The Prisoner’s Dilemma, OPEC and Russia 09-03-15

After another volatile week for oil, some countries have started to feel pressure on their balance sheets. We previously have written that the Saudis had begun to take on debt to fund their extensive spending and social programs; signs indicate that other oil producing economies may have begun feeling budget pressure as well.

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A Tale of Two Chinas 08-27-15

Yesterday, U.S. stocks saw an upswing that ended a six-day slide. The stumble, believed by many to be caused by fears over China and low commodity prices, included the worst two-day drop since the financial crisis. However, as if to balance this out, yesterday’s price appreciation was the largest single-day jump in nearly four years—certainly, the market looks almost excessively volatile.

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War Games 08-13-15

Amidst the headlines of President Obama’s Iran deal, Russian ships have reportedly docked at Iran’s northern port city of Anzali, while Chinese ships participate in joint exercises with Russia in the Mediterranean Sea. The ships conduct several war games, showing off military developments and technologies to interested onlookers.

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Bottom of the Barrel? 08-06-15

The big news in oil this week comes from a report published by the EIA.  The report concerns U.S. refiners, saying that during the last week of July, these refiners have run at their highest rate since August 2005. This news comes with falling prices, as a number of factors worldwide have depressed spot oil prices—including slower demand from China and a potential new future source of supply, from Iran, down the road in the wake of the negotiated nuclear deal.

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A Silver Lining 07-30-15

Here at Leeb’s Real World Investing we have discussed extensively the tendency for lay-investors to miss out on big returns if and when they get cold feet just before an investment really takes off. To this end, in our last issue we spoke about Benguet—a stock with gold exposure that took off astronomically following the announcement of the Iran-Iraq war, and related a tale about a colleague who missed out narrowly after abandoning his thesis on the stock. Read more about A Silver Lining 07-30-15