Oil Wars (Part II)

In hindsight, it does appear that the downward drift in oil prices over the last few months signaled an intensification of deflationary pressures, which was partly masked by bubbling stock markets.  It has been suggested that the break in the markets … Continue reading

Germany’s Export Machine Is Slowing Down

The always provocative FT columnist, Wolfgang Munchau, takes apart the notion that Germany’s “reforms” and sound public finances have paved the way for its economic recovery: “One of the biggest misconceptions about the Eurozone has been a belief in the … Continue reading

Oil Wars?

The Saudis continue to pump out large quantities of crude and the price is hitting multi-year lows.  A lot of existing oil producers are upset with the Saudi actions, notably the Russians, who have suggested that the surplus of oil … Continue reading

US In The Middle East: Lay Off Assad And Make Friends With Iran

The president’s White House staff was controlling, insular, and often ignored the advice of its senior national security officials, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta charges in his yet-to-be-released memoir. The result, Panetta says: botched U.S. policies from … Continue reading

The Troika In All Of Its Awfulness Exposed

According to Irish newspapers, senior European and European Central Bank (ECB) officials agreed to threaten Ireland with national bankruptcy if the government made any attempt to burn bondholders (http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/revealed-the-troika-threats-to-bankrupt-ireland-30621197.html#sthash.wBft9fCO.yVNqF4zi.dpuf). Yet another case of the Troika acting in the interests of a … Continue reading

The IMF Recants On Fiscal Austerity, But Still Has The Wrong Paradigm

In its most recent publication, the IMF advocates substantially increased public infrastructure investment, and not just in the US but much of the world. It asserts that when unemployment is high, as it is in much of the industrialised world, the stimulative … Continue reading

ECB Stress Tests Represent Another Case Of Extend And Pretend In Europe

The European Central Bank (ECB) is undertaking another Asset Quality Review for the Eurozone banking sector imminently.  Regardless of what numbers are actually published, it will almost certainly be an order of magnitude smaller than the actual hidden losses. Euro area … Continue reading

China Nibbles At Italy, The Eurozone’s Soft Underbelly

China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is manifesting a growing appetite for sensitive Italian assets. It was always a wonder to us why the Greeks never turned to China when the country was in the throes of its economic crisis, especially as it has … Continue reading

Trouble In Indonesia?

The Middle East, Ukraine and, indeed, Hong Kong, may have been capturing the media’s attention in terms of incipient political unrest. But there have been interesting political developments in Indonesia in recent days which, on the face of it, appear potentially ominous. … Continue reading

Does Parity Between The Euro And The Dollar Loom In Our Future?

Reuters says that predictions by some of the top currency banks including Goldman, Barclays and Morgan Stanley point to a retreat in the euro to parity or near-parity with the dollar. The expected weakness is based on the view that … Continue reading