Tag Archives: OPEC

The assumption of right

This happens, it happens almost every day and we all (including me) see that happen. My view was that oil prices would go up. It is a logic set to demand and supply, a basic principle. As OPEC cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day, we would have expected a rise, maybe not directly, but overall when you get less of a product, the prices rise. It is the basic foundation of commerce; shortage tends to drive prices up. Yet a Forbes article proves me wrong (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/gauravsharma/2018/12/10/opecs-output-cut-not-enough-to-provide-short-term-70-oil-price-floor/#668312a8d58d).

This is fine, I never proclaimed to have all the answers, yet it does seem odd that less oil still drops the price from $80 to $51 in one month, and the logic is gone at my end of the table, yet I also know that oil prices are a little more complex, so I took this moment to learn a little. Gaurav Sharma gives us: “oil price is not just a story of supply; it is also a story of demand“. That part makes sense, yet this part only gives rise to changes if demand dampens and dampens by a whole lot. We see that with: “It cannot be ignored that Eurozone growth continues to disappoint, global trade is decelerating and China’s slowdown is a visible fact, and not just a forecast. We haven’t even mentioned the words “trade wars” and a prospect of further U.S. interest rate hikes“. Yes, so far I am on board, yet does that dampen the need for oil to THAT degree? This is precisely the setting when we consider: “If anything OPEC’s move provides U.S. drillers with a further incentive to pump more, and they already are, having made America the world’s largest producer of crude oil.” This implies that the need is changing; America needs less as they become self-reliant more. This explains the setting in the short term, yet it also gives rise to other dilemmas. As the US is using its own stock to keep cheap oil, we also see the change in the dynamics. Less money in the treasury through cheap oil, more costs (and optionally more jobs mind you), yet the budget and shortages of America (like $21 trillion debt) now has another not so nice tail. The interest on 21 trillion can no longer be fuelled with fuel. With a downwards economy, the debt will rise a little faster and there will not be anything left for infrastructure. Now, in this case none of this is the fault of the US Administration, or the current administration to be a little more precise. There is a lot wrong as the Clinton administration left the nation with surplus. I am not ignoring that 9/11 changed the game, yet the Obama administration had a clear directive to do something and that was not done. We can argue whether they had the options or not, we know that the war on terror has had a long-lasting impact. And the downward fuel price does not help. Yet cheap fuel is good for all the non-petrochemical industries and the people requiring cheap oil for heating.

The writer also gives us: “As things stand, a sustainable $70 oil price doesn’t look certain at all for 2019“. OK, I can only support that for as long as the US can keep up with the reductions that OPEC and Russia implement, when that stops working prices will go up, just how fast is unknown. It depends on the current storage and demand and I am not certain that this will not bite in 2019. I cannot academically argue with Gaurav Sharma and his 20 years of experience. His point might be valid, yet the Economic Times gives us: “WTI is forming Doji candlestick pattern and also near its long term Fibonacci retracement. Both are positive signs for crude oil prices“, If this happens within the next two weeks, my predicted increase of 15% comes true. Yet how is that chance? Focussing on merely my point of view tends to be delusional, which is why I liked the view by Gaurav Sharma. He gave me something to think about. It is Mike Terwilliger, portfolio manager, at Resource Liquid Alternatives, in New York who gave us (last week): “It’s a stunning market backdrop where everything from the adjectives used by the Fed chairman to whom is appointed head of trade negotiations can roil the markets. While the macro backdrop remains firm, with strong earnings and historically low unemployment, sentiment is unquestionably vulnerable. That would, in my view, fit the definition of an opportunity – a disconnect between the underlying and perception.” (at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/us-wall-st-tumbles-growth-trade-unnerve-investors/articleshow/66946928.cms)

I have always considered and known about ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘, no mystery there, yet are there factors we see to forget about? Part we get from the Guardian (May 2018) when we were given: “Demand is expected to average 99.2mb/d this year.” I am adding the part where that demand is not going to diminish over at least part of 2019. Even as we see more and more drive towards sustainable energy, most players are still all about presenting and not completely in the realm of achieving, hence oil demand remains stable (as far as stable tends to be), in addition we need to look at the oil futures. S&P global (at https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/121018-crude-oil-futures-stable-to-higher-on-opec-production-cuts) gives us: “risk sentiment remained heightened after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthize Sunday said that he considers March 1 to be a hard deadline for a trade deal to be reached with China and that tariffs will be imposed otherwise“. So basically the futures are rolling towards the up side making me correct, yet as long as the US can keep up with demand and as long as we see this continue, oil will remain stable and not push beyond $60 per barrel in the short term. MatketWatch is actually more optimistic towards the consumers of fuel. With: “Oil futures fell Monday to settle at their lowest in about a week on growing concerns surrounding a slowdown in energy demand“.

Why do we care?

We care because the drop in demand as projected and given by several sources is also the economic indicator that not all is well. This is seen in several sources. Goldman Sachs, via CNBC gives us: “We expect the U.S. to slow down to less than 2 percent by the end of next year and as a result of that you could see the market getting quite scared“, yet would be an overly optimistic view. We saw last week that the US Economy gained 43,000 jobs less than last year giving us a much less optimistic view on that part of the equation. Apple is falling down, tension on the Economy (specifically the US economy) is on the rise, some might say sharply on the rise. In addition, the Financial Post gives us: “Wall Street ignored trouble signs for months. Now it sees risks everywhere Markets face stomach-churning swings as economic uncertainty grows“. Even when we stick to the headlines, it was nothing really breathtaking. The US trade deal with China, the growth fears in the EU, they all link into a negative setting of the economy. Not recession, yet a negative impact due to no growth (too little growth is more accurate) and the events in France do not help either. In addition, there is now a realistic chance that Italy is entering recession territory. Even as it is possible to avert it, it will means that the Italian economy will end at a standstill (which is not a recession), yet in all this, with the Two large EU economies at 0 (France and Italy), it falls to Germany to bring home the bacon and sausages, implying that they are all eager and desperate to sink any notion of Brexit as soon as possible. As we see the jesters giving us that the UK can exit Brexit, that whilst they are seemingly unable to get a handle on the ECB and their everlasting lack of transparency, so whilst we see (at https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/ecb-chief-rejects-chance-to-adopt-eus-transparency-register/) the unsettling part “The European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi has rejected calls from European lawmakers to have financiers who give advice and feedback to the ECB register as lobbyists, saying they merely provide “information”.” I merely see an extended reason to pursue Brexit stronger. I actually am in a state of mind to demand the right for targeted killing these so called ‘informers’, which is a massive overreaction, yet the need to get these information givers listed next to the lobbyists is becoming more and more essential. If any nepotism, or if any under the table deal is found within the EU, their exposure is essential. I believe that this will flush greed out into the open rather fast, but then I am merely one voice in all this.

It connects

You see, the QE is supposed to come to an end this Thursday, or at least the formal announcement to end it at the end of this month. However, when we consider Reuters: “the economy weakening, trade tensions darkening the outlook and headwinds still on the horizon in the shape of Italy and Brexit, financial markets are looking ahead to next year and just how the ECB will protect the bloc from a severe downturn“, not only does the rejection to officially end QE have an impact, it also means that suddenly demand for things like oil will suddenly spike, that means that reserves go down, oil prices go up and there the cost of living will impact harshly on Europe in winter and as such on American soil the need for a price hike will not really be one that people will cherish, and when we add to that the part that Germany also has a depressed economy to look forward to, we see the three great economic players all in a diminished form, implying that the economy will tank on the low side not merely in this year, it will have a depressed form of growth in 2019 as well. There will be all kinds of lessened good news, whilst the good news is not that great to begin with. It gives rise to the point that I might be wrong on the oil price as I expected it to grow by 15%, it might still go up yet not that much and it will come at a really high cost this time around.

Right or Wrong?

It does not matter in this case; the issues seen are openly visible and heralded throughout the net, magazines and newspapers. The issue of ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘ is at the heart of the matter. Even as energy and oil prices show certain paths in all of this, it does not make it a correct view (which is neither right not wrong), what we perceive in opposition to the underlying elements connected, that is the bigger picture of impact. It is also a new stage. As the politicians are fighting over the carcasses of opportunity and bonus structures, we see that Germany has a few other elements in play. It is not merely the manufacturing part of it all, it is infrastructure as well and that is where we get my earlier statement, a statement I gave 3 days ago in ‘Behind the facade‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/08/behind-the-facade/), if Huawei (minus one arrested exec) shows their value in Germany with the given quote, which came well over a day after my article (at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/09/germany-is-soft-on-chinese-spying/), where we see: “In the terms of reference published last week by the German Federal Network Agency for its 5G auction, security was not even included in the conditions for awarding the contract. In October, the government announced: “A concrete legal basis for the complete or partial exclusion of particular suppliers of 5G infrastructure in Germany does not exist and is not planned.”“, as well as “For Deutsche Telekom and other network operators, the situation is clear: Huawei offers innovative and reliable products at highly competitive prices. Legally, Deutsche Telekom does not bear any liability for the security risks associated with Huawei technology. And the company does not care about the fact that Huawei’s price advantage is the result of a highly skewed playing field in China. In the world’s largest market, domestic providers control 75 percent of the market, giving them unbeatable economies of scale“, we see the hidden trap that some people related to Mr S. Tupid are now in hot waters (optionally with the exception of Alex Younger). Not only have they not given any evidence regarding the security risk that Huawei is supposed to be. Foreign Policy also gives us: “Given the massive cybersecurity and national security risks, the only responsible decision is for Berlin to follow the Australian, New Zealand, and U.S. lead and ban Chinese providers from the German 5G network“, yet there is no evidence, that was always the problem and so far there is more and more indicators (especially in Australia) that the claim “In none of these three countries will domestic suppliers be the primary beneficiaries“, which I regard to be false, on paper it does not impact ‘primary beneficiaries’, but it does harshly (in Australia at least) negatively impacts the competitors of Telstra, which amounts to the same thing (TPG, Vodafone, Vodafail et al). And when we go back to my writing in ‘Behind the facade‘, where I give the reader: “You see, Huawei can afford to wait to some degree, as we see the perpetuated non truths of devices being pushed forward, the replacements better do a whole lot better and they are unlikely to do so. When we see another failure in 5G start and we see transgressions and those screaming that ‘Huawei’ was a danger, the moment they cannot prove it and their ‘friends’ give us a device that is malicious, the blowback will be enormous. There is already cause for concern if we go by CNBC. They give us a few points that show the additional fear that America has on Huawei“, when the intrusions are not proven and Huawei shows to be a strength for consumers and businesses, heads will roll, there will be a demand for blood by the people, which means that politicians will suddenly hide and become ‘on the principle of the matter‘ and transform their perspectives into in all kinds of lethargic versions of denial.

