Denials and Goldman's dismissal and Thursday's exuberance is done...
Many believed that the NOK was backed by oil, not requiring a gold reserve. However, oil is no longer a scarce resource but an abundant commodity. Switzerland, Germany, America and other first world nations have gold reserves. Norway should have one too.
A case can be made that for Moscow it would be a tremendous waste of hard-earned foreign exchange to try to counter a rig against their currency they simply cannot beat, as the entire fiat financial power of the US is against them. Russia’s Central Bank by now should be all-out selling rubles for gold, and building Russia’s gold reserves. Well, it is happening, somewhat.
We are hearing the voices of the Mushy Moderate Middle rise up in defense of the status quo: Democrats like the Washington courtier Dana Milbank are warning us against Sanders, while the neocons to a man are railing against the Trumpist Temptation. This should be enough to tell us what is the right road to take and what our answer to the Mushy Middletarians must be: Extremism in defense of peace is no vice – and moderation in the fight against the War Party is no virtue!
Coordination on production cuts between OPEC and Russia has always been a long shot, and probably still remains an unlikely development. The big difference this time around, though, is Russia’s change in tone. Saudi Arabia had hinted at its willingness last year to undertake a 5 percent production cut if Russia did the same, but up until now Moscow never really took the idea seriously. However, don’t get too excited.
The main reason for oil's torried surge over the past 2 days is that following yesterday's Russia-Opec "oil production cut" headline fiasco, crude traders - who as we previously reported already had a record net short position - scrambled to cover their exposure on the assumption that where there is oily smoke, there will be fire. We can now put to rest any speculation that OPEC will proceed with any supply cuts, whether Russia requests it or not, because as the WSJ reported moments ago, not only will OPEC not support a supply cut but it will also not support an emergency OPEC meeting.
IRAN WANTS TO RECOUP OIL MARKET SHARE AND IS A CHALLENGE IN ANY DEAL TO CUT OIL OUTPUT - OPEC SOURCES
Headline hockey continues in the energy complex as earlier confirmation of a pending OPEC meeting possible in February has seen more color added, via Reuters, that Saudi Arabia made a proposal that OPEC members cut production by a maximum of 5%. There remains confusion however as Bloomberg reports simply that Russian energy minister has said they "may discuss it," as opposed to being a specific proposal.
Following the Fed's disappointing "dovish, but not dovish enough" statement which effectively admitted Yellen had committed policy error by hiking just as the US economy "was slowing down" which in turn lowered the odds of a March rate hike to just 18%, it was up to oil to pick up the correlation torch, and so it did, rising in an otherwise mixed session which has seen European stocks slide on continued weakness surrounding Italian banks, many of which have been halted limit down, while Asia was treading water following news of the resignation of Japan’s "Abenomics" minister Akira Amari to over a graft scandal, and yet another day of Chinese stock dropping.
- Global stocks, dollar struggle ahead of Fed as oil falters (Reuters)
- Bond Bulls Bank on Fed Mention of Market Chaos as Drag on Growth (BBG)
- Fees on Mutual Funds and ETFs Tumble Toward Zero (WSJ)
- China Climbs Back Up Janet Yellen's Worry List (BBG)
- The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (BBG)
- New Jersey Gov. Christie backs Atlantic City takeover plan (Reuters)
The meaning of Trumpism is that Americans want to rid themselves of the burden of empire. Trump’s rise augurs a seismic shift in the foreign policy debate in this country, marking the end of the interventionist consensus that dominates both parties. And it certainly means the final defeat and humiliation of the neoconservatives, who are busy spewing vitriol at him and his 'plebeian' supporters. And that alone is worth whatever price we have to pay for the triumph of Trump. For the neocons are the very core of the War Party: their demise as a politically effective force inside the GOP is an event that every person who wants a more peaceful world has been longing for and should celebrate.
The one given in this industry is that the analyst community is consistently wrong about where the price of oil is going in the near to mid-term. So let’s just step away from the current noise and focus on a non-controversial outcome - Today’s pricing sentiment is driven by a global economic "Pick 6"...
Some things to ignore; some things not to ignore. The inevitable will occur. Supply and demand will cross. The question is will Wall Street notice? Some of the analysts caught the cross in early 2014 but most didn’t.
- China shares end at 14-month lows after late selling frenzy (Reuters)
- China Dec gold imports through Hong Kong highest since 2013 (Reuters)
- China Contagion Fades as European Stocks Pare Drop, Oil Rises (BBG)
- Apple set for slowest ever iPhone sales growth (Reuters)
- Saudis, Russia Seen by Iraq as More Flexible on Oil-Output Cuts (BBG)
- China Probes NEV sector for subsidy fraud (China Daily)
A President Trump is far more likely to occur in our lifetimes than many want to admit. His chances ride on the fact that the current system is terminally corrupt, as well as socially and economically bankrupt. It will crash and burn, whether in slow motion like the past eight years, or very rapidly over the next several. Someone will likely step in to fill this void. In 1990, Donald Trump conducted a lengthy interview with Playboy Magazine. It provides an absolutely fascinating window into the man’s mind...
Iraq has been one of the key contributors to the uptick in OPEC oil production over the past year and a half. Despite the fact that the country’s crude oil output has continuously been plagued by security concerns and faltering payments to international oil companies from both the Kurdish regional government (KRG) and Baghdad and an ongoing row over oil export rights, it has still managed to ramp up production to record levels. No reason to worry about Iraq’s oil future it seems… or is there?