Peak Oil And Peak Debt
By: Andrew McKillop
May 18, 2010
DID HIGH PRICED OIL CAUSE THE CRISIS ?
Attempts are made to try out this argument, in a few diehard neoliberal New Economy circles, for example tracing problems reducing the USA’s extreme high, but falling trade deficit, to “stubbornly high” oil prices. Whenever mass unemployment, recession and devaluing the dollar to cut import demand and sell more US products overseas does not work, the handy culprit is high priced oil. Put another way, if US oil imports cost nothing, the trade deficit would be a lot smaller, but the same applies to overseas purchases of US exports like Microsoft Windows or Apple iPhones – if they were given away, importing them would be cheap and easy.
To be sure, the fact-free one-liners and soundbytes from defenders of the only way to run the economy wheel the shadow of 1970s Oil Shocks on stage – high priced oil was the sole reason for massive inflation and devaluation of the dollar, at the time, according to New Economy myth. More likely than these mercantilist strivings, seeking to bolster the money with always-in-surplus trade accounts, high priced oil through 2004-2007 drove the global economy and world trade to record high growth rates, in a process I call Petro Keynesian Growth.
This is recognized since around 2006 in multiple studies published by the IMF and US Federal Reserve Banks (for example the Reserve Bank of New York) which underline that windfall gains to oil and commodity exporters are recycled to the global economy almost completely in the year they accrue, totally unlike the 1970s case of “unrecycled” petrodollars. These studies go on to point out the USA is now the principal beneficiary of recycled petrodollars in the OECD: not only does it get a large slice of its own oil trade deficit dollars back, but also gets recycled petrodollars, and recycled petroeuros or petroyen from other big oil importer countries. To be sure there is a downside, investors recycling petrodollars want performance. They move them elsewhere, very fast, when performance shrinks as the economy slumps into recession.
DEBT, DEBT AND DEFICITS