Friday, February 7, 2014

The Great Lakes Are Freezing Over, Could Be A Historic Winter; More People Are Dying From Global Cooling Than Global Warming


March 5, 2014: the AP is reporting that due to freezing of the Great Lakes, one can expect significant flooding. The water levels are rising back to "normal."
Water levels in the Great Lakes are expected to continue a steady recovery this year, courtesy of widespread ice cover that is slowing evaporation and snowfall that has approached record amounts in some cities, federal experts said Wednesday.
The siege of polar air that has gripped the region this winter has caused the most extensive freeze-over of the lakes since the record-setting year of 1979, when nearly 95 percent of their surface area solidified. On Tuesday, the ice cover reached its highest point since then - 91 percent, said George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
Meanwhile, the towering snowpack rimming the watershed will melt this spring and much of the water will flow into the lakes or the streams that feed them. The runoff is expected to be so bountiful that some areas will be in danger of flooding, a prospect that could be worsened by ice jams on swollen rivers. 
Great Lakes levels dropped sharply in the late 1990s and have remained mostly below normal since. Scientists blame a warming climate, which promotes evaporation and limits ice cover, and occasional dry spells.
The drop-off was most severe on Lakes Michigan and Huron, which hydrologists consider one water body because they are connected and at the same height above sea level. They fell to the lowest point on record in January 2013, while the three other Great Lakes - Superior, Erie and Ontario - were well below average. 
The prolonged slump hammered the shipping industry, forcing vessels to carry lighter loads to avoid scraping bottom in channels and ports. Marina owners lost money as slips were too shallow for boats to dock. Vegetation sprang up along waterfronts, frustrating hotel and cottage owners. 
But the last 14 months have seen a long-awaited comeback, fueled by plentiful snow and rain. Superior and Michigan-Huron's seasonal rises were almost double their average gains in 2013. 
The snow's water content is the highest in a decade on Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. The snowpack is the equivalent of 9.5 inches of water around Lake Superior. It holds 4 to 8 inches of water in the Huron-Michigan basin, 3.8 inches around Lake Ontario and 1.8 inches around Lake Erie.
And the signs continue pointing upward.  
Ice cover has prevented evaporation and could keep water temperatures cool enough to delay the next period of heavy water loss to the atmosphere, Leshkevich said.
March 1, 2014: update. RealScience is reporting:
Lake Ontario is the only major holdout, and the forecast there is for extreme cold during the next two weeks.
February 11, 2014: another CNS update
Lake Superior hasn’t completely frozen over in two decades.
But an expert on Great Lakes ice says there’s a “very high likelihood” that the three-quadrillion-gallon lake will soon be totally covered with ice thanks to this winter’s record-breaking cold.
The ice cover on the largest freshwater lake in the world hit a 20-year record of 91 percent on Feb. 5, 1994.
Jay Austin, associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., told that he expects that record will be broken this winter when the most northern of the Great Lakes becomes totally shrouded in ice.
February 8, 2014: folks may have seen the note below -- the NY Times parody/satire on "the end of snow" -- see below [For a bit of humor, parody, or satire on this subject, The New Yorks Times has a great op-ed on the "end of snow."] I suggested the Times reporter might want to fly over the snow-covered frozen Great Lakes (see "original post" below).

But it does not stop there. Don sent me this note, the AFP is reporting via Finance!Yahoo News:
The heaviest snow in decades in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has left at least five dead and 600 injured across the country by early Sunday, reports said.
As much as 27 centimetres (10.6 inches) of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to the meteorological agency.
The snow storm hit the capital on the eve of its gubernatorial election. Observers say the heavy snowfall may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people.
I'm a denier.  
Original Post

This is really quite a story. Don sent it to me.  The story is at ""

It absolutely doesn't matter to me whether one is a warmist or a denier (for the record, Algore is a warmist; I'm a denier); this is quite a story. I think even warmists would find this interesting. I found it fascinating.

For warmists, this is a "weather" story; for deniers, "this is a "climate" story.

The status of the Great Lakes follows.

