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“They Spent It All On Hookers, Blow And Fancy Toys” – Hedge Fund Manager Predicts Lower Oil For Longer, Quantitative Easing For The People, And A Gold Bull Market

“They Spent It All On Hookers, Blow And Fancy Toys” – Hedge Fund Manager Predicts Lower Oil For Longer, Quantitative Easing For The People, And A Gold Bull Market

wallstreet-party

In 2011, as gold prices rocketed to $1900 and oil was trading above $120 a barrel, there were few analysts who saw anything but further gains. But Marin Katusa of Katusa Research had a different opinion. At a major commodity conference Katusa, to boos and jeers from the audience, held strong to his analysis that an imminent deflationary collapse in commodity prices was on the horizon. And collapse they did.

According to Katusa, who is closely involved in the Canadian resource sector, most people simply assumed the good times would go on forever… because it was different this time. But like any uninhibited party fueled by unlimited cash, the hangover was sure to follow.

There’s no doubt you had massive high paying jobs. In Canada, the province that benefited the most is Alberta… In the last twelve months they’ve had 70,000 layoffs of jobs paying over a hundred grand a year.

…when I’d go to these oil towns you’d sit down at the casinos with them and these guys were all about the hookers and blow… they were all about their toys… big fancy trucks… snow mobiles… and they’re in the field for two weeks and they make $20,000 and blow it all at the casinos.

You knew it couldn’t last. 

As Katusa notes in his latest interview with Future Money Trends, though the crash has been brutal for the sector, it’s not over yet and it’s going lower for longer.

They [OPEC] can survive at $20 oil…

For two years everyone’s been saying, “OPEC’s going to cut back.”

They reality here is, why would OPEC cut production? That would only prop up the Russians and the shale sector.

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

B.C. LNG: AltaGas shelves Douglas Channel project near Kitimat

B.C. LNG: AltaGas shelves Douglas Channel project near Kitimat

Company says decision due to poor economic conditions and worsening global energy prices.

Another LNG project in B.C. has been shelved in response to falling global energy prices.

Another LNG project in B.C. has been shelved in response to falling global energy prices. (CBC)

In another blow to B.C.’s nascent liquefied natural gas industry, AltaGas Ltd. is shelving the development of its Douglas Channel LNG plant near Kitimat.

The decision to halt work on the project was blamed on poor economic conditions and worsening global energy prices.

“We believe the project could deliver LNG to Japan at very competitive prices,” AltaGas CEO David Cornhill said Thursday.

“However, without a meaningful offtake agreement the consortium can no longer continue the development of the project.”

AltaGas, along with its global partners in the project, had been aiming for the project near Kitimat, B.C., to begin exporting LNG in 2018.

The announcement comes just weeks after Shell Canada announced it was postponing its final investment decision (FID) on their huge LNG terminal proposal in Kitimat until the end of the year.

Significant decisions to come

Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman said today’s news does not mean B.C.’s LNG industry is in trouble.

“I don’t think so,” Coleman said Thursday.

“I think we’ve got some significant FID discussions taking place in the next 60-90 days on a couple of projects

“Obviously there’s been two that have told us they want to get to their FID by end of this year…and they’re much larger. This was a very small project.”

The Douglas Channel project is one of the smallest of the more than 20 proposed LNG projects in Canada with the potential to export about 2.4 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, compared with 33 billion cubic metres for Shell’s LNG Canada project.

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

Widespread Credit Downgrades Likely For Oil Producing Countries

Widespread Credit Downgrades Likely For Oil Producing Countries

Plenty of oil commodity producers are in trouble, and that includes more than a handful of countries whose economies are heavily dependent on oil, gas, and other natural resource exports.

In the 1980s, a wave of defaults swept emerging markets, with a large portion of the blame put on the crash in oil prices. The latest crash in prices for a range of commodities – not just for oil, but also gas, coal, copper, nickel, etc. – is once again raising the prospect of defaults for emerging market economies that are dependent on commodity exports, according to a report released in late January from Oxford Economics.

The collapse of oil prices has gutted the finances of oil exporters. Or as Oxford Economics sums it up nicely: “These are bad times for oil producers and their creditors.”

According to the research firm, emerging market economies that depend on natural resource exports are not being realistic about the state of the markets, and many are using vastly overoptimistic assumptions about oil prices. On average, these countries assumed an oil price for 2016 that is more than 50 percent above what futures market is telling us that oil will trade for this year.

