Posts Tagged ‘gulf of mexico’

Good News for a Change? A Newly-Discovered Species of Bacteria May Be Breaking Down Oil in Deepwater Plumes in the Gulf

Good News for a Change? A Newly-Discovered Species of Bacteria May Be Breaking Down Oil in Deepwater Plumes in the Gulf

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

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)

A team of scientists published a paper today in the journal Science which provides some hopeful news.

Specifically, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of oil-eating microbes which thrive in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico:

The biological effects and expected fate of the vast amount of oil in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon blowout are unknown due to the depth and magnitude of this event. Here, we report that the dispersed hydrocarbon plume stimulated deep-sea indigenous {gamma}-proteobacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degraders. Hydrocarbon-degrading genes coincided with the concentration of various oil contaminants. Changes in hydrocarbon composition with distance from the source and incubation experiments with environmental isolates demonstrate faster-than-expected hydrocarbon biodegradation rates at 5°C.

Even better, the scientists believe that this new species (pronounced "gamma-proteo-bacteria") may not suck up as much oxygen as previously-discovered species:

Based on these results, the potential exists for intrinsic bioremediation of the oil plume in the deep-water column without substantial oxygen drawdown.

This discovery is especially important given that a leading expert on oil-eating microbes – Dr. David Valentine – failed to find any of the leading known oil-eating bacteria in the deepwater plumes.

As AP notes:

A newly discovered type of oil-eating microbe is suddenly flourishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

***

Their findings are based on more than 200 samples collected from 17 deepwater sites between May 25 and June 2. They found that the dominant microbe in the oil plume is a new species, closely related to members of Oceanospirillales.

***

[Lead author Dr. Terry Hazen, co-director of the Earth Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories], suggested that the bacteria may have adapted over time due to periodic leaks and natural seeps of oil in the Gulf.

Scientists also had been concerned that oil-eating activity by microbes would consume large amounts of oxygen in the water, creating a "dead zone" dangerous to other life. But the new study found that oxygen saturation outside the oil plume was 67-percent while within the plume it was 59-percent.

Many well-known bacteria – such as Salmonella,
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Florida – Much Worse Problems Than the Oil Spill

Florida – Much Worse Problems Than the Oil Spill

tch2_1201 - Tricolored heron at Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida.

By Doug Hornig, Senior Editor, Casey Research

Media coverage of the oil spill’s effect on the Gulf focusing on tourist income lost by the waterfront towns – with footage of empty beaches, restaurants and T-shirt shops – dominates the news. Interviews with devastated business owners are heart rending. But they always end with references to somehow hanging on until “things get back to normal.”

Trouble is, things are not going to “normalize.” Not for the Panhandle of Florida, and probably not for the rest of the state, either.

Projections suggest that Florida can expect oil all along its west coast, and possibly throughout the Keys and up the east coast as well. Yet even before BP’s well began spewing crude, pressures within the state’s economy were building. It was an explosive situation awaiting a match.

Oily beaches and dying wildlife are likely that match.

Take unemployment. Statewide, it ballooned from 3% in 2006 to a peak of 12.3% in February 2010. Though it’s backed off, it remains in double-digit territory at 11.2%. ”Officially” – though official numbers understate the problem. Illegal immigrants, some 4.5% of Florida’s population, aren’t counted; the long-term unemployed and aging workers are regularly purged, even if they’re still looking for work.

This in a state already confronted with the worst of the coming healthcare/taxation crunch. It has the second oldest population in the nation, and as its citizens retire, their earnings fall off, causing tax revenues to drop. At the same time, healthcare bills rise, stressing social service budgets.

Florida is ground zero for Baby Boomer demographics. With 600 seniors for every 1,000 workers now, and the number trending inexorably higher, soon every employed person in the state will essentially have to adopt one senior to care for out of his or her paycheck.

Housing? Naturally, rising unemployment amplifies the difficulties of maintaining homeownership. With further negative effects from the oil, we can only expect the situation to worsen. A tsunami of defaults and foreclosures – and bank failures – would not be a surprise.

