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China Teapot Refiners Overflow, Slow Crude Oil Imports

Chinese independent refiners, the so-called ‘teapots’, are expected to import less crude at least until August, as high inventories, changing import quota policies, and stricter tax scrutiny are squeezing their refining margins—a move that could raise concerns over China’s oil demand growth. Some independent refiners are pausing for maintenance, while others are cutting run rates because of squeezed margins, Reuters reported on Friday, citing managers at teapots. “There will be more shutdowns in June, July and…

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Analysts Say Oil Industry Needs $45 Oil Price To Break Even

Technological advances and deflationary pressure from the downturn have resulted in an 8-percent drop in global average unit production cost to US$30 per barrel of oil equivalent in 2016, which implies that the industry needs the price of oil at US$45 to break even in aggregate, according to a Bernstein Research survey of the 50 biggest listed global oil and gas companies. Global marginal cost, that is, the cost to replace reserves, for non-OPEC oil producers dropped by 12 percent annually to US$63 per barrel in 2016, according to the survey,…

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Analysts Say Oil Industry Needs $45 Oil Price To Break Even

Technological advances and deflationary pressure from the downturn have resulted in an 8-percent drop in global average unit production cost to US$30 per barrel of oil equivalent in 2016, which implies that the industry needs the price of oil at US$45 to break even in aggregate, according to a Bernstein Research survey of the 50 biggest listed global oil and gas companies. Global marginal cost, that is, the cost to replace reserves, for non-OPEC oil producers dropped by 12 percent annually to US$63 per barrel in 2016, according to the survey,…

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Falling OPEC Exports Create Upside For Oil Prices

No sooner had the dust settled after the conclusion of the latest OPEC meeting (with oil traders selling the market like hot cakes), we got Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih saying that exports to the US were dropping measurably. While this has caused a good degree of excitement in the market, we here at the good ship ClipperData had already highlighted at the beginning of this month that Saudi Arabia had slashed export loadings in April, which would translate into lower deliveries to key demand hubs into June. (Also discussed here on CNBC…

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Meanwhile At Evergreen College, Police Tell Professor To Avoid Campus As Student Protesters Seek Hostages

Students at Evergreen State College – a school notable for its far-left politics and its preference for measuring students’ performance with “narrative evaluations” instead of grades – have seized control of their campus and are reportedly seeking hostages following a confrontation with a biology professor who objected to a planned demonstration that asked white students and faculty to voluntarily leave campus for a day, the Washington Times reports.

The protest began Tuesday morning when an angry mob of SJW’s confronted Professor Bret Weinstein after he had sent an email to faculty and staff explaining his reasoning for opposing the demonstration.

Now, Weinstein’s reportedly been told to avoid campus because his safety is at risk.

“Police told me protesters stopped cars yesterday, demanding information about occupants,” Mr. Weinstein told The Washington Times. “They believe I was being sought. It appears that the campus has been under the effective control of protesters since 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police are on lockdown, hamstrung by the college administration. Students, staff and faculty are not safe.


A spokesman for the Evergreen Department of Police Services confirmed the agency had been in contact with Mr. Weinstein. He said officers would be in touch with The Times, but three subsequent phone calls were not returned.”

Following the modus operandi of protests at colleges like U.C. Berkeley, the angry mob of SJWs who confronted Weinstein refused to listen as he attempted to calmly explain his reasing, prefering instead to hurl obscenities at him while demanding his resignation.

“Fuck you, you piece of shit,” once of them screamed.

When police arrived, presumably drawn by the uproar, the students fled to the library, where they barricaded themselves inside the Trans & Queer Unity Lounge and asked white students to patrol the halls for any police “intruders.”

At a meeting between the administration and students later that day, University President George S. Bridges quickly assured the crowd that no students would be punished for their involvement in the demonstrations and promised a “major reiew” of what happened and why.

“First and foremost, I want to state that there will be, as far as I know, no charges filed against any students involved in actions that occurred this morning,” Mr. Bridges said. “We will be conducting a major review, an investigation of all that occurred and will be reporting back to you, the campus community, about exactly what happened, why it happened and what we intend to do about the incident — not the incident, excuse me, the actions that were taken, both students, staff and faculty involved.”



Weinstein explained his predicament to a local reporter on Thursday who met him at Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia, Wash., where he is temporarily holding classes until it’s deemed safe for him to return to campus.


“We are unable to talk because there’s too much of a gap in the narrative between what they believe is taking place and what’s actually taking place.”


