fwiw I think the power companies acting as if retail customers agreed to take on this kind of tail risk - even if that's literally exactly what they did - is corporate suicide

just how much blood are they expecting to get from those stones anyway
counterparty risk - it's not just for hedge funds any more
power companies: "We might go bankrupt due to financial commitments to our suppliers that we can't make good on because our residential customers aren't going to pay their $5000 bill this month, but by god we're gonna take as many of those families down with us as we can"
"We're gonna write complicated derivatives contracts on the price of electricity, then sign up retail customers to be the guarantors of those contracts by telling them it'll save money on their utility bill."

.. said some financial genius somewhere

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More from @random_eddie

23 Feb
re: disposing of electronic junk (old phones/tablets/pads, printers, PCs, VCRs, etc)

My current thinking is that the best thing to do is to toss them in the trash so that they get landfilled
It seems that "e-waste recycling" ends up shipping it to third-world countries where the labor cost is low enough to make scavenging the few dollars worth of reclaimable material profitable

And then the rest gets left to rot in a ditch where it poisons the local water table
Much better to keep the junk here in the developed world, where we have landfills that are engineered to contain and control the decay byproducts and protect water supplies

That kind of stuff is expensive, but we can afford it and so we do it
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
Playing Planetside 2 again, first time in quite a while

I suck so bad at this game but damn it's fun
I'm just running around uselessly far from the front lines staring at the scenery

This game is eight years old and I'm using twelve year old hardware

By modern standards it looks like crap
But I'm still just stunned at how pretty it all is
kids these day
they have no idea how good they have it
Read 6 tweets
28 Jun 20
TIL that poker chip enthusiasts can reach levels of insanity I had not imagined.

a brief explanation follows
The number one poker chip manufacturer is Paulson (actually Paul-Son, named after Paul Endy and his son). They are widely regarded as making the absolute highest quality poker chips available anywhere, period.

Their poker chips are highly sought after in the collectors' market.
Paulson is the top provider of poker chips to casinos. They also make various lines of non-casino poker chips for sale to the home market.

Or, they did, until a few years ago.
Read 20 tweets
14 Mar 20
This report (now three days old) sheds light on what's been preventing the US from having sufficient testing. Definitely worth reading.

My take-away is that the principal issue is a complete lack of coordination and leadership.

nbcnews.com/health/health-…
The report mentions that many labs are waiting for FDA approval of their tests. But the FDA already gave blanket approval for all labs to develop and use their own tests! They gave it on 2/29 !! How is it that the labs on 3/11 still think they have to wait on the FDA ??!?
(that blanket approval should have been given months earlier, but the point now is that it has been given and there should no longer be any hold-up - so why is there still a hold-up?)
Read 14 tweets
13 Mar 20
BTW, one of the obstacles to getting widely-deployed CV19 testing is... the IRS.

wtf

Here, let me explain.
No, wait, there is no time. Let me sum up.
States have mandated that insurance companies cover CV19 testing at no cost to individuals.

Sounds good, right? We need people to get tested, and we don't want individual's ability to pay to stand in the way of stopping the spread of the virus.

Right?

Well...
The IRS has rules regarding insurance coverage provided by employers. You see, Congress has said that employee benefits such as health insurance are tax-exempt, which means the IRS *has* to be involved.
Read 11 tweets
8 Mar 20
There have been FIVE bottlenecks to getting large numbers of people tested:

. CDC manufacturing issues
. CDC policy restricting who can get tested
. FDA policy stopping labs from making their own tests
. Labs getting enough test kits
. Labs having enough staff and equipment
Current status:
- CDC manufacturing issues were fixed in the past couple of weeks (not clear exactly when)
- FDA policy was fixed on Feb 29
- CDC policy was fixed on Mar 3
When Trump said "As of right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test can get one" he was referring to the CDC policy that got fixed. Previous policy was that you had to meet certain criteria, like having certain symptoms or having traveled, etc.
Read 17 tweets

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