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  • Greek Debt: Are The Coffers Finally Running Dry? [View article]
    The (only) data actually cited in this article is old and doesn't reflect current realities. The rest is mostly speculation.

    Greece has not received any bailout funds since August or so of '14 and has continued to make payments regularly in the face of all the drama and apocalyptic commentary.

    Like most observers, the author misses that the 4 month extension agreement made earlier this year was a tactical move by Syriza solely designed to buy maneuvering room. Also missed is what the key holdup is: both sides want to accomplish the same goal (solvency) but vary in the approach, with Greece's lenders favoring mechanisms different from those Syriza believe to be in Greece's best interests.

    The most important new news is that after attempting to discredit Syriza repeatedly, by attacking them as 'amateurs' or otherwise attempting to belittle a government with 80% domestic support, and even trying to float rumors that somehow Syriza may consider a new government inclusive of party representatives who are effectivly European puppets, or floating rumors of potential snap elections, the rest of Europe is realizing that they can't away from a simple fact: they will have to deal with Syriza.

    So what's happened most recently? Lots of backpedaling from the ridgity of the initial stance. The 'institutions' have realized that taking a hard line - which worked in the first round of negotiations with a government that had not even gotten its feet wet or taken occupancy of their offices - isn't going to work this time. The institutions have softened their language considerably. This suggests to me that a new extension to the current programs should be placed without too much -real- drama.

    Is there a chance that Schauble does something assinine and starts spouting off again? Sure there is. Is there a chance Bild and Der Speigel promote sales of their papers with more poorly researched unverified rumor? Sure there is. Is there a chance Greece really does get annoyed enough it takes its ball and goes home and tells Europe to go screw? Sure there is. But the chance is pretty small.
    Apr 18, 2015. 10:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P cuts Greece's credit rating [View news story]
    What's most amusing is how strongly "Germany's finance minister" has attempted to turn the issue from Greece's legitimate desire to define the future parameters of funding its loans in win-win pro-growth terms to an issue of 'competence' because he doesn't get to dictate terms like he used to with previous Greek governments.
    Apr 16, 2015. 07:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The latest tale of over-capacity out of China [View news story]
    Well, there's some legal smokescreens but I'd think it's exactly what it appears to be, that the bottom line is that Congress wanted to keep the insider trading exemption.

    There's been a big push in the US in the last dozen years or so from where people used to feel pretty strongly that corruption did not really exist in the US to today where people think it is rampant. Campaign reform has gotten worse, big banks were barely penalized for their shenanigans in the Great Recession, etc. A lot of the deregulation of the markets in the last 20 years didn't help either. The pendulum has swung pretty strongly in favor of big money/business, and things like the repeal of the insider trading exemption ban haven't helped.

    That's not to say that I personally think the US is corrupt: the legislative system and the enshrining of property rights in the US are still the strongest worldwide.
    Apr 11, 2015. 01:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The latest tale of over-capacity out of China [View news story]
    Just want to point out with regard to:

    "Merely a few years ago, Congressmen were exempted from insiders trading charges"

    that this isn't quite right because Congress subsequently repealed the ban and re-allowed the insider trading stuff.
    Apr 11, 2015. 08:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stalled pipeline projects threaten Canada’s economic future, banker warns [View news story]
    Canada's oil production breaking records, and grew through 2014 and still is.
    Apr 9, 2015. 05:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crude bounces following drubbing yesterday [View news story]
    USO alone holds some 56,000 contracts representing 56m barrels (1,000 barrels per contract), or most of the Cushing inventory. Fun fun.
    Apr 9, 2015. 02:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Higher than expected inventory build sends natural gas futures in red [View news story]
    Nat gas because it is piped to demand actually reflects fundamentals far more clearly than any other commodity. More of the trades in /ng reflect market participants than in /cl and others. That's usually why traders have a tough time in it.

    On a different note, nat gas will continue soft until the pipelines to demand areas are fleshed out, which is a work in progress. The demand is out there it's just an issue of getting the supply there.
    Apr 9, 2015. 02:01 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Foreclosure victims returning to market [View news story]
    Once burned twice shy, the impact of this event is not at all clear yet.
    Apr 9, 2015. 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dimon: Next crisis could be shaping up in Treasury market [View news story]
    Treasury volatility and volume has picked up noticeably in the last 6 months, I've noticed it too.
    Apr 9, 2015. 01:51 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil back on the move after brief pause [View news story]
    Over here:

    I see USO selling May '15 futures at $53.98 and buying June '15 futures at $55.23. So there's the spread you are effectively paying for. How precisely it impacts USO's price I have no idea.

    I think watching USO to inform trading you're best bet is to watch momentum and ride the train... USO's momentum is bullish right now even with all the fundamentals pointing bearish, but it carries enough weight - along with other oil linked ETFs - to push the market.

    Also watch when oil moves in direction of dollar....
    Apr 8, 2015. 07:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil back on the move after brief pause [View news story]
    That's not quite accurate. There were exemptions for some amounts of oil shipped to those countries in the sanctions, which reduced the amounts of oil purchased by those countries from Iran significantly. And because of the way oil is transported they severely restricted the capacity of Iran to move oil around the world. Also, let's add S Korea in the countries buying oil from Iran, and point out that China and India are both centers of oil demand growth which has been decreasing.
    Apr 8, 2015. 07:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil back on the move after brief pause [View news story]
    According to Platts as of March 30, one major ETF -- the US Oil Fund -- owned 57,956 NYMEX May crude contracts, compared with 7,151 front-month NYMEX crude contracts six months prior... totaling 12% of open interest in the NYMEX May crude contract. And that's just one fund.

    There's a ton of speculative momentum propelling oil right now.
    Apr 7, 2015. 05:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ECB bond purchases hit €52.5B in first month [View news story]
    ...and Spain's yielding negative now...
    Apr 7, 2015. 01:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil surges on signs of growing demand, tempered Iran view [View news story]
    Spec money has been floating oil for a while now, and it's lifting off now. Expect the air to come out a bit around contract expiration but the amount of bullish spec money out there can still do interesting things. This is pure spec movement, not supply-demand. The 'herd' as you say is long and has been doubling up at least since february.
    Apr 6, 2015. 08:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Crude Oil: The Fundamental Bottom Is In [View article]
    The last time there was this much bullish commentary and interest in general in oil was 2008....
    Apr 6, 2015. 06:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment