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Most-Accurate Oil Forecasters See Second Year of Losses – Bloomberg

Most-Accurate Oil Forecasters See Second Year of Losses – Bloomberg.

Brent crude prices, the benchmark for half the world’s oil, will weaken for a second year in 2014 as U.S. output expands and threats to Middle East and North African supply ease, the most-accurate forecasters said.

Prices will average $105 a barrel in 2014, from $108.71 in 2013, according to the median of estimates from the seven analysts who most accurately predicted this year’s level in a survey last December. Brent averaged $111.68 in 2012.

Global supply is expanding as the U.S. pumps oil trapped in shale-rock formations, driving domestic output to the highest in a quarter century and curbing demand for the crude priced off Brent. IranIraq and Libya will also produce more in 2014, the forecasters said. While a second annual drop for Brent would be the first consecutive retreat since 1998, prices are still about 39 percent higher than the average over the past decade.

“We’re expecting a surplus,” said David Bouckhout, the senior commodity strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank in Calgary who was jointly the most accurate forecaster. North American “supply growth is going to remain robust and cover the expected increase in demand. The biggest concern for 2014 on the supply side is going to be Iran, while Iraq is another producer that certainly wants to see its production grow.”

Brent Decline

Brent for February settlement lost 97 cents to $111.21 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe today, leaving prices little changed compared with the start of the year. Hedge funds and other speculators boosted net-long positions in the grade by 41 percent in the week to Dec. 24, restoring bullish bets from their second-smallest level this year, bourse data show.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, slipped $1.03 today to $99.29 after settling at $100.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Dec. 27. The grade is poised for an annual gain of 8.1 percent. The spread between WTI and Brent averaged $10.63 this year, compared with $3.94 over the past decade. The widening gap reflects an abundance of U.S. supply at a time of disrupted exports from Iran, Iraq and Libya.

The three most-accurate forecasters from last year’s survey were Christin Tuxen, a senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, Thina Saltvedt, an analyst at Nordea Bank AG in Oslo, and Toronto-Dominion’s Bouckhout.

Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA in New York, ranked fourth. Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Corp. in New York, Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York, and Jochen Hitzfeld, an analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich, were joint fifth.

Exporting Countries

Expansions in supply from producers outside the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will more than cover the gain in global demand in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency. Daily non-OPEC output will rise by 1.7 million barrels as worldwide consumption adds 1.2 million barrels, the Paris-based adviser to oil-consuming nations says.

The U.S. will lead the gains as it taps shale reserves in North Dakota and Texas, the IEA said in a Dec. 11 report. Iraq plans more exports next year as part of its long-term strategy to triple production, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said Dec. 3. Iran will increase output if international sanctions are eased, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the same day. Libya will reopen export terminals closed by protests, Oil Minister Abdulbari al-Arusi said Dec. 21.

Expanding supply from Libya, Iran and Iraq is a “tail risk” rather than a probable outcome, said Societe Generale’sWittner, the most bullish of the top seven analysts. Libya will remain “an unreliable source of supply,” higher output from Iran won’t materialize until later in the year and Iraq has repeatedly missed its expansion targets, he said. Wittner anticipates an average price of $108.

Nuclear Program

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking in Washington on Dec. 7, assessed the chances of a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear program as no better than 50-50. The nation, once OPEC’s second-biggest member, is producing about 930,000 barrels a day less than at the start of 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Libyan production is close to the lowest level since the uprising that unseated Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 as armed groups blockade eastern ports, oil ministry data showed Dec. 23. Iraq’s production of 3.1 million barrels a day in November was 7 percent lower than a year earlier amid attacks on pipelines and a dispute with leaders in the country’s Kurdish region, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A supply glut will be averted because Saudi Arabia, the biggest member of OPEC, will curb output if needed, Societe Generale’s Wittner said. The kingdom’s daily production swung from 8.75 million to 10.25 million barrels over the past several years, he said.

Beat Expectations

Oil demand may exceed analysts’ expectations next year as the U.S. economy strengthens, said Bjarne Schieldrop, the chief commodities analyst at SEB AB in Oslo. The global economy will expand 3.6 percent in 2014, from 2.9 percent in 2013, the International Monetary Fund said in a report in October.

