It’s Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse

August 27, 2011

You crazy fuckers out there buying overpriced tat like Prickuses and Insights and Leafs seem very smug, thinking you are a better man than I because you, as a ‘true believer’ are alone doing something to ‘save the planet’ from big/peak/corporate oil and are actively living the ‘green’ lifestyle. Gettin’ involved. Livin’ the green dream.

Here is a reality check  [ via Seeking Alpha ]:

Relevant excerpts:

“The storage battery is one of those peculiar things which appeals to the imagination, and no more perfect thing could be desired by stock swindlers than that very self-same thing. Just as soon as a man gets working on the secondary battery it brings out his latent capacity for lying.” -Thomas Edison

When Edison was complaining about batteries, specific energies of 25 wh/kg were common. A hundred and thirty years later specific energies of 150 wh/kg are pushing the envelope. A six-fold improvement over 130 years does not provide a rational basis for prevailing expectations.

Let’s face it folks, it’s time to kill the electric car, drive a stake through its heart and burn the corpse. Companies like Tesla Motors (TSLA) are doomed because their vanity products can’t possibly make a difference and have all the environmental and economic relevance of pet rocks.

Using batteries as fuel tank replacements is a zero-sum game that consumes huge quantities of metals for the sole purpose of substituting electricity for oil. Since roughly 45% of domestic electric power is from coal fired plants and that percentage will decline very slowly, the only rational conclusion is that electric drive is unconscionable waste and pollution masquerading as conservation.

Given the nature of the investing process I don’t expect anyone to accept my logic without independently verifying the facts. I sincerely hope that this article will give at least a few investors reason to question their own assumptions in a hopium free environment. Most of us grew up in a rare period of privilege, prosperity and plenty that has seriously distorted our worldview. If we don’t accept the reality that our supply chain assumptions are fatally flawed, we can’t possibly identify realistic solutions that can be implemented at relevant scale.

I drive a used car, which gets decent mpg. I avoid the immediate depreciation suffered by new car suckers. I drive it sparingly, preferring to walk, ride public transport, or bicycle to get from point A to B. I fill it up once per month. I AM green, here me roar.

And I recycle, even though it’s a state tax scam in CA and I’d could just as easily throw it all in the garbage.

There are no political solutions for problems presented by physics.  Mother nature is beyond the reach of the law.



January 12, 2011

Dean Baker- Quote du jour

March 1, 2010

I don’t see anything being gained by holding housing prices higher than the market rate,” says Dean Baker, economist and co-director of the liberal Center for Economic & Policy Research in Washington.It is difficult to see why the government would want to pursue policies that would encourage people to pay too much for homes.

The article this quote comes from is Businessweek which is surprising, really. Reading this in one of those “MSM” publications that co-sponsor lies directly fed from the <ahem> Fed., Inc. (“you’re real governing body”) who substitute artfully penned opinion for fact, and slant figures to support their conclusions.

He is truly the “Deaner,” having identified and wrote often about the trouble with our bubble.

A few of us noticed.

I suggest reading the rest of the article as well, because if you like your dope straight, it is rare that you’ll find it in an officially sanctioned news source:

America’s housing market implosion was the epicenter of the Great Recession. It’s hardly surprising that the federal government directed enormous resources at the market. Besides bailing out vulnerable banks, the federal government nationalized mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, opened the lending spigot at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), passed a first-time home buyers’ tax credit, and established a mortgage modification program for troubled homeowners. The Federal Reserve embarked on a $1.25 trillion purchase of mortgage-backed securities in an effort to engineer lower mortgage rates.

The Herculean efforts may be understandable. But they were a mistake in the early months of the downturn—and now stand as a public policy blunder in the early months of a recovery. That’s a harsh judgment, but it’s way past the time for ending taxpayer support of the housing market.

These policies are geared toward propping up home prices, the definition of a perverse public policy. Artificially holding prices at above-market levels harms new potential buyers, from young adults starting their own households to immigrants putting down stakes in the American Dream. The subsidies wrongly delay the inevitable home market price adjustment to excess supply in many markets across the country.

[ Businessweek ]

So yeah, if you start out from a disadvantage in life in this great nation, not only do you have to work triply harder than someone who started life, say, on third base, but you have the added struggle of public policy stacking the deck against you.

Many people will work hard to overcome their backgrounds and find a way to live the American dream (not home ownership, btw, but justice and equality under the rule of law) in spite of this.

It’s just that fewer and fewer will realize that dream.

