Posts Tagged ‘gulf oil spill’

BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

BP’s Crude Oil May Be Radioactive

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

New Orleans attorney Stuart Smith knows something about radiation from oil drilling:

Smith is well known for his role as lead counsel in an oilfield radiation case that resulted in a verdict of $1.056 billion against ExxonMobil for contaminating land it leased from the Grefer family in Harvey, Louisiana –– and attempting to cover it up.

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The court stated that from June 1986 to March 1987, “Exxon officials intentionally withheld information,” and that the company “knew the [radioactive] scale posed a direct danger to the physical health of those workers.” Oilfield waste, or TERM, is primarily composed of radium, a highly radioactive chemical element. Exposure to radium is known to cause a variety of devastating illnesses, including cancer. Radium’s impact on the human body is particularly acute because it is similar chemically to calcium –– and as such is frequently absorbed into bones after entering the body.

But at least there’s no radiation being released from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf, right?

Well, as Smith wrote on August 4th:

This is directly from the EPA website discussing oil drilling activity:

“These processes may leave behind waste containing concentrations of naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM) from the surrounding soils and rocks. Once exposed or concentrated by human activity, this naturally-occurring material becomes Technologically-Enhanced NORM or TENORM. Radioactive materials are not necessarily present in the soils at every well or drilling site. However in some areas of the country, such as the upper Midwest or Gulf Coast states, the soils are more like to contain radioactive material.”

“Radioactive wastes from oil and gas drilling take the form of produced water, drilling mud, sludge, slimes, or evaporation ponds and pits. It can also concentrate in the mineral scales that form in pipes (pipe scale), storage tanks, or other extraction equipment. Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas. The radon is released to the atmosphere, while the produced water and mud containing radium are placed in ponds or pits for evaporation, re-use, or recovery.”

“The people most likely to be exposed to this source of radiation are workers at the site. They may inhale radon gas which is released during drilling and produced by the decay of radium, raising their risk of lung cancer. In addition, they are


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Gulf Coast: Dead Oysters, Dead Jobs, Dead Policy

Gulf Coast: Dead Oysters, Dead Jobs, Dead Policy

dead oysters, gulf oil spillCourtesy of Mish 

Yahoo!Finance reports Federal policy created a Perfect Storm for Louisiana’s Economy.

In the blink of an eye, the economic focus in Louisiana has shifted from recession recovery to avoiding actual and potential job losses piling up at a staggering rate.

And there’s very little that the state can do: The tally is due to the Obama administration decisions affecting petroleum, defense and space — all coming together in a perfect storm.

Last Tuesday, Northrop Grumman Corp., faced with tighter Pentagon spending and Obama administration priorities aimed at Afghanistan and away from the Navy, said it would shut its Avondale shipyard — the state’s largest industrial employer with about 5,000 workers — in early 2013 after two military ships are finished.

Another source of misery is the deepwater petroleum drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. The six-month "pause" that the Obama administration insists on could kill the drilling business off the Louisiana coast for years, industry and government officials warn.

Of the 33 deepwater rigs in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, two found new long-term homes in Egypt and off the coast of Africa within a week — just as the industry promised would happen.

Louisiana State University economist James Richardson said a six-month moratorium could slash 18,000 to 20,000 jobs. With that prediction, consider that the entire state, at the lowest point of the post-2008 economic meltdown, had lost about 49,000 jobs.

The oil spill already has had a well-documented effect on fishing and tourism along the coast. Quantifying a number is difficult — the first state jobs report since the moratorium and the full arrival of the spill is due out July 23 — but state officials already have warned that it won’t be pretty.

Then there’s the end of the space shuttle program. Earlier this month, the last external fuel tank expected to fly rolled out of the Lockheed Martin Corp. operation at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. By the end of September, only about 200 workers will still be around from a payroll of 2,700 in 2008 and 5,000 during the mid-1980s.

The Oysters are Dead

Please consider this video regarding oyster harvesting in the gulf.

Alternative link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Larp-93rWp0

Oysters are bottom feeders and concentrate pollutants. Even if the oysters were not dead,


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Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

Karl Denninger separates fact and fiction in the Gulf Oil Spill story. 

Oil Spew Update: Where’s The Doom?

RACCOON ISLAND, LA - JULY 15: Pelicans are seen atop a piece of a destroyed boat July 15, 2010 at Raccoon Island, Louisiana. Biologists say at least 300 pelicans have been smeared with oil on the island, which is the largest nesting area for seabirds on the coast of Louisiana. BP is testing a new oil cap, and is temporarily allowing oil to leak from a second pipe as part of preparations for closing the valves to see if the cap can withstand the pressure and stop the flow of oil into the gulf. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

I was promised an earth-shattering ka-doom!

Well, not really.

