19
Feb

Thursday – Dualing Inventory Reports

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Sentiment Watch: Very cautious. Good time to sit on hands as the market is testing the November (bear market lows) and CNBC still looks more like CSPAN than a channel devoted to stocks. Futures look stronger this morning and could get a further pop if we see a second month of strength out of the leading indicators but my inclination (and probably everyone else's)  is to not trust rallies on bad news (see HP this morning) and that such a rally probably won't have legs beyond a day or two.  And as if we didn't have enough to worry about these days, the North Koreans are at it again.

In Today's Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Inventory Previews
  4. Earnings Watch - OII, PQ, DSX
  5. Odds & Ends

Holdings Watch: No changes yesterday.

Commodity Watch

Crude oil fell $0.31 to $34.62 yesterday on the March contract which expires Friday. However, the strips were much weaker with the 12 month strip falling $1.61 to close at $42.98 on the heals of a $3.76 on Tuesday. That's a new low for strip pricing during this cycle.  The weakness is attributable to further evidence that a global economic recovery will take long to pull off and that the OPEC surplus is likely to grow beyond the current 8 mm bopd overhang to something closer to 10 mm bopd by mid year (my guesstimate but its probably pretty close).  This morning crude is trading up $1.30 with a sharp retreat (1%) in the dollar.

 

  • MEND Watch: The Nigerian rebel group is being blamed for an attack on the palace of Equatorial Guinea, 125 miles from its usual haunts. MEND denies the claim and says it is the Nigerian government that is responsible for a failed coup.  E.G. produces between 300 and 400,000 bopd in the region but has been relatively stable and a growing source of attention from the Majors as they look for large offshore oil reserves.

Natural gas traded up a penny to close at $4.21 yesterday in front of what will likely be one of the smallest withdrawals on record for this week of the year as warm weather and the ongoing economic discombobulation weigh on demand. See inventory comments below. This morning gas is trading flat.

  • LNG Thoughts Watch: For those who've been asking about LNG of late I've been doing a little more digging the last few days with regard to 2009 volume adds.
    • Estimates range from 4 to 7 Bcfgpd of new capacity coming on line this year. We saw 1.3 Bcfgpd of new capacity come on yesterday (mentioned in the post) from Russia and we will see more volumes from Norway, Qatar, Yemen (broken up over the year) and Indonesia. Most of the Russian gas will go to Asia as it's close and they've contracted for over 60% of it . That leaves some gas from the new sources potentially heading to the states.
    • Meanwhile, Europe has been rapidly building LNG regassification capacity as well and unlike in the States where it's obviously not needed the Europeans have Medeyev/Putin to contend with whenever it gets cold and the Ukrainians forget to pay the gas bill. Europe will have nearly doubled their LNG intake from 10 Bcfgpd at the end of 2007 to 19 Bcfgpd by the end of 2010.
  • Taiwan Seeks To Cancel LNG Shipments. Taipei is seeking to cancel six cargoes from Indonesia due to lack of demand as Taiwan's exports dwindle. See the story here.

Inventory Previews: We get both oil and natural gas reports today

Crude Oil Inventory Preview (due for release at 11:00 EST today)

ZComment:

  • Crude Stocks: Cushing is already at record levels. I think headline risk for oil prices is imminent. Traders see "U.S. crude inventories at decade high levels" and they hit the sell button even harder. On the flip side, this solidifies OPEC's willingness to make more meaningful cuts to production at its March meeting. And wait, there's a corollary to even that. Just 2 mm bopd more in the way of cuts and OPEC will have a whopping 10 mm bopd of capacity shut in. Talk about a cloud over crude prices through the remainder of the year.  Imports remain too high.
  • Gasoline Stocks  - normally up about 1 mm barrels per week this time of year, the lower refinery utilization and not so dead demand has got them falling. API showed a 1.6 mm barrel BUILD here last night which, if it shows up in the EIA data as well, means either demand fell back away from its seasonal up trend (more likely) or refiners cranked production back up (less likely). Neither outcome is particularly good for crude prices. 
  • Distillate Stocks - this is the least important number and probably the least predictable with the weather we've been experiencing.

Natural Gas Inventory Preview: (Storage numbers to be released at 10:30 am EST)

  • My Number: 40 to 50 Bcf (pretty tough to pin down with any hope of real accuracy when the heating demand numbers get squishy like this).-
    • History of the week:
      • Last year: 157 Bcf
      • 5 Year average: 155 Bcf
    • Weather: In a word: Tropical.
      • HDDs tumbled to 155 last week week, normal is 205 for the second week of February and last year saw a colder 222.
    • Imports:  9.2 Bcfgpd, up 0.2 from last week but off 0.6 Bcfgpd from year ago levels
    • Demand: probably off about 5 Bcfgpd due to the weak economy.
  • Street Consensus:  51 Bcf

 

ZComment: More downside than upsdie potential for gas with today's number. The gas market has probably already fully discounted this pathetic little number, having fallen 7% in just last the week. Unless of course it falls short and then lookout $4. If we come in anywhere close to the Consensus number it means a sharp jump in the surplus relative to year ago and five year average levels.  With more Spring like weather in the forecast this week the five year average storage trough of 1,340 Bcf and last year's 1,236 Bcf look like fairly remote possibilities. Still, after today, there are 7 weeks left in the traditional withdrawal season and a sharp end to winter could still meaningfully reduce inventories (just not holding breath on that one). And finally and perhaps more importantly, the rig count will continue to fall which must lend support to gas prices as the U.S. is running out of basins that remain economic at current levels.

Earnings Watch:

OII Reports Solid 4Q08 Results; Mid Point 2009 Guidance A Touch Below Consensus, As Usual Looks Conservative

  • The 4Q Numbers: In Line
    • Revenues reported of $525.7 million vs $522 mm expected
    • EPS of $0.93 vs $0.93 expected
      • EPS includes a $0.10 charge to write down the value of an investment in an oil tanker that may be converted for use by the company's MOPS (mobile offshore production system divsion).
  • Guidance: Below Street

    • 1Q09: Guiding to $0.60 to $0.70 vs Street Consensus of $0.76
    • 2009: EPS of $3.00 to 3.60 vs.

