Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (30)
“These Colours Don’t Run”
The Far Right emerged victorious, from its political cave of Adullam, to slay the current political leaders in the latest round of voting for the European Parliament[i]. The European Project has stumbled up against the existing democratic political system within the sovereign nations. The sanitised story is that against the background of austerity fatigue, the Far Right has been able to become a minority which can leverage the discontent of the majority. This does not explain how in Germany, a country that has prospered whilst its neighbours have suffered, the son of a Nazi (SA) assault division commander who is openly racist got elected to the European Parliament[ii].
If the leaders of the European Project are to maintain their positions, they must follow the people; and the people are turning right. Despite still being in the majority in the European Parliament, the Europhile momentum was stalled to such an extent that even Jean-Claude Juncker’s sinecure appointment as President of the Commission was disrupted[iii]. Observing the chaos in Europe, the other “little corporal” will no doubt have concluded that a little more territory in Central/Eastern Europe may be up for grabs in the near future. The EU’s ability to have any meaningful involvement in the Ukrainian crisis has been severely impaired.
“Something stinks in Denmark”
All these unanswered questions will be taxing the minds of the unelected policy makers of the Bilderberg Group when they meet in their own cave of Adullam this weekend in Denmark[iv].
As a leader of one of the great Abrahamic Faiths, Pope Francis will be more familiar than most with story of the cave of Adullam, where David the killer of the Philistine giant Goliath bided his time in hiding from the despotic King Saul. Prime Minister Netanyahu has recently slain the giant Palestinian “Two State Solution”, so it was great timing by the Pope to make his latest visit to the Holy land. Following his crusade for the heart and soul of Europe, observed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (24) “The Short Good Friday”[v], Pope Francis recently put his own “boots on the ground” in the Holy Land[vi]; following up on his Easter Message which lamented the suffering there[vii]. His Easter Message also included Ukraine and Nigeria. Recent developments in Nigeria speak to the Pope’s prescient worldview. The Catholic Faith is now positioning itself for 2016, with more than just words. The Pope’s latest positioning by referring to the plural “State of Palestine”[viii] balanced by a visit to the shrine of Theodore Herzl[ix], shows a great fundamental understanding of the secular forces shaping his worldview for 2016. One wonders if the Pope was tempted to visit the Cave of Adullam during his latest visit.
“Sell in June and go away.”
Having seen the fragmenting European political landscape, Mario Zelig retired to his own cave with his followers[x], in the mountains above Lisbon, to prepare for his promised June easing. Before retiring however, he dropped a strong hint about the ratiocination which would be presented in June[xi]. Zelig is apparently worried that falling inflation will compound with the weakening credit picture. The June easing will therefore be targeted at this threat. His conclave left nothing to the imagination, in terms of what to expect, when Council Member Visco announced[xii] that the “inflation projections” at sub-2% rather than the actual number itself are all that is needed to trigger the ECB action. All the conclave therefore has to do is see if its massive brain power and forecasting ability can put some points on a chart below the 2% coordinate on the Y-axis. This exercise in econometrics should be well within their sphere of competency when faced with open rebellion in the streets of their respective capitals. Zelig’s real problem is that he telegraphed his next ease well before the Far Right created an increasing political risk premium in his calculations. The impact of the next ECB ease has therefore been neutralised by the latest political developments. Zelig has a dilemma. Should he over-deliver now, to try and make the political headwind go away, or should he keep some powder dry for full blown crisis management later when the political situation gets even worse. Going forward, the European political risk premium is going to be a more significant headwind than Zelig’s “do whatever it takes” tailwind. Those who resisted the temptation, to sell in May and go away, will presumably sell in June. Those who bought in May, based on Zelig’s hint, will presumably do the same. European equity markets therefore face some motivated selling pressure over the summer, just when liquidity is drying up. European crises also have a habit of developing over the summer, when the leadership likes to take “les grandes vacances”.
