Sunday, February 23, 2020

Notes From All Over, Part 1 -- February 23, 2020

First things first: at 8:00 a.m. this morning, the "web" reported that 60% of the Nevada precincts had reported; MSNBC stayed with 50% -- both numbers were pretty much unchanged from overnight. Now, at 5:12 p.m. Central Time, the "web" continues to report that only 60% of the Nevada precincts had reported. This is important for third place Buttigieg; he's right on the cusp at 15.3%: less than 15%, and no delegates; at or more than 15%, at least one delegate. One can only wonder why almost half of the precincts have not reported, almost 24 hours later. Had this been a close race, this would have been the "headline" story. Later, 8:30 p.m. Central Time, still final results not in; about 88% precincts reporting.

Maps: Google rolls out new "Google Maps" for iPhone and Android. I already love it. It's amazing, but I prefer "Google Maps" to Apple's "Safari Maps" even on all my Apple devices. Makes no sense.

Coronavirus stats, through February 22, 2022, posted. I expect the February 23, 2020, data to be posted later this evening. Four stats to follow:
  • daily deaths growth factor: continues "downward" trend (good)
  • total deaths, change in total, day-over-day, down again (good); at 4%;
  • daily deaths, change in daily, day-over-day, down again, minus 12 percent (good);
  • global stats by country; link here, new deaths since last report:
    • China: 2
    • South Korea: 4
    • Italy: 1
      • Austria halts train traffic with Italy
      • Turkey closes Iran border
Futures: the coronavirus appears to be spooking the market. The Dow is down about 350 points in early futures. That's fine. Another buying opportunity. Or is the market afraid that Bernie Sanders might actually win?

WTI: at $53.38.

CLR: will report earnings after the market closes, Wednesday, February 26; conference call, the next day, Thursday, at noon eastern time; brown-bag your lunch. Or UberEats, I suppose.


I scanned the column very quickly but it seemed so ridiculous I had to go back and take another look.

From the WSJ, by Jason Zweig:

The writer's thesis:
Firms no longer want to offer investment products from all sources. Instead, they want to milk their customers’ cash and manage all the assets themselves. Investors need to understand the rules of the new game.
That's not my experience at Schwab. They have so many "partners" one can invest almost any way one wants at Schwab.

This seems to be the writer's beef:
Morgan Stanley, E*Trade and Schwab all own banks to which they route much of their customers’ cash. E*Trade pays its customers 0.01% to 0.25% on their uninvested cash; Morgan Stanley, 0.03% to 0.2%; Schwab, 0.06% to 0.3%.
Hey, yoo-hoo, it's a low-interest environment. Everyone knows these "sweeps" pay very, very little. That's why the smart investor will check her account daily and move money where it will make most sense. If customers don't want their money in "sweep accounts" earning 0.01%, one or two clicks and one can invest in high-dividend, and very safe, ETFs.This is not rocket science.
This is the writer's beef:

Schwab, which has hoovered up $220 billion in bank deposits, earned 61% of its total net revenues in 2019 from the interest it captured on those balances.
This must be a millennial thing: I learned to look for and work for "win-win" situations. Both Schwab and its customers can win. But the writer seems to think that if Schwab wins, the customer loses.

Anyway, enough of this. I thought this was the writer's thesis and complaints, but like I said, I read it quickly. I re-read the article; my initial impression was correct.

Just wait until the federal government places a "very small tax" on all Wall Street trading events, currently being advocated by Bernie Sanders, et al. Now, that would be worth complaining about. 
The writer is irritated that Schwab is making money off its customers. He would prefer Schwab go broke? 

From the WSJ, by Jason Zweig:
Morgan Stanley’s takeover of E*Trade Financial Corp. for $13 billion shows how drastically the brokerage industry’s business model has changed.

Firms no longer want to offer investment products from all sources. Instead, they want to milk their customers’ cash and manage all the assets themselves. Investors need to understand the rules of the new game.

For decades, big banks and brokers aspired to become “financial supermarkets” where consumers could open bank accounts and buy stocks and bonds, mutual funds, insurance and the like.
Here, hold my Schwab statement.

