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The "Naturalness" of the Commons

Energy Bulletin - 21 March 2015 - 2:13am

When you live in a community, you see how it’s the most natural and spontaneous thing in the world that everything is shared, that everything must strengthen everyone to work…

Categories: Peak oil news

Naomi Oreskes on “Merchants of Doubt”

Energy Bulletin - 21 March 2015 - 2:13am

Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt believes that seeds of doubt about climate change have been planted quite intentionally.

Categories: Peak oil news

Energy Crunch: turning a corner?

Energy Bulletin - 21 March 2015 - 2:12am

2014: the year we turned the corner on CO2 emissions?

Categories: Peak oil news

The Market Ticker - A Warning To The GloBull Warming Screamers

The Market Ticker - 20 March 2015 - 11:15pm

Something worth reading from Michael Crichton....

Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.

This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.

The first test of whether someone is practicing actual science is that when a given hypothesis predicts a result, and that result does not occur under the conditions of the test, they discard the hypothesis.

If.......

(Click link to read more)

Categories: Economics

Growing Threat to Amazon’s Crucial Carbon Sink

Energy Bulletin - 20 March 2015 - 10:57pm

The Amazon rainforest, for so long one of the vital “green lungs” of the planet, is losing its capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, according to new research.

Categories: Peak oil news

Resilience Roundup - Mar 20

Energy Bulletin - 20 March 2015 - 10:56pm

 The big climate question: Can we sever the link between CO2 and economic growth?

Categories: Peak oil news

The World's Biggest Oil And Gas Companies - 2015 - Forbes

Peak Oil - Google - 20 March 2015 - 9:00am

Forbes

The World's Biggest Oil And Gas Companies - 2015
Forbes
Remember back in 2008 when the worryworts were prognosticating that record prices of $147 were just the beginning of a Peak Oil super spike? We don't hear much of them anymore. I've been thinking about this a lot while compiling my annual list of the ...

How to Report Health Care Coverage on Your 2014 Tax Return

The Daily Reckoning - 20 March 2015 - 8:21am

This post How to Report Health Care Coverage on Your 2014 Tax Return appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

If tax returns weren’t complicated enough, we will now have the first-time appearance of the individual shared responsibility (ISR) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This boils down to taxpayers reporting if they got a credit and how much — and if not, did they pay for their insurance and did they avoid the “penalty” for not carrying insurance under the ACA.

Don’t hold your breath either. Although Congress is threatening to repeal portions of the ACA (aka “Obamacare”), it certainly won’t happen before you and I need to report and file our 2014 tax returns.

To our rescue, the IRS has released the new Publication 5187 (“Health Care Law: What’s New for Individuals & Families”) to help us through the minefield of these new regulations on our tax return. If you can’t sleep tonight or really want to read it, here is a link to the Publication 5187.

Who is subject to the ISR rules? All U.S. citizens are subject to the ISR rules, as are all non-U.S. citizens who are in the U.S. long enough during a calendar year to qualify as resident aliens for federal income tax purposes.

Foreign nationals who live in the U.S. for a short enough period that they do not become resident aliens for tax purposes are exempt from the ISR provision even though they may have to file a U.S. income tax return.

What must be reported on the tax return? All individuals subject to the ISR rules use their 2014 income tax return to:

  • Report that they have qualifying health care coverage (also called minimum essential coverage)
  • Show they qualify for an exemption from coverage
  • Make an individual shared responsibility payment.

What is minimum essential coverage? This is a health care plan or arrangement specifically identified in the law as minimum essential coverage, including:

  • Employer-sponsored coverage under a group health plan (including self-insured plans)
  • Specified government-sponsored programs (e.g., Medicare Part A, Medicare Advantage, most Medicaid programs, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), most TRICARE programs (for eligible active and retired service members), and comprehensive health care coverage of veterans)
  • Individual market coverage (e.g., a qualified health plan purchased through the Marketplace or individual health coverage purchased directly from an insurance company)
  • Grandfathered health plans (in general, certain plans that existed before the ACA and have not changed since the ACA was passed)
  • Other plans or programs that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes as minimum essential coverage for the purposes of the ACA.

