Budget Deficit

How Long Can OPEC Hold Out?

It is possible that we might witness the formation of two blocks within OPEC during the next December 4 meet in Vienna. One, led by Venezuela, Ecuador, Libya and Algeria that would want to reduce production levels and the other led by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait that would stick to the current strategy of defending market shar. In the end, it will come down to survival of the fittest. Players who have higher breakeven costs will be the ones who will blink first and thereby reduce their production levels.

Why A Russian Default Is A Very Real Scenario In 2016

Who holds the majority of the debt that would be at risk in a Russian default? Not China.  Not Iran.  Not Syria.  No, it’s the exact same nations, and banks and funds within those nations, that are applying the sanctions against Russia. So, if Russia does default, what does it mean in terms of its political relationship with the West? Nothing. But what does it mean to its creditors? Everything... Simply put, if Putin believes that the benefits of a default outweigh the consequences to his country, he won’t hesitate to do it, no matter the international ruckus it might raise.

Boehner On Debt Ceiling Deal: Process "Stinks" But Alternative Was Default

Today, as we previewed last week, we got just the deal we envisioned.  Which leaves us only with the soundbites, such as this one moments from from John Boehner.

BOEHNER SAYS AGREES WITH RYAN THAT PROCESS THAT PRODUCED BUDGET DEAL "STINKS"; BUT ALTERNATIVE WAS CLEAN DEBT CEILING HIKE OR DEFAULT

And as Boehner's last act, he now has the honor of telling the US public that its latest and greatest debt target has just been increased to just shy of $20 trillion.

Reflections On Venezuela's "Economic Miracle"

What this economic crisis does highlight is that short-term success should never be taken as proof of a long-term solution. And this is particularly true when it comes to quasi-socialist and extreme populist governments. In the long-run, countries that follow these policies have a consistent track record, which is basically the same as what we’re witnessing now in Venezuela.

In Latest Humiliation For Illinois, Fitch Downgrades State's Credit Rating To BBB+

Last week, beleaguered Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger admitted that, thanks to the bitter budget battle going on in Springfield, the state would miss a $560 million pension payment in November. Now, in a move that shouldn't exactly surprise anyone, Fitch has cut the state's GO rating citing the budget impasse. The move affects some $27 billion in debt.

Getting History Right - Saving Capitalism From Monetary Mismanagement

Capitalism isn’t – wasn’t – the problem. The culprit instead was unsound finance and deeply flawed monetary management. In short, Capitalism cannot function effectively within a backdrop of unfettered cheap finance. Things appear miraculous during the boom, and then the bust discombobulates. Contemporary central bank rate administration essentially abandoned the self-adjusting and regulating market system for determining the price of finance – so fundamental to Capitalism.

Saudis Poke The Russian Bear, Start Oil War In Eastern Europe

"[Putin] hopes that when its ally Iran re-enters the global oil and gas market, Russia will somehow share in the profits, perhaps through new pipelines across Syria. He also wants to stop the Saudis from establishing export routes in Syria. Now that Russian energy supremacy in Europe also is at stake, Putin's determination to resolve the Syrian conflict on his terms can only grow."

Here's What Happened When Venezuela Imposed Gun Control Laws

A few years ago, in response to national outcry, the government of Venezuela took steps to fix this problem. There was too much death, too much crime. So they imposed strict gun control laws to stop the murderers and thieves. The end result? Violent crime actually increased. And Caracas is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world. But across the Andes is another city that used to be one of the most dangerous in the world - Bogota.

Venezuela Is Now The Most Expensive Country In The World

Forget Norway. Japan. Iceland. Switzerland. Or any of the other places around the world that are notorious for being painful on the wallet. Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world, hands down. To give you an idea, the cost of a 15-minute taxi ride to the beach yesterday afternoon totaled an eye-popping $158.