Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sunday Morning Note (Sept. 20, 2015) …

Sunday Morning Note ...As usual, we start this week’s note with last week’s data.

On the oil side, last week near term prices largely remained stable from the week before, and while longer term prices last week drifted downward somewhat from the previous week, they nevertheless continued to remain ahead of where they were a month ago, reflecting continuing confidence that oil prices will recover after the current supply overhang dissipates.

Here is the chart reflecting the closing prices this past Friday (an explanation of the source of the data is here) : Continue reading

Alaska’s Fiscal & Economic Future …

“Here’s My Proposal” (1hr, 50 min)

Fashioning a Compromise (38 min)

Fashioning a Compromise (38 min)

While I work on this week’s Sunday Morning Note here are the segments from Saturday’s  (Sept. 19, 2015) forum on Alaska’s Fiscal & Economic Future that featured the “citizen proposals” offered by former Attorney General John Havelock, First Alaskans Institute CEO/President Elizabeth Medicine-Crow, former Senator Gary Wilken, and me.  A copy of the proposals prepared by each are available here.

The first segment (“Here is My Proposal”) is the presentation of the proposals, questions from the panelists to each other, and questions of the panelists by former Deputy Revenue Commissioner (among other things) Larry Persily, Legislative Finance Director David Teal and conference organizers Gunnar Knapp (Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research) and Cliff Groh (Chair, Alaska Common Ground).

Following an announcement of the results of the polling conducted after the first segment, the second segment (“Fashioning a Compromise”) is a discussion among the panelists of the factors involved in reaching a compromise among the various positions, and an outline of what form a compromise might take.

My proposal at tomorrow’s “Forum on Alaska’s Fiscal and Economic Future” …

Alaska's Fiscal and Economic Future ForumAs most readers likely are already aware, tomorrow (Saturday, September 19, 2015) Alaska Common Ground and the University of Alaska – Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (“ISER”) are sponsoring a day long forum on Alaska’s fiscal and economic future.  A description of the forum and detailed agenda is available here.

The forum is from 9am – 4pm, at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium located on UAA’s campus.  For those unable to attend in person, the forum will also be televised live on 360 North, the same public television system that televises Gavel-to-Gavel.

Based on the agenda and discussions with both those who have brought it together and various speakers, I anticipiate it will be a significant event in shaping the course of the coming debate on Alaska’s fiscal future.

One part of the forum will involve presentations by four Alaskans, each of whom will discuss and defend their own budget proposals, with audience members voting after the presentations on which they favor.  Those presenting are John Havelock, former Alaska attorney general; Liz Medicine Crow, president/CEO, First Alaskans Institute; Gary Wilken, former Alaska state senator … and me.

Those interrogating the panelists about their proposals (I am confident in a good sense of the word — hahahaha) are  Cliff Groh, Chair of Alaska Common Ground; Gunnar Knapp, ISER director and professor of economics; David Teal, director, Alaska Legislative Finance Division; and Larry Persily, former federal coordinator of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Project, and former deputy commissioner, Alaska Department of Revenue.

Somewhere along the way I can guarantee I will mumble to myself (because I always do), “why did I agree to do this?” … and somewhere later along the way I will realize the answer.

Each of the “citizen panelists” has been asked to provide materials explaining and supporting the position.  These will both be handed out to those attending in person and available online for those tuning in via web or television.  For any that want to have a flavor for what is likely to be discussed — or get a jump in formulating questions, my set follows.

We will see how this goes ………

My current “Top 5” #AKbudget priorities for the 2016 session …

In preparation for the coming week — the discussion today on Alaska Public Radio Network’s Talk of Alaska, a meeting this evening of the Alaska Republican Assembly and my participation in Saturday’s forum on Alaska’s Fiscal and Economic Future — I have been working to refine my focus for the coming 2016 legislative session (which will set the FY 2017 budget) to five top priorities.

Here is the slide deck that captures my current view.

Sunday Morning Note (Sept 13, 2015) …

Sunday Morning Note ...As usual we start with this past week’s data.   Although nearer term oil prices (2015, 2016 and 2017) moved down slightly on the week reflecting continued concerns about the current supply overhang, longer term prices either held steady (largely the story for 2018) or, in fact, advanced (2020) as the market appeared to come to rest for the moment on the belief that the current oversupplied condition isn’t a permanent affliction and that, at some point, the market will start reflecting the long-run marginal cost of production.

Here is the chart reflecting the closing prices this past Friday (an explanation of the source of the data is here) : Continue reading

Sunday Morning Note (Sept 6, 2015) …

Sunday Morning Note ...As usual, we start with this past week’s data.  After undergoing a considerable run up at the close of the previous week that extended into Monday of this week with next month WTI approaching $50 and Brent nearing $55 , trading the remainder of the week  drifted downward to close in the mid-$40’s for WTI and short of $50 for Brent.

Here is the chart reflecting the closing prices this past Friday (an explanation of the source of the data is here) : Continue reading