Posts Tagged ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Oil Spill: Commission Finds That Companies Knew of Cement Flaws in the Macondo Well

Oil Spill: Commission Finds That Companies Knew of Cement Flaws in the Macondo Well [UPDATE]

By BRYAN WALSH, courtesy of TIME 

DULARGE, LA - AUGUST 16: Daniel May runs his small shrimping skiff through a bayou on August 16, 2010 near DuLarge, Louisiana. Today marks the beginning of the shrimping season for white shrimp in Louisiana, the first since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

[Update: Looking again over the letter from the commission's investigator, Fred Bartlit, it's not obvious how clear Halliburton's one warning to BP on the cement test were. From the letter:

Halliburton provided data from one of the two February tests to BP in an email dated March 8, 2010. The data appeared in a technical report along with other information. There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it. There is no indication that Halliburton provided the data from the other February test to BP.

If Halliburton really failed to highlight the problems with the cement test to BP, and simply buried the data in a vast technical report, that would seem to shift more of the blame to Halliburton—although at the end of the day, it is still BP's well. And as Bartlit notes at the end of his letter, since there's always a risk that cement jobs can be faulty, there are tests that can be done to doublecheck the quality—and BP and Transocean, the company actually operating the Deepwater Horizon, did not seem to perform these tests. More info will be forthcoming as the companies respond, but right now it's not looking good for Halliburton—the company's share prices are already down by 8%.]

Original post: In the first official finding of responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe—the worst oil spill in U.S. history—the presidential commission investigating the accident found that both Halliburton and BP knew before the explosion on April 20 that the cement mixture that was meant to seal the Macondo well was unstable. Despite that fact, they still went ahead with the work, setting the stage for the accident. The staff found that Halliburton—in charge of cementing the Macondo well—had conducted four laboratory tests that indicated the cement mixture standards wasn’t up to industry standards. The results of at least one of those tests was given to BP on March 8, yet BP failed to act on it. Another Halliburton cement test was carried out about a week before the Deepwater Horizon blowout—and the test also found the cement was unstable—yet the results were never sent to BP.

All of this new information comes…
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The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster 

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

GRAND ISLE, LA - AUGUST 10: A family plays in the shallows near oil booms August 10, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. According to a statement issued by BP, efforts to complete the relief well will cease temporarily due to a U.S. National Weather Service prediction that there is a 60 percent chance of a tropical cyclone forming in the Gulf in the next 24 hours. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As I mentioned last Monday night in my Outside the Box, I did not make it to Turks and Caicos, but did end up in Baton Rouge for a special seminar on the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. I have both good news (or maybe more like less-bad news) and bad news. Today’s letter is a report on what I learned.

The conference was sponsored by the Global Interdependence Center (GIC - http://www.interdependence.org/). David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors organized the event with help from people from Louisiana State University. The quality of the speakers was outstanding. They were extremely knowledgeable and well-connected. The meeting was conducted under the Chatham House Rule, which means all the speakers spoke off the record, unless they indicated otherwise. This allows for a more frank discussion. So, much of what you will read from me is my impressions of what I heard, which I cannot attribute to specific speakers. Indeed, some would be at some occupational risk if I did so.

Some of what I write today will be controversial to some readers. That is a risk I will take, as the large majority will find this interesting, or at least I hope so.

From Unmitigated Disaster to Merely Disaster

First, let’s begin with the "good" news. The ecological destruction that was first feared is not going to be as bad as once thought, for a variety of reasons. It is not good, but it is not the unmitigated disaster it could have been.

COCODRIE, LA - JUNE 24: Grass and a boom that are soaked in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead are seen in the wetlands on June 24, 2010 in Cocodrie, Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20 leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Of Mexico. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Edward Overton, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, LSU, is an expert on oil spills. He was at the Exxon Valdez. The Exxon Valdez (EV) was a big, black, thick tide of oil. The Deepwater Horizon is a much bigger spill: every ten days the amount of the EV spill spewed into the Gulf, from April 20 to July 15. Professor Overton spoke mostly for the record. He is very much a concerned environmentalist, and he is also a very serious scientist.

He reminded us that the Louisiana wetlands are a very important part of the ecological system of the Gulf of Mexico. Oversimplifying, they are the nutrient source for the small animal world which feeds the larger. Without the…
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BP Looming Disaster

BP Looming Disaster

Courtesy of Allan 

Let’s start with the Daily Trend Model, but it gets worse according to the article appearing after the chart.