And the spew is not, in fact, funny.

But what’s even less funny is the number of people who have come completely unhinged with their "imminent death of everything and everyone" nonsense.

Let’s go down the list of the some of the better ones:

Everyone who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill is dead (or alternatively, that across the entire population of those who worked on the Valdez spill, the average age of death is 51.)

Really? Can you source that? I’ve been trying. Yeah, I’ve found the claim – 10 seconds with Google finds it. It’s been repeated everywhere. CNN had an alleged "expert" on who made the 51 year life expectancy claim – "almost all who worked on the Exxon Valdez cleanup are now dead."

Can I find an actual documented source for the claim? Nope. And I’ve tried to find it. No luck.

The same interviewee claimed that the components of the dispersent, Corexit, were not disclosed.  This we know to be false; there are two formulations and we know what’s in them.  The nastiest component is called "Butyl Cellusolve", and is indeed a nasty chemical solvent.  The question is concentration; incidentally, you can buy cleaning solutions containing butyl cellusolve at Home Depot, among other places.  I don’t recommend drinking it.

All of these claims appear to be traceable to one so-called self-identified "expert."  If she has actual evidence, such as a roster of all the people who worked on the Exxon Valdez, their ages, and the disposition of their health (and death, as she alleges) then let’s have it.  This sort of extreme claim requires strict proof.  Period.

There is a second well that BP (and/or Diamond Offshore) is hiding that is the real leak that is five (or alternatively seven) miles away; this is a sideshow and they can’t plug either.  The pressures are off the charts, never encountered before.

Really?  Then how come they just did plug the well?  Off the charts?  About two weeks ago there was a pressure gauge on one of the downhole lines, and it read 7,000 psi.  The water at that depth exerts ~2,000 psi.  If this was an absolute gauge (probably true) then the in-bore relative pressure (relative to the sea floor) was…
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Something Broke: Containment Cap Removed From BP Oil Leak After Problems Encountered; Massive Increase In Spill Rate

Something Broke: Containment Cap Removed From BP Oil Leak After Problems Encountered; Massive Increase In Spill Rate

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

This is bad to very bad. Coast guard reports two deaths have occurred in the containment effort. Not all is lost – in what probably shouldn’t pass for an attempt at humor yet achieves precisely that, the US coast guard said the oil flow is not completely unrestrcited, and some oil was being burned off on the surface. Nothing like a little oil rain for the already happy happy gulf region.

Click on image for live view

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com

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Another Blown Crisis Triggers a Classic TBP Post

Another Blown Crisis Triggers a Classic TBP Post

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Take the 5 to 10 minutes necessary to read Barry Ritholtz’s version of how Obama’s Oval Office address should have gone (link below).

ripped the address to shreds an hour after it aired as I found the President uninspiring, incredibly non-specific and completely unaware of how much power comes to the Chief in times of crisis.

This President has a chance to make sweeping energy, regulatory and campaign finance reforms now.  Like, today.  His address the other night tells us that he has no such inclinations.

Barry has a list of initiatives that should have been front and center and it’s an instant classic post.  Many of them are idealistic, but you gotta aim high if you want to save the democracy.

Me, I’m a bit more cynical.  I’d say the downfall of our country can be neatly summed up in the image below and everything it represents…

OK, enough of that.  Here’s how The Big Picture would’ve tackled this crisis and moment in time…

Missed Opportunity: BP Gulf of Mexico Disaster (TBP)


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Oil Drilling Liability Cap Led To The Gulf Spill

Oil Drilling Liability Cap Led To The Gulf Spill

Courtesy of Jeff Harding, The Daily Capitalist 

oil spill

I never ever thought I would agree with Nancy Pelosi on anything, yet here it is:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should consider eliminating any cap on the damages a company such as BP Plc might have to pay for harm caused by oil spills.

“There is a movement afoot in Congress for that. Why have a cap?” Pelosi said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” to air this weekend.

Pelosi had previously voiced support for a proposal under consideration to raise the existing $75 million cap to $10 billion for economic damages caused by each environmental disaster. After being thwarted March 13 in the Senate, backers of that legislation have vowed to renew efforts to win passage.

“You would hope that there would not be more than $10 billion of damage, but understand it is for each episode,” she said. Asked about eliminating the cap altogether, Pelosi said: “I think it’s worthy of looking at.”

I’m not against Big Oil, Little Oil, or anyone in the Oil Patch, but the liability cap is just another example of how industry uses the government to gain market advantages at the expense of someone else. In this case it is the Gulf Coast inhabitants and those that live off of that huge resource.

As I understand the law, BP is responsible to pay 100% of the cost of the clean-up. What the liability cap does is to cap economic damages to $75 million. What that means is if anyone suffers a loss of income or property as a result of a spill, BP is only obligated to pay $75 million even though the losses may be in the billions. That is not right.

