By Nick Cunningham, Oilprice.com: Natural gas prices in the US hovered between $2 and $4 per million btu for years, while reaching $19 in Japan. The industry is pushing for permits to export LNG, hoping for an easy arbitrage opportunity. But the markets may bite back.
Abenomics, a democratically elected economic religion, was to save Japan. But the plan has already gone to heck. Not in small increments over the years with minor ups and downs, but in relentless month-to-month leaps whose viciousness surprised even the deep cynic in me.
By Danny O'Brien: Venezuela is caught up in widespread protests against the Maduro administration, which responded by cracking down on the social media. As unrest escalated, censorship widened, hitting TV stations and now Internet service providers. The heat is on.
OK, I get it. Life-threatening cold temperatures, polar vortices, and snow mayhem can put a damper on home construction, mortgage applications, first-time buyers, and home-builder confidence. But they also plunged on the West Coast where the weather was gorgeous.
Perfecting The Surveillance Society: Drive And Get Tracked (Via The National License-Plate Recognition Database)
By Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation: Not the NSA, but the Department of Homeland Security is planning to build this monster. Never before has a federal agency proposed a dragnet of this size and scope, going after regular Americans on a routine basis.
By John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics: Fed chair Janet Yellen has her admirers and her detractors. One unabashed admirer is my good friend David Zervos, Jefferies' chief market strategist. He has taken to hollering, "Dammit Janet, I love you!" Now he's at it again.
Rising household debt would be a hopeful sign that consumers are again living beyond their means, finally spending money they don’t have in a heroic effort to stimulate Wall Street, corporate earnings, and the Fed’s self-esteem. So we jubilate. We’ve waited for it too long.
By Don Quijones: Grupo Bankia, Spain’s biggest basket-case bank, will dip its toes again in the stock market. Bailing out the bank after its last IPO in 2011 cost taxpayers over €20 billion. Customers lost €4 billion. And now the alpha wolves of Wall Street are at it again.
Since the introduction of QE 3, honest-looking Fed chairman Bernanke told the Wall-Street media circus after each FOMC meeting that the money-printing binge in the coming month would expand the Fed’s balance sheet by $85 billion. A fact cited worldwide. And a big lie.
By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist: America has some serious problems: education, health care, the power of lobbyists, government spying on Americans, poverty.... But there is one problem America doesn't have – getting oil out of the ground.
Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as.... Smoke and mirrors.
By Don Quijones: By deciding to warn his customers about the risks of these toxic financial products — they should never have been sold to savers — branch manager Gómez Ortega set himself on collision course with the bank's head office in Madrid.
By Maira Sutton, Electronic Frontier Foundation: Under pressure from multinational corporations, the White House wants authority from Congress to run over Congress' constitutional powers. The zany, secretive power play of trade deals.
By Doug French, Contributing Editor, Casey Research: Gold has retraced nearly $700 from its $1,895 high, yet every central banker on earth has sworn an oath to Keynesian money creation, the only limit being their imagination.
“Foreclosure Rebound Pattern”: Foreclosures SUDDENLY Jump 57% in California (And Soar In Much Of The Country)
The cynic in me says the dizzying jump in foreclosure starts in January in much of the country, after years of sharp and consistent declines, must be some kind of data problem. Maybe RealtyTrac’s computers got hacked, or something. But that’s wishful thinking.
By Porter Stansberry, DailyWealth: It was the biggest mistake of Warren Buffett's career: a large investment in ConocoPhillips. Yesterday we told you why this was such poor timing and how it defied his own investment principles. But WHY did Buffett ignore the commodity price cycle and continue to buy an oil company even as petroleum prices soared?
His US visit might give the French President the boost he sorely needs at home, because at home, things are getting mired down. The economy shriveled or had no growth in five of the last eight quarters. The dominant government sector is well, but businesses are failing in record numbers.
By Porter Stansberry, DailyWealth: I'd like to share with you part of a larger research project I've been working on for the last six months. It involves an unusual investment lesson from the greatest investor of our time, Warren Buffett.
My beloved state of California, whose $2 trillion economy is the eight largest in the world ahead of Italy and Russia, has a new problem: it’s awash in cash. It’s projecting multi-billion dollar surpluses for years to come. The feeding frenzy in Sacramento is a sight to behold.