Related:Oil Prices Down Again On Energy Debt And Inventories Data

While many have suffered, the pain is not over. “We expect widespread rating downgrades and further bad performance across commodity-producing sovereigns,” Oxford Economics wrote in its January 27 report. The markets are already pricing in downgrades of around two to three notches for many of the countries in question.

Several of the Gulf States in the Arabian Peninsula, such as the UAE and Qatar, have massive sovereign wealth funds, which will allow them to withstand the bust in oil prices for quite some time.

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

Legendary Investor Jim Rogers Warns: “Most People Are Going To Suffer The Next Time Around”

Legendary Investor Jim Rogers Warns: “Most People Are Going To Suffer The Next Time Around”

Back in the 1970’s as recession gripped the world for a decade, stocks stagnated and commodities crashed, investor Jim Rogers made a fortune. His understanding of markets, capital flows and timing is legendary.

As crisis struck in late 2008, he did it again, often recommending gold and silver to those looking for wealth preservation strategies – move that would have paid of multi-fold when precious metals hit all time highs in 2011. He warned that the crash would lead to massive job losses, dependence on government bailouts, and unprecedented central bank printing on a global scale.

Now, Rogers says that investors around the world are realizing that the jig is up. Stocks are over bloated and central banks will have little choice but to take action again. But this time, says Rogers in his latest interview with CrushTheStreet.com, there will be no stopping it and people all over the world are going to feel the pain, including in China and the United States.

We’re all going to suffer… I can think of very few places that won’t suffer. But most people are going to suffer the next time around.


(Watch at Youtube)

Central banks will panic. They will do whatever they can to save the markets.

It’s artificial… it won’t work… there comes a time when no matter how much money you have, the market has more money.

I don’t know if they’ll even call it QE (Quantitative Easing) in the future… who knows what they’ll call it to disguise it… they’re going to try whatever they can… printing more money or lowering interest rates or buying more assets… but unfortunately, no matter how much P.R. or whitewashing they use, the market knows this is over and we’re not going to play this game anymore.

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

Europe Moving Into Meltdown?

Europe Moving Into Meltdown?

QUESTION: Marty, now the OECD is predicting a financial crash worse than the 2007-2009 event in Europe because they say there is over €1 trillion in bad loans that cannot be collected. They seem to be also changing their opinion to fit your model. Were they there in Berlin?

ANSWER: We cannot comment on if the OECD is following our model or whom has attended a World Economic Conference. They are the most widely attended and many just want to know where the computer stands.

We see a massive banking crisis. The European banks are in deep trouble. Deutsche Bank posted a shocking €6.7 billion euro loss with its shares falling 10% in a day. HSBC bought Republic National Bank in New York for a bit more than that. Barclay’s is pulling out of all emerging markets and cutting 1,000+ jobs.

The collapse in commodities will reek havoc on all emerging market countries, but there is one economy that nobody pays attention to closely: Germany. Yes, it is the largest economy and main supporter of the euro. They need open borders and the euro to maintain their economy that is EXPORT driven. China is advancing more rapidly than Germany and has focused on trying to develop its internal economy. Spain was the richest nation in Europe with all the gold coming in from America, but they failed to develop their internal economy and collapsed. Germany is declining. It cannot be sustained with open borders or the euro because the rest of Europe is in serious decline. The refugee crisis is a nightmare. Now, Italy is demanding taxpayer money to bailout banks in fear that a bail-in will cause a revolution.

Merkel was against allowing in refugees previously, but then changed her position to combat her poor view after her treatment of Greece. Additionally, she had the brilliant idea of bringing in cheap labor to help Germany.

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

Loonie Lurches To 13 Year Lows As Crude Nears ‘2’ Handle

Loonie Lurches To 13 Year Lows As Crude Nears ‘2’ Handle

This can only serve to worsen the death of the Albert Dream, and all the societal depressions that is bringing with it.

How Big is the Bust in Commodities Really?

We have frequently come across articles lately that are purporting to show that commodity prices have in the meantime declined below the lows that obtained at the start of the last bull market. Yesterday Zerohedge e.g. posted a chart from Sean Corrigan’s True Sinews Report, which depicts the GSCI Excess Return Index. The following remark accompanied the chart:

“Returns from being long the commodity super-cycle have evaporated in the last 18 months – to 42 year lows.”

