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Global Systemic Financial Crisis 2015: Geopolitics, Oil and Currency Markets thumbnail

Global Systemic Financial Crisis 2015: Geopolitics, Oil and Currency Markets

For almost two years, by combining various points of view (speculative, geopolitical, technological, economic, strategic and monetary…), we have continued to anticipate a major crisis in the entire oil sector. Today, no one doubts the fact that we are actually at that point, and the GEAB must therefore anticipate the consequences of this veritable atomic bomb, which has begun to blow up all the old system’s pillars: everything which we have known, international currencies, financial markets, the US, the Western alliance, world governance, democracy, etc. Global systemic crisis: the end of the West we have known since 1945 Here, we would like to look back on a historic GEAB anticipation, that of Franck Biancheri in February 2006, which announced the beginning of the global systemic crisis under the title “the end of the West we have known since 1945” (1). It will have ...

What the US Should Learn from Russia’s Collapse thumbnail

What the US Should Learn from Russia’s Collapse

After months of whispered warnings, Russia’s economic troubles made global headlines when its currency collapsed halfway through December. Amid the tumbling price of oil, the ruble has fallen to record lows, bringing the country to its most serious economic crisis since the late 1990s. Topping most lists of reasons for the collapse is Russia’s failure to diversify its economy. At least some of the flaws in its strategy of putting all those eggs in that one oil-and-gas basket are now in full view. Once upon a time, Russia did actually try some diversification — back before the oil and gas “solution” came to seem like such a good idea. It was during those tumultuous years when history was pushing the Soviet Union into its grave. Central planners began scrambling to convert portions of the vast state enterprise of military production — the ...

A Continent of New Consumers thumbnail

A Continent of New Consumers

Africa has the foundation for an exceptionally long runway for consumer spending. Morningstar's long-term approach to analyzing companies requires careful analysis of Africa, which we expect to become an increasingly fertile region for consumer spending over the next several decades. Several tailwinds drive these expectations: favorable demographic trends, including a large, young, and rapidly growing population; wealth creation and the growth of Africa's consuming class; urbanization and infrastructure investments; and favorable regulatory reform. Many consumer staples firms have been slow to act because of historical government instability, commodity price swings and the impact on consumer spending and raw material costs, and the perception of poor returns on infrastructure investments. These fears have slowly been placated, however, with consumer companies coming to the realization that Africa offers an opportunity to extend their brand and develop economies of scale. Companies with moats are especially poised ...

Degrowth – A Vocabulary for a New Era thumbnail

Degrowth – A Vocabulary for a New Era

Degrowth. A Vocabulary for a New Era, just published by Routledge, is quite a slim volume of 220 pages and 51 short chapters. Before anything else it seems important to say that there are lots of chapters in this book that I think are quite excellent as short pithy descriptions of the key concepts of degrowth. If in this review I have not mentioned many of these chapters it is usually because I have no quarrel with the choice of the word or phrase, the way that is elucidated, the way that it is related to the other words and combined with a short reading list. An attempt has been made by the editors and by the individual authors to relate the words in the vocabulary together so that they are not isolated chapters about stand alone ideas. This puts the ...

Fixing the Crowded Earth thumbnail

Fixing the Crowded Earth

When night falls on Kibera, it is like a door slamming shut. When the sun is up, things are hectic and loud, rough and fetid, but always safe and even welcoming: Bright colors abound and so do offers of nyama choma (roasted meat, usually goat) and bottles of Tusker, the local lager. Soon after the first stars appear in the sky, the streets of Nairobi, Kenya’s largest urban slum go silent, emptying out but for dogs, cats and rats, thieves and rapists. Life moves indoors, and because most people are too scared to leave their homes to use outhouses and public latrines, “flying toilets” (plastic bags holding human waste) are tossed out of doorways and over fences into the streets. One night this past October, the sobbing of a girl cut through the muffled music reverberating behind the tin walls of makeshift ...