For a gazillion years, for reasons (somewhat) out of my control, I had a small equity account at a local bank. The annual fee was "only" 0.5% and trading fees (commissions) were $4.95/trade. Sounds good, doesn't it? Only 0.5% and $4.95/trade.

On average, over the years, I made one trade/year.

Over the years, I gradually built up a dividend-focused, growth-focused equity account. Yes, growth and dividend (not value and dividend) and after thirty- forty years it's become a very nice account. The dividends alone would pay for living expenses for a small family for a year, if need be. When I started the account, I had few options, and 0.5% was not an issue. The portfolio has exceeded all my expectations. I still trade on average once/year. (Thank goodness I don't have automatic dividend reinvestment.) It now turns out that the 0.5% annual fee eliminates the entire dividend for one of the better dividend payers.

The trust department at the bank was simply acting as a bookkeeper and getting an incredible fee. A fee that would cover my annual mortgage (if I had a mortgage). And that was to make one trade/year.

As far as "choice" goes, about which Jason Zweig is so concerned, Schwab offers a gazillion ways to invest, including competitive money market accounts. And Schwab has so many non-Schwab partners, there is [practically] no limit on where/how to invest.

If one is only earning 0.3% in a "sweep" account at a brokerage (including Schwab)  you are doing it all wrong.

Yes, I'm closing that bank account and moving it to Schwab.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, career, travel, job, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

Daily Note

The Daily Note Will No Longer Be Updated
Daily Note
Last Year of President Trump's First Term

April 8, 2020: Bernie Sanders withdraws from Democrat presidential race.

March 29, 2020: now for a little venting -- first, these screen shots from today's news cycle --

De Blasio: the poster child for --
  • criticizing Trump;
  • calling coronavirus, unimportant
March 21, 2020: not.

March 10, 2020: this thing (coronavirus) is over.

March 9, 2020: stock market / oil price meltdown.

March 8, 2020: not much new;

March 7, 2020: not much new. Schumer story dies.

March 6, 2020: BLM moving out West. Schumer, no shame. 

March 5, 2020: Pocahontas drops out of the race; Schumer, Donna Brazile unhinged; the former threatens two US Supreme Court judges. US 10-year Treasury drops below 1%. A recurring theme on the blog: Hillary Clinton appears just about the time it becomes a political necessity for her. Power Line has noted the same thing. Her Hulu "documentary and her new podcast debut soon. From the link:
But isn’t the timing of a puff piece documentary and a podcast rather interesting? It’s almost as though someone thinks she should raise her profile just in case something happens to Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.
Hillary was able to remove Bernie from serious consideration. Now, it's only Biden standing in her way. Jeffrey Epstein didn't hang himself.

Looking at the polls in states voting next Tuesday, it looks like Biden could wrap up the nomination next week. In many states Bernie may not even reach the 15% threshold to get any votes; in the few states where Bernie might be competitive, he won't take all the delegates. 

March 4, 2020: who really "won" Super Tuesday? On top of this, Biden won in states that will not vote for the Democrat nominee in November.

March 3, 2020: things moving very, very fast. We've already forgotten Chris Matthews. Super Tuesday results. 

March 2, 2020: Chris Matthews quits; Bloomberg predicts brokered convention where super-delegates/elites, not the voters, decide the nominee; coronavirus headlines bad, but percentages actually look good. "Daily Note" format changes. The "daily note" will now be a single post with updates throughout the date, but it will not be posted until at least the next day. The reason: I want only Bakken-related news to be the focus of the blog.

February 29, 2020: less than one minute after the polls close in South Carolina, MSNBC declared Joe Biden the winner. Clyburn is the king-maker in South Carolina. Biden got 60% of the black vote in that state.

February 26, 2020: if you got the video, you don't need Snopes. Let's see how fast they take this video down. LOL.

