The Other Shoe: Putin has warned the Russians that hard times were ahead and that it was all the US's fault that he had to dip into the country's reserve funds to bail out his cronies' banks. Russia's private sector is running out of cash and must repay foreign loans in harder currency than the
A Word From Our Sponsor: Ukraine's new finance minister, Natalie Jaresko, is a US citizen who has long worked for the US State Department. She has become an honorary Ukrainian and the Ukraine is fast becoming the 51st state. At least she isn't a former Goldman Sacker.
Let's Assume: Oil will fall to $60 or below. In North Dakota it already has; $49.69 a barrel Nov 28. Crude from the Eagle Ford play gets $63.25. Similar prices prevail for the Permian Basin and others. The price of oil is not, actually, the price of oil. The quoted WTI price is for a barrel of oil sitting in downtown Cushing, OK. They price the producer gets is a lot lower, depending on how and how far the oil has to be shipped to get to market. And 'market' means at the refinery. There are fees for gathering the crude from wellsites, then pipeline or rail shipment fees to get there. And then there's the question of how pretty your oil is – is it sweet or sour, light or heavy? How does it match the refinery and what (in that most refineries are built on the ocean's edge) is the price of its foreign competitor? And every producer in every oil patch has to keep wondering what the price of Brent is and how very much less than that will his oil bring and can he still make a profit. And more and more often, the answer is no. And 'no' means no more drilling, not right now.
Some analysts pretend that the Saudis will not succeed at their presumed goal of putting US frackers out of business. That depends on a lot of things – starting with what you believe the break-even point is for various types of oil production in various places. Some fracked wells need above $80, some can show a profit at less than $50, and unless you have access to some very tightly held financial data, you don't know. But the entire chorus agrees that sub $80 (and particularly sub $65) for any extended period will seriously impair the ability of the frackers to obtain financing. Which means they will not be able to replace their rapidly depleting wells.
The same holds for Arctic exploration, further development in deepwater sites in the Gulf and off Brazil, and new wells in the Near East. And the long time lag between getting financing and actually delivering petroeum to the refinery means that three to five years from now there's going to be a lot less oil around – no matter what the demand. No, I didn't just say 'peak oil'. I said 'peak financially available oil' which is different. But not much. Maybe the predicted civil unrest in Venezuella, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait et. al. will come to our rescue, but Libya and Iraq and Iran are pretty fine arguments to the contrary.
Inquiring Minds: Why did the US, Canada and Ukraine vote against a UN resolution condemning Nazism?
Size of the
Feeling Lucky: The Republicans, after at least six other investigations into “the Benghazi affair” reported there was nothing to report and having spent over $14 million on the last – GOP controlled – one, want yet another $3.3 million to
The Calvary: As the Fed gets out of the pumping-money-into-the-markets ploy called QE, the European Central Bank has promised to print a bunch of money early next year. So stock prices zoomed to yet another new high. Good thing stock prices have nothing to do with reality.
Alms: The Vatican found “hundreds of millions of euros” beneath the seat cushions and isn't in as bad a financial state as previously thought when they announced they were not going to launder money any longer. Apparently various departments had been saving for a rainy day and a new reign came along.
Warranty: China says it is going to stop using executed prisoners as source of transplant organs. Check the label.
Porn O'Graph: Is it getting warm in here?