Archive for the ‘Sticker Shock’ Category

Putting a Face on the Economic Crisis

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

The people on the front lines are the first to fall. We’re all stretched this year, but I hope and believe we will do what we can to help those who are hurting the most.

Breaking: House Defeats Bailout Bill

Monday, September 29th, 2008

228-205.

ETA:  The U.S. House of Representatives vote page must be overwhelmed.  I’ve been trying to load it for ten minutes.  According to NPR, only 66 Republicans voted yes, while 94 Democrats voted no.  I’ll update when I can get to the numbers.

UPDATE:  Here’s the roll call vote, just in case you haven’t already seen it.  Turns out 65 Republicans voted yes and 95 Dems voted no.  In a rather amusing twist, commenters at al.com are calling for the ouster of Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-6th District), who voted yes, apparently unaware that he is, once again, running unopposed.

Breaking: Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Bailout

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

UPDATE:  Never mind.  Maybe.  Sounds like work continues tonight after the White House summit with Obama and McCain, whose attempts to shore up his campaign with a high-profile intervention are just a bit too obvious.  As are his efforts to avoid tomorrow night’s debate.  (Oh, and note to the AP: when you publish an update to a previous story, please use a new hyperlink instead of cutting and pasting new text into the old one.  Thanks ever so.)

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I guess this means McCain won’t be able to postpone tomorrow night’s debate till October 2, which would postpone the VP debate till, um, sometime after November 4, if at all possible.

As for the plan:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush’s agreement with Democrats on limiting pay for executives of bailed out financial institutions and giving taxpayers an equity stake in the companies cleared a significant hurdle.

The core of the plan envisions the government buying up sour assets of shaky financial firms in a bid to keep them from going under and to stave off a potentially severe recession.

It was not yet clear how lawmakers had resolved lingering differences over how to phase in the eye-popping cost – a measure demanded by Democrats and some Republicans who want stronger congressional control over the bailout – without spooking markets. A plan to let the government take an ownership stake in troubled companies as part of the rescue, rather than just buying bad debt, also was a topic of intense negotiation.

Wait!  Bush agreed with Democrats?  Maybe Sarah Palin’s pastor is right — the last days are just around the corner.

Oil Prices Spike…

Monday, August 7th, 2006

on news of an Alaskan oilfield shutdown. Oil is up $2 a barrel (so far), and gas is up 10 cents a gallon at the Chevron down the street. And this shutdown is supposed to affect primarily West Coast refineries. Amazing how quickly that market price adjusts…

BP Exploration Alaska Inc. began shutting down 400,000 barrels of daily oil production Sunday at Prudhoe Bay, in Alaska’s North Slope region, due to severe corrosion on a pipeline.

While BP officials haven’t yet estimated how long it will take to get the oil flowing again, market watchers are bracing for several weeks — maybe even months — of blocked production.

About 90 percent of the Alaskan production serves refineries on the West Coast, said Fimat USA analyst John Kilduff, and that region will see the most substantial price increases as refiners will need to import crude oil from the Gulf coast and Asia.

I wonder which oil companies will be involved when new drilling starts in the Gulf of Mexico. With our luck, BP will be right in the middle of it.

In March, a BP transit line in the North Slope spilled 267,000 gallons of oil. It was a month before BP was able to install a bypass on that line to resume operations. BP is currently under criminal investigation for that spill.

“It makes you wonder, if this time the pipeline will be shut down longer than it was in March because inspection will be more stringent,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago.

Traders are worried that a pattern of BP problems could be emerging. Besides the pipeline problems, the company, which is the largest oil producer in the United States, last year had a deadly explosion at its Texas City refinery.

“I’ve been telling people, BP stands for big problems,” Flynn said. “If this were their first or second incident, people could say it’s bad luck … but it seems like there’s a systemic problem from top to bottom.”