Friday, September 5, 2014

Closing Out The Jamestown Fertilizer Poll -- September 5, 2014

Finally, after months, we can finally "pull" this poll: will the Jamestown fertilizer plant get built? It was announced this week that the promoters have said the $3 billion project will go forward. Results of the poll:
  • likely: 65%
  • unlikely: 35%
I will leave the poll up until I think of another poll to replace it.

From a long, long time ago ....

It's Not Fair, Lily Allen

Week 36: August 31, 2014 -- September 6, 2014

Random look at some "high-IP" wells
Some Halcon wells now up to one-million EURs
MRO to add additional rig in the Bakken by end of year
EOG reports another nice Wayzetta well; 124,000 bbls in less than 3 months
Data points from CLR's most recent presentation

ONEOK may increase capacity at its garden Creek II natural gas processing plant

PSX to build new CBR terminal; at Palermo (east of Stanley)

Lots of sand; high transportation costs
Cost of fracking using SlickWater
Bakken economy
Jamestown fertilizer plant to be built; $3 billion project
Watford City boom -- The Atlantic Monthly
"The" restaurant in Williston
Groundbreaking begins for Northstar Center, north of Williston
From boomtown to center of investment -- JLL
Running the numbers for a proposed natural gas power plant in Emmons County
Pembina Pipeine to build half-billion dollar propane terminal in Portland, OR

196 Active Rigs In North Dakota Going Into The Weekend -- September 6, 2014; Three "Typical" OXY USA Wells Reported

Active rigs:

The boom is over in the Bakken?

The record number of active rigs on this date in any year in the boom? 198

Today, the number of active rigs was 196.

Active Rigs196186190198146

Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Four (4) producing wells were completed:
  • 25779, 487, OXY USA, Vibe 1-26H1, Leaf Mountrain, t5/14; cum 19K 7/14;
  • 26571, 428, American Eagle, Taylor 16-1E-163-102, Colgan, t3/14; cum 33K 7/14;
  • 27848, 144, OXY USA, Dakota Meyer 2-19-18H-143-97, Crooked Creek, t7/14; cum 2K 7/14;
  • 27924, 105, OXY USA,  Elroy Kadrmas 5-3-10H-143-96, Fayette, t7/14; cum 180 bbls; 7/14;
Four (4) new permits --
  • Operators: Triangle USA Petroleum (4)
  • Fields: Timber Creek (McKenzie)
  • Comments: four more permits for Wisness wells all on the same pad, I believe
South Dakota School of Mines Using Shale Revolution to Teach Students

In recent years, the shale revolution has allowed the United States to achieve a level of energy security that would have been thought impossible only a few years ago, while also boosting the labor force through the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. In an effort to push the envelope on operating in shale formations, as well as to ensure that the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students of today are prepared for the energy careers of tomorrow, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD School of Mines) in Rapid City, South Dakota is using its experience with natural resources and its proximity to major shale formations surrounding the school to full advantage in its new Energy Resources Initiative, one of academia's first shale programs. 
Confused? Detached? Golfing?

Why in the world would SecDef allow 100 Americans flying out of Afghanistan be allowed to be put at risk flying over Iran? I'm sure a member of the pro-Obama cult can explain any number of unanswered questions. Reuters is reporting:
A charter aircraft flying from the U.S. airbase at Bagram in Afghanistan to Dubai was re-routed to Bandar Abbas, Iran, on Friday due to "a bureaucratic issue," a U.S. State Department official said.
"A Fly Dubai charter plane flying from Bagram Air Field to Dubai was re-routed to Bandar Abbas, Iran because of a bureaucratic issue today," the official said. 
"Contrary to press reports, this plane was not forced down by the Iranian military," the official added. "The issue appears to have been resolved and hopefully the plane will be able to take off soon."
I guess the short answer to the question why SecDef Hagel would allow this: "Because he can."

One should be happy that:
  • aircrew and Iranian flight controllers were on same frequency
  • there were no transmission glitches
  • everyone was speaking a language that everyone understood
  • the Iranians were not trigger happy (launching a missile)
And since, everyone is safe and sound, "what does it matter?"  -- SecState Hillary Clinton. And now, the Iranian "reset."


Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that "the IRS" says that the agency lost the e-mails of five (5) more employees. I guess every time the House gets close to finding the "smoking gun," the IRS loses those e-mails, also.  But as Hillary would say, "what does it matter?"


For the archives. is reporting New Jersey creditworthiness downgraded again:
Wall Street analysts at Fitch Ratings today downgraded New Jersey's bond rating for the second time this year, citing the state's poor economic performance, Gov. Chris Christie's rosy revenue forecasts — which failed to materialize — and his decision to plug the resulting budget gap by cutting $2.4 billion in funding for the state's strained pension system.
Fitch said Christie's decision to cut the pension payments this year marked a "repudiation" of a bipartisan plan he signed to fix the beleaguered retirement system for public workers, which is underfunded by nearly $40 billion, according to state estimates.

Reposting -- This Really Is Huge, September 5, 2014; "Pauses Of 15 Years Zero Out Any So-Called Trends" -- NOAA


March 2, 2015: decision on where plastics plant to be located will be delayed

February 15, 2015: it is now being reported that the fertilizer plant to be built in Jamestown needs more water than Jamestown area can provide. Options are limited:
CHS tried to get permits to use water from aquifers around Jamestown. The State Water Commission, which evaluates the availability of water and issues permits, said many of the water rights for the area already had been allocated. 
Something seems a bit fishy; shouldn't this have been worked out by now?

Original Post
Just last week I made the comment:
If a new project in the Bakken is not followed by "-est" -- the biggest, the largest, -- it hardly makes news.
Then, this morning, Kent wrote:
"$3 billion here, $3 billion there." 
Remember, a single Bakken well costs upwards of $10 million. A 14-well pad, $150 million.
Two hundred wells/month in the Bakken. $2 billion/month just for the wells.

But this is what caught my eye and the eyes of others, today. It was a big enough story to make Yahoo!In-Play:
CHS Inc. to build fertilizer plant at Spiritwood, N.D.; plant to cost ~$3 bln and employ ~160-180 people: Co announced it will proceed with construction of a fertilizer manufacturing plant at Spiritwood, N.D.
  • The CHS Board of Directors approved final plans for the ~$3 bln project at its September meeting. Groundbreaking will take place following completion of additional details, with the plant intended to be fully operational in the first half of calendar 2018. When complete, the plant will employ 160-180 people.
  • The CHS fertilizer plant will produce more than 2,400 tons of ammonia daily which will be further converted to urea, UAN and Diesel Exhaust Fuel.
2018. I will be only three or four years older. Awesome.

Whatever Happened To Global Warming?

An op-ed in the WSJ:
On Sept. 23 the United Nations will host a party for world leaders in New York to pledge urgent action against climate change. Yet leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won't attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely.
Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer?
In effect, this is all that's left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990.
The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades.
Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).
Even that is likely to be too high.
The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began
Baraq O'Bama is going to be a bit lonely -- but mainstream media is going to use a lot of ink on this conference.

Might as well add this:
Two years before Mr. Whitehouse's article, climate scientists were already admitting in emails among themselves that there had been no warming since the late 1990s.
"The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998," wrote Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain in 2005.
He went on: "Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn't statistically significant."
If the pause lasted 15 years, they conceded, then it would be so significant that it would invalidate the climate-change models upon which policy was being built.
A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) written in 2008 made this clear: "The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more." [Read that again.]
Well, the pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere. That's according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada. 

[The University of Guelph is consistently ranked as a top comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean's magazine, and given top marks for student satisfaction among medium-sized universities in Canada by The Globe and Mail. It has held these rankings with its reputation, innovative research-intensive programs, and lively campus life cited as particular strengths. The University of Guelph has also been ranked 50 among the top 100 universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Educaton. The university has a key focus on life science and has ranked 76-100 in the world by ARWU.]

