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Comment Re:I am agaisn't this (Score 1) 301

Welllll the first paragraph is true, but if you click through your bloomberg link you'll see that there's something called the RBOB Gasoline. That is what Gasoline prices at the pump are based off of. Not WTI or Brent Crude prices. Crude doesn't go in your car, it goes into a refinery and is turned into lots of things, one of which is gasoline. Unlike crude, Gasoline isn't subject to any export bans, and is traded at that Bloomberg price world wide (it looks like the price now is $2.64/gal, pre taxes, shipping, storage, etc).

The moral of this story is that this stuff is actually pretty complex and jumping to conspiracy theories about oil companies, while appealing, doesn't always lead you to the right answer.

Comment Re:I am agaisn't this (Score 1) 301

Nope. The price for gasoline is pretty much the same everywhere in the world (it's traded on the commodity markets just like corn and other things). The only reason for price differences between regions are shipping, storage and taxes. There is no opportunity to sell gasoline for 3X the price to China.

Comment Re:I am agaisn't this (Score 1) 301

Dude, you realize this is Canadian oil that will flow through the pipeline, not American. It already can be exported... the export ban only governs US produced oil...

And in general, while US produced crude oil can't be exported, US refineries just turn it into gasoline and then export it because that is allowed (the law is strange). So gasoline prices wouldn't go up if the export law is changed, you'd still pay the same at the pump (gas is expensive in Europe for example because of very high taxes on gas). This really only affects US oil producers and refiners.

Anyway, calm down and read up on the oil markets.

Comment Re:Distortion (Score 1) 192

That's fair, although did you notice he's planning to give $100K each to three up and coming junior researchers each year? (I assume this means grad students/post-docs). Admittedly it's not the same as $3M, but still, I'm sure the average physics researcher at that level would really appreciate the money.

Comment Re:It's true.. (Score 1) 168

Just read it. Fair points, I wouldn't contend that the people of Japan are all running around in poverty. It's not an across the board awful country or something.

That said, your article basically says, yeah, GDP isn't great but look at all these other good things! My point is that their GDP isn't growing. They are in ludicrous amounts of debt. Their companies are losing their competitiveness (have you seen how much money Sony has been losing lately?). They are facing serious long term demographic challenges related to their population aging. Hell, they can barely keep the lights on! ( Heck, we can trade articles, I think this makes my point quite clearly:

It has been bad for them lately, and things are only going to get worse if (when) interest rates on their debt rise.

As for the ad hominem, I double majored in Mathematics and Economics at a top 10 school in the US; I graduated with high honors. I wrote my thesis on sovereign bonds. I do, in fact, know what I'm talking about. Do you?

Comment Re:It's true.. (Score 0) 168

So, I was a little confused by your Japan example. I could be missing something, but it seems like you are saying they are a model China should try to imitate.

Japan is an economic joke! Their economy has been in recession or barely growing since the early nineties. They've basically stagnated for the last 20 years. Their government is so in debt (230% of GDP) that they make Greece (165%) and Spain (69%) look fiscally responsible! (

China should not aim to be like Japan.

Comment Re:So who's to the rescue? (Score 1) 432

Despite the complaining most people do about the crappiness of airlines, they don't back up their behavior. The reason US airlines are so crappy nowadays is because people shop almost exclusively on price. They just fire up orbitz or whatever and pick the cheapest. This will, of course, result in every airline cutting their services to bare bones levels like they are now so they can lower the price. People say they want nice, but won't put their money where their mouth is, so we have what we have now.

Comment ML Corporates not a bubble (Score 1) 221

I think these econophysicists are in error with regard to calling corporate bonds a bubble. A bubble is when prices are out of whack rather than based on some underlying fundamentals. But corporate bond yields were high for a reason. Major companies (Lehman, GM, etc) were going bankrupt left and right. Many companies were being downgraded by the rating agencies. It was the worst recession in 70 years. Of course bond yields were high. People were really worried about default. Now that many companies have started reporting improved earnings though, of course they are returning to normals and the "bubble" is going away. Anyway, the moral of the story is that corporate bonds were clearly not in a bubble.

Comment Re:UC Berkeley's Not Liberal (Score 3, Informative) 468

Uhh seriously? Because this comment is so ridiculous I don't even know where to start. I just graduated yesterday after four years at Berkeley. It's a huge campus and so not everyone is liberal, but its overwhelmingly very very far left wing. Both the professors and the students. And have you ever been to the co-ops? It seems for many of them the sixties never ended. I'm quite left of center, but I sometimes feel like a republican relative to many on the campus.

And the frat/sorority system isn't quite typical either. Sure there are some douchy frat boys and tanorexic sorority girls, but there are also many people who you wouldn't suspect to be in frats. I know one guy graduated to become a NASA engineer. I know a sorority girl who is working at Google next year. There are so many more examples it would be ridiculous to name them all.

And the protests? Last November there were protests against state budget cuts where a huge number of people showed up. Like maybe 5000? Not to mention the tree sitters, the hunger strikers, the unions, the riots this semester, the protesters who took over Wheeler, the popularity of the new Global Poverty minor etc etc etc.

I guess you can talk about the funding we get from corporations. The BP deal is a bit sketchy, but it's 500 million dollars, we need that money. I hardly think this makes Berkeley overwhelmingly right wing. And the whole John Yoo thing is a bit weird, and I'm not sure what should be done about that, but damn dude, UC Berkeley is amazingly liberal.

Comment Re:True (Score 4, Informative) 1713

Your comment is very misleading: Sales, General and Administrative is not merely marketing expenses. It includes, among other things, the salaries of everyone at the company (thus the word general) and numerous other expenses. Therefore it is not accurate to use SG&A as a substitute for marketing costs.

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