Economic principles explain why the Saudis began, in late 2014, to pump crude as fast as they could – or close to as fast as possible. In fact, there is a good reason why the Saudi princes are panicked and pumping.
Goldman Sachs attracted more than a quarter of a million applications from students and graduates for jobs this summer, "suggesting fears of a ‘brain drain’ in the sector may be exaggerated as banks introduce more employee-friendly policies." The number of applications from students and graduates globally have risen more than 40% since 2012, the paper adds. This means there is greater demand to get a job at Goldman than there is even in China where recently 1.2 million job candidates applied for 19,000 much-desired govermment positions.
"The average and median lead times between the peak in margins and the onset of recession are nine and eight quarters, respectively. This would imply that the economy could enter recession as soon as the second half of this year."
We recently re released our comprehensive silver interview with Jan Skoyles in which we discuss many of the key fundamentals alluded to by Rory Hall. Nothing has changed and arguably the fundamentals are even more bullish today than they were then.
The two most important questions by far, those whose answer will determine not only the near term return of the S&P, but also global equity markets as well as that all-important commodity, oil, are the following: Can the oil price hold up even as the dollar rises; and, Can the CNY depreciate without hurting asset prices? Here is Deutsche Bank's attempt at an answer.
One does not have to be financial wizard to to know that a firm which has to borrow more than it can generate from core operations is not a sustainable business model, and yet today's CFOs, pundits and central bankers do not. But more are starting to pay attention as the corporate debt pile hits epic proportions. As Bloomberg writes this morning, when it also issued a stark warning about the next source of credit contagion, while "consumers were the Achilles’ heel of the U.S. economy in the run-up to the last recession. This time, companies may play that role."
In its ubiquitous manner, crude futures decided to try and run the stops at the US equity open but were unable to get to $50 (49.984 in July WTI) before fading back a little. Ths driver - according to the narrative-du-jour - is turmoil in Libya and ongoing Nigeria and France disruptions, which are both offsetting a surge in OPEC production to its highest level since 2008 in the minds of the machines. "The market is pretty much on hold until we get all this information," says Deutsche Bank's Jens Pedersen of the data dump and OPEC meetings this week. "We need to get that out of the way to see if there is a reason for oil to go higher."
After yesterday's US and UK market holidays which resulted in a session of unchanged global stocks, US futures are largely where they left off Friday, up fractionally, and just under 2,100. Bonds fell as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates amid signs inflation is picking up. Oil headed for its longest run of monthly gains in five years, while stocks declined in Europe.
In the latest tragic news from the world of finance, earlier today Zurich Insurance, the largest Swiss insurer which employs 55,000 people and provides general insurance and life insurance products in more than 170 countries, reported that Martin Senn, the company's former chief executive officer who stepped down in a December reshuffle, has committed suicide. He was 59.
Overnight the Commerce Department escalated its trade war with China when it implemented the latest clampdown on a glut of steel imports, when it announced that corrosion-resistant steel from China will face final U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of up to 450%. China's Commerce Ministry said it was extremely dissatisfied at what it called the "irrational" move by the United States, which it said would harm cooperation between the two countries. "China will take all necessary steps to strive for fair treatment and to protect the companies' rights," it said, without elaborating.