The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Thorfinnsson's Take on Tesla
The Stock Is Going To Zero
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
shutterstock_729060736

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

This take getting popular on Twitter, so reposting it on the blog for greater prominence.

Tesla Problems

Link (5/22/2018)

Congrats. Sounds like a good swing trade in light of the fact that the trend is your friend.

I am getting in on the great bear raid against Tesla, which I’ve been agnostic on (mostly ignoring it) other than being skeptical. Did a lot of research over the weekend, and the findings were quite disturbing. Musk will be lucky to avoid a prison sentence.

Tesla is going to zero, barring something like Musk getting a large commitment from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

There are no shares available to short, but puts suit me just fine. JP Morgan Chase will be coming out with Tesla credit default swaps as well. That said actually selling the swaps could be a problem.

Link (5/25/2018)

On a different note, Tesla is going to zero. The company has a number of severe problems:

• Tesla is burning through one billion per quarter and is likely to run out of cash this year
• It is the only company of its size (in the market) offering high yield debt and stock offerings to accredited investors (which do not require SEC disclosure)
• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly refused to meet with Elon Musk when he was in Saudi Arabia
• Elon Musk has violated federal securities, labor, and OSHA laws
• Musk and many other current and former executives have signed false documents and thus committed perjury
• The Model 3 is a disaster and was panned by Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, and Edmund’s
• The self-dealing merger with Solar City would likely not have been approved by shareholders without Musk’s vaporware demonstration of solar roof tiles that do not exist (securities fraud)
• Half of Tesla’s output is exported, leaving it very vulnerable to trade retaliation
• Quality problems continue to be severe, and Tesla has now resorted to partnering with local body shops for post-production fixes
• Extreme shortage of spare parts means Teslas can be out of service for months
• Tesla takes months to refund customer deposits
• Numerous accounting problems, leading to 86 questions from the SEC for the last fiscal year, compared to zero for Ford Motor
• Tesla “autopilot” units keep crashing
• Highest accident and fatality statistics in its vehicle class (new luxury vehicles)
• Model S wheels and suspensions keep cracking
• Difficulty of exiting vehicle in the absence of electrical power (no mechanical door handles) led to children literally being burned alive
• A flood of competition is inbound, including the 600 horsepower Porsche Misson-E going into production at Zuffenhausen next year
• Tesla’s zero emission credits are set to expire, just as other automakers start harvesting them

Every freely available share is now short–not joking. You can’t even short the stock anymore generally, though puts are of course available.

Musk himself is likely to be personally wiped out as well, as he has borrowed against 40% of his shares. He’ll face a very ugly margin call when the stock starts sliding. Additionally, he’s likely to personally face both civil and criminal liability.

Reply to Critics

Link

I bought some Tesla shares as the company as dipping a few weeks ago.

Hedge your long position with some puts. Only reason I am not short is that there are no shares available to short. I did buy puts however.

Congrats for putting your money where your mouth is. By next year this time you may be featured on @Bagholderquotes :).

The criticism of lack of profitability is sound & fair, but I also think most of the overheated commentary has been irrational and overtly emotional.

This has been true. Most Tesla criticism up until now has come from two camps:

1. Gearheads with gasoline flowing in their veins who hate EVs. I belong to this group (my daily driver has a 450 horsepower V-8 and I hate fuel economy and EVs), though I avoided getting irrational about Tesla.

2. The Zero Hedge doomerist crowd.

There have, however, been two major exceptions. Jim Chanos and Bob Lutz.

Jim Chanos is a legendary short seller who nailed Enron and Valeant (though he lost some credibility by betting on a China crash that never happened). Chanos states that the only times he’s seen so many executive departures before are Enron and Valeant.

Bob Lutz likely needs no introduction to you. And while Lutz is a car guy (invented the Dodge Viper), he says the greatest achievement of his career was the Chevy Volt and that EVs are inevitable. Furthermore he highly praised the Model S. Lutz has bluntly called Tesla a personality cult that’s going bankrupt.

I expect Tesla to gradually improve net profitability as time goes on. Musk has prioritised volume expansion over profits and I think it is fair to say that he underestimated how tough it would be.

Tesla can’t improve its net profitability because it has no profitability to begin with, even if we accept Tesla’s fictitious gross margins and channel stuffing (e.g. “selling” batteries to The Boring Company).

Musk has indeed prioritized volume production, and his failure is due to his arrogance. This arrogance is typical of Silicon Valley as a class. They assume they know better than any other industry, failing to realize their success is due to monopoly and lack of regulation (welcome to the auto industry boys!).

Musk deliberately recruited executives with no experience in the automotive industry, and he attempted to fully automate production (e.g. his infamous alien dreadnought remark). If Musk weren’t so arrogant, he would’ve learn that Roger Smith attempted this in the ’80s and went so far as to buy FANUC. It was a complete disaster. Sandy Munro describes robots as blind one-armed idiots, and notes that not only can they not do everything but one must design the product itself for robotic production.

This arrogance is directly culpable for Tesla’s huge capital costs, as essentially Tesla bought far more capital equipment than it can actually use or is required in automaking. Musk said he was going to build half a million cars this year. He’ll be lucky to hit 200,000.

Even aside from Tesla’s financial woes, regulatory violations, massive civil liability, and outright criminality a massive flood of competition is inbound.

The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV is on sale right now in Europe, and arrives in North America next month: https://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/i-pace/index.html?abkid=407_224254&gclid=Cj0KCQjwuYTYBRDsARIsAJnrUXAjcErB3eAzUm3aDwws14fB5_Gi4_-V1yMDCdK81o3JVzfIfP3nvKoaAvGuEALw_wcB&m

The Porsche Mission-E goes into production next year at Zuffenhausen: https://www.porsche.com/microsite/mission-e/international.aspx

The Chevy Bolt is available now, unlike the fictitious $35,000 Model 3: http://www.chevrolet.com/electric/bolt-ev-electric-car

Volkswagen is currently converting twenty assembly plants to EV production, Daimler is investing twenty billion euros in it by 2022, and GM is putting over 20 all electric vehicles into production over the next five years.

Then there’s the fact that the Model 3 turns out to be something of a dog. Consumer Reports, which called the Model S the best car it has ever evaluated, noted that the Model 3 has a greater average stopping distance than the Ford F-150.

What’s the story for Tesla surviving? A company that appears to be under SEC investigation somehow raises $20 billion in the next few years, achieves mass production, eliminates its severe quality problems, doesn’t get sued by all the people it killed, and beats the competition handily?

Then there’s the fact that Musk appears to be personally melting down. Feuding with Warren Buffet, attacking the press Trump-style, and dating someone named “Grimes” who is an “anti-imperialist” singer (?!).

I highly encourage you to check out Fintwitter on this (the only Twitter that can compete with Frogtwitter). No one does scuttlebutt like bears.

Link

I don’t see the supercharger network as a major competitive edge at all. People interested in long-distance driving don’t buy EVs. I can “recharge” any of my vehicles in one minute.

And the rest of the industry is not standing still on this. The German automakers and Ford Europe are partnering with Shell to create their own network in Europe. Many other efforts underway in America and Asia as well. These efforts involve automakers, oil companies, power utilities, and in some cases governments. An ocean of capital is available for this.

EVs will not completely take over unless the government forces it, but I agree they will comprise a large percentage of new auto sales in the next decade. Maybe even a majority.

The thing is that these EVs will not come from Tesla, unless Tesla survives as a brand of a global OEM (I see GM and Ford as likely candidates for acquiring Tesla).

Remember the auto industry is the most brutally competitive industry on the planet.

Link

A media ratings website is something Trump should’ve done.

In Musk’s case it is ridiculous because the media has been polishing his knob non-stop until his disastrous performance on the last earnings call.

He’s also angry that the press is reporting on the alarming work conditions at Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant, including some poor schmuck who suffered an arc flash explosion that melted all his skin because Tesla refused to de-energize the high voltage equipment he was working on (a violation of NFPA 70, OSHA, and CalOSHA).

Financial journalism is mostly solid as Peter Brimelow will be happy to tell you.

You’ll be happy to know that Teslemmings are accusing the Wall Street Journal reporter Charley Grant of being a RUSSIAN TROLL.

Effects on SpaceX

Link

My knowledge only dates to last weekend really. Got tired of hearing about Musk and decided to do some scuttlebutt.

Space X is a private company, so I’m unaware of its financials or ownership structure. I suspect it is not profitable as it raised capital as recently as last year, but in principal there is nothing wrong with its business model. Its technical and commercial achievements are impressive. Unlike the situation with Tesla, Musk actually recruited experienced aerospace executives and engineers for Space X instead of Snapchat retreads (not joking–some dipshit from Snapchat is now running the Autopilot program).

The collapse of Tesla will do two things to Space X:

1 – Musk has borrowed against 40% of his Tesla shares, likely to finance his other businesses and fund his lavish lifestyle (Bel Air and London mansions, Gulfstream G650, etc.). This means he’ll face a crushing margin call, possibly forcing him to sell his shares in Space X.

2 – It will destroy his halo, which is source of his success. This is why Musk committed securities fraud in order to have Tesla acquire Solar City, which was rapidly headed for bankruptcy. With his reputation in tatters, it will call into question his leadership of Space X. Certainly ideas like going to Mars with other people’s money will be out.

There is also a real possibility that Musk will face felony prosecution, in which case he certainly won’t be running Space X.

A lot of the Tesla bears assume there’s something wrong with Space X as well, but I don’t think this is warranted. One guy who is documenting all the Model S suspension failures has invented a half-cocked conspiracy theory that Space X’s achievements are fictitious. It’s pretty common for short sellers to get emotional during a great bear raid, which is part of the fun. :)

Some resources for you all on Tesla’s impending collapse, starting with FinTwitter:

FinTwitter Resources

Mark Spiegel, Managing Partner of Stanphyl capital and Tesla bear

https://twitter.com/markbspiegel

Tesla Charts

https://twitter.com/TeslaCharts

Elon Bachman, great source for product flaws

https://twitter.com/ElonBachman

Montana Skeptic, and see his Seeking Alpha articles as well

https://twitter.com/montanaSkeptic1

Elon Musk himself, useful because of his ongoing meltdown

https://twitter.com/elonmusk

Model 3 Reviews

Scathing Edmund’s long-term test: https://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-3/2017/long-term-road-test/2017-tesla-model-3-monthly-update-for-april-2018.html

Consumer Reports “not recommended”: https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/tesla/model-3/2018/road-test?pagestop

Sandy Munro’s teardown: http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=54950

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Cars, Elon Musk 
Hide 219 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Yevardian says:

    I knew Elon Musk was a fraud and secret brainlet when he decided to make a cameo on ‘The Big Bang Theory’.

    Read More
    • Agree: Spisarevski
    • Replies: @songbird
    As objectionable as I find any Chuck Lorre sitcom to be, Warren Buffet has done cameos on soaps, but he is still rich.
    , @Dagon Shield
    Leonardo da Vinci he is not... sounds more like P. T. Barnum. A perfect choice for the ringmaster of a local circus!
    , @Joe Wong

    There are no shares available to short
     
    There are hundreds of thousands shares of TSLA available for short and the short fee rate was 3.14% at the end of Friday (2018-06-01), is this article a short pump like Muddy Water kind of analysis?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Come out as gay.
    , @Yevardian
    That's a bit much.. fraud as he is, he's still hated by the right people.
    Hopefully we can expect some fun breakdown antics, but unfortunately America is not so colourful as Russia where it counts:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BniyeWRGOOU
    , @songbird
    I don't think he'll go to jail, but if things were really falling apart for him, depending on the timeline (he'd need at least a few more years), it would be really funny if he went to Mars.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    This isn't Japan.

    The normal thing is you settle your issues (legal, financial, etc.), find out who really cares about you (in Musk's case, this might be down to just his brother and Thiel), and start over.

    Musk is a very talented man, and at the end of the day he will be all right. He isn't Elizabeth Holmes, he's Icarus...with a fatal attraction to capital intensive industries. Musk appears to be guilty of violating a number of federal laws, but he's not Jeff Skilling.

    Preston Tucker for instance, the Musk of the 1940s, went right back to work. As Tucker walked out of the court room he was unphased, quipping that even Henry Ford failed the first two times around.

    He ultimately found new investors in Brazil to back a new sports car. Unfortunately Tucker died a premature death.
    , @Van Doren

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?
     
    Donate to the Clinton Foundation.
    , @Joe Wong
    Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    Come out as gay.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    "Come out as gay."

    Hilarious. Great response!
    , @JerseyJeffersonian
    Hey, worked for (our, cringe...) former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. songbird says:
    @Yevardian
    I knew Elon Musk was a fraud and secret brainlet when he decided to make a cameo on 'The Big Bang Theory'.

    As objectionable as I find any Chuck Lorre sitcom to be, Warren Buffet has done cameos on soaps, but he is still rich.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    I dunno.... Big Bang Theory is a pretty low bar.
    I think cultural tastes say everything about a person, much more so than their occupation or political beliefs, which are much more influenced by external factors.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Yevardian says:
    @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    That’s a bit much.. fraud as he is, he’s still hated by the right people.
    Hopefully we can expect some fun breakdown antics, but unfortunately America is not so colourful as Russia where it counts:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    I don't really have an opinion about Musk, it is simply that if one's disgrace is so significant it is hard to regain it in a manner that doesn't involve suicide, particularly if he goes to prison, so seppuku is in my opinion the best option.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Yevardian says:
    @songbird
    As objectionable as I find any Chuck Lorre sitcom to be, Warren Buffet has done cameos on soaps, but he is still rich.

    I dunno…. Big Bang Theory is a pretty low bar.
    I think cultural tastes say everything about a person, much more so than their occupation or political beliefs, which are much more influenced by external factors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird
    I've always suspected that cultural tastes are influenced by politics, but it is just kind of a vague feeling. Trying to find a conservative who likes modern art or rap would probably be a difficult task, but I think it even works on a much more subconscious level, where the results would perhaps be less dramatic but still significant.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Yevardian
    That's a bit much.. fraud as he is, he's still hated by the right people.
    Hopefully we can expect some fun breakdown antics, but unfortunately America is not so colourful as Russia where it counts:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BniyeWRGOOU

    I don’t really have an opinion about Musk, it is simply that if one’s disgrace is so significant it is hard to regain it in a manner that doesn’t involve suicide, particularly if he goes to prison, so seppuku is in my opinion the best option.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    I'm sure that would do wonders for his family's stocks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Yevardian says:
    @Hyperborean
    I don't really have an opinion about Musk, it is simply that if one's disgrace is so significant it is hard to regain it in a manner that doesn't involve suicide, particularly if he goes to prison, so seppuku is in my opinion the best option.

    I’m sure that would do wonders for his family’s stocks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. songbird says:
    @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    I don’t think he’ll go to jail, but if things were really falling apart for him, depending on the timeline (he’d need at least a few more years), it would be really funny if he went to Mars.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The beginnings of the Mars-Earth conflict.
    , @Yevardian
    Will never happen. We robbed ourselves of any glorious 40K future forever sometime in the early 20th century. I'm not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @songbird
    I don't think he'll go to jail, but if things were really falling apart for him, depending on the timeline (he'd need at least a few more years), it would be really funny if he went to Mars.

    The beginnings of the Mars-Earth conflict.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird
    A Mars-Earth war would be an interesting rebuttal to the much-hyped overview effect.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. Some earlier Tesla comments by me concerning their extraordinary capex and automation “alien dreadnought” blunder from March:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267775

    Twitter thread about the Bernstein report on Tesla.

    It appears that Tesla has attempted to fully automate vehicle manufacturing, in contravention of the lean production techniques employed by the rest of the industry.

    Roger Smith attempted the same thing at General Motors in the 1980s with his “lights out factory” concept, which saw General Motors become briefly the world’s largest producer (and consumer) of robots. General Motors in a three year period spent as much on robots as the combined value (at that time) of Toyota and Nissan.

    The concept failed and Smith’s successors adopted the Toyota Production System as did the rest of the automotive industry other than ultra high-end producers such as Ferrari.

    It seems like Elon Musk decided he knows more about manufacturing than Toyota.

    Tesla is likely headed for a very costly reboot of its entire manufacturing process.

    And if it fails to raise capital to cover its ongoing cashflow problems, it will collapse and be acquired by a global OEM. Likely General Motors or Ford as their luxury efforts (luxury cars represent 50% of global automobile profits) are not succeeding outside of China.

    Traditional automakers have their flaws, but if there is one thing they are good at it’s mass production.

    Musk may succeed in hanging onto the gigafactory and become the lowest cost producer of batteries in the world. If not it will fall to Panasonic or perhaps BYD.

    And no, I am not dumb enough to bet against Musk. Tesla can raise the capital they need despite the weakening market for their bonds by diluting existing stockholders.

    The commenter is encouraged to respond.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267784

    Note that this chart is somewhat misleading. The global dominance of German brands in the luxury segment means that they are not necessarily unproductive manufacturers as the chart implies.

    I doubt Dr. Z lies awake at night worrying about the alarming number of hours required to produce each Mercedes Benz S-class.

    Musk has since admitted that Tesla erred in attempting to automate the entire production line. Good for him, but this means enormous amounts of capital (and time) were wasted. Tesla’s production ramp up was always too ambitious, but ignoring industry best practices in manufacturing didn’t help. Many Tesla quality problems stem from this, as Tesla for instance spends far less time evaluating suppliers than the other global OEMs.

    I like to imagine Toyota executives throwing darts at a picture of Musk’s face while doing shots of sake and laughing about how “Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man.”

    Meanwhile yesterday in Belgium a Model S started itself with no driver in the car and proceeded to crash into five vehicles. The day after a Model S on autopilot crashed into a parked police car in California.

    Read More
    • LOL: Yevardian
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    “Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man.”
     
    ROR
    , @anonymous
    You got "bringa" & "great" wrong.

    Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.
    , @Semperluctor
    The suicidal Tesla was a convert to Islam. Belgium’s full of them. Lucky that it did not try to board a train like that crazy shooter in the Clint Eastwood film.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. Yevardian says:
    @songbird
    I don't think he'll go to jail, but if things were really falling apart for him, depending on the timeline (he'd need at least a few more years), it would be really funny if he went to Mars.

    Will never happen. We robbed ourselves of any glorious 40K future forever sometime in the early 20th century. I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mike P

    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.
     
    I'm entirely sure we didn't.

    According to Wiki, the rate of payload to initial mass of the Apollo missions was roughly 1 to 25 from Earth to lower Earth orbit, but about 1 to 3 from Earth orbit to lunar orbit. Assuming Earth orbit was 200 miles above Earth, less than 10% of the total energy required to escape Earth's gravity had been applied once orbit was reached. Therefore, somehow the engines became about 100 times more fuel-efficient when going from Earth orbit to the moon.

    There are many more astonishing details. One is that NASA lost all the tapes of the lunar missions - allegedly the tapes were "reused". Another is that the dosage of radiation measured on board the lunar missions was no different from those of typical Earth orbit missions. Considering that the lunar missions would have had to go through the van Allen radiation belt, they should have received a significantly higher dosage.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    This isn’t Japan.

    The normal thing is you settle your issues (legal, financial, etc.), find out who really cares about you (in Musk’s case, this might be down to just his brother and Thiel), and start over.

    Musk is a very talented man, and at the end of the day he will be all right. He isn’t Elizabeth Holmes, he’s Icarus…with a fatal attraction to capital intensive industries. Musk appears to be guilty of violating a number of federal laws, but he’s not Jeff Skilling.

    Preston Tucker for instance, the Musk of the 1940s, went right back to work. As Tucker walked out of the court room he was unphased, quipping that even Henry Ford failed the first two times around.

    He ultimately found new investors in Brazil to back a new sports car. Unfortunately Tucker died a premature death.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
    "unfortunately, Tucker died a premature death".

    so did Seth Rich. Disclaimer:


    I drive a 1989 Ford Crown Vic ex-cab, a.k.a. "the Ghetto Blaster";

    has some cosmetic issues, but otherwise runs fine. A steal @

    $23,000
    , @Sam
    Do you have a twitter account to follow or will we have to follow you on the comments section of this blog?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. songbird says:
    @Yevardian
    I dunno.... Big Bang Theory is a pretty low bar.
    I think cultural tastes say everything about a person, much more so than their occupation or political beliefs, which are much more influenced by external factors.

    I’ve always suspected that cultural tastes are influenced by politics, but it is just kind of a vague feeling. Trying to find a conservative who likes modern art or rap would probably be a difficult task, but I think it even works on a much more subconscious level, where the results would perhaps be less dramatic but still significant.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. JL says:

    I completely agree with the sell call on Tesla, but don’t get the part about shares not being available to short. We shorted some a couple of weeks ago and borrowing wasn’t a problem. We were buying the puts a few months ago, but they’ve since become quite dear, so naked shorts looked better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    There is borrow on the shares. Mid-rate is 3.3%, which is very high. Which is also why the puts are expensive.

    One way to reduce the premium on puts is to buy put spreads.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    The beginnings of the Mars-Earth conflict.

    A Mars-Earth war would be an interesting rebuttal to the much-hyped overview effect.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @Thorfinnsson
    Some earlier Tesla comments by me concerning their extraordinary capex and automation "alien dreadnought" blunder from March:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267775


    https://twitter.com/DonutShorts/status/979463134850187264

    Twitter thread about the Bernstein report on Tesla.

    It appears that Tesla has attempted to fully automate vehicle manufacturing, in contravention of the lean production techniques employed by the rest of the industry.

    Roger Smith attempted the same thing at General Motors in the 1980s with his “lights out factory” concept, which saw General Motors become briefly the world’s largest producer (and consumer) of robots. General Motors in a three year period spent as much on robots as the combined value (at that time) of Toyota and Nissan.

    The concept failed and Smith’s successors adopted the Toyota Production System as did the rest of the automotive industry other than ultra high-end producers such as Ferrari.

    It seems like Elon Musk decided he knows more about manufacturing than Toyota.

    Tesla is likely headed for a very costly reboot of its entire manufacturing process.

    And if it fails to raise capital to cover its ongoing cashflow problems, it will collapse and be acquired by a global OEM. Likely General Motors or Ford as their luxury efforts (luxury cars represent 50% of global automobile profits) are not succeeding outside of China.

    Traditional automakers have their flaws, but if there is one thing they are good at it’s mass production.

    Musk may succeed in hanging onto the gigafactory and become the lowest cost producer of batteries in the world. If not it will fall to Panasonic or perhaps BYD.

    And no, I am not dumb enough to bet against Musk. Tesla can raise the capital they need despite the weakening market for their bonds by diluting existing stockholders.

    The commenter is encouraged to respond.
     
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267784


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DZfnJxPX0AAxIRh.jpg

    Note that this chart is somewhat misleading. The global dominance of German brands in the luxury segment means that they are not necessarily unproductive manufacturers as the chart implies.

    I doubt Dr. Z lies awake at night worrying about the alarming number of hours required to produce each Mercedes Benz S-class.
     
    Musk has since admitted that Tesla erred in attempting to automate the entire production line. Good for him, but this means enormous amounts of capital (and time) were wasted. Tesla's production ramp up was always too ambitious, but ignoring industry best practices in manufacturing didn't help. Many Tesla quality problems stem from this, as Tesla for instance spends far less time evaluating suppliers than the other global OEMs.

    I like to imagine Toyota executives throwing darts at a picture of Musk's face while doing shots of sake and laughing about how "Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man."

    Meanwhile yesterday in Belgium a Model S started itself with no driver in the car and proceeded to crash into five vehicles. The day after a Model S on autopilot crashed into a parked police car in California.

    “Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man.”

    ROR

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Oh, ow, my sides hurt.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. While “autopilot” does not amount to “self-driving” cars, self driving cars have absolutely no business being touted except on roads made specifically or certified for self driving cars. Frankly, I’m hugely skeptical of self driving cars until the cars communicate with side road sensors and maybe with the other cars

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Then they'd be safer. Until someone hacks the whole system, and causes mass crashes.

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.
    , @anonymous coward
    Remind me again, what problem do self-driving cars solve, exactly? (Besides a lack of functioning public transport in negro-infested cities, which problem is easier solved by other means.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. @blahbahblah
    While "autopilot" does not amount to "self-driving" cars, self driving cars have absolutely no business being touted except on roads made specifically or certified for self driving cars. Frankly, I'm hugely skeptical of self driving cars until the cars communicate with side road sensors and maybe with the other cars

    Then they’d be safer. Until someone hacks the whole system, and causes mass crashes.

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.
     
    I'm always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains - there really should be none. It is particularly embarrassing that many are due to speeding. An amateur electronics hobbyist could set-up a train so it would not speed around a bend for probably <$100 in parts.

    The real cost of mass transit is also surprisingly high, due to various factors, like corruption. You would think with so many systems operating around the world, it would be easy to standardize parts and to adopt best practices and get the costs very low, in part by eliminating the train operators.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. Sean says:

    https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-china-factory-ownership/

    Tesla could now own 100% of an electric car factory in China, says government

    Good place for someone who thinks his employees ought to work 100 hours a week.

    Kyle Bass won big betting against on the lowest growth area in the world: the EU. He lost a bit of money and a lot of credibility trying to short Japan (long known as the sucker bet.) Betting on a China crash is inherently flawed, because China has been transformed by the friendly attitude and assistance of successive American governments, which facilitated the economic growth of China following China-USSR military clashes in the late sixties. Developing China has been seen as a way of weakening Russia. But the years of allowing China to drive a coach and horses through international trade has created a klepto-merchantilist decepticon monster piling up huge trade imbalances. And instead of the Chinese government buying advanced US products 2025 program aims to make them technological leaders as well

    China is going to transform itself into an unbeatable megastate, and will not run out of steam. To prevent itself being supplanted as the most powerful state in the word America will take action against the interests of the greedy globalising hyper-capitalist elite and diplomatic shills running their country into the ground. The first signs are already there that American self preservation is emerging from the deep state. The US will see that the trade and technology restriction it will try first will not be enough. As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!

    Read More
    • Replies: @myself

    As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!
     
    Economic domination, by for example China (or really anyone else) cannot be stopped or even impeded by means of military pressure or diplomatic intrigue - the two main tools favored by Washington. Biased reporting by the "Fake News Media" is even more ineffective.

    What WILL WORK is what worked in the 1980s in responding to Japan's rise: the United States and Germany got their economic houses in order, and even South Korea and Taiwan aggressively ramped up their quality and productivity to get up to Japan's level.

    It was a long process for all of these nations, but it was the only option.

    It's still the only real option now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor
    Then they'd be safer. Until someone hacks the whole system, and causes mass crashes.

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.

    I’m always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains – there really should be none. It is particularly embarrassing that many are due to speeding. An amateur electronics hobbyist could set-up a train so it would not speed around a bend for probably <$100 in parts.

    The real cost of mass transit is also surprisingly high, due to various factors, like corruption. You would think with so many systems operating around the world, it would be easy to standardize parts and to adopt best practices and get the costs very low, in part by eliminating the train operators.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I’m always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains – there really should be none.
     
    Because it's all still in the hands of a driver, who has a fairly monotonous job and tends to drift off from time to time. Automation is easily possible on a technical level, but the driver is needed as an ultimate legal scapegoat so that when SHTF, the company as a whole is not held liable. There's also the interesting observation that due to computers having potential blind spots, a human being is always needed and, paradoxically, the only way to keep the human being engaged is to have them handle many of the easy tasks that the AI could actually do better.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @blahbahblah
    While "autopilot" does not amount to "self-driving" cars, self driving cars have absolutely no business being touted except on roads made specifically or certified for self driving cars. Frankly, I'm hugely skeptical of self driving cars until the cars communicate with side road sensors and maybe with the other cars

    Remind me again, what problem do self-driving cars solve, exactly? (Besides a lack of functioning public transport in negro-infested cities, which problem is easier solved by other means.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bob who disapproves of public transport
    Screw that, public transport is for losers and Acela sheep. Real men get in their own damn car like God and Henry Ford intended. The AI driver solves the same problem a chauffeur does and as I make the 3 hour drive to and from the customer site at the start and end of each week on the road I would love one.
    , @Anon
    There is plenty of excellent public transit in negro infested cities. The problem is the negro riders drivers mechanics and managers and heads of the agencies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    Some points in Tesla’s favor:

    - Tesla still has high brand value
    - Relatively high gas prices
    - Trump wants car tariffs, especially on German cars, which are Tesla’s primary competition in the luxury segment:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-reportedly-wants-to-push-german-luxury-cars-out-of-the-us-2018-5

    - A lot of Tesla skepticism is the mirror image of Tesla and Musk fanboyism. That is it’s based largely on irrational “player hating”. A lot of the skepticism and hate against Musk is from conservatives or right-wingers who associate him with the left because of his popularity among many liberals. Also a lot of financial types hate him because they’re paper pushers and he’s an industrialist. Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Other points in Tesla's favor:

    -The production ramp up, while bumpy, is brisk
    -While losses keep increasing, Tesla's opex as percentage of sales continues to drop
    -Thus far it has the only widespread high energy charging network
    -While other automakers excel at mass production, they'll face bottlenecks in ramping up EV production as well (notice GM's pace with the Volt and Bolt) until well into the next decade

    Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.
     

