Oil Price Boom Expected Following Pandemic Crash

If history is a guide, an oil price boom is coming after the pandemic-generated crash.

While the near-term demand picture is highly uncertain, as people reconsider their travel and work habits, this latest bust, the worst of them all, is unlikely to hasten the demise of oil.

“The only way to get away from the boom-bust cycle is to get off of oil,” said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group and the author of a book on the topic called Crude Volatility.That’s really tough because there are no scalable substitutes. As a result, we expect a thirstier world will collide into insufficient supply, and crude prices will have to rise sharply to balance the market.”

Continue reading

Climate Change Destroyed Assyrian Empire… without fossil fuels!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Megadrought Helped Topple the Assyrian Empire
Paleoclimate records shed light on the ancient civilization’s meteoric rise and catastrophic collapse.

By Mary Caperton Morton 15 January 2020

Around 2,700 years ago in what is now northern Iraq, the Assyrian Empire was at its zenith, dominating the cultural and political landscape of the Fertile Crescent. But within a few years, the empire collapsed, leaving the once thriving capital of Nineveh abandoned for nearly 200 years. The cause of this catastrophe is an enduring mystery, but a climate record preserved in a cave formation now is revealing that the timing of the empire’s rise and fall coincided with a wet period followed by a 125-year-long megadrought.

Continue reading

Protester Killed as Iraq Police Struggle to Stem Unrest

Iraqi police fought running street battles with anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday, firing tear and rubber bullets to try to disperse stone-throwing youths pressing for an overhaul of a political system they see as deeply corrupt.

One protester was killed in Baghdad while another succumbed to a bullet wound sustained on Monday in Baquba city, medical sources said, adding at least 50 demonstrators were wounded.

Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters

Continue reading

Iraq’s Parliament Votes to Expel US Military as Hezbollah Threatens Troops

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘Trump and his administration will know that they lost the region and will lose the elections…’

 1

AP Photo: A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines.

() The U.S. military presence in the Middle East was thrown into jeopardy Sunday, as Iraq‘s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from their country while the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said the U.S. military across the region “will pay the price” for killing a top Iranian general.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that U.S. bases, warships and soldiers in the Middle East were all fair targets after the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the architect of many of Iran’s regional military campaigns in recent years.

Continue reading

Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Storms US Embassy in Baghdad

By Associated Pres – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

Security forces make no effort to stop the protesters…

 

UPDATE: President Donald Trump is blaming Iran for a breach of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and is calling on Iraq to protect the embassy.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many.” Trump says, “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!

Trump tweeted from his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is in the midst of two-week plus vacation. He’s been largely out of sight and the tweet marked his first comment on the weekend U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Storms US Embassy in Baghdad

Protesters burn property in front of the U.S. embassy compound, in Baghdad, Iraq/AP Photo

Continue reading

Show Me The Real Money

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I’ll show you real money. It looks like this:

Those circulating dollar bills, euros, pounds, and yen are DEBTS (notes) issued by central banks to extract wealth from citizens and the economy, dilute the purchasing power of the currency, and nourish the banking cartel.

From Graham Summers:

“The problem of course is once it has done this [created the ‘everything bubble’], the Fed will NEVER be able to normalize interest rates because the entire financial system is now addicted to extraordinarily low rates.”

“… a Fed President stated point blank that the Fed is aware that the entire US financial system is one gigantic leveraged bet on low interest rates…and as a result of this, the Fed is DONE with normalization.”

Continue reading

Saudi Crown Prince Causes Mayhem, But Who Replaces Him?

By Pat Buchanan – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and then his body cut up with a bone saw and flown to Riyadh in Gulfstream jets owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

So contend the Turks, who have video from the consulate, photos of 15 Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul that day, Oct. 2, and the identity numbers of the planes.

Continue reading

ISIS Planning to Use Orphans For Suicide Missions in Europe

By Sputnik – Re-Blogged From Info Wars

After losing ground in Syria and Iraq, terrorist group sets sights on the West

In early 2017, French jihadist Jonathan Geffroy was captured by the Free Syrian Army as he tried to flee Syria with his wife and two children. In September 2017, he was extradited to France, where he was accused of “criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise.”

Continue reading

Turkish President Erdogan Vows To Recapture All Lands Once Held By The Ottoman Empire

By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

“We say at every opportunity we have that Syria, Iraq and other places in the geography [map] in our hearts are no different from our own homeland. We are struggling so that a foreign flag will not be waved anywhere where adhan [Islamic call to prayer in mosques] is recited.”

