All Fair in Trade War? White House Aides Claim Trump Faked Phone Call With China

It is alleged that the phone call, in which Chinese officials invited their US counterparts to resume trade talks, didn’t happen the way Donald Trump described it did.

The POTUS has yet to comment on the speculation. Donald Trump appears to have fabricated the story about a phone call by Chinese officials to members of his administration in a bid to prop up economic growth and, as a result, his 2020 campaign, CNN reports. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in France on Monday, Trump said that “China called last night our top trade people and said, ‘Let’s get back to the table’.” “They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it,” he added, expressing hope that a deal would be forged. But two unnamed US officials told CNN that the president “was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese.” Despite assertions by Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that there had been “communication” which Chinese trade officials, the aides “privately conceded the phone calls Trump described didn’t happen the way he said they did.” Neither the White House nor Trump have commented on the claim yet. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang cast doubt on the veracity of Trump’s comments, saying he was not aware of the call: “I can tell you clearly that I haven’t heard of such a thing.” Trump’s phone call story came up shortly after Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, noted that Beijing wanted a “calm” resolution to the trade war. “He wants to see a deal made, he wants it to be made under calm conditions,” Trump said of Liu He’s statement. “He used the word ‘calm,’ I agree with him.” The White House sources were quoted as saying that Trump’s language was meant to make up for a possible backlash from his electorate over the delay in the border wall’s construction, as well as quell mounting recession concerns. A 2019 survey by the National Association for Business Economists has found that more than 70 percent of economists think the United States will tip into its next recession by the end of 2021. Some predict it may happen even earlier. One of the factors fuelling these fears is Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China, which he started last year under the pretext of eliminating the yawning trade gap and accusations of unfair trading. The dispute saw Washington and Beijing exchange several rounds of multi-million-dollar tariffs. The latest one saw the United States hike duties on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. China in response slapped tariffs on $75 billion in US imports. The two superpowers have been engaged in negotiations which have yielded no results so far; the latest positive signals from both sides of the table have elicited a measured response from the market, however.

White House and State Department greenlight Israeli strikes on Iranian proxies in Iraq despite Pentagon disapproval

You do not have a lot of time to figure it out…the war is on!
So those things with wings those are war planes and EVERY day they fly into Iraq And Syria and Lebanon. And guess what they do? Well you see those pointy arrow looking things on the wings with the metal tail feathers.. that are missiles (projectiles) and guess what they do… why they shoot them and blow shit up.. And get this when that happens it has a name WHY its call a WAR…. DAH!!

Washington gave Israel its blessing to strike Iranian-backed forces in Iraq a day after Pentagon leaders distanced themselves from the operations, emphasizing the United States is a “guest” in the country. “It’s our position that if neighbors of Israel allow a malign third country that does not share a border with Israel to use their sovereign territory as holding ground for increasingly sophisticated dangerous weapons, the only purpose of which is to attack Israel, I think those governments, if they cannot curb or control those elements, are going to have to be prepared to be responsible for them,” a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters Thursday. “So be it Lebanon, be it Syria, be it Iraq — I think that has to be our very clear message to those governments.” That is the Trump administration’s most explicit signal of support for Israeli operations against Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israeli forces have reportedly targeted Tehran-controlled weapons depots in Iraq and on Sunday conducted an apparent drone strike against Hezbollah’s Iran-supplied missile systems in Beirut. Military offensives in both countries could complicate the regional situation for the U.S. and Israel, but those dangers have been trumped by alarm that Iran is amassing an arsenal in strategic locations throughout the Middle East. Iran has transferred more than 100,000 rockets to Hezbollah in recent years, according to U.S. officials. The Sunday operation targeted some of the systems Iran has been developing to upgrade those rockets into precision-guided missiles. The size of that arsenal suggests that the Israeli Defense Forces would not be able to shield every building in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in a conflict. “It’s our position that Israel is only acting because of Iran’s actions,” the official said, all but confirming that Israel is responsible for the recent strikes in Iraq and Lebanon. “If Iran is not pouring heavy weapons and fighters into Israel’s neighbors with the express purpose of threatening Israel, I wouldn’t think Israel would be needing to take any of these actions. And we fully support Israel’s right to self-defense and denounce Iran’s regional campaign of violence.” The sorties against Shiite militias around Baghdad have irritated Iraqi leaders and stirred unease among American military leaders, in part due to the risk of political or terrorist blowback against the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as part of the campaign to defeat the Islamic State. Iranian-backed militias gained ground and influence in Iraq after the U.S. withdrew in 2011. Defense Department officials, wary of any policy that might trigger another war in the Middle East when the Pentagon is bracing for long-term competition with China, distanced the U.S. military from Israel’s reported operations in Iraq multiple times this week. “We support Iraqi sovereignty and have repeatedly spoken out against any potential actions by external actors inciting violence in Iraq,” the Pentagon said in a statement Monday. “The government of Iraq has the right to control their own internal security and protect their democracy.” Pentagon leaders expressed the same sentiments Wednesday, in the first press conference held by a defense secretary in a year. “We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government, and we are there and focused on one thing, our forces, and that is working with and through the Iraqi forces to execute the D-ISIS campaign,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Wednesday when asked about the reported Israeli operations in Iraq. “Obviously, we’re concerned about anything that may impact our mission, our relationship, or our forces,” he said. “We remain focused on supporting Iraq and supporting our forces in Iraq to go after ISIS.” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who appeared alongside Esper, concurred. “Again, all of our operations are consistent with the agreements that we have with the Iraqi government. All of our operations, in conjunction with the Iraqi Security Force, are focused on ISIS. All of our operations,” he said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the other hand, emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense in a Thursday morning radio interview. “Each time Israel has been forced to take actions to defend itself, the United States has made very clear that that country has not only the right but the duty to protect its own people,” Pompeo told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. “And we are always supportive of their efforts to do that.” That’s a natural attitude for Pompeo, who has helped orchestrate the administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran in the year since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and renewed sanctions on the regime. The Israeli strikes provide a martial component to that campaign, which the administration maintains is designed to pressure the regime to negotiate new restrictions on its nuclear program and tame Tehran’s actions throughout the Middle East. “If there’s any one thing that is pretty clear about American strategy, it is precisely that the way to get Iran to the table and to get a better deal with Iran if we ever get to that is to keep the pressure on on every front,” David Pollock, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Washington Examiner. “Economically, militarily — whatever we can do, and our friends in the region or elsewhere can help us do, to keep the pressure on Iran, that’s good.” What’s not clear is how far apart the White House and Foggy Bottom are from the Pentagon.  “They’re kind of speaking to two different audiences, but I don’t think it’s a deep split,” James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner, speaking of Pompeo and Esper. “Both are committed to the containment of Iran, it’s just the Pentagon in Iraq in the short run is focused on preventing ISIS from returning.” Pollock agreed that Esper is signaling that Netanyahu should keep one eye on the potential for retaliation against the U.S., either by local fighters or by politicians in Baghdad. “It was not a sign of surprise or anger or something like that at Israel for doing it,” Pollock said. “It was an expression of concern — be careful and remember we’re here too, and we don’t want to be tagged with your operations because they’re yours, not ours.” There is broad consensus that American officials have a real stake in maintaining a good relationship with Iraqi political leaders, at least publicly. “It’s a matter of jeopardizing the American military presence in Iraq, and whether because of direct retaliation or because Iraqi politicians will finally carry out the threats that some of them have been making for a long time, which is that we don’t want the Americans here,” Pollock said. “As serious as it is, it’s probably outweighed by the larger strategy — which is not to accept, either on behalf of the U.S. or Israel, the Iranian entrenchment in Iraq.” Trump’s team showed little interest in questions about whether Israel’s operations violate Iraq’s rights as a sovereign nation. “I think that’s actually an excellent question for the Iranians,” the senior administration official said. “Where was their respect for Iraqi sovereignty when they were putting this material into Iraq? That seems to be a pretty gross violation of sovereignty, if that’s the topic under discussion.” Nick Bit: See the war is on. By the time its on CNN breaking news its time to take profits as the lizards crowd in!

Cavuto to Trump: The Job of the Media is ‘To Call Balls and Strikes on You’

Your World host Neil Cavuto closed his show Thursday afternoon with a monologue addressing President Trump’s recent criticism of Fox News. The segment began with an audio clip of President Trump discussing his displeasure with Fox News during an interview on Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show. Cavuto reacted to President’s Trump complaint that Fox News “isn’t working for us anymore,” reminding him that “we don’t work for you. Nick Bit: The cracks in the armer are everywhere. Trumps most ardent supporters are starting to distance themselves from him. The sold out media does not want to get cashed out when not if the Trump administration crashes and burns, As far as Cavuto… he is a flaming asshole. Who was a idiot when he was on CNBC and fired. A idiot when he tried to start a financial newsletter (what a joke that was) and he is even a bigger idiot now that he is on HA HA HA HA Fox business full of shit news!!!!

At Least 100 Involved In After-School Melee

STOCKTON (CBS13) — At least 100 individuals can be seen in video involved a brawl that forced a response from police and paramedics in Stockton Thursday afternoon. Cell phone video captured the chaos that spilled off-campus at Stagg High School. A crowd can be seen converging around one fight at first, then another and another. Theresa Saunders shot video of the massive melee on her cell phone. She owns a flower store across the street from the school. “This one went from boom boom boom boom, all these different fights,” Saunders said. “It’s like what happened in school? Was it a day to get revenge for each other?” At one point video shows a single Stockton Unified School District police SUV attempt to break up the fights. An officer inside using a loudspeaker commanded people out of the street, but the crowd did not disperse. “I asked her ‘where the backup?’ she said, ‘they coming,’” Saunders said. More Stockton Unified School District police officers eventual arrived. Video shows officers taking one person into custody.

“I just don’t understand the kids nowadays, it’s like they just fighting,” Miles said. “They should all get along. I’m hearing too much violence out here.”

The Stockton Unified School District sent an email to parents Thursday evening alerting them of the incident they call an “ongoing investigation.” A spokesperson said an individual who was treated at a hospital was also arrested for their role in the massive fight. Fists flying in this massive after-school scuffle. “Now it’s on Facebook, and you’re momma see you out here fighting, what’s she going to think?” Saunders said. The school district plans to have extra security on hand Friday as a precaution. Nick Bit: This is a direct result of the Marianna epidemic. It is making people far more violent. See this brain scan of the amygdala (lizard brain) on pot. Talk about lighting up a joint and you life

This ain’t your hippie days good shit. This is a powerful hybrid pushed on the masses by none other then you good friend and Nazi collaborator George Sores. And yes we did advise them on their great currency trade. See this link

Oil falls ahead of hurricane but set for weekly gain as trade row eases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures fell on Friday, with U.S. crude down nearly 4% ahead of a hurricane near the Florida coast that could dampen demand, but prices were still headed for the biggest weekly increase since early July, boosted by an easing of U.S.-China trade rhetoric. Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 79 cents, or 1.3%, to $60.29 a barrel by 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $2.09, or 3.7%, to $54.62 a barrel. Hurricane Dorian gained strength as it crept closer to Florida’s coast on Friday, raising the risk that parts of the U.S. state will be hit by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for a prolonged period after it makes landfall early next week. “The latest modeling has Hurricane Dorian avoiding the Gulf of Mexico, while raking the entire state of Florida, turning it into a demand destruction event for the energy market rather than a supply disruption event,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital in New York. Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ oil output rose 80,000 barrels per day in August, the first monthly increase this year, a Reuters survey found. OPEC, Russia and other non-members, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd in 2019. Russia’s oil output in August was slightly higher than levels agreed under its output deal with OPEC+, but Moscow is still aiming to fully comply with the deal, RIA and Interfax news agencies cited Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying. Oil prices have fallen by around 20% since they hit a 2019 peak in April, in part because of concerns that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt the global economy and soften demand for oil. In August alone, Brent was set for a monthly drop of 7.4%, and WTI was on track to lose 6.3%. This week, however, WTI is set to rise 0.9% and Brent by 1.6%, in part due to hopes that trade tensions between the world’s two biggest oil consumers are easing. Chinese and U.S. trade negotiating teams are maintaining effective communication, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday at a daily news briefing in Beijing. On Thursday, the United States and China gave signs that they will resume trade talks, discussing the next round of in-person negotiations in September ahead of a looming deadline for additional U.S. tariffs. “Recession fears are casting a shadow on sentiment and oil prices should keep dancing to the tune of the U.S.-China trade saga,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. Analysts polled by Reuters slashed their price forecasts for Brent to an average of $65.02 in 2019 – the lowest in more than 16 months – citing softening global demand brought on by an economic slowdown and the trade row.

US oil and gas rig count drops by 11 to 987

Rig count losses mostly from oil rigs, down 10 to 783

Houston — The US oil and gas rig count continued to drop Thursday and was down 11 to 987 on the week, as industry continues to wait for more data points to gauge its own uncertain trajectory amid oil prices that have stalled. Rig losses this week came almost entirely from the oil side which dropped 10 rigs week on week ended Wednesday, leaving 783. Rigs chasing natural gas remained steady at 199. There was also a net loss of one rig that was not classified as oil or gas. Most major basins fell by at least one rig or stood still, according to data supplied by Enverus’ RigData segment. The biggest basin movements came in the SCOOP-STACK play in Oklahoma, down 4 to 66 and in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale where the rig count fell 3 to 73. Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin lost 2 rigs, leaving 27. Losing one rig apiece were the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeast New Mexico, falling to 433, and the Wet Marcellus mostly sited in Pennsylvania, down to 19. Holding firm with last week were the Dry Marcellus, also mostly in Pennsylvania, at 29 rigs, and the Haynesville Shale in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas at 52. Two basins gained a rig – the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, up to 58, and the Utica Shale mostly in Ohio, up to 16. Many observers predict the rig count will continue to drop as oil prices remain in the mid-$50s/b for WTI and around $60/b for Brent. E&P operators are meeting their production goals as they adhere to capital discipline pledges and devise better well completion techniques, and now seek ways to further pare expenses. Oil prices dropped a bit on average, according to Platts average assessments. WTI was down 75 cents this week to $54.75/b, while WTI Midland was down 84 cents to $54.67/b. The Bakken Composite price was down 53 cents to $48.27/b. “A drop in the oil-directed horizontal rig count last week … should be closely watched as investors remain keenly focused on the needed rationing of upstream capital and the potential support this could lend to 2020 balances,” Evercore ISI Group Stephen Richardson said in a late Wednesday note.

Richardson added that the Baker Hughes rig count was down by 18 week on week, the second-largest weekly decline since early 2016. Baker Hughes uses Enverus RigData in its own rig count calculations.

Analysts have noted a second “merger of equals” among midcap companies was announced Monday – PDC Energy’s acquisition of SRC Energy, following Callon Petroleum’s move in July to take out Carrizo Oil & Gas – may be the next industry trend that builds scale and removes costs for oil companies”It’s hard to ignore the slow simmer of corporate M&A in the sector,” Richardson said. “The reality is efficiencies are [slowing] and there does not look to be much lemon to squeeze for many, but the industry is self-sufficient at a low-$50s/b WTI price.” Permits approved were also up on the week to 983, a gain of 89. The biggest number came from the DJ Basin, up by 143 permits to 243, and the Wet Marcellus, up 28 permits to 31. In the Permian, the number of approved permits was down 23 to 127. Otherwise, the number permits up or down was under 15 for the US’ eight large named basins.

Exclusive: Saudi Aramco board sees too many risks for New York IPO – sources

DUBAI/LONDON/RIYADH (Reuters) – The board of Saudi Aramco has determined that listing the state energy giant in New York would carry too many legal risks to make it a realistic option, five sources said, although they said a final decision lay with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. New York was the exchange favoured by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before plans for the initial public offering were put on hold last year, the sources said, even after Aramco’s lawyers and some government advisers had raised legal concerns. New York offers the largest investor base in the world, vital for an IPO that aims to attract as much as $100 billion (81.5 billion pounds), a sum that could prove tough for other exchanges to raise. U.S. President Donald Trump urged the kingdom to list in New York. One source familiar with the IPO plan told Reuters the board, made up of cabinet ministers and Aramco executives, had concluded at an August meeting that a U.S. listing would not be considered “unless Aramco is offered sovereign immunity that protects it from any legal action.” “This is, of course, hard if not impossible to achieve,” the source added. Like other sources who spoke to Reuters, he asked not to be named because of sensitivities surrounding the fate of the IPO which the crown prince hopes will value the company at $2 trillion. Some insiders and bankers say that figure is too high. The move to rule out New York and scale back on the valuation suggests technocrats in Aramco and the government are pushing for a more realistic IPO plan, the sources said. Alongside New York, exchanges in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo have been keen to woo Saudi officials to secure a deal to trade shares in Aramco, which is expected to have a primary listing in Riyadh. But Saudi officials say the New York disclosure process and complex regulations might legally interfere with the sovereignty of the Saudi government, which would remain the major Aramco shareholder, probably retaining a 95% stake. “Listing in New York is no longer an option,” one industry source familiar with the IPO process said. Riyadh and London were now the main options, with the domestic listing first to be followed by an international offering at a later stage, four of the sources said. “The likelihood of a local listing is increasing, with 1-2% of Aramco being listed locally,” another source familiar with the IPO process said, adding that “the other possibility is listing in London”. Three sources said potential litigation risks in the United States included U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and proposed U.S. legislation known as “NOPEC”, which could lead to Aramco being sued in U.S. courts. “The whole system is highly litigious, but of course Aramco has lots of investments in the U.S. which will continue,” said another industry source, who has discussed the IPO process with Saudi officials. NOPEC legislation would make it illegal for foreign nations to work together to limit fossil fuel supplies and set prices, opening Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to U.S. legal challenges. JASTA allows lawsuits against the Saudi government as it says it helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and should pay compensation. Riyadh denies the charges. Aramco could also become embroiled in existing lawsuits against oil companies in the United States for their role in climate change, the sources said. Saudi Aramco said in a statement it “continues to engage with the shareholder on IPO readiness activities”, when asked by Reuters if New York had been dropped as a listing venue. “The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholder’s choosing,” it added, without elaborating. Tadawul, the main Saudi stock exchange, has said it expected inflows of $15 billion to $20 billion this year after its inclusion in the FTSE Russell and MSCI emerging market indices, helping secure liquidity for Aramco’s local listing. The crown prince has favoured a New York Stock Exchange listing in part because of Riyadh’s longstanding ties with Washington, sources familiar with Saudi thinking have said. Aramco began life in the 1930s as a U.S.-Saudi venture. Selling a 5% stake in Aramco has been a centrepiece of Vision 2030, a plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil. But the IPO, initially slated for 2017, has faced repeated delays. The IPO is now not expected until Aramco completes its acquisition of a majority stake in petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), pushing it back to 2020 or 2021. Aramco has already asked major banks to submit proposals for potential roles in the planned IPO, two sources said. Saudi banks were pitching for various roles in the IPO in late August in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, while international banks would be pitching for mandates for the share sale in early September in London, one of the two sources said.

Oil set for biggest weekly gain since July on trade dispute hopes

Hi you see that swiggly Blue line… well it show US oil production peeking and HOLY SHIT BAT GIRL dropping. And do you see that green swiggly line… Holy shit Bat Boy that shows a big drop in Saudi output. And Transgender boy/girl/it even the red swiggly lie of Russia oil production is get this Dropping. AND AND AND oil inventories are the LOWEST IN A YEAR!!

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices on Friday were set for their biggest weekly gains since early July, boosted by a decline in U.S inventories and a looming hurricane in Florida, while new signs of trade talks between the United States and China emerged. Brent crude LCOc1 was up 8 cents, or 0.1%, at $61.16 a barrel, by 0420 GMT after adding 1% on Thursday. Brent is heading for a gain of 3% this week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $56.64 a barrel. The contract is set for a gain of more than 4% this week. “The frothy price action emphasizes the store that energy markets place on trade progress to support further gains in prices going forward,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. “What is given, can be taken away though, and the rally looks more like it’s running on vapors than petrol,” he said. Worries about a slowdown in economic growth due to the trade war between the United States and China and the impact on oil demand, the countries are world’s two biggest oil consumers, kept a lid on price gains, even as falling inventories indicate a balancing market. However, on Thursday, the United States and China gave signs that they will resume trade talks, discussing the next round of in-person negotiations in September ahead of a looming deadline for additional U.S. tariffs. The approach of Hurricane Dorian toward Florida raised fears that offshore U.S. crude producers may shutter output if the storm passes into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Dorian is heading toward landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida over the weekend and may enter into the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. It is forecast to strengthen and become a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) 356,440 barrel-per-day Pascagoula, Mississippi, oil refinery is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Dorian, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Last month, Hurricane Barry prompted offshore oil companies to shut as much as 74% of production, lifting U.S. crude prices, before it weakened to a tropical storm. Government data on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks dropped last week by 10 million barrels to their lowest since October as imports slowed, while gasoline and distillate stocks each fell by over 2 million barrels. Inventories at the nation’s main delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures, slumped last week by nearly 2 million barrels to their lowest since December, the data showed. Cushing stocks have dropped by over 300,000 barrels since the government report, traders said, citing market intelligence firm Genscape’s midweek report. But the EIA data also showed that U.S. production rebounded to a weekly record of 12.5 million barrels per day, suggesting there is still plenty of supply available.

Israeli Military Accuses Iran of Running Secret Hezbollah Missile Project in Lebanon

Meet your enemy. Nuclear tipped Iaan “projecties” will land on your head…. And then you will scratch your ass and figure it out. And do’t forget the missiles (sorry projectiles) coming from Trumps best friends!

Already tense relations between Israel and Lebanon got worse this week after a series of drone-related incidents, including a suspected Israeli attack on a Hezbollah office in Beirut. “Senior Iranian commanders” and a senior associate from the Hezbollah movement have been engaged in an effort to create a secret precision guard missile program in Lebanon, the Israel Defence Forces have announced, citing intelligence data. In a press conference on Thursday, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus alleged that three Iranian officers from the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, including one Brig. Gen. Muhammad Hussein-Zada Hejazi, one col. Majid Nuab and one Brig. Gen. Ali Asrar Nuruzi, were involved in the secret project. According to the IDF, these Iranian officers were based “inside Lebanon, leading Hezbollah’s precision guided missile project in order to attack Israel.”

The three alleged Iranians are said to be under the command of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander believed to have engaged heavily in providing Iranian support to Syria and Iraq in their fight against the Daesh (ISIS)* terrorists in recent years. Fuad Shukr, an advisor to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, is said to be the key Hezbollah commander involved in the missile project. The IDF alleges that Iran had tried to transfer precision guided missiles to Hezbollah through Syria in 2013 and 2014, but was largely stopped by Israeli air strikes. Since 2016, the IDF says, Hezbollah and Iran have moved forward with another effort – converting Hezbollah’s existing and substantial stocks of rockets into precision-guided missiles. Conricus did not address whether the above-mentioned individuals should fear for their security, saying only that if he were “any of these terrorists, I probably wouldn’t be too happy to be named and shamed.” In a video posted alongside Conricus’ presentation on the IDF’s Twitter account, the military warned that “if terror groups get access to precision guided missiles, they’ll be able to remotely attack any target of their choice.” The Israeli military wouldn’t “let Hezbollah get their hands on these weapons” under any circumstances, the video warned.

Iranian officials and representatives of Hezbollah have yet to comment on the IDF’s allegations. According to Conricus, Israel was releasing this information now in a bid to force Beirut and the international community to act. “Iran is endangering Lebanese [security] by trying to produce precision-guided missiles on Lebanese soil, using the Lebanese people as human shields,” the IDF spokesman said. “In our point of view, the Lebanese government is completely responsible for what is happening on Lebanese soil,” he stressed. Conricus also noted that Israel considers Hezbollah as its “main enemy,” while the Lebanese military is its “potential enemy.” According to the IDF, in spite of Iranian support, Hezbollah has not yet gained the industrial-grade capability to produce high-precision missiles. Earlier this week, Hezbollah threatened to retaliate to the series of confirmed Israeli airstrikes near Damascus, and to the alleged Israeli drone attacks on Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut on Saturday night. Israel justified the Syria attack citing the alleged threat of a “pending large-scale attack” by Iranian forces on targets inside Israel. The IDF has yet to confirm whether the two drones that went down in Saturday night’s operation in Beirut belonged to Israel. Lebanon called the drone operations an “attack” on the country’s sovereignty.In the wake of the drone attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hezbollah’s leaders, and officials from both Iran and Lebanon, should be “careful of what they say,” stressing that Israel had the ability “to defend itself and to pay back its enemies.” The statement followed a warning  by the Iranian government that Tel Aviv would face “grave consequences” if it continued its suspected wave of attacks across Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

Israeli F-16a warplanes take off at the Nevatim air force base (File)
© AP Photo / Dan Balilty Israeli F-16a warplanes take off at the Nevatim air force base (File)

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of sponsoring anti-Israeli proxy campaigns in the region, including in Lebanon and Syria, and has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in recent years. Iran has denied the claims. Relations between the two countries have been poor for decades.

China considers relaxing auto purchase curbs to boost consumption

FILE PHOTO: A carrier trailer transports newly manufactured cars at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province, China May 21, 2019. REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) – China unveiled measures on Tuesday to help boost consumption, including the possible removal of restrictions on auto purchases, as growth in the world’s second-biggest economy falters amid mounting U.S. trade pressures. The State Council or cabinet said in a statement that local governments that have restrictions on auto sales should explore gradually relaxing or removing those curbs, while they should also encourage the purchases of new energy vehicles. European auto stocks rose on the news that Beijing was looking to loosen vehicle purchase restrictions. China’s economy stumbled more sharply than expected at the start of the third quarter, as Beijing’s trade dispute with the United States took a heavier toll on businesses and consumers. Second-quarter economic growth slowed to a near 30-year low. The automobile sector, a pillar of industrial growth, has been a casualty of falling demand, with overall car sales down for a 13th consecutive month in July. Analysts expect more economic support measures in the coming months, including steps to boost domestic consumption. “China data weakness will likely be more visible in August and September, and policymakers will likely lean toward more intensive easing,” said analysts at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a note on Monday. “We expect policy loosening to resume in infrastructure investment, consumption stimulus and monetary easing.” Retail sales in July pointed to consumer caution, growing at the weakest pace since April. Sales of automobiles and jewelry declined from a year earlier, while sales of garments, home appliances and telecommunications equipment posted low single-digit growth. The State Council added it would encourage commercially struggling malls, stadiums and old factory zones to be transformed into commercial complexes, gym and entertainment centers, as well as renovating commercial pedestrian streets across the country. It said Beijing would extend retail hours to promote “the night economy”, with convenience stores and restaurants open longer. Beijing will additionally allow city-level governments to approve retail sales of refined oil products, it said, adding that it would also encourage credit support for purchases of new energy vehicles and smart home appliances.

Israel’s shadow war with Iran bursts into the open

FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The long shadow war between Israel and Iran has burst into the open in recent days, with Israel allegedly striking Iran-linked targets as far away as Iraq and crash-landing two drones in Hezbollah-dominated southern Beirut. These incidents, along with an air raid in Syria that Israel says thwarted an imminent Iranian drone attack, have raised tensions at a particularly fraught time. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to project strength three weeks before national elections, while Iran has taken a series of provocative actions in recent months aimed at pressuring European nations to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions. Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, vowed to retaliate after a drone crashed on the militant group’s Beirut media office and another exploded midair early Sunday. Israeli forces along the border with Lebanon are on high alert, raising fears of a repeat of the 2006 war. Netanyahu has warned Nasrallah to “relax,” saying Israel “knows how to defend itself and how to pay back its enemies.” The Israeli leader has also addressed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional entrenchment, telling him to “be careful with your words and be even more careful with your actions.” Israel said Soleimani masterminded the alleged drone attack. Another commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohsen Rezaei, dismissed the Israeli allegations as a “lie.” Israel has also blamed Iran for recent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, and on Monday struck a Palestinian base in Lebanon near the Syrian border. Israel views Iran as its greatest threat, and has hailed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions. But Netanyahu may fear the U.S. is moderating that approach after Trump said there’s a “really good chance” he could meet with Iran’s president. The two close allies already appear to be at odds over recent strikes on Iran-linked militias in Iraq. In a rare move, U.S. officials acknowledged that Israel was behind at least one of the strikes, and the Pentagon pointedly distanced itself from the Iraq strikes, saying U.S. forces were not involved. Israel says it is responding to increasingly aggressive moves by Iran and seeking to roll back its regional entrenchment. As Netanyahu fights for an unprecedented fifth term in the Sept. 17 elections, he is eager to display his security credentials and discuss what many Israelis see as his signature achievement — countering Iran and its nuclear program. Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Iran-backed forces in Syria since the civil war began in 2011. In recent months it has gone increasingly public with the campaign, immediately confirming the kinds of strikes it used to rarely acknowledge. Even Netanyahu’s political opponents support the operations, which are aimed at preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence on the Syrian frontier. But they have questioned his motives in making them public, with some accusing him of grandstanding, in what they suggest is an attempt to win over voters ahead of the elections. “There is definitely a more aggressive line now, even if Israel isn’t saying so officially,” said Amos Harel, an Israeli military analyst. “Part of it has to do with the increased Iranian efforts and part of it has to do with all the other considerations.” Netanyahu’s opponents have hammered him for refusing to strike harder at the Islamic militant group Hamas after recent rocket fire from Gaza. Netanyahu also faces a tide of corruption allegations that have raised the stakes ahead of the vote. He has denied any wrongdoing. Despite his tough rhetoric, Netanyahu has traditionally been risk-averse in military matters. But he also views countering Iran as his primary mission and may hope to cement his legacy while he has a staunch supporter in the White House. Experts say Iran seeks sanctions relief and not war, but are alarmed by the potential for miscalculation, either by Tehran or its foes. Iran has spent decades building up powerful allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, which it could call upon in a war with Israel or the United States.

The Real Reason Why US Oil Production Has Peaked

Oil Production

One of the basic assumptions or “Paradigms” that is keeping a lid on the price of oil is the belief that U.S. oil production will continue going up year­-after-year. This paradigm is second only to the fear that the tariff war between the U.S. and China will go on for years, causing a global recession. FEAR has caused oil prices to fall back into the mid-$50s, not supply / demand fundamentals. It is important that energy sector investors know what’s going on in the real world because $55 oil is not a sustainable price for the world’s most important commodity. In the real world, upstream oil & gas companies are slashing drilling & completion budgets and the active rig count is falling week after week. Today we aren’t completing enough new wells to offset the accelerating decline rate of existing wells.

