Iko Ward: The Nikkei wasn't happy tonight, but China seems to be. So far so good. If we believe all the intel it's a moot point. Next big indicator will be the European Markets. Happy markets could mean happening RV.
Houston: I think if we have a happy market it's because of the RV and if not it will force the RV
Iko Ward I'm actually going to bed before 11 for the first time in years. Gonna wake up at 4 and see what's what.
Iko Ward Dear Santa, Zim at .57, Dong at 4.62, Dinar at 7.36, Fiat exchange, 180 days to set up Tax Shelter, no taxes, Tony in Vegas. Rate upticks until April 30th, No Caps. Thank you, your friend, Iko.
And please give Rudolf a taste of your hot chocolate...he's my favorite.
FaithB52 : Iko LOL; like your Santa letter
Iko Ward : Ya know what's strange It might be so!
LadyB22: Iko, I'm sending that list to Santa right now
Famous13: hey iko when can we look for the market results to show up?
Iko Ward: Famous, I think around 4AM the writing will be on the wall.
JJONESMX: US lifts 40-year ban on oil exports
This is about; SA... and the petrodollar?. .. 40 years.... Something crazy is going on imo...*JJ*
Robdel: So this is how the government is going to explain the new millionaires appearing all over the US, because of the Oil Boom? Wow......happy birthday Franky Franky.........
RickLibby: VERY INTERESTING :o
US LIFTS 40 YEAR BAN ON OIL EXPORTS
The US Congress voted on Friday to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exporting US crude oil in an energy policy shift sought by Republicans as part of a bipartisan deal that also provided unprecedented tax incentives for wind and solar power.
The Senate, on a 65-33 vote, approved lifting the ban and providing five-year extensions of tax breaks to boost renewable energy development as part of a $1.8 trillion government spending and tax relief bill that President Barack Obama quickly signed into law.
The House of Representatives passed legislation containing the energy provisions earlier in the day by a 316-113 tally.
The energy deal was hammered out in secret talks among congressional leaders over two weeks.
Senators Lisa Murkowski, a Alaska Republican, and Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico had worked for more than a year to get the deal.
Democrats who backed the deal asserted that its provisions encouraging renewable energy were important for combating global climate change.
"This is the biggest deal for addressing climate change that we are going to see," Heinrich said in an interview.
Heinrich said Democrats may not have been able to get a better deal even if they controlled both chambers of Congress, now led by Republicans. Many Republicans have opposed Democratic proposals to address climate change.
Congress, concerned about US dependence on imported oil, imposed the crude oil export ban after the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s that sent gasoline prices soaring and contributed to runaway inflation. Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed the embargo following the US decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Drillers have said lifting the ban would increase US oil security and give Washington's allies in Europe and Asia an alternative source of crude beyond OPEC and Russia. The bill could benefit oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.
Opponents of lifting the export ban said the action would harm the environment and could lead to an increase in fiery derailments of crude-carrying trains.
Due to a global glut in oil supplies, lifting the ban is not expected to lead to significant US export shipments for months or even years, but could give crude producers the increased flexibility they coveted.
Drillers said continuing the ban would choke a boom in shale oil production since 2008 particularly in North Dakota and Texas that has pushed domestic oil prices down from more than $100 a barrel to below $40.
Lifting the ban was "particularly important at a time when our industry is experiencing a period of extreme volatility and uncertainty," Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, said in a statement.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and some others in her party had expressed concern that allowing US oil exports would hurt independent refiners by raising the price of domestic crude to international prices.
Tom O'Malley, executive chairman of refiner PBF Energy , said lifting the ban would lead at least one East Coast refinery to shut down, adding that his refineries in New Jersey and Delaware are less exposed.
"This is a crazy thing to do," O'Malley said. "Once you lift it, it's hard to reverse it."
Democrats in the Senate had secured some protections for independent refiners, allowing them to deduct transportation costs for gasoline and other fuels they make.
Pelosi on Friday said Democrats walked away with a victory, in the trade of oil exports for environmental goals.
She said the environmental damage from exporting oil would be offset by 10 times because of measures in the bill such as the renewable power tax credits, funding of a parks conservation fund paid for with oil revenues and the elimination of measures that would have dismantled Obama's clean power rules on power plants.
"Now that we have leveled the playing field, the United States finally has an opportunity to compete and realize our nation's full potential as a global energy superpower," said George Baker, head of Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, a group that formed last year to press lawmakers to open the trade. – Reuters
Emailed to Recaps:
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been
anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to
him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate.
He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last
hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless
man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his
customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank
you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy,
I'll just go."
"Not without something hot in your belly." George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger.
"It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're
done, there's coffee and it's fresh."
Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me,
be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy.
Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you
help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with
child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block
looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George
as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old
truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the
garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was
waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever
looked at, but she runs real good."
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into
the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the
truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George
thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos
was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he
got something in his belly," George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It
cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the
truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do.
Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn't
cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can
fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on.
"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the
snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't
going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a
police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left
shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had
received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention.
"Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been
there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct
tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said,
trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for
his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the
policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."
The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there
talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone
into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the
officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the
George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the
Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check
for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya.
Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your
gonna be right as rain."
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.
"None for me," said the officer.
"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no
donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.
"Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was
shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this
"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.
"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon
away. Somebody else might get hurt."
The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now
give me the cash!"
The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to
the cop, "we got one too many in here now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you
need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that
pea shooter away."
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man,
reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released
his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good
at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he
went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now
and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from
the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup
of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in
here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort
this thing out."
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot
you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."
"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an
ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn.
"Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"
"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the
other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just
dropped his gun and ran."
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued.
"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man
leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"
Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks
"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve
some of your problems."
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a
ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha
would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw.
"I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."
"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories.
That's all I need."
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared
next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's
something for that little man of yours."
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old
man had handed him earlier.
"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that
too," George said. "Now git home to your family."
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in
the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."
"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you
come from? I thought you left?"
"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say
you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"
"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother
was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin'
cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and
besides I was gettin' a little chubby."
The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the
holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold
and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by
terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and
not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it
as good as any man."
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know
all this?" asked the old man.
"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when
your days are done you will be with Martha again."
The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have
to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the
stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill
"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."
George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus"
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!