If Russia and Saudi Arabia lead, rest will follow

… Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih on historic oil deal [VIDEO] – Published on Axis of Logic, Dec 11, 2016.

… The Saturday meeting of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with 12 oil exporting countries outside the group “is significant because [it] has brought so many countries together for the first time,” Al-Falih said.

Al-Falih stressed that the total volume of oil produced by the countries that attended the meeting is close to 53 million barrels per day out of a total of roughly 90, so their share in the world’s oil production approaches 60 percent. He went on to say that the share of the countries that took part in the negotiations in Vienna on Saturday is even greater in the total volume of oil that is traded because “oil produced by the countries that were not represented at today’s meeting is mostly consumed within the countries that produce it” … //

… The commitments taken by both OPEC and non-OPEC countries put an end to the ’pump-at-will’ policy the group has conducted since 2014, which sent oil prices down from $100 to less than $50 a barrel. Now, both OPEC and non-OPEC oil exporters are trying to push prices up.

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Critics Call $3 Billion Sabal Trail Pipeline Florida’s Dakota Access Pipeline, on truthout, by Larry Buhl, Dec 10, 2016: a pipeline project is quietly being installed as fast as possible, critics say, displacing residents, threatening water supplies, and racking up alleged construction violations …;

Teacher Shortages Are Looming, but It Doesn’t Need to Be This Way, on truthout, by Eleanor J. Bader, Dec 10, 2016: Donald Trump and his choice of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos as education secretary — a woman with no teaching experience, who sent her own kids to private schools — may not find the anticipated teacher shortfall troubling. The rest of us, however, should be deeply concerned;

Migration Cannot Be Cast In Terms Of Individual Rights, on Social Europe, by Paul Collier, Dec 8, 2016: the Jungle in Calais is closed and the deal with Turkey is in place. Is the refugee crisis over?

Stock Change: ALTERNATIVE LIQUIDITY FUND LIMITED ORD USD0.01 (ALF) Plunged -13.82% (graph), on Herals KS, Dec 8, 2016;

Glasgow group puts money where its mouth is with alternative currency, on Common Space.scot, by Nathanael Williams, Dec 8, 2016;

Egypt: no alternative to tough economic reforms – President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, on The Times of Israel, Dec 8, 2016: “Structural reforms” are an imperative for Egypt, Sissi says, adding that the newly implemented measures are no “picnic”;

The Dakota Access Pipeline and the Doctrine of Native Genocide, on truthout, by Tim Scott, Dec 6, 2016

Understanding Global Inequality, Interview with Branko Milanovic, on Social Europe, Dec 6, 2016: … The Doctrine of Discovery, Colonialism and White (Christian) Supremacy … US Settler Colonialism: “Destroy to Replace” …;

No Shortcuts – Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age [VIDEO, 64.14 min], on Socialist Projects.ca, Dec 1, 2016: income inequality has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. Labor unions’ membership is in decline, and popular opinion has turned against them. Promising movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter lack an organized base, and therefore are unable to build the power to effect meaningful change. Why do progressives in the United States keep losing on so many issues, and what is to be done? (also on YouTube);

Shadow Banking and Asset Pricing, on Social Science Research Network SSRN, by Jinji Hao, Sept 30, 2015: Abstract: a shadow banking system featuring collateral constraints is studied to investigate the joint determination of haircut and interest rate, as well as its interaction with collateral asset pricing. The banks with limited commitment serve the households’ need for consumption smoothing by taking deposits with a risky asset used as collateral and pursue the maximal leverage returns. In a collateral equilibrium as in Geanakoplos (1997, 2003), agents’ marginal rates of substitution are equalized only in non-default states, only the deposit contract with the highest liquidity value per unit of collateral is traded, and the risky asset price is boosted such that banks earn zero profit. Relative to the traditional banking with full commitment, banks are better off if they are endowed with the collateral asset while households are strictly worse off. I also find (i) higher households’ risky asset endowment leads to a higher asset price because a stronger saving motive creates a scarcity of collateral, while higher banks’ collateral endowment has the opposite effects; (ii) collateral use exhibits a diminishing return to scale in the amount of borrowing supported; (iii) for the quality of collateral, the higher asset price resulting from an upside improvement simply leads to a higher haircut with the interest rate unchanged since lenders do not care about upside risk; on the contrary, for lenders with a low risk aversion, a downside improvement of quality increases asset price and lowers interest rate but the tendency to reduce the haircut is alleviated by a more aggressive use of collateral, but everything goes the opposite for a high risk aversion and, in particular, the asset price drops as its quality improves;

Global Systemic Risk, what’s driving the Shadow Banking System? on Social Science Research Network SSRN, by Robert F. Engle, Fariborz Moshirian, Christopher Wong, July 2015, 16 pages: Abstract: the global shadow banking system (SBS) continues to increase in size and scope at a steady pace. The Financial Stability Board estimates that in 2014, the global SBS reached 75 trillion USD, which is equivalent to 120% of the GDP of all measured jurisdictions in the world. Advanced economies have the largest SBSs, while those of emerging economies showed the most rapid growth. China’s SBS is one of the fastest growing in the world. Globally, the growth of the SBS has been driven by the tightening regulation of traditional banks. This paper discusses issues related to the shadow banking system (SBS) with a focus on Asia and in particular on China, in the context of global systemic risk. The paper highlights the importance of the growing shadow banking industry in Asia and factors that will contribute to its expansion in the immediate years ahead. The paper compares and contrasts shadow banking in the US versus that in China. It highlights the risks associated with shadow banking, including leverage risk, maturity and liquidity mismatch and regulatory arbitrage;

… and this:

  • Hymne – Vangelis, 4.02 min, uploaded by Oneil1969 … more with in autoplay.

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