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  • Greece sends reforms before deadline [View news story]
    17741882 - The 'Borat' comment - and movie - is more a critique of US ignorance and isolationism than it is a critique of the people and mores of other nations. There's no reason to be upset.

    If it upsets you I'd take a moment to consider that the US can't even pass a budget to defend its borders (the current Homeland Security funding issue). Europe isn't the only place full of dysfunctional governments.
    Feb 24, 2015. 08:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece sends reforms before deadline [View news story]
    Just you.
    Feb 24, 2015. 07:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece sends reforms before deadline [View news story]
    Greece's control over the reform package was the most important item they wanted, which they got. From Varoufakis statement 2/11:

    We want to revive infrastructure projects with public and private investors and the support of the EU. Indeed, we have some innovative ideas of our own that may help mobilize idle savings into productive investments throughout the Continent, in support of the current efforts of the Commission to enhance investment and of the European Central Bank to stem deflationary forces.

    On privatization and the development of publicly owned assets, the government is utterly undogmatic; we are ready and willing to evaluate each and every one project on its merits alone. Media reports that the Pireus port privatisation was reversed could not be further from the truth.
    Quick fire sales of public property, at a time when asset prices are deeply
    depressed, is not something that anyone would advocate.
    Instead, the government will create a development bank which will incorporate state assets, enhance their equity value through reforming property rights and use them as collateral for the purposes of providing, in association with European investment institutions such as the European Investment Banks, funding to the Greek private sector.

    We want to take additional measures to clean-up non-performing loans in the banking sector to render the banks able to support SMEs and households.

    Several misleading reports have caused misunderstandings with our partners by insinuating that we have rolled back previous reforms and added to our state budget. On the contrary, the measures announced by the Prime Minister with respect to rehiring tax office cleaners, school guards and the staff of the public broadcasting network: (1) have no adverse effect on competitiveness and (2) have no fiscal bearing as they will be paid for entirely by other savings in the state budget. For example, the wrongfully dismissed staff that will be rehired number 2013 people, a tiny number that must be juxtaposed against the 15 thousand hirings that are already inscribed in the 2015 budget that the previous government passed.

    On two other emotive topics, let me clarify that the restoration of the pension cuts we announced concern pensioners living at or below the poverty line and comes up to less than 2 euros per day per eligible pensioner – at a grand total of around 9.5 million. The reason we made this announcement is one that I shall return to, as I must, during our discussions: The appalling humanitarian crisis caused by the debt-deflation.

    On the minimum wage, the government will phase in its restoration to the 2012 level gradually, from September onwards and after consultation with employers and trades unions. As it applies only to the private sector, its fiscal impact will be, if anything, quite positive, as its multiplier effect is large and likely to boost tax revenues beyond the affected employees. Will it reduce competitiveness of the private sector? The government commits to reforms, e.g. in social security, reducing the tax wage that will ensure it does not.
    Feb 24, 2015. 07:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece sends reforms before deadline [View news story]
    Syriza formed a government jointly with ANEL which is the most right wing you get before hitting the fascist Golden Dawn, which still pulled 6% in the last election. Since ANEL is clearly backing Syriza in the current negotiations there is no option on the right short of GD.

    Greek interpretation of current moves is that Greece had zero bargaining power and somehow still managed to secure concessions; that Greece was being pushed to exit and Greece managed to stay. So Greeks view this as a victory even with Syriza/ANEL walking back some of their requests.

    Also some of the unpopular items the Samaras government was preparing to implement were rolled back by Syriza, which may be why it enjoys such popularity.
    Feb 24, 2015. 07:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Most Keystone XL crude would stay in the U.S., report says [View news story]
    Declining oil demand in the US? No forseeable demand growth in the US? US shale covering any potential demand growth in the US?
    Feb 24, 2015. 06:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Historical Correlations Of Oil To Coal Suggest We Won't Be Seeing A Return To $100 Oil Anytime Soon [View article]
    Bookmarked; excellent work here.
    Feb 23, 2015. 02:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    "China actually will use more coal than today even the percent will be decreased"

    Yes it will. It will use more energy from all sources.
    Feb 23, 2015. 12:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    Tony, it isn't just China, but since China is the largest center of oil demand growth it definitely helps looking there first.