Raymond James recently estimated that over the last three years the U.S. decline rate for oil has doubled from 1.6 to 3.2 million barrels per day. The drilled but uncompleted well inventory (“DUC”) is back to normal, so the number of wells being drilled and the number of wells being completed is now about the same. We need over 12,000 new horizontal oil wells completed each year to hold production flat and the number of completed wells will need to go up each year.

Thanks to the Great Recession, U.S. oil production dipped briefly below 4.0 MMBOPD in September 2008 but rebounded to over 5.3 MMBOPD within six months. The “Shale Revolution” started around 2010; saving the U.S. oil & gas industry. Jumping forward, U.S. crude oil production increased 2.4 MMBOPD from 9.7 MMBOPD in December 2017 to 12.1 MMBOPD in December 2018. EIA’s projection that oil production would go up at least 2.0 MMBOPD this year seemed reasonable back in January, but shale oil production has definitely hit a wall.

The chart above is taken directly from the EIA website. Note that after a 539,000 barrel per day surge in U.S. oil production from September to December of 2018 U.S. production declined in the first quarter of this year. After a nice increase in April, production pulled back again slightly in May. May is the last month for which we have actual production data.  EIA’s weekly oil supply estimates are just “guesses” based on their formulas. They don’t have measuring devices on the more than a million oil wells producing in the U.S. Since the end of May (area highlighted in yellow in the chart below) EIA has been reporting that U.S. oil production has been flat. The big dip in mid-July was caused by Hurricane Berry.

My conclusion is that upstream companies in the U.S. are not completing enough new wells to offset the increasing decline rate. My “guess” is that U.S. oil production peaked sometime in April or May. If this is confirmed by a few more months of actual production data provided by state agencies on a 90-day lag, I think there may be a big “Paradigm Shift” that causes a lot of investors to add more energy to their portfolios. I follow close to 100 upstream oil & gas companies. I’ve never seen the market sentiment toward the sub-sector so negative. Dozens of profitable oil companies that I follow are trading at single digit PE ratios and multiples of cash flow from operations that I never dreamed possible. This world runs on oil and there is nothing that is going to change that anytime soon. That is the real world we live in.

NBC News Can’t Confirm O’Donnell’s Bombshell Trump-Russia Report ‘This has not been confirmed by NBC News, I have not seen any documentation… that supports this’ NBC News  Bombshell Trump-Russia Report

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell issued an on-air clarification Tuesday after making shocking claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russian oligarchs that had not been vetted by NBC News. In response to a Democrat-controlled House committee subpoena, Deutsche Bank revealed Tuesday that it was in possession of tax returns “related to” Trump or his immediate family. While the partially redacted filings did not specify whose tax returns the bank possessed, O’Donnell opened The Last Word by claiming they were President Trump’s, based on “what one source close to Deutsche Bank has revealed to me.” O’Donnell claimed later in the segment that his source’s information “goes a few very important steps beyond” publicly available information, and that “the Trump tax returns reveal that the president pays little to no income taxes in some years.” “The source says that Deutsche Bank is in possession of loan documents that show Donald Trump has obtained loans with co-signers, and that he would not have been able to obtain those loans without co-signers,” O’Donnell said. “The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the co-signers of Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans are Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” “If true, that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin, if true,” he continued. “If true, that would be a significant factor in Vladimir Putin’s publicly stated preference for presidential candidate Donald Trump over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” O’Donnell’s tweet teasing the segment also caught fire on Twitter, racking up more than 30,000 retweets as of this writing.

But closing out the hour, O’Donnell awkwardly returned to the topic and clarified that the network could not confirm his reporting. “Now, I want to stress, that’s a single source. This has not been confirmed by NBC News, I have not seen any documentation from Deutsche Bank that supports this and verifies this,” he said. “This is just a single source who has revealed that to me.” “And that’s where that stands at this point. It’s going to need a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact,” he concluded. MSNBC booking producer Michael Del Moro tweeted the following morning that not only has O’Donnell never seen the relevant documents, neither has his source.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the week ending August 23, 2019

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 10.0 million barrels from the previous week.
At 427.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are at the five year average for this time of year.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.4 million barrels per day during the week ending August 23, 2019, which was 295,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 95.2% of their operable capacity last week.
Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 10.7 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 5.9 million barrels per day last week, down by 1,290,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 7.0 million barrels per day, 12.3% less than the same four -week period
last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 965,000 barrels per day, and distillate fuel imports averaged 125,000 barrels per day. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.1 million barrels last week and are about 3% above the five year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 2.1 million barrels last w
eek and are about 4% below the five year average
for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels last week and are about 14% above the five year average for this time of year. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased last week by 11.2 million barrels last week. Total products supplied over the last four
-week period averaged 21.7 million barrels per
day, up by 2.3% from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline
product supplied averaged 9.8 mi llion barrels per day, up by 2.4% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 3.9 million barrels per day over the past four weeks, down by 5.5% from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was down 1.2% compared with the same four -week period last year.

OPEC+ JMMC notes that July compliance with cuts was 159%

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-cartel oil producers (OPEC+) said in a press release on Tuesday, the OPEC+ compliance to the oil output cut deal stood at 159% in July, compared to 137 percent in June

The statement read: “The JMMC noted the overall conformity of 159% in July 2019 was 22 pp higher than in June 2019, and the average conformity of 134% since January 2019 was the highest to date in 2019.”

The Committee also said that it sees ‘significant’ oil stock draws in 2H19. Oil prices seem to have caught a fresh bid on the OPEC+ statement, with WTI extending the upside above the 55 handle while Brent climbs past $ 60 mark. Both crude benchmarks are gaining over 1%.

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Boris Johnson asks Queen today to shut down Parliament

BORIS Johnson today dropped a Brexit bombshell by asking the Queen to shut down Parliament to stop Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to block No Deal. The bold move to block MPs from sitting in Parliament for around five weeks over conference season will give rebels even less time to launch new plots to stop us leaving on October 31. Boris asked the Queen to suspend ParliamentCredit: PA:Press Association Boris wrote to MPs to spell out his plansCredit: PA:Press Association. A new Queen’s speech will be held on October 14 under the plans, which will mark the start of the new Parliamentary session. That would leave just two weeks for a possible vote of no confidence in Boris, or for rebel MPs to pass a law to push back the Brexit date. It would be completely unprecedented for the Queen to ignore the wishes of a sitting PM and refuse to grant his request. Boris said today: “We are not going to wait for October 31 before getting on with our plans to take the country forward. “We are a new government with a new, exciting agenda… we’ve got to be bringing forward new and important bills. “That’s why we are going to have a Queen’s speech and we are going to do it on October 14.” “We are going to get on with it.” No10 also confirmed that if Boris gets a deal with the EU, they will bring it forward for a vote in the Commons before the 31 October. Boris today delivered a threat to rebel MPs – that if they try and derail his Brexit negotiations it will be their fault if we leave without a deal. He wrote: “These weeks leading up to the European Council on 17/18 October are vitally important for the sake of my negotiations with the EU. “Member states are watching what Parliament does with great interest, and it is only by showing unity and resolve that we stand a chance of securing a new deal that can be passed by Parliament.” The news could also mean MPs decide to move against Boris Johnson next week with a vote of no confidence – as they might not have the time to do so in October. performing its duty.” Boris Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal by the end of October. But rebels MPs have vowed to stop him quitting the bloc with a deal if they can. Today’s move caused the pound to drop against the dollar as markets jittered amongst the uncertainty.

Colossal Crude Oil Inventory Draw Carries Prices Higher   

As you can see oil inventories are FALLING. And at the lowest levels in over a year…. Did they not tell you that oil production is Soaring and Demand is falling… Could it be they are feeding YOU  full OF  SHIT!!……….. again?

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a staggering crude oil inventory draw of 11.1 million barrels for the week ending Aug 22, compared to analyst expectations of a 2.112-million barrel draw. The inventory draw this week adds onto last week’s draw in crude oil inventories of 3.45 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA estimated last week that there was an inventory draw of 2.7 million barrels. After today’s inventory move, the net draw for the year is 19.08 million barrels for the 35-week reporting period so far, using API data. Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday prior to the data release despite the appearance that the United States could be softening its stance on the Iranian nuclear deal and the subsequent oil exports that would be unleashed on the market in the rather unlikely event that the Iran vs. the West showdown wrap up in quick form. It also ignored news from China that it would seek to increase its domestic demand for products to weather the tariffs imposed by US strong-arming, indicating China’s future unwillingness to give up ground in the trade talks. At 4:30am  EST, WTI was trading up for the week at $55.52. Brent was trading at $59.94.   The API this week reported a 349,000-barrel draw in gasoline inventories for week ending Aug 22. Analysts predicted a draw in gasoline inventories of 388,000 barrels for the week. Distillate inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels for the week, while inventories at Cushing fell by 2.4 million barrels. US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending August 15 stayed the same at 12.3 million bpd, just 100,000 bpd off the all-time high of 12.4 million bpd.

Nick Bit: they told you oil demand is falling and production is soaring. Well Ask them to unhook your dick or stop squeezing your titties. I HATE WHEN THEY DO THAT! Reality is INVENTORIES ARE FALLING! Please note despite all the BULLSHIT from the teleprompter analysts oil inventories are DOWN DOWN DOWN for the year!!!

COULD IT BE A ORGANIZED CONSPIRACY TO MAKE YOU STUPID…I REPEAT $100 OIL HERE WE COME. AND WHEN ISRAEL BOMBS THE SHIT OUT OF IRAN  $250 OIL WILL BE REALITY. See full of shit trump… the “CHOSEN ONE And THE SELF PROCLAIMED “SECOND COMING OF GOD” is out to lunch and needs medical intervention! If left to his insanity  he will let these dictators get nukes and missiles to land said nukes in your backyard… . Here is a news flash!! the JEWS most hated people on the planet do not have the luxury of sitting back and doing nothing. I am sorry  the pompous pricks in your life are not telling you this but the war in the middle east is on. Its OK because no matter what your religion GOD, the gods, great spirit and Mohammad ALL warned you about this.

China’s Sinopec Seeks Tariff Waiver For US Crude Oil

The biggest refiner in China and in Asia, Sinopec, plans to apply for a tariff exemption with the Chinese government for its imports of U.S. crude oil, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the issue. On Friday, China and the United States traded tariff and counter-tariff announcements, with Beijing saying first that China would place tariffs on a range of U.S. products worth US$75 billion, including crude oil, in two batches starting on September 1 and on December 15. U.S. President Donald Trump retaliated with announcements of higher tariffs on Chinese products. The end of the truce in the U.S.-China trade war and the highly unpredictable nature of the next moves in the trade spat have made traders in China even more reluctant to buy U.S. crude oil despite its favorable economics, Chinese traders told S&P Global Platts earlier this month.  Chinese customers are not touching spot cargoes and not even thinking of long-term agreements, traders told S&P Global Platts. Some Chinese companies, however, do have such long-term deals, like Unipec, the trading unit of Sinopec.   Amid the trade war, Sinopec is now drafting contingency plans after China’s announcement that it would start imposing a 5-percent tariff on U.S. crude effective September 1. According to Reuters’ sources, this tariff would make U.S. crude $3 a barrel more expensive for Chinese buyers. Sinopec plans to apply for a kind of tax exemption for its imports of U.S. crude oil, sources told Reuters. The Chinese refiner is also considering storing oil from the U.S. in bonded storage, such that hasn’t cleared customs in China yet, or sending it to other destinations, according to one of the sources.In September and October, Sinopec is expected to receive a total of 8 million barrels of U.S. crude oil, Reuters reports, citing data from Refinitiv and Kpler.

Oil rises on hopes of easing U.S.-China trade tension

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday after the United States and China both suggested they could ease up in a trade war that has undermined the outlook for the global economy and crude demand. Brent was up 90 cents, or 1.53%, at $59.84 a barrel by 1400 GMT, while U.S. oil was up 90 cents, or 1.65%, at $54.88 a barrel. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he believed China was seeking a trade deal after he said Beijing contacted U.S. officials overnight to say it wanted a return to dialogue, adding on Twitter: “talks are continuing!” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he had not heard about a phone call between the two sides. China’s top negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, had earlier said Beijing was willing to solve the impasse through “calm” negotiations and opposed an escalation. Concerns for the global economy have increased as trade tensions between Beijing and Washington mounted in recent days. China’s Commerce Ministry said last week it would impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States, including crude oil, agricultural products and small aircraft. In retaliation, Trump said he was ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close operations in China and make products in the United States. SEB analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said the oil market was worried about “the secondary global growth effects of an upwards spiralling trade war between China and the U.S.” “The second concern for the oil market is that … China is now ready to wrestle with the U.S. in the global space of oil”. Investors were also left guessing about whether interest rates in the United States might be cut soon. U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told a symposium the U.S. economy was in a “favourable place” and the Federal Reserve would “act as appropriate” to keep the economic expansion on track. But concerns about a possible recession were exacerbated by data showing U.S. manufacturing industries registered their first month of contraction in almost a decade. Nick Note: Well hells bells you got the self proclaimed “Chosen one” and Trump told you he is”The Second Coming of GOD” IT WAS NOT A JOKE! Excuse me for not believing in demagogy. FUCK TRUMP! You can make money betting on the fact he will back down every time! AND he is a bully and full of shit! I hope the Secret Service protects him and gets him to Walter Redd medical center for psychological intervention! Please keep him away from him all sharp objects and red buttons! Look at his good friend and party pal.



Drone war takes flight, raising stakes in Iran, US tensions

Is it not time your scratch you ass and figure out what EVERY major religion has predicted and the news demonstrates the WAR in the middle east is on.
Fuck Making America great again in a coal mine or in a car assemble plant. Do it my way and get filthy stinking rich trading REALITY!
Two Israeli drones crashed into the Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanese capital overnight without the militants firing on them, a spokesman for the group said Sunday, saying the first fell on the roof of a building housing Hezbollah’s media office while the second landed in a plot behind it.
From the vast deserts of Saudi Arabia to the crowded neighborhoods of Beirut, a drone war has taken flight across the wider Middle East, raising the stakes in the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Iran.