    Plenty of asset managers are long Tesla and are practically fanboys of Musk. Musk himself engages in quite a bit of "paper pushing" since he's had to raise capital so many times.

    "Paper pusher" is an irrational criticism of the finance sector. Allocating capital is a very important job.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. @anonymous coward
    Remind me again, what problem do self-driving cars solve, exactly? (Besides a lack of functioning public transport in negro-infested cities, which problem is easier solved by other means.)

    Screw that, public transport is for losers and Acela sheep. Real men get in their own damn car like God and Henry Ford intended. The AI driver solves the same problem a chauffeur does and as I make the 3 hour drive to and from the customer site at the start and end of each week on the road I would love one.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @Anonymous
    Some points in Tesla's favor:

    - Tesla still has high brand value
    - Relatively high gas prices
    - Trump wants car tariffs, especially on German cars, which are Tesla's primary competition in the luxury segment:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-reportedly-wants-to-push-german-luxury-cars-out-of-the-us-2018-5

    - A lot of Tesla skepticism is the mirror image of Tesla and Musk fanboyism. That is it's based largely on irrational "player hating". A lot of the skepticism and hate against Musk is from conservatives or right-wingers who associate him with the left because of his popularity among many liberals. Also a lot of financial types hate him because they're paper pushers and he's an industrialist. Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.

    Other points in Tesla’s favor:

    -The production ramp up, while bumpy, is brisk
    -While losses keep increasing, Tesla’s opex as percentage of sales continues to drop
    -Thus far it has the only widespread high energy charging network
    -While other automakers excel at mass production, they’ll face bottlenecks in ramping up EV production as well (notice GM’s pace with the Volt and Bolt) until well into the next decade

    Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.

    Plenty of asset managers are long Tesla and are practically fanboys of Musk. Musk himself engages in quite a bit of “paper pushing” since he’s had to raise capital so many times.

    “Paper pusher” is an irrational criticism of the finance sector. Allocating capital is a very important job.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No doubt there are fanboys among asset managers.

    Whether it's an irrational criticism or not depends on one's values and views on political economy. To some, the financial sector has manifestly failed at allocating capital properly and is filled with rent seeking. Others will point to its size and the capitalization of financial markets as evidence of its value and importance.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Other points in Tesla's favor:

    -The production ramp up, while bumpy, is brisk
    -While losses keep increasing, Tesla's opex as percentage of sales continues to drop
    -Thus far it has the only widespread high energy charging network
    -While other automakers excel at mass production, they'll face bottlenecks in ramping up EV production as well (notice GM's pace with the Volt and Bolt) until well into the next decade

    Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.
     

    Plenty of asset managers are long Tesla and are practically fanboys of Musk. Musk himself engages in quite a bit of "paper pushing" since he's had to raise capital so many times.

    "Paper pusher" is an irrational criticism of the finance sector. Allocating capital is a very important job.

    No doubt there are fanboys among asset managers.

    Whether it’s an irrational criticism or not depends on one’s values and views on political economy. To some, the financial sector has manifestly failed at allocating capital properly and is filled with rent seeking. Others will point to its size and the capitalization of financial markets as evidence of its value and importance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    What's the evidence that it has failed at allocating capital successfully?

    No shortage of rent-seeking of course. But if there's one thing I've learned it's that bagholders are gonna bag.

    This isn't some hypothetical either, look at countries without sophisticated financial markets. People are forced to save by speculating in real estate, and credit is often not available to business unless the state makes it available (perfectly reasonable in such economies to be fair).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @Anonymous
    No doubt there are fanboys among asset managers.

    Whether it's an irrational criticism or not depends on one's values and views on political economy. To some, the financial sector has manifestly failed at allocating capital properly and is filled with rent seeking. Others will point to its size and the capitalization of financial markets as evidence of its value and importance.

    What’s the evidence that it has failed at allocating capital successfully?

    No shortage of rent-seeking of course. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that bagholders are gonna bag.

    This isn’t some hypothetical either, look at countries without sophisticated financial markets. People are forced to save by speculating in real estate, and credit is often not available to business unless the state makes it available (perfectly reasonable in such economies to be fair).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth. There have been several bubbles, and consumer debt has risen significantly while income has stagnated and startup formation is at a 40 year low. Capital allocation has been very unproductive. It's caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams. Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state. A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

    In financialized economies with inflated asset prices, people have low savings and can't even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don't go underwater. In countries with financial repression, public debt tends to be low and interest rates tend to be low and capital gets directed towards industry.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. Also not enough cobalt around yet. Too bad they already made the movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker:_The_Man_and_His_Dream

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  29. @Thorfinnsson
    This isn't Japan.

    The normal thing is you settle your issues (legal, financial, etc.), find out who really cares about you (in Musk's case, this might be down to just his brother and Thiel), and start over.

    Musk is a very talented man, and at the end of the day he will be all right. He isn't Elizabeth Holmes, he's Icarus...with a fatal attraction to capital intensive industries. Musk appears to be guilty of violating a number of federal laws, but he's not Jeff Skilling.

    Preston Tucker for instance, the Musk of the 1940s, went right back to work. As Tucker walked out of the court room he was unphased, quipping that even Henry Ford failed the first two times around.

    He ultimately found new investors in Brazil to back a new sports car. Unfortunately Tucker died a premature death.

    “unfortunately, Tucker died a premature death”.

    so did Seth Rich. Disclaimer:

    I drive a 1989 Ford Crown Vic ex-cab, a.k.a. “the Ghetto Blaster”;

    has some cosmetic issues, but otherwise runs fine. A steal @

    $23,000

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    What's the evidence that it has failed at allocating capital successfully?

    No shortage of rent-seeking of course. But if there's one thing I've learned it's that bagholders are gonna bag.

    This isn't some hypothetical either, look at countries without sophisticated financial markets. People are forced to save by speculating in real estate, and credit is often not available to business unless the state makes it available (perfectly reasonable in such economies to be fair).

    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth. There have been several bubbles, and consumer debt has risen significantly while income has stagnated and startup formation is at a 40 year low. Capital allocation has been very unproductive. It’s caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams. Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state. A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

    In financialized economies with inflated asset prices, people have low savings and can’t even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don’t go underwater. In countries with financial repression, public debt tends to be low and interest rates tend to be low and capital gets directed towards industry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Real Soon Now.

    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth.
     

    Stock prices were unusually low in the 1970s, as epitomized by BusinessWeek's famous 1979 The Death of Equities cover.

    In addition to reversion to the mean, several other factors made stocks more valuable since that time.

    The collapse of inflation and interest rates increased the net present value of stocks, the rise of emerging markets with poor domestic capital markets increased foreign demand for stocks, America's persistent trade deficit further increased foreign demand for American assets, and the low-cost trading and 401k revolutions.

    There have been several bubbles
     

    So what? Since the pop of the last bubble the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested has returned over 400%.

    and consumer debt has risen significantly
     

    And? One man's debt is another man's asset.

    income has stagnated
     

    Correction, wages have stagnated. Capital income has soared. Entirely expected consequence of union busting, mass immigration, and offshoring.

    startup formation is at a 40 year low
     
    And this is the fault of Wall Street how? If you haven't noticed VC is throwing money at startups.

    Capital allocation has been very unproductive.
     
    Evidence? Certainly return on capital and return on equity haven't been poor.

    It’s caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams.
     
    Increased debt by definition creates new assets. Remember than one man's debt is another man's asset.

    Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state.
     
    Dude, have you even been to Costco? No lines for toilet paper there.

    A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.
     
    Meaning what exactly?

    In financialized economies
     

    The fuck does this mean?

    inflated asset prices
     

    At what level are asset prices inflated?

    people have low savings
     

    Personal choice. In some respects a consequence of sophisticated financial markets--people rely on credit instead of savings. Hence why people buy houses and cars with loans.

    can’t even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don’t go underwater
     
    Yes, this is called a mortgage. A financially rational decision given the opportunity cost of committing so much capital upfront. Unsurprisingly, this decision does involve a bit of risk. Big whoop. You think returns should be guaranteed?

    In countries with financial repression
     

    The fuck does this mean?

    public debt tends to be low
     
    So what? The federal government is a higher quality borrower than any household, so perhaps we should thank the government for bearing the burden of credit expansion.

    interest rates tend to be low
     

    You mean like 3% on the ten year?

    capital gets directed towards industry
     
    You mean like Tesla? Wonder where they got their capital...
     
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Anonymous
    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth. There have been several bubbles, and consumer debt has risen significantly while income has stagnated and startup formation is at a 40 year low. Capital allocation has been very unproductive. It's caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams. Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state. A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

    In financialized economies with inflated asset prices, people have low savings and can't even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don't go underwater. In countries with financial repression, public debt tends to be low and interest rates tend to be low and capital gets directed towards industry.

    Real Soon Now.

    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth.

    Stock prices were unusually low in the 1970s, as epitomized by BusinessWeek’s famous 1979 The Death of Equities cover.

    In addition to reversion to the mean, several other factors made stocks more valuable since that time.

    The collapse of inflation and interest rates increased the net present value of stocks, the rise of emerging markets with poor domestic capital markets increased foreign demand for stocks, America’s persistent trade deficit further increased foreign demand for American assets, and the low-cost trading and 401k revolutions.

    There have been several bubbles

    So what? Since the pop of the last bubble the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested has returned over 400%.

    and consumer debt has risen significantly

    And? One man’s debt is another man’s asset.

    income has stagnated

    Correction, wages have stagnated. Capital income has soared. Entirely expected consequence of union busting, mass immigration, and offshoring.

    startup formation is at a 40 year low

    And this is the fault of Wall Street how? If you haven’t noticed VC is throwing money at startups.

    Capital allocation has been very unproductive.

    Evidence? Certainly return on capital and return on equity haven’t been poor.

    It’s caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams.

    Increased debt by definition creates new assets. Remember than one man’s debt is another man’s asset.

    Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state.

    Dude, have you even been to Costco? No lines for toilet paper there.

    A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

    Meaning what exactly?

    In financialized economies

    The fuck does this mean?

    inflated asset prices

    At what level are asset prices inflated?

    people have low savings

    Personal choice. In some respects a consequence of sophisticated financial markets–people rely on credit instead of savings. Hence why people buy houses and cars with loans.

    can’t even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don’t go underwater

    Yes, this is called a mortgage. A financially rational decision given the opportunity cost of committing so much capital upfront. Unsurprisingly, this decision does involve a bit of risk. Big whoop. You think returns should be guaranteed?

    In countries with financial repression

    The fuck does this mean?

    public debt tends to be low

    So what? The federal government is a higher quality borrower than any household, so perhaps we should thank the government for bearing the burden of credit expansion.

    interest rates tend to be low

    You mean like 3% on the ten year?

    capital gets directed towards industry

    You mean like Tesla? Wonder where they got their capital…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. Thomm says:

    I wonder if the 70-IQ White Trashionalists still think Thorfinnsson is Indian :

    http://www.unz.com/article/colonization-by-indian-leftists-the-downside-of-merit-based-immigration/#comment-2298701

    Their rationale is astonishingly hare-brained : “You knew something about India, so you must be Indian.”

    They think Thorfinnsson, me, and DB Cooper are all Indian. None of us are.

    Read More
    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
    • Replies: @WHAT
    You are consistently defecating in public, of course they consider you indian.
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
    Cool story, bro.
    , @songbird
    There was recently an anon on this blog who was obviously an Indian. He spoke of Dharma, etc. He is the only other fellow but you who I've heard use the term "white trashionalist", which is a pretty odd coincidence.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Real Soon Now.

    Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth.
     

    Stock prices were unusually low in the 1970s, as epitomized by BusinessWeek's famous 1979 The Death of Equities cover.

    In addition to reversion to the mean, several other factors made stocks more valuable since that time.

    The collapse of inflation and interest rates increased the net present value of stocks, the rise of emerging markets with poor domestic capital markets increased foreign demand for stocks, America's persistent trade deficit further increased foreign demand for American assets, and the low-cost trading and 401k revolutions.

    There have been several bubbles
     

    So what? Since the pop of the last bubble the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested has returned over 400%.

    and consumer debt has risen significantly
     

    And? One man's debt is another man's asset.

    income has stagnated
     

    Correction, wages have stagnated. Capital income has soared. Entirely expected consequence of union busting, mass immigration, and offshoring.

    startup formation is at a 40 year low
     
    And this is the fault of Wall Street how? If you haven't noticed VC is throwing money at startups.

    Capital allocation has been very unproductive.
     
    Evidence? Certainly return on capital and return on equity haven't been poor.

    It’s caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams.
     
    Increased debt by definition creates new assets. Remember than one man's debt is another man's asset.

    Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state.
     
    Dude, have you even been to Costco? No lines for toilet paper there.

    A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.
     
    Meaning what exactly?

    In financialized economies
     

    The fuck does this mean?

    inflated asset prices
     

    At what level are asset prices inflated?

    people have low savings
     

    Personal choice. In some respects a consequence of sophisticated financial markets--people rely on credit instead of savings. Hence why people buy houses and cars with loans.

    can’t even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don’t go underwater
     
    Yes, this is called a mortgage. A financially rational decision given the opportunity cost of committing so much capital upfront. Unsurprisingly, this decision does involve a bit of risk. Big whoop. You think returns should be guaranteed?

    In countries with financial repression
     

    The fuck does this mean?

    public debt tends to be low
     
    So what? The federal government is a higher quality borrower than any household, so perhaps we should thank the government for bearing the burden of credit expansion.

    interest rates tend to be low
     

    You mean like 3% on the ten year?

    capital gets directed towards industry
     
    You mean like Tesla? Wonder where they got their capital...
     
     

    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one’s values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there’s nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

    Read More
    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.
     
    I wouldn't even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it's more closely resembles some nursery school "wisdom" and amounts to something like saying that one man's fire is another's construction project.

    I'll be the first to admit that under certain circumstances, debt can be good, but the key word is "can" as I'm sure you'll agree.

    Debt, like fire, capitalism, and communism (note the lower case "c"). is nothing more than a tool and whether any of those things is good or not depends on a lot of other factors as you so correctly point out. Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as "debt is good" or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

    Why should anyone waste his time reading some author who has so little to offer? People take 'Ol Thor seriously???
    , @Sam Shama

    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one’s values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there’s nothing wrong and everything is rosy.
     
    What precisely do you mean by values in this context? What are your values? And, to repeat Thorfinsson's earlier question-dismissal of your faith, what the hell is "asset price inflation"? Asset prices go up in accordance with expected future returns and the current interest rate curve. Sometimes price bubbles form; there is no reason to believe that we are currently in the midst of one in the stock market. That current rates are low, implies a high present value for future flows, and a testament to the desirability of U.S T-bonds and corporate credit in general.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.
     
    Nonsense. Demonstrably so. Look at per capita real income: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.
     
    Startup formation everywhere demonstrates high time- clustering. Why is that a fault of the financial sector?

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.
     
    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.
     
    Which portions?

    Perhaps, it is precisely a lack of understanding econ 101. which leads to an inevitable reliance on the cult of Liquidationist Ron Paulisms.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.
     
    That was hardly the entirety of the argument. I've just started looking at Tesla in depth, in order to handicap a long-term short position and I conclude that it is a great short. Objectively, his capex and opex are completely highly, highly, unwarranted, even for a new technology venture. He broke and bent a few laws to burn investor capital. As a result, top talent is exiting the company. Musk however, does not see it for he is in the grips of a bad case of G'd complex.

    Musk is not Bezos. He does not have the vision he thinks he's got. Market will not tolerate this sort of extraordinary corporate profligacy for more than another year in my reckoning. I think his best bet might be to seek a collaboration with Daimler and focus on the battery business.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. Realist says:

    Tesla’s a company that should never have been. The whole concept is bullshit. The electric car can not compete with the internal combustion engine…the energy density is not there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Fuel cells.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    This is true, but EVs have certain advantages.

    Mechanically, they are much simpler.

    Operating costs are much lower.

    They're quiter and have superior low-end torque.

    Low center of gravity.

    Reasonable choice for commuters who can afford the higher upfront costs.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. WHAT says:
    @Thomm
    I wonder if the 70-IQ White Trashionalists still think Thorfinnsson is Indian :

    http://www.unz.com/article/colonization-by-indian-leftists-the-downside-of-merit-based-immigration/#comment-2298701

    Their rationale is astonishingly hare-brained : "You knew something about India, so you must be Indian."

    They think Thorfinnsson, me, and DB Cooper are all Indian. None of us are.

    You are consistently defecating in public, of course they consider you indian.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. Sam says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    This isn't Japan.

    The normal thing is you settle your issues (legal, financial, etc.), find out who really cares about you (in Musk's case, this might be down to just his brother and Thiel), and start over.

    Musk is a very talented man, and at the end of the day he will be all right. He isn't Elizabeth Holmes, he's Icarus...with a fatal attraction to capital intensive industries. Musk appears to be guilty of violating a number of federal laws, but he's not Jeff Skilling.

    Preston Tucker for instance, the Musk of the 1940s, went right back to work. As Tucker walked out of the court room he was unphased, quipping that even Henry Ford failed the first two times around.

    He ultimately found new investors in Brazil to back a new sports car. Unfortunately Tucker died a premature death.

    Do you have a twitter account to follow or will we have to follow you on the comments section of this blog?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Just this blog. I avoid developing any additional presence on the internet as otherwise I wouldn't get any work done.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. I do not believe that Tesla is likely to produce profits in the foreseeable future that justify its current valuation. However, a German engineering service company has analysed a Tesla 3 model and found that the materials cost of a car is around US-$ 18.000 and the cost of production can be estimated at around US-$ 10.000, so the gross margin should be ok if they manage to get production volume up.

    https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/mobilitaet/elektroauto-zerlegt-tesla-model-3-kann-gewinn-abwerfen/22625806.html

    (in German).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    I'd like to see an actual costed bill of materials.

    Assuming it's true, it requires $6 billion capex and 150 weeks of 10,000 cars produced per week.

    That's half a million cars a year, which of course need to be sold and serviced. What's the global total addressable market (TAM) for compact executive sedan (sedan market is crumbling) EVs?

    Combined 2017 sales for the BMW 3-series, Mercedes Benz C-class, and Audi A4 in the USA, Europe, and China was about 975,000 units.

    Let's assume the global TAM for compact executive sedans is 2 million units. Do one quarter of these buyers want EVs? Of those who do, will they all choose the Model 3? Many, probably most, luxury car buyers have very poor tolerance for quality and service problems.

    And as Tesla also cannot be price competitive in Europe (10% tariff) or China (25% tariff) without local assembly plants, most of these sales will have to be made in North America. Countries like Norway are likely to phase out or reduce their silly EV subsidies, which in any case will be available to competitors. Tesla can also forget about major sales in Japan (ever), Korea (ever), or India (without local assembly).

    The math doesn't work.
    , @Van Doren
    Munro estimated Model 3 production cost at 41k. He said, that the car wasn't designed for efficient production. Materials are not everything.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. Miro23 says:

    Agreed that Tesla is probably going down the tubes, but what about the effect on other technology stocks?

    No-one really knows when Tesla will go down, but when it does, it’s going to impact the whole of Tech sector investment. For example, it’s true that a company like Amazon makes a profit, but it’s also got a lot of fantasy built into its share price (as pointed out in detail by David Stockman):

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-28/jumping-great-white-shark-bubble-finance

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    David Stockman is a bad investor and doomerist, though he did nail IBM.

    Amazon is a great company, but indeed its share price makes no sense. It's based on a hockey stick profit trajectory fantasy that will never happen.

    Amazon should be valued more like Costco. Which is not a condemnation at all--Costco is a great company.

    The tech megacaps like Apple, Google, MSFT, Facebook, etc. are not overvalued however. They're cash geysers.

    The real massacre will be in the "unicorns", many of which are awful businesses and will never earn a cent. WeWork and Uber being great examples.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Anonymous
    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.

    I wouldn’t even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it’s more closely resembles some nursery school “wisdom” and amounts to something like saying that one man’s fire is another’s construction project.

    I’ll be the first to admit that under certain circumstances, debt can be good, but the key word is “can” as I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Debt, like fire, capitalism, and communism (note the lower case “c”). is nothing more than a tool and whether any of those things is good or not depends on a lot of other factors as you so correctly point out. Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as “debt is good” or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

    Why should anyone waste his time reading some author who has so little to offer? People take ‘Ol Thor seriously???

    Read More
    • Agree: Rurik
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    I wouldn’t even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it’s more closely resembles some nursery school “wisdom” and amounts to something like saying that one man’s fire is another’s construction project.
     
    Try not to be too glib yourself. Hit the econ 101 books, would be my advice to you. There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt. The trouble with your faith is that you deliberately ignore two basic econ 101 concepts: individual optimal debt ratios, and, thereafter, the fallacy of composition as it applies to public or sovereign debt.

    The question of debt and Savings more generally, has deeply psychological underpinnings connected to language. [For another time]

    Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as “debt is good” or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.
     
    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen. "Debt is good" is not a statement anyone on the rational side of economics has ever claimed in isolation. Properly understood, debt is an instrument to smooth inter-temporal investments and consumption.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Strawman.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. This goes to show how idiotic “investors” really are. Tesla was a No Go from the very start. It was a failed business plan before it ever got up & running. The technology will never be affordable to the vast majority of the unwashed despite creative credit schemes. That means only the so-called 1%ers would be the target market and before too long that market would be saturated and conquered and growth in profit and earnings would cease. The reasonings given for tanking this stock by “investors” doesn’t even mention this. They’re fucking clueless.

    You want a growth industry for our time? A good long-term investment, or long-term these days, with a business plan that will provide growth for at least several decades? Invest in my company, Euthanasia, Inc.. That’s where the money is. You’ll make gobs of money, significant double digit ROI, and in 20 to 30 years when you’re as wealthy as Trump if not wealthier, there will be nothing, and no one, left to buy with all that money. They’ll, and it, will be gone. No one left to wipe your ass so you’ll have to use the money that was them and it to wipe it instead until you defecate for the very last time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    You're trolling but fundamentally the notion of the "dark factory" or the completely automated factory was hardly beyond belief, or else it wouldn't have been attempted so many times in the first place. Its a lesson that we learn, often at considerable cost, that the wetware of the brain is still remarkably efficient and capable of things that our machines aren't, but the central conceit of it: that we can make things from processes done by repetitive functions is hardly impossible.

    Its essentially the very background of programming: single use methods and black box classes to manipulate data, then provide useful and interesting results. It just so happens that in manufacturing in the real world that there's much more variation and less control over both inputs and outputs, but I am sure that every single person with a Six Sigma or ITIL cert has at least given a passing thought to it. The entire point of such confined processes is to turn humans into rough approximations of machines; why not use machines for that purposes?
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Tesla would be profitable by now if it hadn't attempted to build an "alien dreadnought" fully automated production line and hadn't bothered with the Model X or Model 3. Other diversions like R&D for a fictitious semi aren't helpful either.

    EVs will be affordable in the next decade as global battery production ramps up.

    But most of these EVs will not be Teslas. They'll be from the traditional OEMs and some new Chinese companies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. @Thomm
    I wonder if the 70-IQ White Trashionalists still think Thorfinnsson is Indian :

    http://www.unz.com/article/colonization-by-indian-leftists-the-downside-of-merit-based-immigration/#comment-2298701

    Their rationale is astonishingly hare-brained : "You knew something about India, so you must be Indian."

    They think Thorfinnsson, me, and DB Cooper are all Indian. None of us are.

    Cool story, bro.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thomm
    er... click the link I provided, you 70-IQ wigger. It is proof.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. Mike P says:
    @Yevardian
    Will never happen. We robbed ourselves of any glorious 40K future forever sometime in the early 20th century. I'm not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

    I’m entirely sure we didn’t.

    According to Wiki, the rate of payload to initial mass of the Apollo missions was roughly 1 to 25 from Earth to lower Earth orbit, but about 1 to 3 from Earth orbit to lunar orbit. Assuming Earth orbit was 200 miles above Earth, less than 10% of the total energy required to escape Earth’s gravity had been applied once orbit was reached. Therefore, somehow the engines became about 100 times more fuel-efficient when going from Earth orbit to the moon.

    There are many more astonishing details. One is that NASA lost all the tapes of the lunar missions – allegedly the tapes were “reused”. Another is that the dosage of radiation measured on board the lunar missions was no different from those of typical Earth orbit missions. Considering that the lunar missions would have had to go through the van Allen radiation belt, they should have received a significantly higher dosage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch


    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

     

    I’m entirely sure we didn’t.
     
    And, there it goes. Ka-dink, swish, swirl, galook! Straight into the Wackadoodle Dumper.

    Do I recall correctly there being some sort of 80's social wisdom about the end of any discussion being the point at which someone was compared to Hitler? Or somebody called someone a Nazi?

    Nowadays, it's the point at which some ignorant jackass asserts a conspiracy -- usually some variation on the voluminous and multi-fantastic 9/11 conspiracy collections, but there's been a recent upsurge in moon landing conspiracies.

    Alas Babylon!
    , @Che Guava
    I iike the way Aldrin was physically attacking a 'Moon-landings never happened' type some years ago.

    OTOH, unlike your other intelocutor, I find the arguments interesting.

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth's gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

    More interesting is that all of the Apollo astronauts (except the ones burnt on the launch pad) had relatively long lives.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?

    I have a nice program on my phone, from Russia, it is a 'day of the ISS'.

    When I am watching it, I try to study Russian Cyrillic, but also thinking 'this looks like a space-ship, but it is not going anywhere, except low orbit.'

    Roscosmos was offering an Apollo 8 style flight around the Moon on a modern Soyuz for many years, of course, very expensive, but well within the means of space-fan tech billionaires and many others

    No such flight was ever booked, surprising to me, and it is no longer on offer, AFAIK.

    Why?

    Unlike you, I won't say 'the Moon landings never happened', but ...

    Hell, O.J.Simpson did a Moon-landimg in Capricorn 1、
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Cold N. Holefield
    This goes to show how idiotic "investors" really are. Tesla was a No Go from the very start. It was a failed business plan before it ever got up & running. The technology will never be affordable to the vast majority of the unwashed despite creative credit schemes. That means only the so-called 1%ers would be the target market and before too long that market would be saturated and conquered and growth in profit and earnings would cease. The reasonings given for tanking this stock by "investors" doesn't even mention this. They're fucking clueless.

    You want a growth industry for our time? A good long-term investment, or long-term these days, with a business plan that will provide growth for at least several decades? Invest in my company, Euthanasia, Inc.. That's where the money is. You'll make gobs of money, significant double digit ROI, and in 20 to 30 years when you're as wealthy as Trump if not wealthier, there will be nothing, and no one, left to buy with all that money. They'll, and it, will be gone. No one left to wipe your ass so you'll have to use the money that was them and it to wipe it instead until you defecate for the very last time.

    You’re trolling but fundamentally the notion of the “dark factory” or the completely automated factory was hardly beyond belief, or else it wouldn’t have been attempted so many times in the first place. Its a lesson that we learn, often at considerable cost, that the wetware of the brain is still remarkably efficient and capable of things that our machines aren’t, but the central conceit of it: that we can make things from processes done by repetitive functions is hardly impossible.

    Its essentially the very background of programming: single use methods and black box classes to manipulate data, then provide useful and interesting results. It just so happens that in manufacturing in the real world that there’s much more variation and less control over both inputs and outputs, but I am sure that every single person with a Six Sigma or ITIL cert has at least given a passing thought to it. The entire point of such confined processes is to turn humans into rough approximations of machines; why not use machines for that purposes?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. Anonymous[317] • Disclaimer says:
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  45. Anonymous[680] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    First all trains need to be run automatically, I guess.
     
    I'm always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains - there really should be none. It is particularly embarrassing that many are due to speeding. An amateur electronics hobbyist could set-up a train so it would not speed around a bend for probably <$100 in parts.

    The real cost of mass transit is also surprisingly high, due to various factors, like corruption. You would think with so many systems operating around the world, it would be easy to standardize parts and to adopt best practices and get the costs very low, in part by eliminating the train operators.

    I’m always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains – there really should be none.

