Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Ambiguity is that uncomfortable realm which we all squirm to evade in search of clarity and determination. We generally seek to reduce the preponderance of variables along the road ahead, in hope of increasing predictability. The future becomes more absolute and apparently a majority of us feel safer when uncertainty has been erased from subsequent eventualities. Through skillfully crafted and effectively delivered rhetoric, Obama has moved the masses to support, as well as find comfort in pragmatic ambiguity.

Somehow, the collisions in this oxymoron have slid into acceptance with little reaction. While we’re saliently aware that masses can be manipulated through anger and absolutism, they can also be moved by the well packaged and deftly delivered absolute ambiguity. Delivery is critical, since we also tend to readily accept what we can rapidly comprehend.

In his drive to appeal to everyman Obama has made emphatic non-statements and delivered ad hominems that have resonated with our emotions and even invoked the melodramatic. The provocation of reason has purposefully been omitted. His political record in Illinois is void of any evidence of what he has stood for. He evidently refrained from voting so as to not offend anyone in preparation for future political endeavors. This omission from his record doesn’t mean he is not principled, but it does seriously indicate a lack of evident direction. His votes might have also demonstrated some particular principals and leanings.

Six months ago Obama’s only emphatic statements were that he represented change and hope. He would get out of Iraq. He now makes statements about getting out of Iraq with more planning than we went in. No kidding? What a decisive commitment to make to the American people whose backs are breaking from its cost burden. It is easy for him to point a finger at McCain and Clinton for having voted in favor of the war when he wasn’t around to lend a voice. We can only assume, if his record is any indication, that he would have voted “present.”

Much is written about this election and the candidates, from the astronomical billion dollars being spent on campaigning to the vague bromides on taxes, or refunds, or not. There is however, a dearth of absolutes on Obama and about all we can put our collective finger on is his ambiguity on all fronts. Obama’s ardent supporters are demonstrating the intolerance of absolutists. In such environment there is little room for adverse opinions or dissent. On the other hand, even with our natural tendency toward its intolerance, it is difficult to reason or debate the ambiguous, and virtually impossible to debate with pragmatic ambiguity.

Although Obama appears eloquent and intellectually capable, there is also much evidence of indecision.

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Monday, June 23, 2008


Forty years ago, television images of semi-naked and starving children in poverty-trapped nations were broadcast to solicit financial donations for aid to feed the hungry. Two generations later, almost identical videos make us aware that the hunger not only persists, there are now hundreds of millions more who need feeding. Donations are needed. The Bono, Angelina and Madonna led save-Africa chorus appears perplexed and split between adopting/feeding and punishing. The confusion results in more of the same without amelioration.

Africa is rich in natural resources from which resurrection can be launched, however the overwhelming problem lies in the nature of the exploitation of such resources. Foreign corporations and investors make deals with whoever controls the guns, sharing the wealth with an elite powerful few, thereby strengthening and entrenching dictatorships and autocratic governments, or failed corrupt democracies. These rulers, their families, friends and military supporters are enriched with guarantees of wealth in foreign accounts that they can run to in the event of inevitable regime change. The vast impoverished populations of these countries are left to squeeze their soil for a meager existence while education, family planning, and good health remain vague concepts. The vicious cycle of poverty, violence, and lawlessness on the streets pursues a recursive loop.

In the meantime we continue to receive the message that if only we can send two dollars a day, a child’s life will become fulfilled with prospects of nourishment and education. Problem solved.

Some prescribe to the Chinese non-colonialist, and non-interventionist, no-strings-attached, type of investments as more reasonable approaches to the exploitation of Africa's natural resources. This of course assumes the West made deals with strings attached. It didn’t. Not the real deals. Only aid has self-serving and face saving strings attached. Exploitation of natural resources had no such imposition of humanitarian preconditions. This has been a gross misrepresentation of facts by government and UN representatives, as well as the Western media.

The right approach is for the private sector, in conjunction with the federal government and even with some of the UN auspices, to establish broader perspectives when addressing a country for its natural resources. This requires contractually committing to financing the infrastructure that will bring about positive change to a society while its natural resources are taken out of the ground. Even a deal with a dictator should include the building of schools to enhance the human capital, as well as hospitals, roads and other physical capital, with funds separated out at the source and segregated as national trusts.

