Iran

Frontrunning: May 23

  • Global stocks see-saw, yields slip as investors get week off to cautious start (Reuters)
  • Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer (Reuters)
  • Iran has no plans to freeze oil exports, official says ahead of OPEC meeting (Reuters)
  • U.S. lifts arms ban on old foe Vietnam as regional tensions simmer (Reuters)
  • Anthem, Cigna Privately Bicker as They Seek Merger Approval (WSJ)

Futures Fade Early Bounce, Slide In Illiquid Tape As Yen Rises, Oil Drops

Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.

Sweden's Holy War On Children's Books

Taken to its extremes, the urge to cleanse a culture of elements that do not live up to the politically correct orthodoxy currently in political vogue unsettlingly echoes the Taliban and ISIS credos of destroying everything that does not accord with their Quranic views. The desire "not to offend," taken to its logical conclusion, is a totalitarian impulse, which threatens to destroy everything that disagrees with its doctrines. Crucially, who gets to decide what is offensive?

Iran Mocks Obama Again, Test-Fires 2 More Ballistic Missiles

Overnight the Mehr news agency announced reported that the Iranian military, in its latest snub of the Obama administration and the comprehensive nuclear treaty, has successfully carried out launches of two short-range ballistic missiles during ground forces exercises, local media reported Sundayl it added that the improved versions of Nazeat and Fajr-5 missiles were used during the first stage of the two-day drills in Kashan’s Maranjab Desert and Isfahan’s Nasrabad region.

A Retired White House Correspondent Explains "How Obama Gets Away With It"

At a time when large numbers of Americans say they are fed up with politics and politicians, why is it that the nation’s chief politician, President Obama, seems to skate above it unscathed?  Reporters who criticize or dig too deep are cast by the administration as spoilsports or, worse, cut off from sources. With Donald Trump now the media obsession—and most in the media don’t like him—it is easy to see why Mr. Obama’s performance over the past seven-plus years is still not a major issue in the 2016 campaign. And that’s the way he likes it.

What Does The Next OPEC Meeting Have In Store?

Amid a backdrop of oil prices near $50 per barrel, a sharp drop in Nigerian production due to sabotage, turmoil in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia operating with a new oil minister, and Iran aggressively pumping close to pre-sanction levels; the next OPEC meeting on the 2nd of June will act as little more than a forum for continued altercations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Pivotfarm's picture

Refugees.

Refugees have little or no respite today in the world and that’s a telling tale of the type of world that we have created around us.

Who Answers For Government Lies?

Here is a quick pop quiz. What happens if we lie to the government? What happens if the government lies to us? Does it matter who does the lying? Does anyone care any longer that the government lies to the American people with impunity and prosecutes people when it thinks they have lied to it? Does the government work for us, or do we work for the government?

Oil-For-Drugs Swap: India's Answer To Venezuela's Unpaid Bills

Venezuela can’t pay its millions of dollars in debt to Indian pharmaceutical companies, say Indian officials, so officials are considering a proposal that would see the Latin American country swap oil for its drug debts. After an unlucky gamble on India’s part that Venezuela’s emerging economy would be a good place to hawk Indian pharmaceuticals, the debt is now mounting and poor crisis management coupled with the long-running oil price slump has left Venezuela too cash strapped to pay up.

Falling Chinese Demand Could Intensify The Oil War

The days of global reliance on Chinese demand are soon coming to end as seen by the decline in growth rate, decline in imports, and increase in service sector strength. The implications have already been great as stock markets across the developed world fell into peril when China's GDP growth rate fell below 7 percent. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a while until a recovery in demand alleviates some pressure. But global financial markets will have to adjust to a developed China, and as this "new normal" sets in, it will mean softer demand for commodities. China’s slowing demand for oil will lead to heightened competition for suppliers. For now, it appears that OPEC’s loss is Russia’s gain.

Who Rules The World? Part 1

The Western picture of world order is that “ever since the end of the Cold War, the overwhelming power of the U.S. military has been the central fact of international politics.” This is particularly crucial in three regions: East Asia, where “the U.S. Navy has become used to treating the Pacific as an ‘American lake’”; Europe, where NATO -- meaning the United States, which “accounts for a staggering three-quarters of NATO’s military spending” -- “guarantees the territorial integrity of its member states”; and the Middle East, where giant U.S. naval and air bases “exist to reassure friends and to intimidate rivals.” The problem of world order today is that “these security orders are now under challenge in all three regions” because of Russian intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and because of China turning its nearby seas from an American lake to “clearly contested water.” The fundamental question of international relations, then, is whether the United States should “accept that other major powers should have some kind of zone of influence in their neighborhoods.”

Goldman Cuts 2017 Oil Price Forecast Due To Slower Market Rebalancing

"We expect that the return of some of these outages as well as higher Iran and Iraq production will more than offset lingering issues in Nigeria and our higher demand forecast. As a result, we now forecast a more gradual decline in inventories in 2H than previously and a return into surplus in 1Q17, with low-cost production continuing to grow in the New Oil Order. This leads us to lower our 2017 forecast with prices in 1Q17 at $45/bbl and only reaching $60/bbl by 4Q17."