Since the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last year, there has been an increasing tempo of attacks and alleged threats, notably this weekend, from unmanned aircraft flown by Tehran’s and Washington’s allies in the region. The appeal of the aircraft — they risk no pilots and can be small enough to evade air-defense systems — fueled their rapid use amid the maximum pressure campaigns of Iran and the U.S. As these strikes become more frequent, the risk of unwanted escalation becomes greater. The U.S. military nearly launched airstrikes against Iran( But your whoremunger loser president chickened out at the last minute. Bullsiht walks and money talks)  after a U.S. military surveillance drone was shot down in June. Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets attack targets in Syria on an almost weekly basis, including on Saturday night. Israel’s reason for the latest bombing: To thwart what it called a planned Iranian drone strike. Israeli aircraft then buzzed over Beirut on Sunday after allegedly losing two drones hours earlier, raising the risk of a wider conflict between it and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. On Sunday evening, another drone strike hit an Iran-backed paramilitary force in Iraq, killing one commander and wounding another, members of the group said. It was not immediately clear who carried out the strike. Amid the escalation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise trip Sunday to the Group of Seven summit in France, at the invitation of the French president. The mounting tensions are rooted in the May 2018 U.S. withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Under the deal, Tehran limited its enrichment of uranium in exchange for sanctions relief. In response to Washington’s withdrawal, Iran initially sought diplomatic support from European partners still in the accord, but ever-increasing American sanctions choked off its sale of crude oil in the international market. This May, the U.S. sent nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, fighter jets, an aircraft carrier and additional troops to the region over what it described as threats from Iran. Mysterious explosions struck oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz. Coordinated drone attacks followed, first from the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen. Major attacks targeted the kingdom’s oil infrastructure — one on a crucial East-West Pipeline, the other a major facility deep in the desert of Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter. Saudi Arabia immediately tied the attacks to Iran, its longtime Mideast rival. While Iran denies arming the Houthis, the West and United Nations experts say that drones used by the rebels mirror models used by the Islamic Republic. Meanwhile, a suspected Israeli strike in Iraq last month targeted a base of Shiite militias allied to Iran — in what would be the first attack to be carried out by Israel in Iraq since 1981. Israel remained mum, and U.S. officials who linked the strike to Israel did not say if drones were involved. Israel, meanwhile, acknowledged striking Syria on Saturday night, in what it described as a pre-emptive attack. The military said it prevented an effort by Iran to position so-called killer drones ahead of an attack on Israel. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah disputed the Israeli version in a speech later Sunday, saying the Israeli strikes hit a Hezbollah rest house and killed two of the group’s members. He said that going forward, any Israeli drones that enter Lebanon would be shot down. The drones Israel says it was targeting in Syria are known to experts as loitering munitions and are similar to the ones being used by the Houthis. The bomb-carrying drone flies to a destination, likely programmed before its flight, and either explodes in the air over the target or on impact against it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking re-election in September, paraphrased a Talmudic passage on self-defense after the attack: “If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.” Israel’s military released a map Sunday of what it said were the Iranian supply routes to deliver the planes to Syria. This included what Israel described as the planned drone launch site in the Syrian village of Aqraba, as well as another location in the village of Arneh where a previous launch attempt was allegedly thwarted last Thursday. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said Israel had been monitoring the activity for weeks and struck when it became clear that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard planned to launch the aircraft. He said it is easier to destroy the drones, which are agile and hard to detect once airborne, while they are still on the ground. “We know the Quds Force spent a lot of effort and time trying to execute this plan,” he said. The Quds, or Jerusalem, Force is the Guard’s expeditionary unit.  Overnight in Lebanon, one alleged Israeli drone crashed in Beirut while another exploded, authorities there said, calling it an Israeli act of aggression and violation of Lebanese sovereignty. In his speech, Nasrallah said one of the drones had been flying low among buildings. Israel did not acknowledge the incident. Hezbollah was quick to say that it did not fire on any of the drones, underscoring the group’s keenness to avoid further escalation with its southern neighbor. The developments, however, present a direct challenge to the group, which is still recovering from a bruising years-long conflict in neighboring Syria that saw thousands of its fighters killed and wounded while fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces. In the overnight incident, the first drone, apparently unarmed, crashed onto the roof of a Beirut building where Hezbollah’s media office is located and caused damage to the group’s offices. The group has repeatedly warned Israel to stop its nearly daily violations of Lebanese airspace, but has so far shown restraint despite a series of Israeli attacks that targeted Hezbollah in Syria. Any retaliation, however, risks sparking an unwanted conflict with Israel that the group would much rather avoid.

National Farmers Union condemns new tariffs: ‘Trump is making things worse’

Not Anymore

The National Farmers Union (NFU) on Friday hammered President Trump over his escalating trade war with China, saying he is “making things worse.” The statement came the same day as Washington and Beijing boosted tariffs in the widening dispute, with China targeting cars and farm products, further harming farmers who have already borne the brunt of the Chinese penalties. “It’s no surprise that China is slapping even more tariffs on American products. Every time Trump escalates his trade war, China calls his bluff – and why would we expect any differently this time around? And it’s no surprise that farmers are again the target,” NFU President Roger Johnson said in a statement. “[I]nstead of looking to solve existing problems in our agricultural sector, this administration has just created new ones. Between burning bridges with all of our biggest trading partners and undermining our domestic biofuels industry, President Trump is making things worse, not better.” The latest escalation in the year-plus trade war took place Friday morning, when Beijing announced new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, saying the move was in response to measures from the U.S. Trump fired back hours later, announcing that a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods set to go into effect on Sept. 1 would increase to 15 percent, and that an additional $250 billion being tariffed at 25 percent will be hit with a 30 percent tariff starting Oct. 1. The president also urged companies to seek “an alternative” to doing business in China.  The latest salvo in the trade war rattled markets, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 623 points and the Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 ending Friday down 3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Trump blasted China’s moves Friday and announced the details of the latest U.S. response after the markets closed. Beijing has targeted agricultural products in many of its tariffs, appearing to try to take aim at one of Trump’s core bases of political support. Trump has appeared unfazed by farmers’ concerns, arguing that in the end they will be “the big winners.”

However, the president appeared to acknowledge the trade war may have short-term pitfalls of the economy, telling reporters that he had to intervene to rectify the U.S.’s trade relationship despite such concerns.  “Whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country, short term, it had to be done,” Trump said Tuesday. “Someone had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically.”

Oil spills into U.S.-China trade war, prices slump

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China said on Friday it would impose tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports for the first time, sending prices down nearly 4% to two-week lows as the escalating bilateral trade war fed worries over a slowdown in global oil demand. Pumpjacks are seen during sunset at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, China August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer Beijing said crude would be among the U.S. products hit by tariffs of 5% as of Sept. 1. U.S. President Donald Trump responded later in the day saying starting on Oct. 1, the 25-percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will rise to 30%. Tariffs on remaining $300 billion due to begin on Sept. 1 will now be set at 15%, versus 10%. The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has dragged on for more than a year and roiled financial markets. Though Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators held discussions as recently as this week, neither side appears ready to make a significant compromise and there have been no signs of a truce in the near term. China, one of the world’s biggest crude importers, has sharply lowered U.S. shipments from a record high hit last year. With the latest tariffs, purchases are likely to grind to a halt, traders and analysts said. A shale boom has helped the United States become the world’s largest oil producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, and exports have surged to a record above 3 million barrels per day (bpd) after a ban was lifted in late 2015. “The tit-for-tat trade war now has the oil market officially caught in the crossfire, this time with China striking the heart of Trump’s traditional base of support of U.S. oil producers,” said Michael Tran, director of energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets in New York. “With China being the world’s foremost crude import growth region, U.S. producers need China, not the other way around,” he said. “The U.S. will have to find alternative buyers for their crude, which will be a challenge given the weakening global demand backdrop.” U.S. shipments to China have made up about 6% of total U.S. crude exports on average so far this year, according to data from the Department of Energy and the Census Bureau. “This escalation of the U.S.-China trade war is another step in the wrong direction, the consequences of which will be felt by American businesses and families,” Kyle Isakower, vice president of regulatory and economic policy at the American Petroleum Institute (API), the top lobbying group for U.S. oil and gas drilling, said in a statement. “We urge the Administration to quickly come to a trade agreement with China that would lift all tariffs under Section 301, including the damaging retaliatory tariffs on American energy exports.” U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 slumped as much as 3.8% to $53.24 a barrel on Friday, the lowest since Aug. 9, before ending the session at $54.17. The rising trade war is likely to weigh on U.S. crude more than international benchmark Brent LCOc1, market sources said. “Chinese buyers will (now) be looking to purchase Brent and Dubai-based crude oil and I would expect that to result in a widening of the Brent-to-WTI spread,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “In essence what you’ve done is created new demand for Brent-based crude oil at the expense of U.S.-origin crude.” U.S. crude exports to Asia so far in August indicate weaker flows around 892,000 bpd, down by 360,000 bpd from last month, according to market intelligence firm Kpler. The drop was driven by a decrease in shipments to South Korea and China, down by 114,000 bpd and 52,000 bpd respectively month-over-month in August, the firm’s vessel-tracking data showed.   “In a world where margins are thin, a 5% tax is significant,” said Jim Burkhard, head of oil market analysis at IHS Markit in Washington.

Trump takes aim at media after ‘hereby’ ordering US businesses out of China

President Trump defended his declaration on Friday that American companies were “hereby ordered” to find alternatives to manufacturing in China, claiming that the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act gave him the power to make such a pronouncement. Trump took aim at the press for questioning his authority to order businesses out of China, tweetingFor all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!”

Trump had previously cited the 1977 Act, which gives the president the power to regulate commerce during exceptional international crises, earlier Friday before departing for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in France.  In a string of tweets Friday morning, the president said he was ordering U.S. companies to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” beginning with making their products in the United States “The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing … your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” Trump tweeted. His language drew a swift reaction on social media from those who mocked his formal decree. Prominent conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted Friday that Trump should be sent to Walter Reed Medical Center and his Cabinet should declare him unfit to be president following his declaration.

“I hereby order the White House staff to take @realDonaldTrump to Walter Reed, and to convene the cabinet under Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment,” he wrote, adding the trending hashtag “Iherebyorder.” The husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is a frequent critic of the president. A number of news outlets, in turn, published articles employing Trump’s formal language to question whether he had the authority to make such a command.

Claude Barfield, an expert in international trade policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), told The Hill that Trump doesn’t have any authorities to direct U.S. companies to move their businesses to the United States. He called the tweets a clear example of Trump “popping off” and predicted his advisers would look to do damage control, especially if his remarks negatively impact the stock market. Jennifer Hillman, a Georgetown University law professor and trade expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post that Trump does not have the power to “duly order” companies out of China, but he does have the authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to prevent future transfers of funds to Beijing. Hillman added that Trump can only make such a move “if he has first made a lawful declaration that a national emergency exists,” noting that Congress could ultimately end the declaration.  Reuters reported that, once Trump has declared such an emergency, the Act gives Trump broad powers to stop the activities of individual companies or whole economic sectors. The outlet noted that past presidents have invoked the law to freeze foreign governments’ assets. Still, some experts cautioned that doing so could trigger legal challenges in U.S. courts and risk unintended harm to the economy. Trump is facing mounting pressure over his mounting trade war with China, which economists have blamed in part for contributing to the weakening of the global economy and for causing uncertainty that has left the U.S. stock market volatile.  Nick Bit: when they come to your house with an assault team and arranged to have you drugged ahead of time,  no matter how many guns you have you will lose. They will confiscate EVERYTHING and torture you till you give up your passwords, bitcoin codes and reveal where your cash stash and gold are located…. and they will use the  Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 that the “Chosen One will use to declare an emergency! And then you will be very very sorry you elected this lunatic president and defended him as he demonstrates more and more every day he has no respect for the law and trashed the Constitution as he plots to become dictator

Japan warns North Korea now has miniaturized nukes

 small enough to fit on its ballistic missiles and is a ‘serious and imminent threat’
See that silver ball…. That is the stuff nightmares are made of. Pictured is the plutonium ball, the wires fire off in precise sequence the shaped charges that implode the Enriched Uranium and plutonium to fire off the weapon. the entire system is less then 100 kilos which means it easily fits onto the “OBJECTS” Kim Yon Num Chucks keeps popping off that his good friend the self proclaimed the “Chosen One” is not concerned about
  • Tokyo defence chiefs warn about North Korea’s capabilities in a new white paper
  • Japan’s assessment of Pyongyang’s nuclear tech is an upgrade from last year
  • South Korea and the U.S. also believe the North has been miniaturising warheads

North Korea has miniaturised nuclear warheads and made them small enough to fit on ballistic missiles, Japan believes.  Tokyo defence chiefs warn in a new white paper that North Korea’s military activities pose a ‘serious and imminent threat’.  In last year’s report Japan said it was ‘possible’ that North Korea had achieved miniaturisation, but Tokyo now appears to have upgraded its assessment, according to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri.  Japan is seen as a ‘primary target’ of nearby North Korea’s weapons capabilities and fears that Pyongyang’s nuclear programme is ‘growing unabated’, experts say.  The latest findings come alongside newly-released pictures which suggest a North Korean plant may be leaking hazardous waste into a nearby river.

North Korea has miniaturised nuclear warheads and made them small enough to fit on ballistic missiles, Japan believes (pictured, a recent North Korean weapons test)

North Korea has miniaturised nuclear warheads and made them small enough to fit on ballistic missiles, Japan believes (pictured, a recent North Korean weapons test) The Japanese findings come alongside newly-released photos which suggest that North Korea’s nuclear programme is leaking toxic waste into a river. US-based researcher Jacob Bogle, who has created a comprehensive map of the country from satellite images, made the alarming discovery while looking at pictures of Pyongsan uranium mine dating back to 2003.

Waste water will contain radioactive radium which can cause cancer, it is feared


Waste water will contain radioactive radium which can cause cancer, it is feared Mr Bogle noticed that a waste pipe built to carry toxic water from the facility – which processes coal into uranium – to a nearby reservoir appears to be leaking into a river.  That tributary runs into the Ryesong River, which in turn empties into the Yellow Sea – an area between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula around which some 600 million people live. The waste water will contain radioactive radium which can cause cancer, Mr Bogle says, along with various heavy metals which cause brain defects.   ”Each of the images shows an ever-growing pile of leaked material on either end of the pipe that takes waste material from the plant to an unlined reservoir,’ he said.  ‘Some of the images also show fluids being actively spilled directly into the river.’

The Japanese report highlights the lack of progress on denuclearisation talks, said Vipin Narang, a nuclear affairs expert at MIT. 

‘It is Japan that is most threatened, and probably the primary target of such a capability,’ he said. ‘So openly acknowledging it underscores Tokyo’s acute fears that North Korea’s nuclear program continues to grow unabated with no foreseeable plan to slow its growth, let alone eliminate them.’ The report is due to be approved at a Cabinet meeting in Japan in mid-September.   In last year’s Defence White Paper, Japan said ‘miniaturising a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile requires a considerably high degree of technological capacity’.  However, they said ‘it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads.’   Japan’s latest findings are similar to those of its allies, America and South Korea.  The South said in a 2018 defence paper that North Korea’s ability to miniaturise nuclear weapons ‘appears to have reached a considerable level.’ American officials have concluded for years that North Korea had likely produced miniaturised nuclear warheads.   South Korean intelligence bosses believe that the North continued to miniaturise nuclear warheads even after the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in June 2018, according to Korean media. At that time, North Korea committed ‘to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula’ and destroyed some tunnels and buildings at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.  However, a second Trump-Kim meeting in February collapsed without an agreement, and North Korea has since resumed missile tests amid angry exchanges of rhetoric between the two countries.  Nick Bit: no need to worry because YOUR “Chose” One President Trump has declared mass murder Kim you Num Chucks his good friend!

Iran Sends Another Oil Tanker to Syria in Defiance of Sanctions

A picture taken on March 12, 2017, shows an Iranian tanker and a South Korean (R) tanker docking at the platform of the oil facility in the Khark Island, on the shore of the Gulf. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Western intelligence sources told Fox News that Iran has dispatched another oil tanker to Syria in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, the first sanctions-busting ship was leased to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in another apparent gesture of defiance to the United States.

The new tanker headed for Syria, the Bonita Queen, is much smaller than the supertanker currently named Adrian Darya 1, intercepted en route to Syria on July 4 and recently released from impound by the government of Gibraltar. According to Fox News, the Bonita Queen plans to illegally transfer oil at sea to a  pair of sanctioned Syrian vessels:

The Bonita Queen loaded 600,000 barrels of crude oil on Aug. 2 near the Iranian coast at Kharg Island.