Apparently, Erdogan means at the very least the recapture of all the lands once held by the Ottoman Empire.

That’s not just Greece, as in the article title below. That’s also Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and more.

Continue reading

Tracking Global Terrorism in 2018

Scott Stewart   Scott Stewart – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Editor’s Note

With the start of a new year, we once again examine the state of the global jihadist movement. Shared from Threat Lens, Stratfor’s unique protective intelligence product, the following column includes excerpts from a comprehensive forecast available to Threat Lens subscribers.

In some ways “the global jihadist movement” is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group’s ideology — and, in some cases, both.

A Yemeni man surveys the aftermath of a bombing in Huta, in the southern province of Lahj, March 27, 2017.

(SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Continue reading

Finding a Path to a Post-Revolutionary Iran

By Matthew Bey – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Almost four decades after the toppling of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a revolutionary ideology continues to underpin the Iranian state. As the years have passed, the relevance of its governing philosophy risks being lost on the country’s younger generations, and the internal and external challenges to its government continue to mount. The recent spate of demonstrations that quickly spread across the country highlighted one of the revolutionary state’s largest shortcomings: It is a 40-year-old revolution that has not arrived at a sustainable economic model.

Continue reading

Iranian Protesters Attack Police Stations, Raise Stakes in Unrest

By Michael Georgy – Re-Blogged From Reuters

Iranian protesters attacked police stations late into the night on Monday, news agency and social media reports said, as security forces struggled to contain the boldest challenge to the clerical leadership since unrest in 2009.

Videos on social media showed an intense clash in the central town of Qahderijan between security forces and protesters who were trying to occupy a police station, which was partially set ablaze. There were unconfirmed reports of several casualties among demonstrators.

In the western city of Kermanshah, protesters set fire to a traffic police post, but no one was hurt in the incident, Mehr news agency said.

Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #296

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Quote of the Week.“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain [H/t WUWT]

Number of the Week: $56.60

Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions.

Continue reading

Caught in a Crisis Abroad

By Scott Stewart – Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

The past week, a “non-coup” forced Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe from power. And while the Kenyan Supreme Court certified the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, it is almost certain the country’s political unrest will continue. But this turmoil is not really that unusual; there almost always are crisis events of one type or another roiling some part of the world during any given week. And this means that at any given time there are travelers or expatriates who find themselves caught in tense situations in a foreign country. We thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance on how to react when caught in such a situation.

Residents of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, thank soldiers on the street after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

(MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Continue reading

Fragmenting Countries, Part 1: Catalonia Is Just The Beginning

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Picture a life where you do most of your shopping through Amazon.com and the local farmers’ market, most of your communicating through Facebook and Instagram, much of your travel via Uber, and much of your saving and transacting with bitcoin, gold and silver.

Do you really need an immense, distant, and rapacious central government? Maybe not. Perhaps your region or ethnic group would be better off forming its own independent country.

This question is being asked — and answered — in a growing number of places where distinct cultures and ethnic groups within larger nations now see their government as more burden than benefit. The result: Secession movements are moving from the fringe to mainstream.

In just the past couple of weeks, Iraqi Kurdistan and Spain’s Catalonia declared their independence. Neither succeeded, but the fact that they felt free to try illustrates how times have changed.

This is fascinating on a lot of levels, but why discuss it on a gloom-and-doom finance blog? Because secession is about the messiest event a country can experience short of civil war. And few things are more financially disruptive for an already over-leveraged society than potential dissolution.

Today’s fiat currencies depend for their value on the belief that the governments managing them are coherent and competent. Let a major region break away and plunge a debtor country into political/civil chaos and the markets will abandon its currency in a heartbeat. Note the sense of panic in the following article:

EU TURMOIL: Finland preparing to go against Spain and RECOGNISE Catalonia’s independence

(Express) – FINLAND could be the first country to officially recognise Catalonia as a republic state, in a move that would put the Scandinavian country in direct opposition to the European Union (EU).

The country’s MP for Lapland Mikko Karna has said that he intends to submit a motion to the Finnish parliament recognising the new fledgling country.

Mr Karna, who is part of the ruling Centre Party, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, also sent his congratulations to Catalonia after the regional parliament voted earlier today on breaking away from the rest of Spain.

