Exxon has an agreement with Kurds of northern Iraq to develop 6 oil fields. The problem is the Iraqi government has failed to pass an oil law, since 2007. Oil revenue is key to funding the rebuilding of Iraq. Also with the problems in Iran, having stable oil production Iraq is even more critical. But, Kurdistan has suspended exports due to lack of payment from Baghdad
Japan is leaving many of its Nuclear reactors offline for a variety of reasons. The result is Japanese imports of oil and gas have gone up considerably. As I have said before there is no perfect solution for energy, and for Japan I can see how, in a post fukushima world, is wary of the risks. However, this is going to have a real increase in CO2 emissions and make Japan more dependent on a less stable middle east. Particularly as Iran tries to join the nuclear club, and as Iran’s oil exports on constricted by sanctions. This could serve as a portent of what the future holds for Germany, as it plans to shutter its nuclear reactors by 2022. Germany has no need to do this as they are not at a high risk from a large earthquake or tsunami.
WAPO wants you to buy gold, but does this really make sense? Historically, gold price goes up during recessions and drops afterward, as investment flows to industries that benefit from recovery. Several industries benefit from recovery, for example energy prices and demand for consumer electronics go up in a recovery. Looking at the macro picture, we seem to be having a slow recovery right now.