From my Morning Briefing email: subscribe here The Co-op has launched an internal audit into the behaviour of the Rev Paul Flowers following revelations that he bought drugs and – according to the Sun this morning – used rent boys while...
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
Culture, Humour, the Brave, the Foolhardy and the Damned
Curated by Investors Europe Stock Brokers
it is the first case anywhere in the world in which an appeals court has been asked to extend human rights to animals.
Corruption and economic turmoil often go hand-in-hand. In western nations like the United States, and in many European countries, we often see corruption come to light as the result of whistleblowers or journalistic efforts. But in many other areas of the world, however, corruption plays a major role in fostering staggering poverty and broken economic systems in a much more blatant way.
Mirror Group Newspapers have been ordered to pay out £1.2 million to eight phone hacking victims following a three week hearing at London's High Court. The payout, averaging £150,000 per victim is ...
Mirror Group Newspapers have been ordered to pay out £1.2 million to eight phone hacking victims following a three week hearing at London’s High Court. The payout, averaging £150,000 per victim is worrying news for the Mirror who had one single reporter hack around 400 phones. If just 400 more people sue and that level of payout continues, the Mirror could be looking at paying out around £60m.Significantly more than the £12 million they have put aside…
(Reuters) - Pity umpire Manuel Messina in the day's opening match on Court Central at the Geneva Open on Monday when Portugal's sixth seed Joao Sousa took on Brazil's Joao Souza.For the record, Sousa
'Pity umpire Manuel Messina in the day's opening match on Court Central at the Geneva Open on Monday when Portugal's sixth seed Joao Sousa took on Brazil's Joao Souza...'
'We need an updated strategy if we’re staying in the oil game. Not a new one, mind you – the plan I’ve laid out for the long-term trends in oil is, I think, going to be the absolute right one – but an adjustment for the trader in our midst is necessary.
I’ve been clear about what I believe is the most prudent way to invest in the sector – banking on a very slow rebound in oil prices can make for some conservative picks in energy companies that I believe are going to rebound best from the ‘shale bust’ . You’ve heard me talk often about EOG Resources (EOG), Cimarex (XEC) and Anadarko (APC), three names that are nearing value numbers again, by the way, on the back of the David Einhorn short recommendation.
But there have also been others that I’ve mentioned; other shorter-term strategies that could be employed, to find quick trades that don’t need to be held forever. These include some of the dedicated shale players with less than stellar balance sheets and some sub-sector oil plays that are often left off the radar screen. Let’s look at some of these now.
For a shorter-term play on shale players, you’d want to find those with good assets but fairly distressed debt positions, making their future rocky – but with enough cash to make their possible demise less clear. These three qualities allow the speculator to mark time as the crude markets play themselves out.
With every small rally in crude, the optimism of the “end” of the bust cycle allows these ‘less than stellar’ oil companies to rally when other smaller, more cash poor players will not. Examples of these types of stocks are Oasis Petroleum (OAS) and Northern Oil and Gas (NOG). These two have shown the capacity to rally strongly as crude has found a level above $55 in a way that even the strongest E+P’s previously mentioned have not. I have talked about, and traded, Oasis before and the shares have worked out well as a trading device between crude levels.
One other place to go is outside the shale players but in the most distressed of oil production sectors – offshore. Again, this is an idea I’ve mentioned before but is turning out to be a great trading vehicle as well, as oil bounces around between $50 and $60. The reason for this is the inevitable health of the deep-water sub-sector: While we can talk about the consolidation and survivors of shale, and choose who might or might not make it through, we do know that at some point the world will have to return to offshore drilling prospects.
In this, there are but a handful of companies capable of these specialized operations, and unless bankruptcy is a real risk, the drop in the drilling cycle, and even the capital losses, are only temporary setbacks. Put that together with almost single digit stock prices and you have a very volatile trading vehicle that is far more likely to go up than go down with every move higher in crude.
Two good examples of this would be Transocean (RIG) and Seadrill (SDRL). Seadrill continues to be a core long-term holding of mine but is still useful for short-term trading shares as well. Despite the likelihood of the deep-water cycle showing no sign of improving until mid-2016 at the earliest, Seadrill shares have shown an equally good ability to respond with fast, juicy gains corresponding to moderate increases in oil’s price.
I tend to want to advise investors for the long-term, but I know there are lots of shorter-term traders out there looking for places to play. If you’re that type of trader, here are two of the best right now.
Source . oilprice.com
'With every small rally in crude, the optimism of the “end” of the bust cycle allows these ‘less than stellar’ oil companies to rally when other smaller, more cash poor players will not. Examples of these types of stocks are Oasis Petroleum (OAS) and Northern Oil and Gas (NOG). These two have shown the capacity to rally strongly as crude has found a level above $55 in a way that even the strongest E+P’s previously mentioned have not. I have talked about, and traded, Oasis before and the shares have worked out well as a trading device between crude levels. '
Source : oilprice.com
Petrobras has set a new Brazilian record for exploratory drilling by reaching a water depth of nearly 3,000 meters, the state-controlled oil giant said. The 3-BRSA-1296-SES well was drilled to a water depth of 2,988 meters - eight meters more than the 3-SES-184 well Petrobras drilled in February in that same basin - and a total depth of 6,060 meters.'