February 26, 2020: brilliant presidential press conference regarding coronavirus; President Trump plays the press like a fiddle:
  • funding: Schumer says funding is not enough; Trump says he will take whatever Congress gives him, and he will send it to the states to manage their health programs;
  • tsar: President Trump responds to criticism that he has not appointed a tsar; he just appointed his VP to be in charge; you can't get higher than that; raises the VP's profile; brilliant political move;
  • rumors that he would fire/replace Alex Azar (United States Secretary of Health and Human Services); in fact, he "elevated" Azar's importance; 
  • stock market crash: he said it was a response to the Democrat debates the other night; but he did agree that coronavirus also played a role; every time it gets back to the stock market, he put the blame at the feet of the Democrat-Socialists (who are are not yet calling themselves national socialists);
  • pandemic to include the US: not inevitable; nothing is inevitable; with that, no one can disagree
  • Pelosi: "incompetent." His words.   
  • travel restrictions: brought back his "correct" decision to impose travel restrictions over the hue and cry of all his adversaries; ironic that he now has carte blanche to impose travel restrictions, and no one will dare challenge him; LOL;
February 26, 2020: 

February 23, 2020: Richard Grenell is now highest-ranking openly gay official in US government history. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover must be rolling in his grave. LOL. President Obama never appointed an openly gay cabinet member, a source of bitterness for LGBT activists at the time. Link here. I watched cable news pretty closely this past weekend because of the Nevada primary/caucuses. Not once was this story reported. I would have completely missed it except for the internet. Nor has there been any discussion of the long list of female felons he pardoned. Thank goodness for the internet.
President Trump made history this week after appointing Richard Grenell to serve as acting Director of National Intelligence. The new job, a cabinet-level position, makes Grenell the highest serving openly gay man to hold federal office in United States history.

Daily note archives here

A Closer Look At One Of The Oasis Kellogg Federal Wells Coming Off Confidential List This Next Week -- February 23, 2020

The well:
35251, conf, Oasis, API: 33-053-08667; Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 13BX, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

FracFocus: fracked, 7/27/19 - 8/12/19; 12.9 million gallons of water; 92% water by mass; 

Three well pad (originally four locations; one permit canceled), a fairly inactive area, to date.

Neighboring wells:
  • 35098, 872, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 12-30 6T, Banks, t9/19; cum 83K in three months;
  • 20048, 1,283, BR, Carlsbad 21-17H, Twin Valley (to the east), t8/12; cum 282K 12/19; huge jump in production 9/19; not taken off line;
  • 20277, 1,213, Oasis, Rolfsrud Federal 18-19H, Banks (to the west), t2/12; cum 245K 12/19; off line 12/18; back on line 9/19; huge jump in production when it came back on line; see below;

Jump in production, #20277:
oolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Initial Production Data For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- February 23, 2020

35251, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 13BX, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

32461, conf, Sinclair Oil, Crosby Creek 4-5H, Little Knife, no production data,

35252, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 12T, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

36793, conf, Sinclair Oil, Harris Federal 2-32H, Lone Butte, no production data,

35424, conf, MRO, Frances USA 11-15H, Reunion Bay, no production data,

34392, conf, White Butte Oil, Jore Federal 5-12H, Clarks Creek, no production data,

35423, conf, MRO, Doris USA 21-15TFH, Reunion Bay,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35422, conf, MRO, Esther USA 21-15H, Reunion Bay,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35253, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 11B, Banks,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35830, conf, CLR, Imsland 5-31H1, Hamlet,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35829, conf,  CLR, Imsland 4-31H, Hamlet,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

35421, conf, MRO, Beatrice USA 31-15TFH, Reunion Bay,

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

33424, conf,  Sinclair Oil, Crosby Creek 5-5H, Little Knife, no production data,

36858, conf, Slawson, Shakafox 7-28-21MLH, Big Bend, no production data,

36565, conf, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Emerson Claire 33-28-159N-100W MBH, Blue Ridge, no production data; 

36564, conf, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Emerson Claire 33-28-159N-100W MBH, Blue Ridge, no production data; 

New Wells Reporting This Week -- February 23, 2020

Monday, March 2, 2020:

Sunday, March 1, 2020:
35251, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 13BX,