    Because it’s all still in the hands of a driver, who has a fairly monotonous job and tends to drift off from time to time. Automation is easily possible on a technical level, but the driver is needed as an ultimate legal scapegoat so that when SHTF, the company as a whole is not held liable. There’s also the interesting observation that due to computers having potential blind spots, a human being is always needed and, paradoxically, the only way to keep the human being engaged is to have them handle many of the easy tasks that the AI could actually do better.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:

    Great write up.

    The problem is that Musk ran this company like a tech product where scaling does not require massive capital and correcting mistakes means patching lines of code, not massive recalls or people burning alive.

    If Musk was smart, he would have combined his experience in tech and entrepreneurship with the experience of a legit manufacturer.

    If Musk kept production small and put out quality products, he could have sold the company to Ford or Toyota and scaled production massively with experienced people.

    Musk would have made billions, and Tesla would likely be a leader in EVs going forward for decades. Instead Musk got greedy and said we don’t need to sell out. With our market cap we are already the same size as Ford. Well, enjoy prison Elon.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  47. Sam Shama says:
    @Anonymous
    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one’s values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there’s nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    What precisely do you mean by values in this context? What are your values? And, to repeat Thorfinsson’s earlier question-dismissal of your faith, what the hell is “asset price inflation”? Asset prices go up in accordance with expected future returns and the current interest rate curve. Sometimes price bubbles form; there is no reason to believe that we are currently in the midst of one in the stock market. That current rates are low, implies a high present value for future flows, and a testament to the desirability of U.S T-bonds and corporate credit in general.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Nonsense. Demonstrably so. Look at per capita real income: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    Startup formation everywhere demonstrates high time- clustering. Why is that a fault of the financial sector?

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Which portions?

    Perhaps, it is precisely a lack of understanding econ 101. which leads to an inevitable reliance on the cult of Liquidationist Ron Paulisms.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

    That was hardly the entirety of the argument. I’ve just started looking at Tesla in depth, in order to handicap a long-term short position and I conclude that it is a great short. Objectively, his capex and opex are completely highly, highly, unwarranted, even for a new technology venture. He broke and bent a few laws to burn investor capital. As a result, top talent is exiting the company. Musk however, does not see it for he is in the grips of a bad case of G’d complex.

    Musk is not Bezos. He does not have the vision he thinks he’s got. Market will not tolerate this sort of extraordinary corporate profligacy for more than another year in my reckoning. I think his best bet might be to seek a collaboration with Daimler and focus on the battery business.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.
     
    The automation thing is bullshit handwaving sold by The Ecommunist as a convenient excuse. The same publication that tells us we need massive immigration.

    We've been "automating" since Watt invented a functional steam engine and Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.

    Even earlier, really. The Middle Ages saw the invention of the mouldboard plough and the padded harness, increasing the productivity of agriculture.

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

    Guaranteed minimum income is the Silicon Valley version of bread & circuses.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. Anonymous[680] • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist
    Tesla's a company that should never have been. The whole concept is bullshit. The electric car can not compete with the internal combustion engine...the energy density is not there.

    Fuel cells.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

    Terrible solution other than for niche applications where you need greater energy density than batteries can provide, but can't use fossil fuels.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. Sam Shama says:
    @jacques sheete

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.
     
    I wouldn't even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it's more closely resembles some nursery school "wisdom" and amounts to something like saying that one man's fire is another's construction project.

    I'll be the first to admit that under certain circumstances, debt can be good, but the key word is "can" as I'm sure you'll agree.

    Debt, like fire, capitalism, and communism (note the lower case "c"). is nothing more than a tool and whether any of those things is good or not depends on a lot of other factors as you so correctly point out. Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as "debt is good" or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

    Why should anyone waste his time reading some author who has so little to offer? People take 'Ol Thor seriously???

    I wouldn’t even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it’s more closely resembles some nursery school “wisdom” and amounts to something like saying that one man’s fire is another’s construction project.

    Try not to be too glib yourself. Hit the econ 101 books, would be my advice to you. There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt. The trouble with your faith is that you deliberately ignore two basic econ 101 concepts: individual optimal debt ratios, and, thereafter, the fallacy of composition as it applies to public or sovereign debt.

    The question of debt and Savings more generally, has deeply psychological underpinnings connected to language. [For another time]

    Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as “debt is good” or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen. “Debt is good” is not a statement anyone on the rational side of economics has ever claimed in isolation. Properly understood, debt is an instrument to smooth inter-temporal investments and consumption.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt.
     
    Now that's funny coming from you,Mave!

    I was the one who pointed out,to you, the fact that there was a world of difference between various kinds of debt, e.g., public vs private debt. Up until I clued you in on that elementary fact, you stood by your witless comment that "debt is good."

    It's as corny and silly as Rand's utterly contemptible and sappy claim that greed is good.

    Try to keep up, will ya?

    PS: What does your hero, Krugman say about debt?

    Note to those who don't know what this is about, it's a feud between me 'n The Mave, who is such a guru in econ 101 that he bids us read Krugman if we want to understand "eekonomiks" as he does.

    I mean, really, doesn't that reveal the level on which that one's thought processes attempt to function?

    Dat's some cringe-worthy crapola, Mave! Tsk tsk.
    , @jacques sheete
    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen.

    And that is a fine example of projection.


    And speaking of strawman arguments, I responded to this, which is a direct quote.:

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.
     
    You would do well to look up the meaning of the word, "strawman."

    The statement, as quoted, is evidence of an incapacity to analyze simple concepts, and it indicates to me that he has nothing to offer me. It's really quite simple, but keep trying.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. anon[917] • Disclaimer says:

    http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=54950

    Worth watching for anyone looking to get a sense of Tesla as a car. The short version: Battery up — crap; Battery down — remarkable.

    The stuff Tesla can’t get right is old tech; the stuff that is good is electric & electronic. I prefer the short narrative but the timing is too hard. Tesla has proved itself brilliant at raising money. It’s market cap is $46B.

    People love Tesla. I can’t be sure about the timing. Otherwise I would be short.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    One way to construct a short is through the purchase of a longer dated put, as you might already know. If that is more premium than you are looking to spend, then one can look at put spreads.
    , @(((They))) Live
    I watched that interview a while back, I wish they asked him when his car came off the line, I think he got one of the early cars, with Tesla its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

    The Saudis plan to float Aramco next year for that to be a success they will want high oil prices, the frackers in the US may cause them problems, but if the Saudis and the Russians want high prices they should be able to get close to $100 a barrel if they work together

    That should help Tesla and EV sales in general, today I passed my local filling station on the way to work, petrol was €1.37 per litre and Diesel was €1.47 per litre, with prices like that EVs have a bright future in Europe and Asia

    Also if Tesla can last long enough to build their Truck they will turn that whole industry on its head
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. Sam Shama says:
    @anon
    http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=54950


    Worth watching for anyone looking to get a sense of Tesla as a car. The short version: Battery up -- crap; Battery down -- remarkable.


    The stuff Tesla can't get right is old tech; the stuff that is good is electric & electronic. I prefer the short narrative but the timing is too hard. Tesla has proved itself brilliant at raising money. It's market cap is $46B.

    People love Tesla. I can't be sure about the timing. Otherwise I would be short.

    One way to construct a short is through the purchase of a longer dated put, as you might already know. If that is more premium than you are looking to spend, then one can look at put spreads.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. Well, he certainly has pissed off the people who can ensure that his company’s stock does go to zero…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  53. @reiner Tor

    “Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man.”
     
    ROR

    Oh, ow, my sides hurt.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. ohmy says:

    The history of auto making is littered with dead entrepreneurs. I have to hand it to Musk, he has balls. He capitalized on or, is responsible for the reinvigorated interest in EVs and, he took advantage of all the government incentives that followed. I don’t know much about Tesla’s manufacturing abilities. I doubt Ford or GM will be interested in buying anything more than the Tesla brand name, which is a clever one.
    I wonder? Does the Tesla family receive royalties? I doubt it. Maybe this turn towards electric vehicles will renew interest in cheap if not free electric power. Will it finally be admitted that the universe along with everything in it, such as the sun, is electric. Does anyone else find it odd that since the 1920s nothing much has changed in the field of electronics. I hear it isn’t properly taught. Not even at MIT.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  55. @Anonymous
    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • “Free trade” (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It’s just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That’s a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn’t delivered as fast as he promised. That isn’t securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they’re just paper pushers who don’t allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:
     
    Only five things?

    You think various scams and frauds such as bailouts, foreign "aid" and skyrocketing public debt (used criminally in most cases ) have had no effect, or are they covered by one or more of your five?
    , @manorchurch

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • “Free trade” (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?
     
    OMG, you cannot be THAT naive.

    The "financial sector" is to blame for all five. Who do you THINK is making money from those, dude?
    , @Anonymous
    Those "five things" are concomitant with the massive gains to the financial sector and increase in its size. That is prima facie evidence right there. Furthermore, we know financial interests and powerful individuals from the financial sector have promoted those five things.

    I didn't shift goalposts. Wages have stagnated, and so have household incomes. Household size may have declined, but so what? Most households used to have one income which was sufficient to support a wife and children.

    It's not an example if, as you say, it only happened because of fraud and illegal activity.

    , @Anon
    The financial sector makes billions from student loans used to pay tuition to the educational racketeers.

    Union busting was part of the corporate raising of the pension funds and the corporate raiders who acquired and disassembled the big corporations

    The .50 . 35 zoro interest rates are an evil thing done by the financial sector. I don’t know the motivation of that but zero interest rates are definitely the fault of the financial sector

    , @Mikel

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things
     
    No. Those things worsen the situation but are more or less reversible. What is really painful and persists generation after generation is the cyclical nature of our economic pattern of growth. When financial bubbles periodically collapse they cause a great deal of human suffering, even to the rich, but I don't believe that there is any natural law that demands that economic growth must proceed through cycles of general expansion and general collapse. At the same time, these "business cycles" of bubbles and crashes are difficult to imagine in a world without fractional reserve banking.

    Now, I don't know what the exact disadvantages of a full reserve banking system would be. My knowledge is limited and I haven't had the time to think or read about it in depth. But I get the impression that academics mostly avoid discussing this issue. The fractional reserve banking issue is generally (though not always) brought up by Libertarians so some appear to consider it an unworthy matter of debate. Still, if we could manage to avoid the plague of economic crises and depressions, we would all be much better off, regardless of all those income distributions trends.
    , @Frederic Bastiat
    Surely, one cannot blame the whole financial sector. But certain parts of it would not survive without Government bail outs every 10-20 years. Those parts are definitivly working in a parasitic manner by shifting their risks on the general public by levereging their systemic importance ("too big to fail" etc...).

    Also, as one hears from some traders, the stock market is used less and less to raise fresh capital for companies but operates more like a zero sum casino game for speculators. Of course, speculation enables market liquidity but this is only useful if it supports the primary of function of raising capital for new ventures.

    I have no problems with casino capitalism, since no one has to be harmed if one chooses not to participate. But lets call a spade a spade and, more importantly, let the banks bear the responsibility for their own actions. That is, risks have to be shifted back to bank owners by higher equity requirements and, possibly, stricter punishments for financial misbehavior. Some kind of regulation is also needed in order to enable the regulating authorities to swiftly enforce bankruptcy proceedings without hampering the systemic functions that the financial sectors provides (by some pre-structering of bank operations or something similar).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. @Realist
    Tesla's a company that should never have been. The whole concept is bullshit. The electric car can not compete with the internal combustion engine...the energy density is not there.

    This is true, but EVs have certain advantages.

    Mechanically, they are much simpler.

    Operating costs are much lower.

    They’re quiter and have superior low-end torque.

    Low center of gravity.

    Reasonable choice for commuters who can afford the higher upfront costs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    AGREE. An all-electric sedan is next on our list and perfectly fits our needs.

    Also, it seems that some EVs around here come with lease offers as good as internal-combustion vehicles. So I'm not sure that the upfront cost is greater all the time.
    , @Philip Owen
    And they are expected to last a lot longer so amortization will be over 20+ years. Which is why they may become taxis for the masses while only the rich, the rural and petrolheads own personal vehicles.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. @Sam
    Do you have a twitter account to follow or will we have to follow you on the comments section of this blog?

    Just this blog. I avoid developing any additional presence on the internet as otherwise I wouldn’t get any work done.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. @Sam Shama

    I wouldn’t even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it’s more closely resembles some nursery school “wisdom” and amounts to something like saying that one man’s fire is another’s construction project.
     
    Try not to be too glib yourself. Hit the econ 101 books, would be my advice to you. There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt. The trouble with your faith is that you deliberately ignore two basic econ 101 concepts: individual optimal debt ratios, and, thereafter, the fallacy of composition as it applies to public or sovereign debt.

    The question of debt and Savings more generally, has deeply psychological underpinnings connected to language. [For another time]

    Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as “debt is good” or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.
     
    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen. "Debt is good" is not a statement anyone on the rational side of economics has ever claimed in isolation. Properly understood, debt is an instrument to smooth inter-temporal investments and consumption.

    There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt.

    Now that’s funny coming from you,Mave!

    I was the one who pointed out,to you, the fact that there was a world of difference between various kinds of debt, e.g., public vs private debt. Up until I clued you in on that elementary fact, you stood by your witless comment that “debt is good.”

    It’s as corny and silly as Rand’s utterly contemptible and sappy claim that greed is good.

    Try to keep up, will ya?

    PS: What does your hero, Krugman say about debt?

    Note to those who don’t know what this is about, it’s a feud between me ‘n The Mave, who is such a guru in econ 101 that he bids us read Krugman if we want to understand “eekonomiks” as he does.

    I mean, really, doesn’t that reveal the level on which that one’s thought processes attempt to function?

    Dat’s some cringe-worthy crapola, Mave! Tsk tsk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    You must know I've learnt a great deal from you; so do please forgive the occasional missteps in not recognising your valuable influence.

    Your lessons were firmly implanted in my memory when I wrote these:

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/trump-should-triangulate/#comment-1047145

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1817082

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-sun-people-tsunami-and-the-inevitability-of-lifeboat-ethics/#comment-1704251

    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putins-new-world-order/#comment-1859978

    You'll find in them a fuller accounting.

    One thing I did not learn from you for better or worse is the veritable flurry of exclamations and expletives which tend to accompany your bijous.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. @Miro23
    Agreed that Tesla is probably going down the tubes, but what about the effect on other technology stocks?

    No-one really knows when Tesla will go down, but when it does, it's going to impact the whole of Tech sector investment. For example, it's true that a company like Amazon makes a profit, but it's also got a lot of fantasy built into its share price (as pointed out in detail by David Stockman):

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-28/jumping-great-white-shark-bubble-finance

    David Stockman is a bad investor and doomerist, though he did nail IBM.

    Amazon is a great company, but indeed its share price makes no sense. It’s based on a hockey stick profit trajectory fantasy that will never happen.

    Amazon should be valued more like Costco. Which is not a condemnation at all–Costco is a great company.

    The tech megacaps like Apple, Google, MSFT, Facebook, etc. are not overvalued however. They’re cash geysers.

    The real massacre will be in the “unicorns”, many of which are awful businesses and will never earn a cent. WeWork and Uber being great examples.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. @jacques sheete

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.
     
    I wouldn't even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it's more closely resembles some nursery school "wisdom" and amounts to something like saying that one man's fire is another's construction project.

    I'll be the first to admit that under certain circumstances, debt can be good, but the key word is "can" as I'm sure you'll agree.

    Debt, like fire, capitalism, and communism (note the lower case "c"). is nothing more than a tool and whether any of those things is good or not depends on a lot of other factors as you so correctly point out. Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as "debt is good" or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

    Why should anyone waste his time reading some author who has so little to offer? People take 'Ol Thor seriously???

    Strawman.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. @Sam Shama

    I wouldn’t even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it’s more closely resembles some nursery school “wisdom” and amounts to something like saying that one man’s fire is another’s construction project.
     
    Try not to be too glib yourself. Hit the econ 101 books, would be my advice to you. There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt. The trouble with your faith is that you deliberately ignore two basic econ 101 concepts: individual optimal debt ratios, and, thereafter, the fallacy of composition as it applies to public or sovereign debt.

    The question of debt and Savings more generally, has deeply psychological underpinnings connected to language. [For another time]

    Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as “debt is good” or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.
     
    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen. "Debt is good" is not a statement anyone on the rational side of economics has ever claimed in isolation. Properly understood, debt is an instrument to smooth inter-temporal investments and consumption.

    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen.

    And that is a fine example of projection.

    And speaking of strawman arguments, I responded to this, which is a direct quote.:

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.

    You would do well to look up the meaning of the word, “strawman.”

    The statement, as quoted, is evidence of an incapacity to analyze simple concepts, and it indicates to me that he has nothing to offer me. It’s really quite simple, but keep trying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

    Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. @Cold N. Holefield
    This goes to show how idiotic "investors" really are. Tesla was a No Go from the very start. It was a failed business plan before it ever got up & running. The technology will never be affordable to the vast majority of the unwashed despite creative credit schemes. That means only the so-called 1%ers would be the target market and before too long that market would be saturated and conquered and growth in profit and earnings would cease. The reasonings given for tanking this stock by "investors" doesn't even mention this. They're fucking clueless.

    You want a growth industry for our time? A good long-term investment, or long-term these days, with a business plan that will provide growth for at least several decades? Invest in my company, Euthanasia, Inc.. That's where the money is. You'll make gobs of money, significant double digit ROI, and in 20 to 30 years when you're as wealthy as Trump if not wealthier, there will be nothing, and no one, left to buy with all that money. They'll, and it, will be gone. No one left to wipe your ass so you'll have to use the money that was them and it to wipe it instead until you defecate for the very last time.

    Tesla would be profitable by now if it hadn’t attempted to build an “alien dreadnought” fully automated production line and hadn’t bothered with the Model X or Model 3. Other diversions like R&D for a fictitious semi aren’t helpful either.

    EVs will be affordable in the next decade as global battery production ramps up.

    But most of these EVs will not be Teslas. They’ll be from the traditional OEMs and some new Chinese companies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    EVs are affordable now. Just not Teslas.

    The basic point that is being missed by this entire discussion is that the inconvenience of having to plug your car to your house for 4 hours to "refill" it is worth it only if what you save on gasoline makes the car cheaper than owning an ICE.

    When gasoline is $3 a gallon there are few electric vehicles that can make this happen. You can get used Nissans for around $10,000.

    http://www.plugincars.com/best-used-evs-less-10000-132626.html

    When gasoline gets to $8 a gallon possibly 30 years from now $40,000 Teslas may start to make a little sense.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Sam Shama

    Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one’s values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there’s nothing wrong and everything is rosy.
     
    What precisely do you mean by values in this context? What are your values? And, to repeat Thorfinsson's earlier question-dismissal of your faith, what the hell is "asset price inflation"? Asset prices go up in accordance with expected future returns and the current interest rate curve. Sometimes price bubbles form; there is no reason to believe that we are currently in the midst of one in the stock market. That current rates are low, implies a high present value for future flows, and a testament to the desirability of U.S T-bonds and corporate credit in general.

    Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.
     
    Nonsense. Demonstrably so. Look at per capita real income: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

    Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.
     
    Startup formation everywhere demonstrates high time- clustering. Why is that a fault of the financial sector?

    ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.
     
    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

    The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.
     
    Which portions?

    Perhaps, it is precisely a lack of understanding econ 101. which leads to an inevitable reliance on the cult of Liquidationist Ron Paulisms.

    Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html) could not have been capitalized otherwise.
     
    That was hardly the entirety of the argument. I've just started looking at Tesla in depth, in order to handicap a long-term short position and I conclude that it is a great short. Objectively, his capex and opex are completely highly, highly, unwarranted, even for a new technology venture. He broke and bent a few laws to burn investor capital. As a result, top talent is exiting the company. Musk however, does not see it for he is in the grips of a bad case of G'd complex.

    Musk is not Bezos. He does not have the vision he thinks he's got. Market will not tolerate this sort of extraordinary corporate profligacy for more than another year in my reckoning. I think his best bet might be to seek a collaboration with Daimler and focus on the battery business.

    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

    The automation thing is bullshit handwaving sold by The Ecommunist as a convenient excuse. The same publication that tells us we need massive immigration.

    We’ve been “automating” since Watt invented a functional steam engine and Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.

    Even earlier, really. The Middle Ages saw the invention of the mouldboard plough and the padded harness, increasing the productivity of agriculture.

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

    Guaranteed minimum income is the Silicon Valley version of bread & circuses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.
     
    Isn't that what I said in: "Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue,..." ?

    Of course, automation started with the Wheel and labour to capital substitution increases the marginal productivity of Labour [thus value of Labour]. Nothing to do with what the Economist says [I don't usually read them].

    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    Only five things?

    You think various scams and frauds such as bailouts, foreign “aid” and skyrocketing public debt (used criminally in most cases ) have had no effect, or are they covered by one or more of your five?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @Anonymous
    Fuel cells.

    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

    Terrible solution other than for niche applications where you need greater energy density than batteries can provide, but can’t use fossil fuels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.
     
    So what? Or, were you thinking petro-power is required to produce hydrogen?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. @jacques sheete
    That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen.

    And that is a fine example of projection.


    And speaking of strawman arguments, I responded to this, which is a direct quote.:

    One man’s debt is another man’s asset.
     
    You would do well to look up the meaning of the word, "strawman."

    The statement, as quoted, is evidence of an incapacity to analyze simple concepts, and it indicates to me that he has nothing to offer me. It's really quite simple, but keep trying.

    Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

    Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @jacques sheete

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:
     
    Only five things?

    You think various scams and frauds such as bailouts, foreign "aid" and skyrocketing public debt (used criminally in most cases ) have had no effect, or are they covered by one or more of your five?

    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it’s paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    I’m opposed to both, but don’t see how either harm the middle and working classes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    I’m opposed to both, but don’t see how either harm the middle and working classes.
     
    You don't? Well, fancy that.

    The explosive growth of the middle class, and its accelerating acquisition of assets, is noteworthy. In no time at all, the middle class will re-acquire the 95% of gross national wealth held by the to-be-pitied "1%". Oh, woe be to the rich! They die off so swiftly, so unfairly.

    The middle class grows fat with the undeserved profits they obtain from exploiting the wealthy class. It's obscene. There oughta be a law!
    , @jacques sheete

    Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

     

    Obsession? Must be some new definition.

    Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?
     
    Ah alreddy dun dat.

    Tell me what is right about it.
    , @jacques sheete

    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

     

    That's what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it’s paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

     

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?


    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

    Perceptive people have been noticing its development for a long time.:

    I witnessed the momentous changes and participated
    in them. While they were occurring I saw something
    else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
    of the United States enter into a struggle with the
    trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
    the business forces won the contest. I saw the forms
    of republican government decay through disuse, and I
    saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn
    to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of
    business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up
    around and above the structure of government.

    - R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.
    https://archive.org/stream/triumphantpluto00pettrich/triumphantpluto00pettrich_djvu.txt

     

    Here's something more recent, although Pettigrew's comment still applies.:

    Men haven't got the freedom today that they had when the Constitution was written…In that time, men could go into their own business. They could follow farming and they could do this and that. Today, young men in college are not planning on individual development, as much as getting a job. They have someone else raise the money, and then they do the work. And men haven't the freedom because big business doesn't give it to them.

    -Jeanette Rankin, interview (1977)

    http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt758005dx/

    Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. @anon
    http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=54950


    Worth watching for anyone looking to get a sense of Tesla as a car. The short version: Battery up -- crap; Battery down -- remarkable.


    The stuff Tesla can't get right is old tech; the stuff that is good is electric & electronic. I prefer the short narrative but the timing is too hard. Tesla has proved itself brilliant at raising money. It's market cap is $46B.

    People love Tesla. I can't be sure about the timing. Otherwise I would be short.

    I watched that interview a while back, I wish they asked him when his car came off the line, I think he got one of the early cars, with Tesla its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

    The Saudis plan to float Aramco next year for that to be a success they will want high oil prices, the frackers in the US may cause them problems, but if the Saudis and the Russians want high prices they should be able to get close to $100 a barrel if they work together

    That should help Tesla and EV sales in general, today I passed my local filling station on the way to work, petrol was €1.37 per litre and Diesel was €1.47 per litre, with prices like that EVs have a bright future in Europe and Asia

    Also if Tesla can last long enough to build their Truck they will turn that whole industry on its head

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead).
    , @Stan d Mute

    with Tesla any brand its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better
     
    FIFY

    BTW, you can see this play out in the market if you watch the manufacturer auctions. Look at the number of manufacturer buyback units in the lanes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. Sam Shama says:
    @jacques sheete

    There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt.
     
    Now that's funny coming from you,Mave!

    I was the one who pointed out,to you, the fact that there was a world of difference between various kinds of debt, e.g., public vs private debt. Up until I clued you in on that elementary fact, you stood by your witless comment that "debt is good."

    It's as corny and silly as Rand's utterly contemptible and sappy claim that greed is good.

    Try to keep up, will ya?

    PS: What does your hero, Krugman say about debt?

    Note to those who don't know what this is about, it's a feud between me 'n The Mave, who is such a guru in econ 101 that he bids us read Krugman if we want to understand "eekonomiks" as he does.

    I mean, really, doesn't that reveal the level on which that one's thought processes attempt to function?

    Dat's some cringe-worthy crapola, Mave! Tsk tsk.

    You must know I’ve learnt a great deal from you; so do please forgive the occasional missteps in not recognising your valuable influence.

    Your lessons were firmly implanted in my memory when I wrote these:

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/trump-should-triangulate/#comment-1047145

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1817082

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-sun-people-tsunami-and-the-inevitability-of-lifeboat-ethics/#comment-1704251

    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putins-new-world-order/#comment-1859978

    You’ll find in them a fuller accounting.

    One thing I did not learn from you for better or worse is the veritable flurry of exclamations and expletives which tend to accompany your bijous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Sam, in your honor, I dug this up for you. It pretty funny stuff, though in a jejune sorta way.

    Opinion
    Debt Is Good

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/11/12/opinion/krugman-circular/krugman-circular-thumbLarge-v7.jpg

    By Paul Krugman
    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/paul-krugman-debt-is-good-for-the-economy.html
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. @Mike P

    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.
     
    I'm entirely sure we didn't.

    According to Wiki, the rate of payload to initial mass of the Apollo missions was roughly 1 to 25 from Earth to lower Earth orbit, but about 1 to 3 from Earth orbit to lunar orbit. Assuming Earth orbit was 200 miles above Earth, less than 10% of the total energy required to escape Earth's gravity had been applied once orbit was reached. Therefore, somehow the engines became about 100 times more fuel-efficient when going from Earth orbit to the moon.

    There are many more astonishing details. One is that NASA lost all the tapes of the lunar missions - allegedly the tapes were "reused". Another is that the dosage of radiation measured on board the lunar missions was no different from those of typical Earth orbit missions. Considering that the lunar missions would have had to go through the van Allen radiation belt, they should have received a significantly higher dosage.

    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

    I’m entirely sure we didn’t.

    And, there it goes. Ka-dink, swish, swirl, galook! Straight into the Wackadoodle Dumper.

    Do I recall correctly there being some sort of 80′s social wisdom about the end of any discussion being the point at which someone was compared to Hitler? Or somebody called someone a Nazi?

    Nowadays, it’s the point at which some ignorant jackass asserts a conspiracy — usually some variation on the voluminous and multi-fantastic 9/11 conspiracy collections, but there’s been a recent upsurge in moon landing conspiracies.

    Alas Babylon!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mike P
    manorchurch, the other day you kindly promised to ignore me in the future. Please abide by it, or at least refrain from answering my comments, if all you have to offer is name-calling. Thank you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. @(((They))) Live
    I watched that interview a while back, I wish they asked him when his car came off the line, I think he got one of the early cars, with Tesla its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

    The Saudis plan to float Aramco next year for that to be a success they will want high oil prices, the frackers in the US may cause them problems, but if the Saudis and the Russians want high prices they should be able to get close to $100 a barrel if they work together

    That should help Tesla and EV sales in general, today I passed my local filling station on the way to work, petrol was €1.37 per litre and Diesel was €1.47 per litre, with prices like that EVs have a bright future in Europe and Asia

    Also if Tesla can last long enough to build their Truck they will turn that whole industry on its head

    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead).

