Recent Posts

Morning Scope 4

Brooklyn Cop at 844th Precinct accuses innocent Sankey of being “weird-looking” “They” got caught speeding yesterday: fast unwind of long natgas / short refining trade Terrific Happy Hour with Jay Saunders and a couple of other hitters last night; introducing Scope 4 Jennison portfolio manager (PM) Jay Saunders is very popular in the market, you can tell that by the players that dialled in to participate in his call yesterday. He co-runs the Jennison Natural […]

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9:30 AM

Morning Mo Money Mo Problems

“I, Russia” Putin desperation rising Oil markets: would you rather have weak China demand with low oil product exports, or post lockdown China with high product exports? Yet another inventory release threat: China An inventory release threat, Iran, was highlighted by us as likely to go into instability given reports of the serious illness of the aging Supreme Leader. Say her name: “Mahsa Amini”. Protests raging, rightly. “Morality Police” murdering women. As the Fed raises, […]

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8:45 AM

Morning Rails

PREMIUM EVENT TONIGHT Luke Gromen, high profile strategist, is on Happy Hour this week, Thursday 5pm. Big guest, big views, big themes, Main Event Gromen vs Sankey HH 53. Tonight Sep 15, 2022 05:00 PM ET Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcemrqDIvHtyqA85Av3APXBad-aTjuSBR Another great call from our Washington DC guru and Happy Hour regular Frank Kelly, who weeks ago said that he did not believe that a rail strike would be tolerable to the […]

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9:04 AM

Morning Mr Gromen

Dollar vs oil correlation has moved back to inverted very recently. Right now, the oil price is winning, US$ weakening. For the first time in well over a year, media is stating the oil price is rising on a weakening US$. That’s a bit like saying the NY Giants are dominating the NFL – after winning their first  game of the season. WITH THAT SAID Luke Gromen, high profile strategist, is on Happy Hour this […]

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8:15 AM

Morning between a Hard Rock and a palace

Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth II. Long live the King! The rainbows were just amazing. One US media outlet described the Queen as the last human link to Great Britain, the Britain of Empire, such as it was when she became Queen in the 1950s. This resonated with me, the Queen with Churchill in photos, for example. Her passing bought back memories of my father, another link to Empire, who left this mortal coil last […]

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8:12 AM

Our Bob’s Gasoline

Last call for the Sankey Research Party at the Hard Rock Penthouse tonight. If you are in NYC and around Times Square, we have a glittering panoply of oil market experts, CEOs, investors, and some hangers on, all welcome. Kathleen Kelley “OPEC whisperer” will comment on the symbolic cut, and we are highlighting the new CEO of refiner Delek USA Avigal Soreq. RSVP if you want to join, there is plenty of space and we […]

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1:13 PM

Sunday Life Guard

Labor Day outlook for oil and energy markets into year end; there is plenty more research to be done. You could make a big call on oil today for the next four months, and be wrong by Tuesday this week, with OPEC+ meeting Monday. If they cut and crank oil prices, you could make a bear call today, reverse your view on Tuesday and be wrong by Thursday when the ECB may be pushed towards […]

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8:32 PM

Morning Refining Fire

We have spoken about the structural shortage of US refining capacity repeatedly. We have warned that the US refining system has been running very hard, but has been unable to keep inventories from all time lows relative to demand, particularly for distillate. And we have underlined that distillate (think diesel for my newbie readers) is the default “convenience premium” fuel when natgas and coal get short. It is easier to transport, and generally directly substitutable. […]

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9:31 AM

Morning DOE Boom!

It’s a time of year when the Wednesday 10:30am US government Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (DOE EIA) weekly oil data matters. We normally disdain trying to jerk our knee faster than the army of commodity analysts who jerk their knees as fast as possible to DOE print, some who go so far to send out the entire tables verbatim (thanks!) but this week, for fun, we are competing for the fast note reaction […]

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11:28 AM

Morning Saudi Put… Iranian Call

“The Saudi Put is back” wrote a client yesterday Could well be related to softening in Iran negotiations Certainly, it implies that Saudi wants, enjoys, needs, $100/bbl+ Brent Part of their calculus is a belief in strong demand despite $100/bbl+ this summer, with winter coming That is, the Saudis optimal price is as high as demand can take, and not so high as to cause demand destruction. This summer’s demand strength strongly suggests that range […]

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9:54 AM

Morning War in Europe

We like the long oil trade here, explained Europe is at war. Russian/EU gas expert Jim Henderson was stark on our call: Russia is waging full scale economic war on Europe. Winter is coming. Darling! I never knew you cared Bull trade in oils is back on, in our view. First, we contend that oil equities often predict the next move in oil, the commodity. As shown below, over the past five days E&Ps (and […]

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9:25 AM

Morning Pain Trade

Delighted to say that Dr James Henderson is on Happy Hour Strategy Session tonight, A PREMIUM EVENT. Jim is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, alongside his consultancy work and professorships. When: this evening, Aug 11, 2022 05:00 PM ET, Zoom, Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sd-CtpjsrGdVM0p-MsG1P4WU0dr3hBWq3 ~ One of my favourite concepts on Wall St (or should I say hated?), is the “pain trade.” I first heard of it 20 years ago and […]

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10:09 AM

What are you doing? Reading transcripts

The two weeks, mid-earnings, when we pull together company results transcript comments, are not a science, they are an impressionistic art; a colour to our themes. Basically these are comments that caught our eye over the past week. Like sellside analysts, the companies tend to all present the same more-or-less generic message, but occasionally, as we strive with Sankey Research, a comment stands out, is differentiated, or so wild that it is worthy of note. […]

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2:25 PM

Morning Miss

Tonight Happy Hour: Kathleen Kelley on OPEC. Frank Kelly (invited) on Washington DC – lots of action there. View share on results on what happens next. Today Thursday 4th August 5pm Eastern. Register for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkc-qvqjgrH9NWL5mVuMMR2AyR3q1cZrtm I was on Bloomberg TV bright and early this morning and… I used the “B” word. Just to note, we are long natgas over oil into the coming economic slowdown, and playing for winter. The announcement that Freeport […]

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8:30 AM

Say what? Not there yet… Q2 2022 so far

This note outlines the mega-themes that are emerging mid-way through oils’ reporting season. We listened to a lot of calls, read A LOT of transcripts, and distill it here, for your Saturday afternoon reading by the pool on your yacht. Last evening I reflected that this weekend I was as likely to bit hit by a massive piece of falling Chinese space debris, as to win the mega-millions and get my own yacht with pool. […]

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2:52 PM

Evening Guanajuato

Sincere thanks to research partner Greg Bordelon, who has been firing company reports at me while I stumble across Mexico in the quest to Morelia. Sorry for the invconvience, but if you would just request the company-specific notes, that would save me doing a ton of cut-and-paste into what would be a monster drone of a note. So email me and I will forward, on these companies: Key points: will we get restructuring at Baker […]

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9:30 AM

Morning Homing Pigeons

Canada from the top rope with the 100bps interest rate rise. US with the 9.1% inflation print. Here’s US inflation since 1914. We argued that the 2020’s have nothing like the set up of the “Roaring 20’s”, in our note written in 2020 “The Cliché-Myth of the Roaring 2020s”. For one, the stock market to start the 1920s had been essentially in a bear market for 15 years, hammered by WWI and Spanish Flu. Not […]

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8:54 AM

Morning China dis-inflation (to inflation)

Rampant inflation globally, underlined by today’s US CPI print has an extraordinary backdrop – China has been dis-inflationary. In certain key markets, notably crude oil and above all LNG, China demand has been negative at the margin in terms of demand growth, with significant roll-overs from previous rampant import growth. Assuming China works through its COVID issues and pursues its 2022 GDP growth plan, a re-acceleration in demand for key commodities seems certain, particularly in […]

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12:03 PM

Big Oil Week Next Week

“Happy” Hour yesterday evening, an oil investor self-help group Big week for oils next week with Nordstream 1 and CPC shutdown decisions coming; Biden visits MBS Buffett buying yet more Oxy – he might go… all… the… way Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway filed notice of acquisition of 12m shares Occidental costing about $698m this week, giving it an 18.7% stake. Buffett had also purchased 9.9m OXY shares last week. Total stake is 175.4m shares worth […]

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9:06 AM

Morning SPR

Good to see oil holding, we have broken the bottom of our $110/bbl-$150/bbl range for Brent this summer, but news out of China is positive both in terms of higher oil demand and re-iterated low oil product export quotas. These product export quotas are some 40% below last year levels and underline that Beijing is moving away from energy-intense processing and exports, prioritizing its own air quality and environmental issues. Quotas are cut from 37Mt […]

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9:24 AM

Sunday Brooklyn Heights

Back in Brooklyn, Happy July 4th weekend, insert my annual joke about my not recognising US independence, or Make America Great Britain Again. Harry and Meghan’s second kid is eligible to be a female US President, being born in California. Based on the recent candidates, not just the winning ones but the primaries, just about anybody will do better than the current political class. Enough, let’s take a quick look at the first half. As […]

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1:30 PM

Morning Mr Jones

Briefly noted: Gazprom shares plummet -25% as shareholders reject record dividend plan Uniper, largest German buyer of Russian gas, shares plummet -18% as it says it is receiving just 40% of volumes ordered from Gazprom After two weeks in the dark, with no weekly oil data published, the US Department of Energy released the backlog yesterday. The DOE was keen to stress the “systems outage” was not a hack. Better not be, DOE manages emergency […]

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8:08 AM

Morning Wimbledon

Good to see the oils stabilising and bouncing this week, with Brent crude prices holding the bottom of our $110-$150/bbl range for summer. It is clear that to get past the $130/bbl peak Ukraine fear price we hit in early March 2022, will more likely be a squeezing grind higher on strong demand and weak supply, than another spike shock, although these are always possible in oil. With that said, let’s face it, just about […]

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6:59 AM

Morning Hyde Park

Greetings from Hyde Park, We are back in London, Paris was controversial; Patricia considers it the greatest most wonderful place on earth, I get into arguments with Parisians, Selloff dynamics Hess reminder Phillips 66 Comments Morocco? Algeria It’s only rock ‘n’ and I’m 80 On the selloff: To me, the charts are not broken, but we nibbled 5% of the S&P500, then collapsed back to just over 4.1%. It is actually barely visible on the […]

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11:47 AM

Burning Victory (for the Gold Cup)

Off to Royal Ascot today, thoughts before we take the train, suited, booted, and in Patricia’s case, hatted. We are with the plebians for a variety of reasons. So, I do not need to dress as a penguin/full morning suit and topper (Royal Enclosure dress requirement; there are tiers of “enclosures” descending from Royal, down to Windsor, based on social class, or in America, you would say money (debt will do)). A suit, plain shirt, […]

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6:56 AM

Private vs Public, Cash vs Multiple

Libya down by 1mb/d, maybe President Biden should visit? APA (Apache Oil) duster in Suriname is unfortunate for the marginal mega-bull case BP – like Shell, the non-alcoholic beer of big oils – sells out of Canadian Oil Sands but increases exposure to Western Canada offshore OKLAHOMA CITY, June 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR) today announced that its board of directors (the “Board”) has received a non-binding proposal letter, dated June […]

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8:34 AM

Fortunes lost, and won

January 6th 2021, my personal story, or how the best call of my career cost me a lifetime fortune. DINO, how HollyFrontier won a lifetime fortune Starting with DINO, we had “me old mucker” Rich Voliva, CFO on Strategy Session last evening. He has always been impressive, and we had to laugh about him writing a searing indictment of US ethanol policy, as part of our sellside refining team at Deutsche Bank, when it was […]

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9:50 AM

Fancy meeting you here

Just as I was muttering that there is not much happening, it all kicks off. Notably the fire and outage at Freeport LNG yesterday caused a sudden sell-off in natgas prices. “If it is burning live on TV, it moves the market”. Over/under on the outage is 3 weeks, which is very minor in the grand scheme of things, but a big deal at the margin when natgas prices are screaming at $9.50/mmbtu. Freeport LNG […]

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9:55 AM

Casey’s Jones’ SUV: Gasoline Elasticity

Some real time gasoline demand price elasticity data was given on today’s Casey’s call, and we thought it was worth sharing verbatim, with a little extra cheese. In case you missed it, Casey’s is a huge “convenience store“/gasoline station operator. Some 55% of revenue comes from fuel sales, of $8.7bn, generating 32% of gross profit of $2.4bn. Casey’s, is not just the 3rd largest convenience store in the USA, it is the US’ 5th biggest […]

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9:25 PM

The Only Hawkish Central Bank: Saudi

Concerns that Russia may go ex-OPEC+ quota system, system such as it is, have seen oil prices fall hard this week… from $120/bbl to $113/bbl Brent. The chart continues to look extremely powerful, and I was pondering this morning what happened to all the “Peak Oil” community – which was huge in the 2000s, arguing that we were out of oil supply. Of course, US unconventional oil production growth humiliated them, none of whom forecast […]

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9:26 AM

Sunday Sancerre

Glad tidings, A long weekend in the US, a four day weekend in the UK for the Queen’s platinum jubilee, seventy years as Monarch. Quite the rein. Go easy on your temperamental French executive chef today as he crashes around in a fury having to stoop to make your requested Memorial weekend hot dogs and chicken nuggets. The fact that you intend to slug super-chilled Napa Screaming Eagle Sauvignon blanc is only upsetting him more.  […]

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3:59 PM

The Value in Scarcity: US Refining

Re-iterate Price Target: Valero $150/share by June 30th. Re-iterate Overweight all US refiners. Illustrating Valero $190/share argument. This is a time of year when the weekly Department of Energy US oil data is crucial: it will be released at 10:30am today. We see an emerging crisis in US oil product markets, depending on how much of that crisis we export to Atlantic Basin markets. It will be a battle of demand destruction: who blinks first […]

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8:37 AM

Good times in the right places

Happy Sunday in May, Never a bad thing. Fog this morning has lifted. Aramco results this morning rounded out a week when it became the largest stock in the world by market capitalization, surpassing Apple (not by free float, the Saudi government owns 94%). It  generated an enormous profit in a quarter when Brent averaged just about $100/bbl (actually $99.53/bbl Q1 average).   Refining earnings, as well as continued huge upstream earnings, will be even […]

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3:56 PM

It’s a Marathon and a Print

We had Kathryn Kelley and Bob Jonke on the Strategy Session yesterday. The story of how I managed to steal a major client’s wallet after we watched the Real Madrid vs Man City game with Kathryn was not repeated. It was an accident! Bob is worried about demand destruction and not super-bullish crude here. By contrast, Kathryn sees a 3mb/d shortage of oil in 2H which simply cannot be drawn from inventory, so something has […]

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8:47 AM

You said that; Hess, Antero, Suncor

First quarter reporting season is always a crazy flurry, and this one is no different. To add to the excitement, just as I sat back yesterday having published on Antero, news broke that Elliott Associates had gone activist on Suncor. We had Hess IR Jay Wilson on Strategy Session. Hess could be worth $200/share on a five year view, at $100/bbl oil. For sure, Guyana is just about the only major global oil supply growth. […]

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9:03 AM

Happy Anniversary

The only good number in oil is the oil price The only good demand number in oil is refining margins The only barrier of entry to being an oil analyst is units You are only as good as your last call CNBC want me on this afternoon – unusually they booked me two weeks ago – for the second anniversary of oil prices going negative. Let me go to the grave saying I called for […]

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9:43 AM

Iraq and a Hard Place

This note starts with some near term Iraq production and export analysis, and works backwards through the short term political history, and long term political history, of the country, in the context of oil. Bottom line, Iraqi political instability continues, but oil production has steadily risen over the past 15 years to around 4.3mb/d – an all-time historic high for Iraq – and can likely rise a few more 100kb/ds, certainly in the medium term. […]

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8:52 AM

Oil’s share of the SPX

Ripper chart, most bullish I have seen in 30 years following US E&P – quant analysis. Any chart available on request, any stock in the market… Share of S&P500 market cap vs share of S&P500 earnings. Black line is sellside. Blue line is buyside (share of market cap). Buyside is smarter than sellside, read the charts. Mi amigo US E&P, chart most bullish in history; Oxy, PXD, COP, FANG, APA, Hes.. Unprecedented bullish chart, buy […]

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5:05 PM

PBF & PBS Strategy Session

China rant PBF – Q1 likely half messy, but finishes running strong into incredible margins as Q2 starts Sankey Recommends: Liverpool vs Man City Premiership decider tomorrow – two of the best club football teams ever to play, at their peak. PBF CEO Tom Nimbley, President Matt Lucey, CFO Erik Young, and IR Colin Murray were on good form on Strategy Session yesterday evening. Nimbley started his career in refining in the 1973 oil price […]

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8:53 AM

Nets, Knicks, Refiners

Tonight PBF management on Strategy Session, 5pm for a tight hour. RSVP. I was at the Knicks vs Nets game last night with a global oil executive; combined with conversations with ConocoPhillips management Tuesday, some brief points. First, Shell profit warning this morning. Break it up. We would like to see a global LNG & gas and power trading powerhouse, a downstream “high carbon” operation with refining, chemicals and retail, a deepwater company. We don’t […]

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8:48 AM

Zen and the art of refining maintenance

This Thursday 7th April, Strategy Session with PBF Senior Management 5pm – RSVP Tonight – ConocoPhillips senior management in town for informal sellside drinks Tomorrow, DC hearing, House Energy and Commerce “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump.” In oil, the excitement this morning is New York jet fuel prices going off the scale, part of the theme we talked about over the past couple of weeks, especially after […]

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9:20 AM

Tilting at Windmills

Well, that was quite the Q1 2022! But we got it in the books. I think the low point of Q1 for me was the evening of Thursday 3rd March, shortly after the 24th February Russia-Ukraine invasion, when the largest nuclear plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, appeared to be under direct attack and burning, right as I had a one-hour briefing with the State Dept, and my contact told me that surviving a nuclear attack is […]

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11:52 AM

Uzi said then done

We have the perfect guest on Strategy Session tonight at 5pm – Delek CEO Uzi Yemin, a refiner who actively buys oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. One interesting line from regular guest Kathleen Kelley – the expected 1mb/d SPR release announcement strongly implies no Iran deal. Houthi attacks on Saudi – who squarely blame the Iranians for Houthi support – have further reduced the likelihood of a deal. She also states that the move […]

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9:26 AM

Coterra & US E&P: Keep Your Discipline

The attached note started as a focus on Coterra, the $22bn market cap combination of two US E&Ps, Cimarex and Cabot, one oily, the other gassy, that merged and just started trading as $CTRA in late 2021. In the note you will find the rank data: the value destruction for shareholders of the US oil exploration and production (E&P) industry in their giant shale oil science experiment 2010-2019. Line from the note: “from 2006-2019, the […]

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7:58 AM

Sunday Targets

This week, a three page thematic overview, followed by supporting charts. First the text, then the charts. ~ Noted refinery explosion last evening, no deaths reported, at ExxonMobil’s small (“only” 60kb/d) Billings Montana niche refinery that is important for local balances. Would drive margins higher for Midcon players such as HollyFrontier, Coffeyville, Delek, and West Coast PBF, and might accelerate ExxonMobil’s long standing attempts to sell the plant (price always said to be too high). […]

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3:22 PM

Kazak Whisperer

Kathleen Kelley, “OPEC Whisperer” tonight on Happy Hour. Additionally in the following weeks we have two major refining CEOs ready to talk about oil markets. 3/24, 5:00PM EST – Kathleen Kelley 3/31, 5:00PM EST – Delek CEO | Uzi Yemin 4/7, 5:00PM EST – PBF CEO & CFO | Tom Nimbley and Erik Young You can participate on application, but if you don’t pay Sankey Research, why would you ask? If you want a charity, […]

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8:57 AM

Aramco’s Tax Windfall

Aramco’s full year 2021 results released Sunday (3/20/22) were more historic than perhaps the market appreciated. First, an announcement of a major increase in capex did not yield a major boost in oil supply, from a global perspective. Saudi capacity will rise just 1.5mb/d, exports 2.5mb/d by 2027. Second, an extraordinary statement from Saudi’s foreign ministry should give any observer of global markets pause for thought: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would not bear […]

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9:02 AM

Sunday Overtime

Extremely busy this weekend, juggling Patricia wanting to go spring-time walking dogs and window shopping in (packed) SoHo, and me wanting to solidly sit in front of the TV watching March Madness while making bets online. Somehow she does not see the appeal of watching seven games of college basketball back-to-back over seven hours. Of course, she wins. I did snag North Carolina to win it all at 50-1 BEFORE they beat #1 seed and […]

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2:35 PM
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