Sunday, May 18, 2014
SIGN THE PETITION:
Friends of freedom, we have been stalled at every turn. IT IS NOW Time to take our fight to the state house. To many politicians are afraid to say and do what must be done! Lets face it! Up State NY and NYC are two different worlds. UP state NY continues to be subjugated to the will of NYC politicians. This must change. If elected to the assembly will put forward legislation that protects the God Given Rights and autonomy of UP State NY and dissolves the chains that bind US to extreme NYC leftists. I will fight to get this done until we are FREE!
If that means a 51st state?
So be it!
I hope you will support my run for public office. You can start by liking my FB fan page and sharing it everywhere.
Please email your list with this latest development!
Carl R.Gottstein Jr.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Enron-style price gouging is making a comeback
The price of electricity would soar under the latest scheme by Wall Street financial engineers to game the electricity markets.
If regulators side with Wall Street — and indications are that they will — expect the cost of electricity to rise from Maine to California as others duplicate this scheme to manipulate the markets, as Enron did on the West Coast 14 years ago, before the electricity-trading company collapsed under allegations of accounting fraud and corruption.
The test case is playing out in New England. Energy Capital Partners, an investment group that uses tax-avoiding offshore investing techniques and has deep ties to Goldman Sachs, paid $650 million last year to acquire three generating plant complexes, including the second largest electric power plant in New England, Brayton Point in Massachusetts.
Five weeks after the deal closed, Energy partners moved to shutter Brayton Point. Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the second largest electric power plant in New England and then quickly take steps to shut it down?
Energy partners says in regulatory filings that the plant is so old and prone to breakdowns that it is not worth operating, raising the question of why such sophisticated energy-industry investors bought it.
The real answer is simple: Under the rules of the electricity markets, the best way to earn huge profits is by reducing the supply of power. That creates a shortage during peak demand periods, such as hot summer evenings and cold winter days, causing prices to rise. Under the rules of the electricity markets, even a tiny shortfall between the available supply of electricity and the demand from customers results in enormous price spikes.
With Brayton Point closed, New England consumers and businesses will spend as much as $2.6 billion more per year for electricity, critics of the deal suggest in documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
That estimate will turn out to be conservative, I expect, based on what Enron traders did to California, Oregon and Washington electricity customers starting in 2000. In California alone the short-term market manipulations cost each resident more than $1,300, a total burden of about $45 billion.
Electricity is sold in what are known as clearance price auctions, in which all sellers get the price of the highest winning bid. Imagine 10 suppliers, each owning an identically sized power plant for a total of 10 plants. Now imagine that demand in the next hour will require power from nine of these plants, and that bids range from one penny to $100.
If the plant offering the ninth greatest price — i.e. the second highest price — bids $95, that becomes the clearance price. Under this scenario — and this is the key point with clearance price auctions — every plant that bid $95 or below wins the auction, and each of them gets $95, even if some offered to sell power for a penny and even if the average price was $20.
Electricity market trading records in Texas have shown that under these rules, prices have spiked to more than $3 million per hour above the average price offered. Revenue above the average price is virtually pure profit.
Trading records and experiments conducted by Professor Sarosh Talukdar at Carnegie Mellon University and others show that the electricity auction rules tend to drive prices up, not down, until they approach the level that an unregulated monopolist could charge.
This occurs because suppliers learn to arrange their bids to ensure the highest price, a good example of how competition does not always favor customers or lower prices. While collusion among suppliers is illegal, learning how to jack up prices by studying bidding patterns is perfectly legal.
The original market rules, by the way, were drafted by a massive fraud posing as an electricity trading company named Enron. (I explain those rules, how they came about and how they work against customers in my book “Free Lunch.”)
Just and reasonable?
Energy Capital Partners says it complied with every detail of law. It says regulators “should refuse to entertain baseless allegations of market manipulation.”
Its competitors support the plan. That is not surprising, since they would all share in the profits from artificially inflated prices.
First Wind Holdings Inc. IPO public offering
Why the SEC should not allow First Wind to be listed on NASDAQ
after Wall Street no confidence in company
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