      • the Street's $3.48 (range of $2.70 to $4.12 from 15 analysts)
      • and 2008 of $3.58.
  • Balance Sheet: Strong, low debt

    • $229 million long term debt as of 12/31/08, for a net debt to total cap of 18%
    • They have debt maturing of $105 mm this year and talk of repaying it out of free cash flow (cash flow above maintenance capex generated from operations this year)
  • Favorite Quote:

We do not pretend to have a "bulletproof" business strategy. It would, therefore, be presumptuous to claim we know the exact impact our customers' spending cuts will have on demand for our services and products. However, we believe the deepwater market will be among the least vulnerable to these cuts. This belief is based on the inherent size and long-term nature of deepwater projects and our expectation that oil prices will inevitably rebound to a level that will make these projects more economical. While work on most authorized deepwater projects is likely to continue, the urgency to start new projects is in question.

  • Other Items of Note:

    • ROV utilization fell to 82% for the year vs 87% in 2007 after a substantial expansion of their fleet. Would like to see this addressed on the call in light of deepwater newbuild delays.
    • Inspection division has not yet seen an uptick in business following Gustav/Ike. In the past, bad hurricane seasons have been a boon for this part of the business. 
    • Share count keeps trickling lower and I'd like to hear more about the plan for the buyback in 2009 given their cash flow apparently will outstrip both maintenance capital and debt repayment needs, perhaps resulting in a 1 or even 2% decline in the count by year end. 
    • MOPS is still small piece of the pie but becoming a drag on margins, would like to know more about the thinking here.


  • Nutshell: Good quarter, great year, want to get a better handle on their outlook.  These are the remote operated vehicle, subsea products, and subsea inspection guys we play around in every now and again. Total company margins eased from 17% to 16% sequentially and while the ROV piece of the business saw improvements in margins, utilization was off.  I'd like to hear more about that and what their capital budget for 2009 gets them in terms of incremental units. Sounds like they are confident in keeping the ROVs busy but that subsea products may be impacted later this year due to project delays and hence the conservative looking guidance. I'm not in the name now but will likely be looking to be more active again along with other deepwater plays in short order.


  • Conference Call: Today, 11 EST

 

PQ Reports 4Q08 Numbers; Updates Guidance

  • The 4Q Numbers:
    • Production: 102.6 MMcfepd vs a previously upped guidance range of 102 to 103 MMcfepd
    • Revenues reported of $66.2 mm vs $73 mm expected
    • EPS of ($3.14) including non cash ceiling test impairment vs $0.09 expected
  • Ceiling Test Writedown: $247 mm is quite a bit bigger than the previously estimated $94 to $100 mm.
  • Volume Guidance: 1Q A Little Stronger
    • 1Q09 volumes of 105 to 110 MMcfepd expected vs recent guidance of 100 to 110 MMcfepd.
    • Unchanged from recent guidance of 90 to 100 MMcfepd. 2008 averaged 92.6 MMcfepd so this equates to 2.6% volume growth based on the mid point of guidance. 
  • Hedges: Up slightly. 60% of expected volumes hedged at $8.02 vs recent note at 55% at $7.87 per Mcf.
  • Operational Update: None other than they plan to operate below cash flow levels, see last operations update from January here.
  • Nutshell:  Messy quarter with the supersized write down but they will be forgiven for that given that its all price based. Will listen to call but am inclined to take a wait and see approach ...don't see a reason to play now.
  • Conference Call: Today, 9:30 EST

DSX Reports In Line Quarter

  • The 4Q Numbers:
    • Revenues reported of $84.3 mm vs $82 mm expected
    • EPS of $0.72 vs $0.72 expected
  • Guidance: None
  • Nutshell: Stock called up on a non-disasterous quarter in the dry bulk arena. This is one of the under-leveraged ones that now find themselves in a much stronger position relative to their peers in their ability to both keep up with their balance sheet, expand during a time of falling ship prices, and maintain their dividends.
  • Conference Call: 9 EST

 

Odds & Ends:

Analyst Watch: Berstein ups (RIG), (CHK) and (TLM) to Outperform and ups (NE), (RDC), (ESV) to Market Perform  (the Gutsy Move Maverick of the Day Award goes to their service analyst for those last too jack up upgrades), Barclays takes (SU) to Overweight. Meanwhile Berstein and Barclays cut their rating on (XOM).

T Boone's Portfolio Story.

111 Responses to “Thursday – Dualing Inventory Reports”

  1. 1
    Sambone Says:

    Oil Up $1 Ahead Of US Inventory Data

    By NICK HEATH
    Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    LONDON — Crude oil futures rebounded higher Thursday as traders re-examined expectations for weekly U.S. government crude data due later in the day.

    Anticipation that the U.S. Department of Energy will reveal a large build in crude stocks Thursday were revisited after separate American Petroleum Institute numbers, published late Wednesday, indicated a relatively small build in crude stockpiles.

    Also lending support, latest U.S. preliminary oil import data hinted that compliance with Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries output cuts might be more profound than previously expected. It also emerged Thursday that more cuts could be on the way.

    At 1154 GMT, the front-month April Brent contract on London’s ICE futures exchange was up $1.09 at $40.64 a barrel.

    The front-month March light, sweet, crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading $1.01 higher at $35.63 a barrel.

    The ICE’s gasoil contract for March delivery was up $3.00 at $368.25 a metric ton, while Nymex gasoline for March delivery was up 130 points at 107.82 cents a gallon.

    The API reported Wednesday that U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 1.6 million barrels last week, a figure that undercut market expectations. According to a Dow Jones Newswires survey of analysts, U.S. government data are likely to show crude stocks rose by 2.9 million barrels.

    But while the magnitude of the crude build could be less than expected, any build would remain consistent with a trend that has seen stocks build for seven straight weeks, scuttling Nymex crude contract prices in the process.

    “The crude oil build might be lower than some expectations, but it is still a build,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of Swiss consultancy Petromatrix.

    Traders will be closely watching stock levels at Cushing, Okl, the delivery point for Nymex futures, amid anxiety that a rise in already record stock levels could hit the March contract — due to expire Friday — the hardest.

    Meanwhile, the data published at 1600 GMT Thursday are also expected to reveal gasoline inventories fell by 600,000 barrels last week, while distillate stocks fell by 1 million barrels, according to the average of analysts’ estimates.

    News that OPEC could cut oil output again was also being monitored Thursday.

    While the majority of OPEC governors are opposed to a new output reduction being decided at a scheduled conference of the group in March, they have agreed that the market is still oversupplied by 1.6 million barrels a day, a person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday. OPEC may decide a new cut of this size in the second quarter, the person said.

    Inflated U.S. oil inventories have largely blunted a higher price response to the 4.2 million barrels a day of OPEC production cuts announced since September, but more signs that the producer group’s actions are beginning to have an impact are starting to emerge.

    According to preliminary U.S. government data out Wednesday, U.S. crude oil imports fell 3.1% to a five-year low of 9.721 million barrels a day in 2008.

    December imports of Saudi crude — OPEC’s largest producer — fell 7.9% from November and were 18.2% below a year ago, at the lowest level for any month since October 2007.

    “January OPEC production was also 1 million barrels down on December — that should be hitting imports into the U.S. and elsewhere in the second half of this month,” said Michael Wittner, head of global oil market research at Societe General in London.

    “I think that should finally start to show up in crude imports and crude stocks, and that’s really what the market wants to see,” he said.

    (Benoit Faucon in London contributed to this item.)

    —By Nick Heath, Dow Jones Newswires

  2. 2
    zman Says:

    Thanks Sam, I really think they need a nice round number like 2 mm bopd in March to grab people’s attention.

  3. 3
    elduque Says:

    BDI +71 2057

    TED -.366 94.32

  4. 4
    zman Says:

    DSX call starting now:

    http://viavid.net/player/dcem.aspx?sid=00005CEB

  5. 5
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Thank goodness we’re Americans… we are Optimists at heart. So, we have had just about as much negativity over the last week that we can stand. Whatever they do in Washington, we will live through it. We don’t like to live in fear for long.

    So today, we rally. If only for a while.

    Credit Markets opened a lot better, have weakened a bit from there, but are still higher than yesterday’s lows (wides).

    IG 207 1/2 -5 1/2 bps. This traded as tight as as tight as 206, from it’s 213 official close yesterday. Sure would like to see it drop back below the 200 level.

    HY 73.44 +0.06. A tad better from yesterday’s close. Would like to see this get above 76 to feel better about the below-investment-grade kids (which include some of our favs, like HK and CHK).

  6. 6
    zman Says:

    DSX CC – high quality charterers, these relationships have been expanded in the last few months as the charterers in turn seek stable shippers,

    balance sheet continues to improve (I think that’s key to these guys outperforming this year),

    Market Comments:
    Future course of BDI will be dependent on steel. IMF sees activity down 1.5% U.S., down 2% for Europe, and down 2.5% for Japan with China up. BDI more dependent on China stimulus than U.S. one…lending up strongly in China, lot of public works just started.

    Still mulling, won’t buy it on the open but will watch. Quarter confirms this as one of the best positioned in a battered industry.

  7. 7
    zman Says:

    DSX CC

    See China steel prices recently rising, pickup in iron ore shipments, see 7% increase in iron shipments to China in 2009 and up 8% in 2010. Annual negotiations on iron ore prices underway. Iron ore stock piles have been dropping and vessels are extremely congested at Chinese ports (takes 9 days to get a berth).

  8. 8
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Credit Market trying to keep the rally going, pre-stock mrkt open…

    IG 206

    HY 73.75

  9. 9
    zman Says:

    Nice open, let’s keep that up.

  10. 10
    zman Says:

    Oil up $1.90, and the strip is following it up this time. Obviously, numbers at 11EST pretty important for this rally to survive/continue.

    XTO and APA reported this morning and both are down on their outlook.

  11. 11
    zman Says:

    PQ Q&A note – this is pretty much in line with what everyone is saying but worth reiterating. Highlights the fact that the service company outperformace YTD is probably a headfake.

    10 to 15% in general service costs, some operation costs like fuel and water hauling costs have come down more. They think another 15 to 20% needs to come off service costs at current gas prices.

  12. 12
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Leading Indicators came in a bit better than expected — 0.4% vs 0.1% expd

  13. 13
    zman Says:

    Thanks BOP, that’s two months in a row on the LI.

  14. 14
    zman Says:

    PQ call dwindling down into minutia. Don’t see a reason to play near term.

  15. 15
    zman Says:

    Seeing exceptional strength in deepwater and would expect that to continue as long as the broader market remains green.

  16. 16
    elduque Says:

    Where do you get the natural gas nos. from? and are they at 10.30 est?

    Please and thankyou

  17. 17
    zman Says:

    The natural gas number comes out at the regular time of 10:30 EST (about 20 minutes from now) and will be reported here:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/natural_gas/ngs/ngs.html

  18. 18
    zman Says:

    Oil will be out at 11:00 EST today, a day plus 30 minutes late due to the holiday.

  19. 19
    choices Says:

    30 yr Treas weak, dollar down

  20. 20
    zman Says:

    Choices, yep, dollar backing away from those highs will help oil a little.

    BOP – thanks for the credit comments earlier.

    Still listening to the PQ call, little of value.

    NG storage in 5 minutes. Energy appears to want to strengthen today but needs to get through the inventory numbers to rally for the rest of the week.

  21. 21
    zman Says:

    24 Bcf, awful number.

  22. 22
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    nat gas storage… yikes.

  23. 23
    zman Says:

    Yep, gas is going to take a look at breaking $4 now. If you think rigs have been stacked quickly up to this point, just wait a couple of weeks if we start hanging out in the $3s. Only the Marcellus and the Haynesville will be economic.

  24. 24
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    HY index back down to unch’d now. In line with stocks, it appears.

    HY 73.25

  25. 25
    zman Says:

    Low trade on NG: 4.001 (so far)

    At some point soon traders will start looking through the trough as the rig count decline will yield an undeniable roll in domestic production. Producers taking it on the chin but service still holding up. Probably a good day to take puts on HAL, BHI.

  26. 26
    zman Says:

    OII surprisingly strong, it was a good quarter, interesting to see the lower guidance than Street being shrugged off. Granted, at about 10x forward numbers the stock is priced at about half of its usual multiple. Call begins in 15 minutes

  27. 27
    elduque Says:

    Do you have another fancy website to pull up the crude figures?

  28. 28
    zman Says:

    Crude results, not very fancy but its the government so what can you expect?

