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US Shale Production To Soar By 3.5 Million Barrels/Day Over Next Five Years: BofA Explains Why

US Shale Production To Soar By 3.5 Million Barrels/Day Over Next Five Years: BofA Explains Why

Two years ago, when Saudi Arabia launched on an unprecedented campaign to crush high-cost oil producers, in the process effectively putting an end to the OPEC cartel (at least until last year’s attempt to cut production), it made a bold bet that US shale producers would be swept under when the price of oil tumbled, leading to a tsunami of bankruptcies, as well as investment and production halts. To an extent it succeeded, but where it may have made a glaring error is the core assumption about shale breakeven costs, which as we reported throughout 2016, were substantially lower than consensus estimated.

In his latest note, BofA’s Francisco Blanch explains not only why a drop in shale breakevens costs is what is currently the biggest wildcard in the global race to reach production “equilibrium”, but also why US shale oil production could surge in the coming years, prompting OPEC to boost production in hopes of recapturing market share.  Specifically, Blanch predicts that US shale oil production could grow by a whopping 3.5 million barrels per day over the next five years.

Here’s why: as he explains “many oil companies around the world have survived the price meltdown by bringing down breakeven costs in the last two years.

But what parts of the world can grow output in the years ahead? In BofA’s view, US shale oil producers will come out ahead and deliver outsized market share gains by 2022. Shale oil output in the US may grow sequentially by 600 thousand b/d from 4Q16 to 4Q17 on increased activity in oil rigs and fast productivity gains. Importantly, breakeven costs for key major US plays now stand around the $55/bbl mark.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is The NYT a Failed Newspaper Sustained By CIA Subsidies?

Is The NYT a Failed Newspaper Sustained By CIA Subsidies?

The Times represents pro-Hillary dark forces militantly against Trump – denigrating him relentlessly, featuring advocacy, not real journalism.

Daily feature stories vilify him, going way beyond justifiable criticism. The self-styled newspaper of record mocks fair and balanced reporting, absent on its pages.

It supports US imperial madness, neoliberal harshness harming the nation’s most vulnerable, and police state targeting of nonbelievers.

It’s gone all-out to delegitimize Trump, failed to prevent his electoral triumph, now on a rampage to weaken him irreparably, ideally wanting him removed from office – a coup d’etat by any standard if happens.

Urging improved relations with Russia, both nations cooperating in combating terrorism, became his achilles heel.

The Times exploits his vulnerability on this issue relentlessly. On Wednesday, it published fake news, citing four unnamed, clearly anti-Trump, current and former US officials, claiming his campaign aides had “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” – allegations without evidence proving them.

In a Thursday editorial, it called on “Congress to investigate Mr. Trump’s (alleged) ties to Russia.”

No indication of anything out of the ordinary cited. Nothing about wrongdoing. Big business operates in many countries, dealing with governments at times required. It’s standard practice.

Yet Times editors allege Trump “crossed the line,” posturing about a situation presented as being akin to Watergate and Iran-Contra. Nothing suggests it.

The issue is solely about Trump defeating Times favorite Hillary and wanting better relations with Russia, hoping he and Vladimir Putin can get along well.

That’s the so-called “line” he’s accused of crossing. The Times wants US adversarial relations kept unchanged – risking eventual confrontation if responsible action doesn’t change things.

The Times: “(M)embers of Mr. Trump’s campaign and inner circle were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today. The soft coup being mounted against the Trump government by America’s ‘deep state’ reached a new intensity this week as special interests battled for control of Washington.

The newly named national security advisor, Lt Gen Michael Flynn, was ousted by Trump over his chats with Russia’s ambassador and what he may or may not have told Vice President Pence. The defenestration of Flynn appeared engineered by our national intelligence agencies in collaboration with the mainstream media and certain Democrats.

Flynn’s crime? Talking to the wicked Russians before and after the election. Big, big deal. That’s what security advisors are supposed to do: keep an open back channel to other major powers and allies. This is also the job of our intelligence agencies.

There is no good or bad in international affairs. The childish concept of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ comes from the Bush era when simple-minded voters had to be convinced that America was somehow in grave danger from a bunch of angry Mideast goat herds.

The only nations that could threaten America’s very existence are nuclear powers Russia, China, India, France, Britain and Israel (and maybe Pakistan) in that order.

Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads targeted on the US mainland. Any real war with Russia would invite doom for both nations. Two near misses are more than enough. Remember the 1962 Cuban missile confrontation and the terrifying 1983 Able Archer scare – near thermonuclear war caused by Ronald Reagan’s anti-Russian hysteria and Moscow’s panicked response.

Margolis’ #1 rule of international relations: make nice and keep on good terms with nations that have nuclear weapons pointed at you. Avoid squabbles over almost all matters. Intelligence agencies play a key role in maintaining the balance of nuclear terror and preventing misunderstandings that can cause war.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Democracy, the God That’s Failing

Democracy, the God That’s Failingballot box

When Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe made his famous argument against democracy back in 2001, the notion that voting was a lousy way to organize society was still radical even among many libertarians. Virtually everyone raised in a western country over the past century grew up hearing “democracy” used as a synonym for wonderful, good, just, and valid. It takes a great deal of unlearning to overcome this as an adult, and to question the wisdom of representative government installed via democratic mechanisms.

Fast forward to 2017, however, and the case against democracy is being made right in front of our eyes. Witness Hillary Clinton, who not long ago gushed about our “sacred” right to vote — that is until her stupendous loss to Trump. Today she clings to the specious nonsense that the Russians somehow influenced our election by planting stories and using social media, which if true would be an excellent argument against voting rights. If the natives are so easily duped by a few silly posts in their Facebook feeds, why on earth is their vote meaningful or sacred?

Other progressives like Michael Moore demand that Trump be arrested, presumably for treason. Left-leaning cable news pundits openly call for Trump to resign or be impeached. Mainstream newspapers wonder whether he’ll even finish his four-year term. The overwhelming message from the media is that Trump is a disaster, an existential threat that must be stopped.

But it’s not just progressives questioning democratic outcomes. Neoconservative Bill Kristol tweets that he’d rather be governed by an unaccountable deep state than Trump. Mild-mannered conservative moralist Dennis Prager, a reasonable and likeable right winger in my view, argues quite seriously that we are in the midst of a second civil war with those who simply reject their electoral defeat. And the libertarianish jurist Richard Epstein, writing for the somnambulant Hoover Institution, unloads a litany of grievances against Trump that would make Bill Maher blush.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Deep State Targets Trump

The Deep State Targets Trump

When Gen. Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser, Bill Kristol purred his satisfaction, “If it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

To Kristol, the permanent regime, not the elected president and his government, is the real defender and rightful repository of our liberties.

Yet it was this regime, the deep state, that carried out what Eli Lake of Bloomberg calls “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn.”

And what were Flynn’s offenses?

In December, when Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador. He apparently counseled the envoy not to overreact, saying a new team would be in place in a few weeks and would review U.S.-Russian relations.

“That’s neither illegal nor improper,” writes Lake.

Vladimir Putin swiftly declared that there would be no reciprocal expulsions and U.S. diplomats and their families would be welcome at the Kremlin’s Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Diplomatic crisis averted. “Great move … (by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump, “I always knew he was very smart.”

But apparently, this did not sit well with the deep state.

For when Vice President Pence told a TV show that Flynn told him that sanctions did not come up in conversation with the Russian ambassador, a transcript of Flynn’s call was produced from recordings by intelligence agencies, and its contents leaked to The Washington Post.

After seeing the transcript, the White House concluded that Flynn had misled Pence, mutual trust was gone, and Flynn must go.

Like a good soldier, Flynn took the bullet.

The real crime here, however, is not that the incoming national security adviser spoke with a Russian diplomat seeking guidance on the future president’s thinking. The real crime is the criminal conspiracy inside the deep state to transcribe the private conversation of a U.S. citizen and leak it to press collaborators to destroy a political career.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jim Rogers: “We’re About To Have The Worst Economic Problems Of A Lifetime, A Lot Of People Will Disappear”

Jim Rogers: “We’re About To Have The Worst Economic Problems Of A Lifetime, A Lot Of People Will Disappear”

“Get prepared,” warns billionaire commodity guru Jim Rogers, “because we’re going to have the worst economic problems in your lifetime and a lot of people are going to disappear.” In this wide-ranging interview with MacroVoices’ Erik Townsend, the investing legend discusses everything from whether Russia is being scapegoated (“yes, ask Victoria Nuland”), the war against cash (“governments love it… they want to control everything”), to his views on gold and the demise of freedom.