That too is impacting the economy, because those on track to start pushing out new innovations on 5G will have a clear advantage over the other players and that pushes for success even more, will it come to pass? I cannot tell as there are too many elements in motion and the policies now in place are off course under optional revised in the future as Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will replace Angela Merkel if her party is re-elected as the biggest one.

We are seeing a few versions in the assumption of right, and we need to realise that the assumption of right and speculative version of what will happen overlaps one another, but they are not the same thing. States of delusion tends to be an impacting factor. Am I delusional to think that big business gives away greed? Am I delusional to consider that Huawei is not a danger? If we go by ‘the underlying‘ and or versus ‘perception‘ I am correct. You see, would China endanger the true power of economy where Huawei would become the biggest brand on internet and 5G requirement, using it for espionage when there are dozens of other methods to get that data (including Facebook policies implemented by Mr S. Tupid and Mrs M. Oronic). As this sifting of data exists on many levels in several ways, not in the least that the overly abundance of TCP/IP layer 8 transgressions happening on a daily basis and at least twice on Sunday), when we realise that, why would any Chinese governmental (namely Chen Wenqing) endanger a Chinese technological powerhouse? The logic is absent in all this. This gives us the light of Alex Younger opposing the others. He gave a policy setting of national need, whilst the others merely voiced all this ‘national security‘ banter on risks that do not even exist yet. Especially when we saw the Australian version of: ”5G will carry communications we “rely on every day, from our health systems … to self-driving cars and through to the operation of our power and water supply.”” Perhaps anyone can tell me how many self-driving cars there are at present or within the next 10 years?

And none of these клоуны (or is that Sarmenti scurrae) considered the step to start with Huawei 5G and replace them at the earliest convenience whilst you work out the bugs of your currently incomplete 5G solutions, the few that are out there for now, a simple business decision that is at the heart of any daily event, including military ones. A nice example there is the ugliest dinghy in US history (aka the Zumwalt class) where we see: “Zumwalt-class destroyers are armed with 80 missiles in vertical-launch tubes and two 155-caliber long-range guns“, which is an awesome replacement from the previous version that was regarded as a Ammo less Gun edition, in the face of continuing budget shortfalls, personnel problems and of course the fact that the previous edition was $1 million per shell, for its smart (GPS) capability. The mere elements that some sources gave out that shooting straight was an ability it naturally acquired as well as the fact that a $440 million ship was not given the budget to get its unique, 155-millimeter-diameter cannon that can shoot GPS-guided shells as far as 60 miles the 600 rounds of ammo at a total cost of $600,000,000. And that is apart from the $10 billion the Navy spent on research and development for the class. So perhaps people still have questions why I considered this monstrosity to be regarded as a ‘sink on the spot‘ project. The fact that The Drive gave us a year ago: “the Navy has steadily hacked away at various requirements, stripping planned systems from the design, in no small part to try and control any further cost overruns and delays. Close-in protection, ballistic and air defense capabilities, and various other associated systems are no longer part of the base design, something The War Zone’s own Tyler Rogoway explained in detail in a past feature, leaving it with limited utility despite its size and cost” (and apart from some minor issue regarding stability and stealthablity which we shall ignore for now) in that light the entire 5G redeployment after the fact and the ability are acquired, tested and evaluated, at that point re-engineering away the advantage that Huawei had built, did that not make sense within 10 seconds?

It is common business practice in IT, and has been for over 2 decades, that is why ASUS and not IBM rules the lay of the desktop land nowadays. so getting even would not have been the dumbest idea either, but no, we see all kinds of unfounded accusations and that is where those people are most likely to lose and out in the sunlight, when they cannot prove that claim, that is when we see on how some elements will soon be disregarded. In this Huawei has a nice advantage in Germany and Saudi Arabia. When they prove the elements there, we will see a large driven technology shift and those making the claims at recent days better have their stories straight.

Yet again, I might be wrong, my assumption of right might get sunk on false premise and nepotism, I do recognise that this has happened before and will happen again.

The assumption of right is at times hindered on delusional thoughts, as well as the need that the other players are straight shooter, and that definitely applies to all politicians, does it not?

 

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Heating at what price?

We all know it; in winter it is about the heating, in summer about the quality of the fan, in addition, we need to make sure that apart from food, and drinks that we have the proper attire. We have known this for almost a lifetime. So even as this is known in the US, President Trump decided to have a conversation with Saudi Arabia to increase production to keep prices down. It seems really nice that Saudi Arabia came forward, yet they had no practical reason to do that did they? Not in an age of bullet points, business cases and maximised profit.

Oil is a commodity, and in the professional world of business, you have to go for the buy low, sell high equation if you want to be in business. So I was surprised to the extent that Saudi Arabia was facilitating towards America.

Yet this is seemingly coming to a halt when Bloomberg treats us to: ‘Putin Says Russia and Saudi Arabia to Extend OPEC+ Oil Pact‘. In itself the title does not give the US the warning that they need to read, the text does however give us: “OPEC, which pumps four-in-ten barrels produced worldwide, will convene in Vienna on Dec. 6 to discuss output cuts after oil prices in November suffered the largest monthly drop since the global financial crisis in 2008” the article also gives us “an advisory group to OPEC told ministers the market is oversupplied, with a need to cut about 1.3 million barrels a day from October levels“, apart from Bloomberg, there were several others showing the news, adding their own political flavour towards facilitation and that will be discussed soon enough. The shape here is not merely that there is oil in the Al Saud family, it is the fact that they are (as any good business does) trying to maximise what they have. People seem to forget that. It might seem a buyers’ market, but that is merely the presentation, once production stops for 12% or more that balance will change really quickly. Let those who want it somewhere else, go somewhere else. The direct impact is that it merely drives prices faster. Even as there is an oversupply, the entire setting seems to be focussed on getting past this winter, the players are in error not to focus on the next winter, for that part will be impacted and it will be a large impact.

As the conversation between Russia and Saudi Arabia continues, whether or not it is some OPEC+ setting, the setting that is evolving is one that I mentioned in ‘Two issues in play‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/11/20/two-issues-in-play/). The day after we saw Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) giving the statement that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “unstable and unreliable”. So as we were treated to ‘Putin says Russia, Saudis agree to renew OPEC production cuts‘ mere moments ago. How much reserve is there? How long until the prices are raised, optionally just before Christmas as a speculative Ebenezer Scrooge bonus to your household?

The entire matter was just waiting for an opportunity to happen, as we see this unfold over the next few days, we will see additional parts too. The best example that anyone who served knows is that there are three people you do not mess with. The first is your Supply officer, the second is the payroll officer and the last one is the cook. These three are sacred and you leave them alone. So why push the person who is a supply officer, that impacts your payroll officer (as you end up with a fair amount less) and that in turn unbalances what the cook gives you as you cannot afford a full meal. As the price of food goes up, as we see clear data from several sources (Washington Post and HILDA) that larger groups of workers have been on stalling incomes for years now, have I made a clear enough point? When the total income is the same and food prices go up, what would you surrender to the currents of loss, once you realise that fuel prices will be on the rise as well?

In anticipated opposition, don’t give me that ‘ethics regarding Jamal Khashoggi‘ routine, because the bulk of the US senate and US congress have not made any noise regarding all those journalists (well over 240, with over 140 wanted) in Turkish prisons, several of them for life. Not much noise is there? The fact that Turkey isn’t getting slammed for being an ally of Iran is still a mystery, yet there might be some European need there, especially around some ‘nuclear accord’.

Even as I anticipate some reaction in all this, we must also heed the opposition in this. Here I call for Oilprice dot com. Martin Tillier gives us (at https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Oil-Output-Cuts-May-Be-Coming-But-Dont-Bet-on-It.html): Crude oil has been in freefall, with both Brent and WTI having lost around a third since hitting highs in early October. There are some demand related worries involved as trade wars threaten to slow global growth, but the biggest reasons for the drop are supply related. A couple of months ago, those highs were achieved in anticipation of a disruption to global supply as the Trump administration’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal with Iran and the resulting sanctions took effect. Since then though, a few things have become clear. Firstly, U.S. production has been stepped up by more than imagined. In addition, the Saudis increased their output to help offset the expected loss from Iran but, most importantly in that context, that loss doesn’t look likely to materialize“, he goes on giving us the tough talk part and he is right. Whether we see it as political windbags or perhaps merely a storm in a cup of tea, the impact is not merely some good needed, it is a larger issue that goes beyond supply and demand. Just like the predicted shortage of concrete for the building of Neom city. Those who saw it have been upping their ability for production. Several have doubled it and there is a chance that the UAE will have its own large concrete facility soon enough. As Saudi Arabia could decide to cut production, it could in addition merely seek to seel part of it elsewhere. The end result is the same, yet that trajectory will be much slower. For the current administration it is about getting past this winter, with the next winter being a larger impact on the elections, so it will also impact the cost of living all over the US.

CNBC gives support here (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/28/expect-a-saudi-first-policy-on-oil-production-cuts-regardless-of-trumps-demands-analysts-say.html). It is early days and what we anticipate or expect does not usually happen, yet with “Analysts believe that despite Washington’s geopolitical leverage over the kingdom, after its staunch defense of the Saudi monarchy amid accusations over its alleged role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh will still pursue its own economic interests rather than abide by the wishes of President Trump. The pivotal question hanging over oil markets remains that of production cutbacks. Who will tighten their taps, and by how much?” This is the game for now and even as it is all set in common sense, the one part we cannot anticipate is ‘by how much?‘, I predicted a rough 12% a week before this article came out and so far, the fact that it is still likely to happen before the end of the year, optionally before before Christmas, it does remain to be a the speculative part for now. I expect Russia to try and get a consensus with Saudi Arabia to go well over 12%, optionally closer to 20%. It is essential for Russia, it will be good to the super wealthy oil friends that President Putin has and it will also bring joy to the coffers of the Saudi Monarchy. The question is who can pick up that slack and how fast. The US has its own facilities in it, yet could they keep up? Leave it to the US to piss off 3 of the top 5 producers, which leaves Iraq and they do not have the working infrastructure, moreover, volatility is still their middle name for now, as well as the fact that they merely produce 16% of the other three that the US insulted (more than once I might add).