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/weekly_petroleum_status_report/current/txt/wpsr.txt

  29. 29
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Credit Market Index Update —

    IG 208 -5bps

    HY 73.25 unch’d

  30. 30
    zman Says:

    crude: down 0.2 mm barrels – big drop in imports. That’s a surprise and keeps away that headline high storage number
    gasoline: up 1.1
    distillate: down 0.8 mm barrels.

    more in a second…

  31. 31
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Back to Bank-Watch. Range-bound to lower, until the banking issues are confronted and settled.

    Bank examiners should suspend M-T-M, then “stress test” the assets, and close down any bank with inadequate capital. They should allow banks who have taken TARP money to aquire the closed down (“nationalized,” the way the media has termed it) banks.

    Also, along with the fixation on everybody’s compensation, Congress should roll back the salary increase they voted on for themselves this year.

  32. 32
    zman Says:

    gasoline demand eased slightly
    distillate moved up a little more

    cushing stocks held flat at their record high of 34.9 mm barrels.

  33. 33
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    tater’s right… CRK seems to attract buyers right at the $34 level.

  34. 34
    zman Says:

    This should take some pressure off energy that was brought on by that pathetic natural gas number and the decline in the market. Good for SU, CLR, EOG …

    …not so good for the refiners although not terrible either.

  35. 35
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    For the engineers/physicists out there —
    Think US as core and the Asian Crisis of ’98 as periphery…

    http://ib.ptb.de/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/IB_PTB/8/84/841/SPIRAL/841spirale.html

    Fractal explanation of economies.

  36. 36
    isleworth Says:

    a potential meaningful turn for Oil Z?

  37. 37
    zman Says:

    Crude strip marching back up with the EIA numbers.

  38. 38
    zman Says:

    Isle – Tempted to say one week does not a trend make. But…I’ve been waiting so long for imports to dip that I can’t. However, imports are normally pretty volatile. We need to see them stay down for quite some time. I would bet that crude will get a bounce if next week shows imports still below 9 mm bopd.

  39. 39
    isleworth Says:

    Z- where do you get the oil strip quote? Nymex? Is it a 12 month strip?

  40. 40
    zman Says:

    Isle – I have live Nymex so I sit here and watch the next 24 months of contracts.

    You can see a delayed quote here:

    http://www2.barchart.com/dfutpage.asp?sym=cl

    Note on the main page those are yesterday’s quotes, if you click each one you can see the current quote, about 15 minutes delayed.

  41. 41
    zman Says:

    Got tied up on the phone and missed the OII call, will read the transcript and follow up later.

  42. 42
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    CHK raised to “Outperform” at Sanford Bernstein

  43. 43
    zman Says:

    Oil up $3.30 on the March contract (expires tomorrow). 12 month strip up about $1.50, higher in the near months. Probably some short covering here.

  44. 44
    zman Says:

    BOP – I saw that. Did not see any deets on why but I’d guess its an NAV call.

  45. 45
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z — CHK/SB… you’re right. I just saw that scroll across my screen, so thought it was new. But, can’t get much past you! I see you mentioned the upgrade this morning.

  46. 46
    zman Says:

    BOP – I think its sort of a curious call in here, in front of the shoulder season. The market has not given anyone credit for hedges in this downturn. Maybe its time for that to change. Rigs have been falling fast but its going to get really wild soon. The producing region actually saw a build in stocks. Just too much gas coming out of Texas.

  47. 47
    zman Says:

    Ok, what’s wrong with the broad market now?

    Nicky – got any levels for us on crude.

  48. 48
    etswd Says:

    z-hk has been trying to hold 18, with ng looking to come down along with chk upgrade(why?), and hk 2009 hedgies, plus mkt trying to figure obama package. where is the handle? tea leaves.

  49. 49
    Denise Says:

    Greetings everyone-Don’t know how many of you are aware of this trading tax proposal-Rev Shark has started a blog and a petition site.

    http://www.rallycongress.com/no2tradertax/1536/

    By Rev Shark
    RealMoney.com Contributor
    2/19/2009 10:31 AM EST

    With the trillions that Congress is spending recently, you can be sure it is going to start looking for ways to raise revenues. In this environment, what better way to do that than by taxing those evil, greedy folks on Wall Street at the core of our economic woes?

    I am being just a little sarcastic, but there is no doubt that Wall Street as a whole is being demonized in the current political environment and that efforts to impose taxes may gain some popular support. The frightening thing is that we already have some congressional leaders looking to impose a tax on all security trades. They are not just looking to target the crazy financial instruments, big institutions or the huge program traders that are the real cause of some problems. They are looking to tax everyone who makes a trade of any size.

    There is already one proposed bill making the rounds, which you can see here. What may be even worse is that there also is a line item in the proposed National Health Care Act that seeks to impose “a small tax on stock and bond transactions” in addition to “a modest and progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income.”

    I believe that imposition of a transaction tax will have a devastating impact, not only on active investors but on the broad market as well. My initial discussions and inquiries show that few folks are aware of what is going on and that the chances of a tax being included in some massive bill like the stimulus bill are high.

    I’m taking several steps to deal with this issue. I’ve started a petition that you can sign and have sent to your government representatives.

    I’ve also started a blog for ongoing coverage of this issue and am looking into establishing an organization called the American Coalition of Individual Investors to give a voice to those worried about overzealous taxation of Wall Street. The great irony of these taxes is that they will further damage the average market player who has already suffered huge losses in the market. Active investing will be further discouraged when it would have been the salvation of many.

    I’ve already heard some of the old-time buy-and-hold players try to dismiss such a tax as irrelevant. I assure you that it isn’t. It has the potential to profoundly affect all active investors in a very negative way. We need to make sure our voices are heard now or we will be steamrolled by Congress in their zeal to punish everyone connected with the stock market.

  50. 50
    zman Says:

    ETSWD – my sense is HK holds this level. The recent selling was profit taking from people who could not believe they had profits. Well results here have been exceptional and growth will remain strong this year. Before we see declining production, we will see fund managers who play in the energy circle consolidate their exposure to gas in few names. Names with good growth from the lowest cost basins will be at the top of the list. Hedges will probably help decide what you hold long term (more hedges in 2009) vs what you speculate in (low hedges now for a perceived coming rally in gas).

  51. 51
    zman Says:

    Re 49. That’s a very bad idea.

  52. 52
    etswd Says:

    thanks z for clarity, when i saw hk run from 10 to 23, then back to 18, kind of reminded me of last run up/ then crash.

  53. 53
    Denise Says:

    Here is a copy of the House Bill 1068 proposing a 25bp trading tax
    http://caracommunity.com/sites/default/files/HR1068.pdf

  54. 54
    zman Says:

    ETSWD – There is also the possibility that HK does an equity secondary to balance out the balance sheet after their debt deal. Fear of that may have contributed to the profit taking (along with the lower natural gas prices). Personally I think they would be foolish to attempt an equity offering at this time, regardless of price. The uncertain duration of depressed gas prices would make pricing such a deal extremely painful to current shareholders and I’m sure they are aware of that having seen the reaction to CHK’s shelf filing in November. Analysts and fund managers want capital discipline right now, not more dilution to maintain or grow production, not at these gas prices. The fact that they will grow production in 2009 (at least that’s the plan as it stands today) while keeping spending close to cash flow makes them more attractive as their peers cut back to the point of impairing their growth (which is what will help turn NG prices higher ultimately).

  55. 55
    zman Says:

    Thanks Much Denise! I like how they saw in bullet 4 that the TARP is a Wall Street bailout and therefore Wall Street should pay for it (next bullet) and that the “transaction tax” won’t hurt the average investor.

  56. 56
    zman Says:

    Denise: is that 25 bips of the transaction value?

  57. 57
    zman Says:

    Getting back to near HOD in many names, would like to see this follow through tomorrow.

  58. 58
    zman Says:

    12 month oil strip now up $2+

    Service names outperforming easily, deepwater strength on oil and also SLB getting a lift from a contract with PBR is giving the sector a shot of adrenaline.

    Financials still dogging the broad market however or the energy names would be much higher on the crude move.

    BOP – any trading desk comments for today/tomorrow?

  59. 59
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z — Technical Trader gone for the day… he said an error by MLCO ruined his trades and he took the rest of the day off (I am not making this stuff up). Head Trader says his gut tells him “higher from here.” But, Head Trader’s gut is not as good as Techinical Trader’s charts/feel. So, there you go. Grain of salt and all.

  60. 60
    zman Says:

    Thanks much, as always, BOP.

  61. 61
    Sambone Says:

    Hmmmm, are we in recession yet?

    The following chart is a selection of some first-quarter announcements of job
    cuts since the beginning of the year. Some numbers are estimates.

    Company Name Date of Number of Percent
    Announcement Jobs Cut Work Force

    Goodyear Tire 02/18/2009 5,000 7%
    Rockwood Holdings 02/18/2009 900 9%
    General Motors Corp. 02/17/2009 47,000 18.7%
    Chrysler LLC 02/17/2009 3,000 N/A
    Smithfield Foods 02/17/2009 1,800 3.4%
    Wal-Mart Stores 02/13/2009 1,100-1,200 -k N/A
    Pioneer Corp. 02/12/2009 10,000 -l 16% -l
    ArcelorMittal 02/11/2009 9,000 3%
    General Motors 02/10/2009 10,000 14% -g
    Unisys 02/10/2009 1,300 N/A
    UBS 02/10/2009 2,000 2.6%
    FedEx Corp. 02/09/2209 900 2.6% -j
    Anglo Platinum 02/09/2009 10,000 13%
    Nissan Motor 02/08/2009 20,000 8%
    International Rectifier 02/05/2009 850 18%
    Power-One Inc. 02/05/2009 1,000 22%
    Bombardier 02/05/2009 1,360 4.5%
    Estee Lauder 02/05/2009 2,000 6%
    Time Warner Cable 02/04/2009 1,250 3%
    Harman International 02/04/2009 1,110 9.4%
    Panasonic 02/04/2009 15,000 5%
    Electronic Arts Inc. 02/03/2009 1,100 11%
    PNC Financial Services 02/03/2009 5,800 10%
    SAS 02/03/2009 3,000 13% -h
    Atlas Copco 02/02/2009 3,000 9%
    Macy’s 02/02/2009 7,000 4%
    NEC 01/30/2009 20,000 7%
    Hitachi 01/30/2009 7,000 2%
    Caterpillar 01/30/2009 22,110 -f N/A
    American Axle 01/30/2009 3,000 N/A
    Chartered Semiconductor 01/29/2009 600 8%
    Charles Schwab Corp. 01/29/2009 500-600 3.7%-4.5%
    Black & Decker 01/29/2009 1,200 5%
    Bon-Ton Stores Inc. 01/29/2009 1,150 3%
    Eastman Kodak 01/29/2009 4,500 18%
    AstraZeneca 01/29/2009 7,400 11%
    Ford Motor Credit 01/28/2009 1,200 20%
    Boeing Co. 01/28/2009 10,000 6% -d
    Allstate Corp. 01/28/2009 1,000 -e 2.6%
    Jabil Circuit 01/28/2009 3,000 4.9%
    AOL 01/28/2009 700 10%
    Starbucks 01/28/2009 6,700 4%
    SAP 01/28/2009 3,000 6%
    STMicroelectronics 01/28/2009 4,500 9%
    Avery Dennison 01/27/2009 N/A 10%
    Baker Hughes 01/27/2009 1,500 4%
    Corning 01/27/2009 3,500 13%
    Cooper Industries 01/27/2009 2,200 7%
    Clariant 01/27/2009 1,000 5%
    Texas Instruments 01/26/2009 3,400 12%
    Home Depot 01/26/2009 7,000 2%
    Sprint Nextel 01/26/2009 8,000 13%
    Pfizer 01/26/2009 8,300 10%
    ING 01/26/2009 7,000 5%
    Philips Electronics 01/26/2009 6,000 5%
    Corus 01/26/2009 3,500 10%
    Harley-Davidson 01/23/2009 1,100 11%
    Microsoft 01/22/2009 5,000 5%
    Huntsman 01/22/2009 1,175 9%
    Intel 01/21/2009 6,000 -c 7%
    UAL 01/21/2009 1,000 2%
    Eaton 01/20/2009 5,200 6%
    Bose 01/20/2009 1,000 10%
    Rohm & Haas 01/20/2009 900 5.7%
    Clear Channel 01/20/2009 1,850 9%
    ConocoPhillips 01/16/2009 1,300 4%
    Circuit City 01/16/2009 34,000 100% -a
    Pfizer 01/16/2009 3,200 -b 3%
    AMD 01/16/2009 1,100 9%
    Hertz Global Holdings 01/16/2009 4,000 13%
    Wellpoint 01/16/2009 1,500 3.6%
    Saks 01/15/2009 1,100 9%
    MeadWestvaco 01/15/2009 2,000 10%
    Autodesk 01/15/2009 750 10%
    Motorola 01/14/2009 4,000 6%
    Barclays 01/14/2009 2,100 1.3%
    Seagate Technology 01/12/2009 800 10%
    Cessna 01/12/2009 2,000 N/A
    Walgreen 01/08/2009 1,000 9% -i
    Lenovo Group 01/08/2009 2,500 11%
    EMC 01/07/2009 2,400 7%
    Alcoa 01/06/2009 15,000 14.5%
    Cigna 01/05/2009 1,100 4%