Off The Net For Awhile -- Going To Go Read A BookBook

Experience The Power of a BookBook

Can You Imagine The Price Of Gasoline Without The Bakken? -- September 5, 2014; Saudi Is In Trouble

Bloomberg is reporting:
After years of keeping the price of crude sold to the U.S. low enough to maintain market share, Saudi Arabia is losing ground as the shale boom leaves U.S. refiners with ample supplies of inexpensive domestic oil.
Arab Light crude for sale in the U.S. averaged 48 cents a barrel less than Light Louisiana Sweet, a Gulf Coast benchmark, in August, the narrowest discount in data compiled by Bloomberg back to 1991.
The U.S. imported 878,000 barrels of Saudi crude a day in the first four weeks of August, the least since 2009
Shale drilling has boosted U.S. oil output to the highest level since 1986. As refineries turn to lower-priced domestic oil to make fuel at a record pace, the Saudis and other foreign suppliers are left with dwindling slices of the market.
In June, imports from Saudi Arabia accounted for the smallest share of crude processed at U.S. refineries since February 2010.
"The Saudis are not going to sell crude at a disadvantage to themselves -- they're not about buying market share anymore," Mike Wittner, Societe Generale (GLE)'s head of oil market research in New York, said by telephone Aug. 28.
"Those days are long gone. They'll price crude to be competitive with the competing sour grades in every market, and if that means their flows to the U.S. are down, so be it." 
Memo to self: send e-mail to Jane Nielsen.


Saudi Arabia is in trouble:
  • US domestic oil competitive with Saudi oil (fact)
  • Saudi running out of oil (controversial; not all agree)
  • Saudi resides in a bad, bad neighborhood (fact)
  • Saudi depends on US companies for technology (fact)
  • Saudi doesn't have much else going for it, other than oil (and camels)
  • Saudi needs $100 oil to maintain lifestyle for the rich (and hijabbed)
I posted "Saudi Arabia is in trouble" on September 5, 2014. Today, September 6, 2014, it is announced that Saudi is building the "Great Wall Of Arabia":
Saudi Arabia has inaugurated a multilayered fence along its northern borders, as part of efforts to secure the kingdom's vast desert frontiers against infiltrators and smugglers, state media said.
King Abdullah announced late Friday the launch of the first stage of a border security programme, covering 900 kilometres (560 miles) of the northern frontier, SPA state news agency reported.
SPA did not name Iraq, Saudi Arabia's neighbour to the north, referring only to the northern frontier, but the two countries' common border stretches over 800 kilometres (500 miles).

Eagnews reports on Michelle's menus:
CHICAGO – Hummus is too fatty, pretzels are too salty. Even hard-boiled eggs and yogurt don’t make the cut.
Those restrictions and others imposed on schools through the revamped “healthier” National School Lunch Program convinced officials in Illinois’ second largest school district to forfeit nearly $1 million in federal lunch aid to serve students food they want to eat, rather than what the government tells them to, CBS reports.
The federal “healthier” school lunch overhaul, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, has been a boondoggle for public schools across the country. The tightened restrictions, intended to combat childhood obesity, have driven more than 1 million students away from school lunches and created over $1 billion per year in food waste since they were implemented in 2012.
The drastic drop-off in lunch sales is prompting an increasing number of school districts to ditch the regulations and attached federal funding to save their floundering cafeteria programs. Just this week, two other New York school districts dropped out.

And later, a link to an op-ed in the WSJ  on global warming, if I don't forget. TGIF. 

So, What's The Market Doing Following That Horrendous Jobs Report? -- September 5, 2014

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

CHS Inc. to build fertilizer plant at Spiritwood, N.D.; plant to cost ~$3 bln and employ ~160-180 people: Co announced it will proceed with construction of a fertilizer manufacturing plant at Spiritwood, N.D.
  • The CHS Board of Directors approved final plans for the ~$3 bln project at its September meeting. Groundbreaking will take place following completion of additional details, with the plant intended to be fully operational in the first half of calendar 2018. When complete, the plant will employ 160-180 people.
  • The CHS fertilizer plant will produce more than 2,400 tons of ammonia daily which will be further converted to urea, UAN and Diesel Exhaust Fuel. 
 AAPL with a notable +1% bid this morning, out-performing vs. SPX & NDX.

