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Trump accuses OPEC of driving up oil prices

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US President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving up oil prices, in a fresh swipe at the cartel’s agreement to cap production.

“Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!” he wrote on Twitter.

Oil prices peaked in late May, hitting the $80 per barrel ceiling on the Brent futures contract and $72.24 on the West Texas Intermediate.

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Traders are holding their breath for the June 22 meeting of oil ministers from OPEC member states in Vienna.

In April Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh said the global market has the capacity to absorb higher oil prices — a remark that drew a swift reaction Trump.

“With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” Trump tweeted on April 20.

OPEC producers and non-OPEC countries struck a deal in 2016 to trim production by 1.8 million barrels per day to reduce a global glut of oil.

The deal, which is due to run out at the end of 2018, has succeeded in boosting oil prices above $70 a barrel from below $30 a barrel in early 2016.

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CNN

NYT reporter reveals the stunning reason Trump believed coronavirus would disappear next month

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On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that President Donald Trump is angry about his administration's coronavirus response — in part because he misunderstood what the experts told him about the disease and thought they meant it was going to go away soon.

"The president has been very frustrated with the public messaging of this from his administration, but not for the reasons that people necessarily think," said Haberman. "It's because there were experts who were saying one thing from the CDC, which was that there is this problem growing, and then he was trying to tamp this down in his own comments, and he keeps saying something that, as I understand it, is a misinterpretation of what he was told in a briefing, which was that viruses tend to decrease in numbers in terms of spread during warmer weather. He has taken that and put his own spin on it which is, it's going to stop by April. He's been telling people that for a while."

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CNN

‘Set up for failure’: CNN’s Camerota speculates Pence is about to become Trump’s coronavirus fall guy

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday appointed Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the federal government's response to the coronavirus outbreak -- but CNN's Alisyn Camerota said that the president may have given the VP an impossible task.

Reacting to the news that Pence would be the point man for the government's efforts to contain the virus, Camerota said that it might be too late to really get a handle on a situation that is already highly likely to do real damage to both public health and the economy.

"It seemed Vice President Pence may be set up for failure," she said. "Not intentionally, but how is he going to get his arms around this?"

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2020 Election

Bloomberg’s 2020 chances are crumbling — and he may be accidentally helping Bernie Sanders

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With a gargantuan fortune, a history of running the largest American city, and no shortage of self-confidence, Michael Bloomberg rocketed himself to become a commanding presence in the 2020 Democratic primary with a massive wave of ad spending in key states, posing a real threat to top candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But after two dismal performances on the debate stage, Bloomberg’s star seems to be falling — perhaps proving that even great wealth can’t buy you charisma or a presidential nomination.

We shouldn’t write any premature political obituaries, of course, as any number of unforeseen events can shake up a race. But it does appear that Bloomberg’s sudden ascent may have been an overinflated bubble ready to pop as soon as he faced some real public scrutiny. And ironically, Bloomberg’s position in the race may actually be having the opposite effect of his stated goal: thwarting Sanders’s shot at the nomination.

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