Another Marriage Penalty in the Health Care Bill

Looking on the bright side, if  your marriage is hanging on by a thread, Uncle Sam may provide you with an economic incentive to cut that final strand. If you are considering marriage, but equivocating, this new policy is something to weigh in the balance. However, if you love your spouse, you are screwed – economically speaking. Continue reading

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WEEKLY FEATURE: A Government Subsidy that Saves Jobs and the Environment

 I have given the subject of government subsidies a great deal of thought and now realize that I have been wrong, very wrong. We can’t just allow our industrial base to shrink away; Congress must come to our aid. The problems with the $10 billion black liquor subsidy of 2009 were that (1) it only assisted part of our industry (harming others in the process), and (2) it did not save jobs (as the recent IP closure announcements proved). With help from Congress, however, there is a solution to the problems we face in the forest products industry.

This is what we do. First, Continue reading

The Weather Outside is Frightful

We will soon be posting serious reports that consider, from a science perspective, the global warming claims made by the climate scientists and many politicians. We are still working on a re-design of the Blog, however,  and would like to finish that first. In the meantime, we will pass on interesting items from time to time that relate to the topic.

We are not offering the following cold weather stories as proof that global warming is a myth, but they are interesting. If climate was as sensitive to atmospheric carbon as the theory claims, then over time, we should see higher temperature highs and higher lows on a more-or-less routine basis.  And weather patterns should not revert to colder periods of 20-30 years ago. (AP Photo, Ben Czerwinski)

In early January of 2009 the canals in the Netherlands froze hard for the first time in 12 years. It was big news at the time. Skate purchases raised the GDP of the country a half point or so – well that part is not really true. Now, in early 2010 the canals are frozen again, but it doesn’t seem to be as much fun this year. The weather in Europe is actually not fun or funny, as stories from The Guardian in England ( Food Costs To Soar As Big Freeze Deepens )  and Al Jazeera  ( Severe Snow Causes Chaos in Europe ) point out. The first of these stories suggest that the winter in England is colder than any in the last 30 years, and the second claims that this could be the coldest European winter in 100 years.

Meanwhile in the U.S., AccuWeather Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, predicts that the hard freeze tonight in Florida will be the worst since December of 1989. Mohler expects a 6 to 10 percent loss of the total 2009 orange crop after tonight’s freeze.

While perusing the weather news, I also ran across an interesting survey of meteorologists. It seems that 50% disagree with the IPCC (the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), 25% are neutral and 25% agree. About 33% called the IPCC conclusions not just wrong, but a scam. On the other hand, all Climate Modelers, as opposed to Meteorologists, are convinced that Global Warming is a threat – otherwise they would be out of work.

Stealth Care Reform

We cover the health care issue where ever it leads and today’s post, Stealth Care Reform , leads to The Daily Show.

Coated Paper Petitioners Delay the Process

The coated paper trade dispute was the subject of our lead report in the December Reel Time. This post provides a brief update.  As we followed this story last fall, press releases indicated that countervailing duties/tariffs and anti-dumping duties would begin to be collected from Chinese and Indonesian exporters  to the U.S. (of coated paper grades in question) immediately after the ITC found in favor of the petitioners. This favorable ruling took place on November the 6th. However, there has been no confirmation of duties being collected in the trade news and it now appears that this will not occur until the Commerce Department weighs in on this issue. The verdicts of the Commerce Department were scheduled on December the 17th (countervailing duty) and early March (anti-dumping duty).

Maybe I was the last to know, but we have learned Continue reading

China Calls for a Newsprint Holiday

We heard from a source today that China will shut down all its newsprint machines from February 5th to February the 28th.  Isn’t that interesting. Wonder why.  Energy issue? Profitability concern? High domestic inventories?

This newsprint holiday will take roughly 300,000 tonnes of newsprint out of the market. Some buyers of Chinese newsprint from outside the country have already begun to place additional orders with North American mills, so this event will be of some help to domestic newsprint companies.

Coated Update: The Subsidies Are Over So Is Coated Pricing Moving Up?

Shipments and Inventories: For months we have been promising Reel Time subscribers that it would finally happen in November. And it did. U.S. coated shipments (both grades) were higher in November 2009 than in the year-ago November. It has been a long time coming! For coated free sheet it has been exactly two years since the last monthly (y/y) increase, and for coated groundwood, 17 months. Continue reading