“Demand has clear upside potential,” SEB’s Schieldrop said. “Oil prices should be set to stay around the $108 to $109 level seen this year, rather than set for a really bearish development.”

U.S. crude production surged to a 25-year high of 8.11 million barrels a day in the week ended Dec. 20, government data show. That’s the highest level since September 1988.

Iraq Ambitions

Iraq plans to export an average of 3.4 million barrels daily in 2014, Oil Minister al-Luaibi said Dec. 3. Shipments were 2.38 million barrels a day in November, the ministry said this month. The country has said it wants to produce 9 million barrels a day by the end of the decade.

Libya will consider armed force to reopen eastern ports closed by a blockade, Ajwa Leblad News cited Oil Minister Al-Arusi as saying Dec. 16. Production in the holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves has dwindled to 210,000 barrels a day, as of November, from this year’s peak of 1.4 million barrels in March, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Iran may be able to boost oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day following an agreement on Nov. 24 that eased some sanctions in exchange for a pause in the country’s nuclear program, Toronto Dominion’s Bouckhout said. That might expand should Iran reach a wider deal with world powers, he said. The country shipped 850,000 barrels a day in November, according to the IEA.

Iran’s improved relations with western governments may make Saudi Arabia, its regional rival, more reluctant to act as the swing producer, said Danske Bank’s Tuxen. OPEC may then be divided over who should cut to restore the balance between supply and demand, driving prices lower, she said.

“The Saudis will continue to add to an oversupplied market,” Tuxen said. “We see them cutting supplies slightly, but not enough to make up for the production increases we see elsewhere, especially in light of the Iranian-U.S. deal. They can actually deal with an oil price that falls somewhat below $100 and still be fairly well-off.”

 

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Joins Council On Foreign Relations | Zero Hedge

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Joins Council On Foreign Relations | Zero Hedge.

A month ago, the press was aflutter with rumors that NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, spurned by mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, would join JPMorgan in a “top security” position. The rumor was since denied and the fate of Kelly was unclear, until today, when the Council on Foreign Relations announced that the NYPD top man would join the CFR as a “distinguished visiting fellow” in turn opening the doors wide for a world of financial opportunities to Kelly. Considering his tenure, where Kelly served as senior managing director of global corporate security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. from 2000 to 2001, he seems like a perfect fit for the CFR.

From CFR:

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to Join CFR as Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Raymond W. Kelly, commissioner for the New York Police Department (NYPD), will join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a distinguished visiting fellow. Kelly will be joining CFR in early January and will be based at the organization’s headquarters in New York. He will focus on counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and other national security issues.

“Ray Kelly spearheaded the modernization of the New York Police Department. The result is that crime is down and the NYPD’s counterterrorism capabilities are second to none. We are excited and proud to have his experience, expertise, and judgment at the Council,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass.

As the first and only police commissioner to serve under New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, from 2002 to 2014, Kelly presided over the country’s largest municipal police force, seeing violent crime decrease from 2001 levels by 40 percent. He created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police department in the country, as well as a global intelligence program that operates in eleven foreign cities.

Kelly will leave the NYPD as the longest-serving police commissioner in the city’s history. He also served as New York City police commissioner from 1992 to 1994, under then mayor David N. Dinkins, and is the first person to serve in two nonconsecutive mayoral administrations. Kelly served in twenty-five different commands before being named commissioner, spanning a forty-three–year career with the NYPD.

Previously, Kelly served as senior managing director of global corporate security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. from 2000 to 2001. From 1998 to 2001, he was commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service. He also served as undersecretary for enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department, the third–highest ranking position in Treasury at the time. From 1996 to 2001, Kelly was vice president on the board of the international police organization Interpol.

In 1995, President Clinton appointed Kelly director of the State Department’s International Police Monitors mission, tasked to restore order in Haiti following the return of then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Kelly received his undergraduate degree from Manhattan College. He is also a lawyer and holds a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law and a masters of laws from New York University School of Law. Kelly also holds a masters of public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Kelly served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserve for thirty years and is a combat veteran of Vietnam. He retired with the rank of colonel.