Such deals should be made in very public ways, placing pressure on all parties involved so that the population of each country is enjoined of the deals, and is made aware of the process. The population also becomes knowledgeable of the structure governing the exploitation of the resources and commodities it owns. Local and initially some international oversight and accountability would reduce corruption and pillaging. This also enjoins the people in the process and knowledge of the benefits that the people can expect to accrue from such exploitation of their gifts from nature.

Back room deals between dictators and executives with little vision or care for long term consequences of their actions will only lead to more of the misery we have all been witnessing. It is not easy to make a deal with a well-entrenched dictator, however where there’s a will there’s a way, and using the media to maintain the tenor of any negotiation should be fair game. Such approach will also require an attitude different from the historically self-serving deal making methodologies that have been served up as the only way to do business. The resource curse needs eradication. Only then will the wall isolating the sub-Saharan Africa population from the world economies begin to dissolve. Their countries will become healthy cogs in the global community, participating in world markets.

It all begins with corporate executive resolve. Cynicism and narcissistic greed needs to be uprooted from its concentration on immediacy, and replaced with some wisdom giving attention to the long-term sustainability of all humanity. OK, so maybe we just need to be a little less human, and think and act outside the box. We’re all in this together and collectively beneficial solutions are the only ones that will work.

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Friday, June 20, 2008


The U.S. housing market is mired knee-deep in that stressful muck called recession. Homeowners have historically enjoyed hearing the word inflation, since it usually resulted in a rising value of homes. As the value of homes rose, so did their principal asset. On the way to that utopia, homes became viewed as an investment, rather than an expense. They became perceived as valuable repositories of equity rather than goods of consumption. That perception has to change.

It has been a well-crafted marketing campaign of the past sixty years that instilled in the North American psyche, the notion that owning a home was the ultimate dream. The fact that almost no one could afford the price of a home didn’t matter. Twenty-five or thirty year mortgages were financing vehicles created to make you believe you could own a home. The fact that ninety percent of your monthly payments were covering interest on your loan and the bank was your landlord didn’t seem to matter. The magic was in this thing called inflation. While you slept, your home would go up in value. You were getting rich as you rested.

The promotional financing boondoggle that really found broad footing through the past decade was the PR exercise that suggested all this equity shouldn’t lay dormant. This free newfound wealth should be put to use, for your own good and for the good of the economy. Whose economy, … well never mind, but go out and purchase a new giant flat-screen TV and exotic sound system, and wouldn’t you rather bring it all home in a new SUV? So swing by the auto dealer on your way out and do your patriotic duty. Your kids will love you for it and won’t football games look so much better in digital. Come on, who doesn’t have a home theater?

All financial institutions, big and small, flooded all media to affect consciousness. Your house wasn’t your home, it was your piggy bank. A minor increase in monthly payments was a minimal price to pay compared to the tens, if not hundreds of thousands you could get your hands on. The best part was that inflation would keep your piggy bank growing, and you would be able to go back for more. There was a sale on truck-sized barbecues, and the one with your name on it was emanating a siren’s song. Thank you inflation.

Now inflation is growing, however it is no longer our friend since the fast rising price of goods is strangling us, and we still have to make rising mortgage payments. North America has just borrowed too much. Deflation wouldn’t help either since that would only mean continued downward pressure on the value of what has become our principal asset but is really our overwhelming debt. The FBI is chasing a few lenders, brokers, real estate agents and appraisers to bring some straggling scapegoats to slaughter for recent mortgage frauds. Good luck to the investigators, but don’t hold your breath on any fixes.

There is an urgent need for another shift in consciousness. It is time to view a house as an expense. That perception will adjust our relationship with what is for most of us the biggest expense we incur. It might also lead us to treat it with more respect than the statistics indicate we have done as we saddled our homes with historically record high debt. If your home is an asset, it is not a piggy bank, and it is to be protected from all predatory lenders, including that giant bank you think is your friend.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The man who might have held the top position on any Potential President list eight years ago, today delivers lectures on leadership. Had he attended such a lecture in 2003, he might today be introduced as the leader of the Republican Party, and a shoe-in for the White House. His current cat-and-mouse replies to questions on who will receive his vote in the coming election isn’t the difficult choice he suggests it is. His difficult choice was made five years ago.

