Links 4/1/16

Zaha Hadid, 1950-2016 New Yorker (furzy)

Zaha Hadid: 1950-2016 Reuters

WASHINGTON, DC BALD EAGLE NEST CAM (guurst). Two cameras, actually.

Revealed: how Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis Guardian (Tom H)

Theranos Blood-Testing Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements Wall Street Journal. This is damning. And why did CMS agree to redact the report?


Police raids and more revelations: the fallout of the Unaoil scandal Sydney Morning Herald (Richard Smith). Note:

Fairfax Media revealed on Thursday that the British police had teamed up with the Australian Federal Police, the US Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the vast cache of leaked Unaoil emails on which our stories have been based.

_______________________ Financial Times

_______________________ Washington Post

_______________________ Bloomberg

_______________________ Agence France-Press

Federal police investigate Australian companies over foreign bribery allegations Guardian. So the Guardian has deigned to take notice, but is treating this strictly as an Australian story.

Unaoil Corruption Scandal: Monaco Raids Company Offices Amid Revelation Of Involvement Of Foreign Companies International Business Times.

As of this hour (6:10 AM), this is the sum total of non-Fairfax/HuffPo articles per Google News. Richard Smith found a minor Associated Press story that curiously fails to mention Halliburton that ran in the New York Times. There is also tiny Reuters story, but none of them by Google News. Bad algos or design?


‘Not fit to lead’: letter attacking Xi Jinping sparks panic in Beijing Guardian

Country risk: The compelling case for a China downgrade Euromoney

Emerging Markets: Improvement Arrives, but for How Long? Wall Street Journal

Refugee Crisis

Hours after EU deal, Turkey rounds up 1,300 migrants bound for Greece Reuters

Belgium’s Domestic and Foreign Policies Perpetuate Muslim Alienation

EU-Turkey migrant deal bound to fail Bangkok Post (furzy)

France: Exodus of 10,000 millionaires amid rising Muslim tensions International Business Times (Dr. Kevin)


Exclusive: royal family considering dramatic Brexit intervention Guardian (Dennis)

Exclusive: England to face Euro 2016 ban if Britain votes to leave EU Telegraph (Windsock)

Scotland and Wales ‘could form own country’ if Britain votes to leave EU Independent (Dennis)


Putin Aide Details Russia’s Gameplan Against the Empire Russia Insider (Chuck L)


Exclusive: Russia, despite draw down, shipping more to Syria than removing Reuters

Erdogan’s security guards clash with journalists

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Justice Department Warns of “Lethal Cyber Jihad Attacks”; Time’s a Wastin’! Michael Shedlock (furzy)

Former Defense Secretary Says US on “Precipice of New Arms Race” as Obama Plans $1 Trillion in “Small, Flexible” Nukes Michael Shedlock (EM, furzy)


Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the ‘None of the Above’ era in politics BBC (resilc)

Senator Bernie Sanders Campaign Rally in South Bronx C-SPAN (Kevin C)

Sanders says if he wins New York, he’ll win White House Associated Press (martha r)

Bernie Sanders Is Gaining on Hillary Clinton in Her Own Backyard Mother Jones (resilc). She’s a friggin’ carpetbagger. I can claim to be more of a native than she is, and I don’t.

Pennsylvania voters switching party at what may be record pace ahead of April 26 primary Associated Press (martha r)

Trump and Clinton: Censoring the unpalatable, John Pilger Vineyard of the Saker (Wat)

How Votes For Trump Could Become Delegates for Someone Else New York Times

Is Donald Trump Self-Destructing? New Yorker (furzy)

Donald Trump has had too much media coverage, 75% of Americans say CNN (furzy)

Signs of Wisconsin Backlash Against Donald Trump, Who Trails in Poll New York Times

Trump meets with Republican leadership; party unity discussed Reuters

How to Hack an Election Bloomberg (Ryan R)

Hero lawmaker urges colleagues to stop saying ‘physical’ when they mean ‘fiscal’ Washington Post (Scott)

Here’s Another Way Politicians Are Screwing You Over Mother Jones (resilc)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

More Racist and Homophobic Texts by San Francisco Police Are Found New York Times

Private Equity Funds Liable to Union Pension Plan Bloomberg (Libby). This is a big deal.

Forget The Tough Talk – Saudi Arabia Is Desperate For a Production Freeze OilPrice

SEC fears ‘eye-popping’ start-up values Financial Times. Yes, those unicorns may only be goats in party clothes.

Class Warfare

Uber CEO must face price-fixing lawsuit from passengers, US court rules Guardian (YY). This is gonna be fun. Judge Jed Rakoff is presiding.

The One Percent: Power, Politics, And America’s Changing Democracy WUNC (resilc)

Millionaires’ 8 favourite places: Australia is top destination for the super-wealthy International Business Times (Dr. Kevin). Yours truly was ahead of the curve in wanting to move there in the early 2000s, but the flip side is this influx of the rich will accelerate the demise of its best features: the Aussies are (or at least were) insistently egalitarian and very community-minded.

Antidote du jour. From, and I am pretty sure by, reader Windsock. Taken in Sicily:

buttterfly sicily links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Pwelder

      OilPrice is often pretty good, but I wouldn’t buy the meme about desperate Saudis. There are many other players a lot more desperate than they are.

      The US shalers are turning out to be more resilient than the Saudi/GCC crowd expected in November 2014. I suspect the GCC has moved on to an unstated Plan B – which is to have the Russians plus the OPEC “Fragile Five” balance the oil market – either by voluntary cuts or by having the wheels fall off in places like Venezuela and Nigeria.

      Bloomberg has an item today illustrating the “tough talk” you’re being encouraged to ignore. If you think the Saudis are kidding, good luck. You’ll be needing it.

      Here’s the link to the Bloomberg item:

  1. YY

    Unaoil non-coverage.
    Contrast to the coverage of the FIFA corruption is instructive, though we should give it some more time.
    In terms of matters being off-shore (vs the USA) and by foreign entities the appearance of irrelevance is similar. USA is not the center of the soccer universe but probably would be central to the corruption that is subject relating to Unaoil.