Shortly after the tanker was de-flagged by the country of St. Kitts and Nevis, fearing retaliatory U.S. sanctions.

The vessel is now headed to Dubai, where it will refuel before beginning a monthslong journey around the horn of Africa, through the Mediterranean and to the shores of Syria.

Sources say the ship plans to meet two Syrian owned oil tankers in the Mediterranean later this year and conduct a ship-to-ship transfer of the crude oil.

This transfer would be an additional violation of American sanctions since the U.S. Treasury Department already sanctioned the two Syrian tankers in March of this year. The tankers, named the Kader and the Jasmine, are both scheduled to meet the Bonita Queen to assist with the transfer.

The owner of the Kader and Jasmine is a man named Mohammed al-Qatirji who was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018 for profiting from the savage Syrian civil war. The U.S. Treasury Department said he had ties to the murderous regime of dictator Bashar Assad and assisted with “transporting weapons and ammunition under the pretext of importing and exporting food items.” His company also played a key role in “providing supplies to ISIS-controlled areas, including oil and other commodities.” Al-Qatirji’s brother, who evidently has some involvement with the oil transfer, was sanctioned by the European Union in January. Gibraltar refused to hold the other Iranian oil tanker, the Adrian Darya 1, at the request of the U.S. government because it was accused of violating American sanctions but not those of the European Union. If the intelligence reports given to Fox News were accurate, the voyage of the Bonita Queen will violate both American and European laws. The Adrian Darya 1 is currently headed for Greece and is expected to arrive early next week. Iranian state media announced on Wedensday that the ship has been leased to the IRGC, a contention the U.S. made to Gibraltar authorities when asking for the ship to be kept in custody. American officials contended the IRGC used a network of front companies to manage the ship, but Iran’s ILNA news agency casually referred to it as “a Korean-made oil tanker owned by Russia which is currently leased to the Revolutionary Guards” during an interview with IRGC naval commander Gen. Alireza Tangsiri. Tangsiri defiantly declared the vessel “needs no escort” to protect it from seizure by the United States. Iran on Monday warned the U.S. will face “heavy consequences” if it takes action against the Adrian Darya 1. The supertanker was named Grace 1 when it was seized by British Royal Marines in July, but its name was changed to Adrian Darya 1 when it was released by Gibraltar. The National explained on Tuesday that the name change was not one of the many techniques Iran uses to conduct illegal business – it was chosen as another gesture of defiance to the West.  The name translates to “Adrian Sea,” which was meant as a reference to Hadrian’s Wall, a barrier built by the Romans to keep the British at bay in the 2nd Century. In other words, Iran renamed the tanker to honor “a wall that protected Iran’s interests against Britain” in celebration of Iran’s “victory over the West” by getting the ship released from impound, as Iranian media put it. Gibraltar officials claim they were given assurances by Iran that the Adrian Darya 1 would not unload its oil in Syria. According to Greek officials, it won’t be unloading that oil in Greece, either. Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said on Monday the supertanker is too big to enter any Greek port, but it could conceivably anchor offshore, at which point Athens would have to decide whether to allow it to purchase maintenance services.

U.S. trade group says ‘unrealistic’ for American retailers to exit China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Retail Federation (NRF) said on Friday it is “unrealistic” for American retailers to move out of China, the world’s second-largest economy, as 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. “Our presence in China allows us to reach Chinese customers and develop overseas markets,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said in a statement. “This, in turn, allows us to grow and expand opportunities for American workers, businesses and consumers,” he said. French said U.S. retailers have been diversifying their supply chains for years but finding alternate supply bases is a “costly and lengthy process that can take years.”

Earlier, President Donald Trump said he has ordered American companies to exit China after Beijing unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods.

Nick Bit: remember Trump declared himself the CHOSEN ONE.If you have any brains that should scare the shit out of you!

China places first-time tariff on U.S. crude

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) – Crude plunged to a two-week low after China announced tariffs on U.S. crude oil for the first time as the trade war between the world’s biggest economies escalated. Futures fell as much as 3.5% in New York on Friday, erasing this week’s gain. China will impose additional levies on $75 billion of U.S. goods, with tariffs of 5% on American crude. China was the ninth-largest buyer of U.S. crude during the first five months of this year. Last year, Beijing removed crude from a list of goods targeted for tariffs, signaling the importance of American oil in the global market. The decision to include it now shows how the trade spat has intensified, forcing it to use duties on the strategic commodity as ammunition. “It’s a direct strike on U.S. crude exports, which is why you are seeing this sort of out-sized reaction,” said John Kilduff, partner at New York-based Again Capital LLC. “China had been an aggressive U.S. crude buyer.” China’s announcement comes as leaders from the Group of Seven nations prepare to meet in France and central bankers gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss issues including fears of a global economic slowdown. New York-traded crude futures have dropped more than 7% this month as the protracted trade dispute fanned fears about stunted demand. U.S. fuel stockpiles have also increased, aggravating concerns about a potential glut. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery declined $1.46 to $53.89/bbl at 9:46 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling to as low as $53.40/bbl. Brent for October delivery dropped $1.01 to $58.91 on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. Its premium to WTI for the same month traded at $5.02/bbl. The Chinese tariffs will take effect in stages between Sept. 1 and mid-December, according to the announcement from the Ministry of Commerce. The tariff on U.S. crude will begin next month. This mirrors the timetable the U.S. has laid out for 10% tariffs on nearly $300 billion of Chinese shipments. While the U.S. isn’t among the biggest crude suppliers to China, America’s shale boom has made it one of the top producers in the world along with Saudi Arabia and Russia. At a time of OPEC output cuts, sanctions that are strangling supplies from Iran and Venezuela, and rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the import-dependent Asian nation needs reliable crude imports to sustain economic growth. “Escalating trade tension increases the risk of the world moving into recession,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich. “That could result in even lower oil demand next year, and an even more oversupplied oil market next year.” Nick Bit: The market has got it all wrong! As reported to you earlier the Chinese starting in July have stopped loading US crude. Think of oil supply as a great big lake. It makes little difference where the oil is sucked from. China has to buy oil. If it buys it from the US or Saudis it still coming put of the total oil supply. This is a great big nothing burger! Trump is out of control and the China trade war will cost him the election.

US crude oil stocks resume draw as refiner demand surges

US crude stocks fall 2.73 million barrels to 437.78 million barrels

Refinery utilization up 1.1 points at 95.9% of capacity

Products show surprise build as demand dips

New York — US crude oil inventories resumed a seasonal draw last week amid a surge in refinery demand and rising exports, US Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday. Commercial crude stocks fell 2.73 million barrels to 437.78 million barrels in the week that ended August 16, according to the EIA’s weekly stocks report. The draw-down snapped two consecutive weeks of counter-seasonal builds and narrowed the nationwide supply overhang to 3.25% above the five-year average, from 3.5% the week prior. Strong refinery crude demand contributed to the draw. Net crude inputs were up 400,000 b/d on the week at 17.70 million b/d and nationwide refinery utilization was up 1.1 percentage points at 95.9% of capacity.

Midwest run rates were especially strong at 99.9% of capacity and regional net crude inputs were 9.6% above the five year average at 4.12 million b/d. US Gulf Coast utilization rate was up 1.1 percentage point at 97.1% of capacity, the strongest since early January. The crude draw-down was concentrated at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point of the NYMEX crude contract. Stocks there were 2.49 million barrels lower last week to 42.34 million barrels, the lowest since mid-January. The Cushing draw comprised the bulk an overall Midwest inventory decline of 2.64 million barrels to 129.99 million barrels. USGC crude inventories, in contrast, were up 690,000 barrels at 225.15 million barrels last week, due in part to an uptick in crude output as well as the startup of new Permian Basin takeaway capacity. Notably, the USGC draw came despite a 120,000 b/d uptick in exports to 2.80 million b/d. Last week marked the start of flows on Plains All American’s 670,000 b/d Cactus II pipeline, which stretches from West Texas production areas to coastal export hubs. The line is the first of three new pipelines slated to launch this year, along with the 400,000 b/d EPIC interim crude line, which started this week, and the 900,000 b/d Gray Oak pipeline expected to start service later this year. Regional crude flows are likely to shift as the pipelines ramp up to nameplate capacity. Previously, Permian output slated for export mainly flowed north to Cushing, where it was then routed back south to USGC ports. The new capacity allows exporters to bypass Cushing entirely, keeping barrels in the USGC region until they are waterborne. In terms of the EIA inventory report, this would likely contribute to a sustained downward pressure on stocks at Cushing while supporting Gulf coast inventories. The de-bottlenecking of Permian production is also likely to contribute to increased marginal production in the basin as inland discounts fade. Last week the discount for WTI at Midland, Texas compared with Houston fell to about $1.70/b, in sharply from a July average of around $5/b, Platts data showed. While nationwide crude production was flat at 12.3 million b/d last week, according to EIA data, output in the Lower 48 edged up 100,000 b/d to 12 million b/d, an all-time high. Refined product stocks showed unexpected increases last week. Total US distillate stocks increased 2.61 million barrels to 138.12 million barrels, the EIA data showed, while gasoline inventories rose 310,000 barrels to 234.07 million barrels. Analysts had been expecting 200,000 barrel and 1.6 million barrel draw-downs in distillate and gasoline stocks, respectively, when surveyed Monday by Platts. While the builds were due in part to strong refinery runs, a 1.09 million b/d decline in total product demand to 20.99 million b/d contributed to rising inventories. Gasoline demand fell back 310,000 b/d to 9.63 million b/d and distillate demand was down 100,000 b/d at 3.76 million b/d, a five-week low. US Atlantic Coast gasoline stocks were higher for a third straight week, swelling 780,000 barrels to 62.37 million barrels. The build put regional inventories just 0.5% under the five-year average for this time of year, nearly eliminating a deficit that was as wide as 9.7% in early June.

‘No pay, we stay’: Kentucky miners block $1m coal shipment saying they will not budge until they get their final pay check

The shipment of coal is said to be worth in excess of $1 million. Blackjewel has promised the miners proceeds from its sale will go to them, but the miners have said they won't budge till they get their final pay check
Train cars loaded with coal sit on the tracks at a Blackjewel mining operation as the miners head into day 26 of their blockade of its shipment
  • It is day 26 of the blockade on the tracks near the Cloverlick No. 3 mine 
  • More than 300 miners were out of jobs after Blackjewel declared bankruptcy
  • It’s estimated the miners are each owed about $4,202.91 

Hundreds of Kentucky miners are blocking a $1 million shipment of coal from leaving a Harlan County mine until they receive their final pay checks.  More than 300 miners were unexpectedly sacked after their employer, two-year-old company, Blackjewel, declared bankruptcy and shut down its operations on July 1.  The company did so without filing the mandatory 60-day advance warning and without posting a bond – which is a requirement by Kentucky law – to cover payroll.  As a result the miners’ final paychecks bounced leaving many out of pocket. The New York Times reported lawyers representing the miners in bankruptcy proceedings estimated the employees were each owed about $4,202.91.  About a month after the company went under, a final load of coal with an estimated worth in excess of $1 million was due to be shipped out. The miners found their bargaining chip. A small tent city has been set up by the railroad in Harlan County with hundreds of miners and their supporters refusing to budge till their demands are met. The blockade of the valuable shipment began on the afternoon of July 29, with a handful of miners and their families, camped on the tracks near the Cloverlick No. 3 mine. Twenty-six days later the once-small blockade has grown into a small tent city.  The miners and their supporters at the railway camp are refusing to allow the shipment’s passage until they receive the wages they are due.   One of the miners, Chris Rowe, a spokesman for the group of miners, said they were angry and frustrated they had done all the working digging the coal, but were not paid. ‘We’re doing without money, food and everything else before our kids are starting back to school,’ he told CNN affiliate WYMT. ‘We can’t even get clothes or nothing else for them, so it was like a kick in the face.’

Such bankruptcies and layoffs have become common place in an industry which is said to be in decline, but its the first protest of its size in recent years.

The miners’ plea has not gone unheard, the Department of Labor intervened, asking the bankruptcy judge to block shipment of the coal and deeming it ‘hot goods. And the mining company Blackjewel has promised proceeds from the coal’s sale would go towards the miners. The company said it would leave the coal where it was until an agreement on the final payment could be made.  However, the protesters said they planned to keep up their blockade until they have their final pay check in hand. Nick Bit: I was wrong i found someone dumber then a farmer… COAL MINER. I seem to remember presidentie asshole was going to HA HA HA make coal great again…….. People actually believe that bullshit?  Sometimes in life its better to take your ass kicking and move on. These Trump loyalist have been setting in the rail yard for over a month waiting for a $4000 check. Shit get a job, start a business, learn coding at night off the internet instead of watching Netflicks stupidness. But no they spend their day with a bunch of other losers drinking beer talking shit feeling sorry for themselves!.  GUARANTEED they are collecting unemployment benefits, food stamps and welfare.

EIA: 2018 OPEC net export revenues highest since 2013, but likely to decline

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that OPEC members earned almost $711 billion in net oil export revenues in 2018. The estimate is up 29% from 2017, but about 40% lower than the record high of almost $1,200 billion in 2012. The 2018 earnings increase is mainly a result of higher crude oil prices. The Brent spot price rose from an annual average of $54/bbl in 2017 to $71/bbl in 2018. However, EIA forecasts annual OPEC net oil export revenues will decline to $593 billion in 2019 and to $556 billion in 2020. Decreasing OPEC revenues are primarily a result of decreasing production among a number of OPEC producers. Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). EIA’s net oil export revenues estimate assumes that exports are sold at prevailing spot prices and adjusts the prices for benchmark crude oils forecast in STEO (Brent, West Texas Intermediate, and the average imported refiner crude oil acquisition cost) with historical price differentials among spot prices for the different OPEC crude oil types. For countries that export several different varieties of oil, EIA assumes that the proportion of total net oil exports represented by each variety is the same as the proportion of the total domestic production represented by that variety. For example, if Arab Medium represents 20% of total oil production in Saudi Arabia, the estimate assumes that Arab Medium also represents 20% of total net oil exports from Saudi Arabia. Although OPEC net export earnings include estimated Iranian revenues, they are not adjusted for possible price discounts that trade press reports indicated Iran may have offered its customers after the United States announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018. The United States reinstated sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports in November 2018. Similarly, EIA does not adjust for Venezuelan crude oil exports to China or India for volumes that are sent for debt repayments to China and Russian energy company Rosneft, respectively, and thus do not generate cash revenue for Venezuela. If the $711 billion in net oil export revenues by all of OPEC is divided by total population of its member countries and adjusted for inflation, then per capita net oil export revenues across OPEC totaled $1,416 in 2018, up 26% from 2017. The increase in per capita revenues likely benefited member countries that rely heavily on oil sales to import goods, fund social programs, and otherwise support public services.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

In addition to benefiting from higher prices, some OPEC member countries have increased export revenues by reducing domestic consumption and consequently exporting more. For example, Saudi Arabia has significantly reduced the amount of crude oil burned for power generation. Limiting crude oil burn allowed Saudi Arabia to export more crude oil and to maximize revenues. Others have been able to charge higher premiums based on the quality of their crude oil streams. As the global slate of crude oil has changed with more light crude oil production (with higher API gravity), OPEC members have benefited from a narrowing price discount for their heavy crude oils, which are typically priced lower than lighter crude oils because of quality differences. Smaller discounts for OPEC members’ heavier crude streams contributed to higher spot prices for the OPEC crude oil basket price, which incorporates spot prices for the major crude oil streams from all OPEC members.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Despite the increase in annual average crude oil prices in 2018, OPEC revenues fell during the second half of 2018, mainly because of lower production and export volumes from Iran and Venezuela (Figure 4). EIA estimates that OPEC total petroleum liquids production decreased slightly in 2018 when increased production in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya could not offset significant declines in Iranian and Venezuelan production. Combined crude oil production in Iran and Venezuela fell by almost 800,000 bpd, or 14%, in 2018 and again by over 1.0 MMbpd in the first seven months of 2019. Although Iranian net oil export revenues increased by 18% from 2017 to 2018, a year-to-date comparison indicates a significant decrease in revenues in 2019. EIA estimates that from January to July 2018, Iran received about $40 billion in export revenues, compared with an estimated $17 billion from January to July 2019. Further decreases in OPEC members’ production beyond current EIA assumptions would further reduce EIA’s OPEC revenue estimates for 2019 and 2020.