How to report minimum essential coverage: Taxpayers whose entire tax household had minimum essential coverage for each month of their tax year will indicate this on their federal income tax return by simply checking a box on their Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

On Form 1040, they’ll check the “full year coverage box” at Line 61: “Health care: individual responsibility (see instructions).” No further action is required.

How to report exemptions from health coverage: If you qualify for an exemption and don’t have to carry insurance under ACA, you can claim coverage exemptions on Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, and attach it to Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ.

Individual shared responsibility payments: This is the nice title the government has come up with for the term “penalty” for not carrying insurance.

Thus, a taxpayer will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment (SRP) when filing his federal income tax return if anyone in his household does not have minimum essential coverage and does not qualify for a coverage exemption.

For 2014 (to be paid on your 2014 tax return), the annual SRP amount is the greater of:

  • 1% of the household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for the taxpayer’s filing status
  • The family’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (under age 18), limited to a family maximum of $285.

Beware: Taxpayers owe 1/12th of the annual SRP for each month they or their dependent(s) do not have coverage and do not qualify for a coverage exemption.

How to report individual shared responsibility payment: The ISR payment is computed on a worksheet in the instructions to Form 8965 and is entered on Form 1040, line 61; Form 1040A, line 38; or Form 1040EZ, line 11.

Publication 5187 notes that IRS is prohibited from using liens or levies to collect any ISR payment. However, if taxpayers owe such a payment, the IRS may offset that liability with any tax refund that may be due to them.

In summary, this is something not to be trifled with. Congress designated the IRS to collect the penalties for not carrying insurance, and so we must report on our tax return — honestly, mind you — the type of insurance coverage we had during the year. If audited, we will need to prove this.

Regards,

Mark Kohler
for The Daily Reckoning

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The post How to Report Health Care Coverage on Your 2014 Tax Return appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Categories: Economics

Three Stocks to Profit From Surging U.S. Oil Inventories

The Daily Reckoning - 20 March 2015 - 8:15am

This post Three Stocks to Profit From Surging U.S. Oil Inventories appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

“Jody, where can a person invest his money and be guaranteed to make 50% in the next six months?”

No. The question above isn’t from our reader mailbag. Instead, this is the recurring dialogue between me and my cousin Brad at family gatherings.

Below, I’ll share my typical response. I’ll also share three tickers that provide a decent shot at a 50% gain without taking on much risk.

The question above is one I mentally prepare myself for each time my family gets together. Here’s my response and the ensuing back-and-forth…

Me: “There is no place that you can invest your money and be guaranteed to make 50% in the next six months. I don’t believe that I or anyone has the ability to predict even which way the entire market will move over a short of time period. Even Warren Buffett says that he has no clue how the market will move over a calendar year.”

Cousin Brad: “Yes, yes, that is what you always say. But seriously, where can a person make 50% in the next six months?”

Me: “It isn’t guaranteed, but I hear the lottery is a source of the windfall profits that you seek.”

This particular family member knows about my obsession with investing. I’m not joking about this. We seriously have a conversation along these lines at every holiday and birthday gathering.

I think he believes that I am holding out on him. That I’m keeping the really good ideas for myself. Or perhaps he thinks it is rather pathetic that someone who spends as much time on investing as I do can’t make 50% every six months.

Of course, I’m not holding out on him, and I believe that even aiming to make those kinds of returns in a short period of time can cause an investor to take unnecessary risks.

That being said, I do believe I’m aware of a group of companies that are very well positioned for the next six months. I believe these companies should generate unusually strong cash flows in the next couple of quarters, which should also result in good stock price performance.

