De retour le 3 août !
Si l'hypocrisie était une source d'énergie, on n'aurait plus besoin de pétrole…
Et dire que ce type a gagné un prix Nobel…
Hier matin, le magazine allemand "Der Speigel" a publié une bombe: selon l'hebdomadaire, le premier ministre irakien Nouri al-Maliki a donné son appui au plan de Barack Obama de retrait des troupes d'Irak. Toute la journée, les médias ont abondamment commenté cette nouvelle, mon pote Richard Hétu a consacré non pas un, mais deux billets à l'affaire.
Immédiatement, j'ai trouvé cette histoire louche et j'avais raison !
A German magazine quoted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying that he backed a proposal by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months. […]
But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.
Coup de propagande du "Der Speigel" ?
Si les médias ont été très généreux dans leur couverture du supposé appui d'al-Maliki au "plan Obama", parions que la dénonciation du travail bâclé de "Der Speigel" par le gouvernement irakien aura un traitement beaucoup plus humble…
As the great investment writer Fred Schwed Jr. commented, "Only the thoughtful ask, 'What is happening to us?' The popular cry is, 'Who is doing this to us?' and its satisfying sequel—'Just let me get my hands on him!' "
Stop demonizing the investors who are betting heavily on oil prices.
When the economy is in turmoil, no one is demonized more than the speculator. First, we are told, speculators have driven up the price of oil, condemning us to expensive heating and driving. Then, they have driven down the price of bank shares, dealing vicious blows to the nation's noblest banks. All of this, we are supposed to believe, is immensely profitable and highly destabilizing.
With one exception—I'll come to it—I am not persuaded. I struggle to understand how speculation is supposed to be both profitable and destabilizing all at once. Profitable speculation requires buying low and selling high. Destabilizing speculation requires the opposite: short-selling shares in a trough, thus deepening the trough, and betting that frothy shares will become frothier. In other words, destabilizing speculation means selling low and buying high. If that is a recipe for profit, I am missing something.
Profitable speculators, in contrast, are veritable philanthropists. When they think oil is going to become more expensive, they buy and hoard oil, or they buy oil futures, encouraging others to buy and hoard. This raises oil prices when they are relatively cheap and lowers them when they are relatively expensive.
True, when speculators make mistakes, that is destabilizing. But in the case of oil prices, it's hard to see that speculators are playing much of a role. For one thing, inventories don't seem to be rising. If the inventory data are correct, consumers were burning all that $135 oil.
For another, speculation and prices don't seem to be closely correlated. BP's recent Statistical Review of World Energy points out that while few speculators have been betting on a spike in the price of heating oil, its price has soared even more rapidly than the crude-oil price. More striking, speculators have been betting that natural-gas prices will slump. Natural-gas prices haven't.
If the intellectual case against speculators is weak, one can always fall back on the emotional one. Short sellers are a particularly easy target: Their hope that prices will fall hardly seems constructive. It is not much of a stretch to move from abhorrence at the idea of short selling to the implausible conclusion that it is the short sellers who are dragging down prices. As the great investment writer Fred Schwed Jr. commented, "Only the thoughtful ask, 'What is happening to us?' The popular cry is, 'Who is doing this to us?' and its satisfying sequel—'Just let me get my hands on him!' "
In some rare cases, the short seller really is the one causing the problem. For example, it might be possible to sell a retail bank's shares short; start unfounded rumors about the bank's liquidity; and cause a run on the bank, making the rumors self-justifying, destroying a valuable asset, and earning money in the bargain. We should never feel comfortable about short sellers who also (independently of their short-selling) possess the power to destroy—be they rumormongers, board members, or just a sportsman backing himself to lose.
This is the exception I mentioned earlier. But I can't help feeling that the "sell short, start rumor, make a killing" strategy is more easily planned than executed.
No, the world needs more speculators, especially of the short-selling variety. There is nothing inherently wonderful about inflated prices, but it is not easy to bet that prices will fall. More short sellers in the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, and the housing bubbles of the past few years, would have added a welcome dose of stability and sanity. Alas, there were not enough of them—and the only people complaining about them at the time were their impoverished families.
Un documentaire produit par l’équipe de McCain sur les flip-flops d’Obama relatif à la guerre en Irak:
Obama est vraiment le candidat du « changement », il change d’opinions toutes les semaines…
Plus tôt cette semaine, Israël a échangé des prisonniers du hezbollah contre les dépouille de 2 soldats israéliens. Parmi les cinq prisonniers du Hezbollah libérés, figure Samir Kantar. Kantar a été reconnu coupable d'avoir tué, entre autres, un père et sa fille de 4 ans.
Voici la page A20 de La Presse du jeudi 7 juillet 2008 traitant de la réaction en Israël et au Liban:
Photo au sommet de la page du premier ministre israélien Ehud Olmert consolant la veuve du soldat Ehud Goldwasser.
Photo au bas de la page de l’accueil en héros de Samir Kantar au Liban, assassin d’une fillette israélienne de 4 ans.
Le nouveau passe-temps des médias québécois ? Essayer de faire croire aux gens que l'économie américaine est au bord du gouffre. Pourtant…
Cette semaine la Banque du Canada a revu à la baisse les prévisions de croissance de l'économie canadienne. D'une croissance de 1,4% on est passé à une croissance de 1,0% pour 2008.
Toujours cette semaine, la Réserve Fédérale des États-Unis a revu à la hausse les prévisions de croissance de l'économie américaine. D'une croissance de 0,3%-1,2% on est passé à une croissance de 1,0%-1,6% pour 2008.
Mais ça, les médias n'en parleront pas…