Voices from Russia

Sunday, 9 August 2015

KSA Determined to Crash Oil Prices Until American Shale Oil Breathes Its Last

russia-oil

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American-German economic researcher and historian F William Engdahl observed that never in its wildest dreams did the Obama administration expect that it’d face a financial disaster after it conspired with Riyadh to drop oil prices and flood the market with cheap petroleum, trying to rerun the highly successful American-Saudi deal of 1986 that weakened the USSR. Although it wasn’t  not made public, on 11 September 2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry and King Abdullah concluded a secret deal to use Saudi “oil muscle” to bring Russia and the Kremlin to its knees. Remarkably, on the very next day, the US Treasury’s aptly-named Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, headed by Treasury Under-Secretary David Cohen imposed new sanctions on Russia’s energy companies Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftgas, and Rosneft and prohibited American oil corporations from participating in Russian offshore oil projects in the Arctic. Engdahl said, with a touch of irony, “Then, just as the rouble was rapidly falling and Russian major corporations were scrambling for dollars for their year-end settlements, a collapse of world oil prices would end Putin’s reign. Clearly, that was the thinking of the hollowed-out souls who pass for statesmen in Washington today. Victoria Nuland was jubilant, praising the precision new financial warfare weapon at David Cohen’s Treasury financial terrorism unit”.

Meanwhile, nothing hinted at any trouble in July 2014… West Texas Intermediate traded at 101 USD (6,460 Roubles. 627 Renminbi. 6,440 INR. 133 CAD. 136 AUD. 92 Euros. 65 UK Pounds) a barrel, and Engdahl noted, “The shale oil bonanza was booming, making the USA into a major oil player for the first time since the 1970’s”. However, when WTI slid to 46 USD (2,940 Roubles. 286 Renminbi. 2,930 INR. 60 CAD. 62 AUD. 42 Euros. 30 UK Pounds) per barrel in January 2015, American strategists suddenly realised that they’d cut their own throat. Indeed, “the over-indebted US shale oil industry” was about to breathe its last because of the plummeting oil price. Although Washington and Wall Street made every effort to artificially stabilise the dire situation (resulting in a slowly rising oil price since February to May, when it hit 62 USD (3,970 Roubles. 385 Renminbi. 3,950 INR. 82 CAD. 84 AUD. 57 Euros. 40 UK Pounds) per barrel), the American political and financial élite underestimated the Saudi factor’s importance.

Engdahl said, “Reportedly, al-Naimi [the Saudi Oil Minister] saw a golden opportunity in the Kerry proposal to use the chance to, at the same time, kill off the growing market challenge from the rising output of the unconventional American shale oil industry. Often, al-Naimi said that he’s determined to eliminate the American shale oil ‘disturbance’ to Saudi domination of world oil market”. Alas, the Saudis are very unhappy with Washington’s shale oil advance and the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration with Tehran. Engdahl emphasised, “In fact, the Saudis are beside themselves with rage against Washington. This has all added up to an iron Saudi determination, aided by close Gulf Arab allies, to further crash oil prices until the expected wave of shale oil company bankruptcies. On 29 July 2015, WTI fell to 49 USD (3,140 Roubles. 305 Renminbi. 3,130 INR. 65 CAD. 66 AUD. 45 Euros. 32 UK Pounds)”.

Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street bank, reported in panic, “We anticipated that OPEC wouldn’t cut, but we didn’t foresee such a sharp increase. This downturn would be more severe than that in 1986. As there was no sharp downturn in the 15 years before that, the current downturn could be the worst of the last 45+ years. If this were to be the case, there would be nothing in our experience that would be a guide to the next phases of this cycle… in fact, there may be nothing in analysable history”. What makes matters even worse for Washington, is that Saudi Arabia, its longstanding and subservient ally, has begun to play its own geopolitical games. On 18 June 2015 Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister and son of King Salman visited Russia and met with  President V V Putin. The parties discussed up to 10 billion USD (640 billion Roubles. 62.07 billion Renminbi. 637.48 billion INR. 13.14 billion CAD. 13.48 billion AUD. 9.12 billion Euros. 6.46 billion UK Pounds) trade deals.

Engdahl remarked, “Today, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and Russia a close second. A Saudi-Russian alliance on whatever level was hardly in the strategy book of Washington State Department planners”. Engdahl went on to say, “October 2015 is the next key point for American shale oil companies… banks will decide whether to keep funding fading American shale oil production or rollover their loans. At the same time, if the Federal Reserve raises American interest rates in September, highly indebted American shale oil manufacturers would face “disaster of a new scale”. Unfortunately, such a “doomsday” scenario may be accompanied with further unintended consequences for American and global financial system. Indeed, as a proverb says, “Curses, like chickens, come home to roost.”

8 August 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150808/1025540019.html

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Gallup CEO: 5.6 Percent Unemployment in USA is “Big Fat Lie”

01-unemployed-worker-in-las-vegas

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Jim Clifton, President and CEO of Gallup, said that the official unemployment rate of 5.6 percent is very deceptive. Gallup is well-known for taking the country’s pulse on a number of issues, including the president’s job performance and what people think about the economy. Clifton said that lately the US Department of Labor has rolled out some supposedly good news about the economy and jobs, and everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon, hooting and hollering about how great things are getting. He said, “The cheerleading for this number is deafening. Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House, and Wall Street about how unemployment is ‘down’ to 5.6 percent. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points, and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market”.

