For Tuesday Morning Ruminations: Around The Net – February 10, 2015

Noted for your Tuesday morning ruminations or procrastinations – take you pick. Here is what is happening around the net that I came across on Monday and early morning preparing for the day’s activities.

  1. EU energy consumption level falls to 20-year low – The dramatic drop in annual consumption – in 2013, the year to which the new research applies, it was down by more than 9% from its 2006 peak – reflects in part the continuing economic troubles in the eurozone, but also efforts taken by member states and businesses to cut energy use and improve efficiency.
  2. Who do I admire most? – Note that these are people I admire for what they’re doing now. And of course the list is heavily weighted toward people in the media (and people I know); there are people working to take out terrorists, or discovering the technologies for better batteries, or working on cancer cures whom I would admire if I knew their names. With those caveats, here is the list:
  3. Vladimir Putin’s Egypt visit sends message to US – As Russian and western diplomats struggle to reach a peace deal over the conflict in Ukraine, Putin will spend Monday evening at Cairo’s opera house. In meetings on Tuesday, the day before the resumption of Ukraine peace talks, Putin is expected to hold discussions about ending the use of the US dollar in bilateral trade between Egypt and Russia. Collaboration between a Russian and Egyptian newspaper is also reported to be scheduled for discussion.
  4. Citi: Oil Could Plunge to $20, and This Might Be ‘the End of OPEC’ – Despite global declines in spending that have driven up oil prices in recent weeks, oil production in the U.S. is still rising, wrote Edward Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodity research. Brazil and Russia are pumping oil at record levels, and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have been fighting to maintain their market share by cutting prices to Asia. The market is oversupplied, and storage tanks are topping out.
  5. EU Urges Greek Prime Minister to Rein In His Ambitions – “What they want to do has nothing to do with all the agreements which have been made,” German lawmaker Michael Fuchs, deputy caucus chairman of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in parliament, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “If Greece at the end of the day says the only way to get rid of the pressure is to step out of euro zone, it’s up to them. We are prepared for this moment.”
  6. Speculation Against Denmark’s Euro Peg Proving Relentless – SEB AB, the largest Nordic currency trader, says capital flows into AAA-rated Denmark forced the central bank to dump about $4.6 billion in kroner in the first three days of February alone, almost a third the record amount it sold in all of January. Nordea Bank AB, Scandinavia’s biggest lender, says Denmark will need to deliver another 25 basis-point cut to fight back demand for kroner, bringing the benchmark deposit rate to minus 1 percent.
  7. China’s annual consumer inflation hits 5-year low in January -China’s annual consumer inflation hit a five-year low in January while factory deflation worsened, underscoring deepening weakness in the economy and heaping pressures on policymakers to inject more stimulus to underpin growth. The risk of deflation is rising for the world’s second-largest economy as a property market downturn and widespread factory overcapacity have been compounded by an uncertain global outlook and falling commodity prices.
  8. Opinion: This single currency move pressures the entire Eurozone – The SNB decision now casts doubt on the willingness and capacity of central banks to support markets. This may force a major repricing of assets, which are heavily reliant on extraordinary abundance of liquidity and central bank support. It will also reveal the deep-seated underlying economic problems, such as slowing growth, deflation, underemployment, lack of real wage growth, and lack of investment and inequality.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email