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((they))) Live
    I don't think so, if Tesla can deliver their truck with close to the claimed specs then they will clearly change the whole industry, trunks only get about 8mpg, so switching to electric power gives massive saving in fuel and maintenance costs

    from what we know plenty of companies with large fleets of trucks have placed orders with Tesla, assuming Tesla do the job right and the trucks run well after six months or a year someone will run the numbers for electric Vs Diesel and there will only be one winner

    , @edNels

    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead)
     
    .
    The electric trucks will start at the port like the containers did, then spread out with the help of rebuilt hiway systems dedicated to that development I think. Steel rails were great in their day, (before there was digital systems to guide vehicles precisely and reliably,) that is what they do by restraining the wheels to a particular long pre-established rote path. (Some switching is allowed, little as possible.)

    Rubber tire is king now. Check out the robots in this video of automatic port.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Ag-0IqDAg

    Not how all the wheels steer for tight turning, and they are slow for now, but will speed up later.

    New rail road loading/discharge near the ships are automated too, double stacked etc.

    Narrow gauge is for mines in the old days, and amusement parks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. @Thorfinnsson
    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.

    I’m opposed to both, but don’t see how either harm the middle and working classes.

    You don’t? Well, fancy that.

    The explosive growth of the middle class, and its accelerating acquisition of assets, is noteworthy. In no time at all, the middle class will re-acquire the 95% of gross national wealth held by the to-be-pitied “1%”. Oh, woe be to the rich! They die off so swiftly, so unfairly.

    The middle class grows fat with the undeserved profits they obtain from exploiting the wealthy class. It’s obscene. There oughta be a law!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. @Thorfinnsson
    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

    Terrible solution other than for niche applications where you need greater energy density than batteries can provide, but can't use fossil fuels.

    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

    So what? Or, were you thinking petro-power is required to produce hydrogen?

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don't understand basic physics
    , @Thorfinnsson
    In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

    Even if atomophobes were sent to concentration camps (as they should be), why would we want to invest massive amounts of capital for this project? Because Toyota is enamored?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • “Free trade” (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    OMG, you cannot be THAT naive.

    The “financial sector” is to blame for all five. Who do you THINK is making money from those, dude?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    What a very convenient argument.

    "Okay dude, so the financial sector isn't directly to blame for stagnating wages, but THEY caused the things that are!"

    Free trade--blame American foreign policy for initiating this very bad idea. Economists also to blame.

    Mass immigration--likewise.

    Union busting--banks were never unionized. The strongest anti-union forces were (and are) in manufacturing and logistics.

    Increasing monopoly power--sure. But I blame free market economists more.

    Healthcare and education rackets--close to zero responsibility, though they do make some money off of student loans.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. Sam Shama says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.
     
    The automation thing is bullshit handwaving sold by The Ecommunist as a convenient excuse. The same publication that tells us we need massive immigration.

    We've been "automating" since Watt invented a functional steam engine and Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.

    Even earlier, really. The Middle Ages saw the invention of the mouldboard plough and the padded harness, increasing the productivity of agriculture.

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

    Guaranteed minimum income is the Silicon Valley version of bread & circuses.

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

    Isn’t that what I said in: “Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue,…” ?

    Of course, automation started with the Wheel and labour to capital substitution increases the marginal productivity of Labour [thus value of Labour]. Nothing to do with what the Economist says [I don't usually read them].

    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.
     
    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan's own instincts).

    The biggest loss in manufacturing jobs was in the 2000s, conveniently right after China joined the WTO.

    American manufacturing isn't even that automated. Robot density is significantly lower than leaders like Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

    What's the evidence for "ratcheting up very rapidly"? Total factor productivity growth isn't all that high these days.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. @manorchurch

    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.
     
    So what? Or, were you thinking petro-power is required to produce hydrogen?

    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don’t understand basic physics

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don’t understand basic physics
     
    Well, maybe. Petroleum will have the edge for another ten years, at least. Long-term, however, some other energy source will be required. Fuel cells, or some derivative thereof, may be a possibility. Solar energy for the separation of water into H and O is free, although the implementation of method is not.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @Thorfinnsson
    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead).

    I don’t think so, if Tesla can deliver their truck with close to the claimed specs then they will clearly change the whole industry, trunks only get about 8mpg, so switching to electric power gives massive saving in fuel and maintenance costs

    from what we know plenty of companies with large fleets of trucks have placed orders with Tesla, assuming Tesla do the job right and the trucks run well after six months or a year someone will run the numbers for electric Vs Diesel and there will only be one winner

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
    Railroads have been pretty much 100% electrified the whole world over for nearly 70 years now (except for a handful of tourist and "living museum" steam trains).

    Yet, except for a few very high density traffic segments and where socialist bureaucracies imposed it such as the old Soviet Union, most railroads still find it more efficient to have their electric locomotives carry their own power plants with them than to use and maintain a central grid to provide power to the locomotives.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    The truck is vaporware, so I wouldn't put much stock in Tesla's claimed specs.

    Most trucking, by ton miles, is long haul trucking.

    The claimed 80% range (there will rarely be time to charge to 100%, so 80% "Megacharger" needs to be employed) is only 400 miles. After that, it's a half-hour recharge.

    The Megacharger itself is also dubious--one megawatt is a lot of power. What kind of electric connectors and safety provisions will be employed? Musk claims they'll be solar-powered. Really--a one megawatt solar array at every truck stop? In reality they'll of course be grid connected.

    Currently Tesla charges a quarter per kilowatt hour for its supercharger stations. Based on one megawatt output and 30 minutes charging, the Semi will take 30,000 kilowatt hour charge. That will cost...$7,500. Recharging from ordinary utility power would "only" cost $3,000.

    A new Peterbilt can carry 300 gallons of diesel, which gives a fully loaded truck a range of 1,800 miles. Filling those two 150 gallon tanks is only $1,000.

    So under realistic conditions energy costs for a new Peterbilt are 34 times lower than the Tesla Semi. Best case conditions, let's say in the Pacific Northwest on ordinary utility power, "only" ten times.

    This isn't like the Model S where recharging it costs you $10 and thus beats even the most fuel efficient cars on the road.

    The conventional truck industry isn't standing still either. See here: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1503-daimler-builds-twice-as-efficient-supertruck-class-8-semi/

    As self-driving improves, it will also be possible to platoon trucks to reduce air resistance for all but the lead truck (think of migrating birds).

    Do you see how crazy this is?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. @manorchurch

    Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.
     
    So what? Or, were you thinking petro-power is required to produce hydrogen?

    In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

    Even if atomophobes were sent to concentration camps (as they should be), why would we want to invest massive amounts of capital for this project? Because Toyota is enamored?

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.
     
    No, it isn't.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @manorchurch

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • “Free trade” (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?
     
    OMG, you cannot be THAT naive.

    The "financial sector" is to blame for all five. Who do you THINK is making money from those, dude?

    What a very convenient argument.

    “Okay dude, so the financial sector isn’t directly to blame for stagnating wages, but THEY caused the things that are!”

    Free trade–blame American foreign policy for initiating this very bad idea. Economists also to blame.

    Mass immigration–likewise.

    Union busting–banks were never unionized. The strongest anti-union forces were (and are) in manufacturing and logistics.

    Increasing monopoly power–sure. But I blame free market economists more.

    Healthcare and education rackets–close to zero responsibility, though they do make some money off of student loans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    Wrong.

    1. Free trade means no tariff risks -- the rich get richer.
    2. Immigration lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    3. Union busting lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    4. Monopolies increase profits directly -- the rich get richer.
    5. Healthcare and its associated sub-industries are phenomenally profitable -- the rich get richer.

    The "financial sector" IS the rich, dude.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @Sam Shama

    Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.
     
    Isn't that what I said in: "Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue,..." ?

    Of course, automation started with the Wheel and labour to capital substitution increases the marginal productivity of Labour [thus value of Labour]. Nothing to do with what the Economist says [I don't usually read them].

    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan’s own instincts).

    The biggest loss in manufacturing jobs was in the 2000s, conveniently right after China joined the WTO.

    American manufacturing isn’t even that automated. Robot density is significantly lower than leaders like Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

    What’s the evidence for “ratcheting up very rapidly”? Total factor productivity growth isn’t all that high these days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama

    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan’s own instincts).
     
    I have no quarrel with the effects of union busting, I have written of it myself. [http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/cheerleading-for-israel/#comment-1795372]

    However, here is a question for you. If you decry the breakup of labour unions, would you decry as well, a de-cartelisation of Banking? If not, why not? [Banking is cartelised. Try obtaining a banking license]

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.
     
    That statement is nonsense. I am not a proponent of unrestricted immigration. I support merit-based immigration. However, wages would not at all start rising inevitably if immigration were severely restricted tomorrow. There are many reasons for it, monopsony power of corporates is one big reason.
    http://rooseveltinstitute.org/how-widespread-labor-monopsony-some-new-results-suggest-its-pervasive/

    Another one has to do with high-value-added labour [like coding] does not necessarily have to be co-located geographically.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. songbird says:
    @Thomm
    I wonder if the 70-IQ White Trashionalists still think Thorfinnsson is Indian :

    http://www.unz.com/article/colonization-by-indian-leftists-the-downside-of-merit-based-immigration/#comment-2298701

    Their rationale is astonishingly hare-brained : "You knew something about India, so you must be Indian."

    They think Thorfinnsson, me, and DB Cooper are all Indian. None of us are.

    There was recently an anon on this blog who was obviously an Indian. He spoke of Dharma, etc. He is the only other fellow but you who I’ve heard use the term “white trashionalist”, which is a pretty odd coincidence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thomm
    er.... 'White Trashionalist' is a term that has been used since the 90s. Any basic Google search will confirm this.

    If you took off your Gimp suit and got out of the cage once in a while, you might start to become acquainted with the outside world, and why normal white people like me avoid you at all costs.

    Get a clue, faggot.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. macilrae says:

    Technically, the use of a battery of over seven thousand small lithium cells (“2170s” – not much bigger than flashlight cells) to power a car feels very wrong. Wrong because of the labor intensity of manufacture (even if robotic); wrong because of the multiplication factor upon the reliability. And just plain inelegant from an engineering point of view.

    Still, and all, I know from first hand that courageous new ventures must necessarily attract monumental criticism until they are finally proved successful: it is so much easier just to say “no” to a new idea.

    Somebody said “you can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  83. There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.
     
    Ambien, obviously.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. Sam Shama says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.
     
    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan's own instincts).

    The biggest loss in manufacturing jobs was in the 2000s, conveniently right after China joined the WTO.

    American manufacturing isn't even that automated. Robot density is significantly lower than leaders like Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

    What's the evidence for "ratcheting up very rapidly"? Total factor productivity growth isn't all that high these days.

    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan’s own instincts).

    I have no quarrel with the effects of union busting, I have written of it myself. (http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/cheerleading-for-israel/#comment-1795372

    However, here is a question for you. If you decry the breakup of labour unions, would you decry as well, a de-cartelisation of Banking? If not, why not? [Banking is cartelised. Try obtaining a banking license]

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

    That statement is nonsense. I am not a proponent of unrestricted immigration. I support merit-based immigration. However, wages would not at all start rising inevitably if immigration were severely restricted tomorrow. There are many reasons for it, monopsony power of corporates is one big reason.

    http://rooseveltinstitute.org/how-widespread-labor-monopsony-some-new-results-suggest-its-pervasive/

    Another one has to do with high-value-added labour [like coding] does not necessarily have to be co-located geographically.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    I don't deplore the breakup of labor unions since I'm on the capital-management side. American (and worse, British) labor unions fomented endless trouble when they were powerful. Just pointing out that union busting obviously had a major impact.

    As for banking, I do support de-cartelisation.

    Monopsony power and geographic arbitrage are certainly part of the picture.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. @(((They))) Live
    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don't understand basic physics

    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don’t understand basic physics

    Well, maybe. Petroleum will have the edge for another ten years, at least. Long-term, however, some other energy source will be required. Fuel cells, or some derivative thereof, may be a possibility. Solar energy for the separation of water into H and O is free, although the implementation of method is not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Well done you just proved my point, thanks
    , @Philip Owen
    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic. There are production sites now and a UK railway company plans fuel cell locomotives shortly. That said locos are going out of fashion in favour of mixed multiple units, Japanese style (electric or diesel under every alternate cars). No good for a US freight railway.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. @Thorfinnsson
    In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

    Even if atomophobes were sent to concentration camps (as they should be), why would we want to invest massive amounts of capital for this project? Because Toyota is enamored?

    In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

    No, it isn’t.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. Thomm says:
    @songbird
    There was recently an anon on this blog who was obviously an Indian. He spoke of Dharma, etc. He is the only other fellow but you who I've heard use the term "white trashionalist", which is a pretty odd coincidence.

    er…. ‘White Trashionalist’ is a term that has been used since the 90s. Any basic Google search will confirm this.

    If you took off your Gimp suit and got out of the cage once in a while, you might start to become acquainted with the outside world, and why normal white people like me avoid you at all costs.

    Get a clue, faggot.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. Thomm says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike
    Cool story, bro.

    er… click the link I provided, you 70-IQ wigger. It is proof.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. @Thorfinnsson
    What a very convenient argument.

    "Okay dude, so the financial sector isn't directly to blame for stagnating wages, but THEY caused the things that are!"

    Free trade--blame American foreign policy for initiating this very bad idea. Economists also to blame.

    Mass immigration--likewise.

    Union busting--banks were never unionized. The strongest anti-union forces were (and are) in manufacturing and logistics.

    Increasing monopoly power--sure. But I blame free market economists more.

    Healthcare and education rackets--close to zero responsibility, though they do make some money off of student loans.

    Wrong.

    1. Free trade means no tariff risks — the rich get richer.
    2. Immigration lowers labor costs — the rich get richer.
    3. Union busting lowers labor costs — the rich get richer.
    4. Monopolies increase profits directly — the rich get richer.
    5. Healthcare and its associated sub-industries are phenomenally profitable — the rich get richer.

    The “financial sector” IS the rich, dude.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#44e753957e2f

    Only two in the top ten are in the financial sector, and these days Buffet is into a lot more than that. No bankers or asset managers.

    No shit the rich are getting richer, Sherlock. That isn't the subject of discussion at all. You're just an idiot like all these other doomerist clowns.

    I'm tired of replying to you morons who don't know shit from shinola.

    Sam Shama can deal with you blockheads if he pleases.
    , @Sam Shama
    Given the opportunity - assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry - would you join the financial sector?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. @Sam Shama

    This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan’s own instincts).
     
    I have no quarrel with the effects of union busting, I have written of it myself. [http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/cheerleading-for-israel/#comment-1795372]

    However, here is a question for you. If you decry the breakup of labour unions, would you decry as well, a de-cartelisation of Banking? If not, why not? [Banking is cartelised. Try obtaining a banking license]

    Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.
     
    That statement is nonsense. I am not a proponent of unrestricted immigration. I support merit-based immigration. However, wages would not at all start rising inevitably if immigration were severely restricted tomorrow. There are many reasons for it, monopsony power of corporates is one big reason.
    http://rooseveltinstitute.org/how-widespread-labor-monopsony-some-new-results-suggest-its-pervasive/

    Another one has to do with high-value-added labour [like coding] does not necessarily have to be co-located geographically.

    I don’t deplore the breakup of labor unions since I’m on the capital-management side. American (and worse, British) labor unions fomented endless trouble when they were powerful. Just pointing out that union busting obviously had a major impact.

    As for banking, I do support de-cartelisation.

    Monopsony power and geographic arbitrage are certainly part of the picture.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. @manorchurch

    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don’t understand basic physics
     
    Well, maybe. Petroleum will have the edge for another ten years, at least. Long-term, however, some other energy source will be required. Fuel cells, or some derivative thereof, may be a possibility. Solar energy for the separation of water into H and O is free, although the implementation of method is not.

    Well done you just proved my point, thanks

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    You are an idiot. Petroleum will deplete, doofuss. Fuel cells may be one option, and technologies for producing H from water are open to development. Solar power has, currently, and I emphasize "currently", the best profile. Ground-based solar panels are NOT the only option.

    Fusion is also a possibility -- dicey, but still a possibility.

    Don't be ignorant by choice, dude.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. @reiner Tor
    There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.

    There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.

    Ambien, obviously.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. @manorchurch
    Wrong.

    1. Free trade means no tariff risks -- the rich get richer.
    2. Immigration lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    3. Union busting lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    4. Monopolies increase profits directly -- the rich get richer.
    5. Healthcare and its associated sub-industries are phenomenally profitable -- the rich get richer.

    The "financial sector" IS the rich, dude.

    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#44e753957e2f

    Only two in the top ten are in the financial sector, and these days Buffet is into a lot more than that. No bankers or asset managers.

    No shit the rich are getting richer, Sherlock. That isn’t the subject of discussion at all. You’re just an idiot like all these other doomerist clowns.

    I’m tired of replying to you morons who don’t know shit from shinola.

    Sam Shama can deal with you blockheads if he pleases.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    Excellent, and predictable! You have declared your expertise to be absolutely unquestionable, denied all argument to the contrary, and you exit the lists triumphantly.

    (The sound of trumpets dwindles in the distance.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. @(((They))) Live
    Well done you just proved my point, thanks

    You are an idiot. Petroleum will deplete, doofuss. Fuel cells may be one option, and technologies for producing H from water are open to development. Solar power has, currently, and I emphasize “currently”, the best profile. Ground-based solar panels are NOT the only option.

    Fusion is also a possibility — dicey, but still a possibility.

    Don’t be ignorant by choice, dude.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    You're the idiot, its possible to buy a fuel cell Mirai in California now but few people want one because there is no refuelling network, who wants to buy a car that can't drive anywhere, at the same time the sales of EVs continue to rise

    I NEVER said petroleum would not deplete, but because of fracking its not something to worry about yet

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

    Forget about Hydrogen powered cars they will NEVER be sold in large numbers
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. @Thorfinnsson
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#44e753957e2f

    Only two in the top ten are in the financial sector, and these days Buffet is into a lot more than that. No bankers or asset managers.

    No shit the rich are getting richer, Sherlock. That isn't the subject of discussion at all. You're just an idiot like all these other doomerist clowns.

    I'm tired of replying to you morons who don't know shit from shinola.

    Sam Shama can deal with you blockheads if he pleases.

    Excellent, and predictable! You have declared your expertise to be absolutely unquestionable, denied all argument to the contrary, and you exit the lists triumphantly.

    (The sound of trumpets dwindles in the distance.)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. Chase says:

    SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can’t fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Bowman
    Bravo. I thought exactly this years ago, but it seemed just simply... pointless, really... even bothering to try to argue the toss with people who think they know everything.

    Time the governments told the truth. Think I've heard that somewhere before, too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @Yevardian
    I knew Elon Musk was a fraud and secret brainlet when he decided to make a cameo on 'The Big Bang Theory'.

    Leonardo da Vinci he is not… sounds more like P. T. Barnum. A perfect choice for the ringmaster of a local circus!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. Sam Shama says:
    @JL
    I completely agree with the sell call on Tesla, but don't get the part about shares not being available to short. We shorted some a couple of weeks ago and borrowing wasn't a problem. We were buying the puts a few months ago, but they've since become quite dear, so naked shorts looked better.

    There is borrow on the shares. Mid-rate is 3.3%, which is very high. Which is also why the puts are expensive.

    One way to reduce the premium on puts is to buy put spreads.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Janus
    E-Trade shows a 1% Hard to Borrow fee for Tesla, which isn't really bad considering it's prorated over a year. It costs barely over a penny a day per share to short.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  99. Sam Shama says:
    @manorchurch
    Wrong.

    1. Free trade means no tariff risks -- the rich get richer.
    2. Immigration lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    3. Union busting lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
    4. Monopolies increase profits directly -- the rich get richer.
    5. Healthcare and its associated sub-industries are phenomenally profitable -- the rich get richer.

    The "financial sector" IS the rich, dude.

    Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?
     
    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  101. @Sam Shama
    Given the opportunity - assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry - would you join the financial sector?

    Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?

    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?
    , @Sam Shama

    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.
     
    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective. Many traditions are meant to be broken, but that aside, a hatred for finance, wilfully conceals from the mind that which is so starkly obvious. None of what you busy yourself with in your daily life, as in here and now in the pursuit of keyboard games, would have hardly been possible without modern finance.

    Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all required venture capital and then financial engineering to get to where they are today. IBM needed the merger of four companies, public stock issuance with the investment banking talent of Charles Flint to gain its early incorporation. Do you think all of that would've been possible without the financial sector? Not a chance.

    Take our most gracious host. He is a brilliant man, a trained theoretical physicist who wrote a piece of great software to value mortgage-backed securities and then sold his company to another finance company called Moody's to become independently wealthy. He now uses his wealth to promote free speech - a very honourable purpose indeed. Hat tip. On occasion, he takes pot shots at finance; a case, if ever there was one, of the socialite turning up her nose at the very thing that made her a socialite!

    Now, mortgage-backed securities are exactly the sort of financial innovation that makes finance an indispensable part of any modern economy. How else could one have high homeownership? This is not to claim that abuses do not occur. They most certainly do. But show me an abuse-free Industry and I will gift you a unicorn.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  102. anonymous[349] • Disclaimer says:
    @manorchurch

    Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?
     
    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

    Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?
     
    Are you?

    WTF is wrong with you, dude? English language problem? Take some lessons or something.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  103. Wally says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Come out as gay.

    “Come out as gay.”

    Hilarious. Great response!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    It was inspired by Kevin Spacy, of course. And sadly, it actually seemed to have worked for him.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. @anonymous
    Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?

    Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?

    Are you?

    WTF is wrong with you, dude? English language problem? Take some lessons or something.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  105. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    Those “five things” are concomitant with the massive gains to the financial sector and increase in its size. That is prima facie evidence right there. Furthermore, we know financial interests and powerful individuals from the financial sector have promoted those five things.

    I didn’t shift goalposts. Wages have stagnated, and so have household incomes. Household size may have declined, but so what? Most households used to have one income which was sufficient to support a wife and children.

    It’s not an example if, as you say, it only happened because of fraud and illegal activity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Immigrant households often have at least 10 working adults who all contribute to rent or mortgage payment.

    In California it’s the major reason for high housing prices and homelessness.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. @Daniel Chieh
    Come out as gay.

    Hey, worked for (our, cringe…) former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Some earlier Tesla comments by me concerning their extraordinary capex and automation "alien dreadnought" blunder from March:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267775


    https://twitter.com/DonutShorts/status/979463134850187264

    Twitter thread about the Bernstein report on Tesla.

    It appears that Tesla has attempted to fully automate vehicle manufacturing, in contravention of the lean production techniques employed by the rest of the industry.

    Roger Smith attempted the same thing at General Motors in the 1980s with his “lights out factory” concept, which saw General Motors become briefly the world’s largest producer (and consumer) of robots. General Motors in a three year period spent as much on robots as the combined value (at that time) of Toyota and Nissan.

    The concept failed and Smith’s successors adopted the Toyota Production System as did the rest of the automotive industry other than ultra high-end producers such as Ferrari.

    It seems like Elon Musk decided he knows more about manufacturing than Toyota.

    Tesla is likely headed for a very costly reboot of its entire manufacturing process.

    And if it fails to raise capital to cover its ongoing cashflow problems, it will collapse and be acquired by a global OEM. Likely General Motors or Ford as their luxury efforts (luxury cars represent 50% of global automobile profits) are not succeeding outside of China.

    Traditional automakers have their flaws, but if there is one thing they are good at it’s mass production.

    Musk may succeed in hanging onto the gigafactory and become the lowest cost producer of batteries in the world. If not it will fall to Panasonic or perhaps BYD.

    And no, I am not dumb enough to bet against Musk. Tesla can raise the capital they need despite the weakening market for their bonds by diluting existing stockholders.

    The commenter is encouraged to respond.
     
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267784


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DZfnJxPX0AAxIRh.jpg

    Note that this chart is somewhat misleading. The global dominance of German brands in the luxury segment means that they are not necessarily unproductive manufacturers as the chart implies.

    I doubt Dr. Z lies awake at night worrying about the alarming number of hours required to produce each Mercedes Benz S-class.
     
    Musk has since admitted that Tesla erred in attempting to automate the entire production line. Good for him, but this means enormous amounts of capital (and time) were wasted. Tesla's production ramp up was always too ambitious, but ignoring industry best practices in manufacturing didn't help. Many Tesla quality problems stem from this, as Tesla for instance spends far less time evaluating suppliers than the other global OEMs.

    I like to imagine Toyota executives throwing darts at a picture of Musk's face while doing shots of sake and laughing about how "Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man."

    Meanwhile yesterday in Belgium a Model S started itself with no driver in the car and proceeded to crash into five vehicles. The day after a Model S on autopilot crashed into a parked police car in California.

    You got “bringa” & “great” wrong.

    Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    “Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.”
     
    Japanese, dude. Not Japanese and Chinese at the same time.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    This is what you came here for.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjA9V1Vn2TE&t=347s
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  108. @anonymous
    You got "bringa" & "great" wrong.

    Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.

    “Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.”

    Japanese, dude. Not Japanese and Chinese at the same time.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  109. @manorchurch
    You are an idiot. Petroleum will deplete, doofuss. Fuel cells may be one option, and technologies for producing H from water are open to development. Solar power has, currently, and I emphasize "currently", the best profile. Ground-based solar panels are NOT the only option.

    Fusion is also a possibility -- dicey, but still a possibility.

    Don't be ignorant by choice, dude.

    You’re the idiot, its possible to buy a fuel cell Mirai in California now but few people want one because there is no refuelling network, who wants to buy a car that can’t drive anywhere, at the same time the sales of EVs continue to rise

    I NEVER said petroleum would not deplete, but because of fracking its not something to worry about yet

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

    Forget about Hydrogen powered cars they will NEVER be sold in large numbers

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot
     
    When petroleum depletes, how long will coal and NG last, whether for power plants or hydrogen production? The remaining choices will be solar, nuclear, or fusion -- all for electric power.

    What's it going to be? Personally, I have a sneaky suspicion that somewhere in flyover country a lot of progress is being made on laser-controlled fusion, or some combo of magnetic bottle and laser.

    What's more, I'll bet that we won't see a replacement power source until some entity, under any of many names, is going to make a lot of money with it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. @anonymous
    You got "bringa" & "great" wrong.

    Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man.

    This is what you came here for.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. Sam Shama says:
    @manorchurch

    Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?
     
    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective. Many traditions are meant to be broken, but that aside, a hatred for finance, wilfully conceals from the mind that which is so starkly obvious. None of what you busy yourself with in your daily life, as in here and now in the pursuit of keyboard games, would have hardly been possible without modern finance.

    Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all required venture capital and then financial engineering to get to where they are today. IBM needed the merger of four companies, public stock issuance with the investment banking talent of Charles Flint to gain its early incorporation. Do you think all of that would’ve been possible without the financial sector? Not a chance.

    Take our most gracious host. He is a brilliant man, a trained theoretical physicist who wrote a piece of great software to value mortgage-backed securities and then sold his company to another finance company called Moody’s to become independently wealthy. He now uses his wealth to promote free speech – a very honourable purpose indeed. Hat tip. On occasion, he takes pot shots at finance; a case, if ever there was one, of the socialite turning up her nose at the very thing that made her a socialite!

    Now, mortgage-backed securities are exactly the sort of financial innovation that makes finance an indispensable part of any modern economy. How else could one have high homeownership? This is not to claim that abuses do not occur. They most certainly do. But show me an abuse-free Industry and I will gift you a unicorn.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective.
     
    Perspective? Hatred? Where do you get this stuff?

    I've been around for a few years, worked for large and small corporations, in small towns and large metroplexes, from mailroom to CIO. I have yet to encounter a professional in the "finance" industry who was, or is, an honest man. You certainly have the option to pursue such a career. I choose not to.
    , @Chase
    As if mortgage finance preceded people living in homes. And forget all the bullshit spewed about how much home ownership is indispensable for a society: American culture (people enjoying the actual way they live) was far better pre-1900 than it is today.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous coward
    Remind me again, what problem do self-driving cars solve, exactly? (Besides a lack of functioning public transport in negro-infested cities, which problem is easier solved by other means.)

    There is plenty of excellent public transit in negro infested cities. The problem is the negro riders drivers mechanics and managers and heads of the agencies.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  113. MarkinPNW says:
    @(((they))) Live
    I don't think so, if Tesla can deliver their truck with close to the claimed specs then they will clearly change the whole industry, trunks only get about 8mpg, so switching to electric power gives massive saving in fuel and maintenance costs

    from what we know plenty of companies with large fleets of trucks have placed orders with Tesla, assuming Tesla do the job right and the trucks run well after six months or a year someone will run the numbers for electric Vs Diesel and there will only be one winner

    Railroads have been pretty much 100% electrified the whole world over for nearly 70 years now (except for a handful of tourist and “living museum” steam trains).