The “Plunge Protection Team” in Europe will get no “grandes vacances” this year. As the potential market impact of the Far Right became clear on Friday last week, they swiftly moved into action buying upticks, causing the High Frequency Traders to amplify their actions by front running in thin European trade. The objective of the “Plunge Protection Team” appears to be to make the markets close in positive territory for the year each day. As the week of the “earthquake” elections ended, with the exception of the Bank of France, all the “Plunge Protection Teams” were able to show higher weekly, monthly and year-to-date closes. If only this window dressing reflected the political reality. This disconnect lies at the heart of the fun and games to come over the summer. Portfolio and hedge fund managers will at least be able to pay for their “grandes vacances”, having squeezed one more monthly performance fee out of their credulous investors. How they will explain why they did not sell into this strength when they face their clients at the end of the summer is going to be another story. Always more insidious than its peers, the UK “Plunge Protection Team” did its window dressing on the Thursday and headed for the beach early on the Friday. The UK regulator has become a little more assiduous when it comes to monitoring market price manipulation, so that when the surveillance team was snooping the “action” had already occurred the day before. The problem with all this “plunge protecting” is that as soon as they are done with their support, there is no further bid in the equity markets. Needless to say, after the Friday closing bell rang the markets collapsed again; and had to be immediately supported by some frenzied online trading.
“Sheep may safely graze”
France is the new stress line, this time around, which introduces a new dynamic. Hollande has dug his heels in and reaffirmed the commitment to austerity, so presumably the barricades will be placed in the Champs Elysees to challenge his commitment and remind him of how he got elected in the first place. The sheep, who believe in the “final solution” of a 25 hour work week, retirement (on full final salary pension) at 40 and the expulsion of any immigrants who will actually be the only ones doing any work, are already following Le Pen. Hollande fears a financial crisis more than the wrath of the people; so he will be given both. He was elected on a promise to renegotiate austerity with Germany. He has not delivered on this promise, so now his people will try and replace him with someone who will.
“# PIIGS Get Slaughtered”
“Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money and ‘PIIGS’ Get Slaughtered”
The Peripheral nation leaders will be watching Hollande and watching their own backs carefully. They have adopted the strategy of creating primary surpluses by applying austerity, to negotiate better bailout conditions with Germany. The French crisis plays to their strengths, by allowing them to blackmail the Germans with fears of similar crises if their terms are not met. This is however a double edged sword, because their own people may feel emboldened enough by the French situation to push back on the austerity that yielded the primary surpluses. The solution for Europe is growth, however fiscal austerity and low interest rates have created a disincentive for growth policies in either the public of private sector. Governments and corporates are happy to do nothing except manage their debts. The people no longer accept this. There is however no politician brave enough to tell the people that their leaders cannot afford to deliver; and that the peoples’ expectations must be lowered dramatically.
Porter’s Latest Case Study for the FOMC
Janet Yellen was observed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (29) “Don’t Think, Feeeeeeeel” redefining the term unemployed to include the underprivileged[xiii]. Her solution, to this new definition, is apparently to create another boom/bubble which will drag this cohort back into full employment. Her solution appears to disconnect with the reality at the would-be employers of her underprivileged. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice”[xiv] suggested that the Fed go to business school and learn about how CEO’s really behave under the current economic conditions of Stagflation. We said: “Capital investment and expansion are off the table, because the Fed is expected to tighten. In the absence of stimulative fiscal policy, CEO’s are hunkering down, raising prices and investing in their own shares and those of competitors that can be acquired”. HP has become the latest big name to go all-in on this strategy[xv].
Capex will be slashed and workers cut by 50,000, in order to finance buy-backs of the company’s own shares. Meg Whitman must really love this strategy, because she is investing the company’s own money (and her own compensation package) in it. Shareholders initially hated it, because it signals no future growth; and trashed the shares by 3%. Later they will grow to love it, once the lack of growth has been fully discounted in the share price; and the market then starts to discount the falling per-share denominator in the earnings-per-share ratio calculation that analysts love to follow. Flat earnings can be made to appear to grow by cutting costs; and the falling per-share denominator can then drive a price-earnings multiple expansion going forward.
“If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em”
Here Is The Mystery, And Completely Indiscriminate, Buyer Of Stocks In The First Quarter
There is nothing unique about the behaviour of HP. The evidence[xvi] suggests that American companies have been the largest investors in their own shares in the first quarter of the year. HP is following the herd. The evidence also suggests that QE is strongly associated with this behaviour.
