2019: World Economy Is Reaching Growth Limits; Expect Low Oil Prices, Financial Turbulence

Financial markets have been behaving in a very turbulent manner in the last couple of months. The issue, as I see it, is that the world economy is gradually changing from a growth mode to a mode of shrinkage. This is something like a ship changing course, from going in one direction to going in reverse. The system acts as if the brakes are being very forcefully applied, and reaction of the economy is to almost shake.

What seems to be happening is that the world economy is reaching Limits to Growth, as predicted in the computer simulations modeled in the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth. In fact, the base model of that set of simulations indicated that peak industrial output per capita might be reached right about now. Peak food per capita might be reached about the same time. I have added a dotted line to the forecast from this model, indicating where the economy seems to be in 2019, relative to the base model.1

Figure 1. Base scenario from The Limits to Growth, printed using today’s graphics by Charles Hall and John Day in Revisiting Limits to Growth After Peak Oil with dotted line at 2019 added by author. The 2019 line is drawn based on where the world economy seems to be now, rather than on precisely where the base model would put the year 2019.

The economy is a self-organizing structure that operates under the laws of physics. Many people have thought that when the world economy reaches limits, the limits would be of the form of high prices and “running out” of oil. This represents an overly simple understanding of how the system works. What we should really expect, and in fact, what we are now beginning to see, is production cuts in finished goods made by the industrial system, such as cell phones and automobiles, because of affordability issues. Indirectly, these affordability issues lead to low commodity prices and low profitability for commodity producers. For example:

  • The sale of Chinese private passenger vehicles for the year of 2018 through November is down by 2.8%, with November sales off by 16.1%. Most analysts are forecasting this trend of contracting sales to continue into 2019. Lower sales seem to reflect affordability issues.
  • Saudi Arabia plans to cut oil production by 800,000 barrels per day from the November 2018 level, to try to raise oil prices. Profits are too low at current prices.
  • Coal is reported not to have an economic future in Australia, partly because of competition from subsidized renewables and partly because China and India want to prop up the prices of coal from their own coal mines.

The Significance of Trump’s Tariffs

If a person looks at history, it becomes clear that tariffs are a standard response to a problem of shrinking food or industrial output per capita. Tariffs were put in place in the 1920s in the time leading up to the Great Depression, and were investigated after the Panic of 1857, which seems to have indirectly led to the US Civil War.

Whenever an economy produces less industrial or food output per capita there is an allocation problem: who gets cut off from buying output similar to the amount that they previously purchased? Tariffs are a standard way that a relatively strong economy tries to gain an advantage over weaker economies. Tariffs are intended to help the citizens of the strong economy maintain their previous quantity of goods and services, even as other economies are forced to get along with less.

I see Trump’s trade policies primarily as evidence of an underlying problem, namely, the falling affordability of goods and services for a major segment of the population. Thus, Trump’s tariffs are one of the pieces of evidence that lead me to believe that the world economy is reaching Limits to Growth.

The Nature of World Economic Growth

Economic growth seems to require growth in three dimensions (a) Complexity, (b) Debt Bubble, and (c) Use of Resources. Today, the world economy seems to be reaching limits in all three of these dimensions (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Complexity involves adding more technology, more international trade and more specialization. Its downside is that it indirectly tends to reduce affordability of finished end products because of growing wage disparity; many non-elite workers have wages that are too low to afford very much of the output of the economy. As more complexity is added, wage disparity tends to increase. International wage competition makes the situation worse.

A growing debt bubble can help keep commodity prices up because a rising amount of debt can indirectly provide more demand for goods and services. For example, if there is growing debt, it can be used to buy homes, cars, and vacation travel, all of which require oil and other energy consumption.

If debt levels become too high, or if regulators decide to raise short-term interest rates as a method of slowing the economy, the debt bubble is in danger of collapsing. A collapsing debt bubble tends to lead to recession and falling commodity prices. Commodity prices fell dramatically in the second half of 2008. Prices now seem to be headed downward again, starting in October 2018.

Figure 3. Brent oil prices with what appear to be debt bubble collapses marked.

Figure 4. Three-month treasury secondary market rates compared to 10-year treasuries from FRED, with points where short term interest rates exceed long term rates marked by author with arrows.

Even the relatively slow recent rise in short-term interest rates (Figure 4) seems to be producing a decrease in oil prices (Figure 3) in a way that a person might expect from a debt bubble collapse. The sale of US Quantitative Easing assets at the same time that interest rates have been rising no doubt adds to the problem of falling oil prices and volatile stock markets. The gray bars in Figure 4 indicate recessions.

Growing use of resources becomes increasingly problematic for two reasons. One is population growth. As population rises, the economy needs more food to feed the growing population. This leads to the need for more complexity (irrigation, better seed, fertilizer, world trade) to feed the growing world population.

The other problem with growing use of resources is diminishing returns, leading to the rising cost of extracting commodities over time. Diminishing returns occur because producers tend to extract the cheapest to extract commodities first, leaving in place the commodities requiring deeper wells or more processing. Even water has this difficulty. At times, desalination, at very high cost, is needed to obtain sufficient fresh water for a growing population.

Why Inadequate Energy Supplies Lead to Low Oil Prices Rather than High

In the last section, I discussed the cost of producing commodities of many kinds rising because of diminishing returns. Higher costs should lead to higher prices, shouldn’t they?

Strangely enough, higher costs translate to higher prices only sometimes. When energy consumption per capita is rising rapidly (peaks of red areas on Figure 5), rising costs do seem to translate to rising prices. Spiking oil prices were experienced several times: 1917 to 1920; 1974 to 1982; 2004 to mid 2008; and 2011 to 2014. All of these high oil prices occurred toward the end of the red peaks on Figure 5. In fact, these high oil prices (as well as other high commodity prices that tend to rise at the same time as oil prices) are likely what brought growth in energy consumption down. The prices of goods and services made with these commodities became unaffordable for lower-wage workers, indirectly decreasing the growth rate in energy products consumed.

Figure 5.

The red peaks represented periods of very rapid growth, fed by growing supplies of very cheap energy: coal and hydroelectricity in the Electrification and Early Mechanization period, oil in the Postwar Boom, and coal in the China period. With low energy prices,  many countries were able to expand their economies simultaneously, keeping demand high. The Postwar Boom also reflected the addition of many women to the labor force, increasing the ability of families to afford second cars and nicer homes.

Rapidly growing energy consumption allowed per capita output of both food (with meat protein given a higher count than carbohydrates) and industrial products to grow rapidly during these peaks. The reason that output of these products could grow is because the laws of physics require energy consumption for heat, transportation, refrigeration and other processes required by industrialization and farming. In these boom periods, higher energy costs were easy to pass on. Eventually the higher energy costs “caught up with” the economy, and pushed growth in energy consumption per capita down, putting an end to the peaks.

Figure 6 shows Figure 5 with the valleys labeled, instead of the peaks.

Figure 6.

When I say that the world economy is reaching “peak industrial output per capita” and “peak food per capita,” this represents the opposite of a rapidly growing economy. In fact, if the world is reaching Limits to Growth, the situation is even worse than all of the labeled valleys on Figure 6. In such a case, energy consumption growth is likely to shrink so low that even the blue area (population growth) turns negative.

In such a situation, the big problem is “not enough to go around.” While cost increases due to diminishing returns could easily be passed along when growth in industrial and food output per capita were rapidly rising (the Figure 5 situation), this ability seems to disappear when the economy is near limits. Part of the problem is that the lower growth in per capita energy affects the kinds of jobs that are available. With low energy consumption growth, many of the jobs that are available are service jobs that do not pay well. Wage disparity becomes an increasing problem.

When wage disparity grows, the share of low wage workers rises. If businesses try to pass along their higher costs of production, they encounter market resistance because lower wage workers cannot afford the finished goods made with high cost energy products. For example, auto and iPhone sales in China decline. The lack of Chinese demand tends to lead to a drop in demand for the many commodities used in manufacturing these goods, including both energy products and metals. Because there is very little storage capacity for commodities, a small decline in demand tends to lead to quite a large decline in prices. Even a small decline in China’s demand for energy products can lead to a big decline in oil prices.

Strange as it may seem, the economy ends up with low oil prices, rather than high oil prices, being the problem. Other commodity prices tend to be low as well.

What Is Ahead, If We Are Reaching Economic Growth Limits?

1. Figure 1 at the top of this post seems to give an indication of what is ahead after 2019, but this forecast cannot be relied on. A major issue is that the limited model used at that time did not include the financial system or debt. Even if the model seems to provide a reasonably accurate estimate of when limits will hit, it won’t necessarily give a correct view of what the impact of limits will be on the rest of the economy, after limits hit. The authors, in fact, have said that the model should not be expected to provide reliable indications regarding how the economy will behave after limits have started to have an impact on economic output.

2. As indicated in the title of this post, considerable financial volatility can be expected in 2019 if the economy is trying to slow itself. Stock prices will be erratic; interest rates will be erratic; currency relativities will tend to bounce around. The likelihood that derivatives will cause major problems for banks will rise because derivatives tend to assume more stability in values than now seems to be the case. Increasing problems with derivatives raises the risk of bank failure.

3. The world economy doesn’t necessarily fail all at once. Instead, pieces that are, in some sense, “less efficient” users of energy may shrink back. During the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the countries that seemed to be most affected were countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy that depend on oil for a disproportionately large share of their total energy consumption. China and India, with energy mixes dominated by coal, were much less affected.

Figure 7. Oil consumption as a percentage of total energy consumption, based on 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy data.

Figure 8. Energy consumption per capita for selected areas, based on energy consumption data from 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy and United Nations 2017 Population Estimates by Country.

In the 2002-2008 period, oil prices were rising faster than prices of other fossil fuels. This tended to make countries using a high share of oil in their energy mix less competitive in the world market. The low labor costs of China and India gave these countries another advantage. By the end of 2007, China’s energy consumption per capita had risen to a point where it almost matched the (now lower) energy consumption of the European countries shown. China, with its low energy costs, seems to have “eaten the lunch” of some of its European competitors.

In 2019 and the years that follow, some countries may fare at least somewhat better than others. The United States, for now, seems to be faring better than many other parts of the world.

4. While we have been depending upon China to be a leader in economic growth, China’s growth is already faltering and may turn to contraction in the near future. One reason is an energy problem: China’s coal production has fallen because many of its coal mines have been closed due to lack of profitability. As a result, China’s need for imported energy (difference between black line and top of energy production stack) has been growing rapidly. China is now the largest importer of oil, coal, and natural gas in the world. It is very vulnerable to tariffs and to lack of available supplies for import.

Figure 9. China energy production by fuel plus its total energy consumption, based on BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 data.

A second issue is that demographics are working against China; its working-age population already seems to be shrinking. A third reason why China is vulnerable to economic difficulties is because of its growing debt level. Debt becomes difficult to repay with interest if the economy slows.

5. Oil exporters such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria have become vulnerable to government overthrow or collapse because of low world oil prices since 2014. If the central government of one or more of these exporters disappears, it is possible that the pieces of the country will struggle along, producing a lower amount of oil, as Libya has done in recent years. It is also possible that another larger country will attempt to take over the failing production of the country and secure the output for itself.

6. Epidemics become increasingly likely, especially in countries with serious financial problems, such as Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela. Historically, much of the decrease in population in countries with collapsing economies has come from epidemics. Of course, epidemics can spread across national boundaries, exporting the problems elsewhere.

7. Resource wars become increasingly likely. These can be local wars, perhaps over the availability of water. They can also be large, international wars. The timing of World War I and World War II make it seem likely that these wars were both resource wars.

Figure 10.

8. Collapsing intergovernmental agencies, such as the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund, seem likely. The United Kingdom’s planned exit from the European Union in 2019 is a step toward dissolving the European Union.

9. Privately funded pension funds will increasingly be subject to default because of continued low interest rates. Some governments may choose to cut back the amounts they provide to pensioners because governments cannot collect adequate tax revenue for this purpose. Some countries may purposely shut down parts of their governments, in an attempt to hold down government spending.

10. A far worse and more permanent recession than that of the Great Recession seems likely because of the difficulty in repaying debt with interest in a shrinking economy. It is not clear when such a recession will start. It could start later in 2019, or perhaps it may wait until 2020. As with the Great Recession, some countries will be affected more than others. Eventually, because of the interconnected nature of financial systems, all countries are likely to be drawn in.


It is not entirely clear exactly what is ahead if we are reaching Limits to Growth. Perhaps that is for the best. If we cannot do anything about it, worrying about the many details of what is ahead is not the best for anyone’s mental health. While it is possible that this is an end point for the human race, this is not certain, by any means. There have been many amazing coincidences over the past 4 billion years that have allowed life to continue to evolve on this planet. More of these coincidences may be ahead. We also know that humans lived through past ice ages. They likely can live through other kinds of adversity, including worldwide economic collapse.


[1] Note that where the dotted line for 2019 is placed is based on where I see the 2019 economy relative to the downturn in industrial output per capita, based on a number of kinds of evidence, not all of which is cited in this article. The 1972 base model would give a slightly different timing of the downturn, a few years earlier. Also note that while the original “The Limits to Growth” book is no longer in print, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by the same authors is available for sale.

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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2,080 Responses to 2019: World Economy Is Reaching Growth Limits; Expect Low Oil Prices, Financial Turbulence

  1. el mar says:

    @Davidin100Million… ans all:
    If the economy is dependend on growth, and growth is dependend on increasing fossil energy input, and we are soon faced to peak oil because of the falling output of shale oil, how can we make it until 2030? It looks like we are just now at the beginning of a deflationary depression what will destroy the house of cards much earlier.

    el mar

    • It looks to me that way as well. There are an awfully lot of interconnected systems that threaten to fail in a slowdown. In fact, a slowdown in China’s coal production is just as important, or more important, than peak oil in this regard. International trade needs to contract. The promises made to pensioners seem unlikely to be payable. Many debt defaults seem likely to be ahead.

      • el mar says:

        Thank you Gail. That sounds logical to me. And that is wy we feel the nervous vibrations caused by the bow wave of the starting deflation all over the world. From Trump over Brexit to yellow vests and Bolsonaro ….

    • kevin moore says:

      There are different phases in response to terminality. Bargaining is one of them.

  2. Baby Doomer says:

    Russia-Saudi alliance abandons assault on US shale as oil supply crunch looms

    The oil alliance of Opec and Russia has abandoned efforts to drive US shale out of the global energy market, accepting the hard reality of America’s irrepressible frackers for years to come.

    “To really fight shale we’d need oil below $40 a barrel,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s wealth fund.

    “That is not good for the Russian economy and it is not good for the Saudi economy. It is not practical, and we are not going to try to fight it,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    A string of Opec members would risk incipient insolvency if there were another oil price war along the lines of 2014-2016. Saudi Arabia’s ruling dynasty would struggle to maintain its cradle-to-grave welfare model needed to head off political dissent.

    Mr Dmitriev, a key architect of Russia’s oil strategy, said his country was working tightly with the Opec cartel and was now pursuing prices of $60 to $70, deemed the optimal range needed to ensure long-term stability.

    Brent crude has crept up into the bottom of this range after a dramatic sell-off in October and November on global recession fears and a soft US line on Iranian sanctions. The Opec-Russia deal last month to trim output by 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) has restored balance to the market.

    Surging shale output in the Permian Basin lifted US output by 2m b/d last year, an increase alone equal to the entire production of Mexico.

    The US has pulled ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest producer of crude at 11.7m b/d, a feat made possible by America’s deep capital markets and $50bn of equity financing for wildcat projects.

    Vicki Hollub, chief executive of Occidental, said the Permian was an astonishingly prolific basin with multiple layers of rich resources. Seismic imaging, multi-pad drills, and longer lateral bores have radically changed the economics of the industry.

    “We’ve driven down the breakeven price of much of the Permian to less than $40, and in some cases even to $30, so there is still going to be a lot of opportunity to grow,” she said.

    This time investors will be more disciplined. “They have been burned and are much more cautious now. Investors are going to hold companies to account,” she said.

    Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said new pipelines in Texas would unblock a major bottleneck by the end of this year, opening the way for a fresh flood of US shale into world markets. “We’ve not seen the full impact of shale yet. The second wave is on its way,” he said.

    Dr Birol said it was perfectly plausible that the US would raise output by a further 10m b/d over the next decade. This would entirely change the geopolitical prospects of Russia and the Middle East.

    John Hess, founder of Hess Petroleum, said the US would keep growing to 15m b/d but then start to hit all kinds of constraints. “Shale is about 6pc of world oil supply now, and it probably will go up to 10pc by mid-decade. Then it flattens out,” he said.

    “Resources start to degrade. Eventually you get to locations that aren’t as attractive as the ones we’re drilling right now. So shale is not the next Saudi Arabia but at the end of the day it is an important component of short-cycle supply,” he said.

    Supply shortfall
    Mr Hess said the problem was that global spending in conventional long-term projects had collapsed. This is setting the stage for a serious crunch in the future.

    The world needs new capex investment in oil and gas of $580bn each year to stand still. It spent just $350bn in 2016, $370bn in 2017, and $410bn in 2018. The effects of this shortfall are not yet visible in world supply. They soon will be.

    Majid Jafar, head of Crescent Petroleum in Dubai, said natural attrition was relentlessly eroding future supply. “There is chronic under-investment and a natural decline of 3m to 4m barrels a day. We need to add a new Iraq each year,” he said.

    Mr Jafar warned of a coming supply crisis within five years. The paradox of oil today is that even though the spot market is well supplied and Opec is holding back output, spare capacity is actually at wafer thin levels.

    This is an accident waiting to happen and there are geopolitical stress points all over the world. Venezuela’s Maduro regime is now in its final agonies, raising a lot of questions about $50bn of debts to China and $17bn owed to Russia.

    Venezuela has slashed output by two thirds to 1.1m b/d. “It is the biggest drop in the history of the oil market for a medium producer,” said Dr Birol.

    Mr Jafar said that ultimately the global oil industry should be grateful to Texas frackers. “We don’t see US shale as a threat at all.

    That of course has reduced the economic urgency of renewable energy, which is what the Mid-East producers fear even more. It is why environmentalists view shale with such deep suspicion.


  3. Duncan Idaho says:

    I think we have a new name—–

    • Tim Groves says:

      This is an oldie by now, but it’s still valid:

      May 3, 2018
      The Democrats’ favorite sport: Ruining people
      By Patricia McCarthy

      Vince Foster, Hillary’s lawyer friend from Arkansas who died by his own hand in 1993, once said of Washington, D.C., “Here, ruining people is considered sport.” He had learned the hard way how brutal is the game of politics, especially if one works for the Clintons. What Ted Kennedy did to Judge Robert Bork to keep him off the Supreme Court in 1986 was a disgusting and vicious perversion of the Constitution. What they did to Clarence Thomas in 1991, with Joe Biden in the Kennedy role, was beyond the pale and certainly racist; as we still see today, the left cannot allow black Americans to be conservative, especially one as brilliant as Thomas. As the Clintons came to dominate and control the Democratic Party from 1992 on, the game became more sinister and more dangerous.

      Over the past twenty-six years, the virus that is the Clintons on the American body politic has metastasized into a virulent auto-immune disease. They are a virus that seeks to utterly destroy what it sees as an enemy but may well end up demolishing itself, with devastating results. With Trump’s win, this virus amped up its attack on all things Trump: his supporters, his agenda, his family, his friends, and his Cabinet and staff. So intent on getting and keeping power and massive amounts of ill gotten riches were they that the American people chose, once and for all, to reject Hillary and to inoculate themselves from further damage at the hands of the Clintons and their sycophants.

      But a disease for which only half of the antibiotics are given becomes angrier and even stronger. The Democratic Party today has moved so far to the left, become so radicalized, that it is a blight on the American landscape. Its favored strategy is to destroy everything, anyone, and anything that stands in its way – thus the Mueller witch hunt that has cost so many so much. Gen. Flynn has lost his house. Michael Cohen’s homes and office were raided. Michael Caputo, a “witness,” let the Senate committee know what he thinks when he said to them, “God [d—] you to Hell.” It remains to be seen if the DOJ I.G. report we await will tell the true story of their diabolical contempt for all that is good about this nation.

      The collusion-with-Russia hoax has been effectively exposed for what it was and is: a plan devised to overturn the results of the 2016 election. Only the blinkered media and their counterparts in Congress fail to see that their plan has not only backfired, but boomeranged. We know the plan was to get Flynn, then do the same to Trump (McCabe).

      The Democrats have tried to block all of Trump’s nominees to his Cabinet, to the courts, to ambassadorships but have failed for the most part. This past week, they slimed Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House physician to the Obamas and Bushes, after Trump nominated him to head up the V.A. Sen. Tester accused the man of a long list of bad acts, none of which is true. They want Scott Pruitt gone from the EPA. Only two Democrats voted to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state despite a résumé second to none. Only three Democrats voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, a justice in the Scalia mode, a true constitutional scholar. This cannot be said for Sotomayor and Kagan.

      Throughout his two terms, Obama appointed people who, like him, view the Constitution as an old, irrelevant document written by old white men. The left today, like Obama throughout his administration, seeks to increasingly transform the U.S. into a socialist nation with all the abrogated freedoms that would entail.

      How to achieve the Marxist society they favor? Destroy everyone, every conservative, pro-Constitution person and every person of faith who reaches or aspires to a position of power, and do it by any means, no matter how low, no matter how illegal, no matter how immoral. This is what they do.

      Those who do not stand up and yell “foul” but stay silent and go along to get along are as guilty of these crimes against the country as was the Ted Kennedy left and the Chuck Schumer-Nancy Pelosi left are today. Of these people and their fellow leftists, not one has spoken out about the crimes of the Clintons and the pay-to-play scheme of their “foundation.” Not one.

      The Democratic Party of today, as Dennis Prager has so often pointed out, is no longer liberal, no longer the party of JFK. It is now the party of Saul Alinsky, the man who instructed, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” and “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?”

      This is who the left is today. Leftists’ mission in life is to destroy anyone who gets in their way. Vince Foster knew of what he spoke.

      • jupiviv says:

        “The Democratic Party today has moved so far to the left, become so radicalized, that it is a blight on the American landscape.”

        The Dem elite are conservatives on everything except a few trivial social issues, and they are called radical communists by the people who control 2 branches of govt. There is the indicator of which direction US politics leans towards.

        The 20s will roar again.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        I though Hillary killed Vince Foster?

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Daily News?
        “flexibly centrist” with a “high-minded, if populist, legacy”.[19] The News endorsed Republican George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
        Sounds like a left wing publication.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Since May 2017 the former FBI chief Mueller investigates an alleged collusion between Trump, his campaign and something Russian with regards to the 2016 election. No evidence has been produced so far that substantiate any such collusion. The people who fanatically claim that there must have been such a connection are now disappointed. The long awaited Stone indictment was one of their last straws. But there is absolutely nothing in it that hints at any collusion.

      All these alleged crimes were committed in relation to an appearance of Stone before a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation.

      During the 2016 election Stone publicly claimed that he was in direct communication with Wikileaks and its editor Julian Assange. Steve Bannon, then part of the Trump campaign, asked Stone to ask Wikileaks at what time it would release new batches of emails that had been obtained from the Democratic National Committee. The Trump campaign was naturally interested in using these releases to attack the competing candidate Hillary Clinton.

      Wikileaks and Assange denied that they had any relations or communications with Roger Stone. It later turned out that Stone had two contact persons, the New Yorker comedian Randy Credico and the conservative writer Jerome Corsi, who he MIGHT have had some contact or insight into Wikileaks. The indictment says nothing about their relations to Wikileaks.

      During his appearance in front of the HPSCI Stone misremembered, contradicted or lied about several details related to his earlier false claim. He also asked Randy Credico to lie to the committee. Those are the only issues the indictment is about. It is about the lies of a notorious liar which became process crimes when he repeated them during an investigation. Stone himself denies emphatically that he committed any crime and promises to defend himself in court.

      Nowhere does the indictment say that this has anything to do with the Trump campaign, Russia, Wikileaks or the not existing relations between them.

      But some media will not tell you that……


      • Artleads says:

        Thanks. It does help to get a bit of clarity.

      • Lastcall says:

        “O brave new world that has such people in it”

      • piers says:

        Roger Stone’s worst crime, of course, is that he has aged horrifically. I thought he was supposed to be RICH? The solution is to trick him into the Big Brother House, where he will be literally stoned by an invited audience. This will be poetic justice, a beautiful post-modern event and will aid community cohesion. 🙂

    • Uncle Bill says:

      Thanks, Duncan, obviously you hit a nerve….what did Trump expect? His term in office up to now was undoing the previous Democrat President’s policies and boasting about it.
      Did Mr. Trump expect cooperation with the opposition? If so, he is naive and not a statesman.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      The Dims need to get wise—
      I know its a long shot.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      one theory (perhaps of many) is that she is “thinking” of running again (against Trump of course) so that if his DOJ brings criminal charges against her, she can claim that it is purely politically motivated…

      my understanding is that Comey actually admitted there were crimes but that she didn’t intend to commit those crimes, so therefore he gave her the FBI Special Pass…

    • kevin moore says:

      Here’s a fascinating video examining Clinton’s body language.


    • aaaa says:

      If she wasn’t a viperous b**** at the State Department, I would’ve voted for her. She’s ruthless, but I think the Clintons would generally be adults in the room, so-to-speak.

      • jupiviv says:

        Meta-politics inspired by game of thrones characters is precisely why the Ds lost. The loonies can play that game harder, longer, better because not very much can be done to improve the avg voters’ lives at this point. May as well promise things people do want.

  4. Baby Doomer says:

    Jeff Bezos gives a pitiful amount of his $160B fortune to charity


    And just to give you an idea of how rich billionaires are..If you inherited one billion dollars, you could spend $1000 dollars a day for over 2700 years before you ran out of money..And that is just one billion dollars..Bezos has around 160 billion..

  5. Baby Doomer says:

    Back 10 years ago, the elites at the Davos conference were seen as the people who ruled the world..

    Now they are seen as the people who ruined the world..

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      but don’t we know better?

      that the decline in net (surplus) energy derived from FF is what eventually will “ruin the world”…

      at least by about 2030 or so…

      • xabier says:

        True, but being chattering apes, a physical fact will always be given, by preference, a social-political explanation.

  6. psile says:

    Has U.S. shale oil entered a death spiral?

    “With the big Wall Street players now questioning the value of their existing investments in shale oil, the industry is finding it hard to raise money. Not a single bond sale has come off since November in an industry which must continuously raise capital to survive.

    To add to the problems, the future of U.S. shale oil production seems to be in the Permian Basin in Texas which has been providing the lion’s share of oil production growth for the entire country. But ongoing drought in an already arid West Texas has raised doubts about whether the Permian will have enough water to meet all the demand for fracking new wells.”

    • Lack of funding could prove to be a huge problem. Lack of water for fracking combined with lack of water for funding could easily put them out of business. Waiting for desalinated water form the ocean, and taking it by truck to where it would work would theoretically be feasible, but the cost would be outrageous.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Profit does not seem to be a business model.
        Just keep the game going—-

        • You are right. We seem to have a lot of businesses, worldwide, that seem to be operated just to keep the game going. China understands that businesses need to be operated to provide jobs for people. In a sense, this can be their primary purpose. All kinds of debt can be added, so that the system seems to keep operating, even if the output produced has virtually no value to anyone (homes for investors to buy that will fall apart after building, homes that not enough workers can afford to live in, unneeded roads and airports, unneeded rapid transit trains that few can afford). In the US, the story can’t be quite this transparent.

          • GBV says:

            “…homes for investors to buy that will fall apart after building”

            Hey now Gail. Give credit where credit is due!
            Those million dollar Chinese investment properties don’t start falling apart for at LEAST 2-3 years after they are built! 😉

    • This is a good article on the water problem in the Permian basis that Kurt Cobb links to.


      Water is a crucial ingredient in the fracking process, and drillers use copious volumes of it. The problem for the U.S. oil industry is that so much of the output growth expected over the next half-decade or so depends very heavily on the Permian basin, where water is increasingly scarce.

      The article points out that this is likely to be a cost issue, pushing down the margins of producers further, as they move to less desirable acreage as the best areas are drilled further. Recycling of “produced water” can be done to provide additional water, but this costs several dollars a barrel. Trucking water from a longer distance probably costs even more.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “With the big Wall Street players now questioning the value of their existing investments in shale oil, the industry is finding it hard to raise money.”

      USA might have to nationalize this industry…

      • Might. They also will need to nationalize investments in natural gas and coal. Something tells me that this really can’t happen, because the US is already in a position where it cannot reasonably balance its budget. Too much has been promised to the elderly and disabled. Also, private pensions look ready to default, in the next few years. They would need to be nationalized as well. Too many problems to fix the way people would like them fixed.

  7. Baby Doomer says:

    Former NASA scientist and climate advocate James Hansen said “suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”


    • Heinberg says the same thing

      • Sheila chambers says:

        Your right, their both NUTS! You cannot “transition” from a RESOURCE to a TECHNOLOGY that’s dependent upon that SAME RESOURCE!
        What is so complex about comprehending that SIMPLE FACT?
        I suspect their getting paid to say that as they must surly know that “renewables” cannot replace essential resources.
        They will find out, the hard way.
        The “yellow vests” will be out en masse when the lights go out & their left freezing in the dark as their batteries die.
        I would keep a VERY close eye on the rig count – https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_rotary_rigs when it tanks, that’s it!
        I feel sorry for all those young people who are demanding that we “keep it in the ground” & “get off oil & transition to renewables”, they know not of what their asking for.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Please read it again, Sheila. Hansen and Heinberg would agree with you that one cannot “transition” from a RESOURCE to a TECHNOLOGY that’s dependent upon that SAME RESOURCE! They point out that we won’t be able to transition to renewables.

          On the other hand, they are suggestion that we might be able to transition to some form of nuclear, and if pressed they might well argue that nuclear, once it gets up to speed, needn’t be dependent on fossil fuels. The same might be argued for space-based solar.

          Whether any of the above technologies can really be independent of fossil fuels in the real world rather than just in theory is a question I am not qualified to answer.

          • energy is use-less until it is put to use

            without all the whizzy whirry things we depend on, energy doesn’t have any use

            but all those whirry whizzy things require fossil fuel energy to produce

        • That’s the wall I keep banging my head against over on Resilience

          why I don’t know

          masochism I guess

          still—when I stop it feels good

        • xabier says:

          I feel sorry for the young too: they mostly don’t know how things really work from the energy point of view, and they are being fed such propaganda in the media, and at school. too – they will believe that the ‘New Green Deal’ is something real.

          It is not a good plan to bring people up on Utopian fairy tales of that kind.

          Real fairy tales are much better and more true to life.

          • GBV says:

            “I feel sorry for the young too: they mostly don’t know how things really work from the energy point of view”

            Do we “old” people (though I’m only in my late 30’s, so I like to imagine I’m not “old” just yet) really know how things work from an energy point of view? Even those of us who frequent OFW and have a greater understanding of the energy predicament we face don’t really do much to change our current energy paradigm. Instead, we continue to live in our own energy “Utopian fairy tale”, struggling with the cognitive dissonance that comes with the realization that our way of life will end (and likely soon).

            I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really no point in criticizing all the different groups of people (e.g. “New Green Deal’ers”, “Peak Oil Deniers”, “Status Quo’ers”, “#MeToo’ers”, “Canadians”) out there, as they basically all have their own “Utopian fairy tale” in their own minds – all of them just as bad as the rest, really. Their constant screaming, bickering, arguing and fighting with their various detractors is simply the ongoing struggle to see who will be in charge of the great unwashed masses, and thus enforce their version/vision of the “Utopian fairy tale” on everyone else 😐

        • kevin moore says:

          Don’t you know that motors can be run on water but big energy is suppressing this fact because they would lose their income? On a serious note I guess rig count is where the rubber meets the road.

  8. Baby Doomer says:

    “A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
      ― Woody Allen

    • I homeschooled my daughter for one year, the year she was supposed to be in eighth grade, when she was about 13. I continued to work part time as well; the requirements for home schooling were not very demanding. She taught herself HTML and put up a blog that she updated nearly every day, receiving over 1000 hits per day. She also started some sort of a newsletter, which she sent out by snail mail to subscribers who sent her $1 per issue, also by snail mail. She would not have learned those things in school.

      We also ended up sending both of our boys to a private school for several years.

      I have very few relatives with children in school now. The few who have school age children are homeschooling them now.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        I can very easily see how homeschooling would be preferable. Wish I’d had that option growing up instead of going to the zoo school I went to before high school that was anything but a place of learning. It was violent and mostly a series of distractions from learning. Teachers didn’t even try to intervene in fist fights and nothing happened – no one went home, no trip to the principals office, nothing. Integration meant payback to the descendents of the slave owners. Nothing could be said otherwise or it was considered prejudice. On our last day at that school people were elated, happiness pervaded all day long and for some reason no one got their pockets picked, their lunch stolen, bullied or humiliated. I wonder why? It was their last chance to do something to us. Why not? Maybe that was suppose to mean we were suppose to forget everything that happened there.

        Then we went to high school where it was different, not violent, just trying to catch up on what wasn’t learned in junior high and get good enough grade to go to college. And college I must say was a beautiful experience of higher learning and the rest of the joys of life.

        • Sheila chambers says:

          To qualify for a collage education, you first need a good educational foundation, but if your a girl, have divorced parents, were raised by grandparents who thought their days of raising children were over, were moved around a lot, different schools, different types of “learning”, were picked on, mocked & bullied, & couldn’t even see the chock board where the lessons were taught, you couldn’t get the educational foundation that was needed for collage.
          In high school, girls were regulated to the “mommy track” we learned how to be house wives, a “skill” no employer would need, girls were not allowed to take any of the trade classes, those were for BOYS ONLY, we couldn’t even learn to drive, BOYS ONLY!

          Too much home “schooling” in the US is RELIGION based! So along with math & ABC’s, they “learn” that Jesus is lord & “savior” & the “rapture” is coming “soon”.
          Home schooling can be superior to public school with the right, EDUCATED parents, public schools just teach us to believe what we are told & not to think for ourselves & we were tought a lot of BS.
          Now PBS which used to have good programing is sounding more like Fox “news” reich wing propaganda every day, their even repeating the LIE that Venenzualia collapsed because of “socialism” with no mention of the real reason for it’s collapse, the steep drop in the price of it’s OIL from over $100. a barrel down to $30. a barrel & the sale of oil was 87% of it’s income. I guess spending money to provide it’s people with health care, child care, maternal care & food assistence is “socialist” & thus a crime. Let ’em die!
          Any country that lost 70% of it’s income whether capitalist, socialist or communist would collapse.
          Now the US is working to overthrow it’s DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED president with it’s own, corporate puppet so it can seize it’s OIL just as it overthrowed it’s ruler in Iraq to steal it’s OIL, same thing happend in Libya – OIL again, in Afghanistan it’s rare earths.
          We are currently engaged in 15 military actions.

  9. Third World person says:

    thanks god we have sent some proof of
    homo sapiens in deep space regardless
    what happens to our species


    • Hubbs says:

      Not the appropriate site to get philosophical, but I have always wondered if, assuming that life evolves (whether spontaneously or via diaspora) throughout the universe, all civilizations are ultimately doomed to a cruel death loop whereby they either destroy themselves or some cataclysmic event like a meteor prevents them from advancement to the point that they can ever make contact with another advanced life form.

      Remember, it is not just the distance, measured in light years, that keeps us apart, but also time! Earth is 4+ billion years old, the last 500 million with life forms, but so far only a century with “advanced intelligence” capable of making and receiving contact. An incredible temporal coincidence would be required to cross paths.

      • Hubbs says:

        In fact, that was the most striking feature to me of the introduction to the Star Wars movies. The story was based on events a long time ago. Civilizations far more advanced than ours could hope to become may have already arisen and vanished hundreds of millions of years ago. We are programmed to think only of advances being in the future, not in the past, and that we as a species could never devolve back to a more primitive and less energy intensive existence.

        • it seems to me, that any level of civilisation is entirely dependent on its ability to convert one energy form into another

          Egyptians converted food=muscle==stone& metals

          Greeks Incas and Romans did the same

          the laws of physics preclude any “other way”

          There could possibly have been ancient civilisations (1m yr +) using the above progressions, but none on our level because to do so would have involved consumption of finite resources–which is the problem we have. If they had consumed them, they wouldn’t have been there for us in our own era. We know the elements in the periodic table. There are no others available.
          High energy inputs are necessary to convert and use those elements.

          It doesn’t seem possible to have a cohesive civilisation unless you have hard edged tools driven by forces stronger than the people of that civilisation. (you can’t do things without tools)

          Thus we get back to the universal law:-

          Civilisation is dependent on explosive force converted into rotary motion

          • You are right. Most of what we have is in some sense converted energy.

            • this is an absolutely ”must watch’

              Jeremy Rifkin, the third industrial revolution

              1.5 hours–so take it in small doses, but brilliant clear frightening stuff

            • This is what Jeremey Rifkin’s book blurb on the same subject says:

              The Industrial Revolution, powered by oil and other fossil fuels, is spiraling into a dangerous endgame. The price of gas and food are climbing, unemployment remains high, the housing market has tanked, consumer and government debt is soaring, and the recovery is slowing. Facing the prospect of a second collapse of the global economy, humanity is desperate for a sustainable economic game plan to take us into the future.

              Here, Jeremy Rifkin explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful “Third Industrial Revolution.” He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an “energy internet,” just like we now create and share information online.

              Rifkin describes how the five-pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution will create thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, and usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct commerce, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.

              Rifkin’s vision is already gaining traction in the international community. The European Union Parliament has issued a formal declaration calling for its implementation, and other nations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, are quickly preparing their own initiatives for transitioning into the new economic paradigm.

              The Third Industrial Revolution is an insider’s account of the next great economic era, including a look into the personalities and players ― heads of state, global CEOs, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs ― who are pioneering its implementation around the world.

            • What Rifkin has to say is a must watch/listen because of the clarity of his delivery and information, particularly on entropy and economics

              however, where I think he falls down—is on that ”millions of businesses” thing.

              Our fundamental problem is extraction of food-energy from the earth

              no matter how many whirry whizzy things you have in your hand or pocket, if those food calories don’t appear on your plate, it’s game over

            • Food calories are terribly important, I agree. And electricity does nothing for providing food.

              I think the other part of the system that is terribly important is the built infrastructure–the roads, bridges, pipelines, electricity transmission lines, water and sewer treatment plants, the refineries, the furnaces, the railroad tracks and airports, and even the airplanes, trains, trucks, fire engines, and many other vehicles that make our system operate. We cannot make or even repair these items with electricity. They require fossil fuels. These things tend to be “out of sight, out of mind”. But if these things break down, our system is in deep trouble. Admittedly, the furnaces could perhaps be replaced with heat pumps, but even doing this requires metals and a transportation system. These require fossil fuels, not electricity.

            • Ed says:

              NO, everything we have is converted energy!
              try not eating for a week

            • Artleads says:

              But where does Rifkin deal with that cultism or monasticism that you (and I) have considered sine qua non? Or Reinhold Niebuhr’s Divine Madness of the Soul? Apparently, Rifkin can do without mystery. Then what about the human proclivity to tribalism? Does he consider that? Does he also consider that the path we’re on might have to do with somebody’s (not everybody’s) epistemological construction? .

          • Uncle Bill says:

            Thanks Norman for the Rifkin link….His well received best seller way back in the 80s, “Entropy: A New World View” was a major tpping point in my life…was set on the Doomer path ever since and look where it led me….thanks Mr. Rifkin!
            From Wikipedia
            In the book the authors analyze the world’s economic and social structures by using the second law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of entropy. The authors argue that humanity is wasting resources at an increasing rate, which if unchecked will lead to the destruction of civilization, which has happened before on a smaller scale to past societies. The book promotes the use of sustainable energy sources and slow resource consumption as the solution to delay or forestall death by entropy. Critics: Rifkin’s 1980 views assume that entropy is disorder. However, a more modern based on information theory treats entropy as uncertainty. The later approach explains how in some cases entropy increases order. In fact, order spontaneously increases in the world all the time in evolution and also in an economy that is constantly improved. Therefore, Rifkin’s book is controversial. See “Entropy God’s Dice Game” by Kafri and Kafri.
            I’m stilling waiting for the outcome ….hopefully till I push up daisies.

            • thanks Bill

              I would have thought disorder and uncertainty were so close in meaning that to try to find difference would be nitpicking in the extreme

              evolution seems to introduce ‘disorder’ in order to further the necessary game of chance that is our existence

      • Rufus says:

        Right, this is one solution to the Fermi paradox. If we collapse … soon …. maybe … in 20 years, we will have sent signals to outer space (artificially generated electromagnetic waves) for about 100 years : this is just a ‘ping’. And we will have been able to listen to alien signals for approximatively the same time. This is a blink of an eye. If all advanced civilizations in the galaxy, or universe, last as little as us, despite their possible large number, the probability that one can ‘hear’ the signal of another is quite low.

        Tremendous distances, few time, few energy seem to separate us. This is God’s will : no interstellar tower of Babel.

  10. Uncle Bill says:

    Hmm, Well now, at least we can’t blame them for the mess we’re in, can we?
    This post for Gail.
    Back YahooFINANCE
    IMF’s Lagarde on the absence of women at banks: ‘Be careful what you look like
    The lack of women in finance is unfair to women and bad for banks, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde told Yahoo Finance this week at the World Economic Forum.
    “There’s something wrong,” said Lagarde, who has helmed the IMF since 2011. “If you look at the composition of boards in that sector, only 20% of them are women. If you look at the CEOs of the financial sector, only 2% are women … our societies don’t look like that. And if you look at graduates from universities and business schools, it doesn’t look like 20% or 2%. It’s a lot more than that.
    Asked about her advice for Trump if he selected her to be an economic advisor for the administration, Lagarde quickly responded, “Trump would never ask me to be his advisor.”
    She continued: “I would try to identify how well-governed, multilateral trade can be efficient and can be beneficial for each and every participant. That would be my mission No. 1.
    I like her MISSION….BAU ….FULL THROTTLE …BABY…(and more little ones to keep the economy expanding, of course)

  11. jupiviv says:

    This might be behind a paywall for others, but:


    “The Facts About Facebook
    We need your information for operation and security, but you control whether we use it for advertising.
    By Mark Zuckerberg

    We’re very focused on helping people share and connect more, because the purpose of our service is to help people stay in touch with family, friends and communities. But from a business perspective, it’s important that their time is well spent, or they won’t use our services as much over the long term. Clickbait and other junk may drive engagement in the near term, but it would be foolish for us to show this intentionally, because it’s not what people want.

    Another question is whether we leave harmful or divisive content up because it drives engagement. We don’t. People consistently tell us they don’t want to see this content. Advertisers don’t want their brands anywhere near it. The only reason bad content remains is because the people and artificial-intelligence systems we use to review it are not perfect—not because we have an incentive to ignore it. Our systems are still evolving and improving.

    Finally, there’s the important question of whether the advertising model encourages companies like ours to use and store more information than we otherwise would.

    There’s no question that we collect some information for ads—but that information is generally important for security and operating our services as well. For example, companies often put code in their apps and websites so when a person checks out an item, they later send a reminder to complete the purchase. But this type of signal can also be important for detecting fraud or fake accounts.

    We give people complete control over whether we use this information for ads, but we don’t let them control how we use it for security or operating our services. And when we asked people for permission to use this information to improve their ads as part of our compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, the vast majority agreed because they prefer more relevant ads.

    Ultimately, I believe the most important principles around data are transparency, choice and control. We need to be clear about the ways we’re using information, and people need to have clear choices about how their information is used. We believe regulation that codifies these principles across the internet would be good for everyone.”

    And that is that. If you see irrelevant ads from now on, blame all the people who don’t want to share their deepest darkest lore with Zucki.

  12. Baby Doomer says:

    Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

    Solar and Wind produced less than two percent of total world energy in 2016 — IEA WEO 2017

    It Will Take 131 Years To Replace Oil, And We’ve Only Got 10

    Warning of shortage of essential minerals for laptops, cell phones, electric cars, solar panels, wiring

    We Might Not Have Enough Materials for All the Solar Panels and Wind Turbines We Need

    Study predicts world economy unlikely to stop relying on fossil fuels

    At this rate, it’s going to take nearly 400 years to transform the energy system

    Why sustainable power is unsustainable

    Top scientists show why powering US using 100 percent renewable energy is a delusional fantasy

  13. Baby Doomer says:

    Russiagate is proof that the American Ideology can’t sustain itself without a boogeyman..

    First it was the Soviets Then it was Iraqis Then Isis..And now the…Soviets again?

    Maybe one day Americans will actually learn to face the real material conditions of their society..

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      wake me when it gets to $488 trillion…

      • GBV says:

        Here’s a WSJ article from March 2016 saying we were at about $122 trillion:


        Only about 2.66 years to double – fantastic!
        Looks like we’ll be waking you up pretty soon, David… 🙂

        • Governments are mostly on a pay-as-you go basis. They guarantee bank accounts, pension plans, and nuclear power plants, but never carry any liability associated with these guarantees. The funding of Medicare is on a pay as you go basis. The funding of Social Security is very close to a pay-as-you go basis. There was extra funding collected a few years back, because it was clear a big number of baby boomers will be retiring. The government spent this extra money on other things (wars, probably), and left non-marketable US debt securities in place of what had been spent. So it still has to pay, one way or another.

          So there is a lot of “debt” outstanding, that does not show up on any balance sheets. If energy supply were growing fast enough, and cheaply enough, perhaps it would be possible to pay these amounts.

  14. Chrome Mags says:


    There is a chart in that article definitely worth looking at, which shows the amount imported into China from different countries. It’s labeled: 7. winners, losers and Germany in the crossfire. In the latter half of 2018 the US, Japan and Germany’s exports to China plummeted big time, whereas Brazil skyrocketed. Russia was going up with Brazil, but then started dropping.

    “Brazil has seen exports to China jump as a result of the stopping of US soybean exports to China thanks to the trade war. China turned instead to Brazil for its oilseed, causing a major spike in Brazilian exports of the agricultural commodity.”

    These developments have all occurred as a result of the tariffs. I wonder now that China is getting their oilseed from Brazil if they China will ever decide to return to US soybeans. That’s the problem with major changes that happen as a result of a trade war – they don’t necessarily just pop back to how they were before.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “Saudi Arabia is seeking 1.6 trillion riyals ($425 billion) in investment by 2030 for infrastructure as well as energy, mining and other industrial projects, as part of an effort to cut its reliance on oil…”

      ah, my favorite year appears once again…

      the cost of “industrial projects” in a desert surely can’t be economically competitive with non-desert locations…

      the article didn’t say if they have any resources that the rest of the world wants besides oil…

      and if they think oil prices will be in a “high” range between now and 2030, they are sadly mistaken…

      • they obviously employ the same advisers as the emperor did when he bought his suit of clothes

      • xabier says:

        Everyone promises ‘infrastructure investment’ these days – the ‘New Green Deal’, Corbyn in Britain, etc, – as if it were a kind of magical formula to revive a dying global economy.

        In part, this will simply be an attempt to shore up what has already been built and is starting to crumble (rather quickly in the case of China!) and keep the electorate employed.

        But it isn’t a magic bullet: historic infrastructure investment only made sense in so far as it enabled access to resources, processing, distribution and international commerce.

        The building of towns, roads and bridges in 10th -12th century Europe truly re-established civilization and made further economic growth possible, and was quickly profitable. Same for Roman roads and ports, British canals and railways.

        Otherwise, it merely functions to maintain debt expansion,and demand from temporarily-employed construction workers and associated professionals: politically and financially expedient, ‘keeping the plates spinning’,but only in the very short-term, and in no way is it an ‘investment.’

        It’s almost Cargo Cult thinking…. Or like the old proverb ‘Have a baby and the food will come for it’.

        • Infrastructure investment is a way of raising demand for fossil fuels, and thus raising their prices. If infrastructure investment fails, we are in deep trouble. This is the reason for building all of the unneeded houses and roads, airports and high speed trains. It is the usual lever governments push on to try to get employment up as well as commodity prices up.

          • what it comes down to is:

            don’t let this crash on my watch

          • xabier says:

            Or, we are in deep trouble, so indulge in one last ,unsustainable – and unmaintainable – infrastructure expansion to maintain the illusion of demand and growth.

            What was truly functional in creating prosperity, in the early stages of a civilisation, becomes a kind of totem for a failing system in its last stage.

  15. Baby Doomer says:

    Hellworld has no apex:

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is gearing up for a self-funded independent presidential run

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “self funded”… that might be good news…

      if he puts a billion of his dollars back into the 2020 economy…

    • If truly happening and possibly in higher numbers more examples, that would support the theory-scenario of US finally turning into the age of openly-disclosed oligarchy..

  16. Baby Doomer says:

    This ‘doomsday prepper dream home’ in the Nevada desert is on sale for $900,000 — take a look inside


    • goldmine will be good come doomsday

    • JesseJames says:

      It is amusing how we have been conditioned to accept that renewable are self sustaining…”The castle is completely self sustaining and off the grid. Power comes from batteries charged by solar and wind energy. There is a 3,000-gallon propane tank to power heaters throughout the house, a 300-gallon diesel storage tank to fuel a diesel-powered generator and two back-up generators — one diesel and one propane. There is a 4,000-gallon water storage tank. There is both a rainwater harvesting system and an 800-gallon water-hauling trailer to bring water to the building.”

      This property is of course, not self sustaining in the slightest.

      A 500 lb pound bob would be the best end for this stupid extravagance.

  17. Third World person says:

    another week of bau is ending that called for celebration


    • Third World person says:

      this remind of man its time end this stupid war on drugs

      especially after watch this video https://youtu.be/1BwVxmJPies

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      “another week of bau is ending that called for celebration”…

      okay! BAU tonight, baby! just had a fine piece of dark chocolate…

      4 weeks into 2019, and still going strong…

      although I suspect that by the end of this year, TPTB will be saying that the recession started in Q1…

      without any OFW type foresight, I went back to a “state” job earlier this decade, after having been laid off from a private company in the 2008/2009 Great Recession…

      so although nothing in life is certain, I think I’m positioned to stay employed even if this recession hits hard… and I’m guessing that it will be worse than 08/09…

      in the meantime, sure, celebrate…

      • jupiviv says:

        Morris Berman said somewhere that all Americans think of themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

      • Good tactical thinking, when the ships starts to wobble, there will be enormous push of desperate folks kicked out of private sector then trying to bolt onto such “state/municipal” job.. of at least some temporary job security be it formal or real..

        You never know, such few extra months of income/purchasing power might make a difference for future rounds-rodeos..

        • xabier says:

          Certainly, in a decline the public sector unions, if they act as a consolidated voting block (as in Spain), can twist the arm of government for funding – much stronger leverage than most private sector workers who are too fragmented and often not unionised now.

          In Spain the public sector workers are doing much better than private in wage negotiations: very powerful vote at the city and regional level, and politicians are keen to butter them up.

          And in a revolutionary situation, all,resources will tend to flow to the state and political sector, even if it’s just a question of having a bed, meals, and boots on your feet, like the early Bolsheviks c 1920.

  18. Baby Doomer says:

    ‘Resistance’ Media Side With Trump to Promote Coup in Venezuela

    Trump ramped up the Obama administration’s sanctions, an action that caused Venezuelan oil production to plummet (FAIR.org, 12/17/18) and the economy to nosedive. Furthermore, US economic warfare against the country has cut Venezuela off from global capital markets—with the Trump administration threatening bankers with 30 years in prison if they negotiate with Caracas a standard restructuring of its debt (AlterNet, 11/13/17). The UN Human Rights Council formally condemned the US, noting that the sanctions target “the poor and most vulnerable classes,” called on all member states to break them, and even began discussing reparations the US should pay to Venezuela.


    • Baby Doomer says:

      Liberals will side with fascists against socialists, etc

    • Baby Doomer says:

      US wants VZ to fail so it can justify going in on behest of Exxon to reclaim the oil fields they helped develop but feel it should be all theirs and not the people of VZ.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela
        (Elliott Abrams, who was linked to failed coup against Chávez, to join Pompeo to urge security council to recognize Guaidó as head)


      • again and again

        all conflicts is over resources

        • Baby Doomer says:

          Murdering Latin American socialists and installing fascist governments across the region is a bipartisan issue. Liberals and conservatives both have a long history of supporting it.

          • oil is your lifeblood

            nobody offers up their neck for their throat to be cut—irrespective of politics

            we may not agree with it, but collective instinct kicks in

            the USA sees Venezuela as its fuel tank—which is unfortunate for the folks living there

      • Europe badly needs diesel. They many the choice to operate their cars on diesel, as well as their trucks.

        • doomphd says:

          their turbo diesel engines get 50+ mpg, so the efficiency helps. that would be equivalent to a modern hybrid electric.

          • Well that’s history..
            But now most of the companies are phasing these quality diesels out of the market/production! Instead the Brussels is pushing turbo gasoline engines of small displacement, even such crap like sub one liter engines on three valves..

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Diesel is more energy dense—-
          The world runs on diesel.

        • Artleads says:

          Is it possible (costwise) to convert gas cars to diesel?

          • Nope, only special custom vehicles..
            Otherwise, normal car is easier to convert into natgas (CNG) or (LPG).. but you can’t park that in most public or even private garages.. And to purchase new car and leave it parked on street open to elements, fast temp/moisture cycling, no thanks that’s for i(diot)s.. Hence, large EV sales especially in countries with high purchasing power and or subsidies.

            It’s a nice coordinated scheme how to corral plebs out of diesel usage for good.

          • Why in the world would a person want to convert a car from gasoline to diesel? Diesel is the fuel in short supply because everyone wants it. Oil sources that are primarily “heavy” and thus yield lots of diesel, are expensive to extract. They also often need “cracking,” which adds to the expense. It is hard to get the price of the heavy oils up high enough for the producer. They usually sell at discounted to WTI and Brent, because of the higher costs involved in refining.

            Either gasoline or natural gas (CNG LPG) would be cheaper for operating a car, per mile traveled.

  19. Germany continues to destabilize European energy sector in higher gear. They are basically pushing up pricing for renewables by crippling the existing reliable baseload infrastructure:


    • They agreed to drop ~20GW of (brown coal and nuclear) power output in a decade, lolz.
      Is that sheer ideology-lunacy of the German kind again or they are so cunning and intentionally front running collapse, i.e. closing the shop down, hah?

      • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

        “The coal phase-out, for which green groups have campaigned for years, is backed by almost three-quarters of Germans, according to a new poll…”

        mass hysteria!

        so they want to end local coal production jobs, and the fallback is buying more Russian natural gas to satisfy their baseload electricity production needs…

        they don’t know that this economic loonacy is what they are going to be getting…

        oh well, they will be poorer but at least they won’t be burning that evil coal…

        • Tim Groves says:

          They may well end up burning that evil “someone” though. When times get really tough for civilized humans, historically the veneer of civilization tends to peel off, revealing the instinct to lash out at the other.

    • MG says:

      Then they “discover” that the only solution instead of coal is nuclear.

  20. Yoshua says:

    Car sales collapsed in Europe in the last quarter of 2018 and a gasoline glut has lead to negative returns on gasoline production for European refineries.


    • .., RR, Jag LandRover, (and others) are extending their late winter/spring assembly line brake periods.. In other words dropping sales + brexit effect in action.

      • xabier says:

        In some of their Spanish plants at least, VW are sacking workers over 61, replacing them with younger cheaper versions.

        This has come after many stoppages in 2018 due to ‘lack of suitable engines’. 🙂

        • Tim Groves says:

          In Japan, younger isn’t necessarily cheaper. Especially among smaller manufacturers, they are encouraging older skilled workers to keep going because they are tried and tested, don’t require training, and are happy to work for a lower salary as they are already getting their pension.

          I know factory workers, mechanics and nurses who are working into their seventies—to help out the firms or hospitals that require their labor. While many people who work for themselves are still working into their 90s.

          The guy who took care of my farming equipment just retired at 92, and the lady who serves as my accountant is still commuting on the subway five days a week at 94, although her 70-year-old assistant does most of the actual work these days.

  21. Lastcall says:

    I do not live in the US but….Why do people dump on Trump so much?
    He is a sympton not a cause.
    It seems to me that it was a desperate electorate that held their noses and put a non-establishment person into the White House. Hoping for real change, and some accountability. They didn’t necessarily like him, but detested the other dreadful options even more.
    He put Pence in as deputy sheriff to pander to the righteous right, so he knows his people. Deplorables maybe, but look at the despicables aligned against them and the house of horrors that is the promiscuous left. Weiner-stein anyone?
    This after 8 years of Prez ‘Hopey No Change’ Obama, who by the end of his term was a lame duck occupant of the Oval Office, who had droned and invaded more countries illegally than almost all of his predecessors; all this while clutching his Nobel peace (of sh**te) prize.
    The Don hasn’t started a new overseas war, just a few in Madison Ave which is no bad thing IMHO. He came in as an outsider and will never be accepted by the powers that be.
    This dude has limited options, and the next occupant will have even fewer. Of all people, those here on OFW should marvel that he has lasted this long. I know I do, as I wake each day wondering if he is still with us.

    • Rodster says:

      You may not live in the US but you have a better understanding of the situation and why he’s in Office than most who live in the US.

    • Rodster says:


    • jupiviv says:

      Detesting Trump and thinking of him as ultimately irrelevant are compatible viewpoints. In fact they follow from each other. I don’t understand why some people insist on being confused every time a criticism of Trump isn’t followed by statements about how he is just a symptom and not the antichrist.

      And since when has continuing wars instead of starting new ones been a bar of achievement for US presidents? Trump expanded the US military budget, reversed Obama’s negotiations with Iran, increased aid to Israel, the Baltic states and Ukraine, and we all know about the trade war with China.

      • Tim Groves says:

        I like Trump. And I think he’s very relevant. But what I like most about him is his talent for taking up space rent-free inside the minds of the people who dislike him.

        I feel for the Hollywood elite, I really do, darlings! Having to put up with the Malibu fire ecology burning their hillside and beachfront mansions and having the Don in power at the same time must be incredibly irksome.


        • jupiviv says:

          I am not surprised to discover that you share the worldview of Nikki Minaj fans.

          • Very Far Frank says:

            No one is surprised by a Democrat resorting to ad hominems either.

            • jupiviv says:

              An ad hominem is a fallacious response to a valid argument, of which there were none. So it was just an (accurate) insult, like this one: I’m not even American you mouth-breathing cretin. Fight your Trumptopian crusade elsewhere.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Jup, you are being the cretin here. Let me explain why. Frank hasn’t made any judgement about you or your opinions. The Democrat Frank was referring to was Robert Di Niro, not your good self. The ad homs he was referring to are the ones Robert makes on the video.

              I expect that while Frank regards Robert as a “has been,” he regards you as a “never was,” and therefore not worth of his attention. But even if he had been commenting about you—which I am sue he wasn’t—your reaction was totally over the top. Jup, what were you thinking?

              Jup, I want you get off your skateboard, calm down, pour yourself a root beer, and read this book. It was written for people suffering from precisely your kind of psychological problems. Over the decades it has helped thousands of people recover from everything from persecution complexes and delusions of grandeur to creeping hysteria and climbing wistera.


          • Tim Groves says:

            Not much surprises you, does it, Jup? But would it surprise you to hear that I’ve never heard of this Nikki Minaj character? Is he/she/it living rent-free in your mind too? In any case, I’m sure Nikki will be pleased that you’re giving him free advertising.

    • Baby Doomer says:

      Don hasn’t started an overseas war? What about his trade war?

      • doomphd says:

        no one has died in his trade war, yet.

        • Tim Groves says:

          As far as we know.

          In fact, the Don may have saved a few lives. For instance, those Chinese iPhone workers won’t be trying to jump out of the windows if they’ve been laid off.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Good point—-
            And those 800,000 laid off workers are probably safer, except the ones who used armed robbery to feed their families.

      • Lastcall says:

        Trade has always been a battleground. I believe that the US intimidated Japan into opening up for trade back in the day. Don has just upped the ante.
        But you know what I was saying don’t you?
        Don’t be blinded by this campaign against the latest POTUS into thinking he is any different to the previous Presidents. Rougher and cruder maybe, but this ship is going down irrespective of any manners or breeding.

        • Lastcall says:


          Being a psychopath / narcissist seems to be a necessary part of your CV to prevail in the power plays of whatever structure you observe; movies, church, politics, sport, media, business, war, banking, trade. This structural feature eventually leads to each and all reptiles eating their own, and then their own-selves!

          A saying that I should embrace more goes something along the lines of; ” It is good to know the truth, better to know the truth and to talk about date trees.”

    • When watching the scene of Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump sitting in the WH, one had to conclude what a bunch of useless characters. In contrast, while the Bush sr./jr. were evil guys, but at least they managed to fly a plane, drop bombs, for a while.. doers of some sort at least..

      It’s a sign of progressing slow collapse looking at this pathetic leadership.

        • RStone is also another kind of a freak with Nixon memorabilia everywhere overflowing his home.. So, default line should be he won’t talk ever. But if he is out of funds, who knows..

        • Tim Groves says:

          What’s Roger been arrested for Duncan? What’s he being charged with? Anything to with Russian collusion, is it? Anything to do with anything Trump has done at all?

          Nope. He’s been hauled out of bed to be charged with lying, obstruction and witness tampering.

          You can fool yourself
          You can cheat until you’re blind
          You can cut your heart
          It can happen

          I’m loving this, Duncan. I really am. People all across the broad left progressive side of the chatosphere delighted when the Stormtroopers come with their guns to haul people out of bed at 5 am.

          It’s a constant fight
          A constant fight
          You’re pushing the needle to the red
          Black and white
          Who knows who’s right
          I’m loving this because it sets a precedent; a precedent that can now be used by the other side to haul anyone they don’t like out of bed at 5 am.

          Look around
          Look up
          Look down
          There’s a crazy world outside
          We’re not about to lose our pride

          The US is so far gone now that literally anything can happen. You can fool yourself, but if it can happen to Roger Stone, then as Jon Anderson sang, “It can happen to you; it can happen to me; it can happen to everyone eventually.”

          A word of advice to all Americans: Take the Fifth!


          • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

            Yesterday a morning came a smile upon your face
            Caesar’s Palace morning glory silly human race
            On a sailing ship to nowhere leaving any place
            If the summer change to winter yours is no disgrace


            silly human race…

          • jupiviv says:

            “It can happen to you; it can happen to me; it can happen to everyone eventually.”

            The brainwashed liberals don’t understand that anyone can be arrested for committing crimes.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Oh, well done! Got it on one. Unless you happen to be Hillary Clinton or someone else on the Deep State’s Christmas card list, apparently.

              For lesser mortals, however, there’s no need to have actually done anything illegal in order to be nabbed for committing crimes. In the Land of the Free, if you’re needed to fill a part in a narrative they can always fit you up with a felony or two. This Stone arrest appears to be a mix of political theater to feed the media frenzy, another fig leaf to try to justify Mueller’s use of tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds on a political witch hunt, and a crude attempt to intimidate a possibly innocent (or perhaps “naive” is a better description) man into incriminating our beloved POTUS.

              ALAN DERSHOWITZ: I’ve read the indictment. It’s a typical Mueller indictment. Very, very heavy on stories, stories involving collusion and WikiLeaks but the indictment itself all relates to obstruction of justice, tampering of witnesses. In other words, crimes that occurred as a result of the investigation.

              This is typical of Mueller. He has found almost no crimes that occurred before he was appointed special counsel. He was appointed special counsel to uncover crimes that had already occurred. He has virtually failed in that respect in every regard.

              Almost all of his crimes that’s he’s indicted people for are crimes that resulted from his investigation. False statements, tampering with witnesses, obstruction of justice. I went through today the list of all the people who have been indicted by Mueller and it was very hard to find any American who had been charged with any crime that occurred before Mueller was appointed special counsel.

              So what happened here is these are crimes generated by the investigation. It doesn’t make them any less criminal, but it really means that there’s been a failure to uncover the basic crimes for which he was appointed. Namely, before he was appointed, was there illegal collusion, illegal conspiracy with Russia? We don’t find that. In this indictment, he tells stories about alleged collusion, stories about WikiLeaks. But that’s not the basis for the indictment. The basis for the indictment are all events that occurred after he was appointed. That’s very significant.