So will oil prices go up? If the US is set on its current policy, the issue of oil prices is a given certainty, the fact that they will go up before winters end seems more and more likely, yet by how much is not to be anticipated. In this Saudi Arabia, merely needs to have a ‘technical glitch’ and the pumps go down twice for 2-3 days, and the damage is done. At that point, Saudi Arabia merely has to drop production for 15%-20% until the technical matter is ‘resolved’ and all the US can do is pray for Saudi Arabia to accept the assistance of their engineers. Although as Saudi engineers go, their knowledge might be (vastly) superior in all this, they have had plenty of time to get ahead of the curve for some time now.

Should this happen, what will the US do? Throw a tantrum; throw a curveball? I am eager to find out, because the entire journalist part is still a matter for discussion. You all seem to know Jamal Khashoggi. Yet how many of you know Mehmet Topaloğlu, killed by the Turkish police, as was Metin Göktepe. Then we see Önder Babat, Serena Shim, Rohat Aktaş and Yaşar Parlak. The Turkish authorities have shown less than 0.5% effort here when comparing it to Jamal Khashoggi and the silence from the US in these deaths (a few of many) have been deafening, we can ignore the European Union in all this as they seemingly do not care. So when I made the claim that Jamal Khashoggi is merely a convenient puppet to hit Saudi Arabia with, I knew what I was talking about. When we see that inaction is the natural state, the entire Jamal Khashoggi was a game of political players, emotions used to drive an audience, an audience giving Google search currently well over 72 million hits when we see for that JK journalist. Try that with one of the other murdered or imprisoned journalists in Turkey, they are not even a blip on the radar. It is my speculative thought that Neom and the future drive by Saudi Arabia scared the US as it did several European players. It is the first time in history that a Middle Eastern nation has the ability to put the US and EU to shame with their lack of technological progress. They claim to have it, yet Saudi Arabia is making a move towards ‘showing to have it‘, changing the game for both the US and Europe.

This is where we see the difference. China and Russia see this as an opportunity, whilst Europe and the US are seeing it as an inconvenience. In Europe it seems that only Salini Impregilo is taking the charge of that future, having scored already well over half a billion in contracts, the rest of the players are either under the surface or not there at all. Is that not odd either? When we see close to a trillion dollars in opportunities in Saudi Arabia, the noise should be deafening but it is not.

How does that matter?

Well, if oil fuels the coffers, the daily input is more than enough to warrant actions, yet I see not activity anywhere, not to the degree it should have. In all this, within a day I found a way to revolutionise information using 5G (designing a new device in the process), and there we see opportunity, a pilot the size of a city that could have global repercussions and no one is there. I cannot be the only player in town, my ego would never be that delusional, yet there is not activity at all. It makes sense that it is not out in the open, yet some people would have to file for concepts, optionally for patents and I see the light of at least 4 of them right there, yet there is no visible action, and believe me, as a Master of Intellectual property law, I do know where to look.

Karma kicks greed’s ass

We have all seen the news when it comes to Huawei and the list of those banning them is growing, there too we see that China has a vested interest in making a local company a true success and there we see the options too. So when we consider the Verizon offer: “As part of a 10-year agreement, Verizon will expand its wireless small cell infrastructure to build out its existing 4G LTE network and prepare for 5G deployment, with streamlined permitting from the City of Boston. TV licensing will also be amended to support an expansion of Verizon’s Fios TV service to more neighborhoods“, it came in 2016. So consider the actual wording ‘as part of a 10-year agreement‘ and ‘prepare for 5G deployment‘, by the letter, it implies that Boston will optionally not have 5G before 2026, in this it could optionally have been in the foundations of Neom by 2021 (depending on then the first buildings are completed). It would be a kick in the nuts for the US to have something operational after Saudi Arabia, does it not?

Karma bites like Piranha if need be.

This all impacts the oil price, because the Saudi Crown Prince is driven to get Neom right, it also impacts the coffers so whatever is done regarding the oil, would optionally not be allowed to endanger Neom. I cannot prove that, yet I am decently certain that this is the case. We can see this as an opportunity, that as the US seeks options, it can make other offers to offset the optional ‘loss’ to Saudi Arabia. If enabling can be done in money or goods, offering goods is still an optional path to take for the US, yet they too need to realise that the overly visible acts of playing the ‘Khashoggi blues’ whilst not making any noise on the ‘Turkey newspaper shuffle’ is going to be a debate soon enough, especially as there is enough evidence that Turkey has been facilitating for Iran.

In the end

In the end it is about the oil prices and I expect them to go up regardless of what happens, yet there is leverage to a small extent, the amount of price increase is one that could be under negotiation. The question is, will we see proper actions by the US and Europe to limit the price increase and the impact on their citizens? I expect to see an answer to that part within the next two weeks.

Have a fun Monday!

 

 

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Round two

Yesterday was a day when I thought it was essential to speak out against the language used in the NY Times. It was part of a larger whole that will be shown to all over time (as I am missing three pieces of evidence). Yet the oil issue was in the centre of it all and so it remains. Now, I had done my homework (for the most), yet there was one element I overlooked and it is an important one. Reuters was awake and gave us (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec-saudi-trump/can-saudi-arabia-pump-much-more-oil-idUSKBN1JR1HI) the part I forgot about. “the kingdom, OPEC’s biggest member, can barely raise output by 1 million bpd to 11 million bpd and even that would be difficult, according to industry analysts who forecast a further oil price rally due to a lack of new supply“, yes we forgot about the engine that drives it all. It has been increasing production again and again, yet at some point; the system that drives the production of crude reaches its maximum and that is where the teller of barrels is now hitting a little issue. I like (yet optionally disagree) with Gary Ross, head of global oil analytics at S&P Global. With “While Saudi Arabia has the capacity in theory, it takes time and money to bring these barrels online, possibly up to 1 year“, we see a ‘stabilising’ comment, but based on what, knowledge of the parts that are driving the crude oil machine forward? Perhaps that is true, yet if that is the case the one year setting is off. Other elements require adjustment, but the one year (yes he did add ‘up to’) implies that engines and perhaps pipes require adjustment, meaning that the system is set to increase beyond the 100% marker might be more dangerous. Pressure can be a bitching issue and the mere fact that even in suburbia water mains still go out (mine went kablooie yesterday evening) implies that there is a setting where pressures do not align. Now with water it is a nuisance, so my evening of pasta went straight out of the window. With crude oil it is another matter entirely. There the blown gasket can optionally make a mess to the environment and more important, it could optionally force Saudi Arabia to turn the dial down to 60%-80% until that mess is fixed. When that happens they go into a freefall where one plugging evokes another part to burst emotionally, that is where the problem starts and that is an important side in all this.

It is not the only part; CNBC gave us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/30/oil-deal-may-stir-the-pot-in-the-middle-east-and-test-saudi-capacity.html) a few other parts. Even as we might be able to ignore “Iran and Venezuela are both reeling economically, with Tehran feeling the bite of new sanctions“, especially as Iran has a set clientele. Yet the given part of “President Donald Trump surprised the world on Saturday by announcing a new side agreement with the Saudis to compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers“. I found the setting of ‘compensate for supply shortages from crisis-hit producers‘. It is interesting for two reasons. The first is that the US had no application for Iranian oil in the first place and the second is that Venezuela had all kinds of issues; I personally believe that the low price of oil is reasons for some of it. Yet when we take a step back we get three pieces. The first in 2017 when we saw the Business Insider treat us to “Falling output at refineries means that Venezuela needs to import more gasoline, squeezing the national budget even further. Refineries are currently working at less than 30 percent of average 2016 levels. State-run oil company PDVSA is importing between 100 and 150 thousand barrels per day of gasoline”, so why are the refineries down to 30%? In addition, that is the refinery issue, the setting is not the petrochemical part it is merely the availability of crude oil that was the issue. The second was March 2018 where Reuters gave us “Indian imports of oil from Venezuela have fallen to their lowest levels in over half a decade, shipping and industry data showed, as a severe economic and political crisis hits crude output in the South American OPEC member“, so that is a production need, which beckons why India has decided to import less, are there suddenly 275 million cars less? No there are not, just try to blindly cross Saket Metro Station in New Delhi and you will get hit by two dozen cars within a minute, so that part is not happening. Forbes had its own version of the issue in 2017 and even as it sounds acceptable, I belief that there is a larger issue in play. You see We might look at the Financial Times and see ‘A Venezuelan oil embargo would wipe out Maduro & Co‘, yet the setting is larger than that. Consider Chili, Brazil and Argentine, all needing petrochemical products, the fact that refineries have issues is one thing, the fact that there is a shortage of crude oil and that cannot be met is equally an issue, so why is that?

I have no answers, mere speculations, yet whenever I searched for the Venezuelan reserves and beyond the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri advocating of ‘there would be ‘broad support’ across the region for a full oil embargo‘, I see no evidence of shortage (out in the open). All these actions on Venezuela, forcing them into even more hardship, how has that ever led to anything positive?

Yet the story is the crude, would an arm-twisting scenario to send 30% of the crude oil price into a fund that is only to be used for humanitarian and local support. Would that not work? It seems better than an embargo kicking things over. The additional news that China is importing less from that source is making things worse and no resolution will be coming forward making things better. The other party Iran is a given, yet they still export to a few nations.

Oil price dot come is giving numbers that clearly imply that over a year oil production has fallen by close to 50%, with the implied forecast that the International Energy Agency (IEA) states regarding the Venezuelan oil production which could drop to just 800,000 bpd or even lower next year. it seems that most actions against Venezuela is a little too harsh, now nobody is implying that they are saints, yet we can all agree that they are not Iran. In 2017 it was all about censorship (or anti hatred laws as the Venezuelan government puts it). Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/04/venezuela-happening-170412114045595.html) gave us a more in depth part. So when I see some of the issues, with items like ‘Health assistance’, ‘Food shortages’ as well as ‘Hyperinflation’, where a deal could be made that 30% of the sale goes into 10% sprockets addressing these three settings, it could be an optional solution to negotiate. It seems to me that an embargo is often the least of all working solutions, even as it enables the US to get basement prices on a million barrels a day, apart from the setting that they have more immediate problems and removing Venezuela form the equation pushes the other pressures more. Even if it means that the Maduro administration would have to swallow its pride, there might be a path to a long term solution that they were part of, at present they have nothing to look forward to but an angry mob of people left with nothing. It should not allow the US to discuss the price of eggs, yet the Maduro government will realise that the price of fish came at a premium and it is not derived from merely sweat and tears.

