2011 May 27

The Master Resource Report  2011-05-27

Food and Energy.    (page 1 )

Electric vehicles.    (page 2 )

Nuclear power.   (page 3 )

China has a coal problem.   (page 4 )

Opec acknowledges shortage.   (page 4 )

Finally a speculator is caught.

The CFTC has finally managed to track down those evil speculators that drove the price of oil up in 2008 helping to tip the economy into recession. If it had not been for those evil doers things would have been so much different. Ignore those hundreds of billions lost in real estate, banking and industry and instead concentrate on the massive losses caused by the oil speculators.

“…the traders were only able to move the price by $1, compared with a $20 rise in the price of oil between January and April 2008.” That is right according to the CFTC complaint they moved the price one whole dollar!!!

Just think if it had not been for those evil speculators oil would have been $1 per barrel lower. Of course that doesn’t explain why the spot price of oil in the U.S. kept climbing from the April average of $102/b to a June average of $125/b. But that of course was not the CFTC’s mission.

The CFTC’s mission was not to identify why prices climbed. It was to find a villain to blame so that reality could be avoided. All that mattered was to satisfy the public’s ill-informed beliefs that it must be someone or something other than supply and demand that was driving prices. By accomplishing that goal the CFTC’s provides the political leadership with the cover to avoid developing an informed energy policy and leveling with the public.

The Financial Times Lex Column: “Try as they might, agencies such as the CFTC cannot track down Messrs Supply and Demand in order to serve charges. Ditto for Messrs Fear and Greed and, lest regulators anger the Congress that sent them on such quests, they did not even try to go after Mr Flawed Energy Policy.” [Note: the US doesn’t have an Energy Policy.]

The column closed with this sad but true conclusion: “Count on elected officials to work overtime on the case. Just don’t expect them to solve the problem”

Now the CFTC and DOJ can get back to something really important like investigating American bike racers in France for using performance enhancing drugs.

Popsicle sticks and Peak Oil

“Why has Global Sticks, a manufacturer of wooden ice cream sticks, moving from Dalian, China, to Thunder Bay, Ontario?

It’s the kind of low margin manufacturing that is never supposed to come back after it leaves North America for cheaper labour abroad.”  

The answer is simple, triple digit oil prices and unreliable power…!!!

Jeff Rubin went further in one of his entertaining articles in the Globe and Mail. “As the price of the bunker fuel that transports those ice creams sticks to customers around the world tracks soaring world oil prices, the distance between your factory in Dalian and North American kids lining up at their neighborhood ice cream store, becomes more expensive every day.”

There is more on the energy supply problems in China in this week’s report.