For decades there was virtually no difference in the daily price of West Texas Intermediate or Brent crude oil. Historically WTI actually traded at a slight premium to Brent because it is a higher-quality crude.

Source of chart data: Energy Information Administration website

The chart above tracks the differential between WTI and Brent from 1990 through the end of 2010. As you can see, the differential stayed very close to $0 over this time, which means there was little difference between the two prices.

With the United States historically importing far more oil than it produced, the price for American oil was set by the global market.

Then, in 2011 fast-growing North Dakota oil production overwhelmed the pipeline capacity available to move that oil from the wellhead to refineries or other end-users. That meant that too much oil was getting stuck in one location, Cushing, Oklahoma, which is where WTI is priced.

Bloated Cushing inventories put major pressure on WTI pricing. Oil produced here in North America that was shipped to Cushing received a lower price than similar quality oil produced globally.

Differentials blew out massively from any historical precedent, with WTI trading for an incredible $30 less than Brent at one point in late 2011.

Since then, those differentials have gradually shrunk. The rail industry moved quickly to add capacity to ship hundreds of thousands of barrels to end destinations, and the reversal of the Seaway pipeline was added to get oil from Cushing to the Gulf Coast. It took a while, but the industry adapted.

For most of 2014, WTI traded reasonably close to Brent.

But recently, those differentials have started blowing out again.  At the close of trading last week, the differential between WTI and Brent was nearly $10, with Brent sitting near $62 and WTI near $52.

The reason for the surge in the differential this time is again soaring North American oil inventories. This time, though, it isn’t a case of not being able to get the oil out of Cushing. It is a case of arbitrageurs around the world shipping their oil to North America (both Cushing and the Gulf Coast) for storage.

Over the past six months, there has been more oil produced globally than consumed. That extra oil needs a home, and the most obvious place for it is onshore in the United States, which is really the only place with sufficient available storage. Land storage costs are only 30 cents per barrel per month, which is much lower than the dollar per month it costs to store oil offshore on a tanker.

As long as daily global oil production exceeds consumption, these inventories are going to increase. That is going to keep WTI at a price lower than Brent.

Buy low and sell high. Yep, that is a simple recipe for making money.

For North American refiners, that is what their near-term prospects look like.

These companies have input oil costs based off of WTI, but sell refined oil-based products (gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, etc.) priced off of Brent.

With WTI/Brent differentials widening and expected to stay under pressure for the next six months, North American refiners could very well post some better-than-expected cash flows.

I would view this as a fairly short-term opportunity — which is great news for my cousin, or anyone looking for short-term gains.

The best way to play this short-term opportunity is with a handful of well-positioned refiners.

I would suggest owning the refiners that have the most exposure to these widening differentials (WTI/Brent and LLS/Brent). LLS is Light Louisiana Sweet, which is priced at the Gulf Coast, where inventories will also be growing.

That makes Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Phillips 66 (PSX) and Valero Energy (VLO) the best companies to take a closer look at. These companies have the most exposure to Gulf Coast and Cushing input pricing.

Remember, this is a short-term play. I expect to see American oil production level off by the middle of this year and perhaps even start to decline. Inventories will also start to come down as we hit driving season.

But if you’re looking to play a little-known opportunity in American oil, now’s your chance.

Regards,

Jody Chudley
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Ever wonder how you can make a lot of money from oil without owning a well? Or whether or not you should buy gold and silver? Or is fracking just a flash in the pan? Get insight, insider scoops and actionable investment tips twice a week with Daily Resource Hunter? Just click here for a FREE subscription!

The post Three Stocks to Profit From Surging U.S. Oil Inventories appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Categories: Economics

The Market Ticker - The Latest T-Mobile Horsecrap

The Market Ticker - 20 March 2015 - 6:19am

Oh c'mon John.

