reprobayt: (WTF?!!?!)

...how one phone call can make you want to drink All The Alcohol.

It must be nice to work for an organization that can tell you how much money you are going to pay them without showing you where they came up with their numbers.

You can't get away with that in your math homework....





Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

reprobayt: (WTF?!!?!)

...how one phone call can make you want to drink All The Alcohol.

It must be nice to work for an organization that can tell you how much money you are going to pay them without showing you where they came up with their numbers.

You can't get away with that in your math homework....





Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

reprobayt: (Morris)

If you've got a few credit cards lying around that you haven't used in a while but don't want to lose, you might want to take them out for a walk.

Credit card companies know that cash-strapped consumers are likely to start tapping their unused credit cards, and possibly default on the payments, so they're cutting off lines of credit for inactive accounts. Cynthia and her husband, who say they both have "excellent credit scores" and "use their credit wisely," came back from vacation to find three Citi cards canceled due to inactivity. The last time they used them was last holiday season, and the cards had $14,500 in credit available on them.

While the credit card companies are completely within their rights, cutting off lines of credit can bring down people's credit scores because it decreases their amount of available credit, a factor in your FICO. And while closing inactive cards has always happened, the pace and scope has greatly increased in response to economic downturn.



from The Consumerist
reprobayt: (Morris)

If you've got a few credit cards lying around that you haven't used in a while but don't want to lose, you might want to take them out for a walk.

Credit card companies know that cash-strapped consumers are likely to start tapping their unused credit cards, and possibly default on the payments, so they're cutting off lines of credit for inactive accounts. Cynthia and her husband, who say they both have "excellent credit scores" and "use their credit wisely," came back from vacation to find three Citi cards canceled due to inactivity. The last time they used them was last holiday season, and the cards had $14,500 in credit available on them.

While the credit card companies are completely within their rights, cutting off lines of credit can bring down people's credit scores because it decreases their amount of available credit, a factor in your FICO. And while closing inactive cards has always happened, the pace and scope has greatly increased in response to economic downturn.



from The Consumerist
reprobayt: (Cookie)
Joined and used this a few times...so if you're interested, here ya go.

=========================

From my research, this seems to be a legitimate attempt to compete against PayPal. It's being spearheaded by Steve Case(former head of AOL) and is the first step in his goal to create a new credit card company.

If you use this button, I get credit (or use 'parishr at comcast doot net' as a referral when you apply). I know for a fact that they do ask for your SSN. I did research and this seems to be on the up and up - for more information, look here


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

They also now have a MoneyExchange card - here are some of the places you can use it.

Caveat Emptor and all that.
reprobayt: (Cookie)
Joined and used this a few times...so if you're interested, here ya go.

=========================

From my research, this seems to be a legitimate attempt to compete against PayPal. It's being spearheaded by Steve Case(former head of AOL) and is the first step in his goal to create a new credit card company.

If you use this button, I get credit (or use 'parishr at comcast doot net' as a referral when you apply). I know for a fact that they do ask for your SSN. I did research and this seems to be on the up and up - for more information, look here


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

They also now have a MoneyExchange card - here are some of the places you can use it.

Caveat Emptor and all that.
reprobayt: (Easy)
From my research, this seems to be a legitimate attempt to compete against PayPal currently in Beta. It's being spearheaded by Steve Case (former head of AOL) and is the first step in his goal to create a new credit card company.

Until mid-May, they're paying $25 per sign up and then another $10 for every person they refer.

If you use this button, I get credit (or use 'pairshr at comcast doot net' as a referral when you apply). I know for a fact that they do ask for your SSN. I did research and this seems to be on the up and up - for more information, look here

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Sign up if interested - if not, please ignore. :)
reprobayt: (Easy)
From my research, this seems to be a legitimate attempt to compete against PayPal currently in Beta. It's being spearheaded by Steve Case (former head of AOL) and is the first step in his goal to create a new credit card company.

Until mid-May, they're paying $25 per sign up and then another $10 for every person they refer.

