Re: Am I the only one who keeps singing the word "mudflap" to the tune of "Loveshack"? Okay, just checking.

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The thing that really blew my mind was reading about how the dome cap failed because it got clogged by methane; at that depth in the ocean methane is semi-solid. That definitely fits my criteria for "alien world".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:29 AM
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I thought this was Obama's Katrina? Can it be both Obama's Katrina and Oil's Chernobyl, or is there only room in the media consciousness for one metaphor, even if the two metaphor's aren't strictly speaking incompatible?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:39 AM
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@1

Yeah, even more cool is that it's not the methane per se that is solid, it's the clathrates. The methane causes the surrounding water to reorganize into a more ordered structure that is a solid at that pressure (and actually forms crystals).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:57 AM
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Did I forget to mention that the article had a helpful graphic? Oh, WaPo. Sometimes I'm a total sucker for your graphics.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:01 AM
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Fascinating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:14 AM
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Drill, baby, drill! What could go wrong?

Note the mainstream Dems were totally willing to roll over on any kind of offshore drilling in any cap and trade compromise because concerns about it were just hippy shit.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:37 AM
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The link in 5 suggests that this oil spill, like most problems, was caused by an insufficient application of whiskey.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:40 AM
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6: Noted. Was it because concerns about it were just hippy shit, or because it was judged that without rolling over on it [a strange phrase, by the way], cap-and-trade had no chance in hell of passing? That is, that according to the latter calculus, it was a necessary evil?

Or is this nitpicking? I haven't followed the legislative wrangling on the energy bill in any significant detail, to be honest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:54 AM
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Was it because concerns about it were just hippy shit, or because it was judged that without rolling over on it [a strange phrase, by the way], cap-and-trade had no chance in hell of passing?

Mostly the latter, but the fact that it was considered a worthwhile sacrifice to pass the bill was probably due in large part to the former.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:03 PM
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9: Maybe so. Or at least due in part to the political pressure felt by those accused of harboring hippy concerns. Sucks how accusation of harboring hippy concerns is such a trump card.

Meanwhile, I hate to do this, but I'm gonna do some cross-thread pointing. Any comments on the church message I posted at the bottom of the Punished! thread? I find that it quite incenses me; but maybe it's just shrug-worthy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:13 PM
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10: I posted an obvious reply over there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:19 PM
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I read This Comment at Naked Capitalism late last night, and didn't get to sleep til four.

Well, heavy Oil Polymers will not be evaporated at those temperatures, but the lighter ones will be. The rainwater will contain a percentage of hydrocarbons far greater than it normally does, which will rain down everywhere. Wave action will push large quantities of emulsified Oil-Water mixture onto beaches, the water will wash back out to sea, the clumps of Oil will STICK to the rocks and the sand. Coral and Oyster beds will be fouled for generations, there will be no shellfish that survive this in the GOM. They are filtering organisms and they are not designed to filter THAT much PUKE and still survive.

The SMELL in every community along the Gulf Coast will be like living inside a Refinery Tank. Mass migration away from shoreline communities from Mobile to Houston as people choke and vomit from the fumes.

Is this a worst case scenario? No it is not. Its just the most likely case based on what has gone down so far. The WORST CASE? This reservoir of Oil is SOOO vast it keeps spewing up the PUKE for 20 or 30 years, and takes out ALL the Oceans of the world in the same way. No indication yet of this slowing down, only increasing. No indication yet that the Bozo Engineers can design anything but Epic Fail solutions to the problem. Each day that goes by with no solution, we are one day closer to DEATH as a species. Its looking pretty ugly at the moment for the future of Life on Earth above the level of the Tardigrades.

Cheers

I may go get a link or two from the Oildrum, but the are oil techies and Peak people over there, not primarily environmentalists. But they had pictures of the dome and discussions of hydrate crystals and everything. The fucking frozen methane is a mortal fucking problem.

They also had material on the dispersants, although they are proprietary and nobody is sure how toxic they are.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:21 PM
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Oh, and an shaped charge, even nuclear as recommended by the Russians, has been discussed. Apparently if you don't close the hole at nearly 18,000 feet down it won't help. 5000 psi pushing up.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:26 PM
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I had a long talk with a petroleum engineer yesterday. He said, among other things, that it was completely obvious that the dome would fail (because methane+oil is slushy at those depths, as mentioned above) and that it was an empty publicity stunt.

