Jun 5, 2018

The big picture: Why the U.S. wants OPEC to pump more oil

Drilling, oil wells in southern Kuwait along the Saudi border. Photo: Dominique BERBAIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The U.S. government has asked Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to increase oil production, according to Bloomberg.

Why it's happening: The Trump administration is likely reacting to the fact that gasoline prices just spiked to their highest level in the U.S. in more than three years and they are likely concerned about potential political backlash, Axios' Amy Harder notes.

Why the prices might be spiking in the first place: The U.S. announced it would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which is curtailing crude supplies and which is likely driving the U.S. request. It highlights the delicate politics of the White House moves to punish Iran's energy sector with renewed sanctions, Axios’ Ben Geman notes.

Don't forget:

  • Venezuela. Venezuelan output has been declining due to instability and an economic crisis there, driving prices up.
  • OPEC has been operating under an oil cut production agreement, which has been affecting prices, too. OPEC will have a chance to review this agreement later this month.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.