Wednesday, February 24, 2016


As funerals go, it was spectacular but now that we're back, I have to start spooling up as to what has happened over the past week or so.  At first glance, not very much, but two things stand out as becoming bell weathers as to future conditions.

The first is the price of oil which took a huge jump on reports that there was to be a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producing nations to reduce production thereby setting a floor on the price.  You might remember that it was predicted here that would not happen and sure enough, the Saudi Minister threw ice water on the report saying in no uncertain terms that such a deal was not on.  Surprisingly, oil rallied today even in the face of higher inventory numbers pulling the DOW out of a 268 point hole, but I suspect we will see it drop again shortly.  What is surprising is how everything turns on the price and how little talk there is of this market, if not being outright manipulated, is being massaged by some professional leakers of information and an all-too-gullible press who seemingly will print anything without out much verification whilst knowing that in times like this any rumor will move markets.

The second event is the becoming-more-real possibility of a British exit from the EU.  Last week, Boris Johnson, MP, Mayor of London, Impregnator of various women not including his wife, and either beloved or be-hated, announced that he was for Brexit.  Whilst commentary focused on why he broke with Cameron (hint...he wants to be the PM), little was made of the effect this stance would have.  Within days, he was brutally attacked in the Commons by Cameron and as we look today, the Pound closed at 1.39-something having traded to 1.38 earlier in the day.  Oops.

For a variety of reason, some of which are political, the Bank of England will not prop up the currency but it's continued weakness will give even greater fear to a "yes" vote for Brexit.  Boris has a following:  from an American's standpoint (he's American as well having been born in New York) he looks for all the world like a Donald Trump in the making.  That really isn't the case, however, but he surly is making life difficult for the "establishment politicians" and sending shivers up the spines of more than a few on the Continent.  Imagine, a Yank, running Britain?  And then, there was Winston Churchill.  Best watch this thing develop.   As usual, never a dull moment with the Brits.

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