“The narrative suggests that I’m a person whose benefiting from privilege and that I’m trying to preserve that privilege.”

Weinstein’s brother, Eric Weinstein, told the Washington Times that the persecution of his brother is “ironic” given his center-left politics and staunch opposition to racism.


“If you had asked me who is one of racism’s most powerful foes, I would have said Bret Weinstein,” Eric Weinstein told The Times.


“There’s something sort of ‘Twilight Zone’ about one of the most thoughtful commentators on race, at one of the most progressive schools in the country, getting called a racist.”

Weinstein’s email objecting to the “Day of Absence Day of Presence” protest was circulated on Twitter. In it, he characterizes organizers’ demand that white students vacate campus for a day as “an act of repression.”


“There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women’s Day walkout), and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness….the second is a show of force and an act of oppression in and of itself.


Here’s the full letter.


@EricRWeinstein @BretWeinstein Here’s the (incredibly thoughtful and well-written) email.

— William Treseder (@williamtreseder) May 24, 2017


Any readers who don’t already appreciate these students’ complete lack of self-awareness, a quick reddit search uncovered this little gem:  A promotional video for a “weekly community gathering” at Evergreen called Common Bread.

This is not a Portlandia Sketch. This is real life.


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Oil hits a rough patch, but this investor is still bullish

Rob Thummel, managing director of Tortoise Capital Advisors, talks about his bullish case for oil as crude stock hits a rough patch intraday and which energy stocks to buy now.

crude oilThe post Oil hits a rough patch, but this investor is still bulli…

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US: Immigration makes tackling terrorism a ‘challenge’

Mass immigration is a “challenge” when confronting terrorism, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in London today. Speaking in a joint news conference with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Tillerson said: Immigration is a significant challenge in how we confront acts of terrorism. We seem to have difficulty assimilating those people so that they feel part of our society and would never consider supporting acts of violence against their fellow citizens and their fellow neighbours. “This mass migration of people …  is a problem for countries all over the world. It is one we have to learn better how to address,” Tillerson added. Johnson said the US and the UK were “countries that in many ways are built on […]

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Unstoppable: U.S. Adds Oil, Gas Rigs As OPEC Extends Deal

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States rose for the nineteenth straight week, Baker Hughes reported on Friday by 7, signaling that the US Shale patch is, for OPEC, an unstoppable force. The number of oil rigs in operation increased by 2, and gas rigs increased by 5. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 908 rigs, or 504 above the count a year ago. This is on top of drilled but uncompleted wells in the US, which are also on the rise, swelling from 5,534 in March 2017 to 5,721 in April 2017, according…

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The Real Reason Zuckerberg Supports A Universal Basic Income

Via The Daily Bell

Every generation expands its definition of equality…

Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract. We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.

-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

Here we go. Get ready for the media to start hammering the basic income meme.

Why is someone worth $62 billion complaining about inequality? Why is the world’s 6th richest man lecturing the public on the wealth gap, and floating ideas like the government spreading OUR wealth around while hoarding his own?

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg claimed he would give his entire fortune away to charity in his lifetime, and promptly formed an LLC for that purpose… as opposed to, you know, a charity. This means that instead of using his own money to help people, he can spend that money on lobbying politicians in Washington to use YOUR money to help people.

See how generous these rich philanthropists are with everyone else’s money?

No, I guess true charity is the responsibility of the rest of us.

Mark Zuckerberg could give away hundreds of thousands of free expensive college educations without his net worth dropping 2%. He could provide a $12,000 grant to 1.7 million people if he actually cares about giving them a chance to “try new ideas”, and still have $42 billion left for a rainy day.

If he is so concerned about people having a cushion to fall back on, why not start a charity that gives free room and board to anyone who wants to come and explore their options for meaningful employment, like an internship?

That’s what I would do, literally open the doors to anyone who feels that they have no other options, provide them that safety net, and train them in the meantime based on their desires and pursuits. He could do this. He could empower people with his wealth.

But he doesn’t.

Instead, Zuckerberg appeals to a victim mentality:

Today, we have a level of wealth inequality that hurts everyone…

When you don’t have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a historic enterprize we all lose and today our society is way over indexed on rewarding people when they are successful and we don’t do nearly enough to make sure people can take lots of different shots.

Facebook profits $4 billion per year. Why doesn’t Facebook hand out 200,000 $20,000 grants per year to promising young entrepreneurs who could then solely focus on their business venture, giving them the same opportunity Zuckerberg had to create (or steal) Facebook?