So are commodities as a group really at 42 year lows? Here is a little test: can you name even a single listed commodity that currently trades at a lower price than at any time since January 1974?

commgreschImage credit: Ian Berry / CNN

There is actually no need to check, because there isn’t one. So how can an entire commodity index, which presumably includes a whole range of commodities, have fallen to a 42 year low? Below is a chart that provides us with a hint. It shows the performance of the crude oil ETF USO since its introduction and compares it to the performance of WTIC crude.

1-USO-vs-WTICPerformance of WTIC (red line) vs. the crude oil ETF USO (black line) since mid 2006. USO has declined by nearly 31% more than the commodity the price of which it purports to reflect – click to enlarge.

In one sense, the remark accompanying the GSCI excess return index chart is entirely correct: Had one invested in commodities via this index, the nominal value of the investment would now be at a 42 year low. However, the same is not true of the commodities the index is composed of (although buying them directly wouldn’t have helped much, as we will explain below). The cause of the GSCI’s dismal performance is also the reason why USO has so vastly underperformed crude oil.

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

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

oilfields

The market was supposed to save the planet.

That, at least, was the argument of many economists grappling with the problem of climate change. As fossil fuels became scarcer, they pointed out, the price of oil and natural gas would go up. And then other options, like solar and wind, would become cheaper, particularly as investment flowed into that sector and drove down the cost of new technologies.

And voila: The invisible hand would gradually turn down the global thermostat.

It’s a ridiculous argument. For one, there’s no guarantee that the market would respond in a timely manner (i.e., before we’re under water). For another, oil and gas prices are as volatile and unpredictable as a Q-and-A session with Donald Trump.

In 2008, for instance, oil hit a high of $145 a barrel. But that didn’t last long. And in 2015, despite all sorts of turmoil in the Middle East and in other oil-producing countries like Nigeria, the price of crude fell between 30 and 40 percent to its lowest levels in 11 years. That’s a bigger drop than the commodity price declines for metals, grains, and soybeans. Gas stations around the United States didn’t fully reflect this drop, but petrol prices still fell to an average of $2.40 a gallon, saving each driver more than $500 last year.

There are a number of reasons for the price drop, but it boils down to supply (more of it) and demand (less of it). The United States boosted oil production by 66 percent over the last five years, making it the largest oil and natural gas producer in the world in 2015. Other producers, like Saudi Arabia, also didn’t scale back, in part to stick it to a sanctions-hobbled Iran and snatch up its clients. Meanwhile, greater fuel efficiency and slower economic growth around the world (particularly in China) have reduced demand.

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

Canadian dollar dips below 71 cents for 1st time since 2003

Canadian dollar dips below 71 cents for 1st time since 2003

Oil and threat of global conflicts weigh on risky loonie

The Canadian dollar is dropping to levels not seen since the summer of 2003.

The Canadian dollar is dropping to levels not seen since the summer of 2003. (Pawel Dwulit/Bloomberg)

The Canadian dollar lost more than half a cent this morning, pushed down by oil prices and widespread risk aversion, going to below 71 cents US.

Early Wednesday, the loonie was changing hands at 70.90 cents US, down 0.55 of a cent. That’s the lowest level on record for Canada’s currency since the summer of 2003, when the dollar was on a multiyear march upwards from below 62 cents, which it briefly hit in 2002.

The reasons for the loonie’s weakness are a mix of old and new, as oil prices sank back to $35 US per barrel, but also “added pressure from the broader market tone of risk aversion,” Scotiabank foreign exchange strategist Shaun Osborne said in a note to clients.

Broadly speaking, the Canadian dollar is perceived to be a riskier asset than other currencies, such as the U.S. dollar and the euro. Anything with risk attached to it is getting savaged in the current market, as investors consider the possibility of conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, coupled with Tuesday’s news that North Korea may have detonated a hydrogen bomb.

On Tuesday, Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter told a gathering of leading economists that the loonie could fall below 70 cents US before it begins to recover.

What Comes After The Commodities Bust?

What Comes After The Commodities Bust?

The days of E&P companies using external debt financing to fuel growth have most likely come to a close.

The one thing executives should have learned in 2015 is that Wall Street can for long periods of time remain disconnected from fundamentals and can swing to extremes. Another lesson from 2015 is that OPEC can no longer be relied upon to set prices.

