From Behind the Nylon Curtain

I had to take a short and unproductive trip to London last week. One that I will get to do again in the coming weeks. While I spent time in the hotel room, I had the great pleasure of watching all 27 channels that the hotel had to offer. There was news on items I know had not been covered in the US press corps and a major news event occurred that I still cannot find being covered anywhere here in the states.

I have been told for some time by several of my overseas friends that our news is filtered and restricted. It was not until now that I had proof we live behind a nylon curtain.

Need proof, you say? Let me share the 2 items that everyone on the globe but us are aware of.

Britain considering leaving the EU
This actually is not news in the UK. It has been a current topic for a while and will be voted on in June of this year. When David Cameron won re-election last year, one of his promises was on an up or down vote to stay in the European Union.  I am not going to cover all of the reasons for consideration, but when I found out about what the Brits call “Brexit”, I asked some people at the hotel and others when I went out walking around. Curious. While there are a load of issues (see http://www.theweek.co.uk/eu-referendum ), immigration was a real rub there in London. Under EU rules, borders with other EU countries are similar to our own borders here between states. The issues of terrorism and getting a hold of who comes in and out was at the top of the list with the people I talked with who supported Brexit.

Barry was there last week as well and “advising” the Brits to stay in the EU. Did not catch that on Fox, CNN, or MSNBC here in the states. Now why might Barry want the UK to stay in the EU? Well, for starters, the EU model is Barry’s guiding light and blueprint for a less sovereign America. The US and UK are first cousins and one cannot have their cousin walking away from the adopted brothers and sisters.  It also looks bad for Barry if the UK’s driving force on the vote turns out to be immigration. That does not bode well for his vision here for us plebiscites.

Now, I know what you are thinking: why would we care what goes on in England? Well, aside from issues on policy that made Obama look bad, there are financial considerations. What impact do you think this will have on the Euro should Britain pull out of the EU? What about its impact on the British Pound? The answers are that the Euro will be hurt, the Pound could be hurt, but the good ole US Dollar might get just a tad stronger. Could that impact trade agreements, import & export contracts, currency futures,  or travel? What if you own shares in a mutual fund that invests in Euros? You might want to have that data to make an informed decision.

Saudi Vision 2030
This came out Monday and was all over the news. It impacted oil prices here in the US, but I still cannot find it on any US news outlet. The announcement is on an equivalent basis as when the Russians declared themselves out of the business of communism. It’s that big and its like crickets chirping in the night over here.

Not one US media outlet is reporting this.

The impact of this new policy is broad and will reach all corners of the globe. It was and is all over the news in every part of the globe.

Except here.

So, what is it? Well, Monday the Saudi’s announced the end of the Era of Big Oil. Due to the impact of renewable energy sources, alternative fuels such as natural gas, and competition from other oil producers, the world’s 2nd largest producer of crude (Russia #1) and formerly the largest producer of crude for most of the past 50 years said it is going to diversify its economy away from the revenue produced by crude oil sales. That is currently 87% of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s income…. And they are going to accomplish this transition by the year 2030. Yeah, 2030…..

As part of their plan ( http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/915676 ) the Kingdom will sell of 5% of Aramco, the worlds largest oil company. If you click the link and it comes up with technical difficulties, refresh your browser and it should bring in the article. The price per share to open will be based on an estimate of Saudi’s reserves at a low market of $10 per barrel. The IPO in selling 5% of Aramco is going to be valued at over 2 trillion and will be the worlds largest… The MENA (Middle East North Africa) regional rags were quick to give their opinion: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/saudi-reform-plan-pleases-markets-but-not-sceptics-1.1811999

Did you wonder why oil took a nose dive Monday after weeks of being on the rise. Are you starting to understand that we are getting minutia for news?

Now, oil has gained back some prices and will stable out. However, every analyst in the world now places oil prices playing on the $40 to $60 per barrel price from here on. If you’re not sure, call one. They may think your from Mars having the knowledge, but they will give you an opinion on the oil sector. Gosh, isn’t it good to know your spread in advance to best manipulate the markets? Sorry, could not pass on that one. If you still believe the markets are not run by puppets on strings, I cannot help you.

What does this do for West Texas Crude? How about renewable energy tech or holdings in natural gas? Is it time to buy Tesla stock? I watched 4 investment firms announce billions in investments in green energy projects on Bloomberg Monday while in London after this announcement came out. Was this data on your E-Trade account? I thought not.

Here is the real question: why is this sort of data being ignored here? I know both Fox and MSNBC have the news. Fox owns SKY news and it was covered in London. MSNBC has its own financial channel in the UK and it was all over it. Bloomberg has a UK channel as well and it was an all day topic for 2 days. You can find it on Bloomberg.com if you click on the section for Middle East and scroll down to the Challenge to Saudi Arabia’s Post Oil Vision article. But you have to LOOK for it. It’s not at the top and nowhere in the US section of the site.

I know money is one reason for this blackout of news. There are people who profit from this kind of data over those who don’t have it. Past that, I can’t give you any other reasons that don’t start diving off into conspiracy and paranoia.

Welcome to life behind the nylon curtain.

 

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