December 31, 2001
Well, we have finally reached the end of the year. Another one bit the dust. A lot of people are probably grateful that we get to start over. Stock prices have gone down this year, but were coming back at the end of the year. As all Chicago Cubs fans know well: WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!! There is always hope that it can only get better. If you have been listening to the business talking heads to learn “what is to be”, you will know that next year will be a boom year for the stock markets. After all, a down turn only lasts 16 months on the average, and of course this must be an average down turn. Let us look at some of the realities of what has occurred:
1. Business has taken on an additional $800 billion in debt in 2001.
2. Personal savings rate is at an all time low. Since house prices continue to go up, and interest rates are going down, it has been easy to refinance homes, and take on additional debt. This allows us to buy what we want—NOW!
3. The dollar is STRONG, and getting stronger. This is a good thing if you listen to CNBC. Inflation is dead, and even if prices start to rise here in the USA, we can always buy from Japan and Europe, as the exchange rate will make their goods less expensive. Inflation cannot occur. Do you remember the definition of inflation. It is an increase in money supply. Money supply has increased almost 20 per cent this year. I would advise keeping an eye on the exchange rate. If the dollar starts to weaken, inflation may come at us rapidly. Alan Greenspan lowered rates once, and we saw tremoundous inflation in the markets. He slammed on the breaks, and the irrational exuberance left us. Now he is back trying to bring it back. Maybe we can be like Japan with almost 0 percent interest rates, and an economy that is not growing.
4. 911 occurred. This alone set a lot of the travel industry back on their keester. Of course the government is bailing them out. The government can print all the money they need. Oh, I forgot that us citizens may have to pay them back. Maybe we can leave that for our children to do. Just leave us alone.
5. Argentina has gone bankrupt. Of course we have to throw Enron in with them. I am sure glad that the government has enough money to take care of all of this.
6. How could I leave out Anthrax. We should all be really glad that the Senate office building is not in Texas. They never would get rid of the trace amounts of Anthrax. After all, it is all over the state of Texas. Maybe it is George Bush that is tracking it in when he comes back from his ranch. We are pouring in more chlorine dioxide this evening, so maybe by the new year we will have gotten rid of the last spore. After all, a few million to protect Tom Daschel has to be worth it.
Now do you feel better? I certainly hope so.
Now for some good news. This website has been focused on energy, and what is happening. If you have been reading the articles, you know that fossil energy is certainly not something that will last forever. There is however a source that is overlooked in most articles that I read.
North Slope Oil does not matter, as there is plenty of crude in the Tar Sands of Alberta, Venezuela, Russia, and the Arctic Islands. There is also Arctic Offshore and Artic islands Oil (not yet drilled for). There is an estimated 7 Saudi Arabias in the Canadian tar sands at present grades. The cost to obtain this oil is currently $11-12 per barrel. Suncor and Syncrude will invest approximately $6 billion in these tar sands over the next few years. The amount that is currently known should last us for the next 125 years. Does that make you feel better? Of course this does not mean that we should not reduce our useage, and not worry about conserving energy, but it does buy us some additional time to prepare. The one major hurdle that we will have to conquer is the increase in the population, but that will wait until another time.
Thank you all for 2001, and I certainly wish everyone a great 2002.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
December 4, 2001
Time again for another edition of the RWWNL. Currently I have not had to issue any certificates. Well we will still stay with energy.
ENRON: This downfall of a major Corporation has been occurring for the past two months. If you listen to the news you will learn nothing about WHY! Did you know that Enron was tied into J. P. Morgan, and that they had their own “on line” metals web sight? They were trading in metals, energy, and derivatives. They were gambling with the assets of the Company. They were doing this in areas that they had no knowledge. They have destroyed the dreams of a lot of people. They have lost the retirement savings of thousands of their own employees. They have left major banks with loans that will probably never be paid. I do not think that we have seen the worst yet. They were selling energy to some major Companies, and now these Companies will have to go and seek other energy sources to meet their needs. Do you really think that the price will go down? NOT! It would not surprise me to see this Company go into Chapter 7 before it is all over. The fallout from this is going to be felt for quite a while. I personally have several friends that have already lost their life savings, and even their jobs. This all from a once proud giant. What evil lurks in the accounting and management practices of other companies out there. There will be more! Hopefully not of this scope.