Released On 5/29/2014 8:30:00 AM For Q1:14
The Q1 2014 Corporate Profit number showed that in the face of flat growth in profits, ever since the alleged recovery began, that the strategy of buybacks and raising prices has been the only game in town. The rewards of this strategy stalled out in Q1/2014, hence companies like HP are cutting even deeper and raising prices and buying back shares even more aggressively.
One wonders how the knock-on effect, of these 50,000 ex-HP employees hitting the streets , will impact the “Yellen-defined underprivileged”, who now face this fresh skilled competition. One also wonders what Yellen will do, if and when more Fortune 500 companies adopt the same business strategy of literally investing in no economic growth. Presumably the “Taper” will be arrested and then followed by another round of monetary stimulus. Unfortunately however, low interest rates and abundant credit provide no incentive for CEO’s to do anything other than continue with the Stagflation strategy. What is required is for either the consumer or the Federal Government to actually start providing invoices and receipts as the signal for CEO’s to start investing in output. The “Helicopter Money” crowd wish to stimulate Middle Class Consumer invoice and receipt creation, through wealth redistribution via a change in the tax code. The “Warmongers”, who have recently appeared as 2016 looms, wish to create military procurement invoices via foreign adventures. The “Warmongers” will in any case have to buy-off the war weary public, who provide the financing and supply the heroes for their adventures, with some form of wealth redistribution in order to achieve their foreign adventure ambitions. It is therefore logical to expect a deficit ballooning combination of both wealth redistribution and military expenditure.
Released On 5/29/2014 8:30:00 AM For Q1p:2014
The Q1 US GDP report showed the Stagflation conditions building in stable prices and weakening growth. The slow growth appears to be a global phenomenon.
2014 is starting to look like the pivot point for the global economy and policy makers. Equity markets have see-sawed sideways, as the “Taper” and its global ramifications get discounted. “Main Street” has however contracted whilst “Wall Street” vacillates. The volume of global trade has turned down this year, suggesting that the global economy is now moving back into contraction mode. CEO’s are hunkered down in Stagflation mode; and policy makers are now trying to inflame their animal spirits. Equity markets have therefore just started to discount this stimulative remedial policy action to the global slowdown, as the NASDAQ and Russell start to try and regain their leadership. More news like that just in from HP above, will swiftly rotate the leadership back to the riskier indices which react to monetary and fiscal stimulus the most. The Doomsayers, who actually believed that the weakness in the NASDAQ and Russell signalled the great reversal, overlooked the fact that shares of US companies with the worst balance sheets are up 8% year-to-date and 94% since 2011[xvii]. This outperformance is a consequence of the deliberate policy of the Fed and the OCC to create a lending bubble and systemic risk in the high yield debt market. Under pressure from the Fed and the OCC to stimulate lending to weakly rated borrowers, the banks have allowed the borrowers to massage their balance sheets and financial accounts to subjectively reflect expected changes in future cash flows[xviii]. This latitude has been exploited by private equity houses, who are now using the hypothecated cost savings accruing from M&A when they apply the Stagflation investment strategy to create totally fictitious accounting gains. The banks loans are then immediately channelled into dividends to pay back the private equity houses. The Fed and OCC are therefore once again complicit in the latest case of grand larceny and systemic risk creation on “Wall Street”. The Russell and NASDAQ corrections were more about the squeeze on the leveraged traders, who couldn’t afford to hold on as Jeremy Stein squeezed them out, than about the impact of the “Taper”. Now that the window-dressing for the “Taper” has been accommodated, in the NASDAQ and Russell correction, equity speculators are looking forward to the next phase of monetary and fiscal stimulus.
The news out of China is even less inspiring for growth and more inspiring for monetary and fiscal stimulus. The CEO of China’s largest real estate company Soho was caught on microphone[xix], when he extemporised about the situation in China’s real estate market being like the Titanic just about to hit the iceberg. The CEO of its competitor Vanke was more diplomatic when speaking on the record[xx]. He said that “the golden era” of the Chinese property market has passed. He also signalled that his company is now building directly for owners rather than investors, in a tacit acceptance that the policy makers have curbed speculation and are now promoting affordable owner occupation. It is therefore no surprise to see that the PBOC has embarked on driving borrowing costs even lower, to mitigate the impact of the crash[xxi]. In addition, reserve requirements have been cut for lenders to the farming and small business sector, in an attempt at further stimulus which avoids the bubbles and overcapacity in the state controlled enterprises and property sector.
