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One of the problems with computers is this: The word choice sometimes seems tragically inappropriate.
When you think about it, it's not funny.
Postscript: Eliza Kruger still leading shirtless congressman Christopher Lee by a nose.
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak announced Thursday that he would not step down until new elections are held in September. But he may have already lost control of his country.
The announcement came hours after numerous media organizations, including CNBC, had reported that Mubarak would step down as early as night.
In an apparent concession to his critics, he said he would hand over some of the authority for day to day government operations to his vice-president. It was Mubarak’s third televised speech since the uprising started on January 25th.
But earlier today the armed forces issued something called "Communique No.1", announcing what some feared was a military coup. The armed forces said they were moving to preserve the nation and the aspirations of the people. “Communique No. 1” emerged from a meeting of the Higher Army Council. Mubarak was not present at the meeting, which prompted many to speculate that Mubarak had already lost control over the armed forces.
It’s not clear that the armed forces will accept Mubarak’s scheme to remain in power. The army might be particularly disinclined to accept Mubarak remaining in office if the crowds in the streets of Egyptian cities continue the uprising.
Investors looking for Black Swans in the stock market may be able to find them in the latest offering from the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
New drilling techniques may open up "vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil" in the United States—and cut our dependence on foreign oil in half within a decade.
Ed Morse, the head of commodities research at Credit Suisse, predicts that oil imports could be cut by 60 percent—driven by the kind of news announced today—including the discover of additional supplies and improved extraction techniques.
Of course, new technologies aren't entirely without controversy:
Fears of a massive wave of municipal bond defaults have given rise to a new question: how can investors profit if a nightmare meltdown scenario becomes reality?
Today on Capitol Hill, big oil will be front and center once more when the Energy and Power Subcommittee holds a hearing to examine the effects of the Middle East events on U.S. Energy Policy.
Former U.S. Shell Oil President John Hofmeister is one of the witnesses testifying, and after speaking with John about his testimony, I can guarantee you that it will be a spirited exchange with lawmakers.
With all the buzz around black gold, I decided to speak with Thomas Pyle, president of the Houston-based not-for-profit energy think tank, The Institute for Energy Research (IER). The organization does research and analysis on government energy market regulations.
The IER has been described by Rush Limbaugh as "the energy equivalent of the Heritage Foundation," the well-known conservative think tank based out of Washington, DC. In IER's opinion, free markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to meeting the global energy and environmental challenges facing society.
The Chinese currently hold about half a trillion dollars in US agency debt.
Perhaps more than half a trillion—no one knows for sure, because current U.S. Treasury statistics do not include purchases the Chinese make from offshore affiliates.
There is an interesting fact that many may not know, there are more rigs in the Gulf of Mexico now than there were before the Deep Water Horizon accident.
At the date of the explosion there were 115 rigs in the Gulf. This includes all three types of offshore rigs: Jack Ups, Semi-submersibles and Drill Ships. Out of the 115 rigs, 68 were working and 47 were not.
Fast forward to February 3, 2011, there are 125 rigs in the Gulf. Thirty-four are working and 91 are not. What's interesting with the research is we have seen an increase of two drill ships.
At the time of the explosion, there were nine drill ships, eight were working, one was not. Now there are 11 drill ships in the Gulf. Three working, eight are not.
Now mind you the number of rigs not working has increased, but these rig workers are still being employed. Sources tell me companies are confident they will be able to drill in the Gulf in the near future so they still have their employees on the payroll.
I decided to speak with Moody's Analytics Economist Chris Lafakis. Lafakis is no ordinary economist. He specializes in energy and has been following these trends. I asked him to break down what he is seeing both on the oil, natural gas and alternative energy front.
He also gave me his estimate of how many people are really working in off-shore drilling in the US: not more than 12,500.
After congressional testimony yesterday before the House Oversight Committee, we ended the day pretty much where we began it.
John McDermott has a handy wrap up of events in the Financial Times Alphaville .
Here are his summaries of key testimony:
Hedge funds in both the U.S. and abroad are grabbing at investment opportunities in a distressed energy sector.
Analysts had expected the price to fall within a range of $17 to $19 a share, up from the original forecast of $14 to $16 a share.
Investors should not fear the market, BlackRock President Rob Kapito said. Here's what he'd do.