Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Neveready



Veronique de Rugy, NRO: Life Saver: The Battery?
I do see the immediate benefit for the factory owner that will receive the stimulus money, but this money has direct and indirect costs that will ultimately hurt the economy. First, let's remember that this money doesn't fall from the sky; in order to spend it, Obama needs to either tax Americans or borrow money (that, or print money), which means less capital for private businesses and potentially higher interest rates in our future. For that factory owner to get his cash, others have to give it up.

Second, you have seen the data but it bears repeating: According to Harvard economist Robert Barro, $1 spent in government spending means that the economy will skrink by $1.10.
Anne E. Kornblut and Peter Whoriskey, WaPo: Obama pours energy into electric-car batteries, but will it jump-start industry?
...the administration's $2.4 billion investment in the development of batteries and other electric-car technology in the United States is an enormous bet on a product that has yet to gain broad commercial success. Major manufacturers have yet to sell electric cars in the United States. Hybrids, though they have been around for a decade, represent less than 1 percent of the nation's roughly 250 million-vehicle fleet.

"The battery story is highly questionable," said Menahem Anderman, the founder and chief executive of Total Battery Consulting. "Basically, there's really no proven market, neither electric vehicle nor plug-in hybrid electric vehicle -- and there's really no battery company in the United States that has a verified product."

Although U.S. battery makers could export their products, the global market is glutted, according to analysts. Anderman said global capacity to build car batteries in 2014 will be three times greater than demand that year.

...in 2015, the domestic capacity to build batteries will be more than twice the demand.

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