This setting is important, because when we look back at the Saudi situation with its 10 million barrels a day, when the pressure goes wrong and the US suddenly loses access to two to four million barrels a day. when that happens and that danger is not unrealistic, do you really think that the American economy is ready for a 25% price hike? Do you think that there will be mere frowns? That danger is not merely a speculation. the danger was shown last week when we saw reports on “The shutdown of Syncrude’s oilsands facility last week could lead to a shortage of oil in North America, investment bank Goldman Sachs has warned“, the source was the Huffington Post (at https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/06/26/syncrude-outage-oil-shortage-north-america_a_23468490/), in addition we got “Syncrude’s facility has a capacity of 350,000 barrels of oil per day, but it shut down production on Friday after a transformer blew, the Globe and Mail reported. The company says production could be offline for all of July“, so there was the given part I left for last, merely a ‘transformer’ and without Optimus Oil rolling out the juice, no crude for a month. So do you really want to play a game of Russian Turbines with the Saudi oil setting and pushing the need from them to deep into the red zone of engineering safety? With that given, what are the dangers when the push goes south in a very realistic way when the downfall will be 90-150 days? Do you still think that finding some dialogue with Venezuela is not an optional much better solution? I would tell you the story of the silly politician and that person relying one basket for all his eggs (and his demoted belief that they were golden ones), your parents might have told you the story when you were young. So when Goldman Sachs gives us: “shrink stockpiles at the main U.S. storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, putting upward pressure on oil prices“, they are telling you no fibs, what they neglect to mention is that the danger is a lot more realistic then most predict and the impact could end up being an increase in price that is not pennies, but several dollars. to emphasize that, you merely need to consider May 2008 when the crude price went to $148 a barrel, twice the price it is now. You still ready to play that game of chicken with oil producing hardware, because in the end you will always lose that game. These devices adhere to the cold calculations of pressures and power and in the end the Wall Street motto of ‘120% of norm is merely our version of a Monday morning wakeup call‘ will backfire to all those who relied on affordable fuel.

 

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The Iranian funds play

Today is all about Iran, the Washington Post and many others are giving the world the information that the previous president misled congress. Yet the Washington Post phrases it as ‘Obama administration misled Congress on possible Iranian access to U.S. financial system‘, they also mention that it is a Republican investigation. There are two issues, right off the bat, even before you read the article, the question becomes, where were the FBI and the CIA in this?

So when we get the first lines with “The Obama administration went out of its way in early 2016 to help Iran recoup previously sanctioned oil revenue stranded in an overseas account after the nuclear deal went into effect and actively misled Congress regarding those efforts, according to the results of a nearly two-year Republican investigation released early Wednesday“, we need to realise that the setting is wrong from the very start.

Before I go there, let’s follow the trail of crumbs that we get offered. next there is “Iran wanted to convert the money into U.S. dollars and then euros, but top U.S. officials had repeatedly promised Congress that Iran would never gain access to America’s financial system“, which is followed by “the Obama administration secretly issued a license to let Iran sidestep U.S. sanctions for the brief moment required to convert the funds through an American bank, an investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday showed. The plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate” and finally we get: “the revelation is re-igniting the bitter debate over the nuclear deal and whether former President Barack Obama was too eager to grant concessions to Tehran“. The full story (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-era-license-aimed-to-let-iran-convert-money-in-dollars/2018/06/06/60be6d36-6971-11e8-a335-c4503d041eaf_story.html) gives us a lot more, but initially, we get ‘The plan failed‘. So this was seemingly (according to a previous Obama official) about the Iranian money held overseas. The issue seems seen with “No one involved seems certain whether Iran has yet received all of its $5.7 billion“, yet as I see it, that does not seem to be the case. When you think this through, $5.7 billion amounts to 11.2 million barrels based on the average oil price, this amounts to funds equal to 26 hours of oil production in Saudi Arabia, 26 hours! Now we are not debating whether Iran is allowed access to the funds, the fact that we see that this much oil (or so little in Saudi Arabia), whilst in Iranian production it amounts to 4 days of oil production is a Joke. Oil still goes to Asia, so all this fanfare for 4 days of oil production? This is about something else entirely, or it is about a very different amount of money. I let you mull that part over, so when we look at the second article (also Washington Post), we see in the article called ‘Secret Obama-era permit let Iran convert funds to dollars’ where we are ‘treated’ to “Iran had been promised access to its long-frozen overseas reserves, including $5.7 billion stuck in an Omani bank“, which we knew to some extent, yet the full economic value is not given, which is also an issue, you see that stuff makes interest, so at that point who gets that money? Is it locked in the Iranian account, or was it the balancing act to the seesaw that is going up and down on €11 trillion in essential European and American debt guarantees? The second article has pretty much what the first one had, but we also see (slightly more clearly) “And when questioned by lawmakers about the possibility of granting Iran any kind of access to the U.S. financial system, Obama-era officials never volunteered that the specific license for Bank Muscat in Oman had been issued two months earlier. According to the report, Iran is believed to have found other ways to access its money, possibly by exchanging it in smaller quantities through another currency“, this now gives us the part (when going back to the first article: “Lew, according to documents reproduced in the report, had been given Treasury talking points explaining the Omani conundrum, he chose not to mention it in a House hearing in late March“, this reference to former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, where we wonder that if this is about the question, was the question correctly phrased, or perhaps the better setting is, was he breaking any laws not mentioning the ‘Omani Conundrum’?

I cannot state without the full text and even if we agree that there is an issue, we now get back to the very core of the matter. If it involves US Banks and when we reconsider ‘the plan failed when two U.S. banks refused to participate‘, two out of exactly how many banks? That part is also not revealed here. So now we get to the part where it becomes either the US treasury AND the FBI who seemingly did not act here, the Omani Conundrum implies that the CIA turf was trodden on and the communications (in several levels) give us that the NSA ignored it. So what is going on? Did anything actually happen? Because that question is becomes valid when we reconsider ‘the plan failed‘. If that is true, then why is the Washington Post, one of the most revered newspapers in the USA not giving the correct light on this? In addition, the outstanding questions that we get from the mere substance given becomes an issue when we see the words of President Trump “this disastrous deal gave this [Iranian] regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States,”. Yet how much money was actually released, through the deal and from 2015 onwards? None of that data is available through the articles. So what exactly is US congress playing with now, because this all looks like a really loud smokescreen, all emotion and no contributable facts on the matter. How many banks were part of it (and their names), which two banks refused (double plus points for them two) and in light of merely one $5.7 billion source we need to see the scope of the money, especially in light of the setting that Iran is even now shipping oil to Asia. Are those not valid questions? In all this, where were the FBI and CIA when this was going down and more importantly why is there no mention of their part in all this, or were they not part of any of it? That is equally an issue, because if there is evidence that they were in different states of activity and actionable requirements regarding Iran during the two presidencies, the people have an equal right to know, do they not? You see, in the larger scope that matters, because the Yemeni issue is covering two presidencies, so if (a very clear if) the CIA was less vigilant during the previous presidency, it might also explain a few things on how missiles are getting shipped from Iran to Yemen, if the manifest states 1013 barrels of oil for humanitarian aid, it might explain a little more than we bargained for. Now the last part was speculative and knowingly incorrect, yet the question remains valid. This was not some article from the enquirer, or the Canton Cherokee Tribune, it is the Washington Post. In many (global) cases that newspaper is seen as gospel right next to the Financial Times, so when two articles give us so many questions in all this, I need to wrap my head around the option that Martin Baron is either on vacation or perhaps down with the flu. The man who inspired Tom McCarthy to make Spotlight should have a better grasp on the entire Iranian fund issue and how it should be made visible in my Hummer opinion.

Because behind all this is not merely the oil, or the Iranian uranium enrichment plans. It in equal measure gives another light that we get from “The draft involved a general license, a blanket go-ahead that allows all transactions of a certain type, rather than a specific license like the one given to Oman’s Bank Muscat, which only covers specific transactions and institutions“, you see, if that is in play and when we remember the G30 bankers group, the one that got some limelight, for ONE DAY. After that all the media dropped the issues when the people were given the sight of Mario Draghi being a member of this insiders only club, a club that he had to give up and no one (except for me that is) followed up on that. All the media left it alone. So when we see that part from April 18th 2018, where Reuters and the Financial Times give us that he would remain a member, the ECB and others never acted on it and silently wait it to go away, now we see the Omani Conundrum issue and I have to wonder, as bankers will do trade with anyone, what licenses are out there that no one knows about, more important, whoever the owner of the funds are that they get to play with ahead of all other banks, with close to €3 trillion in extra printed money for the game of bonds, in all this, what else are we not seeing and as this optionally directly reflects on Iran’s and all the billions we are left unaware of, how is it that the Washington Post seems to not care (or rather stated, believingly unimportant issues that are therefor not investigated) are out there with two pages set to issues in a setting of ‘the plan failed‘ and ‘at the end of the day, nothing worked‘. Which makes me wonder if any transgression was committed and what it was all about. Time will tell whether we see more revelations tomorrow and more important if it leads to anything actionable, because that will be come the heart of the matter soon enough.

 

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The G30 court

There is an issue, an issue that we are all missing, more for the reason that after January 17th the media is steering clear of this with all the might and options they had. I reckon that they will spin this in a setting that it is ‘uninteresting‘, but when was it ever uninteresting to look at a group of 30 that has the alleged advantage of getting their fingers into a pool that has 0% risk worth billions?

The more important part is that there was one mention, or at least only one that was found, on July 7th 2017 and November 3rd 2017, both come from Reuters, the media has become that much of a bean flicking, pole pulling grape flocked bunch of pussies as I personally see it. Yet, the fact is that even as the impact is speculated, the setting given is that a group of 30 had an optional exclusive insight in the 3 trillion dollar ECB spending. Consider that each of these 30 got a 1% portfolio, where 75% of it was set at 0% whilst the remaining 25% might have op to 3% risk, in this setting the underwritten $31 billion for each member would set a speculated sanctified security of a multiple factors of $31 billion each. An elite group of 30 all having the top of the financial services cream at zero risk with the optional massive returns none of us ever had insight to. Now I can see that a mere 0.01% of that 1% would set me up for life, and that is merely the one source, the ‘in-crowd’, now would that be the incestuous insider towards untapped ‘considerations of investment‘ and they would all be bringing their own portfolios and economic insight on how to maximise that? Adding the man (read: Mario Draghi) spending Europe’s $3.1 trillion would happily be allowed into their midst, it is merely the setting that this rigs the game towards 30 participants whilst giving a weighted disadvantage to all other bankers is still an issue not covered by anyone.

