Reuters blog archive

from Noe Torres:

Pemex sees 2.8 mln bpd by 2018, likely to import light U.S. crude

MEXICO CITY, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Mexican state-owned oil
company Pemex expects to lift output to 2.8 million
barrels a day (bpd) by 2018 and is likely to start importing
light crude from the United States in the next few months to
refine, Chief Executive Officer Emilio Lozoya said on Thursday.

Mexico is the world's 10th-largest crude producer but since
hitting peak production of 3.38 million bpd in 2004, output
slipped to 2.52 million bpd last year. Last month, Pemex revised
its output forecast for this year down to 2.44 million bpd.

"I think that without doubt, towards the end of the
(current) administration, Pemex can be thinking of 2.8 million
barrels a day," Lozoya told Reuters in an interview in his
office on the 43rd floor of Pemex's Mexico City headquarters.

He added that importing light crude from the United States
was "a very good idea" that Pemex was analyzing, noting that it
could help the company's refining unit produce more higher-value
products like gasoline and diesel.

from Alison Frankel:

Arab Bank terror trial claim: ‘It wasn’t routine banking’

According to Arab Bank, the world's primary defense against terrorist financing is computer software. As Arab Bank lawyer Shand Stephens of DLA Piper told a Brooklyn federal jury Thursday morning, banks run programs that instantaneously monitor transactions to make sure money transfers don't involve people and organizations on international terrorist lists. "It is the government who decides who should be designated as a criminal and put on the lists," Stephens said during opening statements in the much anticipated trial of civil terror financing claims against the Jordan-based bank. "That is the way banking works."

Except when it doesn't. Stephens told jurors about four Arab Bank transactions that put money in the hands of officially designated terrorists during the time of the second Palestinian Intifada against Israel from 2000 to 2004. In two of those transactions - one of them a $60,000 transfer to an Arab Bank account held by the founder of Hamas - Arab Bank's compliance software failed to detect variations in the spelling of the names of U.S.-designated terrorists. The other two transactions, both transfers to an ostensible charity deemed to be a front for Hamas, were "by mistake," Stephens said.

from Counterparties:

Less repo, man

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Banks are cutting back on repurchase (repo) lending, an often overlooked but massive credit market, the WSJ’s Ryan Tracy reports. “Repos,” he writes, “function as short-term loans, which are backed by collateral. Borrowers agree to sell the [collateral] to another party for cash, with the promise to repurchase the bond at a slightly higher price some time in the future.” Broadstroke regulation aimed at reducing leverage has had some effect on repo borrowing. It made it more expensive, bankers say, and they’re doing less of it as a result. Goldman Sachs, for instance, cut $25 billion from its repo business in response to capital requirements.

The FT’s Michael Mackenzie and Tracy Alloway report that the number of “fails” – when the lent security is returned late – in the U.S. Treasury repo market has spiked recently. Worryingly, they write that “repo fails are rising when overall activity has been subdued.”

from Mark Jones:

Stop the Pentagon program that militarizes U.S. police forces

Stop the Pentagon program that militarizes U.S. police forces

from Jack Shafer:

If you must quote anonymous sources, make sure they say something!

A decade ago, both the Washington Post and the New York Times conceded that they had lost control of the use of anonymous sources in their pages and each set up new guidelines to police the practice.

Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. promised in a 2004 piece that his paper would "explain to readers why a source was not being named" inside stories, and the Times similarly resolved to tame the anonymous monster.

from James Saft:

Equities face hurdles after buyback boom fizzles: James Saft

By James Saft

(Reuters) - Share buybacks by U.S. corporations, a key source of support for equity prices in recent years, are slowing, raising questions over why and what it will mean.

Second-quarter buybacks were 20 percent below those in the first quarter among a universe of 700 companies followed by quant analysts at Societe Generale, and are now lower than they were in the second quarter of last year. In a broader universe followed by S&P Dow Jones Indices, buybacks fell 30 percent in the second quarter compared to the first.

from Data Dive:

The diversity of American police forces

Does the local police force reflect the racial makeup of your community? According to an interactive chart created by the Washington Post today — following this week’s protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in the largely black community of Ferguson, Missouri — the answer is probably not.


The Post analyzed Census Bureau data, finding that that the vast majority of cities have a police presence that is a lot whiter than their population.

from Breakingviews:

Venezuela digs way to distressed seller status

By Christopher Swann

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Venezuela is digging its way to distressed seller status. The country wants to offload Citgo, its U.S. refinery and pipelines unit. It may be worth up to $15 billion, money that’s sorely needed thanks to President Nicolas Maduro’s barmy economic policies. And the drop in value of heavy-oil assets like Citgo owns makes it a bad time to sell.

from Mark Jones:

The diversity of American police forces

The diversity of American police forces

from Thomas Grove:

Under artillery fire, Ukraine rebels switch their leaders

DONETSK, Ukraine, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Two of the most senior
rebels battling government troops in eastern Ukraine quit on
Thursday, deepening the disarray in a pro-Moscow separatist
movement that is being pushed back by an Ukrainian military

The resignations came on the same day that artillery shells
landed for the first time since the conflict began in the centre
of the eastern city of Donetsk, the separatists' main