    a. Company in liquidation
    b. Includes announcements of 2,400 cuts on Jan. 16 and 800 layoffs on Jan.
    13.
    c. Number of employees affected by plant closures, not all will lose jobs
    d. Includes Jan. 9 announcement of 4,500 layoffs from commercial-airplane
    staff
    e. Reductions to come over the next two years
    f. Includes 20,000 job cuts announced Jan. 26 and 2,110 announced Jan. 30
    g. 14% of salaried work force.
    h. The work force will be reduced by another 5,600 staff as divisions are
    divested or outsourced.
    i. The percentage represents cuts made to eligible corporate positions and
    certain field-management positions
    j. Percentage of work force reduced at FedEx Freight unit.
    k. Cuts include corporate headquarters staff reduction announced Feb. 10 and
    Georgia return center staff announced Feb 13.
    l. Cutting 6,000 permanent jobs, or 16% of global work force, plus 4,000
    temproary job.

    Dow Jones Newswires
    02-19-09 1200ET

  62. 62
    Sambone Says:

    Z, I just posted something and it looks like it is being held up. Big file

  63. 63
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Just got the colour behind Technical Trader’s hissy fit. He was going to go short the morning rally, out of the gate… but MLCO sold too many contracts by mistake this morning and had to cover. That propped up the market longer than he thought. So, he didn’t do the short-trade and didn’t make the money. So, he took the rest of the day off.

    Technical Traders can be very high-strung animals.

  64. 64
    Denise Says:

    Z-sorry stepped away-yes 25 basis points -with some sort of max on larger trade-all trades(options ect..)
    Think they will raise $150 billion
    Has me more incensed than I am about the mortgage bailout!

    Please everyone spread the word and sign the petition on the web site Rev Shark put together-only takes a minute of your time. The email is sent directly to your state rep

  65. 65
    zman Says:

    Sam – I despammed it.

    BOP – can you blame the guy. Market action very much like watching paint dry.

  66. 66
    zman Says:

    Thanks Denise. So its a national sales tax on trades. Nice. And I thought I despised capital gains taxes.

  67. 67
    zman Says:

    Very active buying in April through June contracts. All up $2.50 through August now. With the front month up $3.80 (11%) I’d say we have a big short cover on our hands.

  68. 68
    kyleandy Says:

    BOP – MLCO?????

  69. 69
    zman Says:

    MLCO = Merrill

  70. 70
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    z, Denise — do you think the Trading Tax Bill will pass? I would think a lot of retired folks (for example), who trade their own account, would be up in arms over that one. Even Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to upset the AARP crowd.

  71. 71
    zman Says:

    BOP – I don’t see how they get that through the Senate. I’d guess no GOP will vote for it.

  72. 72
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    I don’t know… not a lot of active investors living in Maine… Pennsylvania might be more of a push, this time around, tho.

    Anyway, let’s hope at least SOME bad ideas are shot down. An awful lot of ’em have already flown the coop and are circling our heads, though.

  73. 73
    Jay Reynolds Says:

    Yesterday, after driving by another HS rig being stacked (#5 Hall) on a yet to be drilled location, I had the pleasure of submitting an inventory of my rehabilitated junk oil production equipment (for wells I CAN NOT afford to pump or plug) so I can pay MORE tax.

    I’m about this close (fingertips ~0.01 nanometers apart) to selling what can be sold, giving the State a few hundred wellbores to plug and getting the Hell out of Dodge.

    Took a break.. Really I’m just torn up because I had to lay my last two guys off. It was about as joyful as having to shoot your loyal, old dog.

  74. 74
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    So much for “shared sacrifice.”

    Diner-in-Chief’s Appetite Gives Washington Restaurants Stimulus
    2009-02-19 05:01:00.5 GMT

    By Jim O’Connell
    Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — After eight years in which George W.
    Bush visited Washington-area eateries about as often as he went to Iraq, restaurateurs are looking forward to the economic and publicity boost a more social president might bring.
    President Barack Obama and his family started stimulating the local economy even before he was sworn into office.
    On Jan. 15 the Obamas celebrated the first lady’s 45th birthday at Equinox, two blocks from the White House. At another time, Obama visited local favorite Ben’s Chili Bowl. Michelle Obama has been to Georgia Brown’s downtown and Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Washington’s trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood.
    “It’s obvious he’s going to be out and about,” said Paul Cohn of Capital Restaurant Concepts Ltd., which operates five area dining rooms. “That bodes well for the city.”
    In Washington, politicians are the celebrities and visitors to the capital love to see them at a nearby restaurant table, Cohn said. Tourists go back home talking about whom they saw and how exciting it was, which encourages more people to visit, he said.
    “Seeing someone like the president out there, that’s huge,” Cohn said.
    Bill Clinton’s visits during his presidency to the Bombay Club near the White House helped make Indian food fashionable, said Ashok Bajaj, who owns six D.C. restaurants.
    “I got calls from restaurant owners all over the country,”
    he said.