Businesses seeking advantages from legislators is not news. While lobbying is often a proper and necessary response of business to legislation that would be harmful to them, it is a two-edged sword when they try to gain economic or competitive advantage. Our history is full of examples, most recently, tire import tariffs. While it is right to condemn business for this we should blame legislators who have the primary duty to act…
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Simmons Says Obama Should Detonate Nukes to Seal Oil Leak; Obama Suspends Deep Water Drilling Programs; Scientists Locate Another Vast Oil Plume

Simmons Says Obama Should Detonate Nukes to Seal Oil Leak; Obama Suspends Deep Water Drilling Programs; Scientists Locate Another Vast Oil Plume

Courtesy of Mish

BP uses Top Kill method to try to stop oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

News in the gulf regarding BP’s oil leak is grim. The "Top Kill" plan has reportedly failed although BP says it will continue efforts.

Worse yet, Matt Simmons says "Top Kill" is a sideshow, misses the big problem, and we might need nukes to seal the leak.

Let’s take a look at those stories starting with BP Engineers Making Little Headway on Leaking Well.

BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oil well a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming the flow.

Amid mixed messages about problems and progress, the effort — called a “top kill” — continued for a third day, with engineers describing a painstaking process of trying to plug the hole, using different weights of mud and sizes of debris like golf balls and tires, and then watching and waiting. They cannot use brute force because they risk making the leak worse if they damage the pipes leading down to the well.

Despite an apparent lack of progress, officials said they would continue with the process for another 48 hours, into Sunday, before giving up and considering other options, including another containment dome to try to capture the oil.

Deep Water Drilling Grinds to Halt

Bloomberg reports Oil Industry Faces Its ‘1,000-Year Flood’ as Drilling Is Halted

“The spill is like the 1,000-year flood: it’s the worst- case scenario,” said Brian Youngberg, an analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “It’s hard to prepare for those extreme situations like that.”

Obama dropped plans to open waters off the coast of Virginia to drilling, canceled a lease sale in the Gulf, and suspended the permitting process for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s planned wells off of Arctic Alaska. He said new safety rules will be imposed on offshore drilling.

U.S. oil output may be cut by 160,000 barrels a day next year as a result of the ban, according to Deutsche Bank AG. A one-year delay to deep-water projects would reduce global supplies by 500,000 barrels a day between 2013 and 2017, Sanford C. Bernstein said.

Shell has five wells affected by Obama’s call to halt drilling at 33 exploratory locations. Eni SpA, based in Rome, and


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BP Pressured Worker, 30-Year Old Playbook Response

BP Pressured Rig Worker to Hurry Before Disaster, Father Says

Oiled Guillimot after Empress oil spill,West Wales

By Joe Carroll and Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg

May 28 (Bloomberg) — The highest-ranking crew member to perish aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig warned his family that BP Plc was pressuring him to sacrifice safety for the sake of time and money, his father said.

Jason Anderson, one of 11 rig workers presumed dead after an April 20 explosion and fire sank the Deepwater Horizon and triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history, told relatives in February and March that BP was urging him to accelerate work on the Macondo well off the Louisiana coast, said his father, Billy Anderson.

On previous wells drilled with the same rig, Jason Anderson, a 35-year-old employee of vessel owner Transocean Ltd., had been able to convince BP representatives to eschew shortcuts that he believed would compromise safety, his father said. But in the eight weeks preceding the disaster, BP stepped up the pressure and overruled safety objections, Billy Anderson, 66, said.

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BP Using 30 Year-Old Playbook in Responding to Oil Spill? 

Washington’s Blog

Preface for my conservative readers: Yes, I know … Maddow is very liberal. But her claims are either true or they are not true. Let’s focus on her claims. If anyone can refute them, let me know, and I’ll post a retraction.

Rachel Maddow claims that a top kill type maneuver – pumping in cement and saltwater – was tried during the giant 1979 Ixtoc oil spill, but didn’t work.

Maddow also says:

  • The precursor to the same company operating the Deepwater Horizon drilling well – Transocean – operated the Ixtoc rig
  • The cause of both oil spills was the same: a malfunctioning blowout preventer
  • The location of the spill was the same: the Gulf
  • The sizes of both spills were massive
  • A "top hat" operation was attempted unsuccessfully. During the Ixtoc spill, it was named


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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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Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Shrimp boats sit idle, as all activities were called off due to inclement weather conditions in Venice, Louisiana

The big story of national interest this weekend was the worsening ecological sitch in the Gulf, specifically as it pertains to the seafood industry. The waters may be unsafe for shrimping for longer than what we had initially thought, and people are apparently searching high and low for a way to play this crisis financially.