    Yet, except for a few very high density traffic segments and where socialist bureaucracies imposed it such as the old Soviet Union, most railroads still find it more efficient to have their electric locomotives carry their own power plants with them than to use and maintain a central grid to provide power to the locomotives.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    I'm not sure what your point is

    Most Countries with modern railroads run electric trains powered by over head wires, eg the French TGV, German ICE, thats the way any state or private railway operates if they invest for the longterm

    You seem to be talking about Diesel electric, thats something different, and NO its not more efficient

    What that has to do with Tesla, Fuel cells or Hydrogen you neglected to say

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. @MarkinPNW
    Railroads have been pretty much 100% electrified the whole world over for nearly 70 years now (except for a handful of tourist and "living museum" steam trains).

    Yet, except for a few very high density traffic segments and where socialist bureaucracies imposed it such as the old Soviet Union, most railroads still find it more efficient to have their electric locomotives carry their own power plants with them than to use and maintain a central grid to provide power to the locomotives.

    I’m not sure what your point is

    Most Countries with modern railroads run electric trains powered by over head wires, eg the French TGV, German ICE, thats the way any state or private railway operates if they invest for the longterm

    You seem to be talking about Diesel electric, thats something different, and NO its not more efficient

    What that has to do with Tesla, Fuel cells or Hydrogen you neglected to say

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  115. @narrenspeise
    I do not believe that Tesla is likely to produce profits in the foreseeable future that justify its current valuation. However, a German engineering service company has analysed a Tesla 3 model and found that the materials cost of a car is around US-$ 18.000 and the cost of production can be estimated at around US-$ 10.000, so the gross margin should be ok if they manage to get production volume up.

    https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/mobilitaet/elektroauto-zerlegt-tesla-model-3-kann-gewinn-abwerfen/22625806.html

    (in German).

    I’d like to see an actual costed bill of materials.

    Assuming it’s true, it requires $6 billion capex and 150 weeks of 10,000 cars produced per week.

    That’s half a million cars a year, which of course need to be sold and serviced. What’s the global total addressable market (TAM) for compact executive sedan (sedan market is crumbling) EVs?

    Combined 2017 sales for the BMW 3-series, Mercedes Benz C-class, and Audi A4 in the USA, Europe, and China was about 975,000 units.

    Let’s assume the global TAM for compact executive sedans is 2 million units. Do one quarter of these buyers want EVs? Of those who do, will they all choose the Model 3? Many, probably most, luxury car buyers have very poor tolerance for quality and service problems.

    And as Tesla also cannot be price competitive in Europe (10% tariff) or China (25% tariff) without local assembly plants, most of these sales will have to be made in North America. Countries like Norway are likely to phase out or reduce their silly EV subsidies, which in any case will be available to competitors. Tesla can also forget about major sales in Japan (ever), Korea (ever), or India (without local assembly).

    The math doesn’t work.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    Those "five things" are concomitant with the massive gains to the financial sector and increase in its size. That is prima facie evidence right there. Furthermore, we know financial interests and powerful individuals from the financial sector have promoted those five things.

    I didn't shift goalposts. Wages have stagnated, and so have household incomes. Household size may have declined, but so what? Most households used to have one income which was sufficient to support a wife and children.

    It's not an example if, as you say, it only happened because of fraud and illegal activity.

    Immigrant households often have at least 10 working adults who all contribute to rent or mortgage payment.

    In California it’s the major reason for high housing prices and homelessness.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. @(((they))) Live
    I don't think so, if Tesla can deliver their truck with close to the claimed specs then they will clearly change the whole industry, trunks only get about 8mpg, so switching to electric power gives massive saving in fuel and maintenance costs

    from what we know plenty of companies with large fleets of trucks have placed orders with Tesla, assuming Tesla do the job right and the trucks run well after six months or a year someone will run the numbers for electric Vs Diesel and there will only be one winner

    The truck is vaporware, so I wouldn’t put much stock in Tesla’s claimed specs.

    Most trucking, by ton miles, is long haul trucking.

    The claimed 80% range (there will rarely be time to charge to 100%, so 80% “Megacharger” needs to be employed) is only 400 miles. After that, it’s a half-hour recharge.

    The Megacharger itself is also dubious–one megawatt is a lot of power. What kind of electric connectors and safety provisions will be employed? Musk claims they’ll be solar-powered. Really–a one megawatt solar array at every truck stop? In reality they’ll of course be grid connected.

    Currently Tesla charges a quarter per kilowatt hour for its supercharger stations. Based on one megawatt output and 30 minutes charging, the Semi will take 30,000 kilowatt hour charge. That will cost…$7,500. Recharging from ordinary utility power would “only” cost $3,000.

    A new Peterbilt can carry 300 gallons of diesel, which gives a fully loaded truck a range of 1,800 miles. Filling those two 150 gallon tanks is only $1,000.

    So under realistic conditions energy costs for a new Peterbilt are 34 times lower than the Tesla Semi. Best case conditions, let’s say in the Pacific Northwest on ordinary utility power, “only” ten times.

    This isn’t like the Model S where recharging it costs you $10 and thus beats even the most fuel efficient cars on the road.

    The conventional truck industry isn’t standing still either. See here: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1503-daimler-builds-twice-as-efficient-supertruck-class-8-semi/

    As self-driving improves, it will also be possible to platoon trucks to reduce air resistance for all but the lead truck (think of migrating birds).

    Do you see how crazy this is?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Note: my math is wrong and I just based it on charging power, which was dumb.

    https://insideevs.com/tesla-semi-truck-battery-is-how-big/

    Theoretically the Tesla Semi needs an 1,100 kwh battery bank.

    That's $220 for 400 miles on the "Megacharger"--about the same as the Peterbilt.

    So energy cost is at parity. Range however is shorter and capex is higher (battery alone almost as much as a new Peterbilt). Given Tesla's quality issues, opex almost certainly higher as well.

    Diesel trucks also have a lot more room to improve their energy efficiency. There are for instance no hybrid semi trucks with regenerative braking yet, but there will be. Trucks could also employ combined cycle engines, which aren't practical in passenger cars owing to space issues.

    In other words electric trucks only make good sense for niche applications like port trucking and inner cities with air pollution concerns. They might of course be mandated.

    , @(((They))) Live
    Do you really think it will cost $7500 to recharge the Tesla truck LOL

    You don't have a clue FFS

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  118. @Thorfinnsson
    Tesla would be profitable by now if it hadn't attempted to build an "alien dreadnought" fully automated production line and hadn't bothered with the Model X or Model 3. Other diversions like R&D for a fictitious semi aren't helpful either.

    EVs will be affordable in the next decade as global battery production ramps up.

    But most of these EVs will not be Teslas. They'll be from the traditional OEMs and some new Chinese companies.

    EVs are affordable now. Just not Teslas.

    The basic point that is being missed by this entire discussion is that the inconvenience of having to plug your car to your house for 4 hours to “refill” it is worth it only if what you save on gasoline makes the car cheaper than owning an ICE.

    When gasoline is $3 a gallon there are few electric vehicles that can make this happen. You can get used Nissans for around $10,000.

    http://www.plugincars.com/best-used-evs-less-10000-132626.html

    When gasoline gets to $8 a gallon possibly 30 years from now $40,000 Teslas may start to make a little sense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    But they're not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

    There's also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the "what if" buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy's couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

    In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke--like government policy won't be altered in a 22 year timespan.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @Thorfinnsson
    The truck is vaporware, so I wouldn't put much stock in Tesla's claimed specs.

    Most trucking, by ton miles, is long haul trucking.

    The claimed 80% range (there will rarely be time to charge to 100%, so 80% "Megacharger" needs to be employed) is only 400 miles. After that, it's a half-hour recharge.

    The Megacharger itself is also dubious--one megawatt is a lot of power. What kind of electric connectors and safety provisions will be employed? Musk claims they'll be solar-powered. Really--a one megawatt solar array at every truck stop? In reality they'll of course be grid connected.

    Currently Tesla charges a quarter per kilowatt hour for its supercharger stations. Based on one megawatt output and 30 minutes charging, the Semi will take 30,000 kilowatt hour charge. That will cost...$7,500. Recharging from ordinary utility power would "only" cost $3,000.

    A new Peterbilt can carry 300 gallons of diesel, which gives a fully loaded truck a range of 1,800 miles. Filling those two 150 gallon tanks is only $1,000.

    So under realistic conditions energy costs for a new Peterbilt are 34 times lower than the Tesla Semi. Best case conditions, let's say in the Pacific Northwest on ordinary utility power, "only" ten times.

    This isn't like the Model S where recharging it costs you $10 and thus beats even the most fuel efficient cars on the road.

    The conventional truck industry isn't standing still either. See here: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1503-daimler-builds-twice-as-efficient-supertruck-class-8-semi/

    As self-driving improves, it will also be possible to platoon trucks to reduce air resistance for all but the lead truck (think of migrating birds).

    Do you see how crazy this is?

    Note: my math is wrong and I just based it on charging power, which was dumb.

    https://insideevs.com/tesla-semi-truck-battery-is-how-big/

    Theoretically the Tesla Semi needs an 1,100 kwh battery bank.

    That’s $220 for 400 miles on the “Megacharger”–about the same as the Peterbilt.

    So energy cost is at parity. Range however is shorter and capex is higher (battery alone almost as much as a new Peterbilt). Given Tesla’s quality issues, opex almost certainly higher as well.

    Diesel trucks also have a lot more room to improve their energy efficiency. There are for instance no hybrid semi trucks with regenerative braking yet, but there will be. Trucks could also employ combined cycle engines, which aren’t practical in passenger cars owing to space issues.

    In other words electric trucks only make good sense for niche applications like port trucking and inner cities with air pollution concerns. They might of course be mandated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Your second attempt is far better but you're still too high on the recharge cost, have another go at it

    After that try to figure out the difference in maintenance costs over the life of the truck, if you can get these numbers right it will start to make sense to you
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. @Johnny Rico
    EVs are affordable now. Just not Teslas.

    The basic point that is being missed by this entire discussion is that the inconvenience of having to plug your car to your house for 4 hours to "refill" it is worth it only if what you save on gasoline makes the car cheaper than owning an ICE.

    When gasoline is $3 a gallon there are few electric vehicles that can make this happen. You can get used Nissans for around $10,000.

    http://www.plugincars.com/best-used-evs-less-10000-132626.html

    When gasoline gets to $8 a gallon possibly 30 years from now $40,000 Teslas may start to make a little sense.

    The recharging issue doesn’t seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    But they’re not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

    There’s also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the “what if” buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy’s couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

    In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke–like government policy won’t be altered in a 22 year timespan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    EVs and hybrids aren’t suitable for people who work at home or walk or use public transit to get to work either.

    If you don’t drive 20 or 30 miles several days a week after about 60,000 miles the electrical systems just destroy the batteries

    I’ll never but a hybrid again.
    , @reiner Tor

    The recharging issue doesn’t seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.
     
    Actually refueling is an inconvenience for me, it’d be simpler to just plug it in for the night. Except, of course, on longer trips.

    Regarding longer trips, currently it’s difficult with an electric vehicle. But maybe in a couple decades ranges will be double what they are, and most drivers need stops after 500 kilometers to eat and go to the bathroom anyway. So I guess fully electric vehicles will be fully usable for most users.

    I suspect internal combustion engines will be prohibited from entering a number of rich NIMBY localities. So eventually you will need a hybrid with a fully electric mode to be able to go to some of your destinations. Fully gasoline cars will therefore have only limited utility. A lot of people will buy the cheaper electric only versions, and eventually these will be the only versions on offer.

    This will also be a reason for the electric trucks. Already electric trolley-buses (often with batteries) are popular in cities. No one likes diesel smoke, who wants his children to inhale it? Prohibiting diesel or even all ICE vehicles will increase real estate prices. So local governments will have an incentive to do that. Legally it’s already possible in Germany, and I suspect it will be possible elsewhere, too. Even the threat of it was enough to drastically reduce demand for diesel cars in Europe. Once demand is reduced, the incentive to develop them will be weaker, and eventually they will be abandoned.
    , @Johnny Rico
    I totally agree.

    But the big picture is that there are at least 200 million regularly used passenger vehicles in the United States. I actually look the exact numbers up occasionally when I do the math. Maybe it is 300 million.

    Every year, between 12 and 16 million new vehicles are added to this and an equal number scrapped.

    The buyers you describe are a tiny minority of this total.

    We have to also consider the number of urban dwellers who wish to own a car, but park on the street in places like Boston and for whom plugging a car in overnight may be a serious issue.

    And also there will be the undoubtedly growing number of Uber-type vehicles.

    I foresee the EV market as being primarily of a luxury/toy character for the next decade with an undeterminable number of taxi/fleet/Uber vehicles added.

    Tesla will most likely be a failure in this environment.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. @Sam Shama

    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.
     
    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective. Many traditions are meant to be broken, but that aside, a hatred for finance, wilfully conceals from the mind that which is so starkly obvious. None of what you busy yourself with in your daily life, as in here and now in the pursuit of keyboard games, would have hardly been possible without modern finance.

    Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all required venture capital and then financial engineering to get to where they are today. IBM needed the merger of four companies, public stock issuance with the investment banking talent of Charles Flint to gain its early incorporation. Do you think all of that would've been possible without the financial sector? Not a chance.

    Take our most gracious host. He is a brilliant man, a trained theoretical physicist who wrote a piece of great software to value mortgage-backed securities and then sold his company to another finance company called Moody's to become independently wealthy. He now uses his wealth to promote free speech - a very honourable purpose indeed. Hat tip. On occasion, he takes pot shots at finance; a case, if ever there was one, of the socialite turning up her nose at the very thing that made her a socialite!

    Now, mortgage-backed securities are exactly the sort of financial innovation that makes finance an indispensable part of any modern economy. How else could one have high homeownership? This is not to claim that abuses do not occur. They most certainly do. But show me an abuse-free Industry and I will gift you a unicorn.

    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective.

    Perspective? Hatred? Where do you get this stuff?

    I’ve been around for a few years, worked for large and small corporations, in small towns and large metroplexes, from mailroom to CIO. I have yet to encounter a professional in the “finance” industry who was, or is, an honest man. You certainly have the option to pursue such a career. I choose not to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @Thorfinnsson
    The truck is vaporware, so I wouldn't put much stock in Tesla's claimed specs.

    Most trucking, by ton miles, is long haul trucking.

    The claimed 80% range (there will rarely be time to charge to 100%, so 80% "Megacharger" needs to be employed) is only 400 miles. After that, it's a half-hour recharge.

    The Megacharger itself is also dubious--one megawatt is a lot of power. What kind of electric connectors and safety provisions will be employed? Musk claims they'll be solar-powered. Really--a one megawatt solar array at every truck stop? In reality they'll of course be grid connected.

    Currently Tesla charges a quarter per kilowatt hour for its supercharger stations. Based on one megawatt output and 30 minutes charging, the Semi will take 30,000 kilowatt hour charge. That will cost...$7,500. Recharging from ordinary utility power would "only" cost $3,000.

    A new Peterbilt can carry 300 gallons of diesel, which gives a fully loaded truck a range of 1,800 miles. Filling those two 150 gallon tanks is only $1,000.

    So under realistic conditions energy costs for a new Peterbilt are 34 times lower than the Tesla Semi. Best case conditions, let's say in the Pacific Northwest on ordinary utility power, "only" ten times.

    This isn't like the Model S where recharging it costs you $10 and thus beats even the most fuel efficient cars on the road.

    The conventional truck industry isn't standing still either. See here: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1503-daimler-builds-twice-as-efficient-supertruck-class-8-semi/

    As self-driving improves, it will also be possible to platoon trucks to reduce air resistance for all but the lead truck (think of migrating birds).

    Do you see how crazy this is?

    Do you really think it will cost $7500 to recharge the Tesla truck LOL

    You don’t have a clue FFS

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    See subsequent post: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/thorfinnssons-take-on-tesla/#comment-2354714
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  123. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    The financial sector makes billions from student loans used to pay tuition to the educational racketeers.

    Union busting was part of the corporate raising of the pension funds and the corporate raiders who acquired and disassembled the big corporations

    The .50 . 35 zoro interest rates are an evil thing done by the financial sector. I don’t know the motivation of that but zero interest rates are definitely the fault of the financial sector

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  124. Sam Shama says:
    @manorchurch

    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective.
     
    Perspective? Hatred? Where do you get this stuff?

    I've been around for a few years, worked for large and small corporations, in small towns and large metroplexes, from mailroom to CIO. I have yet to encounter a professional in the "finance" industry who was, or is, an honest man. You certainly have the option to pursue such a career. I choose not to.

    When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.
     
    Your implied contempt for what you assume to be some sort of religious devotion on my part marks you as a scoundrel.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  125. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    But they're not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

    There's also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the "what if" buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy's couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

    In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke--like government policy won't be altered in a 22 year timespan.

    EVs and hybrids aren’t suitable for people who work at home or walk or use public transit to get to work either.

    If you don’t drive 20 or 30 miles several days a week after about 60,000 miles the electrical systems just destroy the batteries

    I’ll never but a hybrid again.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  126. @Thorfinnsson
    This is true, but EVs have certain advantages.

    Mechanically, they are much simpler.

    Operating costs are much lower.

    They're quiter and have superior low-end torque.

    Low center of gravity.

    Reasonable choice for commuters who can afford the higher upfront costs.

    AGREE. An all-electric sedan is next on our list and perfectly fits our needs.

    Also, it seems that some EVs around here come with lease offers as good as internal-combustion vehicles. So I’m not sure that the upfront cost is greater all the time.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  127. @(((They))) Live
    You're the idiot, its possible to buy a fuel cell Mirai in California now but few people want one because there is no refuelling network, who wants to buy a car that can't drive anywhere, at the same time the sales of EVs continue to rise

    I NEVER said petroleum would not deplete, but because of fracking its not something to worry about yet

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

    Forget about Hydrogen powered cars they will NEVER be sold in large numbers

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

    When petroleum depletes, how long will coal and NG last, whether for power plants or hydrogen production? The remaining choices will be solar, nuclear, or fusion — all for electric power.

    What’s it going to be? Personally, I have a sneaky suspicion that somewhere in flyover country a lot of progress is being made on laser-controlled fusion, or some combo of magnetic bottle and laser.

    What’s more, I’ll bet that we won’t see a replacement power source until some entity, under any of many names, is going to make a lot of money with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Yeah I do see your point on fusion, its only a matter of time before some nerd or a group of nerds crack it, but I suspect the future will be powered by Solar PV, the cost keeps dropping and its easy and quick to install
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  128. @(((They))) Live
    Do you really think it will cost $7500 to recharge the Tesla truck LOL

    You don't have a clue FFS

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  129. @Sam Shama
    When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.

    When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.

    Your implied contempt for what you assume to be some sort of religious devotion on my part marks you as a scoundrel.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  130. @Thorfinnsson
    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.

    Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

    Obsession? Must be some new definition.

    Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?

    Ah alreddy dun dat.

    Tell me what is right about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    What's right about it?

    It's objectively true.

    I make it in response to dweebs panicking about DEBT levels, failing to realize that debt repayments don't just vanish into the ether.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. @Thorfinnsson
    The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    But they're not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

    There's also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the "what if" buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy's couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

    In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke--like government policy won't be altered in a 22 year timespan.

    The recharging issue doesn’t seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    Actually refueling is an inconvenience for me, it’d be simpler to just plug it in for the night. Except, of course, on longer trips.

    Regarding longer trips, currently it’s difficult with an electric vehicle. But maybe in a couple decades ranges will be double what they are, and most drivers need stops after 500 kilometers to eat and go to the bathroom anyway. So I guess fully electric vehicles will be fully usable for most users.

    I suspect internal combustion engines will be prohibited from entering a number of rich NIMBY localities. So eventually you will need a hybrid with a fully electric mode to be able to go to some of your destinations. Fully gasoline cars will therefore have only limited utility. A lot of people will buy the cheaper electric only versions, and eventually these will be the only versions on offer.

    This will also be a reason for the electric trucks. Already electric trolley-buses (often with batteries) are popular in cities. No one likes diesel smoke, who wants his children to inhale it? Prohibiting diesel or even all ICE vehicles will increase real estate prices. So local governments will have an incentive to do that. Legally it’s already possible in Germany, and I suspect it will be possible elsewhere, too. Even the threat of it was enough to drastically reduce demand for diesel cars in Europe. Once demand is reduced, the incentive to develop them will be weaker, and eventually they will be abandoned.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Your points are all reasonable.

    Which means I have a new group of enemies who must be destroyed.
    , @Johnny Rico
    Wow. This is really some utopian nightmare shit.

    I'm already not allowed to smoke crack. Now I won't be allowed to inhale diesel fumes. What next? No napalm in the morning?

    This really sounds awful. Don't take it personally.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  132. @Thorfinnsson
    The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

    But they're not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

    There's also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the "what if" buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy's couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

    In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke--like government policy won't be altered in a 22 year timespan.

    I totally agree.

    But the big picture is that there are at least 200 million regularly used passenger vehicles in the United States. I actually look the exact numbers up occasionally when I do the math. Maybe it is 300 million.

    Every year, between 12 and 16 million new vehicles are added to this and an equal number scrapped.

    The buyers you describe are a tiny minority of this total.

    We have to also consider the number of urban dwellers who wish to own a car, but park on the street in places like Boston and for whom plugging a car in overnight may be a serious issue.

    And also there will be the undoubtedly growing number of Uber-type vehicles.

    I foresee the EV market as being primarily of a luxury/toy character for the next decade with an undeterminable number of taxi/fleet/Uber vehicles added.

    Tesla will most likely be a failure in this environment.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  133. @Thorfinnsson
    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.

    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it’s paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

    Perceptive people have been noticing its development for a long time.:

    I witnessed the momentous changes and participated
    in them. While they were occurring I saw something
    else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
    of the United States enter into a struggle with the
    trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
    the business forces won the contest. I saw the forms
    of republican government decay through disuse, and I
    saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn
    to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of
    business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up
    around and above the structure of government.

    - R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.

    https://archive.org/stream/triumphantpluto00pettrich/triumphantpluto00pettrich_djvu.txt

    Here’s something more recent, although Pettigrew’s comment still applies.:

    Men haven’t got the freedom today that they had when the Constitution was written…In that time, men could go into their own business. They could follow farming and they could do this and that. Today, young men in college are not planning on individual development, as much as getting a job. They have someone else raise the money, and then they do the work. And men haven’t the freedom because big business doesn’t give it to them.

    -Jeanette Rankin, interview (1977)

    http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt758005dx/

    Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.
     
    If you don't accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it's not possible to discuss TARP's profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

    Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?
     
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

    #1 - Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
    #2 - Online retail and webhosting
    #3 - Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
    #4 - Social media (advertising)
    #5 - Enterprise software (databases)
    #6 - Diversified, but mostly energy
    #8 - Financial news
    #9 - Search (advertising)
    #10 - Search (advertising)

    I can go into more detail on each.

    Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

    Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

    Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

    Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in '86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

    Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin's Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

    Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

    Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

    The people who "suffer"? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don't suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?
     
    When did I say it isn't? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

    Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

    As for Rankin, blaming "Big Business" for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn't actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

    The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It's not likely to be repeated.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  134. @jacques sheete

    Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

     

    Obsession? Must be some new definition.

    Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?
     
    Ah alreddy dun dat.

    Tell me what is right about it.

    What’s right about it?

    It’s objectively true.

    I make it in response to dweebs panicking about DEBT levels, failing to realize that debt repayments don’t just vanish into the ether.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  135. @reiner Tor

    The recharging issue doesn’t seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.
     
    Actually refueling is an inconvenience for me, it’d be simpler to just plug it in for the night. Except, of course, on longer trips.

    Regarding longer trips, currently it’s difficult with an electric vehicle. But maybe in a couple decades ranges will be double what they are, and most drivers need stops after 500 kilometers to eat and go to the bathroom anyway. So I guess fully electric vehicles will be fully usable for most users.

    I suspect internal combustion engines will be prohibited from entering a number of rich NIMBY localities. So eventually you will need a hybrid with a fully electric mode to be able to go to some of your destinations. Fully gasoline cars will therefore have only limited utility. A lot of people will buy the cheaper electric only versions, and eventually these will be the only versions on offer.

    This will also be a reason for the electric trucks. Already electric trolley-buses (often with batteries) are popular in cities. No one likes diesel smoke, who wants his children to inhale it? Prohibiting diesel or even all ICE vehicles will increase real estate prices. So local governments will have an incentive to do that. Legally it’s already possible in Germany, and I suspect it will be possible elsewhere, too. Even the threat of it was enough to drastically reduce demand for diesel cars in Europe. Once demand is reduced, the incentive to develop them will be weaker, and eventually they will be abandoned.

    Your points are all reasonable.

    Which means I have a new group of enemies who must be destroyed.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  136. Van Doren says:
    @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    Donate to the Clinton Foundation.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  137. @Sam Shama
    You must know I've learnt a great deal from you; so do please forgive the occasional missteps in not recognising your valuable influence.

    Your lessons were firmly implanted in my memory when I wrote these:

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/trump-should-triangulate/#comment-1047145

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1817082

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-sun-people-tsunami-and-the-inevitability-of-lifeboat-ethics/#comment-1704251

    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putins-new-world-order/#comment-1859978

    You'll find in them a fuller accounting.

    One thing I did not learn from you for better or worse is the veritable flurry of exclamations and expletives which tend to accompany your bijous.

    Sam, in your honor, I dug this up for you. It pretty funny stuff, though in a jejune sorta way.

    Opinion
    Debt Is Good

    By Paul Krugman

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/paul-krugman-debt-is-good-for-the-economy.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Yes, thank you. It was one of the very central ideas Krugman wanted to drive home, particularly for David Brooks' readership.

    You insist on calling it funny, which is your prerogative. A sense of humour is rather a personal taste, and I do understand your position. Better than you or I go into the same routine, it might better serve purposes to take a squint at some of the top comments:

    Ron Mitchell
    Dubin, CAAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    Our Federal Budget is around $3.5 Trillion. Our GDP (national income) is around $20 Trillion. Our nations net worth (savings and investments) is around $80 Trillion. There is plenty of money available to borrow. If Growth exceeds investments then the nation makes a profit.

    122 Recommend



    Joe From Boston
    MassachusettsAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    For all those fiscal conservative who have a big problem with government debt (but who assure us that the government should behave like our individual households), consider this:

    Private debt for economically sound purposes, like buying a home or building a business, that are expected to provide an economic return, are reasonable debts.

    Private debt for reasons that have, or are expected to provide, no economic return, like going on a fancy vacation, are not reasonable debts if they endanger one's ability to pay them back. I was raised with the precept that "if you can't afford it, don't buy it."

    Can you conservatives kindly explain why debt to build infrastructure that we clearly need, like roads, bridges, the tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak, and so forth, are UNREASONABLE? They will generate an excess economic return, as history has shown, for example with the interstate road system and the railroads. They will also generate jobs that can only be performed by local personnel, typically AMERICANS


    David desJardins
    Burlingame CAAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    Maybe we should also mention that the balance sheet of the US government is strongly positive. The tangible assets it owns (even ignoring future tax revenue) are worth much more than its debt. Calling the government broke is like calling a homeowner broke because he has a $1 million mortgage on his $3 million home.

    14 Replies 798 Recommend
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  138. @Wally
    "Come out as gay."

    Hilarious. Great response!

    It was inspired by Kevin Spacy, of course. And sadly, it actually seemed to have worked for him.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  139. @Thorfinnsson
    Note: my math is wrong and I just based it on charging power, which was dumb.

    https://insideevs.com/tesla-semi-truck-battery-is-how-big/

    Theoretically the Tesla Semi needs an 1,100 kwh battery bank.

    That's $220 for 400 miles on the "Megacharger"--about the same as the Peterbilt.

    So energy cost is at parity. Range however is shorter and capex is higher (battery alone almost as much as a new Peterbilt). Given Tesla's quality issues, opex almost certainly higher as well.

    Diesel trucks also have a lot more room to improve their energy efficiency. There are for instance no hybrid semi trucks with regenerative braking yet, but there will be. Trucks could also employ combined cycle engines, which aren't practical in passenger cars owing to space issues.

    In other words electric trucks only make good sense for niche applications like port trucking and inner cities with air pollution concerns. They might of course be mandated.

    Your second attempt is far better but you’re still too high on the recharge cost, have another go at it

    After that try to figure out the difference in maintenance costs over the life of the truck, if you can get these numbers right it will start to make sense to you

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Tesla Tier 2 Supercharger cost is 25 cents a kilowatt hour in most states. What's wrong with the figure?

