Stephen Bartholomeusz

The Saudis' battle with US shale is far from over

The Saudis believe their tactics have resulted in some stability for the oil price, but there are question marks over how effective their strategy will be in the long run.

How Fortescue became a victim of its own success

Over the past six years, Fortescue dramatically reduced its debts and transformed into a major seaborne player, but two developments have put it under considerable pressure.

Lower fuel costs could be Qantas' ticket to profitability

Falling fuel costs could help Qantas' struggling international business make reasonable profits, but much will depend on the behaviour of its competitors.

Brace for the unintended consequences of the ECB's QE

The ECB joining the currency wars will see the dangerous side-effects of central banks' monetary policy experiments continue to build and has merely pushed out the day of reckoning.

Arrium's prudence gives it some breathing space

Arrium's surprise capital raising last year has turned out to be a wise insurance policy, with the miner now able to restructure in a bid to avoid another near-death experience.

Debunking the myths behind airline fuel surcharges

Fuel surcharges are a PR exercise designed to shift blame for higher fares away from the airlines, but the reality is that consumers have been getting a great deal at airline shareholders' expense.

Skilled walks a fine line in rejecting Programmed's merger

Chairman Vickki McFadden was wise to tread carefully in her rejection of Programmed's proposed merger but the market's reaction suggests Skilled's smaller competitor may not return with the terms she's looking for.

Shale bears the brunt of BHP's diversity blues

BHP has revised its drilling program in order to conserve cash amid plunging commodity prices, but it remains committed to demerging its non-core assets.

Rio's production numbers speak volumes about Walsh's strategy

Sam Walsh's emphasis on strong volume growth and cost-cutting looks set to placate shareholders, and could keep Glencore's merger ambitions at bay.

The question marks over the ECB's QE program

If the ECB pushes the QE button it will be a clear admission of desperation. What's not clear is whether QE will spark the spending and investment the region so desperately needs.

Switzerland's bombshell is a taste of the volatility to come

The Swiss decision to scrap its cap on the franc has provided a timely lesson on the unexpected consequences of unconventional measures.

Copper could cripple Glencore's merger hopes

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The tumbling copper price is putting Glencore's ambitions for a merger with Rio Tinto in doubt, and also pokes holes in the portfolio diversification strategies of the big miners.

Piecing together the commodity markets puzzle

The violent shift in commodity prices is about a lot more than the fundamentals of supply and demand.

Why the banks are set for a profit squeeze

Fitch's prediction of a softening outlook for banks is hardly surprising, but a spike in bad debt charges is unlikely to have a material impact on slower earnings growth.

Alcoa's results give Rio a reason to smile

After years of trauma, Alcoa's aluminium division is starting to shine as the market shifts into balance. It's also good news for Rio Tinto's Sam Walsh.

The ECB's dilemma requires radical action

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The ECB's attempts to encourage banks to lend more and stimulate growth have had little impact, but the spectre of deflation may cause it to embrace unconventional policies.

Oil's decline puts asset markets on a slippery slope

If low oil prices are sustained, the reversal of capital flows from oil-exporting countries will have implications for liquidity, volatility and prices in global asset markets.

US shale will feel the heat of OPEC's price war

OPEC's battle with US shale producers for oil market dominance is already creating a sense of panic, with energy producers caught in the crossfire.

The fear factor has gripped global markets

The battle for influence in the oil market and renewed concerns in the eurozone have added fresh uncertainty and volatility to commodity and financial markets.

The dubious logic of Glencore's coal experiment

Glencore's tactical shutdown of its coal mines has done little to aid its quest to force Rio Tinto into a merger, and could help Rio make the case for increasing its iron ore output.