ANTHRAX: We now have 20 reported cases of Anthrax. Five have died. Because this is terrorism, we must stop it immediately. Billions will be spent. We have to install Anthrax detectors in every post office. We must x-ray every piece of mail. Cost is no option. It must be done. After all the one you save may be a liberal. Have you noticed that the ones being effected lean only to the left. It must be a right wing wacko terrorist that is doing this. It must be stopped.
Now back to the real world. If Anthrax is such a threat, then surely the flu bug must be eliminated too. After all, thousands will die from flu this winter. We must put flu detectors in all the schools, and x-ray every childs backpack. Does this not make sense? If you are against this, than you must think that it is OK for people to die. We must spend billions on this. After all, it is only money, and Alan Greenspan can print as much as we need to fight all these ills. If you really think about it, what we are doing does not make a lot of sense. We cannot fight every battle, and make everyone safe from everything. Sometimes we just have to take a risk. We do that everytime we leave our homes in our SUV. Hopefully next year we will all be riding Ginger, and we will all be safe.
Well one more place to go to study up before the next issue:
The Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) of the United States Treasury was created and originally financed by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 to contribute to exchange rate stability and counter disorderly conditions in the foreign exchange market. The Act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, to deal in gold, foreign exchange, securities, and instruments of credit, under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Treasury subject to the approval of the President. Go here for more information. Remember test later!
Happy investing out there.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
November 3, 2001
Well, did you study up? Are you now starting to understand what the government is doing to us? I thought we were in a free market society. I guess that I will have to go back to the drawing board. More on this in a later issue.
Today, we will be learning about energy, and where we are. To do this, I am going to give you a test. The following is a true-false exam. For all those who get every question right, e-mail me, and I will provide you a certificate that shows you as a true energy guru! Here goes:
- Our world will run out of energy someday.
- All the known oil fields in the world have reached their peak production except for one. That one is Saudi Arabia.
- Crude oil is perfectly safe, and will not hurt you.
- Gasoline is also safe.
- OPEC, in line with Bill Clinton and others, drove down the price of oil.
- The decrease in the price of crude caused many small producers to stop production. These once producing wells are now gone from production.
- We should drill in ANWR.
- As a nation we should consume less energy.
- Oil spills are bad.
- We should just let the oil remain where it ends up.
- The only way that our nation will consume less energy is if the price goes up, or if we enter a downturn in our economy.
- We need energy prices to go up.
- We need a downturn in our economy.
- Do not worry about any of this, as our government will take care of us.
OK. Are you ready? The only question that is false is number 14, unless of course you really think that way. There were no trick questions. Here are my comments on each question:
1. Surprise the Earth is finite. It is just one small planet. Yes, children sometimes mother runs out of ice cream, and someday soon, we will run out of fossil fuels on this planet.
3.Crude oil is perfectly safe. Do you not remember the pictures of men that had it all over them when a gusher hit? I would not drink it for breakfast though.
4.Gasoline is used for cleaning auto parts. Real men put their hands in it to help the cleaning process. Of course, the EPA in their wisdom has required the oil industry to put additives in gasoline to make the EPA feel good. Benzene can cause cancer, but it makes our air cleaner. Alcohol made from corn will help our farmers, so we must put that in our gasoline. Of course, it is a poison. Gasoline will not hurt you, but do not drink it for breakfast.
5.True. He talked OPEC into making oil cheap so that the economy could perform well.
6.True. See last RWWNL issue.
7. This is the most controversial. How many of you have a trip scheduled to ANWR? You must go and see this pristine area. ANWR is the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Here is a paragraph from their web site:
“The Refuge is an inspiration to nature enthusiasts, and a home to local Inupiat Eskimo and Gwich’in Indian communities. It is also a symbol, even for those who will never visit, of the link between wilderness and wildlife, and the need for both, now and in the future.”
