Newsflow tomorrow is going to be heavy as Saudi, Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain all prepare for protests. And if today's actions are any harbinger of what to expect, there will be serious unrest, quite possible turning violent even lethal. The wildcard still continues to be Iran, also a hotbed of recent protest, which has so far not made much noise about the crackdown on Shi'ites in the wealthy Saudi kingdom. Reuters summarizes what to look forward to: " Arab uprisings that have spread to the conservative Gulf region face a crucial test this week in Saudi Arabia where activists have made unprecedented calls for mass protests against the kingdom's absolute monarchy. Protests are planned in other Gulf countries such as Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain on Friday, the region's weekend. The time after Friday prayers has proved to be crucial in popular uprisings that have brought down Tunisian and Egyptian rulers who once seemed invulnerable. More than 32,000 people have backed a Facebook call to hold two demonstrations in the country, the first of them on Friday. Saudi police dispersed a protest by a Shi'ite minority in the OPEC member's oil-producing Eastern province near Bahrain on Thursday with one to four people wounded as shots were heard, witnesses said." Furthermore, as we disclosed earlier, the Fed may have made a major error by not conducting a market stabilizing POMO tomorrow - arguably the day it will be needed more than ever. Those so inclined are urged to put on some fat tails insurance ahead of tomrrow's events which will most certainly result in some very violent swings in either direction.
Oil Breakout Alert - Kuwait, World's Fourth Largest Oil Exporter, Joins Demonstrations Demanding Regime ChangeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/08/2011 08:18 -0400
Crude dropped overnight, after the FT joined the BBC in the "False Rumor Spreading Korner", after the Libyan Investment Authority held newspaper said some OPEC members are looking to raise oil output to avoid any supply shortfalls. Too bad that just like every other previous rumor-based attempt to drive oil lower, this one was refuted within minutes by the same OPEC members that were allegedly boosting their capacity (which does not exist in the first place). Perhaps if the FT had read the note sent out at midnight by Goldman's David Greely, which noted that there is virtually no spare OPEC capacity left, they would have known why they should have come up with a more credible rumor: like Gaddafi committing suicide after watching the latest episode of Sheen's Korner. So much for the rumor mill. Now on to facts, where instead we see a development which threatens to send oil surging far higher. Reuters reports that formerly peaceful Kuwait has just joined the ranks of demonstrators, demanding the resignation of the prime minister in a peaceful protest early in the day, with a larger one expected later in the day: "Kuwaitis demonstrating outside parliament for the prime minister's ouster came up with a new symbol of Arab discontent on Tuesday by handing out watermelons. "This is for the parliament's poor performance," one of the small band of protesters shouted as he gave a watermelon to a lawmaker making his way into the parliament. The significance was not spelled out, but in local parlance, a person who has a lack of understanding or holds an unrealistic point of view sometimes is called a watermelon. A potentially larger rally was expected later, inspired by spreading Arab protests that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt before sparking the insurrection in Libya and spreading to other Gulf countries including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia." Kuwait, for those keeping track, is the 4th largest oil exporter in the world.