Natural Gas

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CPI Prints Smallest Possible Increase In September Even As Beef Prices Surge 17% In 2014





After last month's shocking 0.2% drop in CPI, driven almost entirely by plunging gasoline prices, September CPI once again posted a modest rebound, rising 1.7% from a year ago, or 0.1% month over month, just above the 0.0% expectation, with core prices excluding food and energy rising precisely in line with the 0.1% expected. Broad prices were pushed lower by another month of declining energy prices (Gasoline -1.0%, Fuel Oil -2.1%), however offset by rising food prices which increased by food up 0.3% and Utility bills, rising 1.6% in September - the highest price increase in Utility bills since the 7.5% surge in March. Then again, one wonders how food inflation is so subdued when the report itself notes that "the index for beef and veal rose 2.0 percent in September and has now risen 16.7 percent since January. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.5 percent, its tenth increase in the last 11 months." But hey: there is always artificial food in a box which is plunging.

 
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Frontrunning: October 22





  • Russia Loses Oil Ally in De Margerie After Moscow Crash (BBG)
  • Austria's Erste denies report it has failed stress tests (Reuters)
  • Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on (Reuters)
  • Companies Try to Escape Health Law’s Penalties (WSJ)
  • Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border (BBG)
  • NOAA employee charged with stealing U.S. dam information (Reuters)
  • Lower Oil Prices Seen Easing Japan’s Trade Pain (WSJ)
  • Michigan becomes 5th U.S. state to thwart direct Tesla car sales (Reuters)
  • Maglev Train Seen Making Washington-to-Baltimore Trip at 311 MPH (BBG)
 
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Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test Failures





If the ultimate goal of yesterday's leak was to push the EUR lower (and stocks higher of course), then the reason why today's second rejection did little to rebound the Euro is because once again, just after Europe's open, Spanish Efe newswire reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries had failed the ECB stress test. Specifically, Efe said Erste, along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.

 
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How To Start A War, And Lose An Empire





"...the American scheme of world domination through military aggression and unlimited money-printing is failing before our eyes. The public has no interest in any more “boots on the ground,” bombing campaigns do nothing to reign in militants that Americans themselves helped organize and equip, dollar hegemony is slipping away with each passing day, and the Federal Reserve is fresh out of magic bullets and faces a choice between crashing the stock market and crashing the bond market. In order to stop, or at least forestall this downward slide into financial/economic/political oblivion, the US must move quickly to undermine every competing economy in the world through whatever means it has left at its disposal, be it a bombing campaign, a revolution or a pandemic..."

 
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"Anti-Petrodollar" CEO Of French Energy Giant Total Dies In Freak Plane Crash In Moscow





Three months ago, the CEO of Total, Christophe de Margerie, dared utter the phrase heard around the petrodollar world, "There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,"  as we noted here, and despite Western-imposed sanctions on Russia, Total is continuing to pursue a natural gas project in Yamal, a joint venture with Russia's Novatek. Today, RT reports the dreadful news that he was killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snow-plough on take-off. The airport issued a statement confirming "a criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety regulations," adding that along with 3 crewmembers on the plane, the snow-plough driver was also killed. Debris from the aircraft was scattered up to 200 meters from the crash site.

 
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Strange Liaisons? Putin Visits Berlusconi's Home At 3am After Warning Merkel Of Gas Squeeze





It appears Bunga-Bunga boy still has something to offer the international elite. After a lengthy meeting with Germany's Angela Merkel (at a hotel in Milan) where Putin warned of "big transit risks" in delivery of Europe's gas as Ukraine is "starting to siphon off our gas from the export pipeline," and threatening to respond by "reducing flows by the amount stolen;" Putin decided the place to be was 78-year-old Berlusconi's house at 3am. Finally, it is worth noting that Ukraine's President Poroshenko was scheduled to meet with Frau Merkel this morning - we assume to plead his case for why gas transit should flow through his nation (and beg for some more support).

 
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Frontrunning: October 17





  • Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
  • Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
  • How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
  • European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
  • Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
  • ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
  • Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)
 
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The 10 Biggest Energy Company Bankruptcies





Running a multi-billion dollar energy company isn’t easy. Just ask the executives in the corner suites of some of the energy companies that have gone bust over the years. Some, like Enron, were brought down because of insider malfeasance. A few, like ATP, blamed damaging government policies, while others went off the rails due to market forces that left the company and its shareholders flat-footed, deep in debt, and eventually broke. Here are the bankruptcies that will be etched into the tombstones of failed energy fortunes for time immemorial.