OPEC’s market share sinks – and no sign of wavering on supply cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC’s share of the global oil market has sunk to 30%, the lowest in years, as a result of supply restraint and involuntary losses in Iran and Venezuela, and there is little sign yet producers are wavering on their output-cut strategy. Crude oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries made up 30% of world oil supply in July 2019, down from more than 34% a decade ago and a peak of 35% in 2012, according to OPEC data. Despite OPEC-led supply cuts, oil LCOc1 has tumbled from April’s 2019 peak above $75 a barrel to $60, pressured by slowing economic activity amid concerns about the U.S.-China trade dispute and Brexit. The decline in prices, should it persist, and erosion of market share could raise the question of whether continued supply restraint is serving producers’ best interests. OPEC and its allies have a deal to limit supply until March 2020. The group tried to defend its market share under the previous Saudi oil minister, Ali al Naimi, who sharply ramped up production in a pump war campaign in 2014. Naimi was hoping to win the battle, arguing that OPEC’s output was the world’s cheapest and would allow the group to outdo other producers such as the United States. As a result of his strategy OPEC’s market share rose, while oil prices crashed to below $30 a barrel, triggering many bankruptcies of U.S. oil firms and over-stretching the Saudi budget. Riyadh and OPEC were forced to return to output cuts in 2017 to support prices, and sources within OPEC say there is no sign of any willingness to return to a pump war at the moment. “Saudi Arabia is committed to do whatever it takes to keep the market balanced next year,” a Saudi official said on Aug. 8. “We believe, based on close communication with key OPEC+ countries, that they will do the same.” OPEC, Russia and other producers have been restraining supply for most of the period since Jan. 1, 2017. The alliance, known as OPEC+, in July renewed the pact until March 2020. While helping to boost prices, OPEC’s market share has fallen steeply in the last two years. World supply has expanded by 2.7% to 98.7 million barrels per day, while OPEC crude output has fallen 8.4% to 29.6 million bpd. While OPEC agreements apply to production, OPEC’s exports are also falling as a percentage of world shipments, according to data from Kpler, which tracks oil flows. Iran has led the decrease in recent months. Nonetheless, Swedish bank SEB said that for now OPEC+ still has room to act, as the countries making most of the voluntary curbs – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Iraq – are still pumping at relatively high rates. Venezuela and Iran, under U.S. sanctions and being forced to curb shipments, have delivered the bulk of the cuts. Venezuelan supply was already in long-term decline before Washington tightened sanctions this year. “The active cutters are not very stretched at all,” SEB analyst Bjarne Schieldrop wrote in the report. “They have not lost market share to U.S. shale. Venezuela and Iran are the big losers.” While Saudi Arabia holds the biggest sway in OPEC as its largest producer, some in the group are not convinced further OPEC+ action to support prices will happen or would work. “I really doubt there will be further action,” an OPEC delegate said. “If it did happen, it will have a temporary impact because the driver is trade an

Farmer’s threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

FILE PHOTO: Flooded farm and farm equipment are seen in this aerial photo of the historic flooding conditions in portions of northeast Nebraska, U.S., March 15, 2019. Courtesy Jamie Titus/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

CORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer.  U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated about unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said. Police will be present at stops for the rest of the trip, which ends on Thursday, they said. A local police officer was present at an event in Coralville, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, a Reuters witness said. “A USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service employee received a threat while on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour from someone not involved with the tour,” Hubert Hamer, administrator of the statistics service, said in a statement. “As a precaution, we immediately pulled all our staff out of the event.” The Federal Protective Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is investigating, USDA said. It declined to elaborate on the nature of the threat. Tour organizers said in a statement the threat was taken “very seriously.” “(We) have taken all steps possible to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the tour,” said Andy Weber, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Journal, the parent company of Pro Farmer. “It’s clearly a stressful time right now.” Honig had been scheduled to attend the meeting of around 600 people in Coralville and speak at the tour’s final event in Rochester, Minnesota, on Thursday to answer questions about the government’s crop forecast, according to tour organizers. Instead, Honig appeared in a video interview on Wednesday to defend the USDA’s work. He said that the agency’s forecast methodology included surveys of some 21,000 farmers, which “is what we hung our hats on.” Farmers at stops throughout the eastern and western legs of the normally tranquil crop tour have expressed frustration with USDA – though less so with President Donald Trump, who they largely voted for and continue to support. Corn future prices posted their biggest drop in three years after the USDA estimated a bigger-than-expected crop on Aug. 12, despite floods that slowed planting. USDA’s reports have long been a key reference for global commodities markets. Honig acknowledged that the season has been “horrific” for farmers, but emphasized that USDA’s statistics service has no bias or political slant in its research. He did not mention the threat. James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, who was not on the tour, said he understood the anger. “Any farmer who talked to the USDA guy who made the crop report would probably say something derogatory to him,” McCune said. “I don’t know anybody that agreed with that stuff.” Farmers have been suffering from low commodity prices for years, and Washington’s trade war with Beijing has taken China, the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, out of the market. Floods and the trade war have contributed to falling farm incomes and tighter credit conditions as farmers struggle to repay loans. The Trump administration has also been scrambling to stem rising anger over its decision this month to allow numerous oil refiners to mix less corn-based ethanol into their gasoline. Nebraska City Police Captain Lonnie Neeman said security was requested at an event in Arbor Day Farm on Tuesday after an event at a previous stop in Grand Island, Nebraska, “got heated.” “Somebody called and said they were concerned there may be issues last night so we just walked through on occasion,” Neeman said. Farmers at the Grand Island event demanded details on the Pro Farmer tour’s methodology, attendees told Reuters. Still, most farmers, like Bill Baylis of Ohio who was on the eastern leg of the tour, condemned the threats. “Yes, these are challenging times. But this, threatening harm like this? It is not acceptable,” he said. Richard W. Guse, a grain farmer from Waseca, Minnesota, who was also on the tour, worried about the potential damage to farmers’ reputation. “It’s a very emotional year, and this now reflects horribly on farmers,” he said.

Cracks are appearing in the Mideast’s most important alliance. That’s bad news for Trump

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Jeddah on June 6, 2018.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Jeddah on June 6, 2018.

(CNN)The partnership of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is the closest anywhere in the Middle East. It goes back decades, fashioned by antipathy towards Iran and support for Sunni causes across the Muslim world. So when Mohammed bin Salman, now Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, launched a military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen four years ago, it was no surprise the UAE joined the offensive. The two states have also spearheaded an embargo against Qatar and have been vociferous supporters of the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran. They have both supported, financially and rhetorically, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt. And there is a close personal relationship between Mohammed bin Salman and the effective leader of the UAE, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. But cracks have begun to appear in the region’s most important alliance, as the Yemen campaign staggers toward stalemate and tactics differ over confronting Iran’s behavior in the Gulf. And that may become a headache for the Trump administration, already frustrated by the Saudi-UAE spat with Qatar. The original purpose of the Yemen offensive was to blunt Iranian influence wielded there through the Houthi rebels. But ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ has turned out to be far from decisive. It became a quagmire — and a PR disaster because of the huge civilian suffering. The UAE seems to have concluded that the war is unwinnable and too costly to pursue and began drawing down its forces in Yemen in July — though it remains committed to counter-terrorism strikes against the Yemeni affiliates of al Qaeda and ISIS. While its military presence in Yemen was modest, the UAE punched above its weight, exerting great influence with factions in the south while the Saudis mainly worked with the internationally-recognized government, which is in effect based in Riyadh. Michael Knights at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy spent time embedded with UAE forces in Yemen and says: “Only the UAE had the military potency and local allied forces to credibly threaten defeat for the Houthis.” The drawdown of the Emirati presence in the port of Aden unleashed a confrontation between the southern separatists, backed and armed by the UAE, and the remnants of the Saudi-backed government in the city. The UAE’s allies attacked government facilities and took control of much of the city, including the port. Yemeni ministers publicly blamed the UAE for the separatists’ success. Last month, a senior Emirati official described the drawdown as a “strategic redeployment” and said the UAE had trained about 90,000 troops in Yemen. “Our commitment in Yemen remains. We are part of the coalition. Our discussion over our current redeployment has been ongoing for over a year,” the official told CNN. But analysts see the UAE’s move as a signal to the Saudi Crown Prince: it’s time to wind down this war. Ayham Kamal at the Eurasia Group says the UAE may be “trying to incentivize the Saudis to give more serious consideration to disengagement” with no military victory on the horizon. Kristin Diwan of the Arab Gulf States Institute agrees that Saudi Arabia is now more isolated in Yemen and “needs a settlement with the Houthis to secure its border in the north. The UAE drawdown may bring more urgency to this task, but it doesn’t strengthen the Saudi position in the negotiations.”  While the Saudi/UAE coalition reversed some Houthi gains, the rebels still control the capital and much of the north. They are capable of weekly missile and drone attacks against Saudi targets — from airports to pipelines. The latest attack was against the Shaybah gas facility last weekend. There are substantial Saudi ground forces — about 10,000 according to two sources familiar with Saudi deployments — inside Yemen. But much of the Saudi campaign against the Houthis has been waged from the air, with mixed results and heavy civilian casualties. In turn that has galvanized opposition in the US Congress to supplying weapons and assistance to the coalition. Last month, President Trump vetoed legislation to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to the kingdom. A ground offensive would inevitably worsen what is already the gravest humanitarian crisis in the world. But investing in the UN-led peace process would involve making concessions to the Houthis, a humiliating climbdown for the Saudi crown prince after four years of conflict. For now, the Saudis and the UAE are trying to get the various anti-Houthi parties to settle their differences. Last week bin Zayed met Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince in Jeddah and said both governments called on “rival Yemeni parties to cease fire and favor the language of dialogue and reason.” While the talks were full of fraternal solidarity, the fact remains that the war in Yemen is even more intractable since the UAE drawdown. The likely beneficiaries are the Houthis, Exhibit A in the Trump Administration’s case against Iran’s regional expansionism. Knights says: “No one in Washington or at the UN should presume that the current battle lines are fixed. They could easily move in the Houthis’ favor, with disastrous effects for the UN peace process.” Despite divergent approaches in Yemen, the Saudi-UAE alliance remains intact. Last week, the Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, declared that ties “will continue to be strong as they are based on robust foundations and shared values.” The alliance has supplanted the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is weakened by the ongoing dispute between the Saudis, the Emirates and Bahrain on the one hand and Qatar on the other. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates remain united in opposing Iranian expansionism: both support sweeping US sanctions against Tehran and their militaries co-ordinate closely. But the UAE may be adopting different tactics.  Ayham Kamal says its focus is avoiding escalation in the Gulf. At the beginning of this month, an Emirati delegation went to Tehran to discuss maritime security. The two sides signed what the Iranians called a “memorandum of understanding” to enhance cooperation at sea. After the sabotage of four tankers off Fujairah in May, the UAE was careful not to blame Iran directly for the attack. Crown Prince Mohammed was more forthright, saying in an interview: “We see how the Iranian regime and its proxies have carried out sabotage operations against four oil tankers near Fujairah port.” Some observers also detect a growing wariness among the Emiratis about the Trump administration. The euphoria of May 2017, when the US President visited Riyadh on his first overseas trip and openly backed Saudi-UAE pressure against Qatar, has long worn off. Hussein Ibish, who is with the Arab Gulf States Institute, writes in the Carnegie Endowment’s Diwan newsletter that “while Emirati officials have welcomed the U.S. administration’s campaign of ‘maximum pressure’ against Iran, they have been quietly warning for almost a year that there has to be a political track to translate the pressure into improved Iranian conduct.”

The Emirates’ economy — and especially that of Dubai — would be hard hit by any conflict in the Gulf. While Saudi Arabia can export oil and gas to its Red Sea coast, the diversified UAE economy is more vulnerable to external shocks.
Joe Macaron, a fellow at the Arab Center in Washington, believes the UAE’s opening to Iran “is tactical rather than strategic and is primarily a message to the Trump administration as their relationship has recently turned sour on several issues, including the U.S. rapprochement with Qatar.” Kamal, at the Eurasia Group, contends that the Trump administration’s mixed signals on confronting Iranian actions in the Gulf have “left its allies in the Gulf to face alone the brunt of Tehran’s retaliation efforts” against the imposition of US sanctions. That has led to some reappraisal, says Kamal. Over the long term, the Gulf states anticipate that the US will become a less reliable partner and gradually disengage from the Middle East. And over the long term that will likely underpin the Saudi-UAE axis as a counterweight to Iran. But right now, in the words of one western diplomat familiar with the region, “it’s a marriage that has issues.”

US Military MQ-9 Drone Downed Over Yemen – Reports

Earlier today, Yemeni Houthis reported that their air defence had downed a US multipurpose MQ-9 drone over the province of Dhamar in the central part of the country. A US military MQ-9 drone has been shot down over Yemen, Reuters reported citing two unnamed US officials. According to the sources, the incident occurred in the Dhamar governorate southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa late on Tuesday. The report comes as the movement’s spokesperson told the Al Masirah broadcaster that the rocket which downed the drone was modernised on the spot and would soon be presented at a press conference. He warned the Saudi-led Arab coalition to think ‘a thousand times before invading Yemen’s airspace’. Yemen, located on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, has been mired in strife as the government forces, led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, and the rebel Houthi movement, have been locked in an armed conflict for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015, with the rebels retaliating against the attacks. US drones are often used in Yemen to destroy suspected terrorists.

