Clive Oppenheimer a volcanologist of Cambridge University, has written a book on the major mountain eruptions throughout history, extensively reviewed by the Economist. Mount Pinatubo, the Philippine’s eruption of 1991 features prominently for the data generated and analyzed in our modern era.
The US Administration has still to make a decision on the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline for the transport of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast refineries. It's a no-brainer.
The crude oil is already being shipped to the United States by rail cars and that has proved to be too dangerous as a transport system, at least in Canada where the railroads cannot seem to keep these trains on the tracks with any reasonable degree of safety.
The RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio has been liquidated this past week as US benchmarks for the small, medium and S&P 500 reached record highs. Price earnings ratios are stretched and while it is always possible that further equity gains are available, there is a real risk that equities will hit a downdraft given the still pending political and debt issues in Europe and the slowing economic growth in Asia. Debt markets are also under stress as interest rates will no doubt begin to rise in the United States in the coming months so that capital values will suffer. As a result it is felt prudent for the RRE portfolio to go into 100% cash for the foreseeable future and this section will be suspended over this time frame.
Equity markets were down last week taking levels back to the mid December levels reflecting the weak earnings reports in the US and the problematic Greek election outturns. Apple was an exception with its great iPhone 6 sales, notably in China. The RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio was up 2.31% from the end of the year 2014 (see below).
The markets are very volatile with the pending European Central Bank decisions on quantitative easing against the backdrop of the unlinking of the Swiss Franc form the Euro and those major disruptions. Fortunately the RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio is not exposed to Europe and while it has fallen during the past week, the declines have been relatively modest as the RRE portfolio has only given up the previous week's 1% gains since December 31.The portfolio position so far in 2015 is now relatively unchanged. See below.
Real Return Environment is intended to serve the needs of students, researchers and investors by providing topical articles, country data, literature references and investment insights on topics such as primary energy use.
"Real Return Environment is intended to serve the needs of students, researchers and investors by providing topical articles, country data, literature references and investment insights on topics such as primary energy use."