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To: russwinter who wrote (109706)3/10/2011 2:30:26 PM
From: GST
2 Recommendations   of 110064
 
<The bulls are completely wired to this defunct China growth story> If it is indeed defunct -- and at this point I don't see enough to really be convincing that it is 'defunct'. I see plenty of problems -- but then I have seen plenty of problems for the past 30 years. Take real estate for example -- what percentage of real estate sales are for cash in the United States? China?

As for local government, no question this is the achilles heel, but then you need to understand that 'local government' in China is different from 'local government' in the US. Will some 'local government' go broke in China -- yes, of course. Will it signal the end of China? Not likely.

Lastly, on the issue of export rgowth -- it clearly looks like it is slowing -- and it is unlcear how quickly domestic growth is offsetting exports -- do you track that?

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To: mindmeld who wrote (109704)3/10/2011 4:12:53 PM
From: benwood
   of 110064
 
How long is the warranty on the batteries, and how much will they cost to replace? I'm guessing they'll have a practical live of three years -- anybody have any good data about this?

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To: mindmeld who wrote (109704)3/10/2011 5:57:11 PM
From: FreedomForAll
   of 110064
 
<within the next 15 years as they solve the range problems, they will take mainstream vehicle market share>

A great reason not to buy an electric vehicle now.

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To: russwinter who wrote (109701)3/10/2011 7:45:44 PM
From: GST
1 Recommendation   of 110064
 
I was just rereading your blog: wallstreetexaminer.com

The issue of how local government is financed in China is a big one -- perhaps the biggest issue in China today in my view. It should be obvious by now that I am not convinced that China is going off an economic cliff -- I see real estate as a big problem but not of decisive importance and the reduction in the trade surplus and the ratcheting down of migrant labor along with huge leaps in take home pay for workers and the stimulation of local demand are all positive steps forward.

But on the issue of land 'sales', as you call them (land ownership rights have been a moving target for some time) as a means of financing government, this is indeed problematic. I assume you have been distinguishing between the common practice of land leasing and land 'sales' -- both of which might be called 'sales' as they generate income. We are not used to governments leasing land, unless you live in Hawaii where land is leased to occupants by large estates. leasing revenue is recurring, land sales are a one-time event.

The tax system at the local level is not yet fully developed. The market for municipal bonds for example is worth trillions of dollars and represents an untapped new financial frontier. But to the extent that local government 'sells' land and is on the hook for recurring payments without recurring revenue, there is a major problem. At the expense of sounding like a broken record, this is a transitional problem blended in with waste, corruption, fraud stupidity and blind greed -- but not necessarily a problem that will become a global calamity.

My response to your blogging and posts continues to be "watch what you assume and conclude when looking at 'data' from China". Is a bust coming in China? Maybe -- but I would not bet on it.

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To: Hawkmoon who wrote (109705)3/11/2011 12:10:02 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 110064
 
That's fair, but most families simply don't need two cars that both can go beyond 100 miles per day.

Anyway, different topic. What do you think will happen in Saudi Arabia as the coming "Days of Rage" take place? I think there is one scheduled for March 11th and the other for March 20th.

My guess is there is a high probability that the Saudis continue to over-react and fire on protesters, which will lead to another Libya. With the Saudis, though, we'll have a lot of Americans who will come to their aid in a number of ways, including bankrolling them to ensure stability for our oil supplies.

I think the stock markets are screwed now. If Saudi experiences a day of violence and rage, we'll lose another 200-300 points in short order on the DOW.

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To: benwood who wrote (109708)3/11/2011 12:12:55 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 110064
 
They have a full 8 year 100K mile warranty with free replacement during that time. They also claim based on their testing that at the 8 year mark the batteries will have 70-80% capacity left.

These are not the same lithium batteries in your laptop. It's a different chemistry optimized for automotive use and all the wear and tear associated with that.

Either way, very few Americans keep cars for 8 years or longer. I may be one of a minority. I keep my cars for 15 years or more. My current car is 18 years old and has 150K miles on it. I would have bought a new one a couple years ago, but have held on to replace it with a fully electric car.

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To: FreedomForAll who wrote (109709)3/11/2011 12:14:38 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 110064
 
Tell that to all the iPod, iPhone, and other consumer gadget early adopters. There's a whole section of our economy, that just loves new technology. I'm usually a very late follower, but when it comes to electric cars, the economics make sense for my usage patterns and it will make me feel good that I am not contributing to the consumption of oil in the US, which contributes to the wealth of those bad actors in the Middle East.

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To: mindmeld who wrote (109711)3/11/2011 1:28:03 AM
From: Hawkmoon
1 Recommendation   of 110064
 
Anyway, different topic. What do you think will happen in Saudi Arabia as the coming "Days of Rage" take place?

I wish I could tell you. If I could, Obama, and oil traders, would be paying me the big bucks.. ;0)

But I can tell you that this is something that has been brewing, demographically speaking, for decades. The Saudis have been unable to deal with the huge baby boom that has occurred in their society, or meet their expectations. This is why we've seen so many disaffected youths in SA falling prey to Radical/Militant Islam.

When I was in Iraq I used to read the last will and testaments of many of these Saudi youths who chose to be smuggled into Iraq in order to become suicide bombers. They were indoctrinated in Saudi Mosques, and then sent on their way to meet Allah (and collect their 72 Virgins).

We also have the Iranian influence. They have spent considerable time trying to win influence in the Eastern Provinces of SA, where the majority of the population is Shi'a.
They have EVERY reason to stir up trouble for the Saudis.

And let's not underestimate Iran. Their population exceeds all of the other Arabs states combined in the Persian Gulf.

I'm very hopeful that a general rebellion could occur in Iran, but there are very difficult hurdles to overcome there. It's easy to physically isolate Iranian populations given the mountainous terrain. And there's still the fact that Persians and Arabs generally dislike one another.

Anything, or nothing, could happen tomorrow. But it seems clear that it WILL happen eventually. The demographics dictate it, IMO.

Hawk

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To: mindmeld who wrote (109713)3/11/2011 4:50:19 AM
From: FreedomForAll
1 Recommendation   of 110064
 
I'm not against them; I think everyone it makes sense for should definitely do it. I was an early adopter of electronics/computers/software for some time, but I realized I just did not have time for helping debug new gadgets and paying several times to finance development of new standards.
(BTW My car is only 17 yrs old ;^)

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To: mindmeld who wrote (109712)3/11/2011 1:23:48 PM
From: benwood
1 Recommendation   of 110064
 
It actually does matter if you don't keep your car that long, because you'll be trying to unload into the used car market which will be fully aware of any serious issues.

As for the 8-year claim and 70-80%, I doubt it based on two things. My sis-in-law told me three years ago that most Prius cars needed a full warranty replacement after three years. When I investigated the hybrid Highlander, owners on Toyota Nation claimed the first tank was the best gas mileage and then it went steadily downhill. Historically, battery improvements have been very slow, so I doubt it's gotten that much better.

And another bit -- this article about the Leaf shows complaints about range exaggeration abound. If true, the 8-year claim is probably overstating reality by 1/2 or so:

content.usatoday.com

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