A multi-part Zero Hedge series compiling the corruption and manipulation perpetrated by international Banks, Mozambique's governing officials, international investors, Sovereign Nations, and the IMF/World Bank.
Is Obama’s entire foreign policy going down in flames? Or will the entire world end up burning? The NATO summit on July 8-9 this year will probably provide the best advance indication of which of those two will be the outcome from all this.
The Beige Book offered its ubiquitous modest, moderate, mummified growth outlook but added a few points that provide The Fed more ammo for hiking rates: Employment grew modestly since the last report, but tight labor markets were widely noted; wages grew modestly, and price pressure grew slightly in most Districts. The reaction was a further rise in July rate-hike odds (and easing of June and September).
$50 per barrel oil is clearly less impossible to live with than $30 per barrel oil, because most businesses cannot make a profit with $30 per barrel oil. But is $50 per barrel oil helpful? Gail Tverberg argues that it really is not.
For those who need a quick and easy recap of all the main events that took place in the oil and gas services sector, here it is courtesy of Credit Suisse's James Wicklung who present the various "things we've learned this week."
A case can be made that the Beltway – neocons and neoliberalcons alike - do not want a hot war with Russia. What they want, apart from racking in more cash for the Pentagon, is to raise the ante to such a high level that Moscow will back down - based on a rational cost analysis. Yet oil prices will inevitably rise later in 2016 – and under this scenario Washington is a loser. So we may see a raise of interest rates by the Fed (with all the money continuing to go to Wall Street) trying to reverse the scenario. Russia does not want – and does not need – war.. but The Aegis changes the game in the sense that it qualifies as a launch area for US missile defense.
Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs. That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse.
The world's largest exporter of crude oil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently announced a plan for its post-oil future. If a country almost synonymous with the oil economy can see the need for such a plan, how can the rest of the world, particularly the United States, the world's largest consumer of petroleum, not see the necessity of such foresight?
In the aftermath of the Panama Papers revelations, US authorities including the IRS appear to have begun a crackdown on tax evaders (if staying away from Washington D.C. for the time being for obvious reason), and according to Bloomberg they just landed a juicy target in the face of Morris Zukerman, a former head of Morgan Stanley’s energy group who now runs a private investment firm, who was indicted in Manhattan on charges of evading more than $45 million of federal and New York state taxes.
Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.
These waxing and waning empires are dangerous as their vulnerabilities and short-comings become exposed, and their territories challenged. That fact that Putin is being prodded from within Russia to be less diplomatic and more aggressive in posturing for war is downright unsettling. Many of our most dangerous American leaders are all-too willing to poke the bear and evoke a reaction.