Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Oil, Europe and Lawnmowers, Oh, my!

Via another blog - "At this point nothing that happens in Greece is important, although the thing that will most likely happen is that the Greek government will fall imminently, killing the austerity package and destroying whatever credibility the EMU and the EU have left, but notCheck Spelling before the IMF and the EU soak up another 110 billion euro in their slush funds. As we expected, the euro is about to breach 1.31 support. And adding insult to injury is the latest rumor of an upcoming downgrade or very cautious language of Germany by the suddenly hyperactive rating agencies."

This is getting pretty interesting in Europe. On a related subject, I know that we like to snicker at the EU having to bailout the Greeks, but since a big chunk of the bailout is coming from the IMF guess who really is providing the bulk of the bailout? Thank You John Q. Taxpayer!

"It now looks like almost 30% of the Greek financing will come from the IMF, rather than just a small portion. And since 40% of the IMF is funded by US taxpayers, and that debt will be JUNIOR to current bond holders - (if the rumors are true).

What that means is that US (and Canadian and British, etc.) tax payers will be giving money to Greece who will use a lot of it to roll over old bonds, letting European banks and funds reduce their exposure to Greece while tax-payers all over the world who fund the IMF assume that risk."

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Re: The Big Spill - While BP is on the hook for all of the oil clean up costs, they're coverage of economic losses is currently capped at $75 million. I find it funny that two NJ Senators are co-sponsoring a bill to lift this limit retroactively. Are they worried that summer rentals in Seaside Heights will be hurt by the oil BLOB? What about the slick of Hawaiian Tropic left in the ocean by all of the Situation-wannabes?

Also, consider that “John Amos, a geologist who has worked as a consultant with companies such as BP, ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC on tracking and measuring oil spills from satellite data, said NOAA raised its estimates to 5,000 barrels a day after he and his colleagues published calculations that showed the original figures were far too low based on the NOAA data. Amos has also previously participated in a joint industry-NASA study using satellite imagines to detect and track oil slicks.

Mr. Amos said the 5,000 barrels a day is the “extremely low end” of their estimates. He said, based on NOAA maps, a more realistic figure is 20,000 barrels a day….

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PSA - I wouldn't have been aware of this class action settlement without hearing a PSA on the radio the other day so I thought I'd pass along the website - www.lawnmowerclass.com. Basically, the engine manufacturers allegedly overstated the HP on almost every lawnmower sold in recent years (remember we all must lie all of the time). Well, someone figured this out and sued. If you bought a mower - push or rider - in the past 16 years you can file a claim to get between $25 and $75 back from the manufacturers. You need some pretty specific information on the model - like the model # - but it's pretty easy to find on most mowers. You can file a claim online so it's worth 2 minutes of your time if you bought a mower in the past few years.

Cheers!

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