The first U.S. shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in Portugal last week and Gazprom did not immediately cut its own gas prices for Europe. While European media has hailed the entry of U.S. gas into the market as a game-changer and a monopoly-breaker, in the short term, nothing has changed at all.
Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view. Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our “unipolar moment,” to play the “great game” of empire and seek “benevolent global hegemony”? If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?
EU Plans $290K Per Person Fine For Countries Refusing "Fair Share" Of Refugees; Angry Response EnsuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/04/2016 21:15 -0400
The European Commission plans fines of $290,000 per person on countries refusing to take in their fair share of refugees. This plan is aimed straight at Poland, Slovokia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Sure enough, those countries promptly lashed out at the European Commission's proposal, blasting the plan as “blackmail.”
Earlier this week we observed that in what may be Europe's latest mistake, the European Union is about to grant visa-gree travel to 80 million Turks: a key concession that Erdogan obtained as a result of the ongoing negotiations over Europe's refugee crisis which has pushed Turkey into the key player spotlight. And then, overnight, the European Commission officially granted its support to a visa-free travel deal with Turkey after Ankara threatened to back out of a landmark migration deal. It proposed to lift visa requirements by the end of June.
On the 30th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe yet, a new report shows radioactive contamination from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine still lingers in startlingly large amounts across the border in neighboring Belarus. In an exclusive report by the Associated Press, fresh milk from a Belarusian dairy farm contained a radioactive isotope, traceable to the Chernobyl disaster, at “levels 10 times higher than the nation’s food safety limits” - thirty years after the accident occurred.
As European countries deal with the current refugee crisis, each is taking a slightly different approach in response to the escalating situation. In Norway, which has been shocked by the unfolding events in neighboring Sweden which has seen a mass revulsion at the ongoing refugee onslaught (and which recently announced it won't accept any more refugees from the EU) the answer appears to be the simplest possible one: offer asylum seekers money to leave.
"The Government Is Crushing The Piggy Bank" - Norway Boosts Withdrawals From Its Sovereign Wealth FundSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/25/2016 13:53 -0400
As it deals with the economic slowdown and a plunge in oil prices, Norway has turned to its massive sovereign wealth fund in order to cover 2016 budget deficits, in continuation of a trend noted here first last October. As Bloomberg reports, the country withdrew $898 million in March from the fund, putting the year-to-date total at roughly $3.1 billion, a run rate that is higher than the estimate the central bank governor gave just this past February.
The standard narrative we are told by the government and their lapdog media is that tax avoidance is something that self-centered rich assholes do so that they can buy more Ferraris. This is complete propaganda. Taking legal steps to reduce what you owe is all about ensuring that your labor goes to the causes that YOU believe in, rather than funding spy agencies and bombing raids on children’s hospitals.
The biggest catalyst for overnight markets, first reported on this site, was the announcement by Kuwait that its oil workers had ended their strike which disrupted oil production in the 4th largest OPEC producer for 3 days cutting it by as much as 1.7 mmb/d, and had served to offset the negative news from the Doha debacle. Kuwait Petroleum also added that it would boost output to 3m b/d within 3 days, which in turn has pressured the price of oil overnight, and the May WTI contract was back to just over $40 at last check, sliding 2%. Not helping things was a very dejected Venezuela oil minister Eulogio Del Pino who said at a conference in Moscow that he sees oil prices returning to lows in 3-4 weeks if oil producers can't make a deal. For now the algos - and central banks - disagree.
Why do they hate Donald Trump? Why has the Establishment pulled out all the stops in an effort to smear him, stop him, and crush him underfoot?
Sunday’s producer meeting is all about nothing no matter what agreement might be forged. At best, the agreement will be, as Russia’s energy minister has stated, a gentlemen’s affair, with no binding commitments, no concrete next steps beyond having a review meeting, and no procedure for moving to production cuts.
- Global shares reach four-month high, forex hit by Singapore sting (Reuters)
- Dollar Rally Hits Commodities as Europe Halts Global Stock Gains (BBG)
- Currencies Across Asia Fall Sharply Against U.S. Dollar (WSJ)
- IEA expects limited impact from oil output freeze at Doha (Reuters)
- IEA Sees Oil Oversupply Almost Gone in Second Half on Shale Drop (BBG)
- BofA Profit Declines 13% on Trading Slump, Energy Reserves (BBG)
Markets have stopped focusing on what central banks are doing and are "positioning for what they believe central banks may or may not do," according to BofA's Athanasios Vamvakidis as he tells FX traders to "prepare to fight the central banks," as the market reaction to central bank policies this year reflects transition to a new regime, in which investors start speculating which central bank will have to give up easing policies first.
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.