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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

will stress that economic growth is still essential. "Growth is the essential foundation of all our aspirations. Without a job that pays a decent wage it's hard for people to look after their families in the way they want, whether that's taking the children on holiday or making home a more comfortable place." But he will also insist that it is not "impractical" to measure wellbeing. "Let me address the suspicion that all this is a bit airy-fairy and impractical. Of course you can't capture happiness on a spreadsheet, any more than you can bottle it. If anyone was trying to reduce the whole spectrum of human emotion into one snapshot statistic, I would be the first to roll my eyes".”1078

First Wind cancels initial public offering: the latest of a long string in 2010. FT: “First Wind, a renewable energy group backed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn and hedge fund DE Shaw, has officially withdrawn its initial public offering. The company cited “unfavourable market conditions” in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. … First Wind is the latest in a string of financial sponsor-backed companies to withdraw, delay or postpone IPOs in 2010. Last week, Harrah’s Entertainment, owned by private equity groups Apollo and TPG, cancelled its public offering. This year, 42 companies have withdrawn IPOs.”1079

26.11.10. Scepticism greets Ofgem’s latest energy price probe. FT: “ Ofgem has announced its third sweeping review of the retail energy market in the past six years after finding that companies had increased their standard profit margin from dual-fuel customers by 38 per cent. Following recent price rises announced by three of the UK’s six leading energy suppliers, the regulator said they would earn an annual net margin of £90 per customer from next month, compared with £65 in September.”1080

Only 1 in 15 oil analysts believe in a peak oil crisis.  Reuters: “Only 1 out of 15 analysts who responded (to a poll) expected global oil production to peak by 2015.”1081

29.11.10. Actor Mark Ruffalo 'added to terrorism watchlist' over Gasland. Guardian: “Mark Ruffalo has reportedly been placed on a US terror advisory list after campaigning in support of a documentary highlighting the alleged dangers of natural gas drilling. Ruffalo attracted the attention of Pennsylvania's Office of Homeland Security when he organised screenings for Gasland, which won the special jury prize at this year's Sundance film festival, and said he was concerned about the impact of drilling on water supplies. The actor has addressed the subject in the latest edition of American GQ.”1082

It is a bad idea to rely on oil profits for pensions, say ex BP exec Vivienne Cox. “As the true financial impact of the Deepwater Horizon crisis on BP becomes clearer, including plans potentially to reduce the regular dividend from next year, an inconvenient truth about the exposure of our pension funds (and pensions) is emerging. Quite simply, the funds we hope to rely on when we retire are highly dependent on the dividends paid out by high-carbon sectors, especially oil and gas. … If you count Shell and BP together, they have historically created 20-25 per cent of total annual UK dividends. Having profitable companies able to pay dividends at this level is valuable. However, even though I am an ex-BP employee myself – I worked there for 28 years until last year and ran its gas, power and alternative energy sectors – I think it is a risk to rely on cash flows from these high-carbon investments for the long term.”1083

US energy secretary warns of 'Sputnik moment' in green technology race. Steven Chu says US must invest urgently in research and innovation to keep pace with China and other countries.1084

China surges ahead on clean energy investment. FT: “China has surged ahead of the rest of the world in renewable energy, creating a “new world order” in the low-carbon sector, according to research published today. … China spent a record amount on its wind power industry in the last quarter, according to a report from Ernst & Young, the consultancy. The country’s spending on wind energy in the second quarter of 2010 amounted to about $10bn, or about half of the global total of $20.5bn. … China came top of the consultancy’s league table, the “renewable energy country attractiveness indices”1085

30.11.10. Cancun begins with emphasis on “compromise, compromise, compromise” - that is the watchword, according to the United Nations’ top climate change official, Christiana Figueres. FT: “Despite the fighting and scenes more suited to a playground than an international summit, Copenhagen did produce the only progress that has been made on climate change since the 1997 Kyoto protocol, in the form of an accord that binds both developed countries to cut their emissions and developing countries to curb the growth of theirs.”1086

Could the US walk out of Cancun? Todd Stern, the chief climate envoy for the US, talks tough in Washington, and the press speculate. 1087

Eurozone banks hit by return of credit crunch. FT: “The fear is spreading. Worries over sovereign creditworthiness are now affecting the private sector. In Spain, and other “peripheral” eurozone nations, banks and non-financial companies face a painful credit squeeze as borrowing costs soar. Far from making life easier for banks and businesses that need to tap the debt markets, the €85bn rescue package for Ireland risks having the opposite effect as government bond yields spike higher.”1088

Tragic tale of the vanishing IPO market: Luke Johnson in the FT. “The initial public offering market itself has almost disappeared – in the west at any rate. For the past 10 years, in centres such as London and New York, the new issue market has been moribund, and so institutional investors almost exclusively trade second-hand shares, rather than providing fresh capital for growing businesses. … The consequences of this prolonged slump in new issues are worrying. Venture capital returns have collapsed, partly because it is so difficult to access the stock market in a meaningful way as an exit. This has had an impact on performance, and on the attractiveness of venture capital as an asset class. Venture capital returned just 8.4 per cent over the past decade. From 1991 to 2000, typically 150 venture-backed companies went public every year on Wall Street; but in the past 10 years the average has been below 50 a year. So VC funds are struggling to raise money – even though technologies such as biotech, medical devices and clean energy need finance.”1089

National oil companies are now outstripping the IOCs in capital spending, thanks to a new piece of research from Evaluate Energy. FT: “According to the report, which surveyed over 50 NOCs and the top seven major IOCs, capital spending by NOCs has grown by 131 per cent from 2005 to 2009, while that by the IOCs has increased only 59 per cent in that time. The NOCs are ramping up to spend more, too. Over the last six months, they have raised $108bn in the money markets. and marketing and exploration and production arms. An IOC is interesting to an NOC precisely because they are represented along the whole value chain, from exploratoin to production to refining.1090

1.12.10. Japan refuses to extend Kyoto protocol. Guardian: “The brief statement, made by Jun Arima, an official in

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