Saturday, March 29, 2014

Gold Charts, Energy Charts, The Russians Are Coming!

As Broader Fears Fade, Gold Is Tarnished
Some investors are backing away from gold, as the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates and an easing of tension in Ukraine sends them in search of riskier assets.

On the other hand ...

10 Indicators Russia Might Invade Ukraine

Sean's note: Many of these seem spot-on. However, the author makes a point of referring to Russia as the "Fatherland." While Russia is sometimes formally referred to as Otechestvo (отечество) or Otchizna (отчизна), both of which mean "fatherland," the more colloquial and widespread word used is Rodina (birthland). And Rodina is a feminine words and typically personified as a mother (Sometimes referred to as birthland-mother). Hence, "Mother Russia."

My point is, the author has an ax to grind, and is willing to bend facts to make his point. That said, I gave a natural gas presentation this week in which I lay out my case for Russia invading Ukraine. Interestingly, my point -- that Russia covets the energy-rich areas in Eastern Ukraine -- was not among his points. So I guess now there are ELEVEN indicators/reasons why Russia could invade Ukraine. Holy crap!

See also: Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe for a fascinating read. And it brings us to one more fascinating map of Russia ..

So, let's make it 12 reasons why Russia could invade Ukraine -- the last being to get China on its side.  Do you hear about any of this from the mainstream media? No.  And that brings me to one more story ...

State of Journalism: The Lost Art of Fact Checking 

Even by the end of the 1990s, the fact checker model was fading at Time Inc. At that time, it wasn’t so much financial pressure, I don’t think, as it was the need for speed. What piece could afford to sit with a fact checker for two weeks before publication? 

Enough of that. Let's move on to less fear and more greed.

White House strategy to cut methane takes aim at oil industry

he first big target is the oil industry, with new Interior Department regulations coming later this year to curb venting and flaring of natural gas at wells on public lands and wider air mandates possible from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016.

In other news, natural gas storage in the U.S. is at a 10-year low.

That has big implications for prices for the remainder of the year.

And also interestingly, US oil & liquids production hit 10.58 million barrels per day in January, the 2nd most since March of 1986 

So, we must be swimming in oil, right?  Not exactly. In fact Crude oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, hub are down 32% over the past two months

But where did all the oil go? Well, US exports of petroleum products rose to 245,000 barrels per day, according to the EIA

Finally, China is now the world’s largest net importer of petroleum and other liquid fuels

That's food for thought, eh?

Have a great weekend.

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