How Natural is Natural Monopoly? The Case of China’s Crumbling Hold on Rare Earths

Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of seventeen elements with exotic names like neodymium and yttrium that are key ingredients in many high-tech products, many important for national defense. Imagine the consternation of Western officials when they woke up one morning in September 2010 to learn that China held a near-monopoly in the production […]

Turkey: The markets’ Cinderella Man

Seen as one of the most vulnerable emerging markets (EMs) not too long ago, Turkey is on a Cinderella run, attracting significant capital inflows. Foreigners’ net equity and bond investments rose by $0.9 and 1.4 billion respectively during the last four weeks. Here is the intro. to my latest Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) column, where […]

Big Oil Is Cashing In On Iraq Violence

By Nick Cunningham: The spike in instability in several oil producing regions around the world is threatening to knock some production offline, but it is also boosting profits for drillers operating in trouble-free zones. Oil prices have hit their highest levels in almost 9 months as places like Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Libya continue to experience violence and […]

China’s Oil Hoarding Is Raising Prices

By Nick Cunningham: China has been buying up oil at a record pace in order to stockpile reserves for a rainy day as part of its strategy to insulate the country from geopolitical conflict or supply disruptions. It’s modeled after the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). However, the heightened rate at which China is purchasing oil is […]

Increased Oil Production Offsets Effects of Geopolitical Tensions

By Nick Cunningham: Oil prices briefly hit a three week high this week as geopolitical tension and strong demand tighten oil markets. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on May 12 that his country would make up for any shortfall that may result from the conflict in Ukraine. After pro-Russian eastern separatists held a referendum last weekend and […]

OPEC Questions Sustainability of North American Oil Boom

OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla el-Badri said oil supplies from North America “will play an important role in the coming few years,” but he cast doubt on their sustainability over the long term. Speaking May 15 in Moscow, el-Badri acknowledged that oil supply from producers outside of OPEC are expected to increase by more than 4 million barrels per […]

Did Crude Oil Production Actually Peak in 2005?

By Kurt Cobb: “Wait a minute,” you must be saying. “Haven’t we been hearing from the oil industry and from government and international agencies that worldwide oil production has been increasing in the last several years?” The answer, of course, is yes. But, the deeper question is whether this assertion is actually correct. Here is […]

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