Full podcast below:

Key Excerpts…

Are Russians the bad guys?

Well I do know that during the last administration, Mr. Obama’s administration as you probably remember we started, we tried to pull of an illegal coup in Ukraine, we got caught at it, what’s her name, Victoria Nuland, whatever the woman’ name the State Department they have there several pieces of evidence where we know she tried to instigate an illegal coup then of course the Russians outsmarted us and so the State Department started blaming it on the Russians and the hype against the Russians has gotten bigger and bigger ever since after we started– or tried to start, tried to instigate the illegal coup Crimea and Ukraine.

So yes we are certainly at fault to some extent and obviously you then, when you’re caught you’ve got to keep the rhetoric up and keep throwing more and more accusations and so the State Department has done that.

I know that before the illegal coup Obama, Bush everybody was trying to be friends with the Russians rightly so, cold war had ended long ago, the Russians wanted to be friends with America. We didn’t need NATO anymore.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russian Government Considers Offering Snowden As “Gift” To President Trump, NBC Reports

Russian Government Considers Offering Snowden As “Gift” To President Trump, NBC Reports

Echoing a now eerily prophetic comment by Edward Snowden in December that “there could be some kind of deal – give this guy to me as a present,” NBC News reports, citing US intelligence official sources, that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump – who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.

Message to Edward Snowden, you’re banned from @MissUniverse. Unless you want me to take you back home to face justice!

Eastern Europe & World War III

Eastern Europe & World War III 

Europe could become the site of a new global war in the East as tensions build there against refugees and the economic decline fosters old wounds. The EU is deeply divided over the refugee issue and thus it is fueling its own demise and has failed to be a stabilizing force. After five days of demonstrations, Romania’s month-old government backed down and withdrew a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses. They were still acting like typical politicians and looking to line their pockets. After one month, the people have been rising up saying “We can’t trust this new government.”

On the eastern border of the EU, only a few hundred miles from Berlin as well as Vienna, there is a growing danger that the world will stumble into a global war. The leading cause is primarily stemming from through the incompetence of the politicians in the EU as well as in the East. The EU is more concerned about punishing Britain and trying to hold on to overpaid political jobs that to address the real issues facing Europe, while these seemingly regional disputes in the East are being ignored.

The problem with NATO has been that most members have not paid into the support of NATO that they had agreed to. The USA has been shouldering the majority of the cost of NATO, which would be like the EU funding US military. Then NATO leaders agreed back in 2016 to deploy military forces to the Baltic states and Eastern Poland for the first time and increase air and sea patrols to reassure new allies who use to be part of the Soviet bloc that they would defend them following Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Mobilizes S-400 Missiles Systems Near Moscow To “Test Readiness Against A Possible Attack”

Russia Mobilizes S-400 Missiles Systems Near Moscow To “Test Readiness Against A Possible Attack”

One month ago we reported that Russia had deployed S-400 air defense missile systems in proximity to Moscow, which were then put on combat duty. “The SAM combat squads of the Moscow Region aerospace forces have put the new S-400 Triumph air defense missile system into service, and have gone on combat duty for the air defense of Moscow and the central industrial region of Russia,” the Defense Ministry’s Department of Information and Mass Communication told Interfax in early January.

While the ministry did not explicitly state why the rollout was taking place, it added that “the main task of the anti-aircraft missile troops of the Russian Aerospace Forces is air defense and protecting vital state, military, industry and energy facilities, as well as the Armed Forces troops and transport communications, from aerospace attacks.”

Fast forward one month, when overnight the missile systems in proximity to Moscow got their first real test, when air defense systems around Moscow were put on high alert Wednesday as part of a surprise nationwide combat readiness drill for the Russian Air Force which was meant to “test how prepared Russia is to repel a possible attack.“

 “Units of the air defense force responsible for defending Moscow and the central industrial region have been put on highest combat alert,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “The air defense mission involves fully-manned combat crews.”

A part of the test, the ministry added, involved the redeployment of batteries of S-300, S-400 and Pantsir-S air defense systems to backup positions in a simulation of area contamination. The guards of the batteries also conducted anti-saboteur maneuvers and trained to operate in hard terrain.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Denies Shooting at Ukrainian Military Plane In Black Sea

Russia Denies Shooting at Ukrainian Military Plane In Black Sea

With the US State Department in a state of protracted hiatus for the time being, tensions are again rising between Russia and Ukraine, and especially in East Ukraine, where over the past few days the number of soldiers killed in an offensive by pro-Russian separatists has reportedly risen to seven, Ukraine’s military said on Monday, in the deadliest outbreak of fighting in the east of the country since mid-December.

