silverpig

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silverpig last won the day on November 7 2009

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About silverpig

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  1. I don't live in Vancouver anymore, but I'd definitely vote yes if I did. You don't want to fall behind on transit infrastructure or it'll just cost your kids way more.
  2. Crap. Sabres got him.
  3. Bettman getting booed like crazy
  4. Upgrading may be feasible to do before shipping, but refining probably isn't. Gasoline and diesel are only a component of the refined products of crude. Many others exist - kerosene, naphtha, coke, plastics... There are hundreds of different products that come out of a single source of crude. If you build a refinery in BC (or Alberta) that is big enough to refine all of the oil sands' production, you'll end up with a huge stockpile of stuff that has to go somewhere. Most of that stuff will be unfinished - so you may have a bunch of gasoline, but you'll also have input chemical A that needs 2 other things in order to make a type of hard plastic, but you won't have the other stuff you need. So now you have gasoline being produced locally, but you have too much of it. Okay, so you find a way to ship and sell gasoline overseas... but that's hard to do because of different standards, and trying to ship and sell a non-standard product. And then there are all the other things that you now have to find a way to ship and sell. Are you going to replace one crude pipeline with 27 different chemical pipelines, and a rail way to 10 different manufacturing centres?
  5. You generally don't refine bitumen. You refine crude. You upgrade bitumen to something like crude with a hydrocracker.
  6. No one thinks that a capably navigated ship is going to have trouble there. It's the incapably navigated ones. Exxon Valdez's captain was drunk at the helm. The Queen of the North's crew were busy screwing each other, and the wreck of that ship is right in that channel between Kitimat and the ocean. All it takes is for one guy to have a bad day one time, and that whole area will be screwed for ages.
  7. I disagree. I think Canada does a great job of accommodating others. I've lived in Vancouver, Toronto, and now London (UK), and have spent time in NYC, Chicago, California, Texas, Paris, Dublin, and Amsterdam. Canada and the US do a pretty great job of welcoming and integrating immigrants, at least in the major cities. London does a good job too, but it doesn't seem quite as prevalent as in say, Toronto. Paris and Amsterdam are wonderful cities, but you walk around and you're a white dude amongst white dudes. I loved both places, but couldn't live in either one for long because of the lack of multiculturalism you see in Vancouver, SF, NYC, or Toronto. That said, there are plenty of pressures on immigrants to learn the language. Heck, I felt like a douche speaking english in Amsterdam where most people speak english well, or fumbling along in french in Paris. Those same pressures exist here. Don't think so? Try going to Quebec City and using only english.
  8. I grew up in North Surrey and went to elementary school with a lot of East Indian immigrant kids. There were a lot who didn't speak english very well at all, and their parents definitely did not. The kids struggled through the first few years of school as they had a hard time socializing with the rest of us, and they didn't get any reinforcement of english at home. That was 20-25 years ago. Now, those kids are fully fluent in english, have university degrees, own Canucks and team Canada jerseys, and don't even have a hit of an accent. Their kids are going to enter school in a few years, and they'll be on the same footing as anyone else. They might not even know punjabi or hindi, other than a few stray words and phrases here and there. Heck, I'm a white dude born in Vancouver. My parents were both immigrants from Europe who didn't speak english when they came to Canada. The second generation are natives.
  9. Before / during the great depression, the US was on the gold standard. That is, you could go to a bank with your paper money and exchange it for gold at a set price (I think it was just over $20/oz). The banks HAD to have this gold - it was their guarantee that the paper money was worth something real. In fact, that's what money actually was - a claim on a deposit of gold in a bank. This caused a lot of problems in the financial system (I won't explain them all - it would take too long and there are many better articles out there), so FDR decided to drop the gold standard. This caused the economists of the time to basically go apecrap. The assistant secretary of the treasury resigned. The recovery of the US economy started almost immediately. The fear was that you were converting the monetary system from something real (gold), to something that had no inherent value (paper). People wanted gold, prices were set in dollars backed by gold, and if things went nuts, you could always go to the bank and take out your gold. This sounds like a lot of the arguments against bitcoin right now. Prices set in dollars, BTC always being converted to dollars, what BTC needs is a set exchange rate so that it is linked to dollars. These are all the exact same arguments people were making against the dollar back in 1933. Now however, the vast majority of economists think going back to the gold standard is a stupid idea.
