Carpe Diem

Monday morning links

1. Markets in Everything: Avvo Launches First Online Legal Marketplace — consumers shop for an attorney privately — evaluate fit, fees and approach to their case.

2. Milton Friedman video: Milton Friedman schools a “young Michael Moore” about the value of a human life in regard to vehicle safety.

3. Is ‘Made in the USA’ coming back? Yes, and it’s more about economics and competitiveness than patriotism.

4. Markets in Everything: “Seat-fillers,” because producers of events like the Academy Awards don’t like empty seats when a celebrity guest gets out of their seat (to visit the restroom, schmooze with friends, or whatever) or if a guest is late to arrive.

5. Non-taxable employee fringe benefits have gone wild in California, according to John Goodman. Reason?  Even moderate income families in California can face marginal tax rates that approach 50%.

6. The American Trucking Associations’ Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.5% year-over-year in January, and was the highest truck tonnage on record for the Month of January.

7. Framing Lumber Prices rose last week to $415 per 1,000 board feet, reaching the highest level since April 2005, almost 8 years ago.

8. US railroads set a new record in 2012 for shipments of crude oil by rail, with an eye-popping increase of +256% over 2011.

9. New media activism program at Duke University called “Write(H)ers,” aims to train feminist bloggers. Title IX?

10. Thank to the Eagle Ford Shale boom, “staggering wealth” is pouring into Karnes County in Texas (previously one of the state’s poorest counties), where 3 million barrels of oil were pumped in November. With oil at $97 a barrel and with typical royalties of 25%, more than $70 million was paid to landowners in the county for just that month’s production, not to mention the many millions more spent there monthly by energy companies and their employees.

8 thoughts on “Monday morning links

  1. 6. The American Trucking Associations’ Truck Tonnage Index increased 6.5% year-over-year in January, and was the highest truck tonnage on record for the Month of January.

    The Non-Seasonally Adjusted number was just as good.

  2. 10. Thank to the Eagle Ford Shale boom, “staggering wealth” is pouring into Karnes county in Texas (previously one of the state’s poorest counties), where 3 million barrels of oil were pumped in November. With oil at $97 a barrel and with typical royalties of 25%, more than $70 million was paid to landowners in the country for just that month’s production, not to mention the many millions more spent there monthly by energy companies and their employees.

    How wonderful. Everyone will make money except the investors in shale production. Who says that history does not repeat?

    • That is generally the case in oil booms, who made money off the East Texas Field, when the price of oil collapsed, until the governor of Texas sent in the National Guard to shut production down? Of course no one forced the investors to invest in the field. So don’t weep for them. In the past oil had a big boom bust cycle a major new field came in, the price crashed, a lot of independent producers went belly up, the larger guys ate up the remains etc.
      Of course in general just like those who invested in CDOs and the various trash invented by wall street a lot of investors are sheep waiting to be fleeced. I say follow John Boogle, and invest in S&P 500 or total stock market index funds, to track the US economy or total world stock market index funds, and just let it run on autopilot. In otherwise do not try to beat the market you will be sheared if you try by the gatekeepers who take the tolls.

      • That is generally the case in oil booms, who made money off the East Texas Field, when the price of oil collapsed, until the governor of Texas sent in the National Guard to shut production down?

        The shale drillers are not losing money because they are producing too much oil. They are losing money because their wells are down to stripper status before they can recover their investment. And there is not any need to send in troops anywhere. People should be free to be as stupid as they wish and if they want to subsidise my fuel use I am all for it. The big problem is with the lenders who will ask the taxpayers to bail them out once the bubble bursts. If we let them fail there will be no problem for anyone but their investors and depositors. If we save them from their stupidity again the currency will be one step closer to being toilet paper.

        Of course no one forced the investors to invest in the field. So don’t weep for them. In the past oil had a big boom bust cycle a major new field came in, the price crashed, a lot of independent producers went belly up, the larger guys ate up the remains etc.

        That was the past. It was easy and cheap to produce oil when you had a short pipe that you stuck in the ground. It certainly is not easy now. We spending tens of millions on long horizontal wells that require an expensive pressure treatment that fractures the tight formations in which they sit but that massive investment cannot generate a positive return outside of a few tiny core areas in the better formations.

      • Of course in general just like those who invested in CDOs and the various trash invented by wall street a lot of investors are sheep waiting to be fleeced. I say follow John Boogle, and invest in S&P 500 or total stock market index funds, to track the US economy or total world stock market index funds, and just let it run on autopilot. In otherwise do not try to beat the market you will be sheared if you try by the gatekeepers who take the tolls.

        The problem is that the market is fixed and denominated in a fiat currency that is on the verge of failure. And the income is generated by selling goods to bankrupt governments and bankrupt consumers. I would rather own gold or oil right now than the S&P 500.

      • Exactly! If someone wants to invest to loose money, it is their right to throw their money away, just as it is their right to take a pile of currency, and litter with it. (That is likely one form of litter that would be picked up)

  3. Thank to the Eagle Ford Shale boom, “staggering wealth” is pouring into Karnes County“…

    There’s 59 wells in Uvalde county and six of them sit on my brother’s bit of property…

    He loves those checks and has been for two years now…

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