Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 2nd, 2009

Mexico, July 2nd 2009

Posted by Charles II on July 2, 2009

Outsourced to Michael Collins. I will try to add more over the next few days.

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Oil prices about to crash

Posted by Charles II on July 2, 2009

Phil Inman, Guardian:

A London-based oil broker was today under investigation after a rogue trader lost the firm $10m following a series of unauthorised trades believed to have caused a spike in global crude prices.

The trader left the firm on Tuesday following the discovery of contracts that helped push trading volumes to almost double the current daily output of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.

PVM Oil Futures confirmed that it was forced to pay $10m to honour unauthorised trades by the broker, who for legal reasons could not be named. It said: “PVM can confirm that it was the victim of unauthorised trading on Tuesday 30 June.

“As a result of a series of unauthorised trades, substantial volumes of futures contracts were held by PVM. When this was discovered, the positions were closed in an orderly fashion. PVM suffered a loss totalling a little under $10 million.”

Oil is the most heavily traded commodity, with main centres in London and New York. The price is set by futures contracts placed in London’s InterContinental Exchange (ICE), which dominates European trading, and New York’s Nymex. According to some analysts, as much as 60% of crude oil prices are based on speculative trading by firms such as PVM, which place orders on behalf of large trader banks and hedge funds.

Update, Friday morning: Oil from $73 to $66.73 over the last few sessions, with some news sources blaming it on the weak jobs report.

So far, no abrupt crash. Maybe we will get through it because it’s a holiday weekend. But if 60% of oil prices are based on speculative trading, then there’s no fundamental support between $66.73 and ca. $30. Any suspension of the speculative trade, like due to Congressional investigation, could trigger the slide.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Honduran Coup Update, 07/02/09

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 2, 2009

The coup leaders, who allegedly stole power because they wanted to “save” the Honduran Constitution, have now just trashed it:

Despite the best efforts of what I call “the Oligarch Diaspora” to flood the Internet with near identical messages that the Honduran coup “is not a coup” and that was a “constitutional succession” (cough, cough) dressed in the blue-and-white flag of Honduran democracy, the coup regime bared its fangs today. And like any vampire, it’s coming out at nightfall.

The same Congress that, after the military had kidnapped, beaten and dumped President Manuel Zelaya in Costa Rica had declared one of its own, Roberto Micheletti as the coup “president” today passed an emergency law stripping Hondurans of the following rights from the country’s constitution:

1. The right to protest.

2. Freedom in one’s home from unwarranted search, seizure and arrest.

3. Freedom of association.

4. Guarantees of rights of due process while under arrest.

5. Freedom of transit in the country.

Tomorrow morning’s papers are already out across the ocean in Europe, and correspondent Pablo Ordaz of the Madrid daily El Pais has reported from Tegucigalpa about the Coup Congress’ decree:

“Minute by minute, step by step, Honduras moves farther from its freedoms…”

Read the defenders of the coup and they are united by one powerful feeling: fear. They’re afraid of the growing demonstrations in the streets, like the in the capital city this afternoon captured in the video above, where despite the brutal repressions against the people, each day the opposition crowds grow larger, more emboldened, and better organized. In the defiant but smiling faces of the Hondurans opposing the coup you can see the palpable difference between their passion and the lack of it from the passive bumps on a log that attended yesterday’s pro coup rally.

The Congressional decree specified that only at night may those five freedoms be disappeared. And so tonight, a new reign of terror begins.

However, indications are that this reign of terror may be about to end:

The Organization of American States (OAS), which has unanimously demanded the reinstatement of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya within 72 hours or it will expel Honduras from the organization, is attempting various diplomatic overtures to convince the coup plotters that it will not be in their best interests to continue holding Honduras’ democracy hostage.

The US has been part of the formulation of that position (along with Venezuela, Brazil, the Central American nations and other leading players) and its clear that Washington is following the lead of the collective will of the hemisphere.

Keep your fingers crossed. The next 48 hours will tell the tale.

Posted in Latin America | 7 Comments »

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