Thursday, March 31, 2005

High Oil Prices: Blame Wall Street

Today's announcement by Goldman Sachs that oil could hit $105 per barrell effectively killed yesterday stock market rally, but the fact that Goldman is set to benefit from such an increase makes its statement today more odious then an oil spill on a baby seal infested beach.

According to a story on CBS Marketwatch, Goldman Sachs has a huge investment in oil futures. Isn't there a law about manipulating the market is such a blatant manner?

Analyst Kevin Kerr of Kerr Trading International said in the Marketwatch story, "the Goldman call was irresponsible and "clearly an attempt to talk up the market on nothing more than hot air. Goldman has huge speculative energy positions and they have no interest in watching it go down right now."

The SEC makes a big show when it nails corporatations who try to influence the markets (see Putnam, Qwest) but it has so far been quiet on Goldman's manuever.

Where was Goldman's disclosure that it would make money if oil increased? How much of today's current oil price craziness is due to Wall Street manipulation and not normal economic supply and demand?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

When Robots Control The Earth

Cool potential name for an upcoming James Cameron flic, but the reality is this is the future I see for humanity.

Hitachi released the news on March 16 that it had developed a new robot, which joins one by Honda and Sony has one, as well.

With these disturbing developments I give humanity only few more years of freedom before it is enslaved by these Jetson's rejects. If television and the movies have taught us one thing it is robots will always end up running amok and killing humans. Just see the Teminator flicks or Westworld. The Lost in Space family was always having trouble with alien robots and Capt. Kirk battled computers gone mad and even a giant planet eating robot.

What are the Japanese thinking? Don't they watch enough TV? You don't see American engineers wasting their time creating the future overlords of Earth. Hell no. They are out their developing gus guzzling SUVs, better HDTVs and faster broadband connections so people can view pornography at the speed of light.

The only robots we created were from NASA and we sent them to Mars, where they likely will develop innate intelligence, build a robot army and spaceships then return to Earth seeking vengeance upon the people who exiled them to Mars.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Kristoff is Right and Wrong

In his NYT Column today, Nicholas Kristoff managed to hit on exactly the reasons why Hillary Clinton would probably lose if she were to run for president. Unfortunately, Mr. Kristoff failed to recognize these reasons for what they are.

Mr. Kristoff noted that the Senator from N.Y. has recently been outspoken on her religious faith, hawkish on defense and more middle of the road on abortion. He cited these as all the right reasons why she might be a potentially viable candidate. He then listed several additional thoughts on why she could never win. Mainly that those living in rural areas are not likely to vote for a female New Yorker.

What Mr. Kristoff either ignored or did not grasp was that Mrs. Clinton's ideological shifts have taken place since talk that she will run for president has picked up. This places her firmly in the same camp as her husband. She is a political chameleon who will say anything, adopt any position and accept any change of heart necessary to strike a chord with a certain demographic in order to gain votes.

In her eyes a religious man has won the presidency twice, so she will become outspoken on her faith, something that had not happened before. The country supports the war in Iraq and against terror, so her rhetoric now becomes hawkish to reflect that trend. The same holds true for abortion. Bill Clinton famously and successfully walked the line between the two abortion camps and gained votes and now she is taking the same action.

In short, Mrs. Clinton is totally unbelievable, which is saying a lot for any politician, and the American people will take note. If the general population does not notice her massive flip flops and policy changes, her opponents will certainly bring it to their attention.