So as we saw last November ‘ECB says not its call to publish content of Draghi’s meetings with financiers‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-banks-ethics/ecb-says-not-its-call-to-publish-content-of-draghis-meetings-with-financiers-idUSKBN1D327U) whilst we also see “At issue is Draghi’s membership of the so-called Group of 30, where policymakers meet bankers, fund managers and academics behind closed doors to discuss economic issues. He sits alongside former and current central bankers, such as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and the Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda, as well as Nobel laureate Paul Krugman

Yet even as we see “Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly had asked whether the ECB would “consider proactively informing the public of the content of these meetings” in response to “a complaint by activist group Corporate Europe Observatory, which said in January it was concerned about proximity at the G30 of ECB officials and bankers they are meant to supervise“, I cannot help but wonder what both Emily O’Reilly and Corporate Europe Observatory left unmentioned. It was also mentioned by the Dutch Volkskrant where the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) member Olivier Hoedeman added comment.

I tried to find more, so even as we have found Mario Draghi, Mark Carney, Haruhiko Kuroda and Paul Krugman as confirmed names (from the media), I initially believed that Groupe Credit Agricole (most likely Dominique Lefebvre) would be a member, I am also speculating that Peter Smith (as director of N M Rothschild & Sons) might have been a member of that group. There are a few other players, but it becomes increasingly less certain even from a speculated point of view. What does matter is that this is not merely some ‘secretive’ babble group. Even as we see last July “In a letter to Draghi that was published on Friday, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said the meetings of the Group of Thirty, where central bankers, economists and financiers talk behind closed doors, are “not transparent” and questioned the ECB president’s membership of the club” as well as “Draghi has until September to reply to the letter in writing“, in that, the media and so called journalism stayed clear of this for the largest extent and the ECB did respond in October 2017 in the attached part. In my view, it all sounds nice but a select group of 30 with a pool of a number in excess of 6 trillion, where 30 people get first dibs on a risk bonus that goes beyond the comprehension of many and the media buries it on page 62 is a much larger issue, especially when the response on page 9 gives us “Moreover, Article 130 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union safeguards the independence of the ECB and of the members of its decision-making bodies” whilst we all know that a mere fraction of $6 trillion has been a case for shifted morals and readjusted (read: weighted morals) in many regards, there are countless hours on C-SPAN that saw those liquid morals and settings in regards to the 2008 events, so the idea of ’30’ members ending up with golden parachute the size of Australia is not that much of a leap, speculated or not. So when we look back to the 2008 events and we see in January 2017, nine years later “The credit rating agency Moody’s has agreed to pay nearly $864m to settle with US federal and state authorities over its ratings of risky mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the department of justice said on Friday“, whilst the damage from the 2008 crash was set to top $22 trillion, we should ask the US Justice department on where the remaining 21.991 trillion is and who was supposed to pay for that. So in all this the fact that the media is steering clear from the G30 and asking, or actually not asking anything past the Reuters articles seen should give alarm bells on many sides, not merely the media.

The EU Parliament magazine (at https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/mario-draghi-under-fire-g30-membership), also gives us “CEO’s monetary and financial policy researcher Kenneth Haar said, “The Ombudsman’s decision is timely and very positive. Draghi’s involvement with the G30 was ill-advised from the start. Since 2016, when the ECB’s mandate for banking supervision was extended, the close ties between the president and the bankers’ group has become absolutely unacceptable“, or is that gave, because it is past tense and so far the media has remained silent since January 17. It seems to me (extremely speculative) that these 30 members are either connected or involved with the shareholders, stakeholders or advertisers in the media, because the media seems to be at all times protective of these three groups, whilst merely informing on those three groups in a filtered way, or to the smallest degree unless it was already out there in the field. The fact that this group has such a global hold is an issue and I might have been a lot less speculated on this, but the lack of transparency as well as the fact that we see “Tyga Gives Kim Kardashian A Hilarious Spelling Lesson On Social Media” and other Kim Kardashian on a daily basis, whilst the media remains silent on the speculated distributors of no risk trillions is a weird setting, especially when those sources have their fingers in thousands of billions. So when we see the BBC with: ‘Is it time we all unfollowed Kim Kardashian?‘, we might wonder whether it is yea or nea, yet there is a speculated 99.9999% likelihood that the G30 members will not make the cut towards monitored inclusion on following, I am certain that the first one that acts on that is has a boss who is likely (again speculated) to get a quick phone call from a shareholder, stakeholder or large advertiser to wonder if they have any grasp on their staff members and whether they want to manage or become managed.

Do you think that this is a stretch?

From my personal point of view I would give to you Sony (2012) issues, in regards to the change to the Terms of Service. The media ignored it, even as it would impact a group of 30 million consumers. Most of those players merely just trivialised it via ‘there is a memo‘ on it. The rest did even less; some even ignored it all together. With Microsoft (2017/2018) we see even more (at https://www.computerworld.com/article/3257225/microsoft-windows/intel-releases-more-meltdownspectre-firmware-fixes-microsoft-feints-an-sp3-patch.html)

You’d have to be incredibly trusting — of both Microsoft and Intel — to manually install any Surface firmware patch at this point. Particularly when you realize that not one single Meltdown or Spectre-related exploit is in the wild. Not one“, the amount of visibility (apart from marketed Microsoft Central views) is close to null, a system with no more than 17 million users is marketed and advertised to the gills, so the media seems to steer clear, merely two examples in a field that is loaded with examples.

Back to the group

So as I gave the speculated view earlier on the ‘whom’, we can see the full list (at http://group30.org/members), these members are according to the website:

  • Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase International
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore
  • Guillermo Ortiz, Chairman, BTG Pactual Latin America ex-Brazil
  • Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman, Federal Reserve System
  • Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President, European Central Bank
  • Leszek Balcerowicz, Former Governor, National Bank of Poland
  • Ben Bernanke, Former Chairman, Federal Reserve System
  • Mark Carney, Governor, Bank of England
  • Agustín Carstens, Former Governor, Banco de México
  • Jaime Caruana, Former Governor, Banco de Espana
  • Domingo Cavallo, Former Minister of Economy, Argentina
  • Mario Draghi, President, European Central Bank
  • William C. Dudley, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA
  • Arminio Fraga, Founding Partner, Gavea Investimentos
  • Timothy Geithner, President, Warburg Pincus
  • Gerd Häusler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Bayerische Landesbank
  • Philipp Hildebrand, Vice Chairman, BlackRock
  • Gail Kelly, Global Board of Advisors, US Council on Foreign Relations
  • Mervyn King, Member, House of Lords
  • Paul Krugman, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Christian Noyer, Honorary Governor, Banque de France
  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Distinguished Service Professor of Finance
  • Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer, Barclays Africa Group
  • Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Masaaki Shirakawa, Former Governor, Bank of Japan
  • Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University
  • Tidjane Thiam, CEO, Credit Suisse
  • Adair Turner, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority
  • Kevin Warsh, Lecturer, Stanford University Graduate School of Business
  • Axel A. Weber, Former President, Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico
  • Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor, People’s Bank of China

They also have senior members, which is interesting as they are younger than at least one of the current members, as well as the fact that most of the members in the current, senior and emeritus group have multiple titles.

  • Stanley Fischer, Former Governor of the Bank of Israel
  • Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor, Bank of Japan
  • Janet Yellen, Former Chair, Federal Reserve System

And the Emeritus members:

  • Abdlatif Al-Hamad, Former Minister of Finance and Planning, Kuwait
  • Geoffrey L. Bell, President, Geoffrey Bell and Associates
  • Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  • Guillermo de la Dehesa, Chairman, Aviva Grupo Corporativo
  • Jacques de Larosière, Former Director, IMF
  • Richard A. Debs, Former President, Morgan Stanley International
  • Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Gerhard Fels, Former Member, UN Committee for Development Planning
  • Toyoo Gyohten, Former Chairman, Bank of Tokyo
  • John Heimann, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute
  • Sylvia Ostry, Former Ambassador for Trade Negotiations, Canada
  • William R. Rhodes, President and CEO, William R. Rhodes Global Advisors
  • Ernest Stern, Former Managing Director; The World Bank
  • David Walker, Former Chairman, Barclays
  • Marina v N. Whitman, Professor; University of Michigan
  • Yutaka Yamaguchi, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Japan

So this group of 30 is slightly larger and in the group each of these members would have the power and economic impact to tell any member of the Fortune500 what to do, or better stated and more important ‘what not to do!‘ It is in that instance that we see the first impact. A game that now looks as I personally see it rigged in several ways; so even as I was allegedly wrong about Dominique Lefebvre or a direct peer, we see Christian Noyer. So in my view, in a 2015 French article on the issue of “Who will succeed Christian Noyer as head of the Banque de France?“, we see “Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, seems to have had the idea to see his right arm go. Benoît Coeuré would be an important ally for the Italian in the Council of the Governor“, yet in the light of the G30, it seems to me that such a discussion would have been set into a pre-emptive conclusion of who would needed to have been made king in that castle. When we see that in light of a previous article, namely ‘The Global Economic Switch‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/03/06/the-global-economic-switch/), were well over 500 billion is to be invested and grown, in addition to the fact that the SAMA has oversight to well over 2 trillion dollars, how come that they do not have a seat at the table? In the same way that the Rothschild’s are not there, but they might be ‘represented‘ through Bernanke or Frenkel, whilst it is not impossible that Mario Draghi might be giving them the low-down to some degree, yet the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with that much money on the ladle of expansion, that they are not part of it. In a world where that group is about (according to their own website) “The Group of Thirty, established in 1978, is a private, non-profit, international body composed of very senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia. It aims to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues, and to explore the international repercussions of decisions taken in the public and private sectors“, where the foundation of Saudi Arabia has been the power of OPEC and the power to instil the push to be a global player in many fields, in that sight in represented value that the repercussions of decisions are set at, to see the Bank of Israel yet not some link to SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) makes equally less sense in the line of thinking that the ‘about‘ section gives us, which makes me wonder what these members are about. they might be all about that, yet what else they are about, or what else they have a useful value in gives rise to my train of thought on where this train with less than 55 occupants is heading off to, and more so, in light of the power that these ‘30’ members have, the fact that the G30 is not the cover talk of many newspapers, especially the Financial Times is beyond me, because anyone coming to you with ‘No News’ or outdated news, or even worse that there is no real issue in play is clearly told what not to write.

