Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crony Capitalism At Its Most Cynical

Once in a while the thievery gets to me so much that I have to work out my anger by writing about it.  Both Zero Hedge earlier today and Mark Steyn (Rush's cynical and riotously funny fill-in host, "the undocumented anchorman") have brought us the news of the biggest beneficiary of Obama's killing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast.

I understand that many of you already know about this, so skip this one if you feel you are up to speed.

And the winner is: Warren Buffett!  His Berkshire Hathaway owns the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (our largest railroad) and will be (already is) hauling LOTS of Canadian and Bakken Shale (North Dakota) oil.  Warren's Berkshire Hathaway was also featured in last weekend's Barron's as being a company that pays NO dividends (although its long-term price appreciation has made many people wealthy, I even bought and sold BRK.B at a profit, that was a long time ago, I do not own it now).  So, how about spreading some of that wealth around, Warren?

Yes, Obama buddy Warren Buffett, the folksy Oracle of Omaha.  Warren has been busy working out cozy deals ever since Hope & Change happened, but this one (there is even a picture of WB and H&C over there at Zero Hedge).  Let's see, Warren is either the richest (or second richest) guy in the USA, and he needs MORE?!  Via sleaze like this?  If he needs more, why doesn't he go out and EARN some more?

The cynical group at Zero Hedge (what, 90%?) are right: the thieves don't even bother to hide it anymore.


My understanding of the proposed pipeline is that it would relieve the bottlenecks around Cushing (Oklahoma, the pricing point of US-based oil).  It would allow our Gulf Coast refineries to process and export much of the Canadian oil (so, some jobs and some export revenue, we need both!).  The pipeline would also give us access to friendly Canada's oil and allow us to buy a little less from the the Middle East.

Safety issues re the pipeline?  Turns out that oil transport by pipeline is SAFER than transport by leaky and shipwreck-prone oil tankers.

There are so many reasons for the proposed pipeline.  There are so few downsides.  Now we know why it will not be built (soon anyway).  Because Crony Capitalism rules!

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