  2. Llewelyn Moss

    NYC: Tons of people lined up to see Bernie Sanders (Bronx, NY)

    I wonder why I never see pics of crowds at Clinton rallies? Is it because Bernie’s rallies are 10X-20X larger. Go Bernie!! :-)

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      BTW, we saw the Real Hellery greeting the crowd at the rally at SUNY.
      Now now Hellery, if Bernie needs to watch his Tone, then you need to watch your Temper. Hahaha.

      Hillary Clinton Loses Patience with Greenpeace Activist Over Fossil Fuel Donations (0:17)

      1. Mav

        Ha! What did I say about Hillary sounding desperate and angry when she has no reason to be !! And the Greenpeace activist was actually complimenting her for “acting” on climate change before asking the question on dirty oil money.

        Something is going on behind the scene, maybe the email hairball is getting bigger and bigger??

        1. nippersdad

          “Maybe the email hairball is getting bigger and bigger?”

          No, I think the fix is in:

          “DiGenova is questioning why the DOJ would greenlight the arrangement in the first place, arguing that it “presents an amazing conflict of interest” and allows for coordination of stories.”…”They’ve thrown in the towel.”

          Amazing conflict of interest? Throwing in the towel? At Obama’s DOJ? Say it ain’t so!

          I think it would more likely be something like this:

          1. Pat

            Whoa, that Abramson analysis is deadly for Clinton. Yes, the NY party may be able to pull it out for her, but it is not going to be a blow out. (And I think without real shenanigans there is good chance she will lose NY.) But everywhere else.

            The thing is the ‘electable’ people should throw in the towel on her by mid to late April as it becomes obvious that the longer the campaign the more she sheds voters rather than gets new ones. And as someone who lives by polls, this means that Clinton does understand that the cranky old man is now beating the pantsuit off her.

            That said, I’m not so sure that the fix is in people are ready for the fall out of that strategy, because as someone said it is easy for it to fail AND the DOJ better get that even if they sign off on it Congress has not. This could end up being another indication that the arrogance has overridden common sense and reality – similar to choosing to use a personal server in the first place.

            1. nippersdad

              Agreed. If recent history has shown anything, it is that they are never ready for the fallout of their actions. They can’t mop up their messes fast enough anymore; that is how Trump and Sanders were even made possible.

              “…even if they sign off on it Congress has not.”

              That is the crux of the situation; Sanders is a loose cannon, and they need someone in the club to pardon them, just as they need Pelosi, Schumer and DWS in Congress to cover their credit default swaps there. Sanders knows his base of Independents will evaporate the second they smell a coverup; people will be watching his appointments closely and the pressure on him to “let the judicial process play out” will be immense.

              Even Republicans are looking weak when one hears that they are thinking about cancelling a lame duck session that could, potentially, give them everything they want.

              This political season is turning out to be the best I have ever seen.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Is it possible Sanders leaves the Democratic Party once he’s elected, so he can ‘let the judicial process play out’ and keep his independents (maybe declaring himself an Independent)?

                “Let the Revolution begin – I am leaving the D party.”

                1. nippersdad

                  Here is where my inner Green comes out: I wish he would, but I don’t think he has it in him. He is going to save the system from itself from the inside using FDR as a template. Not a bad goal, but it could be better.

                  I left the Party when impeachment was taken off of the table. Defending war criminals was my line in the sand. Hopefully he has a similar view, but, unfortunately, I kind of doubt it. Not something that the club can afford to bet on, though, which is incredibly refreshing to me.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    He doesn’t have it in him…

                    Is that something we look back on as a warning sign or are we worrying too much?

                    1. nippersdad

                      Just a feeling.

                      While he really seems to be the gentleman that he purports to be, there is no earthly reason why he shouldn’t go harder on her record as SoS, for example. He may have lost a lot of the black vote in the process by throwing so many rank and file Dems under the bus, but what he lost there he would make up several fold in people that have dropped out of the Party.

                      At first I attributed it to his not wanting to defecate in someone else’s sandbox, but now, after the way he has been treated, I’m not so sure.

                      As I say, prolly just a Greenie being a Greenie.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          To use Yves’ most excellent word, she seemed a bit “brittle.”

          Maybe more than a “bit.” Perhaps someone made the mistake of telling her about all the supporters lining up. For Bernie.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            You’d think for a $600 beauty salon visit she could get a better look than “brittle.”
            But hey whadoiknow. Hahaha.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Are there husbands who go to Supercut so their wives can upgrade their hair salon?

              Do women appreciate sacrifices like that?

              “Put that money in our kid’s college education fund. She will need 3 degrees to make min. wage.”

              1. cwaltz

                Appreciate sacrifices like that?

                With all due respect when I got my hair cut and colored I EARNED my right to treat myself.

                I took care of a household and 4 kids WITHOUT PAY. My husband would have been sleeping on the couch had he even insinuated that I didn’t deserve to spend money on myself as I wished from time t time.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  And they don’t count that (anything done without pay) in the GDP.

                  At least, Hillary (if I recall correctly) proposed giving tax credit (or something) to care-givers.

                  Is hair coloring an indoctrination thing? I believe, if people want to buy jewelry or god, or color their hair. it’s their business.

                  1. cwaltz

                    For me, I was in my late thirties and decided that I no longer wanted to color my hair every couple of weeks, so to transition I had my hair frosted to blend my grays more naturally.

                    It WAS in my opinion expensive but worth it. Going darker is something I was willing to do on my own but anything involving pulling color out was better left to a professional for the sake of my hair shaft.

                    1. RMO

                      I haven’t had a professional haircut since 1985. Every barber or stylist I ever went to butchered me so since then I’ve just occasionally “thinned out” my hair myself with scissors when it felt too long. Result: I’ve got long, flowing, wavy, golden Fabio locks (yes, I’m joking about the Fabio resemblance but my hair is down to my shoulders) and have saved a fortune on haircuts. This would leave more money available for my fiancee to go to a stylist but her hair looks amazing when she just lets nature take it’s course too.

          2. neo-realist

            Or the upcoming FBI interview.

            I also have the sense that Clinton never really wanted to run–primarily because it’s an exhausting pain in the butt, with lots of travel, speeches and scrutiny, not to mention dealing with potential health issues. But she knew this would be her last shot at getting the presidency, so she bit the bullet and did it.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I suggest a month off for her.

              “Relax, Hillary. You’re ahead. You will beat Sanders. Go ahead, have a good time in sunny Tripoli.”

