In another quiet overnight session, the biggest - and unexpected - macro news was the surprise monetary easing by Singapore which as previously reported moved to a 2008 crisis policy response when it adopted a "zero currency appreciation" stance as a result of its trade-based economy grinding to a halt. As Richard Breslow accurately put it, "If you need yet another stark example of the fantasy storytelling we amuse ourselves with, juxtapose today’s Monetary Authority of Singapore policy statement with the storyline that the Asian stock market rally intensified on renewed optimism over the global economy. Singapore is a proxy for trade and economic growth ground to a halt last quarter." The Singapore announcement led to a sharp round of regional currency weakness just as the dollar appears to have bottomed and is rapidly rising.
In a historic event, one which is perhaps the lowlight of the sad demise of the US coal industry, U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer which employs 8,300 workers, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the most powerful convulsion yet in an industry that’s enduring the worst slump in decades.
In terms of oil, it’s estimated that the Arctic has 90 billion barrels of oil that is yet to be discovered. That’s equal to 5.9% of the world’s known oil reserves – about 110% of Russia’s current oil reserves, or 339% of U.S. reserves.
In the second massive short-squeeze of the year for Chesapeake 'speculators', the company of the verge of bankruptcy has exploded 35% higher today, perfectly tagging (to the penny) the 200-day-moving-average. Breaking above the McClendon probe/suicide "squeeze" rally highs, at $6.13, CHK is at 5-month highs... as 'modeled' CDS spreads collapse after the management was forced to pledge the entire company to maintain existing credit lines.
Today the stock of CHK is surging following the good news that contrary to some expectations, it did not lose access to its $4 billion line of credit. However, that came at a cost: to preserve its full $4 billion availability, Chesapeake was forced to pledge almost all of its natural gas fields, real estate and derivatives contracts. In addition to most of its gas and oil reserves, Chesapeake pledged as collateral all hedge contracts, property, deposit accounts and securities, subject to certain undisclosed carve-outs, according to the regulatory filing. In other words, the entire company.
it has been a rather quiet session, which saw Japan modestly lower dragged again by a lower USDJPY which hit fresh 17 month lows around 170.6 before staging another modest rebound and halting a six-day run of gains; China bounced after a slightly disappointing CPI print gave hope there is more space for the PBOC to ease; European equities rose, led by Italian banks which surged ahead of a meeting to discuss the rescue of various insolvent Italian banks, while mining stocks jumped buoyed by rising metal prices with signs of a pick-up in Chinese industrial demand.
Over-supply plus a warm 2015-2016 winter have resulted in low gas prices. That is about to change because supply is decreasing.
The "Fukushima class disaster" that emerged from Aliso Canyon's worst ever gas leak has left behind more than just medical and human issues. According to RealtyTrac, in the three months following the discovery of the gas leak in late October 2015, home sales in the Porter Ranch zip code (91326) plunged 44%, and "market disruption is further signified by the number of families that requested relocation out of the Porter Ranch area."
What’s left for the Empire of Chaos in the Eurasian front is the wishful thinking of attempting to encircle both Russia and China, while both keep actually expanding all across the Eurasian Heartland, shedding US dollars and buying gold, signing a flurry of contracts in yuan and selling oil and gas to all and sundry.
Three snowstorms back to back to hit the Northeast, it appears winter is lasting longer than usual for this part of the country.
Eminent domain is a tough pill to swallow for Americans who take their property rights very seriously, and the aggressive moves by Sabal Trail to seize property for a natural gas pipeline running through three southern states is turning into a drama of immense proportions.
Anybody paying into a pension or trying to manage an endowment that needs to be there in 30 or 40 years (or forever, as is the case for university endowments) needs to understand that projections based on prior rates of economic growth are fantasies, hatched when we had the luxury of pretending there were no energy limits. The restructuring of our energy economy, if taken under our own terms and on our own timelines, will utterly crush traditional economic growth as we’ve come to know and love it.
The United States and Canada work well together. The countries share the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade relationship, exchanging more than $2 billion per day in goods and services; the U.S. is Canada’s largest foreign investor and Canada is the third-largest foreign investor in the U.S. The partnership clearly isn’t broken, but it may need some mending as bilateral and international gas trade stands to complicate matters in short order.
Wage inequality is really a sign of a deeper problem; basically it reflects an economic system that is not growing rapidly enough to satisfy everyone. Our basic problem is that the world economy is growing so slowly that the ordinary workers at the bottom find themselves with less than an adequate quantity of goods and services. This problem seems to be getting worse rather than better, over time, making the problem a political issue.
While we have touched on some of the primary catalysts for the ongoing decline in railroad traffic, chief among which the drop off in global trade and the plunge in oil transportation, a third - just as important factor - has been the situation involving US coal power plants, where as the EIA writes, "coal stockpiles at electric generating facilities totaled 197 million tons at the end of 2015, the highest level since June 2012 and the highest year-end inventories in at least 25 years."