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    Daily Digest 9/16 – Saudi Oil Attack Roils Global Energy Markets, Medicaid’s Dark Secret

    by Daily Digest

    Monday, September 16, 2019, 7:47 AM


Dow Futures Retreat, Global Stocks Fall After Saudi Oil Attacks, Weak China Data (Thomas R.)

Oil prices surged the most since the 1991 Gulf War in early trading, before paring gains to between $5 and $6 a barrel, after drone attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais crude facilities in Saudia Arabia, which caused massive fires and shuttered nearly 5% of global production.

Attacks on Saudi oil facilities knock out half the kingdom’s supply (Sparky1)

The pre-dawn strikes follow earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters, but these were the most brazen yet, temporarily crippling much of the nation’s production capacity. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter, shipping more than 7 million barrels of oil to global destinations every day, and for years has served as the supplier of last resort to markets.

Energy prices spike after Saudi oil attack as US blames Iran (Thomas R., Sparky1)

Those tensions have increased ever since Trump pulled the U.S. out of Iran’s 2015 agreement with world powers that curtailed its nuclear activities and the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on the country that sent its economy into freefall.

Benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 20% in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to over 10% higher as trading continued. A barrel of Brent traded up $6.45 to $66.67.

Saudi oil attack roils global energy markets; Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’ (Sparky1, Thomas R.)

The Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack said they used drones, although the scale of the destruction indicates that cruise missiles may also have been used. There has been no independent verification.

Yahya Saree, a spokesman for the Houthi-rebel-run Saba News Agency, said Monday the group may launch additional “more painful strikes” as long as Saudi Arabia’s government “continues its aggression and blockade on Yemen.”

Attacks on Saudi oil supply effectively wipe out the world’s spare capacity, S&P Platts says (Thomas R.)

“This heightens the risk premium, it puts a lot of pressure on the supply side,” said Sarah Cottle, global head of market insight at S&P Global Platts.

“This incident effectively eliminates the world’s spare capacity,” Cottle told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday, though she added the longer-term outlook is bullish due to the immediate need to draw down on crude stockpiles.

Trump authorizes release of U.S. oil reserves if needed because of Saudi attacks (Sparky1)

“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” Trump said on Twitter.

U.S. shale seen unlikely to quickly replace barrels lost in attack on Saudi facilities (Sparky1)

Shale is a short-cycle oil supply – one able to add or reduce production relatively quickly. Producers will see increased demand, especially from Asian buyers. But producers need 90 to 180 days to drill, complete and bring new production online.

There are about 1,000 Permian wells that have been drilled but not completed or hooked up to pipelines, said Bernadette Johnson, vice president of market intelligence at consultants Enverus.

Ex-Google worker fears ‘killer robots’ could cause mass atrocities (Sparky1)

Nolan, who has joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and has briefed UN diplomats in New York and Geneva over the dangers posed by autonomous weapons, said: “The likelihood of a disaster is in proportion to how many of these machines will be in a particular area at once. What you are looking at are possible atrocities and unlawful killings even under laws of warfare, especially if hundreds or thousands of these machines are deployed.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador has transformed the office, but old problems thwart progress (newsbuoy)

Lopez Obrador — Mexico’s first avowed leftist president in a generation — abruptly set a new tone: He eschewed use of the luxurious Mexican White House compound, Los Pinos, turning it into a park; he dispatched the bloated presidential guard detail back into the military and cut exorbitant government salaries; he moved to sell off the lavish presidential jet and began traveling commercial; and he instituted morning press briefings that, like President Trump’s Twitter outbursts, tend to set the daily news agenda.

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute (Sparky1)

GM workers joined striking Aramark-employed janitors assigned to GM facilities on the picket lines Sunday night at a sprawling factory on the border between Detroit and the small town of Hamtramck.

Worker Patty Thomas said she wasn’t scheduled to picket, but came out to support her colleagues at the car plant, which GM wants to close.

Nearly 50,000 UAW workers go on strike against GM, America’s biggest automaker (Thomas R.)