It seems to me that not only is there more in play, the personal speculated view that I have in light of learning more and more about the G30 merely confirms my suspicions, as well as the insight that I am getting (a speculated one) where the media is steering clear from all this is a much larger issue. To what and in which direction is one I am not willing to go into, because I know that the ice is wafer thin at this point and skating on water is a realistic ‘no no’, yet the feeling that these members are getting a first view and optionally the option to dip their cups on plenty into a grape juice barrel of risk-less profit is one that I feel is very much in play. This G30 group is networking on an entirely new level, one that I have never seen before. This is not some kingmaker into presidency; this is a long term group where the optional billions will keep on flowing for decades to come. And this all in a setting of non-transparency, because this goes way beyond the 3 publications in 2016 and of course all those papers published before that. In the 2016 publication ‘Shadow Banking and Capital Markets: risks and opportunities‘, (at http://group30.org/images/uploads/publications/ShadowBankingCapitalMarkets_G30.pdf), we see in the conclusion on page 49: “Moreover, growing leverage across the global Economy can create important risks to macroeconomic stability even if the financial system itself is more resilient. And two developments are particularly concerning: the growth of emerging market foreign currency debt and the rapid growth of Chinese leverage accompanied by a proliferation of shadow banking activities are ominously reminiscent of precrisis developments in the advanced economies“, which is in view of the experts would be nothing new, yet resources available and the 36 exhibits and the recommendations would have been available to the G30 group much earlier than anyone else. In that light, we need to wonder not merely on the setting, in Exhibit 36 we see mortgage losses and the fact that there is the US, Canada and Europe, so in that light the fact that the fourth one is the Netherlands, is that not odd? In light of several settings, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, any of these four would have made perfect sense, so why the Netherlands? Exhibit 33 might have been a reason for this, yet in equal measure the absence of Scandinavia and Italy in this setting now adds to the questions. I think it is not merely choice and presentation, the absence of those players give rise to questions, perhaps even speculated questions and as there are none to be given, it makes me wonder what else is missing, what other data was filtered because in the light of data and presentation there is one golden rule I have always kept in the back of my mind.

The Analyst shows you which investment needs to be made, the presentation makes you look forward to the invoice.

So what invoice is the G30 group making you look forward to and where did it need to go? Two questions with optionally very different results, and in that setting, whilst you know the impact the European economy has had over the last 15 years, whilst we also know that Mario Draghi has been spending $3 trillion, in that setting the G30 does not make the news?

Who is getting fooled by all this and who is getting fooled by making sure that you do not get to notice this?

It is a much larger playing field that is from whatever point of view you have a field of inclusion, or a field of exclusion, yet in all this there are questions that are not asked at all, questions that even I am not asking because I decided to go into technology, engineering and law whilst giving a pass on the Economic subjects. Yet the Financial Media is not asking them either and that is an issue, especially in light of that ‘secretive‘ group set to a stage of networking inclusion, or is it networking through filtered exclusion?

I’ll let you decide on that.

 

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The Global Economic Switch

There is a shift going on, now this shift is still in the planning stages, but the switch is very real and as we see the crumbling switch from enabler and entrepreneur, the US is moving towards becoming a mere consumer and dependent user. That is a switch some might have seen coming, others have not seen it at all and some are still in denial, claiming it is a short term inconvenient stage. I have no idea which is true, but the events that are a given are showing to be more than a mere short term event and the diplomatic impact will equally show to be a long term impact on what the US had and what it will become. Now there are indicators, but the image is not seen in a single view, so let’s paint this picture for you whilst adding the sources.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian announced investment (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/saudi-arabia-and-egypt-agree-to-a-10-billion-deal-to-build-a-new-mega-city.html), is actually a lot more than the $10 billion forecasted, because the value as I showed in over the last year is more than becoming a reality, it is now in a planned stage, and planned much larger than I foresaw it going. It starts with “Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed to create a $10 billion joint fund to develop a mega-city in Egypt’s southern Sinai Peninsula, with both countries committing more than 1,000 square kilometres (386 square miles) of land to the new project“, you see, depending on the distance from Sharm-El-Sheikh the infrastructure will grow much faster and even as they will rely on what Sharm-El-Sheikh has, the growth of this new Mega-city could be the start of the tech-hub that benefits both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. As the technology hubs grow, so will the economy. It is also the first part to start getting combined 4G/5G preparation in place, because as this technology becomes available Saudi Arabia now has a first advantage in both upgrading its services and that gives optional access to 23-32 million out of a 95 million population. With the tech hubs, both the Sinai one as the half a trillion dollar NEOM, there will be a massive growth in dependency and requirements for technology. There is in addition, the Barcelona World Mobile Congress where on February 26th Huawei announced its full range of end-to-end (E2E) 3GPP-compliant 5G product solutions, now the other players will be following, yet Huawei has an advantage for now. With “The featured products are also the only available options within the industry to provide 5G E2E capabilities” we see that Huawei has chosen a path that allows them to grow and they will not be alone, but for now they are ahead of the crowds, so even as we see now “Huawei partnered with Zain Saudi Arabia, signing a Memorandum of Understanding promising to develop a new network strategy in the Kingdom. The aim of the MoU is to accelerate the realization of 5G networks and assist Zain in building the most advanced end-to-end networks in the region. The two companies will work together to accelerate the deployment of 4.5 to 5G networks, make further advances towards full cloudification, and produce additional strategy and planning in the field of ICT Synergy Cloud” (at https://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/huawei-outlines-vision-5g-future-co-unveils-latest-innovative-products-solutions-mwc/) merely a day ago. I gave that indication almost two weeks earlier, so how is that for a prediction. So even as the US is setting the bar at “Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Houston” to be the first with 5G at the end of the year, what happens when you need to reach out to Wall Street and Manhattan? Will that be merely 4G, or will you suddenly experience other issues (between providers, reception issues and so on; oh, and as you go from protocol to protocol switching per cell tower on the move, watch that battery power drain as the battery percentage goes down like a timer in seconds 75, 74, 73, 72, 71 and so on. Please do not take my word on this, it is much better when your own eyes see the battery counter go down, it adds to the dramatic effect when you hear me howl with laughter (stating: ‘I told you so’). So even as the article ended with “Ken Hu, Huawei Rotating CEO, said: “The intelligent world is drawing near, filled with potential and possibilities. Ground-breaking technologies like 5G and IoT promise to solve complex business challenges and improve the lives of the population. Yet challenges remain on our path before these dreams are realized. MWC 2018 was an excellent opportunity for us to meet with other leading companies and discuss how together we can overcome these obstacles, achieve sustainable business growth, and Build a Better Connected World.”“, I will admit that I have an issue with that part, you see with ‘IoT promise to solve complex business challenges‘, we see the implied solution, but the IoT (Internet of Things) is merely the applied hype word in a solution that has not been designed yet. It is true that the application of IoT is a solution in itself towards a whole shoal of options and challenges, but as we consider that the 4G smartphone brings solutions, it requires the apps to be there and solve actual settings and that takes time, like all other needs. In that regard I see the IoT as the old sales technique of selling a concept before the product exists and I always thought that to be a broken non resolving approach to the greedy salespeople coming with a ‘pay it forward’ solution that is paid for before the product has been completed. It is a dodgy need, because in the end the (business) consumer needs and actual product to work with. Yet that might just be me imagining things.

United States of America

The view here starts with the Financial Times, who brought us ‘Currency markets send a warning on the US economy‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/de57a6a2-1e32-11e8-a748-5da7d696ccab). So even as this is about the financial markets, there are a few points to take away from that. First there is “The pattern of higher interest rates and a weakening currency suggests that on multiple dimensions US assets now have to be put on sale to convince foreigners to hold them or induce Americans not to diversify into overseas assets. This pattern is relatively uncommon in the US though it happened in the Carter administration before Paul Volcker’s appointment as chair of the Federal Reserve and in the Clinton administration before Treasury secretary Robert Rubin’s invocation of the “strong dollar” policy. It is fairly ubiquitous in emerging markets where it reflects anxiety over a country’s policy framework“. The dangerous part here is ‘convince foreigners to hold them or induce Americans not to diversify into overseas assets’; you see it is a move of limitation, either the non-American buyer holds onto the for a much longer time, which needs convincing (usually with higher yields), as well as stopping Americans to go overseas into other markets, so it is not actually an ‘or’ situation, it is actually an ‘and’ setting where the inclusion needs to be both to remove doubt and volatility. The article ends with “The confidence of global markets is much easier to maintain than to regain. Currency markets are sending a signal that the US is not on a healthy path. Its time for the US to strengthen the strong fundamentals on which a strong dollar and healthy economy depends“, you see that view is set not merely in the war of tariffs, it is set where the global markets have been seeing a decline in US activity and more important acts that show that the US economy is feeble and the US infrastructure is not in strength, it is merely getting by and that is a dangerous place to be in. Even as I predicted that the inactions and the inability to act against Russia will be felt when Russia calls the bluff of America, it is now showing that the US on a larger scale is showing to be set towards a series of hurdles that will stagnate its economy and over the long haul (within two years) will show the danger of another recession, so when that happens and projects get halted, how will Sprint and other players pay for 5G? Entrepreneurial innovation tends to demand buckets of cash, cash that is not available, certainly not readily. Protectionism is merely the first hurdle and one of at least three in the setting of the tariff war. The Financial times gave the people the biggest fear and doubt on February 21st with “US ‘too big to fail’ regime set for Trump overhaul“, that ‘too big to fail‘ has been used before and a whole bunch of billionaire grapes got bitten rather badly in Europe. It is not merely the Chapter 14 implementation with the by-line ‘to shield the tax payers’, it is the text “Both Wall Street and overseas regulators have warned the administration over the dangers of dismantling the system but the Treasury said it wanted to narrow its use so it could serve only as a last resort“, the fact that ‘narrow’ and ‘Wall Street’ imply that the Chapter 14 will lack the teeth it needs and as such it is another parachute for the 1% bankers, banks and those making upwards of $253 million a year. So how much will this marker cost the tax payers in the end? Even as there is an abundance of recession fear articles and announcements by the media at large, that part even as it is likely to happen, it is not certain to happen and that fear needs to be removed (by other means than the Chapter 14 messages). You see, the problem is that the 1% has enough wealth to survive the next two recessions, whilst the quality of life of the other 99% has not been pushing forward towards the level it needed to be. So they will get hurt really bad if another recession happens within the next 16 months, which is close to all speculated views by the media at large. Whilst that is not much of an indication, the events in Saudi Arabia is only one element, the other elements is the one we will see next