Few will forget the feeling of disbelief as we watched someone we thought was a great man, being decimated by a sequence of judgment faux pas’s, with the first one performed live in front of a global audience. From there, he went on to co-lead the charge into Iraq as Secretary of State. His credibility was used, and abused. Powell not only allowed it, he participated in its defamation and destruction. Such is not a sign of leadership, but evidence of weakness.

He explains that the intelligence community had verified the flawed intelligence on which his 2003 United Nations presentation was based. Wouldn’t it be more honest to state that he, we, all of us, are provided the confirmations we seek? The more supposedly credible the source of such information the greater the momentum provided to the intelligence presented, and the greater the likelihood a predetermined perception will be achieved. Powell’s “I didn’t know,” is completely disingenuous since it was evident when first aired, that his speech was stilted, unnatural, and most importantly, it was evident from his voice and body language that he felt discomfort with his charade.

Powell’s lectures proffer on a subject he long ago lost any credibility to claim expertise in. He still prevails with the obfuscation of the truth with, “much of the information in the speech turned out to be wrong,” is a fairly typical pass-the-buck excuse. This is not an archetype of leadership when evidently the intelligence agencies that provided input did not agree on the information, and the administration went well beyond or contradicted what was apparently known. Mr. Powell would have better exemplified leadership through resignation. Today he would do leadership more justice if he acknowledged acquiescence, and active participation in one of the most critical and divisive decisions of any Presidency, the cost of which will endure for generations.

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Monday, June 16, 2008


We assume that those who have reached positions of power, or positions of influence greater than ours, must know something we don’t. We also assume that those positions of power cannot or should not be challenged, since perception suggests that an individual who has realized high office, or has accumulated wealth, knows much more than we do. What universal truths could a farmer, or a truck mechanic possibly know that the oracle at the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve doesn’t?

The very fact that a person holds the powerful position of Fed Chairman automatically imbues that human being with more knowledge than the rest of us. We assume so, don’t we? Whether his name is Bernanke or Greenspan has little import. Through all media the position is treated with respect, even reverence, and the myth is patronized and further popularized. No need here to revisit the progeny of most assumptions, however, the Fed’s decisions of the past decade have resulted in an economic quagmire traumatizing most Americans that all economists are conflicted over.

With an oil price bubbling to extremes that is leading price surges in most commodities, there is urgent need to bring these spikes under control and back to economically sustainable levels. With the general economy slowing, raising the specter of deflation, the Fed is sounding the alarm of inflation. Does this really mean that the Fed is now cheerleading the chimerical utopia of inflation, since it would be preferable to deflation? Does saying it, make it so? Can we expect the printing presses to continue unabated spinning more dollars in answer to the overwhelming debt, which seem to be the Fed’s universal undisciplined answer to economic problems? Are we witnessing an international PR promotion for preemptive increases in the dollar’s value matched by an upward crank on the interest rates? Would this not be a jibe on the demand for China to allow its currency to float and appreciate against the dollar?

With home prices sinking, Americans’ biggest asset depositories are shrinking in value, countering the inflation calculations. Most Americans believe the economy is in a recession. Raising interest rates will hardly be helpful. What will it take for some truth and effective leadership to emerge from the Fed or Treasury? What will it take for a return to a strong and stable currency?

I have discussed in a past article the absolute necessity for the next President to get a firm and confident grip on inflation’s realities. Only then can sound economic strategies emanate from the Oval office. Making no assumptions on leadership expertise, including the Fed’s will also be an expectation of the new President. This is a call for leadership. In the meantime, save your pennies before they are pulled out of circulation from lack of value.

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Friday, June 13, 2008


With the Presidential election heating up, America’s taxpayers are demanding solutions to their rapidly growing financial discomfort. Most are struggling to address an onslaught on their shrinking dollars from all fronts. The housing slump, layered with astronomical oil prices and rapidly rising food costs, are building a wall of confusion that most economists cannot climb. Relying on supposedly expert council, McCain and Obama are taking very opposing stances to salve taxpayer wounds. Are they doling out short-term painkillers or are they presenting a long-term cure?

Predictably following party lines, McCain is promoting a continuation of Bush tax cuts that have benefited the high incomes, in a warped belief in the trickle down theory, anticipating that pennies will rain on the lower echelons of the economy, which will in turn scurry to wipe the food store shelves bare of Spam. McCain’s advisors should present him a demographic map of the United States laying out incomes so that he understands whom the term middle class encompasses as it applies to America. McCain suggests that he will cut pork barrel spending and reduce government. That is an unlikely reality, since he will do nothing to curtail military spending without which other spending cuts will be meaningless. He should understand that spending reductions will be a necessity on the road to recovery.