At the Fed, BOJ, ECB and PBOC it’s literally “all hands on deck” to the liquidity pumps.
“The Odessa File (II)”
The Odessa Network
For readers who are still resisting the urge to accept the inextricable link between Ukraine Syria and Iran, proposed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (18) “Beyond the Pale”[xxii], the journalist Tim Fernholz recently provided another breadcrumb on the trail[xxiii]. His article draws on an initial research document, published in September 2013, by Tom Wallace and Farley Mesko of the Center For Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), entitled “The Odessa Network” [xxiv]. readers of this document should pay specific attention to the role of the “Odessa Network” in Syria and also in Africa. In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (22) “Jeux Sans Frontieres”[xxv] the linkage of these two conflicts to Africa was first made; and this was cross-referenced by way of Nigeria and also South Sudan in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (29) “ Don’t Think, Feeeeeeel”. “Odessa Network” readers will also note that the “Israeli-Ukrainian” businessman Vadim Alperin is listed as a key individual in the arms supply business to South Sudan. The co-location of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu, initially suggested in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (18) “Beyond the Pale”[xxvi], with all these crises is therefore underlined also.
“Call me maybe.”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (18) “Beyond the Pale”[xxvii] advised keeping an eye on dialogue between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Putin, after the former’s AIPAC address which kicked off the latest round of geopolitical instability. Having thus far cooperated at plausible denial arm’s length, the real danger of the situation has become so large that the “Dynamic Duo” has now installed an encrypted “Batphone”[xxviii]. Clearly, there is an expectation that things are going to get worse in “Gotham”, requiring more timely direct dialogue.
This “Odessa Network” document is a “smoking gun” not only in Ukraine, but in Washington too. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (28) “The # Numbers Game”, suggested that in light of Russian custody transfer of its US Treasury holdings to Belgium in October 2013, that America must have been aware of the impending annexation of Crimea and crisis in Ukraine. The “Odessa Network” document was published in September 2013, by a research group based in Washington. There seems to be far too much tactical situational awareness on both sides of all the conflicts concerned, which significantly predates the current headlines, for either America or Russia to claim that their opposing actions are not indeed in each-others’ best interests.
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (29) “Don’t Think, Feeeeeeel” observed that:
“The ‘Geopolitical Stimulus’ is already leaving a footprint in the Senate. Republicans and their energy industry sponsors have already begun rolling back the subsidies for clean energy[xxix]. The economic stimulus must therefore be coming in the form of exploration and defence of hydrocarbons.” [Our emphasis]
“This trend is no longer your friend.”
Enlightened Power: New Eco Warriors Are Really Well Armed
The aligned interest of the American defence and hydrocarbon industries made a massive “stimulus” footprint in Congress last week, when it passed an amendment[xxx] sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) that seeks to prevent the Department of Defense from using funding to address the “national security impacts of climate change”. McKinley is a famous Global Warming denier, which is to be expected from a Congressman from the coal producing region of West Virginia. There is however more to his parochial view of US energy security than meets the eye. The Pentagon is one of the most global environmentally friendly and sustainable energy achieving institutions[xxxi]. George W Bush saw to it that the Pentagon would not feel the headwinds of the high energy prices, which his policies were creating for enemies and friends alike, by legally mandating the adoption of the highest levels of sustainable energy efficiency. Clearly the “Warmongers” feel that this has gone too far now; and actually makes the Pentagon less aggressive as a consequence. McKinley’s amendment, whether by design or otherwise, now aligns the interest of the Pentagon back with the Hydrocarbon industry. The issue is not just about coal however.