Florida is mortgaged to the hilt. It ranks second only to California in total securitized non-agency mortgage loans, 10% of the national total. Of those, half are 60 days or more…
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Matt Simmons Says Gulf Clean Up Will Cost Over $1 Trillion

Matt Simmons Says Gulf Clean Up Will Cost Over $1 Trillion, Sees BP At $1, Says "We Have Now Killed The GoM"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Matt Simmons shares some startling revelations in his latest Bloomberg TV interview, in which he says none of the propaganda matters on TV 24/7 (photoshopped or not) as the ultimate clean up cost will likely be well over $1 trillion, and a result he is unconcerned about his BP short. He ultimately see the stock going down to $1. What Simmons alleges however is far more startling and audacious: that this is a joint cover up effort between the administration and BP, in which both entities keep throwing sand in the eyes of observers while distracting everyone from the matter at hand: "What we don’t know anything about is the open hole which is caused by the drill bit when it tossed the blow-out preventer way out of the hole…and 120,000/day minimum of toxic poison has now covered the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. So what they’re talking about is the biggest environmental cover-up ever. And they knew that that well, that riser, would finally deplete. And then they could say it’s over."

On blaming the catastrophe on Transocean: "For two days they kept saying it’s a rig fire. When the rig sank they could no longer call it a rig fire. It’s a riser leakBecause if they said the truth they would all go to jail." The conclusion: "Unfortunately, we now have killed the Gulf of Mexico."

On whether the well pressure should be a concern:

“No, it’s a total diversion – that’s the gas condensation that was trapped in the drilling riser which blew off the wellhead at 10:01 PM CT on April 20th, it’s a mile-long compressed natural gas."

"What we don’t know anything about is the open hole which is caused by the drill bit when it tossed the blow-out preventer way out of the hole…and 120,000 minimum of toxic poison has now covered the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. So what they’re talking about is the biggest environmental cover-up ever. And they knew that that well, that riser, would finally deplete. And then they could say it’s over. And unfortunately, we now have killed the Gulf of Mexico.”

“Some 5-10 miles away is what the NOIA research vessels have now proved is a deep…
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What If He’s Right?

What If He’s Right?

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler 

       Just when America was celebrating the provisional end of BP’s Macondo oil blowout, and getting back to important issues like Kim Kardashian’s body-suit collection, along comes Matthew Simmons with a rather strange and alarming outcry on doings in the Gulf of Mexico that contradicts the mood of renewed festivity, as well as just about every shred of reportage from any media outlet, mainstream or otherwise.

     Matt Simmons Houston-based company has been the leading investment bank to the US oil industry for a long time, financing exploration and drilling in places like the Gulf of Mexico. Simmons, 68, recently retired from day-to-day management of the company. For much of the decade he has been what may be described as a peak oil activist. His 2005 book, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, warned the public that Saudi Arabia’s oil production had reached its limits and, more generally, that an oil-dependent world was entering a zone of serious trouble over its primary resource. He took this aggressive stance despite risking the ire of the people he did business with. 

        Matt Simmons is a sober individual and a very nice man (I’ve met him twice over the years), a button-downed corporate executive who’s been around the oil business for forty years. His knowledge is deep and comprehensive.  From the beginning of the BP Macondo blowout incident in April, he’s taken the far out position that the well-bore is fatally compromised and that BP has been consistently lying about their operations to stop the flow of oil. Perhaps most radically, Simmons claims that an oil "gusher" is pouring into the Gulf some distance from the drilling site itself.

