In what may be the biggest story of the year, if confirmed, Greek newspaper To Vima reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for 10 billion dollars in order to print drachmas. But the real shocker: on the night of the referendum, word came from Russia that Putin did not want to support Greece’s return to the drachma. After that, Tsipras had no choice left but to “surrender” to German Chancellor.
Surprise! Just days after the 'deal' to bring world peace a little closer amid much crowing by the Obama administration (ahead of Congress' 60-day decision process), Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowed to defy American policies in a speech punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel". As Reuters reports, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the speech was "if it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," seemingly surprised at the rhetoric.
- Gold claws back ground, European assets lose Greek tarnish (Reuters)
- Greece's Euro Exit Back on the Agenda Next Year, Economists Say (BBG)
- Greece submits bill needed to start rescue talks (Reuters)
- Wall Street Lenders Growing Impatient With U.S. Shale Revolution (BBG)
- Overtime Rules Send Bosses Scrambling (WSJ)
- As Markets Swing, Beijing Steadies Yuan (WSJ)
- Tennessee rampage suspect went to Qatar in 2014 (Reuters)
- Kathryn Dominguez to Be Nominated for Fed Governor (WSJ)
"If these people are ... disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principal that’s fine, that’s their right... It’s our right and our obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict."
Even after a few weeks have passed, the unexpected visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum still has a lot of people scratching their heads. The news is full of widespread and contradictory theories, while questions abound. Why had the Saudis accepted an invitation from a country sanctioned by the U.S., its oldest and strongest ally? It is still a bit early for all the pieces to neatly fit together but now, after the dust has settled somewhat, a pattern seems to be emerging that may explain the situation.
- Gold Plunges to Lowest Since 2010 (BBG)
- In Greek crisis, one big unhappy EU family (Reuters)
- Greek Banks Reopen Their Doors (WSJ)
- Greek reshuffle hints at autumn election (FT)
- Angela Merkel signals conditions for Greek debt talks (FT)
- Dollar hits three-month high on rate view, pans gold (Reuters)
- History Shows Iran Could Surprise the Oil Market (BBG)
- ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Will Cease Publishing Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (Newsweek)
This is how democracy has died in America. The formula is simple: billionaires + their (and their many clergy’s) suckers = aristocracy. The result is, in any case, an aristocratic dictatorship, no sort of authentic democracy whatsoever. And, when even the Democratic candidate has gotten there by a string of lies and no substantive record on which voters can know that his assertions don’t match his real beliefs or commitments, the voters are trapped by the aristocracy: they’ve got nothing else to go on but the aristocracy’s lies, and the aristocratically owned ‘news’ media’s stenographic transmissions of their politicians’ lies to the public. The American Revolution (1765-83) overthrew Britain’s aristocracy here. But now, the American people need to overthrow America’s own aristocracy, or else simply accept fascism (rule by an aristocracy).
Andy Brown, a top Shell official, said the Anglo-Dutch oil giant forecasts no quick rebound in the average global price of oil, but only a gradual recovery lasting five years. He attributed this sluggishness to a slowdown in China’s economy, leading a drop in demand for fuel, and the continuing oversupply of oil. “It will take several years [for oil prices to recover fully], but we do believe fundamentals will return,” Brown said. “Until such time, we, like other companies, will have to make sure we stay robust.”
This is it. It is indeed historic. And diplomacy eventually wins. In terms of the New Great Game in Eurasia, and the ongoing tectonic shifts reorganizing Eurasia, this is huge: Iran — supported by Russia and China — has finally, successfully, called the long, winding 12-year-long Atlanticist bluff on its “nuclear weapons.” And this only happened because the Obama administration needed 1) a lone foreign policy success, and 2) a go at trying to influence at least laterally the onset of the new Eurasia-centered geopolitical order.
Greece’s lesson for Russia, and for China and Iran, is to avoid all financial relationships with the West. The West simply cannot be trusted. The “globalism” that is hyped in the West is inconsistent with Washington’s unilateralism. No country with assets inside the Western system can afford to have policy differences with Washington. It is testimony to the insouciance of our time that the stark inconsistency of globalism with American unilateralism has passed unnoticed.
The dollar made new multi-year highs against the dollar-bloc and is bid against most major and em currncies. Why?
With yesterday's appearance what seems like the first Iran oil tanker to set sail post-nuke-deal, Haaretz reports that Iran has been hiding millions of barrels of oil it never reported to the United States or in the world oil market, according to a company that has developed sophisticated maritime tracking technology. With the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, Iran denies it’s storing oil at sea, despite reports that surfaced in The New York Times as early as 2012; but Ami Daniel, Windward founder and cochairman, shows "the Iranians are taking huge, 280-meter-long ships and filling them with oil, to sit at sea and wait. Because the sanctions allow for production of only three million barrels a day, they began storing the remainder... oil tankers have been sitting in the Gulf for anywhere between three and six months, just waiting for orders."
The trick is to borrow as much as you can and leverage it to the hilt, and buy, buy, buy.
The coming few months will prove challenging for the sector, and some small and medium U.S. producers may start missing their debt repayments or even file for bankruptcy. Quicksilver Resources and American Eagle Energy are two of the six U.S. based companies that have filed for bankruptcy in 2015 so far. Sabine Oil and Gas Corp. is the latest, and the biggest, U.S. producer to file for bankruptcy so far. Even mergers and acquisitions have slowed down considerably for the U.S. oil and gas industry in 2015. If the present trend persists, companies will have no choice but to cut their workforces even further to remain competitive and reduce their rising overheads. If oil prices remain in the range of $50 per barrel for longer than expected, even big operators such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (who have so far not made any major layoffs) could start downsizing their workforce.