Finance

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds. Pepe Escobar Asia Times History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia. Russia ... Read More »

Macron on Trump suggestion to leave EU: ‘You can imagine my response’

The US president offered a better trade deal for France than with the rest of the EU. Andrew Gray Politico French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday he would not comment directly on a report that Donald Trump suggested France leave the EU — but his commitment to Europe made clear what his response would have been. Back in April, Trump proposed to Macron that France leave the EU, the Washington Post reported, citing two European officials, and said that if Paris ... Read More »

China caught in a conundrum over economic policy

Central bank governor Yi’s calming message fails to ease market and currency concerns as NIFD warns of ‘financial panic’ in leaked report Gordon Watts Asia Times Stay calm and don’t panic. Sound advice. But it appears no one is listening to Yi Gang, the People’s Bank of China governor. As fears grow of a trade war between Beijing and Washington, the… Last week, Yi called for investors to “remain calm” after the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.78%, dipping below ... Read More »

It’s not personal, but Twiggy is making life hell for Gina

As the Queen and Prince of Australia’s iron ore industry, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest going head to head in a fight over junior producer Atlas begs the question of whether the battle is personal or strategic. Elizabeth Knight The Sydney Morning Herald Given the history of animosity between these two big personalities – one which exploded into the public arena during the mining tax saga – there is undoubtedly an element of the personal involved in this contest. There has been ... Read More »

How to exit the eurozone

Italy is right to consider leaving the EU’s common currency area. Joseph Stiglitz Politico What’s the best way to leave the euro? That question is now back on the table after a Euroskeptic government took charge in Italy. Yes, key ministers have pledged to keep the country in the EU’s common currency area. But those commitments should not be seen as immutable. They must be considered in the context of Italy’s broader bargaining position: The new government wants to make it ... Read More »

While Iconic Brands Feel Tariff Pain, Corporate America Braces for More

With the U.S.-versus-the-world trade war threat heating up, Harley-Davidson Inc. and Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman Corp. may just be the canaries in the coal mine. By Jonathan Roeder and Hema Parmar * Bloomberg Both iconic American brands — singled out for tariffs in part to inflict maximum pain on U.S. districts that voted for President Donald Trump or his allies — have warned investors that retaliatory measures will have tangible effects on… Wall Street should expect more companies to disclose pain ahead when they report second-quarter results in… ... Read More »

Poor but Proud

The next meeting of the European Council, set to take place on June 28, 2018, promises a certain level of intrigue. Elena Alekseenkova RIAC One reason for this is the expectation that the new Italian government, formed on the basis of the March 4 elections after 80 days of coalition talks and conflict between the president and parliament, will present an ultimatum to Brussels. The ultimatum is expected to include the following points: 1) The cancellation of Italy’s €250-billion debt ... Read More »

History is made: Everything you need to know about Greece’s deal to pay back $300 billion

The euro zone granted fresh debt relief measures to Greece last week after years of long arguments over the issue. Silvia Amaro * Analysts told CNBC the deal was “very satisfactory” and a “win” for Greece, which has demanded such concessions since 2015. How did we get here? Greece has been relying on external help in the form of loans to stay afloat since 2010. It’s now due to put an end to that on August 20. This is a ... Read More »

Why the debt deal with the EU is bad for Greece

The new Eurogroup agreement commits Greece to 40 more years of austerity and supervision. Jerome Roos AlJazeera Shortly before coming to power in January 2015, Alexis Tsipras – then still known as an outspoken Greek opposition leader and unconventional anti-austerity firebrand – vowed not to wear a tie until international lenders agreed to cut his country’s towering debt load to sustainable levels. On Friday evening, the 43-year-old prime minister, who has since presided over three years of highly unpopular austerity measures ... Read More »

Greece Will Be Stuck In Its Bailout for Years to Come

The exit terms make it difficult for the next Greek governments to chalk up any wins. Leonid Bershidsky Bloomberg In a way, the debt relief deal Greece has received as it exits its bailout makes good sense: It keeps the country on a tight leash, all but eliminating the possibility that it will go on a borrowing spree in the financial markets and misspend the money as it’s done… On the other hand, the scheme gets superimposed uncomfortably onto the ... Read More »

The real reason Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women driving: economic necessity

After years of campaigning by women activists, on June 24 the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia will be lifted. Martin Hvidt The Conversation It is the most visible of a bundle of recent initiatives taken by the Saudi king and the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, to strengthen the role of women in Saudi society. These include more public sector job openings for women, an apparent relaxation of women’s strict dress code, the extension of suffrage to women ... Read More »

The eurozone isn’t ready for the next big shock

Here’s how to fix that. MADRID — The return to economic growth in the eurozone has produced a dangerous sense of complacency on the Old Continent, especially in the richer countries of the north. Miguel Otero-Iglesias  and Raymond Torres Politico But Italy’s flirtation with an exit from the euro under a populist government is a stark reminder that, if left unaddressed, the deep structural weaknesses that plague the single currency could trigger an existential crisis across the EU. It would be a ... Read More »

Illusion’s End: Erdoğan and Turkey’s Coming Economic Chil

The rapid depreciation in the value of the Turkish Lira since the beginning of 2018 is the product not only of the collapse of any remaining vestiges of investor confidence in the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but a… Gareth H. Jenkins Turkey Analyst BACKGROUND: When the AKP first took office in November 2002, the Turkish economy was already rebounding from the currency collapse of February 2001 and subsequent sharp recession. The Economic Stabilization Program that the outgoing administration ... Read More »

British Court Freezes Gazprom Assets For Payment To Ukraine

The Commercial court in London today gave long-awaited orders to freeze assets of Gazprom in the UK for payment to Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to settle a recent Stockholm Arbitration award. Tsarizm “Naftogaz today served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018 to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.6 bln. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom ... Read More »

Too bad for the tax payer

Socialising the losses and privatising the gains – Part 2 On 4 May 2018, in anticipation of what seemed to be cooking at the Co-op, I wrote an article with the title of “Socialising the losses and privatising the gains”[1] where I warned of what was likely to take place and also in order to make people aware that the most likely outcome would be the camouflaging and the passing on to the tax payer of the… Savvas Savvides Stockwatch I ... Read More »

United Arab Emirates gives Ethiopia $1 billion lifeline to ease foreign exchange crisis

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease the latter’s foreign exchange shortage. Justina Crabtree CNBC The sum is part of a total of a $3 billion aid and investment pledge from the UAE to Ethiopia announced Friday. The news came as Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s foreign exchange shortage is due in part to its spending ... Read More »