Monday, November 13, 2017

Stranded Assets Rewind

There’s a Dangerous Bubble in the Fossil-Fuel Economy, and the Trump Administration Is Making It Worse...
"In reversing many of Obama’s keystone climate and environmental policies, Pruitt and Trump are conveniently ignoring these market signals in order to help out the fossil-fuel millionaires and billionaires who put them in office. Their actions could have disastrous consequences, not only for the climate but also for the global economy."
Where are the economists on this? Oh, right -- talking about tax cuts and Fed rate hikes. Using Economist's View as my sample, I found no links whose title indicated it was about the stranded assets carbon bubble in the two weeks following publication of the above article by Carolyn Kormann in the New Yorker on October 19th. Zero. 

I actually think that Kormann is unduly optimistic in her analysis. My suspicion is that there was already a massive carbon bubble prior to the 2016 election that was being wound down excruciatingly slowly. The election of the coal-guzzling orange groper stopped that winding-down in its tracks and ushered in a fossil-fueled feeding frenzy at The Last Chance Texaco.

And where are the economists?


ProGrowthLiberal said...

Here is an interesting chart on coal prices:

“Historically, Coal reached an all time high of 139.05 in January of 2011 and a record low of 48.80 in January of 2016.”

It is almost back to $100 per metric ton. Of course this is the U.S. over the past few years. FRED provides a chart for the price of coal in Australia:

Both suggests a Trump bump.

Barkley Rosser said...

Regarding oil rather than coal, it has been at a lower price for several years quite dramatically from what it was for an extended period of time when the price exceeded $100 per barrel. It fell down into the $30 per barrel range for awhile, but has been creeping up since. It has risen recently quite steadily and noticeably, with Brent crude now around the $63-64 per barrel range, while West Texas Intermediate crude is in the $56-57 range, possibly stalled out.

Some of this may reflect the pickup in general world economic growth, with Europe finally getting out of its long stagnation in the past year or so (obviously all due to Donald Trump becoming president, of course [snark]). Rumors on the energy internet blogs is that there is also a supply-side aspect to that rise, driven by Saudi Arabia in particular holding down its production with a rumored goal of getting the price up to at least $70 per barrel. This is supposedly so that there will be a somewhat higher price out there to puff up the market value of the oil holdings of ARAMCO in anticipation of its IPO of 5% of its stock to the public coming up probably next year. They want a nice price for that to help out their budgetary problems, having to support so many princes and all, including those sitting in the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. said...

BTW, Bloomberg just had a report this evening that commodity prices are falling and so are oil prices somewhat, although that seems not as dramatic as what is going on with nickel prices. The supposed reason is a newly reported slowdown in Chinese economic growth. Could be. If so, well, MbS may have the trouble getting as much money as he would like for his upcoming ARAMCO IPO.