Oil and the U.S. Dollar

October 30, 2008 at 2:51 pm
Contributed by: Chris

I’m in Minneapolis today to speak to the American Association of Individual Investors about the future of energy and investing–basically a redux of my book Profit from the Peak. I hope the good people of the Twin Cities are ready to see 72 of the most frightening slides they’ve ever seen…(well, a few of them are optimistic!)

For my Energy and Capital article this week, I examine the relationship between oil prices and the U.S. dollar, the yen carry trade and the credit market, and conclude that we must be near a floor for oil prices.

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Highlights of the 2008 ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference, Part 2

October 22, 2008 at 3:48 pm
Contributed by: Chris

Here is Part 2 of my highlights from the 2008 ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference, for Energy and Capital.
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Highlights of the 2008 ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference, Part 1

October 18, 2008 at 12:21 pm
Contributed by: Chris

For my Energy and Capital article this week, I wrote up some highlights from the recent peak oil conference.

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Notes from the 2008 ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference

October 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm
Contributed by: Chris

Here are my notes from the 2008 ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference, September 21-23, 2008 in Sacramento, California. Length: 57 pages.
View the Web version below the fold, or download the PDF.
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Redemption Song

October 8, 2008 at 10:34 am
Contributed by: Chris

In my article for Energy and Capital this week, I survey the carnage in the stock markets and adopt a solidly defensive stance (with a tip of the hat to Bob Marley). If anybody thinks they can call the bottom of this market, I think they’re just kidding themselves. It ain’t over till it’s over…

Good luck everybody.

–C
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My Latest Book: Investing in Renewable Energy

October 6, 2008 at 5:12 pm
Contributed by: Chris

I’m pleased to announce that my second book is now out:
Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks

with Jeff Siegel and Nick Hodge

Unlike my first book Profit from the Peak, this book was a true collaboration. I wrote about half of it, including material that I borrowed and rewrote from PFTP. For example, the roughly four chapters on peak oil from the first book were condensed into one chapter in this book.

The timing of this book was, unfortunately, terrible. Whereas PFTP came out just as the world woke up to the possibility of peak oil, and oil prices were hitting new highs every week (and kept on hitting them for months more), this book comes out just as the markets are experiencing their worst selloff in decades. That’s too bad for us as authors, but there were very few people who would have said we’d be in this situation a year and a half ago, when we were writing the book. Certainly not us.

Although this is a tough time to be an investor in stocks, let alone the energy sector, I firmly believe that once the market has truly wrung out the toxins and assets have once again become properly valued, the energy sector will take off again. That point could be months or even a year or more in the future, but when it does happen, those who have invested wisely in renewables should make a bundle.

Check it out, and let me know what you think of it!

–C

Bailout Bungle

October 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm
Contributed by: Chris

Just a few quick words about the bailout bill today and the markets. But before I get into that, if you wanted to catch my live online TV interview yesterday but were unable to tune in, it is now available in their archives. See http://www.getreallist.com/live-interview-on-cleanskies-tv-today.html for instructions on how to find it.

I think almost everybody expected that if the bailout bill passed the House today, the markets would rally and the good times would start rolling again. It was a tense morning as we watched the debate. The major indexes rose about 3%. And then the vote came.

The bill passed. And then, a couple of very unexpected things happened.

First, the credit markets didn’t move, and the LIBOR spread shot to a new high. That means that the Street considered the bailout to be inadequate to solve the problem at hand–which is liquidity, not just the solvency of a few institutions. In reaction, stocks sold off sharply, and the major indexes all ended the day about 1.5% down, marking the end to a wicked week.

Second, although the bill contained an 8-year extension to the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar installations, which was widely ancitipated and should have meant a banner day for the whole sector, solar shares sold sharply with the rest of the market, ending the day down as much as 8% after rising as much as 10% earlier in the day. Woof, how’s that for volatility, and counterintutive moves?

Meanwhile there were reports of widespread bloodletting in the hedge fund world, leading to more forced redemptions, indiscriminate selling to meet margin requirements, etc. See http://tinyurl.com/4uxdph. In short, the selling is continuing to feed on itself.

The take-home? Passing a bailout bill is one thing; unfreezing the credit markets is another. It ain’t over till it’s over, and we’re nowhere near done with this mess. Monday could be brutal, unless we have a new round of Sunday night shenanigans.

For a good summary of what happened today, check out my buddy Aaron Task’s end of day post:

Roubini: ‘Much More Radical’ Action Needed as Bailout Fails to Lift Confidence

I also recommend poking around at the archives there on Tech Ticker for some excellent insights from Howard Lindzon and Nouriel Roubini in particular.

Finally, for those who somehow missed everything I’ve been saying for the last month or more: get out, stay in cash, keep yer head down and good luck!

Now let’s try to have a nice weekend and forget this week ever happened, if only for a little while.

Live interview on Cleanskies TV today

October 2, 2008 at 9:37 am
Contributed by: Chris

I will be on http://www.cleanskies.tv live today at 1 pm PST, if you’d like to tune in.

The show will be re-broadcast on ABC TV this weekend (“Clean Skies Sunday,” after Stephanopoulos) and CBS radio…

UPDATE: The clip is now available online. I couldn’t get RealPlayer to work and make it a downloadable clip, nor does the pig of a Flash application that runs their entire site let you find links anywhere. But if you really want to see it, I suggest you shut down other applications, then follow these breadcrumbs:

1. Go to http://www.cleanskies.tv/#app=6609&b7d2-selectedIndex=3

2. In the center column of buttons, click on “The Energy Report with Susan McGinnis”

3. On the right, scroll down to the 10/2/08 segment, with the blurb “House members ar…” and click on it.

My bit runs from 3:00 to about 10:10.

Safe Plays for Dangerous Days

October 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Contributed by: Chris

In my Energy and Capital article for this week, I considered some insight from my Depression era daddy, and devised a “Depression Portfolio” to help weather the stormy markets.

–C
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