Iran

The Bernie & Hillary 'Group Think' Show - Cynics, Cowards, Or Populist Propagandists

When Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate turned to world affairs, the NBC correspondents and both Sen. Sanders and ex-Secretary Clinton fell in line behind "group thinks" about Syria, Iran and Russia that lack evidentiary support. The two possibilities for such behavior are both scary: either these people, including prospective presidents, believe the propaganda or that they are so cynical and cowardly that they won’t demand proof of serious charges that could lead the United States and the world into more war and devastation.

Putin Is Winning The Final Chess Match With Obama

The world is now in recession at best and maybe flirting with a global depression. This means politicians will do what is best for their national political future and the consequences for the national economy, citizens or business future is of little consequence to them. This also suggests that global alliances will mean little when domestic national politicians are fighting for survival. Here is how the chess matches have turned out so far in the Putin/Obama competition.

Attention Finally Turns To Saudi Arabia's "Secret" US Treasury Holdings

If you were wondering how much US debt Saudi Arabia holds, you're out of luck because as it turns out, that's a state secret protected by a decades old "unusual Treasury blackout." “It’s mind-boggling they haven’t undone it. The Treasury didn’t want to offend OPEC [but] it’s hard to justify this special treatment at this point.”

The Secret Behind The Next Global Crash

The World Economic Forum in Davos is submerged by a tsunami of denials, and even non-denial denials, stating there won’t be a follow-up to the Crash of 2008. Yet there will be. And the stage is already set for it.

Oil Spikes As Citi Calls It "Trade Of The Year" Even As OPEC Oil Basket Price Near Lowest On Record

With all eyes on the overnight spike in crude oil prices (up 5% and back over $30, this must be the bottom right?), OPEC remains far from impressed with its basket price hovering at (or near) record low levels at $22.48. In fact, the collapse of the OPEC basket price in the last 3 weeks has been the fastest drop since October 2008. However, no matter the chaos occurring various oil instruments (OIL 40% premium to NAV), Citi has decided this is it and dubbed being long oil from here "the trade of the year."

Frontrunning: January 22

  • Stocks, oil soar as Draghi the dove tames global bears (Reuters)
  • Massive snowstorm poised to wallop U.S. East Coast (Reuters)
  • Oil Rises in Biggest Rally Since August Amid Volatility Surge (BBG)
  • Nikkei spikes more than 900 points after rebounds overseas (Japan Times)
  • China's Working-Age Population Sees Biggest-Ever Decline  (WSJ)
  • Oil Is `Trade of the Year' for Citigroup After Iran Export Surge (BBG)
  • U.S. Payment of $1.7 Billion to Iran Raises Questions of Ransom (WSJ)

Frontrunning: January 21

  • Global Stocks Face Fresh Losses (WSJ)
  • European stocks lick wounds after mauling, oil steady (Reuters)
  • Hang Seng Index Sinks Below Net Assets for First Time Since 1998 (BBG)
  • U.S. Hedge Funds Boast Lower Losses as Markets Tumble Further (NYT)
  • Deutsche Bank Drops as Investment Bank Revenue Concerns Mount (BBG)
  • Islamic State Uses Syria’s Biggest Dam as Refuge and Potential Weapon (WSJ)

Why Oil Under $30 Is A Major Problem

Unfortunately, what we are facing now is a predicament, rather than a problem. There is quite likely no good solution. This is a worry. During the last 18 months we have read incessantly that low oil prices, for example, $30 per barrel oil, will stimulate the economy, and the economy will soon bounce back. What is wrong with this story? A lot of things, as we see it...

Saudis Line Up Chinese Energy Deals As Competition For Asian Market Heats Up

As Xi Jinping makes his first Presidential visit to the Mid-East, the Saudis are anxious to secure their interests in the Asian oil market. In an effort to get a leg up on Iran, Saudi Aramco is setting itself up to invest in Chinese refineries, a move that would put Riyadh in a "favorable position at a time of increases supply from other countries."