The global energy crisis has 4 possible paths through 2022: BofA – Markets Insider
- The worldwide energy crisis unfolding has thrown markets into unprecedented turmoil.
- In Europe, natural gas prices are at record highs. And in China, thermal coal futures are also at all-time highs.
- Francisco Blanch of Bank of America provided Insider with four possible paths through early 2022.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
The worldwide energy crisis unfolding amid a surge in demand and an ongoing supply crunch has thrown the oil and gas markets into unprecedented turmoil.
Oil prices are up more than 60% this year, with West Texas Intermediate crude hitting a fresh seven-year high on Friday.
Elsewhere, the situation is even more extreme. In Europe, natural gas prices are at record highs, with wholesale prices on spot markets tripling this year. In China, thermal coal futures are also at all-time highs and have tripled this year as well.
As energy prices continue to rocket, Francisco Blanch, Bank of America Global Commodities and Derivatives Research Head, provided Insider with four possible paths he sees through early 2022. Each one holds the promise of prices cooling off, but some scenarios are more painful than others.
1. A spike in energy prices will lead to an economic crash
Francisco likened the energy crunch today to the run-up in oil prices between 2007 to 2008.
At the start of 2007, Brent crude was at just $50 a barrel, then nearly doubled to $95.98 a barrel towards the end of the year. And by July 2008, prices soared to an all-time high of nearly $150 a barrel. But prices crashed spectacularly as the Great Recession took hold.
If a similar spike in oil happens again, Francisco said major industrial firms may just sharply decrease production activities or shut down altogether, which will ultimately lead to a recession.
In fact, surging energy prices have already forced some businesses, especially in Europe and Asia, to halt manufacturing.
2. More production, substitution
An increase in the prices of any good will prompt any producer to either ramp up their production or to find more affordable alternatives, Francisco said.
So far, US shale companies have indicated they plan to invest more money next year in domestic production. But they don’t appear ready to unleash a flood of oil as investment remains constrained in favor of bigger shareholder returns.
Meanwhile, as natural gas and coal prices soar, some companies are shifting to using oil. That may add around 500,000 barrels a day to global demand, according to the International Energy Agency.
3. A warm winter that will temporarily cure the problem
Global energy prices are rising ahead of winter, when demand spikes for natural gas and coal to heat homes. Buyers across the globe are competing over a limited supply while energy prices remain high. The US Energy Information Administration on October 13 warned Americans to brace themselves for a heftier heating bill.
But what if we suddenly experience a warmer-than-expected winter? Demand will naturally slide, and the problem, according to Francisco said, would have momentarily cured itself “by chance.”
4. A hike in interest rates that will slow down aggregate demand
Then there’s the possibility that the central bank will slow down aggregate demand, Francisco said. This means allowing for somewhat higher interest rates and reduced quantitative easing, which will cool overall growth and energy consumption.
Federal Reserve officials have already signaled they will taper bond purchases later this year and start hiking rates next year, as the economy continues to rebound and inflation stays elevated.
“Remember, you can print US dollars, you can print euros, and you can print Philippine pesos. But you can’t print commodities,” he said.
Canada’s travel industry lauds U.S. move to allow travellers with mixed COVID-19 doses – Globalnews.ca
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention capped off a whirlwind week of developments for North American travel on Friday, announcing that the U.S. would accept fully vaccinated travellers from Canada and Mexico who had received two doses from mixed vaccines once its land borders reopen in November.
As of November, the U.S. CDC said fully vaccinated Canadian and Mexican travellers with “any combination” of two doses of a vaccine approved either by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization will be “considered fully vaccinated.”
This includes Canadians who may have been immunized with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been approved by WHO despite not being authorized for emergency use by the FDA.
“Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO, in a statement.
“We applaud the administration for recognizing the value of international travel to our economy and our country, and for working to safely reopen our borders and reconnect America to the world.”
The move marks a step forward for tourism between Canada and the U.S., but American officials have urged the federal government to ease COVID-19 test requirements to cross Canadian borders. Travellers looking to enter the U.S. can do so with a rapid antigen test, which can see same-day results.
Land border with USA opening, what Canadian travellers need to know
Rep. Brian Higgins, who represents New York’s 26th congressional district, previously told the Canadian Press that he would like to see the federal government do away with its molecular PCR COVID-19 test requirement, which costs travellers roughly $200 on average.
“I think that the U.S. decision to allow Canadians coming into the United States without a test again underscores the potency of the vaccine,” Higgins said. “I would like to see that reciprocated by our Canadian neighbours.”
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said that it’s possible for requirements to “evolve” based on advice from health officials, but that evidence has shown PCR tests to be an effective way of reducing the spread of COVID-19 at Canadian borders.
“The proof of vaccination, verification that is being put in place, as well as the utility of the negative PCR tests that we’ve also put in place — those measures have proven to be quite effective in protecting our communities and Canadians from the introduction of COVID at our borders,” he said on an episode of Global News’ The West Block.
“We’ll continue to learn from those lessons and modify our advice as appropriate. But in every case, we listen to the science. We listen to the advice of our public health agencies and we work very closely and collaboratively with our international partners.”
— With files from the Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
A historical curiosity: A little piece of New Brunswick is in Nova Scotia – CBC.ca
New Brunswick has had its share of boundary disputes over the years, almost going to war with the state of Maine in 1839 then squabbling with Quebec over Lake Temiscouata a few years later.
But along the Missaguash River between Aulac, N.B., and Amherst, N.S., there’s nary a whisper of contention over a five-hectare historical curiosity.
No farmers fluster. No politicians bluster. No militias muster.
The Missaguash is a narrow, murky channel regulated by dikes and aboiteaux that keep the Bay of Fundy from flooding the soil here with salt water.
It’s also the boundary between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — except at one lot, PID No. 70395462.
That parcel has an official New Brunswick land registry number, though it sits on the Nova Scotia side of the river.
Fredericton engineer Rob Hoadley noticed the anomaly last year, when provincial boundary shutdowns got him poking around maps of the area.
“I’m just that kind of guy to get curious about that kind of stuff,” he says. “At a time when we couldn’t physically cross the border, here’s a spot that may or may not be in New Brunswick.”
A federal government atlas shows the boundary running down the river, which would put the land in Nova Scotia. Election New Brunswick’s official map of the riding of Memramcook-Tantramar does not include the property.
But a Nova Scotia online map shows the border deviating from the river to wrap around the parcel of land, placing it in New Brunswick.
And that map is the correct one, says its owner.
“We own the property and we pay taxes on it,” says Edie Helm, who grew up on her family’s farm on the New Brunswick side of the river.
Helm lives in Amherst but the property taxes for the land are levied by, and paid to, New Brunswick.
But how can that be?
The Missaguash has been the boundary between the two provinces since King George III approved carving New Brunswick out of what used to be a much larger Nova Scotia on June 18, 1784.
The order-in-council said the boundary would be established by “drawing a line of separation from the Mouth of the Musquat [Missiguash] River” to its source.
The two provinces confirmed that almost a century later when they passed legislation identifying the Missaguash as the boundary.
But that was then.
“The river would have had a different routing in its earlier days,” says local farmer John Atkinson.
The farmers at that time were more concerned about getting proper drainage than worrying about on what side to the border their land was going to be on.– Hank Kolstee, retired agricultural engineer.
In 1949 the federal government took over maintenance of the dike system here under the Maritime Marshland Reclamation Act.
The river’s meandering watercourse featured an oxbow, a U-shaped bend in the river that wrapped almost entirely around this teardrop-shaped parcel of land.
That presented a drainage problem.The dike system was designed to let the river’s freshwater current out without allowing salt water in.
“That could cut the distance in that particular area by about a third, so you could get much better water flow in that area,” says Hank Kolstee, a retired agricultural engineer who worked at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and worked on marshland projects.
In this case, a new channel shifted the river to the north of the five-hectare parcel of land.
It also produced this jurisdictional anomaly.
“I don’t know what their thinking was way back then, as to the legalities of the Nova Scotia or New Brunswick land registry or whatever,” Atkinson says.
“If you look at the old marsh plans, it will show where the old channel was, and what was actually the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” Kolstee says.
“The farmers at that time were more concerned about getting proper drainage than worrying about on what side to the border their land was going to be on. But it just looks a little odd right now because they consider that the new channel is the border.”
‘Complex web of agreements’
Service New Brunswick spent several days looking into the “complex web of agreements, precedents and conventions” that apply to boundaries before they could explain the property’s legal status.
According to spokesperson Jennifer Vienneau, a boundary defined by a natural geographic feature like a river can move only by “slow and imperceptible” natural causes such as accretion or erosion.
If a river is altered artificially, by human engineering, the boundary does not move.
The new channel dug in the Missaguash “would have caused the watercourse to be relocated, but the original river bed would continue to be the legal boundary,” she said.
So the issue isn’t as murky as it seemed.
The situation here is as calm and quiet as Fort Beauséjour, a monument to long-ago battles for this territory, standing at ease on the horizon.
There’s one last issue: you can’t get to this stranded piece of New Brunswick without crossing into Nova Scotia, or wading across the mucky, marshy river.
But that’s hardly a pressing concern.
Edie Helm, the owner of the property, wouldn’t agree to an interview, but in a brief telephone conversation made it clear no one needs to worry about access.
“It’s not for sale,” she said.
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