The Pharaoh will Fall, Oil will Climb, and Wall Street will Win
Feb 1, 2011
Yesterday, oil broke through the $100 mark for the first time since 2008 due to the populist uprising in Arab nations, indicating it’s well on its way to new heights. Many financial insiders have predicted oil will go to $150 per barrel and beyond this year. But if $100/bbl was not odd enough given the stagnant (at best) economic environment, what could possibly make it jump another 50%?
The dollar won’t drop that significantly over the next year, will it? If it does, calls to drop the petro-dollar as the reserve currency will likely turn to reality. And surely the global economy is not expected to grow fast enough to warrant a 50% jump for the lifeblood of civilization. It seems clear that demand for oil will stay relatively flat, so only a catastrophic supply problem would justify these increases.
Enter the new supply problem. A stunning wave of populist protests has swept through Egypt who control the ultra-important Suez Canal. The Egyptian revolution is displaying powerful solidarity in their struggle to oust longtime autocrat Pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak, for corruption and economic suppression. And it’s beginning to look as though Mubarak will eventually be forced out and new leadership will be throned to appease the masses.
However, the uprising is expanding, and is likely to spread deeper into the psyche of the eternally oppressed around the world. The outcome of this tsunami of activism is uncertain, but stormy waves means it issurf’s up for Wall Street. The civil unrest gives them the perfect excuse to justify what can only be described as outright fraud and manipulation of the oil markets.
Bloomberg reported in 2009 that Citigroup, JP Morgan, and other “Traders” were leasing and buying oil tankers, parking them idle in the ocean, while simultaneously driving up oil futures through their brokerages. In fact, it was actually difficult to get oil when it was cheap because of this hoarding. Meanwhile, prices jumped from the low $40s to over $70 per barrel is just a few months. The near doubling of prices in the summer of 2009 caused Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to introduce legislation to crack down on oil speculation.