90 seconds at 9 am: US and UK to release oil stocks; IMF approves €28 bln Greek bailout; S and P 500 above 1,400 for 1st time in 4 years

90 seconds at 9 am: US and UK to release oil stocks; IMF approves €28 bln Greek bailout; S and P 500 above 1,400 for 1st time in 4 years

Gareth Vaughan wraps up the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am including news Britain will cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks within months in an attempt to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth during a US election year, Reuters reported.

A formal request from the US to UK to team up in a release of oil from government-controlled reserves is expected "shortly" after a meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Other countries, including Japan, may also be approached by Washington to contribute, Reuters said.

Rising world oil prices have pushed petrol price in the US up sharply, threatening to stall economic recovery ahead of Obama's bid for re-election in November. With tension between the West and major oil producer Iran, Brent Crude has risen more than 15% since January to a peak of over US$128 a barrel.

According to the BBC, Swift, the group that handles global banking transactions, will cut Iran's banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions. This will make it almost impossible for money to flow in and out of Iran via official banking channels.  The US and allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, something Iran denies. Last week Iran agreed to hold talks with six other countries about its nuclear programme, but no date or venue has yet been set.

The International Monetary Fund has approved a €28 billion bailout for Greece as part of a broader international rescue package for the debt-strapped euro zone country. The IMF says it will immediately disburse €1.65 billion to Athens, in a deal aimed at helping keep Greece funded until 2014.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that delaying Greece’s debt restructuring by more than a year reduced banks’ potential losses as they cut their holdings with most of the risk shifting to European taxpayers.

Back in the US the S&P 500 index hit 1,400 for the first time in four years thanks to a strong run of economic data. Shares in iPad maker Apple led the way, hitting a new all time high above US$600. The 1,400 mark is the highest level for the S&P 500 since June 2008. The rise came after US Labor Department data showed new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, and producer prices, excluding food and energy, were contained.

However, Goldman Sachs’ market capitalisation fell by about US$2 billion after departing executive Greg Smith’s outburst against the investment bank via a New York Times article where he labeled Goldman Sachs’ culture toxic and destructive, something Goldman gas refuted.

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"in an attempt to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth during a US election " harrrrrrrrrrrrrhaaaaaahaaaaahaaaa...what a load of lies....it will be timed to reduce the US pump prices just as Obama the fraud wants the morons to vote for him again.....and then post the election...up the prices go....
It is a reflection of just how useless the media is, that this sort of farce can be reported in this way. Obama is desperate for another 4 years of idiocy and manipulating the pump price to win votes is high on his to do list.

I think there's a bit more to it than that, Wolly, but agreed.
If I had seen what was being done to my neighbours, I'd be developing nuclear weapons too; no chance you can defend against an empire by main force.
But it's not Iran is the problem. It produces around 4mbpd, from memory. The problem is that the number of countries with swing capacity is down to one. Saudi Arabia. The problem is that, as we've suspected for some time, they can only force the pace for a short burst, or risk leaving oil behind, and most of what they have available is sour crudes, for which there aren't many refineries.
Nobody will tell it directly - they'll duck behind Iran, Libya, the Greenies, restrictive legislation....  but the truth is we're about tapped-out.  They'll ease it by releasing the strategic reserves, but it's selling the family silver.

" a bit"...come on PDK stop fluffing on this....Obama is buying votes end of story....post the farce, Americans think is an election in which they get to vote for the President, when in truth they get nothing of the sort....pump prices will explode higher.

Yes I cant balme Iran in the slightest, NB its about 4mbpd.....BUT you missed something far worse...that straight is 21miles wide and iran has 500mph+ anti-ship cruise missiles it can fire off a speed boat or SUV with a flat bed.......thats 17mbpd....taken out in 2minutes....then there is their 4 small mini-subs, 2 tubes each or anti-ship mines....all these driven by fanatics wanting 72 virgins....LOL.....
If they shutdown Iran, well I bet China and / or India is in there at 12:01am offering a 30 years take all contract, I would.
Yeah Saudi can push the stops for some months but it looks like they start to leave oil behind, evidence is they go back and re-work old fields.....But that was in the last oil shock(s)  when the quality of oil was better, now they are in the poorer quality strata....
I think Marsden point is one of the few refineries that can do sour... they just spent a few $ upgrading....funny that.
When I listened to the CEO of Shell blaming US restrictions and saying $5 petrol I knew it was the end game, its blame time.