The clashes between Ukraine’s military and the pro-Russian separatists coincide with U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for better relations with Moscow that has alarmed Kiev while the conflict in its eastern region remains unresolved. According to Ukraine sources, the rebels began attacking government positions in the eastern frontline town of Avdiyivka on Sunday. Five soldiers were killed and nine wounded on Sunday and two more were killed on Monday, they said.

“The situation in the Avdiyivka industrial zone is challenging. The enemy continues to fire at our positions with heavy artillery and mortars,” Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a regular daily briefing. Naturally, since the media on both sides is clearly biased in its coverage, it came as no surprise that both local separatists news agencies, and Russia, denied escalation had occurred.

In the meantime, it appears that whether real or fabricated, the push to escalate another conflict is building, and on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that a Ukrainian An-26 transport plane came under rifle fire from a Russian drilling rig while flying near the Odessa gas field in the Black Sea. The plane was allegedly involved in drill over Black Sea, and was flying in Ukrainian air space.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?

Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?

Russia, we are told, breached the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), swiped emails and other documents, and released them to the public, to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

How substantial is the evidence backing these assertions?

Hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate unusual network activity, the security firm Crowdstrike discovered two separate intrusions on DNC servers. Crowdstrike named the two intruders Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, in an allusion to what it felt were Russian sources. According to Crowdstrike, “Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none,” and “both groups were constantly going back into the environment” to change code and methods and switch command and control channels.

On what basis did Crowdstrike attribute these breaches to Russian intelligence services? The security firm claims that the techniques used were similar to those deployed in past security hacking operations that have been attributed to the same actors, while the profile of previous victims “closely mirrors the strategic interests of the Russian government. Furthermore, it appeared that the intruders were unaware of each other’s presence in the DNC system. “While you would virtually never see Western intelligence agencies going after the same target without de-confliction for fear of compromising each other’s operations,” Crowdstrike reports, “in Russia this is not an uncommon scenario.” [1]

Those may be indicators of Russian government culpability. But then again, perhaps not. Regarding the point about separate intruders, each operating independently of the other, that would seem to more likely indicate that the sources have nothing in common.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chris Hedges on Trump’s ‘Naked Kleptocracy’

Chris Hedges on Trump’s ‘Naked Kleptocracy’ 

Truthdig contributor Chris Hedges recently made an appearance on the RT show “Watching the Hawks” to analyze the future of American politics under President Trump. Right off the bat, Hedges is asked what he sees as “the most compelling or intriguing aspect of this election.”

“Utter blindness of the Democratic Party,” he answers. “And I would have to add the Republican elites, epitomized by Jeb Bush and others.”

Hedges, who once characterized the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as a choice between  neoliberalism and fascism, expands upon the ideological forces at play behind Trump’s popularity.

The Americans who voted for Trump “picked a faux-populist,” Hedges says. “They picked a figure who’s a con artist, who told them what they wanted to hear.”

As for the incoming Trump administration, Hedges believes it will be “a naked kleptocracy.”

Hedges, referencing his Truthdig column “Con vs. Con,” notes that Trump is a con man—but his way of deceiving the American public is more “naked” than that of the political establishment.

Hedges states that, moving forward, he doesn’t believe the Democratic Party will recognize its blind spots. He argues, for instance, that Sen. Chuck Schumer “is the go-to guy if you want Wall Street money in the Democratic Party” and that Schumer “epitomizes all the characteristics that the electorate turned against.”

President-elect Trump, Hedges continues, won’t be able to stand up to these establishment forces because Trump is “malleable and easily manipulated.”

“I just don’t see him having either the experience or the fortitude to stand up against the deep state,” Hedges says. “And let’s be fair, Obama didn’t either.”

He also discusses the faux-threat of Russia and the growing “new McCarthyism” here in the United States.

Finally, Hedges is questioned about the future of the American political system: Is there anything to be hopeful for?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mainstream Media’s Russian Bogeymen

Mainstream Media’s Russian Bogeymen

Exclusive: The mainstream hysteria over Russia has led to dubious or downright false stories that have deepened the New Cold War, as Gareth Porter notes regarding last month’s bogus tale of a hack into the U.S. electric grid.


