Kuwait

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Frontrunning: December 21





  • Splintered Spanish vote points to fraught coalition talks (Reuters)
  • Brent Oil Falls to 11-Year Low in London as Global Glut Persists (BBG)
  • Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons (Reuters)
  • U.S. Probes Theranos Complaints (WSJ)
  • Driver plows onto Las Vegas Strip sidewalk 'like bowling ball', one dead (Reuters)
  • Yellen, Bull Markets and Extinction in a Seven-Year Stock Rally (BBG)
 
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Saudi Arabia: The Source Of Islamic Radicalism





Al-Qaeda inspired terrorism is a threat to the Western countries but the Islamic countries are encountering a much bigger threat of inter-sectarian conflict. For centuries the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims have coexisted in relative peace throughout the Islamic World but now certain vested interests are deliberately stoking the fire of inter-sectarian strife to distract attention away from the Home Front: that is, the popular movements for democracy and enfranchisement in the Arab World.

 
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OPEC Members In Jeopardy, How Long Can They Hold Out?





The Saudi strategy has yet to bear itself out, but early indications suggest it is generating returns. Non-OPEC supply is expected to suffer its steepest decline in two decades in 2016, at a drop of nearly 0.5 mbpd. Moreover, U.S. shale producers are among the hardest hit. Oil production across the seven most prolific shale plays is expected to plummet a combined 116,000 bpd in January 2016. Still, the strategy is not without sacrifice, and several OPEC members are struggling to find – and, more importantly, endure – that magical balance between non-OPEC pain, market share retention/growth, and self-inflicted damage. Their tipping points are nearly impossible to predict, but there will be more losers than winners in this game of brinksmanship.

 
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Futures Slide As Quad-Witching Has A Violently Volatile Start After Massive BOJ FX Headfake; Oil Tumbles





Following the latest BOJ statement, the market found itself wrongfooted assuming the BOJ was actually launching another episode of easing, sending the USDJPY soaring, until suddenly the realization swept the market that not only was the incremental action not really material, but even Kuroda spoke shortly after the announcement, confirming that "today's decision wasn't additional easing." The result was one of the biggest FX headfakes in recent days, perhaps on par with that from December 4 when EUR shorts were crushed, as the biggest carry pair first soared then tumbled and since the Yen correlation drives so many risk assets, also pulled down not only Japanese stocks but US equity futures.

 
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The Road To Galactic Serfdom - Libertarian Lessons From Star Wars





The libertarian spin on the path to the dark side has many lessons for our country. Shortly after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney said on television, “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will.” And, stricken with terror and indulging in hate, America did embrace the dark side, accepting torture, indefinite detention, warrantless surveillance, assassination, perpetual illegal wars, and mass civilian casualties. Terror led to hate, hate led to aggression, and aggression has led to suffering, not only for the the direct victims of the wars, but for Westerners at home, as we find ourselves afflicted by blowback in the form of a refugee crisis and terrorist attacks.

 
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Middle-East Opens Weak: Dubai Stocks Slump To 2-Year Lows As Financials Tumble





Following Friday's further freefall in crude oil prices, The Middle East is opening down notably. Abu Dhabi, Saudi, and Kuwait are lower; Israel is weak and UAE and Qatar are tumbling, but Dubai is worst for now.  Dubai is down for the 6th day in a row (dropping over 3% - the most in a month) extending the opening losses to 2-year lows. The 11% drop in the last 6 days is the largest since the post-China-devaluation global stock collapse. Leading the losses are financial and property firms.

 
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Is ISIS Simply A "Saudi Army In Disguise"?





What stinks in Saudi Arabia ain’t the camel dung. It’s the monarchy of King Salman and his hot-headed son, Prince Salman. For decades they have financed terrorism under a fake religious disguise, to advance their private plutocratic agenda. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with money and oil. Saudi control of that oil wealth (from Iraq to Syria) via their ISIS agents, along with her clear plan to take out the US shale oil competition, or so Riyadh reckons, would make the Saudi monarchy a vastly richer state.

 
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Year End Tax Loss Selling - Energy Stock Edition





The Energy names in the S&P 500 haven't broken their August lows in the recent downdraft for the group. That’s surprising for two reasons: first, spot crude prices certainly have – $36.52 today versus a $39.65 low on August 24th; and second, December is typically the month where investors harvest tax losses by selling losing positions and the Energy sector has a bumper crop of such candidates.

 
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How to Shorten the War Against ISIS





Send a Million Troops From All Over the World Pouring Into Raqqa

 
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This Is Why $20 Oil Is A Possibility





The day of reckoning has arrived for the oil price. After a year of "Oil Price Crash" in October the world managed record production of 97.09 Mbpd. Production momentum built in the period of high price, 2007 to 2014, is proving very difficult to switch off. It must be switched off and it seems to me the most likely scenario is sharply lower oil price in the near term.

 
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Turkey's Geopolitical Value





Turkey is the next key region in this conflict, since the only alternative gas pipeline that supplies Russia, and comes from Asia (Nabucco), passes through Turkey. Future conflicts between Turkey and Russia will be part of the Russian strategy within the region. 

 
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Will Low Oil Prices Increase Internal Instability In Conflict Countries?





With over 1.6 million internally displaced in South Sudan, and another 600,000 refugees in neighboring countries, are oil price declines exacerbating humanitarian crises in oil-producing African countries, and can we expect further deterioration as a result of the recent price depression?

 
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Thanks ISIS: We "Can't Keep Up With Surging Weapons Demand", Pentagon Says





With many suggesting the world, already gripped in a global terrorism frenzy courtesy of the CIA-created "Islamic State", is on the verge of World War III (and with a NATO power bringing down a Russian fighter jet for the first time in over 60 years one can see where they get that idea) the result has been an unprecedented surge in demand for mode n weapons of all shapes and sizes... made in the US. Demand so high, in fact, that the US simply can't keep up: "It's worldwide. The demand signal is coming in Europe, in the Pacific and in Centcom." 

 

 
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