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Such an age we live in, war crimes like Hilary’s smashing of Libya don’t even get noticed, let alone prosecuted.
                So now Libya is a terror hotbed streaming arms across the region, the nation with the highest standard of living in Africa is destroyed, the world’s largest irrigation project has been bombed to smithereens, and the refugee tide swamping Europe now has a perfect coastline to launch from. Hilary’s emails showed without a shadow of a doubt that the motivations behind this savage war crime were 0.0% about “humanitarianism” and 100% about oil and money.
                “We came, we saw, he died”. How anyone can express shock at the global revulsion and hatred for Americans, their Empire, and this woman is beyond belief.

            2. nippersdad

              I have had that sense too, but for different reasons. I think she was shanghaied into running by her partners in crime as being their most electable member.

              All things being equal, what personal reasons would she have for running other than disappointed political ambitions? She could just rest on her laurels of being a former SoS, that should heal some wounds right there. They have banked 200 million bucks with the infrastructure to make even more and have all of the Davos friends they will ever need. She could spend some time with her grand kid….

              Her reasons would have to be big, and I think it was the clubs’ fear of a one way trip to the Hague.

              1. hreik

                Interesting. I disagree tho. I believe she is a deeply unhappy woman. Like her husband there is no core. She lives and feeds off others. It’s how they roll. If they weren’t so powerful and dangerous at that, I’d feel more sorry for them. As humans go, they are pretty pathetic, imho.

                1. nippersdad

                  “As humans go, they are pretty pathetic, imho.”

                  And in that we find full agreement.

    2. Pat

      It isn’t that the entrance fee is too high? Oh, wait you said rallies not fund raisers. Sorry, I forgot she does those every once in a while in between trying to take the rubes for more campaign money.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        I’ll never view a Clooney movie the same way again. He has played all these common man roles fighting the system. On the positive note it proves he is a good actor I guess. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

        1. ambrit

          Clooney as “The Golden Fleecer?” That’s real acting if true. I had supposed that H Clinton was that character.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Who will play Hillary, in the inevitable tragic biopic about how an idealistic, ambitious young policy wonk fell victim to the ways of the world, ending her career in scandal rather than in the Oval Office?

            It’s the role of a lifetime. (We’re going to miss her when she’s gone.)

                1. nippersdad

                  Kim Jong Un could do wardrobe. Madeleine Allbright and Henry Kissinger could get the extras for cheap….

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Yeah that was the rally where she yelled at the attendee (my link above). I googled that rally and only found close ups of the stage, no wide shots of the venue and crowd.
          This pic is from SUNY Purchase rally

        2. Pat

          It was a joke riffing on yesterday’s link to her upcoming schedule where the campaign events where she or her surrogates actually try to get new voters were buried under a landslide of fund raisers. She is still doing them, just not many of them.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            More fundraisers could lead to (if successful, not guaranteed of course) more spending fire power later.

            “Thank you for coming. We’ll see you at the Inaugural. My door…is always open.”

            But everyone wants to tire her out…the worst scenario: She makes to the general election too tired or too old to fight the Republicans.

            Let’s petition to let her have a month off.

            1. sleepy

              I’m 65 and was going to post something about how tired and sleep-deprived you can be when you get up there in years. And a little snappy too.

              Then I remembered how old Sanders is.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Bernie can keepon working.

                Hillary, if people here are correct, should take a month off.

                “Enjoy. You will clobber Sanders, Hillary.”

    1. abynormal

      Good Link..comments are ‘boots on the ground’ and US needs to hear it, for whateva its worth.
      Oliver Stone felt the need to register that pot is boiling:

      “We’re going to war — either hybrid in nature to break the Russian state back to its 1990s subordination, or a hot war (which will destroy our country). Our citizens should know this, but they don’t because our media is dumbed down in its “Pravda”-like support for our “respectable,” highly aggressive government. We are being led, as C. Wright Mills said in the 1950s, by a government full of “crackpot realists: in the name of realism they’ve constructed a paranoid reality all their own.” Our media has credited Hillary Clinton with wonderful foreign policy experience, unlike Trump, without really noting the results of her power-mongering. She’s comparable to Bill Clinton’s choice of Cold War crackpot Madeleine Albright as one of the worst Secretary of States we’ve had since … Condi Rice? Albright boasted, “If we have to use force it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.”

      (Stone’s reference point is Hillary’s foreign policies…to which i ask ‘What Policies’? anyone read the first round of Hillary’s rants on wiki leaks?…blew my mind! She’s Gross)

      1. apber

        If the truth be known, both Russia and China have better weapons systems than we do. It would be abject insanity to bait either the bear or the dragon. It would lead to the ultimate in Gate’s and Rockefeller’s depopulation agenda. Are we that stupid?

        1. abynormal

          Yes, We Are. “Yesterday, during a briefing in Latvia’s capital Riga, NATO Gen. Philip Breedlove said that NATO and the United States are switching their defense doctrine from assurance to deterrence in Eastern Europe in response to a “resurgent and aggressive Russia.” Breedlove added that “We are prepared to fight and win if we have to … our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness,” Breedlove said following talks with Baltic region NATO commanders.”

          This is a Test…but Not an April Fools Joke

        2. Gio Bruno

          That is why Oobama decided his line in the sand in Syria was actually a manner of speaking.

          When Putin sent naval cruisers with hi-tech missiles into the Mediterranean the line vanished. Those missiles, traveling at Mach 3 would obliterate US cruise missiles traveling at less than Mach 1. (See your bet and raise it by 3X.)

          1. abynormal

            this also tells of the plan of nato escalation on the eastern front.
            not even close to being enough.
            a while back i remember seeing that even nato knows they would lose big X if it came to war with russia.
            Xi Jinping is meeting with O and telling him to watch his words and actions in the south china sea, Again.

            the west wants regime change in russia…wishful, this round won’t rhyme like the last do to present ECONOMIC WARS.
            what the west fears most is an even greater and tighter $ino/ru$$o alliance. at this point, we are proving we lost #1 position long ago And at further ri$k of ‘hot zones’ since we posses not one learned politician in the art DIPLOMACY.
            Iran, Turkey and a desperate EU could have to cower behind the bear. if SCO picks up India…well we will have ourselves one hell of a party.(China wouldn’t lose on that investment.)

            as Skippy would say, ‘Cheers Mate’

    2. john

      RE: Turkey

      I had a minor epiphany last week where I realized an ego-maniac like Edrogan can’t help but play both sides of the US-Russia divide. Especially with his war with the Kurds… and our plan to divide Iraq and set them up indepenently… not that the Kurds have done Turkey any favors, but it looks good in a lunatics map-room.