    The Entourage

    The arrival of a chief executive and his entourage does cause some disruptions, Bajaj said. “People pay thousands” at fundraising events “to meet the president, so when he’s at the restaurant they can sit five, 10, 20 feet away and stare as long as they like without paying anything. So they don’t leave.”
    Still, a presidential visit is a disruption every Washington restaurant owner is hoping for, said Equinox chef Todd Gray, who prepares American cuisine using classical Italian techniques and local ingredients.
    Gray said he had no warning that Obama and his wife would be part of the group that made a reservation, and his presence electrified the other diners and staff.
    Secret Service agents watched as the chef prepared the Obamas’ order. Gray made pan-fried Rappahannock oysters ($17), a salad of poached pears and pickled radish ($14) and entrees of grilled strip loin with wilted spinach ($34).
    It was “unbelievably great” cooking for and meeting the Obamas, Gray said, and media reports of the visit got the restaurant “humming” during what is usually a slack time of the year. “We got a great push from this,” he said.

    Someone Special

    At Georgia Brown’s, which serves upscale cuisine typical of the South Carolina and Georgia coast, restaurant managers had an idea someone special would be arriving when the Secret Service did a security check of the building, Cohn said. A few hours later, Michelle Obama lunched with Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle.
    People in the restaurant applauded her arrival, and a crowd gathered outside, Cohn said. “She was fabulous,” he said. “She jumped into the crowd greeting people.”
    Georgia Brown’s, which calls itself “the soul of Washington,” offers Carolina gumbo ($18), southern fried chicken
    ($20) and Louisiana “devil” shrimp ($29).
    The Obamas haven’t visited only pricey Washington places. At Ben’s Chili Bowl, the president had a half-smoke — a pork and beef sausage — with chili ($4.95) and a sweet tea. He requested extra cheddar cheese before sitting at one of the Formica tables for his meal.
    Media reports of Obama’s visit produced “a line of tourists,” all of inauguration week, said manager Kamal Ali.
    “We called it our stimulus.”
    Just as the Obamas have different dining habits than the Bushes, staffers of the new administration have begun gathering at bars and restaurants different from those that gained cachet when the Republicans controlled 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Off the Record

    Out are Morton’s steakhouse and the Off the Record bar at the Hay-Adams Hotel, said Washington television producer Tammy Haddad. The bar at Wolfgang Puck’s The Source restaurant is now in, she said.
    The Capitol Hill dive Hawk ‘n’ Dove, a longtime hangout for lawmakers’ junior staff, was the site of a party for Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.
    Several top aides have been to Poste in the Hotel Monaco, said Charissa Benjamin, a spokeswoman for the hotel.
    White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and political adviser David Axelrod have been to Bistrot Lepic in Georgetown, and Obama staffers have been spotted at Todd English’s Olives and Jose Andres’s Cafe Atlantico.

    ‘My Most Precious’

    “D.C. is becoming the hottest restaurant scene in the country,” Andres said, as Obama’s outings demonstrate. It also encourages people to dine out even during trying economic times, he said.
    Andres said the media have speculated that because the Obamas visited Mexican restaurants in Chicago, they’re likely to show up at his Oyamel Cocina Mexicana.
    A presidential visit to any of his restaurants would be a thrill, he said. Still, he hopes Obama “will come to my most precious one, Minibar. We only serve six people and it books up 30 days ahead. For him I’ll leave an opening.”

  75. 75
    zman Says:

    That stinks Jay. No nibbles on the equipment?

  76. 76
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Jay Reynolds — so sorry to hear about the layoffs! It’s “small business” that keeps this country running. Troubling stuff, indeed.

  77. 77
    zman Says:

    April crude back above $40 now, big volumes and about to close at HOD.

  78. 78
    Garyinhou Says:

    afternoon Comrades… in case anybody missed this… Rick Santelli in a beautiful cnbc moment, with trade floor participation

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1039849853

  79. 79
    zman Says:

    Santelli for Prez.

  80. 80
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Gary — sure wish more of the “Silent Majority” would speak up. Thanks for posting that.

  81. 81
    ram Says:

    Who’s the woman?

  82. 82
    tater Says:

    Don’t know if you guys already discussed it or not, just wanted to make sure that everybody saw the article on Wall St Journal page C6 about how the USO is going to change the way they rollover the contract. Not earth shattering, but something people should understand.

  83. 83
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    ram — you mean Becky Quick?

  84. 84
    zman Says:

    Tater – had not seen it. What’s the jist?

    I have a feeling that tomorrow will be pretty wild early.

  85. 85
    ram Says:

    Is that her real name? It sounds almost demeaning. The attractive woman on the video is what I was inquiring about.

  86. 86
    choices Says:

    Interesting post, Gary-on the same page, they had a couple of tech analysts who are predicting DOW 6000 and s&p of 600 to 680

  87. 87
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    ok… Rebecca Quick, then. I do believe that is her real name.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Quick

  88. 88
    tater Says:

    My understanding is that previously, the USO chose one day approximately 2 weeks from the expiration of the front month contract to rollover into the next month. As the USO now accounts for around 20% (going from memory) of the open interest they have come under scrutiny for having too much influence on the contract’s pricing. They are now going to do the rollover in a period of 4 days instead of one. I don’t know the exacts, I’ll probably go read the filing later tonight if I can find it.

    Might prove to smooth out the transition and big moves in the price.

  89. 89
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Stock market has been all over the place… bonds have been relatively stable.

    IG 208 -5bps

    HY 73.25 unch’d

  90. 90
    ram Says:

    Thanks BOP.

  91. 91
    zman Says:

    My kingdom for a day without politicians in front of cameras.

    Tater – thanks, makes sense, they should go ahead and adopt the USL model and kill that ETF before it becomes popular (unless its from the same folks, not sure about that). That is my understanding as well on the way they currently roll contracts and it explains why today, for instance, USO is up 6% while the March crude contract is up 12% (they’ve already jumped to April).

  92. 92
    zman Says:

    Stepping out for an errand, back before the close.

