Looking at the tranquil sea that is the S&P one may be forgiven to ignore the rapid intraday surge in Brent which was up over $3 in a few hours, approaching $126 once again. But why? After all the FOMC minutes were oh so very slightly hawkish, and not to mention that the Fed's scribe Hilsenrath told everyone at best the Fed would proceed with sterilized QE which would leave risk prices untouched. Maybe it has something to do with this. According to Israel's NRG, in a just completed cabinet vote, for the first time Netanyahu has gotten a majority (8 over 6) supporting an Iran attack. NRG also notes that at this point Israel has decided to not wait until the US elections in November before proceeding with sending crude to the stratosphere. From NRG (google translated): "Israeli political sources believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a majority Cabinet support Israeli military action against Iran without American approval....He announced that he would not hesitate to perform the operation without the approval of President Obama mentioned the precedent of the decision to attack the Iraqi reactor, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and with the comments heard yesterday some cabinet ministers say privately that "It sounds like a speech preparation for attack." Political - Security Cabinet 14 ministers. According to estimates, at this stage tend to support Netanyahu and Barak's approach eight ministers, and six against it (including the traditional opponents octet: Moshe Ya'alon, Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and Eli Yishai)." So... $4.00 gas is just around the corner. As is, probably, $5.00 gas. And $6.00 gas.
And from Richard Silverstein's blog:
Just when you thought it was safe to come out from your air raid shelter after Bibi returned from his U.S. foray to stoke up war fever, Maariv raises the temperature to a boiling point. Ben Caspit reports (Hebrew) that the cabinet now has, for the first time, a majority (eight votes for, six votes against) favoring the measure. This means that theoretically Bibi can begin an attack at any time. Of course, it could mean something different: it could mean the cabinet has approved a strike at any point in future with Bibi determining the timing. So it doesn’t necessarily mean the F-16s will fly tonight or tomorrow. But it could:
Cabinet Majority Supports Iran Attack
The prime minister yesterday delivered one of the most combative and explicit speeches in the history of the Iran affair. Several cabinet ministers said in private conversations that it sounded like a “speech preparing for war.”
Political sources judge that the prime minister has a majority in the cabinet which favors a military strike against Iran, even without American approval. Yesterday, Netanyahu said he wouldn’t hesitate to attack Iran even without the approval of Pres. Obama…A senior official said Bibi believed it would be best not to wait for the November presidential elections because he didn’t trust the president to deal with the problem after the election.
So it appears that the dies is cast. Our ETA for the earliest possible offensive? Not before CVN-65 Enterprise reaches CVN 70 and CVN 74, sometime over the next 3-5 days. Of course, this is not a prediction of war. Just a logistical notice.
h/t Gregor Peter