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Monday, 23 May 2016

EU Break-Up May Trigger Economic Dark Ages

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A Blizzard of Bad News

A perfect blizzard of bad news predictions compels me to return to the charge on the EU referendum.

First, we had David Cameron and a swarm of former US secretaries and NATO generals telling us the world will be engulfed in war and ‘terrorism’ if the UK leaves the EU.

This is straight out of the fruitcake department.

I’m surprised they didn’t invoke the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Then we had another crowd whose chief claim to fame was to miss the most catastrophic economic event since the Great Depression, the 2007/8 crash, warning of economic meltdown if we leave.

So let us set the record straight. The EU had no bearing on our sending troops to Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Mali, Libya or Syria.

Nor has it stopped us supplying weapons and equipment to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, the Israelis and an assortment of ‘rebel’ groups.

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We also supported the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Egypt and Ukraine – and, as I write, in Brazil.

The Washington political class always has suffered from insularity, as their surprise at the rise of Trump shows. An early version of this blindness occurred in 1816 when members of the 14th Congress voted to more than double their pay to a princely $1,500 annually, (about $25,000 in 2016 dollars), a sum much larger than the earnings of almost every voter in the country.
Lance Roberts of Real Investment Advice blog plucked this from a recent post by Daniel Thornton, a longtime economic advisor at the St. Louis Fed, and asked the question: “Is this the scariest chart out there?” Basically, it goes all the way back to 1952 to show just how out of whack household net worth has become. As you can see, the last two times there was a big trend divergence, a bust soon followed. Thornton describes it as “monetary and fiscal policy insanity,” and predicts there’s more to come when the bubble bursts — which could be as soon as this year.
The scenario presented above uses BP’s Energy Outlook 2035, published in Feb 2016. This outlook does not extend to 2040 and maximum output is 88 Mb/d in 2035 at the end of the scenario. This scenario is still optimistic, but is more reasonable than the EIA AEO 2016. Extraction rates rise to 10.6 percent and the annual decline rate rises to 2.5 percent in 2042 and is reduced to less than 2 percent by 2053.

Ruble Set for Longest Losses Since February as Citi Sees Risks

The ruble declined for a fourth day, poised for the longest losing streak since February, as oil retreated and Citigroup Inc. cautioned the Russian currency could depreciate further against a rising dollar. The ruble dropped 0.2 percent to 66.96 per dollar by 11:28 a.m. in Moscow, after losing 2 percent last week. Brent crude, the oil benchmark for pricing the country’s main export blend, declined 0.8 percent to $48.32 a barrel in London. Russian stocks declined, while government bonds were little changed. The world’s best currency rally in the past three months is growing vulnerable to higher U.S. interest rates that Federal Reserve officials signaled could come as early June, according to Citigroup strategists. While driving the greenback higher, rate hikes would also sap appetite for riskier assets and diminish the appeal of a carry trade that helped investors make up gains lost to zero rates. “I think the […]
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