Iran

OPEC - As Expected - Maintains Production At 30 Million Barrels, Crude Pops

When OPEC did not cut production last November, the oil market collapsed in shock and awe that the cartel would not just give in and allow non-OPEC members to walk away with market share. Today, in Vienna, "exactly as expected," OPEC once again confirmed production will remasin at 30 million barrels per day in the face of the global oil glut and prices for WTI and Brent have jumped $0.50 to $1.00 (we presume on machines and removal of a worst case boost to production).

Sounding The Alarm On The Country's Vulnerability To An EMP

Last year, Elliott Management's Paul Singer highlighted "one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). As Michael Snyder previously details, our entire way of life can be ended in a single day.  And it wouldn’t even take a nuclear war to do it.  All it would take for a rogue nation or terror organization to bring us to our knees is the explosion of a couple well-placed nuclear devices high up in our atmosphere.  The resulting electromagnetic pulses would fry electronics from coast to coast, and, as PeakProsperity.com's Chris Martenson explains, the country is extremely vulnerable to an EMP...

The Delusional World Of Imperial Washington

The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers -- none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers -- Russia, China, and Iran among them -- and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms.  But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower -- and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.

It Cost US Taxpayers At Least $250,000 To Repatriate A Bicycle-Challenged John Kerry

The somewhat farcical journey home from Europe for Secretary of State John Kerry continues. As we noted previously, after breaking his leg on an arbidged Tour de France'-esque accident in which he hit a curb, he was flown to Geneva in a helicopter where he was "stable and never lost consciousness," which makes sense (unless as many have suggested his brain lies considerably lower in his body than most humans). But then the escapade got beyond unreal as The White House sent a massive "specially-equipped" C-17 airplane (used to carrying over 100 combat troops and equipment into battle) to fly him to Boston for surgery. We assume he is covered by Obamacare, since the cost of this rescue mission - assuming roughly 10 hours flight-time - is at least $250,000... and all to avoid an Iran deadline no one expects to meet...

How Long Can OPEC Maintain Its Current Strategy?

The six-month clock is up. OPEC is convening this week in Vienna, as it does every six months, to discuss and decide on how the group will coordinate. So what should we expect from OPEC’s upcoming meeting on June 5? More of the same. Having made the decision to fight it out, there is almost no reason to back off now. US shale producers have hung on longer than many anticipated. OPEC has inflicted a lot of damage across the US shale patch, but it hasn’t yet struck the deathblow that it had wanted. OPEC’s strategy could still work, but will need more time. That points to a stay-the-course approach heading into the June meeting and beyond.

How The US Indirectly Armed ISIS With Over 2,300 Humvees

Curious how and why the US is "boosting" US GDP by selling over $4 billion worth of weapons to Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to provide these countries with protection against ISIS (the same ISIS, incidentally, which a leaked document last week admitted had been effectively created by the US)?  Simple: by first "losing" a billion dollars worth of Humvees so that, drumroll, ISIS can be the best-armed "terrorist" force in the middle east, a force whose mere presence will demand billions in subsequent military orders from the US military-industrial complex by all those who are threatened by ISIS.

John Kerry Goes Biking In France, Hits Curb, Breaks Leg; Will Fly Back To US In "Specially Outfitted Aircraft"

Over the years, many have tried to prevent John Kerry from inserting his foot in his mouth and failed. Today, none other than Kerry himself achieved just that, both literally and metaphorically. America's Secretary of State went biking in the French Alps when he hit a curb, and broke his femur. Not to worry: he is expected to make a full recovery and was in good spirits, according to John Kirby. And just to make sure of that, US taxpayers will be invoiced a little over a million so that a specially equipped airplane picks up the SecState "to ensure he remains comfortable and stable throughout the flight."

Oil Prices Drop To 7-Week Lows - Here's Why

WTI Crude hit new 7-week lows, dropping below $57 (front-month) for the first time since April 15th's 'inventory draw' rip. In addition to reports from Reuters of leaked details about OPEC not expectated to cut production (did anyone really expect that), a combination of renewed inventory builds (as reported by API last night) and reports that Iraq is increasing its supply to new record highs is forcing futures prices to catch down to physical markets.