Tuesday :: Feb 22, 2005

Oil's Sell That Spends Well

by pessimist

George Soros is a man who knows a couple of things about money. After all, he's got a little bit more of it than you or I do. So I would tend to listen to him when he has something to say about it - like this:

Oil Exporters Behind Weak Dollar-Soros

Moves by Middle East oil exporters and Russia to switch some revenue from dollars to euros lie behind the U.S. currency's weakness, and a further rise in crude prices could prompt more declines, the billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday.

Soros told delegates to the Jeddah Economic Forum that the dollar's fall should help to lower the U.S current account and trade deficits, but warned that a fall beyond an undisclosed "tipping point" would severely disrupt markets.

"The oil exporting countries' central banks ... have been switching out of dollars mainly into euros and Russia also plays an important role in this. That is, I think, at the bottom of the current weakness of the dollar," Soros said. "The higher the price of oil the more the dollars there are to be switched to euro (so) the strength of oil will reinforce the weakness of the dollar," he said. "That is only one factor, but I think there is such a relationship."

That, however, isn't the only way that the dollar can be weakened. Something stupid like this might also have that effect:

Scott Ritter says US attack on Iran planned for June

The principal theme of Scott Ritter's talk was Americans’ duty to protect the U.S. Constitution by taking action to bring an end to the illegal war in Iraq. But in passing, the former UNSCOM weapons inspector stunned his listeners with two pronouncements. Ritter said plans for a June attack on Iran have been submitted to President George W. Bush, and that the president has approved them.

Scott Ritter said that although the peace movement failed to stop the war in Iraq, it had a chance to stop the expansion of the war to other nations like Iran and Syria. He held up the specter of a day when the Iraq war might be remembered as a relatively minor event that preceded an even greater conflagration.

He also asserted that knowledgeable sources say U.S. officials "cooked" the results of the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq. Ritter said that U.S. authorities in Iraq had manipulated the results in order to reduce the percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi Alliance from 56% to 48%.

Red State Man Speak With Fork-ed Tongue

Certainly, anyone who has paid attention to the acts of King George Warmonger over the last few years wouldn't trust him to do anything else! Cook the votes and then go to war - what are we going to do after breakfast, Laura?

Trust would certainly be on the mind of anyone King George has targeted for special attention - someone like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez comes to mind:

Chavez to suspend oil exports to US in case of assassination attempt

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to suspend oil exports to the United States if someone tries to assassinate him, adding that US President George W. Bush would be to blame. "If they kill me, there will be a really guilty party on this planet whose name is the president of the United States, George Bush," Chavez said on his weekly radio program, "Hello, Mr. President."

Chavez said he was convinced that Washington was "sketching out the assassination plans" before his Bolivarian Revolution advances in Venezuela and Latin America.

"I will not hide. I am going to be in the streets with you. I entrust myself to God, but I know that I have been condemned to die," Chavez said. "Each second of my life I will spend in the struggle and God's will be done," he said. "If, by the hand of the devil, those perverse plans succeed ... forget about Venezuelan oil, Mr. Bush," he said.

Venezuela is the only Latin American member of the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries, and sells about 1.5 million barrels daily to the United States, nearly as much as Saudi Arabia.

That loss would certainly put a dent in your gas budget, wouldn't it?

Chavez isn't the only one defying the will of the Warmonger - French President Jacques Chirac is as well:

Chirac defies Bush on China arms

US President George W Bush has voiced "deep concern" about European plans to lift an arms embargo on China - putting him at odds with the French president. "There is deep concern in our country that a transfer of weapons would be a transfer of technology to China," Mr Bush said. Earlier, Mr Bush warned that arms transfers to Beijing would "change the balance" of China-Taiwan relations. The Pentagon is worried that at some point it might be called upon to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack.

Jacques Chirac said [the embargo] was "no longer justified" but Europe and the US should agree on conditions for lifting it.

There is yet another European who isn't about to kow-tow to the Wrong-Call Texan:

Russian media have questioned remarks made by Mr Bush in Brussels, where he said that if Russia was to make progress as a European nation, it must renew its commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Mr Putin himself told Slovak media that democracy had to be "adapted to the realities of Russian life today, to our traditions and our history. And we will do this ourselves," he said in the interview reported on Tuesday.

This becomes important to my original premise when one remembers a few of things: China holds a large part of our national debt. China is a major beneficiary of a favorable (to them) balance of trade. China is in the oil market big time, and Russia has just concluded a deal through which China would buy oil from Russia. China being a military opponent of US aims in East Asia [A tip of the Titanium Tam O'Shanter to Clark Bruce] (read: Taiwan) would benefit from the purchase of advanced weapons from Europe - which just happens to supply much of our military's needs as well.

But the argument against technology transfers is bogus when one remembers that the US gave a lot of missile and satelite technology to China a few years back. Such technology doesn't require a whole lot of change when converting from peaceful to warlike uses. We can rest assured that the Chinese are up to that particular challenge, especially as they cracked the Secure Hashing Algorithm 1.

If I was to say, I'd say that particular horse already got out of that barn there, Tex!

All of these factors will work against the dollar's value - and hasten the time when the dollar isn't favored for international exchanges.

What will King George have to tell us then?

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pessimist :: 1:33 PM :: Comments (21) :: Digg It!