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Asian equities were mostly flat, Nikkei up 0.4% as yen weakens

Asian equities were mostly flat, as traders anxiously eyed U.S. crude prices … Crude benchmarks plunged more than 5 percent during U.S. hours on …The post Asian equities were mostly flat, Nikkei up 0.4% as yen weakens appeared first on crude-o…

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Oil Prices Take 5% Hit As U.S. Crude Inventories, Production Soar

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices dropped five percent to a $50 rate on Wednesday in its biggest dip since September 2015, according to Zero Hedge. Reuters reported that the plunge came as U.S. inventories surge to record highs every week, fueling doubts about the effectiveness of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ strategy to curb production in order to deal with the global supply glut. “We’re seeing some ‘GMO trading’, or ‘Get-Me-Out’ type trading,” Andrew Lebow, from the Commodity Research Group in Darien, Connecticut,…

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OPEC Offers Olive Branch To U.S. Shale

Anybody who is anybody in the world of oil is gathering in Houston this week for the IHS CERAWeek Conference, an annual get-together of top industry analysts, executives and government ministers. The mood in Houston is notably different from a year ago, when oil prices languished in the $30s per barrel. Everyone can thank OPEC for the renewed sense of optimism. At the conference, OPEC said that it would continue to be the “only catalyst” for balancing the market, a comment meant to emphasize OPEC’s significance after several years…

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Nigerian Economy Pick-Me-Up To Privatize Portions Of Oil Sector

The new blueprint has been designed to comply with demands made by the World Bank and other international lenders who are prepared to fund new energy projects in exchange for oil-sector liberalization. Privatizing portions of the West African country’s oilfields will “optimize their efficiency and reduce fiscal burden on the government,” according to the plan posted on the Ministry of Budget and National Planning’s official website. To raise government revenues by 350 billion naira, the plan also proposes raising the value-added…

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NBC Reporter “Fact Checks” Trump’s Job Creation Claims and Destroys You in the Process

Jane Timm from NBC was working very diligently today, on International Women’s Day of all days, in order to set the record straight for you Trumpsters out there who believe that he’s done anything at all on the jobs front (note: ADP said 298k new jobs were created in America for the month of February, far exceeding the forecast of 190k).

Here’s a brief summary of some of the high profile announcements President Trump made, regarding new job creations, versus the actual reality (thank you Jane Timm)

Exxon led until recently by President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, announced a $20 billion, 47,000 jobs investment in America with a press release a little after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.
Less than an hour later, Trump applauded the oil giant with effusive tweets and a White House press release remarkably similar to Exxon’s own. He also claimed credit for the announcement in a video released on social media.
“This is something that was done to a large extent because of our policies and the policies of this new administration,” Trump said in the video. “I said we’re bringing back jobs. This is one big example of it.”
But the investment isn’t new. At least some of the spending on that $20 billion investment began in 2013, Exxon’s press release reveals, and is expected to continue through 2022. One project the company touted has already been completed. Still, Exxon’s new CEO specifically praised Trump’s administration.
This isn’t the first time Trump has claimed credit for job creation and corporate spending that was initiated sometimes years before his presidential run — or that a company has repackaged old news to seem fresh.
“Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” Trump said during his joint address to Congress.
Here, we fact check the various announcements Trump has sought to take credit for.

GET READY TO BE DESTROYED TRUMPSTERS. Jane Timm is going to fact check Trump’s record on jobs for the past month and sixteen days — without ever mentioning official jobs numbers or economic statistics. BEHOLD.

Just weeks after his election, Trump bragged that he struck a deal with the state of Indiana and Carrier to preserve more than 1,100 jobs that would have otherwise been sent to Mexico. (United Technologies, Carrier’s parent company, had previously said 2,100 total jobs would go to Mexico from two different facilities — the Carrier plant, and a United Technologies Electronics Controls facility.)
The company received $7 million in tax incentives over a decade, and credited Trump for his job-saving prowess.
But the numbers tell a different story. Trump’s deal saved 800 jobs or fewer, according to union officials, and around 350 of those jobs had not been slated to leave. Amid the fanfare, Carrier announced that they’d send other jobs — 600, by one estimate — to Mexico. Another 700 jobs from the UTEC facility will also be outsourced.
Did Trump help save or create jobs?Yes, but not the more than 1,000 he claimed.

(Timm sharpens blade and sticks it into your heart, causing your heart to explode)

In November, Trump boasted that he had “worked hard” to keep Ford’s Lincoln plant in Kentucky, but the plant wasn’t going anywhere.
Ford had been investing in the plant for years, and while the company had considered moving production of a single model of Lincoln to an existing Mexican plant to make room for production of another car, the company says it wouldn’t have had an impact on jobs in either country. They did say their decision not to shift car production did have something to do with Trump, however.
In January, the company ditched plans for a new $1.6 billion Ford Focus plant in Mexico, saying it would keep the car’s production at an existing Mexican plant. It also announced a $700 million investment in an existing Michigan plant to build more electric vehicles, creating 700 more jobs in the United States. The company stressed that it didn’t cut a deal with the president, and that its decisions were rooted in business priorities rather than politics. However, Ford did say that the decision meant a “vote of confidence” in Trump’s pro-business policy plans.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? When it comes to jobs in the Lincoln plant, no. Trump may have had a hand in Ford’s decision to invest more dollars in the U.S., but the carmaker has refuted the notion that it was a direct result of his presidency.

