• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Saudi Arabia

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State Of Fear - Corruption In High Places





"It’s a story of intrigue, corruption and multiple murders, stretching from the streets of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, to Switzerland, France and the US as well as Hong Kong and Singapore, all the way to Australia’s doorstep."

 
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Russia Refutes Its Own Rumor, Says Doha Deal Will Have Few Detailed Committments





Yesterday, Russia said there was a virtual deal assured with Saudi Arabia to "freeze" production (at record levels) that did not require Iran's participation. And now, it appears the Russians are walking that confident "hope" back. Russia's energy minster just told a briefing that the Doha "freeze" deal would be "loosely-framed with fed detailed commitments." Not exactly what the market was hoping for...

 
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Oil Rally Fizzles After OPEC Sees Lower Global Demand; BofA Says "Reduce Risk Into Doha"





OPEC came out this morning with a warning on perhaps the biggest wildcard of all: global demand for oil, which OPEC now declining. The now defunct cartel sees 2016 demand growth ~1.2m b/d vs previous estimate of 1.25m b/d.  "Current negative factors seem to outweigh positive ones and possibly imply downward revisions in oil demand growth, should existing signs persist going forward," the organization’s Vienna-based secretariat said in its monthly market report. "Economic developments in Latin America and China are of concern."

 
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Futures Jump On Chinese Trade Data; Oil Declines; Global Stocks Turn Green For 2016





With oil losing some of its euphoric oomph overnight, following the API report of a surge in US oil inventories, and a subsequent report that Iran's oil minister would skip the Doha OPEC meeting altogether, the global stock rally needed another catalyst to maintain the levitation. It got that courtesy of the return of USDJPY levitation, which has pushed the pair back above 109, the highest in over a week, as well as a boost in sentiment from the previously reported Chinese trade data where exports rose the most in over a year, however much of the bounce was due to a favorable base effect from last year's decline. Additionally, as RBC reported, the 116.5% y/y increase in China’s reported March imports from HK likely reflects the growing trend of "over-invoicing", which is merely another form of capital outflow.

 
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WTI Crude Tops $42 As Russia "Hopes" For Deal At Doha





Despite the day's rampacious rally in stocks and crude aftwer "unidentified sourtces" said a Russia-Saudi deal was done, Russia's Dmitry Peskov just issued a statement that "there is hope" for a deal at Doha. This sent stocks and crude jumping once again... even though we suggest "hope" for a deal is not "a deal."

 
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How The Oil Crisis Has Impacted Military Spending





Some observers of the energy market with a cynical bent say producers need a new war for prices to improve. It could be this hypothetical war that governments in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are preparing for. Let’s just hope the conflict remains hypothetical. The market can rebalance itself without it; it will just take longer. Oil producers will just have to swallow this and wait.

 
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Crude, Stocks Soar After "Unidentified Sources" Suggest Russia-Saudi "Production Freeze" Consensus





Total chaos reigns as equity market "participants" flip from manic-sellers (IMF un-growth and Italian bank bailout failure) to panic-buyers after the following headline hits Bloomberg: SAUDI ARABIA, RUSSIA REACH CONSENSUS ON OIL FREEZE: INTERFAX

 
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Egyptians Outraged At Government Plan To Hand Over Islands To Saudi Arabia As Saudi King Arrives In Turkey





the Egyptian government said on Saturday that the two countries had signed maritime demarcation accords that put the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi waters in the process handing over the two islands to the Saudi kingdom. As Reuters reported, "Egypt's announcement during a five-day visit by King Salman that it would transfer two Red Sea islands to its Saudi ally has outraged Egyptians, who took to social media to criticize the move"

 
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Oil Strategist: "Doha Freeze Talks, If Anything, Look Bearish For Oil"





In the past few weeks, we have expressed our view why the much anticipated OPEC Doha meeting on "freezing" oil production will be one of the biggest "sell the news" events when it comes to oil. Yesterday, even Goldman opined why the OPEC Doha meeting will likely be a dud when Damien Courvalin said: "Don't Expect A Bullish Surprise." Now, we present the view of Bloomberg oil strategist Julian Lee, who says "Doha Freeze talks, if anything, look bearish for oil." Here's the simple reason why.

 
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Was Saudi Arabia Behind 9/11: These 28 Pages Have The Answer





"Is it sensitive Steve, might it involve opening a bit of can of worms, or some snakes crawling out of there, yes." That's how the latest "60 Minutes" segment ended on Sunday. The comment was in reference to the final chapter of a Congressional investigative report into 9/11 that has been left out of the report due to it being classified. The congressional investigative report is a report that was completed and handed over to the 9/11 commission, who ultimately produced the final "official" report. The 28 pages that were classified have only been seen by a select few, and allegedly have to do with details around the existence of a possible Saudi support system for the hijackers while they were in the US.

 
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Saudi Authorities Halt Soccer Game To Cut Off Player's "Anti-Islamic" Hair





The ultra-conservative, Wahhabism-practicing kingdom of Saudia Arabia had their sports authorities stop a match on Friday to cut a player's hair because they deemed it "anti-Islamic." A video posted online on Friday showed one player being given a last-minute haircut before a fixture to comply with Saudi Football Federation guidelines.

 
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Iraq Is Latest To Announce Record Oil Production: Why This Is Just The Beginning Of The Supply Glut





According to the state-run Oil Marketing Co., Iraq increased crude output to a record level in March, ahead of the long-awaited April 17 meeting in Qatar where OPEC members and other producers may or may not (they won't) agree to cap production to curb a global glut. Crude output in OPEC’s second-biggest producer rose to 4.55 million barrels a day last month from 4.46 million barrels in February, while exports increased to 3.81 million barrels a day in March from 3.23 million the previous month.

 
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Taxpayer Money Well Spent? US Among World's Top Executioners In 2015





The number of people put to death across the globe in 2015 reached a 25-year high, a dramatic 54% increase since last year. Almost 90% of the executions took place in three countries: Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. However, before Westerners become too smug — and in spite of a drop in numbers — the U.S. still ranked as one of the top five executioners globally.

 
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Something Just Snapped In Saudi Money Markets





Away from the headlines about The Panama Papers, global financial markets turmoiled quietly this week with a surge in equity and FX volatility and banks suffering more death blows. However, something happened in Saudi Arabia's banking system that was largely uncovered by anyone in the mainstream... overnight deposit rates exploded to their highest since the financial crisis in 2009...

 
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