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Joerg Fliege
Standing on the shoulders of giants, mostly.
Standing on the shoulders of giants, mostly.

Joerg's posts

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There is nothing to add.
In summary: The establishment (who allegedly the vote was against) have won (because they are more likely to hold shares) while the common people have lost (through higher inflation which hits them harder and lower real wages). Well done. So far Brexit is a real success then.

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Oh, NewsThump!
Brexit negotiators inside the EU could not be happier to see the UK government writing massive cheques when put under a little bit of pressure, according to sources in Brussels.

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Sometimes its the simple cartoons that bite most.

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'EU nationals who filled in 85-page form to secure post-Brexit UK residency will have to apply again'

Or at least thats the plan in new "generous" proposal that the Home Office published today.

I usually attribute such fundamental cock-ups to incompetence and not to malice, but I think I have to reconsider my position. This looks more and more like an active approach to make the life of any EU national as miserable as possible.

Update I: and I am getting a new ID card as well, and its compulsory. Sweet! Do I get to carry it around in an armband as well?

Update II: damn, the artillery is quick. Both the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) and the EEF (The Manufacturer's Organisation) have slammed the proposal.

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I just leave that here.
"The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has changed its name to World Taekwondo because of the "negative connotations" associated with its initials."

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"A net balance of 52% of 1,500 UK companies questioned in May said they had experienced difficulty in recruiting skilled labour during the past six months, compared with 31% in January. The balance of companies facing challenges in recruiting unskilled labour also rose to 26% from 14%, according to the predominantly small and medium-sized businesses surveyed for Lloyds bank’s regular Business in Britain report."

I don't know, but maybe people just don't want to work for racist xenophobes?
A year ago, before the EU referendum, the newly appointed environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom hoped young Britons would take the fruit-picking and farm labouring jobs done by EU migrants. Even The Telegraph supported her brilliant idea.
Leadsom should step forward and reiterate her message. UK compaines should use the tabloids to recruit Britons who are willing to work in sectors, which will soon face labour shortage following Brexit.
Nurses and IT specialists are in short supply too. Nigel Farage once said immigrants from the Commonwealth are more desirable than Eastern Europeans, because they speak English. Britain can fill the employment gaps with recruits from India.

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There is a magic money tree!

And the Tories have found it. They have just bought themselves some votes in parliament. The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party, a handful of right-wing nutcases and terrorist sympathizers from Northern Ireland) with 10 seats in Westminster managed to negotiate a £1billion extra spending in Northern Ireland.

Well, once you pay the Danegeld...

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This hasn't caught on, so I am resharing it for scientific reasons.

(Via +Magnus Lewan.)

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On oil.
Something I've finally wrapped my head around in the past year or two is why oil is so wonky with prices.

Especially the tendency for quantity to increase as prices fall.

An oil well is comprised of a few parts:

There's the part where the sun don't shine, underground, where some quantity of lightly cooked kerogenised liquids are trapped in a geological formation, having formed there about 100 - 300 million years ago, largely from algae dying in a deoxygenated shallow warm sea. From a human perspective, this is considered free for the taking.

There's a pipe shaft that's been drilled into this. A few hundred, or these days, thousand feet of steel tubing, inserted following the boring out of earth and rock by a drill bit. That's if you're on land. If you're at sea, there's some much more complicated parts above that, which aren't supposed to catch fire, or sink, but sometimes do.

That costs you about $1-6 million per well. More if you've got to "frack", that is, fracture, the rock you're drilling into in order to get the oil to flow into the well casing itself.

There's the guy (almost always) who's running this show.

And, since that guy usually doesn't happen to have a million-six in change lying around, there's a bank or financing company who's fronting the money for the operation.

Once you've dug the well and hit oil, your operating costs are what it takes to, literally, lift the oil from the hole it's in to a tank, pipe, ship, or a very large number of Dixie Cups, whatever it is you're planning to transport it in, sitting at the Earth's surface.

For the guy who's just barely holding it together, the cost of that pumping is the price of oil.

Not everybody's just barely holding it together. If your last name is something like "bin Saud", your oil comes to the top pretty easily -- maybe $10 or $5 per barrel. If your name sounds something like "Chavez" and you're in Venzuala, your all-in costs are probably somewhere at, or above, the present price of oil.

But you've got a problem.

Those guys who loaned, or fronted, money, didn't do it out of the kindness of their hearts, and want to get paid.

Which means that even if you're not making enough to pay the fixed costs of drilling the well in the first place, if you're fond of your kneecaps, you'll make sure that those guys get paid. So long as you're cash-flow positive, even if you're losing on fixed costs.

This game can go on to ridiculous levels. In Texas, in 1930, which happened to be right after a) the Great Crash on Wall Street, and the start of the Great Depression, and b) after Daddy Joiner's Daisy Bradford #3 Well blew in at Rusk County, Texas.

Oil was selling for about a buck a barrel.

A number of curious notions had accumulated such that there was a bit of a mad rush to poke holes in the ground and suck out black stuff.

Oil was selling for 13 pennies a barrel.

The mad rush suddenly realised they were fond of their kneecaps, and had a nut to carry, and only one way to pay for it: pump more oil. Regardless of whether or not anyone was buying. Anyone wasn't buying.

Oil sold for two pennies a barrel.

Which is to say: if you've got sunk fixed costs, and a certain marginal cost, then, at least until you've pumped your well dry or lost it entirely, what you're going to do is keep on pumping out oil no matter what, and you'll pump out more as the price falls.

So the high-priced wells that have been drilled throughout the US, fracking holes, Tar Sands in Canada, and the only thing Venezuala's got to sell to keep people from killing themselves more than they already are -- they're going to pump as much oil as they can for as long as they can, because 300 million years of history carries no financed cost, and they've got a nut to carry, and they're fond of their kneecaps.

Not everyone's in the same boat. The bin Sauds, for example don't have a nut to carry. But what used to be empty desert with a few people on it who could be cooled off with a bit of spare change is not so empty and has a bunch more people -- there's some actual financial concern there as well. So they'll pump too.

And the Chairman of the Republican Party, Vladimir, has some cash-flow issues as well, so he's going to keep pumping for as long as he can.

It's getting hotter, noticed?

So as +Phillip Landmeier was sayin'...
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