Kazakhstan

Misunderstanding The Real Problem: An Updated Version Of The "Peak Oil" Story

The amount of oil (or for that matter, any other resource) isn’t a fixed amount. If the price can be made to rise to a very high level, the quantity that can be extracted will also tend to rise–in fact, by a rather large amount. The “catch” is that wages for the vast majority of workers don’t rise at the same time. As a result, goods made with high-priced oil soon become too expensive for workers to afford, and the economy falls into recession. The result is prices that fall below the cost of production. Thus, the limit on oil supply is not the amount of oil in the ground; instead, it is how high oil prices can rise, without causing serious recession.

Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis Spirals Out Of Control

Germany's migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany's federal states. Germany now finds itself in a vicious circle: most of the perpetrators are never found, and the few who are frequently receive lenient sentences; and suppression of data about migrant rapes is "Germany-wide phenomenon," according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police.

China's New Silk Road To Make A Big Move In Gold

In short, the New Silk Road is all about building alternatives to U.S. power. Part of that, of course, is displacing the U.S. dollar, the world’s premier currency. So it should be no surprise that China’s New Silk Road project is about to make its first big move in the gold market.

IRS Launches Investigation Of Clinton Foundation

Lawmakers charged the Clinton Foundation is a “lawless ‘pay-to-play’ enterprise that has been operating under a cloak of philanthropy for years and should be investigated.”

Frontrunning: July 6

  • For Hillary Clinton, Political Fight Over Emails Is Far From Over (WSJ)
  • More "Extreme carelessness" - Iraq inquiry slams Blair over legal basis for war (Reuters)
  • FBI Director Rebukes State Department Over Security Practices (WSJ)
  • Gold Climbs to Two-Year High as UBS Sees Start of New Bull Run (BBG)
  • Stocks and bond yields sink as growth fears set in (Reuters)

Nigeria Hyperinflation Looms As Central Bank Throws In The Towel, Devalues Currency

Less than a month ago, when looking at Nigeria's deplorable economic and reserve situation, we predicted that "Nigeria Currency Devaluation Looms As FX Forwards Crash To Record Lows." Ealier today this prediction came true when Nigeria’s central bank finally threw in the towel when it announced that the it will allow the Naira exchange rate to be market-driven, setting the stage for a devaluation of the currency, and unleashing the latest bout of hyperinflation.

The Limits Of Oil's Rebound

Now that all of the main oil producers are unequivocally committed to maximizing production, regardless of the impact prices, oil will continue to trade just like any other commodity (for example, iron ore) that is in oversupply in a competitive market. Prices will be determined as described in any standard economics textbook: by the marginal costs of the last supplier whose production is needed to meet global demand. In the 20-year period of competitive pricing from 1985 to 2004, the oil price frequently doubled or halved in the course of a few months. So the near-doubling of oil prices since mid-January’s $28 low is not surprising. But now that the $50 ceiling is being tested, we can expect the next major move in the trading range to be downward.

This Week's Main News From The Oil Sector

For those who need a quick and easy recap of all the main events that took place in the oil and gas services sector, here it is courtesy of Credit Suisse's James Wicklung who present the various "things we've learned this week."

Peak Petro-State - The Oil World In Chaos

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs.  That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse.

ETF Gold Holdings Rise At The Fastest Pace Since 2009 As Central Banker Credibility Plunges

While it must be painful for those who have such disdain for the pet rock, the fact is that central banks are losing credibility with the market, and gold is one way of expressing that. As Elliott Management's Paul Singer said last month regarding investor confidence in the central planners: "If judgement continues to weaken, the effect on gold could be very powerful." Perhaps the markets are starting to wake up to the fact that the all-knowing central planners literally have no idea what they're doing, and if so, we'll let investors borrow our tinfoil hat.