|$40 marked the Global Financial Crisis low in Brent crude oil, which makes it an important support level.|
Presidential Elections: Support Dr.Meira Kumar
Bihar and Jharkhand governments have no choice but to support Dr.Meira Kumar. As defeat of "Bihar ki Beti" will invariably bring Shame to the Biharis and Jharkhandis (or erstwhile unified Bihar). Do you think that, people of Bihar will leave Nitish Kumar Scott - free, if Dr.Meira Kumar loses ? So, Nitish Kumar has very little option left but to support, Dr.Meira Kumar.
Moreover, if Nitish Kumar wants to fall in the BJP's well calculated electoral TRAP no one can save him in the next election.
Also, I am surprised to see Mr.Navin Pattanayak, so easily chewing the RSS bait. Orissa is a state, where there is large chunk of Tribal Christian voters loyal to the BJD (Biju Janata Dal). I am still to fathom, BJD's sudden electoral gamble of siding with the RSS and the BJP; when Mr.Pattanayak has been maintaining distance from them since some time.
Besides, the election of Dr.Meira Kumar, who is educated, experienced and very sober, might also correct some of the historical mistakes of not making her father, the Prime Minister of India.
Also, I don't think all the Muslim and Christian MPs and MLAs from the TDP and TRS will ever support a RSS backed Candidate, who acted against Dalit Christian and Muslin reservations. Therefore, invariably cross voting will take place, which might give the underdog, Ms.Kumar, a win. Support Dr.Meira Kumar, give a conscience vote and make her the 2nd Female President of India.
All the best to Dr.Meira Kumar.....👍✌
Monday, February 02, 2015
The economics of falling oil prices
India should use the opportunity presented by cheap oil to spur growth and dismantle energy subsidies
The winners from lower oil prices are spread widely, the losers are concentrated and more vocal for it, shading the mood. There will be dislocation to the economies of big oil exporters beyond what we have already seen in Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria. Also affected will be oil companies and stock markets heavily weighted to oil and oil service companies and to those that sell what the oil exporters spend their $1 trillion of oil export revenues on. This is not just homes in Kensington and cars built in Munich, but also, and perhaps particularly for the likes of Indonesia, Nigeria and Algeria, the products sold to them by India’s manufacturers and service providers.
But don’t let that shove the good news behind a bushel. Some fret that lower oil prices signal a slowdown in economic growth in general and particularly in China where growth has decelerated to its slowest pace in 24 years—7.4%. This last statistic is pretty meaningless. After 24 years of 10% annual growth rates, the additional gross domestic product (GDP) created from an economy that has slowed to a growth rate of 7.4% is seven times greater than that of the same economy growing at 10% 24 years earlier. Even a slowing China imported seven million barrels of oil per day in 2014, more than the US and 30 times more than it imported 24 years ago.
There are demand factors weighing on oil prices but they are structural, not born of the economic cycle. Although the US economy was 10% larger in 2013 than in 2005, consumption of petrol, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products was down 12%. The best solution to high oil prices is often high oil prices, meaning that expensive oil is a strong incentive to conserve. But there were a raft of other incentives too. The US Energy Policy Acts, and the Energy Independence and Security Act, 2007, were among the many initiatives around the world after 2004 that intended to promote conservation. Fuel economy standards for vehicles were raised, ethanol blending targets increased and much more. Lower oil prices may relax the pressure to find further efficiencies, but past gains are seldom reversed.
Those surprised by the drop in oil prices believed two things: the shale revolution would be stifled by environmental concerns and the Middle East was burning itself down. Often these beliefs served other causes, but whatever the motive of their proponents, the reality was different. The quadrupling of oil prices between 2002 and 2012 financed technological improvements in downhole steering and telemetry that paved the way for the shale revolution. In 2005, fewer than 150 oil wells were drilled into the Bakken formation beneath North Dakota. Last year it was over 2,000. Shale oil production surged from 2,500 barrels of oil per day in 2005 to approximately one million at the end of 2014. Today, shale represents 5% of total oil consumption.
Shale oil still only makes commercial sense when oil prices are north of $30 per barrel and in some places, north of $75. What kept oil prices high and US shale production in business and feeding their Congressional lobbyists, was concern that tensions in the Middle East would stifle production or reduce certainty of supply. In the first half of 2014, cable news and newspapers were filled with stories of Libya disintegrating and the Islamic State running amok in the oil fields of Iraq and Syria. These concerns prompted financial investors to build long positions in Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil futures contracts equivalent to 650 million barrels of oil.
This story was laid bare on 22 June when two supertankers loaded 1.3 million barrels of crude at the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya. Libya’s production, which had dropped from 1.8 million barrels per day to just 250,000 by May, rebounded to 900,000 by August. Elsewhere, the Islamic State proved better at winning airtime than oil wells. As oil prices slipped, investors bailed, accelerating price declines. By September, 60% of the net long positions in oil futures had disappeared.
Financial markets overestimated the challenges to oil supply, prolonging unsustainable prices. Their capitulation made oil prices slump almost overnight to where they should have been. Today, financial markets are misreading the decline as a symptom of Saudi Arabian stubbornness and worries over the world economy. Consequently, the strength of the world economy will surprise on the upside. Politicians will grow impatient, but policymakers should hold their nerve and not be frightened into anything rash. India’s annual oil import bill will probably fall by $40 billion or more in 2015 which should deliver more growth, less inflation and a healthier fiscal position. The government should let part of this dividend provide a temporary boost to consumption and investment and let part of it offset a permanent dismantling of energy subsidies.
Avinash Persaud is non-resident senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and non-executive chairman of Elara Capital.
Courtesy: Live Mint