Lake Superior, the speed of freezing is dramatic:
  • almost completely frozen over as of February 5, 2014
  • 92% covered with ice
  • one week ago: 76%
  • current ice cover is the highest amount ever for February 5, 2014
  • was 91% covered back in 1994
Lake Michigan:
  • now 51% covered
  • 42% covered one week ago
  • 74% covered  back in 1977, 1996
Lake Huron:
  • current ice cover at 86%
  • 72% last week
  • at this rate, could be completely frozen over next week
  • 95% ice cover back in 1981, 1994
Lake Erie, shallowest of the Great Lakes; least volume of the lakes
  • 96% ice covered
  • 94% last week
  • entirely covered February 5, 1996
Lake Ontario, smallest great lake in surface area, but second deepest, behind Lake Superior
  • only 32% covered
  • 27% last week
  • covered with as much as 79% at this point in the winter of 1994
Next few weeks:
  • no significant break in freezing temperatures until at least February 21st
  • "it is going to be close, but we may be living in a historic winter with regards to amount of Great Lakes ice

For a bit of humor, parody, or satire on this subject, The New Yorks Times has a great op-ed on the "end of snow." If you enjoy it, you can buy the book. LOL. Perhaps before the Times fires any more of their news staff, the parent company should fly them over the Great Lakes, or almost anywhere over the states: over two-thirds of the contiguous US is now covered with snow. We even have snow here in Grapevine, Texas. [Update, February 13, 2014: according to USA Today, 49 of 50 states now have snow on theground.]

Seven (7) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota USA

Active rigs:

Active Rigs19218420216690

Seven (7) new permits --
  • Operators: Oasis (3), QEP (3), HRC
  • Fields: Cottonwood (Mountrail), Grail (McKenzie), Eagle Nest (Dunn)
  • Comments:
Wells coming of the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Two (2) producing wells completed:
  • 25931, A, Whiting, Oja 13-27-2XH, t--
  • 25901, 103, Bakken Hunter, Tundra 3130 3H, Ambrose, t10/13; cum 7K 12/13

Well, That Was Easy ...

... Tesoro announces it will upgrade its rail fleet to consist entirely of newer CPC-1232-compliant cars.
Specifically, Tesoro is committing that its rail car fleet will consist entirely of the newer DOT-111 design rail cars equipped with reinforced shields and relief devices by mid-2014. While this action applies to the vast majority of crude oil deliveries into Tesoro facilities, beginning in mid-2014 Tesoro will also make rail car design a part of its commercial considerations with all business partners who may ship crude oil into company-owned facilities. This includes Tesoro`s refinery in Anacortes, WA, and the proposed Tesoro-Savage Energy Distribution Terminal in Vancouver, WA.

Sundance Energy Australia To Go Public; Bakken Operator To Leave The Bakken; Concentrate Elsewhere; For Archival Purposes Only

New operator in the Bakken? Link here. Also, the company's "roadshow" at this link, a PDF at the link, but clicking on the link will take you to another webpage.

Sundance Energy Australia Limited (scheduled to begin trading 2-21-14).
From the F-1 filing: We are an onshore oil and natural gas company focused on the exploration, development and production of large, repeatable resource plays in North America. Our oil and natural gas properties are located in premier U.S. oil and natural gas basins, and our current operational activities are focused in south Texas targeting the Eagle Ford formation, north central Oklahoma targeting the Mississippian and Woodford formations, the Wattenberg field in central Colorado targeting the Codell and Niobrara formations, and northwest North Dakota targeting the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin.
According to the F-1, net acreage, rounded (see linked source for specifics):
  • Eagle Ford: 8,000
  • Wattenberg: 45,000
  • Woodford: 5,000
  • Bakken: 5,000
In the Bakken,
  • average daily net production): 900 boedp
  • estimated total proved reserves: 3 million bbls oil
  • producing wells (gross/net):  130 / 5
  • total drilling locations, proved, probably, possible (gross / net): 856 / 23
But then this, leaving the Bakken:
As of September 30, 2013, our Bakken properties consisted of approximately 100,153 gross (4,778 net) acres that are primarily located in McKenzie and Williams Counties, North Dakota. The majority of these properties are operated by EOG Resources, Inc. and Hess Corporation. During the month of September 2013, we had average net daily production of approximately 899 boepd from our Bakken properties. 
For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2013, we had average net daily production of approximately 516 boepd from our Bakken properties. 
During 2013, we have spent approximately $6 million to participate in approximately 12 gross (0.8 net) horizontal wells.
In November and December 2013, we sold our interest in our Phoenix prospect located in the Bakken, North Dakota.
See "— Recent Developments — Divestitures." We expect to continue to divest our Bakken assets as we continue to focus on the development of our operated assets in our other major operating areas.
In September 2012, we sold our interest in properties located in the South Antelope field of the Williston Basin, North Dakota, to a third party for approximately $172 million in net proceeds. At the time of the sale, our interest in properties located in that field included approximately 3,939 net non-operated acres in McKenzie County, North Dakota, with average net daily production of approximately 827 boepd during the quarter ended September 30, 2012 and proved reserves of approximately 4.7 MMBoe as of September 2012.
In November 2013, we sold our entire interest in an individual operated well and the developed 622 net acres, located in the Phoenix prospect, for gross proceeds of approximately $4.3 million. In December 2013, we sold our interests in properties also located in the Phoenix prospect of the Bakken for $35.5 million. The assets sold included 77 gross producing wells in McKenzie, Dunn and Mountrail Counties, North Dakota.
$4.3 million / 622 net acres (producing): $7,000 / acre.

A well search at the NDIC website suggests an operator called "Sundance Energy" has two wells:
  • 15580, dry, Sundance Energy, Ruth Packineau, Squaw Creek, a Madison well, s6/04;
  • 17197, 284, Sundance Energy, Chase 21-30H Spotted Horn, t11/08; cum 53K 12/13; 
I can't say for sure this "Sundance Energy" is related (a wholly owned subsidiary) to the new filing.

So Much For That "Awful" Jobs Report -- Oil Up Over 2% -- Nearing $100; At Market Close, Settles Slightly Over $100


Later, close of market, today: oil closed up 2.35%, settles at slightly over $100.  

Original Post

For investors only.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read.

MDU traded at a new 52-week high. So did UNP. But this is what really surprised me: WMB, trading at a new 52-week high today; it had been in the doldrums earlier this year. Of course, I suppose it helped that Williams Cos recently announced an increase in its dividend. ERF (Enerplus) also traded at a new high. And, of course, the next big thing, Netflix, traded at a new high. Smile. SRE did not trade at new high, but traded up more than 1 percent.

MDU's dividend in 2009 was 15.5 cents; at the end of 2013, it was 17.7 cents.
SRE's dividend in 2009 was 39 cents; at the end of 2013, it was 63 cents. 

The Atlantic Monthly On The Economy

Earlier I said today's job report was horrendous. Surprisingly, I was not alone. Surprisingly, the mainstream media in the guise of The Atlantic Monthly had this to say:
The two numbers you'll hear today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' two jobs surveys are 113,000 jobs added in January and 6.6 percent unemployment. 
The first number (from the payroll survey) is ugly: In a recovery like this, you want to hover around 200k jobs added per month. In the last two months, we've added less than half that—about 94K.
And actually, The Atlantic Monthly is a bit off. "Hovering around 200,000" won't do it. Anything less than 200, 000 in new jobs is an indication of economic stagnation, but the Obama recession has been so horrendous it will take a lot more than 200,000 new jobs/month to get the economy going.

In addition, the Congressional Budget Office says the third leg of Obama's 3-legged stool, ObamaCare, will be a further drag on jobs.

The other thing I learned from The Atlantic Monthly article: one can find almost any statistic, fact or fictional, to support one's world view of the economy.

I'm an eternal optimist. We've never had it so good in this country. For some, it will get better. For most, it won't get worse.

The Math Doesn't Add Up

I've always said the math doesn't add up. When you kill the coal industry and shut down nuclear reactors, no amount of wind/solar will close the gap.

Californians might take note. (I had missed this story; an alert reader sent it to me.)

AP is reporting:
Californians were urged to voluntarily cut their electricity use Thursday in a rare mid-winter conservation alert, after frigid weather across the U.S. and Canada caused a shortage of natural gas at Southern California power plants.
"While the natural gas shortage is only impacting Southern California power plants, statewide electricity and gas conservation will help free up both electricity and gas supplies for Southern Californians," the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state's power grid, said in a statement.
Requests for Californians to curtail their power use typically occur in summer, when temperatures soar and air conditioners roar, especially across Southern California.
Most interesting: public officials are grossly underestimating how much electricity demands are increasing due to charging smartphones, laptops, tablets, and in California, EVs. This will only keep increasing. Probably faster than solar/wind can accommodate.

Continental Resources With Operational Update

Press release.

  • proved reserves up by almost 40% y/y
  • net present value discounted at 10% (PV-10): $20 billion
  • market cap today: $20 billion
  • "strong increase in 2013 proved reserves reflected significant production growth in the Bakken play of North Dakota and Montana"
  • the Bakken has a PV-10 value of almost $15 billion
  • 1.2 million net acres in the Bakken
  • estimated total production in 2013 was almost 50 million boe, almost 40% increase y/y
  • despite the "bad" weather in December, 4Q13 production was 2% better than 3Q113; and 35% increase of 4Q12
  • reached the 150,000 boe milestone in November, 2013
  • CLR enters 2014 with 100 gross wells that are drilled but not yet producing, almost all of which are associated with multi-well pads
Japanese Setting (in progress)
All Furniture Built by Son-In-Law

