"The supply of oil continues to build," warns the CEO of one super-tanker fleet, and "all of this oil needs to go somewhere," which is why the surge in super-tankers to a seven year high strong suggests all is not well in the world's hopeful 'demand' picture. With charter rates up a stunning 57% in the last few weeks with millions of barrels being stored on ships is another indication that the oil glut is yet to dissipate (and in fact, as Bloomberg reports, is getting worse - with almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year). With OPEC's meeting around the corner, a sudden realization of this rising glut may send prices plummeting once again.
The ‘war’ word is being increasingly heard internationally as the U.S., EU, Russia and China adopt provocative postures over various disputes including Ukraine and in the Pacific. War with the U.S. is “inevitable” if the U.S. involves itself in the dispute which has arisen over the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea according to China's state controlled newspaper the Global Times.
In Part 1 of “The New Silk Road,” we examined the China’s plan for rebuilding the Silk Road, stretching from Europe to Asia. In Part 2, we look at currently proposed projects, and geopolitical rivalries that could stall and hamper progress. Until very recently, it was widely assumed that the US would lead its western allies in a campaign against the Russian/Chinese deal to develop the Silk Road, but events have been reversing with remarkable speed.
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."
"Beijing has not yet declared a formal air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, unlike the one it established over part of the East China Sea in 2013, nor could it today enforce such a zone effectively with its current fighters. However, with its reclamation activities continuing, and the Obama Administration apparently having decided to challenge China’s claims, the US and China are now potentially closer to an armed encounter than at any time in the past 20 years. Here are three ways the US and China could go to war..."
- Developed-Country Growth Slows, OECD Says (WSJ)
- Charter Agrees to Buy Time Warner Cable for About $55 Billion (BBG)
- Dollar hits one-month high as periphery woes weigh on Europe (Reuters)
- IMF Says Yuan No Longer Undervalued Amid Reserve-Status Push (BBG)
- Hanergy secured $200m loan ahead of solar group stock tumble (FT)
- Congressional Inaction Threatens NSA Spy Program (WSJ)
- Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday (Reuters)
- Hayes ‘motivated by greed’, prosecutor says in Libor case (FT)
- Whistleblowers Find SEC Rewards Slow and Scarce (WSJ)
In real democracies, governments would do what the citizens who put them in office want them to do. The United States and other Western democracies make a mockery of that ideal. But, even so, there are limits; governments cannot defy public opinion on matters of great moment indefinitely. Enabling the Saudi ruling class, and the rulers of the other Gulf states, to direct American foreign policy to the extent that they do, and to get away with whatever they please, is hardly the least of it; but neither is it the only cause for concern.
Israel is refusing to comply with an order by a Swiss court that it pay $1.1 billion that it has owed to Tehran since before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution for its share of a jointly owned oil pipeline. “Without referring to the matter at hand, we’ll note that according to the Trading with the Enemy Act it is forbidden to transfer money to the enemy, including the Iranian national oil company,” the Israeli Finance Ministry said in a statement.
This won't end well... As far as the Empire of Chaos goes, Divide and Rule remains the sweetest game in town.
The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.
When in doubt how to boost GDP, always revert to that old Keynesian favorite. War.
The 2nd tallest building in the world, Shanghai Tower, will open to the public mid 2015 during a time when China's own economy is going through the darkest period in recent years.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Syriza show will ultimately have to be canceled in Greece (or at least recast) if the country intends to find a long-term solution that allows for stable relations with European creditors, but as we noted on Wednesday, it may be time for Greeks to ask themselves if binding their fate to Europe is in their best interests. Indeed, it's time to take a hard look at the political ramifications of the June 5 IMF deadline and ask if the troika will, in the final analysis, be successful in using financial leverage to undermine the democratic process.