Friday, October 30, 2015

Venezuela Is Running Out Of Money; Begins Selling Its Gold; Clearing Out The In-Box -- October 30, 2015; Cheerio, Cheerios

Why is firewood so darn expensive in New Hampshire? Yup, you guessed it. Blame it on George Bush fracking.  Fosters is reporting:
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Northeasterners who are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for firewood this season can add a new scapegoat to the roster of usual market forces: fracking.
Yep, a timber industry representative in New Hampshire said those hydraulic fracturing well sites in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation to suck natural gas out of the ground are using construction "mats" made of hardwood logs — think of the corduroy roads seen in sepia-toned photographs from the 1800s — to get heavy equipment over mucky ground, wetlands or soft soils.
That increased demand has crept down the chimney into fireplaces. Prices in parts of New England are averaging $325 a cord and can even push past $400 for a seasoned, delivered load. That's anywhere from $50 to $75 more a cord than last year — or an increase of 18 to 23 percent.
Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, said it's not just fracking sites that are hogging the logs. Pipelines and transmission wires — really any large-scale construction project — have in the past three years ramped up the appetite for the perfect mat log: a hardwood trunk, 16 to 20 feet long and 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
As a result, the cost of cordwood on the stump (that is, live trees) went from $10 in 2012 in northern New Hampshire to $15 this year, Stock said.
CNN Money is reporting: Venezuela is running out of money fast and has started selling its gold.
The cash-strapped country could default by next year when lots of debt payments are due. Venezuela's reserves, which are mostly made up of gold, have fallen sharply this year as the country needs cash to pay off debt and tries to maintain its social welfare programs.

Venezuela owes about $15.8 billion in debt payments between now and the end of 2016.

But it doesn't have enough to make good on its payments. Venezuela only has $15.2 billion in foreign reserves -- the lowest amount since 2003. A lot of those reserves are in gold.

Less than $1 billion of Venezuela's reserves are in cash, and it has a couple billion in reserves at the IMF.
The Dickinson Press is reporting:
Tesoro Corp. sees continued value in railing North Dakota Bakken crude to its Washington state refinery despite higher costs because of improved yields, CEO Greg Goff told analysts on Thursday. 
IceAgeNow is reporting that the atmospheric CO2 in 1910 equaled that of today. First comment at that link:
We do have historical ice core and recent volcano data series that both track each other and do show an upward trend. Looking at longer historical records going back thousands of years….it is not very conclusive that temperature tracks CO2 levels and it appears temperature change leads CO2 change. If CO2 level is causative, based on historical Vostok ice core samples….we should have seen a MUCH larger spike in temperature already. The data shows as temperature varied by 16F while CO2 varied by 90 ppm or about 5.5 ppm / F. So if CO2 is up another 100 ppm, we’d expect another 18F increase yet none at all is shown in the ice sample data. This is easily explained if historical temperature data is driven by some other external factor or cycle the typically impacts both CO2 and temperature and now man-made CO2 emissions are simply added to the external factor. The external factor has not changed so the temperature has not changed greatly. Some may argue that it is CO2 driven but with a lag so the impact has not yet shown….but the historical data has never shown a significant lag between a sharp CO2 increase and a sharp temperature increase and actually it appears that typically temperature change precedes CO2 change.
SolarCity -- Elon Musk, cousin of the co-founders -- is tanking; falls over 18% on earnings miss.
  • Posted a loss of $2.10 vs an estimate of a loss of $1.90.
Setting us up for $200 oil: COP will exit deepwater exploration.

MarketWatch is reporting that General Mills will cut more jobs, close more plants:
General Mills on Thursday announced another round of job cuts, the latest set of layoffs from the maker of Cheerios as it seeks to improve profitability amid lackluster sales.
The Minneapolis food giant, struggling to adapt to consumers' shifting preference for fresh and natural food options over packaged goods, is in the midst of a multiyear cost-cutting effort. It has announced several plant closures and thousands of job cuts in roughly the past year.

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