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Expert Commentary: Libya Curtails OPEC Jawboning

– WTI moved sideways near $53 from the Sunday open through Thursday afternoon, submitting a high of $53.79 and a low of $52.08 along the way. The narrow $1.79 range over the last four days suggests to us that the market is still content to sit in a holding pattern until we get a stronger sense of how many of the 1.8m bpd that OPEC + non-OPEC exporters agreed to cut will actually be removed from the market. Traders were offered bullish statements from Saudi Arabia and Iraq midweek affirming that they are prepared to meet their ends of the supply…



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Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94% Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time

Just over six years ago, in December of 2010, we wrote “Charting America’s Transformation To A Part-Time Worker Society“, in which we predicted – and showed – that in light of the underlying changes resulting from the second great depression, whose full impacts remain masked by trillions in monetary stimulus and soon, perhaps fiscal, America is shifting from a traditional work force, one where the majority of new employment is retained on a full-time basis, to a “gig” economy, where workers are severely disenfranchised, and enjoy far less employment leverage, job stability and perks than their pre-crash peers. It also explains why despite the 4.5% unemployment rate, which the Fed has erroneously assumed is indicative of job market at “capacity”, wage growth not only refuses to materialize, but as we showed yesterday, the growth in real disposable personal income was the lowest since 2014.

 

When we first penned our article, it was dubbed “fringe” tinfoil hattery, or in the latest vernacular, “fake news.”

Fast forward 6 years, when a report by Harvard and Princeton economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, confirms exactly what we warned. In their study, the duo show that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era, from 10.7% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015. Alternative, or “gig” work is defined as “temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, independent contractors or freelancers”, and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.

The two economists also found that each of the common types of alternative work increased from 2005 to 2015—with the largest changes in the number of independent contractors and workers provided by contract firms, such as janitors that work full-time at a particular office, but are paid by a janitorial services firm.

Krueger, who until 2013 was also the top White House economist serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, was “surprised” by the finding.

Quoted by quartz, he said “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.

While the finding is good news for some, such as graphic designers and lawyers who hate going to an office, for whom new technology and Obamacare has made it more appealing to become an independent contractor. But for those seeking a steady administrative assistant office job, the market is grim. It also explains why despite an apparent recovery in the labor market, wage growth has been non-existant, due to the lack of career advancement and salary increase options for this vast cohort which was hired over the past decade.

The decline of conventional full-time work has impacted every demographic. Whether this change is good or bad depends on what kinds of jobs people want. “Workers seeking full-time, steady work have lost,” said Krueger. He then added, perhaps sarcastically, that “while many of those who value flexibility and have a spouse with a steady job have probably gained.”

Yes, well, spousal support aside, it also confirms another troubling finding this website reported first earlier this month, namely that the number of multiple jobholders has recently hit the highest number this century.

 

Not surprisingly, the study found that young workers represented the largest growth of contractors who frequently do not receive any kind of benefits, even when they are working full-time. The issue is particularly frustrating to employees in the entertainment industry where media conglomerates rely on freelancers for long periods of time without offering benefits, an arrangement frequently referred to as “permalance.”

None of these “qualitative” aspects, however, matter to the outgoing president, who believes his administration was a net positive for workers.

“Since I signed Obamacare into law (in 2010), our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs,” said Obama, during his farewell press conference last Friday.

He did not delve into the details of just what those 15 million new jobs were. Now we know; and we also know why the Fed is making a huge mistake in thinking it can hike rates and tighten financial conditions, to reverse engineer wage growth, when corporations are guaranteed to not increase wages even in response to higher rates, as the data above confirms that the amount of slack in the economy is vastly greater than virtually all economists are willing to admit.

The post Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94% Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time appeared first on crude-oil.top.


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Obama Administration Abstains, Defying Trump, As UN Votes To Condemn Israel Settlements

Israel lashed out at the Obama administration  “friends don’t act that way” after Ambassador Power abstained (refusing to veto) as The United Nations passed a resolution demanding Israel to stop settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory. As NYTimes notes, the administration’s decision not to veto the measure broke a longstanding American tradition of serving as Israel’s sturdiest diplomatic shield, and defied extraordinary pressure from President-elect Trump.