Should Finland officially recognise the new state of Catalonia this will be yet another body blow to the the EU which has firmly backed the continuation of a unified Spain under the control of Madrid.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned today that “cracks” were appearing in the bloc due to the seismic events in Catalonia that were causing ruptures through the bloc.

Mr Juncker spoke in favour of unity. He said: “I do not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states. We need to avoid splits, because we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more.”

The Scottish Government has also sent a message of support, saying that Catalonia “must have” the ability to determine their own future.

Scotland, of course, is itself considering secession from the UK, which recently voted to leave the European Union.

The political class, meanwhile, is trying to figure out where it went wrong. See the New York Times’ recent What Is a Nation in the 21st Century?

If the combination of long-term financial mismanagement and sudden technological change really has made large, multi-cultural nations dispensable, then some of them are going to fragment. This in turn will contribute to the failure of the fiat currency/fractional reserve banking system that’s ruining global finance. Poetic justice for sure, but of an extremely messy kind.

CONTINUE READING –>

3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet Rewrites the History of Math and Shows the Greeks Did Not Develop Trigonometry

By Sarah Knapton – Re-Blogged From http://www.telegraph.co.uk

A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today.

The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was discovered in the early 1900s in Southern Iraq by the American archaeologist and diplomat Edgar Banks, who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones.

The true meaning of the tablet has eluded experts until now but new research by the University of New South Wales, Australia, has shown it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, which was probably used by ancient architects to construct temples, palaces and canals.

However unlike today’s trigonometry, Babylonian mathematics used a base 60, or sexagesimal system, rather than the 10 which is used today. Because 60 is far easier to divide by three, experts studying the tablet, found that the calculations are far more accurate.

Continue reading

A Conversation With Gerald Celente

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gerald Celente, publisher of the renowned Trends Journal. Mr. Celente is a well-known trends forecaster and highly sought-after guest on news programs throughout the world and has been forecasting some of the biggest and most important trends before they happen for more than 30 years now. It’s always great to have him on with us.

Mr. Celente, thanks so much for the time today, and we appreciate you joining us.

Gerald Celente (Trends Journal): Thanks for having me on, Mr. Gleason.

Mike Gleason: Well, I want to start out talking about the first half of the year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump had an ambitious agenda to get the economy going but hasn’t been able to push any significant legislation through this Congress. How do you see that playing out from here, and what bearing does all this have on the dollar, Gerald, because the greenback has been taking it on the chin here recently?

Continue reading

US Foreign Policy And The Long Game

By Larry LaBorde – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Miss Puddy accompanied me to our downtown club for dinner and a talk by Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report.  Mr. Cook gives an insider’s view of Washington DC.  His current view of the situation is that none of Trump’s agenda is going to get through congress.  The fact that he has never held a public office helps him with his base but does not help him with getting his agenda through the congress.  Only 9% of his appointments have been approved but only 13% of the possible appointments have been submitted. Trump’s approval rating is around 45% which is quite low for the honeymoon period when he should be getting his agenda pushed through. Continue reading

2017 Third-Quarter World Forecast

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Overview

Tempering Trump Policy: Ongoing federal investigations and intensifying budget battles with Congress will make for another distracting quarter for U.S. President Donald Trump. But these disruptions won’t mitigate the rhetoric of White House ideologues, or broader speculation that the United States is retreating from the global stage. The reality of the superpower’s role in global governance, of course, is far more complicated. Meanwhile, the administration’s more extreme policy initiatives, particularly on matters of trade and climate, will be tempered at the federal, corporate, state and local levels. And though the United States will maintain its security alliances abroad, it will also generate enough uncertainty to drive its partners toward unilateral action in managing their own neighborhoods.

Sparks Fly in the Middle East: Qatar’s standoff with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will persist throughout the quarter amid intensifying battles among regional powers’ proxies across the region. More visible competition within the Gulf Cooperation Council and growing distrust between Turkey and its Gulf neighbors will reveal the weaknesses of the White House’s strategy to conform to Riyadh’s increasingly assertive foreign policy in an attempt to manage the region. The risk of clashes among great powers is also on the rise in eastern Syria: As Iran works to create a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, Syrian loyalists and U.S.-backed rebels are racing toward the Iraqi border, all while Russia uses the Syrian battlefield to jockey with the United States for influence.

A Stressed but Stable Oil Market: As Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues to amass power, much of his focus will stay fixed on preparing for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco in 2018. Part of that plan entails preserving a deal on production cuts among major oil producers in hopes of keeping prices stable amid climbing output in the United States, Libya, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. Compliance with the agreement will hold through the quarter, but it will slip toward the end of the year as signatories begin to craft their exit strategies.

