After two years leading the Commerce Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS), Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion Suresh Kumar announced his decision today to return to the private sector.The USFCS, which is part of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, is a global network of trade specialists with offices across America and in more than 70 countries around the world. The organization’s job is to help connect U.S. companies looking to sell their products overseas with foreign buyers.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), one of the largest natural gas producers in North America, is struggling to cope with the downturn in energy sector as its huge debt load has exacerbated the situation. 2015 was a disastrous year for the energy sector as crude oil and natural gas prices collapsed to multi-year lows.
KARL SMITH has written a provocative blog post this morning musing on the potential return of a housing bubble. The conditions for stabilisation in housing markets are right, he says; rents are rising and the new home pipeline is remarkably bare. Price stabilisation is unlikely to be a stable equilibrium, though:Once prices stabilize the incentive to begin massively expanding credit to potential borrowers will be enormous and is likely to reignite.
In yet another paradoxical move that will leave many scratching their heads, just days after throwing in the towel on its bullish dollar call (now that it expects far less rate hikes over the next year), Goldman moments ago announced that it is also cutting back on its longer-term oil price forecasts (which paradoxically are linked to a stronger dollar) for the coming year, as a result of a rebalancing that is taking far longer to take place than previously anticipated.
This is how Goldman explains its bearish pivot on crude:
VANCOUVER — Large Wall Street investors who made billions when the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008 are now betting real estate values in Vancouver and other Canadian cities will crash, financial insiders say.
The hedge fund investors, known as short sellers, are betting against what they believe is a housing bubble in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and other Canadian cities. They believe Canadians hold too much mortgage debt, and that Canadian banks, mortgage insurers and “subprime” private lenders will lose money on unpaid loans when property prices fall.
Pengrowth Energy Corp. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. are likely buyers of Korea National Oil Corp.’s Canadian oil and natural gas properties as the state-run company retreats from the country it once made a cornerstone of its global expansion.