Monday, May 16, 2011

The Sarcasm Report v.102

Are Oil Prices a Threat to the U.S. Economy?

No, according to this video presentation by Fisher Investments,where they feature three charts to support the position that today's high oil prices don't pose a threat to the economic expansion:

I present you with two choices and you must pick one.

1. Close all of this country's gasoline stations for six months.
2. Close all of this country's restaurants for six months.

Ken Fisher would have us believe that choosing option #1 would be better because gasoline is such an insignificant part of this economy. He's got a point. There are far more restaurants than gasoline stations.

Fools might argue that closing all this country's restaurants for six months would be better though, because if all the gasoline stations closed then most (if not all) of the restaurants would close too. They would claim that it is an unintended consequence. Don't listen to fools though. What do they know? Stick with the professionals!

February 27, 2007
Ken Fisher: Housing Boom!

Don't buy it. For months now the debate has been over whether America will have a hard landing or soft landing, the answer hinging on how big 2007's housing disaster turns out to be. Well, there won't be any housing disaster. We won't have a landing at all, soft or hard. Right now the U.S. and global economies are both accelerating.

You can see right through the housing crash story by looking at the prices of housing stocks. The market knows what the economic worrywarts do not, which is that the housing sector is already making a comeback. In the last six months housing stocks are up 24%, well ahead of the overall market. If housing were destined to fall apart in 2007 these stocks wouldn't be so strong now.

See Also:
Does Jeremy Siegel Live in a Cave?

Jeremy "Stocks for the Long Run" Siegel agrees with Fisher's outlook on the safety of higher oil prices. See? No worries!


Troy said...

What these pinheads fail to understand is that it's the primary sector's productivity/$ that allows us to layer over it the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary sectors. Didn't these people play Sid Meier's Civ???

Every dollar of hard goods we DON'T lose via outright consumption, wear, or waste is a dollar of producer surplus we can forward on in the softer service economy to command labor.

We're importing 10M barrels a day of oil, ~3.5B barrels a year. A $50/bbl price rise is $200B/yr leaving this economy, or about FOUR MILLION McJobs @ $50,000 per literally going up in smoke via loss of this producer surplus.

This $200B doesn't vanish, it pings around the world as petrodollars, but I don't think it has the same monetary velocity that non-petro money has.

I was walking through Costco today identifying the extra stuff I wasn't buying thanks to having to $10 more for my fill-up than normal.

Very interesting game of price-discovery going on right now. Maybe the average household has to burn 1500 gallons of gas a year -- so a $1/gallon hit has to result in $1500/yr less consumption.

That's around $30/week, about a downgrade in consumption from restaurant to eating in once a week.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Didn't these people play Sid Meier's Civ???

I honestly burst out laughing when I read that (I've played). Perhaps they only played games where everyone wins and unintended consequences never appear!

Everybody Wins: 393 Non-Competitive Games for Young Children [Paperback]