Some effects of the ongoing global financial crisis may surprise you.
First is crashing oil prices have begun to hurt sentiment supporting research into biofuels.
Although falling oil has generally benefitted consumers due to falling fuel and electricity prices, the moral hazard here is that research into alternative fuels is disincentivized. In a post we featured earlier: in the case of fuels like ethanol, the amount of fossil fuels needed to process and transport it are roughly equal to the amount produced, so as oil becomes cheaper, pursuing alternatives makes less economic sense. As Abigail Ho writes for the Inquirer:
It might be better for countries to place their biofuels projects on the backburner at this time, as oil prices were expected to remain relatively low over the next two to four years, Jorge Montepeque, Platts global director for market reports, said at a forum.
Instead of pulling energy prices down, the use of biofuels might do just the opposite, he said.
“I think biofuels in most markets consume more energy than they produce, so they tend to be energy negative,” Montepeque said. “Most efforts in biofuels actually lead to higher energy prices. We expect some of these projects to be rolled back or cancelled as energy prices come down.”
Second, the implosion of investment portfolios with the meltdown in markets has had many a fund manager tightening their belts, bereft of their money machines. This has affected not just the confidence of the former market wizards but also the spending habits of their gold-digging trophy wives. Tara Wilson writes for the Telegraph:
‘You loser!” screamed Katie, aiming a vase at her husband. “You’ve destroyed my life,” she continued, hurling it. “Just look at my hair, look at my nails! You loser, you jerk, you nobody.”
Katie’s husband, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK.
Such was the aggression and verbal and physical abuse that followed that Jack was left with cut lips and blood streaming from a broken nose.
In this time of crisis, some things like oil head back to earth while some other things will remain forever out there in wild space.