Obama, also predictably rhyming with the party song, is calling for tax increases on the Democratic version of the wealthy, those making above $250,000, although he is apparently beginning to ‘skate’ on that, much the way he is now backtracking on getting out of Iraq. One wonders how much Obama can really collect from a few souls making millions and how much impact that can possibly have on the burden that the current administration has placed on America. The fact that the average household income in the U.S. is less than $50,000 (and that’s Household, not individual) seems to make his tax program a wash. OK, so he wants also to eliminate taxes on anyone earning less than $50,000, which should get plenty of votes, but where will the cash come from to fix the current economic challenge? Overall, Obama’s intent is to maintain tax cuts, therefore the net balance will not represent much increase on the revenue side.

Given the running deficit and the size of the debt, neither candidate can continue with Bush type stimulus packages, which would mean borrowing the money and increasing the depth of the well, nor should either print more dollars and reduce the dollar’s value even further. Borrowed stimulus packages are not sustainable. Although both candidates want to energize new industries, such stimulation will have to be carefully, if not creatively structured with the private sector, and depend on it for a majority of any long-term and capital investment, and management. Governments can be useful in leadership and emphasis, but inept and wasteful at execution. Give new industries some impetus then get out of the way.

America allowed its leadership to overspend throughout most of the past decade. Of the two candidates, Obama’s plan at least begins down a path suggesting a little more awareness of current reality. Increasing the treasury revenue is a no choice gambit for the new administration. The follow-up move will be to shave hundreds of billions from the budget.

A skillful financial magician well versed on reality will be required as the cardinal eminence grise advising the Oval office, guiding the country through the most difficult economic challenge since the depression of the 30’s. Neither McCain nor Obama may be experts in economics but both better present some knowledgeable remedies to the financial ills facing the voters lining their path to the White House.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008


As the coming weeks unfold, more ink will be spilt and talking heads will twitch on our screens, with expert opinion on the choice of Vice President for the political upstart making an unprecedented run at the White House. Obama has probably already heard every reason why choosing Hillary Clinton would bring nothing, other than discord, to his Presidency, and the coming days will provide the media’s experts ample time to bore voters with same refrain. The emotional bias against Hillary continues unabated.

Obama’s closest advisors, including his wife, will also join the chorus singing "anybody-but-Hillary". The only ones cheering for an Obama-Clinton ticket are the vast numbers of Hillary’s now despondent supporters. The rest are repeating tired comments such as her representing the antithesis of change and old style backroom politics. This simplistic analysis suggests that politics in America has now changed under Obama because he would never stoop to such retro and underhanded strategy. Somehow this also implies that the hundreds of millions he will have spent to get into the White House, were contributed by hordes of poor people dutifully mailing in their ten dollar donations. It also suggests that they were organized to do so or enticed by altruistic seekers of social and political change rather than calculating backroom powerbrokers manipulating a well oiled political machine.

While Obama’s ego settles into the event of his win, he should waste little time making his decision. That determination should favor Hillary Clinton, by far the most broadly supported, hardest working, and probably most knowledgeable addition to his ticket currently available to him. The wide support she has been able to attract from women voters alone should provide him enough substance for adding her to the ticket. It is also the most direct route to unifying the Democratic Party in one move. No other candidate could do that for him. Such a ticket would make McCain’s prospects of becoming the next President evaporate overnight.

One suspects, however, that the Vice Presidential position is not in Hillary’s best interest, and if she has not already turned it down she probably will. Her future looks brighter as an effective Senator, with her newly minted and invigorated public persona providing impetus to her legislative efforts. That will do, of course, until she gets a nod for the Supreme Court, … from Obama.

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Monday, June 9, 2008


Salvaging as much of her ego as she could this week, Hillary Clinton threw in the towel, almost, and made a speech supporting Barack Obama's candidacy for the Presidency. After long months of blood letting on the campaign trail, the two held a private meeting, intended to foster some ground rules to their supportive relationship. Obama needs Clinton and Clinton needs Obama. She now supports him. Why?