Starbucks announced the expansion of the co's store formats; first Starbucks Reserve coffee stores to open in FY15 with 100 locations : Co announced the expansion of its store formats and evolution of their customer experience segmentation in FY15 with the launch of Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. With this, Starbucks Reserve will expand its coffee line to 1,500 locations globally, and open 100 stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively.

Trading at new highs: CAH, MCK, NSC, SRE.

Nothing To Do With Anything .. But This Calls For A Bit Of Music

Brown-Eyed Boy, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion

TransMountain Will Be Delayed, Also -- September 5, 2014 -- Just Like The Keystone XL

Link here to the Edmonton Journal;
The president of the Northern Gateway pipeline says it's unlikely the project will start up in 2018 as the company seeks to win over B.C. First Nations groups, many of which remain adamantly opposed to the $7.9-billion project.
"We have stated that the earliest in-service date was 2018. That's quickly evaporating because we need to have this time to meet with people," John Carruthers told a Calgary business audience on Thursday.
"I'm not as fussed on what that date is. I'm more fussed on can we have the support we need to go ahead, so it's positive for all people of Canada, including Aboriginal people?"
"That's going to take time and it's going to take the time it takes."
So far, 26 First Nations groups along the route have signed agreements with Enbridge to take a share of a 10 per cent equity stake in the pipeline that the company had offered. Enbridge is now in talks with other groups about other ways to participate in the project, such as employment and procurement contracts.
I think everyone knows what is meant "by talking to everyone."

Must-Read Article In The Atlantic Monthly On Watford City -- September 5, 2014

Too much happening today. I apologize to readers for not thanking them by e-mail for their links. I'm just trying to move as fast as I can.

This is an incredible story. Regular readers remember that it was The Atlantic Monthly that was the first mainstream media outlet that questioned (hinted) that the Bakken boom was over. That was February 12, 2013.

I haven't had a chance to read this article, but will come back to it later.

It will be fun to compare this article with what I just saw in Watford City last week (or maybe it was the week before; time moves fast). It will be interesting to see if The Atlantic Monthly mentions the oldest profession in this article. If not, count on The Dickinson Press to do so.

This is a very short clip of driving south out of Watford City. I was driving south; oncoming traffic obviously driving north into Watford City -- I wish I had started the filming a bit earlier, but I was at the traffic light and had to keep track of what was going on. This was Friday afternoon, Labor Day weekend:

Driving South Out Of Watford City, late August, 2014

The Economics Of Switching From Diesel To LNG -- RBN Energy -- September 5, 2014

RBN Energy: the economics of switching from diesel to LNG.
The shift from diesel to LNG (and sometimes CNG or field gas) as a fuel for drilling rigs and hydrofracturing pump engines is underway, and there is interest in having ships, locomotives and long-haul trucks run on natural gas from LNG too.
But before investing in new or converted engines that can run on natural gas or on a diesel-natural gas blend, diesel and shipping fuel users need answers to three questions: What will it cost? How much will we save? And—this is important, too--is the LNG infrastructure sufficiently robust to support the switch?Today we explore the economic ins and outs of converting from diesel to gas, and describe the current state of domestic LNG supply infrastructure.
With US natural gas selling at roughly one-quarter the price of crude oil on a per-BTU basis, it is not surprising that major consumers of diesel (an oil-based fuel whose pricing is closely linked to crude) are exploring the possibility of switching to natural gas from LNG. As we said in our Series Opener on the domestic use of LNG, diesel engines that power drilling rigs, fracking pumps, locomotives and long-haul trucks can be converted to dual-fuel operation or replaced with natural gas-only engines, as can ship engines now fueled by marine distillate or bunker fuel.
LNG, produced mostly with modest-size (less than 200 Mgal/d) plants sited near major customers, is seen as a logical, cost-effective and consistent quality source of gas. LNG also stores several times as much gas per gallon volume as CNG (helping with weight and storage space).
But there are significant costs involved in making a switch, and even some risk—the biggest of which is whether, after making the investment to change to dual-fuel or all-gas engines, you can count on LNG to be available when and where you need it. To help sort out the economics and the risk, let us first look at what is involved in switching engines from diesel (or shipping fuel) to dual-fuel or all-gas.