Facebook knows its users well–too well you might say. Facebook knows its users so well in fact that the company could provide a free quality online education to every one of its users based on their interests, skills, and desires.

But Mark Zuckerberg has other motives.

I have empathy for the poor, for those who truly don’t have an opportunity, and I would sleep easier seeing everyone with a more robust safety net. But what I can’t stand is being lectured by somebody who actually could do something about it, acting helpless without government intervention.

The government has the money to solve poverty. In this quick video, I run through the numbers which make it obvious that the government is the wrong organization to provide that cushion that Zuckerberg talks about.

Ignore Zuckerberg. Take a Page from 50 Cent

You know who didn’t have a safety net? 50 Cent. I recently read The 50th Law of Power by Robert Green, who details how 50 Cent, orphaned at the age of eight, built himself from literally nothing.

Do you think a basic income would have been conducive to his drive when it was the very fact that he had to make it that forced him to be successful? That would have allowed 50 Cent to settle, to fall back on the cushion instead of pushing through to realize his dreams and build a business empire.

Most people are so placated and dumbed down by TV and the media that they would find endless distractions to keep them from doing something meaningful. The ones who have drive find a way, despite their circumstances.

As Robert Green points out, the masses are far from the helpless peasants of the past. Today, we need only reach out and grab our freedom, our equality, and our wealth. Zuckerberg’s view of America is one based on fear.

In fact, the reality of 21st century America is something more like the following:

Our physical environment is safer and more secure than any other moment in our history….

In the Past, only white males could play the power game. Now, millions upon millions of minorities and women have been given entrance to the arena forever altering the dynamic…

Advances in technology have opened up all kinds of new opportunities. Old business models are dissolving leaving the field wide open for innovation. It is a time of sweeping change and revolution.

We face certain challenges as well. The world has become more competitive. The economy has undeniable vulnerabilities and is in need of reinvention. As in all situations, the determining factor will be our attitudes, how we choose to look at this reality.

If we give into the fear, we will give disproportionate attention to the negative and manufacture the very adverse circumstances that we dread.

If we go the opposite direction, attacking everything with boldness and energy then we will create a much different dynamic.

The government is a fear machine. The government welfare, their “help,” always keeps people in poverty instead of raising them out of it. The war on drugs, the great society, the public housing ghettos: these are the reasons people like 50 Cent were born into poverty. Only a fool would trust the government to solve these problems that they created.

Mark Zuckerberg’s ideas represent the old style method of control. A universal basic income would only preserve the old power structure by keeping the masses from participating in this revolution of technology and innovation.

Zuckerberg represents this generation’s white liberal elite identified by Malcolm X who want to keep the poor dependent and helpless. Every government program, bill, and regulation that they support is sold as a help to the poor masses when in reality those championing the government control build their power on the backs of those they claim to help.

What Zuckerberg champions will not free the masses, it will exploit them for political gain. It will make them satiated pawns to do the bidding of the elite, while Zuckerberg consolidates his control over the future.

Zuckerberg’s Zombie Nation

You know what most of those people would do with their universal basic income? They would sit on Facebook all day and be advertised to by Zuckerberg, and buy the things that Zuckerberg sells them which neither free them nor cushion them.

So who would end up collecting that basic income? Who would benefit from more tax dollars being stolen from working Americans who create wealth and produce goods and services which we need to live?

That money would be transferred to those who tell the people what they want to hear, who provide entertaining manipulations to the masses. Mark Zuckerberg would collect that cash because he is the one with the data, he knows how to wrest the dollars from the people.

He feigns his commitment to allowing people to have the type of success he has enjoyed by freeing them from all pressure, from all worry, doubt, and anxiety. He claims that his success with Facebook would not have been possible without the safety net that he enjoyed.

Well, then why not put his vast fortune where his mouth is?

He should be leading by example, and his failure to do so shows his true intentions.

Don’t fall for Zuckerberg’s tricks. The people have the power unless they fall for the old free lunch.

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Who Got Hurt in Gold Today? Covered Call Writers!

Depicted: Gold covered call writer . Insured for first 30 foot drop of his stock portfolio.

