Mixed View

European oil companies are engaged in a fierce competition for the best oil and gas fields in Iran when Western sanctions are lifted, while American energy firms watch from the sidelines.

Much of what’s holding American energy firms back are the still in place American sanctions that block US companies from such business. Nevertheless, American firms of any industry shouldn’t be doing business with Iran, even if it might become strictly legal. We shouldn’t be helping a terrorist nation-state that has as its sworn goal the extermination of Israel. Neither should anybody in the West, including those European oil companies.

Unintended Consequence?

Or was it intended? Big banks, banks the Warren/Obama regulations deem systemic risks—too big to fail—are driving away cash deposits. Never mind that those deposits are loanable funds (oh—regulations, again, discouraging lending while Progressives contradictorily jawbone and pressure financial institutions to make risky loans to poor credit rating borrowers, because—regulations again—those credit ratings are somehow racist).

For instance,

State Street Corp, the Boston bank that manages assets for institutional investors, for the first time has begun charging some customers for large dollar deposits, people familiar with the matter said. JP Morgan Chase & Co, the nation’s largest bank by assets, has cut unwanted deposits by more than $150 billion this year, in part by charging fees.

A Bipartisan Misunderstanding

Congressmen Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ) and Randy Neugebauer (R, TX) rightly decry the partisan nature of the Elizabeth Warren/Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but their solution is wholly wrong. They want the existing single-director power structure replaced by a multi-person bipartisan commission, one that wouldn’t be so prone to the party in White House…influence.

As an example of how well a bipartisan commission would work, the Congressmen cite the SEC, the fair and balanced commission that uses in house judges to act on and punish those the SEC accuses of illegal investing practices.


These panic-mongers of their man-caused global warming fantasy are in such a panic themselves that now they want RICO investigations of those scientists and organizations so rude as to demur from the panic-mongers’ claims.

George Mason Professor Jagadish Shukla and 19 others signed a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science adviser John Holdren urging punishment for climate dissenters. “One additional tool—recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]—is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change[.]”


Or hypocrisy, you pick ’em.

The House passed, with a significant majority (and so, on the whole, a bipartisan majority), a bill that would repeal the oil export ban that’s long outlived its usefulness, and especially so in the last several years.

I’ve already noted how the head Progressive, President Barack Obama, has threatened to veto this bill out of his own timidity.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D, FL) decried the bill during debate, saying this:

This bill is an unconscionable giveaway to Big Oil at the expense of American consumers[.]

White House Timidity

President Barack Obama says he’ll veto a bill making its way through the House of Representatives that would repeal the oil export ban in place since Gerald Ford’s administration. Obama thinks he’s acting from a position of strength in saying “No” to anything Republican.

He’s actually acting from weakness and timidity. Leaving aside the destruction of potential American jobs such a veto, if carried through, would represent, there are a couple of foreign policy/national security aspects to lifting the oil.

Clinton and TPP

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has decided she doesn’t like the TransPacific Partnership free trade pact just agreed and now before the Senate for acceptance or rejection.

As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it[.]

Just what is it she thinks she’s learned about it that the rest of us aren’t allowed to know—since the text of the agreement hasn’t been published, yet? Or is she just another Know Better Democrat?

Oh, wait….

Obamacare Strikes Again

The Obamacare law set up “risk corridors” for insurers in an effort to smooth the transition from quasi- (albeit very quasi) free markets for health insurance coverage to Obamacare’s government mandated health welfare coverage. Health plan providers that did relatively well in the transition were supposed to pay a taste of their profits into a pool—the risk corridor—from which health plan providers struggling with the transition were supposed to be able to draw to ease their losses.

There’s this snippet in Anna Wilde Mathews’ and Stephanie Armour’s piece in The Wall Street Journal on these risk corridors [emphasis added].

Debt Risk

The PRC’s debt, at various levels, is a well-known risk to the country’s economic health. Existing loans to companies and households amounted to 207% of GDP at the start of this summer. Households had in the region of 38% of that debt as of last year. Municipal debt is approaching $25 trillion yuan ($3.9 trillion).

Now the People’s Bank of China is moving to cut the down payment required to get a loan to buy a house. The public claim the PBOC is making is that this is supposed to spur house buying and through that the economy. While it’s true enough that the cut—from 30% down to 25% down—seems like small potatoes, it still will result in an increase in household debt.

Capital Risk

There are a number of forms of capital risk, which in the main represents the likelihood that an investor (person or company) will lose some fraction of his investment, up to and including all of it. Two such forms, when doing international investing is currency risk and political risk. Currency risk is the risk that the exchange rate between the [company’s] home nation currency and the currency of the nation in which that [company] is investing will move against the company. This risk exists in any international transaction (treating the eurozone as a financial intranational region).