Random Update On Fracking Sand -- September 5, 2014; Huge Amounts Of Fracking Sand Being Used In The Bakken

A week or so ago I posted a note about the transportation cost for hauling frack sand by truck. Here's an update from the same source:
This weekend I’m moving 100 loads of 30/50 frac sand out of Marshfield, WI, to Denver, CO, $174.00 per ton, about $4.25 per mile.
We are also moving sand out of Woodbury, MN, to Sidney, MT, @ $100.00 per ton, Next week Alama Center, WI, to Genoa, NE, $64.00. Plant-to-plant move. 
More on this later, perhaps.

On a separate note, from the Berry Petroleum Company message board, from a Global Hunter Securities report yesterday:
Incredible. Last year the average well took 20 train cars of sand. This year on average 75 train cars. Lots of concern about deliverability of sand due to transport bottlenecks on the rails, but trucking has done OK making up any shortfalls, just more expensive. Big pump replacement program also, and upgrade, I expect the more sand you use the harder it is on equipment.  
And more: Sand comments from HAL. HAL spoke at an investor conference yesterday and expounded on a number of points related to sand logistics.
  • Proppant volumes have increased by 37% vs. year-ago levels last quarter. A year ago, a typical job required 4MM lbs. of proppant (20 railcars) whereas today the company is doing jobs with 15MM lbs. (75 railcars, or one unit train). The issue is moving the material rather than sand availability (which is 40% excess capacity at the mine).
  • HAL has spent two-thirds of its $300MM increased capex on Q10 pumps (designed for longer lives and a reduced failure rate) and one-third on transloading facilities and rail spurs to better service the Bakken, Niobrara and Permian. HAL has also increased the number of trucking companies it works with by 25 to 30 companies.
  • More horsepower is required on location. The average crew size on location has increased by 10%-15%. HAL has heard anecdotally that crew sizes for other companies have increased by 25%-50%. This has driven down excess industry capacity abruptly over the last six months.
  • HAL is unlikely to achieve its prior guidance of a 200 bps sequential improvement in NAM margins due to the logistic issues. Still, the company has 60%-65% of its contracts (92%-93% of its fleets are currently on contract) rolling off in Q3 and Q4 and intends to reset the sand prices to get ahead of the cost inflation issue. Our take: HAL is well positioned for the sand challenges due to its proactive expansion of trucking and rail capacity, process efficiency improvements and upcoming contract adjustments.
My hunch: the next big thing we will see in North Dakota -- huge frack sand storage sites. Fracking slows down in the winter; drilling slows down in the winter. The trucking industry tends to slow down in the winter. Truckers looking for work during slow periods. How to use those winter slow days? Haul fracking sand. Analogy: cargo planes landing at night at Frankfurt Airport about 40 years ago. 

CHS Will Build Fertilizer Plant In Spiritwood, ND -- Near Jamestown, ND -- September 5, 2014

Press release:
CHS Inc., the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global agriculture and energy business, announced today it will proceed with construction of a fertilizer manufacturing plant at Spiritwood, N.D.

The Jobs Report -- September 5, 2014 -- So Horrendous, Economists On Both Sides Of The Aisle Don't Believe It

One word: wow.

And it's a record: almost 100 million Americans NOT in the work force. Link here. Rate matches 36-year low.

I am off to a very late start this morning. I read the news on my iPad earlier this morning, still in bed, and was "shocked" when I read the numbers. I thought maybe I was over-reacting. It turns out I was not "off the mark."

I'm not alone; not by a long shot. CNBC is reporting: don't believe weak August jobs data -- economists.
"I don't believe it."

"This is anomalous."