       Last week, Simmons came on Dylan Ratigan’s MSNBC financial show, but he did a longer interview over at the King World News website. (click here for ERIC KING’S INTERVIEW WITH SIMMONS). Simmons’s current warning about the situation focuses on the gigantic "lake" of crude oil that is pooling under great pressure 4000 to 5000 feet down in the "basement" of the Gulf’s waters.  More particularly, he is concerned that a tropical storm will bring this oil up – as tropical storms and hurricanes usually do with deeper cold water – and with it clouds of methane gas that…
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Oil Spill, Corexit, Arsenic, Collateral Damage

Here’s an interesting video on the chemicals being used in the Gulf oil spill’s clean-up process that doesn’t seem to have much to do with cleaning up the spill but rather with dispersing the oil making it less easy to detect. Logically, to clean it up, to get the oil out of the water, you wouldn’t think adding chemicals to make the oil dissipate into the water would be particularly useful. – Ilene 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See also: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010), NY Times

Excerpt:  

Dispersants

BP also clashed with the federal government over its use of dispersants, chemicals sprayed on the spill that were meant to break up the oil in the hope that it would settle to the bottom. In a novel approach, BP has been spraying dispersants on the oil as it leaves the well head to reduce the amount that reaches the surface.

The Environmental Protection Agency directed the company to stop using two dispersants from a line of products called Corexit and switch to something less toxic. The oil company defended its use of Corexit and taken issue with the methods the agency used to estimate its toxicity, and continued to spray the chemicals past the E.P.A. deadline.

The E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, said that she had ordered the oil giant to take "immediate steps to scale back the use of dispersants." She said the amount of chemicals applied to control the oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon well – more than 700,000 gallons so far on the gulf’s surface and a mile underwater at the leaking well head – was "approaching a world record." 

Allan also wrote briefly on the subject in his weekend update.  - Ilene 

The Oil Volcano – Update

I’m bringing the first link below forward from a Comment just posted in a prior blog. It contains a You Tube video that address some problems caused by the oil volcano and in particular, collateral damage that might be occurring…
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Catastrophe in the Gulf: How Bad Could It Get?

Catastrophe in the Gulf: How Bad Could It Get?

By Bryan Walsh, courtesy of TIME

 

Peter van Agtmael / Magnum for TIME

When Captain James Peters kicks his three engines into high gear, hold on to your hat — and your body too, if you don’t want to end up overboard in the Mississippi Delta. Ordinarily on a clear June day like this one, Peters would be taking out a pack of eager sport fishermen from his home port in the southeastern Louisiana town of Venice, a community that proudly bills itself as the fishing capital of the world. But since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 — triggering a spill that is bleeding hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico — there hasn’t been a whole lot of fishing in Louisiana. So instead, Peters has been escorting scientists and environmentalists like Maura Wood, the program manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Louisiana coastal program, to see the oil and its effects on the wetlands firsthand.

As the boat roars out of the marshes and into the open water southwest of Venice, Wood and her colleagues pass the oil and gas platforms scattered just beyond the Mississippi Delta, oddly birdlike with their long steel legs and tightly nestled mechanical bodies elevated above the water. It takes a while, but 16 miles (26 km) into the Gulf, Wood finds what she’s looking for: a long band of reddish oil, thick enough to muffle the wake of Peters’ boat. Up close, the petroleum — refracting the punishing Gulf sunlight — looks like a malignant lesion on the skin of the water. Wood puts on a respirator to protect herself from the fumes and drops a hand into the muck. It emerges with brown, sludgy crude clinging to the blue latex of her glove. "You can see how it adheres and what that…
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BP Stands for Bad Petroleum

BP Stands for Bad Petroleum

Courtesy of Robert Reich 

Climate Protesters Demonstrate In London

Saturday the White House warned BP that it expects the oil giant to pay all damages associated with the disastrous oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico, even if the costs exceed the $75 million liability cap under federal law. BP responded Sunday saying its public statements are “absolutely consistent” with the Administration’s request.

When you hear dueling public statements like these, watch your wallets. You can safely assume BP’s lawyers are already at work to ensure that the firm pays not a cent more than $75 million — not to taxpayers bearing cleanup costs, not to consumers whose gas bills will rise, not to businesses along the coasts that will lose a fortune. And BP won’t pay more unless or until there’s a law requiring it to.

BP has been making public statements about its supposed corporate social responsibility for as many years as it’s behaved irresponsibly. It’s the poster child for PR masquerading as CSR.