The last few times T-Mobile's CEO went off on an Uncarrier spree, he revealed a way to bank the data people paid for but didn't use, and eased up its credit requirements for new phone buyers. Now, at a cozy studio space in New York City, John Legere has a new Uncarrier 9.0 initiative to show off and it's a little different than what we're used to: It's meant to make pairing businesses with T-Mobile service less of a pain in the ass than than it normally is.

In short: Pricing is dead simple, so companies with less than 20 lines pay $16 per line for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of LTE data. Oh, you're running a bigger operation than that? Lines'll cost you $15 instead, and you can set up business family discounts of up to 50 percent, too.

This sounded (Click link to read more)

Categories: Economics

Peak Oil Mirage Is Evaporating as U.S Production to Last Generations - Forex Magnates

Peak Oil - Google - 20 March 2015 - 4:48am

Forex Magnates

Peak Oil Mirage Is Evaporating as U.S Production to Last Generations
Forex Magnates
There seems to be no end to the amount of oil and gas embedded in the Earth's crust and no end to humanity's ingenuity in finding ways to extract it. The whole concept of “peak oil” may well disappear. “Peak technology”, meanwhile, also looks to be a ...

The Market Ticker - To The Tranny Screamers: GO F YOURSELVES

The Market Ticker - 20 March 2015 - 4:14am

The screamers are out in force on a so-called "Anti-transgender" bill in Florida.

The Bathroom Surveillance Bill, HB 583, seeks to criminalize transgender people by making it illegal for them to enter sex-segregated facilities, such as bathrooms, locker rooms or dressing rooms in accordance with their lived gender. HB 583 would also compel businesses to discriminate against their own employees and customers, and invalidate non-discrimination policies that already exist on the local level.

Their "lived" gender?

You have a gender, jackass.  We all do.  This sort of horseshit "special screaming" is why this kind of law is necessary; your screaming has been and is exploited.......

(Click link to read more)

Categories: Economics

The Oil Age – A new quarterly peer-reviewed printed journal

ASPO International - 20 March 2015 - 2:58am

1. Background & Objectives

The journal addresses all aspects of the evolving ‘Oil Age’, including physical, economic, social, political, financial and environmental characteristics.
Oil and gas are natural resources formed in the geological past and are subject to depletion. Increasing production during the First Half of the Oil Age fuelled rapid economic expansion, with human population rising six-fold in parallel, with far-reaching economic and social consequences. The Second Half of the Oil Age now dawns.
This is seeing significant changes in the type of hydrocarbon sources tapped, and will be marked at some point by declining overall supply. A debate rages as to the precise dates of peak oil and gas production by type of source, but what is more significant is the decline of these various hydrocarbons as their production peaks are passed.
In addition, demand for these fuels will be impacted by their price, by consumption trends, by technologies and societal adaptations that reduce or avoid their use, and by government-imposed taxes and other constraints directed at avoiding significant near-term climate change.

read more

Categories: Peak oil news

How to Trade Like “The Lone Wolf of Wall Street”

The Daily Reckoning - 20 March 2015 - 1:30am

This post How to Trade Like “The Lone Wolf of Wall Street” appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

We all know a guy like this – I just hope it isn’t you…

He chats your ear off about the perfect trade he pulled off. He tells you all about how he—against all odds—outfoxed the market and bought a tumbling stock at the perfect moment. Then miraculously he sold a few months later at the very top, booking a king’s ransom.

This guy wants you to think he’s a friggin’ genius. Except something about his story doesn’t jibe. As you listen to him yammering, it dawns on you…

This guy’s talking…junk.

After all, you know how difficult it is to perfectly time a trade or investment. So did Bernard Baruch, legendary New York financier who amassed a fortune before he was 30…

Josh Brown recently republished a neat piece on Baruch over at his Reformed Broker blog. And it features one of my all-time favorite investing quotes from the man known as “The Lone Wolf of Wall Street.”

“Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. This can’t be done — except by liars.”

Why do I like this quote so much, aside from the fact it calls B.S. on that guy above?

