A local radio station, KCMO, interviewed Atlas Shrugged producer Harmon Kaslow this morning. One interesting tidbit was that the movie opened in 300 screens across the country. That number has now increased to 450 screens.
One area with the largest turnout is, surprisingly, in liberal Seattle, Washington. It appears that the folks there in the Northwest identify with the movie and see the FedGov’s lawsuits against Microsoft and Bill Gates with the trials of Hank Rearden against the crony capitalists in Atlas Shrugged.
Hmmm, strange that.
According to Rueters, which is not a conservative organization, US oil production is down 13%—mostly due to the denials for drilling permits in the Gulf. Obama’s drilling and oil production moratorium was overturned by the Federal Court. However, the Obama administration has continued to drag its feet complying with the Court’s orders.
With the price of oil reaching $120/barrel, much of that price increase is due, not to Libyia and the strife in the Mideast but due to the weakness of the US dollar.
When the dollar declines, it makes U.S. produced goods cheaper and more competitive when compared to foreign produced goods. This helps increase U.S. exports, boosting economic growth. However, it also leads to higher oil prices in the summer, since oil is priced in dollars. Whenever the dollar declines, oil producing countries raise the price of oil to maintain profit margins in their local currency.For example, the dollar is worth 3.75 Saudi riyals. Let’s say a barrel of oil is worth $100, which makes it worth 375 Saudi riyals. If the dollar declines 20% against the euro, two things happen. First, the value of a barrel of oil has declined 20% to the Saudis. Second, the value of the riyal, which is fixed to the dollar, has also declined 20% against the euro. To purchase French pastries, the Saudis must now pay more than they did before the dollar declined. To avoid this, the Saudis raise the price of oil, which they do by threatening to limit supply.
The growing U.S. debt weighs in the back of the minds of foreign investors. That’s why they may continue to gradually move out of dollar-denominated investments – slowly, so they don’t diminish the value of their existing holdings. The best protection for an individual investor is a well-diversified portfolio that includes foreign mutual funds. (Article updated April 12, 2011)
I’ve seen a sudden increase in blog hits the last two days. Drudge linked a report about the Tea Party license plates proposed for AZ and MO. However the article that was linked mentioned only AZ!
I’ve had several posts on the Missouri plate and about my efforts lobbying (I never in my life thought I’d be a lobbyist!) my local state represent to get the bill passed. Now I’m seeing an increase of internet visitors viewing my blog searching for information on the Missouri bill and its progress.
Thank you, Drudge!