Category Archives: Wealth

Blood For Oil Gone Awry

iraqioil
Iraqi Oil, American Blood
Isn't this the sorriest of outcomes with the loss of American blood and treasure in Iraq—to be scooped by the yen-manipulating Chinese and the increasingly belligerent Islamic Turks? Can someone tell us how much oil are we now getting from Iraq? Word is China has also bought into the Alberta Oil Sands, a major supply to the US, while the libs scream for a boycott of Canadian "dirty" oil..

Fred Kagan writes in No Blood For Oil:

One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people, and in lowering the price of gasoline for American citizens, would have been all for it. Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condi Rice asking her "to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq." The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China.

Go figure...

CNOOC Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp. has partnered with the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) to win a contract with Iraq to develop the lucrative Missan oil-field in southern Iraq, marking CNOOC's first upstream access to Iraqi oil following its two major rivals, CNPC and Sinopec.

According to CNOOC, the 20-year contract includes an increase of Missan's production capacity to 450,000 barrels per day from the current 100,000 barrels a day within six years. CNOOC has agreed to price every additional barrel of oil produced after capacity rises by 10 percent at US$ 2.30.

CNOOC will be the operator and hold 63.75 percent of the interest. TPAO will have 11.25 percent interest while an Iraqi drilling company will hold the remaining 25 percent....

The other two major Chinese oil companies, CNPC and Sinopec, have also gained a foothold in the Iraqi oil industry. In November 2008, CNPC and China North Industries Corp. set up a joint venture and signed a 20-year development contract for Al-Ahdab Oilfield....

Big Oil's Long Goodbye To The Dollar

In an article by Robert Fisk published in THE INDEPENDENT, the crisis of the American dollar in oil dealings is explained a little deeper than was known the last time we visited this topic. More former allies have agreed to leave the dollar, thus hastening its demise.

china-rise-of-a-superpower
Rise Of A Superpower

IN THE MOST PROFOUND financial shift in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning—along with China, Russia, Japan and France—to end all dollar purchases for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place—although they have not discovered the details—are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China's former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil—yet again turning the region's conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.

dollarbroke
Can't Print Enough To Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

The decline of American economic power linked to the current global recession was implicitly acknowledged by the World Bank president Robert Zoellick. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," he said in Istanbul ahead of meetings this week of the IMF and World Bank. But it is China's extraordinary new financial power—along with past anger among oil-producing and oil-consuming nations at America's power to interfere in the international financial system—which has prompted the latest discussions involving the Gulf states. After a while, familiarity breeds contempt, and thus allegiances tend to change. And we are seeing that sort of thing here.

Read it all.

But here is a more sober take from a poster whose handle is Solomon2, posting on Debbie Schussel's blog covering the same story within the context of a book review. This leveled advice smiles upon the survival of dollar, but cautions that all is not well. Read on...

It is possible for these parties to destroy the dollar, but by doing so they would sacrifice a great deal of their own wealth (in dollar-denominated assets) and future income (because of the worldwide depression caused by such a crash.)

After WWII the U.S. accounted for 50% of the world’s GNP. Thus there was really little alternative to using the dollar—that the British pound held its own for two more decades can be attributed to the economic influence of its fading Empire. Now the U.S. represents under 30% of world GNP and is no longer the world leader in providing capital, so it makes sense to revive the 1970s mechanism of the SDR for capital growth. Eventually the dollar will come down and manufacturing revive compared to the financial and services sector. It’s all quite natural—though we will have to get used to the fact that we cannot enjoy the benefits of great seignorage much longer.

Turning Oil Into Salt

Found this online, fitting enough for the thought of the day...

Fire From The Mouth of the Dragon
Fire From The Mouth of the Dragon

Early in our country's history, in response to the Barbary pirates, the halls of Congress were filled with Congressmen shouting "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute!" How things have changed! Now it is "Billions for jizya, not a penny for self-respect!"

But just as the afternoon follows the morning, here is an even more profound and rewarding find called Turning Oil Into Salt:

One hundred and fifty years after the discovery of oil in the U.S. gave rise to the global oil industry, two of America’s leading energy security experts present a compelling plan to diminish the strategic value of oil through competition, fuel choice, removal of trade barriers on alternative fuels and other domestic and international free-market-based solutions.

In their provocative book Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice, Gal Luft and Anne Korin, co-directors of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and co-founders of the Set America Free Coalition, argue that energy independence is not a function of the amount of oil we consume or import; it's about turning oil from a strategic commodity second to none (as salt once was) to just another commodity (as salt is today.)

As the sole means of food preservation, salt once determined the course of world affairs. Technology—canning and refrigeration—stripped salt of its strategic status turning it into just another commodity, something to be bought and sold that no longer has geopolitical importance. Turning Oil into Salt describes how we can do the same to oil, whose strategic status stems from its virtual monopoly over transportation fuel. The book addresses the following questions:

  • Why can't we drill or conserve our way to independence?
  • How are China, Brazil, and Iran leapfrogging to energy independence and leaving America behind?
  • Why do competition and the free market—rather than Soviet style central planning—hold the key to independence?
  • How can we bring down the cost of batteries?
  • Ethanol: scam or panacea?
  • How can we run our cars on CO2?
  • What will be the strategic energy commodities of the post-oil era?

Have I just stepped into a large steaming pil eof liberal largesse? I frankly don't know. The propagandists still hold sway on both ends of the spectrum. Boom or bust. Info, it's the key. To order click HERE.

"The Bible for everyone who is serious about energy and national security. A seminal work." Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser

"A small masterpiece—right on the money both strategically and technically, witty, far-sighted, and barbeques a number of sacred cows. Absolutely do not miss this." R. James Woolsey, former CIA Director

China Continues To Leverage Resources

mining-boom-2013
China Buying Up World Resources...

SHANGHAI—bustling Chinese companies have been on a shopping spree in the past month, snapping up tens of billions of dollars' worth of key assets in Iran, Brazil, Russia, Venezuela, Australia and France in a global fire sale set off by the financial crisis.

The deals have allowed China to lock up supplies of oil, minerals, metals and other strategic natural resources it needs to continue to fuel its growth. The sheer scope of the agreements marks a shift in global finance, roiling energy markets and feeding worries about the future availability and prices of those commodities in other countries that compete for them, including the United States.

Just a few months ago, many countries were greeting such overtures from China with suspicion. Today, as corporations and banks in other parts of the world find themselves reluctant or unable to give out money to distressed companies, cash-rich China has become a major force driving new lending and investment.

On Feb. 12, China's state-owned metals giant Chinalco signed a $19.5 billion deal with Australia's Rio Tinto that will eventually double its stake in the world's second-largest mining company.

Nn three other cases, China has used loans as a way of securing energy supplies. On Feb. 17 and 18, China National Petroleum signed separate agreements with Russia and Venezuela under which China would provide $25 billion and $4 billion in loans, respectively, in exchange for long-term commitments to supply oil. And on Feb. 19, the China Development Bank struck a similar deal with Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, agreeing to a loan of $10 billion in exchange for oil.

On Saturday, Iran announced that it had signed a $3.2 billion agreement with a Chinese consortium to develop an area beneath the Persian Gulf seabed that is believed to hold about 8 percent of the world's reserves of natural gas.

Even as global financial flows have slowed sharply overall, China has dramatically stepped up its outbound investment. In 2008, its overseas mergers and acquisitions were worth $52.1 billion—a record, according to the research firm Dealogic. In January and February of this year, Chinese companies invested $16.3 billion abroad, meaning that if the pace holds, the total for 2009 could be nearly double last year's.

Worldwide, the value of mergers and acquisitions transactions so far this year has dropped 35 percent to $384 billion. By comparison, the United States had $186.2 billion in outbound mergers and acquisitions in 2008 and Japan had $74.3 billion.

China's state-run media outlets are calling the acquisition spree an opportunity that comes once in a hundred years, and analysts are drawing parallels to 1980s Japan.

"That China started investing or acquiring some overseas mineral resources companies with relatively low prices during the global economic crisis is quite a normal practice. Japan did the same thing in its prime development period, too," said Xu Xiangchun, consulting director for Mysteel.com, a market research and analysis firm.

It's not just Chinese corporations that are taking advantage of the economic crisis to help others while helping themselves.

The Chinese government also has come to the rescue of ailing countries, such as Jamaica and Pakistan, that it wants as allies, extending generous loans. Even Chinese consumers are taking their money abroad. In a shopping trip last month organized by an online real estate brokerage, a group of 50 individual investors from China traveled to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to purchase homes at prices that have crashed since the subprime crisis.

Read it all.

Citizen Outburst #855

WHO SAYS THE CHEAP JUNK is cheap for America? This junk is horrid for our economic infrastructure, writes someone I'll just call Citizen. The textile workers all across the south lost their jobs while the fat cats took their business to China, Mexico, and elsewhere for their cheap goods to be sold back here in America.

Take a look at the teen shops for clothing, those $25.00 blouses are absolute junk. When washed tiny holes show up, buttons are gone, why? the weaving is very poor quality and it falls apart. Examine other foreign-made products that fall apart. Contemplate cars fleshed out with aluminum and plastic instead of US Steel.