            • jupiviv says:

              “He has found almost no crimes that occurred before he was appointed special counsel. ”

              Thus spake Dershowitz, that noble gadfly of… the nearest surface I guess. It doesn’t make sense of course, because only a lunatic would commit a crime related to an investigation of crimes he hasn’t really committed

              PS, I don’t believe the Russian collusion/interference story except for the alleged fb trolls that cost Russia less than 1% of the Clinton campaign. Hoping you can contrive another concern troll out of all this. It helps with the constipation. 🙂

            • the fantasy of the ”deep state” controlling us, is the same thought process as ”god” controlling us

              when in fact it’s a force of collective human nature that sweeps us in and out with as much predetermined ‘sense’ as the rising and falling tide

              we remain subject to it–but have no control over it

              we cannot imagine our lives being a series of random events–so we dream up deep states and gods as a plausible alternative—just like god–the deep state is never actually ‘proven to be”—has anyone else noticed that?

              nice fantasy though—just don’t let it become real —even in your head

            • jupiviv says:

              The “deep state” is just the permanent bureaucracy of any govt. and predictably has connections to various special interests. But that isn’t enough if the goal is to craft a tragicomic epic poem about collapse.

            • JesseJames says:

              Yes it is amazing the crimes Mueller has uncovered during his expensive investigation, while he didn’t do anything about crimes omitted by deep staters like Clinton when he was in the FBI.

            • Well to even call “random events” such extraordinary brainwashing campaigns lasting decades: e.g. sending passengers in “tin capsule” onto another world and back or for few hours miraculously change structure of skyscrapers into butter substance, ..

              Unless these key made up stories are invalidated in the minds of the majority or at least critically thinking and powerful minority, the deep state had simply won.

              And there is apparently very long way ahead of us..

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              I actually debated Dershowitz.
              It was kinda fun– he is a idiot.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              I actually debated Dershowitz.
              It was kinda fun–
              Not the brightest porch light on the block.

    • xabier says:

      The US Establishment (a better word than Deep State) loathes Trump as he was not their preferred candidate and is an amateur maverick; the MSM because they are paid or made to do so (much as The Guardian now has to publish obvious propaganda pieces in the UK -they stand out a mile) ; the masses get worked up because they are saturated in anti-Trump propaganda and have little developed capacity for objective thought, and also like to feel good about themselves and their moral superiority to such a crude, rich white man and to the working and lower middle class people who voted for him.

      • Mark says:

        Well put sir.
        3 minutes of clarity on record, and still no one gets it.

      • Tim Groves says:

        I agree. Beautifully put. This is precisely the sort of crisp, hits-the-nail-on-the-head comment that makes Xabier this site’s leading intellectual (apart from our hostess herself).

        A question for Jup and Duncan: how does it feel to be standing here at the brink of the end of BAU lumped in with the masses who have little developed capacity for objective thought, etc?

        Don’t get too upset, because according to artist Christian Boltanski, we are all of us part of the mass of people who may get picked up and dropped from a great height by the war machine like so many piles of old clothes.


      • jupiviv says:

        The Trump vs deep state narrative is obviously false if you look at his actual record.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          But it would not go along with the dialog—–
          Let the simpletons rage a bit.
          Maybe they will lose some weight?

    • I agree that Don is a symptom, not the cause of the problems. Tariffs are also a symptom and not the cause of our problems.

      • Chrome Mags says:

        Regarding the tariffs; If the idea is to reduce the trade deficit with China, then why not establish a list of products the US will not allow to be imported, like luggage, socks, tools. Then put the word out to the US business sector that they can invest in manuf. of these items for sale in the US via that protection. Then 6 months later, add to the no-import list to encourage more domestic manuf. Instead, the tariffs only muddy the waters, because people don’t know how long they will be in effect so investment in competing products is negligible.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        That 40% of Americans actually put their faith in a narcissistic psychopath?

        • nikoB says:

          Are you talking about Hillary now?

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            I agree Hillary is a piece of work.
            (never voted for a Repug or Dim)
            Anyone who believes that reformist politics will solve things is delusional.
            But, Trump is a classic psychopath.

            • Tim Groves says:

              You mean like Norman Bates?
              Seriously Duncan?
              How many people has the Don arkancided?

              The twenty traits on the Hare Psychopathy checklist are:
              pathological lying
              glib and superficial charm
              grandiose sense of self
              need for stimulation
              cunning and manipulative
              lack of remorse or guilt
              shallow emotional response
              callousness and lack of empathy
              parasitic lifestyle
              poor behavioral controls
              sexual promiscuity
              early behavior problems
              lack of realistic long-term goals
              failure to accept responsibility
              many short-term marital relationships
              juvenile delinquency
              revocation of conditional release
              criminal versatility

              On the checklist are 20 traits which each have a score between 0 – 2, the highest mark someone can achieve therefore being 40. In the US, if someone rates over 30 in the test, they are said to be psychopathic, but in the UK, it is only over 25.

              You can have fun compiling this for Trump and for yourself. He might just squeeze in as psychopathic by British standards, but in the US, I would rate him in the middle of the bell curve of normality.

            • There were several key moments and trends why the Hillary persona lost in the end, but among the top surely ranks that detailed clip of suppressed violent seizures, this piece of work was the proverbial nutter specimen to be able wrestling out the case with missile silo codes out of her security detail.. It was very close call we avoided that all for a moment. But it will likely happen anyway be it with Pence or any other future potentate from that angle of the world..

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              I’ll let you do it Tim—
              You seem a bit obsessed.

    • Davidin100millionbilliontrillionzillionyears says:

      do you mind a rerun?

      Obama (administration) destroyed Libya, Syria and Ukraine…

      which didn’t benefit anyone…

      IF a Venezuelan regime change happens soon…

      perhaps it would be a “business opportunity” that at least brings some benefit to starving Venezuelans…

      or not… time will tell…

      paying Venezuela a little bit for their heavy oil might be good for mixing with the LTO (light tight oil) that is fracked in the USA…

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        “Obama (administration) destroyed Libya, Syria and Ukraine…”
        Sure, continued the destruction, although Libya was Hillary’s project.
        The Ukraine is a joke, run by US installed right wing criminals.
        At least Crimea got back to its original status, being 90% Russian and belonging to Russia about the same time that the US has existed.
        I guess it could go back to its original inhabits (10% of the population)– but it would be only fair if the US went back to its original inhabitants.

    • Artleads says:

      Venezuela subsidizes oil supply for the entire Caribbean. If the regime crumbled, the Caribbean wouldn’t know what to expect.

      • Good point, but it was two way street, e.g. Cuban medical experts helping in Venezuela etc.

        • xabier says:

          Essentially, Cuban state-slaves sent in exchange for a commodity, just as a friend’s grandmother was sent by Mussolini from Lombardy to Libya, just before WW2.

          Well, maybe they enjoyed the trip?

          • Northern Libya was Italian colony at that time, so that’s not ~100% fitting example.
            Well “state slave” is a bit vague and spongy term, one would assume many/most of Cuban medical staffers sent abroad are sort of bleeding hearth missionary types anyway. Plus as you probably know in “vertically integrated/state slave/authoritarian” countries young medical professionals have to sign a deal to indirectly pay out out their “debt” with the education provider-state-society by doing the work in the field they have studied, say for at least 5yrs, obviously it’s salaried job. Some argue it’s preferred to multi decade slavery of university tuition debts in the West.

            • xabier says:

              It’s an interesting point: essentially a slave never has any choice, whatever the juridical definition (of course the Cubans weren’t legally slaves), but brain-washed into Internationalist Socialist fervour, brought up in an intolerant One-Party state, they were probably incapable of exercising choice, because they believed. Like the Hitler Youth.

              On the other hand, one might well see it as sincere service to a higher ideal and noble, and the state exercising its rights in return for the training.

              I still see it as a cleverly disguised form of commodity trade on the part of the Cuban dictatorship, but I am inclined to cynicism, not helped by having an entirely champagne’ Radical Left family: whenever I hear the words ‘justice’, ‘solidarity’ ……..

            • You are very correct in the sense it’s planned and favored “export $trategy” of the Cuban government, their domestic educated skilled peoplez vs. surrounding countries, plus there is the additional bonus of pushing political leverage through this same channel.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            Have you met them?
            You obviously have a few things to learn.
            It is more complex than simple ideas by simple people.

            • Artleads says:

              As a Caribbean native who understands the utter frikin dysfunction of other governments, It’s hard to understand the ballyhoo against Cuba. To think that Caribbeans aren’t brainwashed by a slew of international BS would be a big misconception. Which is by no means to say that Cuba is a model for anyone else. But an honorable and workable alternative (that holds on to what makes Cuba rather rigorously governed though in a very different way) has yet to be found.

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            (You must be listing to Faux News)

    • beidawei says:

      DO IT !!!

    • Chrome Mags says:

      “He explained it this way to the Washington Examiner: “This new warfare uses cyber viruses, hacking, physical attacks, non-nuclear EMP weapons, and a nuclear EMP attack against electric grids and critical infrastructures. It renders modern armies, navies, and air forces obsolete. It paves the way for asymmetric warfare by small nations and terrorists.”

      Last week it was the Poseidon 100 megaton drone nuclear submarine, launched from a manned larger sub, capable of generating a 1300-1500 foot high tsunami, using Cobalt 59 that would change during fusion to Cobalt 60, an extremely radioactive element.

      Sounds like other countries are telegraphing we better behave ourselves.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Don the Con does do some things with late stage capitalism.
      He can lie with a straight face (thousands of times), and seems able to focus on short term strategies, especially if they benefit him financially.
      Possibly worst day yet for Trump: havjng caved on the wall, his brand is in tatters with the conservative fire-breathers. Pelosi owns him. And Mueller has Roger Stone. Seems to be no limit to Trump’s political and legal incompetence.

      • kevin moore says:

        “Late stage capitalism” = late stage socialism

        • jupiviv says:

          “Late stage socialism” = late stage capitalism

          • xabier says:

            Late-stage anything = The End.

            Oh, I forget, X-kind will be reborn through The New Green Deal!

            So, in fact we face a New and Glorious Beginning…..

            • jupiviv says:

              How about late stage BAU? It isn’t the End though. Well, maybe the end of unsustainable, wanton delusions of grandeur draped in gossamer robes of science (scientism) and reason (rationalism).

  22. name says:

    Glut of gasoline, and not enough diesel fuel. It’s the result of US Light Tight Oil, which yields less diesel, and more gasoline than heavier oils. Gasoline glut prevents oil price rise, and therefore prevents more oil supply, which is needed to make enough diesel.

    • Bitumen from Canada would be great for making more diesel, but US refineries are already full of other things, including tight oil from shale. In October 2018, articles were titled, Canadian Oil And Grows as Crude Discount to WTI hits $40 per barrel. More recently, mandated production cuts of Canadian heavy oil have brought the differential down to $7.50 per barrel, but this doesn’t bring diesel to the market.

      Now I see an article titled “Canadian and Saudi production cuts are leaving the world hungry for heavy crude.”

      Output cuts in oil-rich Alberta and Saudi Arabia are combining to leave heavy-crude refiners from the Gulf of Mexico to Asia in a bind.

      While curtailments in the Canadian province have propelled local prices to their strongest level in almost a decade, other grades like Arab Heavy and Heavy Louisiana Sweet are also surging. The Saudis are expected to largely focus on paring output of heavy crude as they lead efforts to rebalance the global market.

      “Historically, when the Saudis have cut output, it’s heavy and medium crude,”

      The article also points out that cutbacks in Venezuelan production (which tends to be heavy oil) are also affecting diesel output.

      • Dennis L. says:

        It would seem it is very difficult to allocate capital efficiently, many people want longer depreciation times, capital is slow to change. Could much (some) of the difficulties come from pension plans demanding 7-8% nominal returns in a 3% GDP growth rate world? Unions/politicians, everyone wants their pensions and they find someone to guarantee the returns until there is insufficient capital to invest in the changed circumstances.
        Everyone complains about SS, I am amazed at what it pays out, it really does well for a pensioner and currently if I understand it the reserves are dependent on the Federal government selling bonds to pay off the bonds owed to the SS fund. This would seem not to end well, if only we could print real oil and not a derivative.

        Dennis L.

        • Actuaries put together models assuming that the good times of the 1950s and 1960s would never end. It would be possible to earn high returns on pensions. They have been gradually trying to scale back, but it is almost impossible to scale back enough.

          Social Security benefits are not guaranteed. This way there is no balance sheet liability for them. Actuaries figured that the plan could later be changed, to reflect the world as it changed. This has been difficult to do. I am wondering if the plan will eventually be turned over to the states to administer, to the extent that they have funds for the benefits. Medicare benefits also get to be a major problem. Social Security and Medicare are a big part of the problem of balancing the budget.