Amazon's List Of 100 Best Books To Read In One's Lifetime

I'm a sucker for lists, and this is one of the best. I won't change my reading plans based on this list but it it is interesting. Here they are, all 100, said to be alphabetical, but some at the end are not in alphabetical order:
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
  • A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
  • The Bad Beginning or. Orphans, Lemony Snicket
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine Lengle
  • Alice Munro: Selected Stories
  • Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • All the President's Men, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
  • Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  • Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Born to Run -- A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  • Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
  • Cutting For Stone, Abraham Verghese
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney
  • Dune, Frank Herbert
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, Hunter S. Thompson
  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared M. Diamond (overrated)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • Interpreter of Maladies,  Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  • Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware
  • Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
  • Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
  • Man's Search for Menaing, Viktor Franki
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
  • Moneyball, Michael Lewis
  • Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham
  • On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  • Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • Portnoy's Complaint, Phillip Roth
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Age of Innocence, EdithWharton
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
  • Malcolm X, Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
  • The Color of Water, James McBride
  • The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
  • The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
  • The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown
  • The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman
  • The Great Gatsby,  F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • The Liar's Club, Mary Karr
  • The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and The Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright
  • The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Other Clinical Tales, Oliver Sacks
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan
  • The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel, Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Robert A. Caro
  • The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • The Shining, Stephen King
  • The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel, Haruki Murakami
  • The World According To Garp, John Irving
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story Of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  • The Stranger, Albert Camus
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  • I was pleasantly surprised by some on the list, including Tim O'Brien
  • I was surprised by the absence of the great women writers of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries (Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, just to name a few)
  • I was surprised to see Hawking but not Darwin on the list
  • I was surprised to see none of the following: Defoe, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce
  • any list that includes Fear and Loathing by Hunter S Thompson is almost a perfect list
  • I was surprised to see how much reading I have left to do
  • I think our older granddaughter (age 10) has read more on the list than I have (if one counts all seven volumes of Harry Potter and three volumes of Hunger Games)

Unemployment Rate: 6.6%; Employment Report A Huge Disappointment; Two Consecutive Reports That Dispel "The Theory" The US Economy Is Improving

Say what? A screenshot from Yahoo!News -- the sub-headline must have been phoned in by the Obama administration (my hunch is that the headline was written yesterday in anticipation of today's job report based on forecasts):

Cut to the chase:
  • any number less than 200,000 indicates economic stagnation
  • in 2013, not a particularly good year, average monthly job gain: 183,000 (economic stagnation)
  • December, 2013: 75,000 (horrendous)
  • January, 2014: 113,000 (more horrendous; expectation was for 180,000 jobs) 
The story:

The report was so bad, so unimpressive, the story was not even a headline story by 8:44 a.m. the day it was released.

In fact, I had trouble finding the story at Yahoo!Finance; it was tied to the US Treasuries story:
Treasuries rose after U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast for a second month in January, adding to speculation that growth in the world’s biggest economy may be faltering.
Ten-year note yields fell for the first time in four days. The Federal Reserve has reduced its monthly bond purchases under the quantitative-easing stimulus strategy to $65 billion over the past two months from 2013’s $85 billion, citing an improving economy.
“That’s a tough pill to swallow because the consensus view was that the U.S. economy was finally getting on a stronger path of growth,” said Gary Pollack, who manages $12 billion as head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank AG’s Private Wealth Management unit in New York. “We’ve had two employment reports in a row which dispel that theory.”
The 10-year yield sank as much as seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 2.63 percent before trading at 2.68 percent at 8:56 a.m. in New York, down two basis points, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. It pared its first weekly increase this year to four basis points.
Great news for homebuyers.

Great news for investors. The recent tapering was a "legacy" move for Ben Bernanke -- the history books will report that he saved the US economy and began tapering before his term was up. It's going to take a brave, brave (and irresponsible?) Fed to continue tapering. So, great news for investors

Not so good for President Obama and company. But I doubt he has ever seen an unemployment report he didn't like.

You have to go deep into the story to get the number:
The 113,000-job gain in employment followed a revised 75,000 increase in December, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. U.S. employers added an average of 182,170 jobs a month in 2013. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 180,000 advance in January. The unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since October 2008 even as more Americans entered the labor force. 