"There's going to be an upward revision."
That's how three top economists reacted on CNBC to the much-lower-than-expected August jobs report, shortly after it was released Friday.
The U.S. economy added only 142,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Labor Department said, while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.1 percent
"I don't believe this data. It's not consistent with anything," Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said in a "Squawk Box" interview.
He puts together the monthly ADP private sector jobs report, which on Thursday said jobs grew in August by 204,000.
And they say I have rose-colored glasses:
  • Despite the payroll weakness, Krueger said he's thinks "the underlying trend is still 200,000 jobs of month." 
Yes, this was a horrendous job report, but before I comment, let's check out two other news stories. First, the breaking/braking news. Reuters couldn't even spin this report: US job growth brakes to eight-month low; labor force shrinks:
U.S. employers hired the fewest number of workers in eight months in August and more Americans gave up the hunt for jobs, providing a cautious Federal Reserve with more reasons to wait longer before raising interest rates.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 142,000 last month after expanding by 212,000 in July, the Labor Department said on Friday. The jobless rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.1 percent, but that was partly because people dropped out of the labour force.
Then, one paragraph later, the news is no better. The previous two months' figures were revised downward:
Data for June and July were revised to show 28,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. In addition, manufacturing saw no job growth and retail payrolls declined for the first time since February.
The number of jobs added to the U.S. economy in August came in lighter than expected at 142,000 (analysts were looking for 230,000), according to the Labor Department.
Other data reveals plenty of help is wanted, but employers aren't hurrying to hire.
Even though there were 4.7 million jobs openings in June, the most since 2001, employers are waiting longer to fill them than they have in more than a decade, according to an index created by University of Chicago economist Steven Davis.
It's taking 25 working days on average to fill vacancies, a 13-year high, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure. And for companies with 5,000 employees or more, it's taking more than twice that long -- an average of 58.1 working days.
The reasons given by an "expert":
  • the economy remains sluggish, so employers don't feel desperate
  • anecdotal evidence that employers are relying on social media -- taking longer to hire
  • pretty significant changes in the labor market ... make employers more cautious (think the rules they have in Germany protecting workers from being let go; once hired, never fired)
CNBC, just before the government released the official figures:
August's nonfarm payrolls are expected to show a seven month of 200,000 plus hiring, a sign that the labor market is finally on the mend.
Not "200,000 plus" but almost barely half of that at 142,000. So, I take that as "a sign" that the labor market is finally NOT on the mend. LOL.

1. The most incredible story line in this jobs report: no one believes the government figures.

2. Readers can already guess my comments regarding the reasons cited by the "expert" on why employers are slow to hire. There was no mention of the 800-pound gorilla. The phrase used by the expert, "pretty significant changes in the labor market," is code for the 800-pound gorilla that was not mentioned.

3. Hidden in the report: the previous two months' numbers were revised downward 28,000. Also, hidden: manufacturing saw no job growth and retail payrolls declined for the first time since February. (By "hidden," I mean: a) overshadowed by other worse news; b) not the headline story; and, c) talking heads did not mention this bad news. So most Americans are not aware how bad this report was.

4. It goes without saying why the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.1. Of course that's bad, bad news: when no one is hiring and job creation declines this much (so much that economists don't believe the government's figures), it means only one thing -- which talking heads mention: folks are dropping out of the job market, despite the fact that long-term unemployment benefits no longer exist. And yes, the dots do connect. 

5. For investors: a reminder. Ms Yellen is more concerned about jobs than about inflation. How do you spell "quantitative easing"? 

6. With regard to #5 above, one might want to look at what the European Central Bank did overnight. President Obama's worse second-to-worse nightmare: US bonds start paying a negative rate of return. His worse nightmare: rain disrupting his golf plans.

7. Now, back to that question -- with all those job openings, why aren't employers hiring? This is what is not being reported. As an example, contractors out in California send out one driver, and pick up as many undocumented workers as they need to do whatever jobs need to be done in construction, agriculture, etc. I can guarantee you those undocumented workers are paid in cash and no paperwork is generated to show any jobs created. The guys in Washington know that; the guys in California know that. President Obama's promise to "dreamers" to sign an executive order by the end of summer: another "line in the sand" that came and went, blown away. No such executive order signed and by most accounts, summer is over.

8. President Obama is, at best, jobs-neutral. More likely he is anti-jobs, based on his attitude toward the oil and gas industry, perhaps one of the two bright spots in the US economy, the other being agriculture. Of course, he won the war on coal some time ago, although like the Cold War (which he appears to have brought us back to) will be in the news after he leaves the Oval Office.  [Regular readers are aware that Russia has "invaded" Eastern Ukraine and the US has announced it will hold "military exercises" in Western Ukraine, and thus the digression about the Cold War.]

