The plunge in the price of oil that began in July acts like a tax cut, it is said, and will boost spending by consumers and businesses, and thus goose the US economy. Among the voices propagating this view is the UBS macro strategy team. It found that if the current prices persists on average in 2015, you can expect a boost to US GDP of 0.5%, which would be big for the otherwise crummy US “recovery.”
I don’t know what these good folks have been smoking, but I want some of it too.
While that article focused on a turnpike in Pennsylvania and mentioned a few other projects, it didn’t clarify how widespread the use of these visas has become in 2014. Specifically, there were 10,928 applications for EB-5 visas in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014. This was up a stunning 72% from fiscal year 2013. Even more shocking, the number of applications in 2006 was 486. So the 2014 figure is up 22x in less than 10 years. That’s not normal…
Silver bullion demand remains very robust as silver stackers continue to stack. 2014 has been another record-breaking year at the U.S. Mint which has sold 43.3 million silver eagle coins – up from 42.7 million coins last year.
Record demand in 2014 was seen despite the U.S. Mint running out of Silver Eagles early last month due to very high demand throughout October. As a consequence of this lack of supply, November sales of the coins were down 40.8% according to Reuters.
Silver prices fell 36% last year and, despite obvious shortages in the supply of physical silver, they have declined a further 12.5% this year. This demonstrates the degree to which naked shorting of the market – the selling of paper contracts for gold which the seller is not actually in possession of – is determining price of the physical metal.
Hooray, oil is suddenly much cheaper than it used to be. That’s great news, right?
Not so fast. For certain it’s not good news for those counting on a continued rise in US oil production from the “shale miracle”. Many drillers were challenged to operate profitably when oil was above $70 per barrel. Very few will remain solvent with oil in the $50s (as it is as of this writing).
So, expect US oil production to suffer from these lower prices if they persist. But even if oil prices rise and rise soon, there’s new data that indicates the total amount of extractable oil from America’s shale plays is less — much less — than what we’re being told (or better put, “sold”).
We believe that ‘something’s gotta give’ as the real world continues to tumble while equity markets continue rising – and not everyone is ‘lovin’ it.’ We also compare the debt curse to the oil curse. In the second half, Max interviews equity crowdfunding pioneer, Simon Dixon of BankToTheFuture.com, about the latest in CrowdFunding 2.0 as both the political and financial space is disinter mediated.