Thus, the debt fueled financing boom in the shale space will most likely never return.

As a result, the industry will likely move to self-funding capital expenditures through free cash flow generation in an attempt to significantly reduce its reliance on leverage. Debt levels will initially have to be reduced, significantly fueling a cycle of dramatically lower capital expenditures and consolidation. This process is already underway, but still has a long way to go.

When the internet bubble burst in 2001, only the business models that generated cash vs subscriber growth and cash burn survived and continued to get funded. Furthermore, larger companies survived and thrived as the smaller ones got starved for cash, died or dramatically scaled back subscriber acquisition to achieve a positive cash flow. We are about to experience the same consequences of misguided investments from a Federal Reserve-inspired bubble.

The toxic combination of lower capital expenditures and constrained output will result in another spike in prices, one that few will anticipate. The current Federal Reserve policy, which isn’t conducive to higher commodity prices, will also make the price spike more difficult to see ahead of time. However, in the interim, until policy changes at the Fed or OPEC are enacted, prices will remain below the marginal cost to maintain production.

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

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Real Financial Risks of 2016

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Worry less about the banking system, but commodities, epidemics and climate volatility could be trouble

How should we think about financial risks in 2016?

First, worry less about the banking system. Financial institutions today are less fragile than they were a few years ago. This isn’t because they got better at understanding risk (they didn’t) but because, since 2009, banks have been shedding their exposures to extreme events. Hedge funds, which are much more adept at risk-taking, now function as reinsurers of sorts. Because hedge-fund owners have skin in the game, they are less prone to hiding risks than are bankers.

This isn’t to say that the financial system has healed: Monetary policy made itself ineffective with low interest rates, which were seen as a cure rather than a transitory painkiller. Zero interest rates turn monetary policy into a massive weapon that has no ammunition. There’s no evidence that “zero” interest rates are better than, say, 2% or 3%, as the Federal Reserve may be realizing.

I worry about asset values that have swelled in response to easy money. Low interest rates invite speculation in assets such as junk bonds, real estate and emerging market securities. The effect of tightening in 1994 was disproportionately felt with Italian, Mexican and Thai securities. The rule is: Investments with micro-Ponzi attributes (i.e., a need to borrow to repay) will be hit.

Though “another Lehman Brothers” isn’t likely to happen with banks, it is very likely to happen with commodity firms and countries that depend directly or indirectly on commodity prices. Dubai is more threatened by oil prices than Islamic State. Commodity people have been shouting, “We’ve hit bottom,” which leads me to believe that they still have inventory to liquidate.

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

This Is Going To Happen In 2016: “One Of The Greatest Commodity Plays Of All Time”

This Is Going To Happen In 2016: “One Of The Greatest Commodity Plays Of All Time”

While stock markets held strong near their all-time highs, the last year saw massive financial destruction in global commodities markets. Oil, gold, silver, steel, coal and other raw materials experienced price drops not seen since just before the the Crash of 2008. As an example of how bad it has gotten in the raw materials space one need only look at the Baltic Dry Index, which is used to assess the cost of shipping raw materials by sea. Signaling serious economic problems, the BDI recently hit its all-time low, surpassing even the lows hit during the last financial crisis.

That a significant financial, economic or monetary event will soon be upon us cannot be denied.

Yet within crisis there is opportunity, and knowing what can happen and how to position yourself accordingly ahead of the fallout will not only ensure that your wealth is preserved, but will help you thrive financially. While we have always urged those concerned with the state of affairs in the world to have a healthy storage of food and supplies in anticipation of supply disruptions or hyperinflationary monetary policy, a major financial event will, as it did following the last crisis, likely lead to significant gains in precious metals as investors the world over shift capital into the historical monetary asset of last resort.

As Future Money Trends explains in the following micro-documentary, there are three perfect catalysts for why silver and gold are headed to new highs in the very near future: low prices and global supply shortages, war, and the collapse of U.S. bond markets.

What we are about to show you is undeniable evidence… This is going to happen within the next year… Silver is likely the most undervalued asset available to investors today. 

Watch (Courtesy Future Money Trends):

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

America’s Top Shale Gas Basin in Decline

America’s Top Shale Gas Basin in Decline

The natural gas drilling frenzy is grinding to a halt, as the industry struggles with excess supply.

