May 7, 2018

Oil markets brace for Trump’s Iran deal decision

An oil tanker in the Strait of Homuz, off the coast of Iran. Photo: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue waiving sanctions against Iran or reimpose them. Markets think it will be the latter as prices rose in trading Monday to their highest levels in well over three years.

Why it matters: Walking away from the Iran deal and reimposing sanctions would lower volumes of Iranian crude in international markets.

  • WTI, the U.S. benchmark, climbed above the $70-per-barrel level and Brent crude is trading at well above $75.
  • "[W]e think that it is highly likely that President Trump will exercise the exit option despite the recent best efforts of European leaders to fix the nuclear deal," analysts from RBC Capital Markets said in a note.
  • Projections vary widely — common estimates range from around 200,000 barrels per day to 1 million — and a lot depends on the details of Trump's decision on the complicated deal, and the speed and scope of European buyers' response.
  • But any move to reimpose penalties would likely push prices higher in a market where global stockpiles are at their lowest levels in years and other geopolitical tensions abound.

Go deeper: At the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Frank Verrastro and Kevin Book look at Trump's options and how they could affect crude flows.

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Trump administration backs Oracle in Google fight

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via The Washington Post.

The Trump administration is siding with Oracle in the database giant's dispute with Google before the Supreme Court — a move that comes as Oracle's founder hosts a high-dollar fundraiser for the president.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars — and, Google argues, the future of software innovation — are at stake as a long-running copyright dispute between the two giant companies heads to the Supreme Court next month.

Established VCs turn to "super angels" to grow their network

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thanks to companies like AngelList and Carta that make it easier than ever to set up small VC funds, a new generation of so-called “super angels” is cropping up — and established venture funds are backing them.

Why it matters: Just like the boom in scout programs a number of years ago, it’s all about the deal flow.

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.