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Saturday, May 01, 2010

I Got Interested In The Transocean Drilling Accident

You know, that big oil slick in the gulf from the blowout that just keeps getting bigger?

After a fruitless endeavor with newspapers, I abandoned professional journalism, tried the blogs and hit paydirt.

Watts Up With That. Open Choke. Al Fin. This seems to be the official website.

I don't have much of an opinion on the incident itself, although the above did provide me a lot of information and much-needed perspective.

I would, however, sell any newspaper stock I owned (which I don't). because the news coverage seems to be struggling to ascend to the "pathetic" level. The problem with journalists is that they all seem to have bought in to the idea that they should tell us what the news means, and have forgotten to actually give us the news. Since they don't even know what the news is due to the fact they are no longer reporting it, their attempts to tell us what it means are funny at best, but deeply irritating when one is trying to find news.

The first time I was quoted in a newspaper was 20 years ago. The "journalist" stood there and wrote down my entire 10-word sentence. When the paper came out the next day, I was not only mis-quoted but the meaning of my statement had been completely reversed.

I thought that was just a mistake.

Since then, every time I have read an article in a major media outlet about a topic I have first-hand knowledge of, the story is badly wrong at best and completely inverted from reality at worst. The default mode tends toward inverted from reality.

By about 10 years ago I had decided that the institution of "news media" was fundamentally flawed, beyond fixing. Fortunately, by that time it was pretty clear that a replacement was on the way.
The media is waiting for a hint from the administration as to how to spin this. Since the administration took eight days to even notice it, there has been some delay. Can't report the news unless you know how to spin it, you know.
They should be getting some hints from the lawyers, swat teams and bureaucrats the Administration has sent to the scene.
If you want to hear from engineers who know what they're talking about, listen to Mark Levin's 4/30/10 show online.
If the worst case scenarios come true, this will crush
the economy on the coast. No tourism, no fishing,
the cost of clean up, and a further hit to property values. The ports in New Orleans and Mobile are
vital to exports. Keep your fingers crossed.
Last Anon - that's why I was so interested. I expect this will have some far-reaching implications. At a minimum, a lot of fisheries should be out of commission for a while. LA just can't catch a break these days.

Neil - ditto.

Mid Anon - I saw the reference to that show at Watts', but I've been so busy I haven't listened to it. I'll make the time on your recommendation.
"This will be a financial calamity for many firms, not just BP and its partners and service providers. Their liabilities are immense and must not be underestimated. The first estimate of $12.5 billion is only a starter.
As for the economy beyond BP...
Thousands of small and independent businesses as well as larger public companies in tourism are hurt here. This is not just about the source of half the nation’s shrimp. That is already a casualty. It’s also about the bank loans for the $200,000 shrimp boat and the house the boat owner and/or his employees live in and the fact that this shock piles on a fragile financial system that is trying to recover from a three-year financial crisis. Case study, my fishing guide in the Everglades splits his time between Florida and Louisiana. His May bookings in LA have cancelled. His colleagues lost theirs and their lodge will be empty. They are busy trying to find work in the clean up. For him, his wife and eleven year old daughter, his $600 a day guide fees just went “poof”. When I asked him if he thought he had a legal claim on BP, he said he hadn’t thought about it yet but it gave him pause. As we suggested above, the $12.5 billion loss estimate is only a starter.
And the taxpayer...
Federal deficit spending will certainly rise by tens, and maybe hundreds, of billions as emergency appropriations are directed at larger and larger efforts to clean up this mess. At the same time, federal and state revenues tied to Gulf-region businesses will fall. My colleague John Mousseau will be discussing the impact on state and local government debt in a separate research commentary. "

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#ixzz0moSWSVPE
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