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Old 01-04-2011, 04:09 PM   #155
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As I've said in various threads: I've been motorhoming for 40 years, gas was 30 cents/gal when I started, now $3.09, that's over a 10X increase. How about the future? $5.00--$7.00/gal., absolutely-- when soon---Europe has those prices now---can you imagine another 10X increase in the next 40 years to over $30.00/gal ??
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:16 PM   #156
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Fuel's still $.34 in Saudi. They use Mercedes for cabs, don't figure.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:33 PM   #157
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Informative reading for those who believe "Big Oil" sets energy prices.

Rusty


All *I* saw there was commentary about how the price of crude oil and pump prices are fluctuating, not WHO sets the price - other than oil speculators - and on THAT issue, I, and far more energy experts, and even spokesmen from the Arabian oil producers than I can count, openly agree!

I've seen literally HUNDREDS or articles, from energy related columnists, to major refiners, who all point to the runaway and uncontrolled oil speculators - who BUY oil futures for 10 cents on the dollar - NEVER see or transport, store or refine a DROP of what they as unneeded profit sucking middlemen buy, hold, and then re-sell at a profit that the REST of us pay for eventually at the pump.

Risk? sure, sometimes they get burned if the price of crude happens to fall unexpectedly from other causes - but FAR more often, it's the REST of us getting burnt, as pump prices steadily creep, artificially manipulated, ever upwards,

I have yet to see or hear of ANY real-world reason or benefit of this artificial layer of middlemen profit-takers between the actual oil producers, and the eventual refiners and consumers. OR, to put it another way, what would happen if oil speculation under the guise of a "commodity" like seasonal wheat, rice and corn, was eliminated - would we then see supplies drop, or prices still increase?

What do YOU think?
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:39 PM   #158
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wthomas, an excellent question indeed; have the anit war moonbats in your area been gone about two years also ??
I have a Cousin who attends every anti-war rally in his area. I asked him how many he had has been to in the last 2 years, want to guess his answer?
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:43 PM   #159
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I had two Shell stations in the 70's and the gov't was telling the people to burn less and Shell was telling us we wasn't selling enough. What a JOKE. Remember when we all had to changed our pumps to deliver in meter's? How long did that last?
Rationing. It was all who you know.

Anyway to screw the public. AND it was'nt the oil company. Had to do with peanuts.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #160
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All *I* saw there was commentary about how the price of crude oil and pump prices are fluctuating, not WHO sets the price - other than oil speculators....
Ummm.....yep, you got it. Oil and petroleum products are commodities and are traded on commodity exchanges (NYMEX, for example) just like wheat and pork bellies. The producer no more sets the price of crude oil than the farmer sets the price of wheat. If the oil companies set crude oil prices, it wouldn't have dropped from $150+/bbl to $30+/bbl in 2008-2009, I assure you! They would much rather see stable $70/bbl oil than the wild swings we see in the marketplace.

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Old 01-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #161
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Oil and petroleum products are commodities and are traded on commodity exchanges (NYMEX, for example) just like wheat and pork bellies.
YUP - and commodities buying and selling are useful and make sense in a SEASONAL and VOLITILE market item that fluctuates according to seasons and climatic variations.

OIL doesn't at ALL fit into that matrix - it gets pumped at a controlled rate 24/7, regardless of seasons, rain or sun.

So WHY is oil treated like seasonal crops, instead of the very critical lifeblood of world industries and societies?

Probably because it allows a few rich folks to get richer at the expense of the rest of us - and give the politicians something else to bleed in terms of power and special interest groups.

AH, some will say - if oil speculation is such a good deal and easy money, why don't YOU get into the game? Well, as I pointed out earlier, it takes LOTS of $$$ - far more than most of us can spare as an investment - to really make the big bucks in investing, you pretty much need to be in for millions - anything less is pretty much chump change.

OH, and the article pointed to further above, http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article20787.html regarding MLP's, reveals that typical returns from the better rated companies are running at about 6% - which would make the $10K investment I referred to earlier earn more like $600, instead of $300 at 3% - 2 RV fillups instead of 1...

BUT, I have a significant amount of our retirement funds invested in a NON-volatile annuity returning 5.25% - with NO risk.

I think I'll stick with that!
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #162
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Doubt if $5 will be magic stopping point. The only good news I get out of this is might get us one step closer to FT status. One can do without A'cond but not heat. Would expect heavy migration from N to S to continue making our TX property even more profitable for us to sell. Come on down.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:11 AM   #163
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BUT, I have a significant amount of our retirement funds invested in a NON-volatile annuity returning 5.25% - with NO risk.
Gary,

With all respect, an annuity has no capital appreciation potential while a stock or MLP does during which time you're still drawing dividends/cash distributions whichever way the stock/MLP price goes. Also, an annuity is only as risk-free as the firm issuing it and/or the underwriter insuring it.