Saturday, February 29, 2020:
32461, conf, Sinclair Oil, Crosby Creek 4-5H,

Friday, February 28, 2020:
35252, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 12T,

Thursday, February 27, 2020:
36793, conf, Sinclair Oil, Harris Federal 2-32H, 
35424, conf, MRO, Frances USA 11-15H,
34392, conf, White Butte Oil, Jore Federal 5-12H,

Wednesday, February 26, 2020:
35423, conf, MRO, Doris USA 21-15TFH
35422, conf, MRO, Esther USA 21-15H, 
35253, conf, Oasis, Kellogg Federal 5297 44-19 11B,

Tuesday, February 25, 2020:
35830, conf, CLR, Imsland 5-31H1
35829, conf,  CLR, Imsland 4-31H,
35421, conf, MRO, Beatrice USA 31-15TFH
33424, conf,  Sinclair Oil, Crosby Creek 5-5H,

Monday, February 24, 2020: 52 for the month; 159 for the quarter, 159 for the year:
36858, conf, Slawson, Shakafox 7-28-21MLH,
36565, conf, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Emerson Claire 33-28-159N-100W MBH, 

Sunday, February 23, 2020: 50 for the month; 157 for the quarter, 157 for the year:
36564, conf, Crescent Point, CPEUSC Emerson Claire 33-28-159N-100W MBH, 

Saturday, February 22, 2020: 49 for the month; 156 for the quarter, 156 for the year:

Notes From All Over, Part 1 -- February 23, 2020

Best thing since sliced bread: most school employees will still work a full 5-day week. Some possibilities:
  • parents will get to spend more time with their children; though a challenge for families where both parents work;
  • employers may figure out way to go to 4-day work weeks to accommodate shorter school weeks;
  • teachers can use that fifth day to grade papers; plan for the next week; 
  • the four days become more efficient;
  • I was a middle school / high school teach for several years; a four-day week would have been more than enough; 
  • students have a fifth day to get their homework done; more free time to read -- much more responsibility placed on parents to make sure children stay "productive"
  • on-line education will increase
  • an extra day at home: children can learn "home economics"

All Politics -- Nothing About The Bakken -- February 23, 2020

Quick: what was the big story exactly eleven days ago? Answer below.

Nevada: I woke up early to see the "final" Nevada caucus results.
After going to bed last night (or early this morning) about 1:30 a.m. with about 50% of precincts reporting and only a handful of delegates awarded, nothing had changed at 7:30 a.m. Central Time. Only 50% of precincts had reported. The big story is in. Which means that fifty percent of those voting in Nevada had no effect on the outcome. There was no reason for them to even show up. Not being reported. [At 8:06 a.m., I see that the percent of reporting precincts had risen to 60 percent.] [At 11:07 a.m. CT, reporting precincts unchanged, at 60%., only 13 of 36 delegates awarded; MSNBC says 50% of precincts have reported.]
Nevada: no discussion of how many folks actually showed up to vote.
Rules: anyone can register on same day of voting in the caucuses. IDs mostly likely not checked, or huge leeway if any doubt. Whatever. I have not seen the big board that shows how many voted overall, but the "crawlers" provide that information. Easiest way to do this: Pocahontas received 10% of the vote; she received 773 votes with 60% of the precincts voting. That translates to 7,730 votes overall. With 60% precincts reporting, assuming that precincts are about similar size, about 13,000 folks voted in the Nevada caucus. Compare with 10,000 in 2008, Hillary vs Barack.
  • that's fewer than generally show up to a Trump rally, which is always a local event, not a statewide event
  • people are willing to camp outside a Trump venue for up to 48 hours to get a chance of getting inside
  • population of Las Vegas, huge majority Democrats: 642,000 (and yet maybe 13, 000 voted)
  • population of Nevada: 3 million (and maybe 13,000 voted -- or maybe 0.4% of the population actually voted)
Nevada, primary caucus, 2008, link here:
  • Hillary: 5,459 votes
  • Barack: 4,844 votes
  • Total: 10,303 votes
Trump; love him or hate him, brilliant politician. If one is going to do something really audacious, like:
  • "interfere" with the judicial process (think: Roger Stone);
  • pardon some folks that will generate huge stories for the opposition;
  • fire the DNI, and replace the acting DNI with another acting DNI (requires no confirmation)
  • fire the DNI, and replace with someone the opposition really, really dislikes
.... when should he do that?

