Venezuela’s representative to Opec storms out of meeting after his calls to make deep cuts to production are ignored
by Andrew Critchlow, in Vienna
A landmark Opec meeting has ended in anger after the cartel’s members agreed to leave oil production quotas unchanged, sending crude prices plummeting.
Venezuela’s representative to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Rafael Ramirez, stormed out of the secretariat in Vienna after his proposal to make deep cuts was rejected by Opec kingpins Saudi Arabia and a clutch of Gulf Arab producers.
Brent crude plummeted to a five-year low of $71.25 following the meeting, adding to a 30pc decline since June. West Texas Intermediate oil fell below $70 a barrel, and has fallen 25.5pc in the past 50 trading days. Analysts say the decision to keep output quotas unchanged could trigger a slide in Brent oil prices to around $60 per barrel, as supply outstrips demand.
Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…
from Gold Silver Worlds
This article is based on John Hathaway’s latest quarterly market letter. Mr. Hathaways is Portfolio Manager and Senior Managing Director at Tocqueville.
What the recent strength in the dollar index means:
The DXY index is not the dollar; it is a measure of the dollar’s relative strength. The principal components of the DXY index are the Euro (57.6 percent) and the Japanese Yen (13.6 percent). The balance (28.8 percent) consists of the Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona, and Swiss franc. Therefore, the DXY index says absolutely nothing about the inherent virtues of the US currency. Instead, it reflects capital flight from yen- and euro-denominated assets from regions where the respective central banks have hatched well documented schemes to devalue those currencies as the antidote to economic weakness. There are many reasons why the dollar may remain strong against the core components of the DXY. However, whatever virtues others may see in the DXY’s ascendant pattern, we see the potential for monetary chaos.
Continue Reading at GoldSilverWorlds.com…
by Koos Jansen
Below a screen shot from a report by Citibank its global chief economist Willem Buiter, released on November 26, aimed at clarifying why gold has no value whatsoever.
[...] Although I can agree with his last point, I surely can’t with the rest. From my perspective these are some weird statements. A few more quotes:
…Gold is unlike any other commodity. The only things that come close to it are Bitcoin and similar digital peer-to-peer currencies. Gold is costly to extract from the earth and to refine to a reasonable degree of purity. There is an (unknown) upper limit to the total amount that is recoverable at any cost. It is costly to store. It has no significant remaining uses as a producer good – equivalent or superior alternatives exist for all its industrial uses.
Continue Reading at BullionStar.com…
by Andy Home
Nov 27 (Reuters) – December 2010 and the copper market was booming.
On the London Metal Exchange (LME), three-month metal was charging to the then all-time high of $9,550 per tonne, and front-month spreads were tightening.
LME reports at the time showed a single entity controlling over half of all eligible LME stocks, leading to a frenzy of speculation as to just who was squeezing the copper market.
JPMorgan was “outed” in the media as the controlling hand, which only fuelled further the whirl of speculation, given the same bank was proposing to launch an exchange-traded fund backed by physical copper.
Continue Reading at Reuters.com…
by Lauren McGaughy
AUSTIN – Texas law that allows police officers to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers without a warrant is unconstitutional, the state’s highest criminal court ruled Wednesday.
The ruling could impact Texas’ “no refusal weekends,” including during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, when officers target suspected drunk drivers and subject them to mandatory breath and blood testing in the field. According to the ruling, law enforcement officers will need to have a warrant in hand before forcing suspects against their to submit to a blood alcohol content test.
“We hold that a nonconsensual search of a DWI suspect’s blood conducted pursuant to the mandatory-blood-draw and implied-consent provisions in the Transportation Code, when undertaken in the absence of a warrant or any applicable exception to the warrant requirement, violates the Fourth Amendment,” Judge Elsa Alcala of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote on behalf of the five majority opinion judges. Four members of the nine-judge court dissented.
Continue Reading at Chron.com…
by Paul Hannon
Falling consumer prices in Spain and Belgium, combined with a continued decline in bank lending to businesses across the eurozone, make it increasingly likely that the European Central Bank will soon conclude that more aggressive stimulus measures are needed.
However, there were some signs that there is little immediate danger of the eurozone slipping back into an outright economic contraction, with German unemployment falling, and eurozone business confidence on the rise.
Spain’s National Institute of Statistics, or INE, Thursday said that the European Union-harmonized consumer-price index fell 0.5% in November from the same month a year ago, after a 0.2% annual drop in October. Its counterpart in Belgium said prices there fell by 0.11% from November 2013, having risen very slightly in the 12 months to October.
Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…
by Pater Tenebrarum
The Scandalous Takedown of Mega-Upload
As famous founder and former owner of Mega-Upload Kim Dotcom notes in the presentation and Q&A below, when Sony first presented the VCR technology, the Hollywood content mafia tried to get the technology banned, until the Supreme Court decided that while it was a “dual use technology”, which “could be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes”, the benefits of the legal use outweighed the possible damages from illegal use. As far as we are aware this is also the stance taken in the US constitution on a product that is potentially far more dangerous than the VCR, namely guns.
Dotcom and his colleagues always assumed that the same considerations applied to Mega-Upload. After all, as Dotcom points out, no-one is closing down the Post office just because people may mail something bad through it.
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
Taking the time to thank our federal, state, and local bureaucracies for all the joy they bring us every day.
by P.J. O Rourke
The Daily Beast
It’s Thanksgiving, a national holiday since 1863. And that’s a problem now that giving thanks to God no longer plays a prominent role in American civic life.
I know, I know, America is still ”one Nation under God.” We believe in Him by a landslide 74 percent to 26 percent margin. But, like me, a lot of us 74-percenters go to church about as often as the pope visits the United States.
So, as I was saying…
Now that giving thanks to God no longer plays a prominent role in American civic life, Whom or What do we thank on Thanksgiving?
Continue Reading at TheDailyBeast.com…
from The Daily Bell
Opinion: Federal Reserve relies on misleading indicators … When it decides whether and when to raise interest rates, the Federal Reserve will be watching two numbers very closely: the rates of unemployment and inflation. A sizable drop in the jobless rate from present levels would be a sign that higher rates are nigh; the same would be true if the rate of inflation should accelerate. – MarketWatch
Dominant Social Theme: The Fed’s technocrats know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to numbers.
Free-Market Analysis: This is an interesting critique because it deals specifically with the inputs that Fed officials use to decide on the value and volume of money at any given time.
We’ve often pointed out that the rationale for central banking generally is, well … economically illiterate. No one can foresee the future, because there are no forward-looking indicators. What central bankers do is fix the price of money-stuff, which guarantees market distortions.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…