      Yeah. This is not due to ‘terrorists’ but political rifting.

      RE: Hilllary/ Bernie’s age She’s no spring chicken either. I hear she has an unresolved blood clot in her brain…

      Taking a campaign break? Maybe as a power-move, but she’s been campaigning her WHOLE LIFE.

      1. Praedor

        Where is this coming from? First there’s suggestions here about a stroke, now an “unresolved blood clot in her brain” (a cause of many strokes…vs a bleed stroke).

        I’d LOVE for her to drop out for health reasons to try and stave off, say, an indictment from the FBI and to end her war mongery Prez ambitions but I need facts, not rumor. Where’s the clot story coming from?

          1. RMO

            “We are prepared to fight and win if we have to”

            Since the U.S. military hasn’t managed a clear “win” since 1945 (I usually define “winning” a war as bringing about a medium to long term settlement of specific political issues through military action) I seriously doubt that. I’m also wondering how much more “deterrence” can be bought given that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is still big enough to kill everyone on the planet even if the warheads were just set off where they sit right now.

    1. phred

      Agreed : ) At first I thought it was legit and then I realized I had been had ; ) Wonderful “quotes” in there : )

    2. HotFlash

      Exclusive: royal family considering dramatic Brexit intervention Guardian (Dennis)

      Ah, that dry British humour! And thanks, I forgot abt April Fool. Off to tie some shoelaces together and other light-hearted pranks!

      1. fosforos

        I noticed nothing there about the Bonnie Prince. They may, perhaps, know something about the TTIP and his concern about the coming EU capitulation to the Monsantos of the world and their puppy Obama.

  3. James Levy

    I had mentioned Wales once before as a place where the EU is popular and which has used grant monies from the EU to great effect. I lived there and you saw advertising all over the place for projects funded with EU monies. Given the complete alienation of Wales from the Tory/London nexus of power, a vote for Brexit does not bode well for national cohesion; it may make the English feel great, but the Celtic Fringe isn’t going to take it lying down.

    1. paul

      Well here in Scotland, I am baffled as to why any newly independent country would want to don the straitjacket that europe demands of its inmates.
      I’ll be voting no, but will be happy to join when they’ve got it all worked out.

      1. fosforos

        Maybe the Bonnie Prince will drop the Battenbergs, change his last name to Stuart, and offer himself as the first head of state of an independent Scots/Welsh celtic state?

        1. paul

          It wouldn’t be the first time for the windsors nee saxe coburg gotha (Saxe Coburg street in edinburgh has not caught up with the perp protection plan yet)

  4. Steve H.

    HUDSON: This was the one thing that Alan Greenspan contributed to economic theory: the Traumatized Worker Syndrome. He said, the reason you’ve had this huge productivity gain without any wage increase is workers are afraid to go on strike, or even to complain about working conditions, because they’re just one paycheck away from homelessness.

    HEDGES: Which is true.

    HUDSON: And if they miss a credit card payment, all of a sudden their credit card fee escalates to 29%. Even if they’re late on a utility bill, the bank will raise the fee.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Being afraid to go on strike, or having the national organizations infiltrated? One look at the national addresses of all the major unions (beltway denizens, all) shows you that Washington-thought is running all over those places. Why else would Trumka et al be endorsing Democrats without the candidates even offering a peep in support of union goals?

      No, unions died in Washington, not in the rank and file. Just like everything else that comes in too close contact with the Democratic Party.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a more subtle form, less likely to get human rights activists all worked up – you punish the slaves by depriving them of meals for days (the threat of it, of course, is enough), instead of whipping them for a few hours.

      “You have to improve as a slave master. Be more perfidio…check that, be more sophisticated. Then you can criticize your supply-chain global-reserve-money-hungry vendor-countries as brutal savages.”

  5. DakotabornKansan

    Because we’re America.

    Two peas in a pod:

    “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.” – Madeleine Albright

    “When I say we are truly the indispensable nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities.” – Hillary Clinton

    Pity the poor pod. Pity the victims of the indispensable nation.

    How many foreign governments has the United States overthrown over the decades? Attempted to overthrow? How many populist-nationalist movements rebelling against intolerable regimes have we helped to squash? How many have we killed with our bombings? How many millions more have had to endure the agony and suffering rained upon them by the indispensable nation?

    “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell

    “In France, innumerable summary executions occur, even as I sit here writing. Each day certainly more than a thousand people are killed, and thousands of German men experience murder as a matter of routine. And yet all of that is child’s play compared to what’s going on in Poland and Russia. Can I learn about this and just sit at the table in my heated apartment and drink tea? Don’t I establish my complicity simply by doing nothing? What will I say in the future, when someone asks me: and what did you do during this time?” – Helmuth von Moltke, letter to his wife, Oct. 19, 1941

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Madeleine Albright and some other MIC Shill were on PBS Newshour this week, telling us all that we (the US) are the only ones that can “Fix” the Middle East. And to be prepared for a long slugfest (like decades). Madeleine and the Shill are part of a “task force” that will create the blue print.

      Yeah like the last couple decades really made progress. And thank gawd Madeleine ‘Special Place In Hell‘ Albright is on the case.

    2. Vatch

      Thanks for introducing me to Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, grand nephew of Helmuth von Moltke the Elder. Tragically, the person you quote was executed by the Nazis on Jan. 23, 1945.

    3. Alex morfesis

      Little moltke said…
      alors, c’est la guerre…
      commonly known as O-X-I.

      The germans called Ioannis Metaxas little moltke…
      Somewhere in the back of my puny little time imagination…despite his not fully disclosed german background…I envision trump as a modern day metaxas who against insane odds…is dancing himself into the job of first peasant…yes I am voting for the bern…just suggesting that the truth is hardly ever what it appears to be…
      especially on french new years day.

  6. Milton

    Re: Hero lawmaker urges colleagues to stop saying ‘physical’ when they mean ‘fiscal’ –
    I’ve noticed an increase in the term “oldtimers”, or some variant thereof, in place of “Alzheimer’s”.