General Motors said it made a substantial offer, including higher pay and profit sharing, along with investment to bring new jobs. It said it offered to commit to invest $7 billion in coming years to preserve 5,400 jobs. It also promised a “solution” for two of the four plants currently slated for closure: one in Detroit and another in Lordstown, Ohio.

Medicaid’s Dark Secret (Sparky1)

She soon learned that the rumors held some truth. Medicaid, the government program that provides health care to more than 75 million low-income and disabled Americans, isn’t necessarily free. It’s the only major welfare program that can function like a loan. Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 are expected to repay the government for many medical expenses—and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt.

Jim Crow Steals N Carolina 9th CD (newsbuoy)

In 2014, I watched Strach give blatantly false testimony to the North Carolina legislature to get approval for the Crosscheck mass purge. The chart below presented by Strach claims that 155,692 voters in Carolina voted in a second state in the same election, a felony a crime. Yet, after a year of investigation, they could not find one such double voter. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of voters lost their right to vote for a crime for which none were found guilty let alone charged.

Obesity map of the United States reveals the states where up to 40 per cent of Americans are dangerously overweight (Sparky1)

“Instead, our report highlights the fundamental changes that are needed in the social and economic conditions that make it challenging for people to eat healthy foods and get sufficient exercise.”

The data comes from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing telephone interview survey conducted by CDC and state health departments.

Exclusive: Turkey’s Erdogan says to discuss with Trump buying U.S. Patriot missiles (Sparky1)

Asked whether he would also ask Trump to prevent the U.S. Treasury imposing a heavy fine on Turkey’s mainly state-owned Halkbank for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, Erdogan said he was confident they could avoid such a “mistake”, citing what he said was “a different kind of trust” between the two men.

Your Savings Are at Risk in the Cashless World That’s Coming (thc0655)

All paper currency is gradually phased out, beginning with all notes of $50 and above (or foreign equivalent), then next the $20 bill, leaving only $1, $5, and (perhaps) $10 bills.

In Rogoff’s world, governments run the money system directly. Payments that can be completely hidden from the government are banned.

This Is What Responsible Gold Mining Will Look Like (Sparky1)

“It is our aim that the Responsible Gold Mining Principles reinforce trust in gold and the gold mining industry. Consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain will be able to know, with confidence, that their gold has been responsibly sourced,” said Terry Heymann, chief financial officer with the World Gold Council said in an interview with Kitco News.

Heymann added that the 10 principals the council has developed is the result of two years of extensive research and collaboration with mining companies.

Gold market structure and flows (Sparky1)

Understand global gold market structure and flows in this set of infographics, detailing the sources of gold supply and of demand, with an indication of trading volumes, and the scale and composition of above-ground stocks.

The Custodial State (thc0655)

When Belloc was writing, he did not imagine that the state and capital would have a third element in addition to the economic and legal. That is the spiritual. A century ago, the spiritual was still the explicit domain of churches, which stood outside the economic and legal relationship between the state, capital and labor. Public morality was to some degree enforced by the state, but it was assumed that morality had its roots in the religious traditions. Religion was the ultimate moral authority.

As shock wears off, mental health concerns grow in Bahamas (Sparky1)

Among those who shared survival stories was 49-year-old Carlos Evans, who began to use a wheelchair after he was injured while working at an oil refinery. He recalled how he kept shining the light from his cellphone on the rising water as he tried not to panic. The water finally stopped surging when it reached his chest, and he waited alone for nearly two days until he was rescued.

Tullow to drill at least three new Guyana wells in 2020 after second discovery (Thomas R.)

“The Joe-1 discovery and its surrounding prospects represent another area of significant potential in the Orinduik Block and we are greatly looking forward to the next phase of the programme as we continue to unlock the multi-billion barrel potential of this acreage,” commented Tullow’s Exploration Director Angus McCoss.

Not Just the Bees, First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Neonics May Be Killing Birds Too (Don R.)

The research shows for the first time “behavioral effects in free-living birds as result of neonicotinoid intoxication,” Caspar Hallmann, an ecologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, told National Geographic after reviewing Eng’s study.

Scientists in Europe revealed in 2017 that neonicotinoids can decimate honey bee populations, threatening food sources for humans and other species.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/13/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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