For those of you who think the energy bill won’t produce anything but subsidies for a bunch of pals of Bush’s or, at best, heavily polluting alternatives to oil, may I give you Sasol? Using pioneering techniques, Sasol’s got the only gas-to-liquids technology that can save the Free World from our insatiable thirst. Of course, it can’t make enough of the darned stuff, but what it can make, it will be able to charge a fortune for. Added bonus: Sasol’s located in Johannesburg, so be sure to take your 2.6 percent dividend and leave it in Krugerrands in South Africa.
Finally, you’ll need some coal holdings, because when things get desperate you can count on this White House to sanction the use of so-called clean coal from Wyoming for everything. I like Fording Canadian Coal Trust because it yields 14 percent and has long-lived reserves that will certainly outlast this administration. It would help if you were domiciled in Canada, a nation also once known for its profligacy but now a beacon of fiscal sanity, because then you wouldn’t get dinged by Uncle Sam’s Canadian withholding tax (generally 15 percent). That way, you could take the dividend in the very strong loonie, long a laughingstock currency until this president decided that debasing the greenback is just one more acceptable casualty of making sure that the rich get richer with extremely low taxes. Thanks, Mr. President!
Look, I don’t know how bad things are going to get. Fortunately, you can do only so much damage to the deficit in three years’ time. But considering Bush has never vetoed a spending bill and would rather die than raise taxes, you have to believe we’d be just plain stupid to make a huge 401(k) bet on strictly domestic stocks. I’m not waiting until the Chinese decide to walk away from the Treasuries table. I’d start buying these stocks now, even if I were a Republican.