Around The Net: Noted For Your Morning Ruminations – January 26 2015

Noted for your morning ruminations or procrastination.

  1. The Oil Crash Is Making The Strong Stronger
    A survey of 225 companies by Barclays, a bank, forecasts that if crude settles in a range of $50-60 a barrel (it was below $50 in the middle of this week) the industry worldwide will cut its capital spending by 9% this year, to around $620 billion.
  2. What King Abdullah’s Death Means For The Oil Markets
    With oil prices under $50, the feeling on the ground in Saudi Arabia has been one of concern. After 19 years of rule by Abdullah (9 as regent and 10 as King), there is significant pressure for the new King to secure the support of the populace through populist measures such as public sector wage increases with 90% of Saudis employed in the public sector (90% of the private sector is foreign) and additional handouts.
  3. Why Europe Embarked On Its Massive QE Program?
    The QE package shows that the central bank believes stimulating economic growth is a bigger priority than forcing fiscal discipline in Southern Europe.
  4. One Key Aspect Of America’s Superior Performance Has Gotten Little Attention And Now It’s Under Threat
    The shrinking of the current-account deficit — from its peak of almost 6 percent of US gross domestic product in 2006 to 2.3 percent in 2013 — ought to be a big story.
  5. The Strong Dollar Is Always Good, Except When It Isn’t
    “The notion that a strong country always has a strong currency isn’t something that many countries subscribe to,” he said. As a continental power that doesn’t rely on exports to the extent that many other nations do, he said, “the United States has been able to sustain the illusion of the importance of a strong currency, but really, when the dollar is fairly strong, as it is now, it’s a mixed blessing for the economy of the United States.”
  6. Economic Freedom Does Not Necessarily Lead to Greater Tolerance
    One of their most striking findings is that societies characterized by greater economic freedom and greater wealth do indeed exhibit greater tolerance toward gay people, a tendency suggesting that gay rights, including gay marriage, will spread globally as national economies liberalize and develop.
  7. Syriza Rides Anti-Austerity Wave to Decisive Victory in Greece
    “Overwhelmingly the Greek people voted against austerity policies,” the party said. “This result can be the first step for progressive developments throughout Europe. The government will implement its political program addressing the humanitarian crisis and begin the real negotiation with our European partners.”
  8. Precious Metals Coveted Once More as Draghi Acts: Commodities
    Silver’s 17 percent advance this year in futures is almost twice the gain in gold. Even so, gold is still trading at about 70 times the price of silver, compared with an average of 58 in the past decade. Silver for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $18.325 by 12:52 p.m. in Singapore on Monday.
  9. Prices in Europe Continue to Sink, Showing Why Draghi Had to Act
    In a Bloomberg News survey of 38 economists, the median forecast for January is for prices to drop 0.5 percent from a year earlier. That would follow a 0.2 percent decline in December and mark the second-biggest decrease since the creation of the euro in 1999. The record drop was in the depths of the recession, when prices fell 0.6 percent in July 2009. The data will be published at 11 a.m. in Luxembourg on Friday.
  10. Draghi Plays Chess in Economy Class After Journey to QE
    ECB insiders say it wasn’t apparent QE would really happen until the end of December. Yet the thread of Draghi’s argument, from Amsterdam via Jackson Hole, remains clear. He reacted to economic developments by building political alliances where he could, and facing down opposition where he couldn’t.
  11. Owners of Negative-Yield Sovereign Debt Say They’re No Fools
    “It still makes sense to hold the bonds” when the alternative is the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.2 percent, said Tan, the London-based head of global rates at JPMorgan Asset, which oversees about $1.7 trillion.
  12. Ending Greece’s Nightmare
    And here’s the thing: If the troika had been truly realistic, it would have acknowledged that it was demanding the impossible. Two years after the Greek program began, the I.M.F. looked for historical examples where Greek-type programs, attempts to pay down debt through austerity without major debt relief or inflation, had been successful. It didn’t find any.


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