WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 – Ho-hum. It’s Earth Day today, in case you didn’t already know it. Which you wouldn’t if you didn’t switch on the TV. That’s where all those overpaid, blathering blow-dries busy themselves, gasbagging about all the ways we should honor and protect the Earth—mainly by starving and burning a few corn cobs each winter for heat—as opposed to the profligate habits these faux journalists and fake Marxists regularly indulge in.
As if to emphasize the point, The Guardian, the UK’s Marxist house organ, proclaims that “prominent scientists” (as opposed to
global warming climate change deniers) are telling us
“Three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground if humanity is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a group of leading scientists and economists have said in a statement timed to coincide with Earth Day.”
No doubt, if we start right now, today, on Earth Day to plug up most of the world’s oil and gas wells to keep three-quarters of that evil carbon producing fossil stuff in the ground, the Earth would be saved in pretty short order. That’s because three-quarters of the Earth’s population living north and south of the tropics would freeze to death. So we wouldn’t need that fuel anyway.
But that’s not really a concern of these
clowns prominent scientists, in this case the members of the “Earth League,” whose major current focus appears to be on “how we can manage anthropogenic global change according to the principles of sustainable development.” No debate here.
In other words, we all have to bow to the “settled science” of the warmists—you know, those prominent scientists whose private emails revealed them to be academic frauds, Stalinist thugs and liars when their scheming missives were, umm, “un-earthed” a few years back.
“In its ‘Earth statement,’ the group said” according to the Guardian “that three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground if warming was not to breach a rise of 2C [approx. 3-4F], the ‘safety limit’ agreed to by governments.”
The Maven’s opinion is this: When the members of the Earth League and the rest of these condescending, in-your-face warmists − like Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and many others − reduce their annual fossil fuel use by three-quarters, including the mass-quantities of fuel they use to fly their private jets around the world telling the rest of us we need to freeze and die to save the planet—when that happens, some sensible folks might start believing them. But not until.
At any rate, perhaps today’s Guardian piece is what scared oil prices off a few cents this morning after rallying for most of the last few trading days. Otherwise, prices today on American exchanges are up modestly as of the noon hour EDT in tepid trading.
What’s likely going on in markets is plenty of subtle maneuvering, often on the short side, by professional investors, funds, and HFTs concerned with three, maybe four potential cosmic events that could land a heavy blow on stocks and bonds. Specifically, we’re referring to:
- the potential Greek government/banking default and possible exit from the euro (aka, the “Grexit” in investment jargon);
- a potential major disruption in world oil and gas prices if either Putin’s new Imperial Russia or the freeform mass murderers known as ISIS do something more rash, murderous or stupid than they already have;
- an early or unexpected increase in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve; or
- deeply and quietly in the background, a June Supreme Court ruling invalidating the Federal government’s Obamacare subsidies to the 37 states that opted out of forming their own insurance exchanges.
This latter possibility is a real sleeper. Given the Supremes’ earlier gaming of the ACA’s tax vs. fee nomenclature—likely due to some unknown threats made to the court by the Administration—this latest issue could go either way. We’ll have more on this later today in our companion column, The Prudent Man.
Today’s trading tips
We’re still in a holding pattern, by and large. Given some recent moves by many investors to get back into TIPS—the Federal government’s inflation-protected bonds—one gets the impression that the cognoscenti believe that recent fears of deflation were greatly exaggerated. In this case the opposite comes into play: fear of inflation. In which case, those long-moribund TIPS might start to become attractive once again.
We’re not going to jump into this investment in a big way by now. Rather, we’ll start accumulating shares in Schwab’s TIPS ETF (symbol: SCHP), available to its customers like the Maven without a commission. The yield right now is nearly non-existent. But if the investing zeitgeist is on target, that could change, which is essentially the bet here. Other brokerages may have their own ETFs with a similar zero-commission deal. There’s also the widely traded iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP) if you need to use that vehicle.
This is a defensive investment right now, meant possibly to make a little money or perhaps even lose a few pennies while at least getting minimal yield. But in a market as treacherous as this one, making too many bold moves right now could be a big mistake.