10/6/22

Black Gold, Putler, And The Dark Prince

This week OPEC+ at its 33rd OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting held in Vienna agreed to decrease crude oil production by 2,000,000 barrels a day which will have obvious implications — bad implications — for the rising price of oil, increasing inflation, and the global economy.

Taking 2,000,000 bbl/day out of the pipeline will:

 1. Dramatically increase oil prices to the $125 – 150/bbl range.

 2. Add another jolt to inflation worldwide, but in particular in the United States.

 3. Enrich Putler’s war machine. Continue reading

03/29/22

The Moscow Exchange Head Fake

Russia got caught off guard by the severity of the western economic sanctions imposed in response to their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Lavrov (in place as Foreign Minister for 14 years and a member of the permanent mission to the UN before that for 10 years) said as much this week, a very surprising admission by the Empire Builders.

Putin and his puffer coat crowd thought they were pretty clever hiding lots of foreign currency reserves overseas — there is really no place to hold foreign currency that is safe inside Russia. Apparently, based on their foreign currency reserve hoarding, they’d been planning their move on Ukraine for almost two years.

No surprise there as Russia began to press against the Ukrainian border with troops almost a year ago.

So, when the west unshackled many of the Russian banks from the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) system with 11,000 member institutions and 42,000,000 messages a day in more than 200 countries, they were caught unable to access those reserves because the conduit — the SWIFT system — was blocked.

SWIFT also threw Iran out of the system in 2012 – 2016.

One of the things Russia did immediately on Invasion Ukraine Day, 2-24-2022, was to close down its Moscow Exchange, their biggest stock market and the place where Russians and foreigners owned Russian stocks.

In London where many of these stocks also trade, the Russian stocks were down as much as 98%, so the prospect of a gargantuan sell off was very real. Continue reading

03/23/22

Extraordinary Men

There are really no extraordinary men; there are ordinary men who rise to the challenge in extraordinary times and standout from the rest of mankind because they can function when the world is crippled by fear.

George Washington

George Washington was the Father of Our Country. Without him as our Commander-in-Chief and our President for two terms, the American Revolution would have been a footnote in English history wherein the King had crushed another rebellion and the British Empire had moved on.

Instead, he improbably beat the toughest and largest army on the planet and formed a country from scratch. Continue reading

02/13/22

Apropos Of Nothing — Idle Musings

There are some days when your mind wanders and you develop no large theme about which to write, but a number of small things accumulate in the recesses of one’s mind.

Here are a few that have solidified in the Big Red Car’s mind:

Putin is a pissant

Putin, a thug overseeing a middling economy on par with Italy’s, is a small man who has a thin, poorly worn veneer of civility holding back an Amazonish flow of despotic behavior. He is a bloody murderer.

Putin in his Siberian Pimp outfit with furry cuffs and hood.

Continue reading

01/9/22

Electric Vehicles — the Dirty Little Secret

We are on the verge of great changes in the EV space. More car manufacturers are delivering actual units, more charging stations, and older vehicles are getting enough miles to smoke out the idiosyncrasies of EVs.

Mercedes Benz concept car the Vision EQXX that will be able to run 650 miles between charges. Game changer?

Continue reading

12/7/21

Rediscovering The Lessons Of Pearl Harbor

Eighty years ago today, the Empire of Japan unleashed an unprovoked attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor on a clear Sunday morning whilst soldiers and sailors innocently ate breakfast, prepared for church, raised the flag, and went about their business.

Two waves of Japanese bombers, torpedo planes, and fighters — 353 in all — sent America’s Pacific fleet to the bottom of the mud, killing 2,403 Americans and dragging America into a world war.

The battleship Arizona — sunk, total loss, 1,177 KIA, remains sunk at Pearl Harbor;

The battleship California — sunk, refloated, returned to service February 1944;

The battleship Maryland — damaged by direct hits, returned to service February 1942;

The battleship Nevada — managed to get underway, beached itself to avoid clogging up the main entrance to Pearl, sunk, decommissioned in 1946, shipped to Bikini Atoll as a target ship for nuclear weapons tests, sunk by Naval gunfire in 1948;

The battleship Oklahoma — sunk, total loss, never repaired;

The battleship Pennsylvania — damaged by bombs while in drydock, returned to service March 1942;

The battleship Tennessee — minor damage, repaired and returned to the fleet in February 1942;

The battleship Utah — capsized, never repaired, remains at Pearl Harbor (the Utah is often overlooked as it was not moored on Battleship Row, but was at anchor off Ford Island after returning to Pearl following gunnery exercises); and,

The battleship West Virginia — sunk, refloated, returned to service July 1944. Continue reading