    The UK (Scotland England Wales and Ireland) and multiple nations in the EU - likewise large consumers of energy - have also made commitments to increasingly source their energy from alternatives to fossils. But more important than the EU or China is currently developing nations like Bangladesh and Kenya which - in a break with what used to happen - have been increasingly turning away from diesel generators to other sources. Or for that matter Israel - which has been seeing a dramatic drop in its consumption of diesel for generators.

    My point is this: the worldwide demand growth for oil is dropping, and the supply already exceeds demand. Oil's going to need to get cheaper by far than its alternatives if its going to hang on, and that isn't at $50. It's at least under $40, and who knows where the actual floor is.
    Feb 23, 2015. 12:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    Well commonsense, you could perhaps read the following:

    "The Chinese government plans to cap coal use to below 65% of total primary energy consumption by 2017 in an effort to reduce heavy air pollution that has afflicted certain areas of the country in recent years. The Chinese government set a target in its 12th Five-Year Plan to raise non-fossil fuel energy consumption to 15% of the energy mix by 2020 in efforts to ease the country's dependence on coal. EIA projects coal's share of the total energy mix to fall to 63% by 2020 and 55% by 2040 as a result of projected higher energy efficiencies and China's goal to increase its environmental sustainability."
    Feb 23, 2015. 12:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    The crucial item in transportation is average MPG of vehicles on road and it's also a long term metric since the vehicles most likely to get junked are the least efficient, older, ones. Average mpg also gets a boost from regulation - as in rising mpg minimums - and electrics/hybrids, which are assigned mpg equivalents.

    The huge mismatch in price between oil-ng for the last few years created a lot of momentum in Europe and Lat Am for NG powered vehicles.
    Feb 23, 2015. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    All of those prices vary from country to country and depend on each country's infrastructure, but I get that you aren't honestly interested in that, you think you are making a point.

    Following your example, I'll also make a point without being precise:

    "China boosted its installed wind energy capacity last year to a record 19.81 million kilowatts as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter tries to switch its power grid to cleaner energy sources.

    The National Energy Administration said Thursday that wind farms produced 153.4 billion kilowatt hours of electric power in 2014, making up 2.8 percent of total generated electricity.

    Last year's installed wind power capacity represented a 23 percent jump from the 2013 level of 16.09 million kilowatts.

    In November, the government pledged to produce 20 percent of the country's total energy through non-fossil fuels by 2030, doubling its current level, while capping growth in its carbon emissions by the same year, it not earlier.

    Read more at:
    Feb 23, 2015. 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    And yet on a btu basis oil is uncompetitive over $50 with regard to its alternatives. Which means that until oil price falls low enough, projects reducing oil consumption will continue to be in play creating a structural long term reduction in demand growth, and perhaps even turning it negative. Oil is a commodity and the most important fact overlooked by most oil speculators today is that it competes with other energy commodities.
    Feb 23, 2015. 10:32 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    For the same reason Russia didnt reduce production few years ago when oil was $37.
    Feb 23, 2015. 09:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Awash In Crude: Are Inventories The Only Thing That Matters? [View article]
    US doesn't control oil price.

    Interestingly, the Saudi expectation was that US was the high-cost producer and that dropping the price would push US shale out of production, which has clearly been proven absolutely wrong. After observers thought $80 was the red line on US shale, they've dropped it all the way to $40 - and like I've stated before, the reason is because US shale are small scale producers who can and do improve efficiency far faster than entities like Aramco.

    So if the US can continue to produce close to the same output even as low as $40 that means it won't be US production coming offline to pump price up - especially since US shale has pushed out Nigerian and Venezuelan crudes from this market. Here is what will happen, while speculators watch rig counts anxiously hoping and praying for clarity on whether oil will go up, as soon as US production falls its place will be filled by Nigerian and Venezuelan production, immediately. Global production, in other words, will continue to accommodate demand forseeably right now.
    Feb 23, 2015. 07:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tsipras declares victory [View news story]
    Rob Y:

    Here is a chart of Irish and Greek structural budget balances, showing Greece has done far more than Ireland:

    Here is a chart showing Greece has outperformed all 4 of those countries in average annual cyclically adjusted primary balance improvement:

    Greece also has outperformed every single OECD nation in reform responsiveness over 2007-2014

    This isn't about character at all.
    Feb 23, 2015. 07:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment