20 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. John

    Do you think the US withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and likely re-admittance in 4 years’ time when a Democrat is returned to the White House, will have a statistically significant effect on the global warming trend?

  2. Advert for a blog post on the study cited by Trump in support of the proposition that Obama’s weak Paris commitment would be hugely costly to the US economy. It was easy enough to find the cherry-picked and improbable assumptions, enough to discredit the study. But if anyone else has the energy to wade further, I wonder what other nonsense there is. Also, does anybody have info on the status of the NERA think tank: honest incompetents or clever shills for hire?

  3. @David

    What makes you so sure a Democrat will win in 2020? Very few Presidents fail to get re-elected. Sure, it would be shocking if Trump won again, but it was shocking that he won to begin with.

  4. I will be surprised if Trump lasts a full year. Jarred Kushner looks like being the main link to Russia and from something I heard recently may be due to banking links, and we may yet find mafia links. Kushner’s business it is reported owns 19,000 housing units, mostly in old city fringe complexes and which bring typical incomes of $250 per week. Do the sums on that for someone his age. He didn’t kick that business off with his pocket money.

    Apart from that he is a nasty piece of work, reportedly, using a tactic of cost minimisation which amounts to extortion in my opinion. Having bought a complex his company trawls the records of past tenants to find any who have left their leases early, or short paid on any alleged damage, or any other possible claim that can be made. The company then inflates those claims and pursues the ex tenants mercilessly through the courts, even driving people to suicide, as I heard it.

    I heard this on the ABC and immediately recalled how this tactic had been tried on my family over a web domain. An Australian domain name company that was bought by an American domain name consolidator who immediately attempted to back bill for any lapsed domain names at inflated prices through credit cards. This nearly cost us over $300, but the bank made good on the attempted extortion.

    America is a nasty place to average people, and it is going to get a lot nastier under Trump. I am thinking though that the Kushner Konnection will be Trumps undoing. The only thing that might save him is the Republican loaded Supreme Court, if it gets that far.

  5. @Smith Not certain of the outcome, by any means. It seems to me a good opportunity to exploit a natural experiment. Who knows it could end up being Trump’s gift to climate science.

  6. @Paul Norton

    Well I didn’t get a lot of support when I opposed the idea that they were simply trying to get out of this deal. I never agreed with that.

  7. @hc
    Who’s been saying Adani are trying to get out if the deal? The plan clearly is to keep it going as long as possible as a zombie project. Actual cancellation would force Adani to write off the A$1.3 bn or so he has sunk into it (excluding the port, a going concern). The high leverage of the Adani group of companies is compounded by margin loans ygo members of his family have taken out, secured against their equity stakes. Adani has very strong reasons to avoid taking the write-off, on top of the $500m or so forced by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Mundra PPAs.

  8. The approval by Adani of Adani is hardly newsworthy and you would wonder what security they can offer a potential lender?

  9. @James Wimberley

    Well you seem to be almost saying that now. One view was that the hypothesized writeoffs to be matched with appeals for “compensation”.

    Sure there will be problems in getting finance. True for most projects of this massive scale.

  10. Funny definition of a “landslide victory” (predicted by mainstream media and polling as recently as last night). Now the neo-lib-con Blairites need to be purged.

  11. Link to the latest survey by Coalswarm of coal generating plants under development.

    One nugget is that in India 12.7 GW of coal plants nominally under construction are frozen (page 5). The report (page 12, table 3) gives the total actually under construction as 48.2 GW. That’s a lot less than the 70 GW you often see quoted – I think it was the Ministry’s number when they announced the freeze.

    Suspending a major construction site already started is a serious decision, and is only taken if either the project is going haywire (very likely for nuclear, very unlikely for coal) or if the remaining investment to finish will not pay off, regardless of the sunk costs. The second is certainly the reason. Many projects at an earlier stage, with lower sunk costs, make even less sense. No rescue is on the horizon and solar just keeps getting cheaper. We can expect the cancellations and suspensions to rise.

  12. @hc: it most certainly is. “Chose in action”. They’re carried at substantial discount for obvious reasons, but a creditable compensation claim against a creditable party has a hefty value, and even pretty speculative claims aren’t entirely worthless.

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