Alternative Energy center stage

With crude hitting $70+ and many traders thinking we go higher this summer I submit this article from the Daily Reckoning about how the successful folks from tech are moving into alternative energy. The market is now large enough that it is attracting serious capital and brainpower. I am a peak oil advocate, however i am not a doomsdayer like Kuntsler. If there is a market smart people will step up and solve the problems and make money to boot. One quote struck me from this article,

”Energy has got to be one of the top five problems the world faces, and it’s been frustrating to watch activists and politicians fail to solve the problem,’’ Metcalfe recently griped. “Now it’s time for the entrepreneurs and scientists to give it a try…The markets for the [alternative energy] products are huge. If you can get it right it’s really a market that’s infinite. We’re hopeful.’’

I hold several alternative energy stocks in my personal portfolio and my Marketocracy portfolio. I will post some of the ideas in the forums.

More confirmation on housing deflation

Housing-Deflation

It looks like the mainstream media finally have started to pick up on what is being reported in the blogshere about the slowdown in housing. CNN has an article about the slowdown but still trys to qualify it by saying “it might just be there could be an element of self-selection, with agents suffering a slowdown more inclined to vent.” What will the FED do as this becomes apparent to even them? If the FED stops rasing rates or even has to cut rates what will happen to the dollar support? How will China and Japan react to a rapidily devaluing dollar? I think gold is sniffing this out.…

The game continues

Despite concerns expressed by federal regulators about the growth of nontraditional mortgages, their popularity among borrowers continues to rise, according to statistics released yesterday.

About 26 percent of mortgage loan originations by dollar volume in the first six months of 2006 were interest-only loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, a trade group in the District. Such loans do not require borrowers to pay down the principal.

Analysis: Anything to keep those hpuses moving. So the FED will raise rates on these people. I don’t think so.…

Ghawar dying?

Fears that the massive Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia may have passed its prime have been the stuff of speculation for many years. Ghawar has underpinned Saudi Arabia’s dominance of the oil market ever since it came on stream in 1951. With its ability to pump out some five million barrels per day on average, more than half of Saudi Aramco’s total of 9.1 million barrels per day, the slow death of Ghawar may help to ensure that the low oil prices of the 1980s are but a dream for the average consumer.

Don Coxe, an analyst from the Bank of Montreal, once described Ghawar as having passed “Hubbert’s Peak”, a phrase used in honour of geologist M King Hubbert, who predicted oil field decline in the 1950s. The best indication of this is the steadily increased usage of water injection in the wells. Water injection is normally used on older oilfields to maintain pressure within the well and force out more oil. The problem is, once the water reaches the well head, the field has to be abandoned. Many are now pondering the connection between Saudi production and increasing water usage. As Coxe puts it, “Isn’t water flooding [the] Viagra of ageing wells?”…

Housing correction just starting

New York Sun:

Don’t get relaxed about the housing industry, because it’s going to get much, much worse. That’s the message from Gary Gordon at Annaly Capital Management, a firm which invests in mortgage-backed securities. Mr. Gordon is looking for substantial further declines in housing starts and sales, which will result in a recession beginning in 2007.

He is on the pessimistic side of the Great Housing Debate, which will doubtless be reignited when the figure for September housing starts comes out tomorrow.

The real issue is: How much consumer spending has been funded by rising home prices and how vulnerable is the economy to a fall-off in home values? Bears argue that the consumer has used his home ownership as a piggybank that is now ominously empty. They point out that mortgage equity withdrawals have climbed almost without pause since the early 1990s. Today, these borrowings are plummeting, a development that the folks at economics consultancy ISI call “unprecedented.”Equally without precedent is that existing home prices may actually decline this year.…