Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Financial advice

Could the 2 tons of helium lost at the recent LHC explosion have been used instead to bail out Wall St? This arose at Arlington's place, but a moment's googling shows that with liquid helium amazingly cheap, at $15 a litre, max, a straightforward application of this idea is unlikely to have worked. Maybe the lifting capacity would have removed some of the more egregious individuals to a region of the troposphere where no-one would mind them. But my main point is that this same googling  also revealed a minimum price of $3-25. This presents  the most fantastic arbitrage opportunity. Plus, the biggest helium plant, in Texas, forecasts that it will be exhausted in a decade. Corner the market now, is my advice. And if it goes wrong, well, your next party will have the best balloons ever.

22 comments:

Mrs Pouncer said...

Fuck. My dear old grandfather, an penniless immigrant to this country, built up a successful company which supplied rare gases, including helium, mainly for superconductivity applications. Some years ago his daughter, a lovely old harridan, decided to sell out to Air Liquide UK, throwing in his interests in the Algerian gas deposits for good measure. She said she'd received "sound advice".
Tomorrow, I will give her a sloe gin and force her to read your delightful piece.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Sorry, "a penniless .......". I am so cross, I cannot see or spell.

Kevin Musgrove said...

They'll find rich helium deposits in some entirely unlikely spot of the world run by some suspect bunch of riff-raff just waiting to be buttered up by amoral global corporations.

My money's on Doncaster.

inkspot said...

Mrs P, my condolences on your relative's carelessness. But you have found the blog where you can learn how to put things right. Look, young Kevin is bursting with ideas.

Kevin, most impressive. Would it be supererogatory to suggest diversification beyond Doncaster?

Dr Maroon said...

Didn't the Curies invent helium?
An airship went up in flames or something and they looked through their spirograph and saw a line and said ah hah! This time next year we shall be millionaires, and they won the prize and to this day, helium is called a Nobel gas. Or was that Pasteur and his fucking pitchblende? They were all foreign, I remember that much.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Dr Maroon, we have been through this a hundred times. You are confusing Pierre CURIE with Pierre JANSSEN (he who identified the yellow spectral line in the first place).
It is quite obvious that you are replaying the scene with Greer Garcin when a hundredweight of pitchblende is delivered to the Curie's doorstep and Walter Pidgeon pulls on a pair of in-period pigskin gloves to deal with it. There seems to be an element of the Song Of Bernadette in there, too.

savannah said...

Corner the market now, is my advice. And if it goes wrong, well, your next party will have the best balloons ever.

i do marvel at your inventiveness, sugar! no matter what all y'all sem to always come up with a solution! xoxo

inkspot said...

Dr M, what was the pitch blended with? Wouldn't discovering radium have been easier if they'd started with the unblended stuff? Same principle as with whisky, I suppose.

Mrs P, be gentle with the doctor. The important thing is to remember that he means well.

Ms Savannah, why, thank you ma'am [doffs hat]. It's important to find appropriate hedging instruments, and the balloons were the best I could come up with.

Dr Maroon said...

Marius Goring! THAT'S who I was thinking of as Pierre Curie. And Vincent Price was in the non helium related film about Bernadette. I remember him saying, "This thing could be bigger than the Loch Ness Monster!" and they agreed, and God made him play horror roles for the rest of his life.

You cannot beat a blended Scotch. I know, I am one. At least my brains are, put through the blender I mean. I am very interested in this helium extraction opportunity. by chance I am one of only two superior helium experts currently residing in our great nation.
Details on request. No hawkers.

inkspot said...

Good lord, Dr, just yesterday I saw Marius Goring in A Matter of Life and Death, as recommended (why?) by my friend Captain Jackson, in whose company I spent many hours of my youth watching Werner Herzog movies. (Why??) Appalling stuff, really fascist. Aguirre, Wrath of God (Der Zorn des Gottes) was on the TV recently, and I gave it another chance. Mistake. It was just as bad as I remembered. I think I threw the dog at it.

Mrs Pouncer said...

For goodness sake! Dr Maroon copes with anything I throw at him; he likes it. However, he is wrong about Marius Goring, and he knows it. He is trying to provoke me. The Curies isolated radium from pitchblende (he knows this, too) and EVERYTHING he knows about Helium, he learned from me. He didn't even know about the molybdenum-bombardment process until I told him yesterday. He could give me SOME credit.

WERNER HERZOG - how are his films fascist? No, really, I'd like to know. Schlondorff, I could just about accept, but Herzog? I suggest you re-watch Mit Mir Will Keiner Spielen and Letzte Worte. Der Zorn is Wagnerian in its magnitude, but nothing more. Nicht eine mangelnde Werteorientierung, as we old Fassbinder hands say.

inkspot said...

If Dr M is trying to provoke you, Mrs P, maybe he has succeeded? And to be fair to him, he describes himself as one of the two superior helium experts in the country, which at least leaves room for you as the other. Whatever superior helium might be.

Right, why are Werner Herzog's movies fascist. OK, why is Zorn fascist. Because it features Klaus fucking Kinski lurching around like Hitler on Quaaludes and behaving like Goebbels, and because it portrays destructive insanity as heroic. Wagnerian is an excellent euphemism for it; it looks good, even when the TV company has forgotten to pillarbox it, and stinks.

Ooh, I feel better now. And your mentioning Fassbinder reminds me that I've never seen anything by him (honestly); I'll put that right. From what I've heard, the dog should be safe.

Dr Maroon said...

Fucking Inkspot I despair.
I cannot, cannot believe your lead pipe bluntness.
It's always the CAT, the CAT, you throw at the television. No gentleman would throw a dog anywhere, no, not even to save it from drowning.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Thank goodness you picked up on that, Achilles. And I was beginning to like him, too. Mwah xx

inkspot said...

Look, the essence of life is to be flexible. If your recipe for rogon ghosht calls for coriander and you've run out, you don't give up, you substitute dill, or cardamom. Sure, the result will be different, but still delicious. But you don't substitute chocolate. Same for me. Having no cat, I substituted dog, not child.

Besides, it was a small dog, with outstanding aerodynamic properties. No helium specialist could have resisted the opportunity to express so exactly his or her considered opinion of the works of Herr Herzog.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Inkspot, wow, I begin to bend to your will.

Dr Maroon ........ um ......... any preferences here? Maroon ........ are you even awake?

Inkspot, do you want to go somewhere private and discuss the German Rationalists? I can find you a window.

Dr Maroon said...

Leave that to me Clarissa, I'll find him a window.

Mrs Pouncer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs Pouncer said...

Oh Inkspot, please forgive. Hammered.

inkspot said...

Mrs P, there is nothing to forgive, not even the yeux creux.

I must say, this window the good Dr threatens to procure is a bit worrying; I might find myself defenestrated without a parachute, like David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death, and then we are hopelessly stuck in a vicious circle of discussing German rationalism.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Yeah, but I was RIGHT about yeux creux. Don't even bother arguing with a linguist like me.
Don't worry about Dr Maroon and his defenestration threats. Leave him to me; honeyed words work best with him. He is a pushover for anything syrupy.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Inkspot: don't touch Superior Helium with a bargepole: it's fallen up the back of a lorry and they've just stuck jam labels on the tins.