The last part is the most telling. People who have never visited are the biggest advocates of not drilling. Think about it. Will we ever need the oil from there? When the oil supply starts becoming tight, will we drill there? The answer to these questions is yes. We must be able to drive to Aunt Sarah´s. We need to keep our house warm. Our lifestyle must change, but in the meantime, we do need the oil. Do we need to do it today? NO! But it will be done. We can now do it without endangering the conditions. We can do it by only utilizing a very small part of the large wilderness.
We also need to build a gas pipeline from Alaska to the US. The reason is that the gas that is currently available is currently vented to the atmosphere. We have no where else to put it. Would it help heat your home? Of course it would. We either build the pipeline, or continue to let it go to waste.
8.True. The only way this will occur is having higher prices, or a slowing economy.
9.Yes, oil spills are bad. It is energy that we cannot use to power our economy.
10.There are microbes in the soil. They lay dormant until a food supply becomes available. Their food supply is oil. They love to eat it. When food becomes plentiful, they multiply. When the food supply is gone, they go back into dormancy. The interesting part is that the by product of their life cycle is fertilizer. When oil is spilled on the earth, it is a messy thing. When the microbes get done with their feasting, that area now becomes the greenest part of the surrounding earth. When the Exxon Valdez had its spill, the EPA required them to steam clean the earth of the spill. Some areas could not be reached. Today, those areas are coming back alive, and the part that was “cleaned” is not coming back. It has been found that the best mechanism to clean up a spill is to introduce additional oil eating microbes. Of course, this takes time. It is not instant gratification.
11.True, as answered before.
12.This has to happen in order for people to have an incentive to buy vehicles that get better mileage, and own fewer vehicles. They may even decide to drive fewer miles. It also has to happen in order to get people to buy smaller homes. Use less gas. Turn down their thermostat. During the electricity problems in California, I really could not understand the populace. If prices go up, use less! In the mid-west we paid for our energy use. The interesting part is that in California, a higher price for their energy use will still be paid. The only difference is that Californians will get to postpone their payments until they see their next tax bill.
13.A down turn will occur. It is part of the business cycle. The excesses of the 90´s must be wrung out of the economy. Look at all the Companies that were going to be the biggest and best, and are now failing, or their bank is allowing them to hang on, because they are too large to fail. If the bank lets them go, than they will have to tell their shareholders that they have loaned money that cannot be paid back. It is best to keep those loans on the books, and maybe even to give them some more. After all, Alan Greenspan has a lot of it left.
14.Of course there are a lot of people out there who are waiting on the government to take care of things. We just bailed out the airlines industry, so why not me? I personally am going to send all my bills to congress so I will be OK. If any of you want to assist in this, please E-Mail me, and I will give you the proper address of where to send the money. Small unmarked bills only.
OK, so now you have had your first lesson about energy. It is important to do your own due diligence. Study up, there may be another test.
I plan to discuss two big issues in the coming weeks. Anthrax, and the current war on Terrorism. These are seriously affecting our economy. Stay tuned, and please return for more. Thank you to my avid readers.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
October 25, 2001
Did you do your studying? Did you watch the market today? Did you see anything unusual? Answer those first. Test Later.
Today in the markets:
1. U.S. durables orders fall 8.5 %.
2. September home resales fall 11.7 %.
3. First time jobless claims surge 504,000 in the week.
4. Short and long term interest rates plummet. The bet is that fed funds rate is going to 2 %. This is to stimulate the economy.
So what does the market do? Well of course it crashes this morning. At days end, the Dow was up 117 points, and even the Nasdaq took off. What caused this? For those who did their studying, you already know. For those who did not take their books home, it was the PPT. We cannot allow the markets show us what kind of trouble we are in. See my previous letter if you want to catch up.
Inflation is very simply an increase in the money supply. When more money chases goods, the goods become more expensive. The American boom of the last half-decade was a boom fueled by an over-aggressive monetary policy that flooded the markets with credit. This money went into the stock market rather than into goods. It caused the market to reach all time highs.
