Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Newsreel for 02/15/11

It's time to comment on whatever strikes my fancy.  Join the fun.

Wireless monitoring looks to be another next big thing in oil and gas extraction.  Wireless connections also open up SCADA systems to penetration from malware like the Stuxnet virus.  Wireless Ethernet connectivity is not any more secure. 

Here comes some bad news in the form of cognitive dissonance.  Retailers forecast import growth at the same time as overall retail growth is slowing down.  That means the component of retail sales from domestic goods production is seriously deteriorating.  Forget about solid GDP growth in 2011.

The Japan-India free trade agreement is about more than tariffs.  Japan needs a counterweight to China if the U.S. is no longer able or willing to play its role as a regional balance of power.  Look for Japanese-domiciled multinationals to seek supply chain security in India's resources. 

I'm proud of the logistics action in the Bay Area, my neck of the woods.  The Port of Oakland is firing on cylinders.  It almost sounds too good to be true.  It would be even better if their shore-side electric power came from renewable sources.  They should stick some solar panels on the roofs of those long warehouses at the former Oakland Army Base. 

Egypt is probably in for serious macroeconomic instability if the ruling military coalition has to deal with general strikes.  It's odd to see the only Egypt-tracking ETF rally since Mubarak's departure.  Amateur traders and naive hedge funds might be betting the worst is over.  I wouldn't take that bet.

PIMCO has drastically cut its U.S. debt exposure.  They've decided to get off the bond train before it crashes into the next station.  Buying debt from emerging market nations may be the next bubble to inflate.