This El Niño is not Godzilla. What can we learn from the 2 years of hype?

Summary: After two years of hype (often hysterical), this El Niño might peak in December and then rapidly decline. No "super monster" or "Godzilla" El Niño; just severe weather (we won't know how severe until it ends). With the UN Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) still running in Paris, it's time to start thinking about … Continue reading This El Niño is not Godzilla. What can we learn from the 2 years of hype?

The first financial world war has begun, over oil. Bet on the Saudi Princes to win.

Summary: We have not begun a new era of low oil prices, fruits of new tech and a beneficent Fate. Low oil prices are the wreckage of an ongoing war -- a financial war waged by the Saudi Princes for control of the world oil markets. We can predict who will win but only guess … Continue reading The first financial world war has begun, over oil. Bet on the Saudi Princes to win.

The climate change crisis as seen from 2100 AD (a business as usual scenario)

Summary: To share the excitement of the UN Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) let's imagine how the people of 2100 AD will see the world, an exercise giving us a better perspective on the choices facing us. This post describes a "business as usual" scenario, an antidote to the prophecies of doom flooding the … Continue reading The climate change crisis as seen from 2100 AD (a business as usual scenario)

Stratfor: will France hand power to a far right government (again)?

Summary: With the polls looking good for the National Front, Stratfor examines the rise of the far Right in France -- part of the right-flowing tide sweeping through the developed nations. Memories have faded in Europe; hopes rise that this far right movement differs from the last. The implications are massive for economic policy, for … Continue reading Stratfor: will France hand power to a far right government (again)?

What Happens When the Auto-Loan Boom Blows Up?

Summary: One theory of the bulls is that the slow recovery since 2008 means that there are few imbalances in the US economy, the strong sectors whose busts cause recessions. That is not correct. Here we look at one strong sector: automobile sales. As usual in America, we start by looking at the lending that … Continue reading What Happens When the Auto-Loan Boom Blows Up?