Natural Gas

Gold: "The More Ridiculous The System Gets, The More Valuable It Becomes"

This system is pure insanity, as are its prices... it wouldn’t bother us if the price of gold went negative, just like propane in Alberta (after all, we're not trading paper currency for gold, just to trade it back for more paper currency if the 'price' goes up). The idea behind buying gold is to swap paper money for something real. Banks can rig its 'price' all they want; gold’s true value comes from its function as a long-term form of savings and a hedge against a broken financial system. And the more ridiculous the system gets, the more valuable it becomes.

Low Oil Prices - Why Worry?

Most people believe that low oil prices are good for the United States, since the discretionary income of consumers will rise. There is the added benefit that Peak Oil must be far off in the distance, since “Peak Oilers” talked about high oil prices. Thus, low oil prices are viewed as an all around benefit. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth...

Carl Icahn Darling Chesapeake Energy Fires 15% Of Its Workforce

Remember when the commodity and gas plunge was supposed to be an "unambiguously good" tailwind for discretionary US spending, something which we warned over and over would never happen as the Obamacare "mandatory tax" surge pricing for healthcare insurance more than offset and discretionary savings? Moments ago another 825 or so soon to be formerly paid workers just found out the hard way just how clueless the vast majority of the punditry was when Chesapeake energy just announced it would terminate 15% of its workforce, or about 825 of its 5,500 most recent employees, as a result of the "current oil and natural gas prices."

Obama: "America Has Few Economic Interests In Ukraine"... And This Very Big One

As part of his UN speech seeking to restore a crumbling Pax Americana, president Obama, eager to cover up US involvement in the Ukraine presidential coup of early 2014 (who can forget Victoria Nuland "strategy" interception in which she laid out the post-coup lay of the land, while saying to "fuck the EU"), just said that "America has few economic interest in Ukraine." Few, perhaps, but quite substantial.

This Is When Junk Bonds Go Kaboom!

We have been warning for months that high-yield bonds have decoupled from equity markets, just as they did in 2007/8, and the credit cycle's turning will inevitably flow through to crush the only thing left supporting stock valuations - the irrational non-economic corporate buyback-er. However, as we detail below, time's running out and it’s getting tougher out there for our QE and ZIRP-coddled corporate junk-bond heroes.

Frontrunning: September 23

  • Global Stocks Steady Despite China Slowdown (WSJ)
  • European Recovery Saves Markets From China Gloom as Stocks Rally (BBG)
  • Pope starts U.S. trip with tone of conciliation (Reuters)
  • FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server (BBG)
  • Volkswagen chief faces grilling by board over diesel scandal (Reuters)
  • 'European Detroit' Fear Grips VW Company Town as Scandal Widens (BBG)
  • Berlin finds itself caught up in Volkswagen scandal (FT)

Frontrunning: September 22

  • Pressure builds on Volkswagen CEO as emissions-cheating probe spreads (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Relates to 11 Million Cars (WSJ)
  • Volkswagen Emissions Investigations Should Widen to Entire Auto Industry, Officials Say (WSJ)
  • Germany's Bosch makes VW's U.S. diesel components (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen scandal will have personnel consequences - state economy minister (Reuters)
  • Glencore Falls to Record as Mining Shares Lead Stock Losses (BBG)
  • Despite Slump, China’s Xi Jinping Pledges Economic Reforms (WSJ)

US Syria Strategy Officially Unravels: Kerry Admits Timetable For Assad Exit Is Completely Unknown

With both Russia and Iran seemingly prepared to do what's necessary to ensure Bashar al-Assad isn't toppled in Syria, John Kerry admits that the US strategy of brining about regime change in Damascus is now in serious jeopardy. Speaking from London on Saturday, Kerry attempted to hang on to the “Assad must go” narrative, but in what might fairly be described as the most conciliatory language yet, Washington’s top diplomat essentially admitted that the timetable for Assad’s exit is now completely indeterminate. Meanwhile, Moscow and Tehran are set to hash out Syria's future seemingly without any input from the Americans.

Fed Enters Rate Hike Meeting With First Headline Deflation Since January

As the final inflation data before the FOMC decision, some have argued that this print matters most as an excuse to stay in 'emergency mode' - perhaps they are right. Consumer Prices dropped 0.1% (as expected) in August - this is the first 'deflation' since January - great news for consumers. Gasoline and airline tickets saw the biggest drops dragging down YoY CPI but The Fed will shrug its "transitory" shoulders but ex-food-and-energy did miss expectations, rising 1.8% YoY (against 1.9% exp). Notably food prices rose 0.2% in August, driven by a surge in egg prices. So WWJYD?

Putin Accuses World Of "Using Terrorist Groups" To Destabilize Governments

"Countries need to put aside geopolitical ambitions [and] direct or indirect use of terrorist groups to achieve goals that include regime change, in order to counter the threat of Islamic State. Elementary common sense responsibility for global and regional security demands the collective effort of the international community."