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OPEC's grip on oil weakening
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sasha,

Whoppers are now Canadian.

"Tax Dodging Whopper? Burger King Moves to Canada After Merger with Tim Hortons."

Regards,
John
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11531
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't work in Russia, but I've got some rubles saved up:-) Next time I'm in Moscow, I will have some currency ready and prepared Very Happy

Yes, Canadians are very proud to now have American-style Whoppers Shocked
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone gloating about Russia's economic woes would be well-advised to remember that the financial world especially is a gigantic web and that when one of its strands is disturbed, the vibrations are felt everywhere.

"Still, financial crises are hard to contain, especially when they involve a large economy. Russia's economy is unbalanced -- nearly one-seventh of its GDP comes from oil -- and risks tumbling into recession. That would stunt global growth, with China also slowing down and Europe fighting its own deflationary spiral. Such a slowdown would almost certainly impede the U.S. economic recovery just as it is gaining strength.

Putin is also unpredictable. If Russia's economy continues to founder, he could even consider reneging on the country's foreign debts, High Frequency Economics suggests. That would put global lenders, including U.S. banks, investors, insurance companies and other major financial actors, on the hook for major losses."

Like it or not, we're all connected. If Russia is cut, the rest of the world bleeds, too.

Regards,
John
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Mushkilla



Joined: 17 Apr 2014
Posts: 320
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
But Moscow is better because it has душа. You couldn't understand...

Do you mean Moscow has a soul of a communist bear? Laughing

It seems the annual speech of comrade Putin today did not reassure the investors about the financial crisis in Russia, and did not provide any plan on how to tackle the crisis.
So, comrade Sasha, comrade Putin wants you to tighten your belt for another two years, and drink kvas instead of Coca-Cola! Laughing
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moscow has more soul than a cornershop, certainly.

But tell me, coz it is so interesting, what makes you think the speech dent go well? Given your high level Russian skills, I mean.

No tightening of belts for me, not that that should be of any concern to anyone.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of oil...

Gulf braces for tough times over oil price plunge
By Omar Hasan, Associated Foreign Press | 19 December 2014
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/gulf-braces-tough-times-over-oil-price-plunge-152543617.html

Kuwait City (AFP) - Gulf countries are bracing for tough times as vital oil revenues fall and after they missed a golden opportunity to diversify their economies in a decade of unprecedented windfalls, analysts say.

The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- could soon start reeling from falling oil prices, which have dropped by half from their 2014 highs to around $60 a barrel. Pumping about 17.5 million barrels per day, GCC countries are forecast to lose at least half their oil revenues, or around $350 billion a year, at current price levels.

Oil revenues make up around 90 percent of income for most GCC states and with prices now below budget forecasts, their governments are looking at certain deficits next year. Spending cuts are sure to follow -- and possibly even the region's first taxes -- raising fears of public discontent and eventually an economic slowdown. The oil price drop has also sent Gulf stock prices plummeting, wiping out billions of dollars of market value across the region and hurting major private firms like developer Emaar Properties and builder Arabtec Holding.

The heart of the problem, leading Kuwaiti economist Jassem al-Saadun said, is that Gulf states failed to seize on surging energy revenues to build up their economies outside the oil sector. "Gulf states have missed an important opportunity to reform and build a real diversified economy," Saadun said. "Public spending has soared to new record highs and it was not for vital infrastructure projects to diversify the economy," Saadun said. "It was mostly for wages, salaries and subsidies... and handouts for buying political loyalty especially after the Arab Spring."

Economists are warning that even with the huge reserves many have built up, a prolonged drop in oil prices will hit Gulf states hard. "The prevailing growth model for most oil-exporting countries has left them vulnerable to a sustained decline in oil prices," the International Monetary Fund said in a research bulletin last week headlined: "It is high time to diversify".

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's is warning that an extended decline in oil prices will likely slow the Gulf economies, reducing spending on their massive infrastructure projects and hitting the private sector. S&P has lowered its outlooks for Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, though it has maintained their ratings because of their impressive reserves. The IMF has said that -- barring Oman and Bahrain, which are already in deficit -- GCC states will not be greatly affected in the short-term as they can tap into reserves estimated at $2.5 trillion. But these funds, the IMF warned, will "only provide a temporary cushion".

In some parts of the region, the belt-tightening has already begun. Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia has insisted it will maintain its high spending levels by tapping into reserves. But Kuwait has ordered major spending cuts and is considering lifting petrol and electricity subsidies. In the UAE, Dubai has announced plans to raise electricity and water charges. Similar measures are expected by other countries.

Moody's Ratings said Gulf countries are likely to start with cuts in spending on "non-strategic investment projects" but will eventually face tough choices. "Slowing or even reversing the growth in current government spending, including subsidy reforms, will be more difficult as governments seek to meet social welfare demands," the agency said.

As oil revenues in Gulf states surged from about $100 billion in 2000 to $729 billion last year, public spending grew from about $150 billion to $547 billion, according to IMF figures. But the spending focused mostly on items like wages and subsidies -- not crucial capital investment. "Current expenditure has surpassed capital spending by miles," said M.R. Raghu, head of research at Kuwait Financial Center (MARKAZ).

Cutting that spending now is difficult as it means taking courageous decisions on wage and subsidy reforms, experts say. The Gulf states have adopted a generous cradle-to-grave welfare system with highly subsidised services and fuel and no taxation.

The World Bank has urged GCC states to start immediate cuts to energy subsidies, which cost them more than $160 billion annually, and Saadun said it was "inevitable" they would have to start introducing taxes. Such moves would prove deeply unpopular. But Saadun said putting them off would eventually make more drastic efforts necessary, which could spark the kind of social unrest that has hit other countries in the region. "Yes, these measures are politically sensitive, but the alternative is an Arab Spring in the Gulf. Options are no longer easy."

(End of article)
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tough times ahead for many economies, oil-producing or not. The heart of the EU is barely beating, China is slowing, not sure about the US, and the UK has practically sunk under the weight of its internal imperialist contradictions.

Luckily, the Motherland remains committed to its goal of spreading peace and prosperity to all mankind, whatever the cost to itself.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11531
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luckily, I'm hiding out long-term in one of those small, non-threatening, fairly well developed countries that no-one hates. Fingers crossed history doesn't repeat itself, and I'll have an uneventful but happy life in future.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that in Old Europe or New? Smile
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11531
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting question. It's both, I suppose. Cool
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can it be both? Can you be both with us and against us?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11531
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, depends on the definition of old/new.
'My' country was doing quite well at the turn of the century 18/1900s. Less well much of 1900s. Better now. More diversified exports, thankfully.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
As bad as things might get in Russia, there are worse places in the world to be. London, Antarctica, Waziristan, for instance...


I think Antarctica would be an awesome place to live, as long as someone provided the station and the resources.
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water rat



Joined: 30 Aug 2014
Posts: 1098
Location: North Antarctica

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

plumpy nut wrote:
Sashadroogie wrote:
As bad as things might get in Russia, there are worse places in the world to be. London, Antarctica, Waziristan, for instance...


I think Antarctica would be an awesome place to live, as long as someone provided the station and the resources.
They got cafes and internet yet? If they do, then, 'Boffo!' I say. Let's go teach the penguins English as a second language, erm, or in their case perhaps a first.

Sidebar: I saw a cartoon in Playboy years and years ago. A man is in bed with a penguin. Another man is in the open door of the hut, confronting him, behind him on the beach are thousands of penguins. The man in the bunk is asking, "How do you know it's your penguin?"
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