    1. Benedict@Large

      I wonder who the ones are that say ‘physical’ instead of ‘fiscal’. Probably the same ones that are calling for a balanced budget and the gold standard.

      1. ambrit

        Technically correct usage. Gold Buggery is a form of ‘Physical Policy’ in economics. Such as: “We had to become quite ‘physical’ in our resource allocations. It turned into a ‘rough trade’ in the Wall Street Pit.” See also; QE3 Way, also known as the ‘Third Way.’

    2. Vatch

      Perhaps people start using “physical” for “fiscal” after they have been brain damaged by exposure to nucular waste?

    3. Antifa

      Alzheimer’s? Our Grandpa is headed that direction.

      We tell him he’s more Reaganesque every day.

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Bernie Sanders Is Gaining on Hillary Clinton in Her Own Backyard Mother Jones

    “In 2014, a law professor with no name recognition and little money or organization, Zephyr Teachout, won a third of the vote in her primary challenge to the state’s incumbent Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo.”

    All I ever knew about Zephyr Teachout I learned from reading this site–I don’t live in New York. I’d imagine most people in the country have no idea who she is.

    But her campaign against elite democratic insider cuomo was remarkable, and I hope many more americans can be made aware of what happened.

    Particularly the part about how the “special place in hell,” uber-feminista clinton endorsed the not-the-woman cuomo.

    1. fosforos

      But just like all the rest of the Demoncruds and the WFP trolls she refused to support Howie Hawkins in the general election against a crook (Cuomo) without any Repugnicon opponent, not even a Trumpe-l’oeil, to profess pretend-terror at.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Pray tell, why you think Teachout owed Hawkins or the Greens anything? In addition, the Dems own New York state. Hawkins had zero chance of winning no matter what Teachout did. So Teachout should throw away her political future (the only place she can run these days is in New York) in a quixotic gesture when she demonstrated, dramatically, that she is a contender?

      2. Lambert Strether

        I’d add that the Greens need to develop their own candidates, organically; parachuting outsiders in doesn’t have a good history. (I’m assuming that in order to support Hawkins, Teachout would have to change her registatration.)

  8. Queen of Mena

    Renewed interest in the 1952 convention treats it strictly as party deliberations, suppressing an important point: Ike was the annointed candidate of the Dulles brothers. As Stone points out, reallocation of delegates was a fait accompli once Martin went along. The choice was not a matter of credentials. The practical implication of the party coup was the New Look, that is, emphasis on nuclear deterrence and clandestine foreign interference. With that, the ‘president’s Gestapo’ really got the bit in their teeth.

    Taft had to be sidelined because he was a rule-of-law extremist – though he was tarred as an isolationist, his problem with the UN was the veto kluge. He wrote “nothing can be law if the five largest nations can exempt themselves from its application.” Without the veto, you lose the impunity underlying the Central Intelligence Agency Act.

    Same thing here. Dem party delegate theft and electoral fraud are benefitting CIA’s candidate Clinton. If anybody thinks this administration – the Brennan administration – is going to indict Hillary, well, then, I am a Nigerian Prince and I need $182.30 for bank fees to secure my patrimony, please help me.

  9. fresno dan

    Free trade is about as close to a sacred tenet as can be found in classical and neoclassical economic theory. And there is no economic heresy more sacrilegious than protectionism.
    Free trade has never been popular among the masses. Supporting free trade has sometimes been a way for politicians to establish that they are “serious,” high-minded, and principled, and therefore worthy of the support those who fancy themselves as “serious,” high-minded and principled. And so there is a kind of moral pressure on politicians to pronounce themselves as free traders, though with the immediate qualification tacked on that they also believe in fair trade.
    The key to understanding that disconnect is, I suggest, the way in which economists have been trained to think about individual and social welfare, which, it seems to me, is totally different from how most people think about their well-being. In the standard utility-maximization framework, individual well-being is a monotonically increasing function of individual consumption, leisure being one of the “goods” being consumed, so that reductions in hours worked is, when consumption of everything else is held constant, welfare-increasing. Even at a superficial level, this seems totally wrong.
    Moreover, insofar as people depend on being employed in order to finance their routine consumption purchases, they know that being employed is a necessary condition for maintaining their current standard of living. For many if not most people, the unplanned loss of their current job would be a personal disaster, which means that being employed is the dominant – the overwhelming – determinant of their well-being. Ordinary people seem to understand how closely their well-being is tied to the stability of their employment, which is why people are so viscerally opposed to policies that, they fear, could increase the likelihood of losing their jobs.
    I would add that economists “assume a can opener” – WHOOPs, I meant assume the benefits are evenly distributed. Just as their has been GDP and productivity growth the last 50 years except for trivial exceptions, the “benefits” of GDP and productivity, as well as trade are not evenly distributed, and the costs concentrated on those least able to bear them.
    And as I and many others have said, this is not some unavoidable consequence of nature, but policies that are designed to weaken wages. The 1% certainly understands how to cleverly design an economy exclusively for their own benefit. Finally the public is catching on.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Free trade equals tax evasion, bribery and money laundering opportunities unlimited…period end of story…

      1. inhibi

        Always thought the Onion should post a real story on April Fools day. Doubt anyone would notice these days.

  10. ambrit

    That “Upgraded” nuclear weapons article, though short, points to way to Gehenna.
    This agenda alone from Obama shows undeniably the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Nobel Prize Committee.
    I can see Obamas’ statement now; “If you get in our way, we’ll blow you straight to H—. Why, well, because “Yes We Can.””
    Smaller, more ‘flexible’ nukes will geometrically increase the probability of their use. MAD ‘worked’ because no one wanted to have the ‘other side’ destroy the entire country. Now, Colorado Springs? Heh! Let em have it. We’ll take out Sebastopol. Fair trade.” And thus, a million people die.
    The dire miscalculation here is that ‘the other’ is going to act “responsibly” and use proportional response as his or her strategy. The Neos have forgotten that MAD was formulated to insure that exactly such scenarios do not occur. If the Neos aren’t very careful, they might bring about the actual ‘End of Human History.’

    1. paul

      They stuck a toe in the water with depleted uranium, I didn’t see any negative outcomes reported from that.