The worl'ds facing imminent oil shortages.  If the Americans can provoke the Iranians to take the first move and start a conflict, which will have the effect of bringing the oil shortage forward to NOW, the American government will be able to sell that to the US people as a reason to invade Iran, and get great support.

Careful what you say online regarding developing nuclear weapons and other things.  The US might take you seriously...
Remember the US now has via the National Defense Authorisation Act sections 1031 and 1032,  indefinite detention for all us Kiwis without charge.  Funnily, there has been much discussion online about whether this also applies to US citizens, but it appears the US citizens might be exempt - wonderful, unless you're not American.

I always have more then a weeks worth of food, collect PM's, have some marginaly waterproof ammo, and believe Iran should be free to pursue it's peacefull nuclear power ambitions.  They live in a desert after all, not as if they can have a lot of hydro.

Strategic reserves, are "reserved" for winning elections.

That's right skudiv..just like AIA was so "strategic" and so necessary for Labour to shove its big fat pork smeared nose into the market and destroy the value of the shares...

Its not just Obama. Gingrich is promising Americans $2.50 a gallon gas based on the premise that there is 500 billion barrels of oil in Nth Dakota.

In that case it should be cheaper?  Thats about 70 years at todays consumption, for the US.
ZH jokeingly made some comment a month or so ago "that for every point Obama slips in the polls 1mbpd would be released from the strategic reserves" prescient.

Love it...be surprised if they can get out 1mbpd, they should elect him then....I really hope they do....after they have finished with themselves that will send htem crashing into the new Dark age Newt  et al wants so badly and leave the rest of us alone...

So I wonder if the US will do the same for Camerooooon, bet not.

And then there's this geopolitic issue as well:
Great analysis - wish it were the headline interpretation of the matter but no, MSM are running a very different angle.

Sounds about right.

"Former Labour MP Darren Hughes, who resigned in a scandal last year, has been appointed director of campaigns and research at Britain's Electoral Reform Society (ERS) in London.
He will be taking the lead on a range of high-profile campaigns, the society's director of strategy and communications, Ashley De, told the Herald.
"Britain urgently needs new ideas and fresh perspective on how politics can work, and that is precisely what Darren offers." herald
That's simply spiffing Ashley Darrrrling...whatever influenced the decision?....Darren dear will certainly have a "fresh perspective" on things.
Such a waste had he been left to take on a 'blue collar' job....demeaning, darrrrrling.

Well it's good to see that something finally popped up for him, after his last little episode left him flat.

The real reason why Key and Co should be ordering clean underwear!
"Curbs Needed to Avoid China Property Chaos" Says China's Premier; Chinese Economy Already in Hard Landing? Regardless, It's Too Late to Prevent Chaos "

BBC item on currently about Greek farmers giving the old rorted system the big finger and flogging direct to the consumer...spuds by the sack...cash and carry...NO TAX...hahahahahaa

That's only who gets the money. more importand is what they're doing to their real wealth
The Greenland Norse did something similar.

Crikey dick...we could flog them shiploads of Pinus Rhubarb as firewood...let's see..deduct local govt charges...lop off govt fees....cost of freight....theft ....yes yes there is a profit....$10 per ship load....

Isnt that what the local farmer markets are here?

Will Greg Smith be giving his accumulated bonuses and stock options from Goldmoney Sacks back to the firm ........ or donating them to charity ?

Some lines cannot be crossed.

Surely they'll find some way of suing him? He must have breached some part of his contract somehow...

..... Goldmoney Sacks directors have broad shoulders , Gareth ( and even boader wallets ! ) ..... I'm sure they'll bear up bravely ......
Whether anyone in the industry will ever dare to employ Greg Smith again is another matter.. ..
... his initials are eerily sinister , G. S.  ......... sounds familiar ..........

