- Privately, Saudis tell oil market: get used to lower prices (Reuters)
- OPEC Members’ Rift Deepens Amid Falling Oil Prices (WSJ)
- Russia Spending $6 Billion Not Enough to Stop Ruble Rout on Oil (BBG)
- Deutsche clampdown on bad behaviour prompts exodus of traders (FT)
- Can't beat the spin: China trade data eases slowdown fears, more stimulus may still be needed (Reuters)
- China’s Exports Buoy Growth as IPhone Inflates Imports (BBG)
- Italy on Sale to Chinese Investors as Recession Bites (BBG)
- Hong Kong Protesters, Antiprotest Activists Clash (WSJ)
- Turkey Offers Military Bases to U.S.-Led Coalition (BBG) ... and the price is a small piece of post-Assad Syria
- Passenger With Flu-Like Symptoms Causes Ebola Scare At LAX (CBS)
- Boston patient deemed unlikely to have Ebola virus (Boston Globe)
A week ago we noted how critical the seige in Kobani was (and why it suggested President Obama's strategy was a fiasco given a lack of commitment from supposed allies such as Turkey). 7 days later.. and America's plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad. While John Kerry has today stated, "Kobani does not define strategy against Islamic State," the 'loss' is symbolic as The Independent's Patrick Cockburn notes, in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS is expanding its control rather than contracting.
Qatar may be tiny, but it is having a major impact across the Arab world. By propping up violent jihadists in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, while supporting the United States in its fight against them, this gas-rich speck of a country – the world’s wealthiest in per capita terms – has transformed itself from a regional gadfly into an international rogue elephant. Using its vast resources, and driven by unbridled ambition, Qatar has emerged as a hub for radical Islamist movements. In doing so, Qatar is destabilizing several countries and threatening the security of secular democracies far beyond the region. For the sake of regional and international security, this elephant must be tamed.
Two weeks ago, we revealed one part of the "Secret Deal" between the US and Saudi Arabia: namely what the US 'brought to the table' as part of its grand alliance strategy in the middle east. What was not clear is what was the other part: what did the Saudis bring to the table, or said otherwise, how exactly it was that Saudi Arabia would compensate the US for bombing the Assad infrastructure until the hated Syrian leader was toppled, creating a power vacuum in his wake that would allow Syria, Qatar, Jordan and/or Turkey to divide the spoils of war as they saw fit. The full answer comes courtesy of Anadolu Agency, which explains not only the big picture involving Saudi Arabia and its biggest asset, oil, but also the latest fracturing of OPEC at the behest of Saudi Arabia which however is merely using "the oil weapon" to target the old slash new Cold War foe #1: Vladimir Putin.
It was heinous. It was underhanded. It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life. It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs. It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and it’s smart, it’s effective, and it’s the American way. The Obama administration has appropriated it as a major tool of foreign policy, a new way to go to war with nations it considers hostile without relying on planes, missiles, and troops. It is, of course, that very same oil weapon.
While the western world couldn't care less about the fate of some backwater town on the border between Syria and Turkey, it certainly cares about what happens to the Iraqi oilfields located south of Baghdad (which serve to determine the marginal price of oil around the world). Well, the world may not care, but crude traders certainly do, and the reason why oil appears to be rising in recent trade is due to news that ISIS militants have infiltrated one of Baghdad's outer suburbs, Abu Ghraib which is only eight miles from the runway perimeter of Baghdad's international airport.
- It wasn't Obama this time: Pakistani teen, Indian activist win Nobel Peace Prize (Reuters)
- Surging VIX Shakes Bulls as S&P 500 Charts Go Haywire (BBG)
- Global shares hit six-month low as growth worries mount (Reuters)
- Police, protesters clash in St. Louis ahead of weekend of rallies (Reuters)
- We're Sitting on 10 Billion Barrels of Oil! OK, Two (BBG)
- Spain seeks answers as seven more enter Ebola isolation (Reuters)
- Iran will sell its oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount (BBG)
- Redefining honeypot: U.S. DEA 'most interested' in U.S. investors in Canadian marijuana firms (Reuters)
- UKIP Wins First Commons District With Conservative Defector (BBG)
- Fake Ebola Patients Help Hospitals Prepare for Next Case (BBG)
And just like that. everything is crashing. Whether it is Asia, Europe, or even US futures, an entire generation of traders are waking up to something few have seen in the past 6 years: a very rare sea of red only this time with the main difference that the perpetual backstop of all risk, the Fed and/or "Edward Quince", may not be there to halt the collapse.
