OPEC says quick Saudi response was key to curbing volatility

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said an extraordinary meeting of OPEC members and fellow oil exporters was not on the cards. (Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2019

OPEC says quick Saudi response was key to curbing volatility

  • Oil markets remain focused on outcome of US-China talks

NUR-SULTAN: Saudi Arabia’s quick moves to restore output have been crucial in curbing oil price volatility after the global market had been shaken up following the attacks on some of its facilities, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said on Thursday.

Barkindo told an energy conference in Kazakhstan that an extraordinary meeting of OPEC members and fellow oil exporters was not on the cards as Saudi Arabia has restored the bulk of its supply and the incident was “behind us.”

The group remains focused on maintaining oil price stability and “will do whatever it takes to insulate oil from politics,” he said.

Barkindo also said OPEC expected robust long-term growth in oil demand, especially from developing nations.

Speaking about shorter-term risks, he said the oil market was focusing on the outcome of the trade talks between the US and China.

Overall, while global economic growth figures indicated deceleration, they were not “worrisome” and indicated no signs of recession, Barkindo said. 

Separately, recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities are unlikely to have a major immediate impact on the supply of liquefied natural gas, a senior official at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said at a press briefing on Thursday.

But if the security situation worsens in the Middle East, in particular in the Strait of Hormuz, then it may hit LNG supply from Qatar and the UAE, said Keisuke Sadamori, director of IEA’S Energy Markets and Security division.

The share of Qatar and UAE in global trade is about one quarter, he said.

“We hope that the Middle East situation will maintain stability so that there will be no disruptions,” he added.

Recent attacks on oil and fuel tankers in the waters near the strait and Iran’s threats to close the strait has caused concerns about energy supply.


Capitalism doing ‘more harm than good’ says global survey

Updated 21 January 2020

Capitalism doing ‘more harm than good’ says global survey

  • The poll contacted over 34,000 people in 28 countries

LONDON: A majority of people around the world believe capitalism in its current form is doing more harm than good, a survey found ahead of this week’s Davos meeting of business and political leaders.

This year was the first time the “Edelman Trust Barometer,” which for two decades has polled tens of thousands of people on their trust in core institutions, sought to understand how capitalism itself was viewed.

The study’s authors said that earlier surveys showing a rising sense of inequality prompted them to ask whether citizens were now starting to have more fundamental doubts about the capitalist-based democracies of the West.

“The answer is yes,” David Bersoff, lead researcher on the study produced by US communications company Edelman. “People are questioning at that level whether what we have today, and the world we live in today, is optimized for their having a good future.”

The poll contacted over 34,000 people in 28 countries, from Western democracies like the US to those based on a different model such as China or Russia, with 56 percent agreeing “capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world.”

The survey was launched in 2000 to explore the theories of political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who after the collapse of communism declared that liberal capitalist democracy had seen off rival ideologies and so represented “the end of history.”

That conclusion has since been challenged by critics who point to everything from the rising influence of China to the spread of autocratic leaders, trade protectionism and worsening inequality in the wake of the 2007/08 global financial crisis.

On a national level, lack of trust in capitalism was highest in Thailand and India on 75 percent and 74 percent respectively, with France close behind on 69 percent. Majorities prevailed in other Asian, European, Gulf, African and Latin American states.

Only in Australia, Canada, the US, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan did majorities disagree with the assertion capitalism currently did more harm than good.

FASTFACT

75%

The Edelman Trust Barometer survey found lack of trust in capitalism was highest in Thailand and India on 75 percent and 74 percent respectively.

The survey confirmed a by-now familiar set of concerns ranging from worries about the pace of technological progress and job insecurity, to distrust of the media and a sense that national governments were not up to the challenges of the day.

Within the data there were divergences, with Asians more optimistic about their economic prospects than others across the world. There was also a growing split in attitudes according to status, with the affluent and college-educated much more likely to have faith in how things were being run.

Of possible interest to corporate leaders gathering in Davos this week was the finding that trust in business outweighed that in governments and that 92 percent of employees said CEOs should speak out on the social and ethical issues of the day.

“Business has leapt into the void left by populist and partisan government,” said Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. “It can no longer be business as usual, with an exclusive focus on shareholder returns.”