Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Morning News, Views, And Links; Now It's Geithner; With Lake Tahoe, California Blinks, Environmentalists Call Foul

Active rigs: 178 (ties record low post-boom)

RBN Energy: continuing the series on rail vs pipeline for Canadian bitumen

Summers' withdrawal: if there is a market surge today, one can think of a number of reasons why Summer's withdrawal provided the impetus, but the overriding reason the market would like this: it ends the uncertainty. The market prefers to deal with "known" entities. The market still shows a surge of 165 points on opening.

WSJ Links

Apple does it again; by moving TouchID into mainstream, Apple has changed the conversation. This is from the lead story in the fourth section of today's paper: "Biometrics are just the beginning in efforts by tech companies to come up with new authentication systems that are more secure and more convenient than conventional passwords." Writers will make it sound like TouchID has been around forever, and this is nothing new that Apple did. If so, why do we not see TouchID on any other laptop or mobile device -- not HP, not IBM, not Samsung, not Nokia, not Sony. I think there's a reason, but will let it go for now.

Lead story, front page: Iran increasing its presence in Iran, training Shiite rebels. Someday someone may ask whether US involvement in Syria actually expanded, lengthened the civil war. But not yet.

And the lede from another story on Syria: "Through mixed messages, miscalculations and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it."

I see that ObamaCare has moved from "Health" to "Politics" arena in the WSJ. Perhaps it was there all along; I just didn't notice it. Whatever. "New poll results show the depth of the Obama administration's challenge on the eve of the rollout of the federal health law's core provisions, as many Americans say they don't understand the law and don't think it will help them."

And quite far into the paper, old news by now: Summers withdraws. There are not less than eight associated stories. Stock futures soar.
Very surprising," said David Lutz, a managing director at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore. "Eighty percent of the Street expected Summers as soon as this week." He added that the markets likely would see a period of "risk-on," in which investors bid up stocks and other assets sensitive to economic growth.
Mr. Summers's withdrawal shifts the spotlight to other potential candidates to succeed Mr. Bernanke. Mr. Obama has said he interviewed Donald Kohn, a former Fed vice chairman who now serves as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Administration insiders say Timothy Geithner, the former Treasury secretary, also is a possibility, though he has said he doesn't want the job.
But based on the latest developments, Andrew Brenner, global head of international fixed income at National Alliance Securities, said he would expect Mr. Geithner to garner stronger consideration from the administration.
"I think Geithner will get a call from the president," he said.
Los Angeles Times

Top story: 1,200 missing in Colorado floods.

There we go: an article on exactly what I've been opining for quite some time. The gap between the "haves" and the have-nots" has increased, "surprising some researchers." That's what it said: surprising some researchers.
Chris Roquemore once thought of himself as working class. But it's hard to keep thinking that, he said, when you're not working.
The 28-year-old father said he sparred with his supervisors at a retail chain about taking time off after his mother died — and ended up unemployed. Since then, Roquemore has worked odd jobs and started studying nursing at Long Beach City College, trying to get "a career, not a job."
All those changes, in turn, changed the way he thought of himself.
Roquemore is among the small but surging share of Americans who identify themselves as "lower class." Last year, a record 8.4% of Americans put themselves in that category — more than at any other time in the four decades that the question has been asked on the General Social Survey, a project of the independent research organization Norc at the University of Chicago.
Pretty sad. The president will have quite a legacy. The silent majority. By the way, I've always felt the gap would be more noticeable in states the Hollywood crowd likes: California and Colorado.

Isn't this interesting: the state of California "blinks." Gives in to developers around pristine Lake Tahoe. "Fearful of Nevada's pullout from the compact governing building around the pristine lake — and loss of control of the bigger picture — California agrees to higher density and taller structures in the region."
The passage of the California bill was the final step that ended years of hard bargaining over future development in the region. A revised plan will allow higher density and taller structures — the sort of glitzy development that California sought to curtail when it entered into a joint planning compact with Nevada four decades ago and created the Tahoe planning agency.
After the regional plan was adopted late last year, Nevada's fiercely anti-regulation forces pushed for still more changes. They pressured California to submit by threatening — for the seventh time — to withdraw from the compact.
The maneuver was political brinkmanship, playing on California's fears about what would happen on the Nevada side of the lake without the planning compact. It worked.
"If we lost the compact, the permitting authority will go to the local jurisdictions," said Darcie Goodman Collins, executive director of the California-based League to Save Lake Tahoe. "I'm afraid that the end result is that decisions would be made without having that bigger picture regional puzzle in mind. There would be no limit."
Other environmental organizations have a different view.
"We got rolled," said Trent W. Orr, an attorney with Earthjustice, which is representing the Sierra Club in a lawsuit challenging the regional plan.
Music to my ears. Meanwhile, the environmental wackos can sit on the edge of the road watching megaloads go by.

When the Moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, .... Jack is back, bigger than ever.
On Sunday evening, beginning at 10:30 p.m. PDT, the team at the online astronomy site will turn their telescope on Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and stream the results for the world to see.
Over the course of the broadcast viewers should get to see Jupiter's four  largest moons -- Ganymede, Europa, Io and Callisto -- and watch them slowly dance around the planet.
Your host, Paul Cox, who works as Slooh's outreach coordinator, will look at how the planet's Great Red Spot has changed since April, when Slooh's telescope last imaged it.
He will also check in on Jupiter's other storm known as "Red Jr."
In October, Slooh's telescope caught an image of the Great Red Spot and Red Jr. as they passed each other. You can see it for yourself, on-line.
New York Times

The best part: the comments regarding Summers' withdrawal.  

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