Alan Greenspan decided that irrational exuberance was not a good thing, and put on the brakes. The market collapsed when the money supply was cut off. As you all know we have lost over $5 trillion in paper losses in the market. Now he is pumping in money like gasoline to a fire, and it is not doing any good. (It acts like water instead.)
The reason is that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) had been going up at a goodly clip. Now it is retreating. The American people were buying everything in sight. How many TV’s do you have? How many automobiles? How many Palm pilots? Do you need more? Can you afford more? How many credit card applications did you receive last year? Are you getting the picture.
We are in debt, and it is time for us to quit spending. We have decided to slow down on our purchases. If we continue, the economy will retreat. That is why the government feels like they have to bail us out. We have not heard about the government robbing our social security in a while have we?
Bethlehem Steel has filed for Chapter 11. Over twenty US steel companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past three years. Enron is having financial problems. Many other Companies are in serious financial shape. Over 20,000 people have filed for bankruptcy protection this year.
We are out of money to spend. This is true for the individual, and the Corporation. The only source left is the government, and they will have to print it. We cannot afford to give them more. I guess our kids and grandkids will have to pay it back. Sound familiar?
So what is the government and the media telling us? Anthrax must be stopped! That is all they can think of. It has killed three people. That is sad. We need to put an Anthrax detector in every post office. We are already irradiating the mail at the large depots. Diane Reem on NPR was concerned that the postal employees could get radiation sickness. Well what is worse–radiation sickness or anthrax. (tongue in cheek).
Well of course irradiating the mail will not cause a problem. Let us spend billions, all in the name of three deaths. What about the hundreds of people who died of the flu last year. Do we not need flu detectors in all the schools, and government offices? Let us get CNN after that. Of course that is not news!
I have promised you information on the energy markets, and where we really are right now.
As a prelude, we have allowed the oil markets to be one of production in order to bring the cost down to a very low level. This occurred about 2-3 years ago. The low energy price helped the economic engine run fast. The price of oil fell to less that $10 a barrel, and gasoline was below $1.00 a gallon. This caused all the marginal producers to quit production. Here in the midwest, all the independent producers shut down their stripper wells (over 20,000) They were not economical. They cannot be restarted! For the most part, this supply is gone forever.
The problem that this caused was a stimulation in the economy here and overseas. Gas was cheap. Everyone had to have a large SUV to drive. Ford made the expedition that got less than 10 miles to the gallon. Of course everyone had to drive their own vehicle. Well demand went up, and supplies went down. The law of supply and demand says that this will cause the price to go up. The law worked. All energy prices went up including the cost of natural gas.
Here in Oklahoma we had to pay the higher prices. We did not have a sign maker that made signs saying “DO NOT RAISE MY RATES”. We did not have the awareness of those in California.
Prices of natural gas, electricity, and gasoline increased dramatically. What happens when price goes up? Supply has to increase, and people use less. I know that I turned down my thermostat.
Prior to, and now more so, the economy is slowing down. People that have been layed off do not have to drive to work. Prices are going back down. I told people that gasoline would go below $1.00 a gallon again, and was looked at like I was crazy. Well at least here in the midwest, it is now below that price. There are a lot more problems in the energy industry, but will save that for a later report.
Well enough for this issue. I should be back in about a week. In the meantime I will give you some more homework. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has the responsibility of keeping exchange rates in check, and bailing out all those who are in need (foreign countries). Here is where to go to do your studying for the next issue.
Thank You to all my avid readers.
Happy Investing out there
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
October 18, 2001
First things first. My friend who worked in the World Trade Center is OK. He was on the 74th floor of the first building. He started down immediately, and was three blocks away when the building came down. My wifes ankle is out of the cast, and she is recovering well.
Now for the news: Happy times are here again. The stock market has been going up, and everything is all right with the world again. It went down a little yesterday, but that was only temporary. It will come back. CNBC has told us so.
