Third World Thursday – 4M People Without Power In Florida


Ian power outages: More than 50,000 SW FL residents without powerMore people haven’t got power in Florida than Puerto Rico.

Florida Power & Light warned residents that the company expects a major overhaul will be needed to turn the lights back on after Ian.  “Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic winds will mean parts of our system will need to be rebuilt – not restored. Be prepared for widespread, extended outages as we are assessing the damage,” the company said.  The storm has already caused upwards of $20Bn worth of damage to the state’s $1.2Tn economy (2%).  

Evaporation intensifies as temperatures rise, and so does the transfer of heat from the oceans to the air. As the storms travel across warm oceans, they pull in more water vapor and heat.  That means stronger wind, heavier rainfall and more flooding when the storms hit land.  The average global sea level has already risen by half a foot since 1900 — nearly four of those inches since 1970 — as countries have developed and populations have grown. Higher sea level can push more water inland during hurricane-related storm surges.

Hurricanes are three times more frequent than 100 years ago, and that the proportion of major hurricanes (Category 3 or above) in the Atlantic Ocean has doubled since 1980.  The hurricanes are also moving slower because the winds that push the hurricanes are less effective in warmer weather and the slower hurricanes cause a lot more water damage with 2 feet of rain predicted for Central Florida.  

Climate Change Denier Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStockThis is all part of that Climate Change thing we refuse to fix so now, instead, we are paying for the damage it causes instead.  Except that fixing it, while also costing money, would have the benefit of mitigating the damage and saving us money down the road.  Of course Americans have never been much for planning and saving, have they?  

In yesterday’s Webinar, we discussed the hurricane in relation to being cautious about insurance companies who have exposure to such things as the old assumptions about flooding and wind damage are far too mild for the new categories of storms we are brewing up these days.  

The hurricane scale only goes up to category 5 and those have been only 7% of the 250 hurricanes measured by satellites since 1983 (40 years).  Yet Hurricane Dorian in 2019 had winds of 185 mph and gusts up to 220 miles per hour and that would have been a catagory 6 – if we had such a measurement.  Category 5 is 157 mph and most homes and buildings in hurricane zones are made to stand gusts of 185 mph but a sustained storm at that level could topple cities – and conditions are now primed for such an event and getting worse and worse every year.  

Bahamas alone suffered $7Bn in damage from Dorian – over 50% of their $12Bn total GDP.  Had that storm hit Miami – it would have done hundreds of Billions of Dollars in damage and killed many thousands of people.  The damage at that level is like a tornado, but on a much wider scale:

Hurricane Dorian Was Worthy of a Category 6 Rating

How good is your home insurance?  This might be a good time to check those policies but what happens to the insurance companies when damage like this in a major US cities drains their reserves?  Almost certainly a Democratic Administration and Congress would put the people first and bail them out but what about the GOP?  It’s a coin-flip at best.  

Ironically, Florida’s ultra-right Governor DeSantis is benefitting from aid from Joe Biden and 35 states who are sending in relief aid.  I think it would be funny if they sent all-migrant teams of aid workers who stay in Florida when the work is done…

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Good Morning.

Hi Phil do you actually find any goooood news? 😁 

Hi Phil, do you think that the current bond market crisis will also spread to US and if so how it will affect risk assets. i keep thinking of the 2008 crisis. once confidence is lost, things go downhill quite fast. would value your opinion.

i meant the bond market crisis in UK

hi phil

kool video it would be nice to be young again.

Morning. Phil, you live in Florida. How are you faring?

Phil – TWO. any guidance going forward. I’m down 50% on my position and thinking of adding more. What’s your thoughts?


The dividend is more like 19.5% ($0.68/year), they are also doing a 4:1 reverse split on November 1 so the in the money puts could be a bit problematic.

Happy World Heat Day! Watch those tickers as the ticker tape prints bad news. Stay well.

Migrants – Maybe desantis should send that plane back to Martha’s to pick up those folks he left there…

He’s gonna need them! 🙂

My opinion of our governor, Gavin, has gone up exponentially since he started trolling desantis and abbott in Texas…

BRK is buying their shares. we talked about this the other day

Wow T is $0.43 away from 2003 lows! Damn, you’d think the asteroid NASA crashed into is now headed towards earth. I smell a huge oversold rally brewing soon

There’s already homeowner insurance crisis in Florida, that the government seems to be ignoring:

I did see Desantis thank the Biden Administration during one of his hurricane briefings

You know, this would be a really interesting time to be an actuary, especially in housing risk calculation. It’s like weather forecasting these days. The models are very solid because they’re based on decades and decades of data, BUT……..things have changed, and the models are no longer valid/accurate, so as an actuary, you could be on the cutting edge of bringing the data that models the climate change into those historic models.
I can’t think of how this would work for investors, but there’s likely something there.
Same deal for global health. The covid pandemic. And we have Asian Tiger mosquitoes here in Altadena. Southern California has never had (in current memory) a mosquito problem like this. Those suckers are aedes genus, so capable of spreading all sorts of bad viruses.

Phil / Hedging

SQQQ 2024 30 / 80 – Now 30 is 34.40 and 80 is 21.55 – fully balanced.

TZA 2024 40 / 60 – I sold some 40 leaving short 60 calls uncovered.

Do you suggest any adjustments to make?