He described what most likely went wrong with the cement in nice easy terms for me to understand. He said that BP is well-known for cutting all sorts of safety corners, and that besides the fact that there's never been an oil well a mile under water, the drilling itself was 20,000-30,000 feet, which is risky territory. Basically he was not surprised at all that this happened.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:30 PM
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Oh! He also said the very next room next to the one that exploded (killing the 11 workers) was full of BP executives celebrating the safety in particular of the oil rig they'd just finished building.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:31 PM
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I though this was a good quote too, Stanley:

"The well kicked, and we took a humongous gas bubble kick up through the well bore," said the engineer in the call to the radio show. He said he didn't know whether human negligence played a role in the accident. Geological forces surely did, he said. "You're dealing with 30 to 40,000-pound per square inch range. It's serious pressures," he said. "It just seems like every now and then you can't win against Mother Nature. She throws you a curveball that you're not prepared for."
I also appreciated the fact the company doing the cement seal for the wellhead was Halliburton.

m, former employer of Dick Cheney


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:35 PM
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Here is the latest Oildrum thread.

And here is the Meta-thread a gathering or collection of posts and threads at the oildrum


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:36 PM
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Heebie - did he provide a solution he thought would work?


Posted by: Mike d | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:36 PM
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16: That was good, too. Achenbach's writing style in general appeals to my "tell it to me real slow in small, simple words" appetite for understanding complicated issues, but I imagine it's probably off-putting for others. I almost speculated in the main post that someone in comments would say Achenbach's writing is "too cute by half" or some such critique.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:50 PM
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Heebie - did he provide a solution he thought would work?

He said the only thing he knows of that could possibly work is the 3-4 month project where they drill a second hole and run it up to a tanker. Nothing quicker.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:54 PM
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And here's a comment from FDL that expresses some of my worries.

"I'm concerned about the possibility that the relief wells also might fail and blowout..."

I read somewhere last night that pumping mud and concrete through the relief wells is going to run into the problem of the current high pressure flow in the original. Imagine a full speed garden hose, cutting a hole in the side, and trying to fill the hose with rubber & cement.

Anyway, the original drilling was such a disaster I don't know why the relief wells are assumed to be slam dunks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:56 PM
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"It just seems like every now and then you can't win against Mother Nature. She throws you a curveball that you're not prepared for."

Rick Perry this week called the oil spill an act of God. It's so sad that the BP execs got caught up in the middle of all this liberal climate anger.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:56 PM
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This seems like an apt thread for a question I've been meaning to ask here: I have recently discovered that I own stock in Transocean, the company that owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon rig. What, if any, are my ethical obligations?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:02 PM
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This seems like an apt thread for a question I've been meaning to ask here: I have recently discovered that I own stock in Transocean, the company that owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon rig. What, if any, are my ethical obligations?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:02 PM
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Last one:

No link, somewhere at oildrum or Naked Cap, they said that tarballs are starting to show up in the Miss channel, requiring all outgoing ships to be decontaminated. All the the Midwestern grain goes through the Port of New Orleans, I think I read 250 million dollars worth a day. A week. A bunch.

I can't seem to worry about Elena Kagan or who gets to form a British gov't right now.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:03 PM
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For instance, am I morally obligated to ask the question twice?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:03 PM
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"As the last few hours tick away, before the oil spill makes its way to our sugar white shores here in Pensacola Florida, many of us locals braved the strong winds and grey skies just to spend time digging our feet into the sand, building castles and reflecting on the severity of what is about to happen to our paradise.

"Some came to leave messages in the sand, others came to meditate and a few brought their children to enjoy, one last time, what they enjoyed themselves as a child, to roll their pant legs up and play in the water's edge. [...] There is no way around it, the dead animals are already starting to wash ashore and the oil spill is still days away."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:03 PM
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19 was me


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:03 PM
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24:Seppuku


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:03 PM
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One of the annoyances over at the Oildrum are all the people who have to say:

"Not BP's or Halliburton's fault, this is your for driving 40 miles to work and buying mangoes. Your fault your fauilt your fault"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:08 PM
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He said that BP is well-known for cutting all sorts of safety corners

My dad worked as an engineer for Chevron for eleventy-billion years and always had contempt for BP.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:09 PM
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Yeah, BP has a famously terrible safety record in the US.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:13 PM
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29: Apart from that.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:13 PM
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I see that the "Clean Coal" folks have placed an ad in Achenbach's article. You can always count on capitalism to produce an answer to any calamity.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:16 PM
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23/24: If your chief concern is your financial well-being, ask your financial advisor. If your chief concern is ethical, disinvest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:17 PM
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35: I'm not asking the Mineshaft for financial advice. (As it happens, my financial advisor is bullish on the stock.)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:25 PM
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22: Rick Perry this week called the oil spill an act of God.