As The New York Times reports, the administration’s decision not to veto the measure came a day after Mr. Trump personally intervened to keep the draft measure, proposed by Egypt, from coming up for a vote on Thursday, as scheduled.

Mr. Trump’s aides said he spoke to the Israeli prime minister,Benjamin Netanyahu. Both men also spoke to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt postponed the vote.

 

But in a show of mounting frustration, a group of other countries on the 15-member Security Council — all of them relatively powerless temporary members with rotating two-year seats — snatched the resolution away from Egypt and put it up for a vote Friday afternoon.

 

It passed 14 votes in favor, with the United States abstaining.

Ambassador Power tried to explain herself (yes that Smantha Power):

  • *POWER QUOTES REAGAN IN DEFENSE OF U.S. ABSTENTION ON UN VOTE
  • *POWER SAYS VOTE WAS NOT `STRAIGHTFORWARD’ FOR U.S.
  • *POWER SAYS ISRAEL STILL TREATED DIFFERENTLY AT THE UN
  • *POWER: CAN’T CHAMPION SETTLEMENTS AND TWO-STATE SOLUTION TOO
  • *POWER: UN RESOLUTION `TOO NARROWLY FOCUSED’ ON SETTLEMENTS

As yet Donald Trump has not tweeted his response, but the Israelis are not happy:

  • *ISRAEL’S STEINITZ ON U.S. VOTE: `FRIENDS DON’T ACT THAT WAY’
  • *UN VOTE NOT ANTI-SETTLEMENT, IT’S ANTI-ISRAEL: YUVAL STEINITZ
  • Manoj Rawal: U.S. HAS “ABANDONED ISRAEL,” #ISRAELI MINISTER CLOSE TO #NETANYAHU SAYS AFTER UN SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON
  • *ISRAEL’S DANON SAYS U.S. VETO OF UN MOVE `WAS TO BE EXPECTED’
  • *ISRAEL’S DANON: `NEW ERA’ WILL COME WITH TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Paul Ryan has chimed in:

  • *RYAN SAYS U.S. REFUSAL TO VETO UN ISRAEL RESOLUTION `SHAMEFUL’

The post Obama Administration Abstains, Defying Trump, As UN Votes To Condemn Israel Settlements appeared first on crude-oil.top.


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<b>Crude Oil</b> Above USD53, US Rig Count Soaring

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) – Crude oil prices rebounded from early … The total active US rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also …The post <b>Crude Oil</b> Above USD53, US Rig Count Soaring appeared first on crude-…


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Libyan Supply Fears Dampen Oil Price Optimism

It appears that oil markets have stabilized over the Christmas holidays, with light trading and low volatility, while fears of a Libyan supply increase are adding downward pressure to oil prices. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Oil prices remained mostly stable this week on light trading and few major price-altering headlines. However, some weakness in the rally emerged as fears over restored Libyan supply weighed on prices. The influence of the…



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Mr. Putin Comes To Washington? “If Trump Invites Me, Of Course I’ll Come”

We can only imagine the establishment’s reaction to their arch-nemesis appearance on their doorstep, but as TASS reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he is ready to pay a visit to the US if the new US President Donald Trump sends an invitation to him.

“If Trump invites to come to the United States, then I will certainly come,” Putin told reporters.

 

The Russian president refrained from providing the exact date of his possible meeting with the US President-elect.

 

“It’s difficult to say now, first the president-elect of the United States has to take the time to put together his future cabinet,” Putin stressed.

According to our records this would be Putin’s first official visit to the United States since July 2007.

The post Mr. Putin Comes To Washington? “If Trump Invites Me, Of Course I’ll Come” appeared first on crude-oil.top.



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Shale Gas Is Back With This $2 Billion Acquisition

A nearly $2 billion natural gas deal could signal a sign that companies are interested in gas drilling again after a long downturn. Gulfport Energy announced plans to issue new shares in order to finance a $1.85 billion acquisition of acreage in Oklahoma’s SCOOP basin. The SCOOP has emerged as arguably the next most exciting shale play, with acreage still largely undeveloped. The Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania and Ohio have been home to the bulk of the shale gas revolution, although Oklahoma has seen years of shale gas drilling…