The Devil is in the de­tail.

The McLeod River Post - - Front Page - Ian McInnes The McLeod River Post

Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs. OPEC says it has agreed a pro­duc­tion cut of oil of around three per cent from Jan­uary 2017. The first cut since 2008. Not sur­pris­ingly, the mar­ket knee jerk re­ac­tion was to push the price of oil up around nine per cent to just over the US$50 mark. And, at the time of writing this col­umn, it is start­ing to go south again to­wards $49.

OPEC’s agree­ment is through, “self com­pli­ance.” Rus­sia too has agreed to cut pro­duc­tion. How­ever, we won’t know any proof of the pud­ding un­til next year and even then, the fig­ures may not be cred­i­ble. The devil will be in the de­tail. What is my opin­ion of this cut re­dress­ing the oil sup­ply and de­mand mar­ket? Well, to use a favourite phrase from TV sit­com char­ac­ter Vic­tor Mel­drew, “I don’t be­lieve it.”

What OPEC’s move might do is pre­vent/ de­lay a fur­ther rout in oil prices that has long been ex­pected. OPEC has blinked first and if the price can be sus­tained around the $50 mark then North Amer­i­can shale will be tak­ing up some slack and maybe more, which will pres­surise the price again. The oil war is not over.

At last, we have some de­ci­sive mo­ments in Cana­dian pipe­lines. Two (Line 3 & Trans Moun­tain) are go, one (North­ern Gate­way) is no. Leav­ing two big­gies to be de­cided, Key­stone XL and Energy East. Key­stone XL may well get Trump’s back­ing, Energy East still has some way to go for a build or­der. At least Al­berta will be able to end its land­locked sta­tus and get sig­nif­i­cant prod­uct to mar­kets, if the mar­kets still want it that is.

An­other devil in the de­tail is what will hap­pen when Don­ald Trump takes over as U.S. Pres­i­dent next year. My gut feel­ing is that it might be very bad or it might be very good. Or, it might be both de­pend­ing if you’re go­ing to gain or you’re go­ing to lose. I think it would be a mis­take to un­der­es­ti­mate Trump. I think bring­ing cold, hard busi­ness to run­ning a coun­try is go­ing to be a shock to some. The Pres­i­dent Elect is sur­round­ing him­self with peo­ple he trusts. A very busi­nesslike trait. I’m not im­pressed with the ten­dency nowa­days to demon­strate when a side loses an elec­tion. Al­berta, Brexit and now the U.S. Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. If you lose, that’s it. Get over it. There will be an­other chance. Peace­ful de­mon­stra­tion and lob­by­ing against or for a pol­icy is some­thing else.

Fidel Cas­tro has passed away. What­ever one may think of the man, his pol­i­tics and his ac­tions one can­not deny he was a gi­ant fig­ure for his coun­try and also on the global stage too. I ac­cept that Cuban ex­iles may have been pleased at Cas­tro’s pass­ing and maybe I’m old fash­ioned but I think its dis­re­spect­ful to party on the street to cel­e­brate some­one’s death.

Sun­day, De­cem­ber 4 could mark a Euro­pean and pos­si­bly global game changer. Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter, Mat­teo Renzi has staked his ca­reer on win­ning the ref­er­en­dum on the Ital­ian con­sti­tu­tion. If polls and an­a­lyst opin­ion is to be be­lieved Renzi is go­ing to lose. I think so too. Renzi has said he will re­sign if he loses. But he may back­track, af­ter all he is a politi­cian. A de­feat could mean an elec­tion with the pos­si­bil­ity that fac­tions that are less than keen on the Euro­zone and the EU too if truth be told could force a ref­er­en­dum on Italy’s mem­ber­ship of the Euro. Which, if the vote was no could sound the death knell for the cur­rency.

The Brexit af­fair rum­bles on and still the UK econ­omy con­founds the planet fear mon­gers. The next step is an ap­peal to the UK Supreme Court as to whether the UK Par­lia­ment should have a vote be­fore the famed Ar­ti­cle 50 is trig­gered. My opin­ion is that a vote will be re­quired and the UK Gov­ern­ment will put a non-amend­able res­o­lu­tion to Par­lia­ment to stay on the Brexit sched­ule of trig­ger­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 by the end of March 2017.

Fi­nally, and by no means least the world sits by while parts of Aleppo in Syria is bombed and stormed back to the stone age. The Rus­sian backed regime I reckon is do­ing ev­ery­thing it can to de­feat the rebels be­fore the new U.S. Pres­i­dent is sworn in. I think it will hap­pen. The UN is pretty much pow­er­less and other na­tions fear to cross Rus­sia. It is wrong. It should stop. But it won’t. The talk­ing shop will go on while peo­ple die in the streets. It’s dis­gust­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.