“All this talk about ‘free markets‘ and the virtues of ‘private market disciplines‘ go out the window should the actual discipline of markets impose losses on these institutions.” –Marshall Auerback

Fly at your own risk

July 2, 2009

Story du jour:

Aircraft repair jobs performed by unqualified illegal alien workers, displacing qualified Americans; previous experience, speaking English not required

If you own a house, it’s probably gone down in a value.  There isn’t much of anything that you can do about that and if you are like many homedebtors, you probably prefer to crack open a Burgie(tm) and ignore that particular problem until it goes away (or the market turns around- heh).

Kind of the adult version of making like an ostrich: you just don’t want to know or think about it. La la la la fucking la.

Besides, if you still have a job, you can pay the mortgage- after all we all need a place to live.

And unless you attract disaster, chances are nothing will crash into your house. I’ll take those odds (knocks on wood).

If you are a frequent flyer, you might want to read this story (with video for the weary) out of a Dallas TV station. Or, after reading the headline you might just prefer to just ignore it.

After all, what can you do about it?

Perhaps it’s not as bad as it sounds.

The problems are probably blown all out of proportion by the media, and are most likely contained to an entirely different segment of the market than those you frequent.

It’s just one news story, and not even out of a major market. Why hasn’t the NY Times covered it? Must not be important.

We can still trust that regulatory authorities are doing their job, and haven’t taken any bribes or lined up a cushy office job after their retirement from the FAA or ICE with the companies they oversee, to occasionally look the other way.

Even with early retirement and a juicy double-dip escapade beckoning, a federal official would never neglect their sworn duty while in office and place American people at risk.

No sirree Benny.


HT: Mish

Who regluates the regulators?

“… indentured servants who have fewer options than renters.”

June 26, 2009

Got to love them banks.

Wishful thinking

They get bailed out, and farm out the mortgage-mod grunt work to criminals, liars, and thieves (former <spit>  mortgage brokers). How’s that working out?

In March, about 10% were actually finalized.

1/10 of one percent of all  ‘mortage workouts’ actually see a reduction in principle.

Dr. Housing Bubble does an excellent job of bringing this part of the Grandest Boondoggle of Them All into sharper focus with each post. Folks, the Alt-A and option ARM tsunami is out in the middle of the Pacific and be assured, it is heading this way.

I’m not in favor of reducing principal per se, but when banks got such generous bailout terms that came right off the table (we’re in this mess together, like it or not). Shouldn’t the banks be encouraged to pass the savings on to the bailer-outers, i.e. underwater home-renters homedebtors?

That would work out similarly to the way the funding passed right through the golden goose of AIG- which shat out of their anus BILLIONS into the waiting mouths of Goldman Sucks.

BTW, a ‘workout’ completely favors the bank. If a workout is ever ‘successful’ (YMMV), it guarantees a life of indentured servitude. Term extensions, a short-term extension of the teaser rate, and small principal deferral are the main methods being used to bind the homedebtor slave.

Workouts are simply buying time, kicking the can down the road… and eventually today’s workouts fall permanently into the default column too.

You’re really better off walking away.

Debtors are the slaves to the world.

Benron Bukkake hires a professional liar

June 8, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve, Inc. (a privately held, for-profit entity) is on track to hire a veteran lobbyist to help manage its relations with Congress at a time of heightened attention to its role in national affairs, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The Fed plans to hire Linda Robertson, who previously worked for now-defunct energy company Enron, as well as the Clinton administration.

The U.S. central bank has been at the forefront of government actions to limit damage from the financial crisis it created, which began in August 2007.

Robertson was vice president for government affairs at now-defunct energy company Enron Corp from November 2000 until she closed its Washington office in early 2002. Enron collapsed in scandal in 2001 and her work there may raise some eyebrows.

Before that, she was an assistant Treasury secretary for legislative and public affairs under then-President Bill Clinton.


I shit you not.

“Knowing about art does not make a painter.” Vernon Smith on Benron Bukkake

Decline of the middle class

March 16, 2009

What Isn’t Coming Back

In other words, everyone from marketers to the evangelical movement perceived rising ownership of material goods as an “obvious” metric for “the good life.” But the entire superficial surface of jewelry, lavish cruises, huge suburban homes, etc. was based not on a foundation of savings and productive real wealth but on astonishing increases in debt. It was never sustainable, and the fantasy that it was sustainable, and perhaps even “deserved,” was always visibly absurd.

The entire edifice of consumerism is a “false god” which has now been toppled from its gold-leafed perch. Buying more and owning more did not create a sustainable, healthy happiness or a sense of self-identity; the insecurity and anxiety which were masked by shopping and prescription drugs have now been laid bare.

[Charles Hugh Smith]

“At 8% Annual Compounded Growth it will take us 11 years to return to the peak of the S&P 500.” -Dr. Housing Bubble