      1. ambrit

        You just ‘pegged’ my Sarc-O-Meter.
        On another aspect of that, what about all those Saddam era Armoured Fighting Vehicles being scrapped and recycled? Is anyone testing for depleted uranium contamination of that metal? Will someone be, or perhaps already is, hawking “glow in the dark” kitchenware to the populace of the Middle East?
        How about the metre wide Camel Spiders popping up in the southern Desert? Someone I know with who had been southern Iraq said that the ordinary Camel Spiders were dangerous enough. Now, with all that radiation induced super mutation ‘kicking in,’ ‘creepy crawlies’ is taken to a new level.

        1. optimader

          Incidents of radioactive scrap introduced into the recycled metal loop happens more that you may think. Certain State Police cars and others are equipped with radiation detection equipment.

          1. ambrit

            Hmmm… I can see some radiation measuring devices needed for Civil Defense work, but State Police? (Jokes about “State of Paranoia” come to mind…) Maybe these devices are being pre positioned to help find “stolen” mini nukes after the DoD floods the market with them. The more “stealable” nukes available, the greater the chances of one “going missing.”
            Of course, the biggest example of “radioactive recycling” I can think of would be Fukushima.

            1. optimader

              One incident I am aware was the discovery of a recycled metal scrap truck heading to Mexico that apparently included shredded contaminated shredded metal, I believe piping, from a nuke plant. Destined to be furniture as I recall. If it can happen, eventually it will.

    2. nippersdad

      They were really burned with that one. How many aspirational prizes can they give out before losing all credibility?

      As for the neocons, they lost their minds a long time ago. Miscalculations like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine are going to be the death of us even without the use of nuclear weaponry. I can only assume that their wildly disproportionate actions are meant to preclude amalgamation of the BRICS into a formidable economic adversary, but it would appear that they are only making them even more determined. As anyone with any commons sense could have told them.

      1. ambrit

        People with common sense did warn ‘them.’ Being convinced of their Divine inspiration, the Neos said “D–n the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”
        I’m convinced that the Obama Peace Prize, (hmmm.. an idea that,) is where the Nobel Committee “jumped the shark,” (Obama of course, being the shark in question.)
        Concerning usage; I have started lumping the neocons and the neolibs together into a generic “Neo” class. I view it as something akin to not so much arguing about how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin, as how many are wearing Red gauzy robes versus how many are wearing Blue gauzy robes.

        1. nippersdad

          There is a lot of truth to that, neoliberalism just doesn’t work without neoconservatism to back it up. If you can’t buy ’em, bomb ’em.

          1. ambrit

            “If you can’t buy ’em, bomb ’em.” Then make tons of money looting the ‘clean up.’

            1. nippersdad

              Yup, sad but true. We really do have some despicable people in this most exceptional of all countries.

          2. neo-realist

            No Assassination? Or Coup? Bombing tends to cause the masses to rally around the flagpole. With the former, many may think it’s a lone nut, with the latter, they may think he deserved it and had it coming. I’m talking about the public that doesn’t pay attention.

    3. Antifa

      Mutually Assured Destruction still applies. We nuke Sebastopol with an elegant and graceful 5-kiloton device artfully calibrated to keep radiation levels within parameters; the Russians turn the entire East Coast of America into cinders.

      Newsweek and the LA Times can editorialize all they want afterwards about how Russians are uncivilized savages at heart, but somehow it’s very little comfort.

      MAD is the Old, Old, Old Testament way, the way of the Akkadians and Hittites and a few other ancient tribes that didn’t run faster than Hittites.

      Most persons of Judeo-Christian upbringing have no idea that the Old Testament edict about “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” was actually a command to show a whole lot more self restraint in matters of loss and offense; to keep things on an even keel.

      In the Old, Old days, if someone from the next village stole a cow from your village, the usual response was to rush over there and kill all the males, enslave the children, rape the virgins, and burn everything to the ground. Leave no stone on top of another stone.

      Heaven help you if any of them got away, because they’d be back some day to do the same thing to your village in revenge.

      So laying down the rule that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was enough, was fair and fine with everybody was actually a big improvement on the previous method.

      The Old, Old, Old ways still get practiced now and then in the Middle East. You can read it in the papers.

      Russians are of the Old, Old, Old school. If you touch Mother Russia, there’s only one way it gets settled. And you won’t like it.

      1. fosforos

        The concept of proportional punishment was written in stone on Akkadian by Hammurabi, who is generally regarded as an Akkadian (pace Gunnar Heinsohn, who thinks he was really Darius the Great writing in Akkadian) who ruled Babylon and most of the fertile crescent long before any Bible texts were written down.

  11. SKL

    Exclusive: Russia, despite draw down, shipping more to Syria than removing

    Ha. Somehow I knew this was going to be an American-style “withdrawal”.

    1. optimader

      Manage perceptions.Time to overhaul burned out engines doesn’t mean there is any shortage of new/old stock iron bombs/artillery shells..

    2. Andrew Watts

      When Russia announced it’s withdrawal all of Assad’s enemies began fighting each other. While the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and it’s allies are free to focus on fighting Islamic State. A masterstroke with the benefit of hindsight,

      Anyway, It’s similar to what happened in Iraq once it became clear the Americans were leaving. That’s one of the reasons why the Surge “worked”. It’s also the reason why it’s likely the second Iraqi Civil War will erupt once IS has been eliminated.

  12. nippersdad

    Question for those in the know: What are the odds that, say, Bidens’ Ukrainian oil baron son will be caught up in the Unaoil scandal? So much of our foreign policy is bound up in shady deals to procure the rights to mineral wealth, is such an investigation going to be an existential threat to our powers that be? Ultimately become a backdoor war crimes tribunal?

    This could get very interesting.

      1. nippersdad

        That is prolly where they are, if they are anywhere. Unfortunately, I think that the DoJ is going to wipe her record, “like, with a rag”, before we will ever see any of those. I just can’t help but think that the fix is in on all of that, Grand Jury or no.

          1. nippersdad

            Someone who can clean up Washington? Change the way Washington works and make it the most transparent governmental operation in history?

            Nah, that could only happen in the dreams of our fathers….thus far….