Answer: In the middle of the news cycle -- in this case, just when the attention will be focused on the Nevada, and then the South Carolina, primaries.

The Roger Stone story had legs until it didn't. Brian Williams kept trying to return to the "resignation of the four prosecutors." That lasted all of four days and that story is dead.

This is the playbook:
  • some really, really potentially harmful story for Trump is reported by the mainstream media;
  • Trump does not wait; immediately pounces; important to get his "facts" out quickly; his tweets become the story; Trump becomes the story, not the story itself;
  • keep the pressure on the mainstream media until something more "fantastic" arises -- and that generally happens within 48 to 72 hours. 
I follow the news pretty closely and had I not kept notes, I would have already forgotten about the resignation of the four prosecutors.
The big story exactly eleven days ago: one of two, both of which are now buried in the Nevada landslide:
  • the New Hampshire primary (proof that you have forgotten: how many delegates did Bernie get?)
  • the resignation of the four Roger Stone prosecutors (proof that you've forgotten: name one other "fact" about this case: the name of the judge; the name of any of the prosecutors; etc)
The blog: last evening, watching the Nevada primary, I mentioned that MSNBC Hillary supporters were in disbelief. I see that The Daily Caller has reported that same story. They call it an MSNBC meltdown.

The blog: one theme I hammered early was the delay in getting the results of the Nevada primary; NPR noted the same thing. Only because the results were so lopsided this was a non-story, but it appears the Nevada caucuses were about as chaotic as the Iowa caucuses. The race was called with 4% of the precincts. That must be some kind of record.

The caucus way of doing things is dead.

Coronavirus: the other headline story on CNN this morning is the coronavirus and South Korea.

Antarctica: not melting. It can't.
For the record, the average annual temperature in the interior of the continent is -70 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to worry about melting; not from ambient temperatures, anyway. I said that years ago. Ice melts at 32° F.
Germany and global warming. A reader sent me this, I'll post the link later:
Germany’s onshore wind tenders slumped back into undersubscription

territory when a February round for 900MW drew bids of just 527MW, said the country's federal network agency BNetzA.

The latest shortfall echoes a string of flops in German onshore auctions last year as the sector grapples with permitting and other negative regulatory issues.

That trend looked like it may be ending in December when 686MW of bids for 500MW marked the first oversubscribed tender of 2019, when a total of just 1.8GW out of 3.6GW offered was awarded across six separate onshore wind auctions, according to WindEurope figures.

But the latest auction marked a reverse, confirmed BNetzA, with 523MW actually accepted from 66 projects.
Reader's comments:  66 project totaling 527 MW awarded. So approximately 8 MW per project is 2-4 windmills per project depending on rating operating at 30% capacity factor = why bother? My prediction for 2021 is that more onshore German wind will be de-commissioned than commissioned.
My comments: In other words, these were not major wind farms onshore/offshore but simply mom-and-pop local niche projects, the kind your neighborhood college might put us as a science experiment.
God Bless Texas

Suicide -- February 23, 2020

General location:
  • general location about one hour east-southeast of Sacramento, CA -- "desolate" doesn't describe it;

  • 66-year-old male
  • persistent critic of the Obama administration
News report:
Department of Homeland Security whistleblower Philip Haney was found dead in Amador County, Calif., on Friday, according to local authorities.
Haney, 66, "appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound," the Amador County Sheriff's Office said in a release. Sheriff and coroner Martin A. Ryan shared the initial details of the case.
"On February 21, 2020 at approximately 1012 hours, deputies and detectives responded to the area of Highway 124 and Highway 16 in Plymouth to the report of a male subject on the ground with a gunshot wound," the release read.
My hunch: he shot himself, fatal, and then drove to an isolated intersection and threw himself out of the car.