If you use this button, I get credit (or use 'pairshr at comcast doot net' as a referral when you apply). I know for a fact that they do ask for your SSN. I did research and this seems to be on the up and up - for more information, look here

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Sign up if interested - if not, please ignore. :)
reprobayt: (Stewie)
Repost from an article from AAA Arizona a few years ago - the information is still educational...
=============================


What makes gas prices go up?

Supply and demand.
Supply. The supply of both oil and gasoline can not be increased very much. Most oil producers are pumping near capacity. (For example, OPEC is within about 10% of capacity right now.) Gasoline refineries are also near capacity and there are no new refineries being built.

Demand. The demand for oil is soaring worldwide. China, for example, is using oil at almost twice the rate economists expected. There is a lot of competition for oil right now, and that drives the price up. The consumption of gasoline is up 4% from spring 2003 due to a booming economy, a burgeoning population, more driving, and the popularity of gas guzzling SUV's and trucks in the U.S. 45% of the oil we use in the United States goes for motor fuel.

Speculation in the futures markets.
Oil and gasoline are commodities that are traded on the futures markets. Whenever anything happens to make traders think the price will go up (or down) they react accordingly. This means oil and gasoline price are not always directly related to consumer demand or to the cost of producing gasoline. An act of violence in the Mid-east, a refinery accident clear across the country, or even an unsubstantiated rumor, can change wholesale prices and force retailers to raise prices at the pump.


Why are prices different in different areas?

Proximity to refineries and supply.
It seems that prices should be cheapest near ports and refineries because transportation is less expensive and supplies are plentiful, but it doesn't always work that way. Environmental, regulatory, and contractual issues can often have a greater bearing on prices than production and transportation. For example, California, which has plenty of ports and plenty of crude oil, has the most expensive gasoline in the country, due largely to its stringent clean air requirements.

Environmental Regulations
There are over 20 different blends of gasoline in various parts of the country, all intended to help clean the air. All these blends cost more to refine than plain old unleaded gas. Some are more expensive than others, so prices vary depending on the formulation.

Competition
Competition takes place on many levels in the petroleum industry -- crude oil production and sale, shipping, refining, transport of finished gas, and of course, your local gas station retailer. Generally, prices are a little better in areas with many major oil companies competing for your business...just like all other industries.

Contracts and Competition
Service stations usually maintain some kind of contractual relationship with a major gasoline supplier. This can make it difficult for some stations to compete on price because they are tied to a contract. For example, suppose Station A buys gas at a lower spot (wholesale) price today, so lowers its retail gasoline price. Station B might wish he could drop his prices, but can't afford to because he is locked into a contract to buy gasoline at a higher wholesale price. Until that wholesale contract ends, Station B can't afford to lower its retail price.

Speculation in gasoline futures
Since some gasoline is traded on futures markets, speculators can affect prices. It's a little like the crude oil futures market, or the stock market. Sometimes price changes are driven by events as far away as the Middle East, by rumors, or by perceived supply disruptions.

Taxes
Yes, they matter. Taxes in the United States average about $0.42 per gallon and typically make up 15-20% of the cost of a gallon of gas. In most states taxes are about evenly split between state and federal taxes. Taxes account for the difference between the relatively low gasoline prices in the U.S. and high prices in Europe and many other countries, where gasoline can cost over $4.00 per gallon. The average French or Italian family, who drive small cars fewer miles each year than their American counterparts, may pay the equivalent of $2,000 per year in gasoline taxes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gasoline Refineries: Capacity and Margins

Over the past three decades, almost half the 300 refineries in the U.S. have been closed. These closures were primarily due to business decisions by the oil industry or to government-mandated closures or sales due to mergers (of course, the mergers themselves are business decisions).

Although refineries are much more efficient than they used to be, over the past 15 years or so, there has been a net loss in refining capacity of about a million barrels per day. Some argue that the industry is deliberately squeezing supply in order to raise the price of gas. While this might seem unfair, it is not illegal unless the refining companies are colluding (working together) to set prices or shut out competitors. A number of national legislators and attorneys general have investigated and, to this date, found no evidence of illegal activity.