Glencore, BP stuck with tainted Russian crude

MOSCOW (Reuters) – BP and Glencore are struggling to sell around 600,000 tonnes (( little over 4 million barrels) of tainted Russian oil more than three months after the contamination was discovered, according to six trading sources. Russia’s oil industry was plunged into a crisis in April after about 5 million tonnes of oil ( a little over 35 million barrels) for export was found to be contaminated with organic chloride, a chemical used to help boost oil extraction but which can damage refining equipment. Exports through the Druzhba pipeline that transports oil to Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belarus were halted. The Baltic port of Ust Luga loaded some 15 cargoes or 1.5 million tonnes of the contaminated oil for Western buyers. At least 6 cargoes that sailed from Ust Luga remain unsold, according the trading sources. Glencore is stuck with 500,000 tonnes in one very large crude carrier (VLCC) Amyntas and two smaller tankers – Searanger and Searuby, according to the sources and Refinitiv Eikon vessel tracking system. BP has tried to sell its cargo Fsl Shanghai at a tender earlier this month but failed, according to the same traders. BP and Glencore both bought the oil from Russian state oil major Rosneft. BP and Glencore declined to comment. Rosneft did not respond to a Reuters request to comment. Oil firms have to blend one barrel of tainted oil with as much as 10 barrels of clean oil to reach required quality standards and avoid damaging equipment, sources said. Total, for example, offloaded its two tankers with dirty oil in Rotterdam and Lithuania for storage and blending and further refining. Russian oil supplies along the Druzhba pipeline to Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have resumed in July after weeks of severely reduced flows. Russia exported 24% less oil to Germany in the first six months of 2019, year-on-year, due to contamination although it still remained Germany’s top crude supplier. Some refiners like Total’s Leuna and Poland’s PKN Plock are blending tainted oil with cleaner barrels and are refining it. Rosneft’s Germany’s refinery Schwedt has refused to take dirty oil, according to traders. Rosneft declined to comment. Belarus has finished full clean-up of its system after Transneft pumped some 2 million tonnes of dirty oil back to Russia, Transneft and traders said. Transneft now needs to dilute the oil with cleaner supplies to domestic refineries and export destinations. The pipeline monopoly has also yet to sign final compensation documents with Kazakh producers to start repaying fees of $15 per barrel, traders said.

Kudlow: ‘No Recession In Sight’ YAH RIGHT!

larry kudlow smiles while president donald trump speaks in foreground
Preseident Donald Trump and Director of the National Economic Council  Larry Kudlow (Alex Edelman/Pool/Getty)

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser insisted Sunday there’s “no recession in sight,” and that after looking at consumer activity, it’s fair to ask, “What’s wrong with a little optimism?” Nick Bit: its called a lick and a prayer! In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council under Trump pointed to bright signs from consumers amid the tumult of Wall Street. “Consumers are working,” he said. “The wages are rising. They are spending and they’re saving. A lot of Wall Street firms looked at the numbers last week and they raised their forecast. So no, there is no recession in sight.” That’s about as good as it gets,” he added. “I think we are in pretty good shape and I want to just say we should not be afraid of optimism. I don’t know what it is — everybody wants to talk about pessimism, recession. What’s wrong with a little optimism?”  Kudlow also said tax cuts for the middle class — an issue promised after Trump’s tax cuts to businesses — are still on the table, and suggests it may be a good idea to use tariffs on China to fund them. “Tax cuts 2.0. We are looking at all that,” he said. “By the way, [GOP] Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, very smart guy, made an interesting proposal on another network last week. He said, ‘look, why don’t we take the tariffs from the China trade and turn those back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts?’ That’s an idea.” Nick Bit: i like the crud better when he had a little drinkie pooh every few hours. I understand he is very ill. Its eating at him having sold his soul to the Trump devil. He knows this will end in disaster. And no olives in his 3 martini lunch!

U.S. Oil Exports Become Victim Of Their Own Success

US oil Exports ARE dropping… how do you like that shit….Inventories are droppng.. production peeking… demand climbing!
U.S. oil exports surged to record levels earlier this year as more oil flows to the Gulf Coast, but the recent narrowing of WTI to Brent could slow shipments, unless and until the discount widens again. WTI has often traded at a discount to Brent in recent years, owing to surging shale production and a limited ability to move product. As exports increased, it acted as a pressure relief valve, moving more oil out of the U.S. and pushing the two benchmarks together. More recently, the startup of the Cactus II pipeline, which will ramp up to a capacity of 670,000 bpd, has connected more Permian oil to the Gulf Coast. In the third quarter, a total of three pipelines are expected to commence operations, including Cactus II. In addition, the 900,000-bpd Gray Oak pipeline is expected to come online in the fourth quarter.
The industry is at risk of overbuilding, as the sudden onset of multiple new pipelines adds more midstream capacity than is justified by the increase in Permian production.


Nevertheless, the new pipeline additions have pushed up Midland prices to the point where oil in Midland has actually traded at a premium to WTI in Cushing. “Now, the entire Midland-Cushing forward curve is in positive, due to expectations of excess pipeline capacity and a slowdown in E&P development activity in the basin,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note. More oil escaping the continent has pushed WTI and Brent closer together as differences in the U.S. market and the international market become smoothed out. But a narrow differential, in turn, challenges the economics of exporting oil from the U.S., putting a kind of cap on shipments. “In order to ensure USGC barrels continue to clear in the export market, we think Brent-MEH spreads will likely need to widen from here. Europe has recently imported upwards of 700k b/d of US crude oil exports,” Bank of America said. MEH refers to the price of WTI at the Magellan East Houston terminal – or more simply, the price of oil in Houston. In other words, Bank of America is arguing that the price that oil fetches along the U.S. Gulf Coast may have to fall relative to Brent in order for exports to increase. U.S. oil exports have declined a bit in recent weeks as WTI has moved closer to Brent. On the other hand, a smaller differential is another way of saying that Permian oil producers are fetching a higher price for their oil. The health of shale drillers in West Texas is now the subject of intense scrutiny. Shale E&Ps are decidedly out of favor with Wall Street, and financial stress is apparent at a large number of companies. Drilling has slowed, the rig count is down, and spending cuts are proliferating. However, Bank of America was more upbeat regarding the productivity of shale. Among the myriad issues with shale drilling, one of the more recent subjects of debate was the fact that E&Ps were suffering from operational problems. For instance, Concho Resources revealed that its densely-packed 23-well project performed much worse than expected, raising questions about shale drilling reaching its limits.

Bank of America is not convinced this spells the end of productivity gains. “Recent E&P performance results and commentary from industry experts have caused concern over the end of productivity gains in the US shale basins,” the investment bank wrote in its report. “We are of the opposite view and think that service efficiency and well level productivity continue to improve.” BofA said that drilling efficiencies wrote 14 percent so far this year, with frac efficiencies up 11 percent. Even with those gains, however, drilling is slowing down. “As drilling activity has slowed, so too has growth in completion activity. The slowdown in completion activity in 4Q18 and 1Q19 has led to meaningfully slower growth in the shale basins,” Bank of America said. “At an aggregate level, US crude oil production has flat-lined in recent months, however we forecast faster growth in the shale basins in 2H19 versus 1H, helping to re-establish the upward trajectory of US supply.” Slower production growth acts to push WTI closer to Brent, but the economic limits of exports when the two benchmarks are close together works in the other direction. One other wrinkle to consider is the U.S.-China trade war, which could put U.S. oil exports under pressure. Some analysts think that China may directly target U.S. oil for tariffs, although the damage from that move could be mitigated by shipping oil elsewhere. “All things considered, the U.S. crude-export machine may struggle to maintain its record-breaking run,” Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, told CNBC. In the long run, exports are likely to continue to rise. Billions of dollars of capital continue to flow into the Gulf Coast, and the number of export projects continues to grow as developers race to bring their terminals online before their competitors. But because of the complicated dynamics between exports, price differentials, pipelines and upstream shale stress, the precise levels of exports will continue to be choppy.

Iranian oil exports fell below 100,000 b/d in July: US

Washington — Iranian oil shipments have been ‘zeroed out’
Pompeo pushing maritime security partnership

US sanctions caused Iranian crude exports to fall to about 100,000 b/d in July, down from roughly 2.5 million b/d a year earlier, Brian Hook, the US Department of State’s special representative for Iran, said Tuesday. “We have effectively zeroed out Iran’s export of oil,” Hook said during a press briefing in New York. “I can’t overstate the significance of this accomplishment.” In July, Hook told S&P Global Platts that Iran’s oil exports likely fell below 300,000 b/d in June. Hook said Tuesday that by zeroing out oil exports, the US is disrupting about $50 billion in annual revenue to the Iranian regime. Hook’s export estimates, however, are below those of most of the private sector, possibly due to the administration’s opaque definition of exports. According to data from S&P Global Platts’ trade flow software, cFlow, shipments of Iranian oil fell to about 449,000 b/d in June from about 901,000 b/d in May. Initial data show Iranian oil exports averaged about 450,000 b/d in July. At the same time, the country’s floating storage inventories have doubled since May, climbing from about 20 million barrels to 40 million barrels in just two months, according to estimates. Getting an accurate estimate of Iran’s crude and condensate exports is proving tricky as a number of Iran’s state-owned oil tankers have recently turned off their satellite tracking systems, muddying the waters on where its oil is flowing. Hook on Tuesday cautioned against assisting Iran in moving Iranian crude, which he said is being shipped to Syria, in violation of both US and EU sanctions. “It you are a crew member or a captain on a vessel moving Iranian oil … then you are subject to criminal and immigration consequences,” Hook said. “As long as Iran is moving illicit oil around the world to fund its terrorist operations, it’s important that we do something about it.” On Sunday, the tanker Grace 1, which has been renamed Adrian Darya-1, was released by Gibraltar, more than a month after it had been seized on suspicion of carry oil to Syria. A US request to seize the tanker was rejected by Gibraltar. “It’s unfortunate that that happened,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with FOX News Monday. “These are oil profits that, when this is ultimately sold somewhere into the market, that will run back to the – Qasem Soleimani and the Iranian Qods Force, their elite forces that have sown terror and destruction and killed Americans all around the world.” Hook said the US continues to track the movement of the Adrian Darya-1. The US has announced a maritime security partnership, aimed at improving security in the straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb. The UK and Bahrain have publicly joined that partnership. “The world has a joint interest in promoting freedom of navigation,” Hook said. Pompeo is expected to discuss the partnership  in a speech before the United Nations Security Council. Pompeo will likely try to boost international support for the partnership, said Henry Rome, an Iran analyst with the Eurasia Group. “The US effort to get allies on board has been hampered by deep suspicions in Europe about US intentions and concern among Gulf states about getting in the way of a US-Iran shooting war,” Rome said. “Moreover, the US is intentionally committing very few naval resources to the initiative, giving potential partner countries little incentive to join.”

U.S. removed almost 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from market – Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets as a result of Washington’s decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran’s crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday. In an interview with MSNBC, Pompeo said the U.S. government was confident it could continue with its strategy. The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. In May, Washington ended sanction waivers given to importers of Iranian oil, aiming to cut Tehran’s exports to zero. Iran exported about 100,000 bpd of crude in July, according to an industry source who tracks such flows and data from Refinitiv Eikon. If condensate, a light oil, is included, shipments were about 120,000 bpd a day. “We have managed to take almost 2.7 million barrels of crude oil off of the market, denying Iran the wealth to create their terror campaign around the world, and we have managed to keep the oil markets fully supplied,” Pompeo said. “I am confident we can continue to do that,” he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers have been cutting 1.2 million bpd since Jan. 1 to reduce global supply. OPEC in July renewed the pact until March 2020 to avoid a build-up of inventories as worldwide demand is seen weakening.


Despite OPEC’s actions along with U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Brent crude international oil prices have been relatively weak, falling on Tuesday to $59 a barrel from a 2019 high of $75, pressured by concerns about slowing demand. The exact level of Iranian exports has become harder to assess since U.S. sanctions returned in November, meaning estimates fall into a range rather than a definitive figure.

OPEC+ decreases output by 159% in July – report

OPEC+ decreases output by 159% in July - report

Members of OPEC+ decreased their oil production output by 159% in July, Russian TASS reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The decrease encompasses a decline in production from OPEC states of 156% and a deduction in non-OPEC production of 166%. The figures mean that oil production in July was reduced by 1.9 million barrels per day compared to October 2018 which is 700,000 barrels per day more than the planned reduction of 1.2 million barrels per day. Last week, OPEC raised its oil demand outlook for 2019 by 0.1 million barrels per day to 30.7 million barrels per day. Nick Note: So if some asshole wants to play ARMATURE analyst and blow smoke up your ass that Russia increased output OR SOME OTHER SIMILAR bullshit!  your a ASSHOLE if you listen to him. Everyone should know their JOB AND STICK WITH WHAT THEY KNOW!!!! . So don’t let dtrade, Shcubbie DO do,  google searches or what ever asshole broker your cursed with shit you.  OPEC production is PLUNGING. Oil inventories on a macro BASES are Plunging. AND oil production is peeking in the US and will soon enter a multi year decline. OIL WILL BE AT $100 a barrel. AND a WAR in the gulf will occur. So tell youR amateur asshole to stick with his ledgerS and tell your asshole broker to stick with what he knows.. and that is churning and burning (panicking them and bouncing them out on the bottom)  his clients and screwing pensioners out of their meager savings in dog shit junk bond funds that will soon default in mass… AND AND AND OPEC WILL GET $100 OIL BECAUSE OPEC WILL CUT WHAT EVER OIL SUPPLIES NECESSARY AND THE SAUDI’S ARE ABOUT TO SCREW THE WORLD WITH A TRILLION DOLLAR SOVEREIGN DEBT OFFERING ON THE ARMECO IPO AND THEY HAVE INVITED ALL THE INVESTMENT BANKERS TO FEAST ON THE SAVINGS OF 3 GENERATIONS!!!  by the way have a nice day!!!! We are ALL born stupid. The great sin is to stay stupid!!

Rising defaults in high-yield bonds puts this year on track for postcrisis record, warns Goldman Sachs

Defaults reach above 5%, from 1.3% bottom in November 2018
This chart shows the dollar amount of defaulted U.S. high-yield bonds thus far in 2019, which is approaching levels not seen since 2016, after Brent crude oil prices plunged below $35 per barrel and put significant pressure on the financial conditions of oil companies and exporters.

Defaults on bonds issued by debt-laden U.S. companies with speculative-grade ratings are on pace to reach a new high this year for the post 2008 crisis era, according to Goldman Sachs analysts. The bank has tracked more than $36 billion of defaulted so-called “junk bonds” already in 2019, and there are likely to be more, particularly in the energy sector, to eclipse the prior post crisis default record of $43 billion in 2016, wrote Goldman analysts led by Lotfi Karoui in a Thursday note to clients. “Thus far, defaults have been highly concentrated among energy issuers, a trend that reflects structural as opposed to cyclical challenges,” the Goldman analysts wrote. “The lingering weakness in oil prices coupled with weak growth sentiment may push issuers in other structurally-challenged sectors toward defaults.” Oil field servicing company Weatherford International Ltd WFTIQ, -0.11%, which filed for bankruptcy with $7.4 billion of high-yield debt, is the year’s second-largest default, after the massive default of California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company PCG, -5.46% on $18.3 billion of debt in January, according to Moody’s Investors Service. In the case of Weatherford, Moody’s said it expects to see bond recoveries of 35%-65% on roughly $5.85 billion of debt that the company hopes to slash through its restructuring. PG&E was considered an investment-grade credit, until it filed for bankruptcy following devastating California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 left it facing billions in potential liabilities. Moody’s said this week in a separate report that junk-bonds issued by companies in July came with the worst protections yet for investors. Investors have plenty of high-risk and so-called grey swan events to watch for, as the third quarter draws closer. In high-yield, a big focus will be corporate earnings through year-end. Companies can end up in default when earnings slump, making it harder for borrowers to keep up on debt payments. Nick Bit: In October i Begged you to buy the 30 year strip. It would have cost you $3,562.78 for a $10,000 face amount bond at the worst would have tripled your money.. Last week i told you to TAKE PROFITS my 2 most favorite words in the English language. That strip would have bought you $5,685.58 .  A profit of  $2122.80 of over 60% in 10 months. So tell me how much did that IRA, Etrade, Fidelity asshole make you? They try to put you into one of their super duper high yield junk bond funds that yield MAYBE 6% before they default and you LOSE your money. Are you not tired of them making a asshole out of you?

