Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Plotting the war

I guess one of the things that attracted me to economics so many years ago was the charts. Those great little graphs that say so little, but can tell us so much. Just look at these beauties. What can they tell us?

Well, damn! I wish I'd discovered these sooner because as I write this Halliburton is having their big annual shareholder's meeting down in Duncan, Oklahoma and I'd loved to have been there. If I was, I'd have offered a suggestion to improve their profits far quicker than all this talk they're having about selling off part of their subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root.

I'm sure I'm not the first to conclude the following from the above graphs that others are too reluctant to suggest. But since there appears to be a direct relationship between rising Halliburton stock prices, rising Halliburton Iraq profits and the number of U.S. military killed in Iraq, all Halliburton has to do is increase the number of U.S. military killed in Iraq to increase their profits and stock price.

And what better connection to do it than their former Halliburton CEO, vice president Dick Cheney? Hell, Cheney's already gotten 2400 American military killed in Iraq just looking for imaginary WMDs. I'm sure if he'd just have step up their efforts to find 'em, commit more troops to look for what doesn't exist, he'd double or triple the number of GI's killed in the process. Result? Halliburton's profits will soar according. So, what is Halliburton waiting for? Just tell your former CEO, "You go, you Big Dick!"


Anonymous said...

You know, dada, I'd have to see more charts (shudder) to verify this, but I THINK it's possible Haliburton's soaring stock prices have an INVERSE relationship to GWB's falling poll numbers, at least since 12/04. So that's a reason for them to do what they can to promote that effect. Oh! Also, looks to me like they had some good blips up when the dictator Saddam was put in jail. so ... on the theory that jailtime for a dictator, even our own country's, would improve their company even further, there's another goal to shoot for. See, good news, or (sigh) maybe these observations prove that I was wise in avoiding all things economic. D.K.

dada said...

If you could put it in a graph, DK, you know-what you just said-I'm sure I might better comprehend it. But I have to say, I've always preferred inverse relationships...they're less obvious, making 'em more challenging, hence, more rewarding when one finally gets it.

I'm just babbling, aren't I? I have no flippin' idea what I just said, do I?

Anonymous said...

I THINK you just told me that I don't know what I'm talking about, although you were very nice about it. [damn obtuse dismal science for exposing my economic-impairment!] This bodes well for most americans understanding our prez'z plan to solve the deficit problem with a $17 tax reduction (unless you make more than $1mil, then it's $42K/yr/min). Do I at least have that right? -- D.K.

dada said...

No, no DK. I wasn't saying you didn't know what you were talking about. I said I DIDN'T KNOW! (grin)

Seriously, I liked some of the relationships (inverse and adverse) like Halliburton prosperity and jailed dictators.

I'm not sure about the tax cut figures. That's because it doesn't affect me. Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

well, follow up on your graphs (and because you didn't exactly say I was an economic idiot, although I absolutely am one), I had to consult my resident economist. But as he started droning about the "marginal utility" concept, I found myself nodding off just like back in Econ 101. I believe his point was when the marginal utility of every additional american soldier's death diminishes relative to Haliburton's increased profits, that the iraq war will end as they turn to other more profitable pursuits in order to keep the graph line in the steep upward curve to which they've become accustomed. But I'm not exactly sure cuz I can't put concepts like that into human terms. Ouch, even having to type them has given me a damn headache! D.K.

dada said...

Oh have a resident economist? Ok, well, this'll probably be the last blog I'll ever do as relates to that dismal science.

Marginal utility...that sounds vaguely familiar. Let's hope that top chart with the sudden decline in Halliburton's share price isn't indicative we're reaching that point. Oh, what the hell am I saying? It would be wonderful if we did but, of course, our concerns would then turn to "the more profitable pursuits" your Res. Econ. (or your interpretation of him) alluded to. Because WTF could that possibly be?

Maybe to blow up the whole fucking Earth! Then we could let out the ultimate enriching contracts. To rebuild the whole f**king world. Of course, like in Iraq, the contracts are never performed, but they get paid anyway.

Anonymous said...

OMG you're right, of course! How did I not see that their "other more profitable pursuits" would land us in another freakin war, maybe this time with the whole earth (gotta keep that graph line going steeply upwards)! And of course that little downturn in haliburton's current share price is pointing the way. Glad you could put into human terms what my brain failed to grasp. The evil empire is "US". You should have been Greenspan's official interpreter! And don't stop blogging on that subject cuz as you can see, resident economists that have mostly forgotten their major have also forgotten how to apply it to daily life. D.K.