Aug 262014
 
Guest Post: Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables

Guest post by Gail Tverberg of Our Finite World On August 6, I wrote a post called Making Sense of the US Oil Story, in which I looked at US oil. In this post, I would like to look at other sources of US energy. Of course, the energy source we hear most about is natural gas. We continue to be a net natural gas importer, even as our own production rises. US natural gas production leveled off in 2013, because of the low level of US natural gas prices. In 2013, there was growth in gas production in Pennsylvania [...]

 August 26, 2014
Aug 252014
 

Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL or whatever they are called) now controls a land mass larger than the UK and earns over $2 million a day in revenues from oil sales, extortion, taxes and smuggling. That’s a sh!tload of money – more than Twitter, which incidentally has a $27b market cap. According to Bloomberg, Islamic State is self-reliant and self-funding, unlike previous terrorist groups which depended on the kindness of strangers. “The Islamic State is probably the wealthiest terrorist group we’ve ever known,” said Matthew Levitt, a former U.S. Treasury terrorism and financial intelligence official who now is director of the [...]

 August 25, 2014
Aug 252014
 

I am not sure how viewing a video can be declared a crime. What is there to prevent people from seeing? Scotland Yard has warned internet users they could be arrested under terrorism legislation if they viewed or shared the video of James Foley’s murder, as Twitter and YouTube attempted to remove all trace of the footage from the web. (Source) Could it be because the video may have been staged? According to one analyst: …a study of the four-minute 40-second clip, carried out by an international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera [...]

 August 25, 2014
Aug 252014
 

Never before has the developed world carried this much debt. Never before have the central banks of those same countries expanded their balance sheets so much. Never before has so much sovereign debt been outright monetized. Never before have major financial institutions been officially designated as “too big to fail” and thereby been granted special license to assume gigantic risks. Dr. Lacy Hunt, economist and current executive vice president of Hoisington Investment Management Company, expects the macroeconomic situation to get worse from here.

 August 25, 2014
Aug 252014
 
Are Investors Are Getting Complacent?

In March 2009 most retail investors were pessimistic about the markets. For at least a couple years, any good news was met by extreme skepticism. Readers would comment that the market was rigged, that the recovery was fake, that everything would collapse once QE was removed, that government bond yields were going to skyrocket due to money printing, etc. Instead of collapsing, markets rose over the next five years, employment continuously improved and yields remained low. Today, the S&P 500 broke through 2000 and fell back to settling at an all time high of 1997.92. After the 5 year raging [...]

 August 25, 2014
Aug 252014
 
Donations vs. Death

Charity is big f@cking business. People get rich running charities. Charities are giant marketing organizations. Now put that into perspective when you consider the following graphic. This illustrates the vast gap between donations and deaths. All diseases suck, but doesn’t it make sense to tackle the ones that knock down the most people? So what explains the gap? Maybe money raised today is an after-effect of previous fundraising momentum, which succeeded in bringing down the death rates in the disease. One wonders then what these charities do once death rates for their respective causes plummets. Do these charities outlive their [...]

 August 25, 2014
Aug 242014
 
3 Essential Books for Becoming Rich and Successful

Becoming wealthy often requires the adoption of certain habits. While common sense to some, these habits are often difficult to embrace and master. I need constant reminder of what I should be doing and how I should be thinking. Without these reminders I stray from my long term plan. Financial freedom and independence takes practice. Just like shooting a ball through a hoop. We all make mistakes along the way, but with these books at your side you are better equipped to build and maintain a long term course. Read them. Re-read them. They may benefit you whether you crave [...]

 August 24, 2014
Aug 242014
 
Former CIA Officer: There Are ISIS Sleeper Cells In U.S.

Question: would another 9/11 tank the stock market? Would it make it harder to find a job? Would it freeze business investment and trigger a recession? Nobody can guarantee any answers, so you must diversify to mitigate these risks. Are you all long risk assets? Do you hold any government bonds? Do you own any gold? What is your exposure to the US dollar? It may be time to evaluate how a new rise in terrorism might affect your wealth creation plans.

 August 24, 2014
Aug 242014
 
In Which State Does $100 = $86.66?

This chart from taxfoundation.org shows the relative purchasing power of $100 across all the US states.

 August 24, 2014
Aug 232014
 
Top Putin Aide Foreshadows War

Sergey Yurievich Glazyev (born January 1, 1961) is a Russian politician and economist, Full Member of Russian Academy of Science since 2008. He was a minister in 1993, a member of the State Duma in 1993-2007, and ran for President of Russia in 2004. Glazyev was a co-founder of the Rodina party. In July 2012, Putin appointed Glazyev as presidential aide for the coordination of the work of federal agencies in developing the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. “The world today is going through a year of overlapping cyclical crises. This is a period when the global economy [...]

 August 23, 2014
Aug 232014
 

You know you can live with a lot less. You also know you would spend more time exercising, sleeping, reading, building a business, etc. if you could. But you can’t because you are trapped in the 40hr work-week vortex. I think David Cain of Business Insider recently said it best. On why we don’t work shorter days: But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes [...]

 August 23, 2014
Aug 222014
 

ISIS is probably more well-equipped and organized than any other ‘terrorist’ group. Is this fear mongering? After-all, a powerful government thrives on a fearful citizenry. Regardless of the truth, welcome to the new war for the next decade.

 August 22, 2014