Sunday, 15 February 2009

Tidbits for February 2009

US, UK and Europe are bankrupt

Everybody seems to know that US is toast, printing money to finance debt that they can't ever imagine to repay back. UK is crashing down the twin black hole of energy and financial debt which together will make the 70's look like a picnic to them.

But Europe? The home of the old steady bundesmark? Yup. Bankrupt. Overleveraged, over-debt-ridden, over-illiquid and soon over-insolvent. As in nobody has enough of money to bail out all the European banks. At least none of the Europeans. Good luck going to the Republic of China with a hat in hand.
Time for a Reality Check
"Reality check: The "stimulus" that President Obama will sign Monday is a band-aid.

But European banks may be in far worse shape.

The problem revealed in the report is an estimated write-down by European banks in the range of 16 trillion pounds, or about $25 trillion dollars!

The euro is going to get a lot weaker if bank problems are even half of what the report says they are."

So what, if the economy is slowing down a bit and we'll end up nationalizing all the banks through debt that our grandchildren will pay? Let's just print money!

At least we'll have cheap oil from here to kingdom come!

Um... well, no.

Oil party over

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of oil company Total and one of the most publicly outspoken peak oil aware oil execs gives us the future:
"The capacity that the oil industry has to go to 93-95 million barrels per day is already over. There will be a shortage of energy in the medium to long term."

Ok, so the Party's over. What now?

Well, that has got to be a good sign for the environt and for the climate in particular? No.
CO2 hits new peaks, no sign global crisis causing dip
"Atmospheric levels of the main greenhouse gas are hitting new highs, with no sign yet that the world economic downturn is curbing industrial emissions. Levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities, rose to 392 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere."

So much for that stabilization at below 380ppm. Nobody really believed in that to begin with, it was all pep talk. Get ready for the next rounds of pep talk at 480ppm. I'm sure it'll be of great relief to all the Australians.

Are we beginning to see the larger picture emerging here?

As proclaimed earlier, this is not a doom blog, but a realist one. World will recover, economies just as well. One way or the other people will muddle through.

So, nobody knows anymore what 'one' or 'the other' actually entails in the future. We will recover, but how?

To automatically assume that we can - or more importantly that it makes any sense - to get back to Business As Usual, is pure insanity. Or actually, just very human. We're not very good at foreseeing disruptions in semi-linear continuations.

Expect the unexpected and keep on keeping in action and you'll be ready for anything.

Do more, as self-delusional talk is rapidly approaching it's end of shelf-life.