Another day, another bailout and yes, bailouts are bullish! Another plan to save Europe and rising expectations of the US economy has oil back on an upward track. Oil got an initial bounce off of a jobs report that seemed to suggest that we are not in a recession. Yet after a surprise downgrade of Italy and Spain, oil took a late drop. Holy Fitch! Yet over the weekend German Chancellor Angel Merkel said that Germany and Spain have a plan to bail out European banks. Well at the very least they have a plan to make a plan and the details will be forthcoming. Huh? Well no matter, enjoy the ride!
Plus there are reports that the French-Belgian bank Dexia agreed to the nationalization of its Belgian banking division and secured 90 billion euros or $121 billion dollars in state guarantees. Now it appears that other banks in Europe will be backed by the governments in an effort to forestall an economic collapse. Bloomberg News reported that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy turned their crisis-fighting focus to banks, promising a recapitalization blueprint this month that will overtake a 12-week-old rescue plan that has yet to be put into place. We will recapitalize the banks, the French president said in Berlin yesterday at a joint briefing with the German chancellor without providing details. We'll do it in complete agreement with our German friends because the economy needs it, to assure growth and financing.
Of course the recent drop in crude oil price may cause some to change their long term demand forecasts and their outlook for future production capacity as well! The Saudis announced that they have put on hold their expansion of oil production capacity. The Saudis had planned to add another 2.5 million barrels of day of capacity to meet growing global demand. That would have the Saudi's production capacity at around 15 million barrels per day. The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Khalid Al Falih said, There is no reason for Saudi Aramco to pursue 15 million barrels (of output capacity),It is difficult to see (an increase in capacity) because there are too many variables happening, he said. You've got too many announcements about massive capacity expansions coming out of countries like Brazil, coming out of countries like Iraq. The market demand is addressed by others. He went on to say, Our objective is not to grow our production for the sake of growing our production, Falih said, but to be there for the market if the market needs it, and we are waiting to see what happens on the supply side as well as how demand stabilizes. Our planning horizons are in the decades and most of our investments are investments that will do very well at the end of an economic recession so we will pursue them ... regardless of what happens in Europe or in the U.S., he said.
Now some peak freaks will claim the real reason is because the Saudis can't raise production because they are running out of oil. Yet the truth is that they are worried that an increase in capacity will put downward pressure on price at a time when global demand is faltering.
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