“Peak Shale = US Energy Insecurity”
The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble
The domestic Shale industry is currently having its own bubble bursting phase. This phenomenon was discussed in 2013, by David Hughes in “The Great Shale Debate” by Globalresearch.org[xxxii]. He opined:
“High productivity shale plays are not ubiquitous, and relatively small sweet spots within plays offer the most potential. Six of thirty shale plays provide 88 percent of production. Individual well decline rates are high, ranging from 79 to 95 percent after 36 months. Although some wells can be extremely productive, they are typically a small percentage of the total and are concentrated in sweet spots.”
It is now becoming clear that the allegedly abundant Shale reserves are in fact finite and less abundant than originally represented. Even the abundant reserves that are in the ground cannot be recovered in sufficient volumes to justify continued Capex. The Shale drillers exploited the most accessible (and hence economic) reserves first; and also borrowed more than the present value of these easily accessible resources. Diminishing returns from well decline curves, now dictate that the borrowing which was done back then cannot get the same as or better returns going forward. Equity capital fund raising (and IPO share pricing) was also predicated on the premise that these easily recovered reserves would go on to be discovered all over the North American land mass. The returns on debt and equity are no longer available, from the decline rates now occurring and the lack of new easily recovered discoveries. Last week in the stroke of a pen, the “vast” Monterey Shale reserve was written down to almost zero[xxxiii], because its geology prevents the majority of the reserves from being recovered. Within the industry itself[xxxiv], the debts of Shale drillers have doubled over the last four years whilst output has only risen 5.6%; with many spending as much as 10% of sales on interest payments compared with 0.1% at Exxon. It is not simply a matter of Exxon gobbling up the smaller players however. Exxon is not in fact a believer in the longevity of US Shale and does not have a significant investment in this sub-sector. The “Frackers” have just peaked; which means that America must either become “Greener” or go out to defend its global energy franchise. Clearly, as 2016 approaches, the “Warmongers” wish to go global. Energy security is not just a European problem anymore. To compound the situation, President Putin has just announced that the American Shale Emperor has no clothes. It looks as if America is going to have another “Enron Moment” with Shale. If history is rhyming again, we will then see a bubble in technology created by loose monetary policy after the “Enron Moment”, followed by a financial crisis when the “irrational exuberance” after the “Enron Moment” expires; and then some large geopolitical event like “9/11” which will lead into the next the phase of bubble creation. Along the way, there will be a new American President to move things along. Looking at Ukraine, Iran, Syria and now Africa there is no shortage of potential geopolitical events to hand, for one to take one’s pick from. Since all are inter-related, the probabilities of history rhyming again are very high.
“US Shale/African Import Correlation/Causation”
The Shale Oil peak symmetrically mirrors the US African Oil import trough; which suggests correlation and causation.
“Coming Soon to a Cinema Near You”
Jeux Sans Frontieres
“ # 200”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (28) “The # Numbers Game”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (29) “Don’t Think, Feeeeeeel”
The substitution of African Light Sweet Crudes by US Shale is now coming to an end, just as US Shale peaks and political stability in the African oil producing nations coincidentally starts to wobble; and just as America begins to focus on the 2016 Presidential elections.
“Iron Dome of the Rock”
Israel recently left its own defence footprint in the emerging American military “stimulus”, when it signed up to spending half of the American funding for its “Iron Dome” missile defence shield back with American contractors[xxxv]. “Iron Dome” thus becomes a conduit by which America can indirectly stimulate its own defence industry. Israel therefore becomes a facilitator of the American fiscal military stimulus. In order for this to appear credible, there needs to be a fire for the smoke. A breakdown of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and an escalation of Iran’s ballistic missile programme would clearly go a long way in the credibility stakes; both of which have become highly probable scenarios of late. There is also the strategic dimension in which pecuniary interest now binds America’s defence industry even closer to that of Israel. President Netanyahu’s newly declared “Single Jewish State” therefore has the implicit support of America, despite all the posturing and rhetoric of Secretary Kerry which suggests otherwise. Armchair generals may also have noted that “Iron Dome” is a fundamental strategic requirement for Israel as it unilaterally breaks with the Palestinians and prepares for conflict with Iran. These generals avidly watched the President’s Westpoint speech for any more signals from the playbook.
“Remember people, be careful out there.”