    In theory an EV has lower maintenance costs owing to the absence of an internal combustion engine and complex transmission. In practice Teslas have higher maintenance costs than conventional vehicles owing to their poor quality control.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  140. Joe Wong says:
    @Yevardian
    I knew Elon Musk was a fraud and secret brainlet when he decided to make a cameo on 'The Big Bang Theory'.

    There are no shares available to short

    There are hundreds of thousands shares of TSLA available for short and the short fee rate was 3.14% at the end of Friday (2018-06-01), is this article a short pump like Muddy Water kind of analysis?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  141. @manorchurch

    Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot
     
    When petroleum depletes, how long will coal and NG last, whether for power plants or hydrogen production? The remaining choices will be solar, nuclear, or fusion -- all for electric power.

    What's it going to be? Personally, I have a sneaky suspicion that somewhere in flyover country a lot of progress is being made on laser-controlled fusion, or some combo of magnetic bottle and laser.

    What's more, I'll bet that we won't see a replacement power source until some entity, under any of many names, is going to make a lot of money with it.

    Yeah I do see your point on fusion, its only a matter of time before some nerd or a group of nerds crack it, but I suspect the future will be powered by Solar PV, the cost keeps dropping and its easy and quick to install

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  142. @reiner Tor

    The recharging issue doesn’t seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.
     
    Actually refueling is an inconvenience for me, it’d be simpler to just plug it in for the night. Except, of course, on longer trips.

    Regarding longer trips, currently it’s difficult with an electric vehicle. But maybe in a couple decades ranges will be double what they are, and most drivers need stops after 500 kilometers to eat and go to the bathroom anyway. So I guess fully electric vehicles will be fully usable for most users.

    I suspect internal combustion engines will be prohibited from entering a number of rich NIMBY localities. So eventually you will need a hybrid with a fully electric mode to be able to go to some of your destinations. Fully gasoline cars will therefore have only limited utility. A lot of people will buy the cheaper electric only versions, and eventually these will be the only versions on offer.

    This will also be a reason for the electric trucks. Already electric trolley-buses (often with batteries) are popular in cities. No one likes diesel smoke, who wants his children to inhale it? Prohibiting diesel or even all ICE vehicles will increase real estate prices. So local governments will have an incentive to do that. Legally it’s already possible in Germany, and I suspect it will be possible elsewhere, too. Even the threat of it was enough to drastically reduce demand for diesel cars in Europe. Once demand is reduced, the incentive to develop them will be weaker, and eventually they will be abandoned.

    Wow. This is really some utopian nightmare shit.

    I’m already not allowed to smoke crack. Now I won’t be allowed to inhale diesel fumes. What next? No napalm in the morning?

    This really sounds awful. Don’t take it personally.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  143. @jacques sheete

    The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

     

    That's what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

    Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it’s paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

     

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?


    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

    Perceptive people have been noticing its development for a long time.:

    I witnessed the momentous changes and participated
    in them. While they were occurring I saw something
    else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
    of the United States enter into a struggle with the
    trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
    the business forces won the contest. I saw the forms
    of republican government decay through disuse, and I
    saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn
    to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of
    business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up
    around and above the structure of government.

    - R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.
    https://archive.org/stream/triumphantpluto00pettrich/triumphantpluto00pettrich_djvu.txt

     

    Here's something more recent, although Pettigrew's comment still applies.:

    Men haven't got the freedom today that they had when the Constitution was written…In that time, men could go into their own business. They could follow farming and they could do this and that. Today, young men in college are not planning on individual development, as much as getting a job. They have someone else raise the money, and then they do the work. And men haven't the freedom because big business doesn't give it to them.

    -Jeanette Rankin, interview (1977)

    http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt758005dx/

    Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress
     

    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

    If you don’t accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it’s not possible to discuss TARP’s profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

    Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn’t have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?

    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

    #1 – Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
    #2 – Online retail and webhosting
    #3 – Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
    #4 – Social media (advertising)
    #5 – Enterprise software (databases)
    #6 – Diversified, but mostly energy
    #8 – Financial news
    #9 – Search (advertising)
    #10 – Search (advertising)

    I can go into more detail on each.

    Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

    Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

    Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

    Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in ’86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

    Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin’s Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

    Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

    Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

    The people who “suffer”? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don’t suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

    When did I say it isn’t? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

    Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

    As for Rankin, blaming “Big Business” for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn’t actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

    The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It’s not likely to be repeated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    True enough, but they have a very monopolistic look about them. On the one hand monopolies are great (very profitable) but on the other, they allow price gouging since there's no competition - hence the legislation.

    Monopolies can delay the fateful day by buying politicians ( the present bought and paid for Congress), but longer term they need a dictatorship (of the proletariat, of big business, or Counter Culturals or Zionists or anything really) to shut down the public, with some kind of "Homeland Security" to detain dissidents.

    This is where we are now, with the antidote being the breakup of the Union. Each Federal State fixes its own spending, taxation and debt issuance (disowning the FED), and requires by law, active citizen participation and voting to determine policy (e.g. no votes or budget for an Iran war).
    , @Anon
    I agree that the mid 20th century middle working class was anomaly that will never be repeated unless a miracle happens and the US population goes down to 20o million
    , @Anonymous
    Those people you list owe their fortunes to network effect monopolies. Their fortunes are based on rent-seeking due to the network effect aka network externality aka natural monopoly.

    A tax on net assets at a rate equal to the rate of interest on the national debt that eliminates other forms of taxation will mitigate this private sector rent seeking and help restore the egalitarian middle class society of the mid 20th century.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  144. Mike P says:
    @manorchurch


    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

     

    I’m entirely sure we didn’t.
     
    And, there it goes. Ka-dink, swish, swirl, galook! Straight into the Wackadoodle Dumper.

    Do I recall correctly there being some sort of 80's social wisdom about the end of any discussion being the point at which someone was compared to Hitler? Or somebody called someone a Nazi?

    Nowadays, it's the point at which some ignorant jackass asserts a conspiracy -- usually some variation on the voluminous and multi-fantastic 9/11 conspiracy collections, but there's been a recent upsurge in moon landing conspiracies.

    Alas Babylon!

    manorchurch, the other day you kindly promised to ignore me in the future. Please abide by it, or at least refrain from answering my comments, if all you have to offer is name-calling. Thank you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    I take it back. Nutjobs should always be jeered at.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  145. I hardly know where to begin…

    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith? Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?

    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.

    Re Tesla, yes, the Model 3 is following the Model X and original Roadster into a crapfest. But the fanboys don’t care. The Model S can still smoke a Ferrari in the 1/4mi. So the pop media will continue giving Musk a pass and the gearheads (real ones anyway) will continue to marvel (but probably never buy). I would be shocked if our pathetic anarcho-tyrannical government found the balls to call Musk on his shenanigans especially given its own shenanigans with Government Motors and the UAW.

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson


    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith?
     
    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith's disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It's likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the "alien dreadnought".


    Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?
     
    During Petersen's time in the Ford C-suite the company introduced the Taurus, Escort (North America), and Explorer.


    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.
     
    I have visited a number of assembly plants.

    Probably a salesman (actually, a lot of salesmen) thirty years younger than you sold robots to Musk.

    The global auto industry, warts and all, produced almost one hundred million cars last year. What other industry produces complex machines on such a massive scale?

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..
     
    I'm well aware GM gave up on Europe. None the less "New GM" has posted a cumulative of $70 billion in profits since it and Tesla IPO'd in the same year.

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.
     
    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!
     
    Bill Ford is indeed a dipshit. He's even a vegan.

    None the less Ford manages to build six million cars a year and has vast resources.

    As you allude to later, it's not just Ford and GM. There are lots of automakers with vast resources.

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?
     
    Toyota is late to the EV party. But I have a feeling it won't take them long to catch up with their eleven-figure annual profits and $25 billion in the bank.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  146. @(((They))) Live
    Your second attempt is far better but you're still too high on the recharge cost, have another go at it

    After that try to figure out the difference in maintenance costs over the life of the truck, if you can get these numbers right it will start to make sense to you

    Tesla Tier 2 Supercharger cost is 25 cents a kilowatt hour in most states. What’s wrong with the figure?

    In theory an EV has lower maintenance costs owing to the absence of an internal combustion engine and complex transmission. In practice Teslas have higher maintenance costs than conventional vehicles owing to their poor quality control.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don't know this yet

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  147. @Stan d Mute
    I hardly know where to begin...

    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith? Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?

    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.

    Re Tesla, yes, the Model 3 is following the Model X and original Roadster into a crapfest. But the fanboys don’t care. The Model S can still smoke a Ferrari in the 1/4mi. So the pop media will continue giving Musk a pass and the gearheads (real ones anyway) will continue to marvel (but probably never buy). I would be shocked if our pathetic anarcho-tyrannical government found the balls to call Musk on his shenanigans especially given its own shenanigans with Government Motors and the UAW.

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?

    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith?

    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith’s disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It’s likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the “alien dreadnought”.

    Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?

    During Petersen’s time in the Ford C-suite the company introduced the Taurus, Escort (North America), and Explorer.

    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.

    I have visited a number of assembly plants.

    Probably a salesman (actually, a lot of salesmen) thirty years younger than you sold robots to Musk.

    The global auto industry, warts and all, produced almost one hundred million cars last year. What other industry produces complex machines on such a massive scale?

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..

    I’m well aware GM gave up on Europe. None the less “New GM” has posted a cumulative of $70 billion in profits since it and Tesla IPO’d in the same year.

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.

    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!

    Bill Ford is indeed a dipshit. He’s even a vegan.

    None the less Ford manages to build six million cars a year and has vast resources.

    As you allude to later, it’s not just Ford and GM. There are lots of automakers with vast resources.

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?

    Toyota is late to the EV party. But I have a feeling it won’t take them long to catch up with their eleven-figure annual profits and $25 billion in the bank.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith’s disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It’s likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the “alien dreadnought”.
     
    Not at all. Smith’s epic failure wasn’t in attempting to automate, but in attempting to change Detroit. The robots weren’t the problem. They put wheels on cars and torqued the lug nuts. They welded panels. They tacked off primed bodies before being painted. They applied paint and clear coat. The problem was in the laborers who worked the floor and sabotaged the robots or simply just didn’t do their jobs.

    I’ve seen hundreds of auto workers asleep on the assembly line. Asleep. Or nodding off on dope. Massive signs in Ford bathrooms “employees caught using drugs on premise will be referred”. Books have surely been written on the insanity of the UAW. If not, there’s a mountain of material just waiting.

    I had constant customer calls in the 80’s about workers screwing up my robots and destroying both units on the line as well as severely damaging my machines, taking them out of operation (and thus stopping the line) until I could send crews to fix them. Routine maintenance wasn’t done either and fully half the machines were less than useless at any given time, resulting in rework rates that were no better than before the machines were installed.

    But this isn’t 1987.

    And as for Petersen - Mustang fox platform.
    , @Stan d Mute

    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?
     
    Um, $2/gal gas?

    Detroit does this again and again and again. They were too stupid to see that the Minority Mortgage Meltdown (TM Steve Sailer) would stuff their business model. Too stupid to see that rising fuel prices would stuff their reliance on pickups and body-on-frame SUVs for profitability. Too stupid to see that models like the Taurus, apparently designed solely for fleet sales, were unwanted by consumers who preferred the reliability of a Camry. In the mid 2000’s, dealers were dumping MSO SUV units at auction below factory invoice - years before the financial collapse.

    GM’s recent profits are entirely at the expense of communities hosting derelict abandoned toxic sites that were formerly GM factories as well as non-UAW labor retirees who lost everything. Thanks Obola Feral Government. No matter, Detroit incompetence will restore the status quo soon enough. Saturn 2 maybe? A new, new type of car company..

    Fuel prices are heading sharply back north at the same time the manufacturers are abandoning sedans for SUVs and crossovers. Future “clunkers” when that Feral program is rebooted.

    As for the rush to EVs, it’s ONLY due to Tesla’s market valuation that Detroit is producing crap like Volt/Bolt. I’ve seen Ford admit this and I’m sure GM is on the same wavelength since independent thought in Detroit died the day Heinz Prechter blew his brains out. Soon enough I expect to see local storage lots filled with Bolt/Volt/Jolt/Dolt models just like they used to be filled with EV-1s.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  148. @Thorfinnsson
    Tesla Tier 2 Supercharger cost is 25 cents a kilowatt hour in most states. What's wrong with the figure?

    In theory an EV has lower maintenance costs owing to the absence of an internal combustion engine and complex transmission. In practice Teslas have higher maintenance costs than conventional vehicles owing to their poor quality control.

    Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don’t know this yet

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won’t be slow to dump the ICE

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    The megacharger is vaporware and does not exist.

    But, true, we don't know what the price will be yet.

    If charged overnight you're right, though again those trucks won't come from Tesla.

    Diesel trucks could match these energy costs by adopting combined cycle hybrid powertrains, and perhaps moving to natural gas. Of course then the upfront capital cost advantage presumably disappears.

    The "orders" (truck is vaporware and will never enter production) might be down to running costs, but don't forget hype and trend following.

    Charlie Munger likes to talk about when in the 80s Exxon bought a fertilizer company. All of the other oil majors followed and bought their own fertilizer plants. It turned into a fiasco.

    This truck could enter production if he can find an OEM to partner with: https://www.thortrucks.com
    , @Stan d Mute

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won’t be slow to dump the ICE

     

    They need to develop roadside swappable batteries or inductive charging while underway before we see OTR tractor widespread adoption. 2K units is nothing in that market. And unlike early adopters of electric autos, early adopters of electric tractors will be betting their livelihood on the reliability of the machine and range is a much bigger issue since even city trucks are frequently run all day every day. Also, have they come up with reefer trailers (or boxes) yet?
    , @utu

    25cents per kilowatt
     
    That's expensive. 25cents to lit ten 100W bulbs for one second only.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  149. @(((They))) Live
    I watched that interview a while back, I wish they asked him when his car came off the line, I think he got one of the early cars, with Tesla its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

    The Saudis plan to float Aramco next year for that to be a success they will want high oil prices, the frackers in the US may cause them problems, but if the Saudis and the Russians want high prices they should be able to get close to $100 a barrel if they work together

    That should help Tesla and EV sales in general, today I passed my local filling station on the way to work, petrol was €1.37 per litre and Diesel was €1.47 per litre, with prices like that EVs have a bright future in Europe and Asia

    Also if Tesla can last long enough to build their Truck they will turn that whole industry on its head

    with Tesla any brand its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

    FIFY

    BTW, you can see this play out in the market if you watch the manufacturer auctions. Look at the number of manufacturer buyback units in the lanes.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  150. @(((They))) Live
    Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don't know this yet

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE

    The megacharger is vaporware and does not exist.

    But, true, we don’t know what the price will be yet.

    If charged overnight you’re right, though again those trucks won’t come from Tesla.

    Diesel trucks could match these energy costs by adopting combined cycle hybrid powertrains, and perhaps moving to natural gas. Of course then the upfront capital cost advantage presumably disappears.

    The “orders” (truck is vaporware and will never enter production) might be down to running costs, but don’t forget hype and trend following.

    Charlie Munger likes to talk about when in the 80s Exxon bought a fertilizer company. All of the other oil majors followed and bought their own fertilizer plants. It turned into a fiasco.

    This truck could enter production if he can find an OEM to partner with: https://www.thortrucks.com

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    I don't think it fair to call the Megachargers vapourware, they will be built

    Why won't the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  151. Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  152. Joe Wong says:
    @Hyperborean
    Assuming Thorfinnson is right and Musk will face his downfall, should Musk commit suicide to restore his honour?

    What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

    Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    SpaceX is very different to Tesla, Teslas future is in doubt, SpaceX clearly lead the world in rocket technology, most people think Musk is bullshitting about sending people to Mars but he's well on the way now, the only company close to SpaceX is Blue Origin and they won't reach orbit until 2020 if it all goes well for them
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  153. @Thorfinnsson
    The megacharger is vaporware and does not exist.

    But, true, we don't know what the price will be yet.

    If charged overnight you're right, though again those trucks won't come from Tesla.

    Diesel trucks could match these energy costs by adopting combined cycle hybrid powertrains, and perhaps moving to natural gas. Of course then the upfront capital cost advantage presumably disappears.

    The "orders" (truck is vaporware and will never enter production) might be down to running costs, but don't forget hype and trend following.

    Charlie Munger likes to talk about when in the 80s Exxon bought a fertilizer company. All of the other oil majors followed and bought their own fertilizer plants. It turned into a fiasco.

    This truck could enter production if he can find an OEM to partner with: https://www.thortrucks.com

    I don’t think it fair to call the Megachargers vapourware, they will be built

    Why won’t the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Has anyone seen a Tesla Megacharger? It doesn't exist. Hence it's vaporware. That doesn't mean it couldn't be built or anything, obviously there's nothing intrinsically impossible about producing a megawatt charger.

    Why won’t the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?
     
    My prediction is that long haul trucking will move towards using trucks 24 hours a day once self-driving technology gets good enough and the human driver can sleep on the road. Letting a truck sit overnight is such a waste.

    Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that's a bit complicated which is why it's not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don't know how it works in Asia).

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road
     
    Tesla has already admitted the truck is not currently under "active development", which gets to the heart of the problem of the company. They've obviously proven they can engineer great products and have tremendous star power, but they're not very good at anything else.

    Based on Tesla's production track record it's exceedingly unlikely they'll post a profit at the end of this year.

    That's not to say there won't be electric trucks. You've already made a great case as to why there will be electric trucks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  154. @(((They))) Live
    Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don't know this yet

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won’t be slow to dump the ICE

    They need to develop roadside swappable batteries or inductive charging while underway before we see OTR tractor widespread adoption. 2K units is nothing in that market. And unlike early adopters of electric autos, early adopters of electric tractors will be betting their livelihood on the reliability of the machine and range is a much bigger issue since even city trucks are frequently run all day every day. Also, have they come up with reefer trailers (or boxes) yet?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  155. @Joe Wong
    Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.

    SpaceX is very different to Tesla, Teslas future is in doubt, SpaceX clearly lead the world in rocket technology, most people think Musk is bullshitting about sending people to Mars but he’s well on the way now, the only company close to SpaceX is Blue Origin and they won’t reach orbit until 2020 if it all goes well for them

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  156. @(((They))) Live
    I don't think it fair to call the Megachargers vapourware, they will be built

    Why won't the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road

    Has anyone seen a Tesla Megacharger? It doesn’t exist. Hence it’s vaporware. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be built or anything, obviously there’s nothing intrinsically impossible about producing a megawatt charger.

    Why won’t the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

    My prediction is that long haul trucking will move towards using trucks 24 hours a day once self-driving technology gets good enough and the human driver can sleep on the road. Letting a truck sit overnight is such a waste.

    Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that’s a bit complicated which is why it’s not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don’t know how it works in Asia).

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road

    Tesla has already admitted the truck is not currently under “active development”, which gets to the heart of the problem of the company. They’ve obviously proven they can engineer great products and have tremendous star power, but they’re not very good at anything else.

    Based on Tesla’s production track record it’s exceedingly unlikely they’ll post a profit at the end of this year.

    That’s not to say there won’t be electric trucks. You’ve already made a great case as to why there will be electric trucks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that’s a bit complicated which is why it’s not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don’t know how it works in Asia).
     
    Driving teams are common as chrome in the OTR biz. It’s another major obstacle for electrics as a diesel fill takes 20 minutes and the rig is back on the road with one team member snoozing in the sleeper and one behind the wheel. JIT manufacturing and produce demand it.

    Self driving OTR tractors are an interesting subject. Who will insure them? Private auto liability is one thing, company owned tractors are another. My belief is that government would have to step in and limit liability claims against AI drivers for this to ever work. And with the Democratic Party run by trial lawyers...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  157. @Mike P
    manorchurch, the other day you kindly promised to ignore me in the future. Please abide by it, or at least refrain from answering my comments, if all you have to offer is name-calling. Thank you.

    I take it back. Nutjobs should always be jeered at.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  158. Dmitry says:

    Luxury manufacturer Jaguar is releasing an electric car – competition for Tesla already from this year.

    The advantage that Tesla will have in competition, is the access to Supercharger fasting charging network across a lot of Europe and America.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  159. utu says:
    @(((They))) Live
    Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don't know this yet

    Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE

    25cents per kilowatt

    That’s expensive. 25cents to lit ten 100W bulbs for one second only.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  160. @Thorfinnsson
    Some earlier Tesla comments by me concerning their extraordinary capex and automation "alien dreadnought" blunder from March:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267775


    https://twitter.com/DonutShorts/status/979463134850187264

    Twitter thread about the Bernstein report on Tesla.

    It appears that Tesla has attempted to fully automate vehicle manufacturing, in contravention of the lean production techniques employed by the rest of the industry.

    Roger Smith attempted the same thing at General Motors in the 1980s with his “lights out factory” concept, which saw General Motors become briefly the world’s largest producer (and consumer) of robots. General Motors in a three year period spent as much on robots as the combined value (at that time) of Toyota and Nissan.

    The concept failed and Smith’s successors adopted the Toyota Production System as did the rest of the automotive industry other than ultra high-end producers such as Ferrari.

    It seems like Elon Musk decided he knows more about manufacturing than Toyota.

    Tesla is likely headed for a very costly reboot of its entire manufacturing process.

    And if it fails to raise capital to cover its ongoing cashflow problems, it will collapse and be acquired by a global OEM. Likely General Motors or Ford as their luxury efforts (luxury cars represent 50% of global automobile profits) are not succeeding outside of China.

    Traditional automakers have their flaws, but if there is one thing they are good at it’s mass production.

    Musk may succeed in hanging onto the gigafactory and become the lowest cost producer of batteries in the world. If not it will fall to Panasonic or perhaps BYD.

    And no, I am not dumb enough to bet against Musk. Tesla can raise the capital they need despite the weakening market for their bonds by diluting existing stockholders.

    The commenter is encouraged to respond.
     
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267784


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DZfnJxPX0AAxIRh.jpg

    Note that this chart is somewhat misleading. The global dominance of German brands in the luxury segment means that they are not necessarily unproductive manufacturers as the chart implies.

    I doubt Dr. Z lies awake at night worrying about the alarming number of hours required to produce each Mercedes Benz S-class.
     
    Musk has since admitted that Tesla erred in attempting to automate the entire production line. Good for him, but this means enormous amounts of capital (and time) were wasted. Tesla's production ramp up was always too ambitious, but ignoring industry best practices in manufacturing didn't help. Many Tesla quality problems stem from this, as Tesla for instance spends far less time evaluating suppliers than the other global OEMs.

    I like to imagine Toyota executives throwing darts at a picture of Musk's face while doing shots of sake and laughing about how "Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man."

    Meanwhile yesterday in Belgium a Model S started itself with no driver in the car and proceeded to crash into five vehicles. The day after a Model S on autopilot crashed into a parked police car in California.

    The suicidal Tesla was a convert to Islam. Belgium’s full of them. Lucky that it did not try to board a train like that crazy shooter in the Clint Eastwood film.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  161. Miro23 says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.
     
    If you don't accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it's not possible to discuss TARP's profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

    Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?
     
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

    #1 - Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
    #2 - Online retail and webhosting
    #3 - Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
    #4 - Social media (advertising)
    #5 - Enterprise software (databases)
    #6 - Diversified, but mostly energy
    #8 - Financial news
    #9 - Search (advertising)
    #10 - Search (advertising)

    I can go into more detail on each.

    Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

    Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

    Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

    Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in '86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

    Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin's Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

    Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

    Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

    The people who "suffer"? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don't suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?
     
    When did I say it isn't? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

    Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

    As for Rankin, blaming "Big Business" for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn't actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

    The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It's not likely to be repeated.

    True enough, but they have a very monopolistic look about them. On the one hand monopolies are great (very profitable) but on the other, they allow price gouging since there’s no competition – hence the legislation.

    Monopolies can delay the fateful day by buying politicians ( the present bought and paid for Congress), but longer term they need a dictatorship (of the proletariat, of big business, or Counter Culturals or Zionists or anything really) to shut down the public, with some kind of “Homeland Security” to detain dissidents.

    This is where we are now, with the antidote being the breakup of the Union. Each Federal State fixes its own spending, taxation and debt issuance (disowning the FED), and requires by law, active citizen participation and voting to determine policy (e.g. no votes or budget for an Iran war).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  162. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.
     
    If you don't accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it's not possible to discuss TARP's profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

    Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?
     
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

    #1 - Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
    #2 - Online retail and webhosting
    #3 - Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
    #4 - Social media (advertising)
    #5 - Enterprise software (databases)
    #6 - Diversified, but mostly energy
    #8 - Financial news
    #9 - Search (advertising)
    #10 - Search (advertising)

    I can go into more detail on each.

    Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

    Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

    Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

    Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in '86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

    Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin's Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

    Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

    Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

    The people who "suffer"? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don't suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?
     
    When did I say it isn't? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

    Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

    As for Rankin, blaming "Big Business" for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn't actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

    The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It's not likely to be repeated.

    I agree that the mid 20th century middle working class was anomaly that will never be repeated unless a miracle happens and the US population goes down to 20o million

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  163. Chase says:
    @Sam Shama

    Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.
     
    Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective. Many traditions are meant to be broken, but that aside, a hatred for finance, wilfully conceals from the mind that which is so starkly obvious. None of what you busy yourself with in your daily life, as in here and now in the pursuit of keyboard games, would have hardly been possible without modern finance.

    Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all required venture capital and then financial engineering to get to where they are today. IBM needed the merger of four companies, public stock issuance with the investment banking talent of Charles Flint to gain its early incorporation. Do you think all of that would've been possible without the financial sector? Not a chance.

    Take our most gracious host. He is a brilliant man, a trained theoretical physicist who wrote a piece of great software to value mortgage-backed securities and then sold his company to another finance company called Moody's to become independently wealthy. He now uses his wealth to promote free speech - a very honourable purpose indeed. Hat tip. On occasion, he takes pot shots at finance; a case, if ever there was one, of the socialite turning up her nose at the very thing that made her a socialite!

    Now, mortgage-backed securities are exactly the sort of financial innovation that makes finance an indispensable part of any modern economy. How else could one have high homeownership? This is not to claim that abuses do not occur. They most certainly do. But show me an abuse-free Industry and I will gift you a unicorn.

    As if mortgage finance preceded people living in homes. And forget all the bullshit spewed about how much home ownership is indispensable for a society: American culture (people enjoying the actual way they live) was far better pre-1900 than it is today.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  164. Van Doren says:
    @narrenspeise
    I do not believe that Tesla is likely to produce profits in the foreseeable future that justify its current valuation. However, a German engineering service company has analysed a Tesla 3 model and found that the materials cost of a car is around US-$ 18.000 and the cost of production can be estimated at around US-$ 10.000, so the gross margin should be ok if they manage to get production volume up.

    https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/mobilitaet/elektroauto-zerlegt-tesla-model-3-kann-gewinn-abwerfen/22625806.html

    (in German).

    Munro estimated Model 3 production cost at 41k. He said, that the car wasn’t designed for efficient production. Materials are not everything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    A German company also did a tear down of the Model 3, they came up with $18K materials and $10K labour costs
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  165. One additional nail in Tesla’s coffin could conceivably come from the failure of Global Warming to materialize as predicted. Indeed, the 17-year-long ‘pause’ in global warming continues, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is now beyond 400 ppm.

    Yet, to date, there have been no environmental catastrophies tied to anthropogenic global warming. Dire predictions from the ‘warmist community’ have been a bust.

    Keep in mind also that the natural forces and variables that steer our planet’s climate and weather are immense and, in some cases, not fully understood. Mysteries abound. The interactive effects of these natural forces are chaotic, unpredictable, and presently beyond the reach of even any supercomputer. Climate mysteries continue.

    If catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming does not arrive as predicted (very possible) then the carbon taxes and pro-EV tax breaks might come to a sudden and surprising halt. This will further undermine Tesla’s rent-seeking economic strategy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Electric vehicles are a more energy efficient form of transport, so it will be cheaper in the long-term scale - whether there is man-made global warming or not. There would be less chance for subsidies in the latter case, but the intrinsically more energy efficient transport will eventually win on costs without subsidies.

    Although main advantage in my opinion is more simply moving emission fumes away from population centers.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  166. It seems Tesla is going to defile the name of famous inventor? His name shall be the synonym for the smart selling of sweet foam, in an extremely advanced packaging. Will the Tesla family sue EM for this shame?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  167. @Thorfinnsson


    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith?
     
    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith's disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It's likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the "alien dreadnought".


    Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?
     
    During Petersen's time in the Ford C-suite the company introduced the Taurus, Escort (North America), and Explorer.


    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.
     
    I have visited a number of assembly plants.

    Probably a salesman (actually, a lot of salesmen) thirty years younger than you sold robots to Musk.

