The news unfortunately just keeps getting worse for customers and creditors of Northwest Territorial Mint. The prominent bullion dealer located near Seattle, Washington filed for bankruptcy court protection at the end of March. The losses of customers who never received delivery of orders plus the losses of other creditors could be as high as $50 million, according to news reports.
Poorer oil-producing countries which took out loans to be repaid in oil when the price was higher are having to send three times as much to respect repayment schedules now prices have fallen. But while these already poor and corrupt OPEC nations were the biggest losers, one country was a huge winner, the country that provided the billions in virtually risk-free, oil-collateralized loans to any country that requested them. China.
Ludwig von Mises once wrote, "No one can escape the influence of a prevailing ideology.” The images coming from Venezuela should serve as a potent reminder of how dangerous the ideas of men like Joseph Stiglitz are. Statism and economic interventionism must be rejected, in order for humanity to thrive.
Following last week's surprise draw (from the DOE data), API reported a huge 5.14mm draw (against expectations of a 2mm barrel draw) - the biggest since Dec 2015. Bear in mind that last week API reported a large build only to se a major draw in DOE data so perhaps this is catch down from the Canada interruption. Cushing saw its first draw in 4 weeks but Gasoline inventories rose dramatically (+3.06mm vs -1.5mm exp). Crude prices are exuberantly looking to run last week's high stops on the news, breaking above $49 again.
Because, nothing else matters...
Less than two weeks after Apple unveiledan unexpected $1 billion investment in China's Didi Chuxing, an amount some have speculated may be the cost of continuing "business as usual" for Apple's service offerings in China, moments ago Toyota unveiled that it would inject an undisclosed amount of funds in one of the most valuable private "Decacorns" in the US, Uber.
Six years ago, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Since then, Americans have seen their premiums increase, a dozen nonprofit insurers have closed their doors and the number of people on the Medicaid rolls has expanded. Americans nationwide have both praised and cursed the law since the federal and state-run exchanges launched in October 2013. Here are five graphs charting Obamacare’s six-year history...
"I don't think he realizes the damage he's doing at this point..."
"The US have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing. The US and other powers are extremely sad at this issue and they have no other option; that is why they made huge efforts in order to bring the country’s decision-making and decision-taking centers under their control, but they failed and God willing, they will continue to fail."
With stocks soaring on the heels of oil's miraculous resurrection, the new normal narrative appears to be that higher oil prices are now "unequivocally good." However, one glance at the following two charts and it's clear Main Street feels anything like ebulient about the state of the oil industry in America...
Negative interest rates are all the rage at central banks, a symptom of the deflation that is slowing spreading worldwide. Explicit or not, negative rates have odd and counterintuitive consequences. Imagine the entire banking system trying to stand on its head, and that's kind of how a deflationary, NIRP-driven world will look. Here are three early signs.
While 4 is more than 2, recall that on November 24, one month before the Fed did hike rates by 25 bps, a whopping 9 regional Fed requested a Discount Rate hike: that took place less than a month before the Fed's first rate hike in nearly a decade. With only four regional Feds on the same page as of this moment, it is very unlikely that June is when the Fed's rate hike will take place, and with July missing a press conference, it remains to be seen just how the Fed can proceeds with the much touted rate hike in the coming 2 months.