Ebola Pandemic Hits Germany, Turkey, And Australia As Infected Spanish Nurse Went Un-Quarantined For A WeekSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/09/2014 09:12 -0400
Despite the still confident exclamations from officials that the Ebola pandemic is 'contained', more and more nations are admitting to Ebola-symptomatic cases or bringing infected patients back from Africa for treatment. Australia has its first potential case of the deadly disease, as Bloomberg reports a nurse who returned from volunteering in Africa has developed Ebola-like symptoms. Despite claims that Nigeria's outbreak is over, a Turkish worker there has been hospitalized in Istanbul after signs of high fever and diarrhea. Health officials from Germany confirm a 3rd Ebola patient has arrived in the country - having contracted the disease in Liberia. And finally, just as in the sad case of Thomas Duncan in Dallas, The Guardian reports the infected Spanish nurse went untreated and unquarantined for a week despite reporting symptoms at least three times to hospital officials. It seems the world is ill-prepared for this...
While geopolitics has largely dropped of the front news page, replaced by updates on the global Ebola epidemic (which until recently was considered nothing but fearmongering by those who prefer to avoid reality ews until it is far too late), things in the Middle East are getting worse, and while the US attack against ISIS has achieved absolutely nothing (in fact, the revelation of US strategies may have facilitated the incursion of ISIS into the town of Kobani, a mostly Kurdish city in north Syria), the latest geopolitical hotspot over the past few days has become NATO member Turkey (we provided a big picture summary in "Turkey, The Kurds And Iraq - The Prize & Peril Of Kirkuk"). It is here that violent clashes broke out across the southeast of the nation with several people reported dead and curfews imposed, as the region’s Kurdish people protested the advance of Islamic State just across the border with Syria.
- Turkey says Syria town about to fall as Islamic State advances (Reuters)
- Only now? Growth worries grip stocks, oil (Reuters)
- Hong Kong Protest Leaders ‘Furious’ at Agenda for Talks (BBG)
- Earthquake Damages Thousands of Homes in Southern China (BBG)
- Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama (BBG)
- Where Is North Korea's 31-Year-Old Leader? (BusinessWeek)
- Australia to Revise Employment Data (WSJ)
- Americans Living Longer as Fewer Die From Heart Disease, Cancer (BBG)
- A 401(k) Conundrum: Can You Make Cash Pile Last for Life? (BBG)
- China Services Sector Slows in September (WSJ)
And it all started off so promisingly, when after the biggest selloff in US stocks in two months, the BOJ and its preferred banks once again sold 6J (i.e., bought USDJPY) in the morning Japan session (while collecting CME liquidity rebates of course), sending the pair from below 108 to half the way to 109, and naturally taking global futures higher while pushing yields lower when as ITC says a "large TY seller knocked USTs to lows during the session" - hmmm, wonder who the large seller was. And then... the "rebound euphoria" fizzled a la Sodastream, sending the Nikkei sliding 1.2%, and US equity futures back to unchanged with the bond surge returning and sending German Bunds to new all time highs once again, while the Dax briefly broke below under 9000 before stabilizing at the key support level. It is unclear what caused the failure in central bank euphoria, although some suggest that the latest bevy of disappointing economic news wasn't quite bad enough.
The modern Turkish government is looking at Iraq and Syria in a way similar to how Damat Ferid did almost a century ago when he sought in Paris to maintain Turkish sovereignty over the region. From Ankara's point of view, the extension of a Turkish sphere of influence into neighboring Muslim lands is the antidote to weakening Iraqi and Syrian states. However, the Turkish vision of the region simply does not fit the current reality and is earning Ankara more rebuke than respect from its neighbors and the West. The Kurds, in particular, will continue to form the Achilles' heel of Turkish policymaking. This is the crowded battleground that Turkey knows well. A long and elaborate game of "keep away" will be played to prevent the Kurds from consolidating control over oil-rich territory in the Kurdish-Arab borderland, while the competition between Turkey and Iran will emerge into full view.
Having accidentally stumbled upon the awkward truth - that many governments in the Middle East are either implicitly or explicitly funding terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, to fight Syria's al-Assad regime - Vice President Joe Biden has been doing the rounds the last few days apologizing for any inconvenience his Harvard speech last week may have caused. As Biden's spokeswoman explained, "the vice president apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria." Today it was Saudi Arabia's turn (following Turkey and UAE) to hear Biden "clarify his recent remarks," and as Al Arabiya notes, "the two parties agreed that the issue was closed." Of course, one can hardly blame him for the gaffes, juggling who are friends, frenemies, and foes remains a tricky task for anyone.
Relative to stock market indices, broad commodity indices are now at their lowest levels since the late-1990s dot com boom. Key commodity price ratios, such as those between precious and industrial metals, are already at levels associated with financial crises such as that of 2008. In other words, there is already ‘blood on the commodity streets’, presenting investors and commodity traders with potentially attractive opportunities.