 

How the NYPD is in Bed with JP Morgan | A Lightning War for Liberty

How the NYPD is in Bed with JP Morgan | A Lightning War for Liberty. (source)

Under some Orwellian concept of citizen surveillance, the very Wall Street banks that proved they were a far greater threat to the United States than any foreign terrorist when they collapsed the Nation’s financial system in 2008, are part of a joint venture with the NYPD to use high-tech spy equipment to monitor the comings and goings of citizens in the streets of Manhattan – the majority of which, unlike Wall Street, are law abiding citizens.

– Pam Martens, from her recent article: Despite Eight Ongoing Criminal/Civil Investigations of JPMorgan, the Bank’s a Law Enforcement Partner With the NYPD

Michael Bloomberg made his priorities and strategy quite clear throughout his extended tenure as New York City’s mayor. It is far easier to demonize large sodas, salt and cigarettes than it is to go after the real criminals running wild in Manhattan. After all, why go after your billionaire oligarch finance pals when you can randomly stop thousands of disenfranchised, dark-complexioned serfs toiling in the barrios and forgotten areas of your neo-feudal city in order to look “tough on crime.”

It’s one thing to target the poor while protecting the very rich. We already know that’s been the central tenet of Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership strategy. That said, it is quite another to have the NYPD work side by side with JP Morgan employees (a company facing eight ongoing criminal/civil investigations) as some sort of law enforcement strategy. Yet, that is precisely what it has been doing.

NYPDbankster

More from Pam Martens of Wall Street on Parade:

Nothing reveals the incestuous, one-percent-mindset that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have with Wall Street than the next to last photo at this link. The photo shows an employee of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s number one target for financial fraud investigations,JPMorgan Chase, working inside a high security spy center in Lower Manhattan to — wait for it — help the New York City Police Department catch crooks.

While most law enforcement bodies around the U.S. would instantly weed out serial wrongdoers as job hires, Bloomberg and Kelly have created an art form out of joint policing ventures with Wall Street, operating both a rent-a-cop program with Wall Street as well as pumping at least $150 million of taxpayer money into the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center where Wall Street employees sit elbow to elbow with NYPD officers.

Under some Orwellian concept of citizen surveillance, the very Wall Street banks that proved they were a far greater threat to the United States than any foreign terrorist when they collapsed the Nation’s financial system in 2008, are part of a joint venture with the NYPD to use high-tech spy equipment to monitor the comings and goings of citizens in the streets of Manhattan – the majority of which, unlike Wall Street, are law abiding citizens. 

In the Fall of 2011, I filed two Freedom of Information Law requests with the NYPD seeking details on the rent-a-cop program and the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center.

Despite the legislative mandate that the NYPD should respond in 5 business days or a period reasonable to the request, both of my requests received a written response stating it would take five months to answer — five months or 30 times longer than the legislative intent. To date, I have not received a sliver of paper responsive to my request.

If we want to understand why Wall Street believes it is above the law, look no further than the NYPD.

This is what we call oligarch justice in the United States of Banana Republic.

In Liberty,
Mike

 

Michigan Safety Net for Boomers Frays on Bankrupt Detroit – Bloomberg

Michigan Safety Net for Boomers Frays on Bankrupt Detroit – Bloomberg.

 

Former NSA Head, Michael Hayden, Aggressively Attacks the Entire Hacking Community | A Lightning War for Liberty

Former NSA Head, Michael Hayden, Aggressively Attacks the Entire Hacking Community | A Lightning War for Liberty.

 

Why Are So Many College Graduates Driving Taxis? – Bloomberg

Why Are So Many College Graduates Driving Taxis? – Bloomberg.

Brooklyn to California Bubble Threat Grows in Housing – Bloomberg

Brooklyn to California Bubble Threat Grows in Housing – Bloomberg.

 

Gold’s Biggest Drop in 30 Years Fails to Deter Advocates – Bloomberg

Gold’s Biggest Drop in 30 Years Fails to Deter Advocates – Bloomberg.

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