Stifel Analysts Comment on Saudi Arabia, Brexit, Oil

The sharp drop in crude oil prices that occurred in early trading Monday had been pared back to less than 1% by the noon hour. That could be the result of a growing realization that the Doha meeting never had a chance in the first place, and there are other things happening that are more important than oil. Hard to believe, we know.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, released an economic commentary Monday morning that focuses on legislation in the U.S. Congress that would allow U.S. courts to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for any role the country may have played in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S. If the legislation passes, the Saudis have threatened to sell up to $750 billion in U.S. Treasuries and other U.S. assets. President Obama has opposed the legislation.

Piegza also commented on the threat of a U.K. exit (Brexit) from the European Union, citing Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who argued that leaving the European Union would cost every British household about $6,000 annually and the country’s economy would be 6% smaller by 2030: “That’s a fact everyone should think about as they consider how to vote. … As chancellor, I’m clear, we’re stronger, safer and better off in the European Union.”

The commentary also notes that Greece may be in for more austerity measures it the country misses its fiscal targets:

According to reports, Greece’s creditors are considering a proposal that would require the debt-stricken nation to sign up for “contingency measures” of up to €3bn, on top of the €5bn package made up of tax increases and spending cuts the country and its lenders are currently negotiating.

Piegza also referred to a hearing Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court in which the eight justices will consider arguments related to President Obama’s authority to protect millions of immigrants from deportation. If the vote is split four to four, the lower court decision that tossed out the president’s executive order would be reinstated.

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