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Thursday, May 01, 2008

$7 a Gallon Gas and More

Gasoline could hit $7 a gallon in four years: CIBC
Crude predicted to top $200 by 2012 on tight supplies, pushing gas higher
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Surging crude prices, which could surpass $200 a barrel in four years on tight supplies, could push gasoline prices to as high as $7 a gallon, CIBC World Markets analysts said Thursday.

XX Of course this is no surprise to you, since you read my Money and Markets Column a few weeks ago, as well as numerous other places where I've been saying the same thing.

Speaking of which, I had a new Money and Markets column yesterday, but was so busy I didn't have time to link to it. Here you go ...

Seven Looming Crises: How to Protect Your Portfolio
by Sean Brodrick
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 7:30 AM
Many of the investment trends I talk about tend to play out over an extended period of time — for example, the long-term price gains in food and energy. But I see at least seven different crises that could ... [More...]

In other news, it's just my opinion, but I believe Mazda is run by the stupidest frakking people on the planet ...

How to Destroy Brand-New Cars

Auto makers usually try to find the best way to build new vehicles. These days, Mazda Motor Corp. is busy figuring out how to most efficiently destroy them.
It all started about two years ago, when a ship carrying 4,703 shiny new Mazdas nearly sank in the Pacific. The freighter, the Cougar Ace, spent weeks bobbing on the high seas, listing at a severe 60-degree angle, before finally being righted.
The mishap created a dilemma: What to do with the cars? They had remained safely strapped down throughout the ordeal -- but no one knew for sure what damage, if any, might be caused by dangling cars at such a steep angle for so long.
The Japanese car maker, controlled by Ford, easily could have found takers for the vehicles. Hundreds of people called about buying cheap Mazdas. Schools wanted them for auto-shop courses. Hollywood asked about using them for stunts.
Mazda turned everyone away. It worried about getting sued someday if, say, an air-bag failed to fire properly due to overexposure to salty sea air.
Mazda saw no easy way to guard against these outcomes. So it decided to destroy approximately $100 million worth of factory-new automobiles. "We couldn't run the risk of damaging the brand name that Mazda worked so hard over the years to develop," says Jeremy Barnes, the company's corporate-affairs director for North America.
XX My guess is the name "Mazda" is now going to be associated with corporate stupidity and senseless waste.

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