The price of energy is going down almost as fast as it went up. I have had several people ask me why this is occurring. Are the Oil Companies feeling sorry for us? The economy was in a downward spiral prior to the terrorist attacks, but that has only put this trend into fast motion. The airlines have cut back on flights. People are not traveling in their automobiles as much as three months ago. Vacations have been canceled. The oil supply is increasing, and even at the reduced price, there are no takers. The unemployment claims have increased from 617,000 to 996,000 in the first week of October. Most Companies are currently downsizing. If this keeps up, the government may have to admit that we are in a recession.
Tonight the Israelis have sent tanks into two Palestinian towns, and all that is on the news is the Anthrax stories. It is getting to the point that one can not trust the news media any more. Maybe it is time for another Gary Condit story.
It is becoming readily apparent that we cannot trust our news organizations or our government. The terrorist attack has caused our government to throw out all the conservative ideas that were occurring. Money is flowing from our governmental coffers like water. The Fed is pumping up the money supply in the same manner. We must keep our economy strong. After all, we are at WAR. What ever happened to irrational exuberance? It is now no longer a worry. For those that have been watching the market, we have lost over 5 trillion in paper losses. That was enough to solve the deficit that is on our government books. We must not let this market decline continue!
It is time to start some introductions. Whenever the stock market started falling over the past month, suddenly it rallied. (This has been going on for several years) How did this happen? The rally was created by the Plunge Protection Team. The PPT as it is known. This is a group within our government that enters the stock market when it is having some problems, and helps it out. Where do they get their money? Well from us of course. Where else would the government get its funding. Go here to see how this works: http://www.mcalvany.com/specialreports/april/plunge.htm
If you go to your favorite search engine, and type in plunge protection team, it will give you all the information that you could ever want. Have you not read about this in your local paper?
Robert Rubin, the treasury secretary under President Clinton, perfected this ruse. He has now been called back by the Bush administration. Alan Greenspan is well aware of these actions. This is not a new policy. We must insure that the American people are sure that everything is OK.
My computer has been on the fritz for two weeks, so hopefully now I can be more responsive with the news.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
September 23, 2001
The editor has been on two week vacation. He and his wife were in Wall South Dakota the day of the terror. What a horrible thing to wake up to. We had been to Mount Rushmore the day before, and could have not gone their on September 11. The incident remained our focus for the rest of the trip. We spent three nights without TV or Radio in Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone, so were asking everyone we ran into if they had heard anything. I have a friend that worked in the World Trade Center. I have not been able to find out if he is OK.
This incident has changed all our lives, and will for quite a while. It has accelerated the down turn in the stock markets. The economy will slow down dramatically. It has affected the way that we think about travel, and how we will get to where we are going. The one good thing that it has done is galvanize our country into one thought. We must all support the efforts of what is happening, and to support our effort to stop this from continuing. Capet bombing any nation is not the answer. The solution is to get to the types of people that believe that this is the answer, and eliminate them or bring them to justice. This will not be easy. For the first time, maybe it is time for us to think about the victims, and not the people who commited these atrocities. They may have had a bad child hood, or they may be in poor mental health, but that in no way justifies what they did. Yes, we need to go after them whereever they are. It will be a long and dangerous road, but it needs taking!
Money has been the key to what created our major bull run for the past number of years, and now all the money in the world will not help us. If you want to see our future, just look at Japan. They have reduced their interest rates to 1/2 %, and cannot get any takers! The only thing holding up our economy has been the spending by our citizens. This spending was created by debt. This has to be removed, so continued spending cannot continue. I have heard many talking heads wondering what the government is going to ask us what to sacrifice to help the cause. I think that that will occur naturally. Some of us will become unemployed. We will all cut back on our excesses. It will not be the same
On what ended up being the last day of our Vacation, my wife broke her ankle. We ended up cutting our vacation short by a day. In my last issue, I said I would talk about energy. That will come. Today is not the time.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
August 27, 2001
Well, time for the next issue. Did you all do your studying. If so, what you found is that there is no surplus. This is a figment of both Bill Clintons and George Bush’s imagination. As of July 31 of this year, our national debt stood at $5.718 trillion. That is the money that our government owes its citizens, and also other people of the world who have bought our “good in the USA” bonds. So then where does this figment exist.