  10. First, it is not completely unregulated. As you mention below, Mt Gox had to comply with standard fraud, money laundering, and theft laws. In fact, Mt Gox registered as an exchange to comply with these laws. So no, it isn't completely unregulated. Yes, what is your point? They have alerts on all sorts of topics, from ETFs and mutual funds, to stocks and bonds, to text message based pump and dump schemes on penny stocks. Right. And what's wrong with that? Operating an exchange isn't illegal. Forex is the largest market in the world, by far. If you lost money in a Japanese penny stock... If you're trying to say your BTC weren't covered by CDIC or FDIC insurance, that's because Mt Gox wasn't a chartered bank. It was an exchange. If your investment in Zimbabwean dollars goes tits up, you can try complaining to the Zimbabwean government, but that's about as far as you'll get. Okay, you should read more about how bitcoin works. New coins are being created all the time. This is what "mining" is. There is a rate at which they are being created, and there is a maximum number that there will ever be: 21 million. That said, they are divisible up to 8 (I think) decimal points, so you can have tiny fractions of a dollar if you want. As demand grows, people will talk about millionths of a bitcoin instead of tenths of a bitcoin. Of course, this is a property of bitcoins specifically - other crypto-currencies don't necessarily have this upper limit built in. Also, the reason there isn't much volume in BTC has nothing to do with the number of BTC there are. You could trade $1T in BTC tomorrow if you wanted. You'd of course be disrupting the market significantly, would need $1T to buy the BTC, and would be setting the price of BTC worldwide, but you could do it. Let me give you a real world example. Back when the rain storms hit Vancouver and caused all that "turbidity" in the reservoirs, people were looking to buy mass quantities of bottled water. You could go to Safeway and get a 4L jug of water for $3, but once those ran out, you'd be buying Evian for $5/L. Once that ran out, I witnessed a guy come in to a Starbucks and buy 2 flats of their water - I think he got 8L of water for $120. The price of water in Vancouver varied from free (in some places) to 75c/L to $15/L. This is because the spike in demand for bottled water was larger than the standard base demand. The way a market works is can submit buy and sell orders of a security, and the exchange will post those buy and sell orders and attempt to match them. Let's say a stock is trading at $10. Let's say there are 3 people willing to buy the stock, and they submit buy orders for 10 shares each at $9.90, $9.80, and $9.70. Let's also say there are 5 people willing to sell the stock, 10 shares each, at $10.10, $10.20, $10.30, $10.70, and $15.00. To say "a stock is trading at $10" is to mean that the last trade that closed happened at a price of $10. There are unfilled orders at other prices because they haven't been matched yet. Volatility is a measure of how much the price of the last trade fluctuates. So let's say the next orders that are posted are: BUY 10 $10.20 BUY 10 $10.10 SELL 10 $10.00 BUY 50 $ANY The first order will clear at $10.10 for 10 shares. The second order won't clear. The third order won't clear, and the 4th order will clear, buying 10 shares at $10.00, 10 at $10.20, 10 at $10.30, 10 at $10.70, and 10 at $15.00. The stock will then be trading at $15.00. This happened because a big investor came in with a large order that was able to clear all of the existing sell orders. Now, for a stock with high trading volume, there will be hundreds or thousands of shares sitting in buy/sell orders just pennies or nickels off of the last traded price. Buying $100k of a well traded stock will clear a bunch of sell orders, but won't make a dent in the overall queue of orders. Dropping a few billion will (hence why we see huge price movements during takeover offers). Now, how does this matter with BTC? Well, it doesn't matter how many BTC there are, what matters is how many buy/sell orders are in the queue, what their sizes are, and how big the new orders are in relation to the value of the queue. There could be trillions of BTC and this wouldn't change. Buffett is famous for only in "investing in what he knows and understands" - things like railways. There are a ton of things he doesn't understand, and he fully admits it. That doesn't mean they aren't good investments (i.e., tech stocks). As for Roubini, well, the experts of the day back in FDR's time thought it was economic suicide to decouple the USD from gold. They were wrong. But again, this is all beside the point. We are talking about whether or not Mt Gox's implosion means that BTC isn't viable. It doesn't. Whether BTC (or some other crypto-currency) becomes widespread is independent of what happened at Mt Gox. Roubini is also just flat wrong about it being a Ponzi scheme. It just isn't, and calling it so doesn't make it so. Also, just for added thought: NY state just today started accepting applications for licenses for BTC exchanges. I think the procedure is you apply, and in the fall they will grant you a license and tell you what rules you have to play by.
  11. Before we continue, please tell us what you think Mt God did that was: 1. Wrong AND 2.Could have been prevented by regulation AND 3. Is inherent to bitcoin Just so we are on the same page here
  12. That's fair. It doesn't really matter.
  13. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the currency itself. There are regulations to stop Mt Gox from doing what it did. Anything can be used as an investment. The largest trading market in the world is the forex market. This is nothing but currency trading, and it dwarfs all stock markets combined. No one who knows anything about how bitcoin works is calling it a ponzi scheme. The value of bitcoin isn't in making you rich later if you buy in now. It's that it actually has utility as a real currency. The market for bitcoin is volatile not because of "the players" (whoever those are), but because volume is still low. When trading volume is low, and big news comes out (such as China banning BTC exchanges, then re-allowing them), removing or adding significant demand to the market, you see huge price swings because it makes up a significant portion of trading volume. Go buy $1B in bitcoins. You'll see the price spike from $600/BTC to oh... $6000/BTC (estimating there). Now go buy $1B in USD. You might bump the value of the USD a few fractions of a penny, but that's it. BTC can be a good investment if you are able to handle the volatility. In fact, if you want to make money, the easiest way to do it is in a security that is predictably highly volatile. But that's not what I've been saying. BTC as a currency has its merits. Mt Gox failing as an exchange is completely independent of whether or not BTC is a viable currency.
  14. Again, nothing to do with the currency itself. This is the same as saying you don't want to deal with dollars because of ponzi schemes, drug lords, retirement scams against the elderly...