Scary Charts

I don’t often write about stocks or the economy.. it’s just too difficult to know anything with any certainty anymore. We’ve been kicking this can down the road far longer than I thought would be possible at this point but a quick look around the world and you are seeing the wheels start to come off. Here are a few scary charts that when combined with the news coming out of Europe and Japan spell trouble.

Detroit Blows it Again

How GM “Lied” About The Electric Car Wow… what were they thinking. In summary… it seems the claims that GM has been making for years about the design and performance of the Volt were just out and out lies. They claimed it was a serial hybrid.. meaning the gas engine was just acting as an electrical generator and that the electric motors drove the wheels. That’s a lie. They claimed it would get 230 mpg in city driving and have an initial electric range of 40 miles to cover the average commute.

Spill Impact Measured in Trillions?

Reading more about the spill over the weekend.. the situation looks much worse than it did on friday. The visible surface area of the spill has grown much faster over the last few days than it should have if it were leaking at the rate of 5k barrels a day.  The fear is that the piping will totally open up and release on the order of 165 – 250k barrels a day making it a bigger spill than the Valdez in as little as a couple days.  Worse.. there is a pretty good chance  at this point that the oil is going to migrate east and get caught up in the [gulf stream][2] which will carry it around to the east coast of Florida and potentially as far as NC affecting roughly half the east coast. One can just imagine the broad impact to the economy from fishing to tourism to real estate along all that coast line as we move into the summer tourist season. Many businesses in coastal areas depend on busy summers to survive.. even in the best of times.  Somehow I don’t think people will be going on eco-vacations to clean oil off their favorite beaches.

Is BP toast?

As BP is my favorite integrated oil company I’ve been following this gulf story closely. It certainly sounds like this mess with the blown well is going to take a long time.. maybe months to fix and you just know it’s going to be a daily story. Of course BP is insured.. and there are other companies involved that are taking a hit but every time the story comes up it’s BP getting trashed.