It was just eight years ago British Petroleum shortened its name to BP and began promoting itself as the environmentally-friendly oil company with a vision that went “Beyond Petroleum” to embrace solar cells and wind power. In a $200 million advertising campaign organized by Olgilvy & Mather, BP transformed its corporate brand insignia from a shield to the more wholesomely natural green, yellow, and white sunburst. BP’s chief executive, Lord John Browne, issued warnings about global warming and said the company had a social responsibility to take action.

Notwithstanding its new image, BP continues to be one of the largest producers of crude oil on the planet. Although it committed itself to devoting $8 billion to alternative fuels over ten years, the sum was tiny compared to BP’s annual profits from oil that have averaged over $20 billion and its annual capital expenditures of over $14 billion.

Nor has the firm distinguished itself by its commitment to the law. Several years before the Gulf oil rig explosion, an explosion at BP’s Texas City plant killed fifteen workers and triggered a $21.3-million fine from safety regulators.

In March 2005, corrosion of BP’s pipes and equipment on the North Slope in Alaska led to a spill of 270,000 gallons of oil, the largest spill ever recorded in that fragile territory. Critics said BP wasn’t spending enough money to prevent such spills. Only in 2006, after…
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The Debt Baguette

The Debt Baguette

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown at Reformed Broker 

Here’s the latest from the trench warfare happening ‘Over There’, by which I mean the Euro Zone…

*Rumors abound today about a forthcoming ratings downgrade of France.  Just rumors, but enough to spook every risk asset in sight.

*The Euro has sunk to 1.24 to the US dollar, meanwhile the dollar sinks against gold.  The only thing not sinking is the oil containment equipment in the Gulf of Mexico.

*People are talking about Euro/Dollar parity.  This is a frightening prospect for US exporters and the stock market is pricing that in as we speak (Dow down almost 200 as of lunchtime).

*Gold is entering that spastic phase where everything even tangentially related to it goes parabolic.  Look at the action in the miners, in the precious metals ETFs and ETNs.  You can smell it.

*I’m no expert on the latest Euro austerity plan, but I know people.  This thing ain’t happening, at least not in its current form.  Drug addicts don’t quit addicitions cold turkey, they need methadone and a church basement in which to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and tell their tales of woe. 

*The Shanghai stock market also isn’t doing anybody any favors, having just this week entered bear market territory (off 20% from the recent high).

*There’s also some talk of Flash Crash II.  Just the fact that people are talking this way tells you that the buyers are in no rush to step in and be heroes at this point.

Be careful out there.  And yes, The Debt Baguette is mine but you can use it. 


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Oil Slickonomics

Oil Slickonomics

(Parts 1 – 3, including update) 

Courtesy of David R. Kotok, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer, Cumberland Advisors

Oil Slickonomics – Part 1 (May 2, 2010)

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

“At its current leak rate of 5,000 barrels of oil per day, the spill could surpass the size of the 1969 Santa Barbara spill by next week. If the leak cannot be contained, it could exceed the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska by mid June.”    Paul Harrison, Environmental Defense Fund

Three scenarios lie ahead.  They rank as bad, worse, and ugliest (the latter being catastrophic and unprecedented).  There is no “good” here.

The Bad. 

Containment chambers are put in place and they catch the outflow from the three ruptures that are currently pouring 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf every day.  If this works, it will take until June to complete.  The chambers are 30-foot-high steel configurations that must be placed on the ocean floor at a depth of one mile.  This has never been done before.  If early containment is successful, the damages from this accident will be in the tens of billions.  The cleanup will take years.  The economic impact will be in the five states that have frontal coastline on the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

The Worse. 

The containment attempts fail and oil spews for months, until a new well can successfully be drilled to a depth of 13000 feet below the 5000-foot-deep ocean floor, and then concrete and mud are injected into the existing ruptured well until it is successfully closed and sealed.  Work on this approach is already commencing.  Timeframe for success is at least three months.  Note the new well will have to come within about 20 feet of the existing point where the original well enters the reservoir at a distance of 3.5 miles from the surface drilling rig.  Damages by this time may be measured in the hundreds of billions.  Cleanup will take many, many years.  Tourism, fishing, all related industries may be fundamentally changed for as much as a generation.  Spread to Mexico and other Gulf geography is possible. 

