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False Sense of Security – Oil Pricing

Don’t fall for the lower gas prices and be lulled into a false sense of security. Oil is below $40 a barrel for the first time in 5 years. OPEC met in Algeria and decided to slash production by more than 4 million barrels a day below September levels. However, traders responded and drove down the prices further saying it was too late to affect pricing into early next year. OPEC has not fully implemented the two million barrel cuts earlier this fall as getting all involved to comply will be difficult. For example, Russia and Syria made no plans to comply. But when production is finally reduced then pricing will rise.

Will we repeat the 70’s and ignore the 2008 warnings to move to alternative fuels? I hope not. Lower pricing or not, it is time to make the changes needed for the future. We need alternative fuels to enable a more stable future.


Another Windfall! Fishman Wins Lottery!

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Fishman, CEO of Washington Mutual, took over the helm in September of this year. WAMU was seized by the regulators just three weeks later and the assests were sold off to JP Morgan. What was his salary and bonuses for just three weeks on the job?

Signing bonus – $7.5m

Shares – 612,500 – became worthless

Parachute – $6.15m

Annual bonus – $3.65m (not sure if he received this)

Pocketed – At least between $11m and $18m

Not a bad three weeks work if I say so myself!

Rob Smith Jr. Hits The Nail in Politics

Rob Smith Jr. really knows how to make you laugh with his daily political cartoons. One of his newest below:


Politics: The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease

Bailouts are not a solution to the economic crisis.  Why just stop at one company when there are dozens of others that are dealing with financial hardship too?  When favors are given to one group then others automatically line up also. This will continue as long as the government continues to make promises. The original bailout plan has already been corrupted by political interests. For example, Farm Aid is already pushing for part of the bailout. Good politics is rarely based on good economics. We are on a very slippery slope!

Politics As Usual – No Changes Yet


Thanks to Rob Smith Jr. for the above cartoon!

Economy – More From Rob Smith Jr.


Politics As Usual – Another Bailout?

Automakers need to restructure and not be bailed out by money from the U.S. taxpayers. The automakers have already been approved for $25 billion for manufacturing cleaner cars, but their situation has worsened. Detroit’s high labor and costs from problems in the past have made it almost impossible for the big three to make it without monumental amounts of money. In 2004, the big three had 370,000 employees supporting 800,000 retirees. This is becoming an even greater burden as these companies downsize. Restructuring is the only way out.

You may find more information on this topic at Heritage.org.