Friday, September 2, 2016

Catch And Release -- The New ObamaPolicy On Law Enforcement; If Amazon Absolutely, Positively Needs To Get It To You In Two Days -- They Buy It From Walmart; Iowans Want To Turn Down "Mailbox Money"; See Health Premiums Rise 40% -- September 2, 2016

Enbridge Puts Sandpiper Pipeline project on hold. Reported at Zacks This pretty much only hurts blue-collar folks. Investors will benefit. Takeaway in the Bakken is more than adequate. Warren Buffett will open another bottle of champagne tonight. Enbridge to Minnesota: no mailbox money for you.
Gasoline Prices Over Labor Day Weekend May Be Lowest In Twelve Years

The story is reported here. By the way, John Kemp has tweeted that US refiners "went all out" this summer shifting from producing distillates like diesel to producing gasoline. Yesterday, the EIA said June, 2016, set a record for most gasoline produced in any month ever in the US. I'm not sure if that was exactly correct: it sort of depends what one is measuring, at least according to my astute readers.

National average for gasoline: around $2.25.

Compare with about $1.50 / gallon when President Obama took office in 2009.

What Cheap, Available Gasoline And Crude Oil Means

Even the Chinese and Indians want bigger cars. Ford will curtail plans for expanding small car production in China and India. Customers there want bigger SUVs and cross-overs. Ford will move small-car production from China and India to Brazil, Thailand, and Russia.


Petrobras "sheds" almost 12,000 employees. Reported elsewhere. No links. Easy to find.

Amazon, Target, And Walmart: One Big Distributor

This is a huge story: the writer says that the impact on Amazon is small, but something tells me this might be a bigger story some day. I'm sure very, very smart logisticians with math degrees and ability to write code at both Amazon and Walmart are studying this issue very, very carefully. If the link is broken, google retail arbitrage.

Catch And Release 
I'm not going to bother finding the links but it was reported that President Obama has pardoned or commuted more felons than the last 10 presidents combined.

Years ago, in high school or college, I wrote a note to myself, placed it in a sealed envelope, labeled it not to be opened until some time in the future, and then put it among my memorabilia. In that note to myself -- remember, this was as a high school or college student, decades ago -- I told myself that sometime in the future law enforcement would be nothing more than fishermen (not politically correct). The policy of law enforcement would eventually be one of "catch and release."

This was most likely high school; I did not have time for such nonsense when I was in college. 

I was reminded of that by this story out of Milwaukee which recorded its worst month for homicides in 25 years.
"We've had a slight increase in domestic violence homicides this year, but the biggest driver of our homicides is arguments and fights and retaliation among people with criminal records," Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Thursday.
Misguided policies have misguided consequences. Oksol's Law. 

By the way, what happened back in 1991.
It is the highest monthly total since July 1991, when the victims of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer were discovered.
Insurance Hikes

From USA Today:
With dramatic drops in insurance company participation on the exchanges for some states, decreased competition and other factors are leading to often jarring rate hikes. Some of the states that are facing what are likely among the biggest increases this year — Tennessee, Arizona and North Carolina — were among those the Urban Institute reported in May had the biggest increases last year.
“The reality is, it’s all very justified, unfortunately,” Iowa insurance commissioner Nick Gerhart said Thursday of the premium increases he approved this week of 19% to 43% for about 70,000 Iowans who buy their own policies.
Gerhart warned consumers in a rate hearing in July that if he rejected insurers’ proposed premium increases for 2017, the carriers would likely decline to sell policies in the state. No carriers made an explicit threat to leave Iowa, but the implication was clear, he says: “It gives you less room to maneuver." Iowa law, he said, requires him to judge proposed premium increases on whether experts find them to be justified by carriers’ projected costs.
As other state insurance commissioners gradually sign off on insurers' rate requests — which should all be decided within a month — many consumers are learning what's in store for 2017.

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