All planned Gummy...distracts the target so the tentacles can roam free...Geg will pop up at JPM...

Why should he do that?

When it's the only show in town Ralph.......unless he's just converted to Amish ,. he may not find a profile low enough to escape the Golden Kosh.

I believe he sent them Cinema tickets to the new Muppet movie by way of apology ...GBH.

Nicole Foss on radio NZ tomorrow it seems,
Kim Hill will interview Nicole Foss on peak oil on Radio NZ tomorrow 17 March - 101 FM sometime between 9am and noon.
as a taster,

Kim is probably preparing right now...deep into the books on the best cooking oil...

When the Americans say our lifestyle isnt up for negoitiation, and their 5% of the World's population but uses 25% of the oil how do you think it will impact you?  not at all?

"When the Americans say our lifestyle isnt up for negoitiation"
I take that as a threat!

Cash cow cash cow...."120 hours of supervised practice"....wooopeee and charged at, oh what is it $40 an hour...that's $4800...now who or what bothers to test the ability of the driver 'teachers' to do a good job....I'll bet it's a case of pay the fee and off you go and teach and rake in the loot.
Granted there was an argument that young drivers were not up to scratch...but what is 'up to scratch?'
Guess what's going to happen.!
Meanwhile Jesus Magoo from somewhere up the Congo arrives at Auckland with his mates...leaps into a 4 ton camper and boots it down the motorway...never seen a road with white paint on it before...or Bitumen...No worries cos he bought a new driving license just for the trip................................screeech smashhhhh.

 Found out who's using all the extra oil,

Japan’s Train Wreck

March 15, 2012



As a consequence of shuttering nuke capacity, Japan has added to imports of fuel oil by a whopping 5% of GDP. Obviously this, China stockpiling and the Iran situation is having a major impact on oil.  Turning loose speculators with zero cost money can’t be hurting oil prices either. Southwest Air reported a loss Tuesday saying that they are no longer able to pass on fuel cost., ditto Delta.  The benchmark for Asian crude, Tapis (chart 3) is trading at the $136 level. There is zero chance Japan can survive massive twin deficits of this magnitude. This is not economic growth, this is a train wreck. Incidentally I understand JGB puts trade at mere 2 implied volatility in Tokyo. No, zip, nada change in JGB  prices has to be one of the most crowded asymmetric trades in history.  My current futures broker, Options Xpress doesn’t support this trade. Wonder who does in the US?


In other words: Iran, please do your worst. And just to make it easier, the US has now stacked an entire armada of easy targets in close vicinity, which not even a naive fool can mistake anymore for prewar preparations.
Here is what the naval picture in the Arabian Sea looked like most recently, where courtesy of Stratfor we can see that not only is CVN-65 full steam ahead to its final date with history somewhere off the shores of Iran, but that LHD8 Makin Island crossed the Straits of Hormuz recently. Just because.
Virtually the entire non-parked naval fleet will be in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf in the next 4-6 days, where 3 aircraft carriers and one big-deck amphibious warfare ship are just waiting for the order
With The Enterprise Just 4 Days Away From Arrival, A SWIFT Cut Off Of Iran

That's funny...all those demanding Bollard drive down the $Kiwi have gone awful quiet...ya don't spose they had a shock at the pump do you!....doh

re the release of oil to tamp price increases down.
The Economist had an article recently (25th Feb, P.70), where they attribute higher oil prices to a much wider range of geopolitical issues, rather than just Iran, and also to OPEC production refusing stubbornly to grow, even with burgeoning demand from Asia.
They are saying "get used to higher oil prices", even without any single particular shock (eg Iran/Israel war). 
Which makes it mind-bogglingly insane that our government insists in encouraging greater reliance on petrol, thru absurdly low petrol tax (we have one of the lowest petrol prices in the OECD), refusal to put a higher rego onto bigger engines, investment into roads rather than public transport etc etc. 
Instead its "she'll be right".  D'ooohh!