Perspective on refinery margins:
Right now, refiners' margins (the amount refiners add to the price of gasoline) are below what they've averaged for the last three years. They've been fairly high this year, but, in fairness we must point out that margins are below average more than they are above. The refining business is very volatile with short periods of extremely high margins, then longer periods of average or below average margins. This price volatility is very upsetting to the public, so, if refiners are manipulating the market, you'd think they'd find a more subtle way of doing it!
reprobayt: (Stewie)
Repost from an article from AAA Arizona a few years ago - the information is still educational...
=============================


What makes gas prices go up?

Supply and demand.
Supply. The supply of both oil and gasoline can not be increased very much. Most oil producers are pumping near capacity. (For example, OPEC is within about 10% of capacity right now.) Gasoline refineries are also near capacity and there are no new refineries being built.

Demand. The demand for oil is soaring worldwide. China, for example, is using oil at almost twice the rate economists expected. There is a lot of competition for oil right now, and that drives the price up. The consumption of gasoline is up 4% from spring 2003 due to a booming economy, a burgeoning population, more driving, and the popularity of gas guzzling SUV's and trucks in the U.S. 45% of the oil we use in the United States goes for motor fuel.

Speculation in the futures markets.
Oil and gasoline are commodities that are traded on the futures markets. Whenever anything happens to make traders think the price will go up (or down) they react accordingly. This means oil and gasoline price are not always directly related to consumer demand or to the cost of producing gasoline. An act of violence in the Mid-east, a refinery accident clear across the country, or even an unsubstantiated rumor, can change wholesale prices and force retailers to raise prices at the pump.


Why are prices different in different areas?

Proximity to refineries and supply.
It seems that prices should be cheapest near ports and refineries because transportation is less expensive and supplies are plentiful, but it doesn't always work that way. Environmental, regulatory, and contractual issues can often have a greater bearing on prices than production and transportation. For example, California, which has plenty of ports and plenty of crude oil, has the most expensive gasoline in the country, due largely to its stringent clean air requirements.

Environmental Regulations
There are over 20 different blends of gasoline in various parts of the country, all intended to help clean the air. All these blends cost more to refine than plain old unleaded gas. Some are more expensive than others, so prices vary depending on the formulation.

Competition
Competition takes place on many levels in the petroleum industry -- crude oil production and sale, shipping, refining, transport of finished gas, and of course, your local gas station retailer. Generally, prices are a little better in areas with many major oil companies competing for your business...just like all other industries.

Contracts and Competition
Service stations usually maintain some kind of contractual relationship with a major gasoline supplier. This can make it difficult for some stations to compete on price because they are tied to a contract. For example, suppose Station A buys gas at a lower spot (wholesale) price today, so lowers its retail gasoline price. Station B might wish he could drop his prices, but can't afford to because he is locked into a contract to buy gasoline at a higher wholesale price. Until that wholesale contract ends, Station B can't afford to lower its retail price.

Speculation in gasoline futures
Since some gasoline is traded on futures markets, speculators can affect prices. It's a little like the crude oil futures market, or the stock market. Sometimes price changes are driven by events as far away as the Middle East, by rumors, or by perceived supply disruptions.

Taxes
Yes, they matter. Taxes in the United States average about $0.42 per gallon and typically make up 15-20% of the cost of a gallon of gas. In most states taxes are about evenly split between state and federal taxes. Taxes account for the difference between the relatively low gasoline prices in the U.S. and high prices in Europe and many other countries, where gasoline can cost over $4.00 per gallon. The average French or Italian family, who drive small cars fewer miles each year than their American counterparts, may pay the equivalent of $2,000 per year in gasoline taxes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gasoline Refineries: Capacity and Margins

Over the past three decades, almost half the 300 refineries in the U.S. have been closed. These closures were primarily due to business decisions by the oil industry or to government-mandated closures or sales due to mergers (of course, the mergers themselves are business decisions).