We all know that social security is the third rail of politics. Why is this? It is a government program where the government taxes its citizens that work in order to pay its citizens that do not work. In order to generate the “revenue” (do not call it taxes, as that will give it a bad name) it takes the money out of your salary. You only have to pay about 8%, but your employer also coughs up 8%. That means that it takes 16% of your income to pay those who do not work. We have been contributing more than is necessary for a number of years so that we can get ahead and have money left for the baby boomers. This surplus currently stands at $1.16 trillion. That is an increase of $153 billion of a year earlier. Since this money is not “off budget” it shows that we have a surplus. The only problem is that what we owe (national debt)continues to grow. Oh well, it is only money!!
The real truth is that what one needs to understand is that what you put into the system is not what you get out. What you will take out of the system if you live a normal life is much greater than what you put in even with interest. I am currently paying for my Dad’s social security. He paid for his Dad’s. The interesting part is that the reason that we are contributing more and more into the system is that it requires fewer workers to pay for the non workers. Seven workers paid for one person thirty years ago. Today it does not even take 2. What kind of a scheme is this?? A PONZI scheme!! Thing about it. What will happen when people run out of money? Do not think it can not happen.
What do we do? The solution is simple, but will never get approved by the powers that be. Let people save for their own retirement! What did people do 100 years ago when there was no social security? They ate. They had roofs over their heads. They existed. By allowing the government to take care of us, we lose our drive to take care of ourselves. We become dependent. We lose our self esteem. We join AARP, and hope that they will keep our “DUE” coming in. We are going to have to learn to NOT rely on the government for our needs. We must become more self sufficient.
Stay tuned. The next issue will start on the state of the energy situation. It may not make every one happy, but will be the truth!
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL
August 18, 2001
My name is Terence R. Wilken. As the twin of my brother Timothy, I have been asked to join the CommUnity of Minds.
I have been involved as a specialized engineer in the oil and gas industry for over 30 years. I am an engineer by education and training, an economist by education, and a professional engineer in both California and Oklahoma.
I have watched the growth in new technologies evolve in the energy business, and have always been very interested in business and the latest political events in our country. I read at least two newspapers every day and watch all the latest news programs. I have often been at odds with what is being told to the public by the media. I feel it is important to start telling what I consider the truth of what is happening. Over a year ago, I started sending out my own newsletter to friends and associates. While listening to news programs I have noticed that when someone does not agree or does not understand, they either accuse the person of being “right wing” or “wacko”. This became the source for the title of my newsletter. People from both the left and right have taken me to task, but they continue to come back for more.
My small newsletter has been a private source of the truth for over a year. The membership has grown to the point that I have been asked to contribute to this web site, and allow my members access to my wisdom at this location. Here you will be provided the truth. Although many people have automatically determined that due to the name that I have assigned, I am really a fanatic. That is far from the truth. Here, I will discuss what is really going on in the world of money, energy, and the real political truths. As time permits, I will be providing real information to what is happening currently in our country, and more largely to our world. The first hint of the intent of this “thread” is the following URL.
This will take you to a source of what is currently our national debt. You will have to refresh in order to see the number go down with our new found surpluses. If the number goes up, than you must have something wrong with your current browser, and you will have to contact Bill Gates, or Netscape for the appropriate repair. The next place to go is to the following URL.
As we all know, there is no inflation in our current economy, so you will need to go here to see that your money has of course remained the same over the past 20 years. You may find another surprise, but again, you may have to contact your browser supplier, as we all know that the government does not lie!!
Well, this is your first lesson. Please study up, as questions will be asked.
I will be back soon to contribute more of my thoughts and insights to the CommUnity of Minds. I welcome all your responses and will gladly answer all questions. Thank you.
Terence R. Wilken
Editor in Chief RWWNL