          2. Jess

            Wanna see massive cardiac arrest on Capitol Hill? Elect Bernie, then watch him nominate Bill Black for A.G.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              To me, I think it’s a good idea to introduce your team while campaigning.

              Would have avoided unpleasant surprises like, What, he is going to head the Treasury?

              “Shock me before the election. Not after.”

  13. Bev

    #BernieMadeMeWhite: Meet the Black writer who called out the media for erasing people of color

    Katie Halper

    Leslie Lee III is a writer and English teacher from Baton Rouge, LA who lives in Yokahama, Japan with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Taco. His writing ranges from essays and articles on politics and Japanese wrestling, to the novel he is working on with his father about Kentucky’s Black coal miners. But according to some sources, Lee does not actually exist. He’s a figment of the imagination. Because he’s both Black and a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

    The nice thing about the notion of the unbearable whiteness of being a Sanders supporter is that it doesn’t need to be based in reality. On Saturday, for example, CNN attributed Sanders’ landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington primaries to the whitey-mcwhiteyness of the states:
    These caucus states — largely white and rural — are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month. In theory, it’s possible. But the reality is tough.
    Likewise, in theory, it’s possible to portray these states as white. But the reality is tough. Because they’re not.
    He explained, “The common narrative in this election that Bernie has a ‘minority problem’ or that all his supporters are ‘bros’ is pervasive, and insulting to the POCs [People of Color] and women who support [him].” But, “it hit a peak… when Hawaii, the least white state in the nation, retroactively became white or ‘not diverse’ due to the fact that Bernie won it. So, I started #BernieMadeMeWhite.”  And, Lee tweeted to me, “since my real existence as a black person who supports Bernie is ignored…  might as well embrace my new whiteness.”

    Hillary Clinton’s Support Among Nonwhite Voters Has Collapsed

    Seth Abramson Assistant Professor of English at University of New Hampshire; Series Co-Editor, Best American Experimental Writing

    On February 27th, Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders among African-American voters by 52 points.
    By March 26th, she led Sanders among African-Americans by just nine points.

    And today, Public Policy Polling, a widely respected polling organization, released a poll showing that Sanders leads Clinton among African-American voters in Wisconsin by 11 points.

    It’s all part of a dramatic national trend that has seen Clinton’s support among nonwhite voters dwindle to well under a third of what it was just a month ago — not nearly enough support to carry her, as it did throughout the Deep South, to future electoral victories in the Midwest and Northeast.

    So no, it’s not a coincidence that, in the 18 state primary elections since March 1st, Bernie Sanders has won on Election Day in 12 of them.

    (That’s right: Bernie won among live and provisional ballots in Arizona, Illinois, and Missouri.)

  14. afisher

    Hilarity ensues – as the Bloomberg “coverage of Unaoil” is buried in an article about Hedgefunds, scandals… You have to read the last sentence of the article to understand the ….but not here (totally ignoring Halliburton).

    Here is a multi-part investigation by Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post into Unaoil, a private Monaco company that helps Western companies win contracts in oil-rich countries. From that description, you can probably guess what the investigation is about. If not, here is a hint: The headlines at the top of Part 1 are “The Bribe Factory,” “World’s Biggest Bribe Scandal,” and “Unaoil: The Company That Bribed the World.” I find the bribery industry fascinating just because it so closely resembles the investment banking industry: In both, you give the customer free benefits now in the hope of lucrative contracts later, and in both, “the customer” who pays you is a faceless entity, but the way you win the lucrative contract is by buttering up actual individual decisionmakers. In a way this is true of most sales jobs, and it is perhaps not surprising that not every society draws the line between sales and bribery in the same way that the U.S. does.

  15. Jim Haygood

    A welcome reprieve for the Yellenites:

    Manufacturing expanded in March as the PMI registered 51.8 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the February reading of 49.5 percent, indicating growth in manufacturing for the first time since August 2015 when the PMI registered 51.0 percent.

    The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through March (49.8 percent) corresponds to a 2.1 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis.

    On the inflation front, the ISM price index jumped from 38.5 to 51.5, as commodity prices bounced back.

    Still lots of recession Jeremiahs out there, but the data don’t show anything other than slow, “muddle through” Groaf.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Hilarious. But only because nobody got hurt.

      Headline: The CIA is waging a secret war on autism.


      1. Andrew Watts

        CIA Agent #1 : “Are we going to take that back with us or just leave that there?”

        CIA Agent #2 : “I don’t really care.”

        CIA Agent #1 : “Look, I know you have two kids in school and have a problem with the education system but I don’t think this is the best way to address that issue.”

  16. Jim Haygood

    Hairball hubris:

    Four of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides appear to have adopted an unusual legal strategy, hiring the same ex-Justice Department attorney to represent them in the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private email server.

    Beth Wilkinson, a well-connected former assistant U.S. attorney is listed as representing three of Clinton’s top State Department staffers [Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Heather Samuelson], according to a congressional letter obtained by POLITICO and dated Feb. 10. A fourth Clinton aide, Philippe Reines, is also represented by Wilkinson, according to sources familiar with their representation.

    The united front suggests they plan to tell investigators the same story — although legal experts say the joint strategy presents its own risks, should the interests of the four aides begin to diverge as the probe moves ahead.

    Their “united front” is very much in the Clinton tradition.

    The Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese families called it omerta.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is it OK or legal for Trump to secretly fund their defense, so Hillary can make it to November, just in time for Donald to landslide her?

      “Just push it back a few months. That’s all I ask.”

  17. Propertius

    “Royal family considering dramatic Brexit intervention ”

    Well, of course they want to stay in the EU. They’re German, after all.

    Seriously, it astounds me that anyone in the 21st Century gives a toss what a family of inbred, overpaid parasites thinks.

    1. nippersmom

      People say satire is a lost art; perhaps it is not the art itself that is lost, but the appreciation of it.

      1. Propertius

        Then again, as reality approaches the singularity of infinite ridiculousness (President Trump? Really?), journalism and satire become indistinguishable. I plead raging jet lag.

        Still, I think the Windsors should change their name back in the spirit of Euro-solidarity.

  18. Pelham

    One of the funny things about the Trump coverage:

    Typically he’s lampooned for outrageous statements that he never walks back or apologizes for.

    But then when he makes an outrageous statement (re punishing women who seek abortions) and DOES walk it back and apologize, he’s lampooned even more.