          • Uncle Bill says:

            Yikes…Gail…it’s alot of chicken feed!
            Social Security alone comprises more than a third of mandatory spending and around 23 percent of the total federal budget. Medicare makes up an additional 23 percent of mandatory spending and 15 percent of the total federal budget

            Social Security: Last year, 24 percent of the budget, or $916 billion, paid for Social Security, which provided monthly retirement benefits averaging $1,360 to 41 million retired workers in December 2016.Oct 4, 2017

            Wow, add in Snap and other Medicaid….OY
            SNAP benefits cost $70.9 billion in fiscal year 2016 and supplied roughly 44.2 million Americans (14% of the population) with a monthly average of $125.51 per person in food assistance.
            How much does the federal government spend on Medicaid?
            Federal spending on Medicaid in 2015 was about $350 billion, almost one-tenth of the $3.7 trillion federal budget. That money is supplemented by the states, so total spending on Medicaid services was $545 billion that year.Jun 27, 2017

            We be in deep poo poo…

  23. Chrome Mags says:


    Just found a great candidate to survive the 6th extinction event currently underway whether it’s too hot or too cold. Alligators evidently have a survival technique in freezing conditions. They put their snout above the waterline before the ice freezes then once it freezes, wait it out.

    They are alive – ck. out the article.

    • Uncle Bill says:

      So do the invasive specie of Burmese Pythons in the everglades that are preying on native species!
      In their native range in southeast Asia, Bartoszek said, Burmese pythons use porcupine burrows to get out of the cold.
      “They’re an intelligent species. They’re going to try to seek cover when they can,” he said. “It’s natural selection. It’s the ones who have figured out what Florida’s habitat has to offer.”
      In the Everglades, where the soil isn’t always fit for burrowing, pythons also move into warm water or cracks and holes in the rocks along berms and levees, said Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife ecology professor at the University of Florida. Around this time of year, he said, they’re going underground to mate anyway.

  24. MG says:

    The childrens criminality is going up in Slovakia:

    A 12-year old boy tried to rob a woman pensioner a few days ago. The increase in childrens criminality is 50 percent during the last 2 years:


    A 13-year old boy with his girl schoolmate tried to rob a woman pensioner today:


  25. Rodster says:

    You see, the Chinese are NO different than any other economy, everyone is doing the exact same thing !

    “China Quietly Announces Quasi QE To “Keep Ponzi Scheme Afloat” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-25/china-quietly-announces-quasi-qe-keep-ponzi-scheme-afloat

    • Chrome Mags says:

      From that article, Rodster, is the following:

      “…the PBOC announced that it will allow China’s primary dealers to swap their holdings of perpetual bonds for central bank bills, and directly use those bonds as collateral to access certain PBOC liquidity operations. By directly intermediating in the market, and effectively backstopping securities issued by local banks, this measure will increase the appeal of perpetual bonds to be issued by banks making them riskless for all intents and purposes, which can then be used to bolster capital cushions and thereby help relax a key current constraint on credit supply.”

      Notice the wording; increase appeal of perpetual bonds by making them riskless.

      I just had a thought; Joseph Tainter wrote about increasing complexity and the difficulty in maintaining it. What would one expect in that type of scenario to occur close to the end, i.e. before collapse? ‘Increasing financial complexity’. Although there may be no alternative if more BAU time is the goal, the trouble with going down this road is it’s like a wave building higher and bigger until some day it can’t hold itself up and it falls all at once. A point in time when confidence in currency, finances falters and cascades out of control.

      I’ve always erred on the side of slow collapse with stair step drops, but now see how a sudden collapse could and very well may occur.

      • Is anything “riskless”? I understand China has layers of guarantees on a lot of its loans. That may delay the crash, but ultimately make it worse.

    • Thanks for finding this. We can all sleep better, for a short time, until this new trick fails to work.

      • xabier says:

        I’m sleeping very well, although convinced that we face the end of civilization, in the short-term: what does make me wake up in the night sweating is….the ‘solutions’!

  26. From WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-considering-agreeing-to-sign-three-week-spending-bill-as-early-as-friday-11548439078
    Trump Weighs Signing Three-Week Spending Bill to End Shutdown
    President Trump is considering agreeing to sign a three-week stopgap spending bill as early as Friday that would reopen the government while negotiations over border-security funding continue.

    • Now the headline reads, “Trump, Congress Reach Tentative Deal to Reopen Government for Three Weeks.” Stock market movement hasn’t changed at all. About +200, before and after.

      • Now the story reads:

        Trump, Lawmakers Reach Deal to End Longest Shutdown in U.S. History
        President Trump said he reached a deal with congressional leaders to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations over border-security funding continue, marking at least a temporary concession by the president to Democrats. Mr. Trump said he will ensure federal employees receive back pay “very quickly or as soon as possible.”

        Stock market is a little lower, not higher. +175

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Don the Con caved—-
          It was time. I’m not sure he really cares.
          Hurting his psychotic party base.

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A ripple effect of flight delays across the U.S. is expected after LaGuardia Airport was closed for a short period Friday morning by the Federal Aviation Administration, due to a lack of air traffic controllers.

    “Nearby Newark Airport faced significant delays for the same reason, adding to the nationwide air travel difficulties.

    “The LaGuardia delay, which was scheduled to last until 10:45am ET, according to the FAA website, resulted in flights being grounded for an average of 41 minutes. As of 11:00 a.m, however, the website was still showing the closure as being in effect…

    “The action is the strongest signal to date that the ongoing government shutdown is significantly impacting air travel in the country and follows safety warnings from the airline industry’s three biggest unions earlier this week.”


    • It is easy to imagine how this could ripple out of control. No one goes anywhere for fear of having problems coming back.

      • as I said when Trump got elected:

        This may be the sideswipe that no one anticipated.

        This can very quickly ripple out to have a world effect because everything is so tightly interlocked. No one knows where each domino might fall—but fall they will.

        This time will likely resolve itself–but the effect will be to make everyone jittery and nervous about what he might do next

        which is exactly the way he wants it of course.

        Every fuhrer uses the same technique to exercise control

        • Rodster says:

          Trump is trying to do what he believes is the right things to do. HOWEVER, he fails to understand how complex and interconnected ALL the economies around the world seem to be. By trying to fix 1 problem he creates 2 or 3 as a result. That happens as complexity sets into an organized system. It’s the same reason the Republican’s who ran and voted to abolish Obamacare decided to keep it rather than to eliminate it.

          • Trump is trying to do what’s good for Trump—best not lost sight of that.

            The nation and the world come way down the list

            • Rodster says:

              Trump is a billionaire who doesn’t need to be POTUS, remember that. I truly believe he’s trying to do the right thing for the Country and this is coming from someone who has never voted for any politician. His problem is he’s “a bull in a china shop” kind of person.

            • Although I’m in UK, the POTUS affects the world situation, and thus me.
              Replying as best I can, using material that is in the public forum:

              Seems to me that Trump entered the election race to boost his own commercial image. He is a product of his time. Inevitable in a way.

              (he is after all, a 4x bankrupt, headed up numerous frauds and scams, a self confessed misogynist, racist individual, and was facing a $25m lawsuit to name but a few problems)

              His public record of dealing with anyone concerned with his ”business ventures” is all a matter of public record, particularly on housing, construction etc.

              Winning the election wasn’t in his original gameplan, but now he finds himself there, he’s milking it for all it’s worth (all his businesses tie into government business as far as is possible.)

              He has stated that the USA should be rebuilt out of chaos. (standard dictator speak there) That statement alone should set off warning signals

              Those around him who might be seen to have a shred of decency have deserted in droves, because they knew they were going to be tainted.
              those who haven’t seem to be clinging on as long as possible in the hope of avoiding prosecution. The longer they hang in there, the bigger the drop when they finally have to let go.

              Almost every business he’s been involved with has crashed—I don’t think his running of the country will be any different. He was voted into office by people convinced that prosperity can be voted for.

              This why he needs chaos, to cover up his own incompetence

            • Tim Groves says:

              Seems to me that Trump entered the election race to boost his own commercial image.

              Seems to me Trump entered the election race in response to President Obama’s pathetic, long-winded and distinctly un-presidential attempt to publicly embarrass Mr. Trump at a White House press correspondents dinner in 2011.

              As my granny used to say, the smirk’s on the other side of his face now.


              (If you don want to watch the whole thing, you can start from the 3:00 point.)

            • Tim

              to reply to your comment about Obama embarrassing Trump. (I can’t reply directly under your comment below for some reason)

              Again, I try to use stuff which is a matter of public record. I’ve seen that clip before. Trump initiated the birther nonsense years before, and ground it out again and again, regurgitated by Alex Jones et al, to the embarrassment of everyone but (obviously) himself. I thought Obama’s response to the endlessness of it was both restrained and dignified, given the circumstances.

              (Maybe Alex Jones also seems ‘normal and well-intentioned’ in this context) He has certainly allied himself to all that Trump stands for. They spout the same nonsense again and again

              Every leader is effectively a victim of circumstance, and in that respect can do little to change the tide of world events. (all subject to energy availability)
              If energy is in surplus, the nation prospers, if not, the nation suffers. Things really are that simple. This applies equally to Zimbabwe or the USA or anywhere else

              That said, I’ve listened /watched Trump and Obama to form a judgement of them both.

              The comparison seems clear to me –one was dignified and statesmanlike—the other ranting and rambling like a petulant child. His list of lies now runs into thousands, all recorded, on a day to day basis. All of which he disregards on the same day to day basis.

              His frauds, scams and misogyny are all on public record. He is clearly engaged in ripping off the country while he’s in the WH.
              Obama didn’t have to pay off a $25m fraud lawsuit before he could take office. Shouldn’t that have been a big enough warning sign?

              But if this leaves him qualified to be POTUS, fair enough—I can only present facts as they are. Certainly millions of people agree that he is.
              Who am I to say otherwise? We all get the leaders we deserve, one way or another.

            • Pelosi summed up the Don very neatly today:

              “Whenever he’s making an accusation, you know he’s projecting his own weakness. His own weakness,” Pelosi said. “He does it all the time.”

            • Very Far Frank says:

              It always entertains me when left wing utopians use other left wing utopians as a reference to the character of their political opponents.

            • I dont see myself as any wing

              Instead, as far as is possible, I look at the world as it is, use verifiable information and comment using that

              can’t always be right, or please everybody, but there it is

              left or right wing just fuels the fantasy that we can vote our desired level of prosperity into office, ignoring the energy factor that controls all our lives. left right or centre

              which is a nonsense

            • Slow Paul says:

              I like the Don. I think one of the reasons people hate him is because they still believe we can sort out our problems through democracy and politics. We are nothing more than balls bouncing around the pool table.

            • You may have missed the point

              If world affairs can’t be sorted out by democracy (such as it is)then what’s left?

              fascism—which is what all dictators use

              I know I play on a single note—but I can’t find another one. (all suggestions welcome)
              If you don’t have enough energy in the economic system, then no ”system” can ever work. Believing the don has found some ‘alternative’ way to collective prosperity and running the country just isn’t true. His promise of eternal growth may be comforting to believe, but it isn’t true.

              Overpopulation and climate change are adding more chaos to the mix.

              Churning money around in a whirlpool of eternal debt sinks the economy down the drain. Lots of comment here on OFW makes that very clear, irrespective of my thoughts.

              Trump doesn’t know that of course, and wouldn’t understand it anyway. He’s an opportunist.
              He’s grabbing what he can, while he can. If those around him can create a theo fascist state out of the coming mess, they will do so (Pence and the jesusfreaks et al)

              Watch when they stand around him and lay hands on him and raise their eyes unto the lord.
              Does anyone seriously believe that he believes all that godstuff?? It suits his purpose.

              When (not if) collapse arrives, the rise of a dictator is certain. History proves that, without exception. That is your alternative to democracy.

              If that dictator can use a god to impose his will, he will do so. And he will find no shortage of helpers. Half the USA believes in young earth creationism. As a survival factor, they will eagerly inflict their belief on the other half, even if it is ultimately pointless.

              This is why Pence stands in the wings, nodding to every nonsense Trump utters. If Trump goes, you get Pence. If collapse comes under Pence, you get theocratic rule–which is the intention of the evangelical nutcases.
              After that–the real unpleasantness begins.

              None of this is new—history has given us lots of prequels to this final episode

  28. Perhaps government officials are seeing the light! The headline on the WSJ today says, Fed Officials Weigh Earlier-Than-Expected End to Bond Portfolio Runoff Next week’s meeting could yield more clues

    Federal Reserve officials are close to deciding they will maintain a larger portfolio of Treasury securities than they’d expected when they began shrinking those holdings two years ago, putting an end to the central bank’s portfolio wind-down closer into sight.

    This is a big part of our problem recently. Putting together Quantitative Tightening, higher interest rates, and the year following the tax cut, creates a huge problem!

    • It all depends on how high a person thinks oil prices can rise. Technology improvements come in as well. Without these, energy supplies are pretty limited.

  29. if OFW doomsters want a dose of energy sink insanity, this has to be one for the record books

    scroll through the pictures—laughing or crying is your choice


    • This reminds me of a very disturbing video that a reader e-mailed to me about China’s crumbling ghost towns.

