February 2017

Conservatism Has a Globalism Problem

Donald Trump’s success in the GOP primary and general election has highlighted an emerging political dynamic that has long been bubbling under the surface but lacked the prominent spokesman necessary to fundamentally change the conversation. This emerging dynamic is nationalism vs. globalism, and it is not just a phenomenon confined to Trump’s America. It is reflected in the Brexit vote and the resonance of nationalist politicians in Europe like France’s Jen-Marie Le Pen. Trump’s success is part of a broader uprising in the Western World against our global elite masters.

Will CPAC Adapt to Trumpism?

The Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC, starts this week. For those who are unfamiliar with CPAC, it is an annual event that takes place in Washington, DC that brings together conservative activists with conservative elected officials, leaders, journalists and celebrities. It is likely the largest and most prominent event of its kind within the conservative universe.

Despite OPEC Cuts, Global Glut Grows A Million Barrels a Day

Last week saw the release of the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report for February (pdf), which covers global oil data for January.  It's the production data in that report, not the IEA estimates that we looked at last week, that will determine, by OPEC's own standards, whether their members have complied with the production cuts they have agreed to or not.

New Record Highs for US Oil Exports, for Gasoline Inventories, and for Oil Inventories

This week's oil data for the week ending February 10th from the US Energy Information Administration showed that our imports of crude oil fell back from last week's 4 year high but still remained elevated, while our refining of that oil fell for the 5th week in a row to the second lowest rate in a year, and as a result there was another large surplus of crude that was added to our oil supplies, which were thus boosted to an all time high.

Over Half a Trillion 2016 Trade Deficit

The U.S. December 2016 monthly trade deficit decreased 3.2% from last month and now stands at $44.3 billion.  For all of 2016, the trade deficit increased 0.4% from the year previous.  While that doesn't sound like much, the total amount is -$502.3 billion.  This is in spite of petroleum imports being much less of a trade deficit factor.

Nothing Special in the Unemployment Report

January is the month when annual adjustments are added to the unemployment report.  These adjustments are just tacked onto the month of January, hence one cannot compare the past month without removing these figures.  Yet, with or without the annual adjustments, this year's end result isn't much of a shift.  The January unemployment rate is 4.8%.  Those employed had little change as did those unemployed.