Iran

Why Water Is More Important To Iran's Future Than Oil

As Congress prepares to vote on the Iran nuclear deal, the focus remains on what separates the Islamic republic from the United States, which, depending on your worldview is either a lot, or everything. The truth is that similarities, though perhaps few in number, do exist. Similar though contrasting religious convictions, a penchant for exceptionalism, and pistachios aside, water management stands to be a defining issue for both nations – and, truthfully, the world – as we approach mid-century.

Summarizing The "Black Monday" Carnage So Far

We warned on Friday, after last week's China rout, that the market is getting ahead of itself with its expectation of a RRR-cut by China as large as 100 bps. "The risk is that there isn't one." We were spot on, because not only was there no RRR cut, but Chinese stocks plunged, with the composite tumbling as much a 9% at one point, the most since 1996 when it dropped 9.4% in a single session. The session, as profile overnight was brutal, with about 2000 stocks trading by the -10% limit down, and other markets not doing any better: CSI 300 -8.8%, ChiNext -8.1%, Shenzhen Composite -7.7%. This was the biggest Chinese rout since 2007.

Why It Really All Comes Down To The Death Of The Petrodollar

Last week, in the global currency war’s latest escalation, Kazakhstan instituted a free float for the tenge causing the currency to immediately plunge by some 25%. The rationale behind the move was clear enough. What might not be as clear is how recent events in developing economy FX markets stem from a seismic shift we began discussing late last year - namely, the death of the petrodollar system which has served to underwrite decades of dollar dominance and was, until recently, a fixture of the post-war global economic order.

Making Sense Of The Sudden Market Plunge

The eventual outcome to all this is captured brilliantly in this quote by Ludwig Von Mises, the Austrian economist: "There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved." The credit expansion happened between 1980 and 2008, there was a warning shot which was soundly ignored by ignorant central bankers, and now we have more, not less, debt with which to contend.

Is The Oil Crash A Result Of Excess Supply Or Plunging Demand: The Unpleasant Answer In One Chart

Courtesy of the following chart by BofA, we have the answer: while for the most part of 2015, the move in the price of oil was a combination of both supply and demand, the most recent plunge has been entirely a function of what now appears to be a global economic recession, one which will get far worse if the Fed indeed hikes rates as it has repeatedly threatened as it begins to undo 7 years of ultra easy monetary policy.

Saudis Could Face An Open Revolt At Next OPEC Meeting

OPEC next gathers December 4 in Vienna, just over a year since Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi announced at the previous OPEC winter meeting the Saudi decision to let the oil market determine oil prices rather than to continue Saudi Arabia’s role of guarantor of $100+/bbl oil. Despite the intense financial and economic pain this decision has inflicted on Saudi Arabia, its fellow OPEC members, and other oil producers, the Saudis have given no indication they plan to alter course. Given the Saudi decision’s positive impact on their and their Gulf Arab allies’ relative position within OPEC and its negative impact on OPEC outsiders, it is possible, perhaps even likely, the Saudis will face an OPEC outsider revolt at the December 4 OPEC meeting.. with three possible outcomes - Reconociliation, Separation, or Divorce.

Chinese Stocks Crash To "Red Line" Support, US Futures Rebound Then Sink Again

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the overnight Chinese stock rout is which followed the lowest manufacturing PMI since March 2009, is that it happened despite repeat sellside pleas for a PBOC RRR cut as soon as this weekend: usually that alone would have been sufficient to push the market back into the green, and it almost worked when in the afternoon session stocks rebounded after dropping as much as 4.7% below the "hard" floor of 3500, but then a second bout of selling just before the close took Chinese stocks right back to the lows with the Shanghai Composite closing at 3,507, down 4.3% on the day, having wiped out the entire 18% rebound from July 8 when the PBOC first threatened both sellers and shorters with arrest.

What Obama Gets Wrong On Foreign Policy

"When does the statute of limitations on blaming President George W. Bush for the record of the current administration finally expire? Obama [has become] the president who, to use one of Rose’s baseball metaphors, called his shot only to strike out."

Iran Allowed To "Self-Inspect" Its Nuclear Sites By "Remarkably Naive And Reckless" UN

Given that self-regulation worked so well in the financial services industry, The United Nations, according to AP, has decided to allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site accused of being used to develop nuclear bombs. While the Obama administration was "confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said of the 'secret agreement' - since The UN normally does this work itself - "trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless."

Frontrunning: August 20

  • Crude prices fall towards $40 on global glut (Reuters)
  • China Central Bank Injects Most Funds Since February as Money Rates Increase (BBG)
  • Divided Fed Puts Yellen on Hot Seat (Hilsenrath)
  • So Long September: Bond Traders Defer Their Date With the Fed (BBG)
  • More Foods Boast Non-GMO Labels—Even Those Without GMO Varieties (WSJ)
  • UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site (AP)
  • IAEA says access to Iran's Parchin military site meets demands (Reuters)
  • Time to End Quarterly Reports, Law Firm Says (WSJ)

Economic Crisis Goes Mainstream - What Happens Next?

Last year, when alternative economic analysts were warning that the commodities crush and oil crash just after the taper of QE3 were blaring signals for a downshift in all other financial indicators, the general response in the mainstream was that we were overreacting and paranoid and that the commodities jolt was temporary. Perhaps the fact needs repeating that it’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you. Only a short time later, it is truly amazing how the rhetoric from the mainstream economic yes-men is changing. So now that the mainstream is willing to report on clear economic dangers, what happens next?