      • Rodster says:

        And just think that the Chinese are building hundreds of “LOW-COST Nuclear Power Plants”. What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully they’ll manage a way to keep Homer Simpson away from the control panel…..Doh !

        • There is definitely a corruption problem in the country. When you put that with resource constraints, China is in a bad place. France and Japan built inexpensive nuclear early on, but I expect that their quality control standards were pretty high.

        • Rodster, are you sure about that?
          Have not seen that in their book of planned/ordered NPP installations. Besides, as I wrote numerous times here already, Chinese NPP program up to now was based on giving a try to almost all the major global vendors with relatively small national specific arrangements or addons. That includes the US design as well.. Where they are headed next is the question, and most likely it’s the latest Russian advanced design, i.e. with all these passive safeties like gravity falling fuel rods into under reactor chamber, additional passive coolant links, heavy duty dome, etc. It’s extra expense, but with efficiency gains in fuel pellets and overall design as running ~1.3-4GW sized reactors and bigger only, it’s neutral cost in the end..

    • doomphd says:

      they’re sooo ‘cookie cutter’ similar.

    • el mar says:

      Life’s a bitch and then you die
      Nothing you can do about it
      Anything you steal or buy
      You’re gonna be leaving here without it

      Joe Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dog4BcCOkkg

      James form megacancer.com”
      “I get the feeling that we’re in a completely self-organized system that follows simple thermodynamic rules and that people are about as conscious as blades of grass in a lawn that get their heads chopped-off every week by the lawn mower and yet they can’t stop growing. They are evolved to convert readily accessible rewards into waste and there is no innate governor to retard that process. This time the lawn turns brown and dies.”

    • Baby Doomer says:

      These ghouls aren’t even being subtle about their agenda.


      • Dan says:

        Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will.”

        Richard Perle, chair
        The Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
        July 11, 2002

        “The likely economic effects [of a war in Iraq] would be relatively small…. Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits.”

        Lawrence Lindsey
        White House economic adviser
        September 16, 2002
        “When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.”

        Donald Rumsfeld
        Secretary of Defense
        March 27, 2003

        “There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

        Paul Wolfowitz
        Deputy Secretary of Defense
        testifying before the defense subcommittee
        of the House Appropriations Committee
        March 27, 2003

        “The United States is very committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”

        Mitchell Daniels, director
        White House Office of Management and Budget
        April 21, 2003


        They never are, and why people don’t eradicate the earth of them I have no idea.

        • Amazing! Iraq has a huge problem with growing population. We could have helped with contraceptives, if nothing else.

          The US did come out amazingly well after World War II.

          • Dan says:

            Cheney Refuses Order for Energy Plan Secrets


            I’d love to know what was discussed in the secret energy task force meetings. I can bet that the energy execs were there telling Cheney how screwed we are. The gloves came off and fracking went hyperbolic and we rolled into Iraq to conquer the evil doers.

            General Pence and Mad Man Bolton should be the first ones to parachute into Venezuela to get the party started.

        • As I think about the situation, I wonder if perhaps these military leaders didn’t really believe what they were saying.

          There was a huge amount of oil there; certainly the country could sign contracts with oil companies to develop it. The funds Iraq would get from the contracts would give the country money to develop the rest of the economy. What possibly could go wrong?

  30. Rodster says:

    If you ask Saudi Arabia, they see no end in sight to Peak Oil.


    • A quote from the article, ““There will continue to be growth in oil demand … We are the lowest cost producer and the last barrel will come from the region,” Nasser told CNN.”

      I think Nassar got two things wrong:

      1. “There will continue to be growth in oil demand.” This depends on finished goods and services (such as cars and homes) being affordable to non-elite workers around the world. If the workers are making $20 per month, they aren’t going to be able to afford much of the output of the system. Demand is likely to stagnate because of growing wage disparity.

      2. “We are the lowest cost producer. . .” The cost of lifting the oil out of the ground is only a piece of total costs. The government needs to get enough tax revenue to provide necessary services to the citizens, or revolution will be a problem. The only way the government can get enough revenue is if oil prices are high. High oil prices are also needed in order to fund investment in new extraction capability, to offset declines in existing wells.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Central banks are fast losing their chance to tighten before the next downturn in the cycle, though it’s still unclear what the Federal Reserve’s “patience” means for interest-rate hikes this year. Ray Dalio’s leading a crowd calling for a rethink on policy tightening amid all the weak growth signs.”


  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Britain is preparing for Brexit in little over two months against a backdrop of faltering domestic growth and a global economic slowdown, which threatens to compound the consequences of a no-deal exit, according to Guardian analysis of economic news over the past month.

    “UK plc has begun to enact emergency plans for crashing out of the EU, with Westminster gridlocked since Theresa May suffered the worst government defeat of any British PM in the democratic era over her withdrawal plan.”


  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Freight rates for dry-bulk and container ships, carriers of most of the world’s raw materials and finished goods, have plunged over the last six months in the latest sign the global economy is slowing significantly.

    “The Baltic Dry Index, measure of ship transport costs for materials like iron ore and coal, has fallen by 47 percent since mid-2018…

    “”The global economy and dry-bulk shipping market are showing us very real signs of distress,” said Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of commodity consultancy Commodore Research.”


  34. Uncle Bill says:

    Follow up on this most Expensive piece of crash pad ever…
    Why Is This Single Home Worth $238 Million? A Look At 220 Central Park South

    Earlier this month, Ken also paid $58.75 million for part of a building in Chicago, and $122 million for a home in London, setting records in both cities. Still, the penthouse purchase represents the most expensive home ever bought in the wealthiest country on earth. What is he getting at 220 Central Park South that’s worth such an eye-watering price?
    You don’t have to be a New Yorker to appreciate the address: 220 Central Park South is, of course, on the southern end of the city’s iconic park, so the penthouse looks out over the entire 2.5 miles of green to the north (with Manhattan stretching out to the south). It falls between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, near Columbus Circle. Every residence in the building has a view of Central Park.
    The 79-story tower stands out along the midtown skyline due to its color: The building is encased in Alabama Silver Shadow limestone, per its developer.
    220 Central Park South also boasts some insane amenities. There’s a spa and athletic club, and private dining rooms and entertaining spaces. While most people are stuck circling blocks to look for a coveted parking space, residents of this building have a secured motor court away from the street, hidden by an arbor of trees for additional
    With so many homes all over the world, it’s unclear how much time Ken is even planning to spend at 220 Central Park South. If he’s looking for a housesitter, though, it shouldn’t be too tough to find

    Boy, I once rented a crash pad for $300.00 a month in Boston suburbs…had a great view of the Organge line train tracks along with the clanks from the wheels going by…
    Take that Mister Griffin!

  35. Down under says:

    A lot of people have been discussing the possible collapsed and how we could get by after. I have thought about this and I think that there are a couple of important things to remember. First 200 years ago we had one billion people and they got by on animal power and organic farming principles. We do not have the animals, the machines or the knowledge that they had.so if we loose fossils fuel especially desiel fuel and gas to make nitrogen fertilisers then one billion is going to be many times too many people to be supported on land that has been degraded to half or quarter the carrying capacity of what it was 200 years ago. Other things is less available water no transport from remote grain fields far from cities. If it comes to growing food the grains are the most important crop except for small subsistence farmers and if we had the horses they could only do in a day what a tractor could do in 20 minutes.

    • Rufus says:

      I’m afraid you’re perfectly right.

    • Petedivine says:

      It will probably be worse then that. When a population of deer overcrowds its habitat the population corrrection typically declines below the carrying capacity of the habitat. In our case we also have to contend with a polluted habitat such as waste super sites and of course the potential for wide spread areas becoming uninhabitable. For example if a waste supersite catches fire the radiation and other pollutants could get into the atmosphere and poison a much wider area of habitation. Something similar happened during the recent California fires. It was reported that government land that was once used as a toxic dump during the 50’s caught fire causing the toxic contaminants to be released into the atmosphere. Not much was reported after the initial report. Once BAU ends I’d expect more of these type of accidents to decrease the survivability of industirialized areas.

      • when making future forecasts

        it would be as well to include this in the mix–which is exactly what I said his mindset was, from the beginning


        • This is a quote from the 2014 video:

          “You know what solves it?” Trump asked, referring to Obamacare. “When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster — then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”

          Historically, the problem has been too many people relative to resources. In other words, resources per capita fell too low. Huge societal collapses followed by epidemics did indeed tend to fix the situation, by cutting back on the population quantity in the denominator. Suddenly, new job opportunities opened up for young people, because the population of older merchants, farmers, and everything else was cut back.

          I suppose quite a few people were sufficiently unhappy with the status quo that they felt that anything that would shake things up would have a chance of making things better.

          • that is the crux of the hysteria of his supporters

            they know their lifestyle is folding so look for someone to fix it—he says he can, so they vote for prosperity, which is a common strain of stupidity

            I find in scary that Trumpactually said this before he was in a position to do anything about it—suddenly he finds himself in a position of absolute power—or at least imagines he does.

            The USA becomes Trump Inc..

            Not looking good unless Mueller can put an end to it

            • Then we have Pence, I am afraid. Problem is not enough revenue to tax to operate all the promised programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

            • I agree

              that may be correct in fiscal terms

              but unacceptable in political terms

            • Tim Groves says:

              Shame the Americans weren’t sensible enough to have voted for Hillary, eh, Norman?

              During the 2016 campaign, she promised to close a lot down a lot of coal mines and put up 500 million solar panels by 2020 and create millions of “green” jobs for installers, maintenance staff, panel pigeon dropping cleaners, and the like. That would have been a big boost to the Chinese panel industry and it goes some way to explaining why the Chinese were such enthusiastic donors to the Clinton Foundation.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Also, I don’t think seeking Mueller’s assistance is a morally defensible activity. Far from being the hero portrayed in the media, Robert Mueller is “a bipartisan Establishment criminal with a record of Corruption, Cover Ups and Treason going back over 30 years.” I read about it on the Internet.


              These crimes include (but are not limited to):

              • BCCI – multi billion dollar drugs and terrorist money laundering bank used by the CIA and US “allies”, among others

              • Covering up the circumstances surrounding the mass murder in WACO, ordered by Janet Reno, Bill and Hillary Clinton

              • Getting HSBC, caught multi billion dollar drugs money laundering, off with a slap on the wrist fine. No directors of HSBC were sent to jail or even prosecuted for their systematic money laundering

              • Covering up Saudi and Israeli involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Saudi government funded some of the hijackers (see “the 28 pages” of the 9/11 commission Report & multiple FBI agent testimonies).

              • Releasing 5 Mossad agents “The Dancing Israelis” who were sent “to record the event” of 9/11 and allowed them to go back to Israel, where they were greeted as heroes on Israeli national TV.

              • Closing down multiple FBI investigations (over 20) into who was actually behind the 9/11 attacks and who was sponsoring / supporting the hijackers. Which led to complaints from FBI agents that Mueller didn’t want to find out who did it. See e.g. Coleen Rowley – FBI whistleblower and one of Time’s persons of the year 2002.

              • Getting Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile serial child sex abuser and rapist with a decades long record of organized Child Sex Crimes, off with a slap on the rest one year jail sentence, where he was even let out every day to carry on a mostly normal life.

              • Helped cover up Holder’s Fast & Furious which supplied guns to Mexican Drugs Cartels.

              • Covered up the multi million dollar bribery scandal to the Clinton Foundation by Canadian Oligarchs in Uranium One, which led to Hillary and the Obama gang approving the sale of 20% of America’s Uranium reserves to a Russian State owned company. This was clearly a National Security issue and the sale should never have been approved.

              Kinda puts Trumpy’s bankruptcies and locker room talk into some kind of perspective, doesn’t it, Norman? I personally would have trouble sleeping at night if I were involved in supporting or endorsing Robert Mueller given his long and sorrid history of public service.

            • Tim

              I have a couple of replies floating out there, still under moderation for quite a while

              Don’t know why they haven’t appeared yet

            • vote for the don next time round

          • GBV says:

            “I suppose quite a few people were sufficiently unhappy with the status quo that they felt that anything that would shake things up would have a chance of making things better.”

            Some just want to make things better for themselves, even at the cost of the entire world/system. Can you really blame them?

            And sadly, it can get even worse…

    • xabier says:

      And even when the old farm breeds still exist, the problem is – in most cases – that the gene-pool is far too small to breed from them and get healthy stock.

      What was built up over thousands of years was swept away in a couple of decades.

      And you could say the same about true craftsmen.

  36. Chrome Mags says:


    ‘U.S. Set To Pump More Oil Than Russia And Saudis Combined’

    Hey, look, I didn’t write the article, so don’t shoot the messenger, but here’s what their saying:

    “In Rystad Energy’s base case oil price scenario, US liquids production is forecast to surpass 24 million barrels per day over the next six years, thereby outpacing the combined output from Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

    Considering the sharp decline rates of fracked oil wells and the sweet spots have been hit first, 24 mbd seems outrageously optimistic.

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