Budget Deficit

Saudi Arabia Declares Spending Moratorium As Oil Rout Bankrupts Kingdom

Last month, when King Salman arrived in Washington to a fleet of Mercedes S-Classes, we asked if, considering the current circumstances, cutting back on spending might be in order. Indeed, in the wake of Saudi Arabia's move to tap debt markets, rumors have been circulating for months that the kingdom has enlisted the help of "advisers" to help rein in the ballooning deficit. Now, Riyadh has effectively declared a spending moratorium in the face of self-inflicted crude carnage.

World's Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Is Forced To Begin Liquidating Assets

While Reverse QE, or QT, or whatever one wants to call it has become traditionally associated with Emerging Markets and petroleum exporters, nobody had linked it with one of the most advanced Developed Markets in the world which also happens to be an oil exporter, the market with the largest sovereign wealth fun in the world: Norway. That is about to change because as Bloomberg report, "the future may already be here", a future in which Norway's gargantuan $830 billion sovereign wealth fund, the product of two decades of capital accumulation courtesy of Norway's vast petroleum reserves and oil trade, is forced to begin liquidating its vast assets.

US Futures Resume Tumble, Commodities Slide As Chinese "Hard-Landing" Fears Take Center Stage

It was all about China once again, where following a report of a historic layoff in which China's second biggest coal producer Longmay Group fired an unprecedented 100,000 or 40% of its workforce, overnight we got the latest industrial profits figure which plunging -8.8% Y/Y was the biggest drop since at least 2011, and which the National Bureau of Statistics attributed to "exchange rate losses, weak stock markets, falling industrial goods prices as well as a bigger rise in costs than increases in revenue." In not so many words: a "hard-landing."

Can The Saudi Economy Resist "Much Lower For Much Longer"?

The Saudis must alter course, seek a consensus on prices and volumes with their fellow OPEC members, coordinate with Russia, and reduce output from 2015’s average (approx. 10.5 mmbbl/d) to signal their commitment. Why? Crude prices staying lower for longer will rapidly devastate the Saudi economy.

Rousseff Coup Could Sink Brazil, Emerging Markets

Rousseff - hand-picked by Lula da Silva to succeed him - appears to be caught up in da Silva's backdraft. Opposition parties also claim she violated Brazil's fiscal responsibility law when she doctored government accounts to allow more public spending prior to the October election last year. Rousseff in turn described the attempt to use Brazil's economic crisis as an opportunity to seize power a modern day coup.

Petrostate Cash Crunch Continues Amid Oil Collapse, Proxy Wars

The fallout from the demise of the petrodollar is becoming impossible to sweep under the rug even as Gulf states are keen to downplay the severity of the budget crunch. For the Saudis, who need crude at $100 to plug a budget deficit that’s projected at a whopping 20% of GDP, the situation is becoming particularly acute. For Qatar, the situation isn't quite as dire but that doesn't mean the country's officials aren't acutely aware that the world is now scrutinizing the budgets of petrostates in the wake of collapsing crude and indeed on Monday, Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi was at pains to reassure the market.