South America’s political earthquake

In the span of just a few days, the earth has begun quaking beneath South America’s leading resource nationalists. Hugo Chavez’ successor as the Bolivarian revolution’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, stands to lose his grip on Venezuela´s national assembly in tense 6 December elections. Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will reluctantly hand the presidential scepter to her foil Mauricio Macri on 10 December. And formally as of this week, Brazil´s Dilma Rousseff faces possible impeachment.

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A grim narrative plays out

US independents are bracing for their worst results in years when they begin reporting third quarter earnings in coming weeks. But a bleak oil market outlook raises the question: How much worse can it get?

“The narrative for Q3 earnings season will be grim, both with regard to current industry conditions as well as the threatening visibility heading into 2016,” investment bank Simmons & Company said in a recent note.  Continue reading