He would, wouldn't he? How else is he supposed to keep collecting campaign contributions?

It's so sad that the BP execs got caught up in the middle of all this liberal climate anger.

{snort} Why is no one mad at Halliburton as well?

m, they may be the ones actually at fault


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:31 PM
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Not only should you sell the stock, you should find as many ways as possible to spread the news that you are dumping the stock because you think it will soon be worthless. Anyone who is smart will also dump their stock right away.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:42 PM
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From the information available so far, it does sound like if anyone in particular is to blame it's Halliburton more than BP or Transocean. Which is not to say that BP and Transocean are necessarily off the hook.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 1:47 PM
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Can somebody post a picture of a kitten or something? I can't stand having this be the post at the top of the page.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 2:01 PM
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40: I put a cheery song in the title to lighten things up, ari.

||

I was just out back tossing horseshoes when we heard about six gunshots fired down the block. Then what sounded like two people beating feet up the alley right on the other side of the fence from the backyard. It was a weird feeling to know that they were almost certainly either the shooters or the shot-at.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 2:13 PM
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Your wish is my command, ari.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 2:15 PM
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39: Which is not to say that BP and Transocean are necessarily off the hook.

Absolutely. But when the media talks about this they never ever mention Halliburton. Just like they never ever talk about how much military contractor companies get paid.

This is the first story I've heard that mention Halliburton at all. Even though the sequence went drill - drill - drill - Halliburton arrives for the final touches: BOOM! well explosion.

m, i mean, sheesh


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 2:51 PM
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Ari, I put a bunch of twangily cheerful music about murder and crystal meth 'n shit here, if that would help.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 2:58 PM
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42, 44: Thanks to both of you. Seriously, the Deepwater Horizon story is un-fucking-bearable.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 3:13 PM
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Seriously, the Deepwater Horizon story is un-fucking-bearable.

And it just keeps getting worse, which is fun. I was looking at cars online today and it made me feel wildly guilty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 3:23 PM
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Watching a CBS news story that's like a PR release for the oil industry...weird.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 4:10 PM
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I was looking at cars online today and it made me feel wildly guilty.

Consider taking a hit out on an oil exec as your own version of a carbon offset.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 4:38 PM
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For anyone who wants to follow the latest developments in this story, the Houston Chronicle's energy blog has been covering it extensively, and there's also an EPA website giving updated information on environmental conditions related to the spill.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 4:42 PM
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48:Well, Sifu may do a little more biking, and ari kalman may threaten violence against business leaders (care to name a name?), but I think we all know there is only one person in the world capable of making oil execs fear and tremble, and Obama got a $75000 check to appoint Ken Salazar, drill baby drill, and maybe look the other way as a 2nd or 3rd test and log of the seal wasn't done.

Or at least nobody at BP were thinking "We better not fuck this up in the least, or Obama will make our company disappear and put our asses in jail." Of course, the motherfucking point is not to pit their asses in jail after it is too late, but to make the assholes publicly terrified, publicly, as in Obama pre-committed to the American people to smash indstry whenever necessary, so that tey might take extra special care that the fucking Gulf of Mexico dosn't die.

I do not blame oil execs. Their job is profits, and their method is gambling, risk-taking. That I have long preferred such people didn't exist vastly tempers my immediate rage. Such is capitalism. It will kill the world.

But making profits for himself or British Petroleum, is at least, theoretically, not the job of the President of the United States.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 5:16 PM
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My shame and guilt, and I carry a ton, is at my far too moderate and cautious political positions.

There is a lot at stake.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 5:19 PM
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If Obama had said a few months ago:

"I will encourage oil exploration, but I want it understood that if any significant environmental damage comes as a result of negligence or carelessness or corner-cutting, I will make it my personal life's goal and use the full powers of my Presidency to see that the corporations, top executives, and management responsible are financially and personally destroyed."

