Iran

Is This The Rationale Behind Russia's Withdrawal From Syria?

The timing of the Russian withdrawal could not be more fortuitous, as it occurs at the very pinnacle of the European refugee crisis, a crisis that was caused by Europe’s backing of the Saudi-Turkish attempt to overthrow Assad. Is Russia gambling on receiving some modicum of European gratitude for helping to stem the flight of refugees to its borders, with the pay-off in terms of easing sanction and enabling its long stalled pipeline projects to be completed.

Another Fed "Policy Error"? Dollar And Yields Tumble, Stocks Slide, Gold Jumps

In the aftermath of the Fed's surprising dovish announcement, overnight there has been a rather sudden repricing of risk, which has seen European stocks and US equity futures stumble to roughly where they were when the Fed unveiled its dovish surprise, while the dollar collapse has continued, sparking deflationary fears resulting in treasury yields plunging even as gold soars, all hinting at another Fed policy error. So was that it for the Fed's latest intervention "halflife"? We don't know, but we expect much confusion today over whether even the Fed has now run out of dovish ammunition.

Oil Jumps After Latest Output Freeze Meeting "News"

Here we go again. WTI halts a 2-day decline and Brent rises above $39 as Qatar says oil producers will meet next month to hammer out the details of the elusive output freeze - with or without the Iranians.

All Eyes On Yellen: Futures Flat Ahead Of Fed Meeting Expected To Usher In More Rate Hikes

Today Janet Yellen and the FOMC will go back to square one and try to reset global expectations unleashed by the ill-fated December rate "policy mistake" hike, when at 2pm the Fed will announce assessment of the economy, even if not rate hike is expected today. Just like in December the Fed will be forced to telegraph that it is hiking rates as a signal of a strengthening US, and global, economy where "risks are balanced" and hope that the subsequent global reaction will not be a rerun of what happened in January and February when confusion about the Fed's intentions led to a global market rout.

Frontrunning: March 15

  • Bank of Japan Holds Fire on Stimulus, Negative Rate Unchanged (BBG)
  • Donald Trump Aims for a Knockout in Tuesday Primaries (WSJ)
  • Global Stocks Fall on Commodities Decline, Ahead of Fed Meeting (WSJ)
  • Oil prices fall as clouds gather over supply picture (Reuters)
  • Many Shale Companies Are Unable to Ramp Up Oil Output (WSJ)

Russian Support For Iranian Oil Output Increase Sends Crude Crashing Below $37

Remember last week when oil prices spiked despite a rise in crude production, inventory builds, continuing storage concerns at Cushing, and the admission that there is no March OPEC/NOPEC "freeze" meeting. Well that's all over as Russia's Oil Minister Novak conmfirms Russia's acceptance of Iranian rights to increase oil output post-sanctions, thus blowing away any ideas of a "freeze" or hopes for a cut in global production. April WTI just broke back to a $36 handle - erasing all of those algo gains...

Central Bank Rally Fizzles: Equity Futures Lower As Attention Turns To "Hawkish Fed" Risk

While Asia was up on China's bad data, and Europe was higher again this morning to catch up for the Friday afternoon US surge, US equity futures may have finally topped off and are now looking at this week's critical data, namely the BOJ's decision tomorrow (where Kuroda is expected to do nothing), and the Fed's decision on Wednesday where a far more "hawkish announcement" than currently priced in by the market, as Goldman warned last night, is likely, in what would put an end to the momentum and "weak balance sheet" rally.

Hybrid Wars Part 1: Disrupting Multipolarism Through Provoked Conflict

Hybrid War is one of the most significant strategic developments that the US has ever spearheaded, and the transitioning of Color Revolutions to Unconventional Wars is expected to dominate the destabilizing trends of the coming decades. Those unaccustomed to approaching geopolitics from the Hybrid War perspective might struggle to understand where the next ones might occur, but it’s actually not that difficult to identify the regions and countries most at risk of falling victim to this new form of aggression.

Energy Wars Of Attrition - The Irony Of Oil Abundance

In the end, the oil attrition wars may lead us not into a future of North American triumphalism, nor even to a more modest Saudi version of the same, but into a strange new world in which an unlimited capacity to produce oil meets an increasingly crippled capitalist system without the capacity to absorb it. Think of it this way: in the conflagration of the take-no-prisoners war the Saudis let loose, a centuries-old world based on oil may be ending in both a glut and a hollowing out on an increasingly overheated planet. A war of attrition indeed.

Oil Prices Should Fall, Possibly Hard

"I hope that oil prices increase but cannot find any substantive reason why they should do anything but fall." As market balance reality re-emerges in investor consciousness and the false euphoria of a production freeze recedes, prices should correct to around $30. A little bad economic or political news could send prices much lower.