Friday -- Aetna Expects To Lose Money Due To ObamaCare

Active rigs:

Active Rigs19118420216690

RBN Energy: how the US shale gas boom benefits Asian LNG importers.
Using the US natural gas production boom to promote the idea of a sustainable “global gas glut”, Asian importers have successfully managed to chip away at the longstanding oil-indexed pricing mechanism for liquefied natural gas (LNG) overthe past two years. While oil-indexation in LNG contracts will certainly not disappear overnight, the shale revolution has provided gas importers with significant negotiating leverage and a new degree of pricing flexibility. Today we examine the trend toward more US centric LNG pricing.
In January 2012, Cheniere Energy signed a 20-year agreement with Korea Gas Corporation  to supply 3.5 million tonnes per annum  of LNG from its Sabine Pass facility (equivalent to 0.5 Bcf/d) for a $3/MMBtu liquefaction fee plus 115% of the current Henry Hub, LA natural gas price.
Subsequent contracts based on Henry Hub prices have followed suit. In November 2012, Japanese power utility Kansai Electric signed a 15-year import contract with BP Singapore with Henry Hub natural gas as the price basis. That agreement marked Japan’s first-ever long-term LNG import contract fully linked to a gas benchmark.
More recently in 2013, Freeport LNG in Texas signed 20-year tolling agreements with Asian industrials Toshiba (Japan) and SK (Korea) for a premium of $7/MMBtu over Henry Hub.
Jobs report: horrendous.

The Wall Street Journal

Pentagon drops plan to mothball the USS George Washngton, aircraft carrier, after the White House intervened to head off a brewing political fight. 

Apple repurchases $14 billion of its own shares in two weeks.

Sony forecasts $1.1 billion loss.

Target breach began with contractor's electronic billing link:
The hackers that carried out the massive data breach at Target Corp. appear to have gained access via a refrigeration contractor in Pittsburgh that connected to the retailer's systems to do electronic billing.
Fazio Mechanical Services Inc., a privately held company with about 125 employees, said Thursday it was "a victim of a sophisticated cyberattack operation" and was cooperating with investigators at the Secret Service.
The details in a statement by the company's owner, Ross Fazio, provide new clues to how hackers infiltrated Target's computer system and eventually stole the data of 40 million credit- and debit-card numbers during a security breach that lasted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 18. The thieves also stole personal data like email addresses and phone numbers of 70 million customers.
Fazio Mechanical began working with Target in 2006 installing and maintaining refrigerator systems in stores as the discounter expanded its fresh food offerings. Through that relationship, the contractor was linked remotely to Target's computer systems for "electronic billing, contract submission and project management," Mr. Fazio said.
LinkedIn, a glorified Facebook for executive-wannabes, sees weak sales

Greenbrier to offer safety retrofit for rail tankers.
Greenbrier Cos., the nation's second-largest maker of railcars, said the industry needs to move faster to make tank cars more crash-resistant, and will begin offering to retrofit older tanker cars that carry potentially explosive crude oil.
The move, which comes in advance of expected new federal standards for such cars, makes Greenbrier the first U.S. manufacturer to embrace upgrades proposed by a rail-industry panel for the tens of thousands of older tank cars now in service in the U.S. The cost of the proposed modifications has been estimated at $15,000 to $80,000 a car.
In an interview Thursday, Greenbrier Chairman and Chief Executive William Furman criticized the 10-year timetable for modifying older tank cars that haul crude oil and ethanol suggested by a rail-industry trade group in December. He said safety improvements could be made in half the time, and at less cost, with a slimmed-down list of retrofits.
 AOL blames financial problems on two "distressed babies." Oh, oh.
AOL'schief executive angered employees Thursday when he said that care for two staffers' "distressed babies" in 2012 cost the company about $1 million each, expenses that helped drive up AOL's overall benefits costs and forced management to make difficult decisions to cut the company's 401(k) plan.
The remarks came as CEO Tim Armstrong addressed employees during an all-staff-conference call to explain the company's rational for the cuts, which were disclosed earlier this week.
 Aetna expects to lose money on health-law marketplan. Well, duh.

KKR profits soar. Search the blog for KKR's connection to the Bakken.

The Los Angeles Times

I just love the spin. Everyone knows it was a horrendous jobs report, but The LA Times, in a headline, front-page story: US economy adds a modest 113,000 jobs in January. LOL. The LA Times is more liberal -- or least more of a mouthpiece for Obama -- than the New York Times. But in the very first paragraph, the newspaper was forced to tell the truth, it appears:

Job growth was sluggish in January for the second straight month, likely renewing concerns that the economy and labor market recovery may be faltering again. 

And then this: stocks move higher as unemployment rate falls. Nope: the market moved higher for many reasons but not because the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 6.6%. Which no one believes anyway.

We have another nominee for the fourth product placement vehicle for Liam, Samuel, and Archie: the Jeep Cherokee