In the middle of a major domestic crisis over the U.S. charge that Russia had interfered with the U.S. election, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) triggered a brief national media hysteria by creating and spreading a bogus story of Russian hacking into U.S. power infrastructure.

DHS had initiated the now-discredited tale of a hacked computer at the Burlington, Vermont Electricity Department by sending the utility’s managers misleading and alarming information, then leaked a story they certainly knew to be false and continued to put out a misleading line to the media.

Even more shocking, however, DHS had previously circulated a similar bogus story of Russian hacking of a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011.

The story of how DHS twice circulated false stories of Russian efforts to sabotage U.S. “critical infrastructure” is a cautionary tale of how senior leaders in a bureaucracy-on-the-make take advantage of every major political development to advance its own interests, with scant regard for the truth.

The DHS had carried out a major public campaign to focus on an alleged Russian threat to U.S. power infrastructure in early 2016. The campaign took advantage of a U.S. accusation of a Russian cyber-attack against the Ukrainian power infrastructure in December 2015 to promote one of the agency’s major functions — guarding against cyber-attacks on America’s infrastructure.

Beginning in late March 2016, DHS and FBI conducted a series of 12 unclassified briefings for electric power infrastructure companies in eight cities titled, “Ukraine Cyber Attack: implications for U.S. stakeholders.” The DHS declared publicly, “These events represent one of the first known physical impacts to critical infrastructure which resulted from cyber-attack.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?

Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?

Photo by Cliff | CC BY 2.0Photo by Cliff | CC BY 2.0

Russia, we are told, breached the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), swiped emails and other documents, and released them to the public, to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

How substantial is the evidence backing these assertions?

Hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate unusual network activity, the security firm Crowdstrike discovered two separate intrusions on DNC servers. Crowdstrike named the two intruders Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, in an allusion to what it felt were Russian sources. According to Crowdstrike, “Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none,” and “both groups were constantly going back into the environment” to change code and methods and switch command and control channels.

On what basis did Crowdstrike attribute these breaches to Russian intelligence services? The security firm claims that the techniques used were similar to those deployed in past security hacking operations that have been attributed to the same actors, while the profile of previous victims “closely mirrors the strategic interests of the Russian government.  Furthermore, it appeared that the intruders were unaware of each other’s presence in the DNC system. “While you would virtually never see Western intelligence agencies going after the same target without de-confliction for fear of compromising each other’s operations,” Crowdstrike reports, “in Russia this is not an uncommon scenario.” [1]

Those may be indicators of Russian government culpability. But then again, perhaps not. Regarding the point about separate intruders, each operating independently of the other, that would seem to more likely indicate that the sources have nothing in common.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here We Go Again: Syria’s Assad Named As Suspect In Chemical Weapons Attack

Here We Go Again: Syria’s Assad Named As Suspect In Chemical Weapons Attack

Back in 2013, the catalyst used by the US to intervene in the Syrian conflict which started in the aftermath of the Arab Spring (which according to some was inspired by CIA intervention), was a YouTube clip allegedly showing a sarin gas attack by Assad troops on his own people in the town of Ghouta, which reportedly led to hundreds of casualties. Subsequently, the video was shown to have been a hoax, but by then it was too late as the US was actively involved in the proxy war, which in the summer of 2013 nearly escalated to a naval conflict between the US and Russia. The war has since continued, although it may be finally tapering now that the Obama administration is on its way out.

However, in a surprising twist perhaps meant to perpetuate the conflict, Reuters today reported that international investigators for the first time suspect President Bashar al-Assad and his brother “are responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.”

The details:

A joint inquiry for the United Nations and global watchdog the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had previously identified only military units and did not name any commanders or officials.

Now a list has been produced of individuals whom the investigators have linked to a series of chlorine bomb attacks in 2014-15 – including Assad, his younger brother Maher and other high-ranking figures – indicating the decision to use toxic weapons came from the very top, according to a source familiar with the inquiry.

As one would expect, Syrian government official said accusations that government forces had used chemical weapons had “no basis in truth”. The government has repeatedly denied using such weapons during the civil war, which is almost six years old, saying all the attacks highlighted by the inquiry were the work of rebels or the Islamic State militant group.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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