Although refineries are much more efficient than they used to be, over the past 15 years or so, there has been a net loss in refining capacity of about a million barrels per day. Some argue that the industry is deliberately squeezing supply in order to raise the price of gas. While this might seem unfair, it is not illegal unless the refining companies are colluding (working together) to set prices or shut out competitors. A number of national legislators and attorneys general have investigated and, to this date, found no evidence of illegal activity.

Perspective on refinery margins:
Right now, refiners' margins (the amount refiners add to the price of gasoline) are below what they've averaged for the last three years. They've been fairly high this year, but, in fairness we must point out that margins are below average more than they are above. The refining business is very volatile with short periods of extremely high margins, then longer periods of average or below average margins. This price volatility is very upsetting to the public, so, if refiners are manipulating the market, you'd think they'd find a more subtle way of doing it!
reprobayt: (Speed Racer)
Was planning on getting a light lunch.

Went to dealership first to get an oil change. Found out I'll need to get my timing belt changed very soon...above and beyond the monies I'd started to save for my 60000 mile tuneup.

Went to Wendy's for something greasy. Comfort food, you know.

What's happening in your world today?
reprobayt: (Speed Racer)
Was planning on getting a light lunch.

Went to dealership first to get an oil change. Found out I'll need to get my timing belt changed very soon...above and beyond the monies I'd started to save for my 60000 mile tuneup.

Went to Wendy's for something greasy. Comfort food, you know.

What's happening in your world today?
reprobayt: (GoGoGadget)
Federal Withholding Calculator for your W-4 forms.

Figure out what you need to send Caesar next year. :)

====================

And since we are reaching the changing of the year, something I've harped on before:

Since (sadly) I have friends that are in the midst of upheavals, thought this was interesting:

Say you have an insurance policy that has beneficiaries, and you have a will that lists people to whom you plan to leave money or assets. Which one has precedence if you die? The insurance policy does. So, you may have named a former spouse or parent on your 401k or policy years ago. But now you have gotten divorced and have a new spouse as well as kids that you'd like to be your heirs. In other words, your circumstances have changed.

If you die, that money will go to the former spouse and not to your kids. If you have been working for a place for a while or you bought an insurance policy a while ago, make sure you are up to date on who gets your money if you die. With any contract you have, the beneficiary trumps the designation in a will.

Check your IRAs, your 401ks, your stock funds, as well, to make sure the people's names are correct. Make sure your loved ones are secure by doing your homework!



reprobayt: (GoGoGadget)
Federal Withholding Calculator for your W-4 forms.

Figure out what you need to send Caesar next year. :)

====================

And since we are reaching the changing of the year, something I've harped on before:

Since (sadly) I have friends that are in the midst of upheavals, thought this was interesting:

Say you have an insurance policy that has beneficiaries, and you have a will that lists people to whom you plan to leave money or assets. Which one has precedence if you die? The insurance policy does. So, you may have named a former spouse or parent on your 401k or policy years ago. But now you have gotten divorced and have a new spouse as well as kids that you'd like to be your heirs. In other words, your circumstances have changed.

If you die, that money will go to the former spouse and not to your kids. If you have been working for a place for a while or you bought an insurance policy a while ago, make sure you are up to date on who gets your money if you die. With any contract you have, the beneficiary trumps the designation in a will.

Check your IRAs, your 401ks, your stock funds, as well, to make sure the people's names are correct. Make sure your loved ones are secure by doing your homework!



reprobayt: (RailGun)
What makes gas prices go up?

Supply and demand.
Supply. The supply of both oil and gasoline can not be increased very much. Most oil producers are pumping near capacity. (For example, OPEC is within about 10% of capacity right now.) Gasoline refineries are also near capacity and there are no new refineries being built.

Demand. The demand for oil is soaring worldwide. China, for example, is using oil at almost twice the rate economists expected. There is a lot of competition for oil right now, and that drives the price up. The consumption of gasoline is up 4% from spring 2003 due to a booming economy, a burgeoning population, more driving, and the popularity of gas guzzling SUV's and trucks in the U.S. 45% of the oil we use in the United States goes for motor fuel.

