All posts by Daniel Lacalle

About Daniel Lacalle

Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Author of bestsellers "Life In The Financial Markets" and "The Energy World Is Flat" as well as "Escape From the Central Bank Trap". Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Frequent collaborator with CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Hedgeye, Epoch Times, Mises Institute, BBN Times, Wall Street Journal, El Español, A3 Media and 13TV. Holds the CIIA (Certified International Investment Analyst) and masters in Economic Investigation and IESE.

The G7 Cap on Russian Oil Is a Subsidy to China

There are many mistakes in the G7 agreement to put a cap on Russian oil. The first one is that it does not hurt Russia at all. The agreed cap, at $60 a barrel, is higher than the current Urals price, above the five-year average of the quoted price and higher than Rosneft’s average netback price.

The G7 Cap on Russian Oil Is a Subsidy to China

According to Reuters, “the G7 price cap will allow non-EU countries to continue importing seaborne Russian crude oil, but it will prohibit shipping, insurance, and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price cap”. This means that China will be able to purchase more Russian oil at a large discount while the Russian state-owned oil giant will continue to make a very healthy 16% return on average capital employed (ROACE) and more than 8.8 billion roubles in revenues, which means an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) that more than doubles its capex requirements.

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The European Union’s Misguided Energy Price Cap Proposal

Only 15 years ago, the European Union produced more natural gas than Russia exported, according to the EIA. Repeating past mistakes and maintaining a failed energetic interventionist policy would only worsen what is already a structural disaster.

The European Union's Misguided Energy Price Cap Proposal

The prohibitive cost of electricity and gas in Europe is not a result of market flaws, but of a completely unsustainable cost structure where consumers are forced to pay escalating taxes, a hidden CO2 tax, subsidies, and other rising regulatory costs. More than 60% of an average euro area country household bill is made up of taxes and regulated costs, according to Eurostat.

Brussels cannot turn water into wine, and, similarly, the European Union cannot “cap” the price of natural gas and oil. It is almost ironic, but European leaders are spending days debating whether to impose a cap on Russian oil that would be set above the current Urals price and significantly above the five-year average levels.

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Inflation or Recession

While many market participants are concerned about rate increases, they appear to be ignoring the largest risk: the potential for a massive liquidity drain in 2023.

Inflation or Recession

Even though December is almost here, central banks’ balance sheets have hardly, if at all, decreased. Rather than real sales, a weaker currency and the price of the accumulated bonds account for the majority of the fall in the balance sheets of the major central banks.

In the context of governments deficits that are hardly declining and, in some cases, increasing, investors must take into account the danger of a significant reduction in the balance sheets of central banks. Both the quantitative tightening of central banks and the refinancing of government deficits, albeit at higher costs, will drain liquidity from the markets. This inevitably causes the global liquidity spectrum to contract far more than the headline amount.

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Keynesian Policies Have Left High Debt, Inflation and Weak Growth

Keynesian Policies Have Left High Debt, Inflation and Weak Growth

The evidence from the last thirty years is clear. Keynesian policies leave a massive trail of debt, weaker growth and falling real wages. Furthermore, once we look at each so-called stimulus plan, reality shows that the so-called multiplier effect of government spending is virtually inexistent and has long-term negative implications for the health of the economy. Stimulus plans have bloated government size, which in turn requires more dollars from the real economy to finance its activity.

As Daniel J. Mitchell points out, there is evidence of a displacement cost, as rising government spending displaces private-sector activity and means higher taxes or rising inflation in the future, or both. Higher government spending simply cannot be financed with much larger economic growth because the nature of current spending is precisely to deliver no real economic return. Government is not investing; it is financing mandatory spending with resources of the productive sector. Every dollar that the government spends means one less dollar in the productive sector of the economy and creates a negative multiplier cost.

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