    The global auto industry, warts and all, produced almost one hundred million cars last year. What other industry produces complex machines on such a massive scale?

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..
     
    I'm well aware GM gave up on Europe. None the less "New GM" has posted a cumulative of $70 billion in profits since it and Tesla IPO'd in the same year.

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.
     
    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!
     
    Bill Ford is indeed a dipshit. He's even a vegan.

    None the less Ford manages to build six million cars a year and has vast resources.

    As you allude to later, it's not just Ford and GM. There are lots of automakers with vast resources.

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?
     
    Toyota is late to the EV party. But I have a feeling it won't take them long to catch up with their eleven-figure annual profits and $25 billion in the bank.

    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith’s disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It’s likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the “alien dreadnought”.

    Not at all. Smith’s epic failure wasn’t in attempting to automate, but in attempting to change Detroit. The robots weren’t the problem. They put wheels on cars and torqued the lug nuts. They welded panels. They tacked off primed bodies before being painted. They applied paint and clear coat. The problem was in the laborers who worked the floor and sabotaged the robots or simply just didn’t do their jobs.

    I’ve seen hundreds of auto workers asleep on the assembly line. Asleep. Or nodding off on dope. Massive signs in Ford bathrooms “employees caught using drugs on premise will be referred”. Books have surely been written on the insanity of the UAW. If not, there’s a mountain of material just waiting.

    I had constant customer calls in the 80’s about workers screwing up my robots and destroying both units on the line as well as severely damaging my machines, taking them out of operation (and thus stopping the line) until I could send crews to fix them. Routine maintenance wasn’t done either and fully half the machines were less than useless at any given time, resulting in rework rates that were no better than before the machines were installed.

    But this isn’t 1987.

    And as for Petersen – Mustang fox platform.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  168. Dmitry says:
    @mark green
    One additional nail in Tesla's coffin could conceivably come from the failure of Global Warming to materialize as predicted. Indeed, the 17-year-long 'pause' in global warming continues, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is now beyond 400 ppm.

    Yet, to date, there have been no environmental catastrophies tied to anthropogenic global warming. Dire predictions from the 'warmist community' have been a bust.

    Keep in mind also that the natural forces and variables that steer our planet's climate and weather are immense and, in some cases, not fully understood. Mysteries abound. The interactive effects of these natural forces are chaotic, unpredictable, and presently beyond the reach of even any supercomputer. Climate mysteries continue.

    If catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming does not arrive as predicted (very possible) then the carbon taxes and pro-EV tax breaks might come to a sudden and surprising halt. This will further undermine Tesla's rent-seeking economic strategy.

    Electric vehicles are a more energy efficient form of transport, so it will be cheaper in the long-term scale – whether there is man-made global warming or not. There would be less chance for subsidies in the latter case, but the intrinsically more energy efficient transport will eventually win on costs without subsidies.

    Although main advantage in my opinion is more simply moving emission fumes away from population centers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The electricity that EV's consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses. Overall natural gas well/çoal mine to rubber on the road needs economic renewables or baseload nukes to make sense.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  169. @Thorfinnsson
    Has anyone seen a Tesla Megacharger? It doesn't exist. Hence it's vaporware. That doesn't mean it couldn't be built or anything, obviously there's nothing intrinsically impossible about producing a megawatt charger.

    Why won’t the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?
     
    My prediction is that long haul trucking will move towards using trucks 24 hours a day once self-driving technology gets good enough and the human driver can sleep on the road. Letting a truck sit overnight is such a waste.

    Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that's a bit complicated which is why it's not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don't know how it works in Asia).

    ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road
     
    Tesla has already admitted the truck is not currently under "active development", which gets to the heart of the problem of the company. They've obviously proven they can engineer great products and have tremendous star power, but they're not very good at anything else.

    Based on Tesla's production track record it's exceedingly unlikely they'll post a profit at the end of this year.

    That's not to say there won't be electric trucks. You've already made a great case as to why there will be electric trucks.

    Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that’s a bit complicated which is why it’s not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don’t know how it works in Asia).

    Driving teams are common as chrome in the OTR biz. It’s another major obstacle for electrics as a diesel fill takes 20 minutes and the rig is back on the road with one team member snoozing in the sleeper and one behind the wheel. JIT manufacturing and produce demand it.

    Self driving OTR tractors are an interesting subject. Who will insure them? Private auto liability is one thing, company owned tractors are another. My belief is that government would have to step in and limit liability claims against AI drivers for this to ever work. And with the Democratic Party run by trial lawyers…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  170. L.A. says:

    DARPA’s 5G End Game For Humanity

    Excerpt

    ”Elon Musk is now warning that unless we want to become these computer’s “pets”, we must ourselves merge with AI (artificial intelligence). Intel says that by 2020 human brains will contain chips which will run the computers to “prevent” this AI takeover.

    These kinds of fear-provoking statements reflect the old Masonic project advancement technique of problem-reaction-solution, or Ordo Ab Chao (Order out of Chaos). They first create a problem, then fix it with a Draconian solution which will advance their Great Work of Ages or New World Order.”

    https://hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/darpas-5g-end-game-for-humanity/#comments

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  171. Sam Shama says:
    @jacques sheete
    Sam, in your honor, I dug this up for you. It pretty funny stuff, though in a jejune sorta way.

    Opinion
    Debt Is Good

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/11/12/opinion/krugman-circular/krugman-circular-thumbLarge-v7.jpg

    By Paul Krugman
    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/paul-krugman-debt-is-good-for-the-economy.html

    Yes, thank you. It was one of the very central ideas Krugman wanted to drive home, particularly for David Brooks’ readership.

    You insist on calling it funny, which is your prerogative. A sense of humour is rather a personal taste, and I do understand your position. Better than you or I go into the same routine, it might better serve purposes to take a squint at some of the top comments:

    Ron Mitchell
    Dubin, CAAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    Our Federal Budget is around $3.5 Trillion. Our GDP (national income) is around $20 Trillion. Our nations net worth (savings and investments) is around $80 Trillion. There is plenty of money available to borrow. If Growth exceeds investments then the nation makes a profit.

    122 Recommend

    Joe From Boston
    MassachusettsAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    For all those fiscal conservative who have a big problem with government debt (but who assure us that the government should behave like our individual households), consider this:

    Private debt for economically sound purposes, like buying a home or building a business, that are expected to provide an economic return, are reasonable debts.

    Private debt for reasons that have, or are expected to provide, no economic return, like going on a fancy vacation, are not reasonable debts if they endanger one’s ability to pay them back. I was raised with the precept that “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.”

    Can you conservatives kindly explain why debt to build infrastructure that we clearly need, like roads, bridges, the tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak, and so forth, are UNREASONABLE? They will generate an excess economic return, as history has shown, for example with the interstate road system and the railroads. They will also generate jobs that can only be performed by local personnel, typically AMERICANS

    David desJardins
    Burlingame CAAug. 21, 2015
    Times Pick
    Maybe we should also mention that the balance sheet of the US government is strongly positive. The tangible assets it owns (even ignoring future tax revenue) are worth much more than its debt. Calling the government broke is like calling a homeowner broke because he has a $1 million mortgage on his $3 million home.

    14 Replies 798 Recommend

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  172. @Thorfinnsson


    Let’s start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith?
     
    By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith's disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It's likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the "alien dreadnought".


    Why not Ford’s “genius” Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?
     
    During Petersen's time in the Ford C-suite the company introduced the Taurus, Escort (North America), and Explorer.


    I sold robots to Detroit in the 80’s. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.
     
    I have visited a number of assembly plants.

    Probably a salesman (actually, a lot of salesmen) thirty years younger than you sold robots to Musk.

    The global auto industry, warts and all, produced almost one hundred million cars last year. What other industry produces complex machines on such a massive scale?

    You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..
     
    I'm well aware GM gave up on Europe. None the less "New GM" has posted a cumulative of $70 billion in profits since it and Tesla IPO'd in the same year.

    Bob Lutz? The dude’s like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he’s home or not if it helps. But I haven’t seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.
     
    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

    And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it’s sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!
     
    Bill Ford is indeed a dipshit. He's even a vegan.

    None the less Ford manages to build six million cars a year and has vast resources.

    As you allude to later, it's not just Ford and GM. There are lots of automakers with vast resources.

    The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?
     
    Toyota is late to the EV party. But I have a feeling it won't take them long to catch up with their eleven-figure annual profits and $25 billion in the bank.

    This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

    Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

    Um, $2/gal gas?

    Detroit does this again and again and again. They were too stupid to see that the Minority Mortgage Meltdown (TM Steve Sailer) would stuff their business model. Too stupid to see that rising fuel prices would stuff their reliance on pickups and body-on-frame SUVs for profitability. Too stupid to see that models like the Taurus, apparently designed solely for fleet sales, were unwanted by consumers who preferred the reliability of a Camry. In the mid 2000’s, dealers were dumping MSO SUV units at auction below factory invoice – years before the financial collapse.

    GM’s recent profits are entirely at the expense of communities hosting derelict abandoned toxic sites that were formerly GM factories as well as non-UAW labor retirees who lost everything. Thanks Obola Feral Government. No matter, Detroit incompetence will restore the status quo soon enough. Saturn 2 maybe? A new, new type of car company..

    Fuel prices are heading sharply back north at the same time the manufacturers are abandoning sedans for SUVs and crossovers. Future “clunkers” when that Feral program is rebooted.

    As for the rush to EVs, it’s ONLY due to Tesla’s market valuation that Detroit is producing crap like Volt/Bolt. I’ve seen Ford admit this and I’m sure GM is on the same wavelength since independent thought in Detroit died the day Heinz Prechter blew his brains out. Soon enough I expect to see local storage lots filled with Bolt/Volt/Jolt/Dolt models just like they used to be filled with EV-1s.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  173. Mark Presco says: • Website

    Since the comments have gone off topic, let me expound on a proposal I submitted in 2001. I believe there is a low tech device that can be used to generate electricity from fusion.

    Build a “box” big enough and strong enough to contain a full blown thermal nuclear explosion.

    Such a box could also generate electricity from the permanent disposal of high level nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods.

    If you insist, I’ll publish the proposal and some of the responses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    I salute your inventiveness, Mark. However, I believe the "thermonuclear containment box", while useful for small applications, produces a mere googol of terawatts over a 1500-year lifetime of power production.

    Compare that trivial output to that of the "Congress-critter containment box", which produces a googolplex of terawatts over an eternal lifetime. I think you'll agree that nothing matches the pure heat output of massed Congressional representatives. Throw in their loyal staffs, and the people of Earth could spend weekends in the Andromeda galaxy, while never lacking for air-conditioning.

    But, do keep inventing, Mark. And send a few bucks every week to your loyal, hard-working Congressperson.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  174. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson


    That’s what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.
     
    If you don't accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it's not possible to discuss TARP's profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

    Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

    And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?
     
    https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

    #1 - Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
    #2 - Online retail and webhosting
    #3 - Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
    #4 - Social media (advertising)
    #5 - Enterprise software (databases)
    #6 - Diversified, but mostly energy
    #8 - Financial news
    #9 - Search (advertising)
    #10 - Search (advertising)

    I can go into more detail on each.

    Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

    Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

    Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

    Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in '86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

    Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin's Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

    Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

    Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

    The people who "suffer"? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don't suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

    Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?
     
    When did I say it isn't? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

    Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

    As for Rankin, blaming "Big Business" for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn't actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

    The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It's not likely to be repeated.

    Those people you list owe their fortunes to network effect monopolies. Their fortunes are based on rent-seeking due to the network effect aka network externality aka natural monopoly.

    A tax on net assets at a rate equal to the rate of interest on the national debt that eliminates other forms of taxation will mitigate this private sector rent seeking and help restore the egalitarian middle class society of the mid 20th century.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  175. Mikel says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things

    No. Those things worsen the situation but are more or less reversible. What is really painful and persists generation after generation is the cyclical nature of our economic pattern of growth. When financial bubbles periodically collapse they cause a great deal of human suffering, even to the rich, but I don’t believe that there is any natural law that demands that economic growth must proceed through cycles of general expansion and general collapse. At the same time, these “business cycles” of bubbles and crashes are difficult to imagine in a world without fractional reserve banking.

    Now, I don’t know what the exact disadvantages of a full reserve banking system would be. My knowledge is limited and I haven’t had the time to think or read about it in depth. But I get the impression that academics mostly avoid discussing this issue. The fractional reserve banking issue is generally (though not always) brought up by Libertarians so some appear to consider it an unworthy matter of debate. Still, if we could manage to avoid the plague of economic crises and depressions, we would all be much better off, regardless of all those income distributions trends.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  176. Che Guava says:
    @Mike P

    I’m not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.
     
    I'm entirely sure we didn't.

    According to Wiki, the rate of payload to initial mass of the Apollo missions was roughly 1 to 25 from Earth to lower Earth orbit, but about 1 to 3 from Earth orbit to lunar orbit. Assuming Earth orbit was 200 miles above Earth, less than 10% of the total energy required to escape Earth's gravity had been applied once orbit was reached. Therefore, somehow the engines became about 100 times more fuel-efficient when going from Earth orbit to the moon.

    There are many more astonishing details. One is that NASA lost all the tapes of the lunar missions - allegedly the tapes were "reused". Another is that the dosage of radiation measured on board the lunar missions was no different from those of typical Earth orbit missions. Considering that the lunar missions would have had to go through the van Allen radiation belt, they should have received a significantly higher dosage.

    I iike the way Aldrin was physically attacking a ‘Moon-landings never happened’ type some years ago.

    OTOH, unlike your other intelocutor, I find the arguments interesting.

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth’s gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

    More interesting is that all of the Apollo astronauts (except the ones burnt on the launch pad) had relatively long lives.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?

    I have a nice program on my phone, from Russia, it is a ‘day of the ISS’.

    When I am watching it, I try to study Russian Cyrillic, but also thinking ‘this looks like a space-ship, but it is not going anywhere, except low orbit.’

    Roscosmos was offering an Apollo 8 style flight around the Moon on a modern Soyuz for many years, of course, very expensive, but well within the means of space-fan tech billionaires and many others

    No such flight was ever booked, surprising to me, and it is no longer on offer, AFAIK.

    Why?

    Unlike you, I won’t say ‘the Moon landings never happened’, but …

    Hell, O.J.Simpson did a Moon-landimg in Capricorn 1、

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mike P

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth’s gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.
     
    The point is that near Earth orbit is still within the gravity well; reaching Earth orbit takes only a small fraction of the energy required to actually leave the well.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?
     
    Not necessarily radiation effects, but lunar missions should have resulted in measurably higher readings on the dosimeters than Earth orbit missions.
    , @Mike P
    On second thought, your objection to my gravity argument has merit - I neglected the kinetic energy of the Earth orbit, which already amounts to roughly one half of the energy required to leave Earth's gravity. Still, if we assume roughly equal energy expenditure for reaching Earth orbit and for going from there to the moon, then there remains a noticeable discrepancy between 1/25 payload to Earth orbit and 1/3 payload from Earth orbit to moon.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  177. Another reason Tesla is a failed business model and always was, as any auto manufacturing start-up would be at this juncture, is the fact that as a species Human has reached Peak Mobility. We’re on the downside of Mobility now due to resource constraints. Mobility from here on out will only increase in virtual world electronically via bits & bytes. And hey, they’re working on Teleportation so who knows, in 40 years Scotty may be beaming us to the gold mines in the Congo where we can direct the African slaves digging away in the dirt to exactly which nuggets we want for our gold toilets.

    EVs have had forever now to prove themselves and sorry, it’s just never going to happen. The next latest & greatest technology related to Mobility is in The Pipeline and EVs were squashed by the auto manufacturers for far too long to the point it missed the Opportunity Window for scalable implementation.

    If the Elite want the next latest & greatest in Mobility Technology, they’re going to have to pay dearly for it rather than doing what they’ve done in the past and roll out scalable perverted facsimiles of the technology to the masses in order to subsidize their Bells & Whistles versions. That can’t & won’t happen with this next wave of cutting edge Mobility Technology. It will be for the Elite only, and the Elite will have to pay dearly for it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  178. The Working Class was, and still is, its own worst enemy. It bought into the Myth that their Precious Little Darlings were all Einsteins waiting to Self-Actualize and so they spent gobs of their hard-earned money to send those Precious Little Darlings to University to kick-start that process of Einsteinatization.

    Guess what? It never materialized. Surprise-Surprise!!! Their Precious Little Darlings, as it turns out, weren’t Einsteins afterall, but instead Unremarkable Cube Monkeys, Corporate Catamites if you will, with worthless diplomas versus diploma-less Factory Floor Workers with the only difference being, as a Cube Monkey you get to press the Internet Levers all day as a perk and if you press the right ones, you get a banana, a rarity, if you’re lucky.

    How did The Working Class expect to maintain itself if the jobs it was working weren’t good enough for the Little Einsteins it was raising? By virtue of this fact, it forfeited any right to complain about its jobs disappearing since it fueled the demand-destruction of those jobs in mythologically believing its progeny were too good for such ignoble endeavors.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  179. Mike P says:
    @Che Guava
    I iike the way Aldrin was physically attacking a 'Moon-landings never happened' type some years ago.

    OTOH, unlike your other intelocutor, I find the arguments interesting.

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth's gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

    More interesting is that all of the Apollo astronauts (except the ones burnt on the launch pad) had relatively long lives.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?

    I have a nice program on my phone, from Russia, it is a 'day of the ISS'.

    When I am watching it, I try to study Russian Cyrillic, but also thinking 'this looks like a space-ship, but it is not going anywhere, except low orbit.'

    Roscosmos was offering an Apollo 8 style flight around the Moon on a modern Soyuz for many years, of course, very expensive, but well within the means of space-fan tech billionaires and many others

    No such flight was ever booked, surprising to me, and it is no longer on offer, AFAIK.

    Why?

    Unlike you, I won't say 'the Moon landings never happened', but ...

    Hell, O.J.Simpson did a Moon-landimg in Capricorn 1、

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth’s gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

    The point is that near Earth orbit is still within the gravity well; reaching Earth orbit takes only a small fraction of the energy required to actually leave the well.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?

    Not necessarily radiation effects, but lunar missions should have resulted in measurably higher readings on the dosimeters than Earth orbit missions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  180. Bicycles are the only advancement in human transportation.

    Cars are actually slower. Slow as walking.

    The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour. In countries deprived of a transportation industry, people manage to do the same, walking wherever they want to go, and they allocate only 3 to 8 percent of their society’s time budget to traffic instead of 28 percent.

    Ivan Illich on Cars
    http://www.ranprieur.com/readings/illichcars.html

    Now, cars are even net slower than they were in the 1970s when Illich wrote that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  181. @Mark Presco
    Since the comments have gone off topic, let me expound on a proposal I submitted in 2001. I believe there is a low tech device that can be used to generate electricity from fusion.

    Build a “box” big enough and strong enough to contain a full blown thermal nuclear explosion.

    Such a box could also generate electricity from the permanent disposal of high level nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods.

    If you insist, I’ll publish the proposal and some of the responses.

    I salute your inventiveness, Mark. However, I believe the “thermonuclear containment box”, while useful for small applications, produces a mere googol of terawatts over a 1500-year lifetime of power production.

    Compare that trivial output to that of the “Congress-critter containment box”, which produces a googolplex of terawatts over an eternal lifetime. I think you’ll agree that nothing matches the pure heat output of massed Congressional representatives. Throw in their loyal staffs, and the people of Earth could spend weekends in the Andromeda galaxy, while never lacking for air-conditioning.

    But, do keep inventing, Mark. And send a few bucks every week to your loyal, hard-working Congressperson.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  182. @Van Doren
    Munro estimated Model 3 production cost at 41k. He said, that the car wasn't designed for efficient production. Materials are not everything.

    A German company also did a tear down of the Model 3, they came up with $18K materials and $10K labour costs

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  183. The roof tiles raised some eye brows here in Wales. Tata Steel (& predecessors) has been developing them for over 10 years. The problem is not a PV layer. The problem is that 20 years of neglect on a roof requires very good coating technology. Even coloured tiles, where Tata is teçhnical leader, are quite demanding. Very few good players.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  184. @Dmitry
    Electric vehicles are a more energy efficient form of transport, so it will be cheaper in the long-term scale - whether there is man-made global warming or not. There would be less chance for subsidies in the latter case, but the intrinsically more energy efficient transport will eventually win on costs without subsidies.

    Although main advantage in my opinion is more simply moving emission fumes away from population centers.

    The electricity that EV’s consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses. Overall natural gas well/çoal mine to rubber on the road needs economic renewables or baseload nukes to make sense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Electric motor is (a lot) more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, than internal combustion engine conversion of the chemical energy in hydrocarbon, into thermal energy, into mechanical energy .

    You're right, there is a trick here.

    The electrical energy itself has to be produced (and transported and stored).

    But natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and even petroleum electricity generation, then to electric motor, is still not only a much more efficient energy conversion process (than the ICE), but there are far more various sources– while sources of petroleum are limited, and in many places require long transportation to even get to the market.

    The funny part is that, even with an extra step forward and a step backward, petroleum electricity generation, to the electric motor, will still be more efficient use of petrol to mechanical energy conversion (as far efficiency of the initial power station conversion is so much better than the engine in the car).

    And we can already see reflected in the market the end of the whole comparison – in lower costs per kilometer traveled in an electric vehicle than an internal combustion engine powered vehicle.
    , @Sparkon

    The electricity that EV’s [sic] consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses.
     
    Yes, this is an intractable problem that is further complicated by inefficiencies introduced to the electrical grid by intermittent, unreliable power sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays. It's like using a very long, leaky hose on a gas pump to fill your tank. Some of the fuel just spills on the ground, and never makes it to your car, but you we pay for it anyway.

    Batteries remain the other big problem with EVs. Current battery technology does not give EVs adequate range to make them practical for anything but local errands and light commuting. In addition, lithium ion batteries are dirty to produce, but since most of the production is done off shore and out of sight in China, the Greenies with more money than common sense can feel all virtuous and superior hauling groceries -- or zipping out to Starbucks for a frothy latte -- in their pricey EV.

    Coal is our most abundant fuel. There may be several hundred years worth of coal reserves, but green propaganda has convinced many scientific ignoramuses that coal is too dirty to burn because it supposedly contributes to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that might lead to runaway global warming where Earth could become like Venus.

    Wc can thank Carl Sagan for some of that runaway science fiction.

    The United States has about 25% of the world's proven coal reserves. We could probably be entirely energy efficient if we burned our coal, which can be done cleanly and efficiently in modern coal-fired power plants with scrubbers and other technology to remove pollution.

    Irrespective of the EPA's idiotic proclamations, CO₂ is not a pollutant. However, carbon dioxide does help plants grow bigger and better while requiring less H₂O, which is the reason many greenhouse operators elevate the CO₂ levels in their growing enclosures for a real greenhouse effect from the mighty molecule.

    In the meanwhile, the so-called "renewable" energy sources like wind turbines and solar arrays can't carry their own weight, and must rely on back-up conventional power plants fired by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fission for when the wind doesn't blow, and the sun doesn't shine. Even with big loans and subsidies, operations like Solyndra have gone belly up, costing taxpayers $535 million for that single boondoggle alone, thanks to the poor man's friend waging his war on coal, Barrack Obama.

    But of course, thorium reactors that will fit in the trunk of your EV are coming real soon now, so there's a real hot tip for all you stock market tycoons looking to make a bundle; just be careful where you stick it.

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

    A mangled version of the abiogenic origin of oil was offered to the West by Thomas Gold, but most of the original work was done by Russians and Ukrainians during the Soviet era based on theories originally espoused by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others in the 19th century.

    (Grammar note: Never use apostrophe+s -- ('s) -- to form plural of nouns in English, except when forming the plural of lower case letters, like p's and q's).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  185. @manorchurch

    Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don’t understand basic physics
     
    Well, maybe. Petroleum will have the edge for another ten years, at least. Long-term, however, some other energy source will be required. Fuel cells, or some derivative thereof, may be a possibility. Solar energy for the separation of water into H and O is free, although the implementation of method is not.

    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic. There are production sites now and a UK railway company plans fuel cell locomotives shortly. That said locos are going out of fashion in favour of mixed multiple units, Japanese style (electric or diesel under every alternate cars). No good for a US freight railway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic.
     
    I'm inclined to agree, emphasis on "if" hydrogen becomes the default.

    There's power options enough for surface transportation and domestic electric grid. As I said, I really do suspect there is a fusion power method that will manifest itself when outages begin, and mucho money can be made.

    Have you any thoughts on a replacement aircraft fuel?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  186. edNels says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead).

    Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead)

    .
    The electric trucks will start at the port like the containers did, then spread out with the help of rebuilt hiway systems dedicated to that development I think. Steel rails were great in their day, (before there was digital systems to guide vehicles precisely and reliably,) that is what they do by restraining the wheels to a particular long pre-established rote path. (Some switching is allowed, little as possible.)

    Rubber tire is king now. Check out the robots in this video of automatic port.

    Not how all the wheels steer for tight turning, and they are slow for now, but will speed up later.

    New rail road loading/discharge near the ships are automated too, double stacked etc.

    Narrow gauge is for mines in the old days, and amusement parks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  187. @Thorfinnsson
    This is true, but EVs have certain advantages.

    Mechanically, they are much simpler.

    Operating costs are much lower.

    They're quiter and have superior low-end torque.

    Low center of gravity.

    Reasonable choice for commuters who can afford the higher upfront costs.

    And they are expected to last a lot longer so amortization will be over 20+ years. Which is why they may become taxis for the masses while only the rich, the rural and petrolheads own personal vehicles.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  188. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen
    The electricity that EV's consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses. Overall natural gas well/çoal mine to rubber on the road needs economic renewables or baseload nukes to make sense.

    Electric motor is (a lot) more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, than internal combustion engine conversion of the chemical energy in hydrocarbon, into thermal energy, into mechanical energy .

    You’re right, there is a trick here.

    The electrical energy itself has to be produced (and transported and stored).

    But natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and even petroleum electricity generation, then to electric motor, is still not only a much more efficient energy conversion process (than the ICE), but there are far more various sources– while sources of petroleum are limited, and in many places require long transportation to even get to the market.

    The funny part is that, even with an extra step forward and a step backward, petroleum electricity generation, to the electric motor, will still be more efficient use of petrol to mechanical energy conversion (as far efficiency of the initial power station conversion is so much better than the engine in the car).

    And we can already see reflected in the market the end of the whole comparison – in lower costs per kilometer traveled in an electric vehicle than an internal combustion engine powered vehicle.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  189. Mike P says:
    @Che Guava
    I iike the way Aldrin was physically attacking a 'Moon-landings never happened' type some years ago.

    OTOH, unlike your other intelocutor, I find the arguments interesting.

    You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth's gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

    More interesting is that all of the Apollo astronauts (except the ones burnt on the launch pad) had relatively long lives.

    As you also say, why no radiation effects?

    I have a nice program on my phone, from Russia, it is a 'day of the ISS'.

    When I am watching it, I try to study Russian Cyrillic, but also thinking 'this looks like a space-ship, but it is not going anywhere, except low orbit.'

    Roscosmos was offering an Apollo 8 style flight around the Moon on a modern Soyuz for many years, of course, very expensive, but well within the means of space-fan tech billionaires and many others

    No such flight was ever booked, surprising to me, and it is no longer on offer, AFAIK.

    Why?

    Unlike you, I won't say 'the Moon landings never happened', but ...

    Hell, O.J.Simpson did a Moon-landimg in Capricorn 1、

    On second thought, your objection to my gravity argument has merit – I neglected the kinetic energy of the Earth orbit, which already amounts to roughly one half of the energy required to leave Earth’s gravity. Still, if we assume roughly equal energy expenditure for reaching Earth orbit and for going from there to the moon, then there remains a noticeable discrepancy between 1/25 payload to Earth orbit and 1/3 payload from Earth orbit to moon.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  190. @Philip Owen
    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic. There are production sites now and a UK railway company plans fuel cell locomotives shortly. That said locos are going out of fashion in favour of mixed multiple units, Japanese style (electric or diesel under every alternate cars). No good for a US freight railway.

    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic.

    I’m inclined to agree, emphasis on “if” hydrogen becomes the default.

    There’s power options enough for surface transportation and domestic electric grid. As I said, I really do suspect there is a fusion power method that will manifest itself when outages begin, and mucho money can be made.