'Only six wells in the world exceed the depth of 3-BRSA-1296-SES, three of which were drilled by India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in that South Asian nation and three by U.S. energy companies Murphy Oil and Chevron Corp. in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Petrobras said..´'
The president of Argentina's Jewish organization AMIA, president Leonardo Jmelnitzky urged for prosecutor Alberto Nisman´s suspicious death inquiry to continue, and pointed out that the institution is waiting for the confirmation of the unconstitutional nature of Iran´s Memorandum.
After ten years of investigation which strongly pointed to Iran as the brains behind and Hezbollah the executor, Nisman last January filed charges against President Cristina Fernandez (wife of former president Nestor Kirchner), foreign minister Hector Timerman and several top officials from the Argentine administration.
Meeting with the mega-rich comedian turned champagne revolutionary is just the latest in a series of silly stunts from a party whose hypocrisy defies belief
'Well, his friend suggests, how about cutting back on some of the less essential members of his domestic staff? Does he really need a hairdresser on call 24/7, for instance? Or a permanent chauffeur? And what about his travel arrangements? Is using a commercial airliner out of the question, instead of always travelling by private jet?
“Nah,” says Brand. “Don’t be daft.”
The weird thing is, he'd be right. It would be a daft suggestion. Russell Brand’s transformation from a cynical, sexually-voracious movie star into an earnest, working class revolutionary is now complete. The disconnect – the yawning chasm – between Brand’s decadent, extravagant lifestyle and the left-wing values he professes to believe in hasn’t caused so much as a hiccup.'
Outside of individual's holding oil stocks, damage to the economy from the fall in oil has been pretty minimal so far. Indeed, the price cut in home heating oil and gasoline has probably outweighed the damage from lower oil prices… so far. Unfortunately, this situation may not last.
Analysts are starting to look beyond the boost to the economy from low oil prices and see the damage that is being done by worker layoffs, slowing business, and falling home prices in oil producing states. Indeed, one recent estimate suggested that up to four jobs could ultimately disappear for every one job lost in the oil sector.
There is little doubt that as oil prices fall, some people working in that sector will lose their jobs. What is less clear is the impact those job losses will have on other sectors of the economy. Since one person's spending is another person's income, as people lose their jobs in the oil patch, that should mean less spending at the local grocery store, restaurants, etc. Now of course, this fall in spending is partially offset by a rise in incomes from the fall of gas prices. But that gas price benefit is spread out all across the country, whereas the damage from the fall in oil prices is localized to certain areas with a lot of oil. Overall then, it's not clear how large the damage will be from oil's price collapse. But we do have a model to look to in this case: Australia.
Australia went through a mining boom over the last fifteen years that created a large new upper middle class. People working in Australian mines worked hard, but earned excellent wages and spent that money liberally. Stories of blue collar people with high school educations earning $200,000 a year and spending that money like water were common. The same thing has started to happen here in the US. Vice President Joe Biden recently extolled the virtues of new middle class jobs that could be created in the energy industry, especially around updating the country's infrastructure. Over time, if a lot of these types of jobs are created it can have a dramatic effect on an area, as Australia demonstrates.
Now though, that cycle is working in reverse. As oil prices have fallen, so too have the profits for oil companies and all the other companies in the oil supply chain. The process has been so fast that the economic damage probably has not been felt yet – almost like being injured and not realizing it due to adrenaline. Here again, Australia provides an economic model, and it looks like the damage in oil producing states could end up being widespread and long-lasting.
If the average oil producing metro area has 3% of workers employed in the energy sector and a third of these folks lose their jobs, then that implies an extra 1% of unemployment. That is not bad, but if that 1% of workers are supporting an additional 4% of workers (using the 1:4 rule analysts found), then that would mean a total of 5% in additional unemployment. This could easily lead to 10% unemployment up from a normal 5% rate. That level of unemployment would have a severe long-term effect on house prices, sales tax receipts, economic growth in the area, etc. This is exactly what Australia is experiencing right now. So while the short-term impacts of oil's decline have not been too bad, it certainly looks like there is more pain to come.
Unfortunately, as helpful as the energy sector was in buoying the county during the Recession of 2008, the energy sector may now hold down the economic expansion just as the economy is starting to pick up steam.
By Michael McDonald of Oilprice.com
Believe it or not, anti-corruption reform is happening in Mexico. This is highly significant. As FCPAméricas noted in the past, for years the country has been criticized by the OECD Working Group for not moving fast enough to implement legal changes necessary to satisfy its commitments under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
A close ally of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and currently part of her government's coalition said “too much stealing” by Lula da Silva's ruling Workers Party (PT) is responsible for the country's political crisis and public opinion disenchantment with politics.
'The former trainer's most troubling allegation, however, is that some female dolphins prevented their new babies from breathing — by stopping them from coming to the surface. The trainer, who isn't a scientist, said he and his colleagues deduced the mothers did this because they didn't want their babies to "live in captivity."'
The former director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Spaniard Rodrigo Rato, has been detained by police in Madrid. Rato, who has also been Economy Minister during Spanish President José María Aznar’s administration, is accused of money laundering and fraud.
Rato is also one of several former managers under investigation for fraud as courts separately decide whether Bankia's 2011 stock market flotation was flawed. He denies wrongdoing.