Other players

There is more than one player in all this. The first is seen by CNBC (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/saudi-russia-oil-deal-leads-to-bigger-russia-role-in-middle-east.html), where we are treated to “The partnership with OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, allows Russia to strengthen its hand in the Middle East at the same time the U.S. role has been diminished“, the diminishing of the US as stated by other sources closes doors to the US on several shores, a dangerous change that comes at one of the least fortunate times. The quote “it is now the foundation for a broader relationship that has the potential to reduce already waning U.S. influence in the Middle East” is foremost set to the chilling friendships with Syria and Iran, it is not merely there. Turkey has been out of control for the longest of times and now that Turkey is smelling blood, it is trying to get much more out of the US, making them a very expensive ‘friend’, more so, the question becomes was Turkey ever a friend? In that whatever bites there could hinder the US with its access to the Middle East at large. Should Incirlik and Izmir become an issue, the economic print of the US would drastically change, because that would require the US to find a way to grow the option to get a base in Saudi Arabia and optionally in Israel. Whilst neither is a given, the costs of that will be staggering and the economic footprint of the US will equally become an issue down the road. Even if there would be an option to get one in Western India (who would like that economic windfall in their region), it would be a drastic fund pressuring move for the US.
Another option would be in Egypt and if that becomes an option it would in the longer term benefit both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whilst Egypt gets to grow its stability in the Sinai, the US would become a much larger target in Egypt, wherever its base would be placed. So that too would come at a cost for the US in a time it needs to turn over every dollar it spends. Another is Jordan, but there is no way to tell the impact, the costs and the options in that regard as I have no clear information or sources to give at this time. You see, the memorandum of understanding was signed with Jordan with Rex Tillerson a mere 3 weeks ago, so adding a conversation of adding a US base there might not be the one that would work (pure speculation from my side). In addition, the EU News (and others) who gave us “Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström added: “These US measures will have a negative impact on transatlantic relations and on global markets. In addition, they will raise costs and reduce choice for US consumers of steel and aluminium, including industries that import these commodities”” gives rise that there is a cooling of ‘friendliness’ between the EU nations and the US to some degree, so there is that impact as well. I am not talking about the tariff, I am talking to the diplomatic language where Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave us “Relations with the United States can no longer be taken for granted“, which is not a good thing as the Dutch port of Rotterdam is the gateway to Germany and its industrial heart, in addition the US pressures on France regarding the Iran nuclear deal could impact the two, but that is not a given, even better, it is unlikely to be an issue, which is a plus point, for the US for now as the Italian elections are over and the anti-EU parties made a massive gain (from 4% to 18%, whilst they surpassed the Berlusconi party) is still an issue in play. I agree with the Guardian that stated that the EU-issue is not in play, but as we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/03/italian-elections-european-union-populism), the need for Berlusconi was the man to save them from populism has now become a non-reality, the impact will grow and in that matter the US would need to play nice, very nice with Italy. You see there was always going to be an issue with Matteo Salvini, yet the fact that they became the largest party with 37% was unforeseen. There is no issue with iExit as the Italian version of Brexit is called, but its anti-immigration policies will give headaches for many EU nations and as the impact of US-EU nations is cooling, becoming an enabler for Italy might be the wiser of solution for the US. The BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43294041) gives much more, but the power is at the end with “Voter frustration here in Italy but evident and ongoing in Germany too surely shows it’s time for Brussels to sit up and really pay attention“, the shown fact that Brussels have not been doing that is the anchor around the neck for the EU and that will impact the US numbers as well. Even as Germany was the biggest friend of the US in the EU, the tariff and, the EU army and the need by America for Germany to play a larger role in the EU borders (taking some pressures from the US) are all elements that put more and more pressures on the US, even as some of the needs by the US are very valid, we need to realise that Newsweek gave us “Germany’s top diplomat has told foreign policy experts that his country’s relationship with the U.S. has suffered irreparable damage under the administration of President Donald Trump“, even as the damage began in the previous administration (to a small extent), the chosen path by the Trump administration has been adding negativity to it all. Syria must be seen as the largest of catalysts in that regard, it is merely my sense of humour that the Germans see the forced ‘friendship‘ with the French as a larger issue than the actual absence of the US in all that, but that is just my take on humour.

All these elements are part of the economic switch in all this, in support of this, there are sources that show that Saudi Arabia wants to grow its arms industry and as SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) is sitting down with the Russian who are eager to accommodate, I need to wonder why the hell Raytheon and Northrop Grumman were asleep at the wheel, or decided to remain vacant from that setting. So even as Remington (American outdoor Brands) has a product of sheer excellence, they are now not at the middle Eastern table, but in a novel mentioned in Chapter 11 and seeking a quick sale, perhaps someone can tell me how much could have been gained at the Riyadh SAMI conference table? So even as we read (at http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/saudi-arabia-wants-to-make-their-own-weapons-russia-eager-to-help-118030300622_1.html) that “likely to alarm American policy makers, who worry about losing ground to Russia and China in the Middle East“, where we see that this is understated to the largest degree. With “They’re already planning to buy the Russian S-400 air-defense system, under a deal that would let them manufacture related products at home” as well as “Half of Saudi procurement is supposed to be done locally by 2030, from about 2 per cent today” we see the extent of the market lost for both Raytheon and Northrop Grumman as two of the largest players in that field. Someone (more than one player) was asleep at the helm and by playing the card of exclusivity the ended up playing the card of exclusion, which takes them out of the game as such and that is the issue in this, because as far as I see it we have not seen such a large shift of plays optionally towards Russia and away from the US since before WW2, perhaps it might be more correct that this has never happened to this degree in history, that too is a factor that must be considered; so, suddenly the extended play changes. I mentioned part of this on Feb 24th (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/24/losing-values-towards-insanity/) in ‘Losing values towards insanity‘, yet I only had some unconfirmed parts and no idea why I had some parts, I had these parts a week ago, yet all these parts came to me over the last 24 hours with 1-2 exceptions, now we see a shifted picture. When we consider LLC Megaline (as well as Concord Management and Consulting) where Yevgeniy Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin allegedly have been preparing to grow an ICT/Mobile infrastructure in Syria, that whilst construction fortunes would be coming their way too, the entire growth with Saudi Arabia as an optional side allows those two to split a few billions between the two of them, whilst at the same time growing the other fields they have access to and get a seat at the Saudi Arabian table at the same time. A side I never saw as I did not have the information I have read over the last 24 hours. To get any additional part in that play could set me up for life within 3 years, to get a 400% better lifestyle in 36 months than the 36 years of hard work allowed me to get is what would get any person to change their pupils to dollar signs and that is merely in their need for ICT, Data farms, Mobile facilitation, Data systems, forecasting, reporting and logistical infrastructures. In all this we see the clear evidence as given by several players that is now on route in a place where the US has a setting that is diminishing, so as those currencies go elsewhere, do you think it will not impact the US economy. That is apart from the greedy pharmaceuticals that are now pushing on India for the longest time. It is an additional place where non-US players will have options to gain market share. All that because certain players in the patent field were enablers towards the few greedy US pharmaceuticals as they increasingly ‘demanded‘ more and more outside of the patent scope that was once given (the attempted Trans Pacific Partnership was clear evidence of that), now we see hat impact and the US is at the axis of an economic switch where someone else will soon decide whether that switch will be switched on or off, no longer as the setting where the US sets the status, which is something the US has not faced before ever as far as I can tell, even the 2004 and 2008 events did not remove that option from them, but that is now a reality from sources like Bloomberg, Reuters, the Financial Times, CNBC, BBC and other players are setting the view that we are getting now. Even as none as saying it outright, the news as given provides a speculated picture where that may become a reality. I do believe that it could be prevented to some extent, but at the current course of the US ‘Kingmakers’ and ‘Wall Street regents’, that reality is slowly being removed from the US table of decision makers and once that reality hits, when they have to report that the Switch is set to ‘OFF‘, the impact will hit pretty much every market where the US is policy maker.

A world where the US player involved goes from being exclusive to excluded!

I wonder how the media will then cover it and who will they blame, because they will always be about laying the blame.

 

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Your GCC resume

Qatar remains in the news, some are looking at the $5.9 billion deal in Italian dinghy’s, others look at the cancelled deal to become an American Airlines stake holder and others like me are focussing towards the GCC futures. According to the Defence minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah this setting is not in an increasing danger. The problem is not merely the GCC in itself, it is what you will not see in many newspapers, it is the overhanging impact on OPEC. The news given by Oilprice.com is “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts. Doha will be able to sabotage the current 6+3 production cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members. If Doha decides to join the ranks of Iran and Iraq, OPEC’s future will be in doubt” it is at the very end of the article (at http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Clash-Between-Qatar-And-The-Saudis-Could-Threaten-OPEC-Deal.html), yet that in itself is not the bacon maker, or if pork is taboo, it is the lamb to the slaughter. When we see: “The Arab criticism may have been less harsh if U.S. officials would not have put oil on the fire. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis openly warned Qatar that it should change its support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mattis also stated that U.S. president Trump is considering classifying the Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization, which could have a very negative impact on the U.S.-Qatar economic-military cooperation in the coming months“, this reflects right back to the pressures that the American players where trying to establish through pressuring the WTO issues as written yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/08/02/a-big-tree-in-the-desert/). Another source (Leaprate.com) gives us the links to Iran and re-elected Hassan Rouhani. Here we see “America’s new-found protectionist outlook and open contempt for the JCPOA, has put a question mark against its future, while Iran’s ties with Qatar, currently the subject of embargos by many neighbouring states, is a further concern for investors“, this is the part that most do not get informed about. Partially the US has a valid point as the previous president of Iran was openly waging war towards the US and against the state of Israel. The dangers as I gave them years ago, especially in the light of the nuclear treaties is not how good or how reforming the newly elected President Hassan Rouhani was, it is the issue about the next person, who will get the presidential trophy in 2021 and what happens then? This is the long term worry, most will agree that one extreme leader on the edge of insanity is good enough and keeping that person in North Korea is for now the best place.

Yet, that was not what this is about, when we consider that the JCPOA (also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), we see the given by Ali Akbar Salehi with ““After JCPOA, our oil production has soared from 1 million barrels per day to 3.9 million bpd,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying on Sunday, two days after the two-year anniversary of the action plan. This marks a success for Iran’s oil-based economy in reclaiming its market share lost over the years of sanctions“, the issue is that this directly opposes OPEC with “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts” for the UAE and Saudi Arabia that is a problem, as Iran has increased its production by nearly 3 million barrels a day, the other players have to decrease even more, which means that they are hurting well $150 million a day or we will see the pressures shift all over the Middle East, which is not good for America (or the UK for that matter), because that impacts what Saudi Arabia can buy, and the monthly $4.5 billion is partially for the hardware delivered and expected before December 2017, so as these sales paths are impacted, we will see a level of hurt all over the weapons of mass consumer requirements market.