President Obama’s Westpoint speech clearly set out his global agenda, between now and when he leaves office in 2016[xxxvi]. Having been foreshadowed by the reappearance of Tony Bliar, with his “sexy” foreign policy in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (28) “The # Numbers Game” and Niall Ferguson’s critique of Obama’s “Geopolitical Taper” in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (29) “Don’t Think, Feeeeeel”, the President’s speech was an “unsexy” anti-climax. It is now clear why Bliar and Ferguson tried to steal his thunder in the preceding weeks leading to Westpoint. The President correctly opined that America is peerless as a superpower; and implied that the latest acts of Russia and China to undermine its influence represented signs of their weakness. As we said in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishnes (28) “The # Numbers Game” all America needs to do is play for time and let the rest of the world collapse relative to it, in order to get even further ahead. This is a seductive and “unsexy”, even if an admittedly Un-American strategy. The President hinted that he will adopt the softer approach to this “unsexy” strategy, by allowing America to become the great facilitator of indigenous forces that resist the threats to American self-interest from Russia and China. It all sounds similar to the creeping involvement of America into full blown interventionist mode that occurred in Vietnam. In fact, the President referenced this policy in relation to President Kennedy when he said that:
At the height of the Cold War, President Kennedy spoke about the need for a peace based upon "a gradual evolution in human institutions".
Apparently, the President has now conceded that the Cold War is back on. His “red lines” for military action were directly reiterated thus:
“ First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency - the United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it - when our people are threatened; when our livelihood is at stake; or when the security of our allies is in danger”.
Going forward, the use of semantics and definitions of unfolding events on the ground in relation to this “principle” will be applied both by the President and the “Warmongers” to second guess each other. At each stage, there will presumably be an escalation in the level of carnage and atrocity, until an unequivocal definition which can be used to justify unilateral force is reached. In practice, the President has just painted a large target on the backs of all Americans living and working outside the United States. As Chief of Police, of the “World’s Policeman”, his teleprompter should have included the words “Remember people, be careful out there”, from the inimitable Hill Street Blues series. One of these targets will ultimately be defined as casus belli.
- EU Protest Forces Surge Posing Threat From U.K. to Greece
- Meet The Pro-Hitler German Politician Who Was Just Elected To European Parliament
- EU Spars Over Top Job as Juncker Denied Quick Appointment
- Bilderberg Copenhagen 2014: Full list of official attendees
- The Short Good Friday
- Pope Francis praises Jordan at start of Middle East visit
- Pope Francis Made An Unprecedented Gesture In Jerusalem
- Pope Tours Jerusalem Shrines Before Honoring Zionist Leader
- Draghi Convenes Retreat as ECB Contemplates New Horizon
- Draghi Says Timing Key as ECB Watches for Negative Spiral
- Visco Says ECB to Act If Low Inflation Projections Confirmed
- Yellen Adds Disadvantaged to Full-Employment Definition
- Pride and Extreme Prejudice
- This Is Why Hewlett Packard Just Announced Another 16,000 Job Cuts
- Here Is The Mystery, And Completely Indiscriminate, Buyer Of Stocks In The First Quarter
- Bad Credit No Problem as Balance-Sheet Bombs Rally 94%
- Fed’s Junk-Loan Caution Spurs Creative Accounting Alchemy
- China’s Real Estate Captain Calls Out The Titanic
- China’s ‘Golden Era’ for Property Over, Vanke President Says
- PBOC Cuts Corporate Yield Spread Most Since Crisis: China Credit
- Beyond the Pale
- How Ukrainian arms-dealing connects to Syria’s bloody civil war
- The Odessa Network
- Jeux Sans Frontieres
- Beyond the Pale
- Beyond the Pale
- Russia, Israel to Install Direct Encrypted Line
- Senate Blocks $85 Billion Tax Cut Bill Because It Would Have Helped Wind Energy
- House Votes To Deny Climate Science And Ties Pentagon’s Hands On Climate Change
- Enlightened Power: New Eco Warriors Are Really Well Armed
- The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble
- In Stunning Backtrack, Feds Say Our Largest Shale Oil Reserve Is Mostly Un-Drillable
- Shakeout Threatens Shale Patch as Frackers Go for Broke
- Israel Agrees to Spend Half of Iron Dome Funds in U.S.
- Obama West Point speech in full with analysis