For one, it keeps me grounded. Every trader in the world is looking for that perfect setup—and the picture-perfect trade to go along with it. But you must realize even your best trades aren’t going to follow a perfect script. The market is a viper’s pit of surprises. You can’t possibly account for them all. And the minute you start chasing the perfect trade, you’ll start second-guessing your every move.

Worse yet, you’ll bungle perfectly good opportunities because you’re trying to nail every last cent on that trade. That ain’t happenin’ Jack. Don’t shoot for perfection.

Since were talking Baruch today, here are three more of my favorite rules from his memoirs, along with my own comments:

Learn how to take your losses quickly and cleanly. Don’t expect to be right all the time. If you have made a mistake, cut your losses as quickly as possible.

Sound familiar?

That’s one of our cardinal rules—we always cut our losses before they become big losses. We can’t expect to get every trade right. But we can shake a loser loose before it drags us into the quicksand. That’s why we have no problem selling when the market tells us…

Always keep a good part of your capital in a cash reserve. Never invest all your funds.

Many traders think every dollar in their account always has to be off chasing some trade. They’re wrong. Some of the best trades are the ones you don’t make. Always keep a lot of cash in reserve.

And never, ever go “all in” on any given trade. It can be tempting when you think you’ve got a no-brainer on your hands, but don’t do it. The market has a funny way of turning no-brainers into losers. You can add to a winning position later, but keep your initial position small, no matter how enticing. You gotta have discipline.

Don’t try to be a jack of all investments. Stick to the field you know best.

There’s no need to swing at every pitch that crosses the plate. If you’re a commodities hitter don’t go swinging at tech stocks you know little about. And vice versa. Know what kind of trades work best for you – and stick to your “strike zone.” Just sit tight and wait for that room-service fastball you can crush. It’ll come.

Now start trading like a wolf.

Regards,

Greg Guenthner

for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. Now start trading like a wolf. If you want to cash in on the biggest profits this market has to offer, sign up for my Rude Awakening e-letter, for FREE, right here. Stop missing out. Click here now to sign up for FREE.

The post How to Trade Like “The Lone Wolf of Wall Street” appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Categories: Economics

The Market Ticker - In A Word, Yep. IMPRISON HILLARY!

The Market Ticker - 20 March 2015 - 12:39am

This needs no further comment beyond the title.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDN5b6ET0I&t=57

Categories: Economics

The Market Ticker - The Issue Before Us All On Budgets And Government

The Market Ticker - 20 March 2015 - 12:38am

Time to circle back.

If you have not, or have forgotten the content, go back and read End Odious Debt.

Greece is currently in the spotlight once again, and the latest is an "uproar" by Germany in regard to their finance minster allegedly giving the nation's technocrats the finger back in 2013.  

So what?

There are times that giving someone the finger is entirely appropriate.  This was one of those times, and still is.

The problem that Greece has, that Japan has, that the United States has, and that most other western governments have is.......

(Click link to read more)

Categories: Economics

Adjusting the Fifth to a Finite Planet, Part II

Energy Bulletin - 19 March 2015 - 11:48pm

“Are individuals entitled to wealth created by society . . . or should this wealth belong to society as a whole?”

Categories: Peak oil news

The Global Economy’s “Impeccable Logic”

Energy Bulletin - 19 March 2015 - 11:31pm

Does morality have any place in conventional economic thinking? 

Categories: Peak oil news

Lifting the U.S. Oil Export Ban Is No Solution to Low Oil Prices

Energy Bulletin - 19 March 2015 - 11:30pm

Lifting the oil export ban would only perpetuate the problem of over-production. That is no solution to low oil prices, lost jobs or lower oil-related spending.

Categories: Peak oil news

Cutting the carbon cost of climate research

Energy Bulletin - 19 March 2015 - 11:29pm

Should the research community be exempted from the emission reduction targets applied elsewhere?

Categories: Peak oil news
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