As the Muslim world reflected during the height of Friday's Ramadan prayers, ISIS was busy.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story's circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed? Today's release of the WikiLeaks "Saudi Cables" from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it's done.
"When I left the military, I started noticing all the other ways in which the government turned the Constitution into a punchline. And that practice has only accelerated. The American Revolution itself was predicated on the inequity of taxation without representation. Are your interests represented when they buy bombs and body scanners? Mine certainly aren’t. Yet people who define patriotism by the frequency and rapidity of their flag-waving think that we all have some collective duty to ignorantly believe whatever we’re told by the government. I disagree."
For the first time since the Cold War, the US is set to store heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe in a stepped up effort to deter 'Russian aggression.' While this marks a very meaningful escalation in the standoff between Moscow and the US, one former NATO commander was quick to point out that "nothing is as good as troops stationed full time on the ground."
Are we QE'd out??? It was supposed to be about the quality of growth,not helping the oligarchy protect their collective arses
When forecasting how much oil will be available in future years, most agencies, including EIA, IEA and BP appear to adopt a similar 'work-backwards from GDPO growth expectations' method. It seems that this approach has a fundamental flaw. It doesn’t consider the possibility of continued low oil prices and the impact that these low oil prices are likely to have on future oil production. Hoped-for future GDP growth may not be possible if oil prices, as well as other commodity prices, remain low.
"The oil rebound has run out of gas and now you are seeing nervous investors with itchy trigger fingers bailing out of USO," notes Bloomberg, as the biggest US ETF that tracks oil is heading for the largest two-month outflow in six years, raising concern that crude’s 30% rally may stall. As BNP points out, "we do not think that the bulls have enough supporting fundamental factors to make a case for a higher oil price," and judging by the mass exodus from USO, as Bloomberg concludes, knife-catching 'investors' "don’t want to get burned by another drop in oil."
Another day, another Clinton Foundation related scandal. In the latest expose by International Business Times’ David Sirota, we learn about the explosion in weapons sales to certain nations during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Billions of dollars in sales went to autocratic regimes notorious for human rights abuses who donated generously to the Clinton Foundation. Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged and disgusted? Absolutely. Of all the Clinton scandals, the following is the most dangerous to peace on earth.
"Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data."
On June 5, all eyes will be on OPEC as the group convenes in Vienna to discuss its course for the second half of 2015.
What if Putin is Telling The Truth? On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were frank. And in the middle of his remarks the Russian former KGB chief dropped a political bombshell that was known by Russian intelligence two decades ago... Putin stated that the terror in Chechnya and in the Russian Caucasus in the early 1990’s was actively backed by the CIA and western Intelligence services to deliberately weaken Russia.
Having been 'snubbed' by the new Saudi King Salman, it appears the uneasy relationshipo with our 'allies' in The Gulf is ebbing. In what the State Department will, we are sure, just brush off, Politico reports that the king of Bahrain has apparently also snubbed President Barack Obama, preferring instead to attend a horse show with Queen Elizabeth.
Whether it is more posturing ahead of OPEC's June meeting is unclear but the message from 'sources', according to The Wall Street Journal is "OPEC won’t agree to go lower," with regard global market share (which has fallen from more than 50-% to just 32% currently). The cartel's latest strategy report forecasts oil prices won't reach $100 - “$100 is not in any of the scenarios,” in the next decade (and could drop below $40) with its most optimistic scenario $76 in 2025 (which only Qatar and Kuwait can cover expenditures with). “If they want to sustain the organization, they have no choice,” but to reintroduce production quotas, adding any concession by stronger members would be temporary.
- Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage resign as Tories sweep to victory (Telegraph)
- Bonds and stocks rebound, sterling soars after UK election (Reuters)
- Cameron Set to Return With U.K. Majority as SNP Sweeps Scotland (BBG)
- Tory win brings marked EU exit risk (Reuters)
- Why did Labour lose this election? It never tried to win it (Telegraph)
- Stock Buybacks Hit New Records (WSJ)
- Hard Money Comes Easy as Wall Street Funds Home Flippers (BBG)
- Justice Department to Investigate Baltimore Police (WSJ)
- Saudi Arabia mulling land operations on Yemen border (Reuters)