  93. 93
    Popeye Says:

    I wonder how they would evacuate all those folks?

    http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/19/oil-rig-eco-resort-by-morris-architects/

  94. 94
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Driving Fell, U.S. Auto Dealers Closed at Record Rates in 2008
    2009-02-19 20:00:45.597 GMT

    By Angela Greiling Keane and Keith Naughton
    Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — U.S. motorists reduced driving by the most in 66 years in 2008 and auto dealerships closed in record numbers, reflecting a deepening recession that’s causing consumers to pull back.
    Vehicle-miles traveled last year fell by 107.9 billion, or
    3.6 percent, the Federal Highway Administration said in a report today. The Detroit-based consultant Urban Science said 881 dealers closed, with most coming the fourth quarter.
    The figures illustrate the toll on companies such as automaker General Motors Corp. and hotel-chain Marriott International Inc. from the falloff in household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. The deterioration in miles began in November 2007, a month before the start of the current economic slump.
    “Recession and the worst job losses in a generation have turned anything on wheels into road kill,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “Americans are sticking closer to home and saving not spending, which is just the sort of consumer behavior that can turn a recession into a depression.”
    Vehicle-miles traveled fell in December by 3.8 billion, or
    1.6 percent, from the same month a year earlier, the 14th straight drop, the government said. The U.S. began collecting the data in 1942.
    The cumulative driving decline for the 14 months was 115 billion vehicle miles, more than double a drop during the 1970s, the Federal Highway Administration said. During that period, the U.S. faced oil embargoes and soaring gasoline prices.
    Driving slipped in four of five regions in December, led by a 4.8 percent drop in the West, which includes California. Miles in the Northeast rose 0.5 percent, the first increase for any region since April.

    No Turnaround Soon

    The increase is unlikely to be an early sign of an economic turnaround, said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
    Driving to and from jobs “lags a little bit behind because if firms see demand picking up, the first thing they’ll do is increase the hours of people already working before hiring new people,” he said.
    The economy will contract 2 percent this year, the biggest U.S. economic decline since 1946, according to the median of 50 projections in a Bloomberg survey of economists taken Feb. 2 to Feb. 10. Even as President Barack Obama aims to save or create more than 3 million jobs with a stimulus plan, economists foresee an unemployment rate exceeding 8 percent through next year.

    Economic Forecast

    Further shrinking in the economy may dim prospects for GM and Chrysler LLC, which are seeking additional loans from the government.
    GM, which has received $13.4 billion in aid, said this week it needs as much as $16.6 billion more, including $2 billion next month to keep operating. Chrysler LLC, which has gotten $4 billion, said it needs $5 billion more.
    U.S. auto sales plunged 18 percent last year. The decline in auto dealerships was the biggest in annual recordkeeping that began in 1991, Urban Science said.
    “We’ll see even more contraction in the next several years as the Detroit Three strategically rethink their retail counts,”
    John Frith, vice president of Urban Science, said in a statement.
    Hotels are also feeling the pinch. Marriott, the biggest U.S. hotel chain, reported an unexpected fourth-quarter loss last week and forecast more weakness for the travel industry in 2009.

  95. 95
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Looks like the Dow is trying to retest the 7449.38 lows of Nov 21st.

  96. 96
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Dow made new intra-day low… 7447.71

    ugh

  97. 97
    zman Says:

    93 – probably better to use them for debtor’s prisons.

    BOP – think positively, at least the S&P is well off its November lows.

  98. 98
    zman Says:

    GE a single digit stock.

  99. 99
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    SPX is only about 43 points off its November lows… but, a little ray of sunshine, I guess.

  100. 100
    ram Says:

    I wonder if GE’s div. is safe? 12% would be nice.

  101. 101
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Amazing that California was able to pass such a large tax increase. Including City and County taxes, my sister in Pasadena now pays 10% sales tax. She say’s thank goodness she isn’t planning on buying anything any time soon. Sacramento may be surprised that other Californians are thinking like her.

    Anybody out there pay higher than 10% sales tax?

  102. 102
    Jay Reynolds Says:

    Z- Re “no nibbles on the equipment”..

    My son has pulled out of college for the moment to help in the business… first job is an ad for the Oilitizer..

    Part of the challenge right now is that the system is best suited for shallower depths > ie, those are usually the fields longest ago found > hence most likely to be stripper operations > hence most likely to offer NO payout at all at current prices.

    But, these are the times that are really the most interesting/challenging, trying to pull the airship out of terminal dive at the last moment… trying not to run out of ideas, airspeed or altitude simultaneously…. “When the going gets wierd the wierd turn pro.”

    The Late Dr. HST

  103. 103
    zman Says:

    FWIW, you’ve got free ad space on the Wrap whenever you wish.

  104. 104
    zman Says:

    Ineedabeerthirty.

  105. 105
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    IG 210 -4bps

    HY 73.125 -.124

  106. 106
    ram Says:

    BOP, what is the % tax residential property tax in Michigan?

  107. 107
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at lowest level since Oct 2002.

  108. 108
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    ram — short answer: I don’t know. Sales tax here is 6.0%

    I moved to Michigan 4 yrs ago. Having followed the auto industry as an institutional investor for many years, I knew it was not wise to buy a house at that time. I have been renting a house here since then.

    I grew up in Calif, but have lived in So Calif, TX, PA, and Michigan. So, it is interesting to me how different states handle themselves. (e.g. Philadelphia literally drove most of it’s tax base to the suburbs with its city tax policy in the late 80s.) As a 3rd generation native Californian, I hate to see what is happening to all my family still there.

    Bottom line: I’ll bet that the tax increases will bring in far less than Sacramento thinks they will. Just ask Art Laffer.

  109. 109
    ram Says:

    BOP – I know that CA does not tax food; went shopping last night and looked at bill. I know that depending on the county, prop taxes are between 0.95% and 1.15%. Also, property values are not re-evaluated every year. I think that CA still might be a relatively low tax state. I belive that fuel and tobacco taxes are relatively high.

  110. 110
    BirdsofpreyRcool Says:

    ram — most (all?) states do not tax food. California is not a low-tax state, when you combine all taxes. I’m not saying it’s the highest (which might be New Jersey, or something), but it is definitely at the high end. But, that’s not at the heart of the issue. What is central is that you do not raise taxes in a recession. And California is in a severe recession. When you look at the state budget, which grew from (something like) $100B to $145B over a 5 yr period, you think they would have been able to find a way to reduce spending, rather than increase taxes.

    I’ll try to find the link to the tax work that Art Laffer did, comparing states. Art cited “high taxes” as one of the top reasons he moved from his long-time home of California to Tennesse in 2006.

  111. 111
    ram Says:

    BOP I look forward to that link. Maybe I should also move to Tennesse as well – Art Laffer is a smart person. Depending on your vice, taxes vary alot in different states. Unfortunately, I know first hand that California is in a deep recession.

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