Dancing Around the North Korean Crisis: The limits to China’s cooperation in sanctions against North Korea will become clearer as trade talks between Beijing and Washington head for a rough patch. Pyongyang’s nuclear and weapons tests will continue to fuel friction in the region, though they will not increase the chances of U.S. military action this quarter unless the North Korean regime can demonstrate a credible long-range missile capability; an achievement that is probably still at least a year away.

Europe Buys Time While Russia Airs Its Dirty Laundry: A likely electoral win for Germany’s moderate forces and early reform successes in France will reinvigorate calls to take advantage of the prevailing calm on the Continent to revamp the European Union. Doing so, however, will expose the many fault lines festering in Europe as each camp proposes a different vision for integration. And with a wary West on guard against Russian cyberwarfare and propaganda campaigns, there will be little room for substantive negotiation between Washington and Moscow this quarter. At the same time, a burgeoning protest movement will keep the Kremlin’s hands full at home.
CONTINUE READING –>

Qatar’s Feud With the Gulf States Reaches New Levels

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Long-standing tensions among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that intensified over the past two weeks have culminated in several Arab governments suspending relations with Qatar. The current crisis has roots in multiple areas in which GCC states do not see eye to eye, including in their attitudes toward Iran, their manifold perspectives on supporting political Islamists and the degree of economic and strategic rivalries among them.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced they would suspend diplomatic relations with Qatar, which has long bucked the Saudi line on condemnation of Iran and support for Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Their declarations were followed by those made by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives government in Libya, which has close ties to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt; the Saudi-backed government of Yemen led by President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi; and the Indian Ocean island nations of Mauritius and the Maldives, which have close ties to the Saudi and Emirati governments.

Continue reading

Understanding the Real Threat to Oil Production in the Middle East

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The last three weeks have brought the world’s biggest oil-producing region back into the headlines. From a crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the political aftermath of a terrorist attack in Tehran, recent developments have renewed concerns that turmoil in the Middle East could cause havoc in the international oil market. Despite the heightened commotion, however, these concerns are misplaced. More than regional tension, the Islamic State’s activity in southern Iraq — and perhaps southern Iran — presents a serious threat to energy production.

Continue reading

The Forces Driving Democratic Recession

By Jay Ogilvy – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Liberal democracy is in retreat across the globe. Following decades of expansion since the 1950s, the spread of democracy hit a wall in the new millennium. Freedom House, using carefully crafted metrics, has measured a decline in democracy and freedom worldwide. Definitions are important: Does the fact of elections, even where the outcome is autocratically determined, qualify a country as a democracy? By most measures and definitions, there are now about 25 fewer democratic countries than there were at the turn of the millennium.

Founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy Larry Diamond wrote a 2015 paper, “Facing up to the Democratic Recession.” Diamond asks, reasonably enough, “Why have freedom and democracy been regressing in many countries? The most important and pervasive answer is, in brief, bad governance.” But this tells us very little. How and why has governance been so bad?

A German Medical Insider Tells the World How Muslim Refugees Will Use HealthCare to Destroy Our Country

By Re-Blogged From iPatriot

President Trump is right. Remember the “Welcome Refugee” banners the Germans waved just two years ago? Well, read what has happened.

Hospitals are overwhelmed by Refugees and cannot continue to provide care for taxpaying Germans:* A female doctor has stated that German hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of refugees. The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to the press back home in the Czech Republic, to express her shock at the “unsustainable” situation which she says is now affecting the medical care received by taxpaying Germans. Continue reading

Global Trends, Events And News

By Don Swenson – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Change is in the ‘air’ and 2017 is likely to lead to major changes within our global political/economic/religious/scientific system. People are starting to think about all the various issues which will be emerging all around our planet. The issues are complex and confusing as paradox is a major part of the problem. Our world mostly operates with paradox and contrarian perplexities. Let’s review our global situation briefly for further understanding and comprehension:

Middle-East Situation

The wars and chaos over in the Middle-East are tragic and must eventually be resolved. Thousands have been killed and millions are seeking refuge. Basically, the Islamic countries (within this Middle East territory) do not see eye to eye with Western hegemonic goals and visions. Since the end of WWI this region has been in continuing turmoil…and recent events are now culminating into serious chaos (leading to WW III potentially). Syria is unable to govern itself. Iraq is unable to govern itself. The same goes for Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, Nigeria, and a host of similar Islamic nations where the rule of law does not work effectively. Leaders cannot solve any of the core political secular problems. The core issues are actually spiritual!

Continue reading

The Oversupply Of Oil Means Ports Are Swamped With Oil Tankers

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This picture of one port tells a major story: Tankers are running circles around the Chinese port of Qingdao. One ship has been carving circles in the water for twenty days, waiting for a chance to offload at any one of several “teapot” (small) refineries in the region.

China is the world’s second-largest consumer of oil. Lack of available storage capacity on land is slowing down the rate at which refiners can take in crude, as is a reduction in the profitability of refineries, which is causing them to back off on refining.

Continue reading

More Pressure Builds Against Oil Prices

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

Saudi Arabia has moved beyond its original statement that it will only support a production freeze if “other major producing nations” sign on to the agreement. It has now clarified what I believed to be intended by its initial caveat all along, stating that it will only sign on to a production freeze if ALL nations sign on to such a freeze. So, “other” means “every.”

To which, Iran says, “Never!”

The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince went even further than that by stating if ANY nation does not sign on to a production freeze, “then we will not reject any opportunity that knocks on our door,” by which he means any opportunity to ramp up crude oil production and sell more oil.

And here is what that means for the OPEC meeting in Doha this month that has raised hopes that I believed to be absurd in the first place:

OilBarrels-500x375

The actions and intentions of Saudi Arabia and Russia—the two largest oil-producing nations attending the Doha meeting on 17 April—have dashed all hopes of any fruitful outcome. The most important meeting of the last three decades, which has promised to forge new friendships and a new cartel, is turning out to be the biggest farce, even before the curtain is raised.

The recent announcements from Saudi Arabia outlining the plan to create a $2 trillion fund to reduce dependency on oil and reports of austerity plans indicate that the Kingdom is not taking the Doha meeting seriously. It also seems to be sending a message to the others that it will not buckle under any sort of pressure, and it is readying its Plan B.

The Doha meeting will turn out to be a total disaster and the sentiment will be further damaged if the participating members don’t release a common statement. Forget about the production freeze. Listen carefully, Bears can be heard sharpening their claws ahead of the meeting. (OilPrice.com)

Meanwhile, what do Russia’s actions (the other key player in this agreement to talk about an agreement) say about the likelihood of success? Russia’s production has worked its way up since talk about having a talk began to a new thirty-year high!

Oil production in Iraq has also picked up so much that there is standing room only in the Persian Gulf:

Oil tankers are caught in a traffic jam near the Iraqi port of Basra, causing delays in loading. According to Reuters, around 30 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are sitting in the Persian Gulf, and the backlog could cost ship owners more than $75,000 per day. Some could be waiting for weeks to reach the port…. The culprit is high oil production in Iraq. The port at Basra is struggling to load up all the oil tankers fast enough, forcing some to sit and wait…. And the line of tankers appears to be growing. The gridlock is forcing up the cost of renting an oil tanker. That, combined with the shrinking capacity of available storage in China is pushing up tanker rates in Asia as well. (OilPrice.com)

While oil tankers are stacking up because of increased Iraqi production, they are also stacking up because, once loaded, they have nowhere to go! So, it’s a pile-up at sea.

As storage becomes less available on land and sea, the price of storage goes up (supply and demand again). As ships has become backlogged, the price of shipping has nearly doubled. Increases in the cost of moving and storing crude oil, put additional downward pressure on how much people are willing to pay for crude oil. So, while supply (production) is still rising in many parts of the world, demand for more crude is going to fall, as it gets pricy to have it just sitting around.

In spite of ramping up it’s production, Iraq is one of five OPEC nations on the brink of financial disaster, due in large part to the current low oil prices — the others being Venezuela, Nigeria, Libya, and Algeria. So, these smaller nations talk of hope for the Doha meeting, while the larger nations give no rational basis for hope.

One has to wonder how long it will be before some architect of human chaos decides the way to resolve this crisis for the oil and banking industries is with a Middle-East war that crushes supply lines and knocks out production. Let’s hope not, but history has its example wars that look like they had such motivation.

So far, there is a growing storm of reasons to stay with my prediction that the price of oil is going to go back down. As I published my article yesterday to that effect, the price of oil was going up rapidly; but I look at the fundamentals and see a lot more downside … and stay with that.

Oil, oil everywhere, and almost nowhere left to put it.

