Tags: Ross | shale | gas | GDP

Wilbur Ross: Shale Gas Production Is the Way to Turn GDP Positive

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 05:00 PM

By Dan Weil

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When it comes to reversing the economy’s fourth-quarter growth decline, shale gas is the answer, says Wilbur Ross, chief of private equity firm WL Ross.

“The best way to overcome the negative gross domestic product figures that were just released would be to encourage the exploitation of shale gas both for domestic and for international purposes,” he tells Fox Business Network.

The clean energy concerns that have stifled permit issuance for shale gas extraction can easily be solved, Ross notes.

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

“The greenies worry that shale gas would drive the price of electricity down and make sun power and wind power even more uneconomical than they are,” he says.

“But both could co-exist. You could use the natural gas to be very economical for your base power load, and then to the degree that wind power available, let that be your supplement.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Ross it nonplussed by the $27 billion loss estimate for it. “TARP, in its original structure, was never set up to be on a commercially normal basis,” he explains.

“If you look at what Warren Buffett charged Goldman Sachs for convertible preferred, the coupon is something like twice what the government was charging the banks in TARP and he had 100 percent equity convertibility, not just a few warrants. So it was fated not to be structured in a way that you could make a profit.”

Many have complained about the fact that a bank bailout wasn’t accompanied by any financial or legal penalties on top executives.

“The people taking those risks are insulated from the consequences — that’s moral hazard,” Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, tells The Huffington Post. “It continues to exist, and it must be dealt with.”

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

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