Speculation in the futures markets.
Oil and gasoline are commodities that are traded on the futures markets. Whenever anything happens to make traders think the price will go up (or down) they react accordingly. This means oil and gasoline price are not always directly related to consumer demand or to the cost of producing gasoline. An act of violence in the Mid-east, a refinery accident clear across the country, or even an unsubstantiated rumor, can change wholesale prices and force retailers to raise prices at the pump.


Why are prices different in different areas?

Proximity to refineries and supply.
It seems that prices should be cheapest near ports and refineries because transportation is less expensive and supplies are plentiful, but it doesn't always work that way. Environmental, regulatory, and contractual issues can often have a greater bearing on prices than production and transportation. For example, California, which has plenty of ports and plenty of crude oil, has the most expensive gasoline in the country, due largely to its stringent clean air requirements.

Environmental Regulations
There are over 20 different blends of gasoline in various parts of the country, all intended to help clean the air. All these blends cost more to refine than plain old unleaded gas. Some are more expensive than others, so prices vary depending on the formulation. (Which is one of the factors for the sudden jump the past couple of weeks..changing to the summer blends. [livejournal.com profile] reprobayt)

Competition
Competition takes place on many levels in the petroleum industry -- crude oil production and sale, shipping, refining, transport of finished gas, and of course, your local gas station retailer. Generally, prices are a little better in areas with many major oil companies competing for your business...just like all other industries.

Contracts and Competition
Service stations usually maintain some kind of contractual relationship with a major gasoline supplier. This can make it difficult for some stations to compete on price because they are tied to a contract. For example, suppose Station A buys gas at a lower spot (wholesale) price today, so lowers its retail gasoline price. Station B might wish he could drop his prices, but can't afford to because he is locked into a contract to buy gasoline at a higher wholesale price. Until that wholesale contract ends, Station B can't afford to lower its retail price.

Speculation in gasoline futures
Since some gasoline is traded on futures markets, speculators can affect prices. It's a little like the crude oil futures market, or the stock market. Sometimes price changes are driven by events as far away as the Middle East, by rumors, or by perceived supply disruptions.

Taxes
Yes, they matter. Taxes in the United States average about $0.42 per gallon and typically make up 15-20% of the cost of a gallon of gas. In most states taxes are about evenly split between state and federal taxes. Taxes account for the difference between the relatively low gasoline prices in the U.S. and high prices in Europe and many other countries, where gasoline can cost over $4.00 per gallon. The average French or Italian family, who drive small cars fewer miles each year than their American counterparts, may pay the equivalent of $2,000 per year in gasoline taxes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gasoline Refineries: Capacity and Margins

Over the past three decades, almost half the 300 refineries in the U.S. have been closed. These closures were primarily due to business decisions by the oil industry or to government-mandated closures or sales due to mergers (of course, the mergers themselves are business decisions).

Although refineries are much more efficient than they used to be, over the past 15 years or so, there has been a net loss in refining capacity of about a million barrels per day. Some argue that the industry is deliberately squeezing supply in order to raise the price of gas. While this might seem unfair, it is not illegal unless the refining companies are colluding (working together) to set prices or shut out competitors. A number of national legislators and attorneys general have investigated and, to this date, found no evidence of illegal activity.

Perspective on refinery margins:
Right now, refiners' margins (the amount refiners add to the price of gasoline) are below what they've averaged for the last three years. They've been fairly high this year, but, in fairness we must point out that margins are below average more than they are above. The refining business is very volatile with short periods of extremely high margins, then longer periods of average or below average margins. This price volatility is very upsetting to the public, so, if refiners are manipulating the market, you'd think they'd find a more subtle way of doing it!
reprobayt: (RailGun)
What makes gas prices go up?

Supply and demand.
Supply. The supply of both oil and gasoline can not be increased very much. Most oil producers are pumping near capacity. (For example, OPEC is within about 10% of capacity right now.) Gasoline refineries are also near capacity and there are no new refineries being built.