    I think the BBC piece is on to something. All conventional politicians are known quantities. And, given the record of the past four decades or so, that known quantity is a reviled quantity — and quite understandably so.

    So anything that isn’t that — a Sanders or a Trump — is preferable. After all, why should we as voters be expected to continue beating our heads bloody against the same wall by returning yet another batch of neoliberals to power.

  19. Jim Haygood

    Welcome to the Greater East European Co-Prosperity Sphere, comrades:

    RIGA, Latvia — NATO and the United States are switching their defense doctrine from assurance to deterrence in Eastern Europe in response to a “resurgent and aggressive Russia,” the top US general in Europe said Thursday.

    “We are prepared to fight and win if we have to … our focus will expand from assurance to deterrence, including measures that vastly improve our overall readiness,” Breedlove said following talks with Baltic region NATO commanders.

    “To the east and north we face a resurgent and aggressive Russia, and as we have continued to witness these last two years, Russia continues to seek to extend its influence on its periphery and beyond.”

    In a functioning republic, Breedlove would be hauled before a Congressional committee to explain where he got the authority to engage in such a provocative policy change, normally the province of the president to announce.

    But Obama’s playing golf, so like the late Alexander Haig, Breedlove can fantasize that “as of now, I am in control here in the White House.

    It would be comical, if it weren’t so dangerous. Enlist your children today!

    1. nippersdad

      Scary. So Dr. Strangelove got a promotion? The mine gap must have been closed, and we didn’t get a memo.

      1. RMO

        Actually ol’ General Jack D. Ripper is looking remarkably sane in comparison with the current leadership. I think even his reason for going to war made more sense than any justification I’ve heard for the last decade and a half’s worth of conflict… We need pure essence dammit!

  20. Bas

    Vermonter here, for 11 years anyway, and always have loved Bernie. Am loving him more all the time. Yikes. I left the eastern shore of MD during the Dubya first term, after living in D.C. area for 25 years, and relief is still palpable. There is an excellent reason he draws big crowds, donations and voters. Go Bernie!
    and Gaius Publius just reinforces my gut feelings and experiences.

  21. Bas

    I like the warning at the Eagle Cam. I as an “animal rescuer” have witnessed some painful happenings. The temptation is to intervene, but I am not “God”. Nature is a teacher.

  22. Ray Phenicie

    The BBC story Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the ‘None of the Above’ era in politics remarks on Hillary’s huge unpopularity rating –

    Though Hillary Clinton is more popular than the property tycoon with general election voters, she still has the highest unfavorable rating – 53% – of any Democratic candidate in the past 30 years. To many, she fails the basic trust and likeability tests.

    This shows she is not able to win in the general election in a big enough way other than to maybe squeak through.

    But I would have thought the news on Hillary-her behaviour defines systemic corruption-would have knocked the wheels right off her campaign. Her influence peddling vis a vis the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department policy stands a millimeter back from illegality. And she knows this and has remarked on it many times. To me that defines a truly corrupt official. “Nah, Nah, catch me if you can!”
    One observer sites institutional corruption as

    Institutional corruption is manifest when there is a systemic and strategic influence which is legal, or even currently ethical, that undermines the institution’s effectiveness by diverting it from its purpose or weakening its ability to achieve its purpose, including, to the extent relevant to its purpose, weakening either the public’s trust in that institution or the institution’s inherent trustworthiness.

    But the news I was sure (I only found this a earlier in the week) would have knocked the Clinton racecar over to the oil and tire change loop for a long while was this bit. Exclusive: Former Obama Defense Intel Chief Says Hillary Should ‘Step Down’

    In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret.) said he thought the former Secretary of State should leave the Democratic presidential race: ”I think Hillary Clinton, for the good of the country, should step down and let this FBI investigation play out.”

    Flynn and other high-ranking former intelligence officials told TheDCNF they are alarmed that some of the nation’s most highly classified documents contained in a secretive program called the Special Access Program (SAP) were transferred to Clinton’s unclassified home server.

    The documents “had to be moved off electronically or removed out of the secure site physically, then it had to be put onto an unclassified email system,” Flynn said. “Someone who does this is completely irresponsible, but totally unaccountable and shows a streak of arrogance to the American public that is unworthy of anyone thinking they can run for President of the United States.”

    [emphasis added]

    Meanwhile your friendly blogger is trudging away at the goldmine of material linking the Clinton Foundation donors and State Department policy made while Clinton was ‘Madame Secretary.’

  23. ewmayer

    Re. Forget The Tough Talk – Saudi Arabia Is Desperate For a Production Freeze | OilPrice — I wonder of the Saudis have considered they might be better off with a unilateral cut, along with the expected market (over)reaction to announcement of same? Say they announce (and actually implemented) a 20% production cut … if that causes the oil price to rise 20% or more it’s a win for them, in terms of same-or-better revenues for less material output. That example may further be pessimistic in the price rise needed for breakeven, since what really matters is net *profits* on oil sales.
    Say their cost of production is $20/bbl,a dn current sale price is $30/bbl. If a 20% production cutback spikes the price by 20%, their per-barrel profit goes from $10 to $16, and their total profit on the reduced production amount rises by (1.6*0.8-1)*100% = 28%. And again, that 28% total-profit increase is on the basis of pumping 20% less of their finite remaining reserves out of the ground. Doing the numbers another way, the total-profits breakeven point for a 20% production cut, using the same example-production-and-current-sale-price numbers, in terms of a per-barrel $ price rise of X, is given by 0.8*(30+X-20)/(30-20) = 0.8*(10+X)/10 = 1, giving X = $2.5/bbl, thus only a roughly 8% price rise needed for breakeven. We saw a much larger relative price rise during the last few months’ oil-price short-squeeze rally, with no credible talk of production cuts, i.e. on mere rumors of discussions of such cuts.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me … am I missing some aspect of the eleventy-dimensional strategery here?

    1. John

      The primary point always has been to crush the expensive fracking and tar sands producers sufficient to bankrupt most of them, plus make their financiers to take large losses, such that it will be years before they can boost production again. Second point is to get Russia to join in cuts. Meanwhile, to Saudi intense disappointment, Iran deal lets them boost production, which will continue for a year… My guess Saudi wont think the time is ripe until year end, and lower prices, maybe 20, comes first.

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