Nevada, Utah, and Venezuela: A tale of two oil and gas policy moves

What are US oil workers, chopped liver?

Possibly, if these events hadn’t all been concurrent, I mightn’t have noticed either tale, or the events it encompassed.

But they did all unfold at the same time.  And they struck me quite forcibly.

One struck me in particular, for reasons I suspect will be obvious.  So I’ll just mention that one at the outset, to get things started.

In October 2022, a batch of Venezuelan bonds bought by Goldman Saches back in May 2017 reached their final maturity date.  The bonds were against the Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).  They were nominally worth $2.8 billion when purchased for some $865 million in 2017.  Many business and political commentators thought it was a bad buy at the time: a use of investors’ money that was neither sound from a business standpoint nor impressive from a moral one. Continue reading “Nevada, Utah, and Venezuela: A tale of two oil and gas policy moves”


Courts on same-sex marriage: Adieu, rule of law

A government of men, not of laws.

Adam Smith famously said there’s a lot of ruin in a nation.  America today is testing just how much there may be.  How long can a center hold, in our expectations and daily interactions, when the protections of our scheme of law are being dismantled before our eyes?

Robert Barnes, writing at the Washington Post, had a good summary yesterday of how Justice Antonin Scalia’s prediction about the majority opinion in U.S. v. Windsor, the DOMA case ruled on in June 2013, is coming true.  The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of state laws that recognize only traditional marriage.  It ruled only on the question of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  And the majority opinion claimed, somewhat coyly, not to settle the same-sex marriage (SSM) issue by ruling on DOMA, but only to reject DOMA.

That coyness aside, Continue reading “Courts on same-sex marriage: Adieu, rule of law”