Natural gas prices have plunged to their lowest levels in more than a decade this month, dipping below $1.80 per million Btu (MMBtu).

The shale gas revolution is an old story at this point, one that everyone is familiar with. But the revolution never really ended, even though the media moved on to focus on the tight oil boom. Natural gas production continued to rise over the past decade, reaching record heights in 2015.

However, demand has not kept up, despite the rise in the natural gas power burn. Gas-fired power plants are replacing coal for electricity generation, but not quickly enough to soak up all of the extra supply coming out of U.S. shale.

Natural gas storage levels, meanwhile, are overflowing due to the unseasonably warm weather across much of the United States. For natural gas producers, this is a nightmare situation with Henry Hub prices falling to levels that are extremely difficult to turn a profit. The low prices forced the iconic Chesapeake Energy, the U.S.’ second largest natural gas producer, into a debt swap to push out maturity dates for its debt. Chesapeake’s stock price has plunged 80 percent over the past year, and has dropped by 20 percent since the beginning of December.

There is a bit of hope for the market, as natural gas prices surged by 8 percent on December 21 because colder weather is starting to appear over the horizon, pointing to higher demand. But that will only nip around the edges of the nation’s glut in supply.

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

Who’s right, commodities or the Fed?

Who’s right, commodities or the Fed?

As the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank raised interest rates last week for the first time in 10 years in response to what it said was strength in the U.S. economy, economically sensitive commodities such as industrial metals and crude oil continued to plumb new cycle lows.

Either these commodities are about the turn the corner as renewed strength in the United States–the biggest buyer of commodities next to China–revives industrial metal and crude oil demand–or the Federal Reserve is misreading the tea leaves and crashing commodity prices signal a world and U.S. economy in distress.

Market analysts like to say that copper is the metal with a Ph.D. in economics. Because of copper’s central role in the modern economy, it often reliably forecasts the direction of the economy. Since copper reached its peak at the beginning of 2011 above $4.50 per pound, it has swooned to near $3 in 2011 coinciding with a crisis in Europe, bounced back to near $4 once the crisis passed and then settled above $3 by the middle of 2013 where it essentially traded sideways until this year. After trending down since May copper hit $2.05 a pound last week, only three cents above the low for the year registered on November 23.

And, it wasn’t just copper. Nickel started the year above $7 a pound and finished last week at $3.90 a pound. Aluminum began the year above 90 cents a pound and settled last week at 67 cents. Zinc peaked near $1.10 a pound in May and now sells for 66 cents. Iron ore prices, which dropped almost 50 percent last year, this year dropped from $68 per ton to $47 as of last week, another 31 percent decline.

Crude oil, which dropped about 50 percent in the last half of 2014, has dropped another 35 percent so far in 2015.

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

Christmas Present

Christmas Present

Theory du jour: the new Star Wars movie is sucking in whatever meager disposable lucre remains among the economically-flayed mid-to-lower orders of America. In fact, I propose a new index showing an inverse relationship between Star Wars box office receipts and soundness of the financial commonweal. In other words, Star Wars is all that remains of the US economy outside of the obscure workings of Wall Street — and that heretofore magical realm is not looking too rosy either in this season of the Great Rate Hike after puking up 623 points of the DJIA last Thursday and Friday.

Here I confess: for thirty years I have hated those stupid space movies, as much for their badly-written scripts (all mumbo-jumbo exposition of nonsensical story-lines between explosions) as for the degenerate techno-narcissism they promote in a society literally dying from the diminishing returns and unintended consequences of technology.

It adds up to an ominous Yuletide. Turns out that the vehicle the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee was driving in its game of “chicken” with oncoming reality was a hearse. The occupants are ghosts, but don’t know it. A lot of commentators around the web think that the Fed “pulled the trigger” on interest rates to save its credibility. Uh, wrong. They had already lost their credibility. What remains is for these ghosts to helplessly watch over the awesome workout, which has obviously been underway for quite a while in the crash of commodity prices (and whole national economies — e.g. Brazil, Canada, Australia), the janky regions of the bond markets, the related death of the shale oil industry, and the imploding hedge fund scene.

As it were, all credit these days looks shopworn and threadbare, as if the capital markets had by stealth turned into a swap meet of previously-owned optimism. Who believes in anything these days besides the allure of fraud?

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

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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