In her resignation/victory speech, Hillary Clinton does not say Obama will be a great President, or Commander in Chief of the armed forces, or lead the country out of the financial mess it’s in, or even that she knows he’ll reconstruct Washington into a diligent overseer of the taxpayer’s interests. She came out in support of the Democratic Party’s new leader. He would likely have done the same thing. Rationalization? All’s fair in politics. It shouldn’t be. If politicians, or most of us for that matter, really meant and believed our own presentations of ourselves, we would more often take a stand. Once Obama crossed the magic threshold for the win, if she really believed the aspersive and admonishing rhetoric with which she littered the campaign trail, Hillary should have thrown in the towel, wished him well, good health, a happy life, thanked her supporters, and gone home.

OK, so that’s a little extreme, but the point is that such action, although it should be the appropriate denouement, would not be personally expedient or financially beneficial for the Clinton family, nor for Hillary personally. So off she goes to help wage battle against McCain, because he’s from a different political party, and McCain can’t help her repay a massive campaign debt quite as well as Obama might. She is doing what everyone would expect of her - get behind her party’s new leader and his bid to win the White House. Funny how what’s expected has also become matter-of-factly anticipated, though under objective light, is hypocritical.

This is not a let’s-all-join-the-battle against an enemy because the country’s wellbeing is endangered, scenario. This is a race for the political power and influence of a particular candidate and that of his financial backers and power brokers. Through the campaign, Clinton was vilified for repackaging herself and returning to the ring to fight another round. Her promises and presentations fell fifty thousand votes short of a win, and now she fights for her own future political power and influence. Securing public office is a game of formulated promises and their effective presentation. Having failed in that effort, her ego now takes the necessary self-preserving action of hypocritically supporting someone she evidently has little respect for. Her career’s health demands it. The rest of us now await new promises.

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Friday, June 6, 2008


Analysis of a constituency’s voting tendencies has created whole industries paying armies of experts who energize the political machines of organizations whether they are chasing control over local government or national office. National power shift in the White House over the past decade and a half has seen voters react against the sitting President rather than for a new candidate. The vacillation is seeing extreme fluctuation in the current race for the White House, even greater than previous elections. The analysis doesn’t need expensive experts.

Bill Clinton’s dalliance in the oval office was so broadly seen as having tarnished the sanctity of the White House and the Presidency, that its impact fuelled by both his political opponents and the media, stimulated powerful widespread reaction. A simple self serving act destroyed Bill Clinton’s effectiveness and all potential of what could have been a very significant Presidency under what could have arguably been the smartest person to have held the office. The balanced budget, the managed national debt, and the generally healthy economy, were not up for debate or consideration. Bill had been personally inappropriate.

In their reactive state, voters scampered for refuge in the decorum and devout religiosity presented by George Bush and his wife. Bush’s claim of being a bipartisan "uniter" fighting against big government was seen as a bonus but was a secondary consideration. The White House would be restored to its historical glory and returned to being the symbol of the inviolability of American forthrightness, respectability, leadership and power. Pride would be restored, and all stains expunged.

With little consideration for economics, and an evidently firm belief in debt, the Bush White House, with devout Congressional support, made dramatic and sweeping decisions that not only brought a cloud over the Presidency and its image, but braced a financial yoke on America that will take generations to unfasten and release. The White House now finds itself with a resident whose popularity has fallen to the lowest ever recorded for a President. American voters, now more concerned about income inequality, loss of purchasing power, social security, and a retrenched appetite for aggressive international policies, are reacting. They are again making a radical shift in the opposite direction akin to a heave of the pendulum even more dramatic than the momentum that elected George W. Bush.

The size of that oscillation has been evidenced in the turnouts for the Democratic primaries. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama effectively campaigned for representation of their party, energizing and pulling some record numbers well beyond anything the Republican party and John McCain could muster.

In the end, with messages of change, reconciliation and hope, Obama pulled significant numbers of particularly young voters which may well provide Democrats a long term allegiance if he delivers on his promises and Democrats capitalize on that support and build on the movement. Nothing in his background indicates that he is capable of delivering, but his message found resonance in a vast majority of an agitated and dissatisfied voting population. Again we are witnessing a radical voter reaction to a sitting President, which is now favoring a candidate presenting a position and attitude very antipathetic to that currently in power.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The promotion of most senior executives to higher office rarely occurs without the individual having been tested by adverse conditions. While it is easy to look good when all winds are blowing in your favor, how one manages under pressure and stress as currents and squalls are applying opposing force, becomes a harbinger of future action and reaction. A relentless and indefatigable Hillary Clinton has tested Barack Obama's abilities under fire. In the final days of the Democratic race, Obama appeared to acquiesce, allowing Hillary to take the momentum advantage.

