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2014 Year in Review: Part 2

Will 2015 be the year it all comes tumbling down?
Friday, December 19, 2014, 12:27 PM

This year has been all about risk—existential risk. Some of it seemed to dissipate and some lingers.  Market valuations remain risky—regression to the mean could easily provide a 50% haircut and more if we observe regression through the mean. This has not come to pass, but the risk is very real.

Those who seek risk in markets will eventually find it. » Read more

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Meanwhile In Iraq, The Situation Grows More Dangerous

World oil prices & regional stability at high risk now
Monday, August 4, 2014, 7:29 PM

As if there wasn't enough to concentrate on given all that's happening in Ukraine between Russia and the West, and in Gaza between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the situation in Iraq has been taking some decidedly worrisome turns of late.

As ever, we keep our eye on this hot spot because of its special importance to the world supply of oil, any loss of which will rapidly lead to much higher prices. » Read more

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Michael Klare: Finite Resources And The Geography of Conflict

In the end, all wars are resource wars
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 12:49 PM

Ukraine. Iraq. Nigeria. Libya. Tunisia. Syria. All are hotspots of conflict in different regions of the world, yet the same underlying cause behind each can clearly be seen when looking through the lens of finite resources.

In this week's podcast, Chris talks with Hampshire college professor Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for World's Last Resources and Resource Wars. » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?

Because the markets sure don't seem to care
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 4:37 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?
    • No conflict is seemingly too great for the markets to ignore
  • The Marginal Value of A Barrel of Oil
    • Even the loss of a few % of total supply could vastly impact the US
  • Zombie Markets
    • No weapon seems to be able to stop this bull market
  • Bass-Ackward Foreign Policy
    • The West is pursuing a strategy that makes no sense
Insider

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And...It's Gone

(The refinery that is)
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 11:26 AM

Just a few hours ago, amid the reports of fighting in and around the Baiji refinery in northern Iraq, there were plenty of assurances that the main Iraqi forces were in complete control. » Read more

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Iraq Breaks Down, Oil Surges

The context underlying the growing crisis
Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:58 PM

The situation in Iraq is serious, and is probably going to get worse before it gets better. The potential for this recent action to morph into a regional conflict is very high. That that means that oil could go a lot higher, and if it does, we can expect the odds of a global economic recession and an attendant financial crisis to go up considerably from here. » Read more