NATO Member Busted Supporting ISIS … Now Declares War Against ISIS, But Instead Bombs Its Political Rival (the Main Force ...Submitted by George Washington on 07/31/2015 17:52 -0400
... FIGHTING ISIS (Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine Confirm What Zero Hedge Has Been Saying)
"Turkey's interest in northern Syria and northern Iraq is not an abstraction triggered by a group of religious fanatics calling themselves the Islamic State; it is the bypass, intersection and reinforcement of multiple geopolitical wavelengths creating an invisible force behind Ankara to re-extend Turkey's formal and informal boundaries beyond Anatolia."
- U.S. stock futures slip amid lukewarm earnings, fall in commodities (Reuters)
- Stressful times for low-polling Republicans who may miss debate stage (Reuters)
- Trump shows staying power with surge ahead of first debate (Reuters)
- China Market Manipulation Probe Targets Spoofers After Crash (BBG)
- Beijing Chosen to Host 2022 Winter Olympics (WSJ)
- Obama Warns Support on Iran Deal ’Getting Squishy’ Amid Pressure (BBG)
- Pacific trade negotiators chase elusive final deal in tough talks (Reuters)
In a repeat of Thursday's action, Chinese stocks which had opened about 1% lower, remained underwater for most of the session before attempting a feeble bounce which took the Shanghai Composite fractionally into the green, before the now traditional last hour action which this time failed to maintain the upward momentum and the last day of the month saw a surge in volume which dragged the market to its lows before closing roughly where it opened, -1.13% lower. This caps the worst month for Chinese stocks since since August 2009, as the government struggles to rekindle investor interest amid a $3.5 trillion rout, one which has sent the Shanghai market lower by 15% - the biggest loss among 93 global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg.
Global oil prices have returned to a state of flux. This is hardly news to any who follow the oil markets closely and yet prices continue to drive international headlines. While oil prices are notoriously difficult to predict, it has failed to deter the speculators. There are those warning that the latest dip is a precursor for $40 a barrel, a catastrophe for oil markets in some minds. On the other end of the spectrum are the optimists betting on a return to $100 by 2020. The World Bank has taken a typically middle-of-the-road approach, with forecasts of $57 a barrel in 2015. That said, given Iran’s potential revitalization, Russia’s murky outlook, and U.S. shale supply limits uncertain, prices will be responsive to supply and demand trends; at least in the short to medium term.
As Turkey requests NATO support after launching strikes against both ISIS and PKK, question have arisen about Ankara's links to Islamic State and about the real aim of the country's "terror" crackdown.
"Erdogan is trying to achieve the result he failed to in the June 7 election in a political coup. That's the real aim of the steps taken now." "ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks."
In a defiant speech delivered over the weekend, Syria's Bashar al-Assad insisted that "defeat ... does not exist in the dictionaries of the Syrian Arab army," even as the strongman admitted that his military faced a debilitating shortage of manpower. Meanwhile, WSJ says Russian officials are "showing more openness to discussing alternatives to Mr. Assad as his regime loses territory."
The U.S. E&P industry is really good at spending other people’s money to increase production. It doesn’t matter if there is a market for the oil and gas. As long as the capital keeps flowing, they will do what they do best. Don’t be distracted by the noisy chatter about savings through efficiency or re-fracking. Just look at the income statements and balance sheets from first quarter and it’s pretty clear that most companies are hemorrhaging cash at these prices. The U.S. rig count increased by 19 this week as oil prices dropped below $48 per barrel – the latest sign that the E&P industry is out of touch with reality.
"Central bank quantitative easing drove traditional investors seeking mid-to-high single digit yields out of investment grade/ crossover credit into high yield, loan and emerging market debt to satisfy yield bogeys. The problem, however, is some of the tourists underappreciate the exponential loss and mark-to-market functions for low quality high yield assets."
Hedge Funds' net long position in WTI Crude collapsed 27% (the biggest single 'dump' in over 3 years) ahead of the big plunge last week (and is now down almost 60% in the last month - the most since 2010). Part of a broader deflationary collapse in commodities, as Bloomberg reports, long positions dropped to a two-year low while short holdings climbed 25%, erasing more than $100 billion in market value from the 61 companies in the Bloomberg E&P stock index. With crude supplies still almost 100 million barrels above the five-year average, "there's a lot more room for prices to slide," warned one trader, "it's going to take a long time for this to work itself out."
Who is the culprit for the recent record oil stock glut across the OECD nations? We present the answer on the following several charts showing oil exports from both OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries. Note that Iran has gone exactly nowhere - it is "others" who are to blame for the most recent downturn in oil prices.
Many have questioned just why President Obama was so keen to get the Iran nuclear deal done - apparently with almost no real concessions - in the face of allies home and abroad deriding the agreement. Well, if one were so inclined, OilPrice.com explains that Iran's deputy oil minister for commerce and international affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, told Reuters that the country has already identified 50 oil and gas projects it will offer for bids - with the government pegging the value of these properties at $185 billion...
- Chinese shares tumble 8.5 percent in biggest one-day drop since 2007 (Reuters)
- Japan’s Economy Shrank Last Quarter, Top Forecaster Says (BBG)
- Creditor teams in Athens to work on third bailout (AFP)
- Tsipras’s Paradox Is Six Months of Pain and Enduring Popularity (BBG)
- Goldman-Backed Instant Messaging Company Seeks New Investment (WSJ)
- Best Buy will sell the Apple Watch on August 7th (Engadget) - when is it coming to Dollar General?
- Senate votes to revive Ex-Im (Hill)
- U.S.-Turkey Deal Paves Way to Set Up Buffer Zone in Northern Syria (WSJ)
If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home. Much of this “strategy” is personified by a single Washington power couple...