26 June 2008

what is wrong with this picture?

$10/gallon by 2010...

That's what is being predicted today.
Oil Surges Above $140 to Record as Libya Warns of Output Cut Bloomberg, June 26. 2008

The article says that it could be $170 by July 4th!

Originally, the prediction was that oil would reach $100/BBL by 2009. [ummm, i think we're ahead of schedule.]

I put gas in the tank today at 10:30 this morning when I saw it was $4.27/gallon. Two days ago it was $4.39. I figured that it was bound to go up by 5:00 pm so I better stop. It was $54.35 to fill it. Better than last week's $67, but what's coming next? I've drastically cut back on my driving; buy only things on sale at the grocery; visit both farmer's markets in the area; have not bought anything that I don't really need; and have only eaten out twice in the last month for friend's birthdays.

I realize that a big part of the problem is the FX35, but I chose it because I needed something bigger for work - before I decided to retire - and it's a lease that is not up until January. The only way I can get out of the lease is to do another one with Infiniti. That isn't going to work. I don't want an expensive, gas hungry vehicle. Even before all the gas price raising, I had decided I was going to get a smaller city car. I don't need big any more.

The bigger picture of all of this was the effect it had on the markets: MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Plunge; Worst June For Dow Since Great Depression, -348.41 or 3% down to be exact today CNNMoney.com

One of the analysts recommended selling GM stock today. I have had GM forever. The 52-week high was $43.20. It closed today at $11.43! There was a time when the thinking was "As goes GM, so goes the country." If that's still true, we are in deep doo-doo. Really deep...

The smaller picture is how all of this is hitting the small investors like me. I took early retirement over a year ago. Though I am doing consultant work, it is not a steady job. As a matter of fact, being an educational consultant, there really is no work for the next three months. [Really four, since no one really wants consultants the first month of a new school year.] I have a fixed income with my pension checks, but the cost of everything is spiraling out of control because of the oil problem. I have already pulled money out of the money market and savings accounts twice this month just to pay regular bills!

I can't imagine someone who is on Social Security. I have two teacher pension funds I draw on and I know they are much better than SS. I remember my aunt getting her SS check and struggling to make ends meet. She also got a check for $55/month from my uncle's veterans fund. $55! That was what she considered her mad money each month. And now that's what a tank of gas costs!

what is wrong with this picture?

and I'm sitting here right now listening to Hardball with Chris Matthews who just asked his panel how [Tsar] Bush can be so out of touch with the problems he's caused with the economy. "Where's the oil Bush promised would come with Iraq?" Yes, he actually asked that question.

again, what is wrong with this picture?

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