The Oil-Drenched Black Swan

By: Gordon Long | Mon, Dec 8, 2014
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Charles Hugh Smith and Gordon T Long discuss the dramatic impacts the recent fall in energy prices is having and will have on global financial markets.

Crude Oil Chart

Situational Analysis

The impact of lower oil is financial, political and geopolitical.

Lower oil revenues will impact:

Lower state revenues will pressure:

Reduced Global Liquidity Flows

Reduced Global Liquidity Flows

Four Likely Causes

  1. Shale Oil,
  2. Weak Global Demand,
  3. A Geo-Political Clash,
  4. Financialization of Oil

Four Likely Causes

Consequences of $68/BL Oil
(Richard Duncan's "Liqudity Gauge" Watch)

  1. Consumer "Tax Cut": Consumers will be better off. Lower gasoline prices will be like a tax cut for the middle class, who will be able to spend more on other goods.
  2. Smaller US Trade Deficit: The US trade deficit will become smaller as the cost of oil imports falls (although this will be partially offset since Americans are likely to use their savings from a lower gasoline bill to buy more consumer goods made overseas). A lower trade deficit will boost GDP.
  3. Shift In Central Bank Stances: Lower oil prices will mean more downward pressure on consumer prices and a greater risk of deflation. The fear of deflation is likely to cause the Fed and the Bank of England to delay their plans to increase interest rates, while it may force the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan to accelerate their asset purchases.
  4. Lower Sovereign Bond Yields: In most countries, government bond yields have already fallen in response to the increasing disinflationary/deflationary pressures that will result from lower oil prices. Government bond yields in a number of European countries fell to record lows last week.
  5. Sovereign Fiscal Pressures: The finances of the oil exporting countries will suffer. The currencies of Russia, Norway, Venezuela and Nigeria have already fallen significantly, reflecting the deterioration in those countries' economic prospects.
  6. Production Breakeven Costs: Lower oil prices are likely to put some high cost producers out of business. Canadian oil sands look particularly vulnerable. Some of the marginal shale oil producers in the US may also go to the wall. As bankruptcies occur, defaults on energy junk bonds are likely to rise significantly. At this stage, I don't believe that the losses in the junk bond market will be significant enough to cause a new financial sector crisis. Nor do I believe that so many wells will shut down in the United States that US oil production will begin to fall. Production costs have been falling rapidly and are likely to continue falling. Oil prices will have to fall considerably further before most of the new shale oil production becomes unprofitable. Of course, the possibility that oil will fall much further can't be ruled out. It was $20 per barrel not all that long ago.
  7. Reduced Capital Flows: Finally, the reduction in the US trade deficit will mean a reduction in capital inflows into the US. (Capital inflows are the mirror image of the Current Account Deficit, since every country's balance of payments must balance.) The reduction in capital inflows will reduce the upward pressure on US asset prices that has come from this source in the past.

Video: The Oil-Drenched Black Swan

with Charles Hugh Smith & Gordon T Long
28 Minutes



Gordon Long

Author: Gordon Long

Gordon T. Long
Publisher - LONGWave

Gordon T. Long

Gordon T. Long has been publically offering his financial and economic writing since 2010, following a career internationally in technology, senior management & investment finance. He brings a unique perspective to macroeconomic analysis because of his broad background, which is not typically found or available to the public.

Mr. Long was a senior group executive with IBM and Motorola for over 20 years. Earlier in his career he was involved in Sales, Marketing & Service of computing and network communications solutions across an extensive array of industries. He subsequently held senior positions, which included: VP & General Manager, Four Phase (Canada); Vice President Operations, Motorola (MISL - Canada); Vice President Engineering & Officer, Motorola (Codex - USA).

After a career with Fortune 500 corporations, he became a senior officer of Cambex, a highly successful high tech start-up and public company (Nasdaq: CBEX), where he spearheaded global expansion as Executive VP & General Manager.

In 1995, he founded the LCM Groupe in Paris, France to specialize in the rapidly emerging Internet Venture Capital and Private Equity industry. A focus in the technology research field of Chaos Theory and Mandelbrot Generators lead in the early 2000's to the development of advanced Technical Analysis and Market Analytics platforms. The LCM Groupe is a recognized source for the most advanced technical analysis techniques employed in market trading pattern recognition.

Mr. Long presently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, continuing the expansion of the LCM Groupe's International Private Equity opportunities in addition to their core financial market trading platforms expertise. is a wholly owned operating unit of the LCM Groupe.

Gordon T. Long is a graduate Engineer, University of Waterloo (Canada) in Thermodynamics-Fluid Mechanics (Aerodynamics). On graduation from an intensive 5 year specialized Co-operative Engineering program he pursued graduate business studies at the prestigious Ivy Business School, University of Western Ontario (Canada) on a Northern & Central Gas Corporation Scholarship. He was subsequently selected to attend advanced one year training with the IBM Corporation in New York prior to starting his career with IBM.

Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

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