Dutch Caribbean Caught Up in ConocoPhillips-Venezuela Oil Dispute
The Dutch Caribbean have been caught up in a legal dispute between the American oil company ConocoPhillips and the government of Venezuela.
A judge has allowed Conoco to seize Venezuelan-owned and -operated refineries on the islands in order to collect $2 billion in compensation awarded by the International Chamber of Commerce for the 2007 nationalization of Conoco assets in the socialist-run country.
The seizure poses a “potential crisis” to the economy of Curaçao, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath has told Reuters. The Isla refinery, which processes 335,000 barrels of oil per day, accounts for a tenth of the island’s economy. Read more
Leonid Bershidsky is optimistic the EU can stand up to American threats and continue doing business with Iran. He writes for Bloomberg that the stakes are higher than President Donald Trump seems to realize:
With its influence on SWIFT, the Brussels-based payment-facilitation system, and its trade power, the EU is capable of blunting US sanctions. If they prove ineffective, and Iranians merely rally around their government as Russians have done in the face of American restrictions, the US may be exposed as less of a fearsome global policeman than Trump would like it to be.
It’s only been a couple of weeks since British voters decided to leave the European Union in a referendum, but they are already starting to feel the consequences.
Away from Westminster — where apparently nobody anticipated nor prepared for the “wrong” outcome — local governments are bracing for years of financial hardship, the Financial Times reports:
Many fear that the billions of euros from EU development funds channeled into some of the most deprived areas of the country will not be replaced by Westminster, just as the slowing British economy is set to hit council budgets that are already stretched.
The newspaper cites estimates of £8.6 billion in regional development funds being lost between now and 2020. Read more
Reading Bloomberg Businessweek‘s interview with Barack Obama, I get the sense the president understands the big economic and social challenges of our time but still underestimates the impact of regulation on businesses. Read more