Another thing, the Department of Labor says that if you work a minimum of one hour a week and receive at least 20 USD (1,360 Roubles. 125 Renminbi. 1,240 INR. 25 CAD. 26 AUD. 17.50 Euros. 13 UK Pounds) pay, then, that’s a “job” and you aren’t counted as unemployed, even though you’d be hard-pressed to try to get by with just 20 bucks a week. However, the positive vibes are all smoke and mirrors because the numbers don’t take into account some key factors. For instance, the unemployment figures don’t count people who’ve been unemployed for a while and have stopped looking for work out of frustration. It also doesn’t take into account underemployed people, which Gallup calculates is about 30 million Americans. Clifton believed that it’s downright tomfoolery, especially, when you take into consideration that not all jobs are created equal. In other words, what about all the people who’re underemployed? Let’s say that you have a college degree, you got laid off from your job, and you’re driving a cab to make ends meet. Guess what? You’re not counted among the 5.6 percent. That number doesn’t look at those who’ve stopped looking, those working part-time, and anyone underemployed.

Clifton has three words for it: A BIG LIE. He said, “It’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity… it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country”. Gallup classified a “good job” as one where you work at least 30 hours a week for a regular paycheque. Gallup says there are only about 44 percent of “good jobs” out there, meaning that more than half of the jobs in the USA are those part-time or low-wage flim-flam deals that the government, Wall Street, and the media want you to think aren’t that at all. Wake up, Clifton said, and stop spreading the BIG LIE.

4 February 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/news/20150204/1017790973.html

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Saudi Arabia Collapses Texas Oil to a Critical Level

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. That's Not Real Money! 2014

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Analysts said that reduced prices by Saudi Arabian Oil of WTI light oil exported to the USA and Asia lowered the cost of deliveries WTI in Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange to 78.78 USD (3,026 Roubles. 481.50 Renminbi. 4,835 INR. 90.08 CAD. 90.58 AUD. 62.94 Euros. 49.24 UK Pounds) a barrel, down 2.2 percent over the price at the previous auction. John Kildaf, an employee of hedge fund Again Capital LLC, said, “This move by Saudi Arabia indicates that it’s trying to keep its market share in the USA, which recently declined slightly. Apparently, the Saudis feel comfortable at this price and this level of demand. It seems that Saudi Arabia expects that growth in demand for oil in the winter will allow them to strengthen their position”. On 31 October, WTI on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by 0.7 percent to 80.54 USD (3,576 Roubles. 492 Renminbi. 4,944 INR. 91.95 CAD. 92.41 AUD. 64.23 Euros. 50.36 UK Pounds) per barrel. Then, analysts noted that some members of OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, are ready to keep prices low to preserve their market share.

4 November 2014

Pravda.ru

http://www.pravda.ru/news/economics/04-11-2014/1234014-neft-0/

Editor:

Crude is now BELOW the breakeven point for shale oil and deep-drilled crude. This means that the oil wells in North Dakota are now unprofitable. Big Oil is in a quandary… it can keep the facilities open, and sell at a loss, hoping that the price will rebound… or, it can shut down the facilities until the price recovers, smashing the local economy. You see, the GOP is in the shitter. Their sugar daddies in Big Oil are going to take big hits, which means that they’ll have less available for greedy corrupt pols such as Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum. It’ll make them MORE dependent on Big Pharma than they are… which’ll lead to desperate attempts to repeal the ACA, which President Obama will veto, and they won’t have the votes to override. In short, the situation will play right into BHO’s hands. Played correctly and soberly, it’ll snooker all GOP chances for 2016.

Ironic, ain’t it… the GOP “wins big”, only to find out their paymasters are getting the short end. To put it plainly, the GOP’s sponsors no longer have the cash to subsidise the beginning of the 2016 campaign (which it needs IMMEDIATELY). It also means that the USA no longer has any energy alternative to offer the EU. Saudi and Russian crude are cheaper than any American offering… so, what would any normal person choose? There’s nothing that the USA can do, either… short of attacking the Saudis, which isn’t going to happen. The GOP fires the gun… and finds it full of blanks. L’comédie humaine goes on its merry way.

BMD

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mickey Dee’s Sales Falling Despite Cheaper Food

happy hamburger

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Yesterday, the HuffPo said that despite Big Macs being cheap, McDonald’s sales and profits decreased, with McDonald’s earnings falling by 30 percent. BBC reports said that although the company’s sales fell in Russia, Germany, and especially China after a scandal over meat supplies, the key reason for the poor numbers is low sales on the home front. Earlier, experts speculated that McDonald’s sales plummeted because lower-income Americans suffered from the weak economy; therefore, they weren’t able to afford eating out at McDonald’s. However, this could be a false conclusion, as Bureau of Labor Statistics data published by HuffPo showed that McDonald’s menu prices grew only by a mere 4.8 percent between 2009 and 2014, whereas prices at other fast-food eateries rose anywhere from 6.7 to 16.9 percent. Despite higher prices at other fast-food eateries, their sales actually increased. Therefore, the issue plaguing McDonald’s may be its falling reputation. According to the HuffPo, the commonly held perception is that McDonald’s food isn’t worth eating at any price. Now, CNBC News reported that McDonald’s is trying to re-brand itself as a seller of fresh and good quality food by introducing “transparency initiatives”, such as last week’s campaign asking customers to submit their opinions about the company’s food.

24 October 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/business/20141024/194540518/McDonalds-Meals-Cheap-But-Sales-Still-Falling.html

Editor:

We prefer to eat at Burger King… the food tastes better… full stop. Mickey Dee’s is all over the place, but we prefer to buy food on the road that we can TASTE. Besides, everyone knows how Mickey Dee’s abuses and underpays its help… it’s the Republican Party Paradise writ large. Now, that I have the Burger King app on my tablet, I’ll never have to stop at McClown’s again (Friendly’s is a good bet on the road, too)!

BMD

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