I lifted the following piece off of a trader’s forum this weekend and although I don’t know enough to comment on the veracity of the content, its scary enough to pass along, just in case it’s true.

Lindsey Williams is out with a new interview, over at Alex Jones. He’s claiming the following info about the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak. He claims the information came from an oil industry executive whom he knew in Alaska when he lived with these people, and worked with them.

http://www.infowars.com/lindsey-williams-talks-with-alex-jones-about-deadly-gases-leaking-from-bp-spill/

I don’t do a lot of Alex Jones. This information is unconfirmed, so we’ll have to see.

Here’s some of the information in summary form.

1) This is not a conspiracy, it’s an accident, and a disaster.

2) The oil is abiotic oil, from deep within the earth. It is not the fossilized remains of long dead life. This oil is produced within the earth, and the earth is full of it. The Russians discovered abiotic oil, and are now the number 1 exporters of oil in the world; but they had the good sense to drill for the stuff on land. Lindsey says the text books on how oil is formed will have to be rewritten. He stated there is no such thing as Peak Oil.

3) The oil is gushing from the well at pressures between 20,000 and 70,000 pounds per square inch. Lindsey indicates the wells in Prudhoe Bay, AK, came in at about 1,500 pounds of pressure. He says 50,000 pounds of pressure is beyond our technical ability to contain. I think this means that it would have blown the safety valve, even if it had not been defective. Lindsey indicated that the oil is gushing out at the rate of about 4 million gallons per day, but that the gent speaking knew he’d be quoted, and Lindsey suggested that you could put the actual figure much higher.

4) There is no hope of stopping the spill short of a nuclear weapon. It will take months to put this device (bomb) in place, as there will have to be an angle well drilled, and the bomb placed in it. I think this


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Which Horizon?

Which Horizon?

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler 

UK, England, Tyne and Wear, Whitley Bay, St Mary's Lighthouse, dusk

     Did the nation heave a sigh of relief when BP announced that their latest gambit to "cap" the Deepwater Horizon gusher will result in hosing up fifty percent of the leaking oil? If so, the nation may be sighing too soon since the other half of the oil will still collect in underwater plumes and hover all around the Gulf Coast like those baleful mother ships in the most recent generation of alien invasion movies. I shudder to imagine the tonnage of dead wildlife flotsam that will wash up with the tide for years to come. It will seem like a "necklace of death" for several states, though even that may not be enough to distract them from the more gratifying raptures of Nascar and NFL football. 

     For the moment we can only speculate on what the still-unresolved incident will mean for America’s oil supply. The zeal to prosecute BP for something like criminal negligence has bestirred a Department of Justice comatose during the rape-and-pillage of the US financial system. BP may be driven out of business, but then what? The net effect of the oil spill, one way or another, will be the gradual shut-down of oil drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. New government supervision will make operations very costly, if not non-viable, and the surviving companies will probably pack up for the west coast of Africa where supervision is almost non-existent.  Anyway you cut it, the US will produce less oil and import more — and have to rely on the political stability of places like Angola and Nigeria, not to mention the simmering Middle East.

     So far, also, the US has done nothing in the way of holding a serious national political discussion about the the most important part of the story: our pathological dependency on cars. I don’t know if this will ever happen, even right up to the moment when the lines form at the filling stations. For years, anyway, the few public figures such as Boone Pickens who give the appearance of concern about our oil problem, end up down the rabbit hole of denial when they get behind schemes to run the whole US car-and-truck fleet on something besides gasoline.

     This unfortunate techno-narcissism shows that almost nobody wants to think about living…
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Who Will Profit from the Oil Spill

Who Will Profit from the Oil Spill

Political And Economic Leaders Attend National Clean Energy Summit

By Charles S. Brant, Energy Correspondent, courtesy of Casey’s Energy Opportunities

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may be the best thing that’s ever happened to green energy producers in the U.S – but the one that benefits the most will probably surprise you.     

As the damaged Deepwater Horizon well continues to pump out 5,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf, all the major stakeholders are scrambling to find a way to contain the damage. Investors in BP, Anadarko, Transocean, and Halliburton have had a rough few weeks and should be nervous about the future. The growing political firestorm that’s accompanied this ecological disaster is drastically reshaping the energy landscape in the U.S. There’s huge money to be made from the biggest structural change to the energy markets in the past 50 years, if you know where to look.    

The political and economic fallout from this accident is starting to take shape, with the executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton being paraded in front of Congress for a public chastising. Predictably, politicians are making stern promises of tighter regulations in the future. 