Saudi Oil Minister Naimi says oil price drop temporary thumbnail

Saudi Oil Minister Naimi says oil price drop temporary

Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said on Thursday that OPEC could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked. Ali al-Naimi said it was impossible for OPEC to cut alone to reverse the oil price slump -- which he called temporary -- when others were pumping more, saying that could lead to losing market share and with no guarantee of supporting prices. Officials and executives from non-OPEC Russia and Mexico travelled to Vienna last month ahead of OPEC's meeting, with some in the group hoping they would cooperate in output cuts. Naimi has stayed tightlipped, saying only he had no expectations after meeting them in a Vienna hotel, and that he had not initiated it. OPEC decided not to cut at its meeting. On Thursday, Naimi told Saudi state news agency SPA ...

Geology

Israel Discovers Third Massive Natural Gas Field ‘Royee’

Israel announced on Sunday the discovery of a major offshore gas field, the third to be located in its waters in the past five years, augmenting its newly acquired status as an energy power. The new field, some 90 miles off Israel’s coast in the eastern Mediterranean, holds at least 3.2 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas, according to a 3D seismic survey. Two larger fields, discovered in 2009 and 2010, have combined reserves of at least 33 trillion cubic feet. These fields are expected to serve the bulk of Israel’s gas needs for the coming century. Experts say that further exploration will likely uncover other sizeable fields in Israel’s deep offshore waters. The gas discoveries will have a major impact on Israel’s economy and perhaps even on its relations with Arab neighbors. Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt are all in urgent need of energy supplies and Israel would be the natural supplier. Israel’s proximity ...

Business

We Can’t Predict the Future of Oil and Gas Prices

In 2003, The Mirage, one of the premiere casino hotels in Vegas, lost an estimated $100 million and 10,000 visitors a week when a hand-raised tiger bit and grievously injured Roy Horn, half of Siegfried & Roy. That bite — which no executive or show producer ever expected — ended the run of one of Vegas’ richest and most-important headline acts. And they had no way to see it coming. Every year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) — the U.S. government’s official arbiter and prognosticator for all things energy — releases various reports that look at factors driving the oil and gas market. It throws all the data into whatever statistical numbers grinder it uses and produces projections for global energy production, consumption and prices five to 20 years out. They assume that whatever sort of predictions they can make today will be at ...

The True Cost of Food thumbnail

The True Cost of Food

Forget about the presents and the TV specials, without a doubt my favourite part of Christmas is the food. When it’s this cold outside there’s nothing better than sitting down with some loved ones and eating yourself into a merry stupor. But this year won’t be quite the same for me. For the past 12 months I’ve been taking a serious look at the reality of our modern food system and the impacts it has on our environment, our health and our communities. It was a sobering experience. The point of a food system should be to advance our wellbeing, in a way that is socially just and sustainable over time. A system that does so would have some defining characteristics; for example, it would: have a neutral or positive environmental impact; be productive in its use of energy and other inputs; ...

Gulf braces for tough times over oil price plunge thumbnail

Gulf braces for tough times over oil price plunge

Gulf countries are bracing for tough times as vital oil revenues fall and after they missed a golden opportunity to diversify their economies in a decade of unprecedented windfalls, analysts say. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - could soon start reeling from falling oil prices, which have dropped by half from their 2014 highs to around US$60 (S$78) a barrel. Pumping about 17.5 million barrels per day, GCC countries are forecast to lose at least half their oil revenues, or around US$350 billion a year, at current price levels. Oil revenues make up around 90 per cent of income for most GCC states and with prices now below budget forecasts, their governments are looking at certain deficits next year. Spending cuts are sure to follow - and possibly even ...

There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming thumbnail There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming
If you were about to take a final exam, would you have more hope ...
The “Unequivocally ‘Not’ Good” Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs thumbnail The “Unequivocally ‘Not’ Good” Reality Of Lower Oil Prices & Jobs
The drop in oil prices is certain to cause some incremental unemployment in the ...
The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong thumbnail The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong
In 2008, I moved to Dallas to cover the oil industry for The Wall ...
Oil Price Scenarios For 2015 And 2016 thumbnail Oil Price Scenarios For 2015 And 2016
A couple of weeks ago I had a post titled The 2014 Oil Price ...

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