Ain’t that America?

Anyway, I had accidentally predicted this development last Friday with my post Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill.  It was a sardonic yet prescient piece of writing in which I quoted a fictional spike in the ‘Shellfish Index’ and mentioned the trading activity on the ‘New York PrawnEx’.

Well, a glance at my blog’s backend statistic page tells an interesting tale this morning – the search engines are being flooded with speculators and investors looking to play the potential scarcity crisis in gulf shrimp.  Viewers are being directed to my site when placing the following queries in the Google search box:

  • "Shrimp Futures"
  • "How can I buy shrimp futures"
  • "Trading shrimp"
  • "Gulf shrimp crisis plays"

will lament the fact that I have no way to express the shrimp trade for my own benefit. Shorting Darden ($DRI), the owner of Red Lobster, had crossed my mind, but I think most of their shellfish is frozen, farmed or fake anyway.

Holler at me if you have any interesting plays, I’m looking around but have come up with nothing so far…

Meanwhile, having a website that’s search engine optimized and relevant for the term "Shrimp Futures" is my crowning achievement as a blogger.

Read Also:

Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill (TRB)


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Zero Hedge

Amazon Sells $10 Billion In Bonds At Record Low Yields

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Yesterday morning we reported that the news of Amazon's massive, 6-part bond issuance - which came just as Morgan Stanley upgraded the company's price target to $2,800 - was enough to push Treasury yields to session high following a flurry of rate locks. Little did we know that just a few hours later demand for the offering would overflow dealer books, and the result as announced late on Monday, was the sale of $10 billion in a more than 3x-oversubscribed offering (led by DB, GS, HSBC, JPM) that included three-year notes carrying an interest rate of just 0.4%.

This means that just days af...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Aussie Dollar Suggesting Much Higher Commodities And Yields On The Way???

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is the Aussie Dollar about to jump higher and signal that Commodities and interest rates are about to do the same? Possible!

This chart looks at the Aussie Dollar on a monthly basis over the past 16-years.

The AU$ created a bottoming pattern over several months in late 2008/early 2009 at (1). While creating the bottom, a couple of monthly bullish reversal patterns formed. What did commodities and yields do following the bottoming process in the AU$? Both were creating bottoms as well!

The 9-year decline in the AU$ has it testing triple support a...



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The Technical Traders

Comparing Bitcoin and Ether During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Courtesy of Technical Traders

You don’t need a crystal ball — or an economics degree — to notice the pandemic is having a historic impact on the stock market and commodities.

Gold initially went down (like all assets) in the mid-March meltdown, but is up 14% YTD. Oil bid negative, for the first time ever, as May futures traders dumped contracts to avoid taking delivery amid a lack of storage. It has since rebounded partially due to production cuts and the lifting of lockdowns. Orange juice is up over 26% YTD on adverse weather than impacted Brazil’s crop and increased consumer demand.

The most surpris...



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Phil's Favorites

Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizens

 

Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizens

Police work to keep demonstrators back during a protest in Lafayette Square Park on May 30, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jill McCorkel, Villanova University

As protests against police violence and racism continue in cities throughout the U.S., the public is learning that several of the officer...



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ValueWalk

Strategy Chain Interviews ValueWalk CEO And Founder Jacob Wolinsky

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Thank you to Michael Robertson of The Strategy Chain podcast for interviewing me. See below for the episode timestamps and the full audio. TX – Jacob Wolinsky

Jacob Wolinsky worked in investing and financial journalism before founding ValueWalk, a site that curates information about investing, hedge funds, asset management, and the broader world of finance. We explore Jacob’s journey as an investor and an entrepreneur. This episode was a real treat for me because our guest was (and continues to be) instrumental to my growth as a value investor. Jacob gave us a ton ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections - an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

 

Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections – an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

Antibodies (pink) attacking a virus particle (blue). STEVEN MCDOWELL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Courtesy of Dimiter Stanchev Dimitrov, University of Pittsburgh

Antibodies are part of us – literally.

We have billions of them in our bodies with a combined weight of about 100 grams, or about the weight of a bar of soap. If there are so many antibodies inside our b...



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Chart School

Silver volume says something is near boiling point

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Fundamentals are important, but they must show up in the chart. And when they do and if they may matter, it is a good sign if price and volume waves show a change of character.

The Point and Figure chart below is readtheticker.com version of PnF chart format, it is designed to highlight price and volume waves clearly (notice the Volume Hills chart).

Silver ETF volume is screaming at us! The price volatility along with volume tells us those who have not cared, are starting to, those who are wrong are adjusting, and those who are correct are loading up. Soon the kettle will blow and the price of silver will be over $20. 

Normally silver suffers in a recession, maybe this time with trillions of paper money being creat...

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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

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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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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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