Solar Power: Steep New Tariffs Lead to a Tense Dispute With China

by | published December 19th, 2014

Energy news broke Tuesday when the U.S. Commerce Department imposed steep tariffs on solar panels imported from China and Taiwan.

Dr. Kent Moors made one of his regular appearances on CCTV and told viewers what to expect as tensions mount between the two nations.

He also discussed the current state of solar power in the United States, as well as the evolving relationship between solar energy and crude oil prices. Take a look…

Oil Prices: A True Black Swan or the Work of Vultures?

by | published December 18th, 2014

Oil prices are struggling to stabilize in the wake of what some are calling a “black swan” event.

It refers to a theory popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a well-known risk analyst and statistician.

A black swan is an outlier, a development that fails to follow any normal pattern.

According to Taleb, a black swan event has three characteristics:

1. It is a surprise. Nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.
2. It has a major impact.
3. People contend that they expected the event to take place (in hindsight).

To put this theory into perspective, Taleb considered World War I, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and 9/11 as examples of black swan events, so these are hardly everyday occurrences.

Almost 15 years ago, Taleb applied this approach to the stock market and has been a regular on financial TV ever since, especially when things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.

As a consequence, this has led to the black swan being used as an “explanation” for all kinds of things. It’s the obverse of the mantra “this time is different.”

And that leads us back to the true nature of the 40% drop in oil prices…