(Timm removes knife, cleans off the blood with a pink cloth and then sticks it into your eye socket, twisting it until your eye is removed)

Fiat Chrysler
Fiat Chrysler announced in early January that they’d invest $1 billion in plants in Warren, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio, adding 2,000 jobs. Trump took credit for the announcement in his joint address, but Fiat Chrysler said the deal arose from talks with United Auto Workers and that the plans predated then President-elect Trump to decisions made in 2015.
“I wish I could give him credit for this,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters recently. “But the thinking was in place beforehand.”
Marchionne did say that the company would need clarity from the president before making any production decisions about Mexico.
Did Trump help save or create jobs?Not yet, according to the company’s CEO.

(Timm removes blade and then opens up your stomach with it, removing your small intestines, playing with it like silly string)
General Motors

General Motors announced a $1 billion investment in January alongside the creation or retention of 1,500 manufacturing jobs, the return of 450 jobs from Mexico, and the addition of 5,000 jobs “over the next few years” in finance and technology.
GM officials stressed that the decision dates back as early as 2014, long before Trump got involved and threatened a “big border tax” for the company because it imports several thousand hatchbacks to the U.S. from Mexico. GM CEO Mary Barra, who is on Trump’s economic advisory council, said the firm had no plans to alter their manufacturing plans to please the president.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? Nope.

(Timm cuts off your right leg with one fell swoop)

Trump took credit for Sprint’s plant to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States — “because of me they are doing 5,000 jobs in this country,” he said — as well as the 3,000 jobs OneWeb said they’d add, and the $50 billion investment by SoftBank that fueled both firms’ job growth. Trump met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in December.
Sprint and OneWeb confirmed later that the job growth had been previously announced, and SoftBank said the investment had been in the works since October as part of SoftBank’s promised 50,000 new jobs. There is some indication that SoftBank’s CEO increased the size of the investment in OneWeb and the number of new hires, however.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? Possibly. It’s clear that the investment was already happening, though Trump may have helped boost it.

(Timm, now rabid with blood thirst, cuts jugular vein and begins drinking your blood)

Lockheed Martin
Lockheed announced 1,800 new jobs before Trump even took office, as part of a deal they were working out with the Pentagon for fighter jets. The government contractor later credited Trump for the deal, as well as the cost-cutting measures Trump gave himself credit for, but experts say both things had been in the works for awhile. No matter the favor they may be trying to curry with the new president, taxpayer savings and new jobs aren’t his doing completely.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? Trump’s administration inked the deal a few weeks into his term and Lockheed did credit him, but Trump didn’t sew this deal together himself.

(Timm removes your left arm from your torso with small ax)

After meeting with Trump in February, Intel pledged to commit $7 billion to build a new factory in Arizona, hiring at least 3,000 employees. Intel’s CEO credited Trump with the move, despite the fact that Intel’s domestic investment had been in the works for years; construction on a factory began in 2011, though it was delayed when demand decreased.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? Intel says he helped create jobs, but their investment had been in the works (though delayed) since 2011.

(Timm saws off your left leg with rusty hacksaw)

In January, Walmart said they’d add 10,000 jobs. Trump thanked them in a tweet, but the jobs had been previously announced in October as part of a $6.8 billion capital-spending plan.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? There’s no evidence that he had any impact here.

(Timm castrates you and begins to cook your testicles in a wok with organic avocado oil)

The Chinese e-commerce giant’s founder, Jack Ma, met with Trump in January, announcing that Alibaba helped create 1 million jobs in the United States. Trump said the group wasn’t considering doing that before he got elected, but the company’s founder has been talking about it for years.
Asked if he and Trump had talked about that investment, Ma said “no.” The Washington Post reported that the numbers don’t add up: it’s unlikely that the tech giant with just 35,000 employees can grow so quickly in the U.S.
Did Trump help save or create jobs? Trump is taking credit for jobs that appear to have been in the works before that he didn’t specifically discuss with the group’s founder while experts doubt the reality of such investment. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.

(Timm sits down to eat your testicles, washing it down with a warm cup of non-organic herbal tea)

A review of sleepy teas: “The herbs aren’t organic, so hippies I consulted don’t adore this one, but I do.”

— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) March 2, 2017

How will you ever recover?

Pro tip: you won’t.
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Trump Reportedly Considering 1,000 Troop Deployment To Kuwait To Fight ISIS

President Trump had made defeating ISIS one of the key goals of his presidency, and if Reuters’ sources are to be believed, the administration is weighing a deployment of up to 1,000 American soldiers to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force in the fight against Islamic State as U.S.-backed fighters accelerate the offensive in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon has so far declined to comment on the leak.

After The House passed the $578 Billion defense bill (for the rest of FY17) this afternoon, Reuters reports that the decision on whether to create a more rapidly deployable Kuwait-based force is part of the ongoing review of the United States’ strategy to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where around 6,000 U.S. troops are deployed, largely in advisory roles, the officials said. Proponents of the US troop deployment option, which has not been previously reported, said it would provide U.S. commanders on the ground greater flexibility to quickly respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges on the battlefield. It would also represent a step away from standard practices under President Barack Obama’s administration by leaving the ultimate decision on whether to deploy some of those Kuwait-based reserve forces in Syria or Iraq to local commanders.

“This is about providing options,” said one U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


The officials said the deployment would differ from the existing U.S. troop presence in Kuwait.


It was unclear whether the proposal had the support of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who could opt to use other tools to give commanders more agility.

US officials have so far played down expectations of a major escalation or dramatic shift in a strategy that has focused on training and advising local ground forces.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis declined to comment on options being weighed by the Trump administration.

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