[[ Check out my Wordpress blog Context/Earth for environmental and energy topics tied together in a semantic web framework ]]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Innovative Bailout Machines

From an IBM television commercial currently making the rounds:
Math can do anything … it can fix the economy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why it is hard to move forward

White House: Greed will help
“In the past few years, we’ve seen too much greed and too little fear; too much spending and not enough saving; too much borrowing and not enough worrying,” Summers said Friday in a speech to the Brookings Institution. “Today, however, our problem is exactly the opposite.”

In remarks to a private dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Summers was even blunter, according to an attendee: “Before, we had too much greed and too little fear. Now, we have too much fear and too little greed.”

Unfortunately this does not work with regards to conserving oil and getting off the oil spigot. Greed remained the only constant from the first moment we struck oil in the 1800's. It provided a virtually untapped source of stimulus to extract every last bit of oil we could access. Not that I think greed will ever disappear, but I thought perhaps that we can modulate this effect somehow. The fear of increasing scarcity of oil may have that effect due to demand destruction, but due to the engine of the economy and its requirements for energy to propel increasing GDP, we will likely see greed once again drag energy along, one way or another.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lack of Data

Does this not sound familiar?
Bernie Sanders wants Ben Bernanke to name names.
The money Sanders is referring to is loans the Fed has made outside the TARP program. Bernanke says the loans are "over-collateralized," but opted not to disclose anything more about them, citing the "stigma" attached to receiving such loans. To that, I have only two comments.

First, what stigma? The market is now assuming that every financial firm is in deep doo-doo. If anything, knowing which firms are receiving help and which are not removes one of the biggest uncertainties out there. It might actually improve the markets.
The lack of information in the world's finances directly parallels the lack of knowledge we have in oil reserve accounting.

What you cannot measure you cannot control. And that is why we have to model and simulate and analyze this stuff by our lonesome. The corporatocracy will never lift a finger to help.