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Catching a Falling Financial Knife

U.S. Economy in Free Fall, Why is the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in this picture?

Politics / Oil Companies May 11, 2009 - 05:47 PM GMT

By: Robert_Singer

Politics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe world is engulfed in a global economic crisis of staggering ferocity rivaling three other financial meltdowns—which all began in the month of October. [1]


VP Biden and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker don’t remember any time when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world. The current crisis looks more like the collapse of the Soviet Union: in October 18, 1991 when Gorbachev signed an agreement forming a new economic community.

Analysts point to the September bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as the turning point in the functioning of the financial markets and the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. [2]

But they overlook an Associated Press (AP) report that the unprecedented rise in gas prices has brought a change to the American way of life that even a drop in oil prices below $100/barrel (now below $60) won’t erase.

In July 2008, retail sales fell as shoppers shunned autos and other big-ticket items. In spite of government stimulus payments to U.S. households retail sales dipped 0.1 percent when a variety of economic woes including skyrocketing gas prices combined to blunt America's shopping habits—habits which wreak havoc on the environment.

Why is the ANWR in this picture?

Skyrocketing gas prices and $142 for a barrel of oil was the price it took for Americans to cry “uncle” and give up their last Arctic Wilderness. It was long gas lines in 1973 (the Oil Embargo) when Americans authorized the 800 miles of Trans-Alaska Pipeline through some of the most pristine country in Alaska.

Putting aside common sense and the environmental alternatives, drilling to reduce the price and our dependence on foreign oil ignored the published estimates of the impacts of new oil from the ANWR.

The oil companies and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy, estimate that new oil from ANWR could lower the world price of oil by a minimum of  .44 cents and as much as a $1.44 per barrel but, that won’t take effect for 20 years. As far as reducing our dependence on foreign oil: The EIA projection for oil production in the ANWR is 0.4 to 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030.

Nevertheless on August 14, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled her willingness to consider opening up more coastal areas to oil and gas exploration. Just weeks before, Pelosi was resolved to block any votes to allow offshore drilling.

And then the most extraordinary thing happened, oil dropped by $45 a barrel and gasoline by a dollar a gallon.

Is that possible? Just because we agreed to consider more drilling!

Unlikely – Five dollar a gallon gasoline was required to get Americans to give up their last arctic wilderness, once Pelosi agreed to drill the price had to come down.. and fast because Americans were beginning to realize they can live comfortable lives without all that useless toxic stuff from China. In other words they weren’t trashing the planet by going to the mall. 

And later when gasoline fell to 2.03 a gallon it wasn’t enough to fool anyone into thinking the “economy” is back to normal. Bank failures, home foreclosures, high unemployment and the experts like Warren Buffett predicting major disruptions in financial markets put the final nail in the “economy” and the shoppers coffin.

 

It appears the price of gasoline stayed high too long and apparently has produced the worst-case scenario for the select group of people who raised the price of gasoline to almost $5.00/gallon to get Americans to give up their last Arctic wilderness while continuing to trash the planet shopping at the mall. The question is Why?

 

Consider this, our last president Bush wasn’t “stupid” if his goal was Ecocide.

All too often we see the result of failed public policies, government actions and inactions, and conclude the leadership is inept, corrupt, arrogant or just “stupid.”

 

Some thought drilling in the ANWR was about profits and a gift by Bush to his buddies in the oil business. However that explanation ignores that oil companies have 70 million “offshore acre leases” remaining out of a total 90 million. 

 

George W. Bush isn’t stupid if he wasn’t joking when at the G8 summit, he said, "Goodbye, from the (then) world's biggest polluter.”

 

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, will trash America’s last arctic wilderness.

 

Sonar testing is about torturing whales and dolphins, and the border fence that keeps everything out but the illegals is disrupting an extraordinary source of biological diversity along a 2,000-mile-long region that includes deserts, mangrove forests, plains, mountains, river valleys and wetlands.

 

Thanks to $5.00 a gallon gasoline, the group of people who were betting on trashing the planet by drilling in the ANWR and keep the public shopping for billions of dollars of useless, non-recyclable consumer goods appear to be losing.

As the AP press said, “Americans have changed; being frugal is the thing.” And that makes winners of the rest of us, for now.

I highly recommend the 20-minute documentary at www.storyofstuff.com that lays this out so clearly that even a child could understand. And it shows us that the path to saving the planet is no more complicated than controlling our addiction to all that "stuff."

[1] October Crashes, Black Monday 10/28/1929, Black Monday 10/18/1987, Soviet Union Black Friday 10/18/1991 and Black Tuesday 10/29/2008

[2] In September 2008, when the Obama campaign seemed to be slumping and their candidate’s long-standing lead in the polls had evaporated, the senator’s supporters openly worried that a potential victory might be slipping away. Then providence joined the campaign: the failure of the giant investment bank Lehman Brothers followed by a global financial meltdown.  The October Stock Market Crash guaranteed McCain/Palin who still received 45.7% of the popular vote would not be going to the White House. Article by Robert Singer written on October 24, 2008 “Why Barack Obama will be the Next President of the United States...By a Landslide” (Electoral), Governor Palin, aka Hockey Mom, is the insurance policy for an Obama win. The worst financial crisis (October 29) since the 1930s Great Depression is the guarantee that Barack Obama, an unknown senator four years ago, will be elected president of the United States...by a landslide.

By Robert Singer

Robert Singer is an Entrepreneur and the author of a forthcoming book on the Federal Reserve. His articles cover politics and the financial and environmental implications of our consumer society.  The articles have been main headlined and can be found on numerous popular websites: Marketoracle, Silverseek, Goldseek, Daylife, LAprogressive, Canadafreepress, Opednews, Daily.pk and many of the Wordpress sites. Richard Daughty, The Mogambo Guru, proclaimed him a Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR)

Dem Bones is Connected To De Debt Bone by Robert Singer, an analysis of the Federal Reserve, can be found on numerous popular websites including G. Edward Griffin’s Unfiltered News. Edward Griffin is the author of,the definitive work on the Federal Reserve, The Creature from Jekyll Island.

Meat, Milk and Motors: The New China Syndrome by Robert Singer, an essay about China first released in February 2009 has been widely posted and read on the Internet. Quotes from the article can be found in The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and the essay was the Top World Story on the Pakistan Daily website for over a week.

© 2009 Copyright Robert Singer - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Robert Singer Archive

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Catching a Falling Financial Knife