At this point, it’s a guessing game as to what the new permanent regulations will be. So far, a temporary moratorium has been put in place on the issuance of new offshore oil and gas drilling permits. In addition, the Department of the Interior plans to restructure the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) to eliminate the conflict of interest inherent in its role of monitoring safety, managing offshore leasing, and collecting royalty income.

Activists protest off shore oil drilling near White House

The Department of the Interior has plans to make offshore drilling rig inspections much stricter. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has also promised tighter environmental…
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BP Robots to Cut Damaged Pipe; Oil Dispersant Maker Says ‘We Have Nothing to Hide’; Oil Déjà Vu

BP Robots to Cut Damaged Pipe; Oil Dispersant Maker Says ‘We Have Nothing to Hide’; Oil Déjà Vu

Courtesy of Mish

Oiled Guillimot after Empress oil spill,West Wales

With Top Kill officially dead, BP has moved on to an option involving underwater robots to cut the pipe, followed by another funneling scheme.

Please consider BP’s Robots to Begin Next Attempt to Curb Record Oil Spill

BP Plc will use undersea robots to begin cutting damaged pipe from its leaking oil well off Louisiana as early as today, risking temporarily increasing the flow as it makes another attempt to end the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

“BP and the government have no choice but to proceed,” Jason Kenney, an Edinburgh-based analyst for ING Commercial Banking, who rates the shares a “buy” and owns none, said yesterday in an interview. “This is war. As in all wars, it rarely goes smooth.”

Using remote-controlled vehicles at the mile-deep well, BP plans to shear away most of the damaged pipe that once rose from the well to the Deepwater Horizon. Then it will make a more precise cut with a diamond-toothed band saw, BP Managing Director Robert Dudley said in television interviews yesterday.

That will make a clean junction for a gasket-lined cap intended to catch most of the oil and route it to the surface through a pipe, Dudley said.

The new funnel may enable BP to capture as much as 90 percent of the oil and gas escaping from the well, Dudley said on “Face the Nation.” BP is also preparing a second blowout preventer that may be bolted on in place of the cap and used to try again to stop all leakage, he said.

The spill may cost BP $22 billion should it continue through early August, when the company expects to plug the leak with one of the relief wells, Kenney, the ING analyst, said yesterday. That compared with his estimate of $5.3 billion had the latest attempt to plug the well worked.

BP fell 5 percent to 494.8 pence in London trading on May 28 and has lost 25 percent of its market value since the blast.

Well Could Leak Until August 

An aide to Obama says US Spill could last until August.

Oil could gush into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP BP.L. rig until August and the U.S. government is "preparing for


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Prominent Oil Industry Insider: “There’s Another Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away”

Prominent Oil Industry Insider: "There’s Another Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away"

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

Matt Simmons was an energy adviser to George W. Bush, is an adviser to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, and is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Simmon is chairman and CEO of Simmons & Company International, an investment bank catering to oil companies.

Simmons told Dylan Ratigan that "there’s another leak, much bigger, 5 to 6 miles away" from the leaking riser and blowout preventer shown on the underwater cameras:

I have no idea whether or not Simmons is right. The government should immediately either debunk or admit his claim.

If accurate, the bigger leak could have been caused by the destruction of the well casing when the oil rig exploded. That is Simmons’ theory.

Or it could be caused by a natural oil seep, although the odds of a seep of that size occurring right around the time of the Deep Horizon disaster is nearly zero.

There is another possibility.

It is well-known that there were previous accidents at the Deepwater Horizon rig. For example, as AP notes:

From 2000 to 2010, the Coast Guard issued six enforcement warnings and handed down one civil penalty and a notice of violation to Deepwater Horizon, agency records show.

On 18 different occasions during that period the Coast Guard cited the vessel for an "acknowledged pollution source."

It is therefore possible that there has been another ongoing leak which BP has tried to cover up.


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BP Admits Crucial Mistake; Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion; Top Kill Underway

BP Admits Crucial Mistake; Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion; Top Kill Underway; Workers Getting Sick; More Videos

Courtesy of Mish 

Oil floats on the surface in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana

In what is absolutely guaranteed to spawn more lawsuits BP Cites Crucial ‘Mistake’

Oil giant BP PLC told congressional investigators that a decision to continue work on an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico after a test warned that something was wrong may have been a "fundamental mistake," according to a memo released by two lawmakers Tuesday.

The document describes a wide array of mistakes in the fateful final hours aboard the Deepwater Horizon—but the main revelation is that BP now says there was a clear warning sign of a "very large abnormality" in the well, but work proceeded anyway.