CONTINUE READING –>

Hidden Force Behind Oil’s Rise: Sabotage by Terrorists

 

Oil prices have surged on hopes of a freeze in global production. But a more hidden factor is also fueling the price spike: terror attacks on oil facilities.

Sabotage to key oil pipelines have driven global supply outages to “elevated” levels estimated at more than 3 million barrels per day, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

For instance, last month a critical pipeline in Nigeria was bombed, taking around 250,000 barrels of crude offline until May.

Extremist groups pose a “clear and present danger” to energy facilities, especially those in oil-rich North Africa, RBC wrote in a recent research report.

Oil prices have rallied recently to around $40 today from $26 a barrel in mid-February. The sharp rise has been largely attributed to an effort to “freeze” oil output by Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers. Investors are also betting U.S. production will decline sharply in 2016.

But geopolitical jitters and supply outages are also playing an important role. That’s a change from much of the past two years when these concerns were overshadowed by the epic supply glut and Iran’s efforts to ramp up production.

“OPEC outages in hotspots like those recently seen in Iraq and Nigeria are a good reminder of how quickly volumes can be sidelined,” RBC wrote. “As the market gradually tightens, we think these hotspots will return to center stage.”

Continue reading

Islam and the US Economy

By Bob Shapiro

I came across the following video which I’d like to share with you. It’s one view of the spread of Islam throughout the world through the many centuries since it started.

The point which I found especially interesting – and relevant to the mission of this web site – is that before an area was conquered, there was a concerted, relentless effort to ruin the Economy of that area. Commerce was attacked. The ability to build wealth was attacked. It could take decades or generations, but, once the area lost economic vitality, the soldiers of Islam were able to take over and to subjugate the area.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the US over a Trillion Dollars and many thousands of dead and wounded men and women who were in the prime of their lives. The stupidity of the regulations coming out of the Wars on Fossil Fuels by he governments of all the western countries – not least the US (EPA Endangerment Finding anyone?), have sapped the west of most of its economic vitality. A US President who is openly fanning the flames of racial and ethnic hatreds in the US, and who gives rewards to his cronies while persecuting his enemies, while he flouts the US Constitution, is making the US Economy and social cohesiveness weaker.

Policies in the west have allowed tens of thousands of Islamic refugees to pour into the west. In the US, these people are only a tiny percentage of the open border aliens flooding in. We’ve seen the Islamic influence in country after country turn to violence, as it did with the coordinated terror attacks in Paris a few days ago. I have to give a significant probability of upcoming Islamic terror attacks – again! – in the US.

You may not agree with everything in the video (I didn’t), but I expect that you’ll find it interesting and informative. It’s 45 minutes long and may start in the middle in your browser, so you may have to move the time slider back to the left.

Marc Faber – Best Interview of 2015

By Bob Shapiro – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Marcopolis.net. did an interview with Dr. Marc Faber. He touches on the Global Economy, Geopolitics, Debt, and a few other topics. It’s an hour long, and well worth the view.

Iraqi PM Abadi accuses Obama of a lack of “will,” and may invite Russia to bomb ISIS

By – Re-Blogged From The American Enterprise Institute

In an interview with France 24, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi accused President Obama of a lack of “will” in the fight against the Islamic State, and complained that Obama had failed to deliver the “massive air power” he had promised. Abadi further said that while he has not yet discussed Russian intervention in Iraq, he “would welcome” Russian airstrikes against ISIS in his country. From the interview:

France 24: Are you discussing with Russia the possibility of Russia striking in Iraq?

Abadi: Not yet, not yet.

France 24: But it’s a possibility?

Continue reading

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks To the US Congress

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

In case you missed it, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke Tuesday before a joint session of the US Congress. I found it to be a non-partisan, articulate plea for the US to not make a bad deal with Iran. This was asked for not only for Israel’s benefit, but also to enhance the safety of our country, the US.

The video is below – Mr. Netanyahu’s speech begins almost 27 minutes in, following lengthy introductions and other non-essential items. Please, view the speech.

Middle East Policy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I had occasion a while back to compare the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our other involvement in the middle east, with the Vietnam era.

  • Both wars cost our country a fortune, both in our riches consumed by the efforts and the loss of life, limbs, psyche, and American soldiers’ time.
  • In both wars, there were corrupt governments which we kept in power. Before we left we knew that when we left, it was a choice between the regime’s collapse or it going over to “the Dark Side.”

Continue reading