The Soviet Collapse "The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers."
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
Prudhoe Bay oil production shut down. A large percentage of the largest major oil field in the US will be shut down, possibly for months, on news that the transfer pipelines which move the oil to the main Trans-Alaska Pipeline are badly corroded. [more inside...]
Today the Saudi Oil Minister announced that they are setting aside OPEC production quotas. Is the end for OPEC? More importantly, when the Texas Railroad Commission did the same thing in 1971, it signaled the peaking of US oil production. Oil prices keep rising, and the Main Stream Media blames it on tight refinery capacity. But simple economics tells us that this should actually cause crude prices to drop. So what is happening? Is this the peak of global oil production? President Bush is concerned, and he is hosting Crown Prince Abdullah at the Crawford Ranch this week. Leading Oil & Gas investment banker Matt Simmons thinks that the peak is upon us, and even the Saudi Oil Minister admits that they probably won’t find any more light, sweet crude…
I know this has been on everyone's mind, but I just read this article today and was astounded at my lack of foresight. Silly me, here I was worrying about global warming when what I need to be fretting about is the decrease in fuel's impact on the structure of international banking! Will we run out of fossil fuel before it's too late to save the environment from pollution and greenhouse gasses? The abiotic nuts think we've got plenty more. Personally, I think we can kiss the marvel that is suburbia goodbye and start contemplating the fact that the focus on the post-post industrial revolution will not be information, but rather agriculture. And since solar panels and windmills and the like are made of materials that are extracted, transported, and fashioned by using oil-powered machinery, my money's on the folks who're stockpiling uranium for all those shiny new nuclear plants we're going to need. So, do we have a plan? You bet we do! Oh. Well, we'll just rely on the advancement of technology to allow us to weasel out of it! Me? I've actually always wanted a horse.
Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War? "The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
Why Gen X doesn't care that Gen X doesn't care about the war - in which an irreverent, arrogant, crass young essayist hits a nerve. What RAND has to say about the impact of Iraqi oil on the world economy. Who's organizing large demonstrations against war on Iraq, and who's upset about this. Spend an hour with the real experts on Iraq, real Iraqis, and real people who can't make the case for war. (RealPlayer) This in-depth broadcast interview features some truly key players, the real arguments on both sides, and you probably never heard it, making the case for Internet Radio.
The Saudis are about to deliver an ultimatum to Bush In a bleak assessment, he [Prince Abdullah] said there was talk within the Saudi royal family and in Arab capitals of using the "oil weapon" against the United States, and demanding that the United States leave strategic military bases in the region. Such measures, he said, would be a "strategic debacle for the United States." How should Bush respond?
Taliban say they underminded the US economy by halting opium production. ``It's known in select circles.. that opium is more influential than oil in terms of its economic role in America in particular and the West as a whole,''
Why Big Oil Backed The Fuel Protests In Europe -- "Watched from a distance, the oil blockades in Britain look like spontaneous popular uprisings: regular working folk, frightened for their livelihoods, getting together to say, "Enough's enough." But before this David and Goliath story goes any further, it deserves a closer reading...."