Warming…it’s the calendar…”  I humbly disagree:  122/76 with a resting pulse of 58…yes, these other things promise to matter.

With coffee in hand (low octane, of course), several celery seed extract pills, some blueberry extract and a great multi-vit and let’s see whether we should worry about the Grim Reaper…or Grim Reality more...

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The Threat No One Talks About

Statistically, it’s going to happen.  It’s just a matter of when.

And it’s one of those things that isn’t making headlines, yet may drive some of the behaviors of the United States, China, and Russia.

So this morning we’ll look at it.  After coffee and our Trading Model, as usual.

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Economic Peril: Our Addiction to Complexity

When I was on CoastToCoast with George Noory this week, he asked me a very simple question:  Insightfully he wondered what I thought of the flat-rate income tax.

My answer was two parts:  First, I love it – with an exemption for people under $20,000 per year (George suggested a voucher would work) and then I explained that it could never be adopted now – because of our “Addiction to Complexity.”

As I explained it:  How many people are employed at IRS and what would those people do for jobs if the single rate tax was real?  What about the tax software industry if your whole annual tax filing could be done with a Wal-Mart calculator in 3-minutes?  And what about the accounting profession which has made a whole industry including professional continuing education credits and all…just in order to keep current on ways to game (but always inside the lines) on accounting under the complex system?

After this morning’s headlines and our Trading Model, we’ll suck down some coffee and go through numerous other examples.  But it all distills down to a key economic peril.  Namely that the US and global economy is in the process of sliding over the edge of the abyss into self-destruction caused by our reliance on ever-increasing complexity to “save the day.”

Which is only a good thing for as long as it works.  But what happens when complexity begins to cross moral and ethical bounds?  What’s more important:  Being right humans or keeping an increasingly crooked system intact?  You may was to augment your coffee this time around because this gets down to real “core values” which, come to think of it, have mostly be taken out back and put up against the wall, too.  That’s an undeniable fact that is NOT coincidental.

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Oil’s Triple Whammy

As the lights went out early this morning, oil was back down on international markets and testing its low.  And oil is now facing three whammies in a row – with a special fourth whammy out this week in the XL pipeline decision.

This morning’s column offers a fine case study in how it’s cheaper to invest in environmentalists and lobbying in order to make money, than just about any other use of investment capital.

But first, more coffee and headlines and we roll into another Hump Day…with a somewhat abbreviated column due to being up late with a radio interview this morning… 

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Confiscation in 2015? Probably Not, But…

A number of readers have asked me, in so many words, “If government can simply steal all, or part of our money through confiscation – as in Cyprus – what the heck should I save and what are ‘cash equivalents?

That is a question near and dear to the heart of preppers.

Fine question, not too long an answer, but worth kicking around because a country which has more debt that annual GDP is (in a very real sense) and economic time-bomb waiting to go off.  And when governments go off (on the people) the results are often infuriating and outrageous as any Cypriot, Greek, Italian, Irish, or Icelander will attest.  Prepping of the most extreme sort, but….

First, however threes the ever-important Trading Model and coffee…

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Modeling 2015 Part 2: This is When?

imageThe nice thing about intellectual honesty is that it’s OK to make mistakes.  Especially when being suckered by history.  As it turns out, what our Trading Model is forcing us into, in light of recent action, is a complete reassessment of where we are on the calendar in terms of economic replays of great/catastrophic historical events.  But no, it doesn’t look like 2007-2008 was the all-time high as some readers have suggested.

Not that our postings on the replay of the Great Depression (since 1997) have been totally wrong:  They have been useful thought tools and we’ve made a little money along the way.

Still, “as the wheel turns” we acquire new information, such that the future is becoming more clear before us every day.

So toward that end, to wrap up a fine year where the “model has been righter than the gut” we outline a new way of looking at the great rhyme of history.  And as such, it offers an alternative that will be integrated into our outlooks going forward.  And that outlook includes some genuinely outlandish possibilities.

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Modeling 2015, Part 1

img409This weekend and next week, we will be keeping a “tight” focus on our outlook for 2015 which – much as I hate to say it – continues bullish into the new year.  Although an end-of-year rally will be satisfying to a lot of people, there are some technical reasons why the rally may continue even into 2017 – and it’s a set of reasons that will have us looking back at market data from the 1920’s (and earlier) for comparisons, this weekend and on Wednesday.

But comparisons are complicated because (like it or not) humans are “coming out of the investment loop.”  And as this happens, the “meaning of money” is changing.  And that gets us into crypto currencies and then….well, after some first items, we’ll set the statistical table.  As usual, we will be trying to connect all the dots, but we’re looking at a big ball of yarn right now with some breathing room before the big unraveling…

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Surveying the Road to Riches for 2015

img400What does an FA-18 Hornet going transonic just before busting up over Mach 1 have to do with why Ford brands a car as its “Mach One” and how does this fall figure into the price of oil and where to make the next smart investment?

It’s all in how you “grid the world.”  It’s something we all do, but it’s not something often articulated because it all goes back to parenting, schooling, jobs, and the bouncing around through life.

But ultimately, how well you do on the financial side of the house is decided by two simple concepts:  How you think and its next door neighbor what you think about most.  And then it all distills down to what you do about it.

By the time we’re done, I believe you’ll be convinced that 2015 holds immense opportunity.  Not only that, but I’ll let you in the method I am following in order to “find the next Microsoft.”  It’ll be some intellectual hopscotch, but believe me when I tell you, we have some clues where to look.

With the holidays here, we can get somewhat philosophical here and show you a method of thinking about the future that may help you on your path to wealth and riches.

After coffee and our Trading Model.

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Broken Web II: Digital Anarchy Arrives

As if this will take any of the readers of “Broken Web:  The coming collapse of the Internet” by surprise, the Sony hack has put a whole series of perspectives into place about what life will be like on the digital frontier from here forward.  We’ve got everything from “made up money” in the crypto currencies, to rips of books, and robots following close behind.

A primer on digital anarchy after our ChartPack, a review of the Trading Model, and a few significant headlines to light off Saturday…

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PCP: Penciling Crash Possibilities

img29Off into the intestines of Nikolai Kondratiev Wave theory this morning, as we attempt to make sense out of global markets in general and what may be coming for the USA market, in particular.

This is hardly a trivial pursuit because in case you haven’t noticed, the Dow Jones Industrials (which were showing hints of a small rally earlier this morning) are in a “great heap-o-crap” because the 200-day moving average is being quickly approached and a number of technical indicators are verging on collapse.

So the exercise of reviewing the literature (and a bunch of charts) in order to map out a rational trading response is a good thing and quite justifiable, give our believe that we may be  on the cusp of ending the false boom that was initiated in the wake of the Housing Collapse.

We will attack history, parallels, and most important – how to make a buck in declines – so have plenty of coffee at the ready and a spare roll of Charmin, too.  Because when it comes to crash possibilities things turn distinctly ugly in the next year or two.

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