• Tag Archives Norway
  • Repsol, Statoil Pull Foreign Oil Workers From Venezuela

    One day after Venezuela allegedly squashed a “military rebellion“, in anticipation of further political and social turmoil in the socialist nation, energy giant Repsol SA pulled all foreign workers from its fields in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports adding that Norway’s Statoil ASA also removed all expat staff.
    According to Bloomberg, Repsol field workers left the country in the past few weeks, with a skeleton expatriate staff remaining at the company’s offices in Caracas. Separately, Statoil withdrew its last three foreign workers before the July 30 election to ensure their safety, Erik Haaland, a company spokesman, told Bloomberg by phone.
    The immediate result of the departures will be an even bigger decline in Venezuela’s oil output – the only remaining asset which Maduro can readily exchange for dollars – further exacerbating the country’s financial crisis as the inflow of hard currency slows further.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

  • Apple Now Owns $51.5 Billion In Treasurys, More Than Mexico, Turkey Or Norway

    Every quarter, Apple manages to impress with its gargantuan cash hoard, which in Q2 rose to $262 billion (which however is $153 billion net of debt), a new all time high as shown in the chart below.

    While it is widely known that of this $262 billion, the vast majority, or $246 billion is held offshore, what is less appreciated is that Apple’s actual cash is just $18.6 billion. The rest is held in various securities, both short- and long-term, something we first reported back in September when we introduced readers to Braeburn Capital, the firm that actually manages Apple’s quarter trillion in asset holdings.
    In the five years that have passed since then, Apple’s AUM have grown. Substantially.
    As the company reported in its latest 10Q, as of June 30, AAPL now owns enough assets to not only put even the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater with less than $200Bn in assets to shame, but some of the world’s largest holders of Treasurys. Of its total $243 billion in Short and Long-Term securities, Apple owned a whopping $51.5 billion in Treasurys, split between $20.1 billion in T-Bills and $31.3 billion in Treasury Bonds.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2017.

  • Oslo Housing & Trade Balance Say: Tipping Point in Norway

    Traditionally, July is a slow month in Norway. Receiving sizable vacation pay in June, most Norwegian take three to four weeks off in July, enjoying most of their five-week annual vacation. If you worked overtime, you could add a few extra weeks, taking back those extra hours worked, turning that holiday into a sabbatical. However, while Norwegians live it up in Spain, Thailand, Croatia, and even America, trouble awaits them when they return home this fall.
    While housing prices may have finally reached the long-anticipated tipping point and the monthly trade balance posted a deficit for the first time since December 1998, the Norwegian Krone gained substantial strength, closing at 8.07 against the US Dollar. Going against the wishes and needs of exporters, that is well below the USDNOK=8.45 YTD average (July 23, 2017).
    However, Norges Bank indicated that rate cuts are over, following the ECB’s and US Federal Reserve Bank’s lead. Considering the importance of housing in the Norwegian economy and the need to boost exports, compensating for a fading oil sector, we can expect new and more exotic policies to push the NOK back down are already on the way.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 24, 2017.

  • Norway’s “Voluntary” Tax Collects A Paltry $1,325

    It’s too bad for Norway’s ruling center-right party that Warren Buffett isn’t a resident. After becoming the object of unceasing criticism by their politicized slashing of taxes and funding a profligate spending program with the country’s oil wealth, Norway’s center-right party hit upon a novel idea: Impose a ‘voluntary’ tax, according to Bloomberg.
    However, when it came time to tally the total for this past fiscal year, the great northern policy ploy failed to evoke in the country’s 5.3 million citizens a patriotic fervor: When it was all said and done, the government collected $1,325.
    Launched in June, the initiative has received a lukewarm reception, with the equivalent of just $1,325 in extra revenue being collected so far, according to the Finance Ministry. That’s not much for a country of 5.3 million people, many of whom are already accustomed to paying some of the highest taxes in the world (the top rate of income tax is 46.7 percent).
    ‘The tax scheme was set up to allow those who want to pay more taxes to do so in a simple and straightforward way,’ Finance Minister Siv Jensen said in an emailed comment. ‘If anyone thinks the tax level is too low, they now have the chance to pay more.’
    Left-of-center opposition parties claimed the tax cuts would benefit the richest and boost inequality. Jonas Gahr Store, the wealthy Labor Party contender who is leading in the polls ahead of the September 11 elections, has so far refused to take up the government’s offer.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.

  • Norway’s Housing Market Downturn Gathers Pace Amid Bubble Fears

    One of the world’s hottest housing markets is now cooling fast, sparking concern that a bubble is bursting after the rapid price increases over the past years.
    Average nationwide house prices fell seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in June, declining for a second month, Real Estate Norway, Eiendomsverdi and Finn.no said Wednesday in Oslo. Annual nationwide gains slowed to 6.3 percent from 8.3 percent in May and to 11.5 percent from 16.5 percent in Oslo. In the month, prices in the capital plunged 3.1 percent.
    ‘This is one of the weakest June months on record,’ Christian Vammervold Dreyer, the head of Real Estate Norway, said at a press conference. ‘The uncertainty is bigger than in a very long time.’
    The housing market, which has been an economic bulwark against a crash in the nation’s oil industry, is cooling after the government tightened lending standards, specifically targeting speculative buying in Oslo. Spurred by record low rates and surging home prices, households have amassed debt of more than twice their disposable income, making Norwegians among the most indebted in the western world.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • “Markets Have A Mind Of Their Own” But One Trader Warns “Nothing Lasts Forever”

    Despite new record highs in stocks, Bloomberg’s former FX trader Richard Breslow fears other markets (the dollar’s downfall, collapsing rates/curves, crashing commodities) have become too “fatalistic” amid the summer doldrums.
    Let’s start with some of the things we know with certainty. Yield curves will keep on flattening. Probably invert and drive home the point to everyone that the Fed committed a dreadful policy mistake. The dollar will never rally again. Just look at the numbers and you have to be a U. S. bear. And look how efficiently the latest European bank bailouts were handled this weekend. They really have their act together. Oil? It’s going to single digits, of course. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it or the carnage it will cause in places like Norway and Canada.
    It’s summer, markets have a mind of their own and there’s no percentage in fighting the tape.
    In fact it’s odd how fatalistic people seem to be. We used to furiously debate where and when we’d find the canary in the coal mine warning of an imminent market reversal to pounce on. Now, there seems to be blanket resignation that the trend is your master.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

  • US Is A “Second Tier” Country, According To Social Progress Index

    Most Americans’ idea of happiness involves lounging by the water or on a beach somewhere. But it turns out, human happiness can flourish even in freezing climates far from the equator.
    To wit, the Social Progress Imperative, a US-based nonprofit, released the results of its annual Social Progress Index report, which purports to rank countries based on the overall wellbeing of their citizens. Four Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway claimed the top spots, while the US placed 18th out of 128, leaving it in what the SPI defines as the ‘second-tier’ of countries based on citizens’ wellbeing, according to Bloomberg.
    Luckily, being ‘second-tier’ doesn’t seem that bad, according to a definition found in the report.
    ‘Second-tier countries demonstrate ‘high social progress’ on core issues, such as nutrition, water, and sanitation. However, they lag the first-tier, ‘very high social progress’ nations when it comes to social unity and civic issues. That more or less reflects the U. S. performance. (There are six tiers in the study.)’
    ‘We want to measure a country’s health and wellness achieved, not how much effort is expended, nor how much the country spends on healthcare,’ the report states.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.

  • The Treasonous Secession Of Climate Confederacy States

    After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist US states.
    Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.
    The Constitution is very clear about this. ‘No state shall enter into any treaty.’ Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. ‘New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions.’
    Cuomo’s statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.

  • Key Events In The Coming Quiet Week: US Industrial Production In Focus

    It is a relatively quiet week for economic news in the and Eurozone with focus turning to UK data, Japan 1Q GDP, inflation in Canada & Australia’s employment report. Norway GDP should show continued improvement and the Riksbank proposal on a new policy target will also draw interest. In EM there are monetary policy meetings in Chile, Indonesia, Mexico and Poland.
    The start to the week is even more quiet today with no significant data to highlight, while in the US the May empire manufacturing reading is due along with the NAHB housing market index for May.
    On Tuesday, with little of note in Asia it’ll be straight to Europe where the final April CPI revisions are due in France along with the April CPI/RPI/PPI data docket in the UK. Euro area Q1 GDP and March trade data follows, while the May ZEW survey is also due in Germany. In the US tomorrow we’re due to receive April housing starts, building permits and industrial production data.
    We’re kicking off Wednesday in Japan where the March industrial production print is due. In the UK we’ll get March and April employment data, while April CPI for the Euro area is also due.
    There is no data of note in the US on Wednesday.
    Thursday kicks off in Japan again with the Q1 preliminary GDP report, while in China we’re also due to get April property prices data. In France on Thursday we’ll get Q1 employment data while in the UK we’ll get April retail sales. In the US on Thursday the data includes initial jobless claims, Philly Fed business outlook for May and Conference Board’s leading index for April.
    It’s a quiet end to the week on Friday. In Germany we get April PPI while in the afternoon session we get the flash consumer confidence reading for the Euro area in May. There is no data in the US on Friday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 15, 2017.


    Time and time again we are seeing fraud taking place in the precious metals’ market. Thousands of tonnes of paper silver and paper gold are being dumped over just a few hours or days. For anyone who doesn’t understand what is happening, let me categorically state that this has nothing to do with the real physical market in gold and silver. No, this is blatant manipulation by governments and bullion banks as well as speculators. And since governments are involved, it is sanctioned by them with no consequences for the traders who are rigging the market.
    BULLION BANKS FEAR THE DAY THEY MUST TURN PAPER GOLD INTO PHYSICAL What is happening has nothing to do with real markets or real supply and demand. What we are seeing is governments trying to obfuscate their total mismanagement of the economy and the currency. So far, the bullion banks have been fortunate that gold and silver paper holders haven’t called their bluff and asked for physical delivery. Because we know and the banks know that the day they will need to come up with the real gold and silver bars, it is game over. Because they haven’t got physical gold or silver to cover even a fraction of their paper shorts. Between futures exchanges, bullion banks, including precious metals derivates contracts, there are hundreds of ounces of paper gold and silver outstanding for every ounce of physical backing.
    The problem is that it is not only the bankers that are the culprits in this game. No, governments are just as culpable. Western banks officially hold 30,000 tonnes of gold. Virtually no Western central bank has ever had a physical audit of their gold. The US had their last audit during Eisenhower’s reign in 1953?
    Western central banks have in the last few decades been liquidating a major part of their gold holdings. For example, he UK sold half of their gold holdings at the end of the 1990s and Switzerland sold over half. Norway sold ALL their holdings in the early 2000s.

    This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on May 12, 2017.

  • Key Events In The Coming Week: Inflation, Spending In The Spotlight

    With the French election now finally in the rearview mirror, this week’s focus is on global inflation releases, with the spotlight falling on the US and China, as well as retail sales in the US. We also have BoE and RBNZ rates meetings. In other data we note industrial production in the Eurozone, UK and Norway along with US retail sales and Fed speakers.
    Key developed market events
    Thursday, May 11: New Zealand, RBNZ meeting. GS 1.75%, consensus 1.75%, last 1.75%. Looking to the May meeting, while the RBNZ is likely to remain on hold for now, we expect upgrades to the Bank’s inflation forecasts and – possibly – a more constructive description for the global growth outlook. Thursday, May 11: United Kingdom, BOE meeting. GS 0.25%, consensus 0.25%, last 0.25%. We expect no change in Bank Rate or in other policy settings, yet for the MPC to express some skepticism about the flatness of the forward curve for UK rates. Friday, May 12: United States, CPI (Apr). Core: +0.21% mom, consensus +0.2% mom, last -0.1% mom. We expect a 0.21% increase in April core CPI following last month’s outright decline, reflecting a relatively large state-level tobacco tax increase as well as the waning drag from Verizon unlimited data plans. Friday, May 12: United States, Retail sales (Apr). Core: +0.4% mom, consensus +0.4% mom, last +0.6% mom. We estimate core retail sales (ex-autos, gasoline, and building materials) rose 0.4% in April, reflecting improving sales in mall-based discretionary categories after tax refund-related weakness in February and a likely drag in March from unseasonably cold and snowy weather. At the same time, preparations for Winter Storm Stella likely boosted food and beverage sales (+0.5% in March), and we look for sequential softness in that category.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 8, 2017.

  • Denmark: Debt Bomb, Waiting for an Inflationary Spark

    The recent prosperity comes with a cost.
    By Nick Kamran – Letters from Norway:
    From the outside looking in, the Danish economy appears as blissful as the country itself, which usually tops ‘The Happiness Index.’ The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.2% in the most recent release from 4.3% in 2016. Denmark, ranked 20th in economic complexity in 2015, has a mostly even trade balance, and $50K GDP per capita in 2016, making it among one of the richest nations in the world.
    Moreover, Danish GDP-per-capita growth led in the Nordics for the past ten years, from 2007 to 2016: Denmark 28.5%, Sweden 22.0%, Norway 14.6% Finland 12.2%. Although Denmark exports substantial agricultural and natural resource-based products, they are also major players in pharmaceuticals and machinery. Top companies include AP Mller-Mrsk, Novo Nordisk, Vestas, and Danske Bank, representing shipping, pharma, clean energy, and finance.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Nick Kamran ‘ Mar 31, 2017.

  • Taxing Property Going Crazy

    The Left is fighting so hard to keep dominating everyone else, that it is hard not to see how society in starting to implode in the West. In Norway, the hunt for taxes has been so bad, they have now even been raising property taxes to include a dog house in the back yard.
    Meanwhile in Greece, people are not taking property that is left to them because they cannot pay the inheritance taxes to accept the property. This was one of the final stages in the collapse of Rome. People just walked away from their property because of taxes.
    Armstrong Economics

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 18, 2017.

  • Are 100-Year Mortgages Next? Effects of Negative Real Interest Rates on Nordic Housing Bubble

    Wage Growth vs. Housing Price Growth By Nick Kamran, an American living in Oslo, Letters from Norway:
    Historically, central banks throughout Europe had one mandate: price stability. They did not worry about employment or economic growth, only currency integrity. Setting interest rates to contain inflation ensured that a Krone or a Euro would purchase tomorrow what it could today. Nevertheless, since the ebbing of the 2008 financial crisis, The ECB, of which Finland is a member, officially added full employment and economic growth to their mandate. The Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Central Bank’s followed suit, stating that they would consider ‘other factors’ than inflation when basing an interest rate decision.
    Hence, instead of remaining impartial – leaving it to lawmakers, markets, and the public to deal with the prevailing interest rate – the central banks became involved in policy making. Adding employment and economic growth to their mandate equates to the National Institute of Standards changing the definition of the meter to help an engineering firm, working on a major bridge project, meet budgetary and timeline constraints. In addition to creating a dilemma, the additional mandates made central banks appear politically biased.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Mar 4, 2017.

  • Norway Wealth Fund Gains $53 Billion in 2016 On Trump Rally

    After previously announcing plans to withdraw at least $15 billion to fund 2017 budget deficits, the $860 billion Norwegian sovereign wealth fund announced last December that it would change it’s portfolio allocations to try to make up for the withdrawals. The change would eventually result in 75% of the fund’s capital being allocated to global equities, up from the previous 60% allocation…you know, because equities never go down so more is always better.
    Now it seems that, at least for now, that bet has paid off to the tune of about $53 billion or 6.9% of the fund’s AUM. Meanwhile, the fund’s CEO, Yngve Slyngstad, attributed the gain to the Trump rally saying that “after the presidential election in the U. S., markets priced in higher growth and inflation in the global economy.” Per Bloomberg:
    The $900 billion Government Pension Fund Global returned 6.9 percent in 2016, after rising 2.7 percent the previous year, the Oslo-based investor said on Tuesday. Stocks gained 8.7 percent, bonds rose 4.3 percent, and real estate investment grew 0.8 percent.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 28, 2017.

  • French Nuclear Watchdog Gives An Update On Mysterious Radioactive Iodine Blanketing Europe

    1/5 [february 20 2017] No health concerns following the detection of #radioactive #Iodine in Europe in January 2017 — IRSN France (@IRSNFrance) February 20, 2017

    On Sunday we reported that concerns have spread in Europe about a potential nuclear “incident” following a recent report by a French nuclear watchdog agency – the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks – that radioactive Iodine-131 had been observed across much of northern and central Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection was an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer added, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”
    The emission was rumored to have originated close to the Arctic circle, with some speculating that a nuclear test of emergency had taken place in Russia in January and the fallout then spread to Norway and onward to Europe:
    “Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the French Institute de Radioprotection et de Sret Nuclaire wrote in a press release.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 20, 2017.

  • Concerns Grow About A Nuclear “Incident” In Europe After Spike In Radioactive Iodine Levels

    Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer adds, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”
    The air filter station at Svanhovd – located a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north – was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. Shortly thereafter, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.
    Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, but France was the first to officially inform the public about it.
    “Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the official French Institute de Radioprotection et de Sret Nuclaire (IRSN) wrote in a press release.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 19, 2017.

  • Keiser Report: Banks appeased, crocodiles feasting (E1032)

    The following video was published by RT on Feb 14, 2017
    In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss how Deutsche Bank made $462 million disappear through the magic of derivatives. In the second half, Max interviews Trond Andresen, who campaigned long ago to keep Norway out of the euro, to discuss the anti-EU mood across Europe and how the rancor could save the euro… should anyone want to save it.

  • The Norwegian Economy In 2017: Black Swans Hovering Overhead

    Submitted by Nick Kaman of Letters from Norway
    Norwegians are just now starting to grapple with the effects of their ‘single cylinder’ economy, mostly dependent on oil and gas (ca. 60% of exports). Despite optimism about $50-$70/barrel oil, American crude output is surging, on track to be the highest ever, since 1970, while cracks start to form in OPEC’s latest agreement. In addition to the oil tailspin, a flock of ‘black swans’ have taken flight, led by one with a very orange beak.
    Source: ZeroHedge.com – Where are the Black Swans Hiding
    The global sovereignty movement is in full swing. People are finally asking about the role of government, what they are getting in return for their taxes, and what they can do at home. The Chinese economic risks as well as the continued fracking proliferation, now going global, pose the greatest threat to oil prices in 2017. That is already evident in the latest supply report. Meanwhile, Norway continues to spend its’ savings instead of investing it into a new economic engine. Even worse, individual Norwegians keep digging themselves into debt.
    Oil: Global Fracking Proliferation:
    When OPEC challenged America, it forced the engineers on the Great Plains to innovate. Fracking continues to get better cheaper and faster, driving the costs down to $45 per barrel! Now the technology is going global, bringing more oil to market. That may explain the surging inventories.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.