Kazakhstan

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.

Oil "Rebalancing" In Jeopardy After Iran Output Soars To Pre-Sanction Levels, Russia "Pours Cold Water" On OPEC Forecast

The biggest non-OPEC member disagreed with OPEC's latest rosy - if only for OPEC countries - assessment, when Russia poured cold water on the notion that recent falls in production in the Americas, Asia and Africa had wiped out a global production and storage overhang.  Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Thursday that the global oil surplus stood at 1.5 million bpd and that the market might not balance out until the first half of 2017.

Buchanan: If There's A 2nd Cold War, Did Russia Really Start It?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view. Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our “unipolar moment,” to play the “great game” of empire and seek “benevolent global hegemony”? If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?

Why Canada's Oil Industry May Never Be The Same

It is increasingly certain that the future will not be like the past. Previous downturns have been equally devastating but the primary causes eventually reversed themselves; low commodity prices recovered and damaging government policies were rescinded. This recovery will be different for a variety of reasons which will combine to cap growth, opportunity and profits, even if oil and gas prices spike. The following major changes appear permanent...

The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Killed Doha

Saudi Arabia single-handedly scuttled the Doha meeting, knowing all along that Iran would not participate, with a valid reason. The Russians and others agreed to proceed without Iran, planning to include them at a later date. So if everything was known beforehand, why did the Saudi’s pour cold water on the aspirations of the remaining members, risking its alienation from Russia and the OPEC community? Was it simply Saudi enmity toward Iran? Not exactly. Upon closer scrutiny, we can find the Saudi masterstroke behind Doha.

Russian Tanker Catches Fire In Caspian Sea

Amid surging supply of crude and the world's biggest traffic jam of tankers, we suspect more images like the following will be seen going forward. A Russian tanker has caught fire in the Caspian Sea near the territorial waters of Turkmenistan, leaving one dead. On the bright side (for conservationists), the ship's tanks were loaded with seawater only (as ballast), but this does nothing to ease the global oil glut...