Pride and Prejudice and Pipelines

Jan 27, 2021 | Mark Ryan


Well, since you asked: To the rhetorical “Hey, how are ya?” nobody actually wants an answer, but…


It’s been ten months of Covideration – that’s 300 days of 8-ish hours, or if you prefer, 45 two-weekses’s and counting. Working from my daughter’s old bedroom, the one we painted just before I moved in my work stuff for “a couple of weeks.” That paint I used was old, (really old), and I’m cheap, (really cheap), and my wife wouldn’t let me paint a hockey rink on the wall (which would have been cool). And she said in fact I probably shouldn’t use that really old paint. She also said I shouldn’t eat all those cheesies. And I was all: “Baby, don’t hurt me. A guy has to put his foot down sometimes or he’s not really a man…” But then that really old paint ended up smelling like really old egg salad sandwiches, and it still does all these cheesies later. And here I am. Still. Ten months. Counting.


It’s the paint that stinks. Pretty sure.


So I chewed off my left leg up to the knee yesterday. Which was an interesting sensation but it’s over now. And I myself might be past my best-before date, but I am NOT going downstairs to watch “Momma Mia” with my daughter. Again… No sir… Mmmm… Cheesies…


Now I’m filling a hockey sock with the salty orange body-fillers and duct-taping it to the wet end of my gnawed-off knee. Not bad. I’m an orange man, but not that Bad Orange Man. Haha. Smiley-face. LOL. Obnoxious emoji.


It’s the paint that stinks. Probably.


Send help.


Friday Trivia: Did you know that a semi-powerful group of worldwide tech overlords runs something called the “Unicode Consortium?” The group primarily develops common programming standards for Chinese, Japanese, and Cyrillic keyboard characters, but a sub-committee of theirs deliberates annually on approved new emoji. Presumably they also decided that the plural of emoji is emoji, but a completely different consortium determined that the plural of consortium is consortia. Anyway, The Emojinati is already working on 2022 submissions, including, my favourite: “Anxious Face with Sweat.” True story.


Also True, Slippery Pipeline Politics: It’s legitimate to say oil sands extraction is, to an extent, more energy-intensive than other forms of extraction, but…

  • According to US government data, there are currently 2.6 million miles of petroleum pipelines in the US;
  • The Keystone XL, cancelled this week by Joe Biden, would have added about another 1700 miles, an increase of (way) less than 1/10th of 1%;
  • Despite Biden’s pipeline cancellation, it’s the demand for oil that sucks the product out of the ground, and that hasn’t changed a smidge;
  • Most of the oil sands will still be harvested and sent to the states, much of it by train;
  • Rail is a far more energy-intensive mode of transport than a pipeline, so the net environmental impact of the cancellation could well be negative;
  • Canada is the third-largest exporter of crude oil in the world, and 98 percent of that goes to the US, about half of US imports;
  • Canada is a far more responsible, environmentally-focused supplier than say, Venezuela;
  • It was hitherto considered human-friendly to get oil from a country that wasn’t a Middle Eastern petro-dictatorship, wasn’t hostile to American voters, and did (or didn’t) only recently allow a woman to drive. Or vote. Own her stuff. Choose her husband. Go for a walk. Show her face.


Also this: We jaw-drop in grocery store lineups at the outrageous train wrecks that are celebrity gossip rags, but once the same actor or athlete pins his name on a cause, he becomes our sage of ancient wisdom. Or maybe he got a tax-deduction for it, which allowed him to buy another airstrip at his other island retreat. And who bears the brunt of the rough-necked cancellation? The working people who can least afford it.


U.S. earnings dropping positive hints: The magnitude of the earnings recovery in 2021 will ultimately come down to the taming of COVID-19 and the related economic reopening. With Q4 2020 earnings coming into focus, we’re seeing the outlines of an encouraging picture (as of Thursday). While the market may take a breather in the near term, the long-term setup appears constructive.


Regional developments: Canada may benefit from a commodity supercycle; U.S. bond markets await fiscal policy decisions; €50 billion merger of European automakers completed; Record demand from China for Hong Kong stocks (and that last one makes me queasy).


Read the rest here:  Global Insight Weekly


And… Have a great weekend!