It wouldn't have happened. I can think of anything else that would make BP and Halliburton spend the extra millions before the fact. Now cleanup is simple a cost of doing business, and top management will take their bonuses into retirement on some clean white beach.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 5:30 PM
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||

Shorter tonight's Andy Rooney: "I've never heard of Lady Gaga, and kids today (who are on my lawn!) don't know who Ella Fitzgerald is."

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 5:45 PM
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24

... I have recently discovered that I own stock in Transocean, ...

This seems a little weird, you are so rich you can't keep track of all the things you own?

As for your question, I don't think it can be answered in isolation. You need some general theory of ethical investing that can then be applied to this case. But I doubt the accident changes the ethics of owning Transocean very much, if it is unethical to own now it was probably unethical to own before.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:04 PM
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Q: What's big and grey and sings jazz and popular standards?

A: Elephants Gerald.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:07 PM
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10

Meanwhile, I hate to do this, but I'm gonna do some cross-thread pointing. Any comments on the church message I posted at the bottom of the Punished! thread? I find that it quite incenses me; but maybe it's just shrug-worthy.

Seems shrug-worthy to me. You don't like others playing the moral superiority card?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:07 PM
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Elephants Gerald

Hey! An opening to tell another friend-told-me story.

A friend who does stand-up was telling me about a bit he's working on about how he's sick of hearing about "we should never forget 9/11" because really? Who's forgetting? Nobody. But just to put everyone's mind at ease, he's going to start an outreach program to encourage people who advocate never forgetting 9/11 to visit zoos and tell elephants, because elephants never forget. And on the appointed day, the volunteers will arrive at the zoos and be assigned an elephant whose big flappy ear they can lift to tell all about the whole thing.

I'm probably not doing it justice, but it was really, really funny.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:17 PM
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because really? Who's forgetting? Nobody.

I have a similar insider-to-me joke about graduation speeches. Inevitably the speaker says that they will never forget their four years here at High School or College.

Really? It meant so much to you that you are secure you won't black out the years between age 13 and 18? That is a lot. Special!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:20 PM
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elephants never forget

That's why they drink.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 6:39 PM
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This seems a little weird, you are so rich you can't keep track of all the things you own?

Yes, James. That's it exactly.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:27 PM
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One time I went for a swim in emdash's swimming pool full of gems but I was so drunk on 50 year old cognac that I straight up forgot all about it the next day. It's a good thing we'd hired McG to document the night or I would never have believed those high-class male hookers when they told me what happened.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:39 PM
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52 is pretty great. Oh bob, you adorable nincompoomp you. You're like everybody's senile uncle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:40 PM
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I left my company's benefits manager dumbfounded when I asked if I could know specifically what companies my 401K (I think it's a 401K? maybe something else, an IRA? it's money I can't touch without heavy tax penalty till I'm 65; I routinely get fun statements in the mail telling me I've lost or gained thousands of dollars; it's awesome) is investing in. He'd never heard that question before, and I was equally dumbfounded by his response. Really?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:41 PM
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50: John D. Rockefeller, bob. You think he died of natural causes? Think again, bitch. Also, my last name is spelled K-E-L-M-A-N.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:47 PM
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63: Yeah, these things seem to always be pretty cryptic. One of the options I got through TIAA-CREF was something called a "Social Choice Index Fund" which claimed to choose stocks based on "certain social criteria", but none of the literature I got explained what those criteria were. Environmental criteria I would approve of? Crazy social conservative criteria I wouldn't? Who knows!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:57 PM
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63: Oo, oo,* you should press him to find an answer. He probably doesn't know himself, and would have to ask some unspecified person.

* I have no idea how to spell that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:02 PM
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I just keep coming back to the idea that Obama could make British Petroleum disappear. I love that! He's a magical wizard, our Obama.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:05 PM
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He could threaten to assassinate British Petroleum's top executives. That's what Bob McManus or Sarah Palin would do. I would respect that if it seemed sincere.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:07 PM
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"Social Choice Index Fund"

Our advisor offer us the opportunity to invest in an "anti-social fund." Seemed like it was a mutual fund of mostly tobacco and alcohol companies, although there was probably some oil in there too. The financial returns were quite appealing, but we took a pass.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:32 PM
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How does one acquire a financial advisor?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:41 PM
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It's like acquiring a congressman, you have to either be a corporation or a non-corporate person who can spend like a corporation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:43 PM
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So one fears, but I suspect it may not be so. Hefty student loans made it absurd to think about something called financial planning, but I'm just getting out from under now. The question stands, though it's midnight on a Sunday now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:49 PM
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If you have a regular job and make contributions to a 401k, you will get people trying to be your financial planner or retirement consultant or whatever. In my experience TIAA-CREF is especially eager in this regard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:55 PM
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70: One schleps down to the local Edward Jones office.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 9:59 PM
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Revision: As a self-employed person, how does one acquire a financial advisor?

