Systemic oil crisis and finance
Most US oil producers are hedged or insured against a lower oil price. A lower oil price means somebody else, the counterparty to this hedge, has to pay for the losses. With an extreme price drop and the persistent belief that oil only can go up, like we saw in the real-estate bubble, some, as yet unknown, counterparties will find themselves in the position of being liable for extreme losses. Oil is always hedged with so-called derivatives, financial products that are linked to the oil price. The buyer of the derivative can make money whether the oil price rises or falls, depending on the position (long or short – betting on a rise or fall in price) that the buyer has taken. Most of these products have a leverage mechanism, if the oil price goes up $1 these products go up $2 or more. The top six Wall Street banks hold $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives. But also banks outside the US like the domestic branches of Dutch and Israeli Banks are heavily involved in this market. Morgan Stanley alone holds $545 billion oil related commodity derivatives. It is clearly obvious that an extreme price shock could result in a financial crisis...
Election in Northern Cyprus renews hopes of peace deal
Independent candidate Mustafa Akinci won a surprise victory to become president of Northern Cyprus on Sunday (26 April), beating incubent Dervis Eroglu in a result that could prove a breakthrough for peace talks on the divided island...EUObserver
L’Europe autorise les OGM de Monsanto
L’Union européenne a donné le feu vert à la commercialisation de 19 OGM, dont 11 de l’américain Monsanto. Une réforme prévoit que chaque Etat membre pourra individuellement les bannir...L’Express
China rail group signs $5.5bn in Africa deals
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email email@example.com to buy additional rights...Financial Times
US Factories Crushed By Strong Dollar
Government statistics are always suspect, for at least one obvious reason: Modern economies are way too big and complex to measure in real-time. So virtually every number is revised in the months after its release, frequently to the point of saying something very different. But by then lots of new data has come out and no one cares about the old numbers...DollarCollapse.com
Hollande urges progress on Minsk accord in one-on-one with Putin
Presidents Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin have spoken on the sidelines of memorial services in Armenia, discussing the fragile truce in Ukraine and a suspended French warship delivery for Moscow’s military...Deutsche Welle
The federal government isn’t saying much about a probe into a new scandal involving Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency. Now, the federal prosecutor’s office is planning to cooperate with the German NSA inquiry...Deutsche Welle
India urges its wealthy temples to bolster the economy with gold
n coming weeks, the government plans to begin a programme that will allow temples to deposit their gold into banks to earn interest and circulate in the economy, rather than sit idle in musty vaults. The gold, officials said, would be melted down and sold to jewellers...The Guardian
EU borders chief says saving migrants' lives 'shouldn't be priority' for patrols
Coastal fleet missions off Italy not mandated or resourced for full search and rescue operations, and nor is EU, says head of Frontex agency..The Guardian
California’s water crisis is coming soon to the rest of America
Americans tend to take it for granted that when we open a tap, water will come out. Western states have been dealing with water problems for a while, but they won’t be alone for long. As drought, flooding, and climate change restrict America’s water supply, demands from population growth and energy production look set to increase, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office...MSN
Why this oil price collapse could be different
The recent oil price collapse seems like a replay of a bad 1980s movie that we’ve seen before. If we are not careful, we’ll be doomed to make the same mistakes we made last time, allowing our domestic oil and gas producers to wither, watching energy imports soar, prematurely stunting the growth of alternative fuel sources, and tossing conservation and efficiency by the wayside...Fortune
Le yuan chinois, un nouveau dollar pour l’Afrique ?
Le Ghana, le Nigeria, Maurice ou encore le Zimbabwe. La liste des pays africains qui utilisent déjà le yuan chinois comme monnaie de règlement et de réserve ne cesse de s’allonger. La semaine dernière, c’était au tour de Pretoria, le premier partenaire commercial de la Chine en Afrique, de donner son feu vert au billet rouge...Le Monde
States Shoulder Road-Building Burden as U.S. Government Stalls
U.S. states are taking more financial responsibility for roads and bridges as the expiration of federal transportation funding approaches, straining a partnership that dates to the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s...
See Congress polarize over the past 60 years, in one beautiful chart
The growth of partisan polarization has transformed US politics in recent decades, and the effects are especially visible in Congress. Now a new paper in PLOS One (and flagged by Wonkblog's Chris Ingraham) demonstrates this transformation in a particularly cool way...VOX
Top 10 Countries With The World’s Biggest Oil Reserves
South American nation Venezuela tops the list, followed closely by Saudi Arabia. Brent crude oil spot price is expected to fall from an average of $112 per barrel in 2012 to annual averages of $108 per barrel in 2013 and $101 per barrel in 2014, according to report released by US-based Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week...Gulf Business
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