Chevelle69
1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Last week I had a 3-mile an hour bump with a wall, creating extensive damage including the tie rod and such. By contrast, back in 1985 I survived a crash I had in a 1969 Chevy. The front wheel came off, and the car flipped five times; I was going 60 miles an hour. This automobile held together. I was not hurt and the car sustained minor damage. All of the products are being done cheap and cheaper but we are beginning to pay high costs for it, including skyrocketing insurance premiums, et cetera.

Folks. It is time for America to look out for America.

It is time for CEOs and other top executives to take pay cuts; investors' return should return to reasonable dividends instead of millions for pennies of investment. We can bring America back to it's feet again, but for now AMERICANS NEED TO GET ON THEIR KNEES TO GOD AND BE SORRY FOR ALL THE GREED, SELFISH, AND CRAZY "ME ME ME" BEHAVIOR FROM THIS APPROPRIATELY NAMED ME GENERATION.

Whatever happened to neighborhoods having block parties to exchange clothing and such with their neighbors, instead of this ugly garage sales? Face it, America is in trouble due to selfish greed.

Uh, thanks for the input Citizen, but I am left utterly speechless. There seems to be something missing here, I'm just not sure what. What about the rogue wheel of that American-made Chevrolet?

Why America, Why?

The fine line between the nanny state hypothesis of the Left and the police state of the Right was drawn even fuzzier today. The Big Round-up appears closer than ever. But to some of us, this is no surprise. Clinging to the last shreds of constitutional glory left to us by this modern state, we tremble even as this shred is melting away from our clutches with every despicable new sway of the three branches representing "we the people" not so much by the book as off the books, preparing this century for the lures of warfare, chaos, much bloodshed and weeping.

fema-camp-soldier-dog-fence
Prepared For The Worst

POLICE STATE ALERT—Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., has introduced to the House of Representatives a new bill, H.R. 645, calling for the secretary of homeland security to establish no fewer than six national emergency centers for corralling civilians on military installations.

The proposed bill, which has received little mainstream media attention, appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.

Heed the warning of a former Hitler Youth who sees America on the same path as pre-Nazi Germany in "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" by Hilmer Von Campe.

The bill also appears to expand the president's emergency power, much as the executive order signed by President Bush on May 9, 2007, that gave the president the authority to declare an emergency and take over the direction of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments without even consulting Congress.

World News Daily has also reported that DHS has awarded a $385 million contract to Houston-based KBR, Halliburton's former engineering and construction subsidiary, to build temporary detention centers on an "as-needed" basis in national emergency situations.

According to the text of the proposed bill, the purpose of the National Emergency Centers is "to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster." Three additional purposes are specified in the text of the proposed legislation:

  • To provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of federal, state and local first responders;
  • To provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response and recovery efforts of government, private, not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations;
  • To meet other appropriate needs, as defined by the secretary of homeland security.

The broad specifications of the bill's language, however, contribute to concern that the "national emergency" purpose could be utilized by the secretary of homeland security to include any kind of situation the government wants to contain or otherwise control.

Rep. Hastings created controversy during the 2008 presidential campaign with his provocative comments concerning Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. "If Sarah Palin isn't enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention," Hastings said, as reported by ABC News. "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through."

H.R. 645, which seeks to allocate $360 million for developing the emergency centers, has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and to the Committee on Armed Services.

You're Speaking My Language, Tony B

tony blankley
Tony Blankley
WITH THE OH SO HISTORIC INAUGARATION now just a week away, many Americans—fearful about the economy and uncertain about the future—are desperately pinning their hopes on Barack Obama and his "historic new New Deal."

But hopeful rhetoric, new programs with massive price tags, massive cuts to military budgets, and "green investments" are not the solution, says bestselling author and syndicated columnist Tony Blankley. The solution lies in us; the solution lies in American Grit.

American Grit, Blankley's controversial new book, calls for a bold new nationalism—based on hard work, sacrifice, and policies that put America first—to tackle the global and domestic challenges facing our nation. Blankley warns that Obama's socialist and environmentally sensitive agenda will weaken our embattled nation and invite new threats to America's economic and national security. Instead, Blankley prescribes his own compelling plan, calling upon the U.S. to implement:

  • A universal military draft to instill the unity, toughness, and cultural purpose lacking in America
  • An energy security policy where we become oil exporters and expand our diplomatic and economic options in the Middle East and around the world
  • A proactive, real-world communications strategy that showcases America as the true defender of freedom and opportunity
  • A new attitude that accepts the duties of citizenship instead of simply demanding more "rights" and "hand outs."

Yes, it's that simple. And with all due respect to Mr. Blankley, I prefer to call this a radical centrist approach to fixing America. Thanks Mr. Blankley for your contribution to this vital reckoning of our times. America definitely needs to toughen up, or those who are tough (Russia, China, Middle East, Israel) will soon enslave the weak and despondent self-obsessed people we have become.