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Oil falls to fresh session low
WTI crude is down $2 on the day to $54.55    at 15:06

Mujica's role in US-Cuba understanding praised worldwide    at 12:01

Charles Hugh Smith
Based on historical gold-oil ratios, oil appears extraordinarily cheap right now
When oil fell below $55/barrel a few days ago, the ratio reached 22. By historical standards, oil is cheap. As a rule of thumb, oil is relatively inexpensive (and gold is relatively expensive) when the ratio is above 20; oil is relatively expensive (and gold is relatively inexpensive) when the ratio is below 9.    at 06:12

The Automatic Earth
EU’s Greek Drama Needs A Final Act (Bloomberg ed.)
A load of baloney from Bloomberg’s editorial staff. That new editor in chief certainly hasn’t raised quality so far. Calling Syriza ‘neo-marxist’ is simply emptily leading and insinuating. There’s a lot of that at Bloomberg.

The US Federal Reserve has pulled the trigger
“World finance is rotating on its axis. The stronger the US boom, the worse it will be for those countries on the wrong side of the dollar”. [..] “Pimco’s Emerging Market Corporate Bond Fund bled $237m in November, and the pain is unlikely to stop as clients discover that 24% of its portfolio is in Russia."    at 05:50

Naked Capitalism & Links
Jeb Bush: The Forest Gump of Financial Improprieties?
The Financial Times has an unusual story featured prominently today. As Jeb Bush has made a soft launch of his presidential campaign, the pink paper has published a surprisingly long list of financial relationships that do not put the Florida governor in a particularly good light.    at 04:48

Washington's Blog
Inequality in America today is the worst in world history
The United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. Inequality is twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.    at 01:30

Déjà Vu All Over Again
Every square on the bingo card marked “economic debacle” has been filled in with a pen dipped in fracking fluid.    at 00:30

Raise the Gas Tax!
No one enjoys paying taxes, though they are much easier to swallow when the revenue produces visible results. Since the gas tax is deposited into the Highway Trust Fund, it is somewhat like a user fee, albeit, an imperfect one. Congress has allowed the Highway Trust Fund to gradually lurch towards insolvency. Expenditures have risen while gas tax rates haven’t. America’s aging infrastructure is in desperate need of repair, so holding out for the ideal solution no longer seems tenable.
   at 00:15

Syrian rebel Yarmouk Brigades ditch US and Israel allies, defect to ISIS
This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. ISIS gains direct access to a long section of Israel’s Golan border with Syria.    at 00:10

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
From a Napoleon Letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier in November 1798:
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."    at 00:05
Congressional Hawks Vow to Block Normalization of Cuba Ties
Polls Show Americans Support Normal Relations    at 00:01

El jueves, el dieciocho de diciembre
Our plum season is over after a huge harvest. Evidently, the tree bears heavily every other year.    at 00:00