    Have you any thoughts on a replacement aircraft fuel?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

    Meanwhile, I am actually putting commercial effort into Thorium. Supplying the materials for a molten salt reactor to be exact.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  191. JR says:

    On that Consumer report that has been corrected:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/business/tesla-consumer-reports.html

    Profitable see production cost estimates from competitors (German use google to translate), but yes that Model 3 can definitely be profitable:

    https://futurezone.at/produkte/so-viel-kostet-der-tesla-model-3-in-der-produktion/400044188

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  192. One question I had in mind is what Model 3 owners think of their cars. I mean, those whose cars haven’t crashed yet, which is the vast majority.

    One annoying stereotype is that Tesla owners are like vegans or crossfit enthusiasts, they just can’t stop talking about their hobby. This is actually a good thing for the company. Its owners destroy their own reputations to enhance that of the company. Nassim Taleb wrote that he bought a Tesla after his neighbor has had one for a couple years and was still enthusiastic about it.

    So I wonder if Model 3 owners are any different.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  193. Cat_Hair says:

    Scientists and engineers have perfected the electric car.

    But they’re STILL having a lot of trouble with the extension cord!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  194. Sparkon says:
    @Philip Owen
    The electricity that EV's consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses. Overall natural gas well/çoal mine to rubber on the road needs economic renewables or baseload nukes to make sense.

    The electricity that EV’s [sic] consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses.

    Yes, this is an intractable problem that is further complicated by inefficiencies introduced to the electrical grid by intermittent, unreliable power sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays. It’s like using a very long, leaky hose on a gas pump to fill your tank. Some of the fuel just spills on the ground, and never makes it to your car, but you we pay for it anyway.

    Batteries remain the other big problem with EVs. Current battery technology does not give EVs adequate range to make them practical for anything but local errands and light commuting. In addition, lithium ion batteries are dirty to produce, but since most of the production is done off shore and out of sight in China, the Greenies with more money than common sense can feel all virtuous and superior hauling groceries — or zipping out to Starbucks for a frothy latte — in their pricey EV.

    Coal is our most abundant fuel. There may be several hundred years worth of coal reserves, but green propaganda has convinced many scientific ignoramuses that coal is too dirty to burn because it supposedly contributes to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that might lead to runaway global warming where Earth could become like Venus.

    Wc can thank Carl Sagan for some of that runaway science fiction.

    The United States has about 25% of the world’s proven coal reserves. We could probably be entirely energy efficient if we burned our coal, which can be done cleanly and efficiently in modern coal-fired power plants with scrubbers and other technology to remove pollution.

    Irrespective of the EPA’s idiotic proclamations, CO₂ is not a pollutant. However, carbon dioxide does help plants grow bigger and better while requiring less H₂O, which is the reason many greenhouse operators elevate the CO₂ levels in their growing enclosures for a real greenhouse effect from the mighty molecule.

    In the meanwhile, the so-called “renewable” energy sources like wind turbines and solar arrays can’t carry their own weight, and must rely on back-up conventional power plants fired by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fission for when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine. Even with big loans and subsidies, operations like Solyndra have gone belly up, costing taxpayers $535 million for that single boondoggle alone, thanks to the poor man’s friend waging his war on coal, Barrack Obama.

    But of course, thorium reactors that will fit in the trunk of your EV are coming real soon now, so there’s a real hot tip for all you stock market tycoons looking to make a bundle; just be careful where you stick it.

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

    A mangled version of the abiogenic origin of oil was offered to the West by Thomas Gold, but most of the original work was done by Russians and Ukrainians during the Soviet era based on theories originally espoused by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others in the 19th century.

    (Grammar note: Never use apostrophe+s — (‘s) — to form plural of nouns in English, except when forming the plural of lower case letters, like p’s and q’s).

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.
     
    Jeeze, bullshit doth verily abound. Petroleum is composed of organic compounds from the breakdown of plants. First thing abiotic theory must produce is an explanation of how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA.
    , @Philip Owen
    I just mentioned thorium elsewhere. I am doing work in the field.

    EV's. A product of inattention when using a tablet, which forces apostrophes where they are not wanted. That said, when actually typing they come mechanically from my fingers at times. I have glaucoma so proof reading is not a strength.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  195. @Sparkon

    The electricity that EV’s [sic] consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses.
     
    Yes, this is an intractable problem that is further complicated by inefficiencies introduced to the electrical grid by intermittent, unreliable power sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays. It's like using a very long, leaky hose on a gas pump to fill your tank. Some of the fuel just spills on the ground, and never makes it to your car, but you we pay for it anyway.

    Batteries remain the other big problem with EVs. Current battery technology does not give EVs adequate range to make them practical for anything but local errands and light commuting. In addition, lithium ion batteries are dirty to produce, but since most of the production is done off shore and out of sight in China, the Greenies with more money than common sense can feel all virtuous and superior hauling groceries -- or zipping out to Starbucks for a frothy latte -- in their pricey EV.

    Coal is our most abundant fuel. There may be several hundred years worth of coal reserves, but green propaganda has convinced many scientific ignoramuses that coal is too dirty to burn because it supposedly contributes to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that might lead to runaway global warming where Earth could become like Venus.

    Wc can thank Carl Sagan for some of that runaway science fiction.

    The United States has about 25% of the world's proven coal reserves. We could probably be entirely energy efficient if we burned our coal, which can be done cleanly and efficiently in modern coal-fired power plants with scrubbers and other technology to remove pollution.

    Irrespective of the EPA's idiotic proclamations, CO₂ is not a pollutant. However, carbon dioxide does help plants grow bigger and better while requiring less H₂O, which is the reason many greenhouse operators elevate the CO₂ levels in their growing enclosures for a real greenhouse effect from the mighty molecule.

    In the meanwhile, the so-called "renewable" energy sources like wind turbines and solar arrays can't carry their own weight, and must rely on back-up conventional power plants fired by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fission for when the wind doesn't blow, and the sun doesn't shine. Even with big loans and subsidies, operations like Solyndra have gone belly up, costing taxpayers $535 million for that single boondoggle alone, thanks to the poor man's friend waging his war on coal, Barrack Obama.

    But of course, thorium reactors that will fit in the trunk of your EV are coming real soon now, so there's a real hot tip for all you stock market tycoons looking to make a bundle; just be careful where you stick it.

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

    A mangled version of the abiogenic origin of oil was offered to the West by Thomas Gold, but most of the original work was done by Russians and Ukrainians during the Soviet era based on theories originally espoused by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others in the 19th century.

    (Grammar note: Never use apostrophe+s -- ('s) -- to form plural of nouns in English, except when forming the plural of lower case letters, like p's and q's).

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

    Jeeze, bullshit doth verily abound. Petroleum is composed of organic compounds from the breakdown of plants. First thing abiotic theory must produce is an explanation of how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon

    how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA
     
    It's not a very strong argument. There are heat-loving microbes that consume oil -- and some kind of microbe eats virtually everything else -- so finding organic remains within the oil is no great surprise, and even if they don't eat it, they might get caught up in it, like Smilodon at La Brea, a cat with only 8 lives. Association does not prove causation any more than the presence of fish in the sea proves that the fish created the water.

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft showed us that Saturn's moon Titan has sizable surface lakes full of ethane, methane, and propane, proving incontrovertibly that you don't need vegetation or the "breakdown of plants" to create the so-called "fossil fuels."


    Saturn's smoggy moon Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, scientists said today.
     
    https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html


    We humans are still relative ignoramuses about Earth, and have only just scratched the surface of our own planet, with the deepest drills going down only about 40,000 ft. or so, while the fabled journey to the center of the Earth would require a trip of about 4,000 miles straight down, so we aren't quite there yet, but watch out! According to climate authority, almost-President, inventor of the Internet, and green guru Al Gore, “The interior of the earth is extremely hot, several millions of degrees.”

    Whew! No wonder he's worried about the Earth melting.

    If hydrocarbons are created naturally on Titan, there is no reason to doubt that they could be created naturally on Earth as well. In fact, as far as we can tell, hydrocarbon molecules appear to be common and widespread throughout the universe.


    "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the most abundant complex molecules in space.
     
    https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/research-projects/i/17/13217.html
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  196. Sparkon says:
    @manorchurch

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.
     
    Jeeze, bullshit doth verily abound. Petroleum is composed of organic compounds from the breakdown of plants. First thing abiotic theory must produce is an explanation of how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA.

    how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA

    It’s not a very strong argument. There are heat-loving microbes that consume oil — and some kind of microbe eats virtually everything else — so finding organic remains within the oil is no great surprise, and even if they don’t eat it, they might get caught up in it, like Smilodon at La Brea, a cat with only 8 lives. Association does not prove causation any more than the presence of fish in the sea proves that the fish created the water.

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft showed us that Saturn’s moon Titan has sizable surface lakes full of ethane, methane, and propane, proving incontrovertibly that you don’t need vegetation or the “breakdown of plants” to create the so-called “fossil fuels.”

    Saturn’s smoggy moon Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, scientists said today.

    https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

    We humans are still relative ignoramuses about Earth, and have only just scratched the surface of our own planet, with the deepest drills going down only about 40,000 ft. or so, while the fabled journey to the center of the Earth would require a trip of about 4,000 miles straight down, so we aren’t quite there yet, but watch out! According to climate authority, almost-President, inventor of the Internet, and green guru Al Gore, “The interior of the earth is extremely hot, several millions of degrees.”

    Whew! No wonder he’s worried about the Earth melting.

    If hydrocarbons are created naturally on Titan, there is no reason to doubt that they could be created naturally on Earth as well. In fact, as far as we can tell, hydrocarbon molecules appear to be common and widespread throughout the universe.

    “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the most abundant complex molecules in space.

    https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/research-projects/i/17/13217.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch
    You are welcome to your delusions, my dear fellow. I no longer spend much time providing believers with contradicting fact. Go in peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  197. myself says:
    @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riMrSj-D98w

    https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-china-factory-ownership/

    Tesla could now own 100% of an electric car factory in China, says government
     

    Good place for someone who thinks his employees ought to work 100 hours a week.

    Kyle Bass won big betting against on the lowest growth area in the world: the EU. He lost a bit of money and a lot of credibility trying to short Japan (long known as the sucker bet.) Betting on a China crash is inherently flawed, because China has been transformed by the friendly attitude and assistance of successive American governments, which facilitated the economic growth of China following China-USSR military clashes in the late sixties. Developing China has been seen as a way of weakening Russia. But the years of allowing China to drive a coach and horses through international trade has created a klepto-merchantilist decepticon monster piling up huge trade imbalances. And instead of the Chinese government buying advanced US products 2025 program aims to make them technological leaders as well

    China is going to transform itself into an unbeatable megastate, and will not run out of steam. To prevent itself being supplanted as the most powerful state in the word America will take action against the interests of the greedy globalising hyper-capitalist elite and diplomatic shills running their country into the ground. The first signs are already there that American self preservation is emerging from the deep state. The US will see that the trade and technology restriction it will try first will not be enough. As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!

    As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!

    Economic domination, by for example China (or really anyone else) cannot be stopped or even impeded by means of military pressure or diplomatic intrigue – the two main tools favored by Washington. Biased reporting by the “Fake News Media” is even more ineffective.

    What WILL WORK is what worked in the 1980s in responding to Japan’s rise: the United States and Germany got their economic houses in order, and even South Korea and Taiwan aggressively ramped up their quality and productivity to get up to Japan’s level.

    It was a long process for all of these nations, but it was the only option.

    It’s still the only real option now.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  198. Janus says:
    @Sam Shama
    There is borrow on the shares. Mid-rate is 3.3%, which is very high. Which is also why the puts are expensive.

    One way to reduce the premium on puts is to buy put spreads.

    E-Trade shows a 1% Hard to Borrow fee for Tesla, which isn’t really bad considering it’s prorated over a year. It costs barely over a penny a day per share to short.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  199. @Sparkon

    how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA
     
    It's not a very strong argument. There are heat-loving microbes that consume oil -- and some kind of microbe eats virtually everything else -- so finding organic remains within the oil is no great surprise, and even if they don't eat it, they might get caught up in it, like Smilodon at La Brea, a cat with only 8 lives. Association does not prove causation any more than the presence of fish in the sea proves that the fish created the water.

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft showed us that Saturn's moon Titan has sizable surface lakes full of ethane, methane, and propane, proving incontrovertibly that you don't need vegetation or the "breakdown of plants" to create the so-called "fossil fuels."


    Saturn's smoggy moon Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, scientists said today.
     
    https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html


    We humans are still relative ignoramuses about Earth, and have only just scratched the surface of our own planet, with the deepest drills going down only about 40,000 ft. or so, while the fabled journey to the center of the Earth would require a trip of about 4,000 miles straight down, so we aren't quite there yet, but watch out! According to climate authority, almost-President, inventor of the Internet, and green guru Al Gore, “The interior of the earth is extremely hot, several millions of degrees.”

    Whew! No wonder he's worried about the Earth melting.

    If hydrocarbons are created naturally on Titan, there is no reason to doubt that they could be created naturally on Earth as well. In fact, as far as we can tell, hydrocarbon molecules appear to be common and widespread throughout the universe.


    "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the most abundant complex molecules in space.
     
    https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/research-projects/i/17/13217.html

    You are welcome to your delusions, my dear fellow. I no longer spend much time providing believers with contradicting fact. Go in peace.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  200. @Thorfinnsson
    I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

    The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

    • "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
    • Mass immigration
    • Union-busting
    • Increasing monopoly power
    • The healthcare and education rackets

    Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

    By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

    Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

    Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

    Surely, one cannot blame the whole financial sector. But certain parts of it would not survive without Government bail outs every 10-20 years. Those parts are definitivly working in a parasitic manner by shifting their risks on the general public by levereging their systemic importance (“too big to fail” etc…).

    Also, as one hears from some traders, the stock market is used less and less to raise fresh capital for companies but operates more like a zero sum casino game for speculators. Of course, speculation enables market liquidity but this is only useful if it supports the primary of function of raising capital for new ventures.

    I have no problems with casino capitalism, since no one has to be harmed if one chooses not to participate. But lets call a spade a spade and, more importantly, let the banks bear the responsibility for their own actions. That is, risks have to be shifted back to bank owners by higher equity requirements and, possibly, stricter punishments for financial misbehavior. Some kind of regulation is also needed in order to enable the regulating authorities to swiftly enforce bankruptcy proceedings without hampering the systemic functions that the financial sectors provides (by some pre-structering of bank operations or something similar).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  201. Che Guava says:

    Glad that you were seeing my point.

    I don’t see where the 1/25 and 1/3 mass ratios come from.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  202. @manorchurch

    Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic.
     
    I'm inclined to agree, emphasis on "if" hydrogen becomes the default.

    There's power options enough for surface transportation and domestic electric grid. As I said, I really do suspect there is a fusion power method that will manifest itself when outages begin, and mucho money can be made.

    Have you any thoughts on a replacement aircraft fuel?

    Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

    Meanwhile, I am actually putting commercial effort into Thorium. Supplying the materials for a molten salt reactor to be exact.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.
     
    I figure the first sign of true petroleum depletion will be restrictions on air travel by the unwashed and unanointed. Only the government, and the military, of course, will be entitled to air travel. It takes an awful lot of field-grown kerosene to fly airplanes.

    Thorium will work for safe reactors. I'm still betting on fusion.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  203. @Sparkon

    The electricity that EV’s [sic] consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses.
     
    Yes, this is an intractable problem that is further complicated by inefficiencies introduced to the electrical grid by intermittent, unreliable power sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays. It's like using a very long, leaky hose on a gas pump to fill your tank. Some of the fuel just spills on the ground, and never makes it to your car, but you we pay for it anyway.

    Batteries remain the other big problem with EVs. Current battery technology does not give EVs adequate range to make them practical for anything but local errands and light commuting. In addition, lithium ion batteries are dirty to produce, but since most of the production is done off shore and out of sight in China, the Greenies with more money than common sense can feel all virtuous and superior hauling groceries -- or zipping out to Starbucks for a frothy latte -- in their pricey EV.

    Coal is our most abundant fuel. There may be several hundred years worth of coal reserves, but green propaganda has convinced many scientific ignoramuses that coal is too dirty to burn because it supposedly contributes to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that might lead to runaway global warming where Earth could become like Venus.

    Wc can thank Carl Sagan for some of that runaway science fiction.

    The United States has about 25% of the world's proven coal reserves. We could probably be entirely energy efficient if we burned our coal, which can be done cleanly and efficiently in modern coal-fired power plants with scrubbers and other technology to remove pollution.

    Irrespective of the EPA's idiotic proclamations, CO₂ is not a pollutant. However, carbon dioxide does help plants grow bigger and better while requiring less H₂O, which is the reason many greenhouse operators elevate the CO₂ levels in their growing enclosures for a real greenhouse effect from the mighty molecule.

    In the meanwhile, the so-called "renewable" energy sources like wind turbines and solar arrays can't carry their own weight, and must rely on back-up conventional power plants fired by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fission for when the wind doesn't blow, and the sun doesn't shine. Even with big loans and subsidies, operations like Solyndra have gone belly up, costing taxpayers $535 million for that single boondoggle alone, thanks to the poor man's friend waging his war on coal, Barrack Obama.

    But of course, thorium reactors that will fit in the trunk of your EV are coming real soon now, so there's a real hot tip for all you stock market tycoons looking to make a bundle; just be careful where you stick it.

    The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

    A mangled version of the abiogenic origin of oil was offered to the West by Thomas Gold, but most of the original work was done by Russians and Ukrainians during the Soviet era based on theories originally espoused by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others in the 19th century.

    (Grammar note: Never use apostrophe+s -- ('s) -- to form plural of nouns in English, except when forming the plural of lower case letters, like p's and q's).

    I just mentioned thorium elsewhere. I am doing work in the field.

    EV’s. A product of inattention when using a tablet, which forces apostrophes where they are not wanted. That said, when actually typing they come mechanically from my fingers at times. I have glaucoma so proof reading is not a strength.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  204. @Philip Owen
    Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

    Meanwhile, I am actually putting commercial effort into Thorium. Supplying the materials for a molten salt reactor to be exact.

    Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

    I figure the first sign of true petroleum depletion will be restrictions on air travel by the unwashed and unanointed. Only the government, and the military, of course, will be entitled to air travel. It takes an awful lot of field-grown kerosene to fly airplanes.

    Thorium will work for safe reactors. I’m still betting on fusion.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  205. 204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson’s biggest mistake

    Thats low energy, SAD

    Read More
    • Replies: @manorchurch

    204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson’s biggest mistake
     
    Writing his opinion and submitting it?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  206. Medvedev says:

    Musk and his accomplishments, views serves as an aspiration to our generation.
    The big problem with his views – HE RUNS A BUSINESS AS A TECH STARTUP. In tech scale is not a problem, you can scale from thousands to millions to hundreds of millions or even billions of users (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc) in a relatively short period of time. In tech you can literally deliver “crap” fast, lacking most of the functionality, but be the first one to capture the market and gradually improve and patch the system.
    If he had partnered with big car manufacturer he could have delivered on promises by now. And have a successful enterprise in partnership with big car manufacturer.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  207. @(((They))) Live
    204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson's biggest mistake

    Thats low energy, SAD

    204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson’s biggest mistake

    Writing his opinion and submitting it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    No, his opinions are interesting with plenty of good points, but he never talks about the issue of autonomous cars, thats fine if he assumes that autonomous cars are not possible any time soon, however, if autonomous cars are possible then the car industry as we know it is about to change completely and totally
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  208. anon[302] • Disclaimer says:

    The theory of reflexivity is of limited use in my experience. However TSLA is an example of positive reflexivity. As such it can ‘defy gravity’ for an unknown period, and is immune to normal valuation metrics, I consider it un-investable.

    Listening to their annual meeting, this is a cause as much as a business. A lot of owners are stockholders and vice versa. Its market cap is $50 Billion. GM is $60 B and F is $47 B.

    I could see it raising a LOT of capital and think it has a runway beyond the model 3. They just need to scrape by with the 3. Fanbois will tolerate no profits for a long time.

    The meeting was more like a revival than a business meeting. For many of the reasons that GM and F are bad businesses. TSLA is on a tilted playing field. Consumer Reports changing its recommendation? It wouldn’t happen for anyone else. TSLA gets away with things that GM and Toyota have been fined billions for.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  209. anon[302] • Disclaimer says:

    Tesla is burning through one billion per quarter and is likely to run out of cash this year

    I haven’t checked their cash burn, but $1B a quarter? Other than issuing equity, they could do a convertible preferred again or a rights offering.

    A flood of competition is inbound

    This is the only risk I can see getting traction. The other stuff won’t happen until after it fails.
    I started looking into this as a short–but it seems suicidal. You could be both right and broke.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  210. @manorchurch

    204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson’s biggest mistake
     
    Writing his opinion and submitting it?

    No, his opinions are interesting with plenty of good points, but he never talks about the issue of autonomous cars, thats fine if he assumes that autonomous cars are not possible any time soon, however, if autonomous cars are possible then the car industry as we know it is about to change completely and totally

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  211. @Chase
    SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can't fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.

    Bravo. I thought exactly this years ago, but it seemed just simply… pointless, really… even bothering to try to argue the toss with people who think they know everything.

    Time the governments told the truth. Think I’ve heard that somewhere before, too.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  212. Svigor says:

    Holy long pieces, Batman. EVs are inevitable, but inevitable != soon.

    Musk seems to have pushed too hard with Tesla.

    I’m still a Musk fanboy, because Tesla and SC never had one iota to do with my Musk fanboyism.

    For me it’s all about SpaceX. I hope his other ventures don’t drag him down.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  213. Svigor says:

    2 – It will destroy his halo, which is source of his success. This is why Musk committed securities fraud in order to have Tesla acquire Solar City, which was rapidly headed for bankruptcy. With his reputation in tatters, it will call into question his leadership of Space X. Certainly ideas like going to Mars with other people’s money will be out.

    I’m certainly no SpaceXpert (haha), but I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject, recently. Assuming his other ventures can’t drag SpaceX down financially (a safe assumption, from what little I’ve read on the topic), Mars will be fine. He can get started for like a billion – far less than cash-guzzler ULA is asking ($25 billion all-in, much of which has already been spent on SLS without a single launch).

    And by “get started,” I mean land the seed colony on Mars. Really, it’s everything other than getting to Mars that’s the problem. Last I heard (as of about a month ago), SpaceX has pretty much no plan at all for the colony itself. All the tech still needs to be designed.

    But SpaceX doesn’t need a Mars trip or a Mars colony. At all. It’s just Musk’s aspiration. If the satellite cloud plan (the official name escapes me ATM) works, SpaceX could be printing money within a few years. Even if it doesn’t, SpaceX is eating every other launch provider’s lunch. The race is very much theirs to lose.

    A lot of the Tesla bears assume there’s something wrong with Space X as well, but I don’t think this is warranted. One guy who is documenting all the Model S suspension failures has invented a half-cocked conspiracy theory that Space X’s achievements are fictitious. It’s pretty common for short sellers to get emotional during a great bear raid, which is part of the fun.

    Anything’s possible, but if so Musk has a lot of very serious aerospace types totally snowed. And it’s some sleight of hand he’s pulling, steadily dropping what SpaceX charges to launch.

    SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can’t fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.

    This makes literally no sense.

    Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.

    China has an admirable space program, but we must be forgiven for thinking a chink nationalist is just letting his envy do the talking.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles
    What if Musk instead of going to Mars built Elysium? The military-space complexes would go nuts of course.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  214. Svigor says:

    Also, at this point I think the Mars plan and the restarting of 2001 that Musk and SpaceX have done are bigger than Musk. I think both will easily survive Musk leaving the picture entirely.

    Yes, BFR and BFS are both still just concept drawings and marketing talk as far as the public is concerned, but even if they were scrapped right this minute, SpaceX could still get us to Mars with Falcon Heavy. But I wouldn’t bet against BFR and BFS.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  215. Svigor says:

    Protip, the current SpaceX action, other than development of BFR/BFS, is Block 5, the first version of Falcon 9 with a reusable core, and the final planned version of the vehicle. SpaceX plans to reuse Block 5 cores 3 or 4 times this year. Long term, they plan to phase everything else out as BFR/BFS come online.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  216. An acquaintance in NYC just received his Model 3 delivered to him. Previously he had a 2007 Audi (I’m unsure what model), and he’s super happy with his Model 3. He likes the driving experience (he’s driving quite fast and aggressively), the gadgets (he’s a bit of a technophile, too), and he thinks maintenance will be cheap, so that once he’s paid the price upfront, it’ll cost next to nothing to him for another 10-20 years (depending on battery life, which he expects to be actually two decades). He also likes the fact that it’s “good for the environment,” as he put it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  217. windwaves says:

    Musk is the best thing that happened to America in the last several decades. America should be proud.

    Is he perfect ? are his businesses perfect ? who cares. What matters is that he is a fantastic innovator who has no known rivals right now. And HE is HERE, in the USA.

    The Ford, Gm, Krysler elephants who have been making nothing but hideous cars forever (ok, there might be a couple of exceptions here and there) are campaigning like mad dogs against Tesla because, once again, Tesla is a statement about those shit companies caught sleeping. It is pretty much the same as in politics, where MSM spreads bull shit.

    Short Tesla and you shall get burned.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  218. Pericles says:
    @Svigor

    2 – It will destroy his halo, which is source of his success. This is why Musk committed securities fraud in order to have Tesla acquire Solar City, which was rapidly headed for bankruptcy. With his reputation in tatters, it will call into question his leadership of Space X. Certainly ideas like going to Mars with other people’s money will be out.
     
    I'm certainly no SpaceXpert (haha), but I've done a lot of reading on the subject, recently. Assuming his other ventures can't drag SpaceX down financially (a safe assumption, from what little I've read on the topic), Mars will be fine. He can get started for like a billion - far less than cash-guzzler ULA is asking ($25 billion all-in, much of which has already been spent on SLS without a single launch).

    And by "get started," I mean land the seed colony on Mars. Really, it's everything other than getting to Mars that's the problem. Last I heard (as of about a month ago), SpaceX has pretty much no plan at all for the colony itself. All the tech still needs to be designed.

    But SpaceX doesn't need a Mars trip or a Mars colony. At all. It's just Musk's aspiration. If the satellite cloud plan (the official name escapes me ATM) works, SpaceX could be printing money within a few years. Even if it doesn't, SpaceX is eating every other launch provider's lunch. The race is very much theirs to lose.


    A lot of the Tesla bears assume there’s something wrong with Space X as well, but I don’t think this is warranted. One guy who is documenting all the Model S suspension failures has invented a half-cocked conspiracy theory that Space X’s achievements are fictitious. It’s pretty common for short sellers to get emotional during a great bear raid, which is part of the fun.
     
    Anything's possible, but if so Musk has a lot of very serious aerospace types totally snowed. And it's some sleight of hand he's pulling, steadily dropping what SpaceX charges to launch.

    SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can’t fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.
     
    This makes literally no sense.

    Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.
     
    China has an admirable space program, but we must be forgiven for thinking a chink nationalist is just letting his envy do the talking.

    What if Musk instead of going to Mars built Elysium? The military-space complexes would go nuts of course.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  219. Sam J. says:

    I can’t say if all the allegations against Tesla are true or not but they seem to be very much the same as attacks on other companies the financial industry has done to destroy the owners then take over the company for peanuts. My feeling is this is the same. No I can’t prove it but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Other commenters have quoted material and build prices for Tesla cars that show they could make a very hefty profit if they can get the volume up and they seem to be doing this.

    Let’s look at the attack on Tesla’s lack of profits and then compare to Amazon. Amazon lost money for a long, long time,[are they still losing money??]. But somehow Tesla is treated different. Now anyone can put up an online store but not everyone can build a car. It would seem building a car is much more difficult than an online store.

    https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/9/4/why-amazon-has-no-profits-and-why-it-works

    It appears Amazon has made most of it’s recent profits from cloud computing and still loses money on online sales so their profits could be stripped at any time by cloud computing competitors. Why is Musk considered a huge rip of when Amazon lost money for over twenty years and is probably still not making an online store profit yet Musk has been delivering???

    http://www.ibtimes.com/amazon-nearly-20-years-business-it-still-doesnt-make-money-investors-dont-seem-care-1513368

    I often wondered if Musk was Jewish. He says he’s not. If he’s not I could see a mass Jewish attack on him to strip away his coming internet service. A internet service that could be used as a distributed information service with TV NOT controlled by the Jews. This would be reason enough to attack him. Look at what happened to CNN and Turner. They filled him full of lies, brought him in then stripped him of assets. Could this be what is happening to Musk? They want to cut him off before he can get a world wide satellite system up not controlled by the Jews. I don’t know if this is what’s happening but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Follow from *akarlin.com* and/or this *feed*. You can also comment with *your money*.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS