Crude Oil Brent

The predators from Riyadh

Yesterday, French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in understanding imperfect markets such as monopolies or oligopolies. Personally, Tirole has been a huge influence in how I view the world. His graduate-level textbook on Industrial Organization remains, to me, the standard in the field, even though it is getting…

LAI-feat-Vecinos_Flags

Revolution at 45%, and dropping

I concur with Setty: this talk by experts Daniel Kerner of Eurasia Group, Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, and our friend Francisco Monaldi of Harvard is well worth your time. It talks about the politics and the geology of oil in Argentina and Venezuela. The key part is Francisco’s estimate that the revolution needs the price of a…

Pdvsa-La-Campina-g

Venezuela’s encripted devaluation

An obscure document was published yesterday by Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV), allowing PDVSA to sell the dollars it makes via oil exports to the BCV for deposit into an undeclared, secret fund at a more comfortable rate. Up until now, the rate that PDVSA got for its hard-earned dollars was the cheapest of the four…

CItgo

The Citgo fire sale

Reuters is reporting that PDVSA wants to sell Citgo for $10 billion dollars – the equivalent of 8 months’ worth of the cost of the gasoline subsidy. “Investment bank Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N), which is running the sale process for Citgo on behalf of PDVSA, has sent offering materials to potential buyers, the people said, asking not to…

bell pottinger

Spinning the revolution

I had to do a double-take upon learning that PDVSA had hired Bell Pottinger, the PR firm run by Margaret Thatcher’s former communications director to “clean its image.” Of course, no comment from the revolution, so we have no idea how much they (we) are paying for this, nor for what purpose exactly. The part that stood out from…