Why Did Gold Rally?

by Vince Lanci and Fay Dress for the Soren k. Group
(On the road)
Originally posted here:

Gold spot is up $12 today after barreling through $1260. Last is $1268 as of this writing.
Aside from the usual culprits, a weak USD and global political uncertainty, today was an example of what happens when expirations and mechanical ‘rollovers’ are triggered. Mechanics and cash flows are basically event related and automatically done.
But every so often, when large open interest is near, you get a digital reaction to a tiny move. In this case, the options market at expiration can and was a contributor to the rally today. That is not to say the rally is not “real”.
In fact quite the opposite. it means that the market is respecting risk more efficiently to the upside now too. Bluntly put: Shorts had to cover in a panic.

Revenge of the Gold Calls:
The catalyst for higher prices today was in part due to surprised people and automated systems with no ability to be discreet. What does that mean?
It means that a market like gold that gets hammered in sell-offs as longs puke simultaneously; now also has the ability to trample people higher. The panic coin now has 2 sides! And as option guys we so love it when the shorts actually have to cover at expiration. The strikes that may have been the drivers were, $1250, $1255 and $1260 on Comex.

To understand why a short option player covers in futures we must first quickly assess what types of players sell calls and why they sell them.

1- Producers who have metal and do not need to buy futures if the call expires in the money.
2- Speculators who do not want to buy futures and so usually cover the options when they go in the money.
3- Covered Call Writers who are long Gold or GLD and were selling programatically to create a dividend.
It is the last category that we feel is the culprit here. Equity investors typically are induced by brokers to sell calls to create dividends for their investments. It is this same behaviour that drives people who are long GLD to sell calls now. And it is done almost automatically.
Sell Call> Call expires worthless> Sell next month’s call. Lather rinse repeat. They do this in GLD options. Brokers love it because of commissions. But the retail ( and sometimes institutional) client does not get the active management he should to do this.

Why does this Affect Comex Options?
The guy who buys the GLD Call from the seller is a professional trader. He then sells the Comex’s corresponding Call to offset his risk and complete an arbitrage.
We know this because 2 of our writers did/do it. There is a whole list of risks for the arbitrageur to manage tied to different expiration dates and times.

The important thing here is to understand that it is the long GLD investor who likes his “guaranteed” monthly dividend who drives option-based short covering rallies now. And that folks, is a good thing.

We are not just talking retail here. No, this is a strategy universally done by hedge funds as well.
-Long a stock
-Buy a Put for downside insurance
-Sell a Call to offset the Put’s cost.
This is commonly called “collaring risk”. Selling a Call and buying a Put on a long stock position is called the “collar”

Hedging For Dummies:
The problem when you do that in GLD or in Gold directly is that when Gold goes through your Call, you generally do not want to be short it.
You are long gold as a hedge for the rest of your equity portfolio. So what in heaven’s name would make you want to cut your upside potential in it? Who hedge’s their hedge? Do you want to give up your insurance (long Gold) at the time when you need it most?
Would you buy fire insurance for a $1mm home only to sell the rights for coverage above $100k damage?
If Gold IS the Put for your equities positions, selling calls against it is uninsuring yourself.

Calls are Undervalued Because of Robotic Behaviour:
Modern portfolio management has opted passive over active management. And they are in some places automatically applying their option strategies to their “safe haven” hedges like gold. It is going to end badly at some point.
Because Gold is for the modern portfolio manager the PUT, or insurance for the rest of their portfolio crashing. Call selling is idiotic in this case. And as traders of volatility, we would say the skew that undervalues calls and overvalues puts in Gold is something to lean into long term.

One Possible Scenario Last Night:
Short covering buy stops that were hit in the $1260 area.
We think a decent contributor is option expiration related to the short covering, as the market closed yesterday with the $1250 calls expiring in the money. Complacent option shorts were woken up to a need to buy ASAP.
Comex- had expected to lose 200,000 contracts of options open interest. But it lost 349,921!
This implies option shorts were covering, and ITM expiration were panicking someone
Open interest in futures 478317,continues to rise with bargain hunters,worriers all asset allocating as price makes news on dollar moves
Political worries,G-7 talks, Greece,N.Korea, Venezuela,Brazil all playing a part.
Rate hike expectations have been priced in
GDP up 1.2,inflationary winds durable good down .07 vs expected down 1.8
So economy in the US ahead of budget talks another step up.
Expect continued upwards pressure after next week perhaps pause when FED meets.
Roll over proceeding June-August gold over 50%done,
More August trading now 340 value,gold-silver 73.05 improved,gold-plat 303.10.
H/T George Gero
More here:

Good Luck

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