Rusty
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:27 PM   #164
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Smile Gas

Think of it this way even if it doubles to $6 a gallon you're only paying twice as much for a tank than you are now. Just don't go as far and stay longer. I can camp a mile from my house and have fun and still be camping and at that distance thats over 200 trips.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:21 PM   #165
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For those who don't believe the messenger because it was on FOX News, here is the story as reported by CNNMoney:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, says Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012.
In an interview with Platt's Energy Week television, Hofmeister predicted gasoline prices will spike as the global demand for oil increases.
"I'm predicting actually the worst outcome over the next two years which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices," he said.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service says Americans will see gasoline prices hit the $5 a gallon mark in the next decade, but not by 2012.
"That wolf is out there and it's going to be at the door...I agree with him that we'll see those numbers at some point this decade but not yet." Kloza said.
"The demand is still sluggish enough in some of the mature economies."

CNN did interview someone with a differing opinion.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:54 AM   #166
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Gary,

With all respect, an annuity has no capital appreciation potential while a stock or MLP does during which time you're still drawing dividends/cash distributions whichever way the stock/MLP price goes. Also, an annuity is only as risk-free as the firm issuing it and/or the underwriter insuring it.

Rusty
Rusty, our annuity was started with $150K 9 years ago, and has been steadily delivering $300 a month to us all those years - which works out to well over $32K in that time period - and even with that monthly draw, is now worth more than what we put into it at the start - obviously, it would now be worth well over $185K at this point had we not been taking out that $300 a month to supplement SS...
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #167
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Rusty, our annuity was started with $150K 9 years ago, and has been steadily delivering $300 a month to us all those years - which works out to well over $32K in that time period - and even with that monthly draw, is now worth more than what we put into it at the start - obviously, it would now be worth well over $185K at this point had we not been taking out that $300 a month to supplement SS...
We have a variable annuity which actually DOES still appreciate with the market investments but puts a floor on the account below which market changes do not drive down the ultimate value of the account. But it's true that if The Hartford should go belly up... so would we.

Rick
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:02 PM   #168
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6% Oil Company Profits

Came across an article today to ponder on when you feel sorry for oil companies and their profits. Especially when you consider we the tax payers pay to defend them all over the world. Just think about these facts. Article was taken from How Exxon paid zero taxes in 2009

Article below might make you want to ask for some of your tax money back. Or at least expect others to pay their share.

Makes you wonder how corrupt our congress really is! Somebody is really on the take somewhere! This isn't all by accident might I suggest.

How Exxon paid zero taxes in 2009 By MERLIN FLOWER for OIL-PRICE.NET, 2010/04/15

Here's a simple question in Economics: If Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. energy company, made a profit of $35 billion, and if the income tax paid is $15 billion at a tax rate of 47%, how much did it pay to the IRS? The answer is, according to a report published recently in Forbes magazine, zero.

How come the results when 47 percent of the profit had been paid as taxes? Well, it helps to have wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in countries such as Bermuda, Cayman Island and Bahamas to pipeline cash flows from operations in Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi and Angola.

The report, as expected, created a huge outcry in the media as well as among the general public when it detailed the taxes paid by corporations in the US last year. Truly, Exxon is not alone. GE submitted a mammoth 24,000-page tax return and managed to avoid income tax for profits worth $10.3 billion last year.

Likewise many companies though benefiting from corporate welfare in the U.S., use tax shelter practices to send their earnings overseas. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 2008, two out of three US companies paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005. The report had covered 1.3 million corporations in the US with collective sales of $2.5 trillion.

So to the important question: Is it illegal to do so? No, not at all, in fact, it's well within the purview of law. Under Net Operating Loss Carry forwards (NOLs), if a company makes a profit of, say, a million this year but incurs a loss of a million the next year, the previous year's loss could be tallied against the gain. Thus a company could get a zero tax liability in the US. It's the same story in the case of foreign tax credit too.

The foreign tax credit is applied to situations where the company has already paid taxes elsewhere in the world. This is done by the IRS to prevent double taxation for corporations. Thus there is a choice of tax credit or deduction against the US taxes. If a corporation pays over the US corporate rate of 35%, that could offset the tax in the US. Since in Exxon's case the rate was 47% it helped the company offset the income tax in the US.

Since the news broke out, Exxon has clarified that it had paid substantial income tax to the U.S. Treasury in 2009, and that it had overpaid taxes in 2008. The company says that it was expecting a significant income tax liability for 2009. Still, unclear is the actual income tax liability as the company hasn't disclosed it so far. Besides, the company has recorded U.S income tax benefit of $46 million, with non US income taxes accounting to $15.165 billion.

The company's 2009 Financial and operating review, states, 'strong earnings of $19.3 billion in a challenging business environment' with 'sales and other operating revenue include sales-based taxes of $26,936 million for 2009'.
Still, some points to ponder upon:
# Last month the unemployment rate in the US was 9.70%. Exxon Mobil provides stable jobs 79,000 employees- as of march 2009. These 79,000 employees pay income and property taxes, a taxable bounty to local government.
# If Exxon had to pay income taxes it would most likely shed some of its 79,000 workforce, which would have a devastating effect on families and the local economy (schools, hospitals, etc...) Society may better off not taxing the company but its employees instead.
# Taxes paid by Exxon employees are taxes paid by exxon indirectly through salaries. This is accounts for billions in Federal tax revenue generated by Exxon, which usually isn't reported by mainstream media
# Most of the profit earned by the company was from operations abroad
# The company hasn't done anything illegal. Ultimately, it is for the US government to plug all loopholes in the tax extraction process.

Just my two cents worth and it isn't worth that to a lot of people.

rops
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