The rig exploded about two hours later.

According to the memo, BP identified several other mistakes aboard the rig, including possible contamination of the cement meant to seal off the well from volatile natural gas and the apparent failure to monitor the well closely for signs that gas was leaking in, the congressmen wrote in their post-meeting memo. An immense column of natural gas, erupting from the oil well, fueled the fireball that destroyed the rig.

A Transocean spokesman said in response to the memo: "A well is constructed and completed the same way a house is built—at the direction of the owner and the architect. And in this case, that’s BP."

The memo sheds new light on a key test performed hours before the explosion that has been a focus of congressional investigations. BP previously told investigators that a "negative pressure" test, which checks for leaks in the well, was inconclusive at best and "not satisfactory" at worst.

But in the meeting Tuesday, BP went further, saying the results were an "indicator of a very large abnormality" but that workers—unnamed in the memo—decided by 7:55 p.m. that the test was successful after all. That may have been a "fundamental mistake," BP’s investigator said in the meeting, according to the memo.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

Transocean argued with BP before blast

Transocean is attempting to absolve itself from legal blame, perhaps rightfully so.

Tonight we see Big Spat on Rig Preceded Explosion 

Douglas H. Brown, Transocean’s chief mechanic on the Deepwater Horizon rig, said key representatives from both companies had a "skirmish" during an 11 a.m. meeting on April 20. Less


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BP Could Have EASILY Contained the Gulf Oil Spill AND the Exxon Valdez Spill … But They Were Too Cheap to Do It

BP Could Have EASILY Contained the Gulf Oil Spill AND the Exxon Valdez Spill … But They Were Too Cheap to Do It

Gulf Oil Spill Begins To Reach Land As BP Struggles To Contain Leak

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog 

In a new expose, award-winning investigative reporter Greg Palast shows that BP was largely responsible for the Exxon Valdez spill:

In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum (BP).

***

Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.

***

What’s so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.

That’s because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.

To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a "boom." Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.

But there’s one thing about the rubber skirts: you’ve got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is


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Phil's Favorites

The Fed Has Created the Big Lie for Congress on its Repo Loans while the New York Fed Blocks Freedom of Information Requests

Courtesy of Pam Martens

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 14, 2019 ~

Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. Only one Congressman, Kenny Marchant (R-TX), had the courage to ask Powell about the Fed’s intervention in the repo loan market beginning on September 17. Since that time the Fed has been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars each week (...



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Zero Hedge

"I'll Die For Hong Kong": Students Transform Campuses Into Armories As Protests Rage For 4th Straight Day

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The situation in Hong Kong went from bad to worse on Thursday, as the unprecedented weekday protests - a violation of the tacit agreement between the pro-democracy movement and the business community not to disrupt weekday commerce -continued for a fourth day on Thursday.

After a squad of HK police officers earlier this week raided the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but purportedly found nothing, protesters accused them of unjustly harassing students, many of whom are simply trying to get through the semes...



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The Technical Traders

Great Cycles Article PG 9 in TradersWorld Mag - Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

  1. How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader
  2. Geodetics and the Affairs of Men – USA, and China
  3. Cosmological Economics
  4. Time Machine
  5. Trading Means Pr...


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Digital Currencies

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

 

Is Bitcoin a Macro Asset?

Courtesy of 

As part of Coindesk’s popup podcast series centered around today’s Invest conference, I answered a few questions for Nolan Bauerly about Bitcoin from a wealth management perspective. I decided in December of 2017 that investing directly into crypto currencies was unnecessary and not a good use of a portfolio’s allocation slots. I remain in this posture today but I am openminded about how this may change in the future.

You can listen to this short exchange below:

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Testing This Support For The First Time In 8-Years!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Its been a good while since Silver bulls could say that it is testing support. Well, this week that can be said! Will this support test hold? Silver Bulls sure hope so!

This chart looks at Silver Futures over the past 10-years. Silver has spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of the pink shaded falling channel, as it has created lower highs and lower lows.

Silver broke above the top of this falling channel around 90-days ago at (1). It quickly rallied over 15%, before creating a large bearish reversal pattern, around 5-weeks after the bre...



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Insider Scoop

Analysts Upbeat On Skyworks' Fundamentals

Courtesy of Benzinga

Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: SWKS) reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenues, but the stock is slipping in reaction to the year-over-year declines in both metrics.

The Analysts

Bank of America analyst Vivek Arya reiterated an Underperform rating and $92 price target for Skyworks shares. (See his track record ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

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Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

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