Looks like the Saudi gift to the US economy might have been short lived?
No telling what they are up to…

32 Responses

  1. If your theory about the Sauds controlling oil prices is correct, then I’d say they’re not trying to help the prez get reelected, as they normally would do. Maybe they don’t see the election making a difference, or maybe they prefer Romney ?

    Or the Sauds may be struggling with local issues related to internal protests and Syria.

      1. @WARREN MOSLER, we have sent our whole navy over there. Why keep the princes in power if they don’t keep the oil flowing? Tony Perkins economic hitman reaching for his sniper rifle.

      1. @Ed Rombach, Doesn’t matter for the election. If prices go up, O gets blamed. If they go down, he gets the credit. So, he ought to do whatever he can to constrain speculation and stop it from driving prices up further.

      2. @LetsGetItDone,

        As Commander in Chief, the biggest thing President Obama can do to constrain speculators from driving up the price of oil is to tone down his own war rhetoric and take the war drums away from the restless neo-con natives.

      3. @LetsGetItDone, o has to trick some of his supporters. After he wins election he is going to make this country proud! Healthcare and housing for poor. More tax on offshore rich. Alt energy investment. Jobs to build high speed trainsand repair bridges. New drone technology to secure oil and water resources for America!

      4. @LetsGetItDone, Interesting the desire to constrain speculation when it contributes to higher prices, but no desire to constrain speculation when it leads to lower prices. Without speculators, producers can’t hedge.

  2. Looks like it lines up pretty well with the “JPM inspired sell-off” earlier this year…. looks like on it’s way back up over $100 rsp,

  3. Warren:

    Unrelated question:

    I understand that when people pay taxes with old $20 bills, the bills are shredded. When taxes are paid with crisp $100’s, those bills are not shredded. What is the process for the bills finding their way back into circulation?

    Question 2: The govt spends first, taxes 2nd, and “borrows” 3rd. Net net, they are in balance. To the extent that there is currency in circulation, are we not out of balance? What is the accounting for cash to get back into balance so that the Treasury isn’t running an overdraft at the Fed?


      1. @y,

        Doesn’t it indirectly in that aggregate spending, less aggregate tax, less Treasury debt equals zero? Reserves are ultimately the balances available for buying treasuries. If reserves are exchanged for currency, isn’t there an insufficient amount of reserves, and thus Treasuries, to balance the books?

      2. @Ivan, I think you’re just reshuffling the deck with no real change. The Fed buys treasuries from the private sector to move cash into circulation and everything remains in balance. It has to be a private sector/public sector transaction. It can’t be private/private or public/public.

  4. Prince alaweed probably came here and read u warren then said damn the election cycle. Exports are a cost. Frak!!

  5. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Saudi Arabia is not autonomous( just ask prince Bandar). It is certainly controlled by the U.S. reliant on it’s “security deals”. Certain personal in Obama’s policy making clique think that the dollar needs “saving”. Oil is priced internationally in dollars. High oil = demand for dollars. Like most they bought into the “worthless dollar” propaganda and think they’re saving the dollar.

    1. @steve m, I thought the relation was more: high oil + US a major net oil importer => makes dollar easier to get overseas and thus weaker dollar against other currencies.

      1. @walter,
        except those dollars all come back to the U.S. Recycled through “sovereign funds” of monarch/dictator type countries. Buying bonds and outdated military equipment.

  6. speaking of illegal manipulation; isn’t the following called fraud in other settings?

    “moral suasion,” or the art of talking the markets up without actually doing anything, a practice that the Fed uses when it has few other choices.
    (they can get in line behind Congresspeople?)


    “a comment by the non-voting president of the Boston Fed that the committee should embark on an aggressive bond-buying program, which would inject more cash into the system. ”
    You’re kidding. That’s a regional Fed pres talking?

    So frustrating. Maybe we should sue the entire gov for libel? Or have them committed?

    Can someone send the Boston Fed pres a copy of the article MRW dredged up?

  7. And somehow that spread between WTI and Brent is widening again. How to explain that?
    We had a few days (better: moments) that it came down strongly, but we are now wider than before the announcement of the US pipeline reversal plan (Apr 17th with pipeline scheduled for June 1).
    For 2 months out it was then something around $15 and today over $18.

  8. There are temporary constraints on Brent crude oil supply; this may be contributing to the widening spread between WTI and Brent. In my opinion the spread cannot rise much above $20 however because even inefficient physical arbitrage starts to become lucrative at such levels.



    “Most scheduled maintenance and unforeseen production problems occur at field rather than system level. Because so much of Forties now comes from a single field, it has become much more sensitive than before to supply interruptions.

    In September, planned maintenance will shut the field entirely. Buzzard’s contribution to Forties will fall to zero, slashing total output of the stream, and eliminating a key part of the benchmark entirely.

    For the last couple of years, Buzzard’s production profile has therefore exercised a disproportionate impact on global oil prices.”



    “Signs mount of North Sea oil supply drop in September

    (Reuters) – Output from the North Sea’s second-largest crude oil stream is set to fall sharply in September, adding to signs of reduced supply from the home of the Brent benchmark used to price around two thirds of the world’s oil.”


    Saudi continues to have much less spare capacity than they pretend. They will not produce much more than 10 mbpd except in the event of acute physical shortages. Any Saudi production capacity above 10.5 mbpd is fictional spare capacity under normal circumstances.

    The Iranian / Syrian tensions are not lessening. Sanctions continue tightening, and less Iranian oil is reaching the world market. The perception of ongoing geopolitical risk is helping pull the crude price back to a trading range, from the temporarily depressed levels of several weeks ago.

    Global economic growth remains anemic and thus global crude oil demand growth remains anemic. Increasing tight oil production is offsetting declines in conventional crude production, leaving the demand on OPEC flat. Q3 and Q4 will be tight in terms of supply / demand balance, but absent increased growth, the world will probably escape a supply crisis / price spike this year. (Only because demand is not rising, not because of any meaningful supply cushion.)

    The moment Europe works through its issues and economic growth finally accelerates, then the combination of unresolved geopolitical issues, prolonged negative real interest rates, ongoing central bank accommodation and lack of spare capacity / supply elasticity almost requires another oil supply crisis crude and speculative crude oil price spike.

  9. it is called “Peak oil” and it will get worser and worser each year,
    every year there is less and less oil left,

      1. R@ESM, nouriel roubini here with us! Awesome. I never knew it was OK Simpsons lawyer that spawned our modern civilization. I loved him in naked gun 22 1\2. All my ocean scientist friends at colleges in the gulf of Mexico assure me there is still lots of deep water oil to extract Dr. Roubini!

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