Oil prices on surprising decline

Oil prices declined by 16 percent since the June high. Why are oil prices declining? What’s the role in the decline? While the oil price has fundamental and political components, are the Saudis trying to hit both? Has Saudi Arabia become more pivotal economically and politically and taken too much risk?… Continued

Scotland votes on independence

For 300 years, Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Now there is a strong movement within Scotland that calls for independence. This movement believes that Scotland has given more within the union than it receives and it is better off… Continued

Rise of US dollar could prove viable

The U.S. dollar has appreciated by about 6 percent against major currencies, such as the euro and the yen, in the last two months. This comes on the heels of being beaten and pronounced undervalued by markets participants for the last six years. In fact, there are signs that the… Continued

Natural gas could be next big thing

The cold weather arrived early this fall in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, which are the major natural gas consumers in this country. The arctic air marched through those regions, waking up the prices of the dormant natural gas, which have lagged oil prices for years. The… Continued

A loss of investor confidence

There has been a debate in the United States regarding China’s possible sale of the $1.4 trillion in Treasury bonds it has lent to the United States. This debate has become more relevant recently in the light of the United States’ repeated troubles in formulating its federal government budget and… Continued

Oil shale: alternative energy?

It has become obvious to oil observers over the years that the oil landscape is not a constant, and it keeps changing because of diverse reasons. Many of us remember the quadrupling of oil prices in the early 1970s in reaction to an oil embargo that lasted for several months… Continued

Airline fares on the rise

Summer is here, and this season’s travel is in an advanced planning stage if not already underway. I used to travel from New York to Amman, Jordan, and vice versa for my annual vacation almost every year. Now I cannot do that, and I have to spend some summers in… Continued

Japan pushing world to currency wars

Shinzo Abe was first elected prime minister of Japan in September 2006. He showed commitment to fiscal policy reforms, including a balanced budget, but failed to improve the economy. With a popularity rating below 30 percent, he was forced to resign in 2007, having served for less than a year.… Continued

Treasury bonds reach 2 percent interest

The current debate regarding the U.S. economy revolves around the recent hike in interest rates as represented by the 10-year Treasury bond rate. This rate had spent most of the last four years dancing below 1.85 percent, which is considered very low by historical standards. Suddenly, this rate has risen… Continued

The trillion dollar coin and you

In the United States, the president must get the approval of Congress to raise the public debt limit every time government spending reaches the imposed limit. If Congress and the president do not reach an agreement, the credit rating agencies then consider the government to be in default. Thus, if… Continued