So we have valid and greed driven concerns regarding Iran, in this the Qatar issue does not help and the play that the US is making as we see it should not be considered as a beneficial path. No matter how valid the present situation is as we see it given through the Russian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav Ivanov is giving a present truth with “The main line of Tehran’s policy is to get out of sanctions and gradually restore its economic and financial potential“, we do not deny this, yet the past decades was about setting the pressures to Iran as the western nations had to deal with extremism, in addition to the funding that Iran gave Hamas as it kept on attacking the State of Israel, there are ample issues in all this as the strategic setting before 2021 (Iranian general elections) could face the US, Israel and Western Europe with an economic revitalised Iran, which will be pushing the players back to square one if that seat will become the sitting arrangement for another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which is not out of the question.

When that happens, those with a GCC resume, with or without references to OPEC might wonder where their employability resides. Now, if they have been smitten with a 7 figure annual income, they might not care, yet those without that part for at least 4 years might need to scrape by, having to live on $40K a month for the rest of their lives. I can advise these people that it can be done, if they shed the 4 luxury cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bentley), give up their membership in the Yas Links Golf Club, Almouj Golf and The Majlis, Emirates Golf Club as well as their 4 bedroom apartment in Riyadh and they are already half way there. So how serious is this? Well, it is actually a lot more serious than most people realise. When we consider that the GCC is a realistic target for cyber-attacks and cyber terrorists, Raytheon is setting up technological barriers to thwart to some degree these plans. the issue is not what the presentations give, whilst we do not oppose of attack the stance that CEO Thomas Kennedy has, the quote (source: Raytheon) “It has since reinforced its cybersecurity capacity with the purchase of 14 companies. In 2015, it acquired a company called Forcepoint (previously known as Websense and Raytheon|Websense) to enhance its commercial presence. This is now the world’s second-largest privately-held cybersecurity firm. Raytheon recently secured a five-year, $1bn contract for the US Department of Homeland Security to help defend “.gov” websites from cyber-attacks. Now the goal is to bring that working knowledge to the Gulf” is merely showing a deficit in the technology. Acquisition is a partial solution to any cyber given industry, the given premise to survive is not what can be bought today, but what must be developed for tomorrow. You see the firms that have that focus tend not to be for sale in the first place. Whilst Raytheon’s focus is very valid to catch up, it is much less a solution for those who are arming themselves for tomorrow, their own missile system department can teach them that part. It is not merely about the technology, it is the development of new systems in cloud and non-repudiation that will give the GCC and other gulf places the edge to be ahead of the cyber-attack curve. A partial issue is found with “We have one of the best data-leakage protection systems in the entire cybersecurity field, and we combine this with our insider-threat behaviour system, which detects suspicious activity and ensures IP and data is not compromised“, which might be non-false, yet the events as Sony has seen shows that the reflective comments are from a behind the wave assessment, with HBO being an example as they were hacked a few days ago. The one provider that relies on cyber security as it sells its value through Netflix is now giving Vanity Fair “When Netflix was hacked earlier this year, the cyber-criminals behind the attack demanded a ransom. But there was no such demand in the hack that struck HBO over the weekend, and the sheer amount of compromised data has led some to believe that video footage, internal documents, or e-mails could be leaked next. The premium-cable giant is working with the F.B.I. and cyber-security firm Mandiant to investigate the breach, in which hackers claimed to have stolen 1.5 terabytes’ worth of data“. This is what Raytheon is up against, not some access issue, but stopping the drain of terabytes, basically every part of the GCC removed in mere hours, whilst the cyber minders were in the dark until after the event and the quote that follows (at https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/08/hbo-hack-seven-times-larger-sony) “A traditional business-grade D.S.L. link would take about two weeks at full blast to exfiltrate that much data,” Farsight Security C.E.O. Paul Vixie told T.H.R. “If not for video and sound, a corporation the size of HBO might fit [entirely] in a terabyte, including all the e-mail and spreadsheets ever written or stored.” Another expert added that the entire Library of Congress contains an estimate of 10 terabytes of print material—so it is almost certain that video and/or audio were stolen“, this directly reflects on Raytheon. It is not what we know it is what others have figured out that is the issue. Whether it was through frame leaking, through cloud replication, there are issues that remain non-secure, even as security is at the top of the salespersons mind. There is a need for a new designed system no longer merely on access, but on ‘bio wired’ non-repudiation that is driving the need for evolution and these sales forces have remained in denial as it is something that they cannot offer at present, so they reflect on it as being a non-solution, a non-reality. They stick to the solutions that they can sell now and that is where the GCC finds itself, the lack of visionary evolution of data systems.

So when Raytheon gives their next presentation and someone at the GCC asks “How can we assure that the Bolero electronic Bills of Lading are not stolen or corrupted?” what happens then? Will that person at GCC need to write his resume tout suite, or will his superiors realise that the question was valid and that this situation is an immediate threat to the GCC members? Because in this day and age where extremists are all about the attack on infrastructures, the Bolero Title Registry, the repository and application that manages the transfer of title of the eBL is a clear weak point. Ones the recipients are scrapped and the cargo gets locked down, the ship will have two issues. The first being that the ownership cannot be transferred, you might think that this could be solved in a few days, and that would be right. The direct consequence is that the transfer of oil stop would cost an additional $578,000 in port charges, twice the amount in addition for pilots and towage fees. And as they are moved around additional costs will be incurred, that is apart from the issue that the delays bring and when a visionary does find the way to reset ownership, the delivery of 1 million barrels comes down to a nice $50 million fee, that optionally went somewhere else.

The one place where cyber security was essential is as given in indications running behind and not catching up; the only way to do that is to get ahead of it all. Now, as stated, this is not an attack on Raytheon, this is merely the direct issue on the business need to set serious cash into evolving the new systems to be ahead of the curve and be in a state where the hackers learn that it is not merely about access, the nice part of adding a new ‘language‘ to the plot is not to delay their invasion, it become to take away their comprehension of what they see (hopefully for longer than short term). You see, I have loved Cisco solutions, but they all talk the same language and their precise documentation have been a real assist on those with no-good intentions, we merely need to ask Google ‘what does a cisco frame look like?‘ and we get so much information, enough for too many to get to the heart of the matter and in the early stages of the internet that was a really good thing, we need to move beyond certain settings and push towards dedicated systems that have additional layers of protection, now that might be a mere delay, yet consider what is being protected. How willing are you to keep data safe? Not merely oil data of ownership, in the age of Netflix whilst hackers are streaming the episodes by the dozen, depriving places like Sony and HBO from valid revenue, revenue they invested in, the game needs to be changed. We have seen the uselessness of some governments as they were facilitating towards the communication sellers on bandwidth; we need to change the game regardless of those players. One way to do that is remove their existence to impact. Google did that to some extent, but not to the extent needed. As we realise that providers are 15 dimes to the dollar, we need to set a different scope, not merely in the cloud, but in the need for dedicated non-repudiation. Only then can we make a first effort to push the boundary towards a safer zone. And perhaps Raytheon will bring that to the table, the fact is that we do not know the player that delivers the need of tomorrow today, we merely know that it will not be Beaker bringing it (a Muppet Show reference). In this the ‘evidence’ can be seen when we realise that Raytheon gives us John D Harris II and his view on how forward thinking Talon laser guided rockets are. Yes John this was really the need for Cyber safety! As we consider the issue beyond point-to-point communication. In addition the $100m development program reads sexy for your bonus, yet the issue is data, both at rest and in transit. There are the issues, not in the rocket man shooting by a member of the UAE air force. So as we moved from certain parts of the GCC, via Iran to other providers, we need to see and comprehend that there are several players, all with their own agenda, a perfectly sound and valid situation, yet when we see that stability is centre in all this, destabilisation will impact both the GCC members, the OPEC members and when the overlap is shown (those in both), we need to realise that Iran and Iraq will not care about the needs of the GCC, they are not part of that, which ties hands of the six GCC players and in that Qatar is the centre of the seesaw that the 6 members prefer to have in some level of balance, yet the issues as we are seeing them escalate will impact all the given needs for all the players having their ‘own’ needs to satisfy. None of that is likely to happen any day soon. We could see the US and both their needs towards JCPOA and the WTO as an opposing issue, one that is not beneficial to the GCC or the Qatar issues as they are playing. I cannot say what the GCC members should do next, but it seems to me resolving some parts and creating a new initial balance is the best way forward. This gets me back to the question phrase yesterday. If each of the 4 members could phrase one issue to resolve by Qatar, what would that be? If Qatar can get the conversation started on that, as merely a first show of good will, yet from my point of view, if they Promise to have a good look at Al-Jazeera and do some immediate reforms there as a first step of good will towards the four opposing parties, it might just be enough to reduce tensions and give time for non-escalations to settle and as such forward momentum in resolving issues will be found. In my view it would leave Qatar in a much better view by all other players and global non players. It will open the doors and perhaps that is a good beginning, merely a good beginning, but more than we have now.

And none of this, none of my views were set to painting any of the players as the bad people, merely a path to find the track towards profit and growth, profit for all the players and economic growth for all of them. In all this the one question that is forming in my mind is that Oman has been the one GCC member that is outside of the equation to some extent, could they be a mediating party in all this? I actually do not know the answer; I am merely voicing the question that I have not seen in the news. You see when you realise that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been the driving force behind Vision 2030, the economic diversification strategy. Is that something that a nation like Oman could see benefits in, when we consider diversification, when we realise that this impacts range of products as well as field of operation. Would it not be interesting how this view could be beneficial to the Middle East as a whole? In all this, as the driving force surpasses boundaries, is that not a field of economic diplomacy to see it grow? To push forward momentum is to find a place and subject of discussion, in my view it would be to find a topic many can agree on, a topic that is always a hard sell in most occasions and it seems to me that oil dependency is always a good option for those realising that it is the only thing they offer, by adding more options, any nation connected is merely opening paths to more stability and more opportunities, especially when these paths can be sold to nations seeking more than oil, which is close to every nation on the planet. Finding a place of stabile growth is the best product any player is ever likely to sell. In this stability is a lot more sexy than quick gain, especially on Wall Street and they are having too often too much to say on that matter. As we need a different language in the cyber world, it is clear that outside of that world a common language is the only solution. The question becomes what language and how to start the conversation, even those setting up their GCC resume right now. That is a fact as it is a resume that they want everyone to read, a comprehensible common ground is the first step in this.

 

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