Natilo might be able to answer this question when he's around.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:00 PM
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67:"Dudes, I lost your environmental impact study. Hard drives crash, ya knoq. I know it is costing you a billion a day, but it's vacation time for the woman who analyzes those studies. Check with us in August."

Liberals think the levers and processes of power exist for their own sake, in their own sake. I had no problem with Bush subverting the DoJ to destroy his political. enemies. That is what it is for.

But even Bush wasn't really corrupt, just deluded and evil. Obama is counting his future millions every day.

Tell me Obama won't get rich upon leaving the White House. High-fiving his buddy Rahm, who made 1999-2007, 16 million for doing exactly what?

Corrupt corporate whore, and nothing else.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:01 PM
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Edward Jones? Never heard of him, but okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:01 PM
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Elena Kagan was a "social policy consultant" to Goldman Sachs for several years. 2 2 hour meetings a year, 10k dollars a pop. WTF did she know?

Our next Justice from Goldman Sachs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:04 PM
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You know who else worked for Goldman Sachs? Yup. Hitler.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:06 PM
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No, I think Bob's got a point. The liability regime for sure affects the extent and type of risks corporations take. Certainly if BP were held fully liable for all the damages this spill will create, you really would make the firm disappear, or at least go bankrupt, and be an example to other corporations.

Of course, as you amp up the liability you start to discourage socially useful risk-taking. You could also end up having your riskiest sectors -- like natural resources -- completely dominated by government enterprises who could resist liability claims. A reaction to every action.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:07 PM
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No, I think Bob's got a point.

Don't be an idiot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:10 PM
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Edward Jones. They have offices all over the place... little two person operations consisting of a financial planner and a secretary. When you add up all the commissions and mutual fund fees and whatnot, its not particularly cheap. But its a decent service, they help you keep on top of things, and if you ever need to buy other financial products like, say, life insurance, you just call them up and they make all the arrangements handle all the paperwork.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:11 PM
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Yeah, I'm just a mess tonight. Going to bed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:12 PM
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Spike, thanks. I'll take a look. I'd still like to know how else one might go about acquiring such a thing. I have a couple of houses to look after now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:17 PM
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81: 52 in particular is a perfectly legitimate point. Of course, Obama wouldn't give a crude threat like that, but it's possible to pass a law that has that effect. The firms held liable would argue that the statement is contradictory -- the effect of a tougher liability standard would freeze oil exploration -- and they'd have a point too.

Arguments like this are the meat and potatoes of politics, they are totally routine and happen every day. As I understand it there is currently a cap on liability from oil spills.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:20 PM
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Have you tried books aimed at people in your position (income from real estate or whatever)? I've found that it's pretty easy to get advice for common situations, but not at all easy or cheap to get individual advice if one's situation is atypical.

I would no more talk to someone whose fees are commision-based than I would trust a car salesman's recommendation.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:25 PM
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Of course, Obama wouldn't give a crude threat like that, but it's possible to pass a law that has that effect.

And Mary Landrieux will join the filibuster crowd, and there won't be a law before the GoM is fucking killed?

Outcomes matter. Fuck the law.

God save the world from the liberals.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:25 PM
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Trying to defend Bob is a thankless task. He can sniff out any attempt to turn him into a spineless process liberal.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:28 PM
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86: Good points. Thanks, and it's what I'd sort of been thinking. I'd not be walking in saying, "Here's my pay stub and my benefits package from the employer." I would still like some financial advice, so question remains standing as to how to go about looking for that. I'm a rube.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:37 PM
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none of the literature I got explained what those criteria were. Environmental criteria I would approve of? Crazy social conservative criteria I wouldn't? Who knows!

One of the papers I worked for had an advisor come in to explain different funds we could choose for 401(k) contributions. The "socially responsible" one included Wal-Mart. Probably a bunch of other shitty corporations besides, but that's where I stopped reading.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:38 PM
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88 made me laugh, because bob! PGD is making a helpful and knowledgeable set of remarks in 85!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:42 PM
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89: I'm not sure there's much value in investment advice, so much of the conventional wisdom has turned out to be wrong. I would just go with Vanguard, because they charge no fee, and pick a mix bond and stock funds with a tilt toward safe bonds. There are good fund descriptions on the web site.

For a true guarantee you could try an annuity, but for a lot of those you will take a real income hit in exchange for the certainty. Do not trust brokers (including insurance brokers) to sell you stuff that is in your best interest, they aren't legally required to.

I've known some people who have had real success with stock picking and real estate investment + management of their own properties, but they put a lot of work into it and had enough of a financial cushion to take the occasional loss.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:49 PM
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I recommend gold.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 10:55 PM
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92: Okay. I've heard good things about Vanguard. I'm not talking about much money, just trying to get a clue about things. I may need a tutor more than anything else.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:03 PM
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65

Yeah, these things seem to always be pretty cryptic. One of the options I got through TIAA-CREF was something called a "Social Choice Index Fund" which claimed to choose stocks based on "certain social criteria", but none of the literature I got explained what those criteria were. Environmental criteria I would approve of? Crazy social conservative criteria I wouldn't? Who knows!

According to the prospectus they largely use the FTSE KLD US All Cap Sustainability Index to select stocks.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:19 PM
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86

Have you tried books ...

I would second this suggestion. Your local library probably has lots of books offering basic financial advice.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:25 PM
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I was just out back tossing horseshoes when we heard about six gunshots fired down the block. Then what sounded like two people beating feet up the alley right on the other side of the fence from the backyard. It was a weird feeling to know that they were almost certainly either the shooters or the shot-at.

Lacrosse practice just got out?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:42 PM
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97: That news is continuing to fall locally, holy fuck what a shit show.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 11:45 PM
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I shouldn't joke, I suppose, but between that and the Duke case and the handful of lacrosse players I've met, I have no plans to suggest that my son rethink his choice of sports.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 12:00 AM
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Alienated and alienating is far from all I am, but it seems to be the face I show the world in social situations.

Metoroporisu is pretty fucking amazing. The visual style (steampunk, art deco, 30s) and constant allusions in themselves make strong and complex political statements. Besides being stunningly beautiful as only great anime can be.

About fascism vs revolution, of course. And technology. Damn it's gorgeous. Magic girl has green eyes., means something to Orientals.

Starts with a epigram from Michelet.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 12:03 AM
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Our advisor offer us the opportunity to invest in an "anti-social fund." Seemed like it was a mutual fund of mostly tobacco and alcohol companies, although there was probably some oil in there too.

As predicted in Iain Banks' Complicity almost two decades ago.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 12:03 AM
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Interestingly, the antisocial fund would be a really boring investment - ex-growth but high yield. BP, British American Tobacco, SAB Miller, Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, Lockheed. I guess casinos might give it some edge. If you consider phone companies an abomination, like all right thinking people, AT&T and VZ are in the top 10 for yield but not going anywhere fast.

With regard to Bob, I am reminded of Bertholt Brecht's crack about people who think the end justifies the means - once the means get bad enough, they find the means justify the end.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 3:07 AM
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Vice - it's reliable, but nobody's invented a new one for a while.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 3:08 AM
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||

This is funny.

|>


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 3:38 AM
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Mutual funds have to file what they're holding with the SEC every once in a while (I think twice a year). You can find out what they're holding at the SEC's website.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 5:40 AM
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I may be a bad person for thinking this, but I really hope that this disaster leads to more government and private sector funding for deep sea exploration (scientific, not for oil). It shows there's a real need for expertise in and equipment for operating at such depths. So while scientists are discovering new lifeforms and ecosystems and geologies on the ocean floor, they'll also be helping to solve engineering challenges that could prevent or fix the next deep sea spill.

And, much though I love space exploration, it's long been a bugbear of mine how much more money is spent speculatively looking for life in space than at the bottom of the ocean, where we know it is both rife and totally alien.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 8:26 AM
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casinos might give it some edge.

Casinos look like indebted CRE companies to me. They've done badly and will do worse. Profitable companies don't need capital markets to fund fancy buildings.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 8:35 AM
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