Demand. The demand for oil is soaring worldwide. China, for example, is using oil at almost twice the rate economists expected. There is a lot of competition for oil right now, and that drives the price up. The consumption of gasoline is up 4% from spring 2003 due to a booming economy, a burgeoning population, more driving, and the popularity of gas guzzling SUV's and trucks in the U.S. 45% of the oil we use in the United States goes for motor fuel.

Speculation in the futures markets.
Oil and gasoline are commodities that are traded on the futures markets. Whenever anything happens to make traders think the price will go up (or down) they react accordingly. This means oil and gasoline price are not always directly related to consumer demand or to the cost of producing gasoline. An act of violence in the Mid-east, a refinery accident clear across the country, or even an unsubstantiated rumor, can change wholesale prices and force retailers to raise prices at the pump.


Why are prices different in different areas?

Proximity to refineries and supply.
It seems that prices should be cheapest near ports and refineries because transportation is less expensive and supplies are plentiful, but it doesn't always work that way. Environmental, regulatory, and contractual issues can often have a greater bearing on prices than production and transportation. For example, California, which has plenty of ports and plenty of crude oil, has the most expensive gasoline in the country, due largely to its stringent clean air requirements.

Environmental Regulations
There are over 20 different blends of gasoline in various parts of the country, all intended to help clean the air. All these blends cost more to refine than plain old unleaded gas. Some are more expensive than others, so prices vary depending on the formulation. (Which is one of the factors for the sudden jump the past couple of weeks..changing to the summer blends. [livejournal.com profile] reprobayt)

Competition
Competition takes place on many levels in the petroleum industry -- crude oil production and sale, shipping, refining, transport of finished gas, and of course, your local gas station retailer. Generally, prices are a little better in areas with many major oil companies competing for your business...just like all other industries.

Contracts and Competition
Service stations usually maintain some kind of contractual relationship with a major gasoline supplier. This can make it difficult for some stations to compete on price because they are tied to a contract. For example, suppose Station A buys gas at a lower spot (wholesale) price today, so lowers its retail gasoline price. Station B might wish he could drop his prices, but can't afford to because he is locked into a contract to buy gasoline at a higher wholesale price. Until that wholesale contract ends, Station B can't afford to lower its retail price.

Speculation in gasoline futures
Since some gasoline is traded on futures markets, speculators can affect prices. It's a little like the crude oil futures market, or the stock market. Sometimes price changes are driven by events as far away as the Middle East, by rumors, or by perceived supply disruptions.

Taxes
Yes, they matter. Taxes in the United States average about $0.42 per gallon and typically make up 15-20% of the cost of a gallon of gas. In most states taxes are about evenly split between state and federal taxes. Taxes account for the difference between the relatively low gasoline prices in the U.S. and high prices in Europe and many other countries, where gasoline can cost over $4.00 per gallon. The average French or Italian family, who drive small cars fewer miles each year than their American counterparts, may pay the equivalent of $2,000 per year in gasoline taxes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gasoline Refineries: Capacity and Margins

Over the past three decades, almost half the 300 refineries in the U.S. have been closed. These closures were primarily due to business decisions by the oil industry or to government-mandated closures or sales due to mergers (of course, the mergers themselves are business decisions).

Although refineries are much more efficient than they used to be, over the past 15 years or so, there has been a net loss in refining capacity of about a million barrels per day. Some argue that the industry is deliberately squeezing supply in order to raise the price of gas. While this might seem unfair, it is not illegal unless the refining companies are colluding (working together) to set prices or shut out competitors. A number of national legislators and attorneys general have investigated and, to this date, found no evidence of illegal activity.

Perspective on refinery margins:
Right now, refiners' margins (the amount refiners add to the price of gasoline) are below what they've averaged for the last three years. They've been fairly high this year, but, in fairness we must point out that margins are below average more than they are above. The refining business is very volatile with short periods of extremely high margins, then longer periods of average or below average margins. This price volatility is very upsetting to the public, so, if refiners are manipulating the market, you'd think they'd find a more subtle way of doing it!

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