9. Service jobs? You have to be kidding. The million-man march yesterday struck fast-food restaurants demanding $150/hr wages. Oh, my error. $15/hr. Significantly more than the president's $10.10. The $15/hour would be on top of expenses driven by the 800-pound gorilla, which, by the way, is on hold (delayed by executive order) and won't kick in until 2015 and 2016 and 2017 and ...

  • February 7, 2014: horrendous report. By the way does anyone still believe the government's official unemployment rate -- job gain horrendous, more folks entering the labor force (now that extended unemployment benefits lapsed), and official unemployment rate is at its lowest since October, 2008?
11.The report is even worse than the raw numbers. Remember: it is a fact that this is the slowest recovery ever in US history. We are five years into the recovery; for the past year, we keep getting spin that things are improving. And now this: US job growth brakes to eight-month low; labor force shrinks; and retail payrolls declined for the first time since February.

12. For investors: look at #5 again. I just checked the market. It looks like investors see the same thing from this report that I see: they love it. The market, after a bad opening, is now rising. But remember, this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

13. Let me know if I've forgotten anything.

14. Chuck Todd will interview President Obama on Sunday; my hunch is that this topic will not be covered; if it is, it will be in passing, superficial, and spun. Chuck Todd will not utter the words, "Sir, we are into the fifth year of the recovery and ...."

15. I assume the numbers will be revised upward by 100,000 come next month. The administration will have noted they forgot to count job growth in California, Nevada, Texas, and North Dakota.

Okay, these are the things I forgot to mention in the original post. Coming in from readers:

1. The most incredible data point was something NOT mentioned: George W. Bush was NOT blamed for this latest report.

2. With regard to the "expert" talking about major labor changes in the US -- regular readers are aware of the adverse ruling regarding McDonald's with regard to unionization.
As we noted, McDonald's was dealt a serious blow in late July after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that both the McDonald's Corporation and its franchisees were jointly responsible for the treatment of its workers. This precedent set workers at McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants on a course toward unionization, a long elusive goal and means by which employees could more effectively file unfair practice complaints.
3. Fascinating story regarding McDonald's and minimum wage. Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
As fast-food workers and their champions protest in 150 cities today in pursuit of a $15 minimum wage (with some arrests reported already), a wide gulf remains between the company line and the aspirations of the protestors. You'll no doubt be hearing about the demonstrations, which unions have encouraged two million home-care workers to participate in, as well as the calls for civil disobedience by organizers.
What you probably won't be hearing is the case against the minimum wage campaign. Enter Ron Piazza. The Wire caught up with him last month to talk about the business of fast food as well as his take on the ongoing efforts by fast-food workers and activists to push for a large minimum wage increase.  
Piazza says his managers make roughly $55,000 per year, which he notes is more than a teacher ("a noble profession"), and that his employees can flourish no matter "what schooling you have."
"People think we're a dead-end job. Well, I'm not a dead-ender. I've got 585 employees and 55 managers, they're not dead-enders." 
As for the minimum wage, Piazza sees it as a disincentive for hard work. For an example, he went through the hypothetical hiring of someone who makes an $8 an hour minimum wage and, at the end of two years, makes $10 an hour after learning more of the job and moving up. 
I've mentioned several times that a minimum wage of $15/hour for fast-food restaurants will hasten the day of automation -- I guess I missed this. They've been using automation in fast-food restaurants (McDonald's) since 2011. SelfServiceWorld is reporting:
I like to imagine a world where I could get my standard fast-food order – a grilled chicken sandwich with only mustard and cheese –sans the eye roll and sigh from the teenager behind the counter or drive-thru. If only I lived in Europe, where McDonald's already has self-ordering kiosks deployed in more than 800 restaurants, I could be as picky as I want without feeling guilty. I could even pay with my debit card without help from employees, freeing them up to do more important tasks like make food –which would reduce customer wait times.