Daily Digest 12/21 - Oil, Gold, Portugal, Legalized Thievery, Peak Oil
- Soros Gold Bubble at $1,384 as Miners Push Buttons
- Mortgage Lenders Ordered to Appear in NJ Court
- Moody's Warns It May Cut Portugal's Rating
- The Great Bank Heist of 2010
- A Bleak Year in Europe
- First POMO Of The Day Closes, Brings Fed's Treasury Debt Holdings To $999 Billion
- J.P. Morgan Tops in Investment-Banking Revenue
- Oil Imports to China Set to Slow in 2011 as Economy Cools
- Iraq's Crude Production to Advance 17% Early Next Year, Oil Minister Says
- Iran Oil Fields in Decline and Need Enhanced Discovery to Meet Demand
History shows that when the price of an asset takes a parabolic climb like gold’s has, it’s eventually bound to crash, according to Mark Williams, an executive-in-residence and master lecturer at Boston University’s finance and economics department. And when it does it’s almost always the smaller, individual investors that get out too late, he said.
As much as half of the gold in exchange-traded funds may be held by individual investors, according to BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager. “Your little guy is going to get hit by the doorknob on the way out,” Williams said.
Six lenders who have combined to file nearly 30,000 foreclosure actions in New Jersey this year face the possible suspension of their operations next month under a court order announced Monday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. "It's important that the judiciary ensures judges are not rubber-stamping documents that may not be reliable," Rabner said in a conference call Monday. He said he believes New Jersey is the first state to take such action against mortgage lenders, a view echoed by Ira Rheingold, an attorney and executive director of the Washington-based National Association of Consumer Advocates, which has tracked the foreclosure crisis. "To have a state Supreme Court haul in these lenders, it's something I have not seen reach this level," Rheingold said.
Moody's Investors Service Tuesday warned it may lower Portugal's credit rating by as much as two notches, dealing another blow to investor confidence in the euro zone.
Moody's warning came less than a week after the ratings agency said it may downgrade its ratings on Spanish government debt. It also came as Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he was "very satisfied" with the government's latest budget figures, which showed the central government deficit narrowing for the first time this year.
This was the year America finally took on the power and greed of the Wall Street banks.
And the banks won.
They dodged the bullet of real reform, probably for all time. They bounced back to post huge profits, helped by legal theft from the middle class. They completed their takeover of both political parties — and bought themselves a new Congress even more pliable than the old one
Middle-class America is flattened, devastated and broke. The bankers that caused it all have escaped punishment. They’re raking in huge profits. Oh, and the tax cuts just got extended for high earners, too!
Images define a year. A captured moment. A snapshot. Some we share together - like Charles and Camilla caught open-mouthed as the mob circles. Other images are our own. Three, in particular, stay with me.
Today's first POMO has closed, with Brian Sack buying $7.790 billion of Treasury maturing between 6/30/2016 and 11/30/2017. Among the bonds purchased was $689 million of PK0, auctioned off less than a month ago, meaning the Primary Dealers continue to flip bonds from auction straight back to the Fed, making a few million in the process each and every time. And while not even POMO matters anymore, in a market entirely dominated by Delta, i.e., Goldman (even Joe Kernen earlier announced on live TV that "Goldman can do whatever it wants in the futures market."), trades, and where the cumulative TICK is now progressively negative, the only thing that may be of relevance is when will the Goldman vol traders decide they have had enough and start unwinding the trade on which they are massively profitable at this point. What certainly does matter, is that total US debt is now $999 billion, just $1.3 billion away from a trillion, a level which will be breached, as we expected last week, during today's second afternoon POMO in which the Fed will monetize another $1.5-$2.5 billion in TIPS.
J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. held onto its lead in investment-banking revenue in 2010, followed by Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to preliminary year-end data released Tuesday by Dealogic. J. P. Morgan had $5.2 billion in investment-banking revenue for the year, including fees from debt and equity underwriting, advisory and lending, as the deal markets returned to life following the credit crisis. Bank of America had investment-banking revenue of $4.6 billion for the year, while Goldman had $4 billion. Morgan Stanley came in fourth, with revenue of $3.8 billion.
China’s appetite for oil, which helped drive crude to the highest level since October 2008, may ease next year as the government takes steps to tackle inflation and work on expanding refineries slows.
The nation, the world’s biggest oil consumer behind the U.S., may import 5.1 million barrels a day in 2011, up 6.3 percent from this year, according to the average of six analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey. That compares with a 20 percent jump so far in 2010.
China’s inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in 28 months in November, fueling speculation the government will raise interest rates next year
Iraq forecast a 17 percent rise in oil output next year and invited companies from South Korea and Kazakhstan to sign immediately a delayed contract for the Akkas gas field, Oil MinisterHussain al-Shahristani said.
“Iraq’s oil production capacity will increase to 2.75 million barrels a day early next year,” Shahristani said in an interview in Baghdad yesterday. The country now produces about 2.35 million barrels of crude a day. Shahristani attributed the expected increase to investments by the international oil companies that have signed contracts to develop Iraqi fields.
(Read the last sentence carefully)
Iran's oil sector is a key factor in the Middle East and the world at large. Iran is OPEC's second largest oil producer. The nation now claims oil reserves of 150 billion barrels as a result of a 34 billion barrel discovery in the Persian Gulf. The climate of Iran's oil industry is clouded U.S. and U.N. sanctions which hamper refinery upgrades. The sanctions also prevent major oil companies from working in the country. The biggest factor holding back the industry is a 13% annual decline rate.
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