With Democratic voters almost evenly divided between the two candidates, one would have expected the marginal leader to come out with strong leadership statements on the most critical element of concern to the voters, the economy and foreign affairs. Sound-tough rants about NAFTA are not going to improve taxpayer concerns, nor are they demonstrations of any grasp of the real international trade factors impacting the U.S. The candidates should have become more familiar with the level of integration between America and Canada’s energy economies, as they pertain to oil, natural gas and hydroelectric power.

The shuttling of Democratic Superdelegates over to Obama has been energized more by “bringing an end to the race” than it has been a result of Obama leading a surge. Obama's evident reliance on Clinton’s inability to overcome her dislikability factor has not borne him well. Even if this particular race is over, the polls present disconcerting evidence for anyone anxious for a serious political shift in the White House and deliverance from policies of the past seven years. Obama needs to attract some support from a broader base than he has demonstrated the ability to achieve. He should ignore vengefully idiotic suggestions from the likes of Dick Morris, and he would be well advised to put the egos aside, and invite Hillary aboard as his running mate. With Clinton's support base, particularly in key constituencies and demographic groups, Obama would guarantee himself the White House. The race would be over. Suggestions of Bill’s meddling are vacuous. Bill is busy traveling the world making hundred million dollar deals with his friends, and would not be at the top of invitee list for participation in Obama cabinet meetings.

In a game where flat-lining is as bad as a down trend, Obama needs to convince the voting public that under stress, he can take up the flag and lead a charge with conviction on the most important elements facing the nation. He needs to also arm himself with more homework on economics and foreign affairs. A whole country is anxiously anticipating new leadership to reverse trends, economic and otherwise.

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Monday, June 2, 2008


The events surrounding the Enron fiasco and its lessons appear to have been forgotten by many of us, including Congress. Very intelligent, calculating minds had created complicated financial derivative structures, and cultivated massively leveraged speculation in pursuit of unregulated markets. The teachings, however, were very well understood by some who currently manage vast and rapidly growing pools of capital. Though we may feel very connected to our skyrocketing cost of driving our kids to school, the Enron trials of 2004 have morphed to a faded culpability attributed to reprehensible, greedy or corrupt individuals.

An important part of the resource speculation game is the management of effective PR. The length of the game and the extent of the proceeds, are directly proportional to the impact and manipulation of public consciousness. Contrary to what we have been fed by most media and self-styled experts, price of oil has not been driven by demand. The drop in demand by oil’s primary market, the U.S., or the drop in the dollar’s value does not explain the 100% price rise of the past year. It is also not consistent with Asian demand, which though increasing, is not surging, as claimed.

The idea floated in some media, that we are nudging Peak Oil, is a canard sent against the stream of a reality that includes the substantial new finds being discovered.

The excessive greed that has been driving oil prices went out of control, and consumers have made some serious behavior modifications that are impacting consumption. This change will continue to cut use of oil and suppress price increases. The economic slowdown across America, and the rest of the oil-consuming world, will accentuate that downward pressure on demand. Suppliers, enjoying a perfect storm of revenue, will continue to reduce their production to limit the speed of the bubble’s escaping gas, as supply continues to outpace the dropping demand, particularly from oil’s biggest market.

Congress faces a challenge in its search to understand what happened, as it questions the likes of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (CFTC). We should not expect useful insight to be forthcoming. Oil moves and trades on the high seas in unknown quantities, and too much volume in oil futures speculation occurs offshore beyond prying eyes and oversight. Reports to and from Congress will be incomplete, and make examination and monitoring of the speculation intractable. Congress should lead the charge, and require that margin requirements be increased for commodities to that required on stocks.

Goldman Sachs recently predicted $150 to $200 per barrel prices for crude. Really? What is the purpose of this PR posit? It remains that it’s time to listen for the hissing sounds, which will be evidence of a leak in the bubble, and the eminent burst. Then $75 to $80 here we come.

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