Iran

Bad Loans Pile Up In Alberta, As Oil Bust Weighs On State Lender

Just in case you needed another reason to fear for the worst in Alberta, Moody’s and DBRS are becoming increasingly concerned about crown corporation ATB Financial. “Alberta's debt situation was under the microscope last week, with [the] two rating agencies taking a look at the province's fiscal situation and economy and not liking what they saw,” CBC reports.

Frontrunning: January 25

  • Oil Drops as Saudis to Maintain Spending, China Diesel Use Falls (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia is able to withstand low prices says Saudi Aramco Chairman (WSJ)
  • Recession Warnings May Not Come to Pass (WSJ)... or they May
  • Stocks moving in tandem are squeezing short sellers (FT)... as first noted here in 2013
  • Problems Found at Theranos Lab (WSJ)
  • New York rebounds after blizzard, Washington shuts down government (Reuters)
  • China business confidence, recruitment hit record lows in January - SMI survey (Reuters)

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)