 
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China, Russia Sign CNY150 Billion Local-Currency Swap As Plunging Oil Prices Sting Putin





While Russia's economy is hurting, desperate to overthrow the tentacles of the Petrodollar, and is urgently pivoting toward Beijing, the cherry on top came moments ago when, as if to assure all involved parties that there will be enough capital support on both sides, the PBOC released a surprising announcement that the central banks of China and Russia signed a 3-year, 150 billion yuan bilateral local-currency swap deal today, according to a statement posted on PBOC website. Deal can be expanded if both parties agree, statement says. Deal aims to make bilateral trade and direct investment more    convenient and promote economic development in 2 nations.

 
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Guest Post: Qatar's Jihad





Qatar may be tiny, but it is having a major impact across the Arab world. By propping up violent jihadists in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, while supporting the United States in its fight against them, this gas-rich speck of a country – the world’s wealthiest in per capita terms – has transformed itself from a regional gadfly into an international rogue elephant. Using its vast resources, and driven by unbridled ambition, Qatar has emerged as a hub for radical Islamist movements. In doing so, Qatar is destabilizing several countries and threatening the security of secular democracies far beyond the region. For the sake of regional and international security, this elephant must be tamed.

 
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The Oil Weapon: A New Way To Wage War





It was heinous. It was underhanded. It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life. It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs. It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and it’s smart, it’s effective, and it’s the American way. The Obama administration has appropriated it as a major tool of foreign policy, a new way to go to war with nations it considers hostile without relying on planes, missiles, and troops.  It is, of course, that very same oil weapon.

 
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Russia Central Banks Scrambles To Halt Plunging Ruble, Spends Over $2 Billion In Last Three Days As Inflation Soars





After stoically ignoring the impact of its tumbling currency on the domestic economy (and as a reminder, Japan would kill for a currency collapse of this magnitude: just think of the "economic renaissance" that would result if only Abenomics was right about killing your currency leading to growth... which it isn't), the Kremlin is finally starting to feel the pinch leading to the biggest central bank intervention in FX markets since the start of the Ukraine campaign, buying Rubles for a third consecutive day at an amount of over $2 billion, with $1.75 billion purchased in the first two days of the current intervention attempt, and another $420 million in foreign currencies sold overnight according to Bank of Russia data.

 
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Guest Post: Turkey, The Kurds And Iraq - The Prize & Peril Of Kirkuk





The modern Turkish government is looking at Iraq and Syria in a way similar to how Damat Ferid did almost a century ago when he sought in Paris to maintain Turkish sovereignty over the region. From Ankara's point of view, the extension of a Turkish sphere of influence into neighboring Muslim lands is the antidote to weakening Iraqi and Syrian states. However, the Turkish vision of the region simply does not fit the current reality and is earning Ankara more rebuke than respect from its neighbors and the West. The Kurds, in particular, will continue to form the Achilles' heel of Turkish policymaking. This is the crowded battleground that Turkey knows well. A long and elaborate game of "keep away" will be played to prevent the Kurds from consolidating control over oil-rich territory in the Kurdish-Arab borderland, while the competition between Turkey and Iran will emerge into full view.

 
GoldCore's picture

Silver “Particularly Cheap” as “Blood On The Commodity Streets”





Relative to stock market indices, broad commodity indices are now at their lowest levels since the late-1990s dot com boom. Key commodity price ratios, such as those between precious and industrial metals, are already at levels associated with financial crises such as that of 2008. In other words, there is already ‘blood on the commodity streets’, presenting investors and commodity traders with potentially attractive opportunities.

 
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The Siege Of Kobani: Obama's Syrian Fiasco In Motion





Another humanitarian catastrophe may be just hours away at Kobani - a Syrian Kurdish town on the border with Turkey that is now surrounded by ISIS tanks and is being pounded day after day by ISIS heavy artillery. Already this lethal phalanx, which fuses 21st century American technology and equipment with 12th century religious fanaticism, has rolled through dozens of Kurdish villages and towns in the region around Kobani, sending 180,000 refugees fleeing for their lives across the border. Self-evidently the lightly armed Kurdish militias desperately holding out in Kobani are fighting the right enemy - that is, the Islamic State. So why has Obama’s grand coalition been unable to relieve the siege?

 
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