The Ugliest. 

This spew stoppage takes longer to reach a full closure; the subsequent cleanup may take a decade.  The Gulf becomes a damaged sea for a generation.  The oil slick leaks beyond the western Florida coast, enters…
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There will be blame

So my Comedy Central break last night was about the oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico, and whether anyone’s actually responsible, followed by Jon’s report on the big banks’ winning sprees, and a call for a nut based economy, and then an interview with Ian Bremmer on the derivative market and the end of capitalism. That was refreshing! – Ilene 

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show

There will be blame

As BP comes up with new solutions for the oil spill by scrambling letters, the government tries to figure out how it happened.  

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
There Will Be Blame
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer believes that America has to defend its free market principles to succeed in the world economy. 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Ian Bremmer
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Hoarders 

The big banks make money by taking the bailout money we gave them and lending it back to the government with interest. 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Hoarders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

Full Daily Show episode here.>>

 


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Insider Scoop

Amazon Warehouse Workers Plan Monday Walkout To Protest Lack Of Coronavirus Protection

Courtesy of Benzinga

Amazon.com Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AMZN) workers at the company's Staten Island warehouse are planning a mass walkout on Monday to protest against what they call a lack of protection provided during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

What Happened

Anywhere between 50 to 200 workers are expected to participate in the walkout, Christian Smalls, as assistant manager at the New York...



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Phil's Favorites

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Zero Hedge

"The Scope For Pain Is Immense" - China's Consumer Default Tsunami Has Started

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

One month ago we reported that "China Faces Financial Armageddon With 85% Of Businesses Set To Run Out Of Cash In 3 Months", in which we explained that while China's giant state-owned SOEs will likely have enough of a liquidity lifeblood to last them for 2-3 quarters, it is the country's small businesses that are facing a head on collision with an iceberg, because ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

The world before this coronavirus and after cannot be the same

 

The world before this coronavirus and after cannot be the same

Gettyimages

Courtesy of Ian Goldin, University of Oxford and Robert Muggah, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

With COVID-19 infections now evident in 176 countries, the pandemic is the most significant threat to humanity since the second world war. Then, as now, confidence in international cooperation and institutions plumbed new lows.

While the on...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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The Technical Traders

These Index Charts Will Calm You Down

Courtesy of Technical Traders

I put together this video that will calm you down, because knowing where are within the stock market cycles, and the economy makes all the difference.

This is the worst time to be starting a business that’s for sure. I have talked about this is past videos and events I attended that bear markets are fantastic opportunities if you can retain your capital until late in the bear market cycle. If you can do this, you will find countless opportunities to invest money. From buying businesses, franchises, real estate, equipment, and stocks at a considerable discount that would make today’s prices look ridiculous (which they are).

Take a quick watch of this video because it shows you ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Broadest Of All Stock Indices Testing Critical Support, Says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the broadest indices in the states remains in a long-term bullish trend, where a critical support test is in play.

The chart looks at the Wilshire 5000 on a monthly basis over the past 35-years.

The index has spent the majority of the past three decades inside of rising channel (1). It hit the top of this multi-decade channel to start off the year, where it created a monthly bearish reversal pattern.

Weakness the past 2-months has the index testing rising support and the December 2018 lows at (2).

Joe...



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Chart School

Cycle Trading - Funny when it comes due

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Non believers of cycles become fast believers when the heat of the moment is upon them.

Just has we have birthdays, so does the market, regular cycles of time and price. The market news of the cycle turn may change each time, but the time is regular. Markets are not a random walk.


Success comes from strategy and the execution of a plan.















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ValueWalk

Entrepreneurial activity and business ownership on the rise

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Indicating strong health of entrepreneurship, both entrepreneurial activity and established business ownership in the United States have trended upwards over the past 19 years, according to the 2019/2020 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Global Report, released March 3rd in Miami at the GEM Annual Meeting.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The Benefit Of Entrepreneurial Activity ...

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Promotions

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TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.