Press Esc to close

Welcome to Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.

Close

Welcome to the "Wolf Creek Pass" School of Monetary Policy

I don’t know if you folks remember that hit ditty: a humorous tune about two truckers attempting to manhandle an out-of-control 1948 Peterbilt down the “other side” of Wolf Creek Pass – a death-taunting section of U.S. Highway 160 where the elevation drops a hefty 5,000 feet in a relatively short distance.

The song’s two characters – a truck driver named Earl and his brother, who’s his partner as well as the song’s narrator – are taking a flatbed load of chickens on a speedy trip down this winding, two-lane Colorado highway. After the narrator gives Earl the above-mentioned warning, the ancient semi’s brakes fail.

From there on down, the narrator tells us that the brothers’ trip “just wasn’t real pretty.” The truck careened around hairpins and switchbacks, and then raced at an uncontrolled 110 mph toward a tunnel with “clearance to the 12-foot line” – with chicken crates sadly “stacked to 13-9.”

The drivers and the runaway Peterbilt “went down and around and around and down ’til we run outta ground at the edge of town… and bashed into the side of the feed store – in downtown Pagosa Springs.”

Believe it or not, I started thinking about this funny old country tune the other night – right after I’d read a piece about QE3 and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As zany as it first sounds, the parallels are striking.

  • Why Uranium Prices Are at a Critical Tipping Point Thanks to considerably higher energy costs, the demand for nuclear power continues to rise.
    This year alone, 65 nuclear power plants are under construction, another 160 new reactors are currently in the planning stages, and 340 more have been proposed. Even Japan is now shifting its stance on nuclear power. According to Japan Today, newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now says he is willing to build new nuclear reactors.
    The demand for uranium is clearly going to be getting stronger, which presents a problem. There is already a uranium supply deficit of 40 million pounds a year.
    But supply and demand are only part of the uranium story... Read More...
  • Toshiba Talks Highlight Nuclear Power Slow Down sign radiation Toshiba CEO Norio Sasaki told Dow Jones in an interview today (Thursday) the company is negotiating with three potential buyers, including Chicago Bridge & Iron Company NV (NYSE: CBI), to purchase a 16% stake in the Westinghouse Electric nuclear power unit.

    Toshiba said earlier this year it would consider offers as long as it retained majority control over Westinghouse.

    Toshiba paid $4.16 billion in 2006 for a 77% stake in Westinghouse. In 2007, Toshiba sold a 10% stake in Westinghouse to Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan, leaving the company with 67% of Westinghouse.

    But Toshiba's stake will jump to 87% in January when a sale from The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE: SHAW) becomes final. Shaw in September 2011 exercised an option to sell its stock after it agreed to be taken over by rival Chicago Bridge & Iron.

    An 87% stake would give Toshiba too much exposure to a nuclear industry rattled by the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    To continue reading, please click here...

    Read More...
  • Japan Nuclear Crisis: New Power Plant Construction Renaissance in Peril Concerns revived by the nuclear crisis in Japan could well reverse a renaissance in new power plant construction in many countries, while design upgrades to prevent similar reactor failures will make those that are built more expensive.

    The 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on Friday have caused a series of catastrophic failures in several nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Attempts to cool overheating fuel rods have led to four explosions, giving rise to fear over how much nuclear radiation may have escaped.

    As the crisis has deepened, so has its potential to inflict lasting damage on the nuclear industry.

    Read More...