The Guardian View On The Economy: It’s Bad

Well, up to a point. The question is whether there's a functioning commodities business there at all. While most of the fourth-quarter loss is water-under-the-bridge writedowns, the core company is still hemorrhaging cash. Operating income from its supply chains was about $25 million in the fourth quarter, Noble said Monday, That's roughly what the company expects to spend on trading and head office costs each quarter, with about the same going on interest payments. If Noble can't at least double its operating income, its doom will have been merely postponed.

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