OPEC Oil Production Continues To Slide As Saudis Cut Deeper

OPEC’s crude oil production fell by another 246,000 bpd in July compared to June, as Saudi Arabia deepened its cuts, as U.S. sanctions further trimmed output in Iran and Venezuela, and as an outage restricted production in Libya.   According to secondary sources in OPEC’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report published on Friday, total OPEC crude oil production averaged 29.61 million bpd in July, down by nearly 250,000 bpd from June, and driven by lower output in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and Nigeria. Iraq and Algeria recorded the largest production increases, OPEC’s secondary sources estimates showed.  The July crude production of the cartel members is a multi-year low, and close to the 29.42 million bpd production estimate in the monthly Reuters survey, which noted that OPEC’s production was at an eight-year low last month.   Saudi Arabia, keen to restrain oil price slides amid a markedly bearish market sentiment, deepened its already deep cuts, slashing another 134,000 bpd to have its July production average 9.698 million bpd, OPEC’s report showed. The Saudis have vowed to keep production well below 10 million bpd—although their quota is 10.3 million bpd—and exports at below 7 million bpd, aiming to tighten the market as demand growth weakens with gloomy macroeconomic prospects. Iran and Venezuela, both under U.S. sanctions, also saw their production down. Iranian production declined by 47,000 bpd from June to 2.213 million bpd in July, and Venezuela’s output dropped by 32,000 bpd to 742,000 bpd. Crude oil production in Libya, one of the wildest cards in OPEC in terms of production consistency amid security concerns, fell by 42,000 bpd to 1.078 million bpd last month, after its largest oil field experienced two outages in two weeks. In the last week of July, Libya’s production dropped to a five-month low below 1 million bpd, after a fresh outage at the Sharara oil field.   Even with OPEC’s falling oil production, the cartel sees demand for OPEC crude next year even lower than the July production—at 29.4 million bpd, or 1.3 million bpd lower than the 2018 level. Commenting on the oil market and macroeconomic developments, OPEC said in its report:   “While the outlook for market fundamentals seems somewhat bearish for the rest of the year, given softening economic growth, ongoing global trade issues and slowing oil demand growth, it remains critical to closely monitor the supply/demand balance and assist market stability in the months ahead.” Nick Bit: Absolutely positively OPEC+ led by the Saudis will do what ever it takes to get oil to $100 a barrel.

Signs of recession worry Trump ahead of 2020

President Donald Trump reacts at the end of his speech at a campaign rally, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is warning of an economic crash if he loses reelection, arguing that even voters who personally dislike him should base their ballots on the nation’s strong growth and low unemployment rate.

But privately, Trump is growing increasingly worried the economy won’t look so good come Election Day.

The financial markets signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession this week, sending a jolt of anxiety to investors, companies and consumers. That’s on top of concerns over Trump’s plans to impose punishing tariffs on goods from China and word from the United Kingdom and Germany that their economies are shrinking. Though a pre-election recession here is far from certain, a downturn would be a devastating blow to the president, who has made a strong economy his central argument for a second term. Trump advisers fear a weakened economy would hurt him with moderate Republican and independent voters who have been willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric. And White House economic advisers see few options for reversing course should the economy start to slip. Trump has taken to blaming others for the recession fears, mostly the Federal Reserve, which he is pushing for further interest rate cuts. Yet much of the uncertainty in the markets stems from his own escalation of a trade war with China, as well as weakened economies in key countries around the world. Some of Trump’s closest advisers have urged him to lower the temperature of the trade dispute, fearing that further tariffs would only hurt American consumers and rattle the markets further. The president blinked once this week, delaying a set of tariffs in an effort to save Christmas sales. Aides acknowledge it is unclear what steps the White House could take to stop a downturn. Trump’s 2017 tax cut proved so politically unpopular that many Republicans ran away from it during last year’s midterms. And a new stimulus spending program could spark intraparty fighting over big deficits. The hope among administration officials is that a mix of wage gains and consumer spending will power growth through 2020. Yet Trump knows his own survival hinges on voters believing that he alone can prolong the economy’s decade-plus expansion. Trump has spent much of the week at his New Jersey golf club, many of his mornings on the links, his afternoons watching cable television and his evenings calling confidants and business executives to get their take on the market’s volatility. Though he has expressed private worries about Wall Street, he is also skeptical about some of the weaker economic indicators, wondering if the media and establishment figures are manipulating the data to make him look bad, according to two Republicans close to the White House, not authorized to discuss private conversations.His skepticism has been reinforced by White House officials who have long been inclined to only show Trump rosier economic assessments. Amid the market turmoil this week, the president tweeted out defenses of his economic record. He blasted the Fed for not cutting interest rates deeper, under the belief that sharper cuts would lead to more lending activity and make the U.S. dollar more competitive against foreign currencies. The president also highlighted the strength of consumer spending — as retail sales have jumped 3.4% from a year ago. One sector already suffering this year is manufacturing, the very industry that Trump pledged to revive and fortify with his tariffs. Factory output has fallen 0.5% during the past 12 months, the Fed said Thursday. Most economists — including Fed officials — still expect the economy to grow this year, just at a slower pace than last year’s 2.9%. “I think we’re heading down that road to recession — we’re on that steady march toward that inevitable conclusion,” Anderson said. “It’s just that drip, drip, drip of trade war anxiety that is hanging over market sentiment.”

Corn Industry Battered By Shocking Ethanol Decision

Corn Ethanol

The Trump administration has tried to thread the needle between the corn ethanol and oil refining industries, as the two battle it out over federal policy. The EPA may have thought it came up with a balanced approach when it issued a series of recent decisions, but judging by market reactions, the agency seems to have decidedly come down on the side of oil over ethanol. Federal policy requires a certain volume of biofuels to be blended into the nation’s fuel mix. Each year, the EPA decides on the exact levels, and it is a bit of a zero-sum game between ethanol producers and oil refiners. The ethanol industry wants higher blending levels because that expands sales, while refiners want less in order to defray costs. While perennially at odds, the two industries were at a bit of standstill for much of the Obama administration because while both sides surely had their gripes, there at least was some predictability about government policy. That all changed under the Trump administration, and specifically, under the stewardship of Scott Pruitt, former administrator at EPA. Under his tenure, EPA ramped up the number of waivers that it granted to the refining industry, absolving some smaller refiners of the requirement to buy ethanol who claim the obligation would inflict economic hardship.   The move upset a fragile balance between the two industries, infuriating farmers and ethanol producers. The market for renewable identification numbers (RINs), which are the credits refiners can buy to offset their blending obligations, went haywire after the increase of waivers from EPA. The lack of policy clarity led higher volatility and lower prices for RINs, and politicians from farm states – allies of President Trump – demanded EPA stop issuing so many waivers. Trump tried to stay above the fray, fearing angering one side over the other, and told his lieutenants to hash out a compromise.  Trump even proposed allowing the year-round sale of E15 – a higher concentration of ethanol that was off limits during summer months over air pollution concerns – as a way of making amends with corn and ethanol producers. But the administration just issued a shocking decision to the corn and ethanol industries. On August 9, the EPA announced its decision on 2018 waiver requests, approving 31 of them while denying six. The decision appears to be an attempt to offer something to both sides, but the biofuels industry was incensed. “The Trump Administration’s approval of 31 refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard is just devasting news for our industry,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw in a press release. “With this action, President Trump has destroyed over a billion gallons of biofuel demand and broken his promise to Iowa voters to protect the [Renewable Fuels Standard].” Ahead of the announcement, prices for RINs plunged to 11 cents, down from 20 cents a day earlier, according to Argus. “At a time when ethanol plants in the Heartland are being mothballed and jobs are being lost, it is unfathomable and utterly reprehensible that the Trump Administration would dole out more unwarranted waivers to prosperous petroleum refiners,” Geoff Cooper, CEO of Renewable Fuels Association, said in a statement, calling the EPA decision a “total shock.” Refiners, on the other hand, welcomed the decision. “Capital planning is difficult without knowing whether your refinery needs to set aside millions of dollars for RIN purchases,” the Small Refiners Coalition said. “The decision to grant small refinery hardship is a legal decision, not a political one.” For farmers, the hits keep on coming, and EPA’s decision is merely the latest in a series of blows from Washington. The U.S.-China trade war has battered the U.S. Midwest, as farmers have all but lost access to the Chinese market. China has turned to Brazil for ethanol and for soybeans. Prices for U.S. soybeans, corn and other agricultural commodities have plunged. More recently, corn prices rebounded, but only because the Midwest was soaked in record-breaking floods that threatened corn plantings. However, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that yields are not expected to be as hard hit as previously expected – normally good news, but higher-than-expected supply sent corn prices tumbling all over again. On Monday, corn futures fell by the “limit down,” or the maximum allowed before trading is cut off. Futures prices for corn-based ethanol plunged to a five-year low for the time of year, falling to $1.27 per gallon on Wednesday, down roughly 25 percent since June. “The Trump administration has totally annihilated the margins for ethanol producers,” Charlie Sernatinger, head of global grains futures with ED&F Man Capital Markets, told the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker off Gibraltar

GIBRALTAR (Reuters) – The United States has issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker caught in the standoff between Tehran and the West in a last ditch effort to prevent the vessel from leaving Gibraltar. The name of Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 is seen removed as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar, southern Spain. The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria. Gibraltar lifted the detention order on Thursday after the British territory’s chief minister said he had secured written assurances from Tehran that the cargo would not go to Syria. But with the vessel and its 2.1 million barrels of oil free to leave, the United States launched a separate legal appeal to impound the ship on the grounds that it had links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which it designates as a terrorist organization. A federal court in Washington issued a warrant to seize the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million. “A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments,” the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, said in a news release. “The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1.” The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the warrant, which was addressed to “the United States Marshal’s Service and/or any other duly authorized law enforcement officer,” may be enforced. The Pentagon declined to comment, as did Britain’s Foreign Office. Asked on Friday about the U.S. intervention, Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, said that would be subject to the jurisdiction of Gibraltar’s Supreme Court. “It could go back to the court absolutely.” The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported that the vessel was unlikely to sail before Sunday, citing an unnamed source who added that it was waiting for six new crew members including a captain to arrive. The Grace 1 had its name erased and it was no longer flying a Panama flag. Iranian state television had quoted Jalil Eslami, deputy head of the country’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, as saying the tanker would depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Iranian flag and renamed Adrian Darya

Oil rises alongside equities, but weak OPEC outlook caps gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices on Friday rebounded from a two-day drop, alongside equities as expectations of further stimulus by central banks helped to ease recession concerns. But oil’s gains were capped after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries trimmed its global oil demand forecast in a downbeat outlook for the rest of 2019 as economic growth slows. The cartel also highlighted challenges in 2020 as rivals pump more, building a case to keep up an OPEC-led pact to restrain supplies. “OPEC killed the golden goose,” said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho in New York. “We’ve had some little rallies back into the green, as market tries to follow equities higher, but the fundamentals in the report are so bearish that it caps the rallies.” Brent crude LCOc1 was up 24 cents, or 0.41%, at $58.64 a barrel at the close of NY trading, after falling 2.1% on Thursday and 3% the previous day. U.S. crude CLc1 rose 24 cents to $54.94 a barrel, having dropped 1.4% in the previous session and 3.3% on Wednesday. For the week, the oil benchmarks were unchanged even as Wall Street’s three main indexes were on track to rack up their third consecutive week of losses, as investors worried about the risk of recession and U.S.-China trade tensions. [BNP Paribas cut its forecast for 2019 for U.S. crude by $8 to $55 per barrel and for Brent by $9 to $62 per barrel, citing slowing economy amid the trade dispute. The price of Brent is still up nearly 10% this year helped by supply cuts led by OPEC and its allies such as Russia, a group known as OPEC+. In July, OPEC+ agreed to extend oil output cuts until March 2020 to prop up prices. “At what point will further output cuts be needed at the back end of this year from OPEC and Russia to keep things going the way they are?” said Phin Ziebell, senior economist at National Australia Bank. A Saudi official indicated this month that more steps may be coming, saying Saudi Arabia was committed to do “whatever it takes” to keep the market balanced next year. OPEC’s efforts have been undermined by worries about the economy , as well as rising U.S. stockpiles of crude and higher output of U.S. shale oil.

Trump held conference call with big bank CEOs amid market turmoil: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump held a conference call Wednesday with the heads of three large Wall Street banks as financial markets were in turmoil, one source with direct knowledge said on Friday. Following a previously scheduled meeting at the Treasury Department, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan and Citigroup Inc.’s Michael Corbat discussed the economy and financial markets with Trump, who was at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. The conversation came on a day that saw all three major U.S. indexes close down roughly 3 percent amid ongoing concerns about the global economy.

API: Total U.S. petroleum demand in July highest since 2005

  • Sustained world-leading crude oil production at a record pace of 12 MMbpd year-to-date;
  • Total U.S. petroleum demand of 20.8 MMbpd was highest for July since 2005; and,
  • Jet fuel demand for the month of July reached a new record of 1.8 MMbpd.

WASHINGTON – Total U.S. petroleum demand averaged 20.8 MMbpd in July 2019, which represented a 0.9% year-over-year increase and the highest demand for the month since 2005, according to the latest Monthly Statistical Report released today by the American Petroleum Institute. The increase in demand came as the U.S. continued to sustain world-leading production, which continues to meet virtually all global oil demand growth. Highlights from the July 2019 Monthly Statistical Report include: “The continued ability of U.S. production to meet the world’s increasing energy needs is a testament to the shale revolution,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “With sustained production at a record pace of 12 MMbpd year-to-date, and U.S. Energy Information Administration analyses predicting that natural gas and oil will provide more than half the world’s power for decades to come, the U.S. is increasingly well-positioned to cushion global oil markets and insulate consumers from external shocks and price volatility.”

SIXTH weapons test in just a month amid US tensions


It comes amid anger in Pyongyang at ongoing US-led military exercises with South Korea – which the North views as a rehearsal for invasion. A rocket launched by North Korea last Tuesday. Tonight another two missiles were launched by Kim Jong-un’s regime . North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrates a rocket test last week. The regime has now carried out another testCredit: AP:Associated Press And there is growing frustration in Kim Jong-un’s regime at stalled talks between the US and North Korea over his weapons programme. The unidentified projectiles smashed into waters off North Korea’s eastern coast on Friday morning local time, South Korea’s military said. They are likely to be the same short range rockets used in recent launches – which despot Kim had said would cause “inescapable distress to a fat target.” North Korean state media previously described the weapon as a “new-type large-calibre multiple launch guided rocket system” – but no specific details were given. The launch came after the North issued a statement berating South Korea – saying it’s “senseless” to resume peace talks while the joint-US military drills continue. It extends a recent streak of rocket tests believed to be aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear diplomacy. The US is trying to get North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons arsenal and curb long-range missile tests. South Korea says North Korea’s missile launch is contrary to military agreement