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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Kan Requests Chubu Electric Shut Down Hamaoka

Technically this is a request and not an order. If the nuclear plants at Hamaoka are shut down, they probably will be restarted in a couple of years. But who knows. Bloomberg article.

Atomic Power Review. The situation is fluid.

Up until this point, the planning for power in Japan this summer was about -15% from peak last summer. It is not clear what the net effect of Kan's request will be.

In other big news, Yomiuri reports that TEPCO started the ventilation/air purification system at Fukushima Daichi. This system will pull air out of reactor building 1 and filter radioactive particles. The goal is to knock down radiation levels enough to let workers safely install the internal couplings for a water exchange system. In another big step, TEPCO's plan to flood the reactor with water has been approved. This has been controversial due to fears that it could make the containment more vulnerable to aftershocks.

Comments:
I wonder if pearls will be the next bubble.
don't the best ones come from Japan ?

Sporkfed
 
Spork - but you can get such great bargains on silver now!!!
 
MOM,

At roughly 430 times the price of aluminum, what's not to like?

Rumor has it that in the future we'll all be drinking from silver chalices instead of aluminum cans and our children will be born with silver "sporks" in their mouths. (No insult intended.)

That's how prosperous we will be!!

I'm starting the rumor on my new site.

Reality of Prosperity

Coming any decade to an Internet near you! ;)
 
The more I think about commodities crashing, the scareder I get. The Fed already thinks that they can print money endlessly without causing inflation. If commodities go down hard and stay down, what are they going to do?

Say hello to QE3, baby. Forget about the Federal deficit. It's monetized. Which would almost certainly create another bubble somewhere--probably in commodities again.
 
Neil,

Here's a scary thought. Even World War II couldn't get the price of copper to rise to its 1929 peak (not even adjusted for inflation).

See here.

It wasn't until the post-war growth that copper managed to climb.

Like you, I'm not sure what would happen if commodity prices crashed again.

We couldn't reinflate the Nasdaq bubble back to its former days. We've been rather unsuccessful reinflating the housing bubble so far. If commodities crash again, then we may be 3 for 3.

There's a chance we will simply slide into Japan's deflationary mess and get stuck just like they did.

I posted this quote in the comments of my blog within the last day. It is from Bernanke's famous deflation speech of 2002.

"First, as you know, Japan's economy faces some significant barriers to growth besides deflation, including massive financial problems in the banking and corporate sectors and a large overhang of government debt. Plausibly, private-sector financial problems have muted the effects of the monetary policies that have been tried in Japan, even as the heavy overhang of government debt has made Japanese policymakers more reluctant to use aggressive fiscal policies (for evidence see, for example, Posen, 1998). Fortunately, the U.S. economy does